DH and I have embarked on a "project" that everyone should do who is a regular church goer to one church only. We have decided to "see" what everyone else is doing in their churches. So, off we go.
The first Sunday, which was about 2 months ago, we went to a local church called The Bread of Life. From the moment we got inside before service started to the time we walked out the door after service....was a total of 55 minutes! Couldn't believe it. We're used to starting Sunday School at 9:30 and stopping at 10:15 and then service starting at 10:30 and going til noon.
The hymnal they used was called "Heaven's Highway Hymnal" or something very similar. In essence, it was twangy country music hymns. I knew one of them would be "I'll Fly Away", which I personally like, but not that twangy. And, lo and behold, we sang it that morning. DH and I grinned and bore it!
The message the pastor delivered was short and to the point. I don't remember what point, but it was short. He didn't seem like he had the "calling" to be a pastor, but who are we to judge. He looked like someone who was at a church board meeting and lost the vote on who would be pastor. Ah well.
After that we tried an Assembly of God in that little town. We liked it alot. We liked it so much that we accidently went two weeks in a row. Do you have any idea what happens when you attend a new church two weeks in a row? They tried to give us the "permanent" Sunday School book and the Pastor wanted us to come to his house for ice cream and talk. Yikes!
Last Sunday, we went to the Baptist church in that small neighboring town. The Pastor that spoke had been their Pastor from 1962-1967. He was there for a visit and so preached. The message was all about "holding fast" to faith, to Jesus, to what we've been taught and to not let false teachers lead us astray.
He told this amazing story of the Snapping Turtle. Growing up as a young boy, his father used to catch snapping turtles and sell their shells. These turtles were huge. As large as a washtub. So, the Pastor explained that one day when he was small, his father "drug" home a huge snapping turtle and rolled it on it's back (to prevent escape). His father would then hold out a large pair of pliers so that the turtle would latch onto it with it's mouth. As the turtle was "holding fast" to the pliers, his father would stretch it's neck out really far and then "whack", cut off it's head! I've got to tell you, EVERYONE in that congregation looked at each other and grimmaced. It was gross! And then the Pastor continued as if it was nothing. He said that after that his father would hold up the pliers and the turtle's head was still attached to it! Picture it! The Pastor said that "we all need to hold fast like that turtle to the pliers". Then he continued to say that his father would then take a hammer and hit the turtle's head until he crushed the head enough to get the jaws off the pliers.
I kid you not.
We were all so grossed out by then.....
On the way home, I asked DH what he thought of the service. He replied, "I could have gone an entire lifetime without hearing the Snapping Turtle story".
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