Good morning, y’all. The temperatures are quite pleasant during the day, just a little windy. We’re getting down into the 40’s overnight, but I guess that’s fine if it guarantees the mild temperatures during the day. It seems silly to turn on the heat at night, and if it was just me, believe me, I wouldn’t. Of course, it’s not just me, so we’ve been running the heater at night to keep Mulva’s feet and hands from turning blue.
Mulva is so cold natured that she’s been wearing her winter coat when she goes out at night. In addition to her weekly attendance at Wednesday Prayer Meeting, she also has to attend the planning meetings on Thursday night. Monday night is Women’s Bible study, so Mulva has been getting to dress like an Eskimo a lot lately. I’m just the opposite, in more ways than one. I don’t need a coat until the temperature goes below freezing. I’ve also determined that I don’t need to attend more than one church service a week.
I will admit that I’ve been DVRing the telecast from Channel 99 in Blairsville of the service at the Crystal Palace. This is only when I feel the need to attend the “Little Church in the Valley”, instead of driving into Blairsville. I DVR the broadcast so Mulva and I can discuss the Reverend Helena Handbasket’s message when Mulva gets back home. Sometimes we hear two completely different things in the message. I like to be clear on what the message actually means before I use it to modify my behavior. I hate to get a new course charted and then be told I’m headed off completely in the wrong direction.
To her credit, the Reverend Helena Handbasket is pretty straight forward with what she’s trying to say. There’s not a lot of mumbo-jumbo involving the Protestant Reformation, or scripture that no one can decipher. Let’s all be honest, there’s a lot of scripture that can be interpreted in a hundred different ways. Preachers do it all of the time. I just don’t want to give up pork rinds thinking it’s going to lead to my salvation, and find out out that I had misinterpreted the intent of Leviticus 11:7-8 “And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.” So Mulva and I tend to talk the message over before making any changes to our day to day.
While I’m pondering my addiction to all things pork, I’ve also got to give some consideration to the happenings at the “Little Church in the Valley”. I headed back there this week to be Mulva’s eyes and ears on the goings on with young Devin Bread. The reports that came back to the Elders apparently sent a shock to the assemblage. I’m sure the reports were not as shocking as watching it in person. I’m headed back to see if what I witnessed was a one time fluke, or if we’ve got something going on straight out of the Old Testament. I’m thinking Isiah 11:6, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.”
There was no doubt that a little child tamed one of God’s more anti-social beasts. Was it a fluke, a miracle, or the work of a desperate Dad using his son to keep his job? For my money, it is a combination of the Dad and the Devil. I think the Dad, the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread, has provided the opportunity for the child to perform a bit of devilment. While the devilment may have a lofty goal, keeping the Right Reverend’s job, it still runs counter to the high standards of the Evangelical movement.
Speaking in tongues and the laying of hands to heal might be easy to fake, and therefore used to take advantage of an unsuspecting congregation. The handling of snakes is not something one can fake, even if one is a fakir. I’m thinking that Devin’s affinity for serpents might be his connection to the dark side. Beelzebub has a long history of using snakes to do his bidding. Helping an eight year old to keep a few serpents under control would be “child’s play” for the Prince of Darkness.
Well, the service was about as normal as could be until the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread had about ten minutes left on his sermon. The sermon was entitled, “The Importance of Pentecost”, and most of us had heard it many times before. In fact, I thought I heard Bubba Hoakum’s bass voice mimicking the sermon from his place in the choir. Anyway, mid-sentence, the Right Reverend was struck dumb. His mouth was open but nothing was coming out. The silence lasted for about twenty seconds when it was broken by the high piping voice of Devin Bread. Little Devin picked up the sermon at the exact spot that the Right Reverend left off. Devin continued the sermon as he made his way to the pulpit. Being too small to stand behind the pulpit, Devin stood next to his Dad and delivered the rest of the sermon, word for word, to the awestruck congregation.