Ananias and Who?
When Virginia and I married in 1955, we began to go to Union Springs several months later and I became one of the preachers for the congregation in that city. We had a training class for the young boys and girls. The boys would lead songs and also make short talks. One young fellow was talking about Ananias and Sapphira lying about how much they had given to the apostles to help those in need (Acts 5). Before I can complete the ending of this short story, I must tell you about a radio program called 'Amos and Andy' that began in 1920 and continued into the 1950's. Then during the years, 1951-1953, 'Amos and Andy' became a television series and was a very popular program among the viewers. One of the main characters was a lady named 'Sapphire Stevens'. Well, when this young lad mentioned the two characters named in the Bible story, he referred to them as 'Ananias and Sapphire'. Of course that brought a smile to our faces and we had to correct him on the name. Steve Hickman, of the Prattville congregation, was a member of that class in 1956 and he tells me he knows who that boy was! We enjoyed a good laugh together as we think of those early years when he was a teenager and I was a young preacher.
A Real Snakey Visual Aid
During the 1950's it was customary to conduct gospel meetings under a tent, thus we had 'tent meetings'. Sometimes my memory does not serve me well but I think Brother E. R. Brannan was the preacher during this particular 'tent meeting' in the Union Springs, Alabama area, one week during the summertime. As I recall, he was speaking on sin and how Eve was tempted by the "serpent" to eat of the forbidden fruit from the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil". About that time a real snake came crawling across the grass between him and the front row of seats. What happened then was pure excitement and sure enough someone did more than bruise the head of that slippery snake! I don't believe that Brother Brannan had planned to use a live visual aid but it did keep everybody's attention during the rest of his sermon!
Why Another Blog?
Over the years I have had various experiences in working with people. Some humorous and some not so humorous. If you know me personally, you know I enjoy a good, clean joke. In fact, some will say that it 'sounds like a Raymond joke' when they hear a particular kind.
True humor to me, is that which happens unplanned and unrehearsed. I believe that has contributed to my sanity over the 56+ years of preaching and working with the brethren. To try and have a positive attitude in life, to retain the pleasant and good memories of years past helps one physically, emotionally, and mentally. We read in Proverbs 15:13, "A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken". Again in 17:22, "A merry heart does good, like medicine. But a broken spirit dries the bones".
I do "love life" (1 Peter 3:10). God is truly my "refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 45:1). I enjoy an "abundant life" because of Jesus Christ, who gave His life for me (John 10:10). I hope you find the following remembrances enjoyable and entertaining.