Oh, the good ole days. Reminiscent old men are sometimes (SOMETIMES!) my favorite to be around. Stories from days gone by are not only interesting to me, but very education and sometimes funny.
Before he passed, I had opportunity to sit down with Rex Foster many times. By the time I got to Faith, he and his lovely wife, Ranelle, were unable to attend services in person. I would make it over to his house on the North side of Terrell, and we would sit and visit for an hour or so every other week. Usually he had something for me; shelled pecans, some money, or just a kind word.
It was rare if Rex didn’t tell me at least one story while I visited with him. He would tell me about being a fire fighter, about his work as a layman in the church, and the lovely memories with his wife (who at the time was in a Retirement Home, and they rarely got to see one another). I never saw Rex as happy as when he and Ranelle were able to live together again up in Forney.
When Rex and I would visit about ministry, he would tell me about the bus ministry “back in the day”. He would tell me about soul winning in the 70’s, and the great revivals they used to have. It was never said with a sour or critical spirit, he just loved the Lord and missed being active in the local church. He would think back to the “good ole days”.
Unfortunately, there are those who look back with rose colored glasses at the old days, and see today as a hopeless cause. I don’t believe anyone would argue with someone if they stated ministry was easier 50-70 years ago. But the reality is that each generation has its unique challenges, and great opportunities.
In Ezra’s day, the young men rejoiced because the temple was finally being built. They had never been able to worship God in Jerusalem at the temple, and now they would. The aged men wept though; they could only remember what had been in the “good ole days”. For them, this new temple would never compare to the splendor of Solomon’s Temple… so why bother. What was the point of wasted effort on something that wouldn’t ever scratch the surface of the beauty of the old temple, they reasoned.
Today is not 50-70 years ago… it is today, and God has given us ministry to do TODAY. We may never reach the number of people as in the “good ole days”, but we can still reach people! There are new and exciting opportunities in our generation to serve the Lord. Don’t get bogged down fantasizing about the wonderful past, when there is work to be done here and now.
I am thankful for men like Rex Foster who carried the torch and were faithful. When his dear wife passed away, he was broken hearted. It was only a few months and he passed as well. In his generation, he was faithful and served… now it is our turn in our day.
Daily Scripture Reading
Ezra 1 - 3
And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel.
• Who is Cyrus? What did/do the Jews think of him?
• Who is Sheshbazzar?
• About how much money did the Israelites that returned bring with them from Persia?
• Why is a record given of those who left Persia to return to Israel?
• How many people returned?
• Who is Jeshua and Zerubbabel?
• Why were they so excited when the foundation was laid to the Temple?
• Why would some of the old men weep? How old would they have to be to remember Solomon’s Temple?