Finding Central Christian Church

What have you done lately that makes you smile for days? I have to admit, winning “Family Feud” at the Avon convention still feels terrific! If you have something you’d like to share, please feel free to do so. Uplifting events are always welcome news!

Today is about another event that has a much longer and deeper impact on my life. Once again, it comes from a friend who was there at a time when I needed someone.
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You may remember from my July blogs, there were times when I was in a deep, dark place. During this time my friend, Cammie, urged me to get out of the house and would pick me up to attend yard sales. Then one day she told me she was going to take me to church.

No way!  I was a Bears fan and Sundays were game days. She was not deterred and asked what time the game was on. When I told her, she said that was perfect and would pick me up and I would be home in time for the game. “I’ll be wearing my Bears jersey. I can’t go!” Her response shocked me…. Wear your jersey!! You can even wear pajamas, but we were still going to church. I went along with it on two conditions: the church was big enough to duck in and out of and we sat in seats where we wouldn’t be noticed.  We agreed and the plan for her to pick me up was in place.

When we get there less than five minutes after we sat down, a man came up to me and said “Hi, my name’s Ashley. What’s your name?”

“Uh, my name’s Mary and this is Cammie!” I wanted desperately to deflect attention from myself!
“How long since you’ve been to church?”

I mumbled about 20 years and he responded with “That’s interesting. I met a guy a few minutes ago in the lobby who also wearing a football jersey, and it’s been 20 years for him too.”

I couldn’t believe this was happening! What I wanted more than anything was for him to go away.
“Well Mary, it was really nice to meet you and I don’t know why, but I was supposed to meet you today” and with that he disappeared as quickly as he appeared. I looked at Cammie who was as mystified as I was.

The service started and after a few songs, Cal Jernigan (the pastor) introduced the guest speaker…who turned out to be Ashley. Imagine my surprise!!!

I distinctly remember the message I was supposed to hear that day. One of the reasons I had been away from church so long was because I believed the church only wanted my money. Yet here’s what I learned that day…

It is not your money. It is God’s money. God has given you the talents, the resources, and the gifts to generate that income. All He asks is that you steward it well. He doesn’t need your money. I also have noticed the church does not charge admission to attend!!!

As we were leaving the huge lobby with lots of doors, I was ready to quickly duck out. All of a sudden I hear Ashley’s voice saying “Oh hey Mary, it was nice meeting you today!” Seriously??? Then he introduces me to Cal. Again Seriously??? Now, I can’t duck out because they know my name.
This was simply the first day and as I will share next month, making a commitment to the church (and to my present husband) was another roller coaster ride. Stay tuned and as always, feel free to call or text me at 480-684-2866.


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