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Bulletin Blurbs

The Stranded Dave Matthews

Back in 2013, Emily Kraus and her boyfriend were on their way to a concert when they passed by a stranded bicyclist. They decided to stop and give the man a lift. When they did, they learned that he was, in actuality, Dave Matthews. They were on their way to his concert. Matthews had gone out on a preconcert ride in Hershey, PA when his bicycle broke, stranding him miles away from the venue and without a cell phone. Emily and her boyfriend, for their “good Samaritan” act, were invited to have dinner with Matthews and front row seats at the concert.

Good deeds frequently go rewarded. Jesus encourages us, in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, to seek whom we might serve as a neighbor. “Which of these three – the priest, the Levite, the Samaritan,” Jesus asked the lawyer, “- do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” (Luke 10:36). The lawyer could not bring “Samaritan” across his lips, so he responded, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Jesus told him, and us today, “Go and do the same.”

Be a friend to the one in need. There are times, like Emily and her boyfriend, when we might be rewarded surprisingly here on this earth. The author of Hebrews admonishes us: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2).

However, more often than not, we will not receive any reward or recognition here in this world. Yet, a good deed deserves to be done for the sake of doing good to others. There is One who sees, remembers, and rewards. Jesus teaches in Matthew 10:42 that a cup of cold water does not go unnoticed by the Father in heaven.

Perform the small acts of kindness and God will reward you greatly.

-   Paul

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Good morning!

Once again, I’m happy that all of you are here this morning! As you read this, I am likely in Henderson, Tennessee for the annual FHU Lectureship. I look forward to seeing you in person again this time next week! It’s always an encouraging thought to know that, though I’m 716 miles away, we’re both worshipping the same God on the same day. Though we’re apart, we’re all part of the same family.

It’s hard to believe we are already a month into this New Year. It seems like every February, I have that overwhelming feeling that time really goes by too quickly. I want to express what we discussed last Sunday at our youth devotional. Often in our New Year, we discuss new beginnings and how, if the last year was not our best, we can “turn over a new leaf” this New Year. Well, now we’re 1/12 into the year 2014, and my guess is we’ve all fallen to a sin or temptation at some point. We’ve all proved that we aren’t perfect. Luckily, God does not measure time in years, months, weeks, etc. like we do. We always have the opportunity to change for the better.

David, after being confronted by Nathan for his sin with Bathsheba, wrote the 51st Psalm. In verses 10-12, he prays this: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”

We, like David, can and should pray this prayer. Unfortunately, we are imperfect. We have a Heavenly Father who understands that, and sent his perfect Son to die for us, so that we have a chance to come back to him, have our hearts made clean, and have our spirits renewed, not at the start of each new year, but whenever it is needed. Isn’t it a blessing to be a child of God?!