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NEWSLETTER
Vol. 56, No. 04
Sunday, January 23, 2022
 
NEWS
  • Anna St. Crafters' Morning, Saturday, February 12th from 9:30am to 12:30pm in the Fellowship Hall. Bring a craft project you are working on and come join us for fellowship and fun. Or just bring yourself! Invite a friend or two! Lunch will be provided again, so we need a head count. Please put your name on the sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in the foyer.
  • Free copies of a new Amarillo magazine, Senior Link, are available on the bulletin board shelf. Gene has an article in this first issue. Copies of the latest issues of The Christian Appeal and Our Daily Bread are also on the shelf.
  • 2022 Church Directories are in a basket in the foyer, ready to be picked up.
  • Cole Drummond is done with Covid, kids are back in school and no one else has the virus. We are so grateful for the good news. Also,  Penny's cousin, Diane, is slowly improving. We should keep her in our prayers.
  • Bryan and Jessica Sena both have Covid. Jessica is doing better but Bryan continues to relapse. We are praying for quick recovery.
  • Melva Griffin had a biopsy sent off on a suspicious swollen lymph node. We pray for a good report.
  • Carolyn Butler got good news from her follow-up with her doctor. We will be happy to see her back in church with us. 
  • Bill Grant has had his second round of chemo. So far, so good. We pray he continues to respond well to the treatments.
  • Gwenda Grant's mom, Wilma Bell, passed away early Sunday morning, Jan. 16th. Her funeral was held on Tuesday, Jan 18th at Memorial Park. Also, while helping Bill in his new shop, Gwenda cracked a foot and will be wearing a boot until it heals. She and Bill are needful of our prayers.
SERVICES AT ANNA STREET
Sunday morning Bible studies begin at 9:45 a.m.

Church services are at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday morning in the auditorium. We continue to live stream to YouTube. You may click here to go directly to the live streaming site or here for a link to learn how to access and subscribe to our YouTube channel.


Our Wednesday evening services are as follows: 

Teaching Time       7:35 – 8:15 (40 min. of teaching)
Break                     7:25 – 7:35 (10 min. break)
Song Practice         6:45 – 7:25 (40 min. of singing)


Youth Group Meetings are at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday nights. Let us know if you are coming so that we may order the right amount of food.
                                            
LAST WEEK'S LESSON
Nathan opened up his teaching with Acts 9. In this chapter we saw the pain Paul went through to become a follower of Jesus.

Sunday's lesson is here.
 
Footprints to Follow
 
   When I opened our front door that morning and stepped outside, the summer sun already had lit up the sky but it was still hiding below the horizon. It was two hours earlier than this retired old codger usually ventures out. I had to get to a breakfast meeting.
     I used to rise every day before the sun. Now it had been several weeks since I had watched it light up the sky. As I stood and gazed at that grand display, I realized how much I had missed watching the world wake up.
     As I stood on our front porch and pondered God’s dawn show, for some reason my eye caught the shine of silver snail trails the still-muted sunrays were lighting up on our sidewalk.                                                                               Then, on that same section of sidewalk, I spotted other footprints.
     Although rain showers and lawn watering had washed off most of his tracks, clumps of mud from our mail carrier’s boots clung to the surface near the porch. And, as I looked closer, along the walk I could see faint mud tracks of a lawnmower—marks left behind when the only time our mowing guy could find to work that week was while our lawn sprinklers were running.
     As I contemplated all the tell-tale signs of recent movements on that narrow section of concrete, I was struck by the truth that, without knowing it, all of us leave behind footprints all of the time. Everywhere we go. Every time we speak. Every time we do anything, either bad or good. Our indelible footprints leave an undeniable record of what we’ve done and where we’ve been.
     If you delivered Meals on Wheels or cheered at a grandchild’s ball game or stepped into God’s house for worship this week, you left a trail. If you sneaked into a shameful place and behaved in ways you wouldn’t want your mother or your spouse or your pastor ever to know about, your filthy footprints will likely reveal your misbehavior. Maybe sooner than you think.
     “A prudent man gives thought to his steps,” the wise man said in Proverbs 14. The apostle Peter reminds us that Christ “left us an example” that we “should follow in his steps.” “Direct my footsteps according to your word,” the ancient psalmist prayed. “Let no sin rule over me.” A good prayer for all of us.

