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JUST ANOTHER TRIP AROUND THE SUN

 

26 of 52  Trip Around The Sun - Faith Fellowship Church

 

Sunday, October 27, 2002

 

Have traveled 292,168,800 miles.

 

That’s half the way Around The Sun.

 

Thoughts during the week:

 

I’ve tried to rest a little from the thinking this week. Last week was quite stressful – for them as well as for me, I assume.

 

I ask myself, “Am I a believer?” “What does that mean?”

 

I know I don’t believe many of the things other believers believe. I do believe something is going on that is beyond our comprehension, certainly beyond mine. It seems that to be labeled a “believer,” one must at least pretend to comprehend – and be committed to lots of details for which I haven’t a clue.

 

There have been many evil Gods in history – I conclude that we don’t need one of those, so I make assumptions that put God in the way of being good only. I can’t back it up, but I know I wouldn’t like any other kind of God. A God who would burn my Mom and Dad forever can just take a hike – I will not serve. A God who would require Mother Teresa to denounce her lifelong beloved religion, I would not feel to like – though that amount I can accept knowing better later.

 

 

The Visit:

 

Faith Fellowship Church1450 East Valley Parkway

 

I’ve noticed this little church before when we eat at Jack In The Box. Next door.

 

It’s called a “Charismatic” Church in the Yellow Pages. They raise their hands in the air a lot.

 

There was much visiting until the meeting came to order. No formalities to do that – just started the singing. We sang for fully 35 minutes – many songs – all projected words with no music.

 

I Need You  -  I Need You  -  Forgive Me  -  Forgive Me

 

These were the operative words of one of them – and they all had this character. The need for Jesus to make up for all our inadequacies. There is a tendency to wail – to beg for forgiveness and salvation. This congregational singing was not nearly so enjoyable as I have seen elsewhere. The speakers (loudspeakers) were a little loud to make it easy to hear the congregational part of the singing. They waved their arms a lot, but didn’t sing out.

 

They believe the time is near. (Joseph Smith also believed this – would probably be surprised to see what we’re doing 182 years later.)

 

Music was by drum set, small organ, KORG keyboard, baby grand piano, violin – and there was a set of conga drums unused. (Wonder if I missed something.)

 

After all the congregational singing, a trio sang. One man – two women – grand piano.

 

They sang like a barbershop quartet (with one missing). They were good, and the song was called “Now It Is Jesus and Me.” It was very upbeat – and elicited applause after.

 

Then all the children gathered to the front and in the aisle and began singing a special program for the minister. (I asked if this was his birthday – and was told that this was “Pastor Appreciation Month.)

 

After about five minutes of fun singing – one child doing American Sign Language along the way (Not well – but trying and proud, though shy at the same time.) The Pastor was visibly touched – with the children all around him.

 

And then at the end, one child sang: “Thank you for serving the Lord – I am the one that was saved. We love you.” And then several in the congregation said, “I love you too.” Not together – One at a time. “I love you too.”  “I love you too.”  “I love you too.”

 

Then it was time for the preaching, and at first, he was choked a little – but got it going in time.

 

The topic was “The Lord’s Day.” It, “Sabbath,” does not mean “Saturday,” and it does not mean “Last Day” or “Seventh Day” either.

 

It means “Cease,” “Rest.”

 

The Jews have names for the days that are different from ours – Their names mean First Day, Second Day, Third Day - - - - Seventh Day.

 

But our “Sunday” came from old false religions and means “Day to worship the Sun.”

Monday – “Day to worship the Moon.”

Then he said Wednesday was for Mercury (?)

And Saturday is for Saturn.

 

I thought, “The reason we don’t have a Pluday is because we had no Pluto by then. It was too far away for those old telescopes.”

 

His explanation of the coming of the Lord’s Day was similar to ours. I know we call this the Sabbath. He explained that this is the Sabbath – that Sabbath does not refer to the last day or any day in particular. It’s the day to “Cease” our labors – to “Rest.”

 

The past 26 weeks, the Sabbath has not seemed particularly restful – though there is a difference from the rest of the week, and it’s a kind of rest from the normal routine. I’ve seen lots of Mormons giving so much service on this day and working so hard.

 

He talked of how much worse things are today than just back in the fifties – when we could leave our doors unlocked, etc. I hear this a lot, and don’t agree with it. I haven’t locked our doors from then until now, and feel things are better now than they ever have been. I think of the mistreatment I saw of Blacks during my mission, merely 40 years ago. It is so much better now. (Still room for progress – but I wouldn’t trade this time for a hundred and fifty years ago for anything.)

 

He talked of how good the fifties were – then worse in the sixties, when God was taken from the schools, and then worse in the seventies, the eighties, etc.

 

He said he knew the end would come in his lifetime. (About my age?)

 

 

Healing and Blessing:

 

Perhaps thirty or so people came to the front to line up to receive blessings from the minister. It was quietly done – you didn’t hear what the minister said to each – for some, he held their heads in his hands as he talked and prayed. One woman yelled out with a kind of singing holler that lasted a few seconds. There were lots of tears among those receiving blessings – and some in the congregation at large.

 

There are many more women than men in the congregation – appeared to be (possibly) single mothers. Lots of beautiful children – well behaved and happy. I was sitting near one mother who had seven with her. Turned out four were hers, and three were friends visiting. One of these was the little gal who did the signing for the honorary to the minister. (13 years old?)

 

In his closing prayer, the minister said, among other things, “Thank You for breaking Addictions, as You have this morning.”

 

They had a potluck at someone’s home after – gave me a map and extracted a promise that I would come, which I did. They had more food than you could imagine. (I take that back – You’d have no problem imagining this.)

 

During the luncheon, I talked with the minister a little – and found that they take the Old Testament quite literally. It will be rare to find elsewise. (According to my spell-checker, I have coined a new word – I like it.)

 

- Chuck

 

 

26 of 52  Trip Around The Sun - Faith Fellowship Church

 

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