Today is my birthday. 55 years ago this morning I came into this world. My Aunt Sis said she kept my "three rowdy brothers" (her words) while Mom and Dad were at the hospital. Of course, she added that only one of them was actually rowdy and he would remain nameless. I too will not name him but anyone who knows our family will immediately know which brother would have been "rowdy" for his Aunt Sis.
I remember the stories that I was told about my birthday. Dad was the pastor at a small General Baptist church in Chaffee, Missouri. He was fresh out of Bible college and this was his first "full-time" pastorate (as if it were possible to pastor part-time). They were in the midst of a revival. There do not seem to be revivals today as there were when I was growing up but hopefully most of you are familiar with the concept.
They had a different emphasis each evening of the revival (yes, they actually had "church" every night of the week for 7 days in a row!). One night was Pack the Pew night. One was Bring a Friend night. One was Youth night. You get the idea. Something to draw people in to the revival.
The revival was drawing to a close and the Sunday morning service was the climatic end to the week of services. The theme for Sunday morning was No Excuse Sunday. There certainly could be no reason why anyone should miss church on Sunday morning, right? Certainly there was no excuse if you were the wife of the pastor! Well, I had other plans for my Mom that day.
Mom went into labor at some point that night (note to self, ask Aunt Sis when they went to the hospital) and Dad took Mom to St. Francis hospital in nearby Cape Girardeau, Missouri. I was born early Sunday morning. Dad was able to make it back in time for church but Mom was in the hospital with her newborn daughter.
Mom said it set the stage for the rest of my life. She said it was though I were saying, "What, there is NO EXCUSE to miss church? Wanna bet? How about this for an excuse?!"
Lord, I thank you for Mom and Dad who not only gave me physical life but who taught me about spiritual life. Help me to not accept any excuse that might keep me from serving You!
I John 2:28 (The Message)
children, stay with Christ. Live deeply in Christ. Then we’ll be ready
for him when he appears, ready to receive him with open arms, with no
cause for red-faced guilt or lame excuses when he arrives.