Thursday, December 12, 2013

Kindle vs. Book

     I am a reader. I love all kinds of books from fiction to how to.  You name it I want to read it.  Back in our early married days we couldn't afford to buy books so I always had my library card handy.  When God sent us to the wonderful town of McAlester I had a hard time finding a house because I needed a study to hold the books Tim and I have collected. But now my world has changed. I am an owner of a Kindle. Every book you can imagine can be found in this little thin box that you can carry in your purse. It is great when you go on trips not to have to lug around a big old heavy book. So you may say this is a no brainer the Kindle is better. Well as my Dad would say "Yes and No".  Yes because it is compact and you no longer need to store your books. No because you can't feel the paper. You can't take your pencil out and write in the margin. You can't take a book from your shelf to share with a friend.  I believe the main obstacle the Kindle may have is that you can't use it if it is out of power. I grabbed my Kindle and put it in my purse to read at the Doctor's office.  Boy, I was irritated when I sat down to read and was informed I needed to plug in. I was wishing I had my book.
     You may say big deal; take the thing home and plug it in. But isn't that how life has become.  We want everything streamlined, compact and easy to handle. We want to be able to flip on a switch and have instant results right at our fingertips.  Well people, sometimes it is worth doing it the old fashion way. Maybe we would appreciate life more if we took the time to feel the weight of the situation.  Or maybe we would remember things more if we wrote in the margins to be examined at another time. Life could even become interesting when we stopped to share an everyday experience with a friend.
     I pray as we go this week, we don't throw out the old things in life for the next new big thing. I hope we stop to evaluate what we might miss by flipping a switch. (Yes, I am keeping the Kindle AND my books. Just saying.)

You have made known to me the paths of life:you will fill me with joy in your presence. 
Acts 2:28

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Here com de Judge...........

     Last Thursday I taught 6th grade. A little high stress but not to bad.  When I walked out of school the weather was just perfect for a walk.  I ran home threw on my yoga pants and headed down the road. As I walked I remembered that I need to get a gift for a baby shower. I hurried back to the house,grabbed my keys and headed to Walmart. As I headed into the store I had to just shake my head.  The lady walking in front of me had a small problem with her clothes.  Her shirt did not meet the top of her pants.There she was with her muffin top rolling from the gap provided. As I peered down my nose at her I was thinking,"does she not have any pride in herself? Does she not care?"  I headed on in grabbed my cart and started my shopping. About thirty minutes later I made it home. I peeled off my sweat jacket and started putting things away. I stepped into the living room and asked Tim what he wanted for supper and we had a nice little chat.  It was at this time his expression started to change and he finally said,"Do you have your pants on wrong side out?" I informed him that the stitching was suppose to be on the outside and that was the way it was made. He said, "then what is the big circle with an XL on your left hip?'' I ran to the mirror to investigate when sure enough there was a large white imprint on my backside the size of a large coffee cup revealing the size of my pants. Here I had walked all over my neighborhood waving as the cars passed me.  Then I had traveled all over Walmart judging the whole world for what they were wearing and I didn't even notice the funny looks I was getting.
     Isn't that the way that life goes? We are so busy judging others that we don't spend time judging ourselves. Boy, that verse,"Pride goes before a fall" hit me hard. I know one thing from now on I will be slower to judge someone and quicker to check my backside before I leave the house.

Judge not,lest you be judged. Mathew 7:1

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Old Grey Mare She Aint What She Use To Be

