“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 23, NO. 34 & 35 – THE STRANGER
by my friend, Ben
Thanksgivin’ bein’ over an’ all, I still had me a long weekend ahead. I did. So on Friday me’n ol’ Blue got in my truck an’ headed into Hickory Ridge. We did
After eatin’ at the Mountain Lion, we walked around town talkin’ to folks about did they have a nice Thanksgivin’ an all. It were right warm for late November an’ folks were real thankful for that. They were.
It were nigh on to three o’clock when we headed back to the farm. Ol’ Blue jumped up in the truck an’ took his seat next to me. Since there were just the two of us, he perty much claimed that seat for himself. He did.
We was on the straight stretch before Shively’s corner when ol’ Blue sat up tall an’ his tail thumped the seat like he knowed the feller standin’ on the road up ahead. He did. Far as I could tell, he were a total stranger to me. He were. But ol’ Blue seemed to take a fancy to him. He did. Now that were a tad strange, ‘cause ol’ Blue didn’t take to strangers right off. He liked to sniff ‘em out first. He did.
As we got to the feller, I looked to see iffen he raised his thumb wantin’ a lift. I did. He just looked at us an’ smiled. Ol’ Blue’s tail were goin’ crazy. It were. An’ it were right then somethin’ struck me. I weren’t sure what it were, but I stopped the truck an’ backed up. I did. As I pulled up next to him I asked iffen he needed a
ride. He said not particularly, but did I want to give him one.
Now it weren’t my habit to pick up strangers unless they seemed to be needin’ some help. But since I were a sight bigger’n him, unless he were armed, I reckoned I could be neighborly. I did. An’ there were ol’ Blue. Iffen there were ever a good judge of people, it were ol’ Blue. An’ ol’ Blue sure took to this feller. He did.
When I asked where he were headin’ he smiled an’ said nowhere an’ everywhere. Well, I gave him an invite to have supper with me’n ol’ Blue. I did. With that he got in next to ol’ Blue as iffen they were old friends. He did.
I asked him iffen he were from around these parts, an’ he said he were an’ he weren’t. Then he asked me iffen I weren’t Ben Harrison. That took me back a tad, but I told him I were. He said he knowed my ma an’ pa. I told him I reckoned I knowed everyone my ma an’ pa knowed, an’ I didn’t know him. He smiled an’ said it were one day when I were in school that ma an’ pa’d offered to help him out.
When we got to the house I asked him what his name were. He smiled an’ said folks put too much stock in names. That seemed a might strange to me, but I were taught to respect a person’s privacy. I were.
I fixed some of the leftovers from Thanksgivin’. I did. He didn’t say nothin’ as he ate. It were afterwards that he told me about his meetin’ ma an’ pa. He said he’d come to town to deliver a message to a feller, but a storm had caused the road to flood leadin’ up to where he lived. So he were sittin’ at the post office waitin’ for the storm to pass when ma an’ pa come in. They did. He said ma offered to take him home with ‘em till the storm passed. He did.
Ol’ Blue come over an’ put his head on that fellers lap. He did. The stranger rubbed his head an’ said, “You know, a dog can read the character of a person. Ol’ Blue here loved your ma a lot. He knew she was a good person, just like I did when she invited me out here years ago.”
He looked at me an’ said. “Ben, don’t ever forget how blessed you are. I know you lost your ma an’ pa when you were just a boy, but with the raisin’ your ma an’ pa gave you, an’ the other folks here an’ about, you’re a better person than you think you are. Always be thankful for that. In fact, that’s the message I came here to tell you.” With that he got up an’ stepped out the door. By the time I got to the porch he were nowheres in sight. He weren’t
The warm sun woke me up an’ it were Friday mornin’. That feller were just a dream. He were. But I had me this real warm feelin’ about ma as I fixed me’n ol’ Blue breakfast. I did. An’ I reckoned me’n ol’ Blue’d head to town. I did.
CONCERNS: Judy Hall had back surgery last week. She is home, but will be laid up for awhile. Eleanor Crush is about the same. Helen Nicklas is recovering from pneumonia. Martha Foy’s friend, Sharon Breeding, whose son died recently. Jenn McCready, (serious eye problems) she works with Dr. Bolin. Margaret and Tom Kincannon as they teach the gospel in Russia. Remember Wilma and Jenni Cullum, Alma Martin, Joni Beach’s mother, Randy Conner and Tim Elder. Ron Matney has been dealing with stomach problems. His nephew, Mike Breeding and his wife need our prayers.
OUR DAILY BREAD: DEC. 5-10
Monday: Daniel 5:17-28
Tuesday: Matthew 13:44-52
Wednesday: I Samuel 17:41-54
Thursday: Psalm 70:1-5
Friday: Matthew 7:13-29
Saturday: Psalm 1:1-15
OUR DAILY BREAD: DEC. 12-17
Monday: John 4:27-42
Tuesday: Ecclesiastes 11:1-10
Wednesday: Psalm 86:1-17
Thursday: Genesis 3:8-21
Friday: II Timothy 3:1-17
Saturday: Psalm 84:1-12
Next Sunday the service will be lead by the young people. They will do everything but lead the singing and give the communion devotion. None of them were quite prepared to take either of those two actions yet. Del Bolin will lead the singing and Wayne Flora will do the communion. Brice Reid will be delivering the message.
One box of goodies for those serving in Afghanistan has been sent. Another will be sent soon and in it will be the cards we signed as well as Santa hats, Christmas lights and other things. If you haven’t picked up a few hot wheels cars, the children love getting them from the soldiers.
Martha Foy delivered Sharon Breeding’s thanks for the help we were able to give her to bury her son.
THE ANNUAL ADULT CHRISTMAS PARTY
The Adult Christmas Party for this year will be Saturday, December 17, I the Annex. In the next week or so there will be recipes passed out for us to bring. The main course has not been set yet. A sign-up sheet is one the table in the foyer. Please let it be known if you are attending as soon as possible.
THE MAILING LIST
Every year or so we update the bulletin mailing list. With more and more people using e-mail, we want to encourage you to receive it via that method if you can. You can send your e-mail address to Keith @ firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be added to the list. However, for those of you out of town who still want a hard copy, we are glad to send one to you.
We will also be checking the list to see if there are those no longer interested in receiving the bulletin.
Christmas fall on Sunday this year. In past years when this has happened we have omitted Sunday school and only had a worship service. This enables families with children to enjoy some time together before coming to church. We will decide if a later time for the worship service would be better. By the way, we will still have the Christmas Eve service as always.