Going to church is great. We get up, read a little something over a cup of coffee, chat sleepily about nothing in particular and drive to church in two different cars. Today, Monseigneur Provenza asked us to come up and stand behind him at the end of mass during the announcements. As he's done in the past, he invited the congregation to give us money at the end of mass after an explanation of our work in Allendale. They were generous to us again.
Brian, David, Tom and I arrived home just in time to get on the Company conference call at noon. It was great to hear news from almost every one. Even Jeremy, in the midst of his busy time in MN, was able to join us long enough to give a light-hearted account of his work with one:ten communications. What a great work that is! Praise God for our wonderful businesses. And for the Company; we have a member in Italy, two on the West Coast, four members who are running companies, and the potential for changing the world being realized on every front.
The four of us then moved pretty quickly to 1446 for a household meeting. We talked about finances, buying a minivan, plans for using our money in other ways, and the MishCo conference call that evening. We brainstormed for a while, did some work on our calendar and readied ourselves for Lent with some plans for what we can do together. Putting life in common takes a lot of planning and flexibility. Fortunately we have almost 40 years of experience doing life in common in the People of Praise and can put that experience to good use. One of the things we talked about was negative humor and how helpful it is to avoid. Our interactions with one another are such unique opportunities to build each other up that we would do well to avoid any harm caused by negativity. We need to die to ourselves and change our minds on a regular basis. And the beauty of it all is that our individual needs, and even some of our individual wants, are taken care of and our household is always on the lookout for ways that we can serve one another and love one another better. Glory!
After the conference call (for the second time in one day an excellent, if occasionally hard to hear, experience) we celebrated Tom's birthday. To help the celebration along we had a fire in our fire pit, made smores, and honored Tom. He's a great guy and has contributed so much to our life and work since moving in here. He's got the Lord's heart for our neighbors and is keenly aware of opportunities for bringing Christ into our lives. A story: when Tom was in Dinkytown one his friends got a letter from a group of powerful people. They invited this guy to join their group because they could make him powerful and influential. This was uncomfortable with the invitation and Tom's immediate reaction was "Throw it away; we don't need that kind of thing in our house." What a great response!
As we wound down for the evening we all trouped inside and finished up the dishes left over from the wonderful dinner of chicken burrito stuff that Brian put together. Some of us stayed around the fire; Joan and I went inside and watched the last third of a Poirot mystery with Liz (very cool; we had no idea who the murderer was) and then started to make our way into the backs of our houses. Brian and Tom are now doing updates to their blogs so my guess is that whatever I left out they'll have covered.