BulletinGold #147
March 2013   Vol 13 #1
 


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BulletinGold #147
March 2013
Vol. 13 Num. 1
Editors:
David Bragg
Edward Thomason
BulletinGold
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In This Issue:
Articles
Nuggets
Poems
Quotes
- Impatience, by Jeff Arnette
- Allegations, by Bill Brandstatter
- How Important is the Church? By Ron Bartanen
- ‘God Created In Six Days,’ by Paul L. McElroy
- No Leisure to Look Up
- A Spoken Word, by Ron Thomas
- Antlers, by Bruce Howell
- A Congregation Grows When...
- When This Day is Done, by Richard E. Rybolt
- Prayer of Any Husband, by Mazie V. Caruthers
- If God Should Go On Strike, by Walt Huntley
quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs


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Editorial by David Bragg
Welcome to the March issue of BulletinGold, the first issue in our 13th year. Thank you for your support and for sharing your ministry with us.

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

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Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
Impatience
By Jeff Arnette

    How many times have you been in a hurry only to be slowed by someone or something?
    How many times have you prayed for an answer from God only to be met with impatiently waiting until you gave up and made a decision for yourself?
    The great New England preacher Phillips Brooks was known for his calm demeanor, but even he could have his patience tried at times. One day a friend observed him pacing the floor like a caged lion. "What's the trouble, Dr. Brooks?" Asked the friend. "The trouble is that I am in a hurry," he replied, "but God isn't."
     Isn’t that true of most of us at times in our life? We become impatient with the deliberate manner in which God operates. We want results now! We want that sapling to grow into that huge tree soon, we want to see that church grow to maturity, and we want to see that teenager who has been going astray turn their life around overnight.
     I'm sure the foolish builder of Matthew 7:24-27, could have pointed out the length of time it took the other guy to cut a foundation out of bed rock, and to make his deliberate, painstaking preparations. But you know what happened when the wind and the rains came; the guy who was in a hurry was homeless!
     It took Jesus three years to develop His apostles. It took eighty years to prepare Moses for leadership. It took thousands of years for the right time for God to send His son (Galatians 4:4).
     And we want results yesterday. At the soonest. Are you kidding me?  I wonder if the Lord operates on Greenwich Mean Time or Eastern Standard Time. I wonder who sets God's deadlines. I wonder if it wouldn't be better if we began to fit into His schedule rather than trying to crush Him into ours. "The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear" (Mark 4:28, ESV).
     God has an eternity in which to do His work. Then again, we're eternal beings, too. Maybe we should work on His schedule and "wait on the Lord" (Psalm 27:4).

- 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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Allegations
By Bill Brandstatter

     The past several weeks have been rocked with allegations. There were allegations made against Herman Cain, one of the presidential candidates and also against a former defensive coordinator of the Penn State University football team. Allegations sometimes prove to be factual. Sometimes they are false. A person is, however, innocent until proven guilty.
      Jesus had a number of allegations leveled against Him. They were all false. The allegations had malicious intent. They were designed to find fault with Him so that His enemies could find a reason to have Him put to death. The allegations against Jesus came in three areas: political, religious, and social.
     The political allegations came based on a misunderstanding of the kingship of Christ. Luke records the multitude accusing Him: “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He himself is Christ, a King.” (Lk. 23:2) Jesus is not the king over a physical kingdom, but a spiritual one. (John 18:36) Religiously, there were a number of allegations made against Jesus. He was accused of having a demon. (John 8:48) The scribes accused him of blasphemy because He forgave sins. (Matt. 9:3) The Pharisees said he cast out demons by the power of Beelzebub. (Matt. 12:24) All these allegations were made because the religious elite of Jesus’ day did not understand that He was God in the flesh. (Matt. 1:23) They also did not accept Him as the Christ.
     Socially, He was accused of being drunk. (Matt. 11:19) This allegation was made because His critics did not like Jesus being around sinners and other people they considered unsavory. Yet Jesus came for all men. He gave Himself for the sins of all mankind. (Gal. 1:4; Rom. 5:8)
     Despite all the allegations against Him, Jesus finished the work the Father gave Him to do. (John 17:4) As a result, all men can be saved today through His blood. (Mt.26:28; Rev. 1:5) We become children of God through faith in Him and put Him on in baptism. (Gal. 3:26, 27) When we do this, all the allegations He suffered are worth it since He came to seek and save those that are lost. (Lk. 19:10)

– Bill Brandstatter preaches for the Marion Church of Christ in Marion, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://marionchurchofchrist.com/


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How Important is the Church?
By Ron Bartanen
 
