BulletinGold #202
November 2018  
Vol 18 #11 

November 2018                         BG# 202                         Vol. 18 No. 11
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In this issue ...

 In Everything Give Thanks
By Patrick Hogan

 Showers of Blessings
By Alan Smith

 No Strain, No Gain
By Edd Sterchi

 Paid in Full!
By Joe Chesser

 Who Do You Thank?
By Ronald Bartanen

 Holiday Cheer (What Kind?)
By Joe Slater

 Yes and No
By Bill Brandstatter

 Is Prosperity Better?
By Travis Robertson

 Thanks for Everything
By Larry Pasley

 Different Kinds of Rocks
By Jeff Arnette

 Being Thankful and Contented
By David R. Ferguson

 Thanksgiving Leftovers
By David Bragg

In Everything Give Thanks
By Patrick Hogan

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing. in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
     The above reference is just one of many in Scripture that encourage Christians to have a positive outlook. As a matter of fact, the second admonition, "pray without ceasing," is one good reason to rejoice and to be thankful. Regardless of what happens we have the avenue of prayer by which we may communicate with the Father!
     The third instruction, "in everything give thanks," may sometimes be more difficult to follow. There are some situations in which we find it difficult to be thankful. Perhaps an observation by commentator Matthew Henry can encourage us to be more thoughtful, and therefore more thankful, in those types of situations. When Henry discovered that he had been robbed, he entered the following in his daily journal:
I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed and not I who robbed.
While we hear much about thanksgiving during the last weeks of each year, may we cultivate a constant attitude of thankfulness. As Christians we have much for which to give thanks.

- Patrick Hogan served for many years as a minister and elder of the Shady Acres Church of Christ, in Sikeston, MO. He passed away earlier this year. The congregation's website address is:  http://www.shadyacreschurch.com
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Showers of Blessings
By Alan Smith

    The following letters supposedly were taken from an incident between a London hotel and one of its guests. In truth, this was composed by comedian Shelly Berman. It is rather long, but it is very funny and if you haven't seen it before, you'll love it.
Dear Maid,
  Please do not leave any more of those little bars of soap in my bathroom since I have brought my own bath-sized Dial. Please remove the six unopened little bars from the shelf under the medicine chest and another three in the shower soap dish. They are in my way.
Thank you,
S. Berman

Dear Room 635,
  I am not your regular maid. She will be back tomorrow, Thursday, from her day off. I took the 3 hotel soaps out of the shower soap dish as you requested. The 6 bars on your shelf I took out of your way and put on top of your Kleenex dispenser in case you should change your mind. This leaves only the 3 bars I left today which my instructions from the management is to leave 3 soaps daily. I hope this is satisfactory.
Kathy, Relief Maid

Dear Maid - I hope you are my regular maid,
  Apparently Kathy did not tell you about my note to her concerning the little bars of soap. When I got back to my room this evening I found you had added 3 little Camays to the shelf under my medicine cabinet. I am going to be here in the hotel for two weeks and have brought my own bath-size Dial so I won't need those 6 little Camays which are on the shelf. They are in my way when shaving, brushing teeth, etc. Please remove them.
S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,
  My day off was last Wed. so the relief maid left 3 hotel soaps which we are instructed by the management. I took the 6 soaps which were in your way on the shelf and put them in the soap dish where your Dial was. I put the Dial in the medicine cabinet for your convenience. I didn't remove the 3 complimentary soaps which are always placed inside the medicine cabinet for all new check-ins and which you did not object to when you checked in last Monday. Please let me know if I can of further assistance.
Your regular maid,
Dotty

Dear Mr. Berman,
  The assistant manager, Mr. Kensedder, informed me this morning that you called him last evening and said you were unhappy with your maid service.  I have assigned a new girl to your room.  I hope you will accept my apologies for any past inconvenience.  If you have any future complaints please contact me so I can give it my personal attention.  Call extension 1108 between 8AM and 5PM.  Thank you.
Elaine Carmen
Housekeeper

