BulletinGold #116
August 2010
   Vol 10 #6
 

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BulletinGold #116
August 2010
Vol. 10 Num. 6
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
- How Great Thou Art!
- God - He Is My Strength, by Bryan McAlister
- Be Honest. Is Your God A Burden? By Joe Chesser
- Look To God & Ask for Strength, by Tim Childs
- God’s Thoughts, God’s Ways, by Lance Cordle
- “God’s Glorious Glamour,” by Kyle Moses
- In God’s Time
- God Always Has an Answer
- God is a God of... by Edd Sterchi
- God's Omnipotence
- Dear God...
- What God Has Promised (Author Unknown)
- Spiritual ABC's
- God Knows!!!!!
quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs


New Postings At
BulletinGold
Extra
Editorial by David Bragg
    This issue of BulletinGold focuses on God. Through Him humanity has every blessing and without Him, none. His greatness is seen in nature, His wisdom is seen in His Word, and His goodness is manifest in His Son.
    Within this issue you will find bulletin articles, poems, quotations, and fillers on this great theme. Thank you for passing this material on to those who read your bulletins.

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


How Great Thou Art!

      Humpback whales are about 40 feet long at maturity and weigh about one ton per foot. They carry a thousand pounds of barnacles, and when they jump or “breach,” they extend themselves totally in the air, and then free-fall back into the ocean. You can see the splash five miles away.
      Humpback whales travel down to Hawaii from Alaska every year to calve in the warm Hawaiian waters. Year after year, each family comes back to the very same place around the island. When the calves are born (they weigh about five tons), they are born breech—or tail first. If they were born head first, these air-breathing mammals would drown during the birth process. As a baby whale is born, another humpback whale comes alongside and pushes it up to the surface to help the baby take his first breath of air.
      The humpback whale sings a song that can be heard more than 50 miles away under water. Every one of these whales sings the same song. Each year, the song changes slightly, and every humpback whale in the world will sing that year’s song. Amazing! Incredible! What a display of the wonderful creative power of our God!

- Author Unknown; via the Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere church of Christ, Belvedere, SC.  Ken Chumbley preaches for this congregation, and he may be contacted at their website: http://www.belvederechurchofchrist.org

Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
God - He Is My Strength
By Bryan McAlister

      One of Israel’s weakest times came during the
Babylonian captivity. Babylon had descended upon Israel, and carried them away to lives of oppression and despair. What once was a proud nation had been brought low as a result of their disobedience to their God. Their lands, their homes, their property, their temple, and their lives had fallen into the hands of those who did not respect nor honor their heritage.
      Homes could be rebuilt, gardens replanted, property reclaimed, and even the temple of the Lord could be repaired. One of the most, if not the single most difficult item to rebuild is a broken spirit, a spirit which has been brought so low, so weak, one has lost all confidence in self. It is not impossible to rebuild a broken spirit, a weak and wounded life, but to rebuild the spirit, to renew one’s strength demands that one return to the “Holy One” (Isaiah 40:25).
      Isaiah’s prophecy came to Israel to remind them of their relationship with God, and what His nature dictates He can and will do when it comes to restoring one’s life. Upon what shall we base our understanding of the strength of God? Isaiah asks the questions, “Who has measured the waters in the hallow of His hand, measured heaven with a span and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance” (Isaiah 40:12)? God’s strength is beyond our understanding.
      If we consider the span of the waters, God possesses them in the hollow of His hand. He knows the scope of the heavens, the dust of the earth is common knowledge to our Lord’s mind, and He alone is able to weigh the mountains on His scales. The strength of the Lord is found in His nature as the Creator of the heavens and the earth. This is our God.
      Isaiah wants to know, “To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare to Him” (Isaiah 40:18)? Isaiah knew the singular nature of God, and was convinced in His prophecy to Israel, they needed to be reminded, in the midst of their hurt of a broken spirit, theirs was the God to Whom no other could be compared. None had ever offered counsel to God (Isaiah 40:13); no prince or power of authority could compare to the authority of the Lord (Isaiah 40:23). From this source of Supremacy, from the One that stood alone in greatness and authority, strength and might, the prophecy came offering Israel to return to the strength of the Lord. “He gives power to the weak,  and to those who have no might He increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29). Our God, the God of our strength is the One we trust to guide us with the strong hand (Isaiah 40:10), and hold us up, bind us up, and renew our strength on the wings of eagles (Isaiah 40:31). To know our God in His supply of strength is to know our God when our lives our weak, and we trust His might to supply our own.

