Shoutin’

I drove out of Birmingham a little ways to meet my friend. I watched the interstate give way to pine trees. Pine trees gave way to farmland. Farmland gave way to cattle pastures.

Somewhere deep in the sticks, my GPS went to be with the Lord.

It was Sunday morning. I found the little building just where my friend said it would be. He was standing in the parking lot waiting for me, leaning against his car, reading a newspaper.

Families were crawling out of mud-covered vehicles. Little girls wore dresses. Young men wore sport coats.

“Thought you’d never get here,” my friend said.

“I lost phone reception,” I said. “My GPS quit working.”

“Welcome phone purgatory,” he said with a smile. “Why do you think I’m reading a paper?”

We walked inside together. It was an old building. There was no microphone, only wooden ceilings, wooden floors, wooden walls, and wooden pews. America was founded in wooden rooms like this.

I have been to Philadelphia and toured the ancient wooden rooms that hosted talks between men who were traitors to the Crown. The talks that began a nation, indivisible, with liberty and free online shipping for all. Those rooms looked like this one.

I sat in a pew. I placed my hands in my lap.

Most people in the chapel were white-haired. We sang songs from old hymnals. My friend, his daughter, and I shared a hymnal which was bound with duct tape. There were crayon drawings in the front pages from some hapless hand that doodled in this hymnal long before Calvin Coolidge was born.

After the singing, a 12-year-old girl played the violin for the “message in song.” She played “Shall We Gather at the River?”and did a nice job. Although, the girl’s mother leaned and whispered to me that when her daughter practices each evening the neighbors usually call the authorities to report a dying feline on the premises.

The ushers took up the offering, which only lasted about four or five seconds, inasmuch as there were only 14 people in the room.

Then the preacher took the pulpit.

His wife helped him up hobble up the creaky steps. My friend leaned over to whisper to me. He told me that the old preacher had fallen a few times recently and needed his wife for support.

Don’t we all.

The pulpiteer delivered a slam-bang sermon. It was primarily the shoutin’ kind. The kind of preaching that the revivalists of olden times used to deliver at camp meetings. The kinds of passionate perorations young men are afraid to preach these days.

“Love thy neighbor!” was how the old man began with a mighty shout. “WHO is your neighbor?!”

And so on.

Then he offered an invitation.

Boy, howdy. It’s been a while since I’ve witnessed an actual invitation—the part of the service where a preacher invites sinners to walk down front and confess their most heinous crimes before God and cousin.

This is the crucial part of the ceremony where most visitors leave so they can beat the Presbyterians to Piccadilly.

Our invitations used to be the longest parts of my boyhood church services. They were extremely awkward because anyone who walked down the aisle was basically admitting that their life was screwed up. So most of the time, nobody came forward. Nobody wants to admit their lives are a mess.

Still, we always did the invitation. Just in case. Because you never knew. What if someone in the congregation was on the brink of suicide? What if someone needed help? What if?

Today, however, invitations are pretty rare. A friend of mine is a mainstream minister with a trendy haircut and a distaste for the invitation.

He recently emailed me an article which stated that many U.S. churches have stopped “inviting” parishioners forward at the end of service for prayer or help because it’s just too uncomfortable.

“It sends the wrong message,” said the article.

Which might be true. I’m no expert. Church can be a strange business when you think about it. It can be an Us-versus-Them club. But if we put all that dogma aside for a moment, the fact was, back during the Great American Childhood, the invitation was the only part of the service that actually mattered.

Because if the church wasn’t helping people get through their own personal hell, then what in the name of Gloria Gaither were we doing?

I once walked forward during an invitation. This happened shortly after my father shot himself with a hunting rifle. Everyone in the church knew why I was going down. And nobody was surprised when I began weeping on the heart-pine steps.

I came forward because I didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t think. I couldn’t do anything.

The preacher knelt beside me and cried with me. He asked nothing of me. He forced me to say no prayers. He didn’t slap his King James and call me a reprobate. He just placed a warm hand upon my shoulders and cried.

And when I glanced behind myself, the entire church had their hands resting upon me. Those who couldn’t reach me were touching the shoulders or elbows of those who were touching me. Together, the whole church formed a human spiderweb, stretching into the lobby, and probably out to the Piccadilly.

I don’t know if anything magic happened that day, but today I can still feel their prayers.

When the country church service was over, the rural preacher led us in a round of hymn number 249, “Love Lifted Me.”

“Love lifted me,
“Love lifted me,
“When nothing else could help,
“Love lifted me.”

