While Jesse Owens was winning four Gold Medals at an Olympics sending a crucial message to madman Adolf Hitler Portsmouth Ohio was building a church. Sunday we were blessed with the opportunity of joining their service.
Some years ago I participated in my first and probably only local Little Theatre performance as Judge Brandeis in the Broadway play Annie. Well, with me was a more experienced performer who portrayed Annie’s claimed father known as rooster.
Today at the Cole’s Blvd. Church Chad Benner is the Pastor of this church located in the heart of Portsmouth Ohio. The people of this church have a lot of heart as well. At the same time this church is gifted with a Pastor who sings like a bird and can share a great message.
The service on this day opened with a prayer and then from the hymnal Chad led the congregation in “There shall be showers of blessings.” After that was an extended walk about greeting where one could see the closeness of this group of believers.
It was then time for the tithes and offering buckets that were brought down the aisle by two of the deacons/congregation members. As often is the case there were a good number of prayer requests and a call to the alter. Prayer requests resumed and I especially liked one gentleman’s testimony as to how the devil had prompted him to stay at home unsuccessfully. He said he was proud to be a Christian.
The Pastor saying that sometimes we forget the little things and offered to sing a song this morning, “If you knew him”! Contemporary is nice but I certainly do love the feeling of worship surrounded by old hymns.
“If you knew him like I feel him. Resurrection deep inside, you know he’s living and death has died. Nail scarred hands reach out to help you. You ask me how I know him? He lives within my heart”.
Pastor Chad said that if he has been good to you then he is deserving of a little bit of praise. And the congregation sang another hymn, Almighty God”! “You are my anchor in the troubled storm, you are almighty God. You gave me site that I might see. The kind of man that I should be, you are my joy and peace, you are my refuge and rock”. Then following were a few more lovely testimonies from the congregation”.
Then there was a video song “Because he lives and sent his son”. Following this as Pastor Chad walked to the front he began a prayer. It was a prayer of thanks and a call for us to serve and listen. Following were again testimonies.
At this time Chad announced that today’s sermon would be from the book of John, chapter 12. In the audience a child whimsically said, Amen!
Though what I write I may never know what it means to others but as for me it forces me to study out the scripture a bit in completing my blog. So here goes John, verses 35–36. Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become son’s of light.” These things Jesus spoke and departed from them.
In this palm Sunday Chad noted that Jesus was always followed by a crowd. Finally it came time for his triumphant entrance into Jerusalem a week before his death. He had always told those around him, “A little while longer”. As he talked to his deciples he continued this message. Though Jesus knew his time had come he advised them, “A little while longer”. Walk with me, worship. Even to this day he is sending this message. Walk while we have the light. Today we have to walk according to the word of God. We were reminded that those of us who walk in the light remain in the light. The Pastor shared a very nice story about an experience he had the past week chaperoning a daughter in a school field trip to see a play called Matilda.
Then he went on to say there is no room for laziness in the Kingdom of God. We have to keep working, “”A little longer” for the Kingdom of God!
There are times we become too tired to do for God. But when the things around us start taking away from that which we do for Christ, that’s when we need to stop those things. If you don’t worship the rocks will cry out. Jesus said, “if you don’t cry out then I will give the rocks voice”. Worship should be in our life every hour of the day. For a little longer our physical bodies should worship.
A little boy was flying a kite so high you could barely see it. Another boy said, how do you know there is a kite up there. The other boy said because I can feel it tugging on my heart. If your heart is right, there is worship. You feel the tug of the Holy Spirit on your heart. Just keep working, it’s just a little longer. And in that day Jesus was calling on his disciples, if there is anything you need to get done, you had better get it done for it is just, “A little longer”.
Then there was an alter call with the piano playing “Just as I am”.
The congregation was called forward for an annointing of one of the congregation members followed by reseating for a series of announcements concerning many of the community charity activities performed by the church, and information about a play performed by the church following our visit. Pastor Chad wrote the play, “Through the eyes of Mary” and the community and all others were invited to attend. Dismissal with prayer! For a complete pictorial you may visit medium.com, searching my name.
See you in church!