BulletinGold #212
Vol 19 #9 

September 2019                         BG# 212                         Vol. 19 No. 09
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In this issue ...

 Time By Joe Chesser

 A Different Attitude Toward Worship By Jeff Arnette

 Our Lord is Always There By Gerald Cowan

 Take Advantage of the Opportunities By Travis Robertson

 The Gospel in Five Seconds By Edd Sterchi

 Husbands, Love Your Wives By Kevin V. Rutherford

 Death – Burial and Resurrection of Jesus (Luke 24:1-7) By Rob Albright

 Sunday Morning By Larry Pasley

 Blessed Are the Pure in Heart By David R. Ferguson

 Top Ten Christian Myths By Steve Higginbotham

 Identifying What’s Important By Joe Slater

 Somewhere to Belong By  David Bragg

By Joe Chesser
    It’s that time of year again. It’s time to turn our clocks and watches back one hour. Yahoo! An extra hour on Saturday night! What will you do with it? Stay up an hour later on Saturday night? Sleep an hour longer on Sunday morning? I suspect most people will just absorb it. Our body clocks will simply adjust.
    Thinking about having this “extra” hour on Saturday night reminded me of a story in the Old Testament (Joshua 10). During the conquest of Canaan, Joshua was leading the Israelite army against a coalition of five kings of the Amorites. After an all-night march Joshua’s army surprised the enemy and threw them in to confusion. The enemy began to flee, and then two very amazing things happened. To show Israel (and their enemies) who was fighting for Israel, God caused huge hailstones to fall from the sky, killing more from the hail than from the Israelite swords.
    But that’s not all. And this is the part of the story that I thought of because of turning our clocks back an hour. Joshua prayed for something many of us do when there is more to get done in a day than there is time to do it. Joshua prayed for the sun to stand still! His prayer wasn’t just a thought that flashed through his mind. Joshua prayed to the Lord in the presence of the Israelite army for the Lord to cause the sun to stand still. And God did it!! “The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day! There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a man.  Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel” (Joshua 10:12-14).
    There are several things about this story that are amazing. The first thing is what it tells us about God and time. Time is meaningless to God. He is eternal.  He has no time restraints. For God to make the sun stand still for about a day was nothing to Him. But He did create people within the boundaries of time. Time is very important to us, and how we use our time should be given serious consideration. Joshua didn’t want the extra time for himself. He wanted it for the battle he was fighting for God.
    Joshua believed in prayer and Joshua believed in God. Why else would he make such an audacious request of God in the presence of so many people? The Bible tells us that the prayer of a righteous man prayed in accordance with the will of God is powerful and effective (James 5:16, 1 John 5:14-15). This story vividly illustrates both the ability and the willingness of God to answer even the most outrageous prayers.
    God wants to give us victory. He is willing to do some amazing things to make it happen, even giving us whatever time we need to get it done. We still have to fight and we still have to pray, but our God can do anything He wants to do – even make the sun stand still for a day! Don’t squander your time.  Use it in the service of God.

- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO.  He may be contacted at joeandareva@yahoo.com
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A Different Attitude Toward Worship
By Jeff Arnette

    Have you ever heard someone say, “all your church does is worship and study the Bible?”
    From their perspective, a church that is not doing some activity every day isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do and is failing in some way. From this perspective, a church that isn’t busy doing what everyone else is doing has somehow missed the boat. I could spend a lot of time talking about cultural expectations and the expectations of those who know very little of God or his will. Yet, what I want you to get is that most people simply don’t understand worship.
    Such attitudes prove that they haven’t spent time in the word of God and don’t understand the glory and magnificence of worship. Too many today, have allowed cultural expectations to dictate what worship should be like. They expect worship to be loud, flashy, filled with overwhelming emotions, and leaving you feeling supercharged. The problem is that it isn’t biblical. Plus, if worship is meant to get you excited and wound up and charged up; each service would have to be increasingly more to continue to meet those expectations.
    Let me share something from my own experience. When I first became a member of the Lord’s church, my expectation was that worship would be like what I was accustomed to seeing in other churches, especially the Baptist church. That was all I knew and don’t misunderstand me: I am not saying that it was all bad, it had its good parts. I am simply saying that it appealed to the emotional and worldly side of me. It was more like a music concert than a church.
    The first worship service I attended in a church of Christ seemed so calm, simple, and to be frank; a little boring. At first, I didn’t like it; simply because it didn’t meet my expectations of what worship was supposed to be. Yet, with a little time, instruction, and respect for God’s will, not mine, I fell in love with a simple and pure approach to worship.
    Worship is not a side effect of the church! It is one of the biggest reasons for the church.
    I would contend that worship is one of the greatest things a church can do. While the works of the church are an expression of its faith in Jesus and obedience to Him, it is not the primary purpose of a church. Things like evangelism and benevolence are important to our work. Jesus said in Matt. 25, that doing such things was the equivalent of doing them to Him. Yet that is not why the church gathers together.
    We gather together to worship, praise and exalt our great Lord and Savior. In fact, Jesus said that God the Father was actively looking for people like this (John 4:23-24). Let me encourage you to read a few passages about this. Read Acts 2:42-46; 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:23-26; 14:16; Heb. 10:24-25.
    These are just a few of the wonderful passages that teach us that worship is about the heart, the Spirit, the building up and encouragement of each other, and most importantly, glorifying God for who He is and what He has done for us. Every great thing done by the church, throughout history, started because someone was inspired and set ablaze by the fires of worship. Anytime God’s people came out of her lethargy and pushed forward into Spiritual revival, it was done by worshipers of God.

