BulletinGold #157
January 2014   Vol 13 #11

January 2014          BG# 157         Vol. 13         Issue 11
Subscribe     Website    Blog     Submissions     Editors: David Bragg and 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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- Are You Patient? By Cecil May III
- Microwave Religion, by Craig Thomas
- And He Wants Me to be Honest! By Dan Jenkins
- “Edification in Christ,” by Darrell Broking
- A Different Kind of Courage, by King Duncan
- Golfers Are Right: The Fundamentals Are All That Count, by Bill McDonough
- The Preachers and Preaching Needed, by Benjamin Franklin
- Billy's Dad
- Be An “Anyway” Person
- Give Us, O Christ, by Gerald Cowan
- Set Free, by H. L. Gradowith
- He Lives By Rush and Dash, by J. Randal Matheny
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Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
Are You Patient?
By Cecil May III

    James begins and ends his epistle with the topic of patience. “The testing of your faith produces patience.” (1:3). James asks us to consider the patience of Job. (5:11).
    Be careful when you do consider the topic of patience. Due to current usage of that word in our language, you may have the wrong notion of what the Bible is encouraging. Therefore, you may miss what God is really looking for in a patient disciple.
    In the modern use of the term, I am a patient man. If I go to a doctor’s office for a ten o’clock appointment, find the office full of others who have ten o’clock appointments, and am kept waiting until eleven o’clock, I handle that very well. I am prepared to wait for I expect it. I generally carry a newspaper, making sure that I have my pen so that I can go to work on the crossword puzzle. When I am eventually called from the waiting room and my weight and blood pressure are taken by the nurse, my weight may be up, but my blood pressure remains that of a person of calm demeanor. That is what we mean by patient.
    Another person may boil. They may complain (loudly so that the doctor’s staff is sure to hear) about how “my time is as valuable as doctor’s time!” The person may just leave in a huff when their patience runs completely out. That is what we refer to as impatient.
    God was thinking of something slightly different, though, when he instructed us in his word to learn patience. As a matter of fact, depending on what English translation you use, you may even find the thought expressed as endurance or perseverance. The idea is to be able to remain faithful, even when life is not fair; to stick close to God even when sticking doesn’t seem to be beneficial; to be steadfast even when reason tells you to cut and run; to keep trusting in the face of abuse; to keep looking to Jesus no matter how distracting the world around you becomes. Dr. Phil always wants to know about our behavior, “What is your payoff for that?” Patience means that you keep behaving as Jesus would behave, if the payoff is delayed, or even if it looks like payday will never come.
    How was your 2013? Was life fair with you? Did doubt attack? Were you abused even when you were doing what was right? Did the world seductively reach out to you? Oh, but you are still here. You still wear the name of Christ. That is patience.
    When 2014 is over and done are you determined that you will still be here then, too? If you determination holds, that is patience.

- 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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Microwave Religion
By Craig Thomas

    Undoubtedly today’s world has many “conveniences”: cell phones, instant pudding, remote controls, drive-through restaurants, and microwave ovens. There’s nothing inherently evil about conveniences, but living in such a world can lead us to develop unhealthy spiritual attitudes. Below are some examples that, if practiced, lead to “microwave religion.”
    1) Salvation without sacrifice. Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Lk. 9:23) But about the only thing that differentiates most “Christians” from people of the world is that their name is on a church roll somewhere and they show up once in awhile for a worship service (maybe!). You can’t have salvation without sacrifice! Jesus asks for our sacrifice, not occasionally, but “daily”!
    2) Remission without repentance. Repentance is perhaps God’s hardest command. Repentance is more than saying you’re sorry (2 Cor. 7:10). It requires us to change our mind and our behavior (Matt. 3:8). Repentance is an absolute requirement! “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Lk. 13:3; cf. Acts 17:30). “God...now commands all men everywhere to repent,” - that's you, that’s me, that's everyone! (Acts 17:30)
     3) Righteousness without obedience. Many people excuse themselves of obeying God, “I’m just human!” they cry. But the Bible says, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1 Jn. 2:3) Claiming to know God without keeping His commands makes us a liar! (1 Jn. 2:4) Jesus is “the author of eternal salvation” to “all who obey Him” (Heb. 5:9) and His commands are not “burdensome”! (1 Jn. 5:3)
     4) Morality without self denial. We live in a society without self-denial. But it is impossible to live a moral life without self-denial (Titus 2:11-12). Even Paul said he had to “discipline” his “body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” (1 Cor. 9:27) Are we greater than the humble apostle? Nay, we must practice the same!
     5) Growth without diligence. Unfortunately most Christians remain spiritual “babies” (Heb. 5:12-14). Peter said we must “give all diligence” to “add” certain things to our faith (see 2 Pet. 1:5-7). If we fail to do so, he said we are “shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” (2 Pet. 1:9) Are you growing or forgetting?
     6) Knowledge without study. The amount of Bible knowledge possessed by most Christians is truly pitiful! Evidently they don’t realize God said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hos. 4:6) We need to be diligent students of God’s word (2 Tim. 2:15). Otherwise we'll fall too! (Eph. 4:11-14) How are your Bible study habits?
     7) Truth without controversy. By its very nature truth is controversial. But in our “politically correct” world few are willing to “earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude 3). Does the truth make you squeamish? Remember, “Good preaching sounds reveille, not taps.” What about your religion? Is it true to God’s book? Is it the religion taught by Jesus and the apostles? Is it sacrificial, obedient, and self-denying? Or, is it a religion of convenience, a “microwave religion”?
- 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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And He Wants Me to be Honest!
By Dan Jenkins

