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Bulletin Blurbs

The Master Carpenter’s Tools

Imagine the Master Carpenter’s tools hold a conference:

Brother Hammer is presiding when several protest and suggest he leave the meeting because he is just too noisy. Brother Hammer replies: “If I have to leave this shop, Brother Screw will also have to go. You have to turn him around again and again and again to get him to accomplish anything.”

Brother Screw can’t remain silent. “If you wish, I will leave. But Brother Plane must leave also. All his work is on the surface. His efforts have no depth.”

To this, Brother Plane cannot remain silent. “Brother Rule is always measuring others as though he were the only one who is right. He will also have to withdraw!”

Brother Rule, not to be ignored in this mutual fault-finding, complains about Brother Sandpaper: “He ought to leave, too, because he’s so rough and always rubbing others the wrong way.”

So goes the discord.

Until the Master Carpenter enters the shop. He has come to start His day’s work. Putting on his apron, he goes to the bench to make a pulpit from which He can proclaim His saving Gospel message. He uses Brothers Hammer, Screw, Plane, Rule, Sandpaper and all the other tools.

After the day’s work, when the pulpit is finished, Brother Saw arises and remarks, “Brethren, I observe that all of us are workers together with the Lord.”

“What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:5-7).

-    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?!