BulletinGold #16
November 18, 2001   #16

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." Luke 6:38 At a time when Christians traditionally pause to count their blessings, I am counting mine. Little did I dream of the blessings you would bring me when I started BulletinGold nearly nine months ago. You, my brothers and sisters in Christ, give me far more than I give you. You share your articles and poems so that others may profit. Your internet ministries give us all many good resources for use in Bible study, in our bulletins, and in our daily walk. You have written to say you were praying for me and to share your experiences when you were met with life's problems. For your love and good work, I can say with Paul, that "I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, hearing of thy love and faith, which thou has toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints." Philemon verses 4 and 5.

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

by Mel Martin

1. Persecution - Matthew 24:9-10 It is hard to keep getting up just to be knocked down again. Jesus told the church at Smyrna, "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer," and then he said, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life" (Revelation 2:10). I suspect that Paul would say that the persecution which really saps our strength is not that which comes from without, but from that which comes from our own brethren. 
2. Temptation - Luke 8:13; Hebrews 3:13. In interpreting the meaning of the seed which fell on the rocky ground, Jesus said, "these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away." 
3. Worldliness - 2 Timothy 4:10. As Demas forsook Paul, having loved this present world, so will our zeal for the Lord be diminished if we love this world. 
4. A moral lapse - 2 Samuel 12; Psalm 32. When we feel unclean or when our conscience is bothering us, it is hard to get excited about serving the Lord. 
5. Forsaking worship and spiritual living - Hebrews 10:25-31. When we miss worship, we must be careful that a slow, progressive callousness is not setting in. Many who would not defiantly blaspheme and repudiate their faith find themselves slowly doing just that. 
6. Not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel - Job. 
7. Thinking you are the only one - 1 Corinthian 2:3. 

Mel Martin preaches for the Lincoln & Tunnell Church of Christ in Santa Maria, California.

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by Lawrence Barr

In his book, Meeting God in Holy Places, LaGard Smith shares his impressions of visiting a tomb in Jerusalem that might very well have been the one where Jesus was buried. What did he find in the tomb? Nothing! That's the story of the tomb of Christ that so gives us hope. He's not there anymore. But in a way that is not the whole story. A lot of religious people today find much to ridicule and little to commend about baptism. Seemingly, it is one of the more embarrassing doctrines of the New Testament. However, baptism has a connection with the tomb of Christ! Paul wrote to the Romans of their common experience of being baptized into Christ. He told them clearly, "we have been buried with Him through baptism into death . . ." (Rom. 6:4). He went on to explain that our old man of sin dies with Christ and we rise up with new life. So, in a way, every Christian has gone to the tomb of Christ and left his old person of sins there. So His tomb is our tomb. But we aren't there anymore, either! We came out of that tomb with new life (just like Jesus did!). So Smith says that it's now also a womb for us. We have been born anew. So the day our religious friends can explain how the tomb of Christ is insignificant, that's the day I might just understand how baptism into Christ's death is insignificant. I don't believe they ever can. How about you? Is His tomb your womb?

Lawrence Barr preaches for the Indiana Church of Christ at 225 East Pike,
 Indiana, Pennsylvania.

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by Roy A. Crutcher

For affliction does not come from the dust, neither does trouble sprout from the ground, For man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward." Job 5:6-7 (NAS) Man lives in a world filled with troubles, as is indicated in the above passage. Because man lives in a trouble-filled world, he will naturally encounter troubles, obstacles, etc., of various kinds from time to time. Even Christians are not immune to such problems. As Christians we do have some special blessings from God. Likewise, God cares for His own in a special way. Unfortunately, though, we are not immune to all the problems of life. And when problems arise in our lives, we usually tend to think that our troubles are worse than anyone else's. But as Christians, we are admonished to "think so as to have sound judgment." [Rom 12:3]. Sound judgment tells us that usually there is always someone worse off that we are. I am reminded of the poem that tells of the man who complained because he had no shoes until he saw a man who had no feet. Several examples are mentioned in the poem, each concluding with, "Lord forgive me when I whine." I read some time back of some devastating cyclones which had hit India. Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ lost everything. One brother lost his wife, two children and his parents. Another lost his wife, four children, five grandchildren, his mother - a total of 31 family members [16 were members of the Lord's church]. This kind of devastation puts us in mind of Job as described in chapter one. But Job survived, and so can we. Regardless of the extremity of any problems you might be facing, rather than feeling sorry for yourself, just remember a few basic facts: [1] Others have worse problems [2] Things could be worse [3] Usually the good in our lives outweighs the bad [4] Count the blessings that you do have. In every tragedy you can look at what you've lost and be hateful, or you can look at what you have left and be grateful. May God help us to have a grateful, trusting disposition regardless of our station in life. 

