BulletinGold #137
May 2012   Vol 12 #3

BulletinGold #137
May 2012
Vol. 12 Num. 3
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:
- What Manner of Persons Ought Ye to Be? By Kelby Smith
- A Reflection of God’s Glory By Ron Thomas
- God Is Love, by C. M. Callan
- Who Do We Fight With?
By Rick Woodall
- A Humorous Story...With a Point
- Church Sign Boards--
- If I Give...
- Wisdom In The Barnyard
- Glorious Exchange
- “IF”
- Beyond, by J. Randal Matheny
quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs

New Postings At
Editorial by David Bragg
    As this issue of BulletinGold goes out my own family stands on the brink of change. Within a few days my wife and I will be loading up and moving across the country from Missouri (where we have lived over 26 years) to North Carolina (where our son and his family reside). Then in July we will return to Missouri for our daughter's marriage in Lees Summit.
    In a world that is constantly in a state of change, isn't it wonderful that God's promises remain constant?
All the more reason to take a serious look at our lives as New Testament Christians in light of those promises and make whatever changes will make us more effective as His servants.

David Bragg

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Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
What Manner of Persons Ought Ye to Be?
By Kelby Smith

    Peter concludes his second epistle by assuring us that God will keep His promises, that He is patient with us, that He wants all to be saved, and that this earth will be burned up (II Peter 3:9-l0).
    Then he asks a piercing question based on these facts. “Seeing then that all these things are thus to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness”… (II Peter 3:11)?
    When we consider the swelling tide of immorality, crime and sin in the world, the disregard and disrespect for the Bible on the part of many, the disregard for right living, the obvious indifference, unconcern and negligence even in our own nation, this question takes on a new dimension of magnitude and importance..
    We should be a people who do not live selfish lives. While it is true that we must be concerned about our own personal salvation (Acts 2:40; Phil. 2:12), we must not become preoccupied with selfish concerns.
    We should live as though God knows our every move. We cannot escape His all seeing eye (Psalm 139). Nothing we do is hidden from the eyes of God. (Hebrews 4:13).
    We should love as though this were our last day on earth. It might be (Luke 12:20)! Death is an appointment all must keep (Hebrews 9:27).
    The piercing question: “What manner of persons ought ye to be . . .” should be a source of motivation for us to continually live in a manner in which God is well pleased.

- Kelby Smith; 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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A Reflection of God’s Glory
By Ron Thomas

Paul said that for him to live is Christ, but to die is gain. This is an interesting remark. How many of us look forward to leaving this life and going on to the next? Many of us will answer the question in the same way that Paul did, and why shouldn’t we? Yet, Paul knew that he would continue on in this life when he wrote what he did to the Philippians. Since he was convinced that he would continue on in this (his) present physical life – even while he was currently in prison – he knew he was doing so in order to benefit the Philippians (among others). Our life is a benefit to, and for whom? Let us all, as Paul told the church at Philippi, have our lives reflect God’s glory.

- Ron Thomas serves as preacher and an elder for the Highway church of Christ, Sullivan, IL  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.highwaycofc.com

