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Sometimes an old dog needs to learn new tricks. Sometimes the dog's old tricks still seem pretty good. And at other times the old dog just goes along for the ride. This week I am not sure if this old dog is wagging his tail or panting at the other end.

In light of last week's texting fiasco, I started all over from scratch. Over the weekend I went through my entire contacts list and generated a totally new list for Tuesday's Text. It was probably 5 times longer than the previous list. My logic? Anyone who does not like it can tell me so, and I will remove their name from the list.

I sent out a trial text on Monday morning, and received positive comments from more people than were on my original list. With Tuesday's transmission even more comments came my way ... along with some requests to add a few more names to the list. It is now Thursday morning and I still have not heard a negative comment! Wham - the old dog learns a new trick.

In the conversations generated around the texts, I have been gaining additional feedback on this weekly epistle of spiritual encouragement. Last week I also experimented with a 'resend' option that Mail Chimp offers. At my request on Monday, I had it resend last Thursday's note to all who had not opened it last week ... or at least to those Mail Chimp thought had not opened it! The responses I received all said basically the same thing. "We like reading it once each week - but we saw it the first time! Why did you send it out to us again?" Wham! Wham - the dog's old trick is OK as it is.

And then the old dog just goes along for the ride. Did you know that STL's Sunday worship is now on FaceBook Live? Become our friend and you can watch it at 9:30 a.m., or any time after that. This is all happening because a few creative people said, "We can handle this. You just keep doing what you are doing." Now that it is up and running, they already are working on revisions to improve the quality! Triple Whammy in the technology ring.

The real Triple whammy, though, comes to us in the Pauline Benediction." "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." (2 Corinthians 13.14) As we receive this blessing we are reminded that it is by the "grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that we are saved" (Ephesians 2.8), and that it was "God who so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3.16), and "that you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you will be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; you were called by him into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." (1 Corinthians 1.7-9)

Or, in other words, because "God so loved you" he saved you by the "grace of our Lord Jesus Christ" and brought you into an intimate relationship (fellowship) with him by the power of the Spirit.

That's the Triple Whammy message that he is sending out to you via texts, email, FaceBook Live and whatever means available. And, if you are still wondering why, perhaps you need to read the previous two paragraphs again. Wham! Wham! Wham! Triple Slammed with his love is what we are.

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