Becki, Maria and Laura at Gambino's Italian restaurant
Vicki and I at dinner
(pictures from Becki's camera)
Yesterday, partially in celebration of my sister Laura's birthday, she and Vicki drove to Moscow to spend some time with us here. The five of us sisters spent the day enjoying one another's company, good food, Moscow shopping, and hilarious movies together. What a treat. These girls are 4 of my best friends, and 4 of the people who have shaped me through the years and continue to influence who I am as an adult; they are also the people who have known me in my worst moments and who I can still enjoy and be at rest with. Is this what fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ should be like as well?
Today I was privileged to be able to worship at my church. I have missed it. I think it's been a month since I was there, and the renewal of this morning's worship did something to me that I noticed more than usual because of how long it's been. I walked in to choir practicing a setting of Colossians 3:12-16. Dr. Erb (our music leader) giving me the ok to sing with them even though I'd missed practice, made my heart happy, and the worship service continued to bless and challenge me from that moment on. (Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him).
Our sermon was from the end of 1 Samuel, where David (in contrast to Saul throughout the book) is full of mercy towards all he meets, and in v23 David shows that he is doing this because he has received goodness from God. God is a God of mercy, and we are to imitate Him in our spheres of influence. "God's relationship to mercy is greater than the sun's relationship to heat and light," Pastor Wilson closed with. Freely we have received; freely let us give. (Matt. 10:8)