And I’m here to tell you that it did.

88 comments

  1. Connie - April 2, 2022 9:10 am

    Amen, Sean. Well said!

    Reply
  2. Ann - April 2, 2022 10:19 am

    Amen!❤️🙏🏻

    Reply
  3. Robert Goodson - April 2, 2022 10:30 am

    Love like that lifts us all

    Reply
  4. Janet W. - April 2, 2022 10:37 am

    Truth! And one of the most beautiful you have ever written!

    Reply
    • Penny Lovett - April 2, 2022 1:52 pm

      I just finished your book, Will the Circle Be Unbroken? . As a 75 year old orphan, I could identify with every word. Thank you.

      Reply
  5. Maggie Priestaf - April 2, 2022 10:45 am

    Sean, love lifted me, too.,,

    Reply
  6. Friends - April 2, 2022 10:54 am

    Sean, it has been 15 years since my precious sister shot herself. I still hurt so much. However, I’m still here and it’s because of God working on my behalf in answer to the love and prayers of others. God loves us, Sean; it’s the reason we are able to keep living in spite of such horrible pain. 🙏 God bless you and thank you for the reminder. I am loved.

    Reply
    • Paula - April 3, 2022 2:58 am

      We just did this very thing at my little church on the corner. A father had asked for prayers for his young daughter who wish having some medical issues. At the closing of the service the father brought his daughter and family up to the pulpit to kneel at the altar to pray. The entire church joined them with a touching on hands on shoulders to pray for healing. We still continue to practice the same as years go by, not forgetting that prayer works for all who believe.

      Reply
  7. imcdbw - April 2, 2022 11:17 am

    Amen! Yes, it does!

    Reply
  8. Judy - April 2, 2022 11:17 am

    Wow! Once again such a heart- warming column. Thank you Sean. I was feeling pretty down this morning until I read this. I think I’ll put some Gaither music on while I do my Saturday morning chores. God’s love has lifted me through your column this morning!

    Reply
  9. Carol P Baden - April 2, 2022 11:20 am

    Boy, that one sure takes me back to my childhood! Only recently discovered Sean of the South. Bought all your books for my husband and we read them together. Every one is inspiring and a taste of home.

    Reply
  10. Kevin - April 2, 2022 11:22 am

    Thank you for your writing, which is a daily enjoyment to read. There is sadness, and there is evil, and therefore the need for God to intervene and save. I have just this morning heard about a little girl in the Philippines, in a family that I know, that has been kidnapped, and I fear the kind of harm that is intended against her. For those readers who are praying people, I ask for your prayers for the girl and that family. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Friends - April 2, 2022 12:07 pm

      🙏

      Reply
    • Jeanette - April 2, 2022 1:10 pm

      Kevin, prayers!

      Reply
  11. Paul - April 2, 2022 11:27 am

    And the whole congregation said, “AMEN “!

    Reply
  12. Naomi Smith - April 2, 2022 11:30 am

    Thank you for that ever timely word. Thank you for the reminder that love and prayers of others are all that keep many going in difficult times. Sometimes we might have a “singing” if our pastor is out sick. (He is battling cancer). One elderly lady who lives alone will request “I Need the Prayers of those I Love”. I’ve found that hymns have a language all their own. They speak to me when I’m sort of lost in a situation. We have a handicapped son who has seizures. They can last for hours and require hospitalization, or even lifeflight when he quits breathing. Many years ago, when I could still lift our son, my husband was working out of state. Around midnight I got up because he was seizing. I picked him up and carried him out to the car and headed to the hospital. No ambulances or hospitals within 25 miles. He was not breathing and was blue by the time we got there. They worked with him for several hours before he was stable enough for lifeflight to Children’s hospital, which is 3 hours away. It was way before cell phones and I was standing in that parking lot watching that helicopter take off. There wasn’t room for me, I would have to drive over. I remember thinking, “Lord I’ve never been so alone in my life.” Immediately, the words to this song came to me. “My Lord is Near Me All the Time.” Then I was able to get in the car and head for the hospital comforted in knowing that I was not alone. I’m ever thankful for the old hymns in my mind.

