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Dorothy A Mar 2015
Pastor Nate Yarborough knew since early on that he wanted to be a clergyman. He grew up in a Christian home and believed in God as long as he could remember. He dreamed of being a minister someday and becoming the pastor of  his own church. At only thirty-one-years-old, his dream came true. He was young, yet head pastor at Hope Christian Church and had a medium sized congregation that was thriving. To add to his dream-come-true, he had a beautiful wife, Veronica, and darling three-and-a half-year-old daughter, Michaela.

Jesus was the center of his life, but Veronica was the one who kept him grounded. Michaela was just the light of his world, a special blessing in his life. She was a happy baby who was just a typical daddy’s girl. When her father came home from his job she would squeal with delight and go running to him, at first as a wobbly toddler and then to a quick, little girl who would sprint to the door.  

“Daddy’s home!” she would announce in a big voice.

Nate would swoop up Michaela up in his arms as he planted gentle kisses upon her little cheek. “Michaela, my sunshine girl!” he would shout. “There’s my little beauty!” He definitely wanted more children, but he was thankful and felt so blessed to have her be his very first.      

“That is how we should with our heavenly father”, Veronica told Nate, in admiration of those two in action, “and not run from him in fear.”

Yet one day Michaela was having seizures and became quite ill. She transformed from a bubbly child to one who fussed and cried and didn’t want to play very much.  Her worried parents took her to the doctor, and she was put through a battery of tests. The church was praying for little Michaela, but the diagnosis was grim and shocking. She had a brain tumor. Her parent’s worst fears had been confirmed. Her tumor was malignant and it was inoperable.

Veronica would open up the outpouring of cards and letters of well wishes from parishioners. So many people were praying for the family. Veronica had hope even as her husband was growing distant as his little girl became sicker and sicker. In spite of treatment, in spite of prayers, little Michaela succumbed to her sickness. Her bright, little spirit was forever gone from their home.

“We will have more children”, Veronica assured her husband through her tears. “We will get through this—together. With God’s help, we’ll get through this!”  

Nate didn’t respond. Veronica felt him stiffen in his lackluster embrace. She stiffened, too, for she knew that wasn't of Nate's character, and she could tell by his face that he wasn’t buying any of it.  

His sermons now became shorter, far less engaging. They weren’t full of encouraging stories or inspirational words of faith, of challenging the defeated to never give up, and imploring everyone to always turn to the Lord—in bad times as well as the good.  

People in the church rallied behind Pastor Nate and his wife. They offered meals during the time that Michaela was laid out in the funeral home and finally laid to rest. They offered more prayers, encouraging words, and hugs for the couple to make it through this rough storm in their lives. A pastor friend of Nate conducted the funeral but Nate hardly heard a word. Veronica grew worried.

There were many in the congregation who grew concerned, too. They still were supportive, but now the elders and deacons had no choice but to gather at a meeting and figure out what to do. Nate’s leadership role was falling apart. His life, no doubt,  was falling apart.

“Why does God punish some on this earth who are innocent?” he asked one time at the pulpit.  “There are no answers when your heart is torn out from you, when you serve God with all you have, and He does this to you. Why? Perhaps, there is no such being as God. Perhaps, it is wishful thinking and we have all been duped…I’ve thought about it and I’ve searched the Scriptures, yet I get nothing there . I think the atheists aren’t so out of bounds, after all.”

Sitting a few rows back, Veronica looked nervously around. She heard some of the gasps in the crowd, heard many whispers, and saw the shocked faces. She laid her head in her hands and was too scared out of her mind to even pray.

“We are sorry, Veronica”, one of the elders told her one day. “We tried to reason with your husband. We care about you both, but this cannot go on. We asked Pastor Nate to get seek out some help—to step down temporarily—but he didn’t even flinch. He says he’s never coming back. He just doesn’t believe anymore. And he just doesn’t care. ”

Veronica tried to get Nate to go to counseling with her. She needed it, too, and he wasn’t helping her any. This church was his dream, and sure his daughter had tragically died, but he needed to hold it together—for their sake. To crumble on her was too much on top of losing her daughter. He just couldn’t do this!

She could handle her grief far better if they could remain a team. But he didn’t want to talk, wouldn’t listen to anyone, and now how were they going to make ends meet without his role as pastor? Nate fell into a severe depression, and Veronica felt helpless to do anything about it.

After a few months of trying to get through to him, her faith grew dim. How could this happen to them? To save herself from going down with him, she decided she had to walk away. She didn’t want to, but she had made up her mind to move back in with her parents.

“It’s for the best, for now”, she told him. “It doesn’t have to be permanent.”

Nate sat there, staring at the blank TV. “Do what you want”, he replied.

One of the parishioners, Craig DeArmond, decided to pay him a visit. His mother, Marge, always admired Nate’s sermons. She was a big supporter of his, and wept when she heard of the news of his daughter's death. It was evident to her that his faith took a huge dip—actually a crash landing—and his world that revolved around his belief lay in shambles.

Craig was saddened by how quiet the place was, how unkempt and uninviting it appeared. He’s been to the house before, a once pleasant place to be.  Now, it was bleak and joyless. “Will you talk to my mother?” Craig asked him. “She’s sad since my dad passed away a week after last Christmas, you know. Forty-eight years of marriage has been much of her life . My mom could use some counseling.”

Nate looked at him without much emotion. “Let her talk to the current pastor. She doesn’t need me.”

Craig said, “But she looks up to you, and it might do you some good, too.”

Nate scoffed at that. “Look, I’m not in the faith business anymore. There’s no way I can be of comfort.” He dismissed Craig with his hand and said, “She goes to me or she goes to a fortune teller—tell her she’ll get about the same results, either way.”

Craig stood up over Nate, hoping Nate would look up at him. He wouldn’t, so Craig was about to walk away but turned around and replied, “God forgive me, for I want to make this clear. Listen to me, Nathan Yale! You are one selfish *******!”

Nate suddenly shot a look at him. “A what?” he demanded.

“You heard me”, Craig said, his arms crossed. “I know you are a man of God—or at least you used to be.  He grew more bold, was on a roll and said, “Look, you are pushing everyone away! People who love and care about you have lost you! Your wife, for crying out loud, is a wreck! I know you’re in pain, but—”

“What do you know of my pain?” Nate shot back. His eyes were bloodshot from lack of sleep. Perhaps, he had been crying or even drinking.

“I don’t know!” Craig shouted. “But what do you know of faith?”

Nathan didn’t know what to say, for he was never prepared for this. Craig continued, “My mother lost both of her parents by the age of thirteen. She grew up in an alcoholic home, so she watched her parents slowly drink away their lives. She had no choice but to live with her aunt while her other siblings were spread out to stay with other relatives.”

