BulletinGold #6
April 15, 2001   #6
 


Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

The first issue of BulletinGold went out on March 4, 2001. We started with 340 subscribers, and now, about six weeks later, we have 450 subscribers. Please keep telling your friends and other bulletin editors about BulletinGold. Thanks for sticking with us, and welcome to all our new subscribers. It may seem that some of our preachers have more of their articles published than others. First, they are the ones who send the most articles. Second, their articles are short, and I have had several requests for shorter articles. If you write short articles (or even long articles, poems, whatever!) please send them. You will notice that the BULLETIN RESOURCES section is not in this issue. We have had no new resources for several issues. I will tell you about any new resources as they come in. I may run a special issue every two months or so just for bulletin resources. In the mean time, if you would like a page with just our resources sent to you, please write me at Bulletin.Gold@verizon.net  and tell me, and I will be glad to send it to you.

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

THE CURE FOR SIN
by Jay Kelly

    "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." II Corinthians 5:21. This verse comes at the end of a chapter reminding the brethren in Corinth of the power and authority of apostolic teaching. In verse 20, Paul goes so far as to implore the brethren to again be reconciled to God. And how can we be reconciled to God? Through the sinless sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross! We can safely assume the apostle is using a simile rather than a literal statement, at least where our own righteousness is concerned. We know, or should know, that we are not righteous, at least not by God's standards. 

    The Bible is very clear that all are convicted under the penalty of sin simply because all are sinners! How then, can we approach God in light of our own sinfulness and His glorious righteousness? We do so through the atoning blood of Christ that accounted us to be as righteous as God. Of course, we aren't that righteous, and most of us know that. It is good that we know it, too, because it keeps us from getting too proud. God had to send Jesus to be sin for us. The perfect, sinless Son of God had to climb down into the filthy gutter of human sin and despair in order to save the ones who caused the problem to start with! The result of the perfect sacrifice is a blood sacrifice for sins and an accounting of righteousness through faith in Christ Jesus. We are, through the atoning blood of Christ, washed, cleansed and sanctified. Set apart as a holy people for God's possession. In the words of another epistle, how then can we live in sin any longer? 

Jay Kelley preaches for the church of Christ at 510 E. Fourth in Colby, Kansas 67701.

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STANDING IN THE GAP
b
y Bill Graham

    In the not far distant past, many of our leaders; men of power and influence, were known to admire and respect the word of God. Not only did they cherish the thought in their hearts, but wrote and spoke their convictions. Take, for example, the following testimonies of Thomas Jefferson and Daniel Webster. 

  • "If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but, if we and our prosperity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity. The Bible is the book of all books, and I pity the man who can not find in it a rich supply of thought and rule of conduct. I believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God." Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826).

  • "I have said and always will say that the studious perusal of the sacred volume will make better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands." Daniel Webster (1782-1852).

    Even though our leaders of today are most often oblivious to God and His Word, all is not lost. You and I must stand in the gap. As individual Christians, we must bear testimony that God lives and that His Word is still as powerful and glorious respecting the conduct of government as in the days of our forefathers. 

Bill Graham is the coordinator of the World Bible School program at the Main Street church of Christ, 318 N. Main St., Springfield, Tennessee 37172.

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RAPTURE
b
y Lawrence Barr

    The word is in some of our songs (where it seems to mean extreme joy, e.g. "the rapturous chorus") and it is on the lips of many people these days. I have often wondered where religious people got the word. I’ve looked it up in the Bible and I’ve not been able to find it. To do a bit more research, I did a search through a commentary, The Expositors Bible Commentary, that I have on my computer hard drive. There I learned that in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, ("Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord") the word translated "caught up" was translated in the Latin versions by the word "rapture." This is the source of this word in English, "rapture". So the word merely means that we will be caught up, snatched up to heaven to be with the Lord. There is nothing, then, too mysterious about the word, nor what Paul originally meant by what he wrote. The mystery is to explain how this word has turned into a multi-million dollar industry of books and movies that has all our neighbors so excited (And I am glad they are excited, because they might pay attention to the gospel of Jesus). But they don’t seem to know what this catching up is. We need to get excited, too. We need to be excited because the Lord is coming again. We don’t know when, but we know that he is coming. The fact is that he wants us to put our complete trust in him now, today, by our obedient faith so that we will be ready to welcome him when he does come. One day the saved of God will be caught up to be with the Lord. Will you be in that number?

