BulletinGold #5
April 1, 2001
   Vol 1 #5
 

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

Perhaps you have heard of California's energy problems. I know those of us who live in this state have. This week we were told that customers who did not reduce their consumption of power would see a 46% increase in their bills. For this reason, I need to cut back on the time I spend on the computer and the number of BulletinGold issues I send out. Starting with this issue, BulletinGold will be sent out the first and third Sundays of each month. In order to give you a choice of quality articles, poems, and other bulletin materials, the issues will be a little longer. I appreciate those of you who share your materials with us. You help BulletinGold meet the needs of fellow bulletin editors. Please keep sending them. They will be used to help your brothers and sisters in Christ

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

SNOW COVERS A MULTITUDE OF JUNK
by Paul J. De Hart

We woke up Friday morning to the first real snowfall of the year. It was a beautiful light dusting of snow - just enough to make everything look clean and white, but not enough to cause a problem with the morning commute. Of course, some of our young people were likely hoping for more to have a day off of school or at least a delayed opening. Oh well, the season is young. Winter hasn't even officially begun yet. 

One of the reasons I like snow so much is because it covers everything as if with a pure, white blanket. It's like getting into bed with sheets fresh out of the dryer all clean and smelling fragrant from those thingies you throw in the dryer. Snow covers the cars, the trees until the sun comes out, and even covers the old junk lying in the backyard. You know, that pile of stuff behind the garage that never gets hauled away on clean-up days. The stuff you just kind of get used to looking at. The snow covers it all up under a mound of white anonymity. Sometime in the distant Spring, the snow will melt away again, and before the Spring underbrush does it's own cover thing, you'll be forced to look at the junk again. It's still there, just hidden from view and memory for the winter under the snow. 

On the spiritual side, you know we all have junk in the backyards of our lives - the wreckage of our mistakes and failings - the sins we don't want to look at piled up behind the garage. The good news from God's word for you is that God just doesn't blanket that junk with snow for a little while only for it to reappear again. God calls in the cleaning crew and clears all the junk away. The first time He does this is at your baptism into Christ; from then on, every time you confess your sins. Psalm 103: 11 "For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." Hebrews 8: 12 "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." So, while I love the beauty of snow as it creates its seasonal illusion of purity covering a multitude of junk in the backyard, the more profound beauty I am reminded of is the beauty of the blood of Christ which doesn't just cover the multitude of our sins, but washes our hearts clean and pure as that first freshly fallen snow of Winter. 

Paul J. DeHart preaches for the Randolph Church of Christ, 
Randolph, New Jersey 07869. 
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JUST SAY NO TO SIN
b
y W.A. Martin

Paul felt the need to make Christians strong so that they could resist sin, rather than to wait until they were deep in sin and try to rescue them. The best time to overcome a sin is before it is committed rather than afterwards. None can avoid temptation to sin, but they can work hard to say no. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Cor. 10:13). God said: "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." (ISA. 59:1-2). Repentance is not just a word, but an action of heart and life. "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." (Acts 3:19). "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent; because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead." (Acts 17:30-31). Speech and life must balance about sin. We live in deeds, not years; in feelings, not in figures on the dial. If you can ever imagine God being sad, it is when His people sin. The worm does not have to appear in the apple, because the fruit growers can spray at the proper time to avoid this. The worm of sin can be cleansed from a person's life by the blood of Christ (1 John 1:8-10 ). 

W. A. Martin is an elder and preaches for the church of Christ at 209 Main Street in Crandall, Texas 75114

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IF WE ARE LOST, IT WILL NOT BE BECAUSE
GOD'S GRACE PROVED INEFFECTIVE!
b
y Mel Martin

In effect, this accusation claims that God cannot save. It says. . .

  • THE PLAN WAS IMPERFECT. But James calls it "the perfect law of liberty" (James 1:25). 

  • CHRIST FAILED TO DIE FOR US. Through the ages, Satan has unrelentingly mounted forces to stop Jesus from dying on the cross, but Jesus did die. 

  • THE WAY WAS TOO NARROW. As you study Matthew 7:14, there are several things that you might keep in mind: God wants all to be saved. The way is constrained by the nature of God and His attributes--Love, Good, Right, Justice. To broaden the way is to demean and soil the purity that we all want. 

Mel Martin preaches for the church of Christ at 416 N. Lincoln, Santa Maria, California 93458

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Quick Riches
----misc. goodies this issue

LESSONS FROM MY SON JOEL
b
y Marietta Slater

Children truly are a blessing from God, and if we listen to our children, they can teach us so much. I have learned many lessons from Joel in the past few weeks; most of them deal with goal-setting. Joel and I run almost every morning (okay, okay, let me rephrase that-- Joel runs and I walk). 

  • The first lesson from Joel is to set a big goal and to work towards it. His running goal is to make the full circuit without stopping. Walking the circuit is approximately 2 miles, but his way is a lot farther as he runs past me, then circles back, and then runs ahead. Now he realizes that he has to gradually build his body up to accomplish his goal. We, as Christians, need to set heaven as our goal. Like Joel, we have to prepare ourselves for the way there. 

  • The second lesson is to set little goals along the way. He would soon get discouraged if he didn't reach his goal immediately. He knows he can't, so he sets smaller goals--ones he knows he can attain. He runs farther and farther almost every day. How about us? We could set little goals for ourselves-- like reading the Bible daily, sending at least 2 cards per week, making two phone calls, attending all three times weekly, etc.

