BulletinGold #115
July 2010
   Vol 10 #5
 

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BulletinGold #115
July 2010
Vol. 10 Num. 5
Editors:
David Bragg
Edward Thomason
BulletinGold
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:
Articles
Nuggets
Poems
Quotes
- For Your Soul, by Paul McElroy
- What’s So Amazing About Grace? By Johnny Hester
- Stay In The Boat --- And Trust, by Jim Faughn
- Who Sets Your Standards? By Ken Chumbley
- Doing an A+ Job, by Stephen R. Bradd
- What it Means to "Wait" For His Son From Heaven, by Larry Miles
- Don't Bury Your Talent, by Edd Sterchi
- "Faithfulness"
- Christ Has a Job for You!
- What is a Saint? by Travis Quertermous
- Brave Hearts Dare to Climb
- The Joyful Things, by Joyce Mary Ecochard
- True Greatness
- Peacemaker, by Debbie Preuss
quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs


New Postings At
BulletinGold
Extra
Editorial by David Bragg
This month's issue of BulletinGold focuses on the need for, and the blessings of salvation through Christ. This involves much more than the amazing grace extended by God, perfect sacrifice found in Christ, and the guidance of the Spirit inspired Word. We must obey to get into Christ, and remain faithful to remain in Him. Our prayer is that your bulletins, and those who read your bulletins, will be impressed with these wonderful blessings that you enjoy.

David Bragg
http://www.davidbragg.org/

Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
What’s So Amazing About Grace?
By Johnny Hester

Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

     We’ve sung these words many times, but does God’s grace truly amaze us?  It should.  The word “amazing” implies “that which causes a strong emotional reaction; causing astonishment, that which enthralls.”  (Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary/Thesaurus).  What is it about grace that should cause astonishment that enthralls the emotions?  What is so amazing about grace?
     Consider the inspired statement from Paul found in Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”  Grace is a gift.  When it comes to your soul’s salvation, you have no purchase power.  Salvation is a “gift,” paid for in full by the blood of Jesus and freely given to those who through faith accept it in obedience.  What an astonishing truth!
     Grace becomes even more amazing when one considers the spiritual security it provides.  There are few things in this life upon which one can safely rely, but God’s gift of grace brings the assurance that eternity in heaven can be ours.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright, shining as the sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

     What a splendid thought!  Will I be employed next year?  Will gasoline be as affordable as it is today?  Will the homeowner mortgage crisis pass, or will it worsen?  Much about the future is unknown.  God’s promises, however, are sure.  As people who have accepted the will of the Father in obedience to the gospel, we are able to live “in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (Titus 1:2).
     Amazing grace!  God’s grace fills life with sweetness and brings joy beyond what the world can provide.  Praise to God will echo in eternity because He, astonishing as it is, provided for our salvation at the cost of His own Son.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).  Amazing!

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


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Stay In The Boat --- And Trust
By Jim Faughn

     One of our teachers was telling me (and I’ve been telling a lot of other people) about an incident that occurred during her Bible class when our family was here for the funeral for Donna’s mother. The teacher was telling her class about the time when Jesus calmed a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee (cf. Matt. 8:23-27; Luke 8:22-25). She had not yet reached that point in her telling of the account.
     She was telling how the disciples feared for their lives because of the violent winds and the waves. She must have done an outstanding job of describing how the boat was being tossed about in the waves and how fearful the disciples were, because it was at this point in the lesson that she asked the students a question and received an unexpected response.
     The question she asked was, “What would you do?” Our oldest granddaughter, who was in the class, replied immediately, “I’d get out of that boat!”
     I’ve chuckled a lot and others have chuckled with me about her answer. (I’m sure that they were just being nice to another guy telling another grandchild story). After doing some thinking about this, though, it occurs to me that there may be an important lesson here.
     If the disciples had left the boat, would they have been better off? Would they not still have been in the violent storm without any protection at all and without the Lord? Sometimes (maybe many times), our solutions to the storms in our own lives make just about as much sense as a three-year-old’s “solution” to the disciples’ dilemma. What seems to be an easy way out just makes matters worse.
     When the waves are crashing and the wind is howling, we would be well advised to stay in the boat with the Lord and to trust Him. He will get us safely to the other side. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your path (Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV).
     When I am afraid, I put my trust in you (Psalm 56:3, ESV)

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


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Who Sets Your Standards?
By Ken Chumbley

