What Makes You Different?

Welcome to another week!

The Old Fashioned Hymn Sing at Fallowfield United Methodist Church on May 22 was a big hit. Friends and neighbors from local churches, including Kennard United Methodist, Sunnyside Mennonite, Faith United Methodist, and Adamsville Presbyterian attended.

We sang some of the old favorites, including “In the Garden,” “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Nothing But the Blood,” “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand,” and “Because He Lives.”

Allen Jacobs sang and dedicated “More Than A Name on A Wall” to veterans. Four soloists and one duet performed classic hymns, Fallowfield United Methodist’s choir sang a medley of hymns and a men’s chorus sang “America.”

Pastor Larry Corner sang a song he wrote that includes many of the names of Jesus used in the Bible. Among these are, “Counselor,” “Almighty God,” and “I AM.”

Joy was in the air that night. People love singing the old songs. Don’t get me wrong -- I love trendy Christian music on KLOVE, Air1, WCTL and Family Life Radio. I listen to these stations every day. But the old hymns have staying power.

I requested “All Glory, Laud and Honor.” The congregation sang it, but with much less gusto than the other songs. I’m sure they’d all heard this hymn; it’s ancient, written in the 800s, but it’s not the most popular song in the hymnal. It’s no “Amazing Grace.” But it’s beautiful and honors Jesus’ triumphal entrance to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

This experience reminded me that I’ve always been different. Indulge me: I’ll tell you a few things about myself that make me weird.

For one, sports never appealed to me. This makes me very different from most people. You should see me try to serve a volleyball if you want a good laugh.

My neighbors remind me that I’m unusual when riding by on four wheelers and keeping perfect flower beds. Four wheelers seem dangerous to me and I’ve killed almost every plant I’ve tried to grow.

And I’m a writer, for crying out loud. How strange does that make me?

So what makes you different? Maybe it’s your value system. When you go out to dinner with friends you order iced tea. Not Long Island Iced Tea – unsweetened tea. They tilt their heads and stare at you for a second. You’re starting to stand out.

When you to go to a party on Saturday night, you leave at 10 p.m. because you have church the next morning. And you tell them you can’t make tee time at 9 a.m. because you’ll be in church.

Instead of watching CNN you start your day with Bible reading. And – oh my! – you believe the Bible is actually the inspired word of God. Uh-oh. You’re different.

If you feel like your value system makes you weird, then you’re probably walking the exact path God wants you on. Being odd on earth will pay off in heaven.

Have a wonderful week. Blessings!