  • The third lesson is that we need strong friends to help us attain our goal. There are some mornings where Joel is ready to give up, but I keep encouraging him. I keep telling him that "he can do it." He has helped me also because I tend to walk faster when he is with me. Do our friends help or hinder our way to heaven? 

  • Another lesson is not to give up even though we falter. Joel doesn't always attain his daily goals. That's okay. The main thing is that he doesn't give up. What about us? How do we react when we falter on our Christian walk? 

  • The fifth and final lesson that Joel has taught me is that we need to keep our goal in sight. He was coming around a corner this week, and he could see his goal for the day. His remark was that he could now make it since he could see it. With a renewed burst of energy, he ran toward his goal. We, too, need to keep our ultimate goal of heaven in sight.

Will Joel attain his running goal? Definitely yes. How do I know this? For one thing, I will help him attain it. But more importantly, he is at the point now that he can see the back entrance to the park. The end is in sight! Another major factor is his determination to achieve it. What about our goal of heaven? Will we attain it? It depends. Do we have Christian friends helping us along the way? Are we determined? Do we have our sight on the goal? Let's take these lessons from Joel and apply them to our lives. Hebrews 12:1 says, "....let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." 

Marietta Slater does the bulletin for the church of Christ at 3500 N. Ohio, Augusta, Kansas 67010.

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EMERGENCY NUMBERS

  • When in sorrow.........................Call John 14 

  • When men fail you....................Call Psalm 27 

  • If you want to be fruitful.............Call John 15

  • When you sin.............................Call Psalm 51 

  • When you worry..............................Call Matt. 6: 19-34 

  • When you are in danger.................Call Psalm 91 

  • When God seems far away...........Call Psalm 139 

  • When your faith needs stirring...............Call Hebrews 11 

  • When you are lonely and fearful............Call Psalm 23

  • When you grow bitter and critical..........Call 1 Cor. 13 

  • For Paul's secret to happiness........Call Col. 3:12-17 

  • For understanding of Christianity.....Call 2 Cor. 5:15-19 

  • When you feel down and out.............Call Romans 8:31 

  • When you want peace and rest.........Call Matt. 11:25-30 

  • When the world seems bigger than God...Call Psalm 90 

  • When you want Christian assurance..........Call Romans 8:1-30 

  • When you leave home for labor or travel. ..Call Psalm 121

  • When you leave home for labor or travel..........Call Psalm 67 

  • When your prayers grow narrow or selfish........Call Psalm 67 

  • For a great invention/opportunity........................Call Isaiah 55 

  • When you want courage for a task................Call Joshua 1 

  • For how to get along with fellow people........Call Romans 12 

  • When you think of investments and returns...Call Mark 10 

  • If you are depressed........................................Call Psalm 27 

  • If your pocketbook is empty....................Call Psalm 37

  • If you are losing confidence in people....Call 1 Cor. 13 

  • If people seem unkind..............................Call John 15 

  • If discouraged about you work................Call Psalm 126 

  • If you find the world growing small and yourself great.. Call Psalm 19 

  • Alternate numbers Dealing with fear.............Call Psalm 34:7

  • For security................................Call Psalm 121:3 

  • For assurance...........................Call Mark 8:35 

  • For re-assurance.......................Call Psalm 145:18 

Emergency numbers may be dialed direct. No operator assistance is necessary. All lines to Heaven are open 24/7. 

Author Unknown--Contributed by Russ Lawson, who preaches for the church of Christ in Greenville, Ohio 45331.

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

SALVATION FULL AND FREE
by Ashley Kennedy

Visualize Calvary's stench 
Roman-made crosses lined 
dried blood on beaten ground 
cries of pain, agony, woe. 
spear pierced side 
crown of thorns 
Righteous One crucified
woman on her knees 
a life-pleading cry 
voices full of hatred 
tears of pain. 
persecution
wicked and vile malice-filled hearts 
He was pure and holy
forgiveness; 
granted without asking.
unconditional love full and free 
a Savior died for you, 
for me. 
Ashley Kennedy is a member of the church of Christ at Las Tunas and Kings Streets in Morro Bay, California 93443. She is a college student. 

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THE BEST MEMORY SYSTEM

Forget each kindness that you do as soon as you have done it; Forget the praise that falls to you the moment you have won it; Forget the slander that you hear before you repeat it; Forget each slight, each spite, each sneer, wherever you may meet it. Remember every kindness done to you, whate'er its measure; Remember the praise by others won, and pass it on with pleasure; Remember every promise made and keep it to the letter; Remember those who lend you aid and be a grateful debtor; Remember all the happiness that comes your way in living; Forget each worry and distress, be hopeful and forgiving; Remember good, remember truth, remember heaven's above you, And you'll find, through age and youth that many hearts will love you. Author Unknown Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32

The above poem and scripture were from the March 21, 2001, "Thursday's Thought" by Ron Adams. If you would like to subscribe to "Thursday's Thought," please see listing in EXPLORATIONS. 

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A MOMENT WITH HIM

We mutter, we sputter, we fume and we spurt; 
We mumble and grumble, our feelings get hurt. 
We can't understand it; our vision grows dim; 
When all that we need is a moment with HIM." 
Author Unknown

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

No life is too broken for God to repair. 

To look around is to be distressed. To look within is to be depressed. To look up is to be blessed. 

Sometimes God calms the raging storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.

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