BulletinGold #20
February 3, 2002   #20
 

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

To all of you who have sent articles and poems this past month, you once again have my thanks and gratitude. Some of you send every week or even twice a week. Rest assured that I try to read all articles. You may not always see your article published in BulletinGold, but you are deeply appreciated. Many times articles which you send hit home to me personally and lift me up in the Lord. I share many with friends. Thank you all for your continued help.

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

VENOM AND THE CURE
by: Dennis Russell

My daughter first introduced me to Steve Irwin. When Sandy and I were visiting with her last year, she turned the television to a channel that featured this seemingly crazed man who had a passion for snakes. His name is Steve Irwin, and he is also known as the "Crocodile Hunter." He has stared into the mouth of a yawning crocodile, jumping back out of harm's way just as the creature lunges at him. He will 'toy' with venomous snakes, risking being bitten by them and having their venom injected into him. He is a risk taker.

There are many people today who seemingly are willing to take the risk of being the victim of a venomous attack. Not by animals, but by Satan. The evil that is around us is strong enough to cripple and to kill. Although there is much evil, I have frequently heard preachers narrow the evil down to what is referred to as the "Seven Deadly Sins."

Consider for a few moments the sin of envy. It has the ability to linger and rob us of seeing the blessings that we have been given year after year.

How about the sin of selfishness? It has the tendency to cause us to become unruffled in our life. We retreat into the refuge of our own cocoon and neglect to see the needs of the world around us.

Maybe the sin most prevalent in your life is that of despair. I am not referring to depression. I am speaking about getting such a dose of reality that we find ourselves experiencing physical symptoms that urge us to want to simply curl up and die.

We could spend more time speaking about pride, lust, laziness and/or greed, but space does not allow.

We have all been infected at one time or another by the venom of sin. Romans 3:23 reports that "all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God." We have all been stung. It wasn't a deadly dose of venom we received, because Jesus came into this world to neutralize its effects. Jesus came into this world to be stung. His ministry brought renewal of life to the sick, the poor, the oppressed, and the possessed. He took the sin of the world on Himself when He went to the cross. As a result, we are free to join Him in enjoying eternal life with God.

It is one thing to be bitten by a poisonous spider, snake, lizard, or be stung by a bee. It is a different thing to be stung by sin. I will let Steve Irwin and others like him get bitten by animals. But if some critter does bite me, I will get the necessary medical attention to regain my health. If I get infected with the poison of sin, I will take that to Jesus Christ. Only He can render that venom powerless.

Dennis Russell is the minister for the Foster Road Church of Christ
 in Santa Maria, CA.

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THE PROBLEM OF PATIENCE
by: Russ Lawson

We often talk about patience. Most of us have heard the old saying, "Lord give me patience and I want it right now!" But have you ever thought about what "patience" really means? The dictionary definition is: "1. Quality or habit of enduring without complaint. 2. The exercise of sustained endurance and preservation. 3. Forbearance toward the faults or infirmities of others. 4. Tranquil waiting or expectation. 5 Ability to await events without being perturbed disquieted or upset. (Funk & Wagnall's Dict.1952).

Actually after looking up the definition I almost felt pretty good about myself…. almost….. I actually do pretty well with most of those definitions until you read number five. "The ability to await events without being perturbed, disquieted or upset." To some of you this may come as a surprise, but perhaps not to others. You see one of my major problems is that I don’t wait very well. I hate waiting in lines and geting in them and only with a strong self discipline can stay in them. I almost completely refuse go to a drive through line of any kind waiting for someone else to do something. I hate to sit around and wait in offices. I have an extreme problem with sitting and waiting and doing nothing. I take books with me almost everyplace I go, not because I am so caught up in the book, but it drives me crazy to do nothing.

"Patience, The ability to await events without being perturbed, disquieted or upset." I like to think that I am better than I was at dealing with this problem. My wife assures me that I am, but also that I still have a long way to go.

Why consider patience now? Because I have been dealing with a new life lesson in the subject…. The past few weeks I have not felt too well and of course I kept on pushing myself anyway. You guessed it, it got worse rather than better, ended up with doctor’s appointments, an emergence room visit, bunches of tests, etc. Ended up with the doctor telling me to stay in the house and do nothing but rest for the next week, come see him again and we’d see if I could do anything. "Stay in the house and do nothing but rest…" Sounds nice doesn’t it, but for someone like me it is one of the hardest things you could tell me to do. I told someone that I was under "house arrest," and that’s kind of what it feels like…. but, I’m working on it….

What does all of this have to do with anything? One of my all time favorite scriptures is Isaiah 40:31, "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." I think I am slowly, (very slowly) learning to wait with out being perturbed, disquieted or upset. Paul writes in Romans 5:3-4, "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation (difficulties) worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:"

Perhaps you have heard the song, "He’s still working on me." That’s true of all of us isn’t it? I have a long way to go, but these difficulties are strengthening my patience and giving me experience, which is my hope for eternity.

Be careful if you ask the Lord for patience; you may not find the life lesson easy to deal with.

Russ Lawson, Greenville Church of Christ, Greenville, Ohio
Email: rlawson@bright.net

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LESSONS FROM JOSHUA ONE
by: Mel Martin

1. God keeps His promises. Joshua 1:3 "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses."

2. Prepare for success by determining God's will from God's word. Joshua 1:7-8 "Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."

