BulletinGold #10
August 19, 2001   #10

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

From the time I sent out the first issue, I have wanted a website for BulletinGold. I needed a place to store previous issues, an archive which would be easy for you, my subscribers, to access. Ed Thomason, the preacher for the New Madrid, Missouri, Church of Christ, has graciously offered to host a site for BulletinGold on his own website, http://www.Preachtoday.com. Not only is he hosting our website, but he has already built it and is working to add the previous issues. 

Ed Thomason (a native son of Memphis, TN) and his wife Linda from Arkansas) have lived and worked with the small church in New Madrid, Missouri, for the past sixteen years. New Madrid is located in the Missouri Bootheel on the banks of the Mississippi river just off I-55. Ed has a degree in architectural engineering, but gained his B.S. in Bible from Freed-Hardeman University and began his full time ministry in 1982 at the age of 33. He has served also as an elder of the Lord's church. His two daughters are now grown and married, and he now has a grandson that he delights in. His website www.Preachtoday.com is for preachers and teachers or anyone who may wish to use the resources available. He considers it to be a "toolbox" where useful information posted on the internet by faithful brethren can be quickly accessed. His tips and sermon writing ideas are designed to help younger preachers. If you visit his site and find it helpful, please send him a note and mention that you read about it in BulletinGold.

I appreciate the help Ed is giving BulletinGold, and I know you will find his website full of resources. You can see BulletinGold there at:

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Panning for more Gold
---- preacher's articles this issue

By Clifford Dixon

We are careful to speak as the Bible speaks. "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." We want God to get the glory and man to get the message from God.

A. On the name to wear. The church is the wife of Christ (Rom. 7:4). Wives wear their husband’s names. Salvation is in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12). We are told, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." (Col. 3:17). In both word and deed we show that we are Christ's church by wearing his name. Shouldn’t all people do this? Other names are worn to show that a certain doctrine is believed. Why not wear Christ’s name to show that the people are practicing the doctrine of Christ? Jesus said, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Mat. 18:20). When you pass a church building and you see the name "Church of Christ" out front in whose name would you conclude that these people gather to worship in? Suppose you pass another building bearing one of the popular names that are on the front of many buildings. Now in whose name do they gather to worship? One denomination asks people to come worship with them saying, "where everyone is someone and the spirit makes the difference." Why did they not say, "this is a worship service to honor God and where Christ is the one present with the worshippers?" They did not say this because it was not so. They were trying to make people think they climbed the social ladder by going to worship there. In Bible times congregations were known as "churches of Christ" (Rom. 16:16). The church in Corinth is addressed as "church of God". In his prayer to the Heavenly Father Jesus said, "all mine are thine, and thine are mine" (John 17:10). So the church can scripturally be called either "church of God" or "church of Christ". Why not wear His name? Why not gather to worship in His name?

B. We speak as the Bible speaks in telling people how to reach the blood of Christ. Jesus shed his blood in his death (John 19:34). How do we get into the death of Christ to reach his cleansing blood? Romans 6:3 states, "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" All spiritual blessings are in Christ (Eph. 1:3). In Baptism we both get into Christ and get into His death where He shed his precious blood. Every time in the New Testament where baptism and being saved or forgiven are found in the same verse, baptism always precedes the blessing of salvation. It is Jesus who washes us from our sins in his blood (Rev. 1:5,6). It is baptism that we come into contact with that blood and arise from it to walk in newness of life. "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:4). We have shown people this and they say, "I don’t see it that way." Well, there it is plain as day whether you can see it or not. Don’t let Satan blind your eyes to keep the glorious gospel from shining to you (2 Cor. 4:4).

