The Book of Romans
I remember my Dad saying that reading the book of Romans had changed his life. Dad had to leave High School and go work with the Civilian Conservation Corp where the money they earned was sent back to help their families. Dad had to work his whole life on a landscaping nursery. I guess he felt he didn’t deserve or get any respect because of his job, even at church. But then Dad read the book of Romans which said in part:
Gifts of Grace
Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Rom 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
Rom 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Rom 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Rom 12:7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
Rom 12:8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
I think it was this part of Romans that helped Dad to understand that even if he wasn’t a businessman or lawyer etc, that he could still help his community and church with the skills he had. Dad took care of the church grounds; mowing the grass tending the gardens and planting new flowers and plants. He also became an Elder in the church and was a member of the men’s group which helped to take care of the church. He became so good at prayer that he became the Chaplain of the mens group and whenever a prayer was needed Dad was called upon. Dad loved his church and was very proud of it.
I wish I could become the man my father was. I will not attain that but I will keep trying.
Ran across some songs by Glen Yarbrough recently and really loved his music. I have 3 or 4 of his albums in my junk room but have not listened to them in many years. I plan to find them unless I get lost in the room under piles of stuff. Anyway I do want to find them and try to turn them into mp3s so I can play them on my computer and put them on cd’s. My favorite is the album where Glen sings songs written by Rod McKuen. I hope you enjoy these two songs I will share with you now.
Do you want to hear more from Glen Yarbrough?
This is a lot of miscellaneous memories of church and miscellaneous thoughts on the differences between church as I remember it and todays church.
First some memories of the church I grew up in (St John Presbyterian in Tampa FL). One of those memories was one day after church a group of the men were standing outside talking and Manual Beiro said to my dad “Henry you’re a cracker and I’m a Cuban and we are going to be friends; and they were. Also friends in their little mens group was Mike Casenueva.
One week mom and dad met a couple men (they may have been father and son) who were visiting our church and they were from out of town. These men were invited over to our house for a nice Sunday meal and conversation. At this point I don’t remember a lot about these fellas but I do know that their lives were enriched by attending the little church in Tampa – St John Presbyterian. In todays world most of us (yes I include myself) would not invite strangers like these over to their house. Too bad.
Once in a while the Pastor Dr Walter B. Passiglia would stop by for a chat. Pastors today do not do that anymore. You are lucky if they say good morning to you on Sunday.
There was also a choir and an organ to lead us in song and we all knew those songs and we could participate in the service by singing. Today instead of an organ or choir there is what they call the “Worship Team” and it may consist of 4 guitars, a drum set and an electric organ (which doesn’t sound anything like those marvelous old organs we used to have. Plus they sing modern songs which none of us recognize or can sing along with. If I wanted a modern entertainment venue I would just tune into HBO or such. But alas I have tried a number of churches and it is always the same -modern service & new music.
In the old services I grew up with the alter had a podium and that is where the preacher stood to give his prayers and sermons; nice and formal. In todays services there is no podium; the preacher wears a wireless microphone and wanders around looking very casual. Plus for us members things are pretty casual also as we no longer put on aour Sunday finest, people are likely to come to church dressed in Jeans and sweat shirts.
Up in my dresser I have a pocket New Testiment that was given me by one of my mom’s relatives (a Baptist Minister) when I was preparing to go overseas in the Air Force. I am not claiming to have always read it but I did keep in with me through the years everywhere I went (Thailand, Guam, Plattsburgh New York, Florida). That small gesture helped me to keep Jesus and church in my mind slowly taking root and growing. It is too bad people today don’t reach out to people to plant that seed; todays world would be a much nicer place if they did.
I’ll end this with a picture of St John Presbyterian in Tampa FL.
This past year I realized that my country and the world it is in is hitting rock bottom of the morality scale. The violence and anger and screaming and protests so that people don’t have to hear anyone with an opinion that differs from theirs. And not to forget this latest assault on our humanity: Abortion up until the moment of birth and the House not passing a bill to give aid to those children who are born alive during an abortion. Out country has become evil and needs to have a big religious revival. I myself don’t go to church like I once did so I am part of the problem.
I think that electing Trump was a big step in the right direction but there are so many people that vote for the candidates that are from the party of evil – the party that booed God – the party that voted for late term abortion.
On a personal level other than voting I don’t know what I as an individual can do to help our nation.
All these years I thought That Dodi Stevens had the record “Pink Shoelaces” and was the only one. Today I ran across a a version of that song by “The Chordettes”. They have a very similar sound so it is hard to imagine why one became more popular than the other. I guess Dodi had a more teenage youthful quality to her voice and maybe the kids of that day were drawn to that. Anyway here is both versions of that song and I encourage everyone to give their opinions of the songs and why one caught on and the other didn’t.