Sunday, May 20, 2007

How it's going.

5/20/07 Sunday
I went to church today. Cherie didn’t go because she is pretty depressed about things with her family back in Toledo. Add to that her loneliness here and it’s hard to overcome the depression. I asked Darrel point blank if he knew anything about any of the property that was removed from this place either before or after my grandmother’s death. He said he didn’t. Not much I can say about that. I have my doubts and suspicions but nothing to back them up.

There were a few who asked about Cherie so I explained how she wasn’t feeling much like coming to church. We are both done with it here. One of the ladies in Sunday school, when I brought up our loneliness and feelings of not being really welcomed into the church family, suggested that Cherie volunteer at the nursing home or other places. I thought about that so when class ended caught her ear and said “We are strangers here. We don’t even know where the nursing home is. Can’t you see how strange and hard it would be to walk into the nursing home and say “I volunteer” when we don’t know anyone?. I was asked if Cherie knew how to sing or had any other gifts or skills and all I could think was that if she only took the time to get to know us she would already know the answer to that. Why must acceptance be based on what you can do or give? The lady said that the way she got accepted was by getting involved when she was asked to teach Sunday school. Then she was asked to do so many things she couldn’t keep up. “That’s good” I replied “But we haven’t been asked to do anything”.

Before class started Kevin talked about a new couple that had just moved in not far from his place and ran off how they were raising miniature goats, just brought in a pot bellied pig, and a whole lot of other things. Again I wonder why doesn’t he, or anyone else for that matter, know any details about our lives? When Cherie saw that I was wearing my work jeans and just a T shirt to church she said “Are you wearing that to church?”. I told her that I was tired of trying to look nice to be accepted and would just be who I am. Dressing up doesn’t seem to make a difference at all.

We are tired, we have tried and hoped to become a part of this church, to find friends and acceptance. Sure folks have been friendly but from a distance, no closeness at all. We’ve been invited to three churches by folks we met through the blog and the coin dealer we sold the collection to. After six months and even my publicly begging in Sunday school class I give up. You can talk about the love of Jesus all you want but actions or the lack of action speaks louder than anything you can say. Words without action are empty and worthless. What did Paul say? “Show me your faith without works and I’ll show you my faith by my works” or something like that. I just feel sad for this church. I must imagine that Jesus would be ashamed. There are good people there for sure but…I don’t know, this is all so perplexing for me.

Speaking of good people, I talked with Steve and his wife after the service. They are the ones who brought us food when we first got here and it was his Sunday school class we first attended. We switched over to Kevin’s class later because it was the one for our age but mostly because Darrel, my cousin, attended it and I hoped it would open a door for us with my kin. That hasn’t worked. So Steve and his wife talked for a few minutes about Cherie and things. I am grateful for any time I can have a conversation beyond “how are you doing?”. Unfortunately I had a slowdown in the middle of the service so wasn’t able to speak terribly well, but I did ok. I did get to ask Steve about something that had been bothering me. When I brought up how we felt so alone in Sunday school class several weeks ago I said that I would gladly go hungry and cold in order to have folks to fellowship with, pastor Dave sent me an E mail that said I essentially spit on those who had brought us food. I am unsure if I interpret that right but Steve was the one who brought us some food so I wanted to ask him if I had offended him and apologize if I did. He said he took no offense in the matter which made me feel much better. It is time for us to look for a different church. Hope even that isn’t taken as an affront but won’t keep my fingers crossed.

So back to the farm. The bees are back damn it. I went out to the garage to transplant some of the plants I had successfully started into larger pots when I heard a sound that was all to familiar. At first I thought it was the buzzing of one or two bees in the garage but it kept up and was too much to be only one or two. Getting up I saw a cloud of bees outside. Not good. There were bees trying to get to where one of the hives had been under the house. These guys were crawling into every nook and cranny they could find as they sought a path in. I got the broom out and killed maybe thirty of the suckers as they were easy targets on the side of the house but that wasn’t going to be any kind of solution. Got the hornet spray out and sprayed it all around hoping the smell would deter the bees but to no avail. Going around the house I found bees seeking access all around the back to the other side where the killer bee hive had been. I think they can smell the old honey or something. Don’t know. I got the can of “Great Stuff” foam I had from last year and sprayed it on all the joints the bees were trying to get into. That seems to have worked a little. The cloud of bees is gone. Hope they went far away though there are still some bees trying to get under the house.

OK, this just came to memory. Yesterday Cherie and I went to look at the adobe brick maker. The guy who has it is named John Woodward. Great guy. I think he’s a sheriff cause there was a pick up that had “Sheriff” in big letters on the back. He showed us the brick maker and demonstrated how it worked. Real friendly and open sort of guy. Has a few dogs and Cherie recognized the greyhound traits in two of them. They were affectionate as all get out. John and us talked about lots of stuff and had a great visit. He has some “Beefalo” which are a result of his buffalo mating with some of his cattle. John invited us to come over anytime and suggested I bring some dirt to see how well it makes bricks.

The brick maker costs a grand but my dirt is free. John may consider a payment arrangement so it’s an attractive possibility. Would be a great long term solution to our rotting siding issue. Actually it would greatly enhance the value and livability of this house and I had been planning on adobe back when we thought there would be twenty grand from the inheritance.

The headache and slowdown have subsided now so I’ll post this and get to doing some of the many chores that I don’t keep up with very well.