    It sure sounded good.  I’m talking about the inheritance letter I received from a lawyer (Peter Greenwood from Eastcote, London, England), which began, “I am the legal representative to the late J. Jenkins, an American national who herein shall be referred to as my late client.”
    Now let’s see, my father was J. Jenkins and before him was my grandfather who was J. Jenkins.  (In fact, I just counted and I immediately came up with seven J. Jenkins related to me).  I was somewhat disillusioned when I learned of the death of J. Jenkins in March 2006 – I hadn’t heard about it, but who keeps up with all their relatives!
    The letter told me that the “late J. Jenkins” had left an estate of $7,500,000 and Mr. Greenwood wanted to help me get the money.  What a great guy!  I’m not sure how he decided that he should contact me, seeing that there are 236,264 other Jenkinses in the U.S. and 52,608 in Great Britain, but this certainly seemed to be my lucky day.  Mr. Greenwood then wrote, “I want you to consider this proposal.  If you grant your consent that I present you to the bank as the next-of-kin and beneficiary of my deceased client since you share the same surname as my late client …”  What a gracious lawyer.  He certainly seems to be so interested in helping me.  The rest of the sentence added, “then we can share the entire proceeds on a mutually agreed-upon percentage.”  I just can’t imagine why lawyers have such a bad reputation!
    What followed was the most amazing part of the letter, “All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us to see this transaction through.”  Honest cooperation!!!  The letter reeks of a scam and he wants me to be honest!  What a commentary on all that is in this world!
    So many Bible verses come to mind.   “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses. … Proved things honest in the sight of all men … Therefore putting away lying.  Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor … For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil …”  (Luke 12:15; Rom. 12:17; Eph. 4:25; 1 Tim. 6:1).  The verse which seems to be most fitting is Rev. 21:8, “… all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”  Truly, there is no honor among thieves!

- 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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“Edification in Christ”
By Darrell Broking

    The Greek noun oikodorne denotes the act of building. This word comes from the word oiko, a home, and demo, to build. The verb oikodomeo literally means “to build a house.” In Matthew 21:42 oikodomeo is used as a noun, and translated builders. This same word is translated “edified” in Acts 9:31 and other places. Edification is the act of building.
    Any time a wise person sets out to erect a structure, he will sit down and count the cost. In Luke 14:28, we read the words of that wise master builder, Jesus the Christ. “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?” The cost involved in being built up in the Lord’s house is considerable. Very few are willing to pay that price. In Matthew 13:44 Jesus said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” The price tag placed upon one being built up in the Lord’s house is one’s total worth. If we refuse to begin here, we labor in vain. Paul revealed to the Corinthians that the churches of Macedonia had much power in weakness, because they “first gave their own selves to the Lord” (2 Cor. 8:5).
    The most important element in any structure is its foundation. In 1 Corinthians 3:11 we read, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” The Jew’s rejected the Christ, therefore He said to them: “Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?” (Mat. 21:42).
    So it is that all edification is centered around the Lord and His good doctrine. Jesus said, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock” (Mat. 7:24). True edification can only result when all of Jesus’ doctrine is accepted. The hard sayings of the Lord are just as important as the love and grace passages found in His Word. Jesus’ doctrine is the fiber holding His house together. Any time a person skimps, and leaves out some of the fiber, you can be assured that his building will not withstand the coming storm.
    Inspired men in the first century were given various parts of the Lord’s doctrine For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ (Eph. 4:12-15).
    We have the New Testament for that same reason today; that is, to be built up in Christ!