Craig had Nathan’s full attention now. He took advantage of this and pulled up a chair and sat right in front of him, saying, “Her aunt’s husband—her so-called uncle—wouldn’t stop pawing at her and trying to put his hand up her blouse. She had no lock on her bedroom door and so this guy would sneak in--and guess what? He ***** her! At first, it was shocking! The second time, it was Hell. The third time it was worse! The forth time….should I go on?”

“Oh, God, why?” Nate said, tears in his eyes at the thought.

“Yes, he ***** her”, Craig repeated, “until one day she was pregnant and her aunt was demanding how she ended up this way , calling her a **** and shaming her. Mom finally blurted out that it was her uncle who got forced himself on her, and the aunt didn’t believe her.”

Nate was fully engaged. “What happened to your poor mother?” he asked, trying to keep his mouth from quivering.

“She was kicked out on the streets... nothing but the clothes on her back. With nowhere to go, she went to a friend’s house. The stress was so bad on her that she miscarried the baby, laying on the floor in agony. So the authorities placed her in a home for girls and never did she have to live in that house again…but the scars are still there--ugly, deep scars!”

So Craig left Nate’s house, but Nate had joined him in the car. Craig told his mother what he had revealed to Nate—without her permission—but he felt he had to do it. She agreed it was the right thing to do.

Nate gave Marge a huge hug during his visit. She was such a motherly figure, and he admired her for what she went through. “How on earth did you survive?” he asked her.

“Like you”, she confessed. “I was so angry with God. I hated Him, just hated Him. But when I was living in the home for girls, I met a girl who had huge faith. It was sickening to me, at first. I thought to myself, ‘How can you have such faith when you’ve ended up in here?’ And she didn’t know what happened to me, for I was too scared to tell anyone back then.”

“But you have great faith now”, Nate stated. “Better than even I ever had, I’m ashamed to say. I’ve seen your faith in action! ”

Marge put her hand to his cheek. “I fought for every bit of it”, she said. “I didn’t want to believe in God, but their was a nagging presence that wouldn't go away!”

Nate smiled. “I love the way you put it, Marge”, he said.

“Well, I had that friend who talked about Jesus, and then I went to rent out a room of a woman who took in boarders. She had a strong faith, and she took me to church. I’ve never been to church in my life, and I just wanted to get her off my back for asking! But my heart slowly softened, for I never thought that I’d ever believe in God…and didn’t want to…ever!”

“Neither did I…after loosing Michaela”, Nate said. “I loved her so much." He began to cry and put his face in his hands.

Marge put her arm around him and said, “But I found out that I really needed God. I needed to forgive a lot of people—my mother and father, my aunt and uncle—especially myself because I felt so hateful all the time.”

Nate sobbed, “I feel hateful, too—and guilty. I don’t know if I’ll ever have faith again. It scares me to feel that way.”

Marge held him in her arms like he was her little child. “Oh, but you haven’t really lost it, Pastor. You see, I didn’t want to believe in God, either, because I felt He was against me. If God existed…well, than how come my parents were alcoholics? How come my uncle ***** me? How come I got pregnant and the baby died? Ended up by myself? How come…how come? I think we all can ask our share of questions in this world.”

“They are valid questions”, he admitted, tears still streaming down his face. “Frankly, many problems pale in comparison.”

Marge couldn't have disagreed more. "No, Nate..,pain is pain. Yours is just as valid as anyone else's.  It just is just when it is an excuse to be bitter that is dangerous.  And I used that as a reason for being bitter!” she said. “But the bitterness was killing me. Slowly, I was dying.”

"But you made it through. You're quite alive, Marge, quite alive... and quite amazing."

They lingered in conversation, for they both needed this to take place. After it was over, Nate went home, feeling like a dam of walled up emotions had been finally released. It was certainly a start. He called Veronica up and he managed to say, “Veronica…please forgive me. Let’s start again…our lives together…” before his voice broke and the tears poured out again.

“Of course”, she responded, her voice trembling. “I already have forgiven you because I’ve been waiting and praying for this moment to come.”
preservationman Jul 2015
A Pastor who is supposed to preach God’s word
He was telling the congregation and their response could be heard
The Pastor took the offering and tithes and went to a racing track
Now the congregation didn’t know what to think on that
The Pastor is the ambassador of the man of God
Saints were attending the church all in good faith
Yet a feeling if the Pastor is truly about salvation?
But there’s the Holy Scriptures and one must think of Revelations
Well the congregation of “WHO KNOWS GOD BEST TABERNACLE” knows all too well that God no one can sell
It is salvation of faith that should be on the lips of tell
The Pastor should have kept his mouth shut
God’s word stands along being well put
A church is not a church when congregation must provide funds towards another gain
God’s covenant is what will remain
God’s message, “Feed my sheep and let their faith be the upkeep”
The Pastor’s responsibility in having honesty in Jesus name
Now the Pastor had turned funds into his own
Being a Pastor, he should have known
In all aspects within the congregation, he was done
However, the Pastor must repent and change from his worldly ways
The idea is that the Pastor must stay on the Holy track
Move forward and not look back
God sees and knows
If a man is truly of God, the Holy Spirit will confess in show.
Edna Sweetlove Sep 2015
Pastor Grovell writes as follows.....

I am often asked to interpret the Ten Commandments as they seem sometimes a bit out of date and irrelevant (and hard to understand by some of the more ********
folks). So here goes with the update we use in our own godly congregation. These are my revised and corrected commandments.  The originals are in the beloved King James version but where that is unclear I quote a more modern version too to assist those of you who are more or less illiterate. In the bible, the commandments are unaccompaned by the punishments you will get if you disobey them so I have updated that too, according to STRICT biblical scholarship.

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1st Commandment: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me". This seems quite unequivocal to me but of course it was written BEFORE Jesus came to save us so here is the new version:

PG's NEW NUMBER 1: WORSHIP ONLY GOD (INCLUDING JESUS WHO IS PART OF GOD ANYWAY) & DO IT FREQUENTLY OR GOD WILL CRUSH YOU!

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2nd Commandment: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

That seems a bit wordy to me and there is a bit of overlap with Number 1! In any case, it's a bit out of date as not many people worship idols, giant earthworms or fish these days. Perhaps a modern update would include not worshipping the TV set!

PG's NEW NUMBER 2: DO NOT WORSHIP THE TV SET OR ANYTHING SIMILAR OR GOD WILL BE VERY ANNOYED INDEED AND WILL PUNISH YOU AND ALL YOUR DESCENDANTS & THEIR DESCENDANTS TOO SO WATCH OUT ALL YOU HEATHEN COUCH POTATOES!

