BulletinGold #12
September 16, 2001   #12
 

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

No words can express my sorrow for the events that have shaken our nation this week. No comfort can be given to the thousands of families who have lost loved ones in this tragedy. No doubt there were members of the church who were killed or lost family members or friends. Our only hope as Christians lies in the God Who will sustain us, Who keeps our nation and our families, and Who, ultimately, is the Judge of all. Several of our preachers wrote and sent me articles expressing their thoughts. I am including them in this issue. Read their words, but remember, it is up to each one of us as Christians to study God's Word and come to our own conclusions from what we read in the Bible. May the Lord our God hold each of you in His hands and bless you. 

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

HEARTS IN EMPATHY NEED TO BE COMFORTED
by Ed Thomason

    911 (September 11, 2001) is a date that will always be remembered not only by our generation of Americans - but in every generation to come. But for now - in these moments of crisis, there is profound sadness, emotional weariness, and a great host of other emotions flooding our hearts and lives. 
    Perhaps Christians are among the most emotionally vulnerable. We believe and practice principles of compassion toward one another and our fellow man. We literally "weep with those who weep." But our tenderheartedness and empathy for others can drain us emotionally and leave us feeling like there is a gaping hole or void in our hearts. We feel compelled to do something, to act, to help, to bear someone’s burden. Yet, we feel burdened ourselves with feelings of shock, numbness, confusion, etc. 
    What can we do? What are we to do? How should we respond? Are such feelings normal? Are we wrestling with depression ourselves? 
    One great blessing of the Christian community is that we have one another to lean upon. We can listen, share, reassure, encourage, work together, and pray with and for "one another." 
    And we can observe and remember that which is profound and truly the best of what the human spirit is about. Yes, some in our world are intensely evil, but their evil has already been overshadowed by a display of human courage, resolve, kindness and goodwill as neighbors and strangers bravely risked their own lives to save others. Let the goodness of humanity and not its evil become our focus in this tragedy. 
    And we can maintain our focus... There are some things that cannot be changed regardless of how great the tragedy. God is still God. His promises are still true and always will be. God still loves you. Truth is still truth. Right is still right. And remember that good always overcomes evil. 
    And seek to comfort and be comforted... by other Christians. Listen and share. Know that what you are feeling or not feeling is probably typical of others. Try to encourage someone else. I Thess 5:11 "comfort" and "edify." 
    And let the principles of Christianity govern and rule the day... Display compassion and integrity and let your light shine. And find direction, comfort and strength in the scriptures... Consider these passages as a starting place. Heb 12:2, John 16:33, John 10:10, Psm 46:1-3, Psm 30:5, Psm 34:11-19, Psm 40:1-3, 2 Cor 4:8-9; 17-18. 

Ed Thomason is the local minister for the New Madrid MO Church of Christ and webmaster of www.preachtoday.com  and BulletinGold. You can contact him at: ed@mydoghouse.com

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VENGEANCE OR JUSTICE
by Russ Lawson 

    A terrorist attack! How do we deal with that horrendous act? Many cry out for vengeance, and I have to admit that seems to be a human emotion that comes quickly to the top, even in me. Thank God that he has given us examples of forgiveness for our acts of sin that caused the horrendous death of His son. 
    What can we really expect, do or desire as Christians in the face of this terrible crime? I think that we can expect and desire justice and still be righteous before our God. Notice what Paul writes to the Roman church in Romans 12:18-21, "Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, 'I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,' Says the Lord. Instead, do what the Scriptures say: 'If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you.' Don’t let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good"
    If God brings vengeance upon those who do wrong, how does He do it? He does it by using the governments and world powers, which He has put into place. Just as in the Old Testament days, God uses government and nations to bring judgment upon the wrong-doers. God is still in control of the world, though Satan has never given up his fight to control men and women who live here. 
    Vengeance is defined as "retributive punishment. In a bad sense, wrathful avenging of a wrong." (Funk and Wagnall). It carries the idea of getting even for something bad that was done to us without regard to law. 
    I believe that what we are really looking for, praying for or desiring is justice! Justice is defined as, "The rendering of what is due or merited," "a just requital." "In its governmental relations, justice is the giving to every person exactly what he deserves." (Funk and Wagnall). 
    Isn’t that exactly what we want, the giving "exactly what he deserves," to those who have destroyed the lives of so many this week in America? If it is, then let's pray to God that justice will be handed out, but in His way. We may live here, but it is God’s world; he will avenge using his power to control the rise and fall of nations, governments and peoples. If there are prayers to be issued concerning justice in this matter, let us pray that God will help guide those in our governments. They are the forces which God uses to deal out His justice to those who deserve punishment. Let us also pray for those who have been so used by Satan to cause such death and destruction in our nation. 
    Think for a moment on the words of an old song which most of us have sung at one time or another, "This is my father’s world". "This is my Father’s world, O let me ne’er forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet. This is my Father’s world, the battle is not done. Jesus who died shall be satisfied, and earth and heav’n be one." Amen.
    In our world there in no peace, no permanent security; that comes later after we leave this place. My prayer is that God grants us whatever measure of peace we can have while still here knowing who is in control. As Paul wrote in Romans 15:33, "The God of peace be with you all. Amen." 

