BulletinGold #139
July 2012   Vol 12 #5
 

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BulletinGold #139
July 2012
Vol. 12 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
- Used To It? By Bart Warren
- What Were They Thinking? By Charlie Gamble
- Rekindling the Flame, by Alan Smith
- On “Coming Out,” by A. C. Quinn
- Instructions To A Pencil
- How Much Are You Giving? Ten Percent Is a Place to Start, Not Stop, by Edd Sterchi
- Athletes and drugs
- Why some don’t believe in God—
- The Lie, by J. Randal Matheny
- Today I Stood!
- Welcome Home, by
Larry Pasley
- My Friend, by J. P. McEvoy
quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs


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BulletinGold
Extra
Editorial by David Bragg
    Welcome to the July 2012 edition of BulletinGold. Below you will find bulletin articles, filler materials ("Nuggets"), poems and quotes for your use in producing your local church bulletins and newsletters.
    Additional material can be found on our website,
BulletinGold (copies of all previous issues), and blog, BulletinGold Extra (overflow items not previously published in BulletinGold).
    We are so thankful for the opportunity to share the thoughts and insights of our contributors and for having a small role in your work of sharing the good news of Christ with your readers.

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

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Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
Used To It?
By Bart Warren

     In his work, Memoirs from the House of the Dead, Fyodor Dostoevsky remarked that, “Man is a creature who can get used to anything.” This is a startling and bone-chilling assessment.
     The truth of the statement is backed up and proven by human history. Consider, for example, the atrocities committed against mankind during World War II in the Nazi concentration camps. The senseless murder and torture of millions of men, women and children is well documented.
     Victor Frankl, a holocaust survivor and author of the book, Man’s Search for Meaning, recalls the way in which his peers became desensitized to the brutality around them. The same process was repeated over and over again. When someone was new to a concentration camp they would at first be confused. “Where am I? Why am I here? What is happening?” Through all this confusion, they would hold out hope that they would soon be rescued and soon be reunited with their loved ones. Also in these early stages, they would recoil in horror and dismay when they saw fellow prisoners being tortured and beaten. They simply could not stand to see a camp mate being abused. It hurt their hearts and minds! They couldn’t watch! They wanted to run and hide!
     But soon the horror would turn to hum-drum. The amazement would turn to apathy. The prisoners reached a point where they had seen so much pain, sorrow and suffering that they were no longer affected by it. They lost all emotion. Their hearts were not affected no matter how brutal the scene.
     What a pitiful situation. Men and women had seen so much violence and bloodshed that they no longer cared. They got used to it.
      Certainly there is an important lesson here for us. We must be alert. We must be guarding our hearts and minds. It may just be the case that, like Israel before us, we are getting used to sin.
     ‘Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,” says the LORD. (Jer. 6:15).
     Don’t get used to sin! Just because we are bombarded with worldliness and sin day and night does not give us the excuse to become apathetic toward such things. God still expects His children to talk, dress, act and think differently than the world. Man can get used to anything. Have we gotten used to sin?
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Phil. 4:8)

- Bart Warren; 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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What Were They Thinking?
By Charlie Gamble

  Do you recall a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife from Acts 5? They sold a possession of their own free will but then reported that they had sold it for less when giving (again by free will) the proceeds to Peter for the church. Peter asked them, “While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart?" Acts 5:4 (NKJV) He then declared that “you have not lied to men but to God.”
  I know there have been times I have been guilty of giving God less than I pledged. I am not thinking about money, though. I am thinking about my devotion, my time, my energy, my commitment to the Christian life.  I may have fooled men by doing things half-heartedly, but not God. What was I thinking?

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


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Rekindling the Flame
By Alan Smith

     An old lady had been married for many years when suddenly her husband died. This is what she put on his tombstone:
   THE LIGHT OF MY LIFE HAS GONE OUT
     Not long afterward she met, fell in love with and married another man. After thinking at some length about it, she went to the monument maker and had him add this to the tombstone:
   THE LIGHT OF MY LIFE HAS GONE OUT
         P.S. I Found A Match
     Reminds me of what happened to the church at Ephesus.  There was a lot of activity in that congregation.  They were commended for their perseverance, their refusal to tolerate false doctrine, and their labor for the cause of Christ.  But there was something missing.  The "light of their life" had gone out.  They lost the first love they had for Christ, and it had reached the point that they were doing lots of "religious works" without love as a motivator.
     "Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works...."  (Rev. 2:4-5a)
      Perhaps you've found yourself in a similar situation.  You're doing all the "right" things, but that love you once had for Christ just isn't there anymore.  Perhaps you need to find a match and rekindle the flame.  It's important to do that before the light truly goes out in our lives:
     "....or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place." (Rev. 2:5b)
     May you find again your "first love"!