- via the Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere Church of Christ, Belvedere, SC.  Ken Chumbley preaches for this congregation, and he may be contacted at their website: http://www.belvederechurchofchrist.org
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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
A Different Kind of Courage
By King Duncan

    The father of Origen, a third century theologian, was arrested for being a Christian.  Origen, then only seventeen, was aflame with the desire to follow his dad and share in glorious martyrdom.  His mother pleaded with him not to go, but the headstrong boy did not want to listen to reason.  His quick thinking mother did what she could - she hid his clothes.  Though Origen stormed and protested, she wouldn't reveal where they were hidden.  He couldn't leave the house, and so he was unable to volunteer for martyrdom.
    Isn't it interesting?  Origen was brave enough to be martyred, but not brave enough to go outside naked.  Stepping outside without clothing  would have sped up his arrest and imprisonment, but it was a step he was unwilling to take.
    In a sense, I suspect that talking with a friend about our faith is for many of us the equivalent of going outside naked.  It makes us uncomfortable.  We feel exposed.  We declare that we will give our lives for Christ if He should ask it, but to risk a bit of embarrassment for him seems to be beyond our level of discipleship.  How sad.  The disciples were willing to forsake everything, including the esteem of their friends.

- via the Main Street Monitor, the weekly bulletin of the Main Street Church of Christ, Manchester, TN.
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Golfers Are Right: The Fundamentals Are All That Count
By Bill McDonough

    “If something goes wrong, it’s the fundamentals that go wrong.” – Professional golfer Jack Nicholas
    Not only in golf, but in life, it’s the fundamentals that go wrong.  Job hung on to the fundamentals when he suffered and when he was told by his wife to “curse God and die,” knowing that God was the one fundamental that would see him through.  He cried out, “I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go.  My heart does not reproach any of my day.” (Job 27:6)
    The apostle Paul wrote, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”  (Romans 12:2)  Discussing doctrinal fundamentals he wrote, “Now I make known to you brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received in which also you stand, by which you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2) , and to emphasize the point he wrote to the Thessalonians, “But examine everything carefully, hold fast to that which is good, abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)  Jesus said, “I am coming quickly: hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” (Revelation 3:11)
    When thing in life go wrong, hang on to the fundamentals: when there are doctrinal questions, hang on to the fundamentals; when you are tempted, hang on to the fundamentals and God will see you through.
    The lack of respect for the fundamentals is what’s wrong with the world, including the world of religion, politics, education and business.  A return to fundamentals is always the answer.  Jack Nicholas was right.

--via Windsong Notes, the monthly newsletter of the Windsong Church of Christ in Little Rock , Ark.
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The Preachers and Preaching Needed
By Benjamin Franklin

    We want no mere excitement about a man, nor after a man, who, as Simon the sorcerer, induces the people to think that he is some great one. We want the clear, solid, and telling preaching of the Gospel, enlightening the people in reference to our Lord, the way to Him, and how to serve Him.
    We want nothing sensational, no tricks, no comic performance; ...no artifice to get round the people, come on them suddenly, and surprise them. Come directly to the people from the start, and let them know what you mean, and work directly to the one point—the enlightenment and salvation of men.
    The man that can tell the story of the cross, and of a Savior’s love, in the most artless and unaffected manner, lose sight of and forget himself in his theme most completely, will accomplish the most in the Savior’s name. May we learn and tell the story of infinite compassion and love in all its fullness and completeness more successfully, with more faith and power than ever, and may we be enabled to bring souls to Christ more abundantly than ever.

- via the Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere Church of Christ, Belvedere, SC.  Ken Chumbley preaches for this congregation, and he may be contacted at their website: http://www.belvederechurchofchrist.org
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Billy's Dad

Teacher: “If you have two dollars and you ask your father for four dollars more, how much will you have?”
Billy: “Two dollars.”
Teacher: “Billy, you don’t know your math.”
Billy: “Teacher, you don’t know my father.”