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3rd Commandment: "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." Again a bit long-winded, and the vain bit will confuse some people.

PG's NEW NUMBER 3: DO NOT BLASPHEME OR GOD WILL CRUSH YOU IN AN INCREDIBLY PAINFUL WAY & SLOWLY AS WELL!

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4th Commandment: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."

This is a difficult one to observe nowadays, what with Sunday opening at the shopping mall. The solution seems to be that non-Christians, Jews and Muslims can work to serve us whilst we go shopping. It shows why God created heathens and other infidels so they can sell godly people bibles, hymnals and religious artefacts on the Sabbath, even though they will probably go to Hell themselves as a result. And the bit about animals not working on Sundays seems pointless today so we'll skip that section.

PG's NEW NUMBER 4: WORK HARD FOR SIX DAYS A WEEK INCLUDING SATURDAYS AND THEN HAVE A NICE REST ON SUNDAYS BUT GET IN A LOT OF PRAYING ON SUNDAY OR YOU WILL BE PUNISHED IMMENSELY BY GOD!

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5th Commandment: "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."

Seems clear enough; particular the 2nd bit which people forget. This is particularly important as people live much longer nowadays and often old folks have to be put into a home which can be expensive, but God wants us to do it. Also, do not skimp on the private facilities - do you really want your old wizened parents to share a bathroom with other incontinents? No I don't think you do. Also, one must remember that a lot of people are ******* and don't have the vaguest idea who their father was. Often the mother has no idea either, filthy ****.

PG's NEW NUMBER 5: RESPECT YOUR PARENTS NO MATTER HOW MUCH IT COSTS OR GOD WILL SHORTEN YOUR OWN LIFE AS A PUNISHMENT & YOU WILL SUFFER A LOT! IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHO YOUR PARENTS ARE, YOU ARE A ******* AND WILL GO TO HELL.

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6th Commandment: "Thou shalt not ****." This one is a real problem for so many of us! What should we do if a mugger comes and tries to rob us? What should we do if someone threatens to **** and **** our womenfolk? What if heathens attack our nation? What about the inalienable American right to bear arms and **** unarmed protesters? What about the British right to rule over inferior races and shoot rebels? I think God was insufficiently insightful here, so my version is quite a radical improvement.

PG's NEW NUMBER 6: DO NOT **** PEOPLE UNLESS IT IS NECESSARY OR IF THEY ARE BURGLING *******!

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7th Commandment: "Thou shalt not commit adultery."This is OK as far as it goes but it is totally inadequate to deal with the amount of ***-SIN which is about the place in the modern world, so I have expanded this to deal with the problem. Also remember that King James was a rampant and blatant sodomite and pervert and so maybe had this one censored in his version of the GOOD BOOK to cover his own back, so to speak.

PG's NEW NUMBER 7: DO NOT COMMIT ANY ***-SINS INCLUDING UNMARRIED FORNICATION, EXCESSIVE FRENCH KISSING, HEAVY PETTING, ******* (MUTUAL AND/OR SOLITARY), ADULTERY, *******, BUGGERY, ******, HOMOSEXUAL ACTS OF ALL TYPES INCLUDING LESBIANISM OF ANY SORT, *******-READING OR THINKING FILTHY ***-THOUGHTS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES OR YOU WILL BURN IN HELLFIRE FOR EVER AND EVER WITH THE MOST AWFUL AGONIES, AND ALSO MINIMIZE ALL LEGAL MARITAL *** TO OCCASIONS WHEN YOU WISH TO PROPAGATE AND KEEP IT BRIEF & IN THE DARK EVEN THEN!

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8th Commandment: "Thou shalt not steal." This one seems OK to me, with a bit of modernization.

PG's NEW NUMBER 8: YOU MUST NOT STEAL OR MUG OR ROB OR BURGLARIZE OR YOU WILL BE PUNISHED UTTERLY & VERY EXTENSIVELY BY GOD IN ALL HIS MIGHTY POWER!

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9th Commandment: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." This is a bit too narrow as I think non-neighbours and maybe even foreigners should be included as well. Also there needs to be a reminder of the dreadful punishment liars and falsifiers face.

PG's NEW NUMBER 9: DO NOT ACCUSE ANYONE AT ALL FALSELY AND DON'T TELL ANY LIES EITHER OR GOD WILL PUNISH YOU REALLY APPALLINGLY & YOU WILL SHRIEK IN AGONY FOR EVER!

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10th Commandment: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ***, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's." This one really is totally out-of-date and inadequate. It should apply to everyone and not just neighbours. Also, how many people can afford servants or keep oxen? And the "***" bit is open to obscene ***-SIN misinterpretation and blasphemous sneering by wicked ***-SINNERS. So this needs a complete re-write to bring it into the 21st century and to guide godly people into the way of righteousness. And some of the modern translations of the Bible are even worse, e.g. "Do not desire another man's house; do not desire his wife, his slaves, his cattle, his donkeys, or anything else that he owns." How about if you wish to sell your own house and move to a nicer one - what is wrong with that? How about if you wish to sell your low-grade animals and buy better ones? What is this ******* obsession with donkeys and ***** - sheep can be equally tempting to s degenerate ******* ***-SINNER. So I go for a nice simple revision which covers most eventualities:

PG's NEW NUMBER 10: DON'T BE JEALOUS OF OTHER PEOPLE'S BETTER FORTUNE, MAYBE THEY DESERVE IT & YOU ARE INFERIOR; STICK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE NO MATTER HOW GROTTY IT IS OR GOD WILL PUNISH YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE! AND KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF THE LIVESTOCK OR YOU WILL SUFFER APPALLINGLY IN DEEPEST HELL WITH RED HOT POKERS UP YOUR ****** FOR ETERNITY.

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So there you have it: Pastor Peter Grovell's recommendations for a life without sin. But remember to pray every single day to Jesus and under no circumstances confuse the wooden images of Jesus which the Catholics use with the real living invisible Jesus. If you fail to do what God wants, he will be left with no option but to condemn you to eternal Hellfire.

And a final point: God did not hand down to Moses any instructions about alcohol. Did He say, "Thou shalt not have a pint of beer!" NO! Did He say, "Thou shalt not have a bottle of wine!" NO! Did He even rule out a shot or two of gin, whisky, ***, brandy or any other alcoholic refreshments? NO He did not! He even transformed water into wine on several occasions, which shows he liked a glass or two down his local Jewish "pub". So there is no harm in drinking alcohol but only if it does not lead you to do ***-SIN, ******, ****, THEFT, BUGGERY, ***-COVETING or IDOL-WORSHIP!

