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.
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.
“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed. Never throw out anyone.”
– Audrey Hepburn
“Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.” John Bunyon
“Seven days without prayer makes one weak.” Allen E. Vartlett
“Satan trembles when he sees the weakest Christian on his knees.” William Cowper
This year we celebrate our 49th anniversary. We met at a dance place off base in Plattsburgh New York; Brodies had a great band called the Franklin Brothers and we spent a lot of time there. And here we are all these years later still together, still in love. Here is my annual Valentine Anniversary poem to Dot.
Dan and Dot on our 49th Anniversary
We walked down lovers lane
We laughed and danced in the rain
Our life had been a song
New verses are constantly
Sometimes I lead and
sometimes I follow;
Sometimes we walk side by side.
We’ve looked at life
Through a filter of love.
Let our hearts contine to
As the music weaves the
sweetness of live
Into our every happy future.
There is no grey area
Love sustains us and makes us stronger.
Life started when we met;
That night at Brodie’s I can’t forget.
Listening and dancing
To the music of the Franklin Brothers
That’s when we fell in love with each other.
All became right with
The world, with life
The day you became my wife.
As long as we are joined by the heart
There is no way we will part.
Lately I have the pleasure of holding my great grand daughter Jane and looking at how perfect and beautiful she is. She was born a little over 2 months premature at 3 pounds. Now she is over 10 pounds and I love love love her. It makes me mad and angry that our NY lawmakers want to allow abortions at full term. These are children and this is murder.
Plus what is the next step since we know that these sick activists are never happy and once they have one thing they automatically start thinking of what they want to do next and then the next step and the next step etc.
I have had 4 blogs for quite a while now but have decided to combine them into one.
My 4 blogs currently are 1. Christian blog; 2. Political (pro conservative) 3. one that used to be political also but I have turned it into a music blog and 4. The other me for miscellaneous and personal stuff. I have decided to combine them into the one Blog “The Other Me” but not to copy all of the content over except maybe I might copy some of the Music Stuff over. Afer all of that I might pay to upgrade the one blog whereas upgrading 4 blogs would be too costly. When I am satisfied the other 3 blogs will be deleted (I think).
For now all of my new posts will be on this one blog.