August 5, 2001 #9
is great to be back publishing BulletinGold.
I want to thank all of you who wrote me to
encourage me and tell me and the boys that
your prayers were with us. We are
truly blessed to have so many wonderful
brothers and sisters in Christ. I
know your prayers ascending to God's
throne in our behalf have helped. We
are managing. I am still looking for
a job, so please ask the Lord to guide me
in that endeavor. Michael starts
college August 20, and Jeremy starts his
senior year the same day.
A big thank you to all who sent me
BulletinGold over the last
two months. We shall surely use them
sooner or later. May I encourage
those of you who write for your church
bulletin to contribute an article.
Panning for more Gold
preacher's articles this issue
DISAPPOINTED WITH GOD?
every disappointed you? Perhaps
you expected something
from someone and they failed to deliver.
Has this ever happened with you and
God? Did you expect something from
God and He failed to deliver???? God
appears in a number of ways in the
Bible. At times He is very
active. At other times He seems
distant and remote.
David asked, " My
God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
(Ps. 22:1). Yet, another Psalmist
wrote "God is our refuge and strength, a
very present help in trouble." Why
did God seem so distant to David, yet so
near to another Psalmist? Habakkuk
cried, "O Lord, how long shall I cry,
and thou wilt not hear!" (Hab.
1:1). Yet, on another occasion,
Habakkuk wrote, "O Lord, I have heard
thy speech, and was afraid " (Hab.
3:2). Why does God seem to come
and go? Why does He appear, and
then remain hidden? Part of the
answer to the above questions may be
man's perception of God. There
were times when God allowed "bad" things
to happen to His people (Deut.
8:3). These were only "bad" to the
people at the time. God had
planned a far greater purpose.
God is not a man
(Numb.23:19). Solomon stated, "For
God is in heaven, and thou upon earth.
"(Eccl. 5:2). God does not think
like man. Man does not think like
God (Isa. 55:8,9). We cannot know
exactly what God is thinking at all
times, nor what His will is for us. (1
Cor. 2:11). God does not think
like man does.
At times God appears
to be hiding. That is the way
Isaiah put it. The Messianic
prophet stated, "I will wait on the LORD
who hides His face from the house of
Jacob; and I will hope in Him."
Isa. 8:17. Notice even though God seemed
to be hiding, Isaiah still had
hope. Later on in the same book,
Isaiah writes: "Verily thou are a
God that hidest thyself, O God of
Israel, the Saviour." (Isa.
45:15). At times, perhaps, God
seems to be hiding.
Yet, he is a very
present help in trouble (Ps.
46:1). How can God on one hand
appear to be hiding, and on the other be
ever present? Perhaps the answer
lies in our perception of God and what
we expect of Him. God has laid
choices before man (Deut. 30:15).
Many in Bible times were faced with
choices. Abraham, Moses, David,
Joseph, and many other Bible characters
had choices to make. Sometimes wrong
choices were made. Did that mean
God was not with them? Of course
not. It simply means that God
often will not intervene in the normal
affairs of man. God does not
eliminate problems, but he helps us
through them (1 Cor. 10:13). Many
in the Bible suffered greatly.
Yet, God was always there to see them
through the difficult
times. Remember the promise in Heb.
13:6-- "I will never leave you nor
forsake you." We need not think
God is not with His
children. At times He may
seem distant when He may actually be
closer than we think. Paul may
have recognized this when he wrote:
"Therefore most gladly I will rather
boast in my infirmities, that the power
of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in
infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in
persecutions, in distresses, for
Christ's sake. For when I am weak,
then I am strong." (2 Cor.
Brandstatter has preached for the Vienna
church of Christ in Vienna, Illinois,
for five years.
WHY DO IT GOD'S WAY?
by Lawrence Barr
sure, but I believe that much of the
religious world today makes an
assumption based (in their minds) on the
truth that we are saved by grace and not
by works see Eph. 2:8-10). The
assumption is that since we are saved by
grace, God does not hold us accountable
for doing things a certain way.
I beg to differ with
that assumption. Even the passage
mentioned above tells us that we are
"created in Christ Jesus to do good
works, which God prepared in advance for
us to do" (Eph. 2:10, NIV). These
are good works which God prepared.
If he prepared them in advance, then He
tells us what they are. So grace
leads me to do what God tells me to do
(naturally, not with the idea that I can
now merit salvation).