Pastor Peter Grovell D.D., C.S.M.F.,
Founder, Ultra-Strict Reformed Church of Jesus.
Styles 12  Apr 2017
The Pastor
Styles 12 Apr 2017
They call me The Pastor
a ten year alcoholic who rose miraculously out of the bottle.

Who would have thought our  magnetically charged hearts
were tough as planets.

They call me The Pastor although my rough beginnings
  quickly kicked me out of God's House.

Or so I thought.

I roamed and bled ten thousand shades of darkness only to discover none of it was really mine.

How ironic.

They call me The Pastor, friends of mine, always seeking answers to tough riddles where they lay stretched out inbetween Wrong and Right.

They call me The Councillor for always listening to their problems.

Little did they know I was also trying to solve mine by seeing how they coped with theirs.

We are puzzle pieces to a mystery only we can solve by loving those fragmented parts of ourselves people closest to us threw away.

Do you realize how long it took for me to figure that out?

It feels like a thousand years.

They call me The Pastor even though I rarely quote from scripture.  

My church lives in the heart, in nature, in God's quiet whispers.

I do not claim any kind of righteous, fabulous glamour, nor do I take any money.

If you let people see your heart they will open up and listen.

They call me The Pastor
but I do not claim to be.

I only came by that name because after I roamed with Lions-

I was healed by Eternal Lamb.
preservationman Jul 2015
I must tell this story with all its glory
A blessing that I will say certainly
I gave the Pastor of my Church, a format of Poetry Praise
It certainly caught the Lord’s attention being my amaze
The Pastor wanted to sit down with me, and him and I would have a one on one discussion
However, I was not a member of the church
I said to myself now was not the time to participate, but later on I will relate
As the morning worship service went on
I as at the place where I belong
During the 7:30 AM morning service, we have the meet and greet
The Pastor regularly does come on my side, but on this particular Sunday morning, he shook hands with everyone on my side including yours truly
When the Pastor shook my hand, his face lit up as if he knew who I was and stated Oh Hi and a welcomed smile
I was thinking all during while
When the Pastor walked away, I whispered to the Lord and asked, “What did you tell the Pastor?’
This is where Poetry came into play
A young guest Minister came to preach at the 7:30 AM Service
He presented his sermon with Poetry combined
I guess the Lord was telling me I like the idea
But the Poetry idea will preserver
The message was clear, I illustrated the Poetry voice, and I am the Lord that will present
The Lord truly presented and inspired me through my own accord to the Pastor
This was definitely assurance that there was nothing wrong with my idea
Poetry being a new concept in praise
When Poetry Praise inspiration go up, and it is the Heavenly encouragement that comes down
Amen being the words in the praising sound.
jeffrey conyers Aug 2012
The face of a church has always been the pastor.
Before mega churches came along.
And everyone's wants to be a Bishop.

He stood at the door and greets you.
Simply made you felt like you were at home.
While the small choir or congregation.
Belted out a famous old hymn song.

Like, How Great Thou Art?
Or Amazing Grace.
Or maybe, the Old Rugged Cross.
There wasn't away you wasn't going to feel close to God.

The Pastor.
The main face of your church.
Who invited anyone and everyone to come to worship.

There wasn't no way you couldn't say.
He wasn't a man of God.
Because in all his sermons to the church.
He spoked highly about the love required of God.

In a society filled with racial hate.
He would nail the hammer down.
That God wouldn't accept you into his Kingdom.

And ,whether you have anything for offering or not.
He wouldn't push or shove you to give a lot.
He simply stated to you to give, what you got?

Cause, he always ways spoke truth.
That God answer's prayers according to their needs.

He wanted you to prosper.
But not to lose focus.

The Pastor.
The messenger of the Lord.
Teaching us the truest way to love.
Shannon Apr 2014
upon the elephant rode a boy prince,
his royal command, he was there to evince.
dark with grace and dripping with youth.
bringing his men, his crown and his couth.
town after town he strode fierce through the gates.
and any detractors were left to cruel fates.
and on one windy day, as they strode into town.
the faces where tenfold and a hush passed around
the grey of the creature with knowing black eyes
swayed left towards the crowd as if to capsize.
and the mass gasped in horror; bairns seized by their mam.
men flung at young ladies, babes pulled from the pram.
the bewildered and flustered
tired elephant sat.
in the center of all on the bald pastors hat.
the old pastor looked stunned to see such a disgrace.
until he remembered, and composed his face.
'your highness' he bowed. his manners restored.
but the poor prince was toppled his mighty seat floored.
they gasped for the prince, just really a child
dressed in fine silks on this elephant wild.
pastor said, 'here now' extending an arm
hand wrinkled and gnarled from the land that he farmed.
then the guards sprung to life as if sudden awake
guns point to the man of whose life they would take.
and just as they squinted their eye for the aim
a boy sang out sweetly, 'sire he's not to blame!'
and the prince from street where he lay in pool
held up his hand and recovered his rule.
he looked at the crowd and he said 'boy now speak'
the boy said, 'prince it is the prayers that you seek.
the prayers that you'd visit. the prayers that you'd stay.
lord must of heard them and granted this way.'
his eyes wide with truth and the love of his church
the prince laughed a beautiful belly filled lurch.
the carriage was called as the prince shared a feast.
and even some water was splashed on the beast.
such a good time as he danced and he spun
till the horses arrived in the dust of a run.
to thank the town and the lovely haired boy
the young prince gave up his own precious toy.
the beast stays quite put in the center of town...
but prayers said no more...so the prince won't fall down.

sahn
04/10/2014
*with love, for kales, jess & jt* (otherwise entitled "watch what you pray for, for you just might get it"
Don Bouchard Nov 2014
Sundays on the ranch are somethin',
Just after morning chores are done,
I head up to the house on a dead run,
I've called the herd and put the buckets out,
Fed the chickens, called the horse, "Old Son,"
Heard the rooster yammering at the rising sun;
Old dog is baying loud to add some fun....

Meanwhile, at the house,
The wife has rattled up the kids and lined em out,
When I come in, they clear the bathroom out,
So I can get a shave and morning shower,
And off we'll head to church in half an hour.

Or so we think....
It's then the neighbor calls to say our milk cow's swinging by,
Bell clanking off-step time to her butter-churning udder,
"She's headed north toward town!" he chortles mirth,
"Maybe she wants to hear old Pastor Perth!" I mutter.

