BulletinGold #112
April 2010
   Vol 10 #2


BulletinGold #112

April 2010

Vol. 10 Num. 2

David Bragg
Edward Thomason
BulletinGold is published the first Sunday of each month to help Church of Christ bulletin editors and writers share Bible-based, doctrinal material for church bulletins and Christian writing. You received BulletinGold because you subscribed. If you received this copy from a friend and would like to subscribe, please send a blank email to: BulletinGold-subscribe@yahoogroups.com Be sure and reply to the letter sent to your email by YahooGroups. If you need to unsubscribe, you may do so by sending an email to: BulletinGold-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
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In This Issue:

- It’s Time To Celebrate, Rick Woodall
- Reasons I Love My Bible Class, Adam Faughn
- What Kind of Church is This? By Bryan McAlister
- Many Invited, Few Chosen, David A. Sargent
- Worship in Song, Vernon Curry
- Why “Go to Church”? By Ronald Bartanen

- Church Humor
When I Pray…
By Lance Cordle
- Purchased by the Blood, by Ron Thomas
- What are the Benefits of Worship?

- If Jesus Went To Worship With Me, by H. L. Gradowith
- I Dream a Kingdom Dream, by J. Randal Matheny
- On Wisdom
- I Knelt to Pray

quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs

New Postings At

Editorial by David Bragg
The theme of April's BulletinGold will focus on the New Testament church's worship. Far from a dreary obligation, worship was portrayed as a joyful expression of the individual Christian's love and devotion to God for His many amazing blessings. God's greatest blessing is in the giving of His Son for mankind's redemption. In the light of these blessings the beauty of the church's worship can be nothing short of joyous.

David Bragg

It’s Time To Celebrate
By Rick Woodall

    The word "celebrate" occurs 53 times in 50 verses in the pages of the Bible. In some translations the phrase is to “make merry”.
    We live in times that are filled with heart wrenching disappointments. It’s a dangerous world filled with hatred and appalling conditions. To make it even worse, all this depressing information can be pipe-lined to the very front of our eyes minutes after something dreadful has occurred. With all this unenthusiastic data one can come to the point where there is no eagerness to celebrate.
     Even when It comes to the Church, correspondent’s want us to believe they are bringing us up to date. They fill their pages with reports, facts and figures that are gathered by the intellectual name bearing figures that too many times get more respect and honor than Jesus himself. Many of these people don’t give us much of a reason to celebrate. They are too busy promoting their cause rather than teaching us the good things that can change our lives and give us a bona fide motivation to be happy. The Apostle Paul gives us these wise words.  “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” - Phil 4:4
    Paul’s approach to fellow Christians never left the impression that he was extraordinary or deserved top billing. He was concerned more with soul saving than having sole status. Through His hard work and teaching the church in his day had reason to celebrate even in challenging times.  As we look at the church in our era, many of us are concerned about the educators and teachers that continually coach a personal plan instead of what God wants. If we do not take to their agenda here are the results: Out of one corner of their mouth they teach unity and out the other they toss us away.
     “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. – Romans 12:4-5
     Don’t let the joy robbers take away the reason to celebrate. They do not add you to the body. For that reason and many others we can celebrate Jesus.

- Rick Woodall is the minister for the Yorktown Road church of Christ in Logansport Indiana. His weekly devotional message, Life Thoughts, can be found through this address:  http://mysite.verizon.net/yorktownroadchurchofchrist/

Panning for Gold Feature Articles:

Reasons I Love My Bible Class
By Adam Faughn

I have a lot of reasons why I enjoy being a part of a Bible class. Here are just a few.

1.    It is Bible-centered.  The classes of which I am a part are truly Bible classes.  Of course, we share other thoughts, but we continually “search the Scriptures” for our final answers to all matters.
2.    It is filled with Bible-lovers.  The members of my classes want to be fed by God’s Word, not by human opinion.  The Bible is the “lamp to our feet” and the “light to our pathway,” so we love the answers it alone gives.
3.    It is a place for us to share triumphs and tragedies.  Of course, we wish our classes were larger, but, being a smaller group, it is a place where we can get to know one another.  When someone has a great moment, or a hard moment in life, our class can help him or her through it in a great way.
4.    It is a place of prayer.  Often, our classes pause and pray.  We sometimes have prayer requests and we do our best to honor those.  As we grow closer together, we pray for each other more.
5.    It causes me to study more.  As the instructor, I am charged with the responsibility to do my best.  However, I don’t have all the answers (only God does!), so I want to study more so the classes will be more helpful and effective.  And, when our study is done, I am left with more I want to study from a particular book or topic.

