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Home The Light Articles from 2011 How I Was Raised Part II

How I Was Raised Part II

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We continue on with our series concerning how I was raised. Next, we will look at the importance of attending and supporting gospel meetings.

I was brought up in a congregation that had several gospel meetings (Manchester Road, Akron, OH). I was raised to attend all of the meet­ing-yes, every night! Back in the 80's, when I was young, we still had week-long meetings, and we were there at every service. I never asked my parents if I could stay home, since I went the previous two nights in a row! Questions like that were never even entertained. No, I was taught to love and enjoy gospel meet­ings, and always looked forward to the next one! Like our regular eve­ning services, I was raised to believe that attending gospel meetings was another "good work" to be "ready" for (Titus 3:1).

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye pres­ent your bodies a living sacri­fice... which is your reasonable ser­vice" (Rom. 12:1). My parents taught me that with gospel meetings came sacrifices, but these sacrifices were worth it. Growing up, my folks did not have a lot of "extra" money. I recall during my teen years, on more than one occasion, my Dad having yard sales in the summer so that I would have enough money to take a Greyhound bus down to Missouri or maybe somewhere in Texas to attend and be apart of an Annual Gospel Meeting somewhere. At times, I'm sure there were items they didn't really want to sell at these garage sales, but getting me to meetings at a young age was important to them, even if there were sacrifices in­volved. I quickly learned to yearn for and appreciate meetings. And was taught that, with meetings, we sacri­fice our time and money. That's just how I was raised.

But, today, it seems quite different with many. Why, if some of these folks could have their own way, there wouldn't be but maybe one (if that) meeting a year in their home congre­gations, and that would only be a weekend meeting. But, our purpose in this writing isn't having meetings but attending them.

It is shocking when we travel to different places and see that some of the members come to the meeting in "shifts" (I'm speaking of their own home congregations). That is, one particular family attends Monday night and another family shows up Tuesday night, while the family that attended on Monday night stays home. Or we see individuals in fami­lies attending in "shifts." On Monday night Dad may show up with his son. The next night Mom shows up with her daughter. The next night no one from that particular family shows up at all, but on Thursday night Dad comes by himself. Whatever hap­pened to families attending meetings TOGETHER? I'm thankful that I was raised to go to all of the services of our meetings myself, but I'm also thankful that we all went as a family.

Yes, this is how I was raised. My parents taught me the importance of public worship, and I'm so thankful and appreciative for it. But not only was I taught the importance of meet­ings growing up, but Vicki's parents instilled within her the same values. In her youth, the Des Moines congre­gation hosted several gospel meet­ings (many week-long meetings). I recall her entire family attending these gatherings every night. And like my folks, her parents made sure she (and her siblings) attended as many meetings outside of Des Moines as possible; whether it was the annual 4th of July Meeting in Bloomington or the annual Memorial Day Meeting at Grandview. Gospel meetings were a huge part of our lives growing up, and we've tried our best to teach our children the impor­tance of church attendance (including meetings); instilling within them the same principles that we both were taught by our parents, so that they can pass the same values on to their children. That's just how I was raised. -325 S. Prospect St., Hartville, OH 44632



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