     This past weekend we had the "All in the Family Weekend" at our church.  We kicked off the event with a tailgate party at the high school football game. Saturday we invited families to come to the church for a day of fun and learning.  We had breakout sessions on anything from how to deal with social media to leaving a legacy. The fun came during our breaks where we were divided into teams. There were people of all ages on every team.(Yes I was one of the more mature participants) Anyway, we were able to gain points for our team by accomplishing different task.  For example every time Brother Steve would yell "Air raid" we would have to lay on the floor with our hands over our heads. The last person left standing lost a point for their team. I was surprised to see how fast Tim and I could hit the floor. I am glad they did not take points away for the last person to get up off the floor. (Not a pretty picture) At the next break we had to race to the end of the room and eat what ever we pulled out of the bag and run back to let the next person go. I  reached into the bag and pulled out a bag of celery.  I have never eaten celery and never plan on eating it again. I swallowed chunks whole hoping they would not come back up. I was bemoaning the celery when I noticed the person after me had to eat a bag of prunes. I didn't bemoan any more. So anyway, you get the idea of how the day went. I don't mean to brag but our team was highly competitive and we won the competition. We ended the day with a College and Career Sunday School class at our house for pizza and games. There was a game of spoons, Apples to Apples and the Wii Dance all involved. At 9:45 the kids wanted to start a new game and the old lady in the room had to call it quits.(I don't know who that was but she was starting to turn into a pumpkin)                                                                                                    As I tried to raise my head from my pillow on Sunday morning this young at heart person couldn't move. My knees were black and blue from the "Air raid". My arms were sore from the Wii games.  And my stomach was feeling like a roller coaster was moving through it. What can I say my brain keeps saying I am 18 and my body says  "whoa Nelly you ain't what you use to be."
     I know that you are sitting there right now wondering how I am going to make this spiritual. Welllll, to be honest with you I have no idea. I guess all I can say is that it is great having fun with get up off the floorthe people you worship with no matter how old you are.

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Phil 4:4

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pass the Kleenex please

     Have you  ever had one of those times in your life when you couldn't turn the water works off?  Well,that  is how it has been around here these past few week.  Clean house and cry like a baby.  Read Facebook and use up a box of Kleenex. See Beth Moore live in Tulsa and cry as if under convection. Listen to Tim's jokes on Sunday and sob uncontrollably. (Ok, that happens all the time.  The guy has got to get some new material) I didn't know what was wrong with me.  Was it stress, exhaustion, hormones or just me being me that caused the tears to roll? I went into a hole of poor pitiful me. I started believing every negative thought  that flew across my mind. (((((God can't use me because I am to old. The church is going in a more contemporary direction and my traditional self will offend someone.  My gift of gab has put me on the blackball list so God has taken my platform. I have messed up God's plan in some way and that is why I am unable to do something big for Him. I am of little importance and God is busy with the good people.))))))
       Whoa!!!!!! Hold the boat there. None of this was God's doing.  This was all on me. I believe we could call it pride, arrogance, self-petty and lies. I have learned that when you put all those things away and start looking at what wonderful things God has put into your life the leaky pipes begin to stop their dripping. For example: I may be older (my birthday today) but look at all the life experiences God has given me. The realization has hit me that I have a Great God and He loves me gab and all. I know now that I had let the lies steal my joy. As I climbed into the Father's lap and let my sad song sing he gave me a promise.

However, as it is written: "What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard and what no human mind has conceived" these things God has prepared for those who love him." 1Cor 2:9

     God has planned a life for me that is far more then I could ever perceive. As long as I love Him and I stop focusing on me then I will see his mighty hand work for His glory not mine.  Give up the Kleenex people and put your focus where it needs to be. "LOVE HIM"

Monday, October 14, 2013

I am not OLD I am VINTAGE..

     This past week I was able to go on a trip to Branson with my mother and the Senior Adult group from Chisholm Heights Baptist Church in Mustang.  Let's just say I was the youngest person on the bus besides the bus driver.  We hit the road Wednesday morning at eight o'clock and didn't slow down until ten o'clock that night. I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into. I had packed plenty of books to read and just knew I was going to get a lot of down time because this was old people surely they would take things slow. I couldn't even read on the bus because there was nonstop talking, joking and story swapping going on. ( I admit it I was doing my fair share) The next day Silver Dollar City all day then a wild time at the Dixie Stampede. What can I say I was tired.  I came on this trip to relax, chill, catch up on a good book.  These old people were about to kill me. The next day the same thing shopping in Eureka Springs then the Passion play for the evening. They never STOPPPPPPED.
     Here is what I learned from my little trip with people who are a little more vintage then I am.
1.  When you pay money for something be sure and get your moneys worth. (In other words go till you can't go no more)
2.  It is great to travel with friends that share your love of life. (There was not one grump head in the group.  They were up for anything)
3.  There is one bond that is very strong and that is your Christian walk. Every morning after we had loaded the bus we had a devotional and sang. (I still get goose bumps just thinking about it)
4.  No matter how old you are you still have a ministry to the younger people around you.(Even if they are over 50) You never know who is watching.

