Pastor David's Thought For The Weekby Pastor David Alexander
Dear First Family,
This past weekend I shared two passages from the book, “I'm Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers” by Tim Madigan. In the book, Tim shares about the friendship he shared with Fred which began with his assignment to write a profile piece on Mr. Rogers for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
I also encouraged everyone to buy a copy of the book, read it for yourself, and consider gifting it to someone else in their life.
I thought you would enjoy reading what I received on Monday morning from the author himself! Through a mutual friend, he was tagged on my Facebook post about the book and sent me this note.
“Good morning. I don’t know what you said in your sermon, but based on book sales yesterday I should hire you as my marketing manager.”
While I didn’t take him up on his job offer, I was certainly proud of you for taking me up on my challenge to buy a copy. I know it will bless you and anyone you might gift this book to in the future.
If you haven’t picked up your copy, you can find it here. And if you’ve missed either of the first two messages of this series, you can find those on our website or by downloading our new Church App by texting FMCMAPP to 77977 or by searching FMCM in your App Store.
One of the particular passages of scripture that has come to mind on numerous occasions while preparing for this series is what Paul shares near the end of his letter to the Christians living in Philippi. He writes,
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
These words seemed to have been the theme of Fred’s life, but perhaps even more significantly, part of Fred’s genius with both children and adults was the way he invited others to “think about such things” that were worthy of being remembered and celebrated.
There was a particular exercise that Fred invited others to do throughout his life. If you’ve seen the movie released last November, “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”, it is featured in the film. In a 2002 commencement speech at Dartmouth College, he explained it in this way.
"I’d like to give you all an invisible gift. A gift of a silent minute to think about those who have helped you become who you are today. Some of them may be here right now. Some may be far away. Some, like my astronomy professor, may even be in Heaven. But wherever they are, if they’ve loved you, and encouraged you, and wanted what was best in life for you, they’re right inside your self. And I feel that you deserve quiet time, on this special occasion, to devote some thought to them. So, let’s just take a minute, in honor of those that have cared about us all along the way. One silent minute."
After that minute of silence was complete Fred added this,
"Whomever you’ve been thinking about, imagine how grateful they must be, that during your silent times, you remember how important they are to you."
Perhaps one of the 1440 minutes of this day would be worthy of you participating in this same exercise. In a world filled with noise, I know it’s difficult to do. Nevertheless, I want to invite you to do that right now.
Put down your cell phone. Step away from your computer. Be still for just a minute. Think about all those who have helped you become who you are today, and just imagine how grateful they must be to have played that part in your story.
And for extra credit… If you can, send them a note. Don’t overthink it. It can be brief, but make sure they know how grateful you are for them.
I’m grateful for you and I’m proud of you,