The Sunday main service at Harmony By the Lounge church starts with a rousing rendition of At Calvary, then The Banner of the Cross. The pianist's flourishes for this one have a certain "bar room in an old Western" feel. I couldn't get a good shot of her high-piled hair in the last video, but we can see it better now:
Gary moans and yesses through an inaudible prayer from a congregant. The pastor praises mothers again, and reminds them all of the gifts at the back of the church, making it clear that not having been at Sunday school is not to be punished. He even encourages people to take them for moms who didn't come to church, and offers to hand-deliver some.
Hey, not shaming people for not being in church - what a concept! Gary, you should try it sometime!
He praises Gary's Sunday school message (nooooo! Don't swell his head any further!). Announcements include one for the first all-singing meeting they will have since the pandemic began, so it seems like they might have curtailed some activities for safety.
Then comes the offering, after a prayer from this man, which makes me think we will probably hear some nastiness about casual dress from Gary later:
Someone claps and whistles along with the very rousing, military piano playing during the Offertory - Gary, I assume.
The pastor talks about his mom, and coming from a large family - 8 kids. He said one supermarket checker always asked "are them all yours?" His mother tried to be patient with hearing the same things over and over, and chose to answer the predictable "your hands are full" with "my heart's full, too." If she said it like he quotes it, it sounds like it was sweet, not preachy.
They all sing Be Thou Exalted, trying to be heard over the banging piano.
The Hawkinses sing, then it's Gary's turn to edify us.
Oh, Gary, why did you choose this? Did you have to start in "verses" 1? Really - look at that first place name! I would hesitate to tackle that, and I can see the structure of the Hebrew in it - ramat is "the heights of," haimZophim is "the lives of Zoph, or "those who live in Zoph." The pronunciation should be, roughly "ramat-hka-eem-zoe-feem."
KJV: Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:
Bro Gary Version: Now there was a certain man of - Ramath-eemius, of mount Ephram, and his name was Ellikin, the son of Jeph - Jepheram, the son of Ay - Ellihum, the son of Tohu, the son of Zepha, an - an Epherathite ah sure am glad mah name wa'n't in the Bahble amen. Not one a them names, ah'm glad mah Mama didn't know much about this whenever ah was borned amen!
KJV: And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah
BGV: And he had two wahves; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other was Panana.
Yes, exactly like banana, but with a P.
KJV: And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there
BGV: And his nan - and this man - this man went out of the city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts of Sha - Sha-own. And the two sons of Eelum, Hoephnia and Phileneas, the priests of the Lord, were there
KJV: And as he did so year by year,
BFV: And as he had - and as he did year so yearly bah year, so year bah year,
"Now, for the sake of tahm, we didn't have tahm to read all these things, but . . . here we have, and y'know what? Ah thank God that God didn't just have min, he had women in - in the Bahble as well, amen? And ah believe that's what we - we're - women and min, ya think about gray - talk about gray-haired min to be honored, we need to honor our elders that are that done somethin' for the Lord Jesus Christ, amen?"
I find out that I did remember correctly - Gary's family "got in church" when he was three.
"Back in the days, he was talkin' about bein' in a large family, mah mother-in-law, her, she had, what, 12 siblings, is that right?"
Becky: "No, that was my grandmother."
Gary: "Yer grandmother had 12 siblings, and so, uh, ah guess your mother had seven siblings, ____________ (something I can't understand - sounds like "separay, send to the world" - Becky is trying to talk at the same time)."
Gary talks about people gawking at them when they had all seven of the children with them. He imitates them staring, zombie-like, while slowly turning with their grocery carts:
Looks like a bad Frankenstein impression, Gary.
While trying to say why, "back in the days" people had big families, Gary says "they had big children because somebody had to take care of the farm."
Some mothers work on bus routes - "them children may not be their children, far as, uh bahlog'licly or whatever, but you know what, they're their children you say wha 'cause they're trahin'ta instill in them chil'ren somethin'."
Gary says everyone has a hand in raising all of the children right. Hey Gary, I have a book for you:
"Ah'm tellin' you raht now we're in a tahm when ah'm not even sure some tahm bahlogical chil - mothers love bahlogical children any more."
Gary, there have always been such parents. In fact, not being totally trapped into having children, and lots of them, may have led to more children being truly loved, in these times that you think are so evil.
Gary goes off into his usual routine about being happy his mother beat him. He gets chuckles.
Back in the day, mothers took care of children, because the father "was out doin' the job, doin' the farm."
Insert "when the men were men and the sheep were nervous" joke here.
Gary says "Ah thank God for mah raisin's." I'm assuming the missing g there, and that he meant "raisings" - but maybe Gary is just grateful for dried grapes.
Back the bible reading - he thinks Hannah was a pretty good mother, and raised her child to be a godly child. Gary, until you read more of Samuel, that makes no sense - so far, Hannah was the one without children (spoiler alert - she prays and gets one).
