BulletinGold #154
October 2013   Vol 13 #

October 2013          BG# 154         Vol. 13         Issue 08
Subscribe     Website    Blog     Submissions     Editors: David Bragg and Edward Thomason
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- Involvement, by Edwin Myers
- The Lord's Supper, by John D. Cotham
- About Wealth, by John Gipson
- The Church is OF Christ, by Johnny Hester
- A Dark Passage, by Johnny Polk
- Real Forgiveness, by Kevin Williams
- Soldiers of Christ, Arise! By Larry Miles
- Are You Faithful? By Bobby Dockery
- Help For A Traveler, by Gerald Cowan
- Do What You Can, by Wesley Yonts
- Him Only, by H. L. Gradowith
- When It Rains, by J. Randal Matheny
& sayings

for bulletins
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Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
By Edwin Myers

I am only one, but I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But I can do something.
What I can do, I ought to do.
And what I ought to do,
By the grace of God, I will do.

    These pointed words were written long ago. I do not know who wrote them, but I do know that they speak the truth. Too often Christians are frustrated because they are “bombarded” with appeals to do this, or get involved in that. Often because of feeling guilty (whether real or imagined), the response is to draw back and not get involved in anything because we cannot be involved in everything.
    Brethren, this is not a feeling we should have in church. God wants us to use what abilities we have to do what we should do. When we study I Corinthians 12 and Romans 12, we have a clear picture of what the Lord sees us doing. We do not all have to do the same thing or be involved in everything in the body of Christ. But we do all have to do something. The challenge in our lives is to find what part of the body we are so that we can fulfill our work.
    Someone says, “I can’t do that.” Alright . . . But what can you do? Let’s quit focusing on what we cannot do and take a clear look at what we can do, and let’s do it with all our might. We need to be like those of Nehemiah’s day who, when rebuilding the temple of God, were successful, “for the people had a mind to work” (Nehemiah 4:6).
    We often sing, “There is much to do, there’s work on every hand.” That is so true. Then comes the chorus, “Here am I, send me.” It’s a good song (based on Isaiah 6:1-8) and we need to work while it is day, for the night will come when no man can work (John 9:4).
    The greatest challenge in the Christian life is not grand and glorious programs, big numbers, and promotional gimmicks. The greatest challenge is faithfulness. Being faithful to what I have been called is my mission in the church, and we have been called to reproduce. We are to be bearing fruit in the Kingdom (John 15). The fruit of a Christian is another Christian. Faithfulness results in fruitfulness. Let’s not let opportunities pass without taking advantage of them.

- 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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The Lord's Supper
By John D. Cotham

    Besides the fact that we are commanded to partake of this blessed event, we should have the greatest respect for it because Christ Himself instituted this very element of worship. While in the upper room, having His last supper before His death, Jesus took the time to introduce an event that is perpetuated until His return, “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:26-28).
    The Lord’s Supper is often called the Communion because we are in communion with the suffering and death of Christ when we partake. Paul tells us, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ” (I Cor. 10:16)? We are also in communion with Christ Himself because He is partaking with us, “But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matt. 26:29).
    The Lord’s Supper must draw our memory to His death, “And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me” (I Cor. 11:24; cf. Luke 22:19).
    Therefore, by God’s design, we are to be transported in our mind back to the cross on that day. It is as if we are standing at the base of the cross as personal witnesses of His death for us. It is to be a constant reminder of the tremendous price paid for our own personal sins.
    The Lord’s Supper must always be observed in a worthy manner. To do otherwise is to disgrace our Lord and His death. To do otherwise is to bring guilt upon ourselves. The Corinthian brethren had made a mockery of the Lord’s Supper by turning it into a feast. Paul reminded them, “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord” (I Cor. 11:27). It is a time to examine whether we are partaking the supper in the proper manner, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup” (I Cor. 11:28).
    The Lord’s Supper has a divinely appointed day. We find the first century church meeting
on a particular day to “break bread” of this communion, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight” (Acts 20:7). This element of worship began with the Christians at Pentecost, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). The first century church continued this practice every first day of the week, as is evidenced from Acts 20:7. We are warned NOT to miss this assembling together, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:25).
    The Lord’s Supper also serves the purpose of preaching according to Paul, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come” (I Cor. 11:26, ASV). Each first day of the week as Christians assemble to partake of the Lord’s supper, they proclaim the Lord’s death to the world.
    The Lord’s Supper deserves the Christian’s greatest respect. It was designed specifically by our Lord. Its purpose is twofold: to draw our minds back to the cross, and to proclaim His death to the world on a regular basis.

