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You should have been at church this past Sunday to receive Werther’s Original candies as well as butterscotch mints.  We passed these candies out in memory of our dear brother, Russ Atkinson.  Russ never shook your hand unless you walked away with one of these candies.  We celebrated his life – one that was well lived for the Lord, this past Thursday, Feb. 16th.  Russ Atkinson and his wife, Jane, have loved on, prayed for, and taken care of hundreds of us through the years.  On Monday, February 13th, Russ received his W.D. Degree.  (Matthew 25:23 says, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’)  My dad used to ask this question, “If we could transplant your heart into everyone’s in the world, what kind of world would we live in?”  If we could transplant Russ Atkinson’s heart we would live in a loving, helpful world. 

Our young people’s orchestra and worship team ministered to the Friendly Chapel Church family this past Sunday and they received a standing ovation for their flawless performance.  I then reminded our young people that as Coach Wooden used to say, “Talent will take you places that your character cannot keep you.”  I impressed upon our young people that it is more important to respect your parents than to play the saxophone, more important to be on time than to play the keyboard.  That’s good advice for us senior adults too. 

We’ve had a good week.  We served 140 in the Soup Kitchen today.  Today’s menu was homemade vegetable soup, pizza, pork sandwich, chips, Baby Ruth candy bar, and lemonade.   I asked a fellow a couple of weeks ago if the soup was good.  He looked at me as if I had asked a dumb question, and then responded, “This is the soup kitchen capital of the world!”   A lady chimed in, “Even the water tastes good here!”  (Matthew 25:35 says, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”)  Dad always said to our guests in the Soup Kitchen, “We wouldn’t serve anything to you that we wouldn’t eat before you got here.”  Nothing has changed. 

in HIS grip,

Bro. Paul, Jr.