BulletinGold #127
July 2011   Vol 11 #5
 

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BulletinGold #127
July 2011
Vol. 11 Num. 5
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
- Back to Basics, David Bragg
- God Needs You! By Greg Swango
-A Cure For Hiccups, Steve Higginbotham
- How to Handle Failure, Travis L. Quertermous
- The Empty Nest, Cecil May III
- Eureka! By Ron Bartanen
- Baptism and Responding to Grace, Ty Nichol
- Slow Death of Worldliness
- By Whose Standard?
- A Blessing, H. L. Gradowith
- Lord is it I
- The Only Way to Have a Friend

quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs


New Postings At
BulletinGold
Extra
Editorial by David Bragg
Back to Basics

     There seems to be a great interest to go back to the basics.  Man wants to get back to nature.  It is evident in leisure activities and even in the boasts of breakfast cereals.  The basics have been discovered as the essentials in life.  This discovery holds true in religion.  To seek the basics in religion is to seek Bible answers to all questions of the Christian religion.
     In Acts 2:42 one can see the basics of Christianity through the eyes of the first believers.  They "continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine."  These basics are within the grasp of all believers today.  It is not a difficult task to uncover how and when the early church worshipped.  Even the most basic teaching of the salvation of man's soul is plainly taught in God's Word.  Peter's admonition to "speak the oracles of God" (1 Peter 4:11) calls modern man back to the basics revealed in the New Testament as a pattern for Christianity and foundation for the unity of Christ's church.
     However, look around and see the need to return to the basics in our personal lives.  Perhaps the following could be the start of a list of the basics to which we must return:
  • Prayer: 1 Thes. 5:17; "Pray without ceasing."
  • Love: Romans 13:10; "Love worketh no ill to his neighbor."
  • Kindness: Eph. 4:32; "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
  • Hospitality: 1 Peter 4:9; "Be hospitable to one another without complaint."
  • Evangelism: Acts 20:20; "And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house."
     Let us pray for a return to the basics of Christianity.  Let us seek the basics in our Bible study.  May the world see a new meaning to the cross in the personal growth of our lives (Gal. 2:20).

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

Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
God Needs You!
By Greg Swango
 
    Technically, the title of this article is not a true statement.  God is perfectly capable of being Himself without our help.  Jesus said in John 5:26 that the Father has life in Himself.  God is not dependent on any “outside” force or substance for His existence.
    But God’s work on earth is to be accomplished with the help of humans.  The apostle Paul writes that we are God’s fellow-workers, field and building (1 Corinthians 3:9).  In this way, God needs our help to carry out His will for humankind.
    The preaching of the gospel to the lost will not be done by the angels or any world governmental organization.  It is the task of the church to declare the manifold wisdom of God (Ephesians 3:10).  As the old book title says, “Go ye means go me,” we are to share in Jesus’ mission of seeking and saving the lost (Luke 19:10) by taking the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).
    God needs you to do the following ....
1.   Be the very best disciple you can be (Luke 9:23).
2.   Be the very best husband, father, wife, mother, grandparent, uncle, aunt, child, grandchild, niece or nephew that you can be (Ephesians 6:1-4).
3.   Be in attendance at every scheduled worship service and Bible study of the church (Hebrews 10:24, 25).
4.   Be a participant in the various fellowship functions (Acts 2:42).
5.   Be aware of and take your opportunities to share the gospel with the lost (Matthew 28:19, 20).
6.   Be a good student and handler of God’s word (2 Timothy 2:15).
7.   Be aware of situations to help those physically in need (Galatians 6:10).
8.   Be a person of prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
9.   Be gracious in giving regularly to support the various ministries of the body of Christ (2 Corinthians 8:3-6).
10. Be faithful in living up to the talents and abilities that He has given each one for the building up the body of Christ (Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-16).
11. Be faithful unto death; enduring suffering, hardship and persecution (1 Peter 2:21; Revelation 2:10).
    God needs you! How are you going to respond?

