My office is tidy Friday, mysteriously messy on Monday. Here’s what I found today:
1. An old, but working computer in a cardboard box. This one is not a mystery. My cousin Eric donated the computer, and I picked it up last week. It is a 2009 Dell in very good condition. We don’t have a need for it in the church, so we’re going to pay it forward to Church World Service (CWS) Lancaster where my sister Laura works. CWS does an amazing job helping refugees from all over the world resettle in Lancaster. The government of the USA generously helps people fleeing religious persecution, ethnic cleansing, political strife and natural disaster by granting them entry to our country. People have come from places as diverse as Haiti, Iraq, Nepal and Somalia, to name just a few. CWS will gladly give this computer to a refugee family so they can get connected, do school work, apply for jobs, etc. If you want to learn more about CWS, just see all they’re doing here. They have loads of ways to get involved.
2. Health insurance paperwork. Like many of you, I’ve been working on getting new health insurance. I’m not totally sure how to write about this without sounding fussy. Here goes. I’m very, very thankful for health insurance. I’m very, very thankful for employment with benefits like health insurance. We have used our health insurance numerous times over the years, and I fully expect we’ll use our new health insurance, whenever that time comes that I get it figured out. I hope and pray that a major health situation is not around the corner, and I am very thankful that over the years God has blessed our family with good health. I suppose that even if a health event happens, it won’t change the fact that we are blessed, and we will work on being thankful even in the midst of difficulty. Which is exactly the attitude I need to have about the changeover to new insurance! Thankfulness isn’t always easy to come by. So this is a reminder to me too. It reminds me of the song “Blessed Be Your Name“. We can praise God even when the world is not all that it should be, such as when signing up for new health insurance is proving to be a lot more difficult than I expected. “Blessed by you name, Lord!” This also reminds me of a scene in Notting Hill, one of Michelle and my all-time favorite movies, where the two leads, played by Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, have started an unlikely romance, he a no-name London bookshop owner, and she a world-famous American movie star. After some twists and turns they get into a big fight. Just then his wacky roommate, played by Rhys Ifans, pipes up and says “What he’s going to say next is — there are people starving in the Sudan”. It doesn’t go over well in the movie, and often doesn’t go over well when we try to put things in perspective. I suppose it is because we are feeling our pain and frustration now, and it still hurts, no matter how small it is in comparison to people across the globe. But if we let it, remembering that our troubles are light and momentary can really help change our attitude and be thankful.
3. Serve Team Covenants. People placed a number of these sheets in my office. Faith Church‘s governance transition continues on, and I am super thankful for all the people that are involved. New this year, we are asking volunteers to make one or two-year commitments to one of our Serve Teams, and then to begin that commitment by signing a covenant form. In the past we did it all by election. Of course we don’t know how this will turn out in the future, but I’m excited by how God is working in people’s lives as we see each of the seven Serve Teams shaping up. We’ve had such a wonderful 2014 in the life and ministry of the family of Faith Church. I think 2015 is looking like more of the same!
Now it is time to clean up this mess!