BulletinGold #117
September 2010
   Vol 10 #7

BulletinGold #117
September 2010
Vol. 10 Num. 7
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:
- My Help Comes From the Lord, by Patrick Hogan
- Do You Know Me? By Joe Chesser
- You Answer! By W.A. Martin
- Preach It, Brother, by Rick Woodall
- More than an Instruction Manual, by John Telgren
- A Journey of Faith, by David R. Ferguson
- God’s Word - Our One Authority, by Tom Moore
- What Would You do if You Were God?
- The God of ALL Comfort, Larry Miles
- I AM the Answer
- Don’t Let the Song Go Out of Your Life
- A Blessing
By H. L. Gradowith
- The Grumbler
- His Guiding Hand, by J. Randal Matheny
quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs

New Postings At
Editorial by David Bragg
This month's BulletinGold revolves around the thought of God's greatest gift. We all realize that God's gracious gifts are far to numerous to contemplate. Many of His gifts are beyond our capacity to recognize. Perhaps these articles, filler materials, poems and quotes will help as you strive to share your thankfulness of these gifts with others through your work.

David Bragg

My Help Comes From the Lord
By Patrick Hogan

     Concerning the Psalms it has been said that "Many of them reflect the struggle of human loss but give the comfort and assurance that are from God's mercies."
     Even though the Psalms were written centuries before the coming of Jesus Christ, they do offer encouragement and strength to those who seek to serve God. In Psalm 121, the Psalmist reflects on the Lord as his helper. He emphasizes qualities of God that guarantees that He can and will provide help and protection. Meditate for a few moments on the assurance this Psalm provides for the child of God.

1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills - From whence comes my help?
2My help comes
from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.

3He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.
4Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
6The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night.

7The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.
8The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.

- Patrick Hogan serves as a minister and elder of the Shady Acres church of Christ, in Sikeston, MO.  He may be contacted through the church's website at http://www.shadyacreschurch.com

Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
Do You Know Me?
By Joe Chesser

     A small town prosecuting attorney called his first witness to the stand in a trial -- a grandmotherly, elderly woman.  He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?"  She responded, "Why, yes, I do know you Mr. Williams.  I've known you since you were a young boy.  And frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me.  You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a rising big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.”
     The lawyer was stunned.  Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?"  She again replied, "Why, yes I do.  I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too.  I used to baby-sit him for his parents.  And he, too, has been a real disappointment to me.  He's lazy, bigoted, he has a drinking problem.  The man can't build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the shoddiest in the entire state.  Yes, I know him."    
     At this point, the judge rapped the courtroom to silence and called both counselors to the bench.  In a very quiet voice, he said with menace, "If either of you asks her if she knows me, you'll be in jail for contempt within 5 minutes!"
    We chuckle at stories like this ... and hope that they are not true.
    Sometimes we think that we hide our sins and faults in a safety deposit box where we have the only key.  Wouldn’t it be alarming to have them broadcast in public like this story?!  The truth is, others do see our sins and weaknesses ... often better than we see them ourselves.  Remember the illustration Jesus used about the log in your own eye and the speck in your brother’s eye (Matthew 7:3)?  If we can see the sawdust in another’s eye, don’t you know that the larger problems are even much more visible?  In James 5:16 we are told to confess our sins to each other.   Some have refrained from doing this because they did not want others to know just how sinful they are.  Well, maybe they already know!!
     It’s for certain that God knows you inside and out.  He knows what you do, what you don’t do, what you think ... and He knows your motives for all of this.  Nothing is hidden from God.  So when He tells us to confess our sins, it is not to reveal information to Him; it is to acknowledge that we know how sinful we are.  Is there something that you need to acknowledge to God and His people?  If you do, Jesus will acknowledge you.  If you don’t, Jesus will say, “I never knew you.” (Matthew 10:32-33; 7:21-23).

- 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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You Answer!
By W.A. Martin

    A preacher leaned over the pulpit and said, “I have a question to ask. I cannot answer it. You cannot answer it. IF an angel from heaven was here, he could not answer it.  If the devil was here, he could not answer it.” Every one listened up. The question is this,” How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Heb. 12:3).
    We must not reject the Bible because it points us in a way we don’t want to go.  The greatest cemetery is one where talents are buried that were not used in behalf of salvation. “Either make the tree good and his fruit good, or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.” (Mat.12:33)  So many times it depends on how we search for certain things, whether we find them. “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near.” (Isa.55:6) The Lord said: “My spirit shall not always strive with man” (Gen. 6:3)
    We may excel in the right thing if that is our burning desire! We can understand and obey the truth if our desire is compared to the eunuch’s. (Acts 8:25-39). We can keep the past from determining our future by controlling our present with the truth. People set attainable goals for things they are truly interested in now. Don’t wait for other people to make you successful spiritually. Build bridges before the dam breaks.  We need to go all the way with the Lord, since He went all the way to the cross for us. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich. “ (2 Cor. 8:9)
    Our life is a witness to what the cross actually means to us. Our future really depends on how much we believe in God, and how much we respect His Will. Lot’s wife paid a terrible price for putting her will before God’s Will.  The “Way of the cross  leads home,” but only if we bear our cross as Christ bore His. Every day is an opportunity or chance to start over. When your hands and your hope are tied together, that’s one of the keys to salvation. A man said: “We worship our work, we work at our play, we play at our worship and think nothing about it.” Why?

