Sunday, September 9, 2001

Tales from the Front Pew, Chapter 2

It is was typical Sunday Morning. Deb and the kids were sitting in the customary spot, fourth pew from the front, just right of the center aisle. Since this was my month for running the sound board, I was in the back, pushing buttons. Our Praise Band led in worship this morning. The church was full. We had a baptism, which brought in the extended family of the baptized, and our Welcome Weekend, which brought in friends and community members. One of the songs the Praise Band led us in was the old Baptist favorite, "I'll Fly Away". It was over halfway through the song that Deb looked down and saw David worshipping in a style all his own. With each phrase of "I'll Fly Away", he would hop into the air, thrust his arms out, and start flapping furiously, as if he was going to take off. With the next "I'll fly away", the gyrations would be repeated. People occasionally raise their hands to worship in our church. But this is the first time I have seen anyone "fly".

We were just finishing a light supper before going to church this evening when the phone rang. There was a tornado watch. Church was cancelled for the evening. The kids were delighted (We are working on that). Deb went to turn on the TV to check the weather report. David, always full of hope, asked me, "Does this mean that there will not be any school tomorrow?"

"I doubt it," I told him. "The storm will be long gone by then."

Philippians 4:6 talks about bringing our requests to God. David did just that. He sat in his chair in the most contrite posture (something that's very rare in that child), held his folded hands to his chest, and fervently prayed, "Dear Jesus, please let there be no school tomorrow. Amen."

He wasn't joking. School is not his favorite place.

The kids brought home a video from church, the latest episode of "321 Penguins". Normally they watch it the following Sunday, but since today was different, maybe they could see it a week early. Josh started the negotiations.

"Since we don't have any church tonight, we could have our own church service here at home; read some scriptures and a chapter from 'Echoes Of His Presence', and then maybe watch the 321 Penguins video?" The last phrase of this was in a more questioning tone of voice. When we agreed to this, there was celebration in the Friend home. War whoops and cries of "YES!" from the kids. It took a little while to get them calmed down enough to start devotions. Our devotions were very diverse this evening. First, Herod the Great, then flying penguins. It's enough to take your breath away.