This is one story that has two types of domino effects. The first is when one event sets off a chain reaction of similar events. And the second, quite literally, is about the friendships formed when people come together to play Mexican Trains with … you guessed it … dominoes.
The First Domino
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
James 5:16 NLT
The first domino started to fall 30 years ago when a teenager, Erica Harder, became a Christian and began praying for her father. Prayer is at the beginning of so many powerful stories of change. Erica faithfully prayed for her dad for over 30 years. Finally, about 5 years ago, her dad, Tom, came to church with her in Santa Clara.
Sitting in front of Tom and Erica that day was another Tom: Tom Noble. Tom Noble, who is typically quiet and reserved, decided that day to take initiative and strike up a conversation with the Tom behind him. From that simple act, a friendship started to form.
The Friendship Dominoes
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
Galatians 6:9 NLT
Tom Harder came to church periodically over the next 5 years. He started to study the Bible to know God for himself, then stopped. Through all of this time, there was one thing that never stopped. Every Thursday afternoon, Tom would go to Tom and Linda Noble’s house and play Mexican Train dominoes. Just like Erica never gave up praying, the Nobles never gave up on the friendship or the dominoes.
The friendship forged over those dominoes proved to be invaluable. Just this last holiday season, as a result of the persistent prayers and the support of friends, Tom Harder was ready to tackle the things in his life that had previously held him back from building his relationship with God. He studied the Bible again, and this time he was open, humble, and forgiving in his relationships. His life changed.
Just this past Sunday at our service in Santa Clara, with his daughter and friends at his side, Tom decided to get baptized!
And these God-chosen lives all around- what splendid friends they make!
Psalm 16:3 MSG
Tom can still be found every Thursday afternoon at the Nobles’ house. However, the domino game has grown, and more people are now involved and playing. With powerful prayers and devoted friendships, we can’t wait to see the next dominoes to fall!
Till next week,
Scott and Margo Colvin
South Bay Lead Ministers