Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Getting the Message

We have been attending the same Bible-teaching church for about a decade. 

But age and my stroke-associated conditions have been signaling a need for a change in our routine for some time.

I love the people, the messages and the option of the Thursday night services. But whichever service, the loud music from the praise band has had us removing our hearing aids and stuffing our ears with pieces of tissue.

Also, I had come to long for the sermons-in-a-song of hymns that were the sound track for my growing up years and most of my pre-stroke years. 

Hubby had been visiting other churches for a while in addition to attending those Thursday night services at what I'm now calling "our old church." 

After one Sunday visit, Hubby reported he had found a church, Grace Baptist Church in our hometown, with a worship service that still included hymns.


I was all in when he wanted me to visit that church with him the upcoming Sunday. But even before Sunday rolled around, we had a visit from the associate pastor and his wife from Grace Church. Pleasant temperatures that day provided for a relaxed, enjoyable get-to-know-you time on our screened porch. 

Hubby found common ground concerning the values and focus of the church. Like us, the couple had grown children with growing families. 

Unlike us, they still had one more in the nest, 13-year-old Jude.

My subsequent visit to that church on the following Sunday was joyful. But I still wasn't ready to let go of the Thursday night services at our "old" church.

Then a week later, in the Thursday night service of our old church, the stage lights were set to red and purple.* 

Suddenly my brain felt weird, like something was crawling around in my skull. 

It was scary. I had already survived a hemorrhagic stroke from a ruptured blood vessel in my brain a decade earlier. Were the lights triggering something serious about to happen again? 

I immediately closed my eyes. Then I kept my eyes focused on the floor during the rest of the service. 

Even once the auditorium lights came back on after the praise band left the stage, I was scared to look up.

That Thursday night scare pushed me closer to a change.

After two Sundays attending services at the new church plus a Friday as "stand-in grandparents" to Jude at a Grandparents Day event, we are now regulars at Grace Church's Sunday morning service.

Jude, left, our "grandson for a day" with Hubby and me
serving as substitute grandparents

 A few of the things that called to me:

--Sermons about Jesus crucified, risen and seated in heaven with God the Father; 

--Sermons about God's promises and the activity of Jesus and the Father in the lives of Christ followers through God the Holy Spirit;

--Music from Hubby's and my "old days" with a choir, grand piano on one side of the church and organ on the other side. 

--Those sermons-in-a-song, hymns offering praise to and worship of God. 

--Robust congregational singing with lots of those old familiar hymns and some that were new to me. 

We have attended the morning worship service at that small church for several Sundays now. We are still becoming acquainted with people, schedules and ministries involved.

We have also continued attending our old church's small group Bible studies that we have been in for a number of years. 

I cherish the lessons learned, friendships strengthened and "doing life together" in those groups and am reluctant to leave those.

But God has a plan for us. I just have to let Him--and Hubby--lead and not fret or run ahead of God's plan.

*As I write this I can't remember if those lights were actually red and purple or just one of those colors. Not my first time to experience memory challenges!



  1. it is always hard changing churches. I am happy you found one that compares to what you grew up with. there are not many of those left. I am glad you closed your eyes, who knows what might have happened. the brain is an odd thing and it could mess with your brain waves.

  2. So glad you found a church that is more like what you are comfortable with. It was special of the pastor to visit you even before you attended.
    That was really weird and unsettling about the lights.
    Enjoy your new spiritual home.

  3. I’m glad you found a church where you can worship with others and also walk away with a fresh blessing in your heart.

  4. God does have a plan for you, and I believe this new church was in his plan. The different colors were just a way to push you toward it with more certainty. I can't imagine how scary that must have been!!

  5. So important to find a good Bible believing church. This one sounds like a good one.
    We we moved here we attended a few different churches and when we walked into the one we now go to, we knew it was the right one.
    We sing all the old hymns, friendly people, and a pastor who teaches the Bible and lives it.

  6. It sounds like your hubby might have found the perfect church for the two of you.

  7. Yes, definitely God has a plan for you as he does for us too. Changing churches can be really hard and sometimes we need a "push" to make that decision. Your new one seems a perfect fit for you and I like that the pastor visited you. We changed churches for a number of reasons after 14 years of being so involved. One thing I like about our new one is the worship that combines old hymns with newer songs. the people who do this are very talented in working the words together. I also really like the sermons that are expository going verse by verse and everything centered around Jesus ...not "it's all about us and our feelings". We still have our small group meetings from our old church because they are like family. Dave and I are seeking where to serve at the new one. We are not content to just "occupy a pew". Waiting is sometimes the hardest part.
    Thanks for sharing this Linda..I think we think a lot alike.

    1. Loved your comment on my post today. You made me giggle too.
      Wish we didn't live so far apart.
      I believe we could have a fantastic gab-fest over a cuppa.

  8. Changing churches is hard to do. I'm happy for you that you've found one that feels right. I used to love mine, but then our pastor left as did many of my friends there, and then came the pandemic, and since then I've just been attending several services via livestream (my church and a couple of others I would love to switch to except they're not in my neck of the woods). It's not the same as live, but I'm grateful for the technology that has made it possible to at least attend virtually.