BulletinGold #125
May 2011   Vol 11 #3

BulletinGold #125
May 2011
Vol. 11 Num. 3
David Bragg
Edward Thomason
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In This Issue:
- Left Holding the Bag, David Bragg
- How to Train an Elephant, Tom Moore
- Jesus, Master Carpenter, R. W. McAlister
- A Saint Is A Saint, Charlie Gamble
- Building Too Low, David A. Sargent
- Evangelist’s Work: Nine Commands for the Preacher, David Ray Fanning I
- Caged
- A Man's Nose, Kevin Rayner
- No Refills
- The Last Question
- Daddies, Edgar A Guest
- Self Examination, Gerald Cowan
- 7 Inescapable Truths, J. Randal Matheny
- All We Want, Henry Benjamin Whipple
quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs

New Postings At
Editorial by David Bragg
Left Holding the Bag

    He was a salesman in the worst sense of the word. Solomon's readers knew him well. His amazing claims echoed through the bazaars. The products he sold held the answer to every ache, pain and worry of life. His were "once in a lifetime" opportunities regularly priced at $299, but for a limited time available for the remarkable price of just $19.99 (plus the customary handling charges).
    One might find him selling oars in the Sahara or peddling chariots with square wheels.  When you see him approach with a gleam in his eye and a grin on his face you better watch your wallet because that's what he is doing.
    Among all the human frailties exposed in Proverbs is the tendency to take advantage of others for personal gain (Prov. 20:14). Solomon pictures this wily professional haggling over a contract. Reluctantly, and with much apparent remorse, he signs on the dotted line and says that, times being such as they are, he really has no other choice. It is only later that his victim learns of the salesman's boasts of economic conquest. Retrieving the contract and reading the fine print, the purchaser finds he has been taken and left holding the bag.
    Such are the traps along the path to "the easy life." One dead end alley after another, all advertised with an endless stream of empty promises. Rather than working hard and being productivity one experiments with get rich schemes, too good to be true claims and unnecessary gambling. Will they ever stop to realize that someone is always left holding the bag?

David Bragg

Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
How to Train an Elephant
By Tom Moore

    Behind the scenes of an Arizona circus, a visitor started chatting with a man who trains animals for Hollywood movies: “How is it that you can stake down a ten-ton elephant with the same size stake that you use for this little fellow?” The visitor was pointing to a baby elephant who weighed three hundred pounds.
    “It’s easy….“ the trainer said. “When they are babies, we stake them down. They try to tug away from the stake maybe ten thousand times before they realize that they can’t possibly get away. At that point, their ‘elephant memory’ takes over and they remember for the rest of their lives that they can’t get away from the stake.”
    Should this not be the way we treat our young people in our local congregations? Should we not “stake” them to the word of God as a youth, thus helping them to remember that they can never escape their obligation and responsibility to the Word of God?
    Moses said it this way, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates” (Deut. 6: 6-9).
    Solomon said, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
    Beloved, We have a lot of work to do!

- 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: www.avenuetchurchofchrist.com

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Jesus, Master Carpenter
By R. W. McAlister

    When a carpenter sees a piece of wood, how does he look at it? Well, the answer is, he sees it differently from the way most other people see the wood. Most people would look at a piece of wood out here and say, “It’s got all these knots in it; it’s got cracks in it; it’s got some ink on it where they stamped it at the lumber yard, it’s a little bowed” and so forth. A carpenter doesn’t look at wood that way - he sees the potential. A carpenter says, “I can find a place for that imperfect board - maybe I can plane it and make it useful.” The carpenter sees the potential of the wood, not the problems of the wood!
    You know what kind of wood is in great demand today? Old barn siding. We look at wood like that and we say, “That’s worthless.” That’s not the way carpenters see it. It’s used for shelving, interior walls, and various other things today, often without being refinished. We say, “That wood’s not good for anything!” A carpenter says, “I think I know a use for that.”
    In the same way, when Jesus Christ looks at us today, what does He see? Does He see all of the flaws that will doom us eternally? That’s how we look at people. We see their imperfections; Christ, though, sees their potential. Christ looked at a fisherman by the name of Simon (Jn. 1:42). And Christ said, “You’re Simon, the son of John; you’ll be called Cephas” which means “Peter” or “rock.” Can you imagine what Peter's friends must have said? “You mean, Simon - this guy - is going to be a rock in Your kingdom some day? You’ve got to be kidding! This guy’s nothing but a braggart. He’s nothing but a show off. He’s not going to amount to anything!” But Christ saw his potential. Jesus Christ said, “I'm going to rename him 'the rock' because he will be a rock in My kingdom.”
    A carpenter, therefore, sees the potential in that wood, and not the flaws and imperfections that might doom it in the eyes of others. Dear Reader, The Great Carpenter is still working with us today. We urge you to allow Him to work with you and bring out your potential.

