Notes from Jan

Come for Pies and Prayer

November 20, 2017

Drove up to Maine for Thanksgiving week, which is why I found myself away from my  church yesterday.  Don’t talk to me about cold New Englanders.  I felt warmly welcomed at a nearby Baptist church, chosen for convenience and my Baptist heritage.

The minister , no transplant, welcomed, then prayed for “God to minister to ahh hahts.” (our hearts).

Before he preached, he asked for testimonies.  I haven’t heard one of those in a very long time.  So many people stood to express gratitude to God for something or someone.  One shared, to much applause, “I’ve been sober and off drugs for seven years.” Sounds safe to be a sinner in this church.

Aren’t we all?

A teenage girl played the piano for some of the congregational singing.  A visitor “blessed” all with his guitar and led in praise songs.  One of the congregation introduced the tall bearded musician as one he’d met working at a lumber yard.  “I could tell he was a Christian by how he acted, how he treated other people.”

Quite the recommendation.  Made me stand up and sing when I prefer sitting. As too often, the church held more senior citizens, than young families but they were there, too.  Older folks, like I, gripped the pew ahead of us to keep standing and singing for as long as possible.  Perhaps, like I, they wanted to show solidarity with younger people newer songs, despite our preferences.  Who wants to exit kicking and screaming for what was?  Not I.

Well, the pastor had me at his announcement for Wednesday night’s service.   “It’ll be special.  Pies and prayer. Not sure which’ll come first.”

A slice of pie with prayer midweek, these Maine folks know how to bait the hook.

I just need to confirm the time.



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  • Reply Ruth S. Wacome November 20, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Have a blessed, blessed time at that service, and a blessed, blessed Thanksgiving! And I bet those pies will be wonderful.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg November 21, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      And a wonder-full Thanksgiving to you and your family, Ruth. Thank you for reading and responding. You are always so encouraging.

  • Reply Jim & Kathy Zingarelli November 20, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    “I could tell he was a Christian by how he acted, how he treated other people.”

    That’s exactly how we felt when w first met Jan and Jud Carlberg.
    A blessed Thanksgiving Jan and keep these thoughts and prayers coming.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg November 21, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      Thank you, dear Jim and Kathy. So thankful you were part of our years at Gordon.

  • Reply wendy lane November 20, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    So fabulous! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving dear Jan – much love!!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg November 21, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      Wishing you, Steve and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving, too. It’s a beauty of a day in Maine. Do I smell pies baking?

  • Reply Valerie McCoy November 20, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    I’ll take a slice of pecan prayer pie, please!
    With love for you, Jan

    • Reply Jan Carlberg November 21, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      Yum! My sister-in-love bakes the best pecan pie. The only time I ever recall my mother doing something sneaky was when she hid a slice of Chris’s pie in a cupboard……”for later.” We were so relieved to know she,too, was a sinner “saved by Grace.”

  • Reply Barrie Levine November 20, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Aside from the inspiring content, your writing is excellent. First, you found some humor (the minister’s authentic Boston voice), then listened to all , and did not judge. You portrayed the humanity, honesty, and warmth of the congregation that you met for the first time. Awesome!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg November 21, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      It is a privilege and mostly encouraging to meet more of God’s family. 😉 I suspect most of the times I’m judgmental would be remedied by a closer look at myself. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  • Reply Nancy Mering November 20, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Pie and Prayer could very likely spark a revival of now-languishing but long-time popular mid-week prayer meetings. There are some fine pie bakers and robust pray-ers (sometimes the same people) at Christ Church and, I’m sure, many other churches . . .

  • Reply Rita Smith Dove November 20, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Jan. Much love to you and gratitude for you. ❤️

    • Reply Jan Carlberg November 21, 2017 at 4:54 pm

      Always love hearing from you, dear Rita. May you always have much for which to be grateful. So thankful for you and our years together at Gordon.

  • Reply Jennifer Dickinson November 20, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    Enjoy your time in Maine! Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg November 21, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      Always love hearing from you, dear Niffy. Seems such a short time ago you , Heather, Chad and JP were playmates on Martel road. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  • Reply Nancy Sheys November 21, 2017 at 12:22 am

    What a wonderful experience! No matter what denomination we are, Christians are, indeed, know by their love!!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg November 21, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      Yes. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  • Reply Katherine Bagley November 21, 2017 at 12:28 am

    Sounds like a wonderful place and great people. . .. Ayuh!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg November 21, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      Sweet time with more of God’s family. We need each other and reminders that nobody’s ordinary to God. He loves us with all His “haht.”

  • Reply Laura November 21, 2017 at 3:46 am

    Thankful for you Jan with your precious and poignant posts. Love them! ❤️

    • Reply Jan Carlberg November 21, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      Love you, Laura, and wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  • Reply Dale Lefever November 21, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    I miss the “good old days” (really history distorted by nostalgia), but believe there are some basics to pull forward as we move forward. I remember our first Sunday at a new church (where we have been for the last 39 years) when a couple we never had met invited our entire family to their home for lunch. Everything was modest except their genuine hospitality – I miss that.

    You should open a bed and breakfast and call it “Jan’s welcoming home.”

    Blessings for Thanksgiving, Dale

    • Reply Jan Carlberg November 21, 2017 at 10:46 pm

      You grew up in the land of great pie in Lancaster Country, Dale, and hospitable folks. Your and Marty have been that for many. Love your church story. So much love in simple hospitality, not to be confused with entertaining, which can be exhausting.
      May your Thanksgiving be as wonderful as our friendship through many years.

  • Reply Dan Russ November 22, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Pie and prayer: a foretaste of the marriage feast of the lamb! Happy Thanksgiving, Jan!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg November 23, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      And a Happy Thanksgiving to you, Dan and Kathy. So there will be “pie in the sky” bye and bye! I can think of a few I hope will be doing the baking.

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