Friday, September 22, 2017

Entry number 3 Bristol TN 9-21-17

  Fatz cafe. Eric's dad mentioned this establishment Monday as we drove around Bristol discussing the various food options. Many restaurants were mentioned but for some reason Fatz stood out. I wanted to eat there and come lunch time Tuesday, that's where Eric and I headed.
  A very pleasant lady named Angie led us to our table and also served us. Eric noticed that Angie was wearing a bracelet with a Bible verse on it. As she showed Eric her wrist, I noticed Zeph. 3-17 inked on her other hand. Eric asked her if these were merely ornamental or if they were indicative of  a Christian world view. I think it's safe to say, the answer Angie gave us was exactly the one we expected to hear. She was a believer and a very passionate and dedicated one at that.
  In the natural, that would be called a coincidence. In the Spirit, we call it what we know it to be; a Divine appointment. Very often, one Divine appointment leads to another. Angie's church conducted a Wednesday meeting which included a time of prayer and a dinner, both of which preceded the service. We accepted her gracious invitation to join her.
  When we left Fatz, Eric and I expressed our mutual apprehension. To be frank, between the two of us, we have had many more negative experiences with the "institutional church" than positive ones. But we had given Angie our word we were coming and never once considered reneging on our promise to attend.
  The prayer time began at 5 pm. I have never seen anything quite like it. Several folks milled about the sanctuary, some praying audibly, some silently. Eric and I were sitting toward the back of the church observing. Afterward, the man who had been praying the most fervently approached us and introduced himself as the congregation's pastor. We spoke briefly and he impressed both Eric and me as a willing servant of our Lord.
  We then went to the gym area to eat. Eric jokingly (I think) tells me he prefers to be in any food line ahead of me as he doesn't want to end up with an empty plate. He found a table where a lone elderly woman sat. We joined her and were very blessed to do so. Mary Maxine was a most gracious and Godly woman. We were both encouraged by her faith and grace.
  One of the men who had been praying, whose name was Dave, stopped by our table to greet us. Eric asked him what he had been praying about in the sanctuary. Before he answered, Eric stressed that he wanted him to be specific and completely truthful. Dave took a deep breath and put his head down for long moment. He then, very humbly, confessed his struggle with spiritual arrogance. His specific prayer was that God would enable him to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Upon hearing Dave's answer, Eric's eyes widened and a look of awe came over his face. Because earlier, while in the sanctuary, Eric had privately asked the Lord, "Are there any here, Lord, who seek to worship You in spirit and in truth?"
  If you have ever experienced a spiritually electrifying moment, you can probably comprehend the amazing feeling that the three of us were blessed to have. If you have never had such an experience, pray that you will. It's an awesome confirmation of the Lord's active presence in our lives.
  We then returned to the sanctuary for the service. Eric and I were both impressed with the pastor's love and zeal for the Lord and for his congregation. After the service, as we waited to say farewell to Angie and others, an older gentleman we had not spoken with or seen before, walked directly up to us. This is what he said: "I was sitting over there and the Holy Spirit told me that you two were angels sent to us by God. As the Scripture says, we often entertain angels unaware." Now, as Eric pointed out, the word angels comes from the Greek word angelos, which means, messenger. And we are messengers, just not the celestial kind. It was another confirmation for Eric and me that we are on the right track in service to our Lord. (Incidentally, we came to realize that all of this was taking place as Rosh Hashana was beginning!) There were other confirmations, and those also are to His credit and glory, not ours.
  Thank you, Angie, for facilitating our incredible visit with these wonderful folks. Your obedience to the Holy Spirit was manifested in the invitation you extended us. Please know that you can be confident in the prophetic confirmation the Lord, through Eric, blessed you with in regard to the fruit your continuing service will bear.

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