C. We are careful to speak where the Bible speaks on the Lord’s Supper. It was instituted by Christ (Mat. 26:26-29). He put it in the kingdom (Mat. 26:29). The kingdom is the church (Mat. 16:18, 19). The church of God at Corinth was instructed to partake thereof in remembrance of the death of Christ (I Cor. 11:20-30). Jesus specifically said, "this do in remembrance of me." (Lk. 22:19). This is equivalent of saying "Do this in remembrance of me." A direct command of the Lord is given for his church or kingdom to observe. In Acts 20:7 we read, "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight." Here is the time they observed the Lord’s Supper. The church at Corinth came together in one place to do this but needed instruction as to how to do it (I Cor. 11:20). I Corinthians 16:1,2 makes it clear that they met "on the first day of the week", and were to let that be the time they were to give also. Without Acts 20:7 and I Cor. 16:1,2 you would not be able to authorize Sunday worship, and right along with that Sunday worship are the commands to partake of the Lord’s Supper and to Give.
    Other things could be discussed such as local church autonomy (Eph. 1:22,23; Col. 1:18; Acts 14:23; Phil. 1:1). Also praising God in song (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). All people can practice these things that are taught in the New Testament. We do not have to follow men’s doctrines, or support men’s doctrines in religion. It is not that we are right but it is that the Bible is right. It is God’s all sufficient guide in religion. We plea with you to accept what the scriptures says and practice the same. 

Clifford Dixon, gospel evangelist for the last 51 years, now preaches for Century church of Christ, Century, Florida.

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Andrew Connally (deceased)

    The church is not made up of people who believe they are better than others, but rather it is made up of those who realize that they should be better than they are and must continually strive to do better always.

  • The church is not made up of perfect people, but people who realize they are following a perfect Lord and a perfect law and therefore must do the very best they can.

  • The church is not made up of people who never make mistakes, but those who often acknowledge their mistakes and then forsake them. Never must we seek to justify them or continually make the same mistakes over and over again.

  • The church is not trying to withdraw from everyone, but rather draw everyone into its fellowship and love who are willing to walk in the light where God the Father and Christ the Son are found.

  • The church is not trying to set up arbitrary rules to hinder anyone, but rather to show the rule of Christ which helps everyone.

  • The church is not trying to take the joy out of life, but rather is trying to put real joy into every life it touches.

  • The church is not trying to make you feel ugly, but rather it is trying to instill the beauty of holiness in your life.

  • The church is not trying to separate you from your money, but rather it is trying to keep your money from separating you from God.

  • The church is not trying to become the master of your life, but trying to get you to master yourself.

  • The church is not trying to rob your life of priorities, but rather to get you to put the priorities in your life.

  • -- From the members of the Four Seasons church of Christ Bloomington, Illinois. Contributed by Harold Driskell, Bloomington, Illinois, as written in his "Thought for the Week," 5/03/0

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Russ Lawson

    I've been preaching for 30 years and have been involved in hurt life for a lot longer than that. One of the things I have noticed through the years is that giving can be a difficult subject with which to deal. Generally, you see two attitudes, one of joy in giving and the other of "Do I really have to?"
    I read about a little girl that became restless, as the preacher's sermon seemed (to her young mind) to drag on and on. She finally leaned over to her mother and whispered, "Mommy, if we give him the money now, will he let us go?" Too often that reflects the attitude we exhibit; if not, where would a child learn to think like that? Hopefully that is not your attitude.
    As I said, one attitude we see exhibited is one of Joy at the ability to give. This past Lord's Day one of our men (Dennis) was making a short talk before taking the contribution. He said, 'Too often we try to concentrate at lease once a week on Christ and His life." His point was that we should move out of the "Once A Week" mode and be thinking about Christ daily. When we begin to do that, we will begin to move into the "giving joyfully" mode. It is impossible to think about someone else giving you a fabulously expensive gift without responding to that with thankfulness.
    I read of another little girl that wanted desperately to give something to Jesus. When the collection was taken that Sunday she had no money to give. Thinking very seriously, she took the special ring from her finger that her favorite aunt had given her. She placed it in the basket with a smile on her face. Her father, who had seen her actions, after services reclaimed the ring and took it back to his daughter with the intention of giving it back to her. He told her, "Honey, we appreciate your putting your ring in the collection plate, but it's special, and we just want you to keep it." Her response was, "I didn't give it to you; I gave it to Jesus."
    You see therein is the key to our giving. Too often we think of our giving as "to the church," "to pay the bills," or "to pay the preacher," when in reality our giving is to our God. That is what makes giving special, the fact that it is something we do to honor God, not just to pay the bills. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 9:7, "You should each give, then, as you have decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty; for God loves the one who gives gladly."
    May our Gracious God grant you the ability to give as a child.. gladly, from the heart, everyday!

