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BulletinGold #133
January 2012
Vol. 11 Num. 11
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
- Faith Brings Optimism, Ken Stegall
- A Million Dollar Mistake
- Are You Living Your Faith?, By Ron Thomas
- The Real Purpose of Elders, Hardie Logan

- Let Us Consider
- Hidden Treasure, Charlie Gamble
- Faith Acrostic, Edd Sterchi
- The Correct Attitude
- When?, Dale Jenkins
- Endurance
- In The Twinkling Of An Eye, H. L. Gradowith
- There’s No Pocket In A Shroud

quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs


New Postings At
BulletinGold
Extra
Editorial by David Bragg
    Welcome to 2012!
    Each month BulletinGold strives to offer quality content for your church bulletin. As always, articles, poems, and bulletin "fillers" are welcome and appreciated. Due to the facts that Yahoo Groups imposes size limitations to use their services and that we receive more items then can be used, check out our blog, BulletinGold Extra. Each week a number of items either cut from that month's issue due to size restrictions, or items from our reserve, will be posted on that blog.
    May God richly bless your work in His kingdom in 2012! Thank you for your support of BulletinGold.

David Bragg
http://davebragg.blog.com/

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Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
Faith Brings Optimism
By Ken Stegall

     The interesting thing about a pessimist and an optimist is that they are both right. Just ask them. They will be more than happy to share their evidence.
     We all tend to find what we are looking for in life. It’s the old adage “Is the glass half full or half empty?” The answer is “Yes, “ Happiness, peace and success in life are determined, not by circumstances, but by your attitude.
     If you look for problems, you’ll find them. If you look for solutions, you may or may not find them, but you will find the strength to endure through your problems. And endurance quite often brings the solution.
     The difference between a pessimist and an optimist is that an optimist focuses on the future and a pessimist focuses on the immediate circumstances. If that’s true, then we as Christians have every reason to be optimistic. Our God has promised us an incredibly bright future. And we trust Him. That’s what the Bible calls faith.
     Every pessimist considers himself to be a “realist.” The implication being-”If you are optimistic, you are ignoring the facts!” But one can be optimistic even in dire circumstances. . . IF he believes that someone who 1) loves him and 2) is powerful enough to control every situation IS, in fact, IN CONTROL. However, if you believe that things are truly out of control, and/or that God doesn’t truly love you, there is no basis for optimism. So when we find ourselves becoming pessimistic, we need to focus on those two things.
     I’m an optimist. And, I like to believe that I’m also a realist. That means that when it looks like things are out of control in my life, or in the world, I need to remind myself that what I’m really feeling is that things are out of MY control. And I pray for faith to remind me to be at peace knowing that my loving Father is in control.
     I don’t always understand His ways. That’s because He’s bigger than I am. I’m thankful for that. He can see all the way to the end of my life and He certainly knows that I need some struggles to give me reason to trust Him.

- Ken Stegall; 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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A Million Dollar Mistake

     There is a story told about a man driving away from a bank drive-thru window in wonderment. The teller had not greeted him or expressed thanks as he completed his transaction. He says that even though he did not deposit much money, he was still from the old school that believes you give the customer special attention.
     It reminds me of John Barrier who pulled his old pickup truck into the U.S. Bank of Washington parking lot one day in Spokane, Washington. Dressed in his usual shabby clothes, he paid a quick visit to his broker, which was located in the building, and went back outside to drive away. The parking lot attendant informed Barrier that a new 60 cent parking fee has just been instituted, but that the parking was free if he could get his ticket validated from someone in the bank. Now, Barrier had been a customer there for several years, so he ran back inside, in his usual shabby clothes, to get his ticket stamped. Inside, the teller took one look at Barrier's grubby clothes, made an assumption, and refused to stamp his ticket. She said the bank could only validate tickets when customers made a transaction. After being directed to a fairly new vice-president, Barrier was basically told the same thing.
     "Fine," Barrier said. "I'll make a transaction!" He then proceeded to withdraw all his money – slightly more than a million dollars – and took it to a bank a block away. That is, after he got his parking ticket stamped!
     The Hebrew writer says, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. "(Heb. 13:2) Nearly every time the church assembles visitors are present.
     How do we receive them? How do we show respect for some and not for others? Remember, "What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?"

