Posts Tagged church

Linda Lentz Reviews – Our Father; Discovering Family on Amazon

9781498218733If you have toyed with the idea of what the life of a believer in God might look like, this book is for you. It is a detailed profile of Mitch Carnell’s life, full of adventure, happiness, and sadness from a child to an eighty-year-old. Throughout the book, one is challenged by the sincerity at which Mitch writes and his passion for God and loving everyone. His concern for the status of the Church is demonstrated through fragile relationships he has experienced and problems which exist in most churches today. He demonstrates how a church which went through a break up was saved because of love, communication, and God’s grace. His remedy for this is improved communication in society in general and throughout churches .He states that “working to improve the quality of Christian communication is God’s plan for my life; experiences, education, and career have uniquely prepared me for such a role.”
I found this book very engaging, interesting and reinforcing that God‘s work is never complete on Earth. I highly recommend this book for knowledge and as a biography of the author.His writing is casual,clear and intriguing.
Written by Linda Lentz, August3, 2016.

 

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Why I Honor the Mill Village Church in Our Father: Discovering Family

Northside Baptist ChurchCotton mills were hot, dusty, noisy places. The men and women who worked in them worked hard with few breaks and with no company provided help.  The amazing thing is that workers who were overworked themselves often helped other workers who had gotten behind.  Somehow they were friends with their bosses. The children of the workers and those of the bosses went to school together, played together, dated each other and went to church together.

Sundays brought everyone together in the mill village church. Workers and bosses went to church together. They sat in the same pews and shared leadership positions. They sang in the choir together. There was no mill talk at church. The services, at least at the ones I knew, were upbeat – not in the sense of today’s contemporary worship style. They were positive and uplifting – no hellfire and damnation. Of course during the 1940s and 1950s there was a strong undergirding of patriotism. God was on our side. Congregational singing of the old hymns was robust.

These are the churches of my youth. These wonderful hard working people supported strong child and youth programs. They turned out anytime children or young people were on the program. They encouraged their children in every way possible. Education was important. They sent their pastors to continuing education training during the summer. Religious faculty members from the surrounding colleges were invited to speak or preach. The church and the school were the centers of everything.

In my book, Our Father: Discovering Family, I pay tribute to these churches. I grew up living between the Baptist church and the Methodist church. I truly didn’t know the differences between them until I arrived at college. I am indebted to Northside Baptist Church for giving me a great foundation and encouraging me to grow as a Christian. Our pastors became family friends and came for Sunday dinner. One, the Rev. J. L. McCluney, visited me when I was a student at Mars Hill College. When I came home on weekends are vacations I was always invited to teach Sunday school classes or called on to lead prayer in the worship service.

Our Father; Discovering Family, is published by Wipf and Stock. It is available at most book stores and at www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com.

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Influence of the Mill Village Church Cited in Our Father: Discovering Family

Northside Baptist ChurchThe mill village church that played such a vital role in the lives of its members across the piedmont Carolinas has all but disappeared. One of those churches, Northside Baptist Church, and its pastor are singled out for special praise by Mitch Carnell in his new book, Our Father: Discovering Family. Carnell credits the people of Northside and Rev. Roy R. Gowan for laying the foundation and then giving him permission to explore the meaning of his Christian faith. “Mitchell,” Gowan said one day, “God created all of you. That includes your brain. God did not expect you to turn it off when you come to church. God is not put off by your questions.”

Carnell’s book begins at St. Paul’s cathedral in London and then weaves back and forth in the stages of his life. He began writing the book with two simple questions. How did I get to where I am spiritually from where I started? What am I to do with the rest of my life? According to the author, God had a much bigger idea. He wanted me to discover the vastness of his family. I had to stretch the boundaries of my small town background and open my mind and heart to a larger way of thinking.

Dr. Carnell also gives a great deal of credit to his lifelong friend, the Rev. Ansel McGill who retired as pastor of Parisview Baptist Church in Greenville. He also singles out professors at Mars Hill College and Furman University. His late wife, the daughter of Presbyterian missionaries, questioned all of his assumptions in a loving but forceful manner.

He has now been an active member of First Baptist Church of Charleston for fifty years. He stresses the contributions of its long time pastor, the late John A. Hamrick, to his life. He credits Hamrick and the church’s legendary organist and Minister of Music and Worship, David Redd, for teaching him how to worship.

Our Father; Discovering Family, is available at most book stores, as an ebook from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or the publisher wipfandstock.com. Dr. Carnell is a speaker/consultant in the fields of interpersonal and organizational communication. His website is www.mitchcarnell.com.

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House of God – Week 4 – FBC – Say Something Nice Sunday

Scripture Focus: I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. — Psalm 122.1 (KJV)

When I was in elementary school I helped Mr. Hughes, the custodian, every Friday night get our church ready for Sunday services. In the beginning I was more of a hindrance than a help. He had great patience and slowly I learned. Never-the-less I could not resist the temptation to arrange the seating in the social hall as if it were seating on a train. Somehow this amused this no-nonsense but kind mentor. Unfortunately he would not allow me to shovel coal into the box that fed the huge furnace. I was not yet tall enough to reach the chain to ring the deep throated bell. I loved working with Mr. Hughes and being in the church. Perhaps these early experiences explain why I feel at home in churches of all sizes grand and small and without regard for denominational or faith identity. They are all sanctuaries. For me they are all holy ground. I feel that same joy on Sunday mornings as I stand at the door of our historic church welcoming members and visitors from around the world. The smiles on their faces confirm that they are also happy to be in God’s house. When the choir sings, Surley the Lord Is in This Place, I am warmed by its message. I am reminded of the thousands of saints who have worshiped here and found sanctuary in the house of a loving God.

Prayer Focus: Creator God, thank You for all of the houses of worship around the world. Remind us that we are family and that the church is not a building but a body of believers. Amen.

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