Sunday, February 27, 2011

It was a real Pat and Dorothy Day...

A couple of Sundays ago, the good folks of The Father’s House had an appreciation day for my parents, for their service “on the hill” since 1982.    It was a complete surprise for them.   Right up until the moment it all started coming together, they didn’t suspect a thing.   It was truly a special morning for them, and for us, and all of their church family, too.     With the exception of a grandson and his family who couldn’t make it, all of Mom and Dad’s immediate family were there, along with Dad’s two sisters and their husbands, and a nephew.   

Before church started, Dad and Mom were in the fellowship hall, where Dad teaches Sunday School, and didn’t know that we were there…all 29 of us.    As they came out of the front room and into the sanctuary, it took Mom a few minutes to notice us, but it didn’t take Dad long at all!    At the front and off to the side, two easy chairs were placed for them.   Mom got tickled (and when mom gets tickled, she really gets tickled) when it all started to sink in what was happening.   And of course, there were some tears, lots of smiles, and an over-abundance of love.   

My sister, Gina, put together a wonderful slideshow, which was about 10 minutes long.   On the slideshow below, I only took a sampling of the pictures.    Both Gina and my other sister, Cindy, got up to share a few thoughts, and my daughter, LesLee, read each of them a heartfelt letter she’d written.    I held it together (for the most part) but I did shed a few tears when Les read the letters.  Miss Nancy sang Dad's favorite song, "Beulah Land."   Gina’s husband, Steve, put music to a poem I had written, which made a nice song written just for them.    A portion of that song, sung by Steve, is on the following video:



The sermon was on faithfulness, and how there is such a lack of spiritual mothers and fathers in the church today.   It was a beautiful and heartfelt message, a job well done by Pastor Jerry.   Afterwards, he presented Dad and Mom with a very pretty plaque, and we then had dinner on the grounds.   It was a beautiful day of love and appreciation.

My parents have seen a lot of changes over the years since they started going to that church.    Pastors have come and gone, and many faces have come in and out, as well, but my parents have remained there, doing what they do…whatever needs to be done.   The current pastor, Bro. Jerry, and his sweet wife, Donna, have been there for nearly 9 years. 

Church and God have always been a big part of my life, even when I didn’t live my life in any obedience to Christ.   It was many, many years ago that my mom started going to church on another hill on Tuscaloosa Street.   At that time, I was merely weeks old, and her fifth child.   A few years later, Dad started going with her.     We went to that church until they closed the doors and joined another church in 1979.    The pastor of that little church on Tuscaloosa Street, GT, and his wife, Diane, still remain close family friends, even though they moved away so many years ago.   Their daughter, Tammera, (who will always be “Tammy” to me) is still one of my best friends in the whole world.  

Lyrics to Because You Believed:

Verse One
Life can be tough for a young one learning life’s ways
I made wrong turns and got off track
It’s a crazy mixed up place when you don’t have an Anchor,
But when my world came crashing down,
I always knew you had my back.

Chorus
Because you believed, you taught me about Him
So when I fell down, I landed on my knees
I knew how to pray, and Who to call
I knew Jesus when His spirit hovered near
Now I know Him, because you believed

Verse Two
Growing up, it wasn’t always hard.
Looking back, I wouldn’t change how you raised me
Thanks for the hours you spent praying
Thank you for showing me the Light,
When I was too blind to see

Bridge
Through my bad choices, hard times and years of drought
I never forgot where my Help came from…
You taught me well for when I’d fail I still believed
And Mama, I still believe

Verse Three
It can still be tough walking through life’s valleys
I am weak but He is strong
You’ve stood by me, prayed for me, and reminded me
That when I walk the lonely roads,
With Him, I will never walk alone

Chorus
Because you believed, I knew about Him
When troubles came, I got down on my knees
I knew how to pray, and Who to call
I knew my Jesus when His spirit hovered near
Now I know Him, because you believed

7 comments:

  1. Looks like it was an awesone celebration of your parents. What a surprise!

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  2. What a great post! Love your Mom and Dad!

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  3. Clicking the "Like" button,......two thumbs up.

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  4. you did wonderfully condensing this to yet another great tribute to mom and dad!!

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  5. Loved this. Thanks for sharing the slide show and the song. :D Such good roots--no wonder your faith has grown so strong.

    Deb

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  6. I really enjoyed the tribute to your parents' video!! How neat that all could keep it a surprise for so long as plans were being made. But what is neat for whatever reason, your mom so many years ago decided to go up a hill and walk into that first church; wonderful testimony to the faithfulness of God over so many years!! truly a blessing indeed!

    betty

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  7. This is just wonderful, made me tear up! I lurve when people can be acknowledged and thanked while they are still LIVING too! I lurve the younger photo's of them too!

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