- W.A. Martin is a part time preacher for the Scurry church of Christ, Scurry, Texas, and edits a bulletin that is sent to 14 churches in the area.  He may be contacted at WAGMartin@sbcglobal.net.

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Preach It, Brother
By Rick Woodall

    “Preach the Word: be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction” – 2 Timothy 4:2.
    How many times have we heard it recited and declared in the sermons we have heard over the years? Its understandable message cannot be dissected into something it is not. What declaration is it that God wants His spokesman to sermonize? It is the significance of the Holy Word.
    “And how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which is able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” – 2 Timothy 3:15.
    Even with the Lord’s commandment to preach the word, and in the face of the command to proclaim the good news as recorded in Mark 16:15, people are not frequently thrilled with such a design.  Some listeners do not want to attend to the pure Word of God.  Others that preach do not really yearn for preaching directly from the Bible anymore.
    Nevertheless, God still says: “Preach the Word.”  People prefer to hear a more modern message, but God still says: “Speak the Word.”  Man thinks that just any sanctimonious statement is good enough to salvage souls, but God still states: “Preach the Word.”  Man sobs for sermons that are more witty and full of showmanship, but God says: “Speak the Word.”  People look down on the scriptural sermons that rebuke their sins, but God still says: “Preach it anyway.”  People want to hear tall stories and humorous tales.  But God still says: “The word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow: it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” – Heb. 4:12.
    A lot of folks think that a church stage show would be more touching, but God still says: “Preach the Word anyway.”  Some others say that the Bible’s message is dehydrated and humdrum, but God still says: “Preach it.”  People just love to listen to tales about personal alleged experiences, but God still says: “Preach the Gospel.”  Some think if we would give a sermon that has more attractiveness to the crowds, we would get bigger, while others think, “If we don’t dilute the sermon, we will never be a magnet for people from the community,” but God says, in spite of all these ideas: “Preach the Word.”
    God’s direction is always true.  Since that is what the Lord desires, we must do it! Preaching the Word is what our community needs.  Preaching the Word is also what this congregation needs continually to be solid spiritually and prepared to meet the strategy of Satan head on.  Yes, people say a lot, but God nevertheless says: “Preach the Holy Word that can save your soul.”       

- 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/

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More than an Instruction Manual
by John Telgren

    Most things you get from the store comes with some sort of instruction manual. Whether it is the set up to software, a toy, telephone or some other item, if there is any sort of assembly, start up, or usage of the item, there will usually be some set of instructions that come with the item. All of us have heard the humorous stories about people that attempt to assemble or operate something without having read the instructions.
    We also have an instruction manual for life. Not only does it tell us how to do it, but it also tells us the purpose and nature of life and the world around us. It has a blueprint for all of life. It tells us where life comes from, what the nature of humanity is, and what humanities relationship is to nature and to the Creator. Like the physical order of our world, there is also a moral order. When we violate the physical order, there are consequences. We don't jump off of cliffs or put our hand in the fire. That is the way the
Creator has constructed the world. In the same way, there is a moral order as well. When we violate the moral order, there are also consequences.
    The original violation among humans happened in the first few chapters in Genesis. The results were disastrous and we are still seeing the effects of it today. But God has given us help on many different levels. God sent His Son to defeat sin and death. God has also granted us His written word as an instruction manual to guide us.
    But God's word is much more than this. Not only is it a lamp to guide our feet, it is also a tool of inner transformation. God's word is living and active. It has the power of transformation in our life. It is able to lay our innermost selves bare so that we can be evaluated and transformed (Heb 4:12). It is like a mirror that reveals who we are and what we can become (James 1:23). It is "God-breathed" (2 Tim 3:16). God breathes new life in us through the words of life. It is the sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17), which is the tool the Spirit uses to keep us from being overcome by the world. Wisdom comes from the word of God (1 Cor 2:13), and it is wisdom that helps to discern the most important things in life and how to navigate through them.
    But this does not happen automatically. Merely reading the words does nothing. Memorizing scripture is better, but even this will do nothing. What is necessary is acceptance of the word in faithful obedience. Those who read the word and do not accept or act on it are like the demons that believe and shudder (Jas 2:19). They know the truth, but they do no act on the truth. God's desire is not merely for us to know scripture, but for us to know Him, to be in submission to Him, to please Him. Scripture is one of the tools for us to know God and guides us in our submission to Him.

