Church Discipline #2

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by agedman, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. agedman

    agedman
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    Red was tired. He had suffered two heart attacks in the last five years, and was obliged to work long hours to make up for the lack of vigor he once could wield. More than thirty years earlier, as a strong vibrant youth, he held down multiple jobs and lived as if he were immune to the pay packet of excess being accumulated. Time had allowed the great storehouse of wages for selfish indulgence to be paid. And now, as he sat in his favorite chair on that Sunday morning, he was weary – oh, so very weary.

    He had been gloriously saved for almost twenty years. As he listed to the TV gospel quartets, while waiting for the rest of the family to finish getting ready, his mind wandered back to the fake thrills that dissolved into regrets over the wasted years. He contemplated on the present and sighed with hope that he could have enough strength to provide for the family and live to see the children grown. A great yawn betrayed his fatigue and desire to set aside the flesh in final rest.

    Blood thinning and pressure medication were the only tools available in his day. The damage to his heart was an everyday struggle. At work there were times he would stop and sit down waiting until the pain that radiated across his chest, through the shoulder blade, up the neck, and down the arm would gradually ease. He knew that someday the pain would not stop. The unsteady beat of the heart was as a great large clock, slightly out of level, and each tick followed by a longer pause to tock. The occasional gong was a physical reminder that he had one life to give to his family and savior. Often one could see his lips pale and a tear seek to overflow the eye as he breathed and kept working by sheer will.

    The family was ready. With a great yawn, he gathered his spirits away from the melancholy, stood, walked to the TV, turned it off, and followed the family out the door to the car. He hummed the gospel tune of the quartet. On the way to church, the children were busy with their imaginations in the back seat, and only mom noticed that dad looked more tired than usual. She could always see right through his façade, and that morning was no different. She reached over and gently squeezed his arm. With a smile, she started in on a conversation to capture his mind to more pleasant thoughts.

    Red found Sunday school a time when he could enjoy the company of good fellowship and a cup of coffee. In the relaxed atmosphere of sharing, it was not a chore to stay awake. He could occasionally take a sip, and join certain men of the group who would occasionally move to the back to stretch their legs and get a refill. The teacher didn’t mind what might be a distraction, but made sure everyone continued to be included in discussion of the lesson. Sunday school was the easy part. It was the preaching service which had to be conquered each Sunday morning, and usually Red would go down in defeat as his head would dip down in slumber.

    The song service was his favorite. His strong tenor voice would seemingly rise from the depth of gratitude to the Savior. Holding the songbook out for his wife to follow, he might stumble over a word or three, but the enthusiasm and earnest commitment were evident. He loved songs of the faith, especially those of hope and heaven. The offering and special music were followed by the preaching.

    The preacher made it through the plagues of Egypt as Red battled and bobbed his head as if in agreement with the preaching but really in spurts of awakened startles. The occasional elbow, from his wife into his ribs, brought sporadic reinforcement to stay awake. But the battle was lost, and soon he dipped in slumber.

    The preacher would preach.

    The invitation song sung.

    The preacher would call on someone to pray, and somewhere along the way he would awake.

    That was his custom.

    The preacher preached on.

    Red was suddenly jolted awake with the preacher's words, “Red, please…”

    Preacher had called on him to pray!

    Red jumped to his feet keeping his eyes closed and head bowed.

    Reaching through the fog of his awakening and ignoring the pull on his sleeve, he spoke in a loud voice so all could hear.

    “Oh Lord, we want to thank you for the message from the pastor. We would that the example you have given in the Scriptures be applied to our hearts throughout this week. Thank you for every blessing you have in store and we look forward to fellowship together this evening. Amen.”

    Red lifted his eyes.

    No one was standing.

    All eyes were on him.

    Red sat down.

    The preacher thanked Red for his prayer and continued talking about the Red Sea.
     
  2. agedman

    agedman
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    All that read the story of Red, thank you.

    It is hoped that you found it brought a smile to your heart.

    The plan is to post one more under the title "church discipline."

    If you have suggestions, comments, or even anecdotes that you would like to contribute, it would be delightful to read them.

    Perhaps you have a story, that you would be willing to share but don't want to "put it together" without some assistance. Send it to me by email, and we will work on it together.

    Again, thank you for the read.
     

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