Of course, we can go
to the Old Testament and pull out the
story of Saul and see how he failed to
obey God in the case of Agag and the
Amalekites (I Samuel 15). God, by
his grace, had put Saul in the position
of King. The truth is, when God gives us
his gracious gifts, he expects us to
In Romans 6, we learn
that when we were baptized into Christ,
we died to sin and self and rose to walk
in newness of life. So I am no
longer following my own desires, but
His! That should be enough to
encourage me to put every practice up to
the light of the will of God.
After all, He bought me!
Barr preaches for the Indiana Church of
Christ at 225 East Pike, Indiana, PA
AGRIPPA DIDN'T GET IT!
by Jay Kelly
said unto Paul, With but little
persuasion thou wouldest fain make me a
Christian. Acts 26:28 Though I
usually use the NIV, I used the American
Standard Version because I believe it
has the meaning, at least in this
passage. These are the saddest
words in the Bible. Though the
alternate version found in the NIV is
also possible, I do not believe it is
correct in the context.
Agrippa was a man
well acquainted with Jewish customs and
the scriptures from which they
came. He knew the prophets and
believed that one day a Messiah would
come. Here was Paul, once a Pharisee and
a powerful man among the Jews, now a
prisoner in chains awaiting the judgment
of a Roman. But he didn't plead
for his life; he spouted platitudes
about love and peace and
forgiveness. He tried to convert
his captors! Paul was a man on a
mission, to convert the entire world to
He didn't care what
happened to him or where he was.
He was going to stay on-message, to use
a current political term. Paul was
an evangelist. He didn't build a
relationship with people for years and
years and never tell them about God's
plan for their salvation. I know we can
be too pushy, but we can also be the
most loving, Spirit-led people in the
known universe and fail because we don't
tell anyone about the distinctive plea
of Christianity! However, not even
the most fervent plea will succeed in
converting everyone. Agrippa
acknowledges the persuasiveness of the
argument, but he is unwilling to change.
Sometimes change comes at what is
perceived to be too great a
cost. Friends, family or other
things are just too important. Our
challenge is to remain like the great
apostle, who answered, "I would to God,
that whether with little or with much,
not thou only, but also all that hear me
this day, might become such as I am,
except these bonds."
Agrippa just didn't
quite get it, but that didn't stop Paul
from staying with the message. It
shouldn't stop us, either.
Kelley preaches for the church of Christ
at 510 E. Fourth in Colby, Kansas 67701
goodies this issue
WHY DID THE
ETHIOPIAN GO ON HIS WAY
(Acts 8:26-39) by Mel Martin
He obeyed God. Romans 6:17.
He obeyed the truth. John 8:32; 1
Cor. 13:6; 1 Peter 1:22.
He obeyed the Gospel. Romans 1:16;
Acts 15:7; 2 Cor. 4:3.
He had been baptized for the remission
of his sins. Acts 2:38.
He received proper teaching.
Matthew 28:19; John 6:44.
He put on Christ. Galatians 3:26,
27; 2 Cor. 5:17.
He demonstrated his love. John
14:15; 1 John 5:3.
He was born again. John 3:7; 1
Peter 1:23; Luke 8:11.
His sins were washed away. Acts
He became a wise man. Matthew
He became an heir. Romans 8:17.
He became a member of the church of
Christ. Matthew 16:18;
12:13; Ephesians 1:22, 23.
He now has a right to the tree of life
and can now enter in
the gates into the city.
Martin preaches for the Lincoln &
Tunnell Church of Christ at 416 North
Lincoln, Santa Maria, CA 93458
Hearts of Gold
Rose Ann Noey
A chorus of voices will be
Ever resounding with notes of praise
In Heaven's bright city of love.
What music will ascend to the throne on
Will it be earth's best in days gone by,
In those grand halls above?
Can a choir of voices set before kings
Even match a song from the heartstrings
Of one who loves the Lord?
A song from the heart is the music with
That will sound the sweetest in the home
And strike the loveliest chord.
So with your heart song sing loud and
And I will listen for your song so dear,
Swelling your chest with love.
Ann Noey lives in Logansport, Indiana,
and attends the Yorktown Road church of
Christ at 406 Yorktown Road, Logansport,
PRAYER FOR TROUBLED TIMES
Endow me, Lord, with strength
The bitter trials of life,
Instill within my troubled soul
Your peace amidst the strife.
Lord, plant a song within my heart
That I might praise Thee still --
While storms rage on, grant me the faith
To rest within Your will!
Unknown, taken from the Morro Bay,
& sayings for bulletins and signs
fishers of men. You catch them,
and God will clean them!
If God is your copilot, swap
Deciding not to choose Jesus is
still making a choice!