Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Angel Martinez

I posted most of this last week on Facebook, so if it sounds familiar, you may have heard it before. ‎Daniel Coates, a missionary our church helps support, posted a video that reminded me of a sermon I heard. Can you remember a sermon you heard more than 50 years ago?

I can remember a story from a sermon during a Billy Graham Crusade at Tulsa University's stadium in the late 1950's. No, not his sermon -- the one given that night by Angel Martinez. If you haven't heard of Angel, take a moment to read a bio or click on his above picture to listen to some of his sermons.

What I remember is him talking about his conversion as a young teen. He said that when he prepared his first sermon he had seventeen talking points, but he'd learned a lot and that night's sermon wouldn't be as long.
That's about all I remember - except for one personal story about food.

Angel explained that being raised in San Antonio, but doing most of his evangelical preaching in Baptist churches in the South, he missed the spiciness of his home cooking. Southern home cooking is good, but he would carry chili peppers with him to crumble on his plate for a taste of home.

He told of being in a small country Baptist church and after the services he was invited to lunch with a deacon and his family and some guests. The weather was nice, so there was a long table outside where the meal was served. Angel said there were about ten people down each side of the table. The deacon sat at the head of the table and Angel at the foot.

The deacon noticed Angel adding his peppers and asked what they were. Angel got up, took three of them in hand, walked down the side of the table and explained about his home cooking and how the peppers were the flavor of his heritage, then handed them to the deacon and started back. Before he could complete his explanation of how it took an experienced stomach to eat small bites, the deacon plopped them in his mouth and started chewing.

I've wondered if those were Habanero peppers since I've learned more about Tex-Mex cooking.

The immediate response was the deacon's reaching for his glass of tea. Insufficient, he reached for the tea pitcher. It didn't quench the fire, either.

Being on a farm, the deacon headed for the well, drew a bucket of water and actually poured it over his head while the people around the table sat awe struck. Finally, he returned to the table and said:

"Angel, I've known a lot of preachers who preached about hell. You're the first one I've known who carried a sample with him."

We often ignore hell and the truth about it. Jesus didn’t:

Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Matthew 23:33)

John was inspired to write of it:

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:14-15)

Thanks be to God for His gift, that we need not experience hell, but preachers should never forget to remind us - it exists.

1 comment:

  1. What a cute story! Times sure have changed! I've heard of people from the south bringing Tabasco with them while they were traveling!


Thank you for taking time to read and comment on the blog. Comments should take into consideration this verse: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)