“Therefore, you must also be ready; for the son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Jesus warned the crowd to prepare for the end. No one knows when their final time will come, and putting it off may make it too late. We need to be ready, whenever it may be.

An elderly lady became ill and went to stay with her daughter and family. They loved her and gave her the best care. She especially enjoyed visiting with her 4-year-old granddaughter, Jill. Sometimes, the little girl would take her doll in with her and tell grandma what “they” did that day.

One day her mother came out of grandma’s room and softly closed the door. She quietly told Jill, “Your grandmother just went to heaven.”

“In her nightgown?” Jill exclaimed. “She should have gotten ready.”

That little girl didn’t realize that her grandmother had gotten ready for that journey a long time ago. She had packed her days with prayers, she had continued to learn of God’s greatness and shared what she knew with others, whether they be family, friends and strangers. She did what she could, whenever she could, always giving God the glory and praise.

Jill would later realize that her grandmother had been getting ready for the final journey for a long time, and she had left behind a clearly marked road map as to where she would be.

During this Lenten season, we each need to remember that we are on a journey, and we never know when we will get to the end of the road. We need to be ready, and the only way to do that is to listen to the Lord and let him led us to that final destination.

Remembering the Rev. Billy Graham

Today, we pay tribute to the late Rev. Billy Graham, a man who spent his life helping people get ready for that final journey. He was just a young man when he became a Baptist preacher, but Billy Graham wasn’t interested in one’s denomination, race, or social status.

No matter who you were, you were a child of God and he wanted to help you find your way home.

He traveled around the United States, and later, to other countries, touching the hearts of millions of people and helping them find answers to their own lives. People who would not go to church or listen to another minister would listen to Billy Graham. He was “America’s pastor,” but was known around the world and, for many years, he was considered the most influential man in the world.

In times of tragedy or disaster, people turned to him for answers. Although he couldn’t tell them why, he was able to give comfort and hope, helping people to go on with life in the worst circumstances.

After 9/11, the Rev. Graham led a remembrance service at Washington National Cathedral on Sept. 14, 2001. Below is part of what he said:

“This event reminds us of the brevity and the uncertainty of life. We never know when we, too, will be called into eternity. I doubt if even one of those people who got on those planes or walked into the World Trade Center or the Pentagon last Tuesday morning thought it would be the last day of their lives. It didn’t occur to them. And that’s why each of us needs to face our own spiritual need and commit ourselves to God and his will now.

“Here in this majestic National Cathedral we see all around us symbols of the cross... The cross tells us that God understands our sin and our suffering, for he took upon himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, our sins and our suffering. And from the cross, God declares, ‘I love you. I know the heartaches and the sorrows and the pains that you feel. But I love you.’

“The story does not end with the cross, for Easter points us beyond the tragedy of the cross to the empty tomb. It tells us there is hope for eternal life, for Christ has conquered evil and death, and hell. Yes, there is hope.”

Billy Graham made a difference. May God be with his family and all those who loved him.

One business

closes, another

celebrates 50 years

Titusville has lost another business. It is sad that the 5M store in Titusville has closed. My family did business there for a long time and they were always kind, friendly and helpful. May God be with those people wherever they go.

For many years, Mildred and Clifford Watson lived in a house on the hill where Jerry Potter now resides. The dirt road below was a part of state Route 27. Coming down from Grand Valley, one had to turn onto that dirt road and follow it back to a bridge that led near what is now Steve Wright’s house. The road then joined the highway going into Titusville.

The state finally decided to build a bridge and extend the main road. At that time, there were no buildings on the east side of the bridge, below Watson’s.

In 1946, Ralph Landas bought that land and built a gas station/grocery store, with the garage connected to the store.

Gas was provided by the Pennzoil company. A year later, Ralph had to move the new gas pumps back 10 feet to meet state regulations. The bulldozer got stuck and a man with a patch on his eye had to use his larger vehicle to get the dozer out.

Ralph and his wife had a good business there, then Ralph’s wife died. He later remarried and sold the station to Pike and Ruth Covell. An older man, Maund Crawford, lived in the back of the store and helped wait on customers. He was friendly and kind and people enjoyed visiting with him. Pike had several antique cars and people would stop just to look at them. Covell’s had the business for many years.

