BulletinGold #203
December 2018  
Vol 18 #12 

December 2018                         BG# 203                         Vol. 18 No. 12
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In this issue ...

 A Christmas Wish
By David A. Sargent

 The Transforming Power of His Love
By Joe Chesser

 Putting First Things First
By R. W. McAlister

 Do You Have Room for Christ and Christmas?
By Gerald Cowan

 Star of Bethlehem
By David Ferguson

 Prosperity And God
By Joe Slater

 Rejoicing Angels
By Edd Sterchi

 New Years’ Resolution
By Ronald Bartanen

 Spiritual Resolutions
By Travis L. Quertermous

 Number Your Days
By Larry Pasley

 Broken Promises
By David Bragg

 What About Those Red Kettles?
By Jim Faughn

A Christmas Wish
By David A. Sargent

    Dennis Doughty has a Christmas wish…
    “Let me share with you how I wish the world would celebrate Christ’s birth:
When I was a boy in school, we had two holidays: one to celebrate Washington’s birthday, the other to celebrate Lincoln’s. On those occasions we would study about these men and what they did for our country. We studied about their work and their role as presidents. But we never studied anything about their births. I know of no facts or stories concerning the circumstances of their births.
    I wish the world would celebrate the birth of Jesus the way it celebrates the birth of other men, by concentrating on His life. I wish [the world] nation would look more at His accomplishments, teaching, world influence, and death; than at the manger scene, the wise men, and the shepherds tending their flocks.
    Yes, His virgin birth was special, miraculous, humble and unique. However, in our celebration, let us not lose focus on the man He became and how His life changed the world.”*
That Jesus was born into the world is something to celebrate! The incarnation, God becoming flesh in the person of Jesus (John 1:14), revealed the great love of God in that He came to us!
    However, it is of utmost importance for us to understand WHY He came.
    When Mary discovered that she was “with child,” an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21).
    Jesus came to save us from sin! That’s what makes His birth so special! When our sins rendered us doomed for eternal destruction, Jesus came to rescue us. And, in order to save us, Jesus – the sinless Son of God – had to die on the cross for our sins, be buried, and then rise again after three days (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
    Jesus WILL save those who: place their faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) in His name for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). His atoning blood will continue to cleanse those who continue to walk in the light of His word (1 John 1:7).
    The best way to celebrate the birth of Jesus is to recognize WHY He was born into the world (for our salvation) and to accept His gift on His terms.
    Won’t YOU?

- 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

* An excerpt from “How I Wish the World Would Celebrate Christmas” by Dennis Doughty in The Magnolia Messenger , Oct.-Dec., 2010; Volume 31, No.4.
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The Transforming Power of His Love
By Joe Chesser

    Most of the songs you are hearing at this time of the year are songs of joy and happiness. Songs like Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls, and Carol of the Bells are fun, upbeat and help put us in a festive mood. We are shopping, partying, and visiting with family and friends. It truly is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
    But what makes it so is not colorful lights and decorations, it’s not opening gifts, nor is it eating huge dinners and playing games with family and friends. No, what makes this or any time of the year so wonderful is the transforming love of Jesus. People have always had decorations, gifts and celebrations.  Even pagans know how to throw a party and have fun. But what can make it different for us is Jesus.
    That’s why my favorite song this time of year, and even in July, is Joy to the World. The coming of Jesus to the world is the source of the greatest joy we can possibly experience, and Joy to the World expresses many of the reasons why His coming is so wonderful.
    Verse one. Jesus is King, and we have the privilege of receiving Him if we choose to make room for Him in our hearts. When we do, heaven and nature will sing! They won’t be silly songs like Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer or Frosty the Snowman. Silly songs are fun and do have their place, but the joy that Jesus brought to the world is much deeper kind of joy that deserves a deeper kind of song.
    Verse two. The Savior reigns! The fields, floods, rocks, hills and plains recognize His rule and are filled with repeated joy. Men should also … repeatedly!
    Verse three. Because of the transforming power of Jesus’ love, sin and sorrow no longer have the freedom to grow and infest the world. Jesus has come to bless the world in every place where sin has had its way. No matter where the curse of sin is found, He has come to make His blessings overcome them.
    Verse four. Jesus’ rule replaces the curse of sin with truth and grace. The glories of His righteousness will be known in all the nations of the earth. The nations of the earth will be enthralled with the wonders if His love. It is so different from anything else the world has experienced.
    Joy to the World is fun to sing. But the message of the song is its greatest asset. The next time you sing it be sure to think deeply about the words and how the coming of Jesus has transformed your life. It is a great song to sing any time of the year. Don’t let the other things we celebrate crowd out the true meaning of why Jesus brought joy to the world – to transform it with the power of his love!

- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO.  He may be contacted at joeandareva@yahoo.com
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Putting First Things First
By R. W. McAlister

    Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” This may come as a shock, but most of us fail to do this! Why? Because instead of seeking God’s kingdom first, we’re spending our time wrapped up in the cares of this world! Have you ever considered that if this one passage were followed to its proper conclusion, it would revolutionize the church in all its phases of activity? If we sought first the kingdom of God in attendance, we’d be here every time the doors opened if physically possible! If we sought first the kingdom of God in evangelism, every baptized believer would be speaking the truth in love to every lost soul he or she encountered! If we sought first the kingdom of God in our giving, the church treasury would be overflowing! If we sought first the kingdom of God in edification and encouragement of our brothers and sisters in Christ, there'd be a lot more folks in the mold of Barnabas to build up and encourage our brethren!
    Perhaps the most common sin today is that of reversing the divine order of things; of making secondary things primary, and making primary things secondary. How many people do we or have we known who disregard the importance of attending evening services? Instead, they’re at work because they’d rather make a dollar, or they’re at home because they think their rest is more important and so on. They’ve made what should be a primary concern a secondary one. What about someone who holds back on putting money in the collection plate because he’s worried about finances? Well, he turned a primary concern, indeed an act of worship, into a secondary concern when he put personal finances ahead of worshiping God. It seems incredible that God, who made me, and gave His Son to die for me, should give me the option of saying what place HE shall occupy in my life.
    If we’re going to be pleasing to God, we each have some “first things” to do. We have to seek the kingdom first, then all of the things we need will be added to us. Seeking the kingdom first means becoming part of it and putting it first in our lives (I Peter 3:21, Matt. 6:33).
    The second thing we have to do on our list of “firsts” is to keep our lives right with God so we can teach others. Matthew 7 verse 5 tells us: “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.”
    We have a responsibility to make sure our brothers and sisters are walking in the way they should (II Thess. 3:15), but no one will ever listen to us until they can see that we’re concerned about the sin in our life and that we’re trying to get rid of it. No one likes a hypocrite.
    The final thing we must do is to follow Christ before all others. In John 14:15, Jesus says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Our Savior also tells us in Revelation 2:10, “…be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Our dedication to the Lord must come first, before all else. We have no right to tell or expect someone to follow a leader we’re not faithfully following ourselves, and friends, people are very critical and they’ll know if you’re a follower of Jesus Christ.
    If you need to reorganize your priorities, why wait any longer? “Why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins…” (Acts 22:16).

- R. W. McAlister preaches for the Anna Church of Christ in Anna, IL.He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.annachurchofchrist.com/
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Do You Have Room for Christ and Christmas?
By Gerald Cowan
 
