Literally Eternally Grateful

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My mama, daddy, younger brother, and I lived in downtown Ashland City with my granddaddy’s grocery store beyond my backyard and a parking lot out our backdoor, my elementary school in sight in the distance to the left of my house, and our congregation’s building catty cornered across the street from my front yard.

Church was part of the rhythm of our lives. We walked across the street and inside that building on Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, and Wednesday nights. In summer we went to Vacation Bible School and to the annual gospel meeting.

For as long as I can remember, this painting has decorated the baptistery in my childhood church building.
For as long as I can remember, this painting created by an itinerate artist, has decorated the baptistery in my childhood church building.

When I think about being in church as a girl, two memories stand out: singing and sermons about Jesus. These two memories are combined in a favorite hymn at my childhood church: “Tell Me the Story of Jesus” by Fanny J. Crosby.

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word.
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.
Tell how the angels in chorus,
Sang as they welcomed His birth.
“Glory to God in the highest!
Peace and good tidings to earth.”

Refrain
Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word.
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.

Fasting alone in the desert,
Tell of the days that are past.
How for our sins He was tempted,
Yet was triumphant at last.
Tell of the years of His labor,
Tell of the sorrow He bore.
He was despised and afflicted,
Homeless, rejected and poor.

Refrain
Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word.
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.

Tell of the cross where they nailed Him,
Writhing in anguish and pain.
Tell of the grave where they laid Him,
Tell how He liveth again.
Love in that story so tender,
Clearer than ever I see.
Stay, let me weep while you whisper,
Love paid the ransom for me.

Refrain
Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word.
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.

The most important thing you will ever do for your children is to tell them the story of Jesus. I’m literally eternally grateful that my childhood ministers emphasized Jesus in the lessons they taught and that my parents made sure I was there to hear them.

Now the God of peace,
who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep
through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord,
equip you in every good thing to do His will,
working in us that which is pleasing in His sight,
through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Hebrews 13:20-21

 

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