The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name. – Psalm 23
Okay. So I have notes from Sunday. Several. I have to comment on a whole slew of different things, so this is kind of a “weekend update”. But Andrew and Alicia’s news from Bahrain is so cool it’s going to get its own post.
#1 – Rebekah hits the road!
Well, it had to happen! Nobody retires and stays away from the grandchildren for very long.
Sure, Rebekah and I had the best-laid plans for an epic road trip that was going to include any number of National Parks, loads of loud road-trip music (Queen, Robert Palmer, The Eagles etc), and many glad reunions. We were going to spoil not only our Miami grandchildren but make our way to Bahrain too. But reality – specifically COVID-19 and the iffy status of my parents next door – dictates a different approach.
So Rebekah spent the entire day Saturday cleaning out her little SUV, then stuffing it full with all the things Naomi may eventually regret asking for.
And then, Sunday after lunch, Rebekah rolled out of our driveway and steadily down 95’s insane traffic toward Florida.
So, yes, three weeks into this transition between full-time ministry and what-on-earth-is-this-all-about retirement, the siren call of our grandchildren finally took hold.
#2 – Out and About with my mum:
2021 has been, we all know this, a hot summer here in Wake Forest. Obviously, as former Floridians, Rebekah and I understand we have little to complain about. The heat around Tampa was both exhausting and relentless. We were pretty much tired of summer every year well before even Easter rolled around, then we knew we had another seven plus months to go before enjoying some temporary respite around Christmas and the New Year.
But for one who is formerly English – a.k.a. my mum – summertime around here means not getting out much; and that in addition to COVID is difficult at best.
So I was glad that my mum felt up to a short walk Sunday afternoon. She turns 90 next month, after all, so we will take our victories where we can find them!
#3 – A note of thanks to Susie Vogt:
Meanwhile, back at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church, the accompanist for the traditional worship service retired.
Susie has served WFPC for 30 years, since before the congregation was officially chartered as a PC(USA) congregation and before the first footings were poured for a church building on Capital Boulevard.
Susie was consistently positive and enthusiastic, overflowing with love for Jesus, and committed to avoiding the fatal pitfall of “dragging” a hymn. With Susie you could be sure that even “The Old Rugged Cross” would move along with a tempo designed to keep the sleepiest parishioner on their toes!
I know you will be missed, Susie; thanks for your faithfulness and great music.
#4 – Another good morning in church:
Finally, we attended church again (this week we worshipped with St. Andrew’s Presbyterian). Rebekah may be retired, but committed Christians go out of their way to attend public worship; and we believe attendance is a critically important part of a life of active faith.
It occurred to me how easy it is to show up on a Sunday morning. We left the house at 9:40; we arrived just in time for the opening song; we enjoyed worship (excellent sermon, btw, Lynn); we briefly chatted with the pastor; we were home again less than two hours after we left.
Seriously, people, you can explain all you like about how busy you are and how many demands there are on your time, but showing up for worship once a week is absolutely not a stretch!
As pastor Lynn Stall pointed out in her message, worship is not about us, it is about God. Public worship on a Sunday morning is not designed to cater to us so much as provide us with the opportunity to offer our praise and thanks to the Creator.
Worship is key to God’s people being made whole, and we must not neglect it.
Peace, and a most amazing week for everyone – DEREK