- Bryan McAlister preaches for the Centerville church of Christ, in Centerville, TN.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.centervillechurchofchrist.org


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Be Honest. Is Your God A Burden?
By Joe Chesser

      I may be wrong, but from my perspective, most people feel that God is a burden.  I think most people realize they have a need for God, but they struggle with it.  For them, God often gets in the way of life, and especially the fun things.  God seems to be more tolerated than enjoyed.  And there seems to be a lot of guilt and fear and dread in connection with God.  Religion that has been reduced to ritual and obligation has become burdensome.  People feel obligated to go to church, but they don’t really enjoy it.  They’ve fulfilled their duty, but that’s about it. It’s the same with giving and evangelism and just about anything else God expects. They are just heavy burdens to be borne, more like slavery than freedom.
      That kind of a god is not much different from the gods Isaiah wrote about close to 3000 years ago:  “the images that are carried about are burdensome, a burden for the weary” (Isaiah 46:1).  We don’t have images of wood, stone and metal to tote around, but we do have false concepts of God that are heavy and tiring.  Instead of allowing God to carry us, we feel like we have to carry him.  A god like that robs us of the joy that the true God intends for us to experience. They think, “There are so many rules and restrictions. How can anyone possibly keep them all?!  And if you did, what a miserable life that would be!”
      God, any god, is a burden if we make them ourselves.  If our concepts of God are restricted to what we can visualize and design, our god is way too small to lift our burdens, and, in fact, becomes a burden himself.
      How grateful we must be to learn that our God is much greater than our concept of him.  He can do more than we can imagine (Eph. 3:20-21).  He knows more than we can fathom (Deut. 29:29).  He didn’t begin when we first thought of him, but is eternal (Heb. 13:8).  A God like this is not a burden, but instead invites us all to “come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).  A God like this doesn’t rob us of life’s pleasures, but instead has “come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). A God like this does not make rules that are a burden, but instead guides us to victory (1 John 5:3-5)!  A God like this fills us with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).
      When you get out of the way and let God be God, he is never a burden!

- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland church of Christ, Fruitland, MO.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.cofcfruitland.com/


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Look To God & Ask for Strength
By Tim Childs

      No rocket scientist is needed here to explain that we are living in challenging times. Many of us are not accustomed to adversity, at least not openly. Human nature, for the most part, is to prefer for things running smoothly, no hitches, no glitches. Roll with the flow, but some things are beyond our control.  No, no one enjoys difficult times. Yet, ultimately, they can have some positive effect. By choice, that positive effect should be maximized for the greater good of the heavenly kingdom. God can help us through difficult times to become stronger and more effective in our service for him.
      In times like these may we remember to look to God for strength. While we at times may be weak, our Heavenly Father is an awesome God of power. One of the wonderful things about our Creator is that He not only knows how to majestically utilize His power, but He has the capacity and willingness to share power with us his creatures. Paul closes His prayer in Ephesians chapter 3 with an expression that glory might be “...unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us...” (vs. 20, KJV).  Since we have been re-created and redeemed by the blood of Christ, we know something personally about the power of God. God’s power transcends all other power in the universe.
      The familiar lyrics “...the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own” penned by George Duffield in the mid-nineteenth century admonish us against relying on our own personal strength as we often seek to do. Let’s make a stronger connection to the source of the greatest power.            