    Reply
  13. Trisha - April 2, 2022 11:49 am

    Grateful you RSVP’d Dear Sean…for your sake and for the sake of all of us blessed enough to read your words. And the people said Amen ! ❤️

    Reply
  14. Leigh Amiot - April 2, 2022 11:57 am

    I believe the prayers said by saints outlive them on this earth. A beloved great-aunt, confined to bed in her final years, spent a good part of her day praying for her relatives. She had a method, she’d start with her siblings and spouses who were still living, move on to their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. When I’d darken the door to the nursing home where she lived, before I even got to her bedside, she’d say in a strong voice, “I called you out by name to the Lord.” When she died, her daughter said that mantle of prayer had now passed to us. I’m not in the praying league my great-aunt was, but I’m working on it, and I feel certain Aunt Mildred’s prayers have helped me in the years since she went to be with Jesus.

    Reply
  15. Mark Alan Fendley - April 2, 2022 12:00 pm

    I’m a member of a church that still gives an invitation. And the same on Wednesday evenings as well. That invitation, accepted, wherever it occurs, defines the only two types of people in this world; either I am a wretch, or I am a righteous wretch. I’m the latter as a result of an invitation.

    Reply
  16. Donna Bell - April 2, 2022 12:04 pm

    This one made me cry Sean, and it made me remember. Love lifts me as well.

    Reply
  17. Carol - April 2, 2022 12:15 pm

    I only heard of you recently and started receiving your column. Now I know why – kindred spirit… BTW my pastor does invite people up for prayer at the end of service…🙏

    Reply
  18. Paul McCutchen - April 2, 2022 12:20 pm

    Sometimes God is at the door and all you have to do is let him in. But we don’t

    Reply
  19. Nancy - April 2, 2022 12:43 pm

    Beautiful! Thank you Sean!

    Reply
  20. robnrockin - April 2, 2022 12:48 pm

    Love you too Sean!

    Reply
  21. Shelton A. - April 2, 2022 12:50 pm

    His love will always lift you. Thank you for sharing. I’ve been a part of those chains of people praying…it’s powerful stuff. May what happened long ago continue to lift you up. God bless.

    Reply
  22. Cheryl Andrews - April 2, 2022 12:51 pm

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  23. Jan - April 2, 2022 12:58 pm

    Amen and Amen!

    Reply
  24. Jan - April 2, 2022 1:00 pm

    Praying for the little girl Kevin mentioned!

    Reply
  25. Linda Lewis - April 2, 2022 1:00 pm

    I really enjoyed this article. I could feel the support that your church gave you. I was raised in a gospel church like this. We were at that church every time the doors were open. My parents saw to it that we had a strong foundation in the church. Thank you for writing this.

    Reply
  26. Deacon Nick Nichols - April 2, 2022 1:08 pm

    Brother Sean, Peace to you! Being raised Souther Baptist I fully understand where you are coming from. If I am really saved, why do I keep sinning??? The point is we DO keep sinning, which is one reason I swam the Tiber and am now Catholic. We are ALL called to become saints — which is a journey; in Baptism we are newly born creatures; but the Lord knows we will continue to sin, so we have another sacrament — reconciliation, where by we confess our sins to a priest — who is in the Person of Christ — and we are truly forgiven by Christ through His ministers.

    Reply
  27. Judy 🌻 - April 2, 2022 1:12 pm

    Yes! And yes many times!

    Reply
  28. Richard Girdler - April 2, 2022 1:19 pm

    Amen

    Reply
  29. Matt Beebe - April 2, 2022 1:21 pm

    Wow! Just great!

    Reply
  30. Anne Arthur - April 2, 2022 1:29 pm

    Yes, love like this raises us up and we can keep living.

    Reply
  31. Betty Gibboney - April 2, 2022 1:37 pm

    I love this! That’s the kind of church I grew up in! Thank you for telling your story! God bless you!

    Reply
  32. JACKIE LEON DARNELL - April 2, 2022 1:45 pm

    sweet

    Reply
  33. Cathy M - April 2, 2022 1:48 pm

    We have all been in dark places as a result of loss of a loved one, illness, divorce, financial worries, etc. when I have experienced darkness I have felt God’s presence in a profound way. Maybe he uses those times to make us aware that he is always there for us and he knows us by name. Google the Jones family singing He know my Name. The lady who sings has the voice of an angel. I listened to it several times yesterday. You can see her sweet spirit in her face. You continue to bless all of us with your talent. Thank you for lifting us up with your love❤️

    Reply
  34. Helen De Prima - April 2, 2022 1:49 pm

    Beautiful!

    Reply
    • Barbara - April 2, 2022 2:25 pm

      From someone else but you might enjoy it.

      Easter will be here soon, Sunday, April 17. Easter Sunday is all about the glorious Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but what’s the rest of that story?