Dear Miss Carmen,
  It is impossible to contact you by phone since I leave the hotel for business at 7:45 AM and don't get back before 5:30 or 6PM. That's the reason I called Mr. Kensedder last night. You were already off duty. I only asked Mr. Kensedder if he could do anything about those little bars of soap. The new maid you assigned me must have thought I was a new check-in today, since she left another 3 bars of hotel soap in my medicine cabinet along with her regular delivery of 3 bars on the bath-room shelf. In just 5 days here I have accumulated 24 little bars of soap. Why are you doing this to me?
S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,
  Your maid, Kathy, has been instructed to stop delivering soap to your room and remove the extra soaps. If I can be of further assistance, please call extension 1108 between 8AM and 5PM.  Thank you,
Elaine Carmen,
Housekeeper

Dear Mr. Kensedder,
  My bath-size Dial is missing. Every bar of soap was taken from my room including my own bath-size Dial. I came in late last night and had to call the bellhop to bring me 4 little Cashmere Bouquets.
S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,
  I have informed our housekeeper, Elaine Carmen, of your soap problem. I cannot understand why there was no soap in your room since our maids are instructed to leave 3 bars of soap each time they service a room. The situation will be rectified immediately. Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.
Martin L. Kensedder
Assistant Manager

Dear Mrs. Carmen,
  Who....left 54 little bars of Camay in my room? I came in last night and found 54 little bars of soap. I don't want 54 little bars of Camay. I want my one.....bar of bath-size Dial. Do you realize I have 54 bars of soap in here? All I want is my bath-size Dial. Please give me back my bath-size Dial.
S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,
  You complained of too much soap in your room so I had them removed. Then you complained to Mr. Kensedder that all your soap was missing so I personally returned them. The 24 Camays which had been taken and the 3 Camays you are supposed to receive daily. I don't know anything about the 4 Cashmere Bouquets. Obviously your maid, Kathy, did not know I had returned your soaps so she also brought 24 Camays plus the 3 daily Camays. I don't know where you got the idea this hotel issues bath-size Dial. I was able to locate some bath-size Ivory which I left in your room.
Elaine Carmen
Housekeeper

Dear Mrs. Carmen,
  Just a short note to bring you up-to-date on my latest soap inventory. As of today I possess:
- On the shelf under medicine cabinet - 18 Camay in 4 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2.
- On the Kleenex dispenser - 11 Camay in 2 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 3.
- On the bedroom dresser - 1 stack of 3 Cashmere Bouquet.
- 1 stack of 4 hotel-size Ivory, and 8 Camay in 2 stacks of 4.
- Inside the medicine cabinet - 14 Camay in 3 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2.
- In the shower soap dish - 6 Camay, very moist.
- On the northeast corner of tub - 1 Cashmere Bouquet, slightly used.
- On the northwest corner of tub - 6 Camays in 2 stacks of 3.
  Please ask Kathy when she services my room to make sure the stacks are neatly piled and dusted. Also, please advise her that stacks of more than 4 have a tendency to tip. May I suggest that my bedroom window sill is not in use and will make an excellent spot for future soap deliveries. One more item, I have purchased another bar of bath-sized Dial which I am keeping in the hotel vault in order to avoid further misunderstandings.
S. Berman
    It dawned on me that God is like those maids!  Every day He sends us blessing after blessing. Whether we ask for them or not, whether we deserve them or not ("He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good"), whether we acknowledge them or not, we are absolutely flooded with blessings from a good and gracious God.
"Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things." (Psalm 103:1-5a)
    To the God who keeps on giving and giving be all praise and honor and glory! Have a great day!

- Alan Smith, minister for the Cruciform Church of Christ in Spring Lake, North Carolina, may be contacted at alansmith.servant@gmail.com or through the congregation's website: http://www.cruciformcoc.com/
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No Strain, No Gain
By Edd Sterchi

     Recent studies reveal that most people who live in large cities do not walk for their health ... they run for their lives! (insert rim shot here). All joking aside, exercise is very important. But exercise, done right, is not always easy or convenient.
     Exercise takes commitment. You have to make a decision to do it and you have to stick to it. Exercise takes motivation. You need to spur yourself on to be successful. Exercise takes effort. It takes a lot of hard work to reach the goal. And exercise takes endurance. You must persist through muscle pain, etc. to make it worthwhile. But if you exercise regularly and successfully, you will see that exercise brings great benefits. You get a healthier, more fit body and you will feel much better in the long run.
     Paul reminded the young preacher Timothy to “exercise yourself toward godliness” (1 Tim. 4:7). Using the exercise motif above, let us note that if we are to exercise ourselves toward godliness, we must be committed, motivated, putting much effort into it, and enduring through times of difficulty and pain. Being godly is not always easy or convenient, but, like all exercise, done right it is worth it. The healthier, more fit spirituality we gain feels great and benefits us greatly (note 1 Cor. 9:24-27).

