Archive for October 7th, 2007

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This Saturday was the culmination of a gathering that my good friend Rachel Armstrong and I had been planning for about a month. It was a get-together of old friends. Some twenty-plus years ago, we all used to live in Fairfield and attend a little church on East Travis Boulevard called Apostolic Faith Tabernacle. Jerry W. Cates was the pastor at the time. This little church was where Mike and I first gave our hearts to God and received the baptism of the Holy Ghost 28 years ago. Pastor Cates baptized us both and also performed our wedding ceremony. He laid the foundation for us as new Christians and imparted to us many excellent godly principles and truths which have kept us all these years.  Although we were all very sad to see him leave this earthly life, we know that Pastor Cates is in a much better place, rejoicing in the presence of the Lord. We look forward to meeting him again someday in the sweet by and by.  David Alvarez has been pasturing the Fairfield church where we still attend for the last 22 years, and we’ve seen wonderful growth and transformed lives. He’s done a great job, and we love him and his wife Tanya very much.

When I found out in August that Pastor Cate’s wife, Linda and her new husband Don Thompson were going to be in the area in early October, I thought it might be nice to have a reunion of the old Fairfield church members. Rachel and Tom Armstrong so graciously volunteered to host this get-together at their lovely home in Lodi. Saturday morning dawned sunny and unclouded. A perfect day for a reunion!

We reached the Armstrong’s home about 4:00 PM. Everything was set up beautifully and well organized, thanks to Tom, Rachel and her sister Karen. There was a canopy set up in the backyard with a long row of tables and chairs; all done up in fall décor. And their home was breathtaking. I told Rachel it should be featured in Better Homes and Gardens. Everyone had a good time. The food was great, and there was much sharing and laughter and catching up on each other’s lives. There were about 38 people total. Mike Muniz really made my day when he thought that my son Jeremy was my brother!! Amidst the hugs and exclamations of excitement over seeing old friends, I think the thing that surprised me the most was seeing Cameron Waage. Cameron was the ring bearer at our wedding. He was only about 4 years old at the time. Now here was this big, tall strapping young man, married and the father of SEVEN daughters!!! His wife Shawna had just given birth 11 days earlier to their 7th daughter. Cameron stated that he is finished. No more babies! The score is 7 girls to zero boys, and the game is over!!

As I look back over this wonderful get together, my mind goes back to an old song that we used to sing in church called “What A Gathering”.

Verse One:
At the sounding of the trumpet……
When the Saints are gathered home.
We will greet each other by the crystal sea.

With the friends and all the loved ones
There awaiting us to come
What a gathering of the faithful that will be

The Chorus:


What a gathering, gathering
At the sounding of the glorious jubilee…..[jubilee]
What a gathering………..gathering
What a gathering of the faithful that will be.

Although I truly enjoyed this reunion, it was just a mere foretaste of an even greater gathering we will experience someday when believers will all be reunited with the One who gave His life for us. He will wipe away all our tears and sorrows. Behold, He will make all things new!

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