    It is troubling that there are many who claim respect for the Bible, and claim faith in Christ, but have chosen to regard the church as an option.  Statements are often heard such as, “My religion is a personal religion.  I don’t need a church to feel close to God.”  These see little importance in the church—at least for themselves.  How should we respond to this concept?
    In the first place, one’s feelings on the matter may be irrelevant.  God’s prophet, Jeremiah, declared, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9).  In other words, to trust one’s feelings would be to listen to a liar.
    In the second place, religion is greatly over-valued. Jesus didn’t come to make us religious.  Universally, man has always been religious.  Even worshipers of Satan are religious.  They were religious people who cried out against Christ, saying, “Crucify Him!”
    In the third place, most have a totally flawed view of what the Bible speaks of as the church.  The church is not seen in Scripture as a denomination, or an aggregate of denominations.  Many are turned away by what is sometimes referred to as “organized religion.”  Denominational structures and alliances are man-made sectarian fellowships bound together by human creeds and rules of faith and practice.  The New Testament church was divided only by location, with no central headquarters, and had no sectarian allegiance to a religious party.  Partyism within the one body was carnal, not spiritual (1 Cor. 3:3-4).  The church was not something they joined, but it was a body of people who responded to the gospel (good news) of Christ in faith, repenting of their sins, and being baptized (immersed) in acceptance of the remission of sins.  Of such it is said, “The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Read Acts 2:36-47). The church is not an organization, like a country club, that one might choose to join, but it is the universal fellowship of those who have committed themselves to Christ to serve and obey Him.
    The importance of this relationship is seen in the fact that the church was purchased by the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28), and is spoken of as Christ’s body, of which He alone is head (Colossians 1:18). The endearment with which Christ loves the church is seen in the apostle Paul’s comparison of Jesus’ relationship with the church to the relationship of a man with his wife, even giving His life for her (Eph. 5:22-33).
    Had the first Christians regarded their relationship to Christ as “a personal religion” apart from other believers, it would have been contrary to Christ who promised, in anticipation of this redeemed community, “I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18). Rather, from the first they “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, the fellowship, the breaking of bread and in prayers” (Acts 2:42), also “teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs…” (Col. 3:16).  Had they not been diligent in this, surely the Christian faith would have been quickly snuffed out.  Christians need one another, and are to worship and work together in the body of Christ.  We are admonished, “Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:25).
    The church is obviously important to the Lord. The question is: Is the church important to 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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‘God Created In Six Days’
By Paul L. McElroy

     "In the beginning God created the Heavens and earth." (Gen. 1:1). "Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day." (Gen. 1:31). "Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done." (Gen. 2:1-2).
     Since God’s Word (the Bible) is truth (John 17:17), why have so many been taught and apparently believe that it took millions of years for the earth to have its beginning?
      Some have said: "It wasn’t actual six days, but each so-called day was really millions of years long." But notice what the Word of God says– "So the evening and morning were the first day"; and on through the sixth day. Evening, morning add up to 24 hours.
     Notice the words God gave through Moses to the Israelites, which were God’s special people about 1500 years.
     "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work.
    "FOR IN SIX DAYS the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." Israel’s week was seven days long.
    Notice the words of Jesus Christ– "But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female." (Mark 10:6). Do you believe the words of our Lord?
    Since the human mind cannot figure how God accomplished so much in six days, far too many thus will not believe God’s Word. Such people will have a terrible eternal outcome.
    Unfortunately, for many years some teachers even in public schools, have been trying to teach our children and grandchildren that the "creation took millions of years". When are Christians going to do something to end this false teaching?
    How about you? Do you believe what God says? In order to gain eternal life you must: Hear the Gospel of Christ, Rom. 10:17; Believe the good news about Christ, John 8:24; Repent of your sins, Acts 2:38; Publicly confess Christ, Matt. 10:32-33; Be baptized into Christ, Mark 16:15, Rom. 6:3-5). Live faithfully, Rev. 2:10.

- Paul L. McElroy preaches for the Columbia Church of Christ in Columbia, MS. He may be contacted at cc0c@bellsouth.net


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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
No Leisure to Look Up
 
    King Henry IV of France once asked the Duke of Alva if he had observed the great eclipse of the sun that had recently occurred.
    “No,” said the duke.  “I have so much to do on the earth that I have no leisure to look up into heaven.”
    Commenting on this, Thomas Brooks said, “It is sad to think how heart and time are so taken up with earthly things that we have no leisure to look to Christ and the things that belong to everlasting peace.”
    Yes, how foolish is the person who caters entirely to this temporal world! It gives only momentary pleasure, and cannot bring the eternal rewards of Heaven.  Jesus told us, “…seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6).  – Cybersalt Digest

- 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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A Spoken Word
By Ron Thomas

Proverbs 10:19 says, “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” Many years ago I learned that the value of a word fitly spoken penetrates powerfully. Though I learned this I did not always do what I learned. While I was in the USAF, stationed in Guam, I heard a brother in the Lord answer someone’s question about why he spoke so little. He responded, “I’m tired of eating my foot.” Those few words said more to me than all the philosophy classes I took in college. What is your impression of a person who seems to always be talking? My impression, sometimes, is that the person doing all or nearly all the talking doesn’t have much to say, but it is going to be said anyway. The context, of course, of the circumstances (and words) will determine how this is to be interpreted. The proverb writer does not speak anything profoundly spiritual. He simply utters a truth that any mature adult can understand. I wish, though, that many adults would transfer this understanding of theirs into actions.  Someone has said that if you give a man enough rope and he will hang himself. I think I’ll carry a short rope!

