Category Archives: Bulletin

A Mother’s Love

A Mother’s Love
By Carol Matthews

A mother loves right from the start,
She holds her baby close to her heart.
The bond that grows will never falter,
Her love is so strong it will never alter.

A mother gives never ending love,
She never feels that she has given enough.
For you she will always do her best,
Constantly working, there’s no time to rest.

A mother is there when things go wrong,
A hug and a kiss to help us along.
Always there when we need her near,
Gently wipes our eyes when we shed a tear.

A mother’s prayer means so very much,
Believing in God and his gentle touch.
Keeping you safe both day and night,
Your mother’s prayer will time it just right.

So on this day shower your mother with love,
Gifts and presents are nice but that is not enough.
Give your mother a day to have some peace of mind,
Be gentle, be good, be helpful, and be kind.

Sermon: “The Strength Of Women”

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May 2, 2021

We are edging closer to restarting our Sunday morning classes. I am very ready for this. I am on some kind of zoom call or taping just about every day of the week. I am ready for in person classes again. I hope you feel the same way. I am ready for the give and take of teaching a class with everyone in the room together. If you have watched my taped class at all you have heard me say several times that I wish we could have discussion about whatever I am talking about. I realize that we have enjoyed the extra hour to get ready before service, but I think the value of us studying the word of God together is worth the effort.
I am also excited to have our children back in class. We have so many dedicated teachers that are so good at engaging the kids in learning the stories of the Bible. We have missed the energy that kids bring. I hope you will restart the habit of getting your kids here so they can be part of our teaching experience.
I look forward to seeing you on May 16.

Have a great weekend.
Allen L. Close

Sermon: “Stepping into God’s Mission”
I Timothy 4:11-16

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The Book of Job

I just finished reading the book of Job in my morning time. I love that book. It is one of the most intimate books of the Bible. To be able to watch the relationship between a man and God when the man is under such pressure is fascinating. In the book, God is contrasted with Job’s friends. Job’s friends tend to spout out tired clichés and general knowledge statements that don’t really apply. God on the other hand, remains silent, while Job wrestles with horrible circumstances. God is not indifferent; instead, he is giving Job the space he needs so that his faith can grow. God allows Job to go from saying good things while he is in shock to saying accusing things once he has had more time to think. The way God deals with Job in the end is heartwarming. God puts himself back in the sovereign position where he belongs and helps Job get back to a worshipful position where he belongs. The difference is that now Job has a much larger faith. I never grow tired of this book.

Have a great weekend.
Allen L. Close

Sermon: “Hope”
I Timothy 4:6-10

One at a Time

The story is told of a businessman who was overworked and decided to take some time off. While vacationing on the coast, a terrible storm hit. When it died down, he decided to take a walk down the cost to see what damage had been done. As he walked along the shore, he noticed thousands of starfish which had washed upon the shore. He knew that in a few hours the sun would come out and the starfish would dry out and die. As he thought about the starfish, he noticed a young boy who was throwing the starfish back one by one. The man was amazed by the youth’s diligence and shocked by his feeble attempts to make a difference. As he looked up the long beach, he saw thousands of starfish. When he caught up with the young man, he informed the boy that he could not possibly save them all and said to the little boy, “You’ll never be able to make a difference to the starfish population.” The boy bent down, picked up a starfish, looked at it, and then threw it back into the safety of the ocean. Then he said, “I sure made a difference to that one.”
We cannot personally make a difference in the lives of everyone that fills this world, but we can make a difference to a few of them. It is interesting that when Jesus spoke of those on His right hand on the Day of Judgment, he described them as having made a difference in the life of one person. He said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40). I sincerely believe that each of us can make a difference in the life of someone. This is how Jesus worked—one at a time. Sure, He preached to thousands, but He visited with families and helped individuals.

Wade L. Webster via Charlotte Avenue Church of Christ
Rock Hill, SC; Bulletin Digest

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Easter at Matthew’s House

April 4, 2021

Easter at Matthew’s House

What memories do you have around Easter? I remember Laura having baskets and new outfits set by the door for our kids. I remember hoarding my candy and making it last so long until it was stale. I remember when I was five getting in trouble and not getting to participate in the egg hunt. I like having memories that spread around our celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. I have no memories around the Passover or Pentecost. I wonder what it would be like if I did. I do, however, have lots of memories that focus on the birth and resurrection of Jesus, and for that I am thankful.
This Sunday we will look at how Matthew explains the resurrection. I will tell you that he tells the story in such a way that the resurrection will remind you of the birth. He does this on purpose. I look forward to celebrating this with you and especially, to do it in a way that our children will remember.