Lawrence Barr preaches for the Indiana Church of Christ at 225 East Pike, Indiana, PA 15701. 

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LETTING THEM BURN
b
y Mel Martin

    We believe that "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16). This statement of Jesus capsulizes the teaching of the Gospels in such a plain and unambiguous way that we might say that it is frank and blunt. But only those with cold, hard hearts can commit Mark 16:16 to memory, say that they believe it, and still be untouched by the damned and unmoved and do nothing about it.  
    We are also told: "And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh" (Jude 23). In the spiritual realm, it is possible for men to be in "fire." Jude wrote that we should snatch (HARPAZO - Pulling, "to snatch out or away… proverbial, to rescue from the danger of destruction" - Thayer, p. 74) them out of the fire. 
    When are we going to come to our senses and realize that it is nothing less than pagan and barbaric to stand by idly and watch men burn when it is within our power to snatch them out of the fire? We will risk our lives physically to save even those whom we do not like, but when are we going to arise to save their souls? We teach, and rightfully so, "what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul" (Mark 8:36), understanding that man's soul is more valuable than his physical body, and then we let him burn! 

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

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THE GREAT "TA-DAH"!
by Russ Lawson

    My family and I have been building our house for what at times seems "forever." Actually we have been working on it for about a year and a half now. Our youngest son (Seth) and I started a silly tradition for whenever we completed a specific portion of a task of crying out, "TA DAH!" It kind of celebrates the fact that a lot of hard work can now be seen as a completed portion of the great plan for the house. I recently read about a minister who was teaching a group of second graders about the resurrection of Christ. One of the students asked, "What did Jesus say right after He came out of the grave?" The hand of one little girl shot up. "I know, I know," she said. "Well, what was it?" asked the preacher. The little girl exclaimed, "Ta-Dah!" 
    I don’t know about you, but I can kind of see Jesus doing that (of course you may be more mature than I). I like to see things from a child’s perspective, to try and think about what things might really have been like in the mind of the person being described in the scripture. Jesus must have felt that this was the moment for which all creation had waited. That moment for which he had waited and prepared for himself from the beginning, the completion of all the planning, blood, sweat and tears that had been shed... now it was over... a time for celebration... the great "TA-DAH"! 
    Notice how powerfully Paul puts it in Ephesians 1:19-23 "I want you to know about the great and mighty power that God has for us followers. It is the same wonderful power he used when he raised Christ from death and let him sit at his right side in heaven. There Christ rules over all forces, authorities, powers, and rulers. He rules over all beings in this world and will rule in the future world as well. God has put all things under the power of Christ, and for the good of the church he has made him the head of everything. The church is Christ’s body and is filled with Christ who completely fills everything." God wins, Satan looses, Christ is risen! Is there anything left to say but "Ta-Dah"? May you find the proper way for you to express your joy in God completing His greatest challenge. 

Russ Lawson preaches at the Greenville church of Christ, Greenville, Ohio.

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Quick Riches
----misc. goodies this issue

I AM THANKFUL

    I Am Thankful. . . For the husband who complains when his dinner is not on time, because he is home with me, not with someone else. For the teenager who is complaining about doing the dishes, because that means she is at home and not on the streets. For the taxes that I pay, because it means that I am employed. For the mess to clean up after a party, because it means that I have been surrounded by friends. For the clothes that fit a little too snug, because means I have enough to eat. For my shadow that watches me work, because it means I am out in the sunshine. For a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing, because it means I have a home. For all the complaining that I hear about the government, because it means that we have freedom of speech. For the parking spot I found at the far end of the parking lot, because it means I am capable of walking, and that I have been blessed with transportation. For my huge heating bill, because it means I am warm. For that lady behind me in church who sings off key, because it means I can hear. For the pile of dirty clothes and ironing, because it means I have clothes to wear. For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day, because it means I have been capable of working hard. For the alarm that goes off early in the morning, because it means that I am alive. And finally...for too much email, because it means I have friends who are thinking of me. 

Author Unknown, sent by Larry Miles, who preaches at the Iroquois Church of Christ, 960 Palatka Rd., Louisville, Kentucky 40214.