These are just five reasons why I love my Bible class.  If you have not been involved in a Bible class in awhile (or never), or if you think they are just a drudgery, look over this list again.  Your Bible class has a seat waiting on you so you can learn both the milk and the meat of the Word.

Come to our Bible classes, and learn more of God’s Word!

- Adam Faughn serves as the pulpit minister for the Lebanon Road church of Christ in Nashville, TN.  He may be contacted through the congregation’s website at: http://www.lebanonroadchurchofchrist.org

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What Kind of Church is This?
By Bryan McAlister

    We often say, “It’s time to go to church” or “How was church today?” in some way indicating church was an activity in which we participated. Literally the word “church” comes from the word, “ekklesia.” In a general sense, this word means “an assembly” and is used to indicate such in Acts 19:32 and 39. In a specific sense, the word means “called out.” There is no doubt, those who called themselves Christians in the 1st century, knew they were members of the church, the assembly of God’s people, and that they had been called out from their sins, into the sanctity of their Savior Jesus Christ.  As to how it is used in the Bible, there are over one hundred descriptive passages where the church is addressed.
    First of all, Jesus Christ is the builder of the church (Matthew 16:18), based upon the fact He is the Son of God. Incidentally, the term church and kingdom are used by Jesus Christ in Matthew 16:18-19 interchangeably, indicating they are one in the same. His church, His kingdom is now established, and we need not wait for it any longer. He is the purchaser of the church, paid for by the price of His shed blood (Acts 20:28). The church is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23). The church being the body of Christ, it is important to note there is but one body of the Lord Jesus, and thus one church, and one identity comprising the one body of our Lord Jesus (Ephesians 4:4).
   The Bible speaks of “churches” in the plural (Acts 9:31; Romans 16:16), but only in a geographic sense, not in the sense that would imply or suggest God approves of multiple systems of belief toward His revealed Word. Those who were saved were added to the church, the body of obedient believers (Acts 2:47). Therefore the church is the body of the saved, and one cannot be saved and yet not be a member of the church of our Lord. The church refers to men and women (Acts 8:3).
    The church can have an emotional response to disturbing news, as was the case in Acts 5:11, when word of Ananias and Sapphira’s death spread, “great fear came upon the church.” The church is the house of God (I Timothy 3:15). The church was established to declare “the manifold wisdom of God” (Eph 3:10).
    The church has a responsibility to assemble (Hebrews 10:25), observe the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week (I Corinthians 11:18; 23), pray (Acts 4:24), sing (Ephesians 5:19), give of their means (I Corinthians 16:1-2), and teach so others may understand (I Corinthians 14:5). The church is autonomous, or governed locally, independent from any national or world headquarters, for Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23). The church has a responsibility to remain distinct and not blend or bend the teachings of Jesus with any doctrine or creed of man (Acts 15:1-21). The church should be united under the teachings and standards of Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 1:10); be kind to one another showing forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32); extend help to those in need, especially those of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10). The church is not a sect (Acts 24:5) or a denomination or dividing of Jesus and His teachings (I Corinthians 1:13). The church is the precious gift and creation of our Lord, and has always been His plan by which His truth would be made known, His gospel revealed, and His creation saved through Him. This church desires to serve the Lord and serve you. Our prayer is for the opportunity to do both in love.

- Bryan McAlister preaches for the Centerville church of Christ, in Centerville, TN.  He may be contacted at bryan@centervillechurchofchrist.org or through the congregation’s website:

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Many Invited, Few Chosen
By David A. Sargent

