Jul 15, 2017

July 8, 2012 My Personal Journal Entry: God moved our family to an unfamiliar place to share the Gospel. Going to a new church.

Dear Heavenly Father, before our last day in our beloved town, I shared my heart's intentions with my 7-year-old son. I said, "If the Lord places doves outside our new home, then I will know that moving to a new location was His will."
Last night, I placed earplugs in my ears to muffle the sound of my husband's thunderous snore, our RV’s air conditioner, freeway noises and other sounds of the night. I simply couldn't sleep through so much noise. The earplugs worked wonders. I fell asleep to utter silence!
When I woke this morning, an amazing thing happened. I could hear one sound coming through those small spongy earplugs. Cooing doves had perched themselves outside my bedroom window. I shook my husband in excitement! "Can you hear that?"  I loudly asked my husband. He simply replied, "Doves!" In Your infinite power, I hadn't heard any of the other usual morning sounds. The only sound I had heard was that beautiful reminder from You God, confirming that I had done Your will!
Once awake, I grabbed my Bible, as usual, to spend my normal quiet time with You. Then, I decided to attend the local Calvary Chapel church service. I had invited my husband to accompany me. We arrived at the small church building just after the service had begun.
Outside, the temperature continued to sizzle, already in the 90s at 9:00 am. Inside seats were limited as teenagers from other churches gathered to attend a nearby retreat. With very little cool air circulating over the few rows of chairs, reluctant church goers kept their arms to their sides.
The worship team sang uplifting and encouraging songs though I hadn’t heard many of them before. I sang along to the one song I recognized. My heart longed for my beloved church during the unfamiliar ones. More new songs! I glanced around the room and held onto my husband's hand a little tighter. I was struck with an odd feeling of insecurity while many thoughts raced through my mind. I mostly wondered why You had led me to this foreign place with such hot weather. 
I was still trying to take all the newness in when the worship team finished their final song. That's when the Pastor began to speak. He said, "Let's begin with prayer." Then, he prayed that You would speak through him to reach the heart of one of the church goers or maybe even every church member. Next, we opened our Bibles and turned the pages to Acts chapter 16. I smiled when I heard the pages of my husband’s bible flipping in sync with mine.
The Pastor began to preach. "Praise God no matter your circumstances," he said. Then, he continued "Consider what the apostle Paul was doing just after he was beaten and placed in prison stocks. He sang in worship to the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, followers of our Lord and Savior should also invite Jesus into our lives during a time of trial." Involuntarily, my lips pressed together and I sighed as I felt Your message enter my heart. The Pastor then added, "Just as Paul did, we too should find ourselves praising God during those moments when we feel under fire and uncertain of our future."
For a moment, I tuned out everyone and everything around me.  I deeply wanted to hear from You. “Sing. I Am with you.” I heard You whisper to my soul.

Just before the church service ended, I looked around the new church one more time. This time, I felt comforted as I thought, “I may not know any of these faces, but I know that I am not alone. You are here with me and You deserve of a tribute of praise!” I stood and loudly began singing the final hymn with all my heart.
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