BulletinGold #138
June 2012   Vol 12 #4
 

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BulletinGold #138
June 2012
Vol. 12 Num. 4
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
- The Power of Forgiveness…, by Bryan Kirby
- Complaints
-
Have We Left Off Part of the Armor? by Clifton Angel
-
We Were Forewarned! by Ron Bartanen
- Wisdom
-
THE TRUTH
-
Empty! by Steve Higginbotham
-
A Spark
- It’s In the Valleys We Grow
-
When Sorrow Walked With Me, by Robert Browning
-
Waste Not a Single Hour, by Clay Harrison
-
Falling From Grace
quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs


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Editorial by David Bragg
Welcome to the June issue of BulletinGold! Thank you to all our contributors and subscribers for your great support.

David Bragg
http://davebragg.blog.com/

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Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
The Power of Forgiveness…
By Bryan Kirby

     Since I have been working as a minister, I have by necessity become a student of human nature. During this time, I have been amazed by the amount of time and energy people put into staying mad at others for extended periods of time. This grudge holding marathon that some will pursue, however, has a very nasty habit of pursuing them in the end. The problems that this course of life ends up causing with the relationships in their lives can hardly be overstated.
     So what do grudges actually do to those that hold them? First and foremost, holding a grudge and nursing anger opens up a place for the devil in our lives. Ephesians 4:26-27 says, ―"Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil." When we allow anger to fester for any period of time, we are giving the devil an opportunity to come into our hearts and set up shop. As we know from 1 Peter 5:8, Satan is that roaring lion that is seeking someone to devour and anger is an easy way to accomplish that task.
     We also see that carrying anger (or holding a grudge) does a lot of damage to the relationships around us. When our lives are dictated by a grudge, we lose sight of others. We fail to treat them with the dignity and respect that all other people deserve. In particular, the person with whom we are angry suffers the most. We are also apt to direct our frustration and anger at that person in ways that are unbecoming and inappropriate for a Christian. I am ashamed at the number of times I have witnessed Christians "letting each other have it" in the most unchristian like fashion in the middle of the church building! This is something that should never, ever happen, but when we carry our grudges, we fail to put our mouths and hands under the LORD’s control.
     All of these things clearly violate the commands of the New Testament. Jesus Himself pointed out that the second greatest command in the Law was for one to love their neighbor as his or herself. Paul tells us in Romans 13:8-11 that loving our neighbor is required for us to fulfill the law of Christ. Blasting one another or holding grudges for long past offenses is a far cry from fulfilling the law of loving our neighbor. However bad and pervasive anger may seem, it does not have to be the end of our relationships with one another or with God. There is something that is more powerful than anger, but a little harder to come by. That thing is forgiveness. Forgiveness is something that we all desire – we don’t want people to stay mad when we mess up. Forgiveness is something that Jesus Himself said is required from us – we don’t gain God’s forgiveness without giving it ourselves (Matthew 6:14-15). Forgiveness is something that we find ourselves so very unwilling to give – it is hard to let go of the offenses that others have committed against us. Once we do forgive, we will find that our lives will be filled with fewer burdens, less stress and more fulfilling relationships. Forgiveness opens communication and helps us all grow stronger. That way, we can fight together to overcome problems instead of fighting with one another. With forgiveness in our hearts, we can lift one another up and help each other make it to heaven.

- Bryan Kirby preaches for the Goodwood Boulevard church of Christ in Baton Rouge, LA. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at http://www..goodwoodchurch.org


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Complaints

    Never once did our Lord have a path free from trouble.
    When He went into the wilderness, He was tempted of the Devil.
    When He tried to rest, the multitudes followed Him.
    When He taught in the synagogue, the hearers became angry and sought to throw Him off the brow of the hill.
    When He gave others rest for their souls, He had no place to lay His head.
    When He sought peace in the garden, they came with swords and staves and led Him away to the halls of judgment.
    When He did His best to be kind and loving in face of mockery, they took Him as a sheep to the slaughter and drenched Calvary with His precious blood. And yet, in spite of it all, He never grumbled about His burden. Jesus did not complain at all! He just went about doing good. Let us be like Him! The busiest are the happiest.
    Cheerful, active labor is a blessing. The busy, the active, the happy, the cheerful—don’t have time to complain.