     A student at a private school has been suspended for attending the Prom at a public high school. Some are outraged by the decision of the Heritage Christian School in Findlay, Ohio, a fundamental Baptist school. Being ignored in all of this is the fact that the school has a contract that the students and parents sign that forbids such activities. Further, the school, being aware that the student planned to attend, advised him ahead of time that he would be suspended for attending and further, he was advised that if he engaged in other activities that they specified, he would be expelled. In expressing opposition to the action of the school, it has been expressed that such action shows how “out of touch Christianity is with modern realities” and this is the reason why Christianity is losing ground. It was further suggested that Christians need to get a “P.R.” person to promote Christianity.
     Today, we find that with political parties, when one party loses support that the opposing party is free with advice telling the loosing party that if they are ever going to win, they need to become more like them. How could that be a winning strategy, except for the one giving the advice? Then there are ones within the losing party that echo the same strategy. How can they think it will win them elections?
     With the situation that has arisen over this prom we see, from what we stated earlier, there are those in the world who are seeking to tell Christians how they need to change to be “in touch with modern realities.” Being interpreted, that means that Christians should loosen up their standards to attract more people. However, even worse, there are “quislings” in the church who have espoused the same philosophy and seek to work from within to loosen up not only moral but doctrinal standards in order to attract people from the world and from denominationalism. We see examples of this when biblical standards of morality are discarded because the world does not follow these standards and we see it in changes to the worship (adding instrumental music, drama, etc.) and opening the doors of fellowship to those who are not in fellowship with God.
     Christians are commanded: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). One paraphrase reads, “don’t let the world squeeze you into its own mould.” When we allow the world, or worldly Christians, to entice us to change or drop biblical standards, we are allowing them to squeeze us into their own mould, to conform to worldly standards and not biblical ones.
     Christians are also taught: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (II Corinthians 6:17) and “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (II Peter 2:9). How can Christians be separate from the world when they follow worldly standards? How can Christians be a “peculiar people” (or special people for that is the meaning of the word) when they allow worldly standards to be those they use to justify their words and actions?
     Let us not be fooled, let us never allow the world or worldly Christians define the standard of morality that we follow, but let us follow biblical standards. Let us not be fooled, let us never allow the world or compromising brethren to define the standards of doctrine relative to worship, fellowship or in any other way but to stand firm for the doctrine of Christ and “contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

- Ken Chumbley preaches for the Belvedere church of Christ, Belvedere, SC.  He may be contacted at their website: http://www.belvederechurchofchrist.org


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Doing an A+ Job
By Stephen R. Bradd

      What kind of grades did you earn in the classroom? Did you just pass with a lot of C's? Or, were you an honor student earning mostly A's and B's? I was for-tunate enough to always be in the latter group. As I've shared before, the class I loved was mathemat-ics. I tried to be perfect in math class. It never hap-pened, but that didn't stop me from trying to earn an A+ on every assignment, quiz, or test. I didn't just want an A, I wanted the A+ (or 100%). I always put forth my absolute best effort in math class, and friends, this is the sort of effort that God requires of His faithful children in everyday life. He wants us to do an A+ job for Him in all the things we say and do (regardless of where we're at or who is watching)!
      And, while we're talking about mathematics, let me introduce three "A+ equations" that are powerful and worth pondering. Special thanks goes to my friend and fellow gospel preacher, Edd Sterchi, for these "A+ equations."

My Ability + My Attitude + My Aim = My Area of Service

      Isn't that true? Everyone has various abilities, but they will be wasted if the individual doesn't determine to have a proper attitude. Additionally, without a proper focus (or aim) upon that which is spiritual, attitude and ability will fail you. All three of these ele-ments are needed, and they will define one's area of service in God's kingdom.
      My Aspiration + My Actions + My Abiding = My Achievement in Service
      This equation is also true. We must aspire in our minds to serve God and then actually follow through with our actions. However, desire and implementa-tion are not enough. We must abide or continue to aspire and act for the Lord and His church. All three of these elements are needed, and they will deter-mine our level of achievement in service in God's kingdom.
      This equation is more complex, but it too is cor-rect. To truly reach our fullest potential as Chris-tians, we must analyze where we are spiritually, evaluating our strengths and weaknesses, and then ascertain where we'd like to be in the future. If we carefully reflect upon our desire and potential, and are sincere (i.e., authentic) about doing our best for the Lord, we will then work diligently--doing whatever is necessary--to acquire new skills and talents. All three of these elements are needed, and they will dictate our level of advancement for future service in God's kingdom.
As we begin a new week, think on these things, and let us endeavor to achieve an A+ in all that we do! "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not men" (Col. 3:23).

