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Don’t Mark Your Mistakes

On New Year’s Day, 1929, Georgia Tech played UCLA in the Rose Bowl. In that game a young man named Roy Riegels recovered a fumble for UCLA. Picking up the loose ball, he lost his sense of direction and ran sixty-five yards toward the wrong goal line. One of his teammates ran him down and tackled him just before he scored for the opposing team.

The strange play came in the first half. At half-time the UCLA players filed off the field and into the dressing room. As others sat down on the benches and the floor, Riegels put a blanket around his shoulders, sat down in a corner, and put his face in his hands.

A football coach usually has a great deal to say to his team during halftime. That day Coach Price was quiet. When the timekeeper came in and announced that there were three minutes before playing time, Coach Price looked at the team and said, “Men, the same team that played the first half will start the second.” The players got up and started out, all but Riegels. He didn’t budge. The coach looked back and called to him. Riegels didn’t move. Coach Price went over to where Riegels sat and said, “Roy, didn’t you hear me? The same team that played the first half will start the second.”

Roy Riegels looked up, his cheeks wet with tears. “Coach,” he said, “I can’t do it. I’ve ruined you. I’ve ruined the university’s reputation. I’ve ruined myself. I can’t face that crowd out there.” Coach Price reached out, put his hand on Riegels’s shoulder, and said, “Roy, get up and go on back. The game is only half over.”

Riegels finally did get up. He went onto the field, and the fans saw him play hard and play well. All of us have run a long way in the wrong direction at times. But remember, because of God’s mercy, the game is only half over.

“If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared” (Psalm 130:3-4).

As you begin 2017, remember that despite your previous mistakes, God’s grace allows you to start fresh from here on out, even if you have been running the wrong direction.

–Borrowed and adapted from Bulletin Fodder, www.vscoc.org.
Valley Station Church of Christ; Louisville, Kentucky

Estes Echo

God Can Reshape Us
Jeremiah 18

It is easy in this world of ours to become spiritually side-tracked. Spiritual distractions come at us in many forms, such as movies, TV, friendships, habits, addictions, bad decisions, temptations, social media, etc., all of which can negatively affect us. We must be on guard as Satan uses every means possible to distract us from serving and living for our God. All of us have been there, not only distracted but spiritually broken as well.

Thankfully this distracted broken condition does not have to be a permanent one. We have a wonderful God that can take spiritual brokenness and rework it, reshape it into spiritual goodness. All that is required is repentance and turning one’s heart back over to Him.

Let’s look at Jeremiah 18:1-6, particularly verses 3-6:

3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4 And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.

5 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

God makes it clear that just as a potter can reshape and rework the clay, God can do the same with his children.

Just look at the apostle Paul who considered himself ahead of all others in being in a state of sinfulness (1 Tim 1:15), yet God reshaped him into one of His greatest followers. It happened because Paul’s heart was right and ready for repentance as he realized his error and sin. It happened because a great merciful God was willing to give second chances and could reshape Paul into His goodness.

If you find yourself distracted or broken, take the first step of repentance and follow Doug Burleson’s advice from a recent sermon, “As Long as we are still on the wheel, God can reshape us too!”.

Stay on the wheel and allow God to work!

–Mark Scott

Estes Echo

Poinsettias in the auditorium provided by

In Memory of

Jan Cooper – Mike and Sandy Haltom
Jim Edmonds – Susan Edmonds
Neil Hardy, Sr. – Mary Lou Hardy and Family
Gene Hibbett – Hibbett and Moore Families
Retta Maness – Bill & Mary Maness & Family
Mae M. Mathis – Trent and Suzanne Scott
Mae M. Mathis – Sandra Wilson
Howard McCaskill – John McCaskill Family
Roy & Lucille McIntyre – Roy and Dorothy McIntyre
C. H. Phillips – Rex and Denise Phillips
Mickey Ellis – Rex and Denise Phillips
Vicki Ellis – Rex and Denise Phillips
O. H. Phillips – Anne Phillips
J. B. Rouse – Jurilee Rouse
Keith Rouse – Jurilee Rouse
Norman & Linda Scott – Trent and Suzanne Scott
Lester & Ruth Stewart – Mark and Diane Stewart

In Honor of

Mildred Beard – Martha Waller
Don Cooper – Mike and Sandy Haltom
John & Michelle McCaskill – Jesse, Alex & Andrew McCaskill
Jim & Glenda Stanley – John McCaskill