- Borrowed, author unknown; 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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Have We Left Off Part of the Armor?
By Clifton Angel

     In a recent study concerning the very popular “armor of God” of Ephesians 6, something caught my eye in a way that it never has before. In verses 11 and 13, the Apostle Paul emphatically states that we, as Christians, must put on “the whole armor of God”. In verse 12, he reminds the brethren at Ephesus that we are in a spiritual battle, and that the ONLY possibility of standing against the “wiles” (Greek--schemes, methods) of Satan requires the whole armor of God. He continues in the text by defining the very familiar armor:
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Eph. 6:14-17).
     If we are going to stand against our “adversary, the devil” (1 Pet. 5:8), we must put on the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the foot protection of the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.
     However, is this the whole armor of God? Is this truly where Paul ends the spiritual armor? I encourage you to thoughtfully consider my next statement: If we end at verse 17 with the armor of God, we are going to be leaving off a most important part of the spiritual armor.
     Remember, Paul said we are in a spiritual battle (v. 12), and that we must put on “the whole armor of God” (vv. 11, 13). Furthermore, several Greek texts, and the standard English translations do not end Paul’s sentence at the end of verse 17. Rather, the sentence continues past, and includes “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit”. Dear friends, if we leave prayer out of our preparation for warfare “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world” (v. 12), we will NOT have the whole armor of God. As we put on our girdles, breastplates, foot protection, and helmets, and pick up our swords and shields, let us not forget to guard our hearts and minds by praying always (v. 18).

- Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that congregation's website: http://www.coldwatercofc.com/


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We Were Forewarned!
By Ron Bartanen

    Charles Francis Potter famously wrote already in 1930: “Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American school is a school of humanism.  What can a theistic Sunday school’s meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children do to stem the tide of the five-day program of humanistic teaching?”
    Thus we were forewarned.  The schools of our nation were first promoted by Christians.  When they were taken over then by government and secular humanists, young minds have since been fed with philosophies and theories that have eliminated God.  Once evolution was allowed to stand alongside creation as a theoretical explanation for the origin of all things, it soon proved to be the Trojan horse, from which has emerged an army of faith-destroying dogmas of humanism.   Sadly, most were ignorant of Satan’s devices! 

- 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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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
Wisdom

*True wisdom comes when we learn to discern the difference between the passing and the eternal in our lives.
*The worst thing about wisdom is that it can only be acquired on the installment plan.
*As a man grows older and wiser, he talks less and says more.
*A wise man is not as certain of anything as a fool is of everything.
*Knowledge is knowing a fact. Wisdom is knowing what to do with that fact.
*To know what to do with what you know is the essence of true wisdom.
*Many people might have attained to wisdom had they not assumed that they already had it.
*Wisdom is knowing when to speak your mind and when to mind your speech.
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;

- Copied from the Pottsville church of Christ bulletin; 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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       THE TRUTH

* KNOW IT (John 8:32)
* LOVE IT (2 Thess. 2:10)
* BELIEVE IT (2 Thess. 2:12)
* OBEY IT (1 Pet. 1:22)
* TELL IT (Eph. 4:15)
* HELP IT (3 John 8)

- 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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Empty!
By Steve Higginbotham

    This past week, a friend of mine (who will remain nameless) had some car trouble more than 500 miles from his home. If you've ever been in that situation, it is certainly disconcerting to say the least. What do you do? Who do you call? How much will it cost? All these questions rush through your mind. In my friend's case, after paying a tow truck, it was just a matter of putting gas in the gas tank (now do you see why he will remain nameless?)
    But in his defense, while he ran out of gas, his gas gauge was showing that he still had a quarter of a tank of gas remaining. Of course, I couldn't help but see a spiritual application in this event.
    How many people do you suppose are trusting in a "fallible gauge?" How many people do you think are being told they're alright, but their "tank is empty?" I do know that on the day of judgment, there will be some who stand before Christ, surprised that they are not saved (Matthew 7:21-23).
    To avoid such a fate, we must trust in the only "gauge" that will never fail and never mislead us...the word of God. Friends, spend time in God's word so that you can make your calling and election sure.