Amy E said...

Bob, I agree it's time for you seek another church, if you are being led to do so. Unfortuantely you are encountering the very thing many churches across the United States, apathy among the congregation. Stayed at a baptist church here for 12 years until I sought out what I consider to be an "Acts" church (based on the book of Acts). I think the problem comes with age, people get tired the older they get, set in their ways, and hate change, and as the younger set grows up the older set does not want to release the "power" they have in church functions. So, life just stagnates. While I believe the older generation has a biblical purpose, too many today, are not living up to the biblical mandates of teaching the younger, being an example, and basically extending Christian fellowhip. The pastor there at that church sounds like he has a real problem, which is unfortunate, not only with leading the congregation, but in his own personal walk with Christ. Hm, very interesting to see a Pastor not setting the example for his congregation.

But a friend who lives in Midland, told me that is how the area is...if you are "new" you will be "new" there forever, and the community just has a hard time accepting you, especially the older they get. Please don't think I am "age" bashing, that's not it, I am getting up there myself, I just expect MORE from the older generation, as they should know better. But after all, many probably lived through the 60's and have developed the "me" concept, instead of the JOY concept (Jesus, Others, Yourself).

I will be praying you and Cherie find the place that God has in mind for you.

Eric said...

Amy, I can see how a small farming community like Stanton might well deserve the description your friend applied to Midland, but I don't see Midland as being like that at all. Almost just the opposite, in my experience. The oilfield has always been a transitory place to work, with jobs coming and going, and most people don't care if you've been here two months or two decades. (Of course, there are exceptions -- but that's the case anyway, I think.) In any event, Midland is not Stanton, even if they are only 20 miles apart.

Amy E said...

You are correct, I misspoke. I talked to my friend and mentioned this post, and she said she always just lumped everyone together out there, she said today she actually lived in the towns of Stanton, Colorado City (?), Alice, Big Spring, etc., she likes to move can you tell?

I live in a small rural town myself but in South Texas, it seems like most small towns appear to share a few of the same traits. It's just sad overall...growing up in rural Maryland (outside DC) I always had this picture that small towns were the best place to live, with everyone just wanting to help each other. Boy! was I in for a shock moving to a small town, the cliques, the backbiting, the gossip was overwhelming at first, until God directed me to those he wanted in my life. Took about 2 years or so....I am glad Bob found you for a friend.

Bob said...

I want to be sure this is clear. I do not KNOW of any backbiting or gossip regarding the church. What I do know is while folks are plenty friendly no one has been willing to give that gift that is the most valuable of all, a little time. Now here's another thing that my talk with Eric helped me see though it didn't come up in our conversation. I could well be guilty of gossip myself. Backbiting? No. I am open and up front about everything. Besides that, on both of those there has been no one to gossip or backbite with cause that would require having a conversation, can't seem to find someone to have one with at the church. This blog is my conversation with whomever at the church may read it.

Amy E said...

I would like to apologize if my comments caused Bob any problems with his church "family" . My intention was to just commisserate with how small towns operate, not his church specifically. I will try and keep my comments and opinions private. Again, I apologize.

Bob said...

NO Amy, don't keep them private. This is what communication is about. I knew you weren't referring to the church we went to, just didn't want to give anyone there ammunition if they were looking for it. Stanton is a small town and does have the same problems they all do. To hide problems is to guarantee they will continue. When what is hidden is exposed to the light change can then happen. I want to open dialog and wish some from Stanton would speak up.

Anonymous said...

Bob, I am writing since you want someone from Stanton to speak up. I am simply stating how I feel; I am not asking to be blasted.

I am sorry that you don't feel like you can return to FBC, Stanton. I have tried to reach out to you. I have talked to you at Sunday School and have emailed you. I am a very shy person so it is difficult for me to carry on conversation with those I don't know well but I have tried. I even emailed you and Cherie to let you know that I would be out of town on 2 Sundays and would miss seeing both of you. Neither of you ever sent any type of reply.

You have said that you have been hurt by members of the Sunday School class. On Sunday, I asked you about Cherie out of concern & interest and asked you to tell her that I missed her. Your reply of "You can tell yourself." hurt my feelings. I will agreee that people should have been more welcoming. But at times you put up a wall with your blunt remarks when someone tries to be friendly.

I wanted to develop a friendship with Cherie. I have not seen her at Sunday School since her return from her parents. I am not comfortable dropping on someone. Also, telling me you live on FM road #xxx doesn't give me a clue where you live.

You need to make allowances for the quirks of others just like you expect others to make allowances for yours.

Again, I am sorry that you won't return to FBC. I hope that you find the Church you are looking for somewhere else.

Bob said...

I am sorry anonymous. This illustrates why sitting down and talking is needed. I never intended to hurt you. I think I need to dedicate a post explaining some issues with brain damage. Mine was severe enough to put me in a coma a month. Social skills is an area of the brain seriously affected. Blunt remarks, facial expressions, all kinds of things are affected. When I said tell her yourself it was my desire to get her friends to talk to. I also said I would send you her E mail address. Forgetting, follow through are also a big problem with me. I spend my days wandering from task to task forgetting what I was doing. Our conversation was brief as all in church must be due to services going on and stuff. The wall is not intentional. It is a result of many things related to the brain damage. I had Cherie E mail you with the hope you two will hit it off. Again I apologize