Have a great weekend.
Allen L. Close

Sermon: “Matthew Explains the Resurrection”
Matthew 27:57-28:20

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Giving Your Best

March 28, 2021

Giving Your Best

It’s the hand we clasp with an honest grasp
That gives a hearty thrill;
It’s the good we pour into others’ lives
That comes back our own to fill.

It’s the dregs we drain from another’s cup
That makes ours seem sweet;
And the hours we give to another’s needs
That makes our life complete.

It’s the burdens we help another bear
That makes our own seem light.
It’s the anger seen for another’s feet
That shows us the path to right.

It’s the good we do each passing day.
With heart sincere and true;
In giving the world your very best
Its best will return to you.

-Author Unknown

Sermon: Getting Real
1 Timothy 3:8-17




My mom and I were talking last night about my Wednesday night class on Luke. This week I talked about the time Jesus said that there would not be marriage in heaven. In the class, I was making the point that I don’t like the answer Jesus gave. My conclusion was that maybe this is why Jesus didn’t give us more details about heaven. When we take the context of this life and try to impose details from the next, they sometimes don’t make sense. Something that will be wonderful in heaven might not sound so good to us now. So, Jesus gives us pretty sketchy details other than it will be wonderful. Mom shared with me what my dad said about this verse. He said that he thinks we will be so surrounded with the complete love of God that there will no longer be a need for marriage. My dad might have a good point there. I won’t argue.
Laura, my mom, and I will be traveling to DC this weekend to celebrate Lincoln’s first birthday. This is the one where he will get to demolish his cake if he wants. You only turn one once.

Have a great weekend.
Allen L. Close

PREACHING: Alfred Toole will be bringing us the lesson this Sunday.

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Do you wish the World were better?
Let me tell you what to do;
Set a watch upon your actions,
Keep them always straight and true.

Rid your mind of selfish motives,
Let your thoughts be clean and high.
You can make a little Eden
Of the sphere you occupy.

Do you wish the World were wiser?
Then suppose you make a start,
By accumulating wisdom
In the scrapbook of your heart.

Do not waste one page on folly;
Live to learn and learn to live,
If you want to give men knowledge
You must get it ere you give.

Do you wish the World were happy?
Then remember day by day,
Just to scatter seeds of kindness,
As you pass along the way.

For the pleasures of the many,
May be oft times traced to one.
As the hand that plants the acorn,
Shelters armies from the sun.

-Ella Wheeler Wilcox

SERMON: “Leadership in the Bible” I Timothy 3:1-7


Fresh Air

Fresh Air

Spring is coming. Does anyone want to complain? I think we are all anxious to get outside and to let our kids go outside to play. We are just about ready to start eating supper on our screened in porch again. What are you getting ready to start doing again? I think the elders have done a great job of making our assemblies safe and now it will be even easier as we are able to open up doors again during our service. I am hearing from people that have not been out for service that they are ready to start coming. Some because they have received both vaccines. I can’t wait to start seeing people again that have had to stay away for upwards of a year.
Spring always gives me the feeling of God renewing the earth. Trees that have looked dead all winter come back to life with blossoms. The color green returns all around us. This year I feel the hand of God even more than usual. I love it.

Have a great weekend.
Allen L. Close

Sermon: “Restructure Your World”
I Timothy 2:1-7


February 16, 2020 Bulletin


I had lunch this week with the new preacher at Rugby Ave. Church in Charlottesville. It turns out we know each other from the time Laura and I went back to Abilene for a year of school. It’s a small world. Next Sunday we are having an evening of singing and Tim tells me that they are planning to bring a group. I was very pleased to hear this. God loves it when his children get along just like you and I love it when our children get along. I love to sit and watch my children have a serious discussion about something or to sit and watch them make each other laugh uncontrollably. It has always amazed me how our two fairly quiet daughters can get together and suddenly be so noisy. I guess quiet plus quiet equals raucous.

This Sunday night I am going to try something new. We are going to do a spiritual exercise called listening to God through scripture. I plan to use Luke 10:1-12 for this exercise. We will all listen to this passage as it is read and then we will spend time reflecting on what we heard before we take turns sharing what we heard. I am working on ways that even our youngest kids can be involved. I want even our young kids to listen to what God is saying through scripture and then relate to that. I think it will work. Bring your kids and see.

Have a great weekend!

Allen L. Close

This weeks sermon: “Abimelek”

Judges 9