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TOP FIVE EVERYDAY EVANGELISM TIPS

  1. Look at other people as those for whom Jesus died.

  2. Pray for three specific people by name every day, asking God to use you to draw them to Christ. 

  3. Tell people how being a Christian gives your life meaning and purpose. 

  4. Build friendships with non-Christians. Watch for opportunities to help them and their families.

  5. God is the great evangelist. You only sow the seeds, but He makes them grow. Do what you can to tell others. God will bring the harvest, for He has promised that His Word will not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11).
    "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." 1 Peter 3:15

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THE GARDEN OF DAILY LIVING
Author Unknown 

For the garden of your daily living: 
Plant three rows of peas: 

  • 1. Peace of mind 

  • 2. Peace of heart 

  • 3. Peace of soul

Plant four rows of squash: 

  • 1. Squash gossip 

  • 2. Squash indifference 

  • 3. Squash grumbling 

  • 4. Squash selfishness

Plant four rows of lettuce: 

  • 1. Lettuce be faithful

  • 2. Lettuce be kind 

  • 3. Lettuce be patient 

  • 4. Lettuce really love one another. 

No garden without turnips: 

  • 1. Turnip for meetings

  • 2. Turnip for service 

  • 3. Turnip to help one another

To conclude our garden, we must have thyme: 

  • 1. Thyme for God 

  • 2. Thyme for family 

  • 3. Thyme for friends Water freely with patience and cultivate with love. 

There is much fruit in your garden, because you reap what you sow (Galations 6:7).                               

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

GRUDGES
by Sally Harris Cleghorn

A GRUDGE IS AN AWESOME BURDEN TO BEAR, 
IF IT'S A DAILY COMPANION LIKE THE GARMENTS WE WEAR;
IT ROBS US OF HAPPINESS AND BRINGS SUCH DEEP PAIN, 
THE DEEPER THE GRUDGE ~ THE MORE WE COMPLAIN. 
A SLICE OF OUR LIFE IS TOSSED TO THE WINDS, 
WHEN WE MAKE ENEMIES INSTEAD OF GOOD FRIENDS.
WHEN AN OBVIOUS GRUDGE SHOWS UP ON OUR FACE, 
THE SMILES OF OUR FAMILY WE QUICKLY ERASE. 
IF WE WON'T FORGIVE OTHERS OF LONG-AGO WRONGS, 
OUR HEARTS WILL NEVER HEAR HEAVEN'S SWEET SONGS. 
SALVATION IS JEOPARDIZED BY THE GRUDGES WE KEEP, 
LET'S GIVE THEM ALL UP ~ FOR THE PEACE THAT WE SEEK. 
WE'LL BE SO SORRY THAT WE HELD THAT GRUDGE, 
WHEN WE STAND BEFORE THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE; 
AND HE SAYS, "MY CHILD, DEPART FROM ME,
 I KNOW YOU WILL NOT MY DISCIPLE BE. 
IF YOUR BROTHER OR SISTER YOU CAN'T FORGIVE, 
THEN, IN MY HEAVEN YOU CANNOT LIVE." 
HOW SAD THE DAY WHEN HE CALLS THE ROLL ~ 
WE KEPT THE GRUDGE, BUT WE LOST OUR SOUL. 

Sally Harris Cleghorn does the bulletin for the Hazel Park Church of Christ, 1123 East Woodward Heights Blvd., Hazel Park, Michigan 48030


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A MAN MAY GO TO HEAVEN WITHOUT...
Author Unknown

A Man May Go to Heaven 

  • Without health, 

  • Without wealth, Without fame, 

  • Without a great name, 

  • Without learning, 

  • Without big earning,

  • Without culture, 

  • Without friends,

  • Without a thousand other things, 

But he can never go to heaven Without Christ!

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TRY THE UPLOOK
Author Unknown 

When the outlook is dark, try the uplook; 
These words hold a message of cheer. 
Be glad while repeating them over, 
And smile when the shadows appear. 
Above and beyond stands the Master;
He sees what we do for His sake. 
He never will fail or forsake us; 
He knoweth the way we take.
When the outlook is dark, try the uplook-- 
The outlook of faith and good cheer; 
The love of the Father surrounds us, 
He knows when the shadows are near. 
Be brave, then, and keep the eyes lifted, 
And smile on the dreariest day. 
His smile will glow in the darkness; 
His light will illumine the way. 

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

God doesn't love you because you are important. You are important because God loves you.

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrows; it only saps today of its strength. 

A hypocrite is a person who is not himself on Sundays.

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