- 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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Our Lord is Always There
By Gerald Cowan

When your day is dark and dreary,
You see no light, anywhere.
Beyond the clouds the sun is shining,
For it always shines somewhere.
Just because you cannot see it,
Doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Beyond the clouds our God is working,
Giving strength that we may bear
The griefs and sorrows that beset us,
Giving grace through all our care.
Just because you cannot see Him
Doesn’t mean He isn’t there.

When your life is filled with heartache,
Each day brings a load of care
And no one else can lift your burden,
Christ will all your sorrow share.
He will work together with us,
Helping all our load to bear.

Take your troubles all to Jesus.
He’s as near as whispered prayer.
Just because you cannot see him,
Doesn’t mean he isn’t there.
Hasten to his place of safety.
He is waiting for you there.

- 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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Take Advantage of the Opportunities
By Travis Robertson

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:23-25
    This passage is often used to guilt people into attending all services by saying, “if you are not here, then you are forsaking the assembly!” That is using this verse in a way that the author didn’t intend. Forsaking the assembly is more than not being in attendance one week. However, I don’t want to spend our time on that part of this passage. I want you to focus on, “how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.”
    We need to take advantages of all the opportunities we have every week to be with one another, and not just on Sunday and Wednesday. Keep track of all the events the church has planned throughout each week, night men and women Bible studies, work days, youth hangouts, etc. The problem comes when we don’t take advantage of those opportunities to encourage one another to love and good deeds. We may not be able to be at everything, but when we can be present, we should, knowing that our presence can help stimulate one another.

- 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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The Gospel in Five Seconds
By Edd Sterchi

    The Gospel is About the Second Adam. “The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven” (1 Cor. 15:47). Jesus Christ is the second Adam.  Paul also makes the contrast between Adam and Jesus in Rom. 5:12-21. Adam is the one who brought death into the world. The gospel message is about how Jesus died for us and overcame death (1 Cor. 15:1-4).
    The Gospel is About the Second Covenant. “If the first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second” (Heb. 8:7, see also Heb. 10:9). When Jesus died on the cross, He nailed the Old Law to it (Col. 2:14). In doing this, He brought in a New Law for us to live under – a law of grace (Heb. 8:8-10; John 1:17). It is a better covenant (Heb. 8:6).
    The Gospel is About the Second Birth. When Nicodemus asked Jesus about how to be “born again” a “second time”, Jesus answered with these words: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3-5). Jesus was referencing baptism, obeying the gospel call for salvation (Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 12:13).
    The Gospel is About the Second Coming of Christ. “Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” (Heb. 9:28). Jesus is coming back to take the faithful home to heaven with Him (1 Thess. 4:1318). The gospel message is about how we can be saved and be with Jesus.
    The Gospel is About Avoiding the Second Death. “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God...And they were judged, each one according to his works...Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:12-15). Following the gospel can keep us from experiencing hell-fire (2 Thess. 1:3-8).
    The gospel of Jesus Christ may only take “five seconds” to obey, but it is designed to carry us through eternity (Rev. 14:6).

