by CharlesRobey
(Trussville, AL USA)

You have laid down precepts
that are to be fully obeyed.
Oh, that my ways were steadfast
in obeying Your decrees!
Then I would not be put to shame
when I consider all Your commands.
I will praise you with an upright heart
as I learn Your righteous laws.
I will obey Your decrees;
do not utterly forsake me. (Psalm 119:4-8)

I wasn't feeling so well that night, as I had experienced a rather bad day. It was as if the whole universe had been dropped down on my small private world, crumbling all my hopes and intentions. Nothing had gone right, from home, to work, to pleasure.

And to top it all off, I had experienced a rather irritating visit from two men from our local neighborhood church. So I just downed a warm glass of milk and retired to bed rather early.

Then it happened. I had been sleeping for what seemed like an eternity when I was suddenly awakened out of my sleep. Glancing over my bed, I happened to see what appeared to be a piece of paper bearing the logo of a well-known chewing gum, stuck to my bedpost.

Oh well, here we go again. Dad playing his usual tricks with my dreams. It just has to be my subconscious, at work in my mind, playing games with my dream world. My mind was flipping back to the past when Dad would sing this old tune.

Does your chewing gum lose its flavor
On the bedpost overnight?
If your mother says don't chew it
Do you swallow it in spite?
Can you catch it on your tonsils?
Can you heave it left and right?
Does your chewing gum lose its flavor
On the bedpost overnight?

It's just a mirage of my imagination. I'll roll over and go back to sleep. But that didn't happen, for the strangest thing then occurred. I was awakened again by an unusual character sitting on the side of my bed. He was dressed in Biblical times garb and spoke with a distinct accent.

"Who are you, and is all of this real?" I asked.

"First things first," he replied. "Why did you not read the note pasted on your bedpost."

"Well you see, I just thought it to be a wild dream about another of Dad's sinister jokes of the past," I replied.

"Well then, please take down the note, unfold the chewing gum wrapper and read to me," he continued."

"I can't," I responded, "it seems to be written in a foreign language."

The following is the gist of our conversation. The man said that the writing was a laundry list, given me by divine inspiration and that it was written in the Greek language, just as was the original Bible. He continued by answering my question as to who he was. He said he was the "Comforter", sent to help in revealing all things. (John 14:26) ( John 15:26) (John 16:7-8, 13-14) After that, he began reading the list to me, which in fact did read like a laundry list;

Repent, Repent, Repent
Confess your sins
Give Him Service
Show Him loyalty
Give Him honor
Give Him your full support
Worship His name.
Praise Him Forever
Study His Word
Take time to talk with Him
Take time to talk about Him to others

When this nice stranger had finished reading, I looked around to thank Him for His help, but He was nowhere in sight. And lying on my bed was Dad's old worn-out, tattered Bible, for Dad was one of those "Ole Timey" preachers.

I was surely puzzled as to how this Bible got off the shelf and onto my bed. But the best I could do, I thought, is to read what Dad had marked in his Bible, in honor of him. Dad had left this earth some five years ago. So I began to read what Dad had marked in (Ephesians 2:8-9).

"What does this Scripture mean?" I asked myself.

Yes, you guessed it. The Comforter had returned and was sitting on my bedside. He had me read that Scripture again. Then He explained it to me. Man cannot save himself. He cannot give enough money, work in the church enough, or have a family member stand in for him in order for him to be forgiven. He must act on it himself by simply accepting God's free grace by faith. For God's free gift is available to all mankind if they will but accept it. (John 3:16)

That was all I needed to hear that night, as Dad's past sermons began ringing in my ear. And yes, I did what he suggested. Amen!

Author's Postscript:

One thing that amazes me most about God is the way He is able to work with our doubts and turn them into a positive conclusion. (Isaiah 42:16) Yes, He is able to accomplish infinitely more with our broken lives than we might ever ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20)

This is kind of a unique blog title, I must confess. And the parable dream was even more exceptional. But God uses all types of tactics to get His message across. (1 Cor 1:27)

In the early days, gospel message lyrics would be written to popular secular tunes, just to attract attention and get the message out. Street preachers would put on plays and skits to draw a crowd, then they would start the messages.

I heard of one old-time preacher who once ran up and down the street yelling "Fire! Fire!" When the crowd followed him, he ran into the church, locked the door and started preaching.

Maybe we need a little of that "interactive gospel" in today's services. I don't know how many people, out doing their thing, that I pass going to church each Sunday. Call me a Religious Dinosaur, if you will. But I still like that old time religion.

Yes, I still believe in that "Old Time Religion." I can't help but ponder those old brush-arbor revival meetings where the Amen and the Hallelujahs echoed as the Spirit led.

Additionally, in support of this evangelistic message was our old fashioned church altar. I realize the physical make up of that old altar was no different than any other construction. However, that old fashioned altar was very special to me, for that old altar was where I was first introduced to the Living God. So, just "Give Me That Old Time Religion" Come on, sing with me!

Give me that old time religion
Give me that old time religion
Give me that old time religion
It's good enough for me

Makes me love everybody
Makes me love everybody
Makes me love everybody
It's good enough for me


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