All jokes aside, I hang the phone and grab my cap,
We pile in the truck to try and get her back....
We have a chance if we can turn her 'round above the hill....
Why is it Sundays sweet Dolly becomes such a pill?
A simple rule of nature I wish I could avoid,
Is if a plan is put in place, as sure as Lloyd,
Our Guernsey chooses then to go out on a spree,
And Pastor Perth in town prays extra hard for me.
So many times this happens on the farm.... Town folk can't quite understand the unexpected predictability of "we're ready to go...hold the phone!" lives farmers live. It's amazing we ever get anywhere on time.
The Mellon Jun 2016
Four days before tomorrow a boy was sitting at youth group
It was dark and he could see billions of stars

He heard the deep voice of his Pastor asking the kids to look up
He wanted them to realize that looking up is not just literal
By looking at the beauty of the cosmos they could also see God

The Pastor explained how we as humans don't look up enough; not to God

He said to the kids and the boy:
"You know, the world is a really heavy place.
Every day a new pressure is placed upon humanity.

This weight prevents us from looking up to God
It turns us away.

Others it pushes them to their knees,
They sit there and pray
And pray
And pray
But they can't get up"

The boy glanced up and saw that his Pastor had a guitar out

The Pastor asked his students to rise to their feet to praise.

He strummed some soothing cords and he praised God
They raised their voice to the heavens and sang to God together

The Pastor spoke in between his songs.
He asked his students
He asked them to raise their hands
He asked them to look to the sky and Praise
He asked them to sing each song as a prayer

When they were all sat down the Pastor asked them a question.
He asked:
"Why, did I have you raise your hands"

All of them were quite for a minute.

Then the boy said something.
He said:
"We raised our hands to hold up the sky.
We used our hands to hold up the pressure of the world, and we prayed to God for help."

The boy, empowered by the butterflies in his heard. She shivers in his skin. The clearness of his sight. He added:

If the whole world raised their hands for praise,
All the world's pressure could end

"We could raise our hands in church
In mosque's
In synagogue's
In our homes

Then nobody would have to fight
Nobody would have to starve
Nobody would have to shiver
Nobody would be alone"

Shacking the boy sat down

The silence that followed was absolute

The air was pressure free

The sky was clear

The stars were bright.
I

Out of the little chapel I burst
Into the fresh night-air again.
Five minutes full, I waited first
In the doorway, to escape the rain
That drove in gusts down the common’s centre
At the edge of which the chapel stands,
Before I plucked up heart to enter.
Heaven knows how many sorts of hands
Reached past me, groping for the latch
Of the inner door that hung on catch
More obstinate the more they fumbled,
Till, giving way at last with a scold
Of the crazy hinge, in squeezed or tumbled
One sheep more to the rest in fold,
And left me irresolute, standing sentry
In the sheepfold’s lath-and-plaster entry,
Six feet long by three feet wide,
Partitioned off from the vast inside—
I blocked up half of it at least.
No remedy; the rain kept driving.
They eyed me much as some wild beast,
That congregation, still arriving,
Some of them by the main road, white
A long way past me into the night,
Skirting the common, then diverging;
Not a few suddenly emerging
From the common’s self through the paling-gaps,
—They house in the gravel-pits perhaps,
Where the road stops short with its safeguard border
Of lamps, as tired of such disorder;—
But the most turned in yet more abruptly
From a certain squalid knot of alleys,
Where the town’s bad blood once slept corruptly,
Which now the little chapel rallies
And leads into day again,—its priestliness
Lending itself to hide their beastliness
So cleverly (thanks in part to the mason),
And putting so cheery a whitewashed face on
Those neophytes too much in lack of it,
That, where you cross the common as I did,
And meet the party thus presided,
“Mount Zion” with Love-lane at the back of it,
They front you as little disconcerted
As, bound for the hills, her fate averted,
And her wicked people made to mind him,
Lot might have marched with Gomorrah behind him.

II

Well, from the road, the lanes or the common,
In came the flock: the fat weary woman,
Panting and bewildered, down-clapping
Her umbrella with a mighty report,
Grounded it by me, wry and flapping,
A wreck of whalebones; then, with a snort,
Like a startled horse, at the interloper
(Who humbly knew himself improper,
But could not shrink up small enough)
—Round to the door, and in,—the gruff
Hinge’s invariable scold
Making my very blood run cold.
Prompt in the wake of her, up-pattered
On broken clogs, the many-tattered
Little old-faced peaking sister-turned-mother
Of the sickly babe she tried to smother
Somehow up, with its spotted face,
From the cold, on her breast, the one warm place;
She too must stop, wring the poor ends dry
Of a draggled shawl, and add thereby
Her tribute to the door-mat, sopping
Already from my own clothes’ dropping,
Which yet she seemed to grudge I should stand on:
Then, stooping down to take off her pattens,
She bore them defiantly, in each hand one,
Planted together before her breast
And its babe, as good as a lance in rest.
Close on her heels, the dingy satins
Of a female something past me flitted,
With lips as much too white, as a streak
Lay far too red on each hollow cheek;
And it seemed the very door-hinge pitied
All that was left of a woman once,
Holding at least its tongue for the *****.
Then a tall yellow man, like the Penitent Thief,
With his jaw bound up in a handkerchief,
And eyelids ******* together tight,
Led himself in by some inner light.
And, except from him, from each that entered,
I got the same interrogation—
“What, you the alien, you have ventured
To take with us, the elect, your station?
A carer for none of it, a Gallio!”—
Thus, plain as print, I read the glance
At a common prey, in each countenance
As of huntsman giving his hounds the tallyho.
And, when the door’s cry drowned their wonder,
The draught, it always sent in shutting,
Made the flame of the single tallow candle
In the cracked square lantern I stood under,
Shoot its blue lip at me, rebutting
As it were, the luckless cause of scandal:
I verily fancied the zealous light
(In the chapel’s secret, too!) for spite
Would shudder itself clean off the wick,
With the airs of a Saint John’s Candlestick.
There was no standing it much longer.
“Good folks,” thought I, as resolve grew stronger,
“This way you perform the Grand-Inquisitor
When the weather sends you a chance visitor?
You are the men, and wisdom shall die with you,
And none of the old Seven Churches vie with you!
But still, despite the pretty perfection
To which you carry your trick of exclusiveness,
And, taking God’s word under wise protection,
Correct its tendency to diffusiveness,
And bid one reach it over hot ploughshares,—
Still, as I say, though you’ve found salvation,
If I should choose to cry, as now, ‘Shares!’—
See if the best of you bars me my ration!
I prefer, if you please, for my expounder
Of the laws of the feast, the feast’s own Founder;
Mine’s the same right with your poorest and sickliest,
Supposing I don the marriage vestiment:
So, shut your mouth and open your Testament,
And carve me my portion at your quickliest!”
Accordingly, as a shoemaker’s lad
With wizened face in want of soap,
And wet apron wound round his waist like a rope,
(After stopping outside, for his cough was bad,
To get the fit over, poor gentle creature
And so avoid distrubing the preacher)
—Passed in, I sent my elbow spikewise
At the shutting door, and entered likewise,
Received the hinge’s accustomed greeting,
And crossed the threshold’s magic pentacle,
And found myself in full conventicle,
—To wit, in Zion Chapel Meeting,
On the Christmas-Eve of ‘Forty-nine,
Which, calling its flock to their special clover,
Found all assembled and one sheep over,
Whose lot, as the weather pleased, was mine.

