April 20, 2010

A Cemetery - You've Got to be Kidding! (Part 2)

This is a continuation of the post from yesterday, written by my former pastor, Rev. David Gales:

The question of where? when? and most of all why? had to be answered for me (as well as with you). In 2002 I started looking for a place to walk because my doctor wanted me to get daily exercise. Starting at a nearby school track, it became boring and it was just not for me. One day I noticed a cemetery across from the school. Something {I feel it was the Lord Jesus} drew me to begin walking around and in the cemetery each day for one hour approximately three miles. The well kept grounds provided such a quiet peaceful place. Who would have thought that this would become my meeting place for fellowship with my Lord?

Seeking not to become stressful with a rigid schedule, I would and do walk in the cemetery sometime every day. Weather does not play a roll. I love to walk in the rain with my little umbrella. Whether it is in the snow or sunshine, my walking in fellowship with my Lord overrides the elements. I have always carried a golf club with me (kind of like Moses and his staff) as I walk. It is now 2010! I have been walking in the cemetery with my Lord now for eight years. It is one of the top ten highlights of my life. I didn't know what I was missing for sixty-one years before 2002.

The most important question is the WHY? It is hard to explain. Fellowship with Christ is somehow undefined with words. It is an experience in one's inner being. Walking physically and mentally is refreshing and rewarding to one's health. Walking with Christ though is much more rewarding to one's spirit (the place where Christ lives in you). It is the inner man described in the Bible. Well, this is kind of how it works with me. I always begin by thanking Him for the privilege to walk with him. I then thank him for Phyllis as the great gift he has given to complete me. I claim the promise for her healing everyday in Luke 8:50."Be not afraid, only believe, and she will be healed." It varies as to what we do as we walk together. (Christ and I) Sometimes I sing out loud (it doesn't bother anyone there).

Such old hymns like "Leaning on the everlasting arms", “Sunshine in my soul", "When we walk with the Lord", and "How Great Thou Art" spring forth at times. My desire is to live before the audience of one. Sometimes, I recite the ten doctrines of God's character that I learned in the early 70's. Maybe I will recite the different names of God given in the Bible that describe who he is. There are times when we just want to talk to each other. I put all my cares in my two hands and throw them over my shoulders to the Lord (I Peter 5:7 and Psalm 55:12). It really feels so good.

The greatest blessing has been in memorizing and meditating (marinating) passages of scripture that speak to my own life. As of this day in March 2010, I have memorized around eight-four verses and passages that I constantly repeat and claim as my own promises from God. Dr. J. Allan Blair was my example and mentor in memorizing. These verses and passages are printed out on paper and I carry them with me as I walk with my Lord. Never thinking that I could do this, what a rich experience!!!

Seeking not to boast, but only in the Lord, opportunities to let Christ live through me to folks I have met while at the cemetery, has been a pleasant surprise. One fellow named Ray Kinley has come to know Christ and now is happy and in church. Another has thought God was asking him to go into the pastoral ministry. It is like having a small congregation as new encounters keep showing up as I walk. Friendships have been established with cemetery workers and many people I have met. I have found that every person that I meet in the cemetery is hurting and in need of the Lord's love and encouragement. Some have said, "You are an angel sent by God to me today". When I come home and tell my wife, she quickly brings me back to earth saying "You are no angel." I agree!

Well, that is my story of fellowship with Christ daily. It was the main thing in Jesus' life with his father. He desires it to be the main thing in each of us. I believe it is the missing ingredient in modern Christianity. There is a lot of churchianity but it appears that there is little Christianity. Where is your cemetery? When is your daily time? Why not let it be unique and special with you and your Lord? Would it please the Lord for you to cherish this fellowship? He cherishes it with you. As he did in the Garden of Eden, he still comes seeking fellowship with his created ones.

It's the real deal! "Fellowship with Christ makes the complicated simple."

1 comment:

Neil Armstrong said...

Although this was posted in 2010 & written even earlier than that, it's spoken to me. I happened to find the part 1 & 2 posts while searching for Rev David Gales as I also attended Plaza Baptist Church in Charlotte as a small child until around age 17 or 18 when my family moved too far from the area. I know that it is mainly due to the Christian leadership & the dedicated servants that attended this church during that time that Word of The Lord became imprinted on my heart, never to be washed away by the world or buried and forgotten by my own sins no matter how hard I've often tried while going through this life periodically riddled with foolish rebelousness. David Gales once said from the pulpit that if we ever feel far away from God, we must realize it's us, not God, that's moved. God is a rock, He is strength, and His love for us is eternal & unwavering. I am grateful you've posted this simple yet beautiful little message from Pastor Gales. I hope that you and your church is doing well and will say a prayer for you. I will also pray for David, Phillis & their family. I sincerely hope they are ok and that Mrs Gales overcame her medical battles. Perhaps if anyone reads this who can update me as to how they are I would appreciate greatly.
Aaron Neil Armstrong