Good morning, y’all. It’s a beautiful day. We had the occasional popups, which I don’t mind. It brings the heat down a little and helps the flowers. The popup showers help keep my water bills down too, and I’m all for that. I was in the Rec room setting out one of the showers when I got a call on my cell phone. I could read the word “Hurricane” on the caller ID, and because I thought it might be a severe weather report, I answered the call.
We have those services in Georgia, where your local town’s weather service will call you when a tornado is advancing on your house. They make calls for all sorts of bad weather, not just tornadoes, so I’m used to getting them. This one was entitled “Hurricane”, so I was intrigued enough to answer. Turns out the call was from the “Hurricane Ministries”. It was my first ever “robo call for Jesus”. I guess they get a lot of people pick up their calls because the word Hurricane takes up most of the screen on caller ID. I know for sure if I had seen the word “Ministry”, I would have never picked up. I’ve got all I can handle right now with our little band of Evangelicals without taking on a new drain of time, energy, and finances. Even though the Hurricane Ministries promised to teach me the path to Salvation in under a minute and a half, and they promised not to ask for any money, I pressed “2” to be added to their “do not call list”. It certainly changes the dynamic if you can sell salvation over a phone line and not have any of the usual overhead to deal with. I’ll have to keep an eye on their Facebook page to see how they do.
Since I’m talking about keeping an eye on things, I didn’t watch the DVR version of the telecast from the Crystal Palace until late Sunday night. Mulva and I discussed the goings on with the “Little Church in the Valley” until it was time for her to head out to evening services. I could tell from the look of amazement on Mulva’s face, when I told her about this week’s service, that she was going to have to get independent confirmation of my report. Mulva didn’t accuse me of backsliding, but her eyebrow was raised to the point of almost leaving her face. I could tell she was going to make some calls to see how much I had embellished the proceedings. I look forward to being vindicated.
Well, I settled into my chair to catch the service from the Crystal Palace, the Reverend Helena Basket presiding. As the choir began to sing “Faith of Our Fathers”, the Reverend appeared as if materializing on the stage. I’m going to need to sneak into Blairsville one day this week and inspect the pulpit area of the church a little closer. There’s got to be a trap door there somewhere that allows the Reverend her magical entrance. I’ll sleep better at night knowing I’ve solved the mystery of her manifestation. There’s way too many logic traps being set up here in our little portion of the hills.
As always, the Reverend was resplendent in her robe and fiery red hair. Her robe was a patch work of many colors that seemed to catch the TV lights and reflect them back into the camera. I thought her robe was way cool, but, I’m sure she’ll probably get some grief from the hardliners that think that black is the only appropriate color for clergy. I think it had about six different colors in it, but there may have been more. It was very distinctive, and as it turns out, part of a theme. Today’s sermon was entitled, “Sold Into Egypt”. The Reverend took the story of Daniel and his brothers as the main topic, and expanded it to give a more current feel. The Reverend Helena Handbasket likened the “99%, the poor and middle class”, to Daniel being sold into slavery by his brothers. The “1%, the greedy, jealous brothers”, were abusing their power and privilege to take advantage of their brothers. The Reverend questioned the 1%’s right to “stack their silver” higher and higher while their brothers were homeless.
In a rare break of religious decorum, the Reverend used a quote from somewhere other than the Bible to drive home her point. The Reverend quoted Andrew Carnegie, who said, “The man who dies rich, dies disgraced.” The Reverend set up the quote by telling the congregation that Carnegie was the richest man of his time. Carnegie had no problem with being prosperous and accumulating riches, he just felt that you shouldn’t try to “take it with you”. The Reverend pointed out that we have the finest public library system in the world because of Carnegie’s belief in helping out his fellow man. The Reverend closed the sermon out with Matthew 19:24, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”, just in case someone had not gotten the point. One of her better sermons, in my opinion.
Well, the altar call and testament of faith were quite tame in comparison to what I had witnessed at the “Little Church in the Valley”. It will be interesting to see if the Reverend feels the need to up her game.