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Expressing gratitude always importantcomment (0)

January 4, 2001

By Betty Baggott

My path to Andalusia had not been easy. Throughout my journey, fog rolled out of the woods like a monster seeking to devour its prey.

It was not long, however, until I had reached my destination of First Baptist Church, Andalusia, for a banquet recognizing decaons and their wives.

Among the 150 people present were some 45 widows who were being honored. It was my job to deliver a Christmas message.

I did not anticipate offering the message would be hard to do. in light of the fact God moves in such miraculous ways and gives superhuman strength.

He also offers mind-boggling clear instructions that lead one to know they will survive the raging storms of life.

Stirring truths are there to share from the depths of one’s soul. We wonder at times why we are led to do certain things.

Sitting at the table with my hostess for the night, Jeannette Moore, I was soon to learn  the lesson God had prepared for me that night.

Already I had been told by Jim Krudop, chairman of the deacons, about this lady — a saint of God serving at First Baptist.

From the moment I entered her home there was a peace I needed. Her husband had passed away years before and spending the night with her was an added treat.

Learning that this lovely senior citizen had taught high school students for some nine years prompted me to want to know more. There was an age difference between her and the students and we often hear that young people respond best to younger mentors.

Such was not with the case here and she shared with me many experiences with the youth, but that was not what I marveled at the most.

Just about every young person who served our table had choice words to say to this lady.

Finally after I had observed such love between the young and old, I asked one young lady, “Why is Jeannette such a good Sunday School teacher?”

Before I could say a word this beautiful high school student said, “Mrs. Moore, you will never know what you mean to all of us. We love you.”

Age is not a factor for teaching.

It is meeting the needs of those you teach with a heart for God.

Later as she guided me through her lovely home she remarked, ‘The girls love to come here and spend the night.”

Being with this lady I understood why.

The story is told of Richard Bellinger, a young boy in South Carolina who was the son of a Baptist minister.

One Saturday night Richard decided to shine his father’s shoes. The following night his father put a silver dollar on the bureau of his son’s room with a note commending his son for what he had done and telling him that the dollar was his reward.

The next morning  when the father put on his shoes, he felt something hard and metallic in one of them.

When he took the shoe off and reached inside, he found the silver dollar he had given to his son the night before.
Along wit the dollar was a note that simply read, “I did it for love!”

I saw a lot of things on that Friday night that showed people doing things just out of love — a church that cares enough about a group in their church to honor them, a teacher who teaches out of love for God and how He has blessed her and young people who tell a teacher how great she is.

Their parents must have taught them well to show appreciation.

Although my trip home the next morning was also accompanied by fog, it was worth it to be a part of an event such as this.

God certainly has not had a problem finding this church and directing the hearts of its people.

A night well spent.

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