     What the world calls Christmas is a very enjoyable time for some, but it is a most difficult and depressing time for many others. We may want to think of it as a time of togetherness, family time, a time of giving, receiving, and sharing. But it isn’t wonderful when you are alone, nothing to share and no one to share with.
     There is much ambivalence about Christmas. Should it be religious or non-religious? I confess to a certain ambivalence too. On one hand I want to share the warmth and good will, but on the other hand, I do not want to promote or support any religious error. The trouble is, too many make it an either or proposition. If you don’t accept the whole package, you can’t have any of the parts. And if by chance you don’t believe in Christmas some are not sure you can even be Christian.
     There is much about the traditional observance of what is called Christmas which is highly objectionable to those who know and respect the Bible. Materialism and commercialism promote the "Gimme this...I want that" spirit. There’s outright paganism in the trees, lights, Santa Claus and his elves and reindeer, etc. But this plays a large part in the celebration, even for members of supposedly Christian churches. A billboard poster shows what is supposed to be the holy family, with baby Jesus in the manger. Above, there is a flying sleigh and reindeer with Santa driving. The caption reads: "Whose birthday is it, anyway? There’s no room for both Jesus and Santa Claus in the manger." Santa Claus has become "the secular spirit of Christmas, the spirit of giving." Perhaps he should be identified in modern culture as "the spirit of materialism and selfishness."
     For too many, in practical terms, Santa is "the spirit of prejudice and neglect of the poor," the one who punishes the naughty and rewards the nice, unless they happen to be poor. A tearful mother told a TV news interviewer that being poor was certainly hard on the children. "How can we tell the children again this year that Santa will not be coming to our house?" This was then followed by an appeal: "Send money to buy gifts to redeem Santa’s image in the minds of these poor children." Why not just tell them the truth, that Santa is a fake and a fraud, just a fairy tale? Tell them their parents are unable to give them things. Others can and should help to do what the parents can’t, but don’t do it to make Santa look good. Give to build their faith in the basic decency and good will of mankind. Do it as Christians. Give in a way that makes God and His Christ look good.
     Is there anything good to say about the celebration of "Christmas"? It does, for a little while at least, stir up general good will among people. It is too bad that these feelings don’t stay with us all the time. It has at least been a long-standing monument to the belief in the actual coming of Christ into the world. and that is good. Jesus Christ could not have died as our Savior had He not ever been born. I want to capitalize on that idea in the sermons today. Not the idea of Christmas, but the fact of God’s presentation of Christ to the world at various times in the past and a continuous presentation in the present, and the response the world has made to Him.
     Do you wonder, as I do, how people would respond if Christ should come into the world now, as He did before? Would there be any room for Him? I also wonder how much of the world will be properly prepared to meet Christ when God presents Him for the final time. Will there be any room for Him then?

- Gerald Cowan, a longtime preacher and missionary, is retired from full-time pulpit preaching. Gerald publishes an e-mail newsletter entitled GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICAL WRITINGS. He is available for Gospel Meetings and he may be contacted at Geraldcowan1931@aol.com
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Star of Bethlehem
By David Ferguson

"And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshipped Him; and opening their treasures they offered unto Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh." (Matthew 2:10-11)
    With the advent and influence of rationalistic thought that seeks to explain everything in the Bible through natural means, the acceptance of the miraculous is increasingly difficult to embrace as an explanation for biblical events, even among professed Christians. Nowhere does this seem to be so true as it does when addressing the case of the star of Bethlehem that announced the birth of Jesus Christ to these Gentile magi. All sorts of natural phenomena have been proposed to explain the occurrence of this star: it was Jupiter in Aries; it was Jupiter in Pisces; it was a supernova; it was Jupiter and Saturn in close proximity; it was a comet.
    I, for one, in the case of the star of Bethlehem, am content to accept its appearance as falling within the realm of the miraculous, and leave it at that. As far as I can see from Matthew’s account, which is the only Gospel record which includes this event, the star is revealed only to these Gentile wise men. Herod’s men had not seen the star themselves, but they did understand that the King of the Jews was prophesied to be born in Bethlehem, in the city of David. Numbers 24:17, which is a Messianic prophesy, states, "I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not nigh: There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite through the corners of Moab, and break down all the sons of tumult." So when Herod and the people learned that these magi have seen the star announcing the birth of the King of the Jews, they were troubled (Matthew 2:3).
    Throughout the history of God’s direct interaction with people He has oftentimes appeared as a bright light of some kind. This is part of His "glory." To the children of Israel He became a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21). At the transfiguration of Jesus Christ His face shone with a light as bright as the sun and with garments as white as the light (Matthew 17:2). When the Lord appeared to Saul while on the road to Damascus, Saul was blinded by the light which the others with him saw as well (Acts 9:3). When God was imminently present, a bright light was associated with His presence. Additionally, God has chosen in times past to have selective revelation to certain individuals. Why not in the case of the magi, these Gentile men who were so intent on joyfully seeking the Lord in order to worship Him? May it be said of us as it was of them that we rejoice with exceeding great joy as we fall down to worship Him!

