BulletinGold #4
March 25, 2001   #4
 

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

Our Lord Jesus Christ was a wonderful story teller. Some of his stories were probably made-up examples of every-day events that could have happened. Some, like the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man (Luke 16:19-31), may be real. Whether real or made up, we see Christ's parables and stories as divine words which teach. Almost every day I receive some kind of story in my email. Most are about some family, child, teacher, etc. who has experienced a "miracle," change of heart, or has had a "spiritual awakening." God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, or angels may speak wonderful words and play an integral role in these stories. You will never find these stories in BulletinGold or the bulletin I do for the church I attend. They contain no scriptures. They portray God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and angels saying things not found in the Bible. They may bring a tear to your eye and uplift you, but they are pure fiction. I believe it is okay to use a story told by us mortals to teach, but those stories have their place and should never be used to put words in the mouths of deity and angels.

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

CHRIST>ME (Christ is Greater than me)
by James C. Guy

In John 3, the disciples of John "The Baptist" were comparing the ministry of John to that of Jesus. John reminded them that he was not the Christ, but that he was simply sent to prepare the way before Him. Then, in verse 30, John told his disciples, "He must increase, but I must decrease." That's a good reminder for those involved in spreading the gospel, and for all of us as we live the Christian life. We must be careful not to think of our talents and success in preaching and teaching as being of ourselves. We must all remember that our very salvation is the "gift of God" (Romans 3:23). We must always remember that "we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord," (II Corinthians 4:5). Let Christ increase in our lives and in the light we share with the world as we decrease by humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God (I Peter 5:6). 

James C. Guy preaches at the Canal Heights church of Christ, P.O. Box 100, Demopolis, AL 36732.

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PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH
b
y Roy A. Crutcher

We have all heard the old saying, "Practice what you preach." But, do we always do it? I heard someone say, recently, "Why is it that we practice a lot of religion, but not much Christianity?" As unfortunate as it is, the reason many people may be rejecting Christianity is because they are seeing too much "religion" and not enough "Christianity." What does this mean? Religion is defined as " A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship..."[AHD]. "Grounded" is a key word here. If one is not well-grounded and not firmly committed, then it is very likely that one will not practice what he preaches. Perhaps this can be best explained by looking at a passage of scripture. James, in 1:27, uses the words, "Pure and undefiled religion." This is an indication that one's religion could be defiled or impure rather than pure and undefiled. In this case, one is not likely to practice what he preaches. He may "spout" a lot of scripture and doctrinal concepts, but have a lifestyle that is totally inconsistent with those principles. Christianity is defined as, "The Christian religion, founded on the life and teachings of Jesus." [AHD]. If one's religion is in Christianity, then one must preach/ teach those standards that were taught and practiced by Jesus Christ and his disciples. If one does teach these things, then he should also "practice what he preaches." When someone speaks of seeing too much religion and not enough Christianity, he is saying that he sees people who make the claim of being a Christian, but who do not practice what Christianity teaches. May God help us all to strive to not only know the teachings of Christ, but to reenact those very same teachings in our own lives by "practicing what we preach." 

Roy A. Crutcher preaches at the Church of Christ of North Broward, Coconut Creek, Florida.

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A TRUE STORY

I once witnessed an incident of charity that restored my faith in people. While working at a shoe store in downtown Truo, Nova Scotia, I noticed outside the bakery shop next door, a little boy standing on the hot air register in his bare feet, trying to keep warm. I was unsure whether or not to invite the boy into our store, or just what to do with him, when a lady came by. After a few words with the barefoot boy, she brought him into the shoe store. She bought him new shoes and heavy woolen socks, for which he awkwardly tried to thank her. "Are you God’s wife?" he asked his benefactress. Taken aback by the question, she took some time before replying, "No, son, I’m just one of His children." "Well, I knew you must be some kin to Him," he said, as he thanked her again and ran out the door. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on his name:" John 1:12 "And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him." 1 John 3:23, 24 "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth." 1John 3:18 "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17 

Copied and adapted. Author Unknown.