    Michaele and Tareq Salahi made headlines recently when they attended a state dinner on the White House South Lawn in honor of the prime minister of India. According to Secret Service Direction Mark Sullivan, the Salahis should have been prohibited from entering the dinner that was given by President Barack Obama.  Why?  Their names were not on the guest list!
    Although the Salahis insist they were invited, White House officials state they were not.  The incident is under investigation.
    Keith Wishum recently related these news items to a much more important “DINNER”…
Jesus compared God’s kingdom to a wedding party thrown by a king for his son (see Matthew 22:1-14). Jesus shocked people accustomed to the idea that only the chosen could enter God’s kingdom by suggesting that God has invited EVERYONE to sit at His table. “Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find,” were the instructions from the king (22:9).
    Yet, even in this story, there are requirements. When the king spotted a guest not properly dressed, he asked, “Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?” (22:12).
    The guest had no explanation, implying that garments were available. So, the king ordered, “Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (22:13).
    Apparently, it matters to God that we be appropriately attired to be His guest… *
    So, how can WE enter the Kingdom of God and sit at His table?  What is the proper attire to be admitted to such a grand, eternal occasion?
    We must be CLOTHED WITH CHRIST and added to the official “guest” list –THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE (Revelation 20:12, 15).
    Our sins disqualify us from entering the kingdom (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). 
    But Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for our sins (Ephesians 1:7).  When we place our faith in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38; Galatians 3:27), then our sins are washed away by His blood, we are “clothed with Christ” (Galatians 3:27), and our names are added to the Lamb’s Book of Life (Philippians 4:3).  Then we must continue to follow Christ faithfully lest our names be "blotted out" of the Book of Life (Revelation 3:5).
    Keith Wishum has correctly stated: “God has invited ALL to his table. He has even provided the proper clothing. It’s up to us to put on Christ so we may be qualified to enjoy the banquet.”  For Jesus Himself said, “Many are invited, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).
    Won’t YOU accept His invitation and be clothed with Christ?

- David A. Sargent, minister for the church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org

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Worship in Song
By Vernon Curry

    As a preacher I often sit and look around at the people who are singing. We are singing songs of praise to the God of the universe. We stand in awe at the power and majesty of God. We know this is the same God who created the universe and who will bring it to an end. This is the same God who raised Jesus from the dead and we are so happy that He did. We believe He is able to raise us from the dead also.
    We sing praise to God. We also are singing the praises OF God. We want everyone to know how we feel about Him and how we love and adore Him. Without God we would be nothing and without God we would surely perish. Oh, we love God!
    We may not sing on key. We may not even know what “on key” is. We may not know where “on key” is. That isn’t why we are singing. We are singing praises to/of our God. We are not looking for the praise of men in how good we sing. We are not looking for the praise of men in how beautiful our voice is.
    We are praising God, OUR God.
    Then sometimes I see someone who isn’t singing.
    Let me ask you a question: How do you feel about your God? This is your God. Right? You love and adore Him. Right?
    Then sometimes I hear someone say they can’t sing. Let me tell you a story about turkey hunting.  Calling turkeys in the spring is an “art”. Some towns have contests for the best turkey callers. A friend of mine enjoys turkey hunting. He has a good calling ability. There is a certain way people are taught to call.
    Anyway, this friend was hunting one spring and heard someone calling. He said it was the worst job of calling he had ever heard. He thought it would surely improve, but it did not. So when he could stand it no longer he began to slip up on this caller to see who it was. He finally got pretty close and then he saw...a turkey hen calling for a gobbler. He then realized that the ”art” of calling may not be what man thinks it is!
    God made everyone’s voice. It may not sound good to me. It may not sound good to the person who has it. It may be beautiful to the Creator. Never deprive God of hearing His creature praise Him. Sing!

- Vernon Curry, via The Central Message, the weekly bulletin of the Central church of Christ in Paducah KY.  Jim Faughn serves as an elder and preacher for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the church’s website: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org

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Why “Go to Church”?
By Ronald Bartanen

     In a “Letters to the Editor” column of a certain newspaper, a churchgoer had written this letter complaining that it made no sense to attend church every Sunday.  He wrote, “I’ve gone for thirty years now, and in that time I have heard something like 3000 sermons.  But for the life of me I can’t remember a single one of them.  So I think I’m wasting my time, and the preachers are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.”  This resulted in an outpouring of letters for the column, which continued for weeks until someone wrote the following: “I’ve been married for 30 years now.  In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals.  But for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals.  But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work.  If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today.  Likewise, If I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!”
   What benefits are there to assembling each week with other believers in Christ to worship God?   While some choose to attend a church because of entertainment that might be provided, a Christian should have more legitimate motives than this.  A few to be considered would be—
o    Attending where the true gospel is preached, one learns of the salvation God has provided, and the proper response for one’s salvation. (Romans 1:16; 5:1-6, 18; 6:3-4)
o    As a Christian one has a treasured opportunity to remember Christ in the weekly partaking of the Lord’s supper as He instructed (1 Corinthians 15:23-26; Acts 20:7).
o    One is instructed and edified by the teaching and preaching of God’s Word (Acts 20:22; 2 Timothy 4:1-4; Matthew 4:4).
o    One is privileged to worship God, and at the same time encourage fellow-believers (Acts 2:42; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 10:25).
o    To do otherwise is to ignore a command of Scripture: “Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another as ye see the day approaching” Hebrews 10:24-25).

