Lift High The Cross II

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Threats of thunder storms never materialized. We were left with a bright steamy day in the 80’s. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Summer has arrived. Had to happen sooner or later I guess, I just prefer later. Like I always tell Mulva, she can put on more clothes if the air conditioning gets too cold. Once I get to my underwear, I can’t take off any more clothes to cool down. Compromise isn’t just a word that Ted Cruz can’t pronounce.

Speaking of compromising, I was trying to hit the best of both worlds, so’s to speak, with regard to watching both church services of The Full Gospel Original Church of God this Sunday. I attended the services at “The Little Church In The Valley” in person. After making sure there was not going to be any mayhem as a result of the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread’s philandering ways, I boogied back home to TackyToo.  I needed to attend to the two pork shoulders I had cooking on my Big Green Egg, and to watch the DVR’d telecast from the Crystal Palace. Before settling into the easy chair in the office of the Rec room to watch the recording, I wanted to make sure all was well with my cook. I popped the top on the Egg and gave the shoulders a good basting of my “special sauce” before double checking the temperature. A quick check revealed that I was good for the hour or so it would take to watch the recording of today’s telecast. Like a fine wine, we will serve no pork before its time.

I was kind of surprised that this week’s telecast from Channel 99 in Blairsville started differently than before. They’ve gone all “artsy” with the leadup to the interior shot of the church. Nothing big, just nature scenes of waterfalls and Cardinals building a nest and stuff like that. I think the background music was “Faith of Our Fathers”, but it was all instrumental, so I’ll have to listen closer to confirm. It was a more professional start to the telecast than the shot from the truck showing people streaming in the door. When they cut to the interior shot you felt more calm than previous telecasts. Previously you felt like you were rushing to get into the church before the services started. I’ll have to ask who’s responsible for the change. It’s good psychology.

Well Channel 99 cut to the interior of the church, and then “poof”, there she was, the Reverend Helena Handbasket. She was attired in a navy blue or black robe this Sunday with her customary white sash with gold trim. I’m guessing it was navy blue since I don’t think the Reverend Helena Handbasket holds too strongly to the clergy dressed in black philosophy. I am kind of wondering how many different robes she has, but I guess it only matters to me. Technically, the robes are her “work clothes”, and the female of the species does like to show up to work wearing new outfits. I guess there’s not a lot of room to show her fashion sense in a robe, so she probably feels that mixing the colors is the way to present a fresh look. I suppose there might be a group out there that is attending services just to see what the Reverend will be wearing next, and that’s as good a reason for attending as any other, I guess.

This week’s sermon was, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, which the Reverend Helena Handbasket tried to keep God from being so angry. Upon reflection, the Reverend also tried to make the “sinners” less sinful. I guess the Reverend was giving a little more hope to the “backsliders” than usually comes through in an “Angry God” sermon. I know religions don’t like to compare themselves to other religions, except to point out how they’re better and the other guys are worse. That said, the Catholics have got a good thing going for them with that absolution at the time of death thing. The weekly tuneups are a good idea too. “Confession”, I think they call it .

Keeping the sinners in the fold as long as possible just makes good business sense. A sinner who gets the impression that they can never be forgiven will quit trying after a while. Or at least I know I would. I’m impressed by the Reverend’s recognition that casting folks into the fiery lake is not going to keep attendance up, or the tithes. The Reverend Helena Handbasket appears to be playing the long game, and I have to admit it it is quite refreshing. Evangelicals are generally a judgmental, “my way or you’re going to Hell way” lot. Who knows what could happen if a little mercy was thrown in the message? I said it before, we might be riding on the crest of the wave here.


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