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Natalie Buske Thomas @buske_natalie
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✝️🎄⛪️THREAD Church powerful & joyful today - much to tell you! First, my fam's singing, beginning of service. Me: plum suit dress; w/daughters,son guitar. Medley, but too long for Twitter. Broke it apart & removed excess music track. Part 1 of 2. (last tweet will say end thread)
2) 🎄⛪️Part 2 (this song was in the middle, but had to split into 2 videos to fit Twitter length). No for-singing microphones at church. Fortunately we'll have sound system when we do our "big" (30 minutes! costumes! bling!) Christmas show at the senior center on the 18th. Next>
3) Before I talk about the service, remember the dream I had last night? To add to my tweet from this morning (see link if you missed it) in the dream I was a dentist (never!) & disaster seemed to involve a storm of some kind. Now, let serendipity begin...
4) Service began w/announcements. Pastor said putting on his disaster relief hat. I've mentioned before, he worked many years d relief, Hurricane Katrina, locally, etc. Said we're under threat of tornado & where shelter areas are. Incidentally, first I heard church has a kitchen.
5) He talked about the storm, as thunder crashed & lightning flashed thru the many large sanctuary windows. Of course I thought about my dream. :;yikes!:: What were the odds?!!? The "where the church shelter areas are" speech had never happened before, why THIS morning? ugh...
6) Would storm disrupt my fam's singing? As you saw from the videos, it didn't, storm had quieted by then. I began to wonder if my dream wasn't a horrible apocalyptic warning, but instead a positive sign - marker, signal, guide for what to focus on, not for future, for right NOW.
7) Today is a special day, as it is the first day of Advent & begins a new church calendar (Advent = weeks leading to the birth of Jesus). You can follow the new 2018-2019 calendar, starts today, & read the Bible with millions of people around the world: presbyterian.org.nz/sites/default/…
8) We begin with Jer 33:14-16 - What stands out to me is the reference to "The days are coming, sayth the Lord" ... "do what is just and right in the land". I'm taking this out of context, so I'll include the passage for you to read for yourself. biblegateway.com/passage/?searc…
9) Ps 25: 1-10
In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.
I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.
biblegateway.com/passage/?searc…
10) 1 Thes 3: 9-13 "May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else" biblegateway.com/passage/?searc…
11) Last one, then we'll move on to the sermon. 😮🧐 Lk 21: 25-36 There will be signs in the sun, moon & stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish & perplexity at the roaring & tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world...
12) 😮🧐“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness & the anxieties of life...day will close on you suddenly like a trap...Be always on the watch, pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen..." biblegateway.com/passage/?searc…
13) Remember my dream?
1. literal actual storm during church
2. song we sang, planned way before, says (I cued it for you)
3. apocalyptic warning in reading
But, disaster is *not* what I'm feeling. My intuition says focus here: "be careful or your *hearts will be weighted down*
14) ☕️Now, after all of that build up, finally time to share the sermon. You'll feel encouraged after this. Please relax, let yourself feel peaceful & positive. First, pastor led us in prayer "stormy outside, O Lord...your children seek shelter in this place of Light and warmth"
15) "...from the storms of life. How long must we continue to know the powers of evil in our midst? Our souls become dry and our spirits become bitter. By Your Word, strengthen us, that our trust reside in You...Help us to bring joy to the world" & all God's people say Amen...
16) His children's sermon lively - more kids were there today, to kick off season of Advent. All are already excited for Christmas. One adorable little boy with round dimpled cheeks stole the show. He interrupted several times. "I see a Christmas tree!" (they'd just put it up)
17) Pastor led demo: he "hoped" to move his coffee mug across the piano top with his mind, but after much comedy & kids' giggles, could not. Child I mentioned earlier (3 years old?) said because he didn't have his magic hat. Pastor then fetched the mug. Said hope requires action.
18) Kids were still focused on magic, and distracted by the Christmas tree, so I don't know if they got the message, but the adults who were listening got it - at least I did. Hope + Action. I'd like to add. Thoughts + Prayers + Action. Common sense. Do it all. Believe. Love. Do.
19) Now finally, for the adult sermon. Funny, poignant. Remember, you have to imagine our big Southern pastor, looking like a cross between KFC's Colonel Sanders & Santa Claus. More-so Santa because of kindness, his jolly spirit, and this... He began sermon: "I'm a Christmas nerd
20) ...like it when Lowes puts out the Christmas trees...music, lights, magic in the air" He then tells a story about Nanny's delicious brownies & tradition of delivering them to relatives every year. One year, Mama promoted him to be the one to carry brownies from car to house.
21) He looked forward to seeing cousins, aunts, uncles, so this tradition was something he enjoyed. But what he didn't know, was that year, Mama was in a tiff w/some ingrate relatives & that's why he was the brownie delivery boy. She didn't want to see their faces! Well, one...