- Tim Childs preaches for the Hillcrest church of Christ in Baldwyn, MS.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.thelordsway.com/hillcrestms


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God’s Thoughts, God’s Ways
By Lance Cordle

     "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8,9)
      It is interesting to watch sporting events on television and hear the broadcasters  comment on various plays and circumstances. One familiar scenario comes when a player  fails to execute properly and the comment  is made  that he needs  to work on  fundamentals. Whether it is tackling (football), pitching (baseball), or putting (golf), they all have  the common factor of fundamental execution.  If proper technique is not used, the  proper result will not be produced consistently.
      By the same token, if a person is going to have a consistent, godly life, attention must be given tothefundamentals. If we are going to act as God’s people (Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:9), we absolutely must think God’s thoughts.
      To people who were languishing in immorality and despair,  Isaiah sent forth the admonition, “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near”  (Isaiah  55:6). Then, as now, many people felt the need to seek God and wanted to do so on their own terms. The seeking and the calling could not and would not consist of just looking for God in the places and ways they chose to seek him.
      Therefore, Isaiah added these words, “Let the wicked forsake his way and the  unrighteous man his thoughts” (Isaiah  55:7).  The requirement comes clearly into view: a  man who seeks God must be willing to change.  That change must begin within. The fundamental requirement for living and acting like God is thinking like God.
      Micah, another prophet of God, put it this way: “He has told you O man, what is good, and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and  to walk humbly with your God?” All  three of these necessary things require thought on the part of the follower of God. Not only do they require thought, but they require sustained effort to maintain the thinking and actions. A man will only be as just, as kind, and as humble as he willfully requires himself to be.
      We won’t have God’s ways until we think God’s thoughts. We won’t know God’s thoughts until we spend time with His word (Psalm 1:2).

- 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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“God’s Glorious Glamour”
By Kyle Moses

      On Monday of this last week, when I went home at noon to get our Crock Pot supper going and to check the mail, I was sitting at the mailbox reading through my House to House/Heart to Heart. As I sat there in the car, radio off and the windows down, I heard a bird’s beautiful chirp in the tree about ten feet from my window. As I sat there and watched it, I noticed, in the faint distance, what seemed to be the answer of another bird. I sat there for about five minutes just watching and listening to this “conversation” as it was unfolding before my eyes and ears. When I finally noticed that I was still sitting in the road, I pulled in to my driveway and what did I see as soon as I turned off the car? I saw two bright and beautiful woodpeckers climbing another tree eating their lunch and talking to each other. Then I took a few minutes just to span the scenery that spans across the horizon. I looked and appreciated the grass that has finally turned green after months of watering; I noticed the trees jutting into the air with the fresh greenery sprouting out and showing its beauty; I heard the birds singing their tunes and carrying on conversations together; I saw squirrels running and playing with one another through the grass and on the tree limbs. I could not help but bow my head and thank my God for the blessings He has truly given me to enjoy.
      I could not enjoy these blessings if it was not by the grace and the love of my Father in Heaven. To feel the wind as it blows through my hair and in my face, to see the squirrels playing, and to hear the birds chirp serves as a reminder that God loves me and God continues to bless me.
      I am thankful that I am fortunate enough to have my eyesight and my hearing as so many others do not have so I can enjoy these blessings. I am grateful to God for allowing me to wake up just this one more morning, as I know there have been others this very day who died in the night.
      When walking to the door from my car, I could not but imagine what my life would be like if I could no longer use my own legs to move around. What would happen if I had no more use of my hands? What about my nose, my eyes, or my ears?
      As this new time of spring has now sprung (some would have thought that summer actually has now sprung), I am again reminded that God is in control and I am only a humble sinner that God smiles upon through the beauty of His nature. Spring is a time of new beginnings and old reminders. As we continue through this beautiful springtime weather and watch the nature around us, I hope that you will be reminded of the love of God and God’s glorious glamour as you see nature surrounding you.
      We can complain about the lack of rain, the soaring temperatures, and the high energy bills, but let us not forget that we are blessed enough to have the rain when it comes and we are blessed enough to have the air conditioning to cool us and keep us comfortable in the 100°+ temperatures.
      Dear reader, please take these thoughts and see how your own life can be made better by them. I hope that you will consider these blessings and the many more that God gives us on a daily basis. If you need help recognizing these blessings, try to visit and talk to someone who is not as fortunate as you are and you will quickly see how you have truly witnessed God’s glorious glamour descend from God’s hand above.