 - R. W. McAlister preaches for the Anna church of Christ in Anna, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.annachurchofchrist.com/

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A Saint Is A Saint
By Charlie Gamble

    Isn’t it curious how some terms used in the Bible have changed in meaning? “Saint” is one such word. According to a modern dictionary the definition is: "A person considered holy and worthy of public veneration, esp. one who has been canonized" (American Heritage Dictionary). A person must pass a series of tests after death in order to even be considered for this designation by some.
    The Bible meaning of “saint” is quite different. It is applied to all Christians.  In Ephesians 1:1 Paul addresses the faithful in Christ Jesus as “saints.” Nowhere in that letter do I find an elite group to whom the term is directed.
    There seems to be a presumption here that after death some will be able to influence Jesus or the Father to hear our prayers. There is no indication of this in the scripture. "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Col 3:17 (NKJV).  Why would I want to insult Jesus by insinuating that He can’t do the job? We don’t need lobbyists in Heaven.
- 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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Building Too Low
By David A. Sargent

    A lady sat at her window one bright, balmy spring morning. She saw a little bird that had chosen a rosebush for its home and was very busy bringing in sticks and hair and feathers and other material to make its house.
    "Ah, you pretty little creature," said the lady, "you are building too low. Soon the destroyer will come and break up your sweet home."
    And so it was..... The days passed by; the nest was finished, and then there were eggs
in the nest, and then four great big mouths were open whenever the low chirp of the mother announced that she had something for them to eat.
    One day the lady sat by the window sewing. Suddenly she heard the cry of the birds in the deepest distress, and she looked out to see what was the matter. There was a great snake that had crawled up and was devouring the helpless little ones, while just above them the poor heartbroken mother fluttered about in the wildest distraction. But it was too late; her children were gone, and her home was left desolate – a sad reminder of her folly in building so near the ground.
    So it is with people who have no higher ambition than earthly pleasures, wealth or honors.  THEY BUILD TOO LOW! Their heart's home is in easy reach of death and the devil, and depend upon it - the destroyer will come, soon or late. *
    One day, this world – and ALL that is in it  -- will come to an end when Jesus returns.
    “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10).
    If we have been placing our focus and our hope in the things of this world, WE TOO will discover TOO LATE that we have “BUILT TOO LOW.”
    ONLY those who have built their lives upon Jesus and His Word will be victorious over sin and Satan (Matthew 7:24-27; 1 John 2:15-17).
    The Lord has assured VICTORY and an ETERNAL HOME to those who will: place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31) who died on the cross to redeem us from sin.  Those who by faith turn away from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ will have their sins washed away and will know the hope of eternal life (Acts 2:38; 22:16).

“Some build their hopes on the ever-drifting sand,
Some on their fame, or their treasure, or their land;
Mine’s on a Rock that forever will stand,
Jesus, the ‘Rock of Ages.’”
                 – From the Sunday School Journal, 1871

    Don’t “BUILD TOO LOW.”  Build your life on Jesus, the Rock of Ages!
    Won’t YOU?

- David A. Sargent, minister for the church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water.  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org

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Evangelist’s Work: Nine Commands for the Preacher
By David Ray Fanning I