 
 Gene Shelburne
A Few Words in Praise of the Commonplace

The commonplace. There’s a lot to be said for it, I think.

By the way, if you do an internet search for “commonplace,” you may be surprised to find that, for more than a few centuries, a “commonplace book” or, simply, a “commonplace” was a book or notebook in which people wrote down and kept quotations, sayings, notes of all sorts, little bits of helpful knowledge, poems, recipes, measures, verses, and much more—stuff that just seemed useful to them and worth keeping handy.

Folks usually divided their notes by subject, topic, or use. Many “ordinary” people used such books, as did a great number of writers, scholars, etc. The commonplaces of some well-known folks were eventually published. Again, just look for this on the internet, and you may find the topic of “commonplaces” uncommonly interesting.

But, of course, when I write here about the “commonplace,” I’m thinking of what we might term the “ordinary,” the “run of the mill,” or maybe the “routine.”

Such moments add up. I think, for example, of sharing life with your spouse, the years cascading into decades and splashing into a vast ocean of moments—some heartwarming and joy-filled beyond description and some so poignant and even heartbreaking that your shared tears spilled into a waterfall of sorrow in which you both thought you might drown. But, sweet or bitter or, more often, just present as a gentle stream of trust—oh, there is meaning and mystery, strength and wisdom, that can only be found in such a far-flowing current of moments.

So much of what gives our journeys color and deep beauty are the gentle slow-moving streams and eddies along the way. A lifetime of cool pillows softly becoming warm. Of rich coffee and a comfortable chair. A fire in the hearth. A hand held and hair stroked. A glimpse of a sunrise, color-fired kindling lighting the sun on fire. A moon winking back as stars start popping out at sunset. A deep winter sky and a refreshing breath of crisply cold air. A child or grandchild’s hug and snuggle. A nice chair and a world beckoning you to enter through the pages of a book.

Enjoy. Thank God. Repeat.

Music is not music without some very ordinary silence between the notes. The silence matters. The ordinary filling the gaps between tones that, unbroken by silence, would become noise.

A well-written paragraph moves along doing its job quite nicely as the majority of the word-notes are clicked out in typewriter cadence. And then a pause or a few, at just the right places, and in a few sweet words, the writer lands the paragraph sweetly, or achingly, or with a grin and then a good-hearted explosion of laughter, any of which the author is willing to share. But the little words and spaces between them add up to make the word-crescendo work.

Little things and little words are not little at all. If we catch ourselves focusing just on the “big events” of life, just “busy-ness,” and, worse, just “business,” real life flits by in a wispy fog.

I hope we’ll slow down . . . and pause . . . and think . . . and thank God for weaving into our lives the sweet and often unnoticed moments and spaces where deep joy pools ever so quietly. It’s the gift of the commonplace. The quiet. The ordinary.

Extraordinary! No one whose eyes are open to that precious gift and whose soul is bathed and healed in it is in danger of living a superficial life, acting as if she’s found exactly the right glue to stick a résumé or spreadsheet onto a granite tombstone, or as if his particular crypt in the mausoleum will feature an executive office suite with a view—and maybe even a digital in-box where minions still breathing can send regular reports.

Come to think of it, maybe having a blank “commonplace book” in which we thoughtfully make actual note of some of the most beautiful commonplaces of our lives might be uncommonly good for us.

You’re invited to visit my website, and I hope you’ll take a look there at my new “Focus on Faith” Podcast. At the website, just click on “Podcast.” Blessings!

Copyright 2022 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.

Curtis Shelburne
BIT PLAYERS
                                          We have different gifts.
                                                     Roman 12:6

     A movie critic wrote of a longtime but little-know actor, "Though never a great actor, he was invaluable in small parts."
     That is one of the finest compliments I've ever read.
     The church couldn't function without those who are incapable of great things but are invaluable in small parts--bit players. They have limitations but are eager to help and happy to serve.
     I'm thinking of a brother who had no more initiative or imagination than the pew on which he sat. But ask for volunteers to turn our the lights and lock the doors or to set up tables and chairs for a church dinner, and he was the first to show up.
     Our debt to those who are bit players is incalculable.
                                          A small thing done well is big.

                                                          By Joe Barnett, Pathways Evangelism
 
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