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Quick Riches
----misc. goodies this issue

THE ABCs OF CHRISTIAN LIVING 

A-ccept the fact that no one is perfect. B-ible study is absolutely essential. C-ount your many blessings. D-ig deeply for worthwhile causes. E-njoy the simple things in life. F-ight for that which is right. G-o to church services every opportunity. H-elp the needy. I-can’t do everything, but I can do something. J-ust a cup of cold water in His name will receive a reward. K-eep on keeping on even when others falter. L-ove your enemies! M-ost people don’t intend to go to hell. N-ext time turn the other cheek. O-pen your heart and let God’s love in. P-eople will not always be on your side. Q-uality of life is more important that quantity of life. R-eturn on occasions to the roots of your faith. S-elfishness has ruined many congregations. T-hankfulness is never untimely. U-nderstand your leaders’ problems. V-ictory is yours in Christ Jesus! W-orry is your worst enemy. X-ray your life and not the lives of others. Y-earn for Heaven. Z-est for living is no substitute for living in Christ.

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THY WILL BE DONE (Matthew 26:36-46)
by Scott Hoover

Many years ago in an olive grove, an event took place that we should know. Jesus prayed alone that lonely night, before a trial where He had to go. Jesus knew his disciples would desert his cause, and He had prayed that they be secure. Then He prayed to the Father that this cup might pass, but His motives were honest and pure. He knew the suffering He must endure, but Jesus didn't want to die. Death comes from Satan, not from God, and to want it is an unnatural lie. Yet Jesus prayed in the garden that night that only the Father's will be done. If He had to die then He would agree, for He and the Father must be one. Jesus also knew that Satan could not win, for with death, Satan tries to defeat men. So Jesus faced that battle alone, knowing He must defeat this grim power of sin. Yet, we must remember as we look at that scene, the agony Jesus faced that night. His sweat was like blood as it dropped, while He prayed for the Father's will with all of His might. The only way men could come back to God was through a sacrifice of someone pure. No man but Jesus could be found without sin, so He must provide the only cure. He didn't do it for fortune or fame, but rather to keep men from being lost. He wants us to follow Him from day to day, and He was willing to pay the cost. So as we look at that scene so long ago, let's remember that the battle has been won. Jesus defeated Satan, when He rose again, after saying to God, "Thy will be done." 

Scott Hoover preaches for the Comanche Church of Christ in Comanche, Oklahoma 73529. He has written over 200 poems on most Bible characters or events. If you need a poem for your bulletin or to illustrate a sermon, you can email Scott at tshvlh@pldi.net, and he will send you one. 

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

ONCE UPON A PEW

Once upon a pew I sat And heard the preacher ask, "We need someone to teach an adult class, Now who will take this task?" Then God sat down beside me there And said, "Son, that's for you." "But, Lord, to stand before a class is one thing I can't do. Now Brett or Don would be the men to call, There's nothing they won't do. I'd rather hear the lesson taught From here upon my pew." Once upon a pew I sat And heard the preacher ask, "We need someone to teach a children's class, Now who will take this task?" Then God sat down beside me there And said, "Daughter, that's for you." "But, Lord, to stand before a class is one thing I can't do. Now Kelli or Cayla would be the ones to call, There's nothing they won't do. I'd rather hear the lesson taught From here upon my pew." Once upon a pew I sat And heard the preacher ask, "We need someone to lead the songs, Now who will take this task?" Then God sat down beside me there And said, "Son, that's for you." "But Lord, to sing before a crowd is one thing I can't do. Now Ernie or Phil will do the job, There's nothing they won't do. I'd rather hear the people singing From here upon my pew." Once upon a pew I sat And heard the preacher ask, "I need some one to keep the door, Now who will take the task?" Then God sat down beside me there And said, "Son, that's for you." "Saying things to strangers, Lord, is one thing I can't do. Now Orville can talk to people, Lord, There's nothing he won't do. I'd rather someone come to me And greet me on the pew." As years just seemed to pass me by, I heard that voice no more. Until one night I closed my eyes And woke on heaven's shore. There were eight of us together there To face eternity. God said, "I need just seven of you To do a job for me." "O Lord," I cried, "I'll do the job, There's nothing I won't do." But Jesus said, "I'm sorry, Friend, In heaven there is no pew." Phil 4:13: I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. James 2:14, 17 What doth it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but have not works? can that faith save him? . . . Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself. 

Author Unknown. Submitted by Marietta Slater, who does the bulletin at the Augusta church of Christ, 3500 North Ohio, Augusta, Kansas 67010
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Gold Mines
----quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs this issue

Give God what's right, not what's left. 

God does not ask you to go where He does not lead

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