Hope Church @ Port City

How I spent New Years Eve

...and by His stripes we are healed. (Is. 53:5)

How I spent New Years Eve

And to think we nearly didn’t go to church last night… Ken had a headache of the monstrous, throbbing, lay down in the dark sort. We’d pretty much decided that he couldn’t go and that didn’t hurt my feelings much because I was exhausted. Didn’t think I’d make it til midnight.  So I called up our pastor and told her we couldn’t come, and tried to make arrangements for her husband to pick up another church member we were supposed to pick up… and she said,

Kathi – have you laid hands on that man and prayed?
Um, no, I haven’t yet.
Well, go do it, get him up, and get over here to the church.

I did, he did, God did, and so we did. 😀

And because we did, God put us in a strategic spot to help someone in need.

First off, we went to pick up Mother Louise and her son, Leon. Louise is elderly… not sure how old… is infirm in her body and suffers great pain… has seen more than her share of heartache and loss in life… and worships the Lord with a sweet abandon. She is in every sense my spiritual mother! They had some food prepared to share with us… some wonderful concoction made with apple juice and cinnamon syrup and “poppers” – so I began my new year by eating several jalopeno and cheese dibbits. I never eat stuff like that, but these were marvelous. A spicy beginning to my evening 🙂

When we walked into the church we could sense God’s presence in a wonderful way… knowing that He was going to DO something. Each of our ministers, in turn, took ten minutes or so to share what God had laid on their hearts… absolutely prophetic preaching. It’s amazing what the Lord can do in a few short minutes with His Word, properly applied! There was apparently very little collaboration between them as to what verse to speak on or even the topic beyond “New Years” fare… and yet each sermonette led to the other and built on each of the former speakers. God had it planned out! Then Pastor Price took the mike and began to share the word the Lord had given her for the church and its people in 2008… a new level, the power of His presence, the shaking off of all the old “stuff” of transition (which the church and many of its people labored through transitions in 2007) and entering into the blessing of God.

Right at 12 – sort of in the middle of her message – a singer came and intertwined “I love You Lord” with “O Come Let Us Adore Him” so beautifully… truly a moment in time that I will cherish. Pastor had us all come up to the altar and she gave the rest of the word God had committed to her. Then she had the choir come and lead us in a song about authority and walking in the power that God has given us. Several of us got out the flags and danced, rejoicing in the Lord. Then we were dismissed – but it wasn’t over! The musicians continued to play and a number of us ladies formed a line at the front of the church and started to dance… the band didn’t notice until they’d stopped playing, and when Greg looked up from the keyboard and saw us all there, they struck up another song called The Lord is the Strength of my Life. For a little while I felt like David, dancing before the Lord with all my might.

We didn’t get out of church until around 1am. We ran Mother and Leon home, but they wanted us to come in and visit for a while. Of course we couldn’t say “no” to Mother, so we had more of that cinnamon apple drink and hung out for a while, in spite of exhaustion. Finally at 1:45 we left.

We only live about 2 1/2 miles away from them… just a short little car ride. We had to pass one of the biggest bars in the history of the world, and people were still there partying – and leaving, drunk. We were following a pickup truck down Randleman Road when suddenly he swerved all the way across the road and back. We couldn’t see anything there to make him dodge like that and at first assumed him to be drunk. Then as we approached that spot, I saw blond hair and a hand – a woman, dressed in black pants and a leather coat, was stumbling down the street. If Ken hadn’t swerved too, we’d have hit her for sure because she stepped into the street at that point.

We discussed calling the police to come and assist her, but as I was dialing the number, the Spirit said to me – Go back after her. So we turned around and picked her up just as she was crossing the church parking lot.  I think she was a little fearful at first (who wouldn’t be, out walking at 2am and someone stops and asks you to get into their car?) but she seemed to sense that we weren’t going to hurt her. As she got into the van, she broke down in tears. Yes, she’d had too much to drink, that’s why she was trying to walk home instead of drive. She says that’s not normal for her, and she told us her many woes. I think she was trying to escape them, however ineffectively and briefly… and along the way realized that even drunk her woes didn’t go away. Sadness and pain and wondering where God is in all of it and knowing that satan had tripped her up that night. We were able to minister to her and pray with her as we took her home – and hopefully gave her something she can build on as she wakes up this morning and tries to sort it all out.

There were reasons we nearly didn’t go to church last night – and reasons we did go – and reasons Mother had us linger so long…  I’m so thankful to the Lord for working through us and others in this way and I give Him glory for all He’s done, all He’s doing, and all He’s going to do.