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Bulletin Blurbs

New Years Resolutions

Okay. It is the twenty-seventh of January. How long did you last in your new years’ resolutions? Strava is a social-networking website used by athletes and they have published a study showing that most people abandon their health-related resolutions by January 12th. January 12th! A separate study, done by the University of Scranton, found that only 8% of people actually fulfill their new years’ resolutions. Maybe next year, we should all resolve to make exercise until January 13th!

What this illustrates is that it is exceedingly difficult to change our behavior, especially in those areas that we know we should change but really don’t want to change. Exercising, for me, is not very high on my list. I am one of those people who find it easy to start exercising; I’ve done it hundreds of times! The challenge, as with 92% of Americans, is to keep exercising.

But, physical exercise is not the highest priority on the Christians’ to-do list. There are lots of reasons to exercise and to eat right. But exercising for our spiritual health is much more important and pays dividends into eternity. First, did you make any spiritual new years’ resolutions? How are you in that area? Did you plan to read the Bible more? Pray more? Be at more Bible studies or worship services? Did you plan to talk to others about Jesus more? Control your tongue better?

Even if you have stumbled at your spiritual new years’ resolutions, as a Christian you can always start again, every day. The lovingkindness of the Lord is new every morning (Lam 3:22-24). Start today doing more for the Lord and being more involved with fellow Christians.

- Paul







































































































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?!