- by Sue Seaman -
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I have fond memories of when I met Malc at 18 - especially where music was concerned. Every Thursday evening Malc would come round to pick me up in his car and we would drive round to his mate Bob’s flat. Bob lived with his mum, Betty. Betty was a Scots lady from Dundee. She was a little lady – full of life and full of joy.

Malc and Bob would pick up their guitars and sing from music books - songs by the band Bread or Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young or by America. ‘Ventura Highway’ was one of my favourite songs that they often sang.

During the times they played together I would sit and listen, thoroughly enjoying their singing. After a couple of hours, Betty would make coffee and bring out the ‘sticky buns’ which she had bought that day - especially because she knew Malc liked them. We would all sit and chat and then it would be time for Malc to take me home.

Malc also played guitar other evenings with another friend, Ian. We would meet up at Ian’s house with Ian and his girlfriend at the time, Paula (who later become his wife.) Malc and Ian formed a band with another friend Adrian called ‘AMI’ based on the initials of their names. Ian and Malc wrote several songs together hoping that they would one day ‘make it’ on the music scene. They didn’t but we still have some of the songs that they recorded on cassette tape.

After Malc and I were married Malc and Ian were still keen on getting a band together and were joined by Steve, a mutual friend from work. Ian and Steve would drive out to our house in Maldon and practise the songs they had written. Steve already played in another fairly well known band in the Essex area ‘The Mustard Company’ and also with the Micky Jupp Band. Steve was a particularly good guitar player and really helped to encourage Malc and Ian. I used to ‘nag’ him like crazy every time he came to our house, to play a tune called ‘Dallas Rag.’ Steve really played it well.

Our old friend Bob was by now trying to make a solo career for himself and was starting to mix with some well known artists that were about at the time. He rented a flat at one time from one of the members of the ‘Flying Pickets’ and became friends with Richard Digance and Rick Christian who later had his own Folk Music show on BBC Essex, a local radio station. Rick later sang on board Richard Branson’s 1st Virgin cross-Atlantic flight. Bob started to get bookings and Malc, I, Ian and Paula, went to see him perform locally.

Bob used to call Malc ‘his old pair of slippers.’ He always felt Malc was someone he could call on any old time and Malc would be there for him. Sometimes we would not see Bob for long periods of time and then one wet, Wednesday evening there would be a knock on the door and there would stand Bob. Malc would bring him in and chat away as if they were carrying on a conversation from the previous day! (pretty comfortable slippers.)

But as time went by we began to lose touch with some of our old friends and when Malc and I became Christians the changes that the Lord made in our Lives seem to become the difference between us.

Bob came to see us on several occasions after we became Christians. He would pop in from time to time when he was in the area. And I am sure that he will again pop in again one of these days on a wet Wednesday evening to see his old pair of slippers (even though they are a little older and worn then the last time.)

A friend is a friend till the utmost end. Just like Jesus is a friend to us. Jesus calls us His friends - He laid down his life for his friends.

When we became Christians in 1985 Malc learned the reason why he never made it with music. Maybe his heart wasn’t totally in it - as it was for Ian and Bob and Steve. Ian played in a new band and one time Malc and I went over to Chelmsford to watch him. Bob went about doing gigs from town to town for a few years and formed his own Publishing company ‘On The Ropes’ then moved up to Scotland where we understand he now works for a Scottish Television company.

But the Lord kept Malc for His purposes. The Lord spoke to Malc and told him “I will give you music.” The Lord spoke those words to Malc just after we became Christians and since then the Lord has given Malc a ministry in leading worship at Church. The Lord has also given both Malc and me songs to write and sing which are now on the church website. You see, we can strive all we want to succeed in this world. Most do because they want to be someone who is well known - for purely selfish reasons or because they have nothing else in their empty hearts - not knowing Jesus as Lord.

But The Lord keeps those who are His and fulfills His plans and purposes for each one. The Lord didn’t take away Malc’s desire for music - playing guitar and singing and even writing songs. He wanted to use Malc for His own glory in the church, where he would be used in ministry - far more enjoyable and beneficial to the church. Malc still practices songs from songbooks - but now they are Christian songs.

I am sure one day Bob will surprise us - he knows where we are. I don’t think he will forget his old pair of slippers. Bob if you happen to read this - you are not forgotten!

Maybe you have some favourite memories. Dear friends, hold onto those memories but throw out the bad ones.

The Bible tells us to continually think about good things. In Philippians 4:8 it says:

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

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