Jase Graves: Put on your church genes | Homes and lifestyle

From the time I was still knitted in my mother’s womb with some defective parts that God left after making my big brother (he made me write this part), I attended Southern Baptist churches.

In fact, one of the earliest known photos of me was taken on a Sunday morning in 1970 when I had just been deuterated and my mother was posing with me in the front yard, both of us wearing summer clothes. thick polyester church.

So I guess you could say that I grew up with the red Kool-Aid Vacation Bible School running through my veins, and my Southern Baptist heritage had a profound impact on my worldview – including the great value I place on a 9×13 pan.

Here are some signs that you too were raised in the nap-resistant wooden pews of Southern Baptist (or similar) churches in the 1970s and 1980s.

First of all, you were always excited about the prospects of a trip to the stock market – as it was usually red Kool-Aid and/or several 9×13 casserole dishes.

And speaking of food, you knew that “dinner in the field” was a sacred form of congregational picnic that included, you guessed it, red Kool-Aid and several 9×13 casserole dishes.

And speaking of more food, you knew that when the Lord’s Supper was given in a “big church”, the sermon might be a little shorter, and the Dallas Cowboys were probably playing at noon.

And speaking of even more food, you’ve considered stale Certs mints and Clorets gum from your mom’s purse finger foods to get you through that fourth verse of “Just as I Am” before you head to the scholarship room, a dinner in the field, or home for a lunch that was probably cooked in a 9×13 casserole dish.

Before any meal, you could say a blessing in the King James version because you could use “You”, “You”, “You” and “Your” without sounding like daffy duck.

During “big church” you can make amazing sketches with one of these eraserless pew pencils and the back of a free tithing envelope.

When you ran out of tithing envelopes, you could play about 50 games of tic-tac-toe in the margins of the church bulletin with your dad when your mom — and the preacher — weren’t watching.

You knew the first, second and last stanzas of almost every official selection Baptist hymn — located at the back of the bench right next to the improvised art supplies. (The hymn also served as an excellent desktop for tithe envelope designs and tic-tac-toe.)

You also knew that “God”, “Jesus», « Pray », « Read your Bibleand “Go to Church” were the correct answers to about 90 percent of all Sunday School teacher questions.

When the choir director told the congregation to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord,” some of us only paid attention to the “noise” part.

Seriously though, I really feel blessed that my parents exposed me to the shared gospel in church when I was growing up.

I’ve often heard that going to church doesn’t make you a believer any more than sitting in a garage makes you a car. But for the sake of protection, repair and general maintenance, a garage seems like a very good place for a car.

And for an imperfect human like me, the church has been instrumental in helping me stay aligned, balanced, and all those other car metaphors I might experience if I weren’t so challenged by the automobile.

A recent Gallup A survey found that since 1999 church membership in the United States has dropped 20%, which seems to largely explain the times we live in.

And while churches aren’t perfect places filled with perfect people, America could be a different country if more people still went to church, loved each other, and recognized the value of a 9×13 pan.

Jase Graves is an award-winning comedy columnist whose columns have been featured in Texas Getaways magazine, Shreveport time in Louisiana, and the Kilgore News Herald and Longview News-Journal in Texas. Contact him at [email protected] Where connect with him on facebook. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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