BulletinGold #146
February 2013   Vol 12 #

BulletinGold #146
Feb. 2013
Vol 12. Num. 12
David Bragg
Edward Thomason
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In This Issue:
- To Occupy or Not to Occupy? by Jeff Arnette
- Before --- And After, by Jim Faughn
- Glory, by Chris Tiegreen
- No Debt Limit, by Charlie Gamble
- Did You Think To Pray? by Steve Higginbotham
A Father's Promise, by Arthur Gordon
Every Good Gift
- The Night Before Sunday, by Rick Woodall
- Another Year is Dawning! By Frances Ridley Havergal
- From Now to Then and Here to There, by Gerald Cowan
quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs

New Postings At
Editorial by David Bragg
Welcome to the final issue of BulletinGold's twelfth year!! Thank you to all of our contributors and subscribers.

David Bragg

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Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
To Occupy or Not to Occupy?
By Jeff Arnette

    Over the past months, we have been hearing about this movement called “Occupy Wall Street.” It would seem that this movement is gaining momentum and its springing up in almost every city in the country. The question I keep hearing is what are these people standing for? What are they against and what are they hoping to accomplish? It would seem that the theme for this movement is summed up with the statement, “We can no longer afford to allow corporate greed and corrupt politics to set the tone of our country.”
    Before we are quick to point fingers or call names just remember how movements like this have shaped our country. Who can forget the “Civil Rights movement” or the “Women’s Liberation movement?” Each of these movements called for a better way for all people. This is just two and that’s not mentioning all the other movements that shaped the beliefs of our country. In fact it was a religious movement similar to occupy that shaped this very church. The Restoration movement called for Christians to go back to their Bibles and restore the grandeur of the Lord’s Church. As a country and a church we owe a lot to people who were willing to stand against the status quo, people who would stand up and demand something better.
    Remember that the call to end greed and corruption is consistent with the teachings of the New Testament. I will not tell you whether or not to embrace the “Occupy” movement that is something you must decide for yourself. However, I will tell you that the Bible speaks loud and clear on such matters.
    Let me encourage everyone to go to their Bibles and read what God has to say on such social and moral issues. Here are just a few of the verses that come to my mind as I thought about this: 1 Timothy 6:3-5, 6-10; Prov. 30:7-9, 11:28; 1 John 2:16-17; Eccl. 5:10-12, 13-14; Matt. 19:24; Luke 6:24; James 5:1; Luke 16:19-26; Rev. 3:17; Acts 4:32-25; Luke 3:11; Matt. 19:21-24; Luke 19:1-10, 12:15-21; Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:14-15; Eph. 5:5-7; James 2:1-7; Psalms 10:2-3; Hab. 2:5, 6-11; Prov. 15:27, 29:4, 28:25, 1:19, 22:7-8; Matt. 3;24-26.
    Let’s make it our calling to allow the teachings of the Bible to “Occupy” our hearts and minds.

- Jeff Arnette preaches for the Central Haywood church of Christ, Clyde, NC.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://centralhaywoodchurchofchrist.com

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Before --- And After
By Jim Faughn

    Do you remember what our auditorium looked like at the beginning of this year? Doesn’t it look great now? The “before and after” is quite a contrast, isn’t it? While it is the same auditorium, it certainly does not look like the same auditorium.
    We are used to “before and after” comparisons. The comparison may have to do with some structure that has been remodeled, a particular method for getting into shape, some self-help material, some item that has been restored, or a host of other things.
    It occurs to me that our conversion to Christ should be (at least in this life) the ultimate “before and after” comparison. It seems to me that there should be two answers to the following question --- Am I the same person I was before my obedience to the gospel?
    Admittedly, there have been some physical changes in the 30+ years since I was baptized into Christ. While I like to “kid myself” into thinking that there have been no changes, the mirror and various reports from my doctor tell a different story. Fundamentally, though, I am the same person in a physical sense. The fact that I am a Christian did not change my DNA.
    In another and much more important sense, I should not be the same person I was before that evening all those years ago when I was “…buried…with [Christ] by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).
    The transformation described in the New Testament is so dramatic that it is described in the following terms in 1 Peter 2:9-10 ---
  • We are “…called…out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
  • We “…were not a people, but now…are God’s people.”
  • We “…had not received mercy, but now…have received mercy.”
Paul pens something even more dramatic in Ephesians 2:5. He writes that we ---
“…were dead in our trespasses, [but now have been] made…alive together with Christ….”
    It is flattering when people who have not seen me in a number of years try to make me believe that I haven’t changed much. I know that what they are saying is not true, but it is kind of nice to hear anyway.
    However, if those same people see no difference in the “old Jim” and the “new Jim” in terms of my priorities, my lifestyle, my language, and so many other things that should reflect my commitment to the Lord, I need to do some very serious thinking --- and changing. How about you? Is there a difference in “the before and after?”

