BulletinGold #151
July 2013   Vol 13 #5
 

 
Bulletin
  
July 2013
BG# 151   Vol. 13   Issue 05

serving churches of Christ
GOLD
Subscribe     Website    Blog     Submissions     Editors: David Bragg and Edward Thomason
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ARTICLES
NUGGETS
POEMS
QUOTES
- Temptation at the Cross, by Charlie Gamble
- Character, by Jackie W. Fox
- Was It Worth It? By John Gross
- "Follow Me", by Patrick Hogan
- Who Are You Living For? By Jim Murrell
- What Comes Out? By Jim Wilson
- My God-Given Name, by Tim Hall
- Amazing Discovery In an Attic
- Marriage Cares, by J. Randal Matheny
- I Drink From the Fountain of God, by Gerald Cowan
- The Better Things
- God, Give Us Men! By Josiah Gilbert Holland
Quotes
& sayings

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Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
Temptation at the Cross
By Charlie Gamble

     Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: "They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots." Matt 27:35 (NKJV)
     And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Matt 27:37 (NKJV)
     And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, "You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross." Matt 27:39-40 (NKJV)
     Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. Matt 27:41-42 (NKJV)
     He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.' " Matt 27:43 (NKJV)
     Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, "This Man is calling for Elijah!" Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink. The rest said, "Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him." Matt 27:47-49 (NKJV)
     I am in awe of the restraint it took not to give in to these temptations. Imagine what might have happened if He had come down. The answer as to why He did not is found in Jesus prayer: "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." Luke 22:42 (NKJV) Why not consider these words when we are tempted? Regardless of the, sometimes extreme, temptations we face, we have an example in Jesus whose situation was much worse. Let His will be done.

- Charlie Gamble preaches for the Brunswick Church of Christ in Southport, NC. He may be contacted at cgamble64@gmail.com
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Character
By Jackie W. Fox

When James A. Garfield was a young man, a friend gave him a printed slip which he cherished all his life. It reads as follows:
        ¨ Make few promises.
        ¨ Always speak the truth.
        ¨ Never speak evil of anyone.
        ¨ Keep good company or none.
        ¨ Drink no intoxicating liquors.
        ¨ Good character is desired above everything else.
        ¨ Be honest if you would be happy.
        ¨ When you speak to a person look into his eyes.
        ¨ Spend less than you earn.
        ¨ Live within your income.
        ¨ Never run into debt unless you see your way out.
        ¨ Good company and good conversation are the essentials of virtue.
        ¨ Good character can be injured only by your own acts.
        ¨ If evil is spoken of you, let your life refute the falsehood.
        ¨ If your hands cannot be employed, attend to the cultivation of your mind.
    James Garfield has been dead almost 100 years. Yet there is not one thing contained in that list of suggestions that would not make of each of us a better person. The manner of communication and transportation may have changed drastically. Medical science has made unbelievable strides.
     But that which builds character remains the same. Can it be that this philosophy made him say with deep conviction, “I stepped down when I left preaching the gospel to become president of the United States.”?
    I do trust that ALL Christians will remember that Christian character does not alter with the times.

- 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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Was It Worth It?
By John Gross

     Any time the congregation spends effort and money on any project we have to stop and ask: “Is it worth it?” Whenever we have a project like Vacation Bible School there will be literally hours each teacher spends getting ready for their class. There is the time and money spent on advertising not to mention working to have the facilities looking good for those who visit. Add into that the extra cost of Air Conditioning during the hot weather and all the other costs associated with VBS we have to ask ourselves if our efforts were wisely spent.
    How do you judge such a thing? Will our efforts be worth it if we have large numbers attend? Will it be worth it if we have a new family place membership? What will be the standard we use to determine if all of our time and money was worth what it cost? I found an old box of papers that has been pushed back and ignored for years. In that box I found a certificate where I attended VBS when I was eight years old. I have not been a member of that congregation since 1969. I wonder if the efforts of the congregation in Jerseyville, Illinois were worth it?
    I remember sitting in an old wooden theater style seat with my feet dangling, far from the floor. Charlie Scoggans was preaching that day, and I could not have been more than five years old. I still remember thinking that when I grew up I wanted to be a preacher just like Charlie. Perhaps he wondered if his sermon was worth anything that day.
    It was December 1965 when Burl Price shook my hand after the morning services and said: “Please come back to our young people’s class tonight.” He had to put up with an ornery kid, but he was patient, and he immersed me into Christ July 15, 1966. He spent time with me in Bible study and helped me start my library. Perhaps he too wondered if it was worth it.
    I wonder if all the efforts of the congregation are worth the sweat, hard work, and money we put into it. Perhaps the best way to judge such things is with the inspired words of the Apostle Paul: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth” (I Corinthians 3:6 ESV). We will not know the answer to our question until the day of judgment. We cannot know how our efforts have touched the mind of a child or adult. We can only do our part and depend on God to bless our efforts.

