I grew up in the church and it was a major part of my life. My first remembrance is a church service in San Gabriel California at the age of about 4 (1949) with my Grandparents and Uncle John.
We went to weekly Sunday school, where I learned how to understand the Truth of God’s Word and how to practically apply it to my daily life.
We went, as children, to the main Church service, where I learned a Holy Reverence and healthy Fear of the Lord. Then there was an after service pot luck in the basement of the church where ALL ages could enjoy each other and fellowship. They even called the basement “Fellowship Hall” because that’s where relationships were built and matured.
Maybe what I miss the most was the Sunday night Christian Endeavor, where I learned 80% of everything I ever have needed to know about Kingdom principled leadership, management and organization. http://www.christianendeavor.com/ We then went to the Evening church service where all ages attended and participated.
We never missed the Wednesday night prayer & Bible study, where I learned how to study God’s Word and pray with power and authority.
I remenber trips with my Grammy & Mother to see Brother William Branham under the huge tents with saw dust floors. Being instantly healed at the age of 8-9 (1953) of extreme jaundice in one of those services as a Black Pastor laid his hands upon me. http://www.youtube.com/LifeCoach321#p/a/f/1/gGmp4LTWOfE
I remember trips to Angeles Temple (Founded by Amie Semple McPherson) and seeing Tommy Hicks, A.A. Allen and other famous healers and evangelists of the time. I definitely remember having 3-4 large, big haired women try and get me to speak in tongues and then giving up and telling me to sit down. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUZ_-5e6G7Y
I remember trips to San Diego to see Southern Gospel Quartet conventions with my Parents and a trip to Oceanside to a small black church to see the Golden Gate Quartet sing a special request of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” just for me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7J6EtQJyKQ&feature=PlayList&p=218431DCF74BC5F2&index=9
I remember weekly meetings at friend’s homes to watch my Mother teach Child Evangelism Fellowship classes. (CEF is still a powerful force to reach children for Christ) I was saved in one of those classes. I remember being told by a Sunday school teacher that I should grow up and be a lawyer because I questioned everything she told me and another Youth Leader telling my Mother that I would grow up to be a juvenile delinquent.
As a boy soprano I sang duets with Janice Brown and other young ladies in various church events. I also soloed in front of the church with the ladies choir. Singing “We 3 Kings” as a solo in front of the entire church and “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” in front of my grade school class. (I’m glad a higher grade of musical talent has been passed on to my family)
What I don’t remember is my Mother having any difficulty getting me to all these various functions or complaining when she did it. She drove a 1934 Chevy Coupe with a rumble seat and when it was too far to ride my bike, I rode in the rumble seat. It was what we did. Very similar to the motto of the Postal Service, we didn’t let life keep us from things of God.
As we entered our teens, there was the Friday night youth group where I learned to have fun, laughs and to build positive relationships with others my age, including girls, and it was OK.
There were Yearly Christian Camps (Camp Good News) and Youth Conferences too numerous to remember. It seems like every year we were at the 4000 seat Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles listening to J. Vernon McGee preaching on the Scripture. (I went down for rededication at every camp and conference for about 5-6 years, just to make sure.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9iN0uSzJx8&feature=related
I remember well, when in High School, after the evening service, the most fun of ALL, was to go late Sunday night to the downtown Pentecostal Holy Roller center to see Doris Akers and the Sky Pilot choir sing “Highway to Heaven” and watch choir members fall out under the power of the Holy Spirit. http://www.youtube.com/LifeCoach321#p/f/116/PD9vJ7C0YZg
I have never felt that church, school, home or work were four different arenas. I always felt that they flowed together as an extension of each other and complimented each other. We raised our children much the same way as I (and Diane) grew up and, although you’ll have to ask them, I believe they see things much the same way as we did.
Diane has been heard to say that we should “brain wash the little hummers”! Well, If we don’t brain wash them and our selves in the ways of God’s Kingdom on earth, then who will “brain wash” them? I believe we all know the answer to that question. With the media, the schools and society overwhelming our senses with the ways of the world and Satan’s lies about who we are, we must be more intentional in “brain, emotion and spirit washing” with God’s truths and principles of living.
Scripture says we need to be “brain washed” in Romans 12:1-2 (Amplified Bible) I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].