What age did you know you would serve serve the Lord and what were the circumstances?
Out of 22 questions that came in recently at our Sisterhood Christmas party, here’s number 6. (I’ll answer more over time)
My parents were attending a small Church that was very poor and the Pastor had no pulpit. My father offered to build him one and the Church was thrilled. For weeks my dad worked on creating the most beautiful pulpit. He measured his Pastor and built it for his height so his Bible would be perfectly placed to preach from.
My dad worked on it each night after work in the back of our kitchen because we had no garage at the time (what a great mom I had to put up with all the saw dust and tools laying around the kitchen.) I specifically remember the smell of varnish as the finishing touches went on. There was a perfectly crafted cross in the front and for those days it was magnificent!
One evening 3 men in black suits arrived at our home and as little kids do, I ran to open the door. “Hello little Cindy, we’ve come to see your parents.” I was so excited that some Church people had come to visit but something went VERY wrong as my mom began to cry. When I asked her what was wrong, she cried out loud, “they won’t take daddy’s pulpit because he smokes” it was heartbreaking for all of us! We stopped attending Church.
THAT WAS THE NIGHT I MET THE DECEPTIVE UGLY DARK SIDE OF RELIGION!!! God’s beautiful people decieved into doing what they thought was HOLY. It felt like hatred not holiness.
That summer a flyer was on our door inviting kids to Vacation Bible School at a big local Baptist Church. My mom decided it would be good for me to go. She drove me to a curb inside the Church’s parking lot and dropped me off as she said, “you see right here where Im droppong you off… you come right out here to this spot because I don’t want to have to go in and get you.” Understandably at this point my parents were hurt and wanted nothing to Church.
I’m sure God smiled when my mom came to pick me up and she couldn’t find me. I never came out so she HAD to go inside to find me.
I was in the Pastor’s office crying because I had just heard a lady tell the story of Jesus on a flanel graphboard. Just before she put Jesus up on the cross she flipped a blacklight on and Jesus glowed so beautifully and his eyes were open and it felt like He was looking right at me. I began to feel so loved! When the lady said, “who wants to ask Jesus in there heart, raise your hand” my hand went up. They then said if anyone wanted to pray more to come forward and as my foot took its first step tears began falling down my cheeks. That day I really came to understand and fall in love with JESUS. I grasped His love for me and how He had died for me and I wanted Him in my life forever.
When my mom found me in the Pastor’s office wiping my tears and holding my new little Bible she was greatly touched. Her heart was deeply softened and she met the Pastor and the the kind kids workers. God’s Hand was all over the whole situation. My new friend who prayed with me was Ms Hilda. She was a children’s worker. She was an older lady and became a tremendous blessing in my life for years. She just loved me and believed in me. To this day I know she’s in Heaven cheering me on!
A ventriloquist and his doll Jiggers was the special guest’s at Vacation Bible School. He was fantastic at using puppets and telling stories about the Gospel in the most unique ways! That Friday night WE HAD TO BRING OUR PARETNTS TO COME TO THE BIG RALLY! Whoever brought the most friends actually got to put Jiggers on their lap for a poleriod photo (your picture slowly appeared on a thin plastic square right before your eyes, and back then it was as cool as your first iphone is today) I demanded my parents take me and all my friends too. I got on our home rotary telephone and invited everyone!
On Friday night there we were, me, my parents and my friends….. “If you brought more than 5 friends stand up with your friends so we can count them.” I was over joyed as we all stood up… When they got to me… “Oh, no little girl… Your friends have to be kids!” WHAT?? No one mentioned that part! I’m an only child and my “friends” were all my parents friends, adults! That took me down to only 1 kid friend and so I lost. I sat back and watched a little boy be able to Jiggers on his lap!!! I decided then I’d get my own dummy for my own lap and begin telling people about Jesus too!!
My parents purchased The Jiggers record album for me that night and I played it non-stop! Emulating every detail, voice and song!
On my 5th Birthday in November I used my gift money to purchase a little plastic ventriloquist doll named “Willy Talk.” I couldn’t change his name because it was printed on his velvet red shirt so, Willy it was! He had a string out the back of his neck and his mouth open and closed as you pulled it. My dad began helping me to learn to “throw my voice” which means the force of your breath makes your voice louder so it sounds like the doll is talking. It works great because you use your normal voice to talk to the doll and a forceful voice to answer yourself without moving your lips- it’s a great illusion!