- Ronald Bartanen preaches for Arthur church of Christ, Arthur, IL.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website at http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com

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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
Church Humor

* A Sunday school teacher asked her little children, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?" One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping."

* A little boy was overheard praying, "Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it.  I'm having a real good time like I am."

- via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted at - ron33dor@yahoo.com  You may also visit their website at http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com

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When I Pray…
By Lance Cordle

I can acknowledge that my help comes from above (Psalm 121:1,2).
I can acknowledge that if God is for me, no one else can be against me (Romans 8:31).
I can see my unworthiness contrasted with the magnificence  of God (Nehemiah 1:5-7).
I can, as a child, talk to my Father (Matthew 7:11).
I can pursue the will of God in my life (Matthew 26:39).
I can seek true wisdom (James 1:5).
I can seek the blessings of God on behalf of the ones I love (John 17:20, 21).
I can seek forgiveness—even for my secret sins (Acts 8:22).
I can ask whatever I want—according to His will (1 John 5:14).
I can have confidence that my prayer will be heard (1 John 5:14, 15).
I can thank God for all that He has done and is doing on my behalf (Philippians 2: 13; 4:6).
I can thank God for my brothers and sisters in Christ (Philippians 1:3).
I can draw closer to God (James 4:8).
I can petition God on behalf of the sick (James 5:13, 16).
I can take advantage of the promises God has made (Hebrews 13:5).
I can “tap into” the vast resources of heaven (Ephesians 3:20).
I can request help in resistance of the devil (Ephesians 6:18).
I can win a battle against the devil (James 4:7).
I can separate myself from the world—for a while (Matthew 6:6).
I can expect mercy and grace in time of trouble (Hebrews 4:16).
I can find peace (Philippians 4:7).
. . . So, I must not stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17)!!

- Lance Cordle preaches the Calvert City church of Christ in Calvert City, KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com

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Purchased by the Blood
By Ron Thomas

    Each New Testament church is a congregation of people purchased by the blood of the Lamb. This is important to remember. There are no members of the church of our Lord who are not saved. All saved are in the church. Who puts people into the church? Only the Lord Jesus (2 Timothy 2:19). Congregations of the Lord's church are not associated with man-made institutions; as a matter of fact, they cannot be. Fellowship exists only in the Lord Jesus and if one is not a Christian, there is no fellowship between that individual and one outside of Christ. The Lord's church has as its leader the Lord Jesus. He has designated that His church will be shepherded by elders (bishops, pastors, presbyters), served by deacons and priests, the individual Christians (Philippians 1:1; 1 Peter 2:9). The role of the preacher (often times called, minister) is a very important role, but he too is under the leadership of the elders. If we refuse the leadership of the elders, we will answer God for our refusal. If the elders are qualified men (according to the Holy Spirit) it will be a bad day for those who do so on Judgment Day! It is an important matter; brethren, let us consider this seriously.

- Ron Thomas serves as preacher and an elder for the Highway church of Christ, Sullivan, IL  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.highwaycofc.com

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What are the Benefits of Worship?

Warms our hearts.
Opens our eyes.
Raises our hopes.
Satisfies our longings.
Heals our hearts.
Inspires our lives.
Pleases our God.

- via The Servant, the weekly bulletin of the Shady Acres church of Christ, Sikeston, MO. Johnny Hester preaches for the congregation. He may be contacted through the church's website at http://www.shadyacreschurch.com

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Hearts of Gold - poetry
           If Jesus Went To Worship With Me
                      By H. L. Gradowith

If Jesus the Lord went to worship with me
      I wonder if He'd feel at home?
Would brothers and sisters greet Him with a smile?
      Or would they just leave Him alone?
Would the preacher be preaching the Gospel Truth?
      Would he turn neither left nor right?
Would the place be filled with the faithful and true?
      Or would there be few saints in sight?
Would we turn up our noses at what he wore?
      Or the way that He wears His hair?
Would we think Him needy, even destitute?
      Would we notice, or even care?
Would His bearded face harden our hearts to Him?
      From Him would we then turn away?
Would how He appeared make up our minds for us?
      No matter what He had to say?
Would we think His doctrines too strict for our time?
      Would we give Him a chance to preach?
Having heard Him would we be put out and mad?
      Would we like what He had to teach?
If Jesus the Lord went to worship with me
      Would we welcome Him back ag'in?
If Jesus the Lord went to worship with me
      Would He want to come back ag'in???

