BulletinGold #152
August 2013   Vol 13 #6

 2013 BG# 152   Vol. 13   Issue 06
Subscribe     Website    Blog     Submissions     Editors: David Bragg and Edward Thomason
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- Selling Out
- A Bill Too High, by David A. Sargent
- “Preparing for Eternity,” by Tom Wacaster
- Time to Talk about Time, by Bob Prichard
- In For The Duration, by Larry Miles
- The Mommy Test
- Get Rid of That Pole! By Delbert Goins
- Tragedy, by Joe Barnett
- In Christ, by J. Randal Matheny
- A Song Of Hope, by H. L. Gradowith
- "Master, Here I Am," by Neal Pollard
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Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
Selling Out

     There was a song several years ago that had this line in it. “When you come close to selling out, reconsider.” The Christian life is not always one of happiness. We face many difficulties in our effort to be faithful to God.
     One can look at the life of Joseph to see that a godly life will at times put us in trying circumstances. But thru all of Joseph’s trials (family members against him, slavery, false charges by Potipher’s wife, being imprisoned) he always seemed to stay focused on what was the most important thing in life, obedience to God.
     As Christians facing the evil and temptations of this world we can be pressured to look for an easy way out. It is during these times we need to reconsider and remember God’s help is always present, we are not alone (Revelation 2:10) and a reward awaits the faithful that nothing on this earth can match. (Psalm 16:11)

- Selected; 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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A Bill Too High
By David A. Sargent

    Do you own a cell phone? Do you think your monthly bill is high?
    The amount you pay is surely far less than the bill received by Bob and Mary St. Germain…
    This couple received a bill of nearly $18,000  from Verizon Wireless back in 2006, and it was not a mistake!  The St. Germain's son believed he had free data downloads and used at least 816,000 kilobytes which led to the enormous bill. *
    Although an $18,000 cell phone bill is hard to imagine, it is insignificant when compared to the debt of sin that EACH of us has incurred.
    You and I are represented by the servant who owed 10,000 talents (an astronomical amount of money in that time) and was called before the king to settle the account in Jesus’ “Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.” (Please read the parable in Matthew 18:23-35.) Unable to pay the tremendous debt, the servant pled for mercy. “The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go” (Matthew 18:27).
    Due to our sin, each of us owes an enormous debt to God -- Who created us and has provided everything for us.  We do not have enough resources to “pay” the debt for even one of our sins.  We are completely dependent upon the mercy of God.
    But God loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16) to pay the debt for our sins.  He paid the price for our redemption by dying on the cross for our sins.  “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
    The blood of Jesus removes the debt of those who will: place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (2 Corinthians 7:9-10), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized (immersed) in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). The blood of Jesus continues to keep one’s record clean as he continues to live for the One who made His redemption possible (1 John 1:7).
    As Jesus taught in the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, we must ALSO be willing to forgive the debts of OTHERS (Mat 18:38-35; see also Mat 6:14-15).
    When we accept God’s forgiveness on His terms, we are able to sing “a new song”:
“He paid a debt he did not owe
I owed a debt I could not pay
I needed someone, to wash my sins away
And NOW I sing a brand new song, “Amazing Grace.”
Christ Jesus paid the debt that I could never pay.”
Won’t YOU allow the blood of Christ to cover the debt of YOUR sin by submitting YOUR life to Him in trusting obedience?

* From “When the Bill Comes Due” by Brad Price in Forthright Magazine -http://www.forthright.net/
- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org
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“Preparing for Eternity”
By Tom Wacaster
     Eternity! Men have attempted to capture the essence of eternity, but their attempts are weak at best, and completely inadequate. Here is how someone sought to describe eternity:
“If you can, imagine an ant marching around a steel globe the size of this planet. How long would it take that ant to wear a path one inch deep in that steel globe? How long would it take to wear a path one foot deep? Ten feet? The time it takes is only an inkling of eternity.”
But, friends, even that illustration measures activity related to time. In eternity, there is no time. How can we even begin to grasp the concept of eternity? If we could but capture its essence, it would be but for a fleeting moment, for we are quickly drawn back to the temporal—the here and now.
      But will you, for just a moment, imagine yourself standing before the judgment bar of God, as you hear the sentence pronounced, “Depart, I never knew you.” Now will you try to imagine that you find yourself, like the rich man who refused to give unto Lazarus the things which that beggar lacked, opening your eyes in “torments.” And so begins the punishment that you must now endure forever, time without end. If your punishment were to be for a million years, you might be able to bear it, for after that first year you would know you have only 999,999 years to go. There would be a ray of hope that someday, though far, far removed, you would eventually be released from that torment.
      But, my friend, in hell there is no hope; no release to be expected; no cessation of the punishment that you will receive for your disobedience to God. Oh, what despair! No longer will that television program have any importance. How you did in the stock market will be completely insignificant. The closing balance of your bank account will seem so little, regardless of the dollar figure the bottom line might show. Those things that we placed so much importance on in this life will seem so trivial, so completely unimportant.
      When Sir William Russell was sentenced to die, someone recorded that along the way to the scaffold, he handed his watch to a friend and said, “Will you kindly take my timepiece and keep it? I have no use for it. I am now dealing with eternity.”
      When the time comes for us to enter eternity, there are a lot of things we will no longer need. One second of my heart beats its last beat, and I breathe my last breath, I will realize that much of what I valued in this life will pale in comparison to what I will value in the life to come. One drop of water was of great value to the rich man; but, alas, he could not obtain it. And while he fared sumptuously every day while living upon the earth, he was a pauper the other side of death.
      Let us keep our priorities straight in this life; and when it comes time to depart the walks of this earth, may each one of us calmly and victoriously cast off those things that we cannot take with us, with the glorious expectation that we shall embrace that which is of lasting value when once we cross over the Jordan River into that eternal abode that awaits those who are faithful in this life.

