A little excitement!

I thought I knew all about rain, coming from Oregon, but in Oregon we might have a good rain storm once or twice in a winter that might last a few hours.  The rest of the time it’s just regular rain.  I’ve never seen anything like what we’ve been getting here in California!

Last night we had another heavy storm of wind and rain that lasted all night and through at least the first half of today.  When I got up this morning, one of the canvas walls of our outer room was down and the door to that room was ripped off in a way that can’t be fixed.  It was raining so hard that when I went down the mountain for church this morning, I wasn’t sure there’d still be a valley down there!

On my way down the mountain I was driving slowly and cautiously.  It’s a good thing I did.  I came around one bend and found a rock slide covering my lane.  I’m not talking about little rocks either.  There was a rock that I swear was big enough to sit on!  Fortunately, there were no cars coming up the road, so I drove around the rock slide.  Further down the mountain I came across a tree that was laying across my lane.  I again drove around it.  I got down to the reservoir and found it to be so high that it was beginning to form a pond across the road.  I carefully crossed that and finally made it to church.

As I was sitting in my Sunday School class on a Flavius Josephus Christmas, I could look out the window and see heavy rains still coming down.  I was glad I went to church though because the music this morning was so powerful the floor shook!  We had the organ, the orchestra, the bell choir and the choir.  It was so overwhelming!  I’ve never heard anything like the music here before!

Then Gabe preached about Jesus telling the parable of the man who rented his vineyard out to tenant farmers and when he sent servants to collect his rent, the tenants beat and abused and killed them.  He said the listeners would have been familiar with the analogy of the vineyard because Isaiah used that analogy when referring to Israel.  The “rent” God wanted was their worship.  So when Jesus then said that the owner sent his son to collect the rent and the tenants killed him too, He was speaking very plainly about what was going to happen to Him.  Then in Mark 12, four different groups came to try to trip Jesus up, but He confounded them all with His answers.  Finally He and His disciples went to the temple to watch people put money in the coin box.  The rich people were putting in large sums of money, and then along came this poor widow who put in the equivalent of a penny, but it was all she had.  She was throwing herself on the mercy of God, totally dependent on God to sustain her.  She had no backup plan.  She literally placed her whole life in God’s hands.  We had Communion, and Gabe asked us to think about what “rent” we are willing to give God.  He wasn’t talking about money, but about our entire lives.  I am always moved in a deep way by his sermons.  I realize that the giving I’ve done isn’t enough.  I owe God everything!

By the time church let out, the rains had stopped and the sun was making a bit of an appearance.  I stopped in at an internet cafe in the Village to get some lunch and download some work.  Then I headed back up the mountain.  On my way up I passed a scoop truck coming down.  The tree and the rock slide had been cleared out of the path of the cars heading down the mountain.  I thought that was the end of the excitement till I got home.  In the time I had been down below, a tree across the road from our RV had come down!  Fortunately it was laying perpendicular to the road.  If it had fallen toward our RV, it was big enough that it could have done some damage.

Today I am grateful for God’s protection!

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