- Greg Swango served as pulpit minister for the Sunnyside Rd. church of Christ, Decatur, IL from 1997 - 2009. Nick Genter currently serves as the congregation's preacher and he may be contacted through their website: http://sunnysideroadchurch.com/


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A Cure For Hiccups
By Steve Higginbotham

    The story is told of a lady who walked into a pharmacy and asked the pharmacist if he had a cure for the hiccups. The pharmacist said, "I sure do," and immediately and unexpectedly yelled, "boo!" at the top of his lungs. Well, this nearly scared the lady half to death! She looked at the pharmacist and asked, "Why in the world did you do that?" The pharmacist said, "Because a good scare will rid a person of hiccups." The lady then said, "But I don't have the hiccups. My husband does and he's out in the car!"
    Oops! Now there's an illustration of how assumptions can be costly.
However, the greatest cost regarding assumptions occur in the spiritual realm. How many people assume they are believing and practicing the things that please God? How many people believe things that they have never bothered to read and study for themselves? How many times do you think God will hear someone say in the day of judgment, "But I thought."
    The Bible says to "prove all things and hold fast to that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

- Steve Higginbotham preaches for the Karns Church of Christ in Knoxville, TN. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at http://www.karnschurch.org
 [Copyright C 2011, Steve Higginbotham. Permission is granted to copy these articles.]


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How to Handle Failure
By Travis L. Quertermous

    Everyone knows that the greatest hitter in baseball history was Babe Ruth. But did you know that Babe Ruth struck out 1330 times, twice as often as he hit a home run! Suppose he had quit the first time he failed at the plate? He would never have had the great career he went on to have!
    Sometimes we strike out in the game of life as well. We fail at something and we are tempted to just quit. The apostle Peter often failed in serving Christ. In fact, when Jesus was on trial, Peter denied he knew Him three times, the last time "cursing and swearing" (Matt. 26:74). But he didn't give up! Peter repented and went on to become a great leader and preacher in the early church.
    John Mark quit on the apostle Paul during his first missionary journey and Paul refused to take him along on his second missionary journey. But Mark repented and also became a great minister, so that even Paul later said, "Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry" (2 Tim. 4:11). God used Mark to write the second book of the New Testament, the Gospel of Mark.
    Friends, how do you handle failure and defeat? Do you let sin discourage you in God's service or do you repent of it and persevere in His service? Sometimes we will all strike out, but let us all be like Babe Ruth and step back up to life's plate determined to hit a home run next time!

- Travis L. Quertermous preaches for the church of Christ in Dexter, MO.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:   http://www.dexterchurchofchrist.com/


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The Empty Nest
By Cecil May III

    A robin built a nest and laid some eggs in our willow tree. Her nest was low to the ground which made it very convenient for us to observe. In fact, we made a picture every day of the progress of the hatching and growth of her chicks. We started with pictures of eggs. We documented the birds hatching. We saw them grow from ugly, naked, pink creatures into full-feathered birds that filled up the nest.
    This morning I went out to take my bird picture of the day. All I found was an empty nest. Although I knew this day was coming, somehow I was surprised when it actually occurred. I was also sad, an emotion that I had not anticipated at all.
     Drs. Cloud and Townsend have a chapter on parenting in their book, God Will Make a Way: What to do when you don’t know what to do. They note that the parent/child relationship is unique in that every other relationship (marriage, friends, etc.) the goal is to deepen the relationship connection, while in this one relationship the goal is separation. This is the God-ordained path for the parent/child relationship. Genesis 1:26 presents the “leave and cleave” law of the parental experience.
     Hear Drs. Cloud and Townsend on the subject:

Some parents have a very hard time with this, because they do not want to experience the pain of their child’s leaving them and they unknowingly resist helping their kids grow up so that they will always be dependent and nearby. Some parents blame their child, causing him or her to feel guilty and conflicted about leaving the nest. Others withdraw emotionally, so as not to feel the pain, which then communicates to the child that he or she is hurting them by following God’s path. We hope that you can accept the reality of your children’s goals and destiny, feel all the love and sadness you have for each one, and help each one leave successfully and well, with all your support and help.
    I felt sorrow when I discovered that empty nest this morning. I looked around for young birds on the ground and saw nothing. I guess they are flying high somewhere, exploring the sky and the tops of the trees.

- Cecil May III; via The Family Friend, a monthly newsletter published by the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  It is an excellent resource for articles relating to the family.  To learn more consult the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com


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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
Eureka!
By Ron Bartanan
 
   “Eureka! I’ve found it! I’ve found the right way!” Happy, indeed, is the person who can make such a statement.  In the realm of your relationship with God, can you make such a statement? Many cannot.
    One cannot make this statement with full assurance without the evidence from the word of God.  Human judgments are faulty.  Denominations contradict each other.  Even our personal feelings vary from day to day or even from hour to hour.  Only when one takes the Bible as the one standard of authority can one find perfect assurance, for it is by God’s word that we are to be led, and by which we shall be judged (Psalms 119:105 and John 12:48).  It is assuring to be able to go to the Scriptures and obey the admonition to “prove all things: hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
    When one’s belief is questioned, it is comforting to be able to provide a Bible answer.  1 Peter 4:11 urges us, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (inspired spokesmen) of God.”  Then one need never fear having his religious position questioned by any.
    HAVE YOU FOUND IT? Prayerfully study your Bible.  “Seek and ye shall find” (Matthew 7:7).  “If any man willeth to do his will, he will know of the teaching…” (John 7:17).

