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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Memories...A Thankful Heart

Tonight I am thinking about simpler times.  At least they were simpler times for me.  Of course I was only a little girl.  I was thinking about being in church.  We were in church a lot.  Our lives were engrossed in the church.  We lived above the church, went to school at the church and of course, attended services there at least three times a week.  We played in the Sunday School rooms and I preached almost weekly in the Sanctuary (of course, I was preaching to my brother and sisters).  My sister Christian was the piano player, Ronald was the drummer, Cheryl was the singer and I was the preacher.  When I prayed for you, you were going down...slain in the spirit or more correctly, pushed down by little Kimi Estep.

Growing up in a Pentecostal Church, when we played Church, there was dancing and running around the Sanctuary, we sang loud, we prayed hard for a miracle and we had a blast.  If we played church in the apartment, we had to improvise.  The hamper became the piano, hair brush became the mic, the bed became the drums and I guess as the preacher, I just winged it.  We sang and preached to our neighbor, Mr. Oals, just in case he was listening.

Our Christian School.  Christian is the one in a white shirt right
in the middle, I am to her right (red head).  Ronald is on top, far left,
white shirt, next to girl on end.  Cheryl is in front, second girl in on left.
This is probably our Singing Group year.

I remember all four of us were planning on starting a Gospel singing group.  We sang our hearts out in the church parking lot...practicing.  People were shouting..."SHUT UP!", but that didn't stop us.  We had our dad come out and take a picture of us.  We posed and boy were we a motley crew.  Christian had her shirt on with the lovers running across the beach at sunset, I had long stringy red hair, we wore our gauchos and we thought we were something.  Lovely memories.

My cousin Jeanie and my little sister Cheryl.
This is a good example of what we wore.
The songs that we sang in church are of course a part of the memories.  "He's God in the Father, God in the Son, God in the Holy Ghost, He's God all three and one.  And I know God, God will never change and I know God.  Jesus is His name."  My dad liked this song a lot and I remember Pastor Jonnie Nickles singing it a lot at our fellowship meetings.  Other songs that come to my mind are, "Bind us together Lord, Bind us together with cords that cannot be broken"; "It's worth it all to feel the fire that's burning deep within.  It's worth it all, to know I'm saved and I am free from sin.  Just to feel His touch and know that He is coming back again, it's worth it all, it's worth it all"; "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face.  And the things of earth will grow strangely dim.  In the light of His glory and grace."  Ahh, wonderful days.

The four Estep kids on Christmas morning.
Some may remember these days in the 70's and 80's.  Some may remember the songs we sang and the clothes we wore.  I often wonder what the church and the decisions my parents made, what did it save us from?  People may look at the lives of these four children and say, "they didn't have a normal childhood.  They didn't get to do what the other kids did."  BUT, what did it give us and keep us from?I don't know what it kept us from, I can only guess.  What I do know is what it gave us.

It gave us...

1-Friends all over the United States

2-A wonderful foundation

3-A close knit family

4-We were allowed to be children


6-Freedom to use the gifts that God gave us

7-The knowledge of what a relationship with God is and how it impacts a life

8-First hand accounts of people being healed and delivered



We had a good childhood.  Did we get to play sports on teams? NO, we had church.  Did we get to build forts and roll down hills in rusty barrels? YES, we had lots of room to play and great imaginations.  Did we have the best of clothes, toys and things? No, we had the best of love, family and faith.  Were we rich with money and things?  No, we were rich because we had two parents that loved each other and us, unconditionally.

I am thankful for the Church.  I am thankful I grew up a Pastor's kid.  I am thankful that I have always known that Jesus Loves Me.

Thank you, Mom and Dad for these memories and for the foundation grounded in Truth.  I am Blessed.

The Estep four with our spouses and our

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