BulletinGold #128
August 2011   Vol 11 #6

BulletinGold #128
August 2011
Vol. 11 Num. 6
David Bragg
Edward Thomason
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In This Issue:
- The Altar Builder, David Bragg
- Just The Right Response, Charlie Gamble
- Forgetting the Shut-Ins, Bob Spurlin
- Back to School Time, Adam Faughn
- Greatly Mistaken, Joe Slate
- Put To Death! By Garland M. Robinson
- Following Dad’s Example
- “A Word Fitly Spoken”
- In The World, But Not Of The World
- Why We Do What We Do, J. Randal Matheny
- Walking In the Will of God, Margaret K. Frazer
- My Morning Prayer
- Have You Thought About Your Soul?
quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs

New Postings At
Editorial by David Bragg
The Altar Builder

    You can trace the life of Abraham through the book of Genesis.  From the early days in Ur of the Chaldeans to his final resting place at the Cave in Machpelah near Hebron, the life of Abraham can be traced by a trail of altars.  Everyplace he went a remnant of his visit would be left behind: an altar.
    Worship was central in the life of Abraham.  He openly praised God without reservation or shame.  Throughout his 175 years he came to trust the God who had called him to inherit the "promised land."  He went where God led him.  He was willing to offer what God demanded, even if it was his only son.  God was his strength.  Abraham was God's servant.
    To those who would follow, Abraham's relationship with God would be greatly admired.  "The God of Abraham" would become a familiar address to the one true God of heaven and earth.  Today Muslim, Jew and Christian all hold Abraham in high regard.  Like Abraham, we must value worship.  We must leave behind us a trail that indicates our strength was found in God.
    Abraham is remembered for his righteousness.  He is considered an example of faith.  He was called "the friend of God" (James 2:23).  This could never have happened but for a life of worship and devotion.  It could never happen without the altars he built.

David Bragg

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Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
Just The Right Response
By Charlie Gamble

  Many times we would have a small group get together for a lunch Bible study at work. We always invited others to sit in with us. One individual was particularly rude in his rejection. One day he decided to walk through the center of the group on his way back from the cafeteria. “Stupid (expletive deleted)!, he muttered so everyone could hear.
  One of our members spoke up and asked him what he was so angry about.
  “I’m not (expletive) angry,” he replied.
  “Well you sure come across that way and I believe that I know why,” said our member. “We have something that you don’t have.”
  That drew more expletive animosity along with a sneering, “What could you possibly have that I don’t?”
  “Peace,” said our member.
  There was silence and a perplexed look that came over him. He had been unmasked and revealed to all. I have never forgotten that moment. When the temptation may have been to reply with a harsh answer, my friend was meek. It stunned the aggressor. Last week I preached about Matthew 5:5 and I, again, recalled the power of a meek reply.

- 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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Forgetting the Shut-Ins
By Bob Spurlin
     The composition of the Lord’s church varies with those that are rich, poor, young, old, educated, uneducated, etc. The shut-ins are a special segment of the church and are rarely seen or heard. “Shut-in” is a term, which suggests a physical condition preventing them from being a part of the assembly. This is normally due to a state requiring full or part time care by professionals in a public facility, or family member(s) at home.
     Shut-ins are generally seasoned and mature Christians who have given much during their life. We miss a rare opportunity in failing to meet and get better acquainted with the shut-ins. Such visits would give the shut-in enormous encouragement, and those making the visit will feel better about themselves.
     Those living a shut-in existence will normally receive more visits during the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas than any other time of the year. Shut-ins appreciate the visits, good will, and fruit baskets that are normally presented to us. However, there are twelve months in the year, and this special group would enjoy seeing you from time to time.
     Visiting the sick or shut-in is a rare treat, and while I was engaged in my work as a gospel preacher these visits were particularly invigorating. Undeniably one gains far more from the shut-in than the shut-in could ever hope to gain from our visit.
- Bob Spurlin, the "horizontal" preacher, has been bedridden with Multiple Sclerosis for a number of years, yet continues to faithfully serve his Lord through a number of avenues, most notably his writing.  Bob can be contacted through his website, http://www.bobspurlin.com  (©2000-2006 BOB SPURLIN).