- Edd Sterchi preaches for the Broadway Church of Christ in Campbellsville, KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.broadwaychurchofchrist.net/ 
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Paid in Full!
By Joe Chesser

     Years ago when the final payment was made on an installment loan, the bank would stamp in large letters on the original application “Paid in Full!” In this electronic age I don’t know if financial institutions still do that, but even if we don’t get a piece of paper with the “Paid in Full!” stamp on it, when a loan is finally paid off, it sure feels good. Making that final payment and having a debt “Paid in Full!” is just plain exciting.
     Jesus told a story about a man who owed such a huge debt that he could never have paid it off (Matthew 18). I mean he owed a man millions of dollars, and that was in the 1st century! When the debt came due, all the man could do was fall on his knees and beg for mercy. Try that at your bank. It doesn’t work. But that time the unheard of happened. The man felt sorry for the one who owed him so much and stamped the parchment (or whatever) “Paid in Full!” He cancelled the entire debt! The balance was now $0.00. If that had been you, how grateful would you have felt?
     And that’s just about money. We owe a debt that we can never pay. Even if we have millions of dollars, billions of dollars, we could never pay the debt we owe. It simply is not within our power to pay off our debt because our debt is not about something as frivolous as money. Our debt involves sin, which by nature makes us objects of God’s wrath (Ephesians 2:3). And yet, because of the love and mercy of God, our enormous debt can be stamped “Paid in Full!”
     I said “can be” because not everyone’s sin debt will be cancelled. The other day I heard someone say that, although everyone will die with their debt of sin entirely paid, how sad it is that most will die without having their personal debt cancelled by Jesus (Matthew 7:13-14). The cross has the potential power to cancel every sin committed by every person who has or will live on this earth. Unfortunately, only a relatively few will accept the offer of forgiveness and obey the gospel to access this grace. While the cross “Paid in Full!” the sins of everyone, only those “in Christ” (see Galatians 3:26-27) receive the actual cancellation of the debt of sin: “in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us …” (Ephesians 1:7-8). I dare say that no one would refuse to have their mortgage paid off by doing something as equally simple as God offers us to have our sin debt “Paid in Full!” by obeying the gospel. It is shocking what we will do for a few dollars and won’t do for forgiveness of sins!
    But for those of us who do see the bigger picture, for those of us who do know that saving our souls by the blood of Jesus is the most important thing we can accomplish in this life, how very grateful we should be that Jesus was willing and able to cancel our debt and mark it “Paid in Full!” We cannot thank Him enough. But we can keep Him the focus of our present life and the hope of our future life. And we can do whatever we can to help as many other people come to know the awesome blessing of the cross.

- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO.  He may be contacted at joeandareva@yahoo.com
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Who Do You Thank?
By Ronald Bartanen