-
Stephen R. Bradd; via the Lake Hills Letter, weekly bulletin of the Lake Hills church of Christ in Chattanooga, TN.  Shane Robinson, preaches for the congregation, and he may be contacted through their website at http://www.lakehillschurchofchrist.org/


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What it Means to "Wait" For His Son From Heaven
By Larry Miles

     The Apostle Paul commends the Christians in Thessalonica for their faithfulness. He tells them that the news of their faith has spread beyond their home. Other Christians have heard of their commitment to the Lord Jesus. (I Thes. 1:6-8). In I Thes. 1:6 we are told that they were imitators of the Lord. It was not a “bed of roses” for them when they accepted the Lord Jesus and began to follow Him. They became an example to others-Oh that it could be said of us today that we live lives so close to Jesus that others will want to “conform to the image of the Son of God.” They left a life of idol worship with no hope of salvation and no hope of an eternity outside of the “Lake of Fire.” We are told in I Thes. 1:9 that they made a complete turn around in their lives and identified with the Lord Jesus Christ. I Thes. 1:10 gives us the words in our title. Jesus is coming again! That is not just a pipe dream, it is a reality! We don’t know when He will come; it may be today. We are told here to be “waiting” for His return. What does that entail? Waiting for the Lord Jesus in the Scripture means that while we are waiting we are “watching,” and working for Him. We sing a song written by Fanny Crosby, “Blessèd are those whom the Lord finds watching, In His glory they shall share; If He shall come at the dawn or midnight, Will He find us watching there?” True waiting involves working for the Lord Jesus; not a working to be saved but a working because you are saved. We are saved by grace through faith, in baptism unto good works. Let’s be like the Thessalonians and be a people who live our lives for the Lord so that others see us and glorify God. (Matthew 5:14-16).

- Larry Miles lives in Louisville, KY and publishes "Larry's Lines" several times a week. Copyright 2009. Visit his website: http://larryslines.com/


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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
Don't Bury Your Talent
By Edd Sterchi
 
     We all know well the parable of the talents that Jesus told in Matt. 25:14-30.  We know that the servant given five talents earned five more, and the one given two talents earned two more.  We know that the master was very pleased with them. And we know the servant given one talent went and buried it.  We also know that the master was displeased with this one and called him wicked.  But do we know why the master called him wicked?
- Did he embezzle the talent?
- Did he squander the talent?
- Did he lose the talent?
- Was he dishonest with the talent?
     The answer to all these questions is "no."  He was able to give back the very talent the master gave him.  Then why was he called wicked?  He was called wicked for what he did not do.  He did not put the talent given him to work for the master.  Do you have any talents given to you by the Master?  Then use them for His glory (read James 4:17).

- Edd Sterchi preaches for the Jackson church of Christ in Jackson, MO.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.jacksonchurchofchrist.com


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"Faithfulness"

(Sometimes the best examples of desirable traits are given by members of the animal kingdom.  For instance, what is more faithful than a faithful dog?  The following is from Cybersalt Digest.)

   The front door was accidentally left open and our dog was gone. After unsuccessfully whistling and calling, my husband got in the car and went looking for him.
   He drove around the neighborhood for some time with no luck.
   Finally he stopped beside a couple out for a walk and asked if they had seen our dog.
   "You mean the one following your car?" they asked.

- 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 the congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com


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Christ Has a Job for You!
 
     If you are not working in the church because no one has given you a job, wait no longer - Christ has a job for you...
     ...feed the hungry, give a drink to the thirsty, help strangers, clothe the naked, visit the
        sick..............................................................................Matt. 25:34-40
      ...bear one another’s burdens................................................Gal. 6:2
      ...comfort those in trouble................................................2 Cor. 1:3-4
      ...admonish the disorderly.............................................1 Thess. 5:14
      ...study the Scriptures.........................................................John 5:39
      ...exhort one another..............................................Phil. 1:11; 4:15-17
      ...do good deeds to all.......................................Gal. 6:10; Heb. 13:16
      ...teach.............................................................................2 Tim. 2:2-4
      ...give..................................................................................Matt. 5:42
      ...pray................................................................................Matt. 6:9-15
      ...increase your faith............................................................John 6:29
      ...bear fruit........................................................Gal. 5:22-23; Phil. 1:11
     Yes, Christ does have a job for you.  It is time to stop complaining that we haven’t anything to do and make do with the tasks the Lord has given us.
 
- Copied; 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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What is a Saint?
By Travis Quertermous

     Yesterday, February 14, was St. Valentine’s Day.  In light of this holiday, let me ask, “Are you a saint?”  Many people would humbly answer, “No, I try to be the best person I can be, but I don’t think I’m good enough to be called a saint.”  Sadly, such an answer reflects a popular, but unbiblical, use of the word “saint.”
     In the New Testament, the word “saint” simply refers to a faithful Christian, not to a super-Christian of some sort.  For example, the apostle Paul wrote, “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints” (1 Corinthians 1:2).  Nor is a “Saint” a religious title as Jesus Christ forbade His disciples from using such in Matthew 23:6-11.  That is why in the New Testament you never read of Saint Paul or Saint Peter.  You don’t have to be canonized by some church official and you don’t have to be dead to qualify for sainthood (per denominational dogma).  You just need to sincerely obey the gospel of Christ and live faithfully in His service as set forth in passages like Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38.  Can we help you become a saint of God today?

