BulletinGold #134
February 2012   Vol 11 #12

BulletinGold #134
February 2011
Vol. 11 Num. 12
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:
- “Jesus Loves Me” by Clifton Angel
- What Really Changed Paul's Life? By Dan Winkler
- What is Faith? By David B. Smith
- “I Like Your Christ, But Not Your Christians” by Eddy Gilpin
- Five Links of Fellowship
- "What Would've Happened If ..." by Gary Knuckles
- He Has Plans
- No Matter How Much Wealth the Rich Young Ruler Had, He Could Not....
- “Every Day”
- God's Embrace and Mine, by Gerald Cowan
- What Have We Done Today?
quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs

New Postings At
Editorial by David Bragg
    Welcome to the February issue of BulletinGold.
    Your input regarding BulletinGold is always welcome.  Please let us know how we can better meet your needs through this valuable resource.  We also encourage you to support us by contributing your brief bulletin articles, poems, etc. to share with others.
    If you received this issue of BulletinGold as a forward from a friend and wish to be added to our group membership, simply 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

David Bragg

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Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
“Jesus Loves Me”
by Clifton Angel

Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me;
Yes, Jesus loves me;
Yes, Jesus loves me;
The Bible tells me so.
     We often call it a children’s song, and certainly it is a favorite of the children. However, let us direct our minds to the necessity of such a song in the life of every adult as well.
     At least 7 very important factors can be found within the first stanza and chorus:
1. The song teaches (Col. 3:16).
2. The song encourages confidence in knowledge (This I know).
3. It references the Bible as authority (2 Tim. 3:16, 17).
4. It references the importance of studying the Bible (2 Tim. 2:15).
5. It encourages humility (James 4:10).
6. It encourages trust in Jesus (Phil. 4:13).
7. It encourages positive thinking (Phil. 4:8).
     The principles found within this “children’s song” definitely need to be applied to the life of every adult; and furthermore, every adult should endeavor to teach them to their children.
     Most of “Christendom” would agree that Jesus loves us; however, many do not know how we love Him:
     If you love me, you will keep my commandments (John 14:15).

- Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that congregation's website: http://www.coldwatercofc.com/

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What Really Changed Paul's Life?
By Dan Winkler

    All of Jerusalem was disturbed (Acts 21:30). Paul had been seized, dragged out of the temple, almost beaten to death, and falsely charged with desecrating the temple (Acts 21:30-32, 35).
    Of interest, when he was finally allowed to defend himself, he talked about—of all things—his conversion.  He spoke of
  • His “education” at the feet of Gamaliel (22:1-3)
  • His “convictions” relative to the strictness of the law (22:3)
  • His “dedication” as a zealot, persecuting the church (22:3-5)
  • His “immersion” for the remission of sins (22:16); and
  • His “commission” as one sent to the Gentiles (22:17-21).
    Question: What really changed Paul’s life? What turned him from one religion to another? What directed his energies? Why was he converted?
    Answer: He saw Jesus! On the road to Damascus his associates saw the same light Paul encountered, but only Paul was temporarily blinded.  Why? Paul was the only one actually to see the Lord in His glory, and it changed his life forever (Acts 22:6-9; 9:7).
    Even so, when you and I study the Old Testament, we are encouraged to anticipate a Savior.  When we study the New Testament, we are introduced to Jesus as that Savior.  If we are baptized into Him (Galatians 3:26-27) and allow Him to live in us (Galatians 2:20) like Paul, it will make all the difference in our lives…and our eternity.

- Dan Winkler, Huntington, Tenn., 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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What is Faith?
By David B. Smith

    No small number of false religious concepts can be traced to some basic misunderstanding or disregard for the true nature of “faith.” Many believe that faith is blind or that faith should be perceived as a leap in the dark. Of course this is formulated upon another basic misunderstanding - that the Bible cannot be understood alike by all men. As a result, people are regularly guilty of defining faith as simply that which they believe (regardless of whether that item is biblically true or false). But, faith is not blind and no step made on the basis of faith is a leap in the dark.
    The Sacred Text is clear that biblical faith is derived on the basis of the word of God (Romans 10: 17). And coupled with other passages (e. g., John 8: 32; I Thessalonians 5: 21), evidence discernment and knowledge are all fundamental components of faith.
     No man can have faith without first having evidence of what is true, but man must also exercise his own mental faculties and make the correct discernment from the available evidence and act accordingly. Hence one cannot have biblical faith in something that the Bible does not teach or authorize.
     And, still, faith is manifested by the appropriate response to the word of God (James 2: 14- 26). “Work” or “obedience” is essentially connected with faith, since James writes of demons to show that some do possess inadequate belief, but that such is not real faith (James 2: 19). Obviously, faith alone cannot save (James 2: 24). After all, who could profess faith in what God has said without performing what God has required? So, faith is more than “belief.” It is based upon the word of God, involves discernment and the acceptance of the evidence, is the firm conviction of what is true, and manifests itself in the appropriate response to what the Bible says is true.