22) uncle named "Boozer" (real name, not personality trait) was rich, something no one else in the family could be accused of. He even had a butler. Before young Pastor (about 10 years old at the time) brought brownies to rich uncle Boozer's door, Mama said, "Say 'Merry Christmas
23) & Come See Us Sometime" Now, Pastor tells us, (cuz he knows some Yanks in the midst) that in the South they don't really mean it when they say "Come See Us Sometime", just a saying...but Boozer replied, "OK, I'll be there next Thursday about supper time & I'll bring the food"
24) Mama's face was like a captain of a sub in a WW2 movie, when surrounded. He could hear the alarms going off inside her head (Pastor imitated this & congregation laughed - real laughs, not the pity/forced kind) He said, "Next week was hell. We scrubbed the whole house -
25) smelled like Clorox for a week. Whole house smelled like a swimming pool. Even sent our smelly dog to the neighbors & Mama bought a new outfit. Then, greeted Uncle Boozer "It's so wonderful to see you, please excuse the mess". Pastor's imitation was funnier than I can do here
26) Uncle Boozer brought an assistant & an entire feast. "Turkey, ham, cake that had to weigh 300 pounds - never saw my family so happy..root of happiness for us is relief - he didn't inspect our showers" (he went on to talk about how Boozer didn't care about the house) "It was a
27) gracious time, little bit of Heaven come to Earth. Boozer didn't care about mold in bathroom or if dog stank. We missed the fact that he loved us- even me, who was drooling like an idiot that day. I'd had a tooth pulled at the dentist, Novocaine hadn't worn off" [CATCH THAT?]
28) Wow! Seriously, a DENTIST reference? What are the odds? I guess that's where the dentist part fits in. To recap: in my dream, I was a dentist who was seeking shelter from a storm, with many other people. Nothing bad happened to us, but I was afraid, & worried others were hurt
29) There was a severe storm raging outside church, our song mentions storm, sermon & Scripture about storm/apocalypse. But - feeling was not that of a warning, portent, or omen. It was the opposite: shelter, hope, and joy. Promise of the future. Pastor tied his story to sermon:
30) "So often we're afraid of Scripture...it's about a family reunion - it's going to be wonderful". Pastor tells us a conversation he had. Guy: "You know, we're in the last days". Pastor "I hope so." Guy: "Sinners are gonna get theirs." Pastor "We're in the same boat then"
31) Pastor, to us "Don't have the same look on our faces, that Mama had [when she learned Uncle Boozer was coming]. Let's not ruin God's compassion w/our lousy expectations." Prayer: "Help us to love you & anticipate a time of joy & reunion. Touch our hearts this Advent season,
32) that we may touch the lives of those around us." Next, we were welcomed to the Lord's Table for Communion. I had an idle thought that the "wine" (grape juice) I was holding matched the suit dress I was wearing. That seemed nice. Can't explain why. Just did. Odd human thoughts
33) Forgot to mention that we sang our first Christmas song of the season w/choir today. I wasn't nervous about that, probably why it slipped my mind. Nice little song, delightful, called "Christmas Hymn". The family with the cute little boy lit the Advent candle. Also, it was
34) first Sunday of month, which means birthday cake. Pastor rings bell, announces everyone's birthdays that month. We sing Happy Birthday, God Bless You & eat a beautifully decorated cake. This had red roses & two kinds of cake inside. Perfect! Both my daughters have Dec bdays.
35) Closing prayer "Remind us that your love conquers all. May we serve freely & joyfully." To us: Love each other & may you be touched by the joy & hope of the season. Last, we sang our closing song, just before cake & birthdays. Then, our fam rushed out, husband had to work...
36) Happily, I'd made chili in crock pot this morning. I put it in a to-go bowl (& did not spill it on my dress) while he changed into scrubs - pharm tech, accepted to ($$ugh!) pharm school, finishing a few postBAC requirements first. Anyway, crazy new week has begun, positively
37) I believe that my dream was meant to be hopeful, to clue me in on what to focus on - *to share with you*. Before I end thread, let's go back to the children's sermon, to the prayer, "We hope for a lot of things, but give us the energy and excitement to work for those things."
38) I never know whose lives I may be touching, only that I am meant to try. I'm meant to share - I deliver the message. That's all that is asked of me. Few of us are called into greatness. The least of us are enough, when we give all that we have. May you love, hope, & feel JOY
39) Life is hard. Share your stories, so that others know that they are not alone. Stand together. Feel empathy. Hope, but also act. Storms come, storms go. This week is going to be a journey. Hold fast. We'll make it through. What's your intuition saying? Are you afraid? Ready?
40) I feel very positive. I hope that helps. No matter how dark it seems... I have a strong feeling we've been saved from something catastrophic, something averted. We may never know. Sleep well. Be at peace. If a storm hits, we'll get through it. God bless you. /end thread/
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