These Senior Adults were a balm to this tired, burnt-out, less vintage, preachers wife. God knew that I needed the fellowship more then the books I had brought.  Thank you Lord

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4

Monday, September 30, 2013

You walk to fast.

     My friend Julene and I are walking buddies.  Well,,, kind of.  You see she lives on a hill at the back of the neighborhood and I live on a hill at the front. Most mornings I take off walking around and down the hills with praise music blasting in my ears toward the back.  Julene leaves her house and heads my way with her praise music blasting in her ears.  Anyway, we seem to always meet in the valley in between our houses. The odd part of this walking scenario is that we stop, take our ear phones off and have a little chat each morning as people whiz past heading to work. The next thing you know she puts her ear phones on and me mine and we head our separate ways. You see we never walk together.
     I asked Julene the other day if she thought it weird that we met but never walked together. She said, "I don't think it is weird you walk to fast."  Then she said, "to be honest I enjoy spending time with God each morning.  I get to pray for my neighbors and anything God pops into my head " I totally agreed with her. I seem to guard my walks because they are so special to me.  But I got to thinking. How many times we meet someone in the valley and tell them that God loves them and we keep on going. We never stop or look back because we are so wrapped up in our little world with God.  Don't get me wrong I want everyone to have their special time with God. As I reflect I see that there have been times that I give a little "you will be fine" speech to someone so that I can go on my "Praise Jesus Walk of life." Ministering to someone in the valley takes time and I am busy climbing to my next mountain top experience.
     This past week I was having a little valley moment and I praise God that he sent someone who was welling to stop and walk with me for a while.  So as you go this week please slow down and take time to see your friends who are in the valley. Take them by the arm and go on your "Praise Jesus Walks" together.  I promise the journey will be sweet.

"No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl,. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the lights." Luke 11:33

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dirt piles are not just for kids.


     This past weekend we had a great time keeping the grandkids while the kids were busy. I had bought Gage some new toys and couldn't wait to see his face when he got to see them. I was very disappointed.  You see a few weeks ago we had some dirt delivered so that we could do some projects in the yard. After all the projects were done there was still a large pile left in the yard. All the boy wanted to do was play in the pile of dirt.

     All that money down the drain. All we needed was a spoon and a bucket.

     As I sat in the lawn chair, in the shade, holding the baby I had two thoughts. First: Boy, I could have bought a new shirt with that money. Second: Why do we make things so hard and complicated? (toys) God has provided wonderful things for us.(dirt)  Why do we think we have to add to it? Why can't we just say thank you Father for the blessings you have given me? (Home, great kids, loving husband) Why can't weeeeee?
     I think we believe we can make our life better by adding to it things of this world. (money, things, jobs,power) Boy, what a whopper that is. The more things you add to your life the more distracted you are from the true passion of Christ. 
    This week think about what is the things you have decided to play with instead of the dirt pile.  For me it was a little game called "Candy Crusher" I loved playing this game because I didn't have to think about anything else. I became obsessed with it to the point of losing track of time. I realized how much good stuff I was missing because I had disengaged my mind to play this game. Well, the game is gone from my phone  and I am headed back to the dirt pile. I want to climb that little hill and see what God has for me in His plan. How about you are you headed back to the pile?

When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone: but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don't be deceived, my dear brothers.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights. James 1:13-17


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Things I learned while pot scrubbing.

     This past week I had the wonderful privileged of being the pot scrubber for Falls Creek youth camp. We had 86 campers to feed and a lot of pots to scrub.  It was a fun but tiring experience. As I look back over the week I see that this old lady did learn a few things.

1. It is easier to clean a greasy pot if the water is hot and has enough soap.

2. Food taste better when you have had to work for it. (And if someone else cooks it)

3.Tim doesn't look half bad in an apron.

