BulletinGold #15
November 4, 2001   #15
 

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

BulletinGold's sole purpose is to provide Christians with free, conservative, doctrinal articles and helps for church bulletins. I would never intentionally include articles which teach error, are written by those who teach error, or post any website which contains doctrinal errors or denominational teachings.  However, most of you know it is impossible to know and to "police" every source. Many of you post disclaimers on your websites which claim that you do not condone false teaching. (see ours)

For some time, BulletinGold has been informing you of brother-hood sites which contain information useful to Christians. In this issue I am including the Highway 9 Church of Christ Study Library, assembled by Joel Hendon. Although the site uses some denominational links for teaching purposes only, Brother Hendon prefaces the library with a strong statement that neither he nor the Highway 9 church of Christ endorse denominational doctrines.

Our newest helpful website to add to your resources includes such helps as a Greek-English Lexicon, a Hebrew-English Lexicon, Smith's Bible Dictionary, Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, Nave's Topical Bible, Fox's Book of Martyrs, Writings of Josephus, Writings of early Christian martyrs, English dictionary and thesaurus, and encyclopedias, and much more.  Check it out!

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

THE WHOLE TRUTH
by Ron Adams

    As he came into the kitchen, the high school athlete's mother asked how well he performed during his first track meet. He replied, "I came in second in the low hurdle race." "That's great," she said, as she filled with pride. Father and siblings joined in singing his praises at the dinner table. When asked for more details, he elaborated, "Seven runners where scheduled to run in the race, but only five showed up at the starting line. After two false starts, two of the runners were disqualified. During the race one of the runners fell while going over a hurdle. So I crossed the finish line in second place!" (I was that runner!) Anything less than the whole truth leaves the wrong impression! Abraham said Sarah was his sister (a half truth--she was his half- sister) and left the impression they were not married Genesis 20:12). Isaac also said his wife was his sister (Genesis 26:9). Both caused trouble for themselves and others. Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another (Ephesians 4:25). 

Ron Adams preaches for the North San Diego church of Christ, San Diego, California. This article is from the October 31 issue of his ezine, "Thursday's Thought."  You may subscribe by sending him an email at nsd@san.rr.com
The church's website is http://northsandiego.homestead.com

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HALF-FINISHED TOWERS 
by Bill Graham

    They are everywhere. Just look around! Pogo has been quoted as saying, "We have met the enemy and he is us". We're often puzzled how our decisions seem to work against us and get us into trouble. How frequently we fall flat on our faces because we did not fully consider the consequences of doing what we did. We pray for wisdom but rush headlong into decisions without proper spiritual preparation. We impatiently force our way through doors instead of waiting on God to open the doors he would have us enter.
    Jesus cautions those who would build a tower to first look closely into the matter. Here are his words, "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it?", Luke 14:28. Have you ever while driving chanced upon an aged and partially constructed concrete block wall with weathered pieces of warped lumber strewn about? All evidence enough that someone had started a building (tower) that he did not have the wherewithal to finish. If so, did the above words of Jesus perhaps come to mind?
    Who wants people laughing at our half-finished towers; namely, our poor planning? The Lord's words to Isaiah so often characterize such lack of planning and forethought. "Israel does not know, My people do not consider." Isaiah 1:3 For Judah it was a matter of their forsaking Jehovah God and building on foundations of false gods.
    The Bible is filled with admonitions to "consider"; "consider the lilies of the field", "consider the works of God." God wants us not only to think and consider, but to do it in the context of His will. Often He advised not only prayer as preparatory to the disciples' actions, but fasting as well. When questioned about his success and their failure in casting out demons, Jesus told them that "this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." We might also note here that both prayer and fasting were also practiced by Paul and Barnabas as they commended to the Lord the elders which they had appointed in every city. Acts 14:23.

In every area and day of life we're confronted by decisions. Some take these seriously, while others go through life helter-skelter, living for the moment. Be assured, however, that all make decisions. The parable in Luke 10 is a story about decisions. The thieves chose to rob a man of his clothing and beat him unmercifully. The priest who chanced by, chose to ignore the poor naked, half dead man; stopping not at all to see the man's needs. The next to pass was a Levite, who looked on the man's affliction and likewise chose to do nothing. Next came a man from a race of people (Samaritans) with whom the Jews had no dealings (John 4:9) and according to secular history, a people whom the Jews considered no better than dogs. This Samaritan man, even though "the lowest of the low", chose to do right and spared neither time, money nor effort to aid the poor broken Jew.

No doubt about it. Life is filled with crossroads where crucial decisions must be made. There are decisions which pose serious consequences, should the wrong one be made. Decisions such as selecting a marriage partner, taking a job or "building a tower." Even the decision to become a Christian must be weighed carefully to see if this is really what one wants to do. Here most of our readers are undoubtedly thinking, "This is not right!" Everyone should choose to become a Christian! Jesus didn't think so! His words were very definitive and precise, "And whosoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:27. Jesus is saying that becoming a disciple of his is not for everyone; a choice must be made.