- David B. Smith, Calhoun, GA; 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

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“I Like Your Christ, But Not Your Christians”
By Eddy Gilpin

     The statement is attributed to Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948). Actually, the statement in full reads: “I like your Christ. I don’t like your Christians; because your Christians are not like your Christ.” Although Gandhi’s religion is a false one, his tireless efforts to help the down-trodden and his wise sayings are legendary, especially among the Indian people. Even though we cannot agree with his religious teachings, there is much truth in many of the things he said-among them, this statement.
     What is a “Christian?” He is a follower of Christ. Christ is his leader (I Pet. 2:21), and he is His follower. Some 16 times in the gospel records Jesus made the statement (either to an individual or to a group), “follow Me.” Paul commanded the Corinthians to “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (I Cor. 11:1). Among the statements Jesus made, He stated, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Mk. 8:34). One who follows another as Christ commands us to follow Him will become like his leader. One who is truly a Christian, then, talks as Jesus talked, acts as Jesus acted and lives as Jesus lived. Unlike Jesus, however, we will make mistakes, we will sin (I Pet. 2:22). That being true, we will also seek always to walk in the light of His word (I Jn. 1:7), seeking forgiveness of our wrongs (I Jn. 1:9) and the kingdom of God first (Mt. 6:33).
     One who claims to be a Christian, yet whose life is not patterned after His is a hypocrite, a word from the Greek hupokriteis, meaning “an actor under an assumed character” (Strong’s). That is, he is one thing in name and quite another in action. As one on a stage assumes a role that is not truly himself, so it is with one who plays the role of a follower of Christ on occasion, but not consistently. Jesus revealed that every follower of His must “take up his cross daily” (Lk. 9:23). He cannot be “double minded” and, thus, “unstable in all his ways” (Jas. 1:8). The church at Sardis portrays such an individual. They had “a name that thou livest, and art dead” (Rev. 3:1). Their reputation among men did not equal their character with God.
     Gandhi was/is not the only one to notice that many who claim to be Christians
are not actually followers of Christ. Could that be said of you? Are you “one person” on Sunday, but “another person” every other day of the week? Are you “an actor under an assumed character” (a hypocrite)? The Lord had condemning words for the hypocrites of His day (cf. Mt. 22:18; 23:13-27; etc.). His words will be no less condemnatory on the Day of Judgment for those who merely play-act at being His followers (Lk. 13:23-28). If you are not a faithful Christian every day, you are not a faithful Christian any day; and you are not like Christ.

-Eddy Gilpin; 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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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
Five Links of Fellowship

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)
“that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ” (Colossians 2:2)
Perfectly Joined TOGETHER
“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)
“Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27)
“Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

- Selected; via the weekly bulletin of the Harrisburg church of Christ in Harrisburg, IL.

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What Would've Happened If ...
By Gary Knuckles

...Noah had decided not to build the ark to the saving of his family? Would his family have been saved or would they have perished in the flood?
...Abraham just didn’t “feel like” leaving Ur with his family? Would he have become the “father of many nations”?
...Moses had decided that leading the children of Israel out of Egypt was going to be too big a job for him to handle? Would he have gone back to the “pleasures of sin”?
...Elijah had not challenged the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel? Would he have been considered a faithful prophet of God?
...Naaman had not followed Elisha’s instructions to dip seven times in Jordan? Would he have been healed of his leprosy?
...Paul had resisted the call of God to be an apostle? How long would it have taken to get the gospel “into all of the world”?
...21st Century Christians refused to get involved in the work of the church? Would anything ever get done? Would our children grow up to be strong Christians taking their place in the leadership and work of the church? Would the gospel be taken into local communities so the lost could believe and obey?
     One of the leading factors in the success or failure of any congregation is the level of membership involvement. We cannot put the burden of work on the elders, deacons, preacher or Bible School teachers. We cannot sit back and believe that “someone else will do it”. If the church is to grow, mature, gain strength, and be strong in the future, all of us MUST be involved in its work.
     What would happen if...the work of the church depended solely on you?

