stay awhile

The Priestly Blessing
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them:

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’

“So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”
Numbers 6:22-27  New King James Version (NKJV)

About our trip:  as I told you earlier, the first week of July we were invited to interview for a Senior Pastor’s position. Today I can fill in some of the details I was not free to talk about at the time. I’ll be leaving out many other details which, in light of the outcome, there is no need to share.

On July 12th we traveled along I-10,  7 hours east, to Blythe, California and spent the night. On Friday we continued eastward to a small community in the southeastern corner of Arizona, a few miles from Tombstone. While we were there we were allowed to stay in an unoccupied house being managed by a local Real Estate Broker, who is also the wife of a church Elder.  It was quite charming and had been lovingly set up to resemble a Bed & Breakfast experience…a fresh fruit basket, chocolates, coffee service, towels and lotions…providing everything we might want or need.  We were entertained and fed sumptuously on Friday night and Saturday.

Dick preached on Sunday at the small non-denominational church that was conducting the Pastor search. As always, he delivered an anointed message, speaking from Luke 24 verse 13 and following, wherein Jesus revealed himself to two disciples “On the Road to Emmaus”. The meeting was closed with both of us serving Holy Communion and Dick proclaiming the priestly blessing from Numbers 6:22-27 over the congregation as the Holy Spirit had instructed him before we left California.  As I returned to my seat several people, Board members and their wives included, hugged me, with tears and spoke of how touched they were.

After service, the congregation gathered in the Fellowship Hall for yet another Pot-Luck and we were home by 2:30.

D rested for awhile Sunday afternoon.  He seriously needed the sleep since Kai Li felt obligated to speak to every strange sound on Thursday night and tension had been running high Friday and Saturday.  Now the preaching was behind him and the plan was to head for California early on Monday morning.  When he woke up we prayed: “Lord, we want this – but your will be done.”

Earlier in the day, as we left the church, something was said about getting together with the Board later in the evening.  We assumed it would be for an interview.  So far nothing even remotely resembling an interview had happened.

From 3:30 until 6:30 we waited and wondered. Worried?  Maybe a little…me at least.

Finally we got a call “Let’s get together. Shall we all come to your house?” 

The Church Board, their wives and the Youth Pastor arrived and stayed until about 10 PM.

“We would like to have you stay a few more days, so we can get to know you better and hear Dick speak again.”

“If we can arrange with the neighbor who is caring for our house and garden to continue awhile longer we can stay until Thursday.”

Sunday night I wrote in my journal: “How can I write down all the emotions, all the blessings, all the tumbling plans and dreams!”  At that point, because we had been asked to stay on, and the tone of the Board Meeting, we both thought this was going to be the fulfillment of our vision.  As you know…we thought wrong.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are a blur of meals, meetings, prayers and sharing. Dick spoke again on Wednesday evening. On Thursday we drove as far as Blythe, about 6 hours.  On Friday we drove as far as Barstow, another 5 hours.  We were both exhausted and the last hitch of the journey home is, without a doubt, the most difficult so we spent the night there.  We got home mid-day Saturday, unloaded, unpacked and crashed.

The note in my journal says:  “What a blessed trip. So many miracles – large and small.  Thank you, Jesus. Thank you!”

On Sunday the 22nd we got an email from the Head of the Church Board, telling us how much they missed us, how well we fit in with their “church family,” and so on and on.  We assumed they meant what they said, and forgot about continuing to ask Our Heavenly Father what he had planned.  Big mistake!

Last night (July 30th, about 11:30 the Holy Spirit clearly showed me WHY the plan did not include a move to Arizona, aside from Backyard Boris (above) whom neither of us really want as a neighbor. I’ll tell you all about what He said in another post.