- 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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Husbands, Love Your Wives
By Kevin V. Rutherford
    “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” (Ephesians 5:25). The basic idea behind the word “love” in this text is that of wanting what is best for one who is loved. Husbands must want what is best for their wives. They must seek the well-being of their wives. Husbands who obey this command of God will not hurt their wives, nor will they want anyone else to hurt their wives. Further, if a husband is desiring what is best for his wife he will be doing what he can to help her spiritually so that she will live eternally in heaven.
     “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.”  (Ephesians 5:25). Men, we must love our wives in the same way Jesus Christ loved the church when He gave His life for the church (cf. Acts 20:28). This is a love that will cause a husband to put the needs of his wife above his own. The husband who obeys this command is willing to make sacrifices for his wife. When a man spends so much time with hobbies and friends that he is neglecting his wife, he does not have this kind of love. 
     “So, husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself” (Ephesians 5:28). Typically speaking, men do not deliberately harm their own bodies. It is normal for a man to avoid receiving pain and injury to his body when possible. We are not to deliberately inflict injury upon our own bodies, but rather we are to be good stewards and take care of them. When a man loves his wife as he does his own body, he will never ever beat her, and in fact will seek to defend her should someone else try to harm her.
    “So, husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself”  (Ephesians 5:28). Did you notice that it says, “their own wives”? When sitting in a classroom during an exam, one will likely hear the teacher say something to  the effect of “keep your eyes on your own page.” Do the same with marriage, men. Don’t develop relationships with other women that go too far. Treat other women with respect and kindness, but don’t treat them in such a way as to develop a relationship with them that is closer than it ought to be. The love a husband has for his wife must be unique. His relationship with her must be special. He is not to give that relationship or love to any other woman.
     “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your payers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7). Dwell with your wife. Live with her. Your life with your wife must be intertwined. You need to be with her. You need to spend time focused on her so that you can live with her in an understanding way. We don’t want to develop an antagonistic relationship with our wives. We don’t want to develop a relationship that is simply tolerant of the marriage. We want a living relationship with our wives that involves a commitment to communication, with an effort to listen carefully.
    “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your payers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7). The word “honor” translates a Greek word that can be used in different ways depending upon the context. Some of the ideas discussed by Thayer’s Greek Lexicon that fit this context are; that which is of a great price, highly valued, or precious. In other words, men, we must treat our wives in such a way that shows they are very special and important to us. This we are to do as to the “weaker vessel”. The picture here is of someone taking that which is precious and valuable and treating it with great care because it is also that which can be broken or damaged. Treat your wife in such a way that is befitting of one who sees his wife as precious and as one he does not want to see get hurt. The term “grace” can carry with it the idea of joy. Joy that comes because of a special gift. The special gift we have is the relationship with our wives. The joy of the gift of a life together comes from a very special relationship that is precious to us. 
    “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your payers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7). Men, if we do not treat our wives in the manner here described, God will not hear our prayers. Our prayer will be hindered by our own attitudes. Our prayers will be hindered by the ruining of our relationship with our wives. Our prayers will not be heard by God if we are not going to treat our wives as He has commanded. God is, in essence, telling us that if we don’t treat our wives right, He is not interested in hearing what we have to say to Him. Therefore, a man must have his relationship right with his wife before he can have his relationship right with God.

- Kevin V. Rutherford preaches for the Warners Chapel church of Christ in Clemmons, NC. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://warnerschapelchurchofchrist.org/
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Death – Burial and Resurrection of Jesus (Luke 24:1-7)
By Rob Albright

    The resurrection of Jesus from a brutal death back to life, is the evidence all Christians need. The resurrection is evidence of His claims of deity. False claims have been made for centuries and still abound today. The Koran (Surah IV, 156-157) even claims Jesus did not die and actually fled to India.       Others say His body was stolen or that He just fainted and was revived in the coolness of the tomb.
    The truth is recorded in the Bible. Jesus said He would rise from the dead (Mt. 16:21; 27:63). Jesus died (Mt. 27:50); was buried (Mt. 27:57-61). His tomb was sealed (Mt. 27:62-66) and three days later, the tomb was empty. Jesus was raised from the dead (1 Cor. 15:3-4, 20; Mt. 28:6).
    Jesus is alive because a dead Savior does us no good. But, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead proves He is both the Son of Man and the Son of God. The message of the cross and the resurrection of Jesus must be preached.

- Rob Albright serves as one of the ministers at the Northwest Church of Christ in Greensboro, NC. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.nwchurchofchrist.com/
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Sunday Morning
By Larry Pasley

    A woman knocks on her son's door early Sunday morning, to wake him up for church. The son groaned, rolled over, went back to sleep... and had to be called two more times.
    "Tell me," he said, "Why do I have to get up? Give me three good reasons."
    "Well for one thing," the mother said, "It's Sunday and we always go to church. Two, you're 55 years old and should know that by now. And three, you're the preacher!"
    There are many reasons we should attend the assemblies of the church. We will discuss three of those reasons.
    First, we should attend because we are commanded to assemble for our encouragement: "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24-25).
    Second, we should assemble because it is an opportunity for us to be with Jesus. "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20).
    Third, we should assemble together because it gives us an opportunity to encourage and build up others. We can only do that if and when we come together. "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ-- 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love" (Ephesians 4:11-16).
    May we always understand the importance of our being in the assemblies and always make it our desire to attend every assembly we possibly can.