- Gary Knuckles; 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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He Has Plans

     “Thus says the LORD, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.  For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:10-11).
    Most of us think we know what is best for us.  We want the best and easiest path, and we want it right away.  Often the best for us involves a difficult journey with trials and tribulations.  God’s people thought their captivity in Babylon was all wrong for them, but God had a plan.  Babylon was God’s way to help them and get them back on track.  Like the whale for Jonah, it was more of a new opportunity than punishment.  Let’s not fight the chastening of the Lord.  He has plans for our welfare too.  He wants to give us a future and a hope.  Go with Him.

- 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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No Matter How Much Wealth the Rich Young Ruler Had, He Could Not....

... ride in a car or fly in a plane, get a shot of penicillin, get a flu shot or take any of a multitude of patent medicines, have surgery, turn on an electric light, wash dishes in heated running water, sleep on an inner spring mattress, listen to stereo music on record or an iPod, talk on the telephone – you can extend the list. There is much, much more.
     Dear Lord, if he was rich, what am I?

- 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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Hearts of Gold - poetry
“Every Day”
Every day I need you, Lord,
But this day especially;
I need some extra strength
To face whatever is to be.
This day more than any day
I need to feel you near,
To fortify my courage
And to overcome my fear.
By myself, I cannot meet
The challenge of the hour.
There are times when humans help,
But we need a higher power.
To assist us bear what must be borne,
And so, dear Lord, I pray—
Hold on to my trembling hand
And be near to me today.

- 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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God's Embrace and Mine
By Gerald Cowan

I wish the world could be a friendly sort of place
Where smiles instead of frowns would sit upon each face,
And every heart would feel the warmth of God’s embrace.
I wish that all could share the faith of God’s dear Son,
Redeemed and joined together perfectly in one
Great body by his cross, to share in what he’s done.
His blood cross has made us able to be free
From failure, guilt, and shame for what we’ve come to be.
We now can walk with him, and heav’n we yet may see.
But wishing that the world could share the Savior’s grace
Will not enable one to see the Father’s face,
Nor will it help one soul to find his proper place.
No one saves another’s soul. Each one must save his own.
By walking true within the path the Lord has shown
We show the way to others.  No one walks alone.
The Lord is always with us.  With His perfect love
He binds us all.  Each will continue drinking of
God’s Holy Spirit ‘til we’re safe in heav’n above.
I want to make the world a friendly sort of place.
And so I’ll try to keep a smile upon my face
And hope folks feel the love of God in my embrace.

- Gerald Cowan preaches for the Dongola church of Christ in Dongola, IL.  He may be contacted at Geraldcowan1931@aol.com

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What Have We Done Today?

We shall do so much in the years to come,
But what have we done today?
We shall give of our gold in a princely sum,
But what did we give today?
We shall lift the heart and dry the tear,
We shall plant a hope in the place of fear,
We shall speak the words of love and cheer,
But what did we speak today?

We shall be so kind in the afterwhile,
But what have we been today?
We shall give to truth a grander birth,
And to steadfast faith a deeper worth,
We shall feed the hungering souls of earth,
But whom have we fed today?

We shall reap such joys in the by and by,
But what have we sown today?
We shall build our mansions in the sky,
But what have we built today?
'Tis sweet in the idle dreams to bask,
But here and now do we our task?
Yes; this is the thing our souls must ask,
"What Have We Done Today?"

- Gospel Digest, July, 1960; Submitted by Mark McWhorter.  Mark may be contacted at mtmcvb@concentric.net

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Gold Mines ---- quotes, sayings & sign messages
"Under conditions of tyranny it is far easier to act than to think." (Hanna Arendt, 1906 - 1975)

Noise proves nothing. often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid. (Mark Twain)

(1) The check is in the mail.
(2) My wife doesn't understand me.
(3) I'm from the government, and  I am here to help you.

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

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BulletinGold Extra ---- recent postings on our Blogsite
- When God Is Listening, Bryan McAlister
- Sacrifice
- Obstacles, James C. Guy
- Growing In Spiritual Maturity, Timothy E. Davis
- Kinder, Gentler Marriages, Travis L. Quertermous
- Bible Study? By C.M.Callan
- Bitterness, Paul Darety
- Be Kinder Than Necessary!
- What Is Faith? By Travis L. Quertermous
- The Obedient Rechabites, R.W. McAlister