Growing Up a P.K.

Loving the Cubs... and other problems I have Mark Grissom beaverdamusa.comI grew up in a Church of God Preacher’s home. I was a “Preacher’s Kid”. Also known as a “P.K.”

I know most of you reading this blog have a very hard time believing that I was a preacher’s kid… but it is true. I have told many people “this apple” fell very far from the tree! My dad is the greatest man on the face of God’s green earth. He is a “Saint” in my eyes.

I know the Catholic Church has certain criteria that a Bishop or Priest must follow to become a Saint. However, my father has passed my criteria and that is all that matters. I have never heard my dad say a bad word in 50 years of being his No. 2 son.  He is a “perfect” person, or at least as close as one can get here on earth, in my eyes. My dad possesses every characteristic of the “fruits of the spirit”.

I know I talk a lot about my dad. I know I brag on my dad all the time. He deserves everything I say and a whole lot more. If you do not like the fact that I brag on my dad, please don’t read my blogs. As Staples Office Supply would say… “That was easy!”

I am very proud to have been raised a “P.K.”  I will be the first to admit that a lot more expectation was placed on me growing up in church than most of the member’s kids. I was expected to be a role model for the other young people in our church. I had to go above and beyond what was expected of the other kids in my age group.

I will admit, there were many times that “higher expectation” would bother me. I was always expected to be in every church service. I was expected to be at every church function. I was expected to be at every Awanas Club meeting. I was expected to play my trumpet during every church service.

Simply put… I was expected to be the very best Christian young man in the church.

My mother, God rest her soul, would put the fear of God in me if I did not do “all of the above” and then some! I was not allowed to talk in church. Back when I was a kid, you NEVER even thought of bringing food or drink into the sanctuary. It was a place of reverence and respect. You never brought a GameBoy or a coloring book or an iPad or whatever else it is that kids bring with them to church these days.

When church started… you behaved and paid attention and kept your mouth shut… or you paid for it when you got home!

I remember many times, my mother reaching over and pinching the fire out of the back of my leg because she thought I was misbehaving. I wanted to scream to the top of my lungs! OUCH!! STOP IT!! But I knew I better not do that. As a matter of fact, I probably deserved it!

There was no room for foolishness in the “house of God”. Neither one of my parents would tolerate any misbehaving or cutting up during service. You were there to worship the Lord and respect the presence of God in the service. When the opening hymn began… it was time for serious business with the Lord!

Fast forward to 2014.

I owe my mom and dad all the thanks and appreciation in the world for raising me the way they did. I could never thank either one of them enough for raising me in the fear and admonition of the Lord. I could spend from now until next year thanking them for teaching me the Bible and it would never be enough. I love them dearly for bringing me up in a church where you opened the hymnbook on Sunday and sang the hymns that had true meaning and depth and the writers of those hymns put much thought and prayer into their lyrics and music.

To this day, I still prefer to sing hymns out of the church hymnal. I was grieved many years ago when the church I was attending did away with the hymnbooks and started singing songs from a large white screen in the front of the church. Songs that nobody knew the words to. Songs that they sang over and over and over and you still could never learn the words… or the meaning for that matter.

I am proud to be a member at First United Methodist Church in Cleveland, Tennessee where every Sunday we still sing the hymns out of the Hymnal. We still sing songs written by Charles Wesley and many others in the faith from years and years ago. Songs that have such depth and meaning that when you are standing there singing and reading those words, you almost cannot help but start crying.

Everything inside of me… Every part of my being that has any and all desire to serve the Lord and to do right and to live right… I owe to my precious mom and dad.

I still have times where I make mistakes in life. I still have times, even at the age of 50 that I screw up and don’t always do the right thing. But when those times come, I have two things that I can go to in my life that will pull me out. I have two things to remember that will help get me back on the straight and narrow. I have two things that, to my dying day, will keep me at the foot of the cross and serve the Lord with all my heart.

Those two things… The fact that Jesus died on the cross and shed his blood for my sins and His Grace covers me. And the fact that two Godly, loving, caring, incredible people raised me in a Christian home and brought me up to serve the Lord and live for him daily.

Dedicated to my mom, Patty Grissom 1934 – 2010 and my dad, Rev. Tom Grissom. I love you both with everything inside of me!

About Mark Grissom

Mark was born on the north side of Chicago in 1964. Raised a Cubs fan by his dad, he never had a chance in life. He moved to Cleveland, Tennessee, in 1988. While he lives closer to Atlanta now, he will never be able to leave the religion of "Cubbie Nation." Baptized as a Cubs fan at the age of five, he has no choice but to live the remainder of his life here on earth in mediocrity at its best!

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