Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Last Straw

Does God really care about the little things?

I've just arrived back in Tampa after a long weekend in Louisiana. I got into town a little past lunch time, and after I had run a few errands I was ready for a quick meal. I drove through a local fast food place on my way home.

Unfortunately, they forgot to give me a straw.

Now, normally that's not a big deal. I usually have a handful laying around at my house--in the "junk drawer". But... since I'm in the process of moving, the "junk drawer" has already been purged. So it's still not a big deal--I mean, you can still drink a soda without a straw... but there's just something about drinking a nice cold fountain soda with one of those nice wide straws... and I'll admit, I was a little dissapointed.

So I get home, bring my straw-less meal to my room... and there in my pen cup, standing tall compared to my collection of ballpoints and highlighters, I see a lone soda straw, still in its wrapper! I don't remember putting it there. I don't know how long it's been there. But today, it was a very small (but very refreshing) "Godwink."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mixed emotions

I've made a couple of big decisions... and this week (especially) has been an emotional roller coaster ride!

I'm moving to Louisiana. I went out there this past weekend. It is amazing how much it already feels like home -- how comfortable I am at Christian Challenge (where I will be attending church when I move). It feels like every time I turn around, another little piece of the puzzle is falling into place. Everything is coming together much more quickly and favorably than I could have ever anticipated.

I turned in my resignation to my current employer. I was nervous about that. I wanted to give them more than enough notice, but at the same time, I knew that they could terminate me on the spot once I gave them notice. Fortunately, that didn't happen and they're willing to let me work (even partial weeks) up until I move. So that's a blessing.

I also let my pastors & friends at church know about my plans. When I first broke the news to them a few weeks ago, I thought that I'd be moving sometime over the summer -- definitely not before June. But now, I'm looking at May... and that's not a lot of time. I don't even want to think about my last week at Church at the Bay... that's going to be really rough.

But... even though it is going to be rough, it's going to be rough for good reasons (if that makes any sense!)

When I left the last unhealthy church that I attended, I was told that I would be out of God's will, horrible things would happen to me, and I was in rebellion 'cause I wouldn't listen to the pastor. But this time, leaving my church isn't at all like that. My pastors love me and don't want to see me leave... but they want God's best for me, and they're praying for me. They're not trying to guilt-trip me into staying. And you know what? In some ways, that makes it even more difficult to leave!

It also means that any church I attend after CATB is going to have to meet some pretty high standards! Now that I know what a healthy church looks like, I can never settle for anything less.


More later...