FILLING STATIONS
                                           ...Important Today, More Than Ever!

Remember what we used to call "filling stations"? I am reminded of these whenever I receive occasional emails
about old fuel stops.

I've even Googled "filling stations" or "vintage gas stations, and inevitably feel waves of nostalgia for a simpler time
when people stopped by for fuel, conversation, a soda pop and snacks...and much more.

What wonderful memories!
FROM THE
BEST BOOK
And let us consider one
another in order to stir
up love and good
works, not forsaking the
assembling of ourselves
together, as is the
manner of some, but
exhorting one another,
and so much the more
as you see the Day
approaching..
—Hebrews 10:24-25
THE COUNTRY PARSON,
Benjamin Parsons,
has tended to hurts and
hearts in North
America's most remote
frontier regions,
including
the Pacific Northwest,
the Canadian Rockies
and Alaska.
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For many years, customers did not
pump their own gas at gas stations.

"Fill 'er up" was a common phrase
used by people who were getting
gas.

Also, gas station attendants would
often wash a customer's windows,
check the oil and even test the
pressure on all four tires.

And with a fill-up, you might also
get a free map, a gift and S&H
Green Stamps.

Many stations also sold automotive
supplies, tires, firewood and even
coal oil.

Soda pop back then cost a nickel,
and I remember one "filling station"
owner who would throw in a bag of
peanuts or a piece of penny candy.

Often it was the place for catching
up on what was happening in the
surrounding area.

As you scroll down this page, enjoy
the trip down nostalgia lane...
Don Sherwood has put together an
excellent place for you to remember.
It's called
The Vintage Gas Museum.
My how times have changed!

If you endured the long gas lines of the 1970s and experienced the relatively quick transition from full service filling stations to self service
"convenience" stores, you understand how drastically different things are today from when many of us grew up.

Now, if you want new tires, you go to a tire center. If you want your oil changed, you head over to the lube palace. If your transmission is
making a funny noise, steer on over to the transmission specialist and prepare to fork over as much for a new tranny as you used to for a
brand new Cadillac .

And if you need gas, slide your credit card, pump the gas yourself, get a receipt and go on your way without a single word to anyone.

What's Missing?
While I don't expect a resurgence of those one-stop neighborhood centers, I do admit that I sometimes miss the camaraderie and sense of
belonging that was part of the old-time filling stations. I find myself thinking about the "good ole days" when you could "fill `er up" for a few
bucks, and run inside to get a Nehi Orange "belly washer," a piece of hoop cheese, and some "lonies" (bologna to you young
whippersnappers!) and crackers.

I enjoyed when the attendant asked about my grandpa and grandma, and talked out how he had enjoyed servicing their automobiles since
he was "knee high to a grasshopper."

Those days are gone forever, but there are parts of that I would challenge you to bring back in your own life, even during today's impersonal,
rush-filled times.

First, don't forget the value of attending church. Yes, it is true, according to a recent Barna study, that American adults today are evenly
divided on the importance of going to church. Almost half (49-perent) say church attendance is "somewhat" or "very" important, yet more
than half (51-percent) say it is "not too" or "not at all" important. Just as a flaming log, pulled away from the fire, quickly becomes a dying
ember, so it is with people who "forsake the assembling" as Jesus instructed. History has proven, again and again, that the divide between
the religiously active and those resistant to churchgoing impacts our friendships, families, culture, morality, politics and religion. In study after
study, for example, children who grow up in church have the statistically reduced likelihood of life problems and risky behaviors, while having
significantly improved their odds of a happier, healthier, and longer life. These findings are supported by research from Duke University,
Indiana University, The University of Michigan, The Center for Disease Control, Barna Research Group, Gallup, Pew, the National Institute for
Healthcare Research and additional surveys.

Second, don't neglect the absolute necessity for daily "filling" and fellowship with God. Spending time in His presence, listening to His voice
and communicating with Him is vital to maintaining a healthy walk with Him. Billy Graham said it best: "God created us for fellowship with Him.  
But we turned our backs on Him, and now there is a void in our lives that He alone can fill.  Only when God is restored to His rightful place in
our hearts will we know the meaning of life.  Otherwise, our lives will be empty." Spending time in God's Word and in prayer helps you to learn
to grow more aligned with God as you become more effective, successful and fulfilled in everything you do.

Third, be sure to share the love of Jesus with others. Many of the old-time filling stations were known for being centers of conversation,
warmth and caring. There's something to be said for being a "filling station" for others as you walk through life. Being self-centered results in
stagnancy. Being focused on loving and sharing with others brings new life and blessings.

Granted, we don't need a return to the "good ole days." That's not possible or advisable. However, one crucial need we have today is a new
discovery of God's Word and the value of faith. It needs to be rediscovered in the public square, but even more importantly it must be
rediscovered in the house of God and in the lives of believers.

It's time to "fill `er up!"