|Good Morning Everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Stay strong”
Our Bible verse for today: “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh cry out for the living God … Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” Psalm 84:1-2; 10 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “We’re better together”
The other day my personal Bible reading brought me to Psalm 84 and as it always does, the Psalm reminded me of my old friend Dick DeGrow. Dick was a retired pastor who was a member of Bancroft Baptist Church in Spring Valley, CA when I arrived there in the mid-1990s as a brand-new pastor. I was a retired Naval officer with a couple of college degrees, but I had little experience as a pastor. Dick had served many years as a pastor and at that time he was a deacon and Sunday school teacher, and he also served as the church custodian.
Dick was a kind and gentle man, soft-spoken and very wise. I quickly discovered that he would be a great source of counsel and assistance to me, and so we had lunch together every Thursday. Each of us would bring a brown bag lunch and we would go to one of the Sunday school rooms. We would eat and talk for an hour. I learned so much about being a pastor during those lunches!
All these decades later there are two specific encounters with Dick that still stand out in my mind. The first happened on a day I was in my office writing a sermon. There was a soft knock on the door, it opened, and Dick stuck his head in. He was there, as always, to clean the church. With a warm smile he said “How’s my Pastor this morning? Is there anything I can do for you?” I looked at him for a moment and said, “Dick, why are you still cleaning the church at your age? You don’t need to be doing this.” He smiled and paraphrased Psalm 84:10 by saying, “Pastor, I would rather clean toilets in the house of the Lord than to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.” Then with another warm smile he said, “Have a good day”, and he went happily about the business of cleaning the church.
The other event occurred during one of our lunches. I commented on the fact that if the doors of the church were opened, if there was any event going on at all, Dick and his wife Jean were always there. They missed nothing. To that Dick replied, “Pastor, gathering with our church family makes us stronger. The more time we spend with other Christians the better it is for us. As Christians we’re better together. We make each other strong.”
Wise words. Great truth. The fact is that we need each other. We need to be together. I encourage you to gather with your church family this Sunday. We need each other and we make each other stronger. We’re better together.
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