- Travis L. Quertermous preaches for the church of Christ in Dexter, MO.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.dexterchurchofchrist.com/


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Hearts of Gold - poetry
   Brave Hearts Dare to Climb
 
For every hill I’ve had to climb,
   For every stone that bruised my feet,
For all the blood and sweat and grime,
   For blinding storms and burning heat,
My heart sings with a grateful song ---
   These were the things that made me strong!
 
For all the heartaches and the tears,
   For all he anguish and the pain,
For gloomy days and fruitful years,
   And for the hopes that live in vain,
I do give thanks, for now I know
   These were the things that helped me grow!
 
‘Tis not the softer things of life
   Which stimulate man’s will to strive,
But bleak adversity and strife
   Do most to keep man’s will alive.
O’er rose-strewn paths the weaklings creep,
   But brave hearts dare to climb the steep!
 
- Anon.; via the weekly bulletin of the Lebanon Road church of Christ in Nashville, TN. Adam Faughn serves as the pulpit minister for the congregation, and he may be contacted through the congregation’s website at: http://www.lebanonroadchurchofchrist.org


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    The Joyful Things
By
Joyce Mary Ecochard

At times I'm so discouraged
With problems of the day,
I fail to see the joyful things
That are along the way.

When troubles overwhelm me,
It's then my nerves may fray,
That's when I need to take the time
To simply sit and pray.

Reflecting on God's many gifts
Does make me so aware
Of all the joy in little things
Around me, everywhere!

I must try to remember
Though problems come my way,
Not to miss the joyful things
And the beauty of the day.

- Submitted by Mark McWhorter.  Mark may be contacted at mtmcvb@concentric.net


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          True Greatness

A man is as great as the dreams he dreams,
As great as the love he bears;
As great as the values he redeems,
And the happiness he shares.

A man is as great as the thoughts he thinks,
As the worth he has attained;
As the fountains at which the spirit drinks
And the insight he has gained.

A man is as great as the truth he speaks,
As great as the help he gives,
As great as the destiny he seeks,
As great as the life he lives.

 - Selected


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                        Peacemaker
                     By Debbie Preuss
 
Lord, help me be a peacemaker, putting forward what is true
May You use me to show the hurting, how to come to You
May I not be vain, wanting glory for myself
Help me be an example, of Your true spiritual health
Help me not to judge, but listen to both sides
Let me bring them to You, to be their own true guide
Lord, I want to show Your love, as shelter from the storm
Knit together the separate, to friendship that is warm
May I be a part, of the work you want to do
Bringing the wiser in, to help the journey through
Lord, I'm willing to be a peacemaker, whenever You do call
Against the roots of bitterness, Lord erect a wall
Help me to be truthful, righteous and moral too
May I be an example, of just what You can do
For You are the Prince of Peace, peacemaker extraordinaire
I praise You for Your workings, and the ways You show You care
So help me be Your peacemaker, putting forward what is true
May You use me to help the hurting, and bring them unto You.


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Gold Mines ---- quotes, sayings & sign messages
To be innocent is to be not guilty; but to be virtuous is to overcome our evil inclinations. 

- via The Lantern, Highway church of Christ, Sullivan, IL  Visit their website as http://www.highwaycofc.com

A PRAYER TO BE PRAYED MORE OFTEN: "Dear Lord, please keep your arm around my shoulder, and your hand over my mouth." 

"LORD, thank you for this beautiful day! Please help me to see the beauty in every day, and help others to see the beauty in your wonders. Guide me through perils toward your brilliant light.  Amen." -
Kate E. Ritger, Prayer in All Things

BEING "QUICK TO HEAR": Always listen to the opinions of others.  It probably won't do you any good, but it will them.

"An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity." -  Winston Churchill

THE LAW ENFORCEMENT Assistance administration spent $27,000 to find out why inmates want to escape from prison. (Trib-Bits, Decatur Tribune, 9-5-'04)
 
- 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 the congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com

A person may make many mistakes in working for the Lord, but he makes a much greater mistake in not working for Him.

- 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 novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come."-  Victor Hugo


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BulletinGold Extra ---- recent postings on our Blogsite
- Pushing the Lord Aside?
- I’ll Put Jesus FIRST in My Life! By Larry Miles
- Behold the Lamb of God (Read John 1:29-36), by Jimmy Cox
- My King
- Names of Christ, by Gerald Cowan
- Messiah, by Mike Benson
- Expectations of Jesus, by Alan Smith
- The Living Word, by Raleigh Batty
- Benefits of the Resurrection of Christ, by Kevin Williams
- What are You Losing While Trying to Find Yourself? By Jim Faughn
- The Comforter

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