teacher and pupil Born and raised as a Methodist Protestant by Methodist parents was not easy and was like being brainwashed in much same way the Soviets did with their hapless subjects! To this date, I can't remember a single day I missed church. Since I was seven years old and as the oldest of 2 sons, we followed a schedule like clock-work: a quarter mile walk to church for "Early Morning Sunday Risers" at 5:00 a.m.; Breakfast back in the house one hour thereafter at 6:00; back again to the church at 8:00 for Sunday School at the church backyard chapel; lastly at the main sanctuary at exactly 10:00 o'clock to sit beside my Dad for Sunday Worship Service; at 9:00, singing 'This Is the Day'; and at 10:00 'I Am Thine, O Lord'.

My shoes had to be freshly shined, pants neatly pressed and my shirt plain (not checkered, not striped), hair neatly combed, or else. And, I must add: I had to have a new haircut! I remember how I hated those pressed pants, starched hard! And my white shirt starched stiff and hard, matching my pants!

All this means that Saturday was the day of preparation: I had to have the haircut; I had to shine my shoes and make sure my clothes were done exactly prescribed by my parents.

I was too young to remember anything different because I was brain-washed this way from the day I was born. Yes, I was brain-washed and strangely — I did not know it!

To my parents, it was simple: they just obeyed the words of Bible wisdom: "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Prov. 22:6)

My dad has since passed away and mom, now old and frail. But I still follow the same pre-determined habit. Every Saturday at 2:00 p.m. all my church clothes are ready, I have already shined my shoes, the offering envelopes already in my shirt pockets, ready for the next-day service. Sunday morning, at 9:00 I am already there in Room 8 attending the Bible study and after that, the Sanctuary at 10:00 for worship.

True that when I first migrated to America, I could have let all this go down the drain. Except — that I met the Lord right here in Southern California!

Oh, how I thank God for my parents!

Manny Ferrer
January 2013

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