Bill Graham is the coordinator of the World Bible School program at the Main
Street church of Christ, 318 N. Main St., Springfield, Tennessee 37172.

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WHITE POWDER
by Gary L. Hutchens

    Before long, there may have to be the official classification of a new medical disorder, "White Powder Phobia." It is the fear of white powder. The news is filled with updates on who is the latest to receive in the mail an envelope containing white powder laced with anthrax and who is the latest victim to test positive to having been exposed to anthrax after handling such an envelope. The terrorist plot seems to be spreading. Apparently, a number of media offices, including all three of the traditional major television networks, have been hit, as have congress and Microsoft. Several post offices have been contaminated simply from handling the tainted envelopes that were sent through the mail. Dozens of individuals have now tested positive for exposure, a number have developed symptoms and at least four persons have died.
    Of course, nobody knows for sure who is sending out the stuff, and nobody knows who might be the next recipient. As a result, many people are in something of a frenzy. There have been all kinds of reports of "white powder" and suspicious looking envelopes and packages flooding the offices of the various authorities around the country. Many people are going to the mailbox with a wary eye. Some celebrities have begun to refuse to receive fan mail. Countless people have changed various plans they had made. People are scared! Scared to the point, in many cases, of reacting rather ridiculously. But, fear will do that. It'll take an otherwise down to earth, rational individual and turn him into an irrational, hand wringing basket case. Fear can be absolutely crippling. And, this world is full of fear.
    The faithful Christian, though, can look forward to a future without fear. A future spent in the secure presence of the Heavenly Father. Even while still in this world, he can look to the Father for calm in overcoming the fears of this life. The apostle Paul wrote, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Tim. 1:7). John wrote, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment" (1 Jn. 4:18).
    There's no question about that torment factor in fear. Some people hardly leave their homes for fear of one thing or another. Some people become so fearful in a given situation that they cannot speak. In some cases they cannot move. That kind of fear is not pleasant, and to experience it on a continuing basis is torment!
    But, a faithful Christian has God on his side, and that's an awesome advantage. He can face a fearful situation knowing that he can trust God to see him through it, not necessarily to eliminate it, but to see him through it. Nothing is too big for God to handle. There is nothing beyond God's power to overcome. What a comfort!
    However, this comfort is only for the faithful Christian. A person cannot live just any old way he wants until he gets into some fearful situation and then expect to be able to call upon God and have Him come to the rescue. God is there for those who love Him enough to live by His teachings. He loves us enough to have sent His Son to die on the cross to pay the price for the guilt of our sins. He expects us to love Him enough to live a life characterized by obedience to His teachings. Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (Jn. 14:15).
    Some people seem to think that they can continually disobey God's teachings, live a general lifestyle that demonstrates virtually no dedication to God, and still be blessed with His continuous deliverance. They think they can live in sin, without seeking forgiveness, and expect God to automatically forgive them anyway. Well, there is something a whole lot more fearful than the prospect of finding white powder in an envelope mailed to your home or business. It is the prospect of falling "into the hands of the living God" to face eternal judgment unprepared (Heb. 10:30-31). What is your greatest fear? You cannot keep somebody from mailing an envelope filled with white powder to your address. But, you can make sure that when you face eternal judgment, you'll be ready. Are you ready right now?

Gary L. Hutchens is the minister at the Sunny Slope church of
Christ in Omaha, Nebraska.  
The email address is sunnyslope@churchofchrist.com

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Quick Riches
----misc. goodies this issue

LIFE HAS NO REVERSE GEAR

Life is like a clock. The hands of time go only forward, never backward.

Life is unlike a film.
It can never be rerun for a second showing.

Life is unlike an automobile.
It has no reverse gear.

Life is unlike a pencil.
You cannot erase your mistakes.

Today is your opportunity to do all that you can do, for all of yesterday's blunders can't be undone. It's impossible to live your life over, so do the best you can today.

Author Unknown.  Taken from the bulletin of the Morro Bay Church of Christ,
 Morro Bay, California.

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

HELP FOR THE INNER MAN
by Rose Ann Noey


As outward man at length decays,
My inward man's renewing.
I read God's Word from day to day
Which helps me go along life's way,
These arduous trials enduring.

My loving Saviour sent me help,
My inner man to strengthen.
Into His Word I love to delve
To fill my soul's deep empty wells,
My spiritual heights to lengthen.

As I read that Book divine,
My hidden man is stronger.
His precepts to my new man bind;
I leave the old man far behind,
And shed the devil's fetter.

Teach me, Lord, to stay the course,
The way You'd have me go.
It is Your Word which is the source
That seeps inside my heart Its force,
Your Will, my Lord, to know.

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

Giving thanks is a course from which we never graduate.

Our job is not to see through each other, but to see each other through!

Men do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them.

Be careful of your thoughts.  They might break into your words at any time!

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