- 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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About Wealth
By John Gipson

     During the days of Alexander the Great, Phocion had served Athens as a general times without number. Now he had reached old age and was still a poor man. Alexander sent him a present of a hundred talents. When this arrived in Athens, Phocion asked those who brought it why, when there were so many Athenians to choose from, Alexander should have singled out him as the recipient of such a huge sum. They answered, "Because Alexander considers that only you are a good and honorable man." Phocion's  reply was, "In that case let him allow me to continue in that state and to enjoy that reputation always."
     The messengers followed Phocion to his house and saw his frugal way of life and exclaimed that it was monstrous that an honored friend of the king should live in such poverty.
     Phocion caught sight of a poor old man who was walking by dressed in a squalid cloak, and so he asked them which of the two they thought inferior, himself or the old man They begged him not to make such a comparison, whereupon Phocion replied, "Well, this man has less to live on than I have, and yet he finds it quite enough."
     So the treasure went back from whence it came, proving to the Greeks that the man who did not need such a sum was richer than the man who offered it. Later, Alexander offered him the revenue of whichever one of four cities he might choose. and said that he would be vehemently angry if Phocion did not accept the gift. But again Phocion declined.
     It seems that somewhere in my Bible I read, "Keep your life free from love of many, and be content with what you have; for he has said, "I will never fail you nor forsake you.""

- via Windsong Notes, the weekly bulletin of the Windsong Church of Christ in Little Rock, AR. John Gipson, a longtime minister for the Sixth and Izard congregation (now the Windsong Church of Christ) serves as one of the congregation's elders. Visit their website at http://www.windsongchurch.org/
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The Church is OF Christ
By Johnny Hester

    The church presented by, and approved of, God is designated in the New Testament in a variety of ways - the bride of Christ, the church, the church of God, the body of Christ, the church of the firstborn and, congregationally, as "churches of Christ" (Romans 16:16). When I identify myself as being a member of the church of Christ, it implies the church is not of human origin. It is, truly, OF Christ. How so? Consider ...

1. Christ is its Founder and Builder.
Matthew 16:18, And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
2. Christ is its Head.
Ephesians 1:22-23, And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all.
3. Christ is its Foundation.
I Corinthians 3:11, For no other foundation can anyone lay than which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
4. Christ is its Savior.
Ephesians 5:23, For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
5. Christ is its High Priest.
Hebrews 4:15, For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
6. Christ is its Advocate.
1 John 2:1-2, My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
7. Christ is its Lawgiver.
Galatians 6:2, Bear one anothers' burdens, and  so fulfill the law of Christ.
8. Christ is its Creed.
Matthew 6:16, Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
9. Christ is its Husband.
2 Corinthians 11:2, For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
10. Christ is its Hope.
Colossians 1:27, To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
11. Christ is its Purpose for Living.
Philippians 1:12, For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
12. Christ is its Purchaser.
Acts 20:28, Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
13. Christ is its Intercessor.
Hebrews 7:25, Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
14. Christ is its Peace.
Romans 5:1, Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
15. Christ is its Provider.
John 10:10, The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

    As Christians, we should be able to give an answer to why we believe and teach as we do (1 Pet. 3:15). If someone were to ask: "Why are you a member of the church of Christ?" would you be able to give a kind, valid, well reasoned and, above all, biblical answer?

- Johnny Hester preaches for 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
A Dark Passage
By Johnny Polk

   One of the darkest passages in the New Testament is found in John 6:66—“From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.”
   However, it serves as an introduction to one of the most inspiring statements in the Bible.  Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”  The reply of Simon Peter will live forever: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
   In that day, in our day, and in all time to come, Jesus our Savior is the only one who possesses the words of life—not Mohammed, not Joseph Smith, not someone known as “the pope”—but Jesus ONLY!
    Are you listening to HIS words? Have you obeyed them? Are you living by them? You WILL be judged by them.

