[gardeners] Preacher's words

asidv@fbg.net (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Sun, 5 Jul 1998 14:12:32 +0000

It's hard to know what part of Sunday I look forward to the most. Is 
it the praying, singing, sermonizing -- or is it the time spent 
afterward, on the church house grass, talking with you all?

	Whatever is the best part, this Sunday we didn't get any of it. Who 
could have known that the flat key on the old pump organ would go 
even flatter and every bee in the county would think it was a call to 

	There was more bees in that church than there have been prayers in 
the last seventy-eight years. What with swatting and stomping, 
yelling, hooting, and hollering -- you would have thought some new 
brand of religion was celebrating by setting off the fireworks that 
the county fathers banned yesterday (due to the lack of rain and high 
winds, you understand). It seemed the only thing any of us could do 
was light out and head for cover. 

	The exterminator people tell me we can get back in the church in 
time for Wednesday's 2 PM meeting of the ladies of the church. The 
ladies will pack cookies to send to some of our missionaries 
in Washington DC. The good Lord knows those poor missionaries have 
their work cut out for them there -- and if cookies will ease their 
burden, it is the bounden duty of all the ladies of the church to get 
out the mixing bowls and stir up a mess of chocolate chippers, 
oatmeal, peanut butter, and RiceKrispies-with-marshmallow-bars.

	Since we couldn't have church this morning, it was suggested that we 
use letters to have our meeting. (That will do for the services, but 
there was so much I needed to talk with you about, after church out 
on the grass. To encourage DeeDee to just ignore that 
sharecropper -- all the time watching that he stay out of her 
henhouse. And to ask Miz Cane if she had stripped that bed, 
washed all the covers, and kerosened the bedsprings. I wanted to 
thank Aunt Edna for her prayers for Precious Jade and for her egg 
	But to get back to the services. Since it is the Sunday after 
the anniversary of our Glorious Independence,it was planned that  the 
choir open with the Battle Hymn of the Republic. We felt it was safe 
this year since the member who had broken forth with "Three Cheers 
for Jeff Davis"  has joined another church. 

Then, after the usual prayers, and several more hymns (the substitute 
organist had been practising America the Beautiful all week with her 
grandchild whom she had taught to accompany her on a snare drum), the 
theme of my sermon was to be "Independence from Sin, Dependence on 
Forgiveness.". I don't think it would be as moving in writing as in 
the speaking, so I'll save it for next year this time. 
Nothing like having a little something set aside for future 

Before I go off to labor in the fields, so to speak, I want to 
ask that you all pray for Belle Ringer. I feel she was unjustly 
treated by Sheriff Ying. You should pray for him, too. I know that 
will be hard for you, and to confess, it is hard for me to pray for 
Sheriff Yang. But I do. Oh yes I do.