- H. L. Gradowith  For more information on H. L. Gradowith and GRADOWITH POEMS e-mail group visit http://www.geocities.com/fp5699/ - the website of Tim Smith, minister of the Enon church of Christ in Webb, AL.

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             I Dream a Kingdom Dream
                 By J. Randal Matheny

I dream a Kingdom dream by night and day,
Which comes to pass when Kingdom people pray,
When men of God give grace and self away,
And put their humble lights on high display.

- J. Randal Matheny edits and writes UPLift, an inspirational ezine. He may be contacted here: <http://randalmathenycom/>. When reprinting this material, please include the following:  Copyright (c) 2009 J. Randal Matheny. All rights reserved. [This quatrain was inspired by my Forthright article published earlier today. For the link and comments, go here: http://randalmatheny.com/2008/12/22/poem-kingdom-dream/]

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                 On Wisdom
Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing,
and benefits those who see the sun.
Wisdom is a shelter
As money is a shelter.
But the advantage of knowledge is this:
That wisdom preserves the life of its possessor.
Who is like a wise man?
Who knows the explanation of things?
Wisdom brightens a man’s face
And changes its hard appearance.
Ecclesiastes 7:11-12, 8:1
- via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through their website at http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com

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         I Knelt to Pray

I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.
So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done
My soul could rest at ease.....
All day long I had no time
To spread a word of cheer
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
They'd laugh at me I'd fear.
No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need
But at last the time, the time to die.
I went before the Lord,
I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
For in his hands God! Held a book;
It was the book of life.
God looked into his book and said
"Your name I cannot find
I once was going to write it down...
But never found the time"

- via the weekly bulletin of the Harrisburg church of Christ in Harrisburg, IL.  You may visit their website at http://www.harrisburgchurchofchrist.org

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Gold Mines ---- quotes, sayings & sign messages

“If your day is hemmed with prayer, it is less likely to come unraveled.”

"God couldn't re-create the world today in 7 days.  He couldn't get environmental impact clearance permission in under nine months." (Henry L. Mencken)

- via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through their website at http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com

When shepherds start speaking well of wolves, the sheep are in big trouble.

Do not laugh at those who fall. There are, no doubt, some slippery places in your own path.

Even if happiness could be bought, most people would not pay the price. They would still insist that it be given to them.

Even those who doubt their ability have few doubts about their importance.

If you want to be sure God will hear you when you pray you must make sure you hear Him when He speaks.
Sermon Quotes

The best way to compliment the preacher on his sermon is to bring somebody with you to hear the next one.
Very few people find the sermon too long if it is helpful.
Too many folks would rather hear a good sermon on Sunday than to live one during the week.
It is easy to appreciate any point of a sermon that prods somebody else.

- via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Dongola church of Christ, Dongola, IL.  Gerald Cowan serves the congregation as minister.  He may be contacted at Geraldcowan1931@aol.com

A GOOD QUESTION? If someone were to pay you ten cents for every kind word you ever spoke about people and collect five cents for every unkind word…...would you be rich or poor?

- via The Central Message, the weekly bulletin of the Central church of Christ in Paducah KY.  Jim Faughn serves as an elder and preacher for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the church’s website: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org

Attending church services regularly is like making a path through the forest ~ the more often you use it, the less obstruction you find in the way.

- Selections from Bulletin Digest; via The Central Message, the weekly bulletin of the Central church of Christ in Paducah KY.  Jim Faughn serves as an elder and preacher for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the church’s website: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org

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BulletinGold Extra ---- recent postings on our Blogsite
- Where Is the Scripture? By Danny Douglas
- The Book of Life, by Jay Lockhart
- What is God’s Message for Me? By John Gipson
- The Rest of the Story, by Tom Moore
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