God Bless, Russ Lawson, Greenville Church of Christ, Greenville, OH

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WHAT HAPPENED TO HELL
by David Bragg

    It has found a seemingly permanent place in the vocabulary of America as a byword to express anger, amazement, or simply to fill in the blanks. Divesting itself of its biblical roots, it is freely used in conversation and entertainment. "Scholars" tell us that it is merely the product of the evolution of religion and is not to be taken seriously. Hell, like the Devil, is not to be feared by intelligent people. 
    Unless one rejects God, such a conclusion cannot be drawn. The clear things that rest in His Word insist on the reality of Hell. If, in fact, Hell is not real, God is found a liar and His Word unreliable at best. 
    Jesus believed in a literal hell and described it in graphic terms (Mark 9:42-48). If Hell is an imaginary place concocted for religious leaders to keep their ignorant followers in line, Jesus must be included in such a group of untrustworthy and calloused tyrants.
    Time and time again in your life God has proven reliable. Jesus has been found completely honest in countless situations. The Bible's teaching has been proved true on many occasions. What then is the course of the trend of questioning the existence of Hell? To ask the question is to answer it. There is but one who could so powerfully insist that only the ignorant believe in a literal Hell. Amazingly enough he lives there (1 Peter 5:8). 

David Bragg is the minister of the Cape Church of Christ, 328 S. West End Blvd., Cape Girardeau, MO 63703; website: http://users.clas.net/~dbragg  email: capecoc@hotmail.com  and receive his electronic bulletin upon request. 

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

A GROWING LIFE
by Rose Ann Noey

Little babies in the womb; God has made you every one. 
Why do some discount your life, To take the life of daughter or son. 
My child had life before I saw him, A little life sustained by me. 
Just because my flesh maintained him, I had no hold on one so wee. 
My little child, my babe inside me, A growing life, so precious you are. 
From conception, God has made you. Your little life I would not mar. 
Thank you, God, for such a wonder, One in which I can assist. 
A tiny life, an innocent soul. Let no one doubt this soul exists. 

Rose Ann Noey lives in Logansport, Indiana, and attends the Yorktown Road church of Christ at 406 Yorktown Road, Logansport, Indiana

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JUST ASLEEP
by Sally Harris Cleghorn

She closed her eyes to a final rest, She had given God her very best;
Legions of angels took her away, Transported her soul at noon today. 
If she could speak to us today, It might be this that she'd want to say ~ 

"I do not wish my friends to weep, 
As I didn't die, I'm just asleep. 
I'm resting easy, have pain no more, 
I'm on my way to that golden shore. 
Where Jesus awaits to welcome me home,
to rejoice with the angels in front of His throne.
I'll save a place for each of you there, 
Where burdens are lifted and there's never a care.
I'll look for you with anxious eyes, 
To join me here in paradise. 
So remember friends rejoice with me, 
I'm happy and where I want to be. 
Please don't be sad ~ and please don't weep, 
I'm alive and happy and fast asleep!" 

Sally Harris Cleghorn is the secretary at the 1123 East Woodward Heights Blvd, Hazel Park, MI 48030.

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LIVING FOR OTHERS
Author Unknown,

What is life that one should walk alone 
And never do for others,But only for his own? 
Can selfishness buy pleasure or bring one happy hours? 
For Joy is found in sharing and giving what is ours. 
Were I to gain a castle and all that money buys, 
Would happiness surround me without the friendly ties? 
So I will count my blessings and more for others do; 
Then I will have real treasures to last my whole live through. 

 (From the Morro Bay bulletin, Morro Bay, California.)

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

Failure is never final for those who begin again with God. 

Do the very best you can and leave the outcome to God. 

The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it

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