In 1967, Howard and Wanda Cornell bought the store, but things didn’t work out well and they only had it a few months. A young Paul Thompson and his wife, the former Martha Gibson, were interested in the business. They went through all the preliminaries, and on Feb. 26, 1968, Howard signed papers making Paul the new owner of the station. Paul and Martha had already been taking care of things at the store, but it officially opened as “Thompson’s Station” the next day.

Martha and Paul had one child when they first took over, but in a few years, they had three more. All of the kids “grew up” at the store. The girls, Sue, Barb and Sheila, liked to wait on customers as soon as they were old enough. Little Paul followed his dad everywhere and “helped” in the garage as soon as “he could see over the steering wheel.”

Right after he opened, Paul built his own wrecker, and over the years he built three more. One wrecker was stolen, and when it was finally found in Pittsburgh, it had been stripped. Paul got it back and had to start over.

Several interesting things happened at that store. Paul had a gas tank to repair and the owner was to bring the car in on “empty.” He forgot and filled the tank before he came out. Paul started to work on it, gas dropped into the pit and a fire started. He got the car out of the garage and ran for the fire extinguisher, which was a large heavy canister. He threw it into the pit and ran upstairs for the smaller canister, but the foam from the large one put out the fire.

When Paul Jr. was young, he ran after his dad and fell into the pit in the garage. Paul Sr. went down in and got him out. He was scared, and had some bumps and bruises, but nothing serious. Another time, Paul got into the garbage pile near the store and cut his wrist on a broken bottle. They took him to the emergency room where he got stitches. Paul also fell on the steps and cut his tongue, and that time they had to take him to Oil City Hospital.

Many of the companies the Thompsons did business with are long gone. At one time they sold guns and ammunition. They got much of their ammo from a place in Franklin. They got other products from Harry Magdivitz, Bolender and John, Mongs and Titusville Dairy. The only one still around is the dairy.

Over the years, there have been many changes. The inside of the store has been remodeled several times. Martha and Paul’s children and grandchildren help when needed. Paul Jr. liked working with his dad from the time he was little, and he became an official mechanic at the station about 40 years ago. His wife, Debbie, often helps in the store. Around 1981, they built a new garage (the one now used) and the old one connected to the store became a storage area. In the beginning, they had gas pumps for regular gasoline, white gasoline and kerosene. The pumps were taken out in the 1990s.

Over the years, the Thompsons have served many people. Some came just to stop and talk, a visit with friends to brighten their day. The store sometimes had bake sales to help the youth group at the Enterprise church. They also have served something special for lunch on the first day of fishing season. Martha said, “Lots of people have come through those doors and many of them are gone now.”

Congratulations to Martha and Paul on their 50 years of business in Enterprise. They have served the area well and the community wishes them the best. May God bless them and the work they do.

Pleasantville TOPS

Due to weather conditions, Pleasantville TOPS did not meet last week, so the challenges and positive thought remain the same: Watch your portions, work out three times this week; and “did you eat your fruit?” For more information, contact Cathy, at 589-7162.

        

Church schedules

— Enterprise United Methodist Church, Pastor Penny Helmbold — Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Bible school meeting (Shamburg). Sunday, 9 a.m., worship; 10:15, Sunday school.

— Faith Community Church, the Rev. Jerry Drake — Tonight, 7, Bible study. Sunday, 10 a.m., Sunday school; 11, worship.

— Pleasantville Community Church, the Rev. Shawn Jacobson — Today, 7 a.m., prayer time, “Coffee with Jesus;” 11 a.m., meeting. Thursday, 6, Fellowship Extension Night. Friday, 6, FAN Night; 6:40, children workers and education; 7:35, board of elders. Saturday, 9 a.m., praise team. Sunday, 9:30 a.m., Sunday school; 10:45, worship; 6 p.m., service.

— Pleasantville Presbyterian, the Rev. Jamie Fowler — Sunday, 9:30 a.m., worship; 10:45, Sunday school.

— Pleasantville Methodist, Pastor Janet Sill — Today, 5 p.m., Lenten soup supper and Bible study (Bethel church). Thursday, 10 a.m., Bible study, “The Way,” led by Pastor Janet. Sunday, 6:30 a.m., Men of Integrity (Titusville First Baptist Church); 9:50, worship; 11, Friendship Circle, study on death and resurrection of Jesus.