      As noted last Easter, these emails go to Christians, some friends of other faiths, and some who may still be figuring out what they believe. For those who may not understand what Easter means to Christians, it celebrates the crescendo peak miracle in the true Gospel Story of Jesus. It means that Jesus overcame sin and death and that we can as well —through Him alone. If you don’t understand what that means, please read on.

      To have a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ, we first have to understand that God exists, He loves us, and He wants a relationship with us. But many ways human beings act and think grieve or even anger God. Those behaviors and mindsets are called sins. “Worshiping” anyone or anything other than God is a sin, and we all know murder is wrong. But also, if we hate, lie, cheat, oppress the weak, gossip, stir up strife, nurse grudges, demean others, are greedy, jealous, envious, arrogant, prideful, sexually immoral, or selfish, all such things and many more are sins that grieve, anger, and separate us from God.

      At this point, you may be feeling as though you can’t measure up to what God wants from you. You’re right; none of us can. Romans 3:23 says plainly in every translation I read, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” But…

      God the Father sent his Son, Jesus (God-Incarnate), to come and live a perfect, sinless life among us here on Earth and then accept on Himself the punishment for our sins, giving His life on a cross as atonement for our sins so that we could be reconciled with God. Jesus’s death on The Cross is what happened on “Good Friday” of Easter weekend.

      Our part in being made right with God through Jesus is to admit our sin and need of the Savior. Then we accept, through grateful prayer to God, Jesus’s atonement for our sins; we accept Jesus as our Savior. Because of our gratitude for what God has done for us, we willingly turn away from our wrong, “sinful” ways of doing things and turn to His beautiful, righteous ways. And God will help us to live as He wants us to in His strength and power. We also come to understand and believe the amazing truth that Jesus rose to life again in The Resurrection, the focal point of Easter Sunday!

      That’s how you begin a rich, deep love relationship with the God of the universe through Jesus Christ. That’s the Gospel message, the heart of Easter (and the heart of Christmas)!

      Reply
  35. Daisy Flo Carr - April 2, 2022 2:05 pm

    Praise God for alter calls . They are the answer to a Mother’s prayers . Another sheep added to the fold . God bless

    Reply
  36. Brenda Stone - April 2, 2022 2:22 pm

    My pastor, Mac Brunson, preaches The Gospel and offers an invitation every service. You ought to come to hear him at Valleydale Church. We’d love to have you

    Reply
  37. Connie - April 2, 2022 2:25 pm

    Thank you. I love a good old fashioned church, with sings from old hymnals and preachers who aren’t scared to really preach and alter calls. I don’t know about everyone, but the feeling of your church family encompassing you in prayer is healing. You continue to touch my heart. God bless

    Reply
  38. Jenny Brannan - April 2, 2022 2:39 pm

    The best ever!

    Reply
  39. Patricia Gibson - April 2, 2022 2:40 pm

    So very true❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
  40. DAVID A WILSON - April 2, 2022 2:50 pm

    All I can say is “This post brought tears to my eyes”! THANKS!

    Reply
  41. Rhonda - April 2, 2022 2:50 pm

    Amen

    Reply
  42. ralph evitts - April 2, 2022 3:09 pm

    thank you for the trip down nostalgia lane, grew up in a Baptist church with about 150 members who lived within 10 miles of the church.

    Reply
  43. Tammy S. - April 2, 2022 3:11 pm

    “Just as I am, without one plea
    But that Thy blood was shed for me
    And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee
    Oh, Lamb of God, I come, I come”

    So thankful that our small church that grew larger still offers an invitation each Sunday to come, just as one is, to lay burdens down, to pray with others, to be prayed for, to surrender to the best invitation one can give…come to the alter, the Father’s arms are open wide. Forgiveness, bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

    Also, your line “ then what in the name of Gloria Gaither were we doing?” gave me the best lol moment this morning!! As a former pk, now a pw, I could identify with that question.

    Such God-given gifted writing!!

    Reply
  44. Steve Rafferty - April 2, 2022 3:18 pm

    AMEN Sean!!!

    Reply
  45. Pingback: Sean of the South: Shoutin’ | The Trussville Tribune

  46. Tom - April 2, 2022 3:42 pm

    I was raised on one of those deep water Baptist churches just like that. I now attend a church that is a bit larger but we still gives invitations at the end of the preaching service. There have been many of us that were lifted by that Love and that “ Amazing Grace”.

    Reply
  47. Rita Weber - April 2, 2022 3:52 pm

    We did that just last Sunday for a young mother with a new baby, whose husband had shot himself. I hope it helps her as much as you were helped, Sean. God is faithful and unchanging, so there is hope.

