BulletinGold #31
January 5, 2003   Vol 2 #11

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

Yesterday we drove forty miles to visit my father-in-law, who is in a nursing home.  Afterwards we drove into San Luis Obispo to eat.  I should say that Jeremy, my younger son, drove.  He is just nineteen, and I think he's remarkable.  He has an uncanny sense of direction and never seems to get lost, even in a town where he has never driven.

I am so different.  I got lost in the nursing home.  I get lost in any strange building.  I hate to drive to strange places because it doesn't matter how many times I have looked at the map, I still get lost.  The minute I feel lost, I panic and my driving skills fly out the window.  My friends laugh at me and tell me to get my head on straight.  They just don't realize how easy it is for me to get turned around and how helpless I feel when I'm lost. 

Many of my family members, my friends, and my coworkers are spiritually lost.  However, they don't know they're lost.  They're not in a panic, and they should be.  I have tried to tell them, but they don't  feel my urgency.  Satan has clouded their eyes with his insidious message, "We're all going to the same place anyway, so it doesn't matter how we get there."

You and I know that it does matter how we get there.  If we don't go God's way, we won't get there.  We're not all going to the same place.  How do we tell our loved ones?  How do we make them understand their dire situation?  Why can't we make them believe they're lost unless they obey God?

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

The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)
by: Jim Bullington

So is it The Parable of the Prodigal, or The Parable of the Jubilant Father?  The answer is both, but the emphasis is clearly on the attitude displayed by the father upon the return of the lost boy.  Contrasted with the attitude of the father is the attitude of the older son.  First, consider the attitude of the father.

Who had been wronged by the departure and unwise choices of the younger brother?  Was it not the father whose word and wise counsel was disregarded by the younger son?  Was it not the father's hard earned fortune that was squandered for momentary pleasures by the younger son?  Not that the older son was without concern for his younger sibling, but who was apparently looking and longing for the return of the wayward boy?  One does not have to stretch his imagination very far to see the father lamenting over the situation, yearning for the day when the younger son would come to himself and both of their nightmares would come to an end!  Then, one day on a day that was just like every day, the fondest hopes of the father were realized; his son came home!  Live a part of that day.

"But when he [the prodigal] was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.'  But the father said to his servants, `Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.  And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry." (Luke 15:20-24).  First, notice that his father saw him when he was a long way off.  This indicates that the father was looking for his return.  Then, note that the father had compassion on him; literally, he was moved with compassion originating from the innermost part of his being.  Next, the father ran!  The reluctance in the boy's heart to return home must have dissolved instantly in the sea of his father's love!  Now, watch with joy as his father falls on his neck and kisses his long lost son! The verb tenses in this passage literally say that he kissed him and kept on kissing him again and again.  Far more than the proverbial yellow ribbon, the jubilant father emotionally demonstrated his joy
over the return of his son!

To further his joy, the father then asked his servants to join in the festivities.  And how fitting.  They had known the boy before and surely held some affection for him.  "Give him the best robe, put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet."  The father owed the son nothing; he had given him everything before that he could rightfully claim as his own, yet the father said give more; give the very best! And they began to be merry!  What a delightful picture of a father overwhelmed with the emotions of a son that was dead, but now is alive!  This pictures our Father when we return penitently to Him. Just think about it and then say, Thanks!"

This is the 12/29/02 issue of "Today's Little Lift" by Jim Bullington, 
who  works with the Wings of Hope ministry in Duluth, Georgia. http://www.wings-hope.com/home.html
Subscribe by sending a blank email to
 TLL-subscribe@yahoogroups.com .  Jim's email is jbullington2@yahoo.com 

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Why Be Baptized?
by: Mel Martin

The Bible Says

Mark 16:16 That we might be saved.
Acts 2:38 That we might have remission of sins.
1 Peter 3:21 Because it saves us.
Acts 22:16 In order to wash away our sins.
Galations 3:27 That we might be in Christ.
Romans 6:3, 4 That we might be in his death.

Acts 2:38 "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of
Jesus Christ for the remission of sins."

