Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

September 5, 2004



Random thoughts and prayers I have prayed lately



          How on earth did the word “carb” become so popular so quickly? Suddenly half the stuff sold in the super market is judged by how few carbs it has.

          “Lord, teach me their secret so I can use it to make ‘forgiveness’ as well known as ‘carbs.’ People need to know that forgiveness can improve their health quicker than a low-carb diet. Amen.”


          Is it not possible to be elected president without so much mud-slinging? Have we reached the point in American politics that one cannot win the presidency without proving that his opponent is a liar? How much name-calling must we endure before going to the polls?

          “Lord, please give us the strength to endure the next two months of campaigning. Could you possibly arrange for November to come a month earlier this year? If not, at least help us not become so weary of the mud-slinging that we decide not to vote on November 2. Amen.”


          How do the cell phone companies find so much money for advertising? Everywhere you look, there is an ad offering a million free minutes if you will only buy their cell phone. This, despite the fact that nobody makes a phone that will work in every location. The most frequent comment I make daily on my cell phone is the familiar question, “Can you hear me now?”

          “Lord, if cell phones are not going to work in every location, could you please fix it so none of them will work when you are driving a car. If not, would you at least flood the cars of cell phone users with frogs or flies, like those you used to harass old Pharaoh. Just don’t send both at the same time because the frogs would eat the flies. Thank you. Amen.”


          Jeff Davis High School beat the Opelika Bulldogs last week 28-0. I was surprised because the Bulldogs are seldom held scoreless, and for that matter, seldom beaten. A loss like that to the Volunteers makes me think this must be a “rebuilding year” for Opelika. I heard they returned only two starters from last year’s team. Still, Coach Spence McCracken will likely produce a winning team like he does every year. I imagine practice this week will be tough for the Bulldogs.

          “Lord, you know how much I love Coach McCracken and the Bulldogs. They have been my team for 15 years and every Friday night I wish I were walking the sidelines cheering them on to victory. So help my good friend Spence fire the Bulldogs up and have a winning season despite the loss to Jeff Davis. A record of 9-1 is not too bad, and that is what I am asking for the Bulldogs. Even if you don’t care that much about football, Lord, please care enough to let my Bulldogs win. Thank you. Amen.”  


          It grieves me to admit it, but in our culture “good” news is simply not news. What makes the news in the media is bad news. Evidently, there is a craving among us to hear about tragedy, evil, and horror. Steal money and you make the front page. Use money to help somebody and you make the back page, if at all. Hatred makes the news; love is ignored. That is just the way things are today, like it or not.

          “Lord, help us to be aware of the good that is going on in the world even though it is not reported by the newspapers or television. I thank you for the women who sew baby blankets for the newborn and prayer shawls for the sick and dying. I thank you for the people who keep on building Habitat homes for the poor even while terrorists continue killing the innocent. I thank you for the unselfish people who give their time and resources to help victims of hurricanes rebuild and start over again. Thank you for letting us know that You are at work even when your work is not reported on television. Amen.”


          Some older people amaze me. They refuse to quit or slow down because their worn-out bones are aching. One woman, at age 81, moved to live with her son. Wanting to continue being active in a church, she began visiting churches in her neighborhood. She visited five churches without having even one person welcome her to church or invite her to come back.

          Hearing about a St. James Methodist Church that was meeting in the local YMCA, she went there one Sunday. People greeted her warmly and invited her to come back. She reported to her son, “It did not look like a church. They even had a swimming pool. I went to a Sunday School class held in an exercise room. But what made me want to go back is that it felt like a church because the people were so gracious and friendly!”

          “Lord, touch the hearts of your people so that our churches will always feel like home, like a place where hurting, lonely people are always welcome. Save us from being so repulsively self-righteous that ordinary folks feel unwelcome in our presence. Help us to realize the difference a cheery greeting and a friendly smile can make to a stranger who is looking for hope. If you cannot do that, Lord, at least make the folks with a haughty look and a sour face stay home. Thank you. Amen.” + + + +