Have a great day!

- Alan Smith, author of the popular "Thought For Today," and minister for the Fayetteville church of Christ in Fayetteville, NC, may be contacted at alansmith.servant@gmail.com


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On “Coming Out”
By A. C. Quinn

    Homosexuals, i. e., gays, lesbians, et. al., have a particular day each year set aside to which they refer as “Coming Out Day.” It is a day, they say, which is dedicated to “teaching” the public about gays and their varied life styles. It is rather presumptuous of them to think that the public is really interested in being taught. Regardless, they come out of the cracks and crevices of their immoral world and display their most ungodly life style.  The tragedy is that they actually think they are doing an ignorant society a favor by displaying their ungodliness to the world. More tragic, however, is the fact that few people, religious people, stand up against such public displays of immorality.
    One has to wonder how it is that those who have no doubt been given over to “…a reprobate mind…” (Romans 1:27-28) can have such conviction as to “come out” in defense of their corrupt life styles. There is, however, a greater reason to ponder, and that is why Christians are so timid about “coming out” in defense of the Gospel as the apostle Paul did (Phil. 1:17).
    Christians need to “come out” from their hiding places wherever they are and begin to stand firm on the truth with a willingness to face any foe if it means the advancement of the gospel of Christ.
    Christians need to “come out” of the world (2 Cor. 6:17) and realize that they are to be “…a peculiar people…” (Titus 2:14).
    If there ever was a time that the world needed to see the light of Christ shining through Christians, it is now. Having been “…delivered from the power of darkness..” (Col. 1:13), the Christian must let his light shine (Matt. 5:16). That light is all too often dimmed by the unfaithfulness, worldliness, and lukewarmness of those who should be “coming out” to show the world whose side they are on--Satan’s or Christ‘s; worldliness or godliness; a faithful follower of Christ or a deserter, as was Judas.
    “Coming out Day” should be every day for the Christian.
 
- A. C. Quinn
preaches for the West Main church of Christ in Wolfe City, Texas. He may be contacted at acuen30@netzero.net


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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
Instructions To A Pencil

A pencil-maker told the pencil 5 important lessons just before putting it in the box:
  1. Everything you do will make a mark.
  2. You can correct the mistakes you make.
  3. What is important is what is inside of you.
  4. In life, you will undergo painful sharpenings, which will only make you better.
  5. To be the best pencil, you must allow yourself to be held and guided by the hand that holds you.
We all need to be sharpened.  May this parable encourage you to know that you are a special person, with unique God-given talents and abilities.  Only you can fulfill the purpose which you were born to accomplish.  Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot be changed and, like the pencil, always remember that the most important part of who you are is what’s inside of you.

- 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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How Much Are You Giving?
Ten Percent Is a Place to Start, Not Stop

By Edd Sterchi

     So how much are you giving for the work of the Lord? Just that question alone makes one think of financial giving, doesn’t it? And we could discuss that, for we must always be giving thought to giving regularly and properly (1 Cor. 16:12) as well as with the right attitude (2 Cor. 9:7). I remember hearing about a church member who asked a preacher if one should give 10% of their income to the Lord. The preacher replied that the command concerning the tithe was nailed to the cross (cf. Col. 2:14), but that 10% was still a good place to start! It might be interesting to divide your total contributions by your total income and see what percent you are giving.
     But there are other ways to give, as well. It might also be interesting to take inventory and see what percent of your time you are giving for the work of the Lord. Let’s do a little experiment. There are 168 hours in a week. Taking off 56 hours for sleeping, that leaves 112 waking hours. Using the 10% as a starting figure for the Lord, that would be 11 hours. Taking off 4 hours for weekly worship and Bible studies (that’s assuming you attend both worship services and both Bible studies), that leaves 7 hours. Now the big question: Do you spend 7 hours per week studying the Scriptures, praying, visiting, sending cards, evangelizing, teaching, encouraging, helping others, etc? Like the preacher’s advice in financial giving, I suggest 7 hours a week for the Lord is a good place to start – after all,that’s only one hour per day!
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time...” (Eph. 5:15-16, ESV)

- Edd Sterchi preaches for the Jackson church of Christ in Jackson, MO.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.jacksonchurchofchrist.net


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Athletes and Drugs

"A FEW YEARS AGO, Sports Illustrated summarized a poll of one thousand Olympic athletes.  One of the questions posed was: "If we could give you a drug that would guarantee your victory at the Olympic Games but would also guarantee your death in five years, would you take it? Fifty-four percent said yes."