Roy A. Crutcher preaches for the Broadview Church of Christ in North Lauderdale, Florida. He also serves as host for Challenge The Truth, a weekly TV Talk Program which is designed to give Biblical answers to religious questions. http://hometown.aol.com/ChallengeTruth/TV.html 

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by Dale Grissom

The bright, cheerful, peaceful times of our lives are to be treasured highly. At times like these everything seems to fall into place and we are glad to be alive. But if we think this feeling will last, we are just kidding ourselves, because the rain must fall on everyone. There are peaks and valleys in our emotional make-up and it is when we are in the valleys that we are tested. Our rainy days take many forms. There might be bitter disappointment in marriage, failure in rearing children, emotional depression, bad health, the death of a loved one. Sometimes we feel that no one cares or understands our problems. When these times occur, we are to fight against the darkness and gloom. We need to reach out to Someone who will understand and help us to deal with emotional pain before it takes us over. Through prayer and bible study we reach out to our Heavenly Father. In the Bible we read of Job, Christ, the apostle Paul, and others whose lives were very difficult. These were without question some of the greatest men the world has ever known, yet they suffered as we do. Their suffering gave them strength to reach out to others, especially the sick, poor, crippled, blind and less fortunate. In order to be Christ-like, it is necessary that we become caring, and generous toward others. How can we understand the suffering of others unless we have suffered? Rainy days must come if we are to mature as children of God. 

Dale Grissom works with the Dexter, Missouri, Church of Christ as a personal evangelist. Dale has written two booklet which contain articles suitable for bulletins. For more information, contact him at dexterchurch@accessus.net  or Choate@WorldEvangelism.org

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Quick Riches
----misc. goodies this issue

by Jim Bullington

I stood amidst the shambles of yesterday's bright tomorrows Trying to grasp how I, Yes I, had birthed such sorrows When a hand unknown firmly and lovingly clasp mine Imploring me to trust and urging me to climb. At first the rubble seemed such an insurmountable peak My diet of self-pity had left me paralyzed and far too weak "Come on!" He said. "Its not your might that will lift you out!" He softly whispered in what became a deafening shout. "What might have been. ensnares many honest hearts "Freezing the past in mental panes so progress never starts "Trust Me!" He gently implores; "Yesterday's page is forever turned. "What might have been. What might have been. is a lesson never learned!" 

Jim Bullington is the minister of the Church of Christ
at Chestnut Mountain, Georgia. 
You can sign up for his "Today's Little Lift" at http://www.wings-hope.com/home.html

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

by Rose Ann Noey

Oh, what power the gospel is. The power of God to salvation. I was just a caterpillar Then came a transformation. A caterpillar crawls on the ground Not knowing that someday he'll be A butterfly who flits above, A lovely thing to see. When I was like that caterpillar, I only thought of me. I could not live the way I should, How God meant me to be. Then came my metamorphosis Beginning with a "washing." I stretch my wings, fly up towards heaven. My wormy ways, I'm squashing. Some days, I act like the caterpillar. I forget to that I died. I struggle with my attitudes. My love for God I hide. I want to live in Jesus' ways And on His strength rely. Help me, Lord, keep in my heart The flight of a butterfly. 

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

Prevent truth decay--brush up on your Bible daily.

How empty is the life that is filled with things! 


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