Ephesians 5:26  "That he might sanctify and cleanse it (the church,
which is his people) with the washing of water (baptism) by the word.

Acts 22:16 "And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and
wash away thy sins."

1 Corinthians 12:13 "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one
body."  This one body is the church (Ephesians 1:22, 23).

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

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Don't Chase the Wind
by: Rick Woodall

As 2003 begins, it's interesting to see all the old styles of clothing that are coming back on the scene again. I am reminded of these words:  What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Eccl. 1:9

I was told a long time ago to hold on to what you have because what is old will be new again. That goes along with the next verse in our text for this week: Is there anything of which one can say, "Look? This is something new"? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.  Eccl. 1:10

My gift reminds me that the New Year brings with it the courage to wait for all to be fulfilled. It's another year to be patient and enjoy the quiet times of meditation and prayer. All of us need to remember not to chase the wind, but let the wind come to us. "Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and
chasing after the wind."  Eccl 4:6

Take some time this week to feel the wind. Don't chase it. Close your eyes and feel the presence of God making a difference in you. When the challenges come, you will be ready to stand firm in faith.

"Life Thoughts" is a weekly devotional message brought your way by
 Rick Woodall who serves as the Associate Minister for the Metro
Church of Christ in beautiful Sterling Heights, Michigan. 
Listen to the "Life Thoughts" web broadcast at:

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

A Man of Sorrows
by: Glenda Morris

The King of the Jews condemned to die.
A man beaten and stripped of His dignity.
A man mocked, scourged, and spat upon.
A man persecuted without honor.
Christ became "a man of sorrows!"
He healed the sick.
He made the lame to walk.
He helped the blind to see.
Yet He walked alone to Calvary.
Christ the Merciful Master -
Yet He did not plead for mercy.
A man who was purer than the angels.
A man who was as holy as God.
A man who was forsaken by those He loved.
Yet He died alone for you and me.
"The old rugged cross --
The emblem of suffering and shame."
A man who left Heaven to live on earth.
A man who brought love and happiness.
A man without sin - a perfect man.
Yet He left earth "a man of sorrows!"

Glenda Morris attends the Burleson Church of Christ in Hamilton, Alabama.

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The Preacher's Compulsion
by: Rose Ann Noey
from Jeremiah 20:7-11

My Lord, My Lord, You bade me speak.
I said Your Words, I did not think.
I cried out violence and destruction,
But now they laugh with their derision.
I will not speak, I will not say
The Words my Lord upon me lay.
For when I do I have no peace
From all their mocking; they will not cease!
But then I learn
My heart will burn
If from His message I restrain.
I must, I must now speak His Name!
His Word=s a fire that burns my bones.
I=ll give no silence that condones.
My Lord will cause their speech to crumble.
My persecutors soon shall stumble.
Their evil speech shall not prevail.
I pray that soon their eyes unveil
Their sin to see;
To bow the knee
My Lord to Thee.

Rose Ann Noey attends the Church of Christ at Lincolnway in Columbia
City, Indiana.

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I'll Do Better This Year
by: H. L. Gradowith

I'll do better this year - just you wait and see!
A challenge always brings out the best in me!
I will change the things in my life that are wrong,
I will work and study until I grow strong,
I'll be the man I should have been all along;
I'll do better this year - just you wait and see!

I'll grow stronger this year - just you wait and see!
From the struggles I've known I'll at last be free!
When I face temptation, I will overcome,
And I'll keep on working `til my work is done,
I'll make time for work and I'll find time for fun...
I'll do better this year - just you wait and see!

I'll try harder this year - just you wait and see!
Life's many little problems won't get to me!
When someone needs help, I'll do all that I can,
When something's my fault I'll own it like a man...
I'll give it as good a try a man can -
I'll do better this year - just you wait and see!

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

A life leavened with love for God and humanity is unsurpassable.

We need not fear a fall if we stand up for Jesus.

It does a man no good to sit up and take notice if he keeps on sitting.

When a bee is stinging, it is not making honey.

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