- 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
Be An “Anyway” Person

People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.           
     Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
     Do good anyway.
If you’re successful you’ll win false friends and true enemies.
     Succeed anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
     Be honest and frank anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
     Do good anyway.
The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the
smallest people with the smallest minds.
     Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only the top dogs.
     Fight for the underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building can be destroyed overnight.
     Build anyway.
Give the world the best you’ve got and you may still get kicked in the teeth.
   Give the best you’ve got anyway.
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Give Us, O Christ
By Gerald Cowan

Give us O Christ the strength that is in Thee
That we may stand and be forever free
From all the wiles and snares of Satan and
The fiery darts of trouble from his hand.
In Thee O Lord we know that we can stand.

Give us O Christ the grace that is in Thee,
That others then may look at us and see
Not us, but Him whom ev’ry soul admires,
The beauty and the nature heav’n requires,
The goodness that our Father God inspires.

Give us O Christ the love that is in Thee
That with concern for others we may see
Unmeasured worth, the value of the soul
That was designed. and meant for God’s control.
Though broken, God can mend and make it whole   

Give us the victory that is in Thee
O Christ, that we may overcomers be
And sit with Thee where God gives Thee a throne,
Where we can reign with Thee, claimed as His own,
And through eternity be not alone.

Give us O Christ the peace that is in Thee,
The peace that guards the heart and makes us free
From sorrow, stress, corroding care and strain,
And all the fear and dread that comes with pain.
To be in peace with thee at death is gain.
Give us the glory, Lord, that is in Thee.
Let it be seen in us eternally.
The glory of the world is empty dross,
And we will count as naught our worldly loss
When crucified with thee upon thy cross.

- Gerald Cowan preaches for the Dongola Church of Christ in Dongola, IL.  He may be contacted at Geraldcowan1931@aol.com 
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Set Free
By H. L. Gradowith

Oft along the way we're troubled
      By the foe of ev'ry man,
Oft it seems his strength's redoubled
      Endless fury's in his hand...
When we think we've reached our rope's end,
      That no longer can we last;
We look up and find a True Friend
      And unto Him we hold fast.
He can help because He's been there,
      What we now face He did, too;
We can trust our burdens He'll share
      With us 'til our journeys through!
Over death He gained the Vict'ry,
      And He offers us the same;
Tho in life the worst we oft see
      All our troubles He shall tame!
Now He's promised us a Life Crown
      And a Home forevermore,
All temptation He will put down
      And lead us to Heavens' Shore!
And we know that there He'll meet us!
      Happy we'll forever be!
There with open arms He'll greet us
      From the sting of death set free!

- H. L. Gradowith  For more information on H. L. Gradowith and GRADOWITH POEMS e-mail group visit http://www.geocities.com/fp5699/ - the website of Tim Smith, minister of the Enon Church of Christ in Webb, AL. 
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He Lives By Rush and Dash
By J. Randal Matheny

Man doesn’t live by bread alone,
He lives by rush and dash,
By tweets and tablets, ear to the phone,
By credit card, not cash.

Man lives by face in virtual book,
By moving gifs and text,
By snaps and pics, and Pinterest cook,
And wonders why he’s vexed.

Man lives today for posts from friends,
For comments, likes, and blogs,
But like the dead of olden trends,
He goes with them to the dogs.

— ‹‹«»›› —

    We think we're somehow different from other generations, don't we?
    But technological progress doesn't give us a leg up on those who lived in ages past. Nor do the latest fads make us any better or give us any special advantages over them.
    Maybe, just maybe, our modern toys and tools make it harder to see our final end.
    He who understands this and acts according will shine in his day.


- 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) 2013 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
Prayer is not a “spare wheel” that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a “steering wheel” that directs the right path throughout your week.

Do you know why a car’s windshield is so large and the rearview mirror is so small? Your past is not as important as your future. Look ahead and move on.

Friendship is like a book. It takes a few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write.
- 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
“Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day, but a series of oppressions begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers (administrations) too plainly proves a deliberate, systemic plan of reducing us to slavery.”  (Thomas Jefferson)

"It is the peculiar quality of a fool to perceive the faults of others and to forget his own." (Cicero)

The test of a man’s character is how he takes praise.

“Man will ultimately be governed by God or by tyrants.”  (Benjamin Franklin)

“The main problem with mental notes is the ink fades so fast.”
- 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

Never try to make anyone like yourself.  You know, and God knows, that one of you is enough. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
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