    In II Timothy 4:1-5 Paul charges all evangelists (preachers) to abide by the following nine commands:
(1) Preach the word - not opinions, jokes, traditions, etc.;
(2) Be ready at all times regardless of circumstance, appropriateness or convenience;
(3) Convince/convict a Christian or nonChristian of sin whether publicly or privately, Matthew 18:15; Luke 3:19;
(4) Rebuke (literally, to set/assign a value, then censure, correct, redirect; all Christians must rebuke a brother who sins, Luke 17:3. One reason why Christians as a general rule are shocked/do not support the evangelist for privately convincing or rebuking members and unbelievers is because they are not doing it themselves);
(5) Exhort with all longsuffering and teaching/doctrine (exhort literally means to call/summon from close beside/alongside; even exhortations can include rebuking and demands to repent, Luke 3:7-19; all Christians are to encourage/comfort an erring Christian when he repents, II Corinthians 2:7);
(6) Be watchful in all things, I Peter 5:8;
(7) Endure afflictions (literally, suffer evil/hardship);
(8) Do the work of an evangelist (“evangelist” literally means “messenger of good news”; an evangelist’s primary focus is preaching the word and praying and not “deacon”-like work, Acts 6:2-4; an evangelist is not a “Reverend”, Matthew 23:6-10, a hypocrite, Philippians 1:15-18 or a “pastor” - unless he qualifies as one of the pastors/elders of a church, Ephesians 4:11; Philippians 1:1; I Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9);
(9) Fulfill your ministry (literally, to carry out fully/accomplish entirely your work of service).
    The harvest is truly plentiful, but qualified evangelists are few (Matthew 9:35-38). Churches must not settle for less, but must only train and support true evangelists who practice the nine commands!

- David Fanning preaches for the Petersburg church of Christ in Petersburg, TN and, along with Kevin Pendergrass edit the website Defending the Faith, at http://www.defendingthedoctrine.com/index.htm. David may be contacted at davidfanning1@gmail.com

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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies

    A boy with a rusty birdcage walked by a preacher.  “What are you going to do with that bird?” asked the preacher.  “Oh, I’m just going to poke sticks at it, shake the cage, throw water on it…fun things like that.”
    “What are you going to do after that?”
    “I don’t know; probably just feed it to the cats.”
    “How much do you want for it?” asked the preacher.
    “Aw, you don’t want it.  It’s just an old field bird.  It doesn’t sing or nothin’.”
    “How much?"
    The boy thought awhile, and then said, “Two dollars.”  The preacher paid it.  The boy grinned and pocketed his money.  Then he watched to see what the preacher would do with the bird.  The preacher just opened the cage and turned it loose.  The boy walked away, shaking his head over the craziness of some people.
    The minister had something else in mind.  Sin has “caged” each one of us and Satan has mankind in his grasp.  Jesus asks, “What are you going to do with them?”
    “I’m just going to have fun with them.  I’m going to tease them.  I’m going to bring heartache and pain into their lives.”
    “And after that?”
    “Well, when I get tired, I will take them to eternal destruction.”
    “I will buy them,” says Jesus.
    “You couldn’t possibly want them!  They will despise You, use your name in vain and reject You.  Then they will kill You.”
    “I will give my life.”
    Jesus paid the price and set us free (Ephesians 1:7).  Won’t you accept His offer on His terms?

- House to House/Heart to Heart; 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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A Man's Nose
By Kevin Rayner

"A man's nose is a prominent feature on his face, but it is possible to make it so large that eyes and mouth, and everything else are thrown into insignificance, and the drawing is a caricature and not a portrait; so certain important doctrines of the Bible can be so proclaimed in excess as to throw the rest of the truth into the shade, and the preaching is no longer the gospel in its natural beauty, but a caricature of the truth." (Charles Haddon Spurgeon)

You think about it!

- 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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No Refills

    A distraught patient phoned her doctor's office. "Is it true," the woman wanted to know, "that the medication you prescribed has to be taken for the rest of my life?"
    "Yes, I'm afraid so," the doctor told her. There was a moment of silence before the woman continued, "I wonder then, just how serious is my condition? This prescription is marked 'NO REFILLS'."

- 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 Last Question

    During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz.  I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"  Surely this was some kind of a joke.  I had seen the cleaning woman several times.  She was tall, dark-haired, and in her 50's, but how would I know her name?
    I handed in my paper, leaving that question blank.  Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.
    "Absolutely," said the professor.  "In your careers, you will meet many people.  All are significant.  They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say, "hello."
    I've never forgotten that lesson.  (Her name was Dorothy.)
    "For I say ... not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think." Romans 12:3

- via the Main Street Monitor, the weekly bulletin of the Main Street church of Christ, Manchester, TN.

