I just woke up from a deep slumber a few minutes ago. It is 3 pm in the afternoon!
Starting today (Monday), I am officially an OOSFO in the Riverside Census office. OOSFO stands for Operations Office Supervisor for Field Operations. My shift this week (and possibly a little longer) is from 3am to 11:30am each day, Monday through Friday. Today was my first day on that shift! I didn't know if it would be hard to get up at 2am and drive to work, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. I may actually get to like it, as it allows me some time for errands and such during the day's business hours.
I felt honored by the head manager of the office. His title is LCOM (Local Census Office Manager). He and I talked briefly this morning and he gave me some words of "praise" for my work there and his appreciation of me as part of the "team." I told him that he was part of my sermon yesterday, as I illustrated the point of salvation and knowing that we will be in heaven one day. I shared that, at work, I was given a new name (OOSFO). With that, I was given three things: (1) a key, (2) a code for the alarm system and (3) the phone number of the LCOM who can fix all things and has full control. The correlation is this: When we give God our heart for salvation and eternal life, we receive a new name ("child of God"). We are given a "key," a way to enter into the presence of our God that we call faith. Faith is given to us by our Father in heaven to trust him more. Then, we are given a "code" that brings safety from all alarm that would harm, and that code is simply "Jesus is Lord." Calling on Jesus to be Lord at all times brings comfort and peace. Lastly, our "phone number" to the God of eternity is prayer. We can pray and know with confidence that God is in full control and is able to intervene in ways that glorify him.
Concerning David (my brother), I went to see him Saturday morning. Sondra and my brother Roger visited as well. I had to work on Saturday at the Census office, so Sondra and I only visited for about an hour. Roger had brought Panera sandwiches and soup for us to eat. On Sunday afternoon, I went back and spent another hour of visiting. These are special times just to sit and chat, sometimes about nothing earth-shattering but just about life and such.
Friday I took the day off from work to be with Sondra. She had a colonoscopy at Kaiser and was pronounced cancer-free and polyp-free. She was given Demarol and Vicadin for pain and she was quite the talker when she came to. She repeated her stories about five times each. She was really quite funny.
Sunday was a wonderful day at church. I again took time for a "happy dollar" testimony time during the worship hour. I put a basket on a chair at the altar and asked members to come forward with any denomination of dollar bills. With that, they openly came forward and shared their hearts and testimonies and joy in the Lord. We took about 20 minutes so I dispensed with the rest of singing to have time for the sermon.
After church, we had an awesome lunch. Sondra had invited several over so the table was crowded with people and food, and we had a great time of fellowship. My nephew David and his wife Charity were here, with their kids (Hayden and the little twins). A couple named Ken and Beifei (from China) were here, along with Mike Dotson (one of our newly ordained men who has started a home Bible study). Of course, there was me and Sondra and her brother Alden, but in addition we had grand-daughter Bailey with us too. We took care of her for the day.
My last comment is about the change in society's view of church buildings. Not too many years ago, no one would dare think about breaking into a church or destroying church property or painting graffiti on church walls. Well, this past Thursday morning in the wee hours, our church was "tagged" by gangs in the area. Fortunately, we have men who take charge and will not let it stay on long. Immediately, two men who are good at construction and painting for a living went to Home Depot and got paint. They returned and had the graffiti covered within hours. God is amazing to bring wonderful individuals who have the time, energy, money, desire and willingness to do things quickly to discourage other tagging. It brought joy to our hearts to see the church building ready for the world to see!