- 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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Prosperity And God
By Joe Slater

    We are prosperous people living in a prosperous nation. By global standards, the poorest among us is wealthy. We might credit any number of things for this happy condition: good education, hard work, and favorable government economic policies, to name a few.
    I fear, however, that most citizens have totally lost sight of the real source of our prosperity. “Every good gift and every perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation of shifting shadow” (James 1:17). That doesn’t refer only to material wealth, but certainly includes it.
    God warned His people Israel not to forget Him when they enjoyed the prosperity He would give them in the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 6:10-12 & 8:11-18). But forget Him they did! As early as Judges 3:7 they were straying, and it continued until the captivity.
    Hosea the prophet, who lived in the late 700’s B.C., warned his brethren in the Northern Kingdom (Israel) of their impending doom. What had Israel done to offend the Lord? “For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink’” (Hosea 2:5). Yes, the people thought their prosperity came from alliances and trade deals with their pagan neighbors! God continued: “For she did not know that I gave her grain, new wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold – which they prepared for Baal” (v. 8). Think of it! The very blessings the Lord graciously gave them, they used to worship their idols!
    Not only during holiday season, but every day of the year, let us remember the source of our prosperity and humbly, thankfully honor the Lord with it!

- 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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Rejoicing Angels
By Edd Sterchi

    Ever wonder what causes the angels in heaven to shout for joy? There are several instances of angels proclaiming joy, and they all seem to have a common thread.
    The first instance of the heavenly host expressing joy is during the creation of the heavens and the earth. Recounting the incident, God tells Job that when it happened, “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:1-7). Most Bible scholars agree that the morning stars and  sons of God are in reference to angels, who apparently were created prior to the earth. So in this instance, we see the angels being joyous because of God using His creative powers to make something that had never existed before.
    Let’s look at another instance of the angels showing joy. When the proper time came (Gal. 4:4), God sent His Son to be born of the human race. It is at this time in announcing the birth of the Messiah to the shepherds that angels proclaimed it a time of “great joy” (Luke 2:8-14). So here the angels express praise and joy at the coming of the Christ-child, the God-Man, Jesus.  As in the creation, they are expressing joy over something that had never before existed.
    There is one more instance I can find in the Bible of the angels expressing joy – and this one directly  involves us. In Luke 15:10 we are told that “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one  sinner who repents.” Seeing a sinner come to God and becoming a new creation brings great joy to the angels.
    From these three instances, I think we can clearly see that angels get excited over new creations.  Think  about it: when we have our lives made new through baptism into Christ and we continue to live each day renewed in the Spirit, the angels rejoice over us. What an encouraging thought!
    “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them!” (Rev. 12:11-12a)
 
- 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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New Years’ Resolution
By Ronald Bartanen