4.Work is always easier and more fun when done with friends.

5. You can make a red neck spa out of a flower pot and bubbles. (boy that felt good)

6. When I do what I am suppose to do then it frees someone else up to do what they are suppose to do.

     Because I went and scrubbed my pots I freed up someone else to go and be a sponsor.  When the person who was asked to be a sponsor did their job they freed up Brother Brad to be able to lead the youth in their bible studies and cabin devotions. When we all did our part we had 25 students come to know Christ over the 2 weeks of camp. Just think this little pot scrubber (OK, not so little) had a hand in all that.
     Isn't it amazing to think that if we would each do our part how we could be a part of something big for the kingdom. This week be sensitive to what God is asking you to do and don't say no.I have learned that if I do my part he will take care of the rest.

God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.  If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
1 Corinthians 12:18-20 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Will you love me if???????????

     As many of you know this past month my Dad suffered a stroke.  We spent 22 days in the hospital. As I sat with my Dad during this time there were a lot of things that went through my mind. Some of those things you will hear about and some of them are totally off limits.(the man walking down the hall pushing the iv stand with his backside showing) There are also some things that Dad and I will keep our little secret.  Anyway, here is one of those thoughts:  WILL YOU LOVE ME IF???????
1. I talk to much. (Poor Dad, he couldn't find his words so I told him everything I knew then some. I hate there to be silence)
2. I gain weight.(there is never a time that I can't eat)
3. My hair turns gray or loose.
4. I can't remember where I put your car keys.
5. My filter is no longer working on my mouth.(I am not sure I ever had one)
6. I spend all your money.
7. I am crazier then a Looney Bird.(love me some happy pills)
8. I ask a million questions. (This is one of my spiritual gifts)
9. I let your children eat chocolate cake for breakfast when they stay with me
10. I become very sick , can not do anything for myself, do not recognize you.
     As I walked the halls of the hospital while Dad was napping I noticed a lady who never had a visitor. She laid in her bed never moving never opening her eyes. I began wonder if she was loved?  Had she been abandoned? One Sunday afternoon as I passed by her room I saw a man remove his cowboy hat  and set down beside her bed. He said,"how are you doing mom?" There was no response. She had had a stroke and was no longer the mom he knew.  He sat with her a good long while. My heart broke for this family and I started to internalize. Will I end up like this? Will my family still love me when my time comes?
     I am very blessed to be apart of a big family. Dad had someone with him 24/7.  He probably got tired of us all telling him what to do. But he knew we did it out of love. Now that he is home we all keep the phone line busy.
     Sometimes  I ask my heavenly father that question "Will you love me if???" If I struggle with my personality.  If I am going through a dry spell in my spiritual walk. Father will you still love me if something hard comes into my life and everyone else leaves will you still love me? I feel like when I get into these serious moments God rolls his eyes and thinks here she goes again lets put her straight.

For God so loved ME that he gave his only son that whoever believes on him should not die but have ever lasting life. John 3;16

I know without a doubt that he loves me. He gave his son for me. He has proved it over and over again.  I know that he is walking beside me everyday laying out a coarse for my life. (my coarse goes zigzag sometimes) I also know that there is not any circumstance in my life that would cause him to not love me.When the hard time comes and the people all leave he will still be there.

Monday, April 22, 2013

I Am the Real Deal

      Tim told me to get a job so I started substitute teaching. (it is better then working full time) Anyway, today I was teaching a 5th grade science class. I told the students if I didn't have to ask anyone to be quiet or to get back to work we would do something fun at the end of class. I had a student turn around and start talking before I even finished talking. I said,"Sorry class you just lost one minute of fun time." His little friend looked at me and said," You can't do that you are a sub." I said, "Sir I am a real teacher and I have a college degree and teaching certificate to prove it and you just cost your class another minute." There was not another word said. They got to work and didn't look up until I said, "Put the books away let's have some fun." Trust me by the time the next class came in they had heard about what happened. There was no questioning my position. They were ready to work and have fun. ( You don't mess with Mrs. Russell)
     This makes me think what have people heard about me? Do people know my position? I hope they have heard that I have true convictions and am a woman of my word. I hope they know I am a daughter of the King; no other degrees or certificates needed.
     Ask yourself this week, "What are people saying about me? Do people know my position?"