- 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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Blessed Are the Pure in Heart
By David R. Ferguson

    In Psalm 24:3-5, the psalmist wrote, "Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation."
    We know that the One Who ultimately ascended the hill of the LORD and stands in God's holy place is Jesus Christ. He is the only One Who has perfectly clean hands and a pure heart, the only One Who can save us from our sin! As Christians, it’s our desire to be pure and clean as is our Maker, but as hard as we may try, we will never be able to achieve this goal. That is, not by our self. The good news, however, is that we can stand pure before the Lord! Not because of our own good works, but because God promised us in His word that He would send His Spirit to transform our hearts and cause us to love God and His Law. And in Jesus Christ that transformation begins.
    “And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep Mine ordinances, and do them” (Ezekiel 36:25-27).
    We see God as He has revealed Himself to us in His word and through the eyes of faith. One glorious day, however, we shall see Him as He is on that Last Day! John wrote in 1 John 3:1-3, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure.” When we are clothed in Jesus Christ in baptism (Galatians 3:27), we are purified as our sins are washed away (Acts 22:16).
    Moses wanted to see the Lord face to face, but he could not do so and still live (Exodus 33:20). However, when we are in Jesus Christ, we no longer have to be fearful, for Jesus promised that, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8). What a promise, indeed, that is in which we can look forward: To see the Lord face to face! And in fact, in the end it is only those who can look the Lord in the face who will live eternally!

- 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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Top Ten Christian Myths
By Steve Higginbotham

1. If you’re growing, you must be doing something right.
2. One is in good standing with God so long as He can find his name written in the book The United Church Directory.
3. God wants you to be happy more than he wants you to be holy.
4. Teenagers must have a Youth Minister and be a part of an organized Youth Ministry to grow spiritually.
5. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it or change it.
6. If it’s new, we shouldn’t do it.
7. If it’s old, we shouldn’t do it.
8. If a person is struggling spiritually, give them a Bible class to teach or some other responsibility that will keep them attending.
9. Making sure we have a Bible class for all ages is more important than having qualified teachers in those classrooms (in other words, the church is a slave to the Bible class arrangement rather than the Bible class arrangement being a servant to the church).
10. Choosing to be a compassionate church or a doctrinally sound church is an “either or” proposition. These are a few myths that I have heard or witnessed through the years.

—taken from Seven Oaks church of Christ bulletin, February, 2013
- 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 Copyright © 2019 MercEmail
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Identifying What’s Important
By Joe Slater

    We place a higher importance on some things than on others. Aside from simply asking, how can people know what’s really important to us? Here are four ways:
    Talk. We talk about the weather. We talk about our family. We talk about sports. Why? Because these things are important to us. They aren’t bad things, and it’s fine to talk about them. But how much do we talk about God? about the Bible? about the church? “My tongue shall speak of Your word, for all of Your commandments are righteousness” (Psalm 119:172).
    Time. Each of us has exactly the same amount of time each day. It’s up to us how we use it. It takes time to sleep, work, and eat. Most of us have at least several hours of discretionary time each day. Perhaps we watch some television or read a book. Would that book happen to be the Bible? Do we spend time in prayer and actual study (not just reading) of God’s word? What about church attendance? Compare the time spent meeting with fellow-Christians to what you devote to recreation. Rest and relaxation are important, but so are spiritual matters.
    Treasure. Paying attention to the way we spend our money requires diligent discipline. We might be shocked at how much we fritter away on arbitrary things. I challenge you to compare what you spend on recreation and vacations with what you contribute to the work of the Lord. You estimation of the importance of His work will certainly be reflected by your material support of it.
    Talent. Your talents are not the same as the next person’s, but each one has abilities. We use our talents to earn a living, maintain a home, enjoy a hobby, etc. All of those are good things. What about serving God by helping other people and working on projects for the church? Here again, your use of your talents demonstrates your estimation of the importance of the cause of Christ
    What is really important to you?

 - 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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Somewhere to Belong
By David Bragg

    A doctor was enjoying lunch in a room full of people. Without a word he slowly got up and walked out of the room. No one there was aware of the danger this doctor was facing until his lifeless body was discovered a few minutes later. A morsel of food had lodged in his windpipe, and he choked to death (David Gibson, The Challenger, Carbondale, IL).
    What makes this story even sadder is the fact that this doctor was eating lunch in a room filled with other doctors any one of whom could have likely saved his life. He didn’t ask.
    The church consists of the saved. We know what it is like to languish in sin. We know what it is like to be redeemed. We know what it is like to have a place where we belong: the church. It is here that we can serve, encourage, and bear one another's burdens (Gal. 6:1). Because of what Jesus did, purchasing us with His own blood (Acts 20:28), we are family (1 Tim. 3:15).
    The Christian who belongs to the world has turned his back on the marvelous gifts of God. He is like that doctor who died in solitude while those who were willing and able to help stood by unaware. Because of what Jesus has done for us, we love and care for each other and share the Good News with those yet lost in sin. In Jesus they can find a place to belong now and forever.

- 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