I know Rick did alot of teaching over the years. My chikdren tell me of his Sunday School lessons and his Bible Studies. Mostly, he was good at sharing himself and what he had learned along his journey. I heard him speak a few times, but I never heard him give a sermon. But his life was lived as the application of every sermon you ever heard.
We sang in the youth choir at San Fernando. Howard Weller was the choir director. He was so old school baptist. But he sure showed all the patience God had given him when he led the youth choir. Later, Floren took over leading the youth choir. We had three tenors. Rick, Marcel and me. Marcel would stand in the middle. The only way I could carry a tune is by hearing what Marcel was singing and my voice would follow his. Marcel would sing with a finger in his ear. Rick asked him one time why he did that. Not wanting to make Rick feel bad, Marcel told him that by putting a finger in your ear, you can hear yourself better and stay on tune. So, for the remaining time of our youth choir days, Rick and Marcel would stand up in the choir loft, singing with a finger in their ear. Rick, following Marcel's reasoning, to sing better. And Marcel? Well it was later pointed out to Rick that Marcel had done it for all those years so he wouldnt have Rick throw him off with his singing. Rick took that, along with everything else that came his way, in stride. He knew he would not be the singer Marcel was. As much as Rick loved music, is it any wonder that he married a woman with one of the best voices he or I ever heard?
The first Sunday of every month, we would have communion at San Fernando. It was always set up the same way. The pastor, Ray Murray, would stand behind the communion table and give a short communion meditation. The deacons would sit on the platform on either side of him. We thought they were up there to keep an eye on us the entire service. The communion would always follow the same format. Pastor Ray would read a passage from Isaiah 53. "A man of sorrows, acquainted with grief." Then he would pass out the trays with the crackers on them. Then he would recite further in chapter 53. "All we like sheep have gone astray."
One Sunday, Rick turned to me and made his hand to look like a hoof. He looked in my face and said,......"Baaaaaaaa". I lost it as did the others within ear shot. We tried not to laugh out loud. We held our hands over our mouths, we snorted like we were all coughing, at the same time. The rest of the communion service was a blur. After the, after they had supped, they sang a song and went out, we ran out of the church so we wouldn't face any more dirty looks from all the deacons up on the platform.
It took maybe six months to get through a communion Sunday without some laughter or smiles. When Jean finally met Rick, she asked me, "so that is the guy who said Baaaa"? Recently in church, someone quoted Isaiah 53:6 and Jean and I looked at each other and smiled.
So many people today do not have fun in church. It is a duty to attend. It is one of many choices to do on a Saturday night or Sunday morning. It is something to stay away from because it is no fun and we dont get anything out of it. Rick made church fun. Rick was one reason that I looked forward to going to church while God was maturing me into realizing why we go. Did I ever mention that around Rick, there was always laughter and smiles... and Joy?