    Reply
  48. Judy - April 2, 2022 3:53 pm

    I’m a Floridian who use to live in Hopewell, AL and we went to a local church that was full of loving people and alter calls. So thankful for that time in my life. Hopewell is outside of Birmingham near Pinson, and if you every get there, check and see if Haygood’s General Store is still there. They use to have a bird that said” Birds can’t talk.”

    Reply
  49. Livy - April 2, 2022 4:02 pm

    Thanks be to God…

    Reply
  50. Roseann - April 2, 2022 4:33 pm

    A beautiful read. Thank you. It lifted my spirit.

    Reply
  51. Jessica Zaring - April 2, 2022 4:49 pm

    Thank you for this! I too have wondered why they don’t have invitations much! I am sure some still do but it’s so important for all!

    Reply
  52. Dawnie B - April 2, 2022 4:54 pm

    Many churches have become lukewarm because they have dropped the dynamic of the Invitation, stopped preaching the Word of God, and are trying to entertain the congregation. I thank our Father you were a member of a God-fearing (respecting) church, Sean!

    Reply
  53. Gary - April 2, 2022 4:57 pm

    Little wood frame country churches with wooden pews sort of have all the layers peeled back and can provide a special closeness with our Creator…Nice touch as usual, Sean

    Reply
  54. Ron Mahn - April 2, 2022 4:57 pm

    As a staff counseling pastor of a larger church that emphasizes acceptance, support, and recovery as integral to its DNA .. we recognize that “call” for prayer support at the end of worship often is filled with the tension between vulnerability and risk versus the safety of continued silence and isolation … We have concluded, “Let’s risk those awkward moments to surround anyone hurting enough that they are willing to take that risk and seek out help. We then can offer that person a sense of God’s love and our availability in that moment.” We realize that is only the beginning tho’, as it is critical for us to provide viable means and ways for that person to walk beyond that isolating “valley of the shadow of Death” …. and not just kind of death that isn’t breathing … they often just need us, the Church, to do it with them. Our sense of it is that is what we are called to do … to being God, with skin on!

    Reply
  55. Susie Flick - April 2, 2022 5:13 pm

    Loved this message of Love today!

    Reply
  56. Linda Moon - April 2, 2022 5:17 pm

    I still sometimes cry when I read your words about your father, and I did just now. I understand why you went forward because I’ve been lifted up by your love and prayers in recent days. They’ve kept me moving forward. And, yes, you all need your wives for support. So please thank your wife for her soft and tender care for you and for me.

    Reply
  57. Kathy - April 2, 2022 5:35 pm

    I love your heart and the words God places in it. Thank you for bringing us back to a place in time that matters and how those times have changed our lives. I’m so very sorry that people, for the most part don’t have the chance to experience this kind of lifting up by Gods people or to feel the true power of God filling us up. God bless you kind sir ..

    Reply
  58. Sandra - April 2, 2022 6:59 pm

    Amen , Love lifts us all. ♥️🙏🏻

    Reply
  59. Julie Moreno - April 2, 2022 8:09 pm

    Takes me back to my childhood!

    Reply
  60. Debbie Johnson - April 2, 2022 8:30 pm

    I love your column and particularly this story. I attend a church that always offers an invitation to accept Jesus as your Savior. The pastor says you don’t have to come forward just raise your hand. Everyone else has their eyes closed during the invitation and are praying those who need Jesus will raise their hands and everyone repeats with the pastor somewhat of the sinner’s prayer. I feel like I need it every Sunday even though I’m a committed Christian. Our pastor also has a time at the alter for those who want prayer for healing or any other need. Our church is not the wealthiest or the largest but we are true to what the Bible says. DJ

    Reply
  61. Adrienne Possenti - April 2, 2022 8:42 pm

    I’m here to tell ya, that love lifted me and it is a love beyond all human comprehension. I know that for a fact. I felt it when I needed it most. Glory.

    Reply
  62. Don Pinz - April 2, 2022 10:11 pm

    Wow Sean, you surprised me by using the word peroration. Really new to my vocabulary. Had to ask Mr Google. I really enjoy and am blessed with your creativity and style aimed at the common people. You are so prolific also. Your must go a mile a minute. May God bless you and your wife.

    Reply
  63. oldandblessed - April 2, 2022 10:35 pm

    Yep. You make it real clear, the church is the people, not the building whether wood, brick or aluminum siding.