My parents recommitted their lives to Jesus and His Church just after Vacation Bible School. They became involved in Children’s Church and helping with the youth. My dad also served on the usher team and my mom was busy with all kids of projects.
I practiced ventriloquism daily and became really good with Willy Talk, before long I was being asked to perform in other Churches, schools, Girl and Boy Scouts, hospital’s and so many other places. Doors were continually opening for us. My favorite was going to the “Old Folks Homes” the older people just loved me and I loved all of them. They were SO lonely and it always greatly touched me. I was a missionary in my heart and would tell everyone I could about Jesus, with or without my doll.
My parents made friends with some really fun Hispanic people in the Church. They were a big family named the Barela’s. THEY LOVED JESUS AND SAVING SOULS!! My dad asked, “whats in that big garage over on the Church property?” They went to the Pastor and found out it was a broken down bus. My dad said, “well, lets fix it” and he got it up and running. It was a beautiful bus- but an empty bus!! The Barela family said, “no problem, lets fill it, come on, we’ll take you door to door and invite kids and their families and bring them to Church.” So we began going door-to-door on Saturday mornings and leading people to Jesus!! Before long the bus was filled each Sunday! I learned how to really love broken people on that bus! My parents were hero’s to so many, they were legends!! Everyone loved Mr. Dave & Mrs. Marilyn McCoy!
As the next Vacation Bible School aproached my mom realized all our bussed kids wouldn’t be able to come without the bus. My dad had to work during the day so she decided she’d get her bus license. She practiced, passed the test and off we went to get all our kids for Vacation Bible School. Our Pastor was thrilled! It was amazing and iit brought so much momentum each day as all the kids filed in!!!
One evening the Barela’s came over to our home and my parents shared their story about the pulpit. The Barella’s asked, “where’s the pulpit now?” They got SO EXCITED WHEN THEY HEARD MY DAD HAD IT STORED AWAY! They said… “We are taking you both and Cindy to Mexico! We have a Church there desperately NEEDING A PULPIT and Cindy can bring her doll” typing it now brings tears! We all had a “glory hallelujah time” in that kitchen on 6345 Rose Ave. Long Beach, California (my childhood home, until I was 13)
I will hold in my heart forever the day when we loaded that big beautiful pulpit into our station waggon and piled clothes, toys, food and blankets on top of it. We drove in a big caravan with the Barela’s to Mexico! I became a real missionary that day. It’s as vivid in my mind as if it happened yesterday when I lifted Willy Talk up and sat his little bum on the edge of the pulpit in that precious Mexican Church and said, “Hola, Yo tango gusta en mi corazon” without moving my lips! (Hello! I’ve got joy down in my heart) the little crowd went crazy and they got so happy!! I then sang them a song I’d learned in Spanish about having Jesus in my heart and it gives me joy!!
I’ve been on big stages of well over 5,000, I’ve been on television, radio and the Internet. I’ve preached in big churches and small Churches. I’ve spoken in rich places and poor places, I have done commercials, voiceovers and been in movies with big stars but NOTHING EVER COMPARES to the day God brought it all together in that little Church in Mexico!
People ask me often how did I get to become a Pastor? It was never really a conscious choice, I just loved people right where I was at and God did the promoting.
Ministry is not just about holding the microphone but also holding the hand of the broken. It’s not only about standing on a platform but standing up for those who need Salvation. It’s not about the front row but about being as up front as a leader, willing to say it like it is with love and conviction!
Ministry is in EVERY heart, ask yourself where am I loving the unlovely? Where am I serving Gods House and His people? If you don’t have a copy of my book, “Creative Expeession” I suggest you get a copy and discover what God has created and placed inside of you to bless the world. Knowledge gives you power so choose to empower yourself and grow the REAL you up to the place of greater effectiveness!!
Jesus so BELIEVES in you my friend, I do too!
LaCinda (Cindy) xox
PS. This blog has a lot of details, as I wrote it, I thought of future generations (biologial and spiritual) who may read this one day (I’m so thankful for technology) I want you to know Pastor Mama’s story so you can be all the more stronger in knowing who’s shoulders and foundation you’re standing on! Whatever endeavor you’re taking on for God never let lack, discouragement or people’s opinion’s navigate what God has placed before you to do! “Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for The Lord and not for man.” Colossians 3:23
“God sent me on ahead to pave the way and make sure there was a remnant in the land, to save your lives in an amazing act of deliverance.” Genesis 45:7