I am not sure why this incident of my childhood keeps coming to me, but maybe once I write about it I may figure it out. A blog is a journal. This is my journal of feelings, thoughts, times in prayer, what God has taught me, dealt with me about, and it has become a treasure to me. It is something my children, I hope, will one day treasure, as well. It is a legacy of memories, my most profound beliefs, and my reflections. So here we go!
When I was probably around 13, we were in church one night. My uncle, who I always called Paw-Paw, was our pastor. It was a very small country church. Paw-Paw knew Rev. Hagin, Sr.. He had held a revival for Paw-Paw at one time, if I haven’t misunderstood my mother, and Rev. Hagin, Sr. ate at my aunt’s dinner table in Texas!
Paw-Paw caught the revelation of faith and what it could do and would do if you put it into operation! He literally prayed for a deceased baby one night and the child came back to life and lived into old age! Rev. Hagin’s message of faith was not greeted by all people with great joy! Many ministers turned their backs on him. I have never understood this! The entire New Testament proved out what he taught! Why not accept it with joy??? It is the hope of what you most certainly CAN have!
This message resonated with Paw-Paw and he grew in God and the love of God. Let me give you an example of this. One night, as we were having church, we heard the back door of the church open. At first we thought someone was coming to visit the church. Suddenly, we heard several loud bangs! My father, uncle, and another man began to run after whoever had done this. They flew out of the back and into the parking lot. Across from the church were some woods. Whoever had done this had run into the woods and my dad and the rest of the men ran into the woods after them. It had not been a gun that was shot that night as we first thought, but firecrackers that were set off!
We were rightly taught the church was to be deeply revered and it was God’s house! Paw-Paw was not happy about this disturbance. The men caught two high school seniors that thought this was a joke. They soon learned nobody thought it was funny! The Sheriff was called and they were taken into custody. This went to trial.
Paw-Paw attended the trial. He was greatly respected in our community! He had done many things for many people and had served the Lord with all of his heart! He was told he could attend the boy’s hearing and testify as to what he thought should be done with these young men! He prayed and asked God to lead his words and mind when asked the question of their future. God spoke to Paw-Paw and Paw-Paw told the judge what he thought. He said, “If these young men will come to church and never miss a service for six months I will not press charges. But, if they miss or are even late to one service I will!” The young men looked in disbelief! There was a hush in the courtroom. The judge thought and finally said, “Alright, Pastor! It will be that way!”
These young men came for their first service. They made no trouble at all! They sat and listened to Paw-Paw preach and then, of their own free will, they gave their hearts to Jesus! They became like family to us! They were helpful, took up the offering as junior ushers and not one dime was ever missing! We would go to the church to clean and they would show up and help the ladies with hard to reach spots! They weren’t required to do this! They loved the church and our mothers became like their mothers, too! They NEVER showed any inappropriate behavior at all. I would love to see the politeness those young men had in many youth today!
You know it is amazing what happens when you let the Holy Spirit lead you. Instead of foster care, juvenile detention, and whatever else they have, the young men were given love by those they wronged, a second chance, and the Word of God that has the power to save the hardest heart!
I don’t know what happened to them. Through the years we lost touch. Many years have gone by. I hope they continued to serve God! I hope they brought their children up in church to know and serve the Lord. But, that day Paw-Paw taught me something….the power of the love of God which covers a multitude of sins!! If we lived everyday exactly as the Word says, how would our lives be different? Instead of saying, “Throw the book” at our enemy, what if we loved them with the love of Jesus! What a different future for many that would be!
I still am not totally sure why this has been prevalent in my memories lately. I hope it helped you, precious reader. It is always good to go back to the most basic of teaching and the Word of God is no different! Blessings to you! I will see you next time! Juliana