You are no longer a slave, but God's child;and since you are his child, God has also made you an heir.
Galatians 4:7


Monday, April 15, 2013

I Am Too Old To Be a Grandma.

      I have heard people say that  they are too young to be grandparents. Well I would like to state the opposite. I believe I may be too old, both physically and mentally, to be a Grandma. There is a reason why you have your babies when your young. You do it so you will have energy to keep up with the little blessings. Now that I am old, I can last about 30 minutes and I am done in. We were blessed April 2 with a new granddaughter. Hope Renee' Fuller entered this world weighing 9lbs11oz. We were all clamoring to hold this precious baby, but at the same time, give her big brother the needed attention he deserved as the first born.

Since Hollie had to have a C-section, she needed to stay a few extra days in the hospital, so I stuck around to lend a hand with Gage. When we brought mother and daughter home, I told the kids I would have no problem taking the night shift.(Super Grandma to the Rescue) Little Hope and I got to know each other very well in those quite moments of the night. During the day, big brother Gage and I played games, did puzzles and wrestled. What was I thinking? By the time Tim came to get me this Nana was tired. I was so tired I didn't even want to talk on the way home.(for me that is something).

I know if I had to do it over again, I would not change a thing. I would still be playing the games and rocking the baby. I didn't say I was the smartest grandmother in the world. Even though I am getting older, and I don't have the energy I once had, I still don't want to miss anything. I have heard older ladies say," I have already done my time let the younger women do it." I pray I never have that attitude. As long as these old bones get me from point A to point B; I am going to keep on keeping on!

I am truly blessed to have these little blessings in my life. Gage and Hope will have to realize they are blessed with a Nana that is young in her heart but old in her body.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Wedding

I am having a hard time writing this blog.  I don't know where to start. We were all worried about the weather effecting the wedding. My Mother-in-Law called earlier in the week predicting snow. But, God worked a miracle and we had a beautiful day for a wedding. As we entered the church, it was all a buzz with activity. The groomsmen in one area and the bridesmaids in another. The boys looked so handsome all dressed up in their tuxes. As I looked at the boys, I couldn't believe how grown up they had become. (When did that happen?) I fixed Brent's collar and tie and realized this would be the last time I would need to do this. Someone else would be taking my place. (Where had the time gone?)

I headed to see the bride. I wanted to see the woman that would be taking care of my son. (Could she do it as well as me?) As I entered the room, there were dresses and makeup all over the place. Girls in a dither getting ready for the big day. But as I looked at Caroline, I saw a sweet sense of confidence and peace.  She gave me that wonderful smile to let me know she had this under control.

The clock kept ticking. Almost time to start. Did everyone look OK? Is my slip showing? Is there mascara under my eyes? And then it all faded away. The chapel doors were opened and the beautiful music flooded the foyer. The Grandparents and Parents were seated. I had just got my wits about me when out walked my husband with the most handsome groom I had ever seen following him. This mom's heart burst with pride.

When all was ready, the bells chimed throughout the chapel. The music began to play and the girls slowly made their way down the aisle. All of them a beautiful picture in their flowing cream colored dresses. Then I saw Big Papa's face light up as little man Gage awaited his turn. He was so brave as he began to make his way down the aisle, but when he noticed everyone looking at him, he took off in a dead run to the front of the chapel. His dad met him and took him out!!

At this point, the mother of the bride stood, and I knew it was time for Caroline to make her entrance. My eyes were not on the bride but on the groom as she stepped out. His face was all aglow. He only had eyes for her. She stepped into the chapel as the musician sang, 'Great is Thy faithfulness morning by morning new mercies I see, All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided; Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!' A realization hit me that our God had been faithful. We had prayed for this moment since Brent was a little boy. We prayed God would be preparing a Godly young women to be his helpmate in life. The Lord showed His faithfulness by providing one.

