BulletinGold #2
March 11, 2001   #2

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

Welcome to our 50 new subscribers! If you live in a country other than Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, or the United States, please let me know. Email me at Bulletin.Gold@verizon.net  and tell me what country you live in, where you go to church, and your role in the church. Thank you. We now have 390 subscribers. Thank-you, thank-you, to all subscribers who shared their articles and poems. I asked for articles under 500 words. Please try to stay in that word range. I want to include as many of you as possible. Also, publishing very long articles limits the effectiveness of BulletinGold, as many church bulletins cannot use them. Poems should be 40 lines long or less, counting the lines between stanzas. Just keep sending your wonderful articles, poems, or whatever you have. We need all kinds of Bible-filled, doctrinally-sound material. If you use this material in your bulletin, please give credit to the author.

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

by: Lawrence Barr

"The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person." Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NASB) "The Preacher," as he calls himself, had set about to discover what would really give him a way to succeed and enjoy life. He tried pleasure, wealth, wisdom, foolishness, even the learning of God's word (in an intellectual way). Look in the mirror; you won't be satisfied. Try to make yourself lots of friends; they will disappoint you. See if you can learn more than your peers. It really won't make you a better person. Win all the theological arguments with your friends; you won't have done what God designed for you. What really matters is not what we own, or know. What matters is how we incorporate into our lives what God has said. To know is not enough, but to do. To do is not enough, but to become. The more we become in our world what Jesus was in His days here on earth, the less we will worry about those things that drive our neighbors.

Finally, that will leave the way open for God to really bless all those areas of our lives that we've been trying to "fix" all these years. We will forget ourselves, and God will remember us. We will lose our lives in service to others, and so God will give us our lives. We will forget about being handsome or pretty, and God will make us beautiful. Having friends won't matter so much; therefore, God will give us souls saved for eternity. Thanks be to God for giving us the victory! (1 Cor. 15:57; 1 John 5:4).

Lawrence Barr preaches for the Indiana Church of Christ, 225 East Pike, Indiana, Pennsylvania 15701

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by: Ron Adams

Growing up, I used to play marbles with some of the neighborhood boys. We would draw a circle in the dirt and put some of our marbles inside it. Then we would take turns attempting to "shoot" the marbles out of the circle. The ones shot out of the circle would be kept by the shooter. However, I wasn't allowed to play marbles "for keeps" – that is, keep the marbles I won. My parents insisted that when the game was over, all the marbles would be given back to the original owners. This prevented anyone from losing their marbles. It was all just for fun. [Please, no jokes about me losing some of my marbles.] Life is like a game of marbles. And it's played "for keeps." We use our energy aspiring to whatever we choose. We spend our time pursuing goals that catch our interest. However, once used, time is gone "for keeps." We don't get it back. When this life is over, we will give account of what we did with our time, ability and opportunities. If we were good stewards of what the Lord gave us, He will richly reward us. If we were unfaithful, we will have to live with the dreadful consequences. There is no getting it back to do over again. No second chance. No excuses. The game of life is "for keeps." Live so that you will not regret how you lived. So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God. Romans 14:12. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10. Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17.

Ron Adams preaches for the North San Diego Church of Christ, 7060 Miramar Road 103 in San Diego, California. Snail mail received at P.O. Box 721513, San Diego, CA 92172-1513. Ron Adams publishes a wonderful one-page email bulletin called "Thursday's Thought." If you would like to receive it, email him at nsd@san.rr.com and let him know.

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by: Charlie Thomason

Birthdays are an annual occurrence--for most folks, at least! To me, birthdays are not that big a deal; however, they serve as a yearly reminder of a daily fact: all of us are getting older! James wrote, "What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." (James 4:14.) To children, time can't pass quickly enough. To grown-ups, the days pass all too hurriedly. How should it affect us? Here's how it touches me. Knowing how quickly the days go past…

I want to become more and more like the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). I want to be the best husband I can be (Ephesians 5:25). I want to be the best daddy I can be (Ephesians 6:4). I want to influence as many people as possible (Mtt. 5:14-16). I want to live life to the fullest (John 10:10). I want God to use me to teach the lost as much as He can (Proverbs 11:30). I want to set my mind on things above (eternal things) because I know I won't be here forever (Colossians 3:1-4). Though we may not like to be reminded of the fact that we're getting older, it is good to rethink and reprioritize our lives in light of that simple truth. Make the most of every opportunity!