III

I very soon had enough of it.
The hot smell and the human noises,
And my neighbor’s coat, the greasy cuff of it,
Were a pebble-stone that a child’s hand poises,
Compared with the pig-of-lead-like pressure
Of the preaching man’s immense stupidity,
As he poured his doctrine forth, full measure,
To meet his audience’s avidity.
You needed not the wit of the Sibyl
To guess the cause of it all, in a twinkling:
No sooner our friend had got an inkling
Of treasure hid in the Holy Bible,
(Whene’er ‘t was the thought first struck him,
How death, at unawares, might duck him
Deeper than the grave, and quench
The gin-shop’s light in hell’s grim drench)
Than he handled it so, in fine irreverence,
As to hug the book of books to pieces:
And, a patchwork of chapters and texts in severance,
Not improved by the private dog’s-ears and creases,
Having clothed his own soul with, he’d fain see equipt yours,—
So tossed you again your Holy Scriptures.
And you picked them up, in a sense, no doubt:
Nay, had but a single face of my neighbors
Appeared to suspect that the preacher’s labors
Were help which the world could be saved without,
‘T is odds but I might have borne in quiet
A qualm or two at my spiritual diet,
Or (who can tell?) perchance even mustered
Somewhat to urge in behalf of the sermon:
But the flock sat on, divinely flustered,
Sniffing, methought, its dew of Hermon
With such content in every snuffle,
As the devil inside us loves to ruffle.
My old fat woman purred with pleasure,
And thumb round thumb went twirling faster,
While she, to his periods keeping measure,
Maternally devoured the pastor.
The man with the handkerchief untied it,
Showed us a horrible wen inside it,
Gave his eyelids yet another *******,
And rocked himself as the woman was doing.
The shoemaker’s lad, discreetly choking,
Kept down his cough. ‘T was too provoking!
My gorge rose at the nonsense and stuff of it;
So, saying like Eve when she plucked the apple,
“I wanted a taste, and now there’s enough of it,”
I flung out of the little chapel.

IV

There was a lull in the rain, a lull
In the wind too; the moon was risen,
And would have shone out pure and full,
But for the ramparted cloud-prison,
Block on block built up in the West,
For what purpose the wind knows best,
Who changes his mind continually.
And the empty other half of the sky
Seemed in its silence as if it knew
What, any moment, might look through
A chance gap in that fortress massy:—
Through its fissures you got hints
Of the flying moon, by the shifting tints,
Now, a dull lion-color, now, brassy
Burning to yellow, and whitest yellow,
Like furnace-smoke just ere flames bellow,
All a-simmer with intense strain
To let her through,—then blank again,
At the hope of her appearance failing.
Just by the chapel a break in the railing
Shows a narrow path directly across;
‘T is ever dry walking there, on the moss—
Besides, you go gently all the way up-hill.
I stooped under and soon felt better;
My head grew lighter, my limbs more supple,
As I walked on, glad to have slipt the fetter.
My mind was full of the scene I had left,
That placid flock, that pastor vociferant,
—How this outside was pure and different!
The sermon, now—what a mingled weft
Of good and ill! Were either less,
Its fellow had colored the whole distinctly;
But alas for the excellent earnestness,
And the truths, quite true if stated succinctly,
But as surely false, in their quaint presentment,
However to pastor and flock’s contentment!
Say rather, such truths looked false to your eyes,
With his provings and parallels twisted and twined,
Till how could you know them, grown double their size
In the natural fog of the good man’s mind,
Like yonder spots of our roadside lamps,
Haloed about with the common’s damps?
Truth remains true, the fault’s in the prover;
The zeal was good, and the aspiration;
And yet, and yet, yet, fifty times over,
Pharaoh received no demonstration,
By his Baker’s dream of Baskets Three,
Of the doctrine of the Trinity,—
Although, as our preacher thus embellished it,
Apparently his hearers relished it
With so unfeigned a gust—who knows if
They did not prefer our friend to Joseph?
But so it is everywhere, one way with all of them!
These people have really felt, no doubt,
A something, the motion they style the Call of them;
And this is their method of bringing about,
By a mechanism of words and tones,
(So many texts in so many groans)
A sort of reviving and reproducing,
More or less perfectly, (who can tell?)
The mood itself, which strengthens by using;
And how that happens, I understand well.
A tune was born in my head last week,
Out of the thump-thump and shriek-shriek
Of the train, as I came by it, up from Manchester;
And when, next week, I take it back again,
My head will sing to the engine’s clack again,
While it only makes my neighbor’s haunches stir,
—Finding no dormant musical sprout
In him, as in me, to be jolted out.
‘T is the taught already that profits by teaching;
He gets no more from the railway’s preaching
Than, from this preacher who does the rail’s officer, I:
Whom therefore the flock cast a jealous eye on.
Still, why paint over their door “Mount Zion,”
To which all flesh shall come, saith the pro phecy?