As the father of the bride gave her hand to the groom, these words were being sung, "Oh Lord my God when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds thy hands have made. How Great thou art!" We had come to the time of commitment. Brent and Caroline looked at each other and repeated the vows that would bind their lives together. There was no wavering or hesitation just a calm assurance that this was God's plan. They light the unity candle and we parents join them on stage for a time of prayer. It was so touching.  As I made my way up the stairs Brent took my hand to help me up. We huddled with our kids with  heads bowed and arms holding on to each other as Brad (father of the bride) prayed. He prayed for Gods blessing on this new married couple and their future together.

We were seated. Tim pronounced them husband and wife. Then came the big kiss! As they turned to face the audience Tim had us bow for the final prayer. There was a long pause. You could have heard a pin drop you felt a hush go over the room when a beautiful male voice started singing the Lord's prayer. The words filled the room. The Holy Spirit settled on the chapel touching everyone present. As everyone looked up at the close of the prayer, Tim presented Mr. and Mrs. Brent Russell.

As they leave the reception that night, Brent helps Caroline into the car, turns to me, touches my arm to say, "love you mom!" He climbs into the car and drives away. My little boy had become a married man. He now has a family of his own. I praise God for giving him to me and I look forward to watching how God works through their lives.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Mother of the Groom

     The big day is right around the corner.  Brent and Caroline will walk down the isle in 4 days. As I sit here on this rainy day my mind swirls with nostalgia. I think of the baby that I fell in love with before they even put him in my arms.(All 9lbs 8oz. of him) I think of the little toddler who would raise his arms to me and say "My hold you."  I remember the day that he had his 5th grade graduation and we both sat in the front seat of the van crying because he would be leaving his elementary school to move to the Jr High. I remember cheering for him at his many sporting events. (In football it was "run Brent don't let that big guy catch you".) I remember my heart breaking as we went through his first broken heart. I remember the day Brent got in the car after baseball practice saying how sad he was because his friend wasn't a Christian. I asked how he knew this and he said that he had visited with everyone on the team. Realization hit me that day, my son has the gift of evangelism. I remember standing over his bed watching him sleep and praying for his protection after one of his best friends died unexpectedly from a contagious disease. I remember the stunts we would pull as we would ride together on the tube being pulled behind the boat. (Some of them were not very smart) I remember the day we dropped him off at college and I tried to put on a straight face but failed. I remember the day he told us that God had called him to preach. He asked why I wasn't excited for him and I told him I realized he would face difficult days in the future. I remember the pride I felt as his father and grandfather leaned over him in prayer at his ordination service. I remember the days that Caroline's name kept popping up. The realization that my boy was in love is a sweet thing. Tim and I have prayed for Brent to find a godly spouse for years and know that Caroline is an answer to that prayer.

As I hand my son over to another women Saturday, my heart will be full of memories from years past, filled with pride with the man he has become, and filled with great excitement to see what God will do with them in the future.

  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:24

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Girls Can Do It Too

         This past week I was part of the first ever Sisterhood Revival for the Frisco Baptist Association. The ladies met at Trinity Baptist Church in Valliant. At the same time, the men were having their own revival at First Baptist Valliant. I am here to tell you these ladies are awesome! We had a good time trying to figure out how to do revival without the men. We all looked around to see who was going to start the meeting.  The leader took a deep breath and headed to the pulpit to do the welcome and pray; then we were off. Next thing you know it is time for the offering and "oh no, what do we do now?" Everyone got a little tickled  trying to figure out their role. Some ladies jumped up and came to the altar to get the offering plates; while another lady headed to the piano. You would have thought none of us had ever been to church much less a revival. The special music was presented and then I was up. Things were rocking along and then here it came; the altar call. We didn't have a pastor to stand and meet people coming to the front. What to do??????? You know what? God took control and the altar was filled with ladies meeting with their Lord one on one. It was humbling and exciting. (We had it figured out by the next night)

As I thought about the revival, I found myself laughing. I thought about how funny we must have looked, just like little kids, playing church.(Remember baptizing your brother in the horse tank? Or was that just me?)You know it doesn't matter how you do the service.  All that matters is that you have that one-on-one with your Lord.

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
Psalms 145:18