    The following New Years conversation is from a “For Better or Worse” comic strip which I saved from a few years back. The family is seated around the breakfast table, and the father says: “Well, here we are in a brand New Year. I think we should all make some resolutions, don’t you?” The response was as follows:
       MOTHER: “O.K.  I resolve not to criticize, to nag less and to bake more often.”
       FAMILY RESPONSE: “Right on! Neat! Yeah!”
       FATHER: “I resolve not to lose my temper, and to fix all the things in the house that need repairs.”
       FAMILY RESPONSE: “Great! Okay!!!”
       ELIZABETH : “I resolve to brush Farley (dog), to keep my room clean and not to fight with Michael.”
       FAMILY RESPONSE: “Good!”
       MICHAEL: “I resolve to play road hockey, hang out with my friends, and to watch TV.”
       MOTHER: “Wait a minute! We all made real promises. Your resolutions are worthless.”
       MICHAEL: “I know…but at least mine will be kept!”
    It is quite easy to make resolutions; it is quite another thing to keep them. I saw a report on TV a few years ago that said January is the month in which more people sign up in aerobic and physical fitness clubs, and some never show up for the whole year. Others attend a few times and soon are seen no more. However, the fact remains that making resolutions is a means of challenging ourselves to greater things. It is a good time to take inventory of our lives, and where we see a deficiency, to resolve to make the needed improvements. Someone once recommended the following “tips for success” in keeping one’s resolutions:
         Make “bite size” goals you can keep.
         Be realistic—avoid saying “never ever.”
         Find an “anti-procrastination partner” to keep you from slipping.
         Keep track of progress.
         Don’t make too many goals.
    I would add one more: Call upon the Lord for spiritual resources. What we cannot do of ourselves, the Lord can accomplish through us. As Paul stated it: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

- Ronald Bartanen preaches for Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://arthurcoc.com/
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Spiritual Resolutions
By Travis L. Quertermous

     At the beginning of a new year, it is very common to make resolutions. We look back over the previous year, assess our successes and our failures, and set goals to improve over the course of the new year. For many people, these resolutions are all of a material nature. For example, they resolve to loose weight, to quit smoking, or to get out of debt.
     All of these are indeed worthy goals, but let me challenge you to make some spiritual resolutions this year as well. For example, resolve to be a daily student of the Bible and to read through God's word in 2019. Resolve to attend the church of Christ this year with your family and to be more involved in its activities. Resolve to help the poor and  the needy more this year. Resolve to pray to God every day. Resolve to be a more loving and patient spouse, parent, or child. Resolve to share the gospel of Christ with at least one lost soul in 2019.
     Of course, we have all heard the old saying that resolutions are made in January and forgotten in March. This brings to mind another old, but true, saying: "If we fail to plan, then we plan to fail." The reason so many resolutions go unrealized is because we make no plans on how to succeed or else have unrealized expectations to begin with. Take being a daily Bible student, for example. If one will read three chapters a day from the Old Testament, one can read through it in a year. Nine chapters a day in the New Testament will enable one to read through it once a month. That, it seems to me, is a very reachable schedule and goal.
     Above all, let us resolve to live out the wise words of King Solomon, "Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man" (Eccl 12:13).

- Travis L. Quertermous has preached for a number of congregations in Missouri. He and his family currently  reside in Dexter, MO.
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Number Your Days
By Larry Pasley

     What are some of your favorite TV shows? What did you watch as a child? What do you watch as an adult?
     Between entertainment, news, sports, and education, the average person in the U.S. watches about 5 hours of TV each day. This averages out to about 9 years in one’s lifetime. The statistics regarding children and TV viewing are also staggering. Did you know that by the age of 18, the average child had seen 150,000 violent acts on TV? In a year a child has watched 16,000 30-second commercials. And, when asked if they would rather watch TV or spend time with their fathers, about 54 percent of children between the ages of 4 and 6 chose TV. For most of us, 9 years will be more than 10 percent of our lives. With that amount of time, Michelangelo could have painted two Sistine Chapels, John Milton could have written two Paradise Losts (which he did blind, by the way), and Lewis and Clark could have trekked North America four times over again.
     Author Malcolm Gladwell writes that it takes 10,000 hours of practice for someone to become an expert in their craft. That would be over one year of nonstop practice. Imagine becoming an expert in nine different things in the amount of time you watched TV
     TV is not bad. It is often beneficial. But, it is one example of how people often find unproductive things to occupy their minds.
     I know how much you love Duck Dynasty. It is hard to part with the wisdom of Uncle Si. So, this challenge is not necessarily one to ask you to do so; this is a challenge to put the priorities God has placed in your life first and then kick back with the Robertsons later.

