BulletinGold #162
June 2014   Vol 14 #4

June 2014          BG# 162         Vol. 14         Issue 04
Subscribe     Website    Blog     Submissions     Editors: David Bragg and Edward Thomason
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- Heaven Is For Real, by A. C. Quinn
- Marriage Was God's Idea, by David Bragg
- Have I Waited Too Long? By Austin Johnson
- Simply Amazing! By Charlie Gamble
- Is Your Dream BIG Enough? By Aubrey Malphurs
- Lies, by Ron Adams
- Blessing Others Beyond Our Years, by Steve Higginbotham
- Resisting Temptation, by Travis L. Quertermous
- What is Love?
- The Hole And Me
- The Faithful Few, Author Unknown
- From Grateful Hearts to God, by Gerald Cowan 
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Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
Heaven Is For Real
By A. C. Quinn
            Yes, it is true that heaven is for real, and it is also true that God is not dead. Both of these truths, along with “Noah,” are Hollywood productions which hit the big screen in the last few weeks. While these films have caused quite a stir within “the Christian Community” (?), they have done nothing to strengthen the faith of true Christians.
            Christians, whose faith is produced by the Word of God and is anchored therein, do not need Hollywood’s artistic licenses to bolster their faith (John 17:17). Nor do they need the fabricated testimony of a child who claims to have seen it all.
            God has given men all they need to know to produce a saving faith (2 Peter 1:3). Peter’s statement clearly teaches that men, certainly Christians, do not need the ingenuity and productions of man to produce or strengthen faith.
            Through faith, produced by the Word of God, one may understand “…that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3). That Word tells one “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
            Little children are taught that beautiful song “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” How do they know the Jesus loves them? The Bible tells them so.
            How does one know that God is alive and that heaven is real? The Bible tells them so. All the evidence one needs is there: “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, And night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language; Their voice is not heard” : Psalms 19:1­-3) .
            God is not dead! Heaven is for real! Noah experienced the flood. How can people know that? The Bible tells them so!
- A. C. Quinn is the Interim Preacher for the preaches for the Westside Church of Christ in Wolfe City, Texas. He may be contacted at acuen30@netzero.net
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Marriage Was God's Idea
By David Bragg

    Someone has said that the difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits. We live in a truly mixed-up world. The culture in which we live preaches "tolerance," a special type of tolerance. By definition, "tolerance" is showing patience and kindness to beliefs you do not personally hold. Modern culture has redefined "tolerance" to mean approving the opinions, beliefs or behaviors of others that differ from your own, and recognizing those beliefs and behaviors as just as valid as your own. What does this mean in a practical sense? We are asked to "tolerate" alternative lifestyles, denominationalism and other religions (Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc.) as just as valid and just as true as New Testament Christianity. To them, there is no longer a constant standard of truth (John 17:17). The result is sadly very familiar: "every man did that which was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25).
    We live in a world that celebrates the 2004 fifty-five hour marriage of pop singer Britney Spears to Jason Allen Alexander. This "temporary marriage" was explained as simply a "joke taken too far." Then there are the lyrics of a popular song, Bruno Mars' "Marry You," that declares:
            It's a beautiful night,
            We're looking for something dumb to do.
            Hey baby, I think I wanna marry you.
Later the song boldly proclaims:
            If we wake up and you wanna break up that's cool.
            No, I won't blame you;
            It was fun.
Truly, we live in a mixed-up world.
    The family is not a joke or a whim. It demands full-time commitment from all involved. Today the world needs to see marriage as God intended it to be. "Then the man said, “ And Adam said: 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.' Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." (Genesis 2:23–24). Marriage was God's idea. Marriage, and all the relationships that go with it, must be grounded in a lasting commitment that must endure good times along with the bad, easy times as well as trying. Marriage truly is "for better, for worse."

- David Bragg attends the Northwest Church of Christ in Greensboro, NC and is co-editor of BulletinGold.
He may be contacted at bulletingold@gmail.com
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Have I Waited Too Long?
By Austin Johnson

    Tuesday morning I went to get the oil changed in my car because it was long past due.  So I finally woke up early one morning and drove to Wal-Mart to have them take care of it.  As I sat and watched the men prepare to work I noticed one of them shaking his head from left to right.  I began to wonder if he was shaking his head because I had waited so long to get my oil changed.  To me, it was not that big of a deal, I was just a thousand miles over the suggested mileage for a change.  But to him, I’m sure it was a big deal.  My last guilty thought was, “I wonder if I have waited too long and done damage to my car.”
    Isn’t that how some of us are tempted to be with the Lord?  We have only gone a little over the limit with this sin or that.  We have only missed a couple of worship services this month.  We have only skipped two or three opportunities to help someone who was hurting.  And you know, those things may not seem that bad to us in the moment.  You may be saying to yourself, there is no need to make any drastic changes right now, I’m getting by.  I have to ask the question, do you just want to “get by” as a Christian?
    I can’t help but think of Paul and what he said to the Thessalonian Christians in 1 Thessalonians 5:2.  He said, “For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night” (ESV, emphasis added). The Christians were fully aware that Jesus could return at any moment to judge the world.  I want to believe they were people who made changes as soon as they noticed a need.  Look at your life.  Are you simply getting by?  Have you put off making changes that you know are needed?  In view of eternity, put your obedient trust in God and he will love, forgive, and save you in the end.  Do not live in fear of the question, “Have I waited too long?” 
- Austin Johnson serves as youth minister for the Calvert City Church of Christ in Calvert City, KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com
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Simply Amazing!
By Charlie Gamble

