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Tuesday, July 9, 2019
When The Sabbath Was Fun
When The Sabbath Was Fun
I was born in the Truth in the mid-1950’s. Both my parents were baptized prior to my birth. Dad was a truck driver who was gone most of the week but, would always be home for the sabbath. We had no local church in our area so, no sabbath services each week. The only time we went to church was during the 3 feasts each year. We drove out to Big Sandy then camped throughout UB, Pentecost and the FOT. They had double services each day and three services on the festival sabbaths. I really didn’t like those feast because we just went to church all the time.
Prior to the opening of a local church, I have lots of great sabbath memories. The sabbath was a fun day. I remember going to the old swimming hole during the summer months. Mom would bring a picnic lunch. We’d spent hours there. One time we went on a long hike. Dad and mom sometimes would play kickball with us kids in the backyard. Friday nights, dad would play “Blind man’s bluff” or, “Simon says” with us. Other times, he'd pick the guitar and we’d sing corny country songs.
The church was very distant from our life in those years. When us kids got really sick, mom would call Pasadena and they would send an anointed cloth in the mail. Sometimes, we were able to pick up the weekly radio broadcast. One year at the FOT there were only 3 families from the State of Georgia. Ours, my grandmother and another family which lived about 50 miles away from us.
In 1962, my world got turned upside down. They opened a church in our area and life would never be the same. Mr. Waterhouse was our first pastor. All fun ended on the sabbath. 3-hour long morning bible study’s and 4-hour long afternoon services became the norm. No more riding bikes, games or playing on the sabbath. Mom had to have all the food prepared for our sabbath meals by Friday night sunset. Friday afternoon, we had chores assigned for us to do. Because Friday was the preparation day for the sabbath.
In a matter of a few months, new words were introduced into my vocabulary; “Usurp”, “authority”, “vanity” and “rebellion” just to name a few. When dad got upset with mom, he called her, “woman” or “Eve”. Everything she did seem to irritate him. He constantly was accusing her of; "USURP HIS AUTHORITY!!!” One time, he yelled at her too; “GET OUT FROM IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR AND GET THAT VANITY UNDER CONTROL, EVE!!!”
Strange things started showing up on our kitchen table that we were commanded to eat. Stuff was sprinkled over our food which made it taste like crap. Tablets showed up by our plates. Some had to be chewed and they tasted like crap too. Raw milk became the new norm. Things were now being sweetened with blackstrap molasses or sorghum. Mom started baked her own bread, made our butter and cottage cheese too.
After dad started attending Spokesman Club, dinner was a new universe for me too. New rules for the dinner table; shoes & socks had to be worn, no shorts, full-length jeans or slacks, and a buttoned shirt. Children were to be seen and not heard was the new mantra. We were to be silent unless we were asked a question. Dad laid a paddle on the edge of the table every meal. Rebellion in a child or woman had to be totally crushed. A spanking had to be hard enough to break a child’s spirit. He spanked my 15-year-old brother so hard one time, he pissed his pants. Us kids seemed to be great irritants to him. I never saw my dad act this way until we started attending church regularly.
All cartoons came to an end and my coloring book was thrown in the trash. At church one sabbath, I was caught kicking an empty can in the parking lot. An ADIC caught me, took me to a minister, who walked me to my father and told him my transgression. Dad took me to the van, told me I had six other days in a week to play and kick cans but, I had broken the sabbath. He continued on, I was just like the man who picked up sticks on the sabbath. He was stoned to death. How they stoned rebellious kids to death. That is what you deserve, death. I got a 40, save one lash spanking instead.
Friday nights was now a reading marathon at home. We sat quietly while dad read church articles to us. From time to time, he would stop and would ask us to repeat back the last sentence. If unable to do so, we would get a 20 or 30 lash spanking. The sabbath had transitioned into a day of anger, violence and brute force.
After we started going to church, the only thing I liked about the sabbath was when it ended.
submitted by Mogen David