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Back to School Time
By Adam Faughn

    In the coming days and weeks, our young people will be heading back to schools all over our area, then our college kids will be leaving to start their Fall Semesters. One of the hard things about the summer is that it just isn’t very long anymore. While the summer may have gone by quickly, much good has been accomplished.
    Now, it’s time to see that “good” put into action! As our young people head back to school, I hope they know that they are often in our prayers. While we may not fully understand every temptation and stress they each face, we can at least acknowledge that things aren’t always easy for a Christian.
    Young people, please remember these three things as you go back o the halls of education:
1.    Whose You Are. “You were bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20). That “price” was the precious blood of Jesus that saved you from your sin. As Paul wrote, “you are not your own” (v. 19). Remember that you belong to the Lord.
2.    Why You are Whose You Are. You have shown this summer that you love the Lord, but you love Him because He first loved you (1 John 4:19). Don’t forget the love of God and what that love did for you, even when you are facing great stress and temptation.
3.    Christ Understands. The Hebrews writer teaches us that Jesus can “sympathize with our weaknesses” because Hew as tempted, too (Hebrews 4:15). Take your troubles to Him and let Him walk with you.
    We love you and pray that you will let your light shine in your school in 2011-2012.

- Adam Faughn serves as the pulpit minister for the Lebanon Road church of Christ in Nashville, TN.  He may be contacted through the congregation’s website at: http://www.lebanonroadchurchofchrist.org

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Greatly Mistaken
By Joe Slater

    "Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God? . . . You are therefore greatly mistaken." -- Mark 12:24, 27
    Failure to understand God’s word and/or His power leads to all kinds of problems. For the Sadducees, it led not only to doctrinal error (disbelief in the resurrection), but a faulty worldview (materialism), which, not surprisingly, led to corrupt behavior. Had they known God’s word as they ought to have known it, the Sadducees being the party of the priests, they would not have questioned that human life endures despite the death of the physical body. And had they known God’s power, they would have agreed with Paul’s later words, that it is not incredible that God raises the dead (Acts 26:8). But they did not know; they were mistaken. Literally, they were deceived, seduced, led astray – at least in part by their own stubborn self-will.
    Creation is another issue disputed by deceived people. Ironically, many who mock the idea of God creating the universe in six days warmly embrace the concept that it came into existence by blind chance and, over ten billion years or so, has evolved to its present state. Evolutionists (theistic or otherwise) simply do not know (understand, believe) the Scriptures, nor do they comprehend the power of God. The same may be said for skeptics who deny the other miracles of the Bible.
    How important it is for us to study God’s word! Like the Sadducees, we can be highly visible, leading religious figures while still being ignorant of God’s word and His power. Diligent study of the Scriptures is both preventative for this malady and the cure for it. It is neither too early nor too late to study God’s word. Let us renew our determination to study earnestly the most important book ever written; and let us teach our children to know both the word and power of Almighty God.
    May it never be said of us, “You are therefore greatly mistaken”!

- Joe Slater serves as minister of the church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.justinchurchofchrist.com/

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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
Put To Death!
By Garland M. Robinson

Colossians 3:5 tells us to mortify sin in our lives. To mortify means “to make dead, to put to death, slay.” Five things are specifically mentioned (a host of others are found throughout the New Testament).
    The first item on the list is “fornication.” It is defined as: “illicit sexual intercourse.” It includes men with women, men with men, women with women and men/women with animals. Its definition is very clear and understandable.
    First Corinthians 6:13 says, “the body is not for fornication.” But by observation, you would not know fornication is evil (immoral) — it’s on display all around us: movies, television, music videos, songs, magazines, books. The thoughts and intents of people’s heart is filled with wickedness continually (cf. Gen. 6:5).
    First John 5:19 says, “The whole world lieth in wickedness.” However, God tells us to “flee fornication” (1 Cor. 6:18) and put it to death. When we obey the Gospel, we put away the old man of sin and walk a newness of life (Rom. 6:1-18).
     How about you?

- Garland M. Robinson; via the Nile Street Notes, the weekly bulletin of the Anna church of Christ in Anna, IL; R. W. McAlister preaches for the congregation and may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.annachurchofchrist.com/

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Following Dad’s Example

When I was a child, I used to follow my dad as he was mowing the grass. Everywhere he stepped there would be two big shoeprints. I would take my feet and step in each one of his shoeprints. In a very real way, I still follow and step in his shoeprints because of the Christian life that he lives and the example that he sets. Thank you, God, for Christian parents!

- 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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“A Word Fitly Spoken”

    “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in the right circumstances,” Proverbs 25:11.
    We all know that if we had a silver bowl full of solid gold apples, that we would have quite a treasure.  In this extremely negative world we live in, a kind word at the right time can be a great treasure, too.  People are quick to criticize, complain, and blame.  Too many spend their time being griped at, or griping at someone else.  We have a golden opportunity to change someone’s life today.  Let us think of a word that will edify and build up someone.  Perhaps a genuine compliment or appreciation to lift someone’s day. The sunshine we spread will get on us as well.