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  (The Apostle Paul, 1 Thessalonians 5:18)
    “We ought to make an effort to act on our first thoughts, and let our unspoken gratitude find expression. Then there will be more sunshine in the world, and more power to work for what is good.”   (Albert Schweitzer)
    While our nation pauses this week to celebrate a day of thanksgiving, we realize there are many who would say they are thankful for a number of things, such as their homes, their jobs, their health, and especially their families, but they don’t know who to thank. Thankfulness should be expressed by thanksgiving. Someone once observed, “Pity the poor atheist. He may feel thankful in his heart for his good fortunes, but he has no one to thank.” Sad to say, there are also many who would not consider themselves to be atheists, but would fail to recognize the real source of all blessings—God. They are much like the birds and squirrels who frequent our patio in search of seeds or crumbs which we have put at their disposal. They have come to expect to find something to fill their needs, but most likely have no understanding as to the source of such provisions.
    When we lose sight of the One “from Whom all blessings flow,” we seek to live our lives independent of Him. When that happens, all spins out of control. It is as Paul expressed it in Romans 1:21: “Because, though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became vain in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened.” In the verses that followed he described the darkness of idolatry and sexual debauchery. The heart that realizes no dependence upon God is a heart that will take His blessings for granted and express no thankfulness toward the Creator and Sustainer of life.
    When we put God out of our lives as a nation, the observance of Thanksgiving Day becomes no more than Turkey Day, a day for indulging ourselves. God would have us to partake of His bountiful supply, and to truly celebrate Thanksgiving with true thanksgiving to God from our hearts. May we heed Paul’s admonition: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

- Ronald Bartanen preaches for Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com
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Holiday Cheer (What Kind?)
By Joe Slater

     Noah wasn’t celebrating a holiday, but the account of his intoxication (Genesis 9:20-27) shows the danger and consequences of what some call holiday cheer. How ironic, that this man of faith became drunk! Men have made all sorts of excuses to minimize his sin, but they are useless. One mark of Biblical inspiration is that its heroes are presented “warts and all.” It makes no attempt to hide the flaws of great people like Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David. These men were not sinless; they needed God’s grace. But in the overall sense, they were faithful.
     Noah’s episode of drunkenness had far-reaching consequences. While “sleeping it off”, he let his nakedness become exposed in his tent. His son Ham, rather than respectfully covering his father, looked at him and then went and told his brothers. When Noah awakened, he pronounced a curse upon Ham’s son, Canaan: “a servant of servants he shall be to his brethren” (9:25).
     But why curse the son for the father’s offense? Let us realize that the curse was not placed upon Canaan personally, but upon the nations that would descend from Ham through Canaan. Noah made this pronouncement by the spirit of prophecy. The Lord certainly knew what kind of people the Canaanites would become. By the time Moses wrote about this event, the Israelites were in the wilderness headed toward the promised land of Canaan. True to Noah’s prediction, they largely exterminated or subjugated the Canaanites. No doubt this prophecy would have encouraged them as they came nearer to the time of conquest.
     Our nation is drowning in beverage alcohol. Let this episode with Noah be a warning to us of the danger and consequences of consuming it! Happy Holidays!

- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com
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Yes and No
By Bill Brandstatter

     I grew up in a time when a man made a promise and kept it. Yes meant yes and no meant no. Our times, however, are changing. Man’s promises are not what they should be. Sometimes promises are rashly made and then not kept.
     I am glad that God’s promises are trustworthy. The Bible connects yes and no with the keeping of promises. The apostle Paul tells us that “All the promises of God in him are yes, and in him amen, to the glory of God through us.”(2 Cor. 1:20). God’s promises are sure and faithful. We can rely on Him to keep His word.
     When Jesus said, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). He meant it. You can count on it. No matter what man says concerning salvation, that is what Jesus said,.
     God promises eternal life to the obedient. Peter tells us that God has give us “exceedingly great and precious promises”(2 Pet. 1:4). In the book of Hebrews, we read about those. The writer tells of some who “died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Heb. 11:13). From that text, we learn that God’s promises can provide assurances that can be embraced.
     Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him (Heb. 5:8,9). If we obey Him, we have the promise of salvation from our sins and the hope of a home in heaven with Him.

- Bill Brandstatter preaches for the Marion Church of Christ in Marion, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://marionchurchofchrist.com/
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Is Prosperity Better?
By Travis Robertson

     When we hear about someone who won the lottery, do we think, “Wow, if only I had hundreds of millions of dollars life would be so much better”? Sure, we can see how having a lot more amenities and not needing to think about how we will pay the mortgage or rent next month would be nice, but does the money make our life better?
     King David finds himself in a prosperous situation in 1 Chronicles 21. He decides that he is going to number Israel, yet this was not something God wanted him to do. David was king, and he was prospering. He thought he should see just how strong and prosperous he was. You will notice, in verse 1, that Satan saw this as a great opportunity to tempt David. David sinned, and it ended up costing 70,000 Israelite’s lives as a punishment from God.
     We need to be reminded that when we are blessed, when we have reached the top of the mountain, that God is the one that helped us get there. It is easy to fall into the traps and snares that the desire for riches bring (1 Timothy 6:9-10). Let’s follow the instruction of Paul to put our hope in God and use our blessings and riches for good works (1 Timothy 6:17-19). Is prosperity better? It depends on what you do when you prosper.