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God Is Love
By C. M. Callan

    It is amazing to me how dumb “we” really are.  A recent scientific study brought this home once again.  In this study they used brain scans that would show activity in the brain at various locations.  If the individual was given an electric shock they could see the reaction in the brain.   If the individual was given a shock and was being held by a loved one, the reaction was much less severe and the individual experienced less intensity of the pain. It is nice to see this proven scientifically, but really this is something we already knew.
    The entire story of Jesus and the establishment of His Church, is based on love and comfort for each other.  Yes, we are to love God, but we cannot get to that point without loving our fellowman.  Paul in his writings uses the word “comfort” and “comfort one another”, several times.  (2 Cor. 2:7; 1 Thes. 4:18). We should find it amazing that God has always known what is best for us.  Instead we view God’s commandments that forbid us in any action to look upon it as just some punishment God made up to make us miserable.  No! God’s “rules” are all for our own good, happiness and even the relief of our pains.
    Some Christians feel guilty that they are not doing some spectacular thing as they work in the vineyard of the Lord.  Why can we not see that it all starts and ends with just loving people?  It is important to say that this love must be genuine and not just a show.  Jesus talked about going the extra mile, loving our enemies, sacrificing to help others, and treating others like we want to be treated.  What a great lesson God sent us through Jesus.  Are we listening?
    There is another aspect of comfort and easing of pain and that is found in Psalms 23.  “I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.”   The  Apostle Paul put it another way:  “I know whom I have believed , and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.”  (2 Timothy 1:12)     Yes, God has already demonstrated His love for us (John 3:16). What joy and comfort it brings when we feel this love in our life; because God only wants for us what is best.
    Love is why there was a baby in the manger, love is why there was an innocent man on the cross, love is the power that raised Him from the dead and love must be our motivation in all of our actions.  Listen to God. He knew and knows what we need. Don’t be dumb, listen to God. He knew and knows what we need.

- C. M. Callan serves as an elder of the church of Christ in Rotan, TX. He may be contacted at drcall@sbcglobal.net

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Who Do We Fight With?
By Rick Woodall

    We have too many writers and speakers today that are advocating a cause rather than sticking to the truth. They have become the rebel without a cause.  Slipping and sliding through the cracks of confusion to spread there foul odor to the most pleasant of places. What used to be is no more because of their deceptive work.  It is as if Christianity has become commercialized. If we disagree with the new order then we are ejected. Hold on to your ticket because God is still God.
    I am amazed that in a world so full of sin that the group that is supposed to be telling the good news has stooped to their weak knees through disunity, false doctrine and spiritual arrogance.  The restoration movement in some areas has become a wrestling tournament. One proclaims I am better than you.  Our church buildings have become places of isolation where only “like club members” are welcome.
    We need to realize that we are wasting a lot of time fighting over isms and issues.  It is time for our local institutions of higher learning to teach who the real wrestling match is with.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  – Eph 6:12
    My gift reminds me that in a dreary dark corner some one is laughing his head off. Do you know who that might be?  The potential has never been brighter for Gods people. So, lets not let the Devil deceive us in seeing what our purpose is, church of Christ.
“But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4: 6-7
    Let’s stop dividing and get back to work.  The time has come to return to the New Testament and stand your ground against the great divider.  The Devil only has as much strength as you allow him to have. He is worthless and so weak when we come down off of our thrones and let Jesus have His proper seating arrangements on His precious throne.
- 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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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
A Humorous Story...With a Point

     Mildred, the church gossip, and self-appointed monitor of the church's morals, kept sticking her nose into other people's business….
     Several members did not approve of her extra curricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence…
     She made a mistake, however, when she accused Frank, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his old pickup parked in front of the town's only bar one afternoon...
     She emphatically told Frank (and several others) that everyone seeing it there WOULD KNOW WHAT HE WAS DOING!
     Frank, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just turned and walked away…
     He didn't explain, defend, or deny…
     He said nothing….
     Later that evening, Frank quietly parked his pickup in front of Mildred's house ... walked home .....and left it there all night !!!
(You gotta love Frank!)

~“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Matthew 7:1,2

- 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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Church Sign Boards--
“In the dark? Follow the Son.”
“Running low on faith? Step in for a fill-up.”
“If you can’t sleep, don’t count sheep.  Talk to the Shepherd.”
Work for the Lord.  Retirement benefits are out of this world.
- 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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If I Give...

...Nothing...I cast my ballot in favor of closing the church. I discourage others.
...Sparingly...I vote to close all missionary work. I refuse to obey God.
...Grudgingly...I find no joy in giving. I will not receive the Lord’s blessings.
...Systematically...I make it possible for the work of the Lord to be planned. I make it easier for myself to give.
...Proportionately...I shall be blessed in my giving whether it is small or great.
...Sacrificially...I worship God in my giving. I shall encourage others to maintain a service of love and compassion.