-- Tom Wacaster

NOTE by Kyle Moses: While I know nothing of Mr. Wacaster, I do know that what he wrote concerning eternity should be an eye-opening article for us all. The focus of his article was upon the hellish punishment that so many of our world will have to experience (Matthew 7:21-23). However, let us also think of the heavenly reward that all of the faithful under both covenants will be able to experience. Can you imagine spending time in Heaven and knowing that it must end one day? As Wacaster wrote, “If your punishment were to be for a million years, you might be able to bear it, for after that first year you would know you have only 999,999 years to go.” Put that same thought with Heaven. If you knew that you were going to be able to spend one million years in Heaven, you would be saddened when that first year passed and you only had 999,999 years left to spend in Heaven. Dear reader, we should be thankful that we will one day be able to trade in our wrist watch for a crown of glory. However, if you will one day find your soul in the bottomless pits of Hell, you will then wish that time would apply to the eternal realm. Dear friend, won’t you heed Mr. Wacaster’s warning? “Let us keep our priorities straight in this life; and when it comes time to depart the walks of this earth, may each one of us calmly and victoriously cast off those things that we cannot take with us…” Please consider the worth of your soul. It is not worth losing your soul over to be worried with the things of this life. Eternity is not a really long time, it is, well, ETERNITY!

- via The Mathis Messenger, the weekly bulletin of the Church of Christ in Mathis, TX.
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Time to Talk about Time
By Bob Prichard

    R.M. Cornelius identifies the “Seven Stages of Man” as:
           * 6 weeks: all systems go!
           * 6 years: all systems no!
           * 16 years: all systems know!
           * 26 years: all systems glow!
           * 36 years: all systems owe!
           * 56 years: all systems status quo!
           * 76 years: all systems slow!
I don’t know about you, but it shocks me to see that I’m already firmly entrenched in the fifth stage - all systems owe! Where has all the time gone? Surely Job knew what he was talking about: “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle” (Job 7:6).
     The most precious commodity we have today is not silver or gold, but time. John Randolph reminds us, “Time is at once the most valuable and the most perishable of all possessions.” When we squander it on things that don’t matter, we are so foolish. Paul warns us, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)
     When we look around us, we can see that the days we are living in are truly evil, with sin rampant in our world. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that, “this time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.” To use our time wisely, we need a heavenly perspective: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-3)
     What will you do with time? I find Henry Thoreau’s observation thoughtful: “As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” Will we “injure eternity”? We are each given twenty-four precious hours daily. How will we use them? Whatever age we find ourselves in, whether 16 or 76, we must serve God faithfully.

- 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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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
In For The Duration
By Larry Miles

    The Apostle Paul wrote, “I have fought the good fight.”  He had, with the Holy Spirit’s help, fought against Satan and had come out the victor.
    “I have finished the course.”  He did not detour the hard places, but kept his eyes on the Savior.
    “I have kept the faith.”  He always preached and taught “the whole counsel of God.”  He never compromised the Holy Word! Can we say the same?            

- Larry Miles lives in Louisville, KY and publishes "Larry's Lines" several times a week. Copyright 2009. Visit his website: http://larryslines.com/
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The Mommy Test

     A mother and her four year old daughter were out walking. The girl picked up something off the ground and started to put it in her mouth.
     The mother immediately told her, “Don’t put that in your mouth. It’s been on the ground and it’s dirty. It has all kinds of  germs on it. It can make you very sick.”  The girl was impressed and amazed. “Mommy, how do you know all that stuff?”
     The mother said, “It’s all on the mommy test. You have to know this stuff or you don’t get to be a mommy.”
     After thinking about it for quite a while, the little girl said, “Oh, now I get it. If you flunk the mommy test you’ll have to be the daddy?”

- 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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Get Rid of That Pole!
By Delbert Goins

If your own eyes are blurred and you see a work that needs to be done, make certain you offer to help, even take the lead, before you start harping on the others for not doing. Need to help a missionary? So take the lead by giving names and lists of good works. Else why make the suggestion?