- Travis Robertson preachers for the Lake Norman Church of Christ in Huntersville, NC. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at http://lakenormancoc.org/
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Thanks for Everything
By Larry Pasley

     The beautiful bouquet of roses a grateful patient sent us drew a lot of attention at our nursing station, and passers-by continually asked who they were from. One harried nurse, apparently tired of explaining, told an inquirer, "They're from my boyfriend."
     The look of pity she received caused her to read the previously unnoticed card: "Thanks for everything, but I hope I won't be seeing you again."
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     We sometimes speak before we think and it gets us in trouble. There is an old saying, “Engage brain before putting mouth in gear."
     There are many scripture which speak of this human problem of speaking without thinking.
  • Be slow to speak. James 1:19 - So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
  • Let your words be few. Proverbs 10:19-  In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise.
  • Think before speaking. Proverbs 15:2 - The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
  • Knowledge spares words. Proverbs 17:27 - He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.
  • Listen before you speak. Proverbs 18:13 - He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.
  • Guard your words. Proverbs 21:23 - Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.
  • We have probably all had problems with “putting our foot in our mouth.” James 3:2 - For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
May we all strive to think before we speak. James 1:26 - If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless.

- Larry Pasley serves as a minister with the Jackson Street Church of Christ in Alexandria, LA. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at http://www.JacksonStAlex.com
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Different Kinds of Rocks
By Jeff Arnette

     What is the difference between a diamond and a gold nugget? The most obvious differences are visual. One looks clear and the other is yellow in color. The biggest differences are not visible but material. One is soft, malleable, while the other is hard, able to cut through almost anything. Both can be shaped into amazing and beautiful jewelry but each is different in their own special ways.
     So, it is with the church. Each of us is unique and special in our own ways. While the differences are often easily seen, the differences run much deeper. We are all unique, special, and valuable and have all been gifted by our God with special talents, abilities, and meant to benefit His church and people in vastly different ways.
     The point that I want to emphasize to you is that like that diamond or nugget of gold, we are not meant to be the same. Understanding this is vital to our success and our relationships within the church. We are not supposed to be the same or do the same things. Some of are gifted evangelists but some of us are not. Some of us are gifted encouragers but some of us are not. Some of us are gifted listeners, always there to listen and support someone else, but some of us are not. Some of us are leaders, teachers, singers, thinkers, and dreamers. We cannot expect everyone to think or act just like one part of the body of Christ. It’s unrealistic, unscriptural, and just not fair to expect everyone to be the same.
     Beginning in 1 Corinthians 12:12, Paul speaks of this glorious truth. We are one body with many members and if one part should feel like they are not valuable or needed in the body because they don’t look like or do the things that another part of the body does that doesn’t mean they are not needed. It doesn’t mean they are not a faithful part of the body. It is unfair to expect the hand to be like the eye or the foot to be like the ear. The old saying goes, “if you judge a fish by his ability to climb a tree, it will spend its life feeling like a failure.” The same is true in the church. If you judge everyone by your standard of what faithfulness is or what everyone should be doing, some are going to excel while the rest are made to feel like failures.
     In vs. 21, Paul attacks this problem from the opposite perspective. If a person, a part of the body looks at another part of the body and declares they are not good enough, not faithful enough because they are not doing what you are doing. You have judged your brother or sister by a standard you set and placed expectations on them that God never intended. In fact, Paul says, those parts of the body you think insignificant and unimportant because their God given talents are not like yours are indispensable. God placed them in the body and has given them talents per His will, not ours.
     The goal of God is that we will all be a vital and connected part of the body. That there will be no divisions in the body so that all of us are honored for our contributions without being made to feel like we don’t measure up. Our goal is not to be like everyone (Mark 14:3-9) else but to use the gifts and talents God has given us to the best of our ability for His glory.
     We are all valuable, gifted by God, and vital to the success of the church. Don’t ever think that because you are not passionate about the same thing or gifted like someone else you are inferior to them and don’t unfairly expect others to be like you. We need everyone, with their special talents, experiences, and gifts. God’s perfect plan is never wrong.