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:27, ESV).

- Jim Faughn serves as an elder and preacher for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org

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By Chris Tiegreen
   Imagine having the world’s most valuable masterpiece, a work of art that would bring thirty or forty million dollars if you auctioned it.  Then imagine that instead of taking that masterpiece to the auction, you took it to a pawn shop, pawned it for twenty bucks and blew the whole wad on crayons and paper so you could decorate your own walls.
   Or imagine being offered a lifetime pass to the city’s best buffet spread, only to reject it in favor of one meal at a truck stop.  Silly? Ludicrous? Absolutely insane? All of that and more.  People with even an ounce of sense don’t squander glory on garbage.  But that’s what idolatry is.  That’s what the people of Judah were doing in Jeremiah’s day, and that’s what we do with alarming ease today.
   Think about how much God is worth.  He can create anything, so whatever we have, He has something better.  He governs and sustains everything, so every circumstance we encounter must bow to Him.  And He has promised lavish blessings for eternity.  So, all our cravings will be extravagantly exceeded by His good gifts.  Logically, there’s nothing we would take in exchange for a relationship with this God.  Practically, that’s exactly what we often do.

- Chris Tiegreen, via The Lantern, Highway Church of Christ, Sullivan, IL  Ron Thomas serves as preacher and an elder for the congregation and you may visit their website as http://www.highwaycofc.com

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No Debt Limit
By Charlie Gamble

    The Federal debt limit debate has been in the news for a while now.  All sorts of scary scenarios are being put forth as each side postures at the negotiating table. I pray for those who rule.
    I am so thankful that God doesn’t have a debt limit for forgiveness of sin. His grace is unlimited. His forgiveness is extended from the Garden of Eden to the end of the world. Of course, this is not an invitation for us to sin as Paul pointed out in Romans 6:1-2 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (NKJV)
    Instead it is a reason for us to rejoice and live for the one who paid the debt—Jesus. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. Romans 6:10-12 (NKJV) Live for Jesus!

- Charlie Gamble preaches for the Brunswick Church of Christ in Southport, NC. He may be contacted at cgamble64@gmail.com

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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
Did You Think To Pray?
By Steve Higginbotham

     Consider the following truth: “Jesus went more readily to the cross of Calvary than we do to the throne of grace in prayer.”  But why is that so? Is it because of a lack of faith?  A spirit of independence?  Carelessness?  Yes, yes, and yes.
     Friends, when I meditate upon that opening statement, I am put to shame.  What about you?  Well, if you’re like me, you have a choice to make.  Will you go your own way and act as though you were never confronted by this truth, or will you decide to do better? 
     If my Lord could willingly face the horrors of the cross, then surely I can with more consistency approach the gracious throne of God with my petitions and intercessions.  What about you?  Give it some thought.

- 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

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A Father's Promise
By Arthur Gordon
     When I was 3 and my brother 10, our father promised to take us to the circus.  But then at lunchtime there was a phone call—some urgent business that required his attention downtown—and we braced ourselves for disappointment.  But then we heard him say, “No, I won’t be able to come down.  It’s going to have to wait.”
     He came back to the table and mother smiled. ,“The circus keeps coming back, you know.”
     “I know,” he said, “but childhood doesn’t.”
     After all these years I remember that moment.  And I know from the sudden glow of warmth that no kindness is ever really wasted or completely lost.  Because the only thing you take with you to heaven is your family.

- Arthur Gordon; 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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Every Good Gift

     A poor man was given a loaf of bread.  He thanked the baker, but the baker said, “Don’t thank me.  Thank the miller who made the flour.”  So he thanked the miller, but the miller said, “Don’t thank me.  Thank the farmer who planted the wheat.”  So he thanked the farmer.  But the farmer said, “Don’t thank me.  Thank the Lord.  He gave the sunshine, rain, and fertility to the soil, and that’s why you have bread to eat.”
     Regardless of how sophisticated, how advanced we may be scientifically, we still can’t create; we still can’t make a kernel of wheat.  That has to come from God.  God gives us the things we need in order to live on this planet.  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights….” (James 1:17; Acts 17:24).

House to House/Heart to Heart has
a circulation of nearly 3 million. It is distributed by over 1,100 congregations in 48 states and 8 foreign countries, and has been translated into four different languages. It has surpassed the circulation of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Oprah Magazine, and the USA Today. For additional information please visit their website at  http://www.housetohouse.com/

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Hearts of Gold - poetry
The Night Before Sunday
By Rick Woodall

'Twas the night before Sunday, when all through the home,
Not a creature was planning, Sis was on the phone;

The Bible’s were packed under the bed so fair,
In hopes that they would forget they were there;

The children were playing on their video game,
While visions of high scores would give them more fame;

And Mom into her TV, and Dad we call Pap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

There was no use to set the alarm,
For, sleeping in, had such a charm.

