33 of 52 Trip Around The Sun - Church of God
Have traveled about 371,000,000 miles.
Thoughts during the week: I have found that during this trip I think quite a lot about both of my parents – who they were, what their lives meant – what of life turns out to have been important after all. This week I was thinking of my Dad’s feelings about the Mormon Church – and I ran into some most interesting data. There was something at least a little different about him – relative to the Church – during the last five years of his life, and he didn’t even know about it; neither did I.
He said for many years that he couldn’t with honesty join any church – but that if he ever changed his feelings on that, it would be the Mormon Church for him. When he and Mom moved in with us, he decided to give her a present – of attending church with her once a month (he said he didn’t want to overdo it.) As a result, all the High Priests and some others got to know his personality to some degree. That was fun for me too, as I always thought of my parents as good people to know for anyone.
Anyway – all of you should see the data we found this week.
The Islamic group in
I forgot to ask – but in West Virginia I was familiar (I thought) with the Church of God in two forms – One called just “The Church of God,” and the other called, “The Church of God of Prophesy.” I forgot to ask which this one was, but I assume from the simple meeting that this was the shorter title.
gone to this church too late last week – and noticed the friendly feelings
among all of them. I went a little early this week – about half an hour – and
found about half of them already there – having coffee or orange juice with
donuts and melon chunks, etc. This is a nice way to start a meeting. They
adored the hotrod, and I had to think – if I had that mission to do over again,
I would take a hotrod. There’s something about that that causes people to
assume you are “down to earth.” The suits, ties, and required formal hats in my
mission were almost ludicrous in
I probably met and talked with just about every single person in this little church. Everyone wanted to know who I was. I found out what other cars had been built among them – met one woman who drives a Harley – not hard to tell with the all-black clothing and the trademark emblazoned across her chest, which itself was as ample as she was.
I met a
quiet young man and his wife. He had clothes to credit the Oakland Raiders.
Since he was from
inside, I met the minister. He came up and asked my name – and then where I was
from. I told him I was born in
let him know that I had grown up among the Mormons – and that I had served my
mission partly in
I sat in about the fourth row. All the congregational music was with four guitars – all amplified – three regular and one bass. We sang mostly Christmas carols – with the words projected over beautiful scenes of mountains, ocean, etc. We sang for about half an hour –
Then a group of three teenage or a little older boys – two dressed in baggy shorts – all with something akin to mountain boots for their feet – went up and sang two songs for us.
Then there was a little collection – no sales pitch – just passing the chromed plates through the aisles.
Then came the sermon. This was a sweet man – obviously with a life-long “calling” to do this for whatever little part of the world he was supposed to be in. It was hard to believe he could make a living just from this small congregation, mostly not of means – but perhaps there is also other work he does.
It was a Christmas message – taken from Luke 1. He started with what he said is called the “Magnificat.” (Spelling is correct – not in my dictionary.) The prayer of Mary for Elizabeth (John the Baptist’s Mom.) Luke 1: 46-55
it demands a humble spirit to accept Jesus Christ. Pride must be no part of
one’s feelings. There is no other way.
a gesture to show what a leap is – moving his hands from way over on one side –
up and to the other side. He said that maybe it was just the way they used
these words back then – that John had most likely only kicked – and not
actually leaped. I love it when they put little details in their talks. Then he
included a little about
This pride thing doesn’t only keep us from accepting Jesus – it hurts us in all kinds of ways. Someone may ignore a doctor’s prescription or advice thinking he’ll get better by his own thoughts or something. This is pride. I knew someone who had been told by his dad’s doctor, “Your dad needs a pacemaker – it’s only a half-hour surgery – it’s been done tens of thousands of times – and works very well – please try to convince him.” The man tried, but his dad said, “They ain’t opened up this body in 70 years, and they ain’t gonna open it up now.” The funeral was less than a year later – for an otherwise healthy man with a good heart.
Then the minister said, “Sometimes we think we have no problems – and then that is the problem – that we think we don’t have any.”
I admit to this one’s bothering me a little. My first serous girl friend’s mother was a bit of a backroom psychologist. She wanted me to participate in this sort of game – everybody writes down a list of their problems. I didn’t have any. She didn’t like that at all – and told me the same as this minister – that this was my main problem – that I didn’t think I had any problems. I learned about problems later – with this good woman’s daughter. I liked it better before – when I didn’t have any.
Now – after thirty five years married with Leona – I’m almost back there with no problems – though I suppose I could make a little list now of stuff not accomplished, being a bit overweight, paying insurance on a car that hasn’t run for two years, a little dog that sometimes doesn’t know the difference between the carpet and the great outdoors, etc. None of these would have been sufficient to please the needs of the aforementioned game-operator.
He talked of 53 people having gone Christmas caroling the other night – and how much fun they all had.
I wasn’t entirely sure how his last statement fit in with the theme – but probably something to do with pride. He said that “God is angry with the wealthy who do not use their means to help the poor with their needs.”
said, this was a sweet man – and I couldn’t help but think that I could have
met and known several of them in
Then we sang another several songs – and the youth minister got up and said a prayer – citing the needs of several specific people – and then it was over.
We continued the coffee, orange juice – donuts and fruit – and the visiting. Some wanted the hotrod started so they could hear the engine. It was a small parking lot – every car visible at once. Then I roared off – with lots of people waving at me. I’ll probably go back some day. It’s amazing how many people are willing to be your friend.
33 of 52 Trip Around the Sun
Oh – I
almost forgot – the data about my Dad. Leona was down at the genealogy place in
After she input all the data to identify him, the computer showed us this:
was not only baptized – but had his endowments and was sealed to his parents –
five years before he died. It’s the right one – who else named Kennard has a
Poor old Dad was a member of the Church for the last five years of his life – and didn’t even know it. No wonder they called him “Brother Borough.”
33 of 52 Trip Around The Sun - Church of God