- 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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By Joe Barnett

    Things happen that hurt terribly.  A youngster breaks a leg, eliminating him from participation in sports activity in which he was excelling; a tragic accident turns life into a nightmare; a “perfect” marriage is shattered by the sudden death of a partner; a promising career is fractured by a merger which puts a brilliant man out of work.
    Such things put faith—even strong faith—to the test.  The Bible says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” (Psalm 27:23).  How? We can’t presume to know how God works in every case.  But for starters:
    1. The good man seeks God’s will in all he does.  He doesn’t make decisions without considering God’s will.  He consults God’s Word, and prays for direction.  Then if problems come, he reasons that God may be directing in a way beyond human understanding.
    2. He looks for good even in the painful experiences.  There will be times when even the good man fails to properly consider God’s will; times when he will fail to consult the Word, and pray; times when he will act compulsively, foolishly; and even when he has fervently sought to do right there will be times when things go sour and tragedy strikes.  What does he do then? He places his trust in God—convinced that, though he doesn’t understand how, God will bring good out of it.  Maybe there are times when God causes seeming tragedy in order to send us down a different road.  More often, however, these painful experiences cannot be assigned to the Lord.  He does not cause them—but He can use them.  Even the terribly tragic experiences He can turn to our advantage.

- via The Lantern, Highway Church of Christ, Sullivan, IL  Ron Thomas serves as preacher and an elder for the congregation and you may visit their website as http://www.highwaycofc.com
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Hearts of Gold - poetry
In Christ
By J. Randal Matheny

Here, the air breathes pure and clean,
Where distant peaks beyond are seen,
The sky sings hymns of battles bold,
Of men who braved the heat and cold.

The higher slopes require full measure,
Forgoing many a dream and pleasure,
His rawest will, his deepest drive —
But there he'll be most truly alive.

- 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
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A Song Of Hope
By H. L. Gradowith

He lives in my heart and guides me all along,
He bathes me in Mercy and gives me a Song!
In a world of darkness He’s my Shining Light,
When I’m out of strength, I then turn to His Might!!!

He is the Answer to the questions men ask,
And though my strength fails, He is up to the task;
When gloom o’ertakes me He Lighteth my Way,
And His Light’s brighter than this world’s brightest day!

“This simply cannot be done,” says learn’ed man,
But filled with His Might I affirm that I can!
What man cannot see he simply disavows,
But there is more here than our wisdom allows!

If all men will but know His Wonderful Love
Then all might enjoy His Bright Homeland Above!
For He’ll live in them and guide them all along,
He’ll bathe them in Mercy and give them a Song!

In darkness they stumble, hearts rotted within,
Their steps ever trodding the paths of lost men…
Their darkness dispelling He’ll Bathe them in Light,
He’ll fix their ill hearts, and set their steps aright!

- 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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"Master, Here I Am"
By Neal Pollard

"Master, here I am, but don't send me;
Despite the whitened harvest of opportunity.
I know the Great Commission, but I fail to see
Why I must personally fulfill it if I would please Thee."
"Master, here I am, but don't use me;
You've given me much talent, but truthfully
I'll never use it anyway, I'm so busy.
Let someone else go labor in my community."
"Master, here I am, but don't count on me;
I may show up for worship if I find that I am free.
I'll eventually do my part and be found actively,
Working for You, Master, but let's just wait and see."
"Master, here I am, but don't watch me;
I have some lifestyle choices that you just shouldn't see.
Please turn Your head, so I can sin in secrecy;
Perhaps you will not notice my insincerity."
"Master, here I am, but please don't leave me!
Sickness, trials, heartache all are pressing steadily.
I promise to be faithful if these ills will flee.
Oops... Did I say promise? I think I meant, 'Maybe.'"
"Master, her I am, and please Lord, forgive me!
I haven't been a servant, I've lived so selfishly.
Unless I turn to righteousness, my life hurts Thee;
So I'll read Your word and trust each day, and follow faithfully!"
(cf. Isaiah 6:5-8)

- Neal Pollard preaches for the Bear Valley church of Christ in Denver, CO. He also publishes an e-mail newsletter, Daily Bread. You can visit their website at http://www.bearvalleycofc.com/ 
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Gold Mines ---- quotes, sayings & sign messages
Nothing else ruins the truth like stretching it.

When down in the mouth, remember Jonah.  He came out alright.

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.” – Abraham Lincoln

If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.

Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

A closed mouth gathers no foot.

- via The Lantern, Highway Church of Christ, Sullivan, IL  Ron Thomas serves as preacher and an elder for the congregation and you may visit their website as http://www.highwaycofc.com

Character Quotes:
‘Tis beauty that doth oft make women proud;
‘Tis virtue that doth make them most admired;
‘Tis modesty that makes them seem divine.

Behavior is a mirror in which we show our image.

Our true selves are usually revealed in our seemingly trivial acts.
*Copied from Uncle Ben’s Quotebook by Benjamin R. De Jong

- 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

When searching for faults and flaws the best place to start is with a mirror.

Never kick a person when he is down.  You can’t tell how big he will be when he gets up.
A truth is a truth even if nobody believes it. A lie is a lie even if everybody believes it.

The greatest task of the church is to get sinners into heaven and get saints out of bed.

- 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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