When to the sky, they saw the flash,  and
The trumpet sounded with oh, such a blast.

There He was, standing in the clouds,
And you could hear wing flapping sounds.

When, what to their wondering eyes should appear?
Two large books that brought them fear.

Time was done, it happened so quick.
Then he pointed his finger and to Dad he did pick.

Get to the left, He shouted so loud,
“Get over there and don’t even frown.”

You had your choice and you had a chance.
You chose the world, with party and dance.

To the top of the clouds! To the top of the sky!
They watch him ascend, With a gleam in his eye !"

Things of the earth will be no more.
The ones on the right have opened the door.

There will be no more obstacles, tears or pain.
All that suffering lead to their gain.

And then, in a moment, I heard from the liar,
“Welcome to Hell and burning fire.”

As I drew in my head, and woke right up,
I knew that my dream got me out of a slump.

Come on Mom get me a shirt and a tie,
Get the Kids up, this dream doesn’t lie.

Dust off the Bible’s under the bed.
We won’t sleep in, it’s church services instead.

His eyes -- how they twinkled!  His disposition so merry!
Please hurry he said, please do not terry!

For if we get ready, don’t let the time pass,
We can even make it to Bible class.

So with his Bible under his arm, they hopped in the car,
And with smoke from the exhaust and a squeal of the tires,

You could hear him exclaim as he drove out of sight,
I’ll be planning for Sunday on Saturday night.

- Rick Woodall is the minister for the Yorktown Road Church of Christ in Logansport Indiana. His weekly devotional message, Life Thoughts, can be found through this address:  http://mysite.verizon.net/yorktownroadchurchofchrist/

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Another Year is Dawning!
By Frances Ridley Havergal

Another year is dawning:
Dear Father, let it be,
In working or in waiting,
Another year with Thee;

Another year of progress,
Another year of praise,
Another year of proving
Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies,
Of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness
In the shining of Thy face;

Another year of leaning
Upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting,
Of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service,
Of witness for Thy love;
Another year of training
For holier work above.

Another year is dawning:
Dear Father, let it be,
On earth or else in heaven,
Another year for Thee.

- Frances Ridley Havergal; 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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From Now to Then and Here to There
By Gerald Cowan

 Walking, often blindly stumbling in the way,
 Getting somehow safely through each passing day,
 Eyes down, not reaching for another hand,
 Not wondering how and why it all was planned
 Not caring that I did not understand –
 That was my life before I met the Lord
 And learned to look for answers in His word.

 But I found Him. He now holds my reaching hand.
 I am learning, though I cannot understand
 What it means to be loved more than all the earth,
 Celebrated for my soul’s surpassing worth,
 Undying and eternal, since my birth,
 Now through His eyes and with His love I see
 His care is for all others, not just me.

 If I’m to walk with Him, I must not be blind
 To what He wants and where He goes. My mind
 Must be like His. And I must strive to be
 As loving, helpful, good and kind as he,
 Serving as the Father wills, faithfully
 No matter what the cost or pain I bear,
 That I the truth of Christ with all may share.

 God grant that I may always be aware
 Of what it cost You and your Son to share
 My pain, forgive my sin, remove my shame
 And make a place for me where His great name
 Will be the King of Heav’n forever. No blame
 For human sin will be remembered there,
 But all, of His great love, will be aware..

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

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Gold Mines ---- quotes, sayings & sign messages
“It is not the critic that counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or the doer of deeds could have done better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the Arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcomings: but he who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great devotion; who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails while daring greatly, knows that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls, who know neither victory nor defeat.” [Teddy Roosevelt]

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny.  When the government fears the people, there is liberty.” (Thomas Jefferson)
      - 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

THE CHURCH is never a place but always a people. It is never a sacred building but always an assembly of believers. It is not where you pray and worship; it is the people who worship and pray. A structure of wood, brick, glass, or stone is not a church any more than your clothes of wool, cotton, or silk are you. In all the world there is no sanctuary of God except the human soul.
When the truth stands in your way it is time to change direction.

      - 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
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The Power of God’s Word, Bart Warren
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- “Jesus Is Lord,” by Ken Chumbley
Tell others About Jesus? By Chester Callan
- Joy to the World, by Joe Chesser
- Grief WORK! By Kevin Williams
- To My Brothers and Sisters in Christ Who Are Grieving . . . and Those Who Love Them, by Lance Cordle
- Three Wooden Crosses, by Tim Childs
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