Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

I’ve got a few little entries today.
About churches. Where I grew up, the growth rate of a church was a pretty good indicator of its adherence to biblical principals. There were other determining factors, of course, but if you were church shopping, going to a church of 100 people was risky. Here, there are quite a few good churches and very few people to attend them. Here, a church of 100 here is actually rather large. We’ve pretty much been to every church that had a chance in heaven of being a community that we could settle down and serve in. One church grew by 20% just by having Jenny and I attend their service, and the sermon was great. In the end there were only a few choices on our short list. I’m happy to report that we are now members of the Kootenai Community Church. Kootenai is the town we’re living in until our Cocolalla house is built (pronounced “kootnee,” or folks here will know you’re not from around these parts) and the church is a few blocks from the house we’re renting. Jenny and I have become fast friends with the pastor and his wife. They are clearly people of wide-ranging standards to accept both Jenny (high standards) and myself (rather low, don’t you think?). The Sunday school and church service could best be described as a place to grow in your understanding of the Bible. The sermons consist of a study of one or more verses, word for word, with a great deal of background. This type of thing is definitely not for everyone, but in this season of our lives, we feel strongly that God would like us to grow in our biblical studies and knowledge of His word. Here’s a picture of the church building, although we meet in a school across the street because the congregation has outgrown the building. The new church building is going up across town. God really wants us to be involved in building programs, since the last three churches we’ve attended have been smack dab in the middle of them.


Today we went to lunch at a diner in our local shopping mall. Well, they call it a shopping mall, but it’s more like a hallway lined with stores. Back home I used to walk about three miles with friends in the forest preserves, and on really nasty cold wet days we’d go “mall walking”. At Stratford Square Mall it would take 20 minutes at a good clip to walk around one of the two levels of the mall. Here, it takes about 2.
On the other hand, the forests here compared to Illinois are quite different. In Illinois they call them “forest preserves” which is akin to preventing yet another few acres of concrete cancer. Here, they preserve national forests – which is like preserving the horizon! Most people here have never heard the term “forest preserve”.
Finally, a fun observation of small town living. While eating lunch today at the diner in the mall, we observed something very unusual. Ray (our server) went to the register with a basket of food. He then grabbed one of those vintage bike horns with the rubber bulb that you squeeze, and held it out by the door into the mall and tooted it a few times. Moments later, a woman from the beauty school across the hall… I mean “mall” …comes in and pays him for the food and leaves. Five minutes later, same thing. This happened three times. I don’t know when they placed their orders, but somehow Ray has them trained to come and get them in proper sequence when their order is ready and they hear the horn.

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