Russ Lawson, Greenville church of Christ, Greenville, OH 

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

By Sally Harris Cleghorn

During twilight years, time passes so fast,
My youthful years are long in the past.
There's no use in yearning for my yester-days,
I have only now to give You my praise.

Lord, help me be kind when others are rude,
Let others not spoil it when I'm in a good mood.
Help me overcome my silly pride,
And help me befriend those hurting inside,

Make my heart weep for the lost of this land,
There's millions by count like grains of sand.
Make me more conscious of sowing your seed,
And using my hands to help those in need.

And if I should live to a ripe old age,
Help me be a sweet and tempered sage.
Help me gain wisdom and Your Words to sow,
And be a good example to everyone I know.

When I pass on to a better land,
Let me be found in the hollow of Your Hand.
When the Book is opened at the end of time,
Let one of the names inside be mine!

Sally Harris Cleghorn Secretary for Hazel Park Church of Christ,
 Hazel Park, Michigan

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by Scott Hoover

Brutus, quit stalling, it’s your turn, 
      come on and throw the dice.
I want that seamless tunic, 
      especially at this price.
I bet his homely mother, 
      made it when it was time for him to leave home.
She probably never thought he would end up like this, 
      crucified by Rome.

Now, he’s hanging naked on that cross. 
      His shame is obvious for all the world to see.
He can’t be worthy of this robe. 
      It’s made for a special son or maybe royalty.
Hey, look at that, my number’s the biggest. 
      That means I win, this is a lucky day for me.
My wife will love it when I bring this home, 
      I may even let her have it, I’ll have to see.

Look at those self-righteous priests and rabbis, 
      they’re all mocking him and calling him a king.
Just the other day he came into the town 
      to the sound of people wanting to sing.
They threw branches and their clothes before Him, 
      as he rode on that donkey into town.
Now the only thing he has to wear is that twisted ring of thorns 
      we called a crown.

The ones I don’t understand, are His followers. 
      They’ve all seemed to turn away.
Where is that crowd who worshiped Him, 
      why didn’t they try to save this man today.
Even one of those other victims was mocking him. 
      He swore at Jesus to get him off his cross.
Yet Jesus didn’t reply with a hateful remark, 
      although he looked like he felt a heavy loss.

Then the other thief defended Him, 
      he said that this man Jesus, had done nothing wrong.
But if that’s true, why is he being crucified? 
      Why is he mocked by this ugly throng?
Wait a minute, what is it he’s saying? 
      "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do."
How can he be that forgiving? 
      We just nailed him to the cross like Pilate told us to.

Centurion, what is it that you said? 
      "Surely this man was the son of God."
How could we nail God to a cross, 
      how could his blood be dripping there in the sod?
Like the Roman soldier, 
      it’s hard for each of us to understand all the terrible things that Jesus bore.
But on that day so long ago, our King was wearing our sin and shame. 
      See, that’s the garments that Jesus wore.

Scott Hoover preaches for the Comanche Church of Christ in  Comanche, Oklahoma 73529. He has written over 200 poems on most Bible characters or events. If you need a poem for your bulletin or to illustrate a sermon, 
you can email Scott at tshvlh@pldi.net, and he will send you one.

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Author Unknown

Of stepping on shore and finding it Heaven;
Of taking hold of a hand and finding it God's hand;
Of breathing a new air and finding it Celestial air;
Of feeling invigorated and finding it immortality;
Of passing from storm and tempest to an unbroken calm;
Of waking up, and finding it Home!

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Gold Mines
----quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs this issue

Life with Christ is an endless hope. Without him, it is a hopeless end.

Warning: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning.

Never give the Devil a ride. He will always want to drive.

We don't change God's message. His message changes us.

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