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“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of Your hands. I stretch out my hands to You; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land” (Psalm 143:5-6).

On August 26, 1957, I began first grade at Clover Trinity Lutheran School, a little country school situated between the towns of Filer and Buhl, Idaho. Primarily, the school served the families of Clover Trinity Lutheran Church, which has been serving that rural community since the spring of 1915. While visiting family in Southern Idaho this past week, I had the wonderful privilege of attending a Men’s Fellowship Breakfast at the school and also joining the congregation for worship on Sunday.

Upon entering the school building, I was overcome by memories and emotions that are hard to explain. The Men’s Breakfast was held in the dining hall where I ate my school lunches for so many of my grade school years. Joining me at the table were several men who were my classmates, some that I had not seen for over fifty years. All of us were looking at one another trying to picture in these matured faces, the faces with which we were so familiar in days gone by. What a blessed time of reunion as we studied God’s Word together and prayed together once again.

On Sunday morning, Sandy and I attended the worship service at the church. Little had changed in the sanctuary since I was a boy. Every Christmas my mind returns to that sanctuary because I did many recitations in front of the old altar during Christmas pageants. When I was a boy, my family attended many weddings and funerals of friends and loved ones in that hallowed old building. I was once again drawn into the very presence of God through the music, the liturgy, and a powerful proclamation of the Word of God. At the end of the service, I found myself wanting to linger for a while longer.

Since returning home, I have realized again, just how much God used the influence of that church and that school in the shaping my life and ministry. Of course, while attending there as a boy, I had no way of knowing what the future had in store for me. As I daily recited The Lord’s Prayer, The Apostle’s Creed, and was faithfully taught from both God’s Word and Luther’s Catechism, with my classmates, God was planting seeds in the soil of my heart, seeds that He would bring to harvest many years in the future.

Today I am truly thankful for a Father and Mother who faithfully raised their children around a family altar, took them to church and also enrolled them in that little country Christian school. And just as seeds that are planted in the earth, do not immediately show the fruit of one’s faithful labors, one day, the harvest does.

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