‘There shall be showers of blessing’…as the old hymn so beautifully states and sings. Here in England today we are having our 1st day in 3 weeks where the promised showers are really coming down. And it’s very nice nestled in here at the Old Manor House, now over 600 years old! Psalm 84:6 talks of going from a very dry place, called the Valley of Baca, to place of blessed springs and rain and pools of water. And it’s the Lord who takes us by the hand, through the valley that’s so desolate and dry and hot, to His place of blessing after blessing. The psalmist was talking about the experiences of God’s people during the time of David and Solomon. But as I read those verses it seemed so current and modern… and directed to me. You too? Read those verses and see if God doesn’t put up a mirror in front of you to see yourself better. He did for me. I was thinking back to the latter 1990’s. We were active in a couple different churches. I was doing a weekly TV show and full-time financial planner with American Express. My wife Sue worked at our local Safeway grocery store, which was exactly 1 mile from our home. Many days I would get a ride with her to work and then walk the mile home. Or in the evening, I’d walk to the grocery store trying to meet her just as she finished her shift for a nice ride home. Taking practically the same route each time, I passed wonderful neighborhoods with lots of kids playing and obviously many families, most originally from Mexico. I’d always have Christian tracts with mein a wallet in my back pocket, both in English and Spanish. Opportunities often came to give a brief witness for the Lord in those neighborhoods. In addtion, I’d always pray for the one church on my walking route, the United Christian Church. It was so well located to reach those kids I kept seeing over the years… also, the adults in the apartments and homes as well. I knew some of the previous pastors and had even preached there once in 1982. I would pray for the people of that church, for its leaders and pastor, that they would reach out to the lost right around them. Maybe they were. I didn’t know… but I prayed anyway. One day a client of mine, who was a member of that church, phoned me asking if I still could preach. I wondered if that was a trick question! After all, I was in great demand as a preacher–once or twice a year if it was a busy one! So, I filled in for 2 Sundays. Only 18 people gathered, well 20 counting my wife and myself! I asked one of the elders to give us a tour of the building. Had only been in the sanctuary. As we were taking our brief tour, I could feel something churning within and it wasn’t that prune danish I had for breakfast!…this building could be used for so many different programs of the Lord but it looked like the rapture had already come and we were all left behind. Empty… but ready to move forward? That’s what I sensed at the time. And remember, I do love a challenge. The 2nd Sunday I preached, a grandmother came to the back of the church following worship telling me that her 9 year old granddaughter, who was standing next to her, needed the Lord and would I talk with her. Would I? Is this for real? Well, after they found the smelling salts and I got up(!), I talked with her, shared from the Bible the Good News of Jesus Christ, and she prayed asking the Lord into her life. Was God leading me from the Valley of Baca to a new place of blessing? I offered to preach a couple times a month to help them out for at least a few months until they found their new pastor. A couple times a month turned into most Sundays and a few months into 14 years. I remember when that young girl’s older sister came forward to accept the Lord, when one of the current elders asked the Lord into his heart, when on their death-beds some older members for the very first time asked Jesus to be their Savior, how on my 1st regular Sunday over 33 shoeboxes were waiting on the old piano bench to be sent off to Samaritan’s Purse for Operation Christmas Child. This was a church family eager to learn about the Lord, so appreciative of my wife and myself the whole time of our ministry with them, and who loved to give to Christian mission causes, and who never stopped reaching out to that neighborhood where God placed them… and us. Now, I’m retired and they have a wonderful, young, godly full-time pastor. Blessing after blessing after blessing! From the Valley of Baca to all those ‘Showers of Blessing’ from the Lord. If you’re in that Valley of Baca, pray for rain! Keep praying…and don’t be surprised, as I was, when the showers start and the rains come- a -tumbling- down!