No. 1054 - A "NO-EXCUSE" SUNDAY!

No. 1054



I remember hearing my former business partner, the late Bob Gannaway, tell a story about this man who came down the stairs for breakfast one morning and said to his wife, who was already up and in the kitchen, “Where are the biscuits?” She replied, with a big smile on her face, “I couldn’t find the ax.” He said, “What on earth does not finding the ax have to do with you fixing biscuits for breakfast?” She replied, “Well, if you don’t want to do something, one excuse is as good as another.”
Over the years I have heard thousands of excuses, some more legitimate than others, but this was one I had never heard before. This is what I thought of when Janis handed me an old Ann Landers column that she had tucked back in her files for several years titled, “No-Excuse Sunday.” This column first appeared back on April 6, 1991, and I would like to share it with you, and then make some appropriate comments about it. It begins:
“In order to make it possible for everyone to attend church next week, we are planning a special no-excuse Sunday. 1. Cots will be placed in the vestibule for those who say, ‘Sunday is my only day for sleeping in.’ 2. Eye drops will be available for those whose eyes are tired from watching TV too late on Saturday night. 3. We will have steel helmets for those who believe the roof will cave in if they show up for church. 4. Blankets will be furnished for those who complain that the church is too cold. Fans will be on hand for those who say the church is too hot. 5. We will have hearing aids for the parishioners who say, ‘The pastor does not talk loud enough.’ There will be cotton for those who say, ‘The pastor talks too loud.’
“6. Score cards will be available for those who wish to count the hypocrites. 7. We guarantee that some relatives will be present for those who like to go visiting on Sunday. 8. There will be TV dinners available for those who claim they can’t go to church and cook dinner, too. 9. One section of the church will have some trees and grass for those who see God in nature, especially on the golf course. 10. The sanctuary will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies to create a familiar environment for those who have never seen the church without them.”
Well, that is the end of Ann’s column. Keep in mind this was written back in 1991, and there have been tremendous changes in America since that time, especially in the area of technology. But there has also been change in the social and spiritual fabric that really binds us together as a people. Granted, I am a senior citizen and part of the older generation, but I can remember when practically all of the businesses in our town closed on Sunday. This was because the church had real influence back in those days. Sadly, we have lost most of that today, and we have also lost the life-changing power of the one institution charged with teaching character, morals and ethical values.
One thing I try to do each day is watch the evening news on television, and I have noticed, at least here in Central Arkansas, that over half of the newscast is taken up by reporting murders that have occurred over the past few days and weeks. In an article for Outreach Magazine, Kendall Harmon reports that only 17 percent of Americans can be found at a church worship service on any given Sunday. I might say that some would dispute his number, but church attendance has still had a sharp decline.
Is there any connection between declining church attendance and an increase in the number of murders taking place in our country each week? I believe there is. If you agree, and are not attending church on a regular basis, I hope you will come or come back.
(Editor’s Note: Bookcase for Every Child – Changing Lives & Futures – ONE AT A TIME. Please visit our website: