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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Leaving Fear Behind

My junior year in high school we attended Del Norte Baptist Church. I don't remember any of the pastor's sermons, they were kind of so-so. Roy Garner was the music director. That year we put on a cantata where I sang the part of Pontius Pilate and Bruce was Jesus. At Easter we put on Handel's Messiah (ending at the Hallelujah chorus). I had a girl friend in the church so it was a pretty good year. Over the summer things fell apart. Roy wound up declaring bankruptcy over a set of hand bells, who thought they were that expensive, and Sandia Baptist Church was doing a youth musical. Bruce moved his membership to Sandia. I was reluctant to leave this church but without much of a choir program there wasn't much holding me there except the girlfriend. I finally moved my membership to Sandia and we dated for another six months. I was a senior, she was a freshman at UNM. It took her a whole semester to figure out I was cramping her style.
The pastor at Sandia was Dr. Doyle Winters. He was the most intelligent pastor I've ever met. He didn't pontificate like an old testament prophet, he made you think, explore and want to learn more. I read a little book that year called How To Be a Christian Without Being Religious. Other books were by Charles Shedd: The Stork Is Dead, Letters to Phillip and Letters to Karen. The youth group was doing a musical called Natural High. Bruce joined the band with his trumpet and I joined the chorus. It was intense, but the performances were very rewarding.
A funny thing happened one Sunday night. Bruce and I went to church together in his car. After the service he came up to me handed me his keys and said he was catching another ride home. You could have picked me up off the floor with a spatula. It was the first and only time I ever drove his car. The pastor's daughter had offered to take someone home and Bruce volunteered. They became an item. Bruce had a little fender bender and he painted it purple, Kylene's favorite color. That's when we knew she had hooked him.
I had a wonderful Sunday school teacher that year who would be there to give me invaluable advice years later when I was going through my divorce. The youth group started a new musical in the spring named Show Me. We put on performances all summer the last one in a Catholic Church. After the one girl and broke up and I knew I'd be going off to college on a scholarship I purposely didn't get attached, even though Kylene and her mother had a number of girls picked out for me, which my mother dutifully told me about.
Most of the kids in the youth group went to Oklahoma Baptist College, but they didn't have a track team then. I was offered a scholarship by Wayland (Baylor passed), and there were two members of the youth group going there too. They were dating, but didn't want to get married until after their first year, so Gary and I left for college as roommates.
Returning to the SBC didn't change my thoughts on the end times. Dr. Winters didn't preach on it and his sermons inspired instead of left you trembling in fear. The music uplifted and filled me with joy even though the guys in the shower after practice thought I was weird for singing the Hallelujah chorus.

2 comments:

Michael Manning said...

It is good to have someone who can be available and supportive through a divorce. A painful albeit, human situation.

P M Prescott said...

Yes it was.