A Church Like No Other

I got started in church at a young age. Mom brought a small pallet which she put on the floor between pews and put me on it.

I grew to love and appreciate that church. In many ways it was ahead of its time. The church had an orchestra long before they were popular. Proportionately it was a large one. Darrel was on the trumpet, Bob on the clarinet, Mr. Ross and Mrs. Sally on violins, and Mr. Addison on the trombone beating time with his foot on the wooden floor. They were good.

I was saved during a revival, but there was another in which I almost rebelled against the church. It was a revival during the hot summer. As children we had played outside before the service. The sermon was long and not appealing to youth. Nevertheless I was trying hard to be interested. The sanctuary had folding doors down the side that closed off part of the assembly to be used as classrooms.

There were several of us boys sitting in one of those wings. The folded doors blocked my vision of the preacher. In all sincerity I leaned forward to see around the doors. My chin was propped up on my arm and hand with one finger beside my cheek. My chin slipped and that one finger momentarily covered my one closed eye the preacher could see from the pulpit. I am sure that from his perspective he thought I was sleeping. Forcefully he said, “A lot of you are sleeping and going to hell, like this boy sitting over here, and pointed me out. How not to reach youth.

There were many good days. One Sunday our Sunday School teacher announced we were going to have a picnic next Saturday at the artesian well. There was one caveat, everyone had to prepare their own lunch. On the big day I got out a jar of peanut butter and a banana. I squashed up the banana and blended it into the peanut butter, smoothed it out on a slice of bread, and capped it with another. Double play on a second.

At the picnic we played around for a while and the teacher called out, “Boys and girls, it’s time for the picnic.” I had been listening as we played and one cute little girl said, “In my picnic basket I have a whole fried chicken, a bowl of potato salad, some muffins, and a big jar of ice tea.” My lunch was in a brown paper sack. She said, “Nelson, why don’t we spread our lunches together.” I said, “Well, I think that is a very good idea.” Hers was in a picnic basket and mine in a brown paper sack. When we did spread all I had was hers and all she had was mine.

In like manner Jesus says to us, “Come on, my child, let’s spread together.” Wouldn’t it be foolish to say, “No, I want all of mine myself.” Whereas if you agree to “spread” with Him all He has is yours and fortunately all you have is His.” 

All your anxieties, all of your fears take to the mercy seat and leave them there. In turn He gives you grace and peace. He said, “My grace is sufficient for you.”

If you have never repentantly called on Jesus asking for Him to forgive your sins, “spreading” that is, with Him, do it now to get His bountiful basket of blessings. When you spread your sin with Him He forgives and gives new life.

“For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.”  Psalm 86:5