WHERE TO TAKE THIS
1) Use your time wisely: Ephesians 5:16-17 says, “Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” As the body of Christ, let us not become complacent, idol, or indifferent. Let us be wise with our time and recognize the important things. What is your art? Don’t let laziness allow you to sacrifice the masterpieces that God is wanting to create through you.
2) Perspective on time: In psalms David asks God to “teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” When we understand how much time we truly have in this life, we become aware of the urgency of the calling God has placed in our lives.
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     We should ask ourselves, are we neglecting something more important while sitting in front of the TV set? Imagine how we could be spending this tie doing the work of the Lord, visiting the sick, shut-ins, the lost, wayward brethren, those who are weak spiritually etc.. Is this time we should be spending with our children or other family members? Is this time we should be spending with our mate, improving our relationship? Is this time we should be spending in the Word of God, growing spiritually? Is this time we should be spending doing good for those around us? May we number our days and ask ourselves if we are accomplishing the things which are most important with our time.

- 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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Broken Promises
By David Bragg

   Various studies support the following statistics. Twenty-five percent of New Year’s resolutions are broken during the first week of January. Nearly seventy percent are cast aside before February comes. Only a precious few (8%) survive to the end of December. And the saddest part is that no one will likely notice that a resolution has been broken. The exception is keeping your New Year’s promise. Resolutions may be frivolously made and just as easily broken. Failure is not taken as that serious.
   This is a sure sign that the resolution was too vague. A resolution that can be broken without concern or consequence is meaningless. Perhaps that’s why the Bible talks about commitment rather than resolutions. A commitment counts. When you fail to keep a commitment it is a real failure.
   We should have clear goals set before us as we begin this New Year. Those goals will help us keep focused each day. They will help us to maintain our commitment to God, made not on January 1st but at the waters of baptism. That, in the big scheme of things, is a promise that matters. Happy New Year!
 
- 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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What About Those Red Kettles?
By Jim Faughn

    It’s one of the “signs of the season.” The red kettles are appearing (or at least they will be soon). Between now and the end of the year, it will be increasingly difficult to walk into any business without passing by one of them.
    You may see me walk by one or more of them. You may notice that I don’t drop anything in. You may think I’m cheap, uncaring, or a lot of other things. I’d like to plead “not guilty” to these charges.
    At the same time, I’d like to set the record straight on my reasons for not contributing in any way to the organization responsible for those red kettles. While I will readily admit that it does some good, I’d like for those who read this to consider the following information. I’m reproducing the information from the website of the local “corps” of The Salvation Army.               
Although many look at The Salvation Army as a place for help through our social services and a place to buy clothes, appliances, and etc., many people do not see that The Salvation Army was and still is today a Church first and foremost. We have services on weekdays and on Sundays like most Protestant Churches do today! We would love to have you in our Church this Sunday, please come and join us!
At the same time, it seems to me that we need to be aware of the fact that The Salvation Army’s own information describes it as “…a Church first and foremost.” The website also gives information about their times for “Sunday School,” “Sunday Morning Church,” “Sunday Evening Bible Study,” “Mid-Week Church Services,” etc. They are certainly not trying to hide the fact that they consider themselves to be more than merely a benevolent organization.           
    There, “in a nutshell,” is the reason you won’t see me dropping any money into those kettles. I’m afraid you won’t see me donating anything to that organization and/or shopping at one of their stores either.
    You may or may not agree with my reasoning. That’s your prerogative, and I understand that.
    At the same time, I hope that those who read these words will understand that I have the right to decide what I will and will not support. That only seems to be fair.
    A quick look at their website reveals that The Salvation Army was “…founded in 1865…” To coin a phrase, “as for me and my house,” we choose to not support any religious organization other than the one about which we find information in the New Testament. I’m afraid that 1865 is a little too late to qualify. 

- Jim Faughn, a retired preacher, serves as an elder for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org
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