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HOW TO BE RENEWED

William Hinson, Sr. retired pastor of First United Methodist Church in Houston, the largest church in American Methodism tells the story about a time when he was going to Columbia, South Carolina to preach in a revival. He had not slept well the night before and had gotten up that morning and preached in two Sunday morning services. He went immediately to the airport to leave for Columbia. He had looked forward to sleeping on the plane, but it just so happened that the person next to was a talker, and so much for sleep.

His plane arrived late, so he was immediately picked up by a church member and whisked off to the church. He arrived at the church just a couple of minutes before the service was to begin and did not have the opportunity to freshen up at all. He felt yucky. As he preached he could feel his body swaying from fatigue.

When the service was over, he was led to the fellowship hall where a receiving line was set up to greet the visiting preacher. The line seemed to extend forever. Near the end of the line, a large man stepped aside and suddenly he saw his youngest daughter.

His daughter was attending school in Augusta, Georgia, and when she heard her dad was going to be in Columbia, she had borrowed her boyfriend’s noisy car and had driven for hours just to be with her dad and to talk with him about some things. They left the church and went and got some coffee and pie, and then went to the hotel and talked for several hours.

When she finally left, he said he realized the most unusual thing. He was no longer tired. He had spent time with someone very special to him and found himself renewed.

(Source: James Drake, "Genesis: The Road to Revival" http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon.asp?SermonID=96561&Page=1. From a sermon by Joel Smith, "The Road to Renewal" 2/9/2009)

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