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Bulletin Blurbs

Never Surf Again!

Matthew Bryce was a surfer, from Scotland. On April 30th, Matthew took his surfboard out, off the coast of Scotland. But, the tides and winds were too strong for him and carried him out to sea. Fishing boats passed him by without seeing him. The next day, he began fainting and falling off his surfboard. He continued drifting until sunset.

Matthew Bryce drifted for over 32 hours before the Coast Guard helicopter spotted him. He was lifted out of his potentially watery coffin and flown to an Irish hospital. What struck me is that Bryce said that he will not surf again - ever (World, May 27, 2017).

“Deceit” and its cognate words are used 16 times in the New Testament, 72 times in the entire Bible. Deceit is like being pushed out to sea by the tides and the winds. You slowly move away from the Truth, a little at the time. Some people do that and never open their eyes to see they have moved away from the shore. Spiritually speaking, for example, they quit attending worship services. Skipping one service might be easy but skipping subsequent worship is even easier. Until twenty years down the road, you wake up and see that you are very far away from safety - perhaps even denying the very Lord who bought you.

So, the key is to constantly be aware of where you are, spiritually speaking. Keep your eyes open continuously. See the very slightest tide and wave coming and get your feet firmly planted in the Word of God, given to us to keep us from drifting and being deceived (Eph 4:14-15).

But when you do find yourself further from the shore than you need to be, move back to the shore. You may even decide it is in your spiritual best interest to quit surfing altogether! (See Matt. 5:29-30).

Your fellow-servant in Christ,


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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?!