- Jeff Arnette preaches for the Central Haywood church of Christ, Clyde, NC.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: https://centralhaywoodcoc.com/
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Being Thankful and Contented
By David R. Ferguson

    With every day bringing what seems to be an endless parade of poor economic news, too many people are worried about the rainy day of tomorrow that they fail to see the sunshine of today. In spite of the negative outlook regarding the economy, there is still much for which we should be grateful and thankful as a nation and people that have been blessed abundantly by the Lord. As we are about to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, let us never lose sight of Who is the Source of all of our blessings.
    The Apostle Paul certainly had his share of woes. All one needs to do to learn the truth of this is to read the 11th chapter of 2 Corinthians to find out how immensely Paul suffered. He had much in his life in which he could have complained. In spite of this, though, Paul was able to keep things in proper perspective and write the following while being bound in chains:
“I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him Who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:10-13)
Paul is grateful for their gift to him, but he wants the church to know that he has learned how to be content in every circumstance. He wants them to understand that his sufficiency is in the Lord and not in their ability to provide for him.
    What a valuable lesson Paul was giving the church in Ephesus, and to us by extension today. Contentment is not controlled by outside events. Contentment does not come from having an abundance of material possessions. Contentment and inner peace, “the peace that passes understanding” (Philippians 4:6), comes from the knowledge that we have a loving, gracious and merciful Savior, and this knowledge will invigorate our entire being, leading us to have a positive attitude about life. As Paul tells his young protégé, Timothy, in 1 Timothy 6:6-11,
“If one is godly and content, there is great profit! We brought nothing into the world and we can't take anything out of it. If we have food and clothes, we will be satisfied with these things. But the people who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish desires that hurt them. These things drown men in ruin and destruction. Loving money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people want money so badly that they have wandered away from the faith. They have so painfully wounded themselves. But you, O man of God, run away from these things. Follow after faith, love, endurance, what is good, godly, and gentle.”
May the Lord bless you and yours as you give Him thanks for all His blessings!

- David R. Ferguson preaches for the Lakeland Church of Christ in Mattoon, IL.  He may be contacted through the congregation's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lakelandchurchofchrist/ or davidferguson61@yahoo.com
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Thanksgiving Leftovers
By David Bragg

    What do you do after the turkey is unstuffed and you are stuffed? What do you do after the parades and bowl games have ended and your guests have left for home? The internet is filled with inventive recipes for dealing with the remains of your Thanksgiving meal, from Turkey Pumpkin Chili to Cranberry Turnovers to Sweet Potato Waffles. In the wake of our annual Thanksgiving holiday the question of what to do with those leftovers should be the least of our concerns. Come Monday morning we will enter a world that is convinced that they have sufficiently paid all obligations to be thankful until Thursday, November 28, 2019.
    But we know that God commands us to be thankful every day. The apostle Paul wrote: "in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). This year, as we look back on the Thanksgiving holiday, what should be the real Thanksgiving Leftovers? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Thank God for our family and friends. Don’t take them for granted but rather cultivate those precious relationships year round
2. Thank God for His abundant blessings. The very fact that there are Thanksgiving leftovers proves that we are truly blessed.
3. Thank God for His church. This is our spiritual family. We ought to take advantage of these precious relationships of people who care.
4. Thank God for His Son. He gave everything so that you can enjoy all blessings through Him.
5. Thank God for the Bible. It gives us wisdom and direction for how to live a life that pleases Him.
6. Thank God for today and, should it come, tomorrow.

- David Bragg serves as one of the ministers at the Northwest Church of Christ in Greensboro, NC and is co-editor of BulletinGold. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.nwchurchofchrist.com/ or his blog: http://davidbragg.blogspot.com/
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Editor: David Bragg