- via the weekly bulletin of the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY.  Jim Faughn serves as an elder and preacher for the congregation. Visit their website at: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org
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"Follow Me"
By Patrick Hogan

     The last eleven verses of John 21 contain an enlightening conversation between Jesus and Peter. It is in this section of Scripture that Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him. After Peter's third response to the question, Jesus states:
"Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish." This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me."
     Peter, somewhat surprised by the implications of Jesus' statement, asked what would happen to the disciple behind him (apparently John). Jesus' reply was very straightforward: "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me." Basically Jesus told Peter that his most important concern was to follow. John's fate might be very different from Peter's, but that should not really made any difference to Peter. His main focus should be to follow Jesus regardless of where it would lead and regardless of what happened to other followers.
     When the passage was read Sunday morning in the worship assembly, this thought really hit home with me. Some followers of Jesus will have, what may appear to me, relatively easy and trouble-free lives. Others may find life to be filled with difficulties. (It is always easier for me to see my troubles that it is to know what others really face.) Regardless of what life may bring, instead of worrying about how easy someone else has it, my chief responsibility is to follow Jesus. Instead of complaining that someone "got away with" something, I should simply follow Jesus. Instead of lamenting that someone else is more blessed than I have been, I should concentrate on following Jesus. While accepting responsibility for my own relationship with Jesus may be harder than comparing my plight with that of others, it is the way to be blessed.

- Patrick Hogan serves as a minister and elder of the Shady Acres Church of Christ, in Sikeston, MO.  He may be contacted through the church's website at http://www.shadyacreschurch.com
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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
Who Are You Living For?
By Jim Murrell

"And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever" (1 John 2:17).
     The only thing that is going to last are the things of God. Period.
     The world is passing away. Our days are fleeting. One day we will all be gone from this earth as we know it. You see, we're not citizens of earth trying to get to heaven. We are citizens of heaven sojourning here on earth. This earth is not our home.
     Are you living for the praise of men? Or for the glory of God?
     Are you living for time? Or are you living for eternity?
     Are you living for the things that can be seen? Or for the things that cannot be seen?
     One of these days, this old world and all of its vaulted culture, proud philosophies, and godless materialism is going to be forgotten. But he that "doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
     Take stock: Who are you really living for?
     Live For Jesus Today,

- via the weekly bulletin of the Coldwater Church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. Clifton Angel preaches for congregation and may be contacted through their website: http://www.coldwatercofc.com/
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What Comes Out?
By Jim Wilson
 
   Amy Carmichael has a note in her little book:: “A cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted.”
   If it is full of sweet water and is jolted, what will come out of the cup? Sweet water.  If you gave it a harder jolt, what’s going to happen? More sweet water.  If someone is filled with sweet water and someone else gives him a “jolt,” what will come out? Sweet water! Jolts do not turn sweet water into bitter water.  That is done by something else.
   Jolts only bring out of the container what is already in the container.  If you’re filled with sweetness and light, and you get jolted, you’re going to spill sweetness and light.  If you’re filled with honey, the honey will come out.  If vinegar comes out, what does that prove? It shows what was already in the container.  In other words, bitterness is not based upon what the other person did at all.  It is the result of what we do and are.

– Jim Wilson, Good Tidings of Good Things; 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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My God-Given Name
By Tim Hall

     I've never met a person who didn't have a name (other than newborn babies whose parents had procrastinated).  In every society on earth, names are demanded in order to distinguish one from another.  If you don't have a name, someone will quickly attach one.  Often we are given an additional name - a nickname -- based on some attribute others see in us.  Which leads me to wonder: Does God give nicknames?
     In John 1:42 we learn that Jesus gave a new name to Simon, brother of Andrew.  "And [Andrew] brought him to Jesus.  Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, 'You are Simon the son of Jonah.  You shall be called Cephas' (which is translated, A Stone)" (NKJV).  Jesus was not demeaning Simon's character by that name; it was a compliment.  In Simon, Jesus saw someone who would one day be a symbol of strength in the kingdom of God.
     Mark, in listing the apostles, tells of another naming: "James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is "Sons of Thunder" (Mark 3:17).  Luke helps us understand why Jesus gave such a curious name to these men.  After some Samaritans refused to allow Jesus and John urged the Lord to call down fire from heaven to destroy that place (Luke 9:54).  In this case, the name was not a compliment.  It did, however, show the Lord's perception of their true character.
     The church to which I minister recently provided name tags for all its members.  What would happen if on Sunday we discovered that the Lord had changed the names?  In place of the names our parents gave us, we would find instead our God-given name.  How many of us would like that?  Would my name tag read "Gossip Lover," "Power Seeker," "Hothead," or "Two-Faced"?  If the Lord named me as he named others, would I be proud to wear that name tag?