    I don’t get it! Alberto Cutie has an advice show on television. He was a Catholic priest who was caught in an immoral relationship with a married woman. After being disciplined, he decided to become an Episcopalian priest.  He and the woman were later married.
    The idea of a priesthood that does not include all Christians is anti-scriptural. Mandating celibacy is not found in the scripture. Adultery is a sin. These things we have known from the Bible since it was written.
    Perplexing to me is that another religious group has taken him in and given him an elevated position. The Episcopal church has validated what many already know. They are not the church of the Bible.
    Now this man has been signed to host a television program to help people with problems.  Can you imagine his advice to a couple dealing with infidelity? Would it be, “Leave your faith and your spouse so that you can marry the object of your lust?” I am amazed!                        

- Charlie Gamble preaches for the Brunswick Church of Christ in Southport, NC. He may be contacted at cgamble64@gmail.com
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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
Is Your Dream BIG Enough?
By Aubrey Malphurs
   Henry Ford had an incredibly large dream.  He envisioned an affordable automobile for every family at a time when automobiles were only luxurious novelties.  The average person traveled by foot, horse, train or boat.  People in his day were at first skeptical of his dream, but Ford’s development of the assembly line and mass production of automobiles changed forever world manufacturing and the American way of life.
   How can the dreamer know if his vision is big enough? The vision has to be bigger than the envisioner in the sense that it goes far beyond him and his abilities to accomplish it.  If he or she feels that it is within his or her grasp to accomplish the vision, then it is probably too small and limits God.
   When Christians develop visions that go beyond their abilities, they are forced to bring God into the picture and begin to trust Him to play the major role in realizing the vision.  When this happens, in a sense, the sky becomes the limit.

- Aubrey Malphurs, The Vision Process; 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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By Ron Adams

A lie can only be covered up with more lies.
Truthful lips will be established forever, but a lying tongue is only for a moment. Proverbs 12:19 
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death. Proverbs 21:6
* * *
Deceit can only be concealed by more deceit.
Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put devious lips far from you. Proverbs 4:24
The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, but the folly of fools is deceit. Proverbs 14;8
* * *
Truth, on the other hand,  needs no cover.
Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Ephesians 4:25 
* * *
Truth is not the best policy, it’s the only policy.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3
Buy truth, and do not sell it, get wisdom and instruction and understanding. Proverbs 23:23
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are His delight. Proverbs 12:22

- F.Y.C. is a monthly publication by Ron Adams. Bible references are from the NASB except where another translation is referenced. Back issues are archived at http://ra10ar.com Be thoughtful and kind. All rights reserved. © 2014
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Blessing Others Beyond Our Years
By Steve Higginbotham

    Those of you who are history buffs may know the significance of the date, April 14, 1865.  This was the day President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth.  However, something else of significance happened on that day of which you may not be aware.  Earlier on this very day, President Lincoln signed into law a piece of legislation that created the Secret Service.
    I found this historical tidbit to be rather ironic.  Although Lincoln, himself wasn't able to benefit from this piece of legislation, he was able to bless the lives of other Presidents who would follow him.
    This caused me to ask a question I believe is worthy of consideration.  Are we willing to invest ourselves in the future?  Are we willing to work to secure blessings for others that we will never realize?  Are we willing to sacrifice so that others we don't even know will reap the benefits?
    It's not easy. We want to enjoy the fruits of our own labor.  But selflessness is a quality that makes us more like Jesus.  Friends, invest in your children so their lives are blessed long after you're gone.  Sacrifice and invest in the church in such a way that Christians you don't even know will be blessed by the fruits of your labor; fruits you, yourself may never see.  Let's sacrifice, invest, and lose ourselves in others so that after we are dead and gone, we are a blessing to others.

- Steve Higginbotham preaches for the Karns Church of Christ in Knoxville, TN. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at http://www.karnschurch.org
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Resisting Temptation
By Travis L. Quertermous

      Temptation is a daily fact of life. All of us are faced with making decisions between right and wrong every day. Even Jesus Christ was tempted. Hebrews 4:15 says of our Lord, "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." So we learn that it is not a sin to be tempted, but it is sinful to give in to temptation.
      What is the source of temptation? In answering, we must emphasize that God never entices us to sin! James 1:13 says, "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, not does He Himself tempt anyone." James went on to explain that the source of our temptations are our own weaknesses (James 1:14-16). The devil is called "the tempter" in the Bible because he preys on those weaknesses and entices us accordingly to disobey God.
      Satan once tempted Jesus Christ in three different ways as recorded in Matthew 4:1-11. Every time, He countered Satan's Temptations by quoting Scripture. He answered the devil's lies with God's truth! In Ephesians 6:17, the word of God is called "the sword of the Spirit." It is the one weapon Satan has no answer for. God gave it to us to overcome the tempter and his schemes.
      James 4:7 says, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Psalm 119:11 says, "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Friends, how is your spiritual swordsmanship?