V

But wherefore be harsh on a single case?
After how many modes, this Christmas-Eve,
Does the self-same weary thing take place?
The same endeavor to make you believe,
And with much the same effect, no more:
Each method abundantly convincing,
As I say, to those convinced before,
But scarce to be swallowed without wincing
By the not-as-yet-convinced. For me,
I have my own church equally:
And in this church my faith sprang first!
(I said, as I reached the rising ground,
And the wind began again, with a burst
Of rain in my face, and a glad rebound
From the heart beneath, as if, God speeding me,
I entered his church-door, nature leading me)
—In youth I looked to these very skies,
And probing their immensities,
I found God there, his visible power;
Yet felt in my heart, amid all its sense
Of the power, an equal evidence
That his love, there too, was the nobler dower.
For the loving worm within its clod
Were diviner than a loveless god
Amid his worlds, I will dare to say.
You know what I mean: God’s all man’s naught:
But also, God, whose pleasure brought
Man into being, stands away
As it were a handbreadth off, to give
Room for the newly-made to live,
And look at him from a place apart,
And use his gifts of brain and heart,
Given, indeed, but to keep forever.
Who speaks of man, then, must not sever
Man’s very elements from man,
Saying, “But all is God’s”—whose plan
Was to create man and then leave him
Able, his own word saith, to grieve him,
But able to glorify him too,
As a mere machine could never do,
That prayed or praised, all unaware
Of its fitness for aught but praise and prayer,
Made perfect as a thing of course.
Man, therefore, stands on his own stock
Of love and power as a pin-point rock:
And, looking to God who ordained divorce
Of the rock from his boundless continent,
Sees, in his power made evident,
Only excess by a million-fold
O’er the power God gave man in the mould.
For, note: man’s hand, first formed to carry
A few pounds’ weight, when taught to marry
Its strength with an engine’s, lifts a mountain,
—Advancing in power by one degree;
And why count steps through eternity?
But love is the ever-springing fountain:
Man may enlarge or narrow his bed
For the water’s play, but the water-head—
How can he multiply or reduce it?
As easy create it, as cause it to cease;
He may profit by it, or abuse it,
But ‘t is not a thing to bear increase
As power does: be love less or more
In the heart of man, he keeps it shut
Or opes it wide, as he pleases, but
Love’s sum remains what it was before.
So, gazing up, in my youth, at love
As seen through power, ever above
All modes which make it manifest,
My soul brought all to a single test—
That he, the Eternal First and Last,
Who, in his power, had so surpassed
All man conceives of what is might,—
Whose wisdom, too, showed infinite,
—Would prove as infinitely good;
Would never, (my soul understood,)
With power to work all love desires,
Bestow e’en less than man requires;
That he who endlessly was teaching,
Above my spirit’s utmost reaching,
What love can do in the leaf or stone,
(So that to master this alone,
This done in the stone or leaf for me,
I must go on learning endlessly)
Would never need that I, in turn,
Should point him out defect unheeded,
And show that God had yet to learn
What the meanest human creature needed,
—Not life, to wit, for a few short years,
Tracking his way through doubts and fears,
While the stupid earth on which I stay
Suffers no change, but passive adds
Its myriad years to myriads,
Though I, he gave it to, decay,
Seeing death come and choose about me,
And my dearest ones depart without me.
No: love which, on earth, amid all the shows of it,
Has ever been seen the sole good of life in it,
The love, ever growing there, spite of the strife in it,
Shall arise, made perfect, from death’s repose of it.
And I shall behold thee, face to face,
O God, and in thy light retrace
How in all I loved here, still wast thou!
Whom pressing to, then, as I fain would now,
I shall find as able to satiate
The love, thy gift, as my spirit’s wonder
Thou art able to quicken and sublimate,
With this sky of thine, that I now walk under
And glory in thee for, as I gaze
Thus, thus! Oh, let men keep their ways
Of seeking thee in a narrow shrine—
Be this my way! And this is mine!

VI

For lo, what think you? suddenly
The rain and the wind ceased, and the sky
Received at once the full fruition
Of the moon’s consummate apparition.
The black cloud-barricade was riven,
Ruined beneath her feet, and driven
Deep in the West; while, bare and breathless,
North and South and East lay ready
For a glorious thing that, dauntless, deathless,
Sprang across them and stood steady.
‘T was a moon-rainbow, vast and perfect,
From heaven to heaven extending, perfect
As the mother-moon’s self, full in face.
It rose, distinctly at the base
With its seven proper colors chorded,
Which still, in the rising, were compressed,
Until at last they coalesced,
And supreme the spectral creature lorded
In a triumph of whitest white,—
Above which intervened the night.
But above night too, like only the next,
The second of a wondrous sequence,
Reaching in rare and rarer frequence,
Till the heaven of heavens were circumflexed
Another rainbow rose, a mightier,
Fainter, flushier and flightier,—
Rapture dying along its verge.
Oh, whose foot shall I see emerge,
Whose, from the straining topmost dark,
On to the keystone of that are?

VII

This sight was shown me, there and then,—
Me, one out of a world of men,
Singled forth, as the chance might hap
To another if, in a thu
Universal Thrum Jul 2018
I'm leaving Carly's place after an all day ****** that had me convinced that paradise lay in the legs of Nate's sister wearing a unicorn onesie, and as they put on Sgt. Peppers and lay there the ****** freudian passion play overcame my capacity for archetype observation and I proceeded to walk around the room thanking everybody in that space and time for the gift of starting the **** with Nate's sister, the beat changed and they turned on me and said I needed to give her space, they all became timeless aliens traveling through time to **** and I was one of them coming online in a loop, and as long as I stayed awake I would remember and not be *****. I sat cross legged holding my friend sams hands, looking into his eyes, saying aloud we're creating the universe constructing all as the three smartest people of all time, forever throughout we died but never died, as long as we could stay awake, they all wore red and I couldn't trust any of them, I fired off mad questions and demanded to know the secrets of the universe and why woman wasn't the answer, I called up to nate to bring her down to me, and generally became a raving lunatic
      after some time of sam being soulmate and accepting him forever as my lover self same image, and also calling him ugly as im ugly, then channeling Brittany through him and countless other regressive exercises, we started inhaling nitrous gas, and the world became one stretched out moment
       and I kept calling out before, all the way up, as it were the secret spell with a handshake to fool the devil
         I thought Nate a mad spirit habituating this plane as a long gone failed hero plagued by the madness of wanting to **** his sister and forced to watch all his friends be aware of their own lust, so that pushed him into clowning, which he is an expert, that primal lust took me up and id taken a holy mandate to **** this beautiful creature and ascend to paradise,
when they slipped her upstairs they left her rainbow onesie, i felt heaven become another step remote and my faith tested, I resolved to be the last awake and never die, I walked up to the attic, and saw the light beaming from the window