- Selected; via the weekly bulletin for the Linville Forest church of Christ, Kernersville, NC.  Tim Lively preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.linvilleforest.org/


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Are You Living Your Faith?
 By Ron Thomas

   What is faith? Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.  The conviction of things not seen—how can that be? It can be this way because those things unseen are in the eternal realm.  Those things in the eternal realm we can have conviction about are those things God has revealed (cf. Deuteronomy 29:29).
   When I think about this, I am encouraged.  The other day I heard a young lady say that she wanted to have more purpose in life than just being dropped here—as if it might have been by a stork.  More people than you realize might make the same remark.  God’s word has revealed man’s purpose (cf. Ecclesiastes 12).  Man’s purpose is not exclusively singular.  He also has a purpose in trying to make the lives of those around him better (cf. Colossians 3:5-6).  He does this by living the gospel message and trying to teach it to others, thus giving them hope, an anchor in a tempestuous sea of despair (cf. Romans 12:1-2).        

- 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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The Real Purpose of Elders
By Hardie Logan

     When you ask any Christian the question, “What is the purpose of elders, in the church of our Lord?” they generally answer, “to (shepherd, tend, feed, etc.) the flock”. No doubt one of the focuses of elders is to do that. But is that the main purpose of elders?
     Why is it, that good, God fearing, elders will work many years in the church doing just that, and then something happens where they move, die or otherwise leave the congregation only to see it be taken over by “liberals, progressives, etc”? Can they say they are not responsible for what happens when they leave? Isn’t this kind of thinking only self centered on behalf of the man who thinks that way?
     Let’s change the focus now and look at this differently. Let’s say the main purpose of elders is to preserve the church that Jesus built and died for. This kind of thinking now demands of elders to train other men to take their place when they are no longer an elder. They must do the training while they are still elders and not after they are gone. Isn’t that part of tending the flock? If not, why not?
    Hebrews 13:17 says elders will give an account. Normally we use that passage to say they will give an account of the souls of the flock. But is not part of that accounting how well the elders have trained the men to take care of and preserve the Lord’s teachings, after they are gone?
     Could it be that we have put the emphasis on “tending” so much that elders have become nothing more than “baby sitters” and have forgotten they are responsible for the leadership of the church, even when they are no longer elders. Elders are responsible to get everyone in their flock to heaven if the people submit to them. They are also responsible to prepare the church so that it continues in the ways of Jesus, after they are no longer elders.
     If we do what God wants, the way God wants it done; surely God will bless the church with growth the way He wants it to grow.

- Hardie Logan preaches for the Marshfield church of Christ, in Marshfield, WI.  He may be contacted at xnman01@gmail.com


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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
Let Us Consider

    “And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”  (Hebrews 10:24-25)
    I heard a conversation the other day with some people who used to be very active in the church.  Now they do not attend at all.  They miss giving that stimulation and getting it.  They said they missed it at first, but now they’re used to it.  Bingo.  That is the way the devil and sin works in our lives.  It seems bad at first, but now we are used to it.  That is how the deceitfulness of sin works.  We need to check all of our activities with His Word, not by how we feel.  Let’s check in with Him today.

- Grace for Your Spirit, 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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Hidden Treasure
By Charlie Gamble

  Do you remember the account of a man with a metal detector finding an amazing trove of Saxon gold and silver in England? That would be every treasure hunters dream.
  Have you ever gone treasure hunting in the Bible? It is full of precious gems of another sort. In Matt.13:45-46 there is a lesson about a merchant who found a valuable pearl. He sold all that he had in order to have it. In this parable the pearl represents salvation and the blessings of God in the church.
     One big difference between the treasure in England and the treasure of the Bible is that a value can be put on one, while the other is priceless. Are you seeking the former or the latter?

- Charlie Gamble preaches for the Fort Recovery church of Christ in Ft. Recovery, OH. He may be contacted at cgamble64@gmail.com


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Faith Acrosti
By Edd Sterchi

Forsaking
All
I
Trust
Him

Do you have faith?


