It was the thirteenth time I preached the “May Meeting” at this lovely church. I’ve watched as their membership shrinks each year. I want to be of help to them, but I live nearly 500 miles away. It is unlikely my preaching there three or four times a year will bring much change.
I sent word I could not attend. There was an important meeting. Attending the reunion would mean traveling for three consecutive weekends. That would mean driving thousands of miles; and, like me, my car was aging.
The arrival of radio as mass media in the early twentieth century was heralded by many sincere Christians as a gift of God for propagating the gospel. Suddenly, there was a means of communicating God’s message of redemption with large audiences.
Five hundred years ago, a clergyman named Martin was reading his Bible and felt something was wrong. What he had learned in church and seminary did not jive with what he read in his Bible. “Perhaps, I am missing something,” he thought
For Christmas 1942, my parents gave me a book, “Hurlbut’s Story of the Bible.” For the first time, I could read the Bible for myself. You can well imagine a first grader would have difficulty reading the Bible. This book was written with children in mind, and I could read and understand.
A partial eclipse of the moon occurred in April 1948. That event prompted various discussions in the small town where I lived. The old-timers sitting in front of Tidwell’s store seized this occasion to tell the children about a solar eclipse during their childhood. One old-timer said it got so dark the “chickens went to roost.” Since that group was prone to exaggerate, I have wondered about the “chicken roosting” story all my life.
A steeple is perhaps the most distinguishing architectural feature of churches. When you see a steeple, you think “church.” There was a time when churches were at the center of villages. And the steeple, pointing to heaven, indicated this community belongs to God.
During the 1970’s, I was pastor of a wonderful young church. The membership was composed of young families with lots of young children. It was an ideal opportunity for an energetic young pastor like me.
However, I quickly realized we had a problem. I could not accommodate all the pastoral expectations of the congregation.
She’s a new mother; she is also an older mother. Because of her age, she worried herself silly during her pregnancy. Her physician quickly picked up on her anxiety and did her best to assure her that all was well, even ordering some tests that were only marginally needed. Near the end of her pregnancy, the doctor said with a smile, “I hate to tell you this, but you have had a perfectly normal pregnancy.”