One cause for regret in leaving Saltsburg so soon this last vacation was the having to leave in the midst of Rev. Bates' sermon. The very latest that we could stay was 11:45. Never again would I risk such embarrassment. It seems so utterly rude to run out on a speaker. Especially a preacher. I would like to be able to assure Rev. Bates that he is not like the minister who fell ill with the flu. Seeing that he was feverish, his wife hastened to take his temperature. In her haste she had grabbed the barometer. When she drew it forth from under his tongue, it read, "Dry and windy." Indeed I'm very glad Ina and I stayed as long as we did. For in that ten or fifteen minutes (of the sermon) we heard enough to change the whole course of our lives - if we'd just take that message right into our hearts, and live it. "Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth into those things which are before, I press toward the mark..." I like that part where Rev. Bates told of his conversation with someone who criticized that very church as it is today. The critic said that, years ago, that was a great church - full of Christian zeal and the missionary spirit - that is sadly missing today. Rev. Bates hurled a fine challenge at his congregation, "Are you going to accept this appraisal of our church? Or are you going to deny it - as I did - and set about to prove that it isn't so? Isn't that a splendid summons to Christian soldiery? Set out to prove it isn't so! I believe that Mr. Bates' baseball-throwing (which is superb) is symbolic of his challenge-hurling - of his "reaching forth toward those things which are before" and "pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." May God bless him and his ministry.
Mrs. Simon Hine is like a good rose gardener. She prunes you 'way back, cutting off all the superficial shoots, trimming out the dead wood, discouraging a vain display of foliage and inferior blossoms. She sets your roots deep in the Word of God. You are nourished and fortified by contact with God through prayer. I envy every member of the Friendship Class the privilege of sitting at the feet of a teacher like Mrs. Hine. The lesson was a review of the life of Paul. His exhortation in everyone who heareth the word, to spread the gospel, led to the question from a member of the class, "Shall we speak to everyone about salvation - even our seatmates on the train or bus?" That question is answered in a firm affirmative by another member of a Presbyterian church - in far-away Glendale, Calif. I would like to tell you about him next week. Until then, good-by, and good Bonding.
Yours for Victory,
Florence B. Taylor
Next - 7/27/44 - Fifth Anniversary of the By-Ways
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