- 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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The Correct Attitude

The church that I attend is composed of people like me. We make it what it is. It will be friendly
--- if I am. Its pews will be filled
--- if I help fill them. It will do a great work
--- if I work. It will make generous gifts to many causes
--- if I am a generous giver. It will bring other people into its worship and fellowship
--- if I bring them. It will be a church of loyalty and love, of fearlessness and faith, and a church with a noble spirit if I, who make it what it is, am filled with these. Therefore, with the help of God, I shall dedicate myself to the task of being all the things that I want the church that I attend to be.

- Author unknown; 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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Hearts of Gold - poetry
When?
By Dale Jenkins

When I get big ~ When I grow up
When I get baptized ~ When I turn ten
When I’m a teenager ~ When I can drive
When I get a car ~ When I get a better car
When I graduate ~ When I get married
When I get a job ~ When I have kids
When I get a raise ~When I get a house
When I get a promotion ~ When I get it figured out
When they are gone ~ When they get here
When this problem is solved ~ When I have more money
When I get it paid off ~ When I get a better boss
When we get new elders ~ When we get a new preacher
When my kids get bigger ~ When I get well
When my kids are gone ~ When I have more time
When I have less stress ~When I retire
When are you going to do what you know you need to do?
If not now – When?
“So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a
heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12 NASV).
When? Really?

- Dale Jenkins; 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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Endurance
 
A mighty wind blew night and day;
It stole the oak tree’s leaves away,
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark,
Until the oak was tired and stark.
But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around.
 
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
“How can you still be standing, Oak?”
The oak tree said, “I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two,
Carry every leaf away,
Shake my limbs, and make me sway,
But I have roots stretched in the earth,
Growing stronger since my birth.
You’ll never touch them, for you see,
They are the deepest part of me.
Until today I wasn’t sure
Of just how much I could endure.
But now I’ve found, with thanks to you,
I’m stronger than I ever knew.”

- Author unknown; 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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In The Twinkling Of An Eye
By H. L. Gradowith

CHORUS:
In the twinkling of an eye time will end here,
In the twinkling of an eye no more sin here...
In the twinkling of an eye to Him we'll fly:
In that precious, longed for twinkling of an eye!
 
He'll appear before us on that final morn,
When He comes into a new world we'll be born;
On that morning He'll open the eastern sky:
In that precious, longed for twinkling of an eye! Chorus
 
He'll remove the mem'ries of troubles then past,
His Arms will shelter us from all harm at last;
We'll enter the Wonderful Sweet By and By...
In that precious, longed for twinkling of an eye! Chorus
 
We'll behold that Wonderful City Foursquare,
How beautiful ev'rything will be up there;
No more tribulations and no more to die:
In that precious, longed for twinkling of an eye! Chorus
 
- 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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There’s No Pocket In A Shroud

Use your money while you’re living
Do not hoard it to be proud
You can never take it with you
There’s no pocket in a shroud.
Gold can help you no farther.
Than the graveyard where you lie
And though rich while you’re living
You’re a pauper when you die.
Use it then some life to brighten
As through life you weary trod
Place you’re bank account in heaven.
And grow richer toward thy God.
Use it freely, use it gladly
Do not hoard it to be proud
You can never take it with you
There’s no pocket in a shroud.

- Author Unknown; delivered by Edd Sterchi in sermon: Our Attitude Toward Money; Jackson church of Christ in Jackson, MO.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.jacksonchurchofchrist.com


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Gold Mines ---- quotes, sayings & sign messages
Cowboy Wisdom: The best way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket

The body is the shell of the soul, and dress the husk of that shell; but the husk often tells what the kernel is. 

There are not enough hours in the day to get everything done, but have I gotten even one thing done? Tomorrow I will work on getting one thing done and that is being a better Christian than I was today.

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

Change of self is needed more often than a change of scene.

Conscience is that still small voice inside that makes you feel smaller.

- 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

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.
 
- Canal Heights church of Christ, in Demopolis, Alabama.  James C. Guy may be contacted at THE BIBLE SAYS website at: http://biblesays.faithsite.com


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