Richard Exley Ministries

Three Cup of Tea
Posted on July 31, 2009

Few things in life are more important than deep sharing with good friends. That kind of talking nourishes the soul and reaffirms our place in the world. 

As I prepare to write today’s blog three or four memories juxtapose themselves in my mind. In the first I am just a boy ten or eleven years old. It is a Sunday afternoon and we have just arrived home from church. Although I waste no time shedding my church clothes for tennis shoes and blue jeans, our company arrives before I can finish. They have come to share Sunday dinner with us. The guests vary from week to week but we almost never eat Sunday dinner alone. We might scrimp all week, as Mom used to say, but on Sunday we had a feast – huge platters piled high with fried chicken, heaping bowls of mashed potatoes, fresh vegetables from the garden, homemade hot rolls, and gallons of lemonade. For dessert there was always a variety of cakes and pies from which to choose.

When we couldn’t possible eat another bite, us kids disappeared outdoors, while the adults lingered around the table talking for an hour or two. That’s all they did – just talked. It seemed like such a waste to me then. Now, I know better. Few things in life are more important than deep sharing with good friends. That kind of talking nourishes the soul and reaffirms our place in the world.

A second memory now superimposes itself upon the first and I listen as our adult daughter bemoans the fact that no one entertains at home anymore. She and her husband tried it a couple of times, hosting small dinner parties in their home, but when several guests canceled at the last minute and no one returned their invitation they were forced to conclude that dinner parties are a thing of the past. “No one has time to be friends any more,” Leah says wistfully, “not with everything they have going on in their lives. Oh, I know my generation is into social networking – facebook and twitter and all that – but sending emails and instant messages isn’t the same as sharing Sunday dinner!”

Category: Friends

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Missed Opportunities
Posted on June 16, 2009

Like some of you, I have now reached that point in life when it is not unusual for yet another friend, or family member, to depart this life. The past four years have been especially difficult for Brenda and me, as we have lost both her father and mine, as well as my mother, and a special friend. Still, I was shocked when I received a telephone call informing me that Larry Dalton had died suddenly.

He was barely sixty-three years old and appeared to be the picture of health. We had reconnected in February, at Christian Chapel’s 35th anniversary. As we chatted, he informed me that he was leaving Nashville and moving back to Tulsa. I complimented him on the Christmas music he had done for Reader’s Digest and told him the Christmas concerts he had performed at Christian Chapel were still the highlight of my Christmas memories.

The service was about to begin, so he excused himself and made his way toward the platform. As I watched him walk toward the piano, I couldn’t help marveling at his youthful appearance and fitness. He worked out regularly and was an avid bicyclist. Involuntarily, I found myself trying to suck in my sagging stomach, but to no avail. 

Category: Friends

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