            Sam dropped me off at the press grill so I could eat some grub,
then I met up with Tyler for a drink somewhere while he told me his story of meeting a guy in a skyline chilis bathroom drunk at 3 am, he said the guy was standing at the ****** but wasn't *******. Ty asked him if he was done and the guy put Ty in a chokehold with his pants down, according to Ty the cops came in and he was putting clean shots into the guys mug, he is contemplating leaving town before they can indict him for felonious assault, I told him Canadas nice but Venezuela doesn't have an extradition treaty, come to think of it neither does Cuba, but Ty is too proud for that probably
   anyways we meet Carly being a dancing beauty in a high falootin joint with string lights called Julep, the only reason to mention it is because as we were leaving a guy was bent over the rail vomiting and looking wretched he noticed us watching him as we smoked our cigarettes off to the side and immediately decided that he wasn't some kind of side show freak to be gawked at, he became threatening in the most base and pathetic way a human can, and his bride came to tell us to ******* with her father, father of the bride shaking my hand, we eventually left that scene and walked to Oddfellows where I saw Sam Cohan and he bought me a beer, good chap, we talked until I stepped toward Carly, Tyler and a fine looking strange *****
I touched Carly and received an awkward unmemorable introduction to the strange *****. She walked away but lurked and locked eyes with me as the evening rolled on
later Carly told me that the girl demanded to meet the guy who looks like Heath Ledger, a sure fire ****, so Carly is grinding on my **** and my backs to the bar and Tyler already got me a beer, and there I was, a pirate king
I took Carly out after the lights came on, and was going to give Tyler the run of my place, he disappeared into the night and I showed Carly my favorite smelling tree, still in bloom late July, we almost ****** on my car, until I went back to her place and we ****** until $430, rising at noon, I left telling her we had an hour to get ready to journey to Findlay for Jim's wedding
I showered and brushed my teeth and collected my suit and put it on without a tie
I picked up Carly and set out upon the road, but made a quick stop for a bite
two deaf guys ordered in front of me and the kid working the register said my glasses were cool, along the way I was telling Carly the story of how I wore make up for the first time to a middle school dance, and she said she had to *****, I didn't believe her at first until she tried to stick her head out the window half way rolled down, I managed to get it down all the way and wet streaks of human gut waste caught the wind and splattered my window
we pulled over and I went to get her some napkins to clean herself off as I squeeged the car, she tried to wipe the window with the napkins, sweet girl. The wedding started at 3:30 and we didn't have more than five minutes to spare, she found her vape pen 20 minute out as Heather started to send me worried messages, as I was set to read a passage, little did I know that I was leading off the whole affair, I arrived and was quickly rushed to meet the mothers and have a boutonnière pinned to my lapel , the women all looked stunning and I congratulated each in turn as they shoved a program in my hand, Tiffany took me through the drill, we walked up to the stage and took our places on the bench, looking out at the beautiful shining faces,


I was the only one not wearing a tie, but thats not important, I saw Jim and embraced him with all the love I could muster, he looked at me and said that he knew I would make it, that he knew that he just had to trust the flow, and I would appear in the nick of time, the pastor threw his hands in the air and welcomed the families, the mothers lit candles, and then Tiffany looked at me and said that it was my turn, I stepped up to the Beema and gazed out over the crowd, trying to summon something clever, nothing good came to mind and so I opened my mouth and said, "a reading from Genesis" and then put every fiber of my being into reminding the room that it is Gods will that we be fruitful and multiply. I'm told I slammed my hands down for emphasis and let out a hearty amen, a man's man's amen, and turned and took one giant step off the podium with two baby stairs, I gracefully flowed into the bench having averted a complete embarrassment, and then tactfully left the stage with Tiffany after her read.   Jim looked at me after mine with a nod, and I said the word strong, that read cemented my status as a star of the party, and the mojo flowed, I was called the cash guy by the hotel, for checking in as Atlantis Grosshammer, $200 depost, we drank and danced and an old lady came to me to say that I have a beautiful soul
I thanked Jim's father for helping to create my friend, and danced around bottles
the cake was good
I told Carly I always catch the brides garter, at every wedding I've ever been. I saw Jim's men assemble for his toss, I let the men come and put myself in the mix, Jim turned his back and had a misfire,
the temptation to collect it passed all of us by thankfully, and he was set to fire again, it came to me and I snatched it out of the air, cold as ice I walked off the floor only with eyes for Carly not even saying a word to Jim, I put that thing on my head and went back to Jim threw him on my shoulders and swung him around like we were in a broadway musical
two kids playing in the street,
he said its the best moment, and so it goes
John Stevens Jul 2010
He was a young lad and in the fourth grade
Struggling hard for the grades he made.
Everything he tried seemed to vanish in the air
For he could not read and there was no one to care.

The teacher made fun of the young boy’s plight
No compassion, understanding, was ever in sight.
The days were filled with doubt and fear
He was told to repeat grade four next year.

Starting the fourth the second time around
A new school, a new teacher, made his heart pound.
For the world to see, on the card it came
The very first day he had to spell his name.

J - E - E - R - Y came out of the pen
The letters did appear to be correct just then.
The teacher bent close and whispered in his ear
“One E and two R’s, I think you meant dear.”

He fell in love with the teacher that day
She knew his heart and just what to say.
She knew the pain that the young boy felt
And all the embarrassment the past year dealt.

Miss Hagness, the angel, had come to his aid
He sensed her love and was no longer afraid.
Like the gentle Shepherd, reaching down from above
She taught him to read by her affection and love.

He went on to college to prepare for a life
Giving to help others with trouble and strife.
Pastor Jerry’s the Shepherd of many a heart
With love and compassion from the fourth grade did start.



===============================================
Teacher­ Part II
The story told in verse is about my pastor. It is about the struggles of a lad who was ridiculed in school because of a reading disorder called dyslexia. It is about how the system would have let him sink into oblivion but for the personal interest of a young teacher who came into his life the second time he went through the fourth grade. A teacher who had compassion in her heart for the boy and helped him discover the talents that lay hidden deeply within him. The talents that allowed God to develop within him, developed a compassion for others and a giving of himself first as a youth pastor for many years and then for the first time as a senior pastor.

It is also a story of how indifference toward others can lead to destruction of a young mind to the point of total loss of self worth. It is about the deep wounds that can be inflected by the harsh words we speak. Such words can never be retrieved from the abyss of time. How many times do we fail to see or ignore what we see because it does not conveniently fit into our schedule and in the process, contribute in the destruction of a life?

If we are teachers, mentors, leaders, or just breathing, we can share the pain of others to ease their burdens and encourage them in the difficult times. As we share the pain of others, we gain the right to share the joy in their triumphs and successes.

The story came from a message delivered on Sunday morning May 1, 1999. The poem wrote itself from the words spoken in that message. Can we do anything less than what the young teacher did for the boy? As God leads us, let us listen to the still small voice. The voice may be the voice of a child pleading for help, the voice of our Father directing each of us in the path we must travel. Be ever aware of the opportunities that God lays in our path. Maybe just doing only what is required and not seeing beyond ourselves we miss seeing the potential of a young mind. Could this be the greatest disservice we could do to our Father?

Oh God, give me the wisdom to see the promise and potential in others and be led by Your hand in molding the young mind.

It is written, “Though you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me.”
© May 1, 1999
John L. Stevens

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