Charlie Thomason preaches for the Faith Village Church of Christ, 4100 McNiel Avenue, Wichita Falls, Texas 76308-1594. 

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Quick Riches
----misc. goodies this issue

by: Linda Judd

Imagine a man with two passions in life -- light and color -- losing his eyesight. Such was the case with the famous French impressionist, Claude Monet. Monet had devoted 25 years of his life to creating a floral paradise on his country estate in Giverny, and putting onto canvas his impressions of the beauty around him. Then, when he was in his sixties, cataracts began to form on his eyes, and his vision began to fail. Monet continued to paint, but his paintings grew darker, and objects grew unidentifiable. Within a few years he was almost totally blind, and his canvases were covered only with dark, swirling shades of red. His paintings were accurate images of his own distorted impressions, but they bore very little resemblance to reality.

In 1923, at the age of 83, Monet, somewhat fearfully, agreed to allow a physician to perform cataract surgery on his eyes. It was a success! Monet's clear vision returned, and his paintings were filled once again with what he loved most -- dazzling splashes of light and color inspired by his gardens. Following his surgery, Monet spent the last three years of his life completing what is now considered to be his crowning achievement, the water lily collection. 

Every one of us begins life basking in God's light. But as sin distorts and clouds our spiritual vision, darkness prevails. Spiritual darkness results in guilt, depression, confusion and, ultimately, death. Monet could have chosen to do nothing about his blindness and to surrender to darkness . . . but he yearned to return to the light. Surrender to darkness or return to the light -- it's the same choice we face, spiritually, when we consider God's gracious offer to bring us out of darkness and into His glorious light.

Scriptures: I Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Acts 26:15-18 And I [Paul] said, "Who are Thou, Lord?" And the Lord said, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But arise, and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; delivering you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me."

Linda Judd does the bulletin for the Juneau Church of Christ at 8755 Trinity Dr., Juneau, Alaska 99801. 

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Author Unknown

1. The man who puts God’s business above any business.
2. The man who brings his children to church rather than send them.
The man who is willing to be the right example to every boy he meets.
4. The man who thinks more of his Sunday school class than he does his Sunday sleep.
5. The man who measures his giving by what he has left rather than by the amount he gives.
6. The man who goes to church for Christ’s sake rather than for himself or someone else.
7. The man who has a passion to help rather than to be helped.
8. The man who has a willing mind rather than a "brilliant" mind.
9. The man who can see his own faults before he see the faults of others.
10. The man who is more concerned about winning souls for Christ than he is about winning honor.

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by: Scott Hoover

They caught her in the very act, for they wanted to provide a test. They weren't as concerned about her awful sin, as proving they were best. They drug her through those crowded streets, she had grabbed a cloth for cover from off the bed. Now she was standing surrounded by a crowd and wishing she really could be dead. As she stood there in their midst she knew she was wrong, and she only had herself to blame. There were no more excuses when she stood before Christ and she felt such tremendous shame. Jesus didn't even say a word, He only stooped to write on the ground. He knew their hearts and what they wanted to do as they stood there all around. So they asked Him again what He thought they should do. Would He follow the Law and obey? They had set the trap and they didn't care but they wanted to know what He had to say. Then Jesus rose and began to speak. He said, "He who is without sin can throw the first stone." Then He knelt again and wrote on the ground and soon He and the lady were there all alone. For each man standing there had looked at his life and each could remember some sin. They were standing before a sinless man and suddenly knew they couldn't win. They had examined the facts in their daily lives and knew each of them had shame. They knew they weren't perfect as they walked with the Lord and they had themselves to blame. Jesus stood again and He asked the question, "Has no one condemned you?" The lady answered, "No one, Lord." Then waited to hear what she must do. Jesus said to her those beautiful words, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." The lady looked into compassionate eyes and she must have rehearsed those words o'er and o'er. Jesus hadn't justified her for her sin, nor had He condemned those men who were standing round. He had come to bring the light of the world and they could have it if in Him they would be found. But what about the punishment and guilt of their sins? We all know that they were to blame. Jesus carried the load to save the world and answered the question, "What about the shame?" 

Scott Hoover preaches for the Comanche Church of Christ in Comanche, Oklahoma 73529

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

Author Unknown

'Tain't what we have, But what we give,
'Tain't what we are, But how we live;
'Tain't what we do, But how we do it–
That makes this life Worth going through it!

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

The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that they have.

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

Change is inevitable, but growth is an option

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