Sunday, November 20, 2011

Little is Much, if God is in it.

Come and walk with me up this old road. There's a place up here I want you to see.

See that church up yonder on the hill? It was once filled with life and joy and the love of God. It was filled with people who loved Jesus, and who wanted to share His love.  We loved and cared for one another, too.  I know this place because I was a part of it.

I admit I didn't appreciate it the way I should have. I thought it would always be there. 

I was so wrong.

You've probably guessed by now that services are no longer held here.
It doesn't exist any more, you see.  The windows and doors are boarded with plywood.  There are locks on all the doors.  It is decaying on the outside.

I can only imagine what the inside looks like.  But I can close my eyes and I see warmth, happiness, and the faces of people I care about...some have gone on to Glory....some, like myself, were led by God to another church....some are still searching.....some, I fear, gave up....

It only lives in the memories of those who still love this place.

A spur of the great and ancient Appalachian mountains rise behind the little church. From this mountain spur the little church received its name.

Mountain View Baptist Church

It was a simple building, never much to look at.

But it didn't matter. It was the people that made it beautiful. 

Blanche, the greatest alto of all    Lenore, with the sweetest of spirits 
Mrs. Lovelady, "pick up the Broken Pieces and give them to the Lord" 
Mart and Wilma    
 Mrs. Brumlow, my friend   
Mrs. Jett
Mrs. Petty

Clarence and Sue
John and Reva     Ruth Alice      Shirley and Melvin 
 Betty and Fred

Mr and Mrs. Miller        Joe and Ann Jodi Jenny            Mrs. Petty

Ralph and Helen 
 Richard and Susie 
Terry and Irene  
Gary and Frieda 
Dale and Sharon  

Dorothy and Clyde     Jimmie and Gene      
Brenda and Jimmy       Oochie "Bless 'im Lord!" and Wilma 

Tiny    Mackie and Brenda    Morris and Sheila    
Marilyn, the church pianist since the age of twelve
Gene and Barbara   Tracy     Penny 

Ed and Sheila        Sharon and Mickey 

Judy and Cecil and four little girls in matching Easter dresses  

Ed Eustice and his pocketful of chewing gum he loved to give away 

Fate who couldn't pray aloud for crying
 Mrs. & Mr. Henson who always began his prayer with "Dear Heavenly Father"

Carolyn and Walt, who testified and visited with God daily in His beautiful Creation

Jay and Angela        Roger and Evelyn     
Uncle Ralph and Aunt Trudy  

Momma and Daddy 

Andy, my son       Chuck, my Hub

We'd stand on the porch, after a summer Sunday night service, talking and laughing with one another.

I remember when dozens of children, including my own son, marched up these now-crumbling steps to Vacation Bible School.

Oh, but if this building could talk! And if it could sing!

Heaven's Jubilee
In the Sweet Forever
Uncloudy Day
Tell Me the Story of Jesus
I Never Shall Forget the Day

I can see the lights of home, I can see Him on His throne.
 I'm too near to turn back now. Praise the Lord! I'm Heavenbound!
 And when my journey here shall end,
I'll say goodbye to this world of sin.
In that Fair Land
I'll take my stand.
It's good to be on this road for Gloryland.

And every once in a while an unmistakeable Presence joined us...a sweet, comforting, peaceful Presence.

I loved those services best of all.

This was the Fellowship Hall. How we loved to fellowship together!  I can remember Homecomings...Christmas cream socials....weenie roasts....all taking place here.

Everyone was always welcomed and loved.

The parking lot and driveways are crumbling and in time grass, weeds and plants will take over.

In fact, the only thing not decaying are the ornamental trees we planted many years ago.  I hope someone comes along to care for them. I remember how happy we were to plant them and how we thought they'd make the grounds pretty.   

And I remember how thankful we were to build a new Sunday School building.

No one comes here now. Oh, I've heard stories. Stories about former members who drive around the church, get out and walk around....remembering.

I know they're mostly good memories. But there are sad memories, too.
Such is life...sunshine and shadow.

 All imprinted on our hearts forever.

Let me say this, please.

There's nothing wrong with being a small church. 

Not every church is meant to be big. Or even middlesize.  

Little is much, if God is in it.

It doesn't take a big building, the latest technology, or programs designed to entice people to join.

All it takes is God's love. Timeless. Ageless. Neverending love.

And a servant's heart.

The smallest, humblest church in the world can please God, just by sharing His love.

  If you go to a small church, and you're doing great things.....don't assume it means God wants you to relocate....or build a bigger building.....or install the latest technology......or activate programs to keep people busy....

These things don't mean much to the hungry...the lost...the lonely...the feeble...the grieving...the sad...the poor...the widows...the orphans...

Remember, little is much if God is in it.
Thank you for letting me share my heart with you.

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