BulletinGold #24
June 2, 2002   Vol 2 #4

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

   Another summer is here.  Students are out of schools and colleges. My youngest son, Jeremy, graduates from high school this year.  I'm sure many of you have children or grandchildren who are graduating. Congratulations to all of you, for graduation marks the acquisition of that much coveted degree and the knowledge that should accompany it. 
   More precious than worldly knowledge is the knowledge and keeping of the word of God.  Psalm 119 is devoted to this theme, and verse 11 says, "Thy word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against thee."  If only we, our children, and our grandchildren studied God's perfect law of liberty as much as we study history,
math, and English.  The prize, the crown of life which God gives His faithful people, is worth much more than any earthly diploma.  Let us all strive for that crown. 

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

A Blind Leap of Faith?
by: Ron Adams

Some non-believers speak of a Christian's faith as a blind leap of faith.  Not So!  Faith in God and His Son gives one the ability to see the unseen.  
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 ( KJV)  
This is not a definition of faith; rather, it is a description of faith.  Faith provides a foundation for hope and gives substance to things unseen, treating them as if they were already objects of sight.

It is said of Moses that he went about "as seeing Him who is unseen."  Hebrews 11:27
Paul wrote, "We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18

HOPE AND TRUST  There is nothing mysterious about treating something unseen as if it were something already in sight.  When one boards an airplane to travel to a small island in the vast Pacific Ocean for the first time, he does so "by faith."  He has put his trust (faith) in the information and evidence provided that there is
such a place.  He trusts that the pilot knows how to fly the airplane to the island.  He trusts the plane is capable of making the journey.  And he hopes to arrive safely.

Those who go about blindly are not Christians.  Christians walk in the light.  The ones who walk in darkness are those who are going about blindly.  ". . . the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." 2 Corinthians 4:4

"Thursday's Thought," May 22, 2002.  "Thursday's Thought" 
is edited by Ron Adams, who preaches for the 
North San Diego Church of Christ, San Diego, CA.  
To subscribe to "Thursday's Thought," write Ron at nsd@san.rr.com

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You Catch 'em
by: A. C. Quinn

There is an appealing statement going around which says, "Be fishers of men. You catch `em, He'll clean `em." Interesting, but to the point. Jesus called Peter and Andrew, fishermen, who were told that, henceforth, they would be made "fishers of men" (Matt.4:19). It is noteworthy in this passage that Jesus called these men, giving them a singular mission--"You Catch 'em."

Every fisherman knows that catching the fish is really the easy part of the task; after that comes the laborious, messy task of "cleaning 'em.  It was to this end--the cleaning, cleansing process--that Jesus came into this world (Matt. 1:21).  Every scene of the cross as recorded in the records of the gospel portray so vividly how Jesus willingly suffered the anguish and cruelty of death on the cross in order that wicked man might be cleansed (Eph. 5:26).  That cleansing process is an ongoing one for those who "...walk in the light as he is in the light...the blood of Jesus
Christ...cleanseth us from all sin" (1Jno. 1:7).

The task of the fisherman-- "You catch `em" --is not for the elite nor any special group. The Lord's commission (Mk. 16:15-16; Matt. 28:19-20) is to all his followers as Paul so instructed Timothy: "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (2Tim. 2:2). Truly, Jesus will do the "cleaning/cleansing" if his fishermen will only do the "catching."

A. C. Quinn preaches for the Celeste Church of Christ, Celeste, Texas.

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Quick Riches
----misc. goodies this issue

The Very Best Father's Day Gift
By Jim Bullington

I look forward to Father's Day.  There's something special that always happens around that time.  Hanging in my office are three framed pieces of ruled notebook paper, each one written by one of my three daughters many, many years ago.  I'd like to share the contents of these three treasures with the world.

Leann (the youngest) wrote - A Daddy is Someone Who:
   Kisses my mommie
   Loves and respects you
   Buys new stuff for you
   Likes to play with his car
   Likes to play the piano
   Goes to work
   Collects caps
   Likes to read

Christie (the middle) wrote - A Daddy is Someone Who:
   Loves his wife
   Loves his children
   Goes to the job in the morning
   Brings on the bacon (money)
   Helps you
   Likes to go shopping in a hardware store
   Buys new cars
   Respects you
   Is loved by his children
   Is loved by his wife

Teresa (the oldest) wrote - A Daddy is Someone Who:
   Cares for you
   Helps you
   Supports you
   Provides for you
   Takes time for you
   Goes places with you
   Shows you how to do things
   Loves you
   Loves his wife
   Makes you write stuff like this (Ha!  Ha!)