- John Telgren preachers for the Leavenworth church of Christ in Leavenworth, KS. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at http://www.lcofc.org

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A Journey of Faith
By David R. Ferguson

     The great Hall of Faith chapter, Hebrews 11, reminds us that “…without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whosoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6, [ESV]).
     How better to prove that He exists was there than for God Himself to come in the flesh and take upon the form of man in Jesus Christ.  As the Apostle Paul explains it in Galatians 4:45-5 [ESV], “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”  But to be called His sons we must come to Him on His terms in obedient, saving faith, just as all of those great men and women of renown did who are listed in Hebrews 11.
     A life spent learning to obey God is like a journey with a starting point, a route and a destination. For Abraham, that journey began when he left his home in Ur of the Chaldees to travel wherever God would lead him.  He did not always know what route that journey would take.  But he learned through faith to trust in God to direct his steps.  We can all be encouraged by these examples from the life of the father of the faithful, Abraham.
     Your journey may not be as eventful as Abraham’s, but you can be sure there will be tests and trials, ups and downs, successes and failures along the way. One of the wisest men who ever walked the face of the Earth succinctly pointed this out long, long ago when a young man named Elihu stated to Job and his friends, “Do you think this to be just? Do you say, ‘it is my right before God,’ that you ask, “What advantage have I? How am I better off than if I had sinned?’  I will answer you and your friends with you.  Look at the heavens, and see: and behold the clouds, which are higher than you.  If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against Him? And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to Him? If you are righteous, what do you give to Him? Or what does He receive from your hand? Your wickedness concerns a man like yourself, and your righteousness a son of man” (Job 35:2-8 [ESV]).  We love God because He is, not because we deserve any reward from Him.  This is the message Jesus taught in His parable of the Master and the Servant (Parable of the Unprofitable Servant) in Luke 17:7-10.
     One does not learn to live by faith all at once.  It does not come naturally.  You must learn, and, as you learn, you will make mistakes.  But those mistakes need not cut you off from God.  He is a patient, compassionate and merciful teacher.  He is a gracious, loving Father! And for those who do follow God in faith, there is the absolute promise given by Jesus Christ: “Never will I leave you: never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

- David R. Ferguson preaches for the Lakeland Church of Christ in Mattoon, IL.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://lakelandchurchofchrist.web.officelive.com/default.aspx

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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
God’s Word - Our One Authority
By Tom Moore

   The story is told of a man who once bought a new radio, brought it home, and placed it on the refrigerator.  He then plugged it in, turned to WSM in Nashville (home of the Grand Ole Opry) and proceeded to do the most unusual thing.  He pulled all the knobs off! He had already tuned in all he ever wanted or expected to hear, and so he chose to limit his radio reception to one station.
   Perhaps if more in the world would do this with regard to the word of God we would have a lot less religious confusion in the world.  Too many are tuning in to every “channel” of doctrine.  Paul warns, “Be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. 4:14).  We must tune only into God’s channel—His holy word, for our direction.  This is why Jeremiah declared, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23).

- Tom Moore preaches for the Avenue T church of Christ in Temple, TX.  Tom is also one of the editors of “Seek Ye First,” a free quarterly gospel journal.  He may be contacted through the congregation’s website:

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What Would You do if You Were God?

     Martin Luther said, "If I were God and the world treated me the way it treats Him, I would kick the wretched thing to pieces." Such anger and ill temper are out of place in a professed Christian. Goethe said, "If I were God, the misery and woes of the world would break my heart." I take that to mean he would do whatever he could to alleviate the misery and woe of the world. A. A. Milne said, "If I were God I would be very proud of the man I had made." All of them, or only mankind in general? It seems to me that man is generally much less honorable and righteous than he is able to be. Martin Elginbrodde said, "If I were God I would be merciful “as I hope He will be, especially to me."  What would you do if you were 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

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The God of ALL Comfort
By Larry Miles
2 Cor 1:3-5 – "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

    This is one of the verses that help us to understand how God comforts us and how, by going through trials in our lives, we are later able to help other in their trials. Our Heavenly Father is the God of ALL comfort, not just some comfort. He is the “Father of mercies,” who pours out His love on us. One verse says that He lavishes His love on us. We sometimes wonder why God allows trials in our lives. We wonder why He allows our loved ones to not get better and eventually pass away. It is so that we can have that experience and so that we can comfort someone later. When we say to one who has lost a loved one or is going through trials, “I know how you feel,” we, sometimes do not know. But If we say it in love, the person will  understand. But if we have experienced the same, we can be a person of encouragement like Barnabas in the book of Acts who was known as the “son of Encouragement.” So, let’s thank our Heavenly Father that He loves us so much and is always a God of all comfort.