- Kyle Moses; via the weekly bulletin of the church of Christ in Mathis, Texas. Justin Guess serves as the pulpit minister for the congregation. You may visit their website at http://mathischurchofchrist.com/


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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
In God’s Time

      A man asked God how much a million years is to Him.
      God said, “It’s a second.”
      Then he asked God how much a million dollars is to Him.
      God said, “It’s a penny.”
      So, the man asked, “God, can I have a penny?”
      God replied, “Just a second.”

- 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 congregation's website at: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org


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God Always Has an Answer

It is easy to get discouraged when things go wrong, but we must not lose heart. God is at work in our world, even in the midst of pain and trial. The next time your little hut is burning to the ground, remember that it just may be a smoke signal to summon the grace of God. For any negative thing we say to ourselves, God has a positive answer for it:
We say: “It’s impossible.” God says: “All things are possible” (Luke 18:27).
We say: “I’m too tired.” God says: “I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
We say: “I can’t do it.” God says: “You can do all things” (Philippians 4:13).
We say: “I’m not able.” God says: “I am able” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
We say: “It’s not worth it.” God says: “It will be worth it” (Romans 8:28).
We say: “Nobody really loves me.” God says: “I really love you” (John 3:16; 3:34).
We say: “I can’t go on.” God says: “My grace is sufficient” (2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 91:15).
We say: “I can’t figure things out.” God says: “I will direct your steps” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
We say: “I can’t forgive myself.” God says: “I forgive you” (1 John 1:9; Romans 8:1).
We say: “I can’t manage.” God says: “I will supply all your needs” (Philippians 4:19).
We say: “I’m afraid.” God says: “I have not given you a spirit of fear” (2 Timothy 1:7).
We say: “I’m always worried and frustrated.” God says: “Cast all your cares on ME” (1 Peter 5:7).
We say: “I don’t have enough faith.” God says: “My Word will give you faith” (Romans 10:17).
We say: “I’m not smart enough.” God says: “I will give you wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:30; James 1:1-5).
We say: “I feel all alone.” God says: “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

- House to House Vol.9 #4; 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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God is a God of...
By Edd Sterchi

We can learn a lot about God by doing a search in the Scriptures for the phrase “God is” and see what follows. Notice, for example:
      God is a God of...
...heaven and earth (Gen. 24:3)
...my salvation (Psa. 18:46)
...glory (Psa. 29:3)
...my life (Psa. 42:8)
...truth (Isa. 65:16)
...justice (Mal. 2:17)
...the living (Matt. 22:32)
...hope (Rom. 15:3)
...patience and comfort (Rom. 15:5)
...love and peace (2 Cor. 13:11)
...all grace (1 Pet. 5:10)
      Looking at all God is in charge and control of, why wouldn’t you want to make Him your God and obey and serve Him all the days of your life. God is!

- 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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God's Omnipotence

A Sunday School teacher was questioning her pupils after a lesson on God's omnipotence. "Now children," she asked, "is there anything God can't do?" One lad enthusiastically thrust his hand into the air. The teacher, feeling certain that the boy had missed the point of the lesson, asked halfheartedly, "Well, just what IS it that God can't do?" Replied the boy: "He can't please EVERYBODY, Miss!"

