I was needing a laugh, so I hope you will join me as I recall an early music experience.
Throughout history, God has used many ways to send messages to us, angels, Moses, Jesus and others. I find one of his most interesting messengers is the weather.
When I was a child, I once appeared at a little Church of God tucked into the suburbs of North Atlanta.
This particular evening a guest minister was on the pulpit just preaching up a storm. That preacher began a sermon on the sacrament of baptism.
I always loved to see the late Hee Haw star the Rev. Grady Nutt. He is one of the funniest preachers I ever had the pleasure of watching.
On baptism, he would say there are “no instructions in the Bible about how to baptize” but from his descriptions, there are endless lists of things that can go wrong in the process.
Baptist preachers — they get right in there with ’em. About all Methodists can do is drop the cup.
The definition of baptism is to immerse or dip in water.
Nutt used to suggest using the word “dip” interchangeably with Baptist. Then millions would be members of the Southern Dip Church, the Southern Dip Convention; the group president would be the Big Dipper.
Baptising is no easy task; I had a friend who volunteered for new preacher duty at a Bible college one time and those fellers who were anxious to show they knew how to baptize nearly drowned him.
Nutt would say one thing to remember when baptizing in moving water is always point the person’s head upstream. You tend to lose them the other way.
Some folks tend to hold them under until they bubble — this might explain the number of Methodists.
Anyway, the visiting preacher began berating Methodists and the denomination’s approach to baptism through sprinkling. I could almost see the static electricity making my mother’s hair stand up on end as she listened.
Just about that time a bolt of lightning came down from the heavens, striking the transformer outside the little church and knocking out the power.
That preacher jumped three feet in the air, came down, hit the ground and without missing the rhythm of his message, “But no matter how they do it, those Methodists are good folks, too.”
He did not say another word about Methodists. My mom just could not keep from laughing.
I think God sometimes likes to send us a little postcard by airmail just to remind us he is listening.
Randall Franks is an American TV and film actor, award-winning Appalachian entertainer, motivational speaker, author, award-winning journalist, and a syndicated newspaper columnist.
He is best known as “Officer Randy Goode” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night,” a role he performed on NBC and CBS from 1988-1993.
He has co-starred or starred in two other TV series and 15 films with superstars including Dolly Parton, Christian Slater, William Hurt, John Schneider, Elizabeth McGovern, Soren Fulton, and legendary western star Ramblin’ “Doc” Tommy Scott.
He is a friend of Courier publisher Jim Clark.