- Marianne M. Jennings, Professor of Legal and Ethical Studies, Arizona State University; 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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Why some don’t believe in God—

    “I want atheism to be true…. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God, and, naturally hope that I’m right about my belief.  It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.”

-- Contemporary philosopher Thomas Nagel

    It is as Paul wrote: “…they did not like to retain God in their knowledge….” (Romans 1:28a).

- 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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Hearts of Gold - poetry
                            The Lie
                 By J. Randal Matheny

Your life makes little difference on this planet;
Who notes the good you do, your sacrifices,
Your daily efforts for your friends and family?
If you disappeared, who would notice?

These venomous words the Evil One provides you,
They sound, in whispered darkness, true and weighty;
He'd have you quit, desist -- at least, discouraged,
For what immense power lies in your goodness!

Your words of cheer, your righteous, stout example,
The greetings, concerned calls and fervent prayers,
Your steadfast faith, transform people forever;
Than you the devil knows no greater danger.

- 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
attributions.


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                               Today I Stood!
                            (Author Unknown)

Today I stood at my window and cursed the pouring rain,

Today a desperate farmer prayed for his fields of grain.
My weekend plans are ruined, it almost makes me cry
While the farmer lifts his arms and blesses the clouded sky.

The alarm went off on Monday and I cursed my work routine,

Next door a laid off mechanic feels the empty pockets of his jeans.
I can't wait for my vacation, some time to take for me,
He doesn't know tonight how he'll feed his family.


I cursed my leaky roof and the grass I need to mow,
A homeless man downtown checks for change in the telephone.
I need a new car, mine is getting really old,
He huddles in a doorway, seeking shelter from the cold.

With blessings I'm surrounded, the rain, a job, a home,

Though my eyes are often blinded by the things I think I own.

1 Thes. 5:18: "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."


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          Welcome Home
          By Larry Pasley

God sent His Son for you to die;
So you could live with Him on high.
He wants you with Him by and by;
And longs your coming with a sigh.
Jesus came and suffered for you;
And all He asked for you to do;
Was just to simply, love Him too;
And then His holy will pursue.
So think how much for you He’s done;
In sending down His only Son;
Because He’s like no other one;
He vict’ry o’er the grave has won.
How disappointed He will be;
If at the gate He does not see;
The one to which He gave the key;
And said please come and live with me.
So since your flesh returns to loam;
And on this earth you cease to roam;
Think of heaven and that fair dome;
And long to hear that “Welcome Home.”

- Larry Pasley serves as a minister with the Jackson Street church of Christ in Alexandria, LA. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at http://www.JacksonStAlex.com



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               My Friend
          By
J. P. McEvoy

I could sail the waters of all the world
Bitter and wild and blue,
And never I’d find a friend to love
Like the friend I’ve found in you.
I could walk down all the roads of the world
And knock on the doors forever,
And never I’d find a friend like you,
Never, never, never!

- 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
Quotable Quotes—THE BIBLE

     “The Bible is the most remarkable piece of literature this world has ever seen.  It has outsold every other publication, it has been translated into more languages than any other, and has become part of the fabric of society in the English-speaking world…

     “Humanly speaking, it took more than 1500 years to compile the Bible.  About forty authors contributed, and they wrote primarily in Greek and Hebrew, with occasional Aramaic…

     “Some people were so committed to the belief that this is God’s book that they were even willing to die for that proposition.  And strangely, others have been willing to put them to death.  The bitterness and resentment against this book is difficult to explain….  Even in the twentieth century in some countries men and women have been imprisoned and tortured for reading this forbidden book.”  --Ken Connolly, The Indestructible Book: The Bible, Its Translators and Their Sacrifices, p. 7

- 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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