Small-town experiences have kept us smiling lately:
- Everyone knows your name, even if you don’t know theirs,
- We are enjoying the laid-back quiet that only small towns can offer
- Filling up on gas only every other week at the most
- Small-town news. . .our greatest source of entertainment (details to follow)
Only a few weeks after our arrival, someone very concernedly asked me if when we were leaving. Apparently, rumor had it that we were picking up and leaving already.
Of course we had to have a little fun messing with our deacon, then just this week, Jeremy traveled to McGuire AFB to interview for a reserve Chaplain position closer to us here (he is bi-vocational at the church so he is free to continue his reserve duty periodically, and this affords us military medical insurance). While he was away, I got another phone call, and I was informed of more small-town news:Jeremy was interviewing at another church in New Jersey, and if he got the job, we would apparently be taking that position and moving away from Emporium. Wow! The funny thing was, I probably was the one to start that rumor, because it was no secret that Jeremy was going away to interview for a reserve position, but I probably just mentioned in passing to someone (who didn’t know the details) that Jeremy was out of town interviewing. And of course they filled in their own details.
Small-town news starts in first grade, it seems, because yesterday Elijah came home from school insisting that there was no school today (Thursday). He named several children (obviously very reliable sources) in his class who had informed him that there was no school today. We assured him that there was no holiday until next week. Still, he woke me up this morning, still in his pajamas (he usually gets up and dresses himself before most of the house is up) and kept insisting that I call the school or check online to see if there was school today. I told him that his classmates had it wrong, and it wasn’t true that school was out today. ”Get dressed and go downstairs. The bus will be here to get you at the regular time.” He obeyed, but seemed still convinced that I was misinformed. After I got everyone off to school and got ready for the day, I sat down to my computer to find this google search open in my browser:
“is there going to be school today”
No county, no school name. Just that simple search. Just to be sure, I checked, and Jeremy had not done the search. I can’t stop laughing as I picture him coming down here confidently to do some real “RESEARCH” since mom apparently wasn’t in on the loop of the school calendar!
Enough fiction, here’s some of the REAL news in the Caskey house today!
Easter will mark our third-month anniversary here in Emporium, and we have SO much to praise God for!
- Jeremy has preached through the book of Haggai, and will finish 1 Thessalonians this Sunday. (His sermons are all on our website www.faithemporium.org) If you only listen to one sermon, I’d recommend the one titled “A Life Pleasing to God” it is so practical, and probably the clearest exposition of that text I’ve ever heard.
- Children’s Sunday School has been added
- Jeremy completed the church website and has been keeping all his sermons on there
- Preparation of the membership class curriculum was completed and this Sunday Jeremy will finish teaching the FIRST EVER membership class in the history of the church! Most of the current membership and several candidates for membership attended, and have gleaned a lot.
- Jeremy has preached at two inter-faith/inter-denominational events here in town (and boldly preached the Gospel of course!)
- Both Jeremy and I have been discipling men and women individually, and in a few weeks we will be starting a Ladies’ Bible study.
Psalm 139 verses 1 and 17 says, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!”
When we were seeking God’s will for our place in full-time career ministry, I have to say I struggled with worry. Not worry that God would provide, but worry that we might not go the right place.
Since moving here, God has proven Himself as a God who KNOWS us through and through. We had no idea how right this town, this church, these people were for us. We joked when we came to interview here that we could move here because they had a really good pizza place. You know pizza is pretty important! We joked because we knew that if God had chosen for us to serve here, HE would work out the details. HE would make sure we were cared for. I just did not fathom HOW well and how perfectly the God who made us would lovingly and carefully show us His providential care.
I’ve already shared on this blog about the provision of school for the children, friends for us and our children, a loving body of believers to worship with and love fervently and deeply. I can truly say that our church has become like family to us. But the details. . .oh, the details that God has orchestrated that meet our needs and many of our quirks and desires.
Tonight was no exception.
One of Jeremy’s favorite treats is a cherry-dipped ice cream cone. He used to get them from Dairy Queen, but it seems that in the last several years, he hasn’t been able to get them anywhere! The last few places we’ve lived, he’s given up on even trying ice cream shops any more. He doesn’t even ask. So when we candidated here, we noticed a little ice cream shop downtown. It was closed up for the winter, but I said, to Jeremy, “we’ll have to go down and see if they have cherry-dipped cones when they open in the spring.” He dismissed me, saying that if we couldn’t find a cherry-dipped cone in big towns nowadays, there was no way they would have them in this little town.
It has warmed up enough even here in the mountains for ice cream, so tonight we took the children down and got some really yummy CHEAP soft serve. When we got to the window, Jeremy asked the lady, “do you have dipped cones?” “Yes,” she said, “chocolate and cherry.” I about jumped through the window to hug her!
God in his goodness has given us something we did not even ask Him for. Who would think to ask God for a cherry-dipped cone? I didn’t, but He gave anyway.
Thankful tonight for a God who knows every personal detail of our hearts and delights to show His goodness to us in ways our particular human heart can recognize.
Matthew 26:25-32 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”