Back in the old days one of the main communications between churches was the bulletin exchange. Friends exchanged addresses of the churches that had the best bulletins (i.e. articles that were excellently written and usable for class and sermon fodder). This was the way we became familiar with names like Dick Marcear, Douglas Parsons, John Gibson, J. J. Turner, Rubel Shelly, and others who consistently put out great content week after week in bulletins mailed across the country. Nowadays I get few bulletins, and most of them have used up their ‘article’ space for news bites and event announcements. We publish a bulletin, but only mail it to a few of our homebound members, local churches, and a few others.
Sometimes when I’m digging through an old file or a binder with sermon notes I come across a bulletin article I’ve stuffed in there for future reference. Usually it’s really good. And so I decided to share this one with you. I had to do a little googling to discover who the author was. He’s a Campus Minister at the Stillwater, OK Church of Christ. I see he has been a teacher at Tulsa Workshop as well … but somehow I haven’t crossed paths with him. Maybe one day soon. For now I’ll just request to be his Facebook friend. Anyhow, here is an outstanding thought from Monty Daffern. A note on the article says it is borrowed from the Hooker, Oklahoma church bulletin.
YOU HAVE AN AMAZING LOVE…
You have amazing love for me. It is amazing because I know what I am capable of. I know what thoughts escape my imagination at the blink of an eye and are instantly turned into bitterness, lust, and fantasy. I know the words that are never spoken but are created out of hate, jealousy, and hurt. These words are directed at those who don’t seem to understand me or who take me for granted. Even though these words never emerge from my lips, a thousand secret desires flash before my own inner judgment table to be accepted or denied as response to my world. No one else will ever know these things about me. No one else will ever fathom the sin i am capable of. But I know what I am capable of.
You have amazing love for me. I have come before You with a million requests and selfish needs. You have answered my call anyway. I go away praising my relationship with you in song and yet having never known you. I am like nine lepers who forgot everything the instant they were healed of their worry. I know what I am capable of.
You have amazing love for me, however. My heart is never the same after I have learned what it means to be loved by You. To be received, to be forgiven, to be changed. Even after all that I have imagined and all that I have hated, and all that I have prided myself on; even after all of this You are willing to accept me and tell me even I can be molded again in Your image. Even I am capable of this. You have an amazing love for me.
Thanks, Monty, for that. And thanks to many of you who worked many hours on church bulletins. They are often made fun of, but they offered an excellent means of communication within the church and beyond.