Faithful Friday – The Path That Leads to the Good Life

It’s Faithful Friday – my favorite time of the week!  Today I’m sharing a post about the path that leads to the good life.  Please take the time to read it and leave a comment about your path.  I heart comments and testimonies!  🙂

I grew up attending a little country church with my family, neighbors, friends and most importantly at the time, my cousin, Dixie.  I still remember foundational truths about the Bible that I learned at VBS and Sunday School.  I even remember the day Dixie fell into the outside baptismal pool (it was no longer being used) during Sunday School and my mom had to fish her out.

My childhood church!

My childhood church!

But today I want to share my very first Alli (and Dixie) event.   I just now realized that I was always an event planner!  I just didn’t know it.

So, once upon a time, at a revival long, long ago, my cousin and I accepted Jesus as our personal Savior.  And, just in case it didn’t take the first time, each and every time we had revival and heard a preacher talk about hell like he had just got back, we ran to the altar for a redo.

At the tender age of 12, Dixie and I decided to flaunt our independence by making a very grown-up decision to “join the church” by “walking the aisle” and “receiving the right hand of fellowship.”  Let the planning begin!  We decided the atmosphere had to be just right. It had to be a Sunday morning (more people attending church). We had to have the right song; Just As I Am was just way too common for our church-joining debut!  It had to be a different musical selection.  Our planning included where we would sit, what we would wear, how we would step out into the aisle and walk down together.  We had it all figured out.

The Aisle (not near as long as I remember it to be)!

The Aisle (not near as long as I remember it to be)!

And then it happened.  The song leader (yes, that is what they were called back then) selected our song for the “invitational” (the song that called people to the altar to be saved, rededicated, etc.).

With sweaty palms and pounding hearts, we cast a sideways glance at each other, nodded our heads in solidarity and stepped out into that seemingly never-ending center aisle of the church.

Side by side, with ramrod straight backs, heads held high, hints of a smile and a couple of small tears making their way out of the corner of our eyes and lightly splashing onto our pink blushed cheeks (No, we didn’t have on makeup.  It was a natural blush), we glided down the aisle.

But then it happened!  I heard a slight noise behind us.  What was it?  Was it my imagination?  But no, I heard it again!  It was the soft sound of footsteps.  Was it an angel?  Had our decision to join the church brought angels on the scene?

Uh, no!  I’m sure angels were on the scene.  But when we finally arrived to stand in front of  our pastor, I noticed that it was no angel!  My younger sister, Melinda, had slipped quietly out of her seat and followed us down the aisle!  NO!!!!!  Calgon, take me away!    Our weeks of planning were ruined!  (Note:  I love my sister dearly, but I was going through a I’m-so-grown-up phase and my sister was, in my mind, going through an I’m-an-irritating-little-sister phase.)

(Very old pic - sorry) Left:  My cousin Dixie on the left, me on the right, with grandma and uncle.  Top right:  Me on left, my sister, Melinda on right.  I'm in the center and Dixie is at the bottom!

(Very old pic – sorry) Left: My cousin Dixie on the left, me on the right, with grandma and uncle. Top right: Me on left, my sister, Melinda on right. I’m in the center and Dixie is at the bottom!

I wanted to murder her right on the spot!  Alas, I snapped back and realized I was joining the church.  I couldn’t murder someone on the same day I was joining the church.  So, the three of us all got the “right hand of fellowship” even though our brother and cousin tried to squeeze our hands as hard as they could, hoping to make us cry!

For several years after my first event, I still made numerous trips to that altar to make sure my fire insurance was up-to-date. Then I grew up, moved to the big city of Atlanta and tucked church far back into the recesses of my mind.

Thankfully, by the wooing of the Holy Spirit and at the age of 21, I rededicated my life to the Lord (once and for all) and have been serving him ever since.

So, on this Faithful Friday, I’m thinking about my cousin, Dixie (I love ya, girl), my sister Melinda (Love ya, too, and I’m sorry I was mean to you for following your big sister down the aisle; you can follow me anywhere!), Kramer Baptist Church (the little country church I grew up in), and how God loves me unconditionally and never gave up on me, even when I seemed to give up on him!

It doesn’t matter how many times we fell along the way, but what matters is that, with God’s help, we got back up, dusted ourselves off and got back on the path that leads to the good life!

 

Psalm 23:3 – He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.

Psalm 25:4 – Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.
(This is one of my favorite verses – all verses today are from the Amplified Bible)
Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
Here we are now! Left:  Me Middle:  Dixie, Me, Linda Right:  Melinda

Here we are now!
Left: Me
Middle: Dixie, Me, Linda (the other cousin)
Right: Melinda

PS – One thing I’ve learned about event planning – some things will not happen exactly as we planned. But, I’ve also learned that many times, the thing that goes wrong is really the thing that went right and the thing that we will always remember, usually laughing until tears run down our face!  Be blessed!
On the steps of my childhood church! Top step:  Brothers Tim & Stan Bottom Step:  Me, Melinda Why didn't someone tell me to smile and to close my legs???? :)

On the steps of my childhood church!
Top step: Brothers Tim & Stan
Bottom Step: Me, Melinda
Why didn’t someone tell me to smile and to close my legs???? 🙂

 

About Alli

Southern, Morning Person, Jesus Girl, Frugal Party Planner, Writer/Blogger, Mom, Nana, Wife, Beach Bum Wannabe - Let's Have a Party!

Comments

  1. LOVE the post today!

  2. God is so faithful !!! Tears of joy then and for me today as I read your post……I love you…..Just made my way back to Kramer for Father’s Day ….always lots of memories of our families being together every time the doors opened. We have been so blessed to have faithful parents that made sure we had every chance to learn that Jesus Christ is our salvation. By the way, where do all these old pics come from???!!!!

    • They come from Melinda, of course! And from Aunt Jane. Certainly not from me! 🙂 The day we joined the church will forever be one of my favorite childhood memories! Have you noticed that so many of my fond memories involve you? Love ya, girl!!!!

  3. Love this! Wish I had pictures of back in the day! Growing up Amish that was a no-no 🙁
    Leah recently posted…8 MonthsMy Profile

    • When I was a little girl, our house burned to the ground while we were away. We lost all of our pics! Thank God for aunts that were generous with theirs. So sorry that you don’t have any pictures!

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