Chuck Terrill: Avoiding the stuffy-ness, no matter the temperature

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

I remember stuffy August Sunday mornings.

The only thing to stir the air in the Church sanctuary was a hand-held cardboard fan. The fan had a picture of Jesus seated in the garden on one side, and a funeral home advertisement on the other. The church windows were open, but it was still humid and hot.


The heat never seemed to be a deterrent to worship, though. The Lord was praised, the Word was preached, and the people prayed — and perspired.

 Sometimes I wonder, "Just how much life are our kids missing out on these days?" I envision the day when our grandchildren are grown. They will be telling their children about that terrible day back in 2019 when the church air-conditioner broke down. What a tragedy that was! 

Kids today can't believe that their great-grandparents could grind their own coffee, churn their own butter, and had nothing colder to drink than well water. My grandmother cooled watermelons in a creek that ran close to her home. On hot days, she put the butter in the bucket and hung it by a rope down in the well. A hailstorm was a special treat because kids could pick up all the ice they could gather and use it to make hand-cranked ice cream with fresh cow's cream. 

I can remember when vegetables got picked early in the morning while they were still damp with dew. They were always crisp and fresh. Chickens and catfish got caught, dressed and fried almost before they could stop flappin'! 

I might not want to go back to "the good ol' days" for long, but it would be nice to turn the clock back for a little while. I'd like to back up just long enough for my grandkids to enjoy the aroma of grape blossoms on their great-granny's farm and the country fresh smell of rain on a hot summer day. 

There are some that would protest any attempt to relive the past, but I think that a good look at the simple joys of yesteryear might help us to reevaluate what is important.  

In today's time of easy living, there are many values that are still priceless. Integrity will never be out dated, nor patriotism. Heartfelt prayer will always be in vogue. You can't find qualities like these in the frozen foods section of the local grocery store and pop them in the microwave for a quick snack.

Qualities like these must be slowly simmered into young lives on a back burner, stirred often by the loving hands of mothers or grandmothers, constantly checked and sampled by fathers and grandfathers.

How can we instill in our children values that are priceless?

It's not too late to introduce them to fishing poles and merry-go-rounds. Cook hot dogs on a campfire and pick wild blackberries. Then, attend church together as a family on Sunday mornings.

In a Bible-believing church, you will discover life changing spiritual truths in a timeless book. You will discover that church isn't stuffy at all, no matter what the room temperature might be.

Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 471-847-2460.