Pastor's Pen
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October 21, 2014, 10:41 AM

I Have a Dream

I Have a Dream


   Reading the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians this past week, I came across this statement in the New Living Translation: “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct” (chapter 6:4-5). That made me think about living in community … especially living in our community. Living in a community, you are never alone (or we shouldn’t feel that we are alone), for we are together in support!

   Community is a place where we look at reality … where we accept one another … where there is support … and where we should be striving for excellence! Whether you are working to make Main Street better or working out and around the expressway, it’s going to take the best we have to rise to the challenge of community in the Ardmore area. I appreciate and I am encouraged by the articles in this paper that are written by Mita Bates and Brian Carter from the Chamber Commerce and the articles about the work of our city commissioners. But we all are going to have to work harder and harder to maintain a community life that is moving forward for all of our residence.

   My dream includes seeing that our neighborhoods become just that “neighborhoods.” Where people know and care about each other. Have you noticed newly constructed homes lately? Smaller front porches and more emphasis placed on the back side of the house for entertaining. What if the function of neighborhoods would include keeping in touch with your neighbors, helping with needs, and welcoming in new families?

   I would suggest that the essence of community depends on three foundational factors:

First, the realization that we are in this boat of life together. It is never a question that your end of the boat is leaking and you had better start bailing out. Second, we must learn to listen to one another. So many people are unable to listen. It is like two little boys struggling over one tricycle. They both wanted to ride the tricycle. Finally, one boy said to the other, “You know, if one of us would get off, I could have a lot more fun.” We must listen to each other. Third, we need to be available to one another. We could transform the quality of our life here, as in other communities, if the great talent in this area were available. I heard someone say that for every one of us who is serving somewhere, there are two of us sitting down. You build community by being available to one another!

   Artemus Ward was made famous by a statement he made during the Civil War, and this is what he said: “I have already given two cousins to the war, and I stand ready to sacrifice my wife’s brother.” You get the point … Artemus was not available.

   I have a dream for this community. I dream that this will be a place where all are welcomed, where burdens are shared, where joy will be experienced, and where we will more and more feel togetherness and fellowship … a sense of community. 10.19.2014

Dr. Rick Baggett is pastor of First Presbyterian Church (the church with the bells) and can be reached at:



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