- 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 World, But Not Of The World
We are to be in the world but not of the world.  This can be illustrated by noticing the submarine.  It is in the water but not of the water.  If it is on the ground (out of the water) it is of no purpose...it is not accomplishing its mission.  But when it is in the water it must be insulated (not isolated) from the water.  If the water ever gets into the submarine then there is cause for alarm and emergency.  We must be insulated from the world but not isolated from it.  We must live blameless and without fault in the midst of a perverse world (cf. 1 Philippians 2:15) [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
Why We Do What We Do
By J. Randal Matheny

Some say it's our genetic code
That makes us do what we do;
But choice of thought and of route of road
Are bigger spuds in the stew.

Others say that parents' rules
Determine how we go,
Or children learn in teachers' schools,
From there they act and grow.

But, in the end, not DNA
Nor home or school's our guide;
Why do we go a certain way?
The truth is, we decide.

- [A young friend inspired this poem. Read the background here: http://wp.me/pbYlo-Y7] 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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Walking In the Will of God
By Margaret K. Frazer

Though storms may rage and winds may blow,
I need not be cast down or awed;
Because it calms my soul to know
I’m walking in the will of God.
Although my path be dark as night,
And often falls the chastening rod;
I’m glad I walk by faith, not sight,
When walking in the will of God.
I know, whene’er I backward gaze
Upon the road that I have trod,
The sweetest way to spend one’s days
Is walking in the will of God.
So, though the way be hard and long,
O’er mountain steep and valley broad,
I’ll face the future with a song,
When walking in the will of God.

- 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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My Morning Prayer

Right away I thought of you
And said a loving prayer,
That He would bless you specially,
And keep you free from care.

I thought of all the happiness
A day could hold in store,
I wished it all for you because
No one deserves it more.

I felt so warm and good inside,
My heart was all aglow.
I know God heard my prayers for you,
He hears them all, you know.

- Author Unknown.

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Have You Thought About Your Soul?

Have you ever stopped to wonder
What this life is all about?
Why you’re here and where you’re going,
When your lease on time runs out?
Maybe you’ve been far too busy
Trying hard to reach your goal;
Would you let me ask you kindly,
Have you thought about your soul?
You may reach the highest portals,
And your dreams may all come true;
Wealth and fame may be your portion,
And success may shine on you,
All your friends may sing your praises,
Not a care on you may roll;
What about the great tomorrow
Have you thought about your soul?
Don’t forget your days are numbered,
Though you may be riding high,
But like all of us poor mortals,
Someday you’ll just up and die.
Your success and fame and glory
Won’t be worth the bell they toll;
Let me ask you just one question,
Have you thought about your soul?
If you’ve never thought it over,
Spend a little time today,
There is nothing more important,
That will ever come your way
Than the joy of sins forgiven,
And to know you’ve been made whole,
In the name of Christ the Savior
Have you thought about your soul?

- 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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Gold Mines ---- quotes, sayings & sign messages
Character is determined by what you stand for. Reputation is made by what you fall for.

People may doubt what you say but they will believe what you do.

People who are afraid of death are usually uncertain about the life they are living.

When you are on fire for the Lord people will come to see you burn.

There is a difference between having something to say and having to say something.

- 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
It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.

"Most of us get what we deserve, but only the most successful will admit it."

“DEATH and taxes are inevitable, but death doesn’t get worse every time Congress is in session.”

- 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
- Things Learned From a Snowman, Alan Smith
- No Labor’s Lost, J. Randal Matheny
- The Lure of the Perfect, Leslie G. Thomas
- The Doctrine of Chance, Col. Arial Bragg (1772-1855)
- “It’s Later Than It’s Ever Been Before!” By Joe Chesser
- When Sin Traps You, John Telgren
- Extra Quotes
- An Important Question, Jim Faughn
- Nobodys Going Tell Me What To Do, Jimmie Z. Gribble
- Why Are We Doing This? By Phil Sanders
- I Hope You Are Drinking From Your Soucer Too
- What Does the Bible Alone Produce? By David Ray Fanning I
- The Old Paths, Rick Woodall
- Challenges Facing A Retired Couple, Norman and Ann Gipson
- Ten Things To Do Wiht Your Nose When You're Bored ...
- The Empty Nest, Cecil May III
- The Right Thing, Greg Tidwell
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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