And a garbled mess of old bits ensues, including old-time preachers and their wives, how he can't do anything without Becky's help and that she's part of the ministry (which he always seems to think is a shockingly feminist message), raising up children in the church, some of his kids have gone astray, the prodigal son.
We need women to pray. Gary knows some women who are his prayer warriors. We need "fevrent" prayers.
Gary screams about praying for a while, and tells them that Hannah's prayer and weeping got her a child.
"We need women that'll keep their words."
He does some of his familiar riffs about keeping vows, not gossiping about preachers in front of the children ("they have had preacher for dinner, but the preacher wasn't there"). Gary's got some cousins he thinks are not saved because his uncle bad-mouthed preachers.
When Becky is "hangin' around " with other women, Gary tells her "you kin hang out, you kin fellowship, butcha cain't gossip." He admits there are some men that are just as bad, but "we're workin' on women this mornin'."
"Some people'll tell you they've never argued with their husband or wife, they never had a spout or anything like that."
OK, Gary's malaprop problem has actually come up with a great word - "spout" for a spat between spouses! What a shame it already has a meaning.
Gary does his usual bit about wanting to go out onto the road, and Becky telling him he was in the wrong prayer closet, but "God got aholt of her" and she's been supportive ever since, making sure they know that she only missed one meeting in eight years, when she had the "surgery on her stomach to lose weight," and even then, she "used that technology thing" to order him Chinese food in Ohio, from North Carolina.
"Ah don't make fun of mah wahf's decisions, 'cause ah'm one of 'em, amen."
That would be cute, if it was true.
Gary believes Hannah was a concerned woman. You need to be concerned about your family.
Gary needs Becky's prayers, because he believes she can get in touch with God. You've gotten a bit off of the subject of what mothers can do for children, there, Gary - it seems to be all about you.
Sometimes, when it comes to finances, Gary says "God will provide," and Becky says "Yeah, but you need to go do somethin' about this."
He gets on the bus children again, and how their parents are so awful. They need the kind of concern that Hannah showed.
Believe that God can. He gives several examples of people getting what they prayed for, then some of his usual riffs about faith.
"Listen, ahmanna tell ya raht now ah was talkin' we was uh - knockin' on doors up in New York with uh where we was at there last week, 'n' we met this gah that was a - you remember what he was?"
Becky and Jacob: "Russian Orthodox."
Gary: "Russian Orthodox. 'N' he, 'n' he said, he said, 'Ah sorta look at mahself lahk doubtin' Thomas.' Ah said 'Well ahmanna tell ya somethin' - you better realahze that God is real and he's the only one 'at can git to Heaven.' "N' we talked to him, he - their church s'posed to use the King James Bahble, ah don't unnerstand - ah don't know a whole lot about that stuff. But all ah - ah didn't go in there tellin' him about Baptists, ah went in there tellin' him about Jesus."
Dedicate your children to the Lord.
"Far as ah know, all of our children have been dedicated to the Lord, is that raht?"
Gary: "As a young babe."
"You know what? What children you got, bahlogical, mah children ah got bahlogical 'n' stuff lahk that, ahmanna tell ya somethin' - they came from the Lord."
Gary, you almost let it slip that you never met four of "your" children until well after they were born - twice!
"We unnerstand you women beared your children, but they came from the Lord."
"Y'know, today's Mother's Day. I'da loved to spent today with mah mother. Butchu know what mah mother had to do? She had to let me go, 'cause ah had a cause. Amen."
Gary says he didn't "do the Facetahm thing" with his mother, because he's not that technological. Becky says "Your mom's not either," and giggles. Gary mocks his mother's inability with technology some more, then tells us he called her and said "Mama, happy Mother's Day, ah love you, but ah'm doin' what Jesus told me to do."
And his mother lets him go, because he belongs to God. 🙄
The Lord is soon comin'.
We ought to rejoice that the Lord lets us have children, if our children are going to Heaven, or if the Lord lets us be an influence on a child.
And he's on to Job, briefly, without explaining why.
"If your mother's in Heaven, rejoiccce that you know that, one of these days, you're gonna see her face to face."
1 Samuel 2:3, KJV: Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
BGV: Talk no more so exceely prowly; let no - airgocy come outta tha mouth - your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighted.
Be careful that what you say is from the Lord. Hannah gave her son up and only saw him once a year, and they probably had some good fellowship when they got together.
He goes back to verse 1, and asks them to look at the end: because I rejoice in thy salvation.
Salvation is the most important thing that anybody has. Gary believes both Hannah and Samuel were saved, by their testimonies - he says something meaningless about how it was different in the Old Testament, but it was still by the blood.
Never mind trying to explain it, Gary - we know you are one of those "Jesus was wherever and whenever I want him to have been" believers.
You better make sure you're saved. Eternity's a long time.
And 2 Corinthians 13:5. And the rich man in torment.
And he jokes about doubting Becky's salvation.
And we're soon gittin' outta here.