- 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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Real Forgiveness
By Kevin Williams

  Forgiveness is a biblical doctrine with which we are all familiar. We understand that we need forgiveness when we sin. We know that Jesus is the One Who provided the only means by which we can be forgiven, His blood that was shed on the Cross. And, we are fully aware that we receive full pardon from our sins when we contact His blood in our obedience to Him. What a feeling to be forgiven!
    Forgiveness is not only desired from God, but also from those against whom we sin. We will go to great lengths at times to make sure that people know how sorry we are for offending them. We might go great distances, stop what we are presently doing and immediately take action, ask several times for forgiveness, and possibly spend much of the rest of our lives trying to “make up” for what we have done, out of a sense of deep guilt, because we feel so bad about our actions.
    Forgiveness is not only desired from God and those whom we offend, it is also to be extended by us to others when they sin against us. Many times this is where Satan catches us. He tempts us to NOT forgive others because we were so hurt by the offense, or because of our pride, or because we focus on the betrayal of our trust in them, or for a host of other reasons. What does real forgiveness look like?
♥ Like an action from the heart because we have really forgiven from the heart
♥ Like we are not holding a grudge because we have really decided that we would treat others as if they had never offended us
♥ Like we are sympathetic because we really do understand that each of us sins and how bad our sin makes us feel
♥ Like we are friends because we really do value our relationship as brothers and sisters in Christ too much to let inappropriate feelings hinder us
♥ Like God’s forgiveness of us because we know that He forgives us out of His great love for us and we really want to be like Him.
    Now, that’s real forgiveness!

- Kevin Williams preaches for the Walnut Grove Church of Christ in Benton, KY.  He may be contacted through the church's website: http://walnutgrovechurchofchrist.org/
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Soldiers of Christ, Arise!
By Larry Miles
   One of the many “pictures” of the church in the New Testament is that of a soldier.  The writers of the New Testament, especially the Apostle Paul, used that terminology.  Paul and his readers were very familiar with the military concept in their lives.  There were various degrees of military occupation in the provinces of the Roman Empire in the First Century.  Some provinces required more military presence than others.  Palestine was one of the most volatile places in the Empire, so there was a large military presence there.
   It was with this mindset that Paul penned these words in 2 Tim. 23:3-4: “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”
   One of the great hymns of the Church starts off this way: “Soldiers of Christ, arise and put your armor on….”  The hymn writer (Charles Wesley) reminds us that it is by the strength of the eternal Son of God that we live our lives today.
   The Christian “soldier” must, like the Roman soldier. avail himself of all the equipment needed to be effective as a soldier.  Because of our faith in, and obedience to the Gospel, we are now in the Lord’s Army! Jesus expects us to “let our light shine” and use the training we receive to not only help us be better soldiers for Him, but to help others in the same manner.
   Charles Wesley wrote, “Stand then in his great might, with all his strength endued, and take to arm you for the fight the panoply of God.”  If we will do this we will fulfill the words of Paul in 2 Tim. 2:3.  Because we have our eyes on Jesus at all times (Heb. 12:1-2), we will not, as Paul says, “get entangled in civilian pursuits.”  One of the songs we sing goes like this: “More about Jesus would I know, More of His grace to others show; More of His saving fullness see, More of His love who died for me.”
   Christians must strive to be the best soldiers we can be.  We can rest assured that our Commander, the Lord Jesus, is leading us by example and is out in the forefront of the battle.  He has provided all that we need to fight the spiritual battle.  We only need to be willing to “take up the whole armor of God.”

- Larry Miles lives in Louisville, KY and publishes "Larry's Lines" several times a week. Copyright 2013. Visit his website: http://larryslines.com/
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Are You Faithful?
By Bobby Dockery

    In his book, Among the Missing, Robert Nash tells the remarkable story of Anna N. Fellows. One day in 1879 her husband came home to discover she had left him without a word. For 20 years there was no word or trace of Anna. Then one day her husband came home to find her in the kitchen fixing supper, as if she had never been gone. She refused to explain where she had been, and somehow they settled down to try to revive their home life. But after three years Anna left again—this time she never returned…
    No one would think of using the word faithful to describe her behavior. Obviously, her husband got far less of her loyalty than he had a right to expect. But this is the way many people treat God! They disappear and reappear in their service to Him whenever it suits them. They vanish from the worship of the church for weeks on end then come back and sing, “Oh, How I Love Jesus,” as if they really meant it!
    Faithfulness means giving our Lord the preeminence, the precedence and priority in all things! He expects and has the right to expect no less!