- Travis L. Quertermous preaches for the Church of Christ in Dexter, MO.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:   http://www.dexterchurchofchrist.com/
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Hearts of Gold - poetry
What is Love?

It is...
 ...silence when your words would hurt,
...patience when your neighbor’s curt,
...deafness when the scandal flows,
 ...thoughtful for another’s woes,    
...helpful when one is in need,
...abundant in kind word and deed,
...promptness when stern duty calls,
...courage when misfortune falls.
- adapted by Edd Sterchi. Edd preaches for the Broadway Church of Christ in Campbellsville, KY. He may be contacted at eddsterchi@comcast.net

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NOTE: This short story is often used in A.A., but it fits everywhere and everyone. Fighting temptation is a battle we all have.

The Hole And Me

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost. ... I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place,
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in - it's a habit.
My eyes are open and
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it. I walk down another street.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
"Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed." (James 1:13-14)

- Edd Sterchi preaches for the Broadway Church of Christ in Campbellsville, KY. He may be contacted at eddsterchi@comcast.net 
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Walking by Faith
By Barbara Cagle Ray

Show me no pity because my eyes fail me,
For I walk by faith and not by sight.
I would rather walk with God in darkness
Than to walk alone with the gift of light.

There have been days of anguish and despair
When I felt my faith would fail the test.
I’ve prayed, “Dear Lord, please linger near;
If I can feel You close, I’m truly blessed.”

I cannot see the pearl-tipped peaks of spring,
Or autumn’s bright leaves as they spin and fall.
But how can I fail to place my trust I
n the Master above who created them all?

Far beyond where the eagles upward soar
Lies Heaven’s glorious and infinite space.
God awaits my coming in the sunset’s glow,
And the next thing I’ll see shall be His face!

I’ll taste life’s bounty, feel the warmth of love,
Hear birds sing, smell the roses by the lake.
Please grant me the gift of patience, Lord;
To see Your face, I’ll wait…I’ll wait.

- via Magnolia Messenger, a publication of the South Huntington St. Church of Christ in Kosciusko, MS; Volume 35 Number 2; April - June 2013; p 22. Barbara Cagle Ray may be contacted at bcagleray@comcast.net

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From Grateful Hearts to God
By Gerald Cowan
To You O God we offer up our thanks
That to us You have giv’n
A Light to shine upon the path we take
That leads from earth to heav’n.
The Light reveals the pitfalls and the snares
The devil sets in place,
But shows the One who has escaped them all
And leads us by His grace.
The strength we need we find not in ourselves
But only Lord in Thee,
And our Defender Jesus stands with us.
In Him we can be free.
Not free from weakness and temptation, Lord.
Not free from all desire
That draws our souls away from You, Our God
And takes us to the fire.
The love that we experience in You
Sustains us in the stress
Of seeking love in bad relationships,
Loves that You cannot bless.
The light and strength and love we have in Christ
Will always satisfy
Our souls. To be with Him will be enough
When we have come to die.
And then, what joy we know that we shall have,
By Your eternal word,
From Him who sits with you upon Your throne,
Him, our eternal Lord.

- Gerald Cowan, a longtime preacher and missionary, is retired from full-time pulpit preaching. He is available for Gospel Meetings and he may be contacted at Geraldcowan1931@aol.com
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Gold Mines ---- quotes, sayings & sign messages
“Be content with your lot; one cannot be first in everything.” – Aesop

“The shell must break before the bird can fly.” - Tennyson

“Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” – Oscar Wilde

“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” – Abraham Lincoln

- 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/

“Preacher,” the sweet little lady said, “your sermons are just like the peace of God to me. They seem to be past all understanding.”

How can those who hate what God loves and love what God hates dare to call themselves “Christian” and presume to speak for God in and to the world?

Killing the hornet who has stung you may give a certain pleasure and satisfaction, but it doesn’t make the wound heal any faster.

No one can have too many friends, but even one enemy is a surplus.

- via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Dongola Church of Christ, Dongola, IL.

“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected?  I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us.  It cannot come from abroad.  If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher.  As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” (Abraham Lincoln)

Maybe being old isn’t always being out-of-date!

THE TEST of character is not whether you conform to moral standards when they are the community norm, but whether you continue to adhere to them when the community strays elsewhere.
INFLATION : The price we pay for those government benefits everybody thought were free.  – Trib-Bits; Decatur 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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