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Hearts of Gold - poetry
      By Edgar A Guest

I would rather be the daddy
Of a romping, roguish crew,
Of a bright-eyed chubbie laddie
And a little girl of two,
Than the monarch of a nation,
In his high and lofty seat,
Taking empty adoration
From the subjects at his feet.
I would rather own their kisses,
As at night to me they run,
Than to be the king who misses
All the simpler forms of fun.
When his dreary day is ending
He is dismally alone,
But when my sun is descending
There are joys for me to own.
He may ride to horns and drumming;
I must walk a quiet street,
But when once they see me coming,
Then on joyous, flying feet
They come racing to me madly
And I catch them with a swing,
And I say it proudly, gladly,
That I’m happier than a king.
You may talk of lofty places;
You may boast of pomp and power;
Men may turn their eager faces
To the glory of an hour,
But give me the humble station
With its joys that long survive,
For the daddies of the nation
Are the happiest men alive.

- via The Contender, the weekly bulletin published by the Walnut Grove church of Christ in Benton, KY.  Kevin Williams preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the church's website: http://walnutgrovechurchofchrist.org/

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Self Examination
By Gerald Cowan

Examine yourself, prove yourself, and know yourself. Be sure that Christ is in you. ( 2 Corinthians 13:5)
God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)
Get to know yourself well.
Look deep inside
Where secrets hide
And sin is apt to dwell.
You’ll have no room for pride.
Though other people can’t,
You there may see
A soul not free,
A soul with evil slant
And no integrity.
A soul that is upright
Will never fear
To seek God’s ear
Or stand in heaven’s light
And heaven’s judgment hear.
Even a soul that’s bent
And stained with sin
Can heaven win.
The Son of God was sent
That new life could begin.
Don’t wait until pride’s tumble
Cuts you down to size.
Seek God. Be wise.
Know your Lord. Be humble,
And gain the promised prize.
- Gerald Cowan preaches for the Dongola church of Christ in Dongola, IL.  He may be contacted at Geraldcowan1931@aol.com

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                                 7 Inescapable Truths
                                By J. Randal Matheny

Ignore these at your peril.

1. Life is about relationships, human and divine. Mess
   these up, and you got no life.
2. Work is something you do, not who you are. Enjoy
   it, don’t hang yourself on it or for it.
3. Your past is like the tail on the dog. Wag it.
4. Your future is like a dog’s nose. Wet it.
5. Life goes through phases, and they all end up at
   the same place. Prepare for it.
6. Personality should be shaped slowly and carefully
   until it becomes character.
7. You are too puny for the Beyond. Above all else,
   get Help.

- J. Randal Matheny 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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                   All We Want
      By Henry Benjamin Whipple

All we want in Christ,
we shall find in Christ.
If we want little, we shall find little.
If we want much, we shall find much;
but if, in utter helplessness,
we cast our all on Christ,
He will be to us the whole
treasury of God.

- 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

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Gold Mines ---- quotes, sayings & sign messages
"Love is more easily demonstrated than defined."
"One of the tragedies of life is that love is defined by those who have never experienced much of it."

"Those who deserve love least are often the ones who need it most."

"Love at first sight is often cured by second sight."

"They say love quickens all the senses – but it certainly seems to dull common sense."

"The love of God cannot be earned but it can be spurned."

"One who loves only himself is the poorest of all people."

"Humility is the ability to give thanks when eating crow."

"If you have wept genuine tears over another’s pain, misery and frustration, you may be surprised to find that when happiness comes to that person it also comes to you."
"It's true that we don't know what we've got until it's gone, but it's also true that we often don't know what we've been missing until it arrives."
"Make allowances for some people and you may have to support them forever."

"Silence cannot be misquoted."
"When you have struggled to find solutions to another’s problems, you may be surprised to learn how the solution helps you too."

"Always try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the other person, too."

"If you want others to take the right road you must take it yourself."

"Necessity may be the mother of invention, but frustration is often the father of success."
- 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

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” (Oliver Goldsmith)

“Patience is a quality most needed when it is exhausted.

- 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
- I Will Build My Church, Paul L. McElroy
- Looking Saved, Stephen R. Bradd
- Premarital  Fantasies And Marital  Realities, David Olsen & Lance Cordle
- What About Witnessing??? By J. A. Thornton
- Full of Joy, Jeff Johnson
- Those Words Are Seasoned Just Right! By Jonathan B. Jones II
- Peddlers of God’s Word, John Gipson
- The Coming of the Lord, Jimmy W. Cox
- When the Pulpit Goes, Ira North
- Where No One Stands Alone, Patrick Hogan
- The World’s Best Pitcher, Dick Ellis
- The Memorial to Christ, Gary Summers
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