- via the Main Street Monitor, the weekly bulletin of the Main Street church of Christ in Manchester, TN.
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Amazing Discovery In an Attic
 
   Mom and the kids had been in the attic together doing some cleaning.  The kids discovered an old manual typewriter, and asked, “Hey Mom, what’s this?”
   “Oh, that’s an old typewriter,” she answered, thinking that would satisfy their curiosity.
   “Well, what does it do,” they asked.
    “I’ll show you,” she said, and returned with a blank piece of paper.  She rolled the paper into the typewriter and began striking the keys, leaving black letters of print on the page.
   “Wow!” they exclaimed, “that’s really cool.  How does it work like that? Where do you plug it in?”
    “There is no plug,” she answered.  “It doesn’t need a plug.”
    “Then where do you put the batteries?” they persisted.
    “It doesn’t need batteries either,” she continued.
    “Wow! This is so cool!” they exclaimed.  Someone should have invented this a long time ago.”

- From The Decatur (IL) Tribune; 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
Marriage Cares
By J. Randal Matheny

To marry increases worries and cares,
  And how to please one's mate;
'Tis simpler as single for God's affairs,
  The narrow and the strait.
---
Marriage is a wonderful thing, but it takes a lot of work. Be you single, be you married, may you be a blessing where you are.

- 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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I Drink From the Fountain of God
By Gerald Cowan

        I drink from the fountain that flows from the Lord;
        The stream never ending is found in God’s word.
        Pure and refreshing, reviving my soul,
        The water of life that is making me whole,
        Cooling sin’s fever and making me whole.

        I wash in the fount of a deep flowing flood
        That springs from the Savior who gave his life’s blood
        To rescue my soul and redeem me from sin.
        And though I was dead a new life has been giv’n,
        Life full and free to be lived in his heav’n.

        I drink from the fount of a wonderful love
        Unmatched in this life. It will blossom above
        Where nothing can dim or diminish the glow
        Of God’s love and mercy received here below
        And grace He will still give when to Him we go.

        I drink from the fountain of hope the Lord gives
        To all who believe that our Savior still lives.
        He died on a cross for our sins to atone.
        In heaven with God he now sits on the throne.
        From there He will come back to gather His own.

        Come drink from the fount of salvation and life
        From Him who can end all our sorrow and strife.
        Let Him take your hand. From Him never stray.
        In him is the life and in Him is the way.
        In him is the truth. Come drink with me today.

- Gerald Cowan preaches for the Dongola Church of Christ in Dongola, IL.  He may be contacted at Geraldcowan1931@aol.com 
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The Better Things

I do not ask for easy paths
Along life's winding roads
But for the promised grace and strength
To carry all its loads.

I do not ask for treasures here,
To hoard, decay, and rust
But for the better things of life -
Humility and trust.

I do not ask for many friends,
But give me, Lord, the few
Whose loyalty and faithfulness
Are first of all to you.

I ask not skies forever clear
With one unbroken calm,
But in each ill that overtakes
To know thy healing balm.
 
I do not ask for honor, fame,
While life's short race I run
But for the will to do thy will -
To hear thy glad "well done."

- 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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God, Give Us Men!
By Josiah Gilbert Holland

God, give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
Condemn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty, in private thinking;
For while the rubble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife; lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land, and waiting justice sleeps.

- 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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Gold Mines ---- quotes, sayings & sign messages
An Egotist is a person who seems to be ME DEEP  in everything.

“I MUST DO SOMETHING” will always accomplish more than “SOMETHING MUST BE DONE.”

- via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin of the Dongola Church of Christ in Dongola, IL.  Gerald Cowan preaches for the congregation and may be contacted at Geraldcowan1931@aol.com 

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” – Mark Twain

“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked” – Bernard Meltzer

“Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.” – William A. Ward

“Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.” – Buddha

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts.” – Bertrand Russell

- 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/
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