- via the Lake Hills Letter, weekly bulletin of the Lake Hills Church of Christ in Chattanooga, TN.  Shane Robinson preaches for the congregation, and he may be contacted through their website at http://www.lakehillschurchofchrist.org/
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Hearts of Gold - poetry
Help For A Traveler
By Gerald Cowan
If, through experience, your soul
Has reached the heights which I
As yet in shadows see,
    Hold out your hand
    And point the way,
Lest in the darkness I should stray,
And walk along with me.
If, somehow, you have learned to walk
With surer feet than I,
Be patient with me friend.
    Give me your hand;
    I’ll do my best.
Together we can meet each test,
Until our journey’s end.

- Gerald Cowan preaches for the Dongola Church of Christ in Dongola, IL.  He may be contacted at Geraldcowan1931@aol.com
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Do What You Can
By Wesley Yonts

The smallest good deed is better by far
Than the grandest good intention
We’ll never get much accomplished in life
If our good deeds are only just mentioned.
One dollar that’s given is worth much more
Than merely a promise of twenty,
For a dollar will buy a few little things,
But a promise, that won’t buy any.
If we always intend to visit the sick
And don’t ever put it in action,
What we plan to do won’t help matters much,
And certainly won’t bring satisfaction.
So do what you can and give what you can
To help your less fortunate neighbor.
And you can be sure that you will receive
A very great price for your labor.

- 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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Him Only
By H. L. Gradowith

An ounce of His Favor o'er a ton of sin,
A glimpse of His Smile o'er the praises of men;
A pinch of His Mercy o'er all this world's wealth,
Just one peek at Heav'n o'er a lifetime of health.

1. This world has no treasure that I wish to gain,
There's nothing that makes me desire to stay here;
For I'm just a pilgrim and I'm passing through,
I've a mansion in Heaven: mine free and clear!
An ounce of His Favor o'er a ton of sin,
A glimpse of His Smile o'er the praises of men;
A pinch of His Mercy o'er all this world's wealth,
Just one peek at Heav'n o'er a lifetime of health.

2. The finest of fineries hold naught for me,
The sweetest of fragrances have no appeal;
I'd rather have proof to base my faith upon
Than anything anyone else claims to feel.
An ounce of His Favor o'er a ton of sin,
A glimpse of His Smile o'er the praises of men;
A pinch of His Mercy o'er all this world's wealth,
Just one peek at Heav'n o'er a lifetime of health.

3. My Counsellor, Comforter, Personal Guide,
My Light in the darkness, my own Special Friend;
O'er all artificial that this world may boast
Him only I trust to guide me 'to lifes end...
An ounce of His Favor o'er a ton of sin,
A glimpse of His Smile o'er the praises of men;
A pinch of His Mercy o'er all this world's wealth,
Just one peek at Heav'n o'er a lifetime of health.

- 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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When It Rains
By J. Randal Matheny

When it rains, they say, it pours —
Ah, but little do they know,
That with the boats come oars —
For gentleness there's snow.

- 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
The weight of responsibility on your shoulders helps keep your feet on the ground.

Those who do not fear Satan will dismiss his threats, ignore him, work with him, believe his lies, and end up in hell with him. Believers find even Satan is afraid of Christ.

When one is on fire for the Lord others will come to watch him burn.

You can reasonable expect to be paid for using your brains, not just for having them.

You can tell the ideals of a man by his works and the ideals of any group by its advertisements.

Some are so obsessed with equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

- 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

“You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” – James Allen

- 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/

It's give and take in this world, with more willing to take than to give.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves. - Confucius Chinese philosopher & reformer (551 BC - 479 BC)

Accident, n.: A condition in which presence of mind is good, but absence of body is better. - Unknown
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