3. Difficulties that are faced seem overwhelming when God's power is forgotten. The walls of Jericho must have looked insurmountable.

4. God gives His children victory over their enemies.

5. The challenges of life call for dependence upon God. Joshua 1:9 "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."

6. God had given all the land to Israel, but they were responsible for going in to possess it.

Mel Martin preaches for the church of Christ and Lincoln & Tunnell Streets
 in Santa Maria, CA.

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VICTORY IN JESUS
by: A. Jay Kelley

"He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. I Peter 2:22-24

The quote at the beginning comes from Isaiah 53:9, from the beautiful "suffering servant" chapter of that book that emphasizes the meekness of our Lord. Meekness is a much misunderstood and maligned quality today. Many think meekness arises out of weakness, but that is far from the truth.

There is no virtue in submitting to hardship or unjust treatment under duress. Nor is there any in refusing to speak or act where God has demanded speech or action.
The virtue of meekness lies in the submission to the will of God, regardless of personal cost and that was the Lord's example. The insults and bruises suffered by our Lord were caused both by his own righteousness and the lack of that quality in the world around him.

Peter will go on, especially in chapter 3, to encourage us to live according to the example of the Lord. He will also warn us that doing so will create ill-will among the worldly. The Lord's example, along with other meek men in the Bible (remember
Moses?) will not allow a "go along to get along" attitude either. He never denied God or backed up from his purpose, even when that purpose put him on a Roman cross. I don't know about you, but I'm thankful for that.

A. Jay Kelley is the evangelist for the church of Christ 
in Colby, Kansas. His e-mail is jkelley@nwkansas.com

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Quick Riches
----misc. goodies this issue

WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS???
by: Betsy Merrill

Many make this statement in anger and confusion, trying to make sense of some wrong that they feel has been burdened upon them. When I make this statement, I make it in wonder and amazement.

What did I do to deserve the grace and love that God shows to me with each breath I take? Why does he listen when I pray and ask for his help? He knows me. He knows that I will trip and make the same mistake over again. He knows that although I don't mean to, I will again fall and need His hand to guide me.
So why…What did I do to deserve this?

Because I believe! I believe that this world was not just created by a big bang, but by a loving hand. I believe that the sun didn't just rise this morning but that He willed it to be another day. I believe that He has interceded in my behalf more times than I can remember. I believe He gives us obstacles so that we may learn from them, and perhaps He is testing our faith in Him. He is wanting us to call on Him.

I believe that He loved us so much that he sent His Son to die for a world of people who are amazed and don't know what they did to deserve Him.

Betsy Merrill, Bulletin Editor, Sixth Street Church of Christ,
 Pompano Beach, Florida

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

GOING HOME Luke 15
by: Scott Hoover

I can't believe I've done it, 
      guess I thought that I could do so well.
I was sure I didn't need dear old Dad, 
      now I know why I fell.

Congratulations, now I'm wallowing in the slop, 
      the closest thing I have to a friend is a pig.

All my bravado has left me with nothing to eat, 
      not even a date or a tiny little fig.

As long as I had money, 
      I had friends who were ever ready to share.

The problem is that the money ran out
      and there was no one left to care.

Wait a minute, where is my brain?
      I could go home, even our servants have plenty to eat.

I'm sure that even where I messed it up, 
      my father would let me serve, at least I'd have meat.

Enough of this, I'm headed home.
      I really can't wait to see my father's face.
I'm just hoping he'll forgive me for the fool I've been, 
      I hope he'll show me grace.

There's one more little hill I have to climb 
      and I'll be able to see our place.
I climbed this hill so long ago 
      but then I was running away from Dad's face.

I can't believe the sight I see, 
      Dad is waiting for me and watching with longing on his face.
He's running to meet me with his arms open wide. 
      I can hardly wait to feel that loving embrace.

My father has wiped the tears from my eyes.
      I didn't deserve it but he loves me so.

My fear kept me away for so long, 
      all I needed was to swallow my pride and go.

Dad wiped the slate clean so I could start afresh, 
      though undeserved I needed it so.
He was willing to forget the past, 
      a past that has caused him so much pain, I know.

Maybe you left for a more noble purpose, 
      it was time to be away, a time for you to roam.

But I promise you this wherever you are, 
      there's no greater feeling than the one of going home.

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COMPLETE IN CHRIST
by: Rose Ann Noey

We're complete in Christ; we do not need
Ouija boards or astrology.
Who needs worldly philosophy?
Your trust in Christ should lay.

Put the Lord first in your heart,
Then from man's gods you will depart.
Mystics throw a poison dart!
And we're not safe amid them.

Studying angels with our time;
Weak devotions fill our minds.
We don't seek and we don't find!
Can we grow this way?

To study and to contemplate
God's Word, we need to concentrate
Upon its truths and separate
God's truth from mankind's wisdom.

Complete in Christ, He'll make us free,
Open our eyes to help us see
How He's our life's one true deep need.

Make Christ your Lord today!

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

Children have more need of models than of critics.

When weighing the faults of others, be careful not to put your thumb on the scale!

Correcting faults is like tying a necktie. We can do it more easily on ourselves than on others.

The Bible will keep you from sin, and sin will keep you from the Bible.

 

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