    Reply
  64. Pat - April 2, 2022 11:32 pm

    I remember a mother in our church whose son was in the service and about to be deployed. She went to the alter and knelt. The pastor invited everyone to come and place their hands on her or the person in front of them for a prayer. I placed my hand on the person in front of me and during the prayer, I swear I felt something, maybe like a little electrical current run through my body. It was awesome! I’ll never forget that feeling.

    Reply
  65. AlaRedClayGirl - April 2, 2022 11:39 pm

    “So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Yes, love is what we all need desperately.

    Reply
  66. Cheryl Weathington - April 3, 2022 12:45 am

    Indeed. We’ve all been there. Thank you for expressing it for us

    Reply
  67. Donna B - April 3, 2022 1:25 am

    Can’t get more touching than this.

    Reply
  68. Bkr - April 3, 2022 2:01 am

    Ok. This is officially my favorite of all you have written. Until you write my next favorite! But this is my favorite. Seriously

    Reply
  69. Chasity Davis Ritter - April 3, 2022 2:10 am

    When you post this one to your Facebook I’m going to share with you one of my absolutely most favorite and treasured pictures of my Dad. I missed him off and in all day today. I still do everyday but because of this phot I know without a doubt where he is today and where I plan to see him again one day when I get there. Our church is in a big pretty building but the congregation isn’t always that big. A lot of people don’t think they need Jesus these days or they’ll just tune in online and half heartedly listen in. If there was an invitation they’d miss it anyway. But at our church we still have one just incase. And people still go up to kneel and pray and cry. We lay hands upon those who need it. I could picture your spider web of love so clearly. And sometimes…lots of times the preacher asks us all to come to the front to pray or be prayed for so maybe that one that was embarrassed or scared isn’t alone. I’m glad you weren’t alone. Thanks for sharing as always

    Reply
  70. Lila Bannister - April 3, 2022 3:40 am

    I lost my precious sister on the 24th of March. She battled cancer for 4 years. The last time we were able to attend church together was at a small church down past Weogufka Alabama. It was so uplifting and such a sweet service. The only way i am going to get through life without my sister is to remember that she is happy and has no more pain. The reason I know this is because she accepted the invitation at church a long time ago. Thank you for your walks down memory lane. God bless you and your wife.

    Reply
    • Fruends - April 3, 2022 4:30 am

      Lila, 🙏❤️

      Reply
  71. CHARALEEN WRIGHT - April 3, 2022 4:39 am

    Reply
  72. Kathi harper-hill - April 3, 2022 5:03 pm

    Amen, Brother

    Reply
  73. Dana Qualls - April 3, 2022 6:36 pm

    God bless you! I hope you feel my hand on your shoulder because I sure felt yours on mine!

    Reply
  74. Debbie g - April 4, 2022 12:58 am

    Amen Dana Yours on mine and mine on yours. Love to all

    Reply
  75. suzi - April 4, 2022 2:58 am

    I love my church family❤️

    Reply
  76. Christina - April 4, 2022 3:49 am

    Keep preaching about the power of love, Sean! It keeps lifting us in ways you will never know.

    Reply
  77. Phil Evans - April 5, 2022 1:46 am

    Love lifts….when nothing else will.

    Reply
  78. Karen - April 6, 2022 2:09 am

    I went to this kind of church with my grandparents when I was a young girl. Oh, what I’d give to go with them one more time and hear my Grandaddy lead the invitation song. I’m sending this to someone I know that has lost their way. Thank you, Sean, for these words and please pray that they will answer the invitation and ask love to lift them up, too. ❤️

    Reply
  79. Kaye Stephens - April 6, 2022 8:55 pm

    I appreciate your old-timey values more than you know!!im delighted and heartened that a person younger than I has these values. Church has politics instead of prayer.

    Reply
  80. Shari - April 7, 2022 3:10 pm

    Although I found this to be a very uplifting story, I don’t find it necessary to slam any other religion. I didn’t find any reason for this sentence at all: “This is the crucial part of the ceremony where most visitors leave so they can beat the Presbyterians to Piccadilly” God is love. And he teaches us to love all and sit in judgement of no one. May God bless. Have a good day.

    Reply
  81. Sheila Gross - April 9, 2022 9:42 pm

    your story touched my heart. thank you

    Reply
  82. Susan W Fitch - April 18, 2022 9:38 pm

    Dearest Sean, I’m a new “follower “ and would love to know if your schedule allows a visit to the Williamsburg, Yorktown, Richmond area of VA, I’d love to see you in person, you’re amazing and I anticipate each day’s post!

    Reply

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