- Kevin Rayner preaches for the Highland church of Christ, Tecumseh, OK.  He may be contacted through the congregation’s website: http://hcoct.org/


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Hearts of Gold - poetry
Dear God...

I called tonight to talk a little while,
I need a friend who'll listen to my anxiety and trial.

You see, I can't quite make it through a day just on my own.
I need your love to guide me, so I'll never feel alone.

I want to ask you please to keep, my family safe and sound.
Come and fill their lives with confidence for whatever fate they are bound.

Give me faith, dear God, to face each hour throughout the day,
And not to worry over things I can't change in any way.

I thank you God, for being home and listening to my call.
For giving me such good advice when I stumble and fall.

Your number, God, is the only one that answers every time.
I never get a busy signal, never had to pay a dime.

So thank you, God, for listening to my troubles and my sorrow.
Good night God, I love You too, and I'll call again tomorrow!

- Unknown


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What God Has Promised
(Author Unknown)
 
God has not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through.
 
God has not promised sun without rain,
Day without sorrow, peace without pain.
 
But God has promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, Light for the way.
 
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love . . .


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Spiritual ABC's

Although things are not perfect,
Because of trial or pain,
Continue in thanksgiving,
Do not begin to blame.
Even when the times are hard,
Fierce winds are bound to blow,
God is forever able,
Hold on to what you know.
Imagine life without His love,
Joy would cease to be.
Keep thanking Him for all the things,
Love imparts to thee.
Move out of "Camp Complaining,"
No weapon that is known,
On earth can yield the power,
Praise can do alone.
Quit looking at the future,
Redeem the time at hand.
Start every day with worship,
To "thank" is a command.
Until we see Him coming,
Victorious in the sky,
We'll run the race with gratitude,
eXalting God most high.
Yes, there'll be good times and yes some will be bad but,
Zion waits in glory, where none are ever sad!


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God Knows!!!!!

     When you are tired and discouraged from fruitless efforts . . ..
     God knows how hard you have tried.

     When you’re cried so long and your heart is in anguish . . .
     God has counted your tears.

     If you feel that your life is on hold and time has passed you by . . .
     God is waiting with you.

     When you’re lonely and your friends are too busy even for a phone call. .
     God is on your side.

     When you think you’ve tried everything and don’t know where to turn . .
     God has a solution.

     When nothing makes sense and you are confused or frustrated . . .
     God has the answer.

     If suddenly your outlook is brighter and you find traces of hope . . .
     God has whispered to you.

     When things are going well and you have much to be thankful for . . .
     God has blessed you.

     When something joyful happens and you are filled with awe . . .
     God has smiled upon you.

     When you have a purpose to fulfill and a dream to follow . . .
     God has opened your eyes and called you by name.

     Remember that wherever you are or whatever you are facing . . .
     God knows.

- Author Unknown


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Gold Mines ---- quotes, sayings & sign messages
All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. (Emerson)

- via the Family Matters, weekly bulletin of the Jackson church of Christ in Jackson, MO. Edd Sterchi preaches for the congregation, and he may be contacted through their website at http://www.jacksonchurchofchrist.com

Nothing is outside the reach of prayer except what is outside the will of God.

- 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

God Himself doesn’t propose to judge a man until he is dead.  So why should you?

“God doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called.”
 
“We don’t change the message; the message changes us.”

"Were there no God, we would be in this glorious world with grateful hearts and no one to thank." (Christina Georgina Rossetti)

- 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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BulletinGold Extra ---- recent postings on our Blogsite
Attitude Make a Difference, by Patrick Hogan
To Obey Is Better, by Kevin Williams
For Your Soul, by Paul L. McElroy
The Refiner of Silver
"Sandwich" It in! By Adam Faughn
"Good Gossip," by Dan Williams
An Inheritance Awaits! By David A. Sargent
The Blessing of Faithfulness, by Derrick Coble
My Soul…, by Trevor Tattersall
Extra Quotes

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