“Saint or Ain’t”


Dear Reader:

I “accidentally” came across a rather disturbing article (to me) on the song Jesus Loves Me. I couldn’t believe that someone could actually tear apart this beloved song I grew up singing in my childhood. The song that still comforts me to this day.

The author implied that the lyrics in the song were scripturally incorrect and made religion look too “Polyanna” for his taste. He was more into earning brownie points to become deserving of God’s favor (I wondered if he had ever heard of “grace”) and was definitely more comfortable in the “hell, fire, brimstone, and judgment” categories of his Biblical interpretations.

Sometimes I wonder if I, perhaps, lean too far towards viewing God as more of a Grandfather than Father… in the sense of unconditional love and acceptance. I have a certain comfort zone in my religious and spiritual beliefs that makes me reluctant to go down the path of darkness, destruction, and other scary nightmare images where God plays the role of a thundering umpire…”You’re Safe!’  or “You’re Out.

To paraphrase C. S. Lewis….If you are looking for a religion that will make you comfortable…don’t choose Christianity. (There’s a lot of truth there.)

Lewis also was the one who made the astute observation that: “You don’t have a soul, You ARE a soul. You have a body.” With that one statement the spiritual world turns upside down, doesn’t it? Once we are born…we are in it for eternity. Earth is just a small ‘wrinkle in time’ in the overall big picture of life

A few minutes before our church service started this past Sunday…I was talking to Anne about a new book we are using in our Sunday School class and how I could relate to the young author’s mixed feelings towards “structured” religion…pro’s and con’s. I, then, made the statement that I was a “Jesus Loves Me” kind of gal with more of an old-time religion credence.

It was only a few minutes later (after the children’s message) that our organist began to play “Jesus Loves Me” as the children scampered back to their pews.

Anne and I turned, at the same time, and started laughing. But God wasn’t through with me yet. Apparently He didn’t think one wink would convince me He had been listening in to our conversation.

Another few minutes passed and right after the first reading the choir stood up and began a medley called “Ole Time Religion” with most of my old favorite hymns mixed in…while the congregation started clapping and stomping their feet to the music.

Now blog readers, This is my Godthe God I love and adore...the One who takes time to reassure me with His Winks that all is right in His World and all is right with me. (the  same message He sent with “my” dolphin years ago.)

I thought maybe I should name the two pumpkins on the sofa throw (title photo) “Saint” and “Ain’t”…though their expressions look more like two “Ain’ts” (Identical twins perhaps?)

The way I look at it I “ain’t no saint” but I am a child of God and I love Him beyond my limited ability to fully comprehend Love…God’s Love…God, Himself…since He IS LOVE!

Anne said that a friend of hers (she used to visit regularly at the Presbyterian Village) said that she had a problem with the Apostles Creed because the word “love” wasn’t in it. If we were stating our beliefs, then she felt like LOVE should be the top statement…we believe that GOD IS LOVE!  (Amen!)

So until tomorrow…Let us continue our search for God in both the comfortable and uncomfortable tests of faith we endure for the One we Love.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

*Some of you might have noticed that the group photo, in the blog heading, was changed yesterday (Thanks John!) to update the grandchildren…with the addition of our “Little” Lachlan. (Who’s not so little!)

After Carrie miraculously snapped the photo…I realized I hadn’t gotten Lachlan’s bib off of him in time… but then I started laughing and thought ….”No..that makes it perfect”

IMG_7553…Lachlan spits up a lot …(both in amount and time intervals)…so much so that Mollie was initially concerned… but her pediatrician assured her he was definitely gaining weight ….he was just known as what the medical field calls a “Happy Spitter (Upper.)”  So now we have the memory of the “Happy Spitter”… Lachlan… immortalized!

*WHOOOO can find the sixth person in the photo? A beautiful live “ghost” in the mirror….WHOOOOO it’s almost Halloween.


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to “Saint or Ain’t”

  1. Sis Hagen Kinney says:

    Good morning, Becky!
    Great post today! I, too, am more of the “Jesus Loves Me” type of Christian. I understand that some are firm believers in the “hell and damnation” faith, but for me, I firmly stand in God’s LOVE. I have received GRACE and hope to continue to receive that love and grace. I ain’t no saint, neither; but I just don’t believe in the hell/damnation stance.
    Found the “ghostly figure” in the title photo. LOVE the pic of you and all the grands!!
    Have a blessed Tuesday. We’re still in “rain mode” up here — 5th day in a row that we’ve had nothing but cloudy skies and wetness all around!! People say we needed the rain, but I think we’ve had our fair share now!!! LOL!
    Much love,


  2. Becky Dingle says:

    I knew we were soul sisters…..Love conquers all….God conquers all…one and the same. We, too are gloomy sky residents for about a week actually …we are promised cooler weather and fair skies will return Thursday so we are all praying for it…we have missed Miss Sun a lot!


  3. Johnny Johnson says:

    I think you can safely sit and clutch the Saint pillow myself!


  4. Becky Dingle says:

    You are too kind and generous with your comment….I am just a work in progress.


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