- 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 Spark

Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude that causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results.

- Author unknown; Taken from Briensburg church of Christ bulletin
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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Hearts of Gold - poetry
       It’s In the Valleys We Grow
 
Sometimes life seems hard to bear,
Full of sorrow, trouble and woe.
It’s then we have to remember,
That it’s in the valleys we grow.
 
If we always stayed on the mountain top,
And never experienced pain,
We would never appreciate God’s love
And would be living in vain.
 
We have so much to learn,
And our growth is very slow;
Sometimes we need the mountain tops,
But it’s in the valleys we grow.

We do not always understand
Why things happen as they do,
But I am very sure of one thing—
My Lord will see me through.
 
The little valleys are nothing
When we picture Christ on the cross;
He went through the valley of death;
His victory was Satan’s loss.
 
Forgive me, Lord, for complaining
When I’m feeling so very low.
Just give me a gentle reminder
That it’s in the valleys I grow.
 
Continue to strengthen me, Lord
And use my life each day
To share your love with others
And help them find their way.
 
Thank you for the valleys, Lord,
For this one thing I know,
The mountain tops are glorious,
But it’s in the valleys I grow.

- Unknown, 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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When Sorrow Walked With Me
      By Robert Browning
 
I walked a mile with Pleasure,
She chattered all the way,
But she left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
 
I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne’er a word said she;
But, oh, the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me!
 
- 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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     Waste Not a Single Hour
           By Clay Harrison

Yesterday is a reminder
   of days both good and bad,
The trials that taught us lessons
   and good times we have had.
The future still is waiting
   as a dream awaits the night
To become a reality
   before the morning light.

The past may bring us memories
   to treasure through the years,
And the future keeps the dream alive
   despite our doubts and fears.
But, oh, my friend, we have today
   to live, and laugh and cry...
A day our Lord has given
   that soon will pass us by.

- Clay Harrison; Submitted by Mark McWhorter.  Mark may be contacted at mtmcvb@concentric.net


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               Falling From Grace

We are often told that a Christian can't fall,
That once he is saved there's no danger at all:
No matter how far he may lapse into sin,
The gates will swing open and let him pass in.

But let it be stated in language that's terse,
That no one can cite the Book, chapter or verse
Which teach the Christian cannot fall away,
And lose his soul in the great judgment day.

His body Paul tried to keep under sway
Lest he be rejected and be cast away,
And thus he has set the example for all,
That we may be warned not to stumble and fall.

And then he harks back to the Israelites' day,
Then twenty-three thousand had fallen away.
He issues this sobering warning to all,
"If one think he standeth, take heed lest he fall."

In writing to Timothy, Paul boldly saith,
That some had already made shipwreck of faith;
And Peter said Christians should watch every hour,
For Satan is seeking whom he may devour.

'Tis plain to be seen from what we have just learned
That Christians today from the Lord may be turned;
And those who still think that a Christian can't fall,
Are not in agreement with Peter and Paul.

- Author Unknown; 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
“IT TAKES COURAGE to stand up and be counted, but to keep on standing after being counted is the real test.”

“Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life.”  (Henry Asquith)

“Rely on our dear Savior.  He will be the Father of the fatherless and husband to the widow.  Trust in the mercy and goodness of Christ, and always be ready to say with heartfelt resignation, ‘May the Lord’s will be done.’” (Andrew Jackson)
 
     “For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it.  (Patrick Henry, March 28, 1775)

One good thing about egotists—they don’t talk about other people.

Be careful of half-truths.  You may have the wrong half.

- 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
- A World Gone Gray, by Dalton Key
- Facing the Inevitability of Death, by David R. Ferguson
- The Spirit of Involvement, by Dennis Gulledge
- Preaching the Gospel, by Harrell Davidson
- Humorous Labeling
- Procrastination
- “Beautiful Abbeys” by Kyle Moses
- The Battle in the Pews Trenches, by Mark Ray
- Grace At Work
- Why Should I Go To Church? by John Telgren
- SANITY CHECK
- The Lamb of God
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