>Sundays In The South

>Going to church each Sunday is a given for many. It’s just what people do on Sunday mornings in the South. Or at least so I thought. Up until about 2 years ago, we attended a church of about 2,000 worshippers on Sunday mornings. It is easy to come to the conclusion that “every one’s” here, when in fact the sad truth is that less than 5% of the population of our county (Shelby County, AL) attends church on a regular basis. Regular church attendance is defined by the Barna organization as two times per year.

There are varying reasons for people not attending church on a regular basis. I found that out just this last week as the comments poured in from my first post of “Sundays In The South”, many of which asked me not to post their comments to the masses, but wanted to share their story with me. God bless them all, they are alot like most of us. Either they have never been to church or they have been what I term “over churched”. By over churched, I mean they got so caught up in the events of church, they forgot to keep the main thing, the main thing and got burned out, or got hurt by some of the politics of the church. No one has ever said to me that “God was not enough for me” or “Jesus let me down”. It was all about how man had failed or disappointed them in some way. I am living proof that God doesn’t let people down. He saved me physically and spiritually. As a 12 year old boy, the church bus ministry took me to church and I accepted Christ as my Savior. Later that same year, my dad and I were in a horrible car accident that resulted in the two of us being trapped in a car for two hours, my dad’s limp body over on me, as I cried out for help. My dad died that day, and I was saved from what should have been a certain death. Many said I was marked for greater things. Well, the jury is still out on that, but I have come to realize that God has a plan for each of us. I don’t pretend to understand it, nor do I always like it, but I can see it being revealed to me, a little at a time. God loves everyone, just the way you are, don’t ever let anyone tell you any different.

Many see church as a chore or an obligation, I have always seen it as an opportunity to worship our Creator. Someone once said, “the perfect worship service would be one that we would largely be unaware of, our focus having been on God”. There is a lot of truth in that statement.

I also love the social aspect of church, and oh, the music…. I love the music.

Music has had a way of conveying a message to me like nothing else. I could listen or preach a 100 sermons, and not get as much out of it as listening to just one song.

The hymns of the church have always gripped my heart. The song I am posting today is one that, when really absorbed has a very powerful message. “Brethren, We Have Come To Worship!” I hope you enjoy the bluegrass stylings of Bart Millard.

Blessings & Peace to all who read this!


About Chris VanCleave - America's Favorite Rose Gardener

Christopher R. VanCleave – America’s Favorite Rose Gardener Nicknamed "The Redneck Rosarian”, Chris VanCleave is passionate about gardening and growing roses. He is an active member of the Birmingham chapter of the American Rose Society, serving two terms as President. In 2007, he created the Rose Chat Podcast which has reached over a half a million listeners with news and information on growing on growing the world’s most beloved flower, the rose. He was a contributor to the 2015 Southern Living Gardening Book, has appeared on P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home television show and was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southern Living Magazine. Locally, Chris serves as Chairman of the Helena Alabama Beautification Board where he has spearheaded efforts to create a sustainable landscape in one of the top one hundred places to live in the United States. His writing is seen at About.com and on his popular website; RedneckRosarian.com, where he chronicles his gardening adventures and explores an intrinsic mix of life, faith and gardening. An agent of change with over 20 years’ experience in process innovation, Mr. VanCleave is leading the charge to reinvigorate horticultural societies and helping them to reach their full potential in the social media age.
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9 Responses to >Sundays In The South

  1. >The old saying is that he who sings a hymn prays twice; once with the words and once with the music.


  2. grouchy says:

    >an old Quaker Song.


  3. >We go every Sunday without fail. We are Catholic Christians, and I don't know what I'd do without God and my church. I love your Sundays in the South series. How do we welcome folks back into the fold? That's a good question I think.~~Dee


  4. >God walks with me and looks after me wherever I am, especially in the beauty of his creation that is the garden.


  5. Jennifer says:

    >Chris…I got the best information about rooting roses under mist on Gardenweb. Here's the webpage. I have stuck hardwood cuttings in the ground in Jan/Feb and had decent success. I dig a trench and line it with sand and water it in…then forget about it. But if you want much higher success with more cuttings then take them in late april through July is my best times…gives them time to root before fall. Here's the web address for GW:http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/rosespro/2003063646004668.html


  6. Msrobin says:

    >Thanks so much for your thought provoking series on attending church. I am a church musician, and have found that it is the primary way for me to worship. It fills my soul with joy each time I sing!


  7. Gaga's says:

    >Dear Redneck Rosarian,You cannot imagine how you speak to me. My mother's a Texas Chisholm like the trail and we were in church every time the church doors opened. Daddy was a Yankee, and I grew up in Northern Il. I've always said missionary work should be from the southern churches to the northern churches, and you say attendance is low there!Your new friend and fellow rosarian,Gaga


  8. debsgarden says:

    >I love that hymn, and I really enjoyed the slide show! I think going to church on Sunday is important, but even more important is how one's heart responds to the Lord on the other six days!


  9. Linda White says:

    >We love going to Mass every Sunday as well as daily when we can make it. The peace it gives us is food for the soul. Thank you for this post, Chris. 😉


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