Friday, January 21, 2005

The Tablecloth

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc. and on Dec, 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On Dec, 19th a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm - hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high. The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor and, not knowing what else to do but topostpone the Christmas Eve service, he headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in.

One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored,crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was white like a sheet. "Pastor," she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?" The pastor explained.

The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there.

They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the Tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. She was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home that was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return. One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood, continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving. The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall and explained that it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike?

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety, and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride.

They drove to Staten Island, to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier. He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on the door and then witnessed the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

True Story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid, who says God works in mysterious ways. I asked the Lord to bless you as I prayed for you today and asked Him to guide you and protect you as you go along your way. His love is always with you, His promises are true, and when we give Him all our cares you know He will see us through.

This is a beautiful story.... how wonderful is our God!!!

So when the road you're traveling on seems difficult at best, just remember I'm here praying, and God will do the rest.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


I forgot to mention that I created an online photo album for the church website. If you would like to see the pictures you can go to or just click on the link on the home page of the church website at . Enjoy!


It's been awhile

I have been so busy lately, that I haven't had much time to write anything.  I just wanted to take a few minutes to give thanks to the Lord for bringing us into another year.  I have been so blessed that I couldn't even begin to tell you all the wonderful things that the Lord did for me in 2004.  But I am certainly looking forward to a blessed and exciting 2005.  Already this year at church we have seen one soul saved that we have been praying for for a long time.  I am anxious to see more of the same! 
Everyone always makes New Year's Resolutions at the beginning of a year.  Most of the time they are things like "I'm going to quit smoking" or "I'm going to lose weight".  This year, my only "resolution" is that I want to do more for God.  Sometimes it seems like there is so much going on, between church and choir practice and the rest home ministry and bible study, not to mention the church website and my website, it seems like I can hardly get everything done.  But God always makes a way and I still have time to spare.  So I want to do even more.  I want to find new and interesting ways to reach people and bless them.  I can think back to about 4 years ago and how miserable I was, not being in the will of God, and how very few people took the time to tell me that they loved me and that Jesus loves me.  Even in the condition I was in, God still loved me.  There were times I needed to hear that.  And I know that right this very minute there are people in that very same shape that I was once in, and they need someone to show them love.  I want to be the one to show them that I love them and God does too!  I may not have a lot of money I can give others or even a lot of time that I can give.  But I could always give someone love.  That's the miraculous thing about love:  no matter how much you give, you can never seem to run out!  And when I think of how much love God has given to me, I think it's only fair that I give some of that to others. 
I firmly believe that God put each and every one of us here for a purpose.  And I have heard some people say "Well, I just don't know what my purpose is."  People tend to think that because they can't preach or sing or teach, then they can't do anything for God.  But that is just not true.  Sometimes, the smallest things go overlooked, because they seem too simple.  Maybe just giving someone an encouraging word is exactly what God put you here for!  And that is something that ANYONE can do. 
So I hope that while each of you are making your New Year's Resolutions, you resolve to be more for the Lord.  It's easier than quitting smoking or losing weight, and the benefits you get are a lot greater!! 
Much love to all of you!  Until next time, be blessed....