Often I have a lot of excuses why I can't do something. I have been guilty of quoting Milton from "On His Blindness" and saying "Will God require day labor, light denied?."
Of course I am referring to failing eyesight in these 81 year old eyes. And then I have difficulty walking, and embarrassed by the way I do the "Teaberry Shuffle" when I walk.
And then there is the excuse that I am a widow and except for my children I am all alone. Or perhaps I refer to my bad health, or to a feeling of inadequacy because of a lack of a college education.
I remember trying to enlist someone for a job in church work and I thought I had heard all the excuses that could be given, but not so.
If you have ever found as many excuses as I have perhaps you will enjoy the column my pastor, the Rev. Wayne DuBose placed in the bulletin, and the column was named "Excuses" on Sunday May 2.
I think he covered all the excuses that have ever been given by folks or reasons that they could not do something. He gave credit to "Copied" at the bottom.
If I knew who compiled this list I'd be glad to give credit for it is wonderful. The list of excuses and character flaws were:
Noah was a drunk
Abraham was too old
Isaac was a daydreamer
Jacob was a liar
Leah was ugly
Joseph was abused
Moses had a stuttering problem
Gideon was afraid
Samson had long hair and was a womanizer
Rehab was a prostitute
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
David had an affair and was a murderer
Elijah was suicidal
Isaiah preached naked
Jonah ran from God
Naomi was a widow
Job went bankrupt
John the Baptist ate bugs
Peter denied Christ
The Disciples fell asleep while praying
The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once
Zaccheus was too small
Paul was too religious
Timothy had an ulcer and
Lazarus was dead
Faye Gordon brought me some excerpts from the actual church minutes of a Webster Parish Baptist church where some people were excluded from the church fellowship over a hundred years ago. I thought you might enjoy a few of the causes:
October 14, 1893. a report was made against one of the brothers for fishing on Sunday. A committee was appointed to look into the matter for the church.
November, 1905. Sister Culpepper says she "has been dancing and expects to continue when it comes convenient." Sister Culpepper excluded from the church on charges of dancing.
April , 1906. A committee of three was appointed to investigate a report of certain brethren having been engaged in gambling.
June 16, 1906. the investigating committee reports having heard nothing from Bro. Hadley, but have seen Bro. Brunson and he denies gambling, but says he has been cursing. A motion was carried to entertain a charge of profanity against him. Also on this day charges were preferred against four of the brethren for non-attendance.
July 14, 1906. The investigating committee reported still having heard nothing from Bro. Hadley. Motion carried that the church entertain a charge against him for non-attendance. After some discussion he was excluded on the charge.
January 19, 1907. Two of the brethren and two of the sisters acknowledged dancing and asked the church to forgive, which She did.
December 18, 1910. After a statement from Sister Stone that she could not believe as the Baptist did, a move prevailed and the church withdrew fellowship from her on account of heresy.
Now these were the reasons or excuses that this church used to withdraw fellowship from their members.
As a child I remember a man coming before my church, apologizing for coming to church under the influence of liquor. Several men had their names removed form our rolls for selling liquor and being convicted for selling it. In my mother's childhood you could be excluded from your church for even attending a dance, whether you danced or not.
I had better be careful with my excuses and absences, (I don't dance, drink, nor fish, and I surely don't gamble) but it would be awful at 81 years of age to be "churched" wouldn't it?.
Juanita Agan passed away in October, 2008 at the age of 85. She had been a Minden resident since 1935 and a columnist for the Press-Herald since 1995. A constant writer, Mrs. Agan had many stories written but unpublished. The Press-Herald will continue to publish these articles as long as they are submitted.