Friday’s Fave Five

Here we are at the first Friday of November. Our trees are past peak color, but there are still plenty of beautiful autumn leaves outside. Nights were in the 50s, and days got up to mid-70s this week. I’m thankful for this weekly opportunity to pause and reflect with Susanne and friends at Living to Tell the Story.

1. A joint church service. The church we have been visiting prays faithfully for their “sister church,” a Black church about twenty minutes away. Last Sunday, they held a joint service with the theme of Psalm 133:1: “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” Different people from both churches sang, testified, read Scripture, and spoke. The styles of singing and preaching were different, but it’s good to experiences those differences. It was such a wonderful day.

2. A neighborhood get-together. One of our neighbors used to organize a big neighborhood cook-out on July 4th each year. The practice kind of fell off for several reasons, and then the pandemic hit. Last Sunday afternoon, we had the first big get-together in a long time. I met some new neighbors and touched base with some old ones. An added blessing: intermittent rain had been predicted, so one lady opened her garage for the get-together. But, though it rained that morning, the afternoon was dry. Plus the temperatures were comfortable. We were able to set up lawn chairs in the driveway while keeping the food and drinks in the garage.

3. Family dress-up party. When the pandemic closed down the usual places my son and daughter-in-law used to take my grandson trick-or-treating, they asked if we could have a family party on Halloween night. We’ve done that ever since. Here are our costumes for this year:

Mittu made some yummy chicken sandwiches and these two cute pies, one apple and one blueberry.

4. Mammogram done. Nice to have it behind me for another year. I don’t have the results yet, but the first look didn’t seem show anything alarming.

5 Operation Christmas Child. After my mammogram appointment, I stopped by two different dollar stores and then packed my OCC box last night. I love participating in this.

Bonus. The Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions started this week. Host Ken Jennings said it was their “Academy Awards, World Series, PhD Defense, and Homecoming Week all rolled into one.” This has been a season of super-champions. It’s fun to see some of my favorite players again, and it will be exciting to see which of them comes out on top.

How was your week?

14 thoughts on “Friday’s Fave Five

  1. I’m so proud of you for getting your mammogram. As a 17 years breast cancer survivor, I know the importance of mammograms. Love the photos of your family. 🙂 Our family participates in Operation Christmas Child, too. We will be filling our boxes this weekend. Have a blessed day and weekend! 🙂

  2. Barbara, you were “as cute as a bug” in your costume! What fun! I think it’s wonderful to have churches worship together. We need unity like this. I’ve never participated in OCC. Is it through your church? I agree that the leaf color is past their peak, but we did still see some color during the day outing with my Florida friend. Looking forward to seeing you next week!

  3. You really do Halloween up right at your place! Love the photos and costumes 🙂 The pies are so cute and creative. I’m with you on loving OCC. I was just carrying up some of the boxes from the basement this morning (we made them up earlier in the year). Such a fun ministry.

  4. Oh, I love your costumes, and Mittu’s pies! I miss the days when Halloween was a big occasion at our house.

    Thank you for the OCC reminder. That is something I want to get back into doing, and I always forget until it’s too late.

    I’ve only watched Jeopardy a few times. I’m just not very good at it! and I think it frustrates me :/

    So nice to have the mammo done for this year, isn’t it?

  5. Me, too! My OCC boxes are ready– such a fun and fruitful ministry.

    I love your costumes and how your family participate together. That’s nice, too, to have some reconnection with your neighbors and meet some new folks. And then you all kind of did that with the sister church.

    Look how tall Timothy is!!!

  6. cute costume Barbara!! I went as a butterfly too (for the school ). We didn’t allow our children to trick or treat as we were in a (unhealthy but we didn’t know it yet) church who frowned up on it. We regret not letting them dress up and go trick or treating. Sigh.

    I love the pies!! Mittu is very talented!!
    My coworker went as a scarecrow and had a very similar costume as your grandson!!

    YAY for mammograms being done and neighborhood get togethers as well as a joint church service. God brings so many blessings into our lives doesn’t He?

    (by the way……i got 6 emails from you today saying that Operation X liked my comments on your blog. I have NO idea what this means. Just wanted to give you the heads up. It came from your email address. ).

    • We didn’t do anything with trick or treating, either, when our kids were young. But one friend had a “fall party” every autumn where kids could come over, dress up, play games, etc. It took me a while to realize that we could have fun on Halloween without endorsing its origins. At the “trunk or treat” at the church we’re visiting, it was amazing how being dressed up seemed to make everyone more willing to interact with each other–it was kind of an ice breaker.

      I got a bunch of “likes” from Operation X, too–not sure who that is or what that was all about.

      • oh yes, our church also did a Hallejuah night (our new church where we’ve been members since 2005) each year that our youngest was in elementary school. All of the usual halloween things (bobbing for apples, a corn maze, pumpkin decorating, etc) with out the halloween origins and no weapons were allowed or demonic type costumes.
        Oh ok then I won’t worry about the operation X. hahahah

  7. What a beautiful thing when there are joint church services. I’m glad you were able to experience that in the church you’ve been visiting. I wish our neighborhood would have a get-together again. We’ve only done it once in the past several years. But I’m not willing to initiate it, so I can’t complain about it not happening. 🙂

  8. What a fun thing to have a joint service with another church. There is so much friendship to be had when that happens. Love the family party. And those pies are perfect for the occasion. I don’t know where kids are going now but the trick or treating part of Halloween seems to be dropping off. We only had 3 kids this year and it was a lovely night weather wise. I love OCC season too. This year along with my own boxes I was invited to a packing party at another church. My first time experiencing that and it was a lot of fun. They packed over 300 boxes! In December we are volunteering once again at the Canadian processing warehouse which is an amazing time and this time my son will join us.

  9. I really enjoyed reading your blog. The funny costumes. No, we don’t do that in the Netherlands, but I do like to read and look at the pictures. I think you guys had a lot of fun with it.

    May I ask what a black church is? You mean there are separate churches for dark-skinned people. That’s new to me.

    Glad the mammography is behind you. It can be quite stressful. I wish you a nice week and I enjoyed reading your 5 things

    • Churches are not segregated here, but many Black people do choose to worship primarily with other Black people. Sadly, for too much of American history, they did not feel welcome. But that’s one thing these joint services are trying to change. It was such a joy to see people from both churches mixed in together.

      Things have come a long way since the American Civil War of the 1800s and the civil rights problems of the 1960s. But we still have a long way to go. It’s a complicated and sensitive subject.

      But I think one main reason different races still go to separate churches is mainly the different styles of music and preaching. If you look up Black gospel choirs on YouTube, you’ll probably see that they are more emotional, intense, and physical in their worship style. Neither that style or a quieter style are right or wrong, they’re just different.

      I think churches in bigger cities are more racially integrated than others.

      By the way, I went to your blog and saw mention of a translator in your sidebar, but didn’t see one.

  10. I am so so late with responding to FFF–we have been traveling for over a week! But finally here I am.
    I love your Halloween costume. Those pies…oh my! I love pie!
    Yay on having the mammo done for the year.
    Your neighborhood block party sounds like a good thing. I don’t think our neighborhood or street has ever had one.
    Enjoy the rest of your week!

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