- Ronald Bartanen preaches for Arthur church of Christ, Arthur, IL.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com


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Baptism and Responding to Grace

Baptism in the New Testament was part of the response of faith. It was repentance in action; a response to the holy grace God was extending to the world in Jesus Christ. God by the gospel was calling to Himself an elect community to be His witness to the world that He had not abandoned it in its sin. Those who heard that electing message responded by taking the name of Christ on themselves by being baptized in His name, that they would find remission of sins. But it wasn't just personal forgiveness they were given; it was a place in the Community of the Christ whose death, burial and resurrection they identified as their own. Baptism then was the response of faith to God's grace. But it wasn't a response of faith to God's grace that the Church came up with; it was the wisdom of the Holy Father and expressed in His holy Son through the Holy Spirit. It wasn't for people to debate over but to obey. It wasn't a loveless obedience, which is nothing more than legalism; it was a heartfelt commitment in trust.  

– Ty Nichol, 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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Slow Death of Worldliness

A party of engineers became lost in a dense forest. Their supply of food was soon exhausted. They found some berries which seemed to satisfy their hunger. They stayed there and ate the berries for several days, but they became weaker and weaker and one after another they died. When help finally came only two were alive to tell the sad story. They still had some of the berries. When they were analyzed it was found the berries were absolutely worthless as food for humans and actually contained a slow-acting poison. While their stomachs were comfortably filled and their appetites were satisfied they were dying of starvation and poison. Many people in the world today are like this. They are feeding themselves on the things of the world but starving to death and poisoning themselves morally and spiritually.
 
- 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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By Whose Standard?

    “Then David’s anger turned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, ‘As the Lord lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die” (2 Samuel 12:5).
    Nathan the prophet came to King David with a parable.  David thought it was a real story about a sheep thief, when in fact it was a story about a man who stole another’s wife, and then had the husband killed.  David was that man.  He was so blind and clueless, he didn’t realize the story was a picture of his own life.  The death sentence seemed right to him until he realized he was the man.  If someone made up a parable about our lives and came to us for an opinion, would we demand justice and vengeance? Before we set ourselves up as judges on the sinners in the world, we need to look at our lives in the mirror.  Jesus told us to be careful when we make judgment.  The same standard may come home to haunt us.                            

--via the weekly bulletin of the church of Christ in Shelbyville, IL. Visit their website at http://www.shelbyvillechurchofchrist.com/



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Hearts of Gold - poetry
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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Lord, is it I?

When the church seems dead;
The work is slow,
When attendance is off
The songs too low,
When the prayers of the saints
Lack fervor and power
When the preacher's sermon
Seems stale and sour;
Do you think then; or
Look with critical eye
Why not ask yourself?
Lord, is it I?

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


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The Only Way to Have a Friend

The only way to have a friend
Is to be one yourself;
The only way to keep a friend
Is to give from that wealth.
For friendship must be double fold,
Each one must give his share
Of feelings true if he would reap
The blessings that are there.
If one would say, “He is my friend.”
Then nothing else will do
But you must say, “I am his friend,”
And prove that fact to be true.

- 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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Gold Mines ---- quotes, sayings & sign messages
No one ever got lost on a straight and narrow road if he stayed on it.

One who practices what he preaches may have to put in some overtime.
 
The road to success is filled with women devotedly pushing their husbands along it.

- 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

Not to have control over the senses is like sailing in a rudderless ship, bound to break to pieces on coming in contact with the very first rock. (Mahatma Gandhi)

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

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." (T. S. Eliot)

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

We won’t go far without enthusiasm...
...but neither will we go far if that’s all we have.

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


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BulletinGold Extra ---- recent postings on our Blogsite
- And I, If I Be Lifted Up (John 12:34), Gerald Cowan
- The Will of God, Mike Johnson
- Are We Merciful-Peacemakers? By Tim Childs
- Jesus Is Greater Than All, By Paul L. McElroy
- The Chosen Child, Barbie Law
- Walking In The Truth, Larry Miles
- The Real Purpose of Life, Dale Grissom
- A Wanderer and a Vagabond, Bryan Kirby
- The Lies of Satan, Ron Thomas
- Why We Give Up, R. W. McAlister
- A Lesson in Humility, Joe Chesser
- Style and/or Substance, Jim Faughn
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.
 
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