- Unknown; 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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Wisdom In The Barnyard

    A pig was complaining to a cow one day about how unpopular he was. His master kicked him, yelled "sooey" at him, and fed him scraps and slop. "But look at you," he said to the cow. "Folks are always talking about your gentleness. They give you pet names, clean food, and a warm dry stall. Sure, you give milk and cream. But I give too you know. I give ham and bacon," and bristles "why they even pickle my feet. But nobody likes me. Why is that?"
    The cow replied, "I don't really know why. Maybe people love me because I give while I am living. But they have to wait until you die to get anything from you."
    Later the pig complained to a chicken about the popularity of the "ham and eggs" breakfast. Not too sympathetic, and inclined to boast a bit, the chicken said, "Well I think it's great to be involved in the most popular breakfast in the world." "Oh, that's easy enough for you to say," the pig said."But it isn't the same you know. It only takes a token offering on your part, but my part requires total commitment."

- 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
        Glorious Exchange

I brought Him all my sorrow
    And all my falling tears;
I brought Him all my loneliness
    And all my wasted years.

He took them all upon Himself,
    With all my load of sin,
And gave me in exchange His love,
    His joy, His peace within.

He took away my sorrow
    And gave me back a song;
And now my heart can only praise
    My Savior all day long.

- Selected

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IF YOU are really behind the work of the church;
IF YOU would be a part of the backbone of the church;
IF YOU love the association of your brethren in the Lord;
IF YOU enjoy studying God’s word with others;
IF YOU want to grow in grace and knowledge;
IF YOU want to be one of the better informed members of the church;
IF YOU need protection against error and temptation;
IF YOU want your friends to know the church is FIRST in your life; THEN make preparation to be present for every service of the church, and work for God.

-Author and source unknown; 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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     By J. Randal Matheny

Beyond his water and bread man goes
  In search of better life, and more:
The source from where the river flows,
  The faintest call of a distant shore,
  The secrets of the world to explore,
A deeper thought than what he knows.

- 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) 2012 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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Gold Mines ---- quotes, sayings & sign messages
What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today.

“The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money.”

The best kind of people are those you can sit on the porch and swing with, never say a word, and leave feeling it was a really good visit.

Jumping to conclusions usually means jumping over the facts.

God made the deaf and dumb to hear and speak. He even used a donkey to deliver His message to a prophet. Surely He can use me to speak His eternal truth.

- 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

"People are very open-minded about new things as long as they are exactly like the old things." (Charles Kettering)

- These Were More Noble, by John Gibson, Windsong Notes, a monthly newsletter for Windsong church of Christ in North Little Rock, AR (June 3, 2011, p. 2). Visit the congregation's website at http://windsongchurch.org/

“In the pursuit of happiness, the difficulty lies in knowing when you have caught up!” (R.H. Grenville)

- 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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BulletinGold Extra ---- recent postings on our Blogsite
- Lesson From a Sculptor, by John Gipson
 - If You Think… by H. L. Gradowith
- Not Too Short, by David A. Sargent
- Absentee Christians, by R. W. McAlister
- Try Harder, by Steve Higginbotham
- A Bigger Hand Than Mine, by Ronald Bartanan
- A “Jacobite” Without Guile (John 1:47), by Ty Nichol
- I Stand — Even When I Don't, by Jim Faughn
- The World’s Bible, by Annie J. Flint & J.E. Hamilton
- Death Bed Confessions, by Bill Brandstatter
- Are you rich?
- Where Visitors Go to Die, by Jeremiah Tatum
- Pledge of Allegiance is Unconstitutional, by Jimmy Gribble
- “This Do In Remembrance of Me,” by Ken Chumbley
- Smile, by Kevin Rayner
- Uncontrolled Anger, by Lance Cordle
- The Cold Within, by Larry Pasley
- Replace the Rope
- The Deadly TULIP, by Ron Boatwright
- “The Internal Delight of Virtue,” by Tom Steed
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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