Saturday, April 6, 2013

Chapter 2 - Asheboro Street

        Asheboro Street Baptist Church was more to me than music: it was where I first met Jesus. I truly have no memory of not knowing Him. Not everyone has been so blessed, I know, but that doesn't mean He has not always been there beside you, waiting at the door to be let in. I have no idea why He chose to give me the life I've had; I certainly have done nothing to deserve all this grace. But that's why they call it grace-- it's not deserved.

          Some of my earliest memories are sitting in little wooden chairs that scraped noisily on the dull linoleum floors of the Sunday School room. The light filtered through bumpy glass windows to illuminate the teacher and the flannel board on which she placed images of the characters she talked about from her Bible. I saw a golden straw basket placed among the "bullrushes." (They looked like the cattails decorating my grandfather's pond.) I was told the basket contained the baby Moses, who would lead the children of Israel from Egypt back to their homeland. I saw a beautiful young lady in blue robes riding a donkey to a stable where she would give birth to the baby Jesus, who would die on a cross for my sins. I LOVED this baby, because He gave His sweet, perfect life for me, so I could go to heaven to live with God. When I sang "Jesus Loves Me" I never thought to doubt it: I accepted it like I accepted my parents' love for me.
          I was, for the most part, a good, obedient child who followed the Ten Commandments to the best of my understanding. In church, I watched reverently as people went into the pool behind the altar in our sanctuary, were plunged into the water and came up dripping and beaming. Each time in my mind I was in the water with them and came up with a new joy in my heart. When I was age seven, one Sunday evening service as Preacher Parker gave the invitation to come to the altar and I sang the hymn along with the congregation, I felt a burning come over my body as tangible as the high fevers I had often experienced. It was as if a great invisible hand came down and urged me out of my seat, propelled me down the aisle to the feet of my waiting pastor. I KNEW, as much as a seven-year-old could know, that I was the sinner that my precious Jesus died for, and I wanted everyone to know I belonged to HIM. It was as if all the shame of my future life was made known to me for a brief moment, and I knew I needed to claim His forgiveness right then.

          “Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”” (Matthew 19:14) 

READ: Matthew 18:2-5

PONDER THIS: Recall when you first heard about Jesus. What did you feel? Did you give Him your life?

(PLEASE NOTE: If you are enjoying the music, there's a link on the right to our website, where you can read more about this wonderful group I am privileged to sing with, Wing and A Prayer. You can purchase our CDs on iTunes and Amazon, as well!)


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