Dear New Hope Members and Friends,
One of my favorite people – and favorite preachers – for many years was a man by the name of Fred Craddock. Unfortunately, Fred died a couple of years ago but many of his works live on. Fred was a southern preacher through and through. He spoke quietly, was humble and had that sweet, slow, North Carolina drawl. I heard him preach a few years back when he was the guest at Pittsburgh Seminary in one of their continuing education programs. And, I have many of his book as well as a video tape of him preaching. Currently, I have been reading one of his books called: The Collected Sermons Of Fred Craddock. One of the sermons is entitled: “Does Money Carry Germs?” In it Fred tells the following story: A good many years ago, I saw a boy hawking newspapers in the airport. I also saw a well-dressed man in a tweed jacket with leather on the elbows, graying temples and wearing fancy shoes and a nice tie. The man saw the boy hawking newspapers turn his back for a few seconds so he picked up a newspaper from the stand. He put it under his arm and walked away without paying…. In those days, what was the cost of a paper, ten cents? What’s the big deal? It was just ten cents! But Fred continued: “Do you want to know the real character of a person? Listen to and watch the slight, the small, the insignificant acts….and you will find the kind of person that they really are. When I hear stories like that I always wonder: What church did that man go to? And how would he feel if a video tape of his actions (or words) were played in his church on Sunday morning? We are all called to lives of obedience to God, and the things that we do and say should help other to know just how wonderful our God is! You know the kind of person you are by the things you say and do when you think that no one else is around!
Rev. John B. Simpson, Temporary Pastor