- 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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Antlers
By Bruce Howell

    SOME TIME AGO National Geographic ran an article about the Alaskan bull moose...
    The males of the species battle for dominance during the fall breeding season, literally going head-to-head with antlers crunching together as they collide.  Often the antlers, their only weapon are broken.  That ensures defeat.  The heftiest moose, with the largest and strongest antlers, triumphs.
    Therefore, the battle fought in the fall is really won during the summer, when the moose eat continually.  The one that consumes the best diet for growing antlers and gaining weight will be the heavyweight in the fight.  Those that eat inadequately sport weaker antlers and less bulk.
    THOUGHT:  Spiritual battles await us.  Satan will choose a season to attack.  Will we be victorious, or will we fall?  Much depends on what we do now--before the wars begin.  Remember the bull-moose principle: enduring faith, strength, and wisdom for trials are best developed before they’re needed.

- Mike Benson edits an on-line devotional entitled KneEmail.  To subscribe, send ANY message to: kneemail-subscribe@welovegod.org  Mike may be contacted atmlbenson@wowway.com


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A Congregation Grows When...

• Each member has a deep concern for the lost.
• Each member enters into the worship service with much feeling and enthusiasm.
• Each member is interested in an aggressive Bible School program.
• Each teacher is interested in improving his or her teaching ability.
• Each elder and deacon is dedicated to the work.
• Each member is personally involved in the work.
• Each member is willing to purpose and give as he or she has been prospered.
• Each member lets brotherly love express itself to every other member.
• Each member is willing to truthfully say, “Here am I Lord, send me.”

- 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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Hearts of Gold - poetry
When This Day is Done
By Richard E. Rybolt

This day so full of promise
Has slowly slipped away,
Like dying coals upon the fire
Where logs of oak once lay.

Some victories, some losses,
With work yet to be done -
People who will need me
Struggles to be won.

So I kneel beside my bed
To thank God for this day,
I ask for nothing but His grace
That love might light my way.

Gone forever is this day,
Content I've done my best.
I hand it over now to God
And seek His peaceful rest.

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


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Prayer of Any Husband
By Mazie V. Caruthers

Lord, may there be no moment in her life
When she regrets that she became my wife,
And keep her dear eyes just a trifle blind
To my defects, and to my failings kind!

Help me to do the utmost that I can
To prove myself her measure of a man,
But, if I often fail as mortals may,
Grant that she never sees my feet of clay!

And let her make allowance -- now and then --
That we are only grown-up boys, we men,
So, loving all our children, she will see,
Sometimes, a remnant of the child in me!

Since years must bring to all their load of care,
Let us together every burden bear,
And when Death beckons one its path along,
May not the two of us be parted long!

- This poem comes from the 1941 book, "Poems that Touch the Heart." 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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If God Should Go On Strike
By Walt Huntley

How good it is that God above
has never gone on strike,
Because He was not treated fair
in things He didn’t like.
If only once, He’d given up and
said, “That’s it. I’m through.
I’ve had enough of those on Earth
so this is what I’ll do:
I’ll give my orders to the sun
cut off the heat supply!
And to the moon–give no more light,
and run the oceans dry.
Then to make things really tough
and put the pressure on,
Turn off all the vital oxygen till
every breath is gone!”
You know He would be justified
if fairness was the game,
For no one has been more abused
or met with more disdain
Than God, and yet He carries on,
supplying you and me
With all the favors of His grace,
and everything for free.
Men say they want a better deal,
and so on strike they go,
But what a deal we’ve given
God to whom all things we owe.
We don’t care whom we hurt
to gain the things we like;
But what a mess we’d all be in
if God should go on strike.

- 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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Gold Mines ---- quotes, sayings & sign messages
A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. – Mignon McLaughlin

The individual is capable of both great compassion and great indifference. He has it within his means to nourish the former and outgrow the latter. – Norman Cousins
- 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/
God wants full custody, not just week-end visitations.
- 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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BulletinGold Extra ---- recent postings on our Blogsite

- Perilous Times?... Perhaps, by Robert Lambert
- Balance, by Michael Whitworth

- Glory, by Chris Tiegreen
- Pride and a Haughty Spirit, by Charles Pogue
- “Go Into the World,” by David Holder
- Be Careful, Eyes and Ears! By R. W. McAlister
- Always Give a Good Example and an Honest Answer, by Gerald Cowan
- Why Is The Plan of Salvation Spread Throughout The New Testament? By Douglas Hoff
- Signs of Life, by Alan Smith
- Whose Are You? By Bart Warren
- The Church’s Mission, by Darwin Hunter
- Descriptions of Second Coming

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