- 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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I AM the Answer

 * Who is going to stand with me when my life falls apart?  I AM.
 * Who is going to make sure that one day good will prevail over evil? I AM.
 * Who is going to help me when I need it?  I AM.
 * Who is smart enough to figure everything out in my life?  I AM.
 * Who is going to give me the assurance that everything always works out in the end?  I AM.
 * Who is going to be with me now that I am all alone?  I AM.
 * Who is going to help me out of my pits of despair?  I AM.
 * Who is going to make sense of this world and give my life real meaning?  I AM.
 * No one is on my side.  I AM.
 * No one is listening.  I AM.
 * This world is falling apart at the seams - what is going to last?  I AM.

I AM.  I always have been, I always will be, and this is My name forever.
“Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’” (John 8:58)
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” (John 14:6).

- Selected; 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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Hearts of Gold - poetry
    Don’t Let the Song Go Out of Your Life

Don’t let the song go out of your life
   Though it chance sometimes to flow
In a minor strain; it will blend again
   With the major tone you know.
What though shadows rise to obscure life’s skies,
   And hide for a time the sun,
The sooner they’ll lift and reveal the rift,
   If you let the melody run.
Don’t let the song go out of your life;
   Though the voice may have lost its trill.
Though the tremulous note may die in your throat,
   Let it sing in your spirit still.
Don’t let the song go out of your life;
   Let it ring in the soul while here;
And when you go hence, ‘twill follow you thence.
   And live on in another sphere.
- Streams in the Desert.

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         A Blessing
 By H. L. Gradowith

I'm a blessing to you:
You're a blessing to me:
Together we will work
To be all we should be!

- 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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       The Grumbler

In every town and city
Some people can be found
Who spend their time in grumbling
At everything around.
They grumble if we speak to them;
They grumble if we don’t;
They grumble if we visit them;
They grumble if we don’t.
The grumble at the preaching;
They grumble at the prayers.
They grumble at the singing;
They grumble everywhere.
But if we live for Jesus
And persecutions bear,
When we get to heaven,
There will be no grumblers there!

- Author Unknown; via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  Lance Cordle preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com

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                      His Guiding Hand
                  By J. Randal Matheny

His guiding hand points forward day and night,
Forever present, urging toward the right;
In faith believing, proud my steps have led
To kingdom service, arms toward heaven spread
In prayer. He showed me where to walk in light,
Never to waver in the face of wrong.
Thanks to God my father made me strong.

- J. Randal Matheny [Saturday, June 19, 2010, in honor of Father's Day, to my dad] edits and writes UPLift, an inspirational ezine. He may be contacted here: <http://randalmathenycom/>. When reprinting this material, please include the following:
Copyright (c) 2010 J. Randal Matheny
All rights reserved. You may forward the
email to friends as is. You may not alter
it in any way or remove any text or

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Gold Mines ---- quotes, sayings & sign messages
Don’t mistake a poor memory for a clear conscience.

A friend is someone who oils the hinges of opportunity for others.

Many of those who repent loud and long sometimes only seem to be bragging.

Strange isn’t it? People repeat some scandalous rumor while declaring they do not believe it.

The difference between a smart man and a wise man: a smart man knows what to say; a wise man knows whether or not to say it.

The true test of loyalty may not be willingness to tell your friends about Christ, but to tell your enemies about Him.

There is probably some good in every person, but in some it is certainly more difficult to find than we expect it to be.

To marry a woman for her beauty is like buying a house for its paint.

When Christ was on the cross you were on His mind.

- 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

TODAY’S LAUGH: “I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.”

He who kneels before God can stand before anyone.

He who is good at making excuses is seldom good for anything else.

- 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

"Happy he who learns to bear what he cannot change." Johann Friedrich Von Schiller (1759-1805, German dramatist, poet, historian)

- 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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BulletinGold Extra ---- recent postings on our Blogsite
There Was a Man
The Will of God, Gerald Cowan
Tracks of God
One of God's Children
My Help (Psalm 121)
The Bible and Christ, Cecil May, Jr.
The Holiness of God, Ken Chumbley
What About the Trinity? By Travis L. Quertermous
God From the Machine, Gerald Cowan
The "I Must's'' of Jesus, Dale Jenkins
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