Friday, August 22, 2014

812 East Tuscaloosa Street

Years ago, there was a little Pentecostal church on Tuscaloosa Street in my hometown, and my daddy made sure we were at every service.  I didn’t like it then, but I’m very thankful now.   The pastor and his wife, Brother Doc and Sister Diane, were a staple part of my childhood, and their daughter, Tammy, is one of my best friends to this day…my sister-friend.   Though we talk on the phone, I haven’t seen her in a few years.  If the Lord is willing, I will be seeing her on Wednesday, along with her wonderful parents, and Tammy and I will be spending several much-needed days together. 

In true Pentecostal tradition, we referred to everyone as “Brother” or “Sister.”  In those Pentecostal days, when folks sang solos, we referred to it as “singing a special.”  These many years later, I still remember the songs…and I have often found comfort in singing some of them to myself.  Brother Jim Smith sang a song called “Till the Storm Passes By.”   I have always been afraid of storms…not as much now, but they still can make me anxious.   Countless times this song has helped me through the storms. 


In addition to being the pastor’s wife, Sister Diane was our organist, and she also sang “specials” for us.   One song was “I Can’t Complain.”   I do not know why, but God has been so incredibly good to me.  His mercy towards me is completely undeserved, but He keeps dishing out His love on me.   Today, I am just soaking in His love and in my memories of church so long ago. 

I’ve had bad days and I’ve had hills to climb.
I’ve had sad days and then a weary mind.
Yet when I look about, and I think these things all out,
All of the good things outweigh the bad things.
I can’t complain.

God is so good to me, He is so good to me.
More than this world could be, He’s so good to me.
His spirit came to me and gave me victory.
God is so good to me, I can’t complain.

Sometimes the clouds hang low, I’d like to see them go.
I ask the question, “Why so much pain?”
But He knows what’s best for me, although I cannot see,
So I just say, “Thank You, Lord, I can’t complain.”


3 comments:

  1. The Baptists call it "a special," too. And I think most fundamentalist-type churches referred to fellow congregants as brother and sister. I was raised in the Presbyterian church, and they certainly did not refer to anyone like that, but as adults Bill and I went to a Baptist church, then a Methodist church before we landed in a Full Gospel church. All three used the quaint brother and sister handles. You don't hear that so much anymore...at least not up here.

    How nice for you to be able to spend time with your old friend. :) It sounds like good timing.

    Deb

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  2. I hadn't heard of the songs called "specials", interesting! I am glad you'll get a chance to visit with your friend; I know you will treasure the time together!

    betty

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  3. We Catholics are Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus. Our Church is the Body & Bride and we are most happily awaiting the Second Coming of Our Most Holy Bridegroom, Our Lord Jesus Christ, who suffered & died for our sins on the cross that we may have salvation thru the Blood of the Lamb. AMEN.
    The surest way to a happy fulfilling life & eternal happiness is to live out the teachings of Jesus Christ as learned from the Gospels. (I quote as my witness Jesus himself, who explained in Matthew 7:21 that "not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my father in heaven.") So ALL Christians raise your voices and protect your religious rights all over the world as courageous followers of Christ! Also humble yourselves, help all in need & do good to All. Even those rude folks ( think to yourself, that person might have cancer, a sick child, upset tummy, nausea, about to lose their home, getting abused at home, wondering how to feed their child on their last $10 until payday or maybe they are just mean). Just say to yourself, "I'm a Christian, Jesus is watching me & I'm gonna make my Father God , Jesus & The Holy Spirit proud of me, his child." Acting as a kind humble Christian might make that person say, "If That's a Christian, Then I WANT TO BE ONE ALSO." God Bless US ALL BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN JESUS!!!

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