— Pleasantville Free Methodist, the Rev. Chuck Riel — Tonight, 6:30, worship team; 7:30, prayer meeting. Sunday, 8 a.m., prayer; 9:45, Sunday school; 11, worship; 12:15 p.m., small group study.

— Full Gospel, the Rev. Ben McCauley — Tonight, 6, Bible study and prayer. Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Bible school meeting (Shamburg). Sunday, 9:45 a.m., Sunday school; 11, worship; 6 p.m., service.

— Shamburg Christian Church of God, Pastor Fred Frye — Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Bible school meeting; 7:30, set up tables. Saturday, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., soup and pie dinner (Family Life Center). Sunday, 9:45 a.m., worship with ushers Sherree Yochum and Jared Lane, and nursery attendant Nancy Mulvin; 11:15, Sunday school; 1 p.m., Art of Marriage. Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Bible study led by Jimmy Stewart.

— Grand Valley United Methodist, the Rev. David Heckman — Sunday, 10 a.m., worship; 11, Sunday school.

Upcoming events

— There will be a Lenten service at Titusville United Methodist Church at noon today, with the Rev. Tim Maybray as the speaker. After the service, lunch will be served in the social hall, and all donations benefit a ministry. The service and luncheon are sponsored by the Titusville Area Ministerium, and everyone is welcome.

— Thursday is the first of March. Legend claims, “If March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb.” We’ll just have to see what happens.

— The spring soup and pie dinner, sponsored by Shamburg Christian Church of God, will be held this Saturday at the Family Life Center behind the church. Serving will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., and it’s all-the-soup-you-can-eat. There will be nine kinds to chose from: bean and ham, pinto bean soup, chicken tortellini, vegetable, cheeseburger, corn chowder, corned beef and cabbage, broccoli and cheese, and chili mac soup. The meal will also include crackers, rolls, beverage and a slice of pie, and the cost is a donation. Come and enjoy a good meal with neighbors and friends.

— The Second Harvest Mobile Food Pantry will be at the Pleasantville fire Hall on Wednesday, March 21. There is no charge for the food boxes, but pre-registration is necessary. Contact Pleasantville Methodist Church at (814) 589-7385, after March 1. If no one answers, leave your name and phone number and someone will return your call.

— Girl Scout cookies are now available. Those who placed orders, may pick them up, but there are extra cookies for those who weren’t able to order. For more information, contact a girl scout or a girl scout leader.

Military list

Our military list includes Cody Sterling, Ben Nosko, Steven Batko, Jacob Hart, Kimberly Savitz, Lucas Savitz, Kimberly Miles, Samantha Lewis, Heather Luchka, Autumn Kinney, Austin Kinney, David Vroman, Bill Wencil, and Jay Bowes.

Prayer list

We remember in prayer Dick Jones, Jerry Potter, Kyle Miller, Mike Peterson, the Rev. David Heckman, Paul Thompson, Martha Thompson, Jeff Fowler, Pat Reynolds, Sue Wagner, Bob Lieder, Krystal Riddle, Jami Hillman, Matthew Sullivan, Gale Sullivan, Tom Shriver, Aiden Jackson, Bonnie Wagner, Kay Seeley, Richard Kinney, Gary Fratus, Audrey Walters, and Willard Steadman.

Celebrations

Happy birthday to Pam Griffin, Dalton Burns, and Alexis Wright on March 1; Curt Johnson, Donna Hetrick, Tony Wright, Jessica Morris, George Greenawalt, and Shawn Sliker on March 3; Rick Tucker, Sandy Singleton, Audrey Pearson, and Landon Drake Nicols on March 3; Joey Whitton and Toby Burns on March 4; Stephanie Sliker, Nerissa McQuire, Cru Nicols, and Gary Fratus on March 5; and Jeff Gibson and Pam Gibson on March 7.

Happy anniversary to Amy and Denny Williams on March 1; and June and Jim Wright and Sharon and Don Thompson on March 5.

May everyone have a wonderful day.

Mulvin can be reached at (814) 516-3787.

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