Rita Young Allen, MA, MS

Miller's Hollow














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*SAY YOU SAW IT IN THE MESSENGER*

Page 41 – February 18, 2004

Just a Quick Note from….Rita Allen

   Last Sunday I had the honor of being a guest soloist for one of the most unique churches I have ever attended.  I gathered my sound tracks and headed to the church with directions in hand.  Where my directions stopped, there was a beautiful rustic sign at the entrance of a dirt road that looked much like the dirt road that led me to my Grannie Oden’s house when I was a youngster.  I followed the upward road and before long it opened up into a plateau with three beautiful rustic structures.  The kind gentlemen, with full beards, flannel shirts and some overalls reminded me of not only my past but of many movies I had seen.  The scene was almost surreal.  One of the buildings was a fellowship hall, one a home dwelling and the other was the sanctuary.  The wooden artwork and craftsmanship was breathtaking.

            Upon having a conversation with the pastor, I learned that he has been in the process of building this worship place for his family and few flock for the past ten years.  As the people began to gather, many of which were children, I distinctly sensed a wonderful spirit of humility, kindness and simplicity…one not felt in many circles today.

            Before the service began, the pastor picked up the guitar and began to softly play and sing.  I knew right away that this was more than just someone who had picked up a guitar a few times.  It felt as if I was back home with a little bluegrass added in.  But the most wonderful characteristic of this beautiful place was the spirit and hearts of the people. I have been serving the Lord since I was a very young girl and have experienced everything from the truest worship to the truest of deception.  The people here certainly carried with them the truest of worship.  They projected a spirit of love that overwhelmed me.  As they each gave prayer requests, and some came to the altar for special requests, there was no agenda except to reach God with their petitions.

            As the adults gathered around to pray a special prayer, one beautiful little girl knelt down behind the lady being prayed for and she never once grew weary of praying in her quiet way.  She kept her focus on the request at hand and didn’t leave until everyone else did.  I had not seen this kind of focus, reverence and discipline since I was a girl.  It was obvious that she had been taught that there was nothing more important than petitioning God.

            In our hurried world, it is so easy to hurry and get dressed to attend church on Sunday morning only to watch the clock to see how soon service will be over so people can get on with life.  It was so refreshing to be sitting in the midst of a people who knew no hurry.  They had even brought food to the fellowship hall, but they were in no hurry to get there.  It would still be there when they were finished worshipping and crying out to God.  I was reminded of the nights in my childhood when we would stay at the altar until after midnight, praying, until people felt they had reached God, been cleansed, had an answer, or simply had the strength to face the next week

            I remember a story my daddy told when I was young…the church where he was going had reached a place of dryness.  The life seemed to be gone and the men of the church were seeking God as to what to do about it.  One Sunday morning, daddy said the pastor got up and said, “Men, this afternoon we are going up to the woods on Gunter’s Mountain, and we are going to stay there until we hear from God.”  Daddy said that afternoon they all gathered in the appointed place and formed a circle.  Clasping hands, they began to pray one by one.  As it neared Daddy’s turn to pray, he was he was getting nervous because he was a young Christian and didn’t know a whole lot to say.  When it came his turn, all he said was, “God, please help us.”  When he said that, some of the other men began to say the same thing.  Daddy said after a few minutes, while all the men were still praying, he opened his eyes.  The pine trees in this particular area were young pines and Daddy could see over the tops of them.  He said that a full circle of pine trees surrounding the group of men were swaying back and forth while the pine trees on further in the distance in all the directions were perfectly still!  God did answer those men that day.

            Oh, to take time for God!  Not just scheduled Him in for a little while, but to move into his presence and be able to forget time!  The only way we are going to spend eternity with Him is to have a “love relationship” with him.  No amount of pretense will make up for that “love relationship.”

            Thank you, sweet church, for allowing me to come and share my gift with you and to be far greater blessed by your sweet spirits.  May God bless you abundantly above all you can ask or think.

























































































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Keynote Speaking Professional / Concert Soloist / Published Author

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (Concentration in Counseling) from Jacksonville State University. Master of Science in Management Leadership (Healthcare Administration) from Troy University.

Bachelor of Science in Sociology, Minor in Music from Jacksonville State University.

Associate of Science in Music Education, Vocal Performance
with attendance to Snead State College, Gadsden State College, and Wallace State College.

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