I can think of only one Father who might have been more proud of a gift than I am of these.  The father of the prodigal received the very best gift of all when his son came home, healing the great hurt that lived in his father's breast (Luke 15:11ff).  Give your father a great gift this year; each of the above gifts cost absolutely nothing!

Jim Bullington is an elder and minister for the church of Christ at Chestnut Mountain, Gainesville, Georgia.  To subscribe to his email article, "Today's
Little Lift," send a blank email to: TLL-subscribe@yahoogroups.com You can reach Jim at jbullington2@yahoo.com

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Training Puppies
by: Russ Lawson

As some of you know, we got a new puppy this week. We had put off the decision to get a new puppy for a couple of years now as losing our last dog, Ching, was so hard for us.

Now we are in the "training the puppy" phase.  Do you know what it takes to train a puppy?  The answer is Patience!  This is not our first experience with this, so we kind of know what to expect, but I was rereading one of the "how to train your puppy" books and it reminded me of some things concerning the way puppies think and perceive things.  What was surprising is that many of those things are just like us as humans.

For example, the book said that puppies have extremely short memories. When they potty in the house, they immediately forget about it.  If you try to remind them by yelling at them or maybe rubbing their little noses in their mistake, they don't have a clue as to why you are upset with them.  It also said that except for the occasional rouge, they want to please you more than anything, but have a real
hard time, since you and they don't speak the same language.

How much is that like our relationship to God?  No matter how much we want to do all the right things, we end up making a mistake in the wrong place.  Our memories are so short that we mess up and then forget what we have just done wrong and do it again. James writes about this in James 1:23-34 "For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was." John says in 1 John 1:8 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."   We want to be good, but we just can't do it. That's why God uses the same thing you use in training puppies. Patience.    

Russ Lawson preaches for the Church of Christ in Greenville, Ohio.

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Teaching the Children
by: A. Jay Kelly

Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.
Proverbs 1:8-9

In this wise advice, we find the principle of an eldership hierarchy, or leadership by older people, taught throughout scripture.  In this case, it is the children who are specifically taught to emulate the teachings of their parents.  In other Scriptures, we are taught to respect the older members of the congregation.   There is also, however, an implied responsibility in this passage given to the parents.

Our news services are full of stories of children out of control, some even committing horrible crimes.  In many cases, these kids are emulating the teaching of their parents. We don't have to be "bad people" to teach bad lessons to our kids.

     When we blame others for our failures, we teach our children irresponsibility.

     When we disparage those in authority, we teach our children lack of respect for authority.

     When we miss worship for recreational activities, we teach our children the place of God in our lives.

It is easy to point to our slums, where children grow up surrounded by drugs, criminal activity and other forms of immorality, as the problem.  But I remain convinced that the problem is the same when our more affluent children commit crimes. They were taught by their parents.

What are we teaching our babies?

A. Jay Kelley is the evangelist for the church of Christ in Colby,
Kansas.  His e-mail is jkelley@nwkansas.com

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

The Path I Make
by: Scott Hoover

I took a walk down the road one day,
And then looked at the path I'd made.
Behind me walked a little boy
Following in the steps I'd laid.

He tried to step in every track
He saw as he walked along.
As I watched him there I had to think
Of what could happen if I was wrong.

That little boy looks up to me,
To show him which way to go.
He follows me as the only one
He trusts cause I ought to know.

As a father my task is simply this,
To lead him in the light.
God gave to me this little boy
And I must teach him right.

There's lots of things we'd like to hide,
In our lives from day to day.
But knowing there's a boy who's following me
Helps keep me in the way.

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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Playing Church
by: Rose Ann Noey

What do you want to do?
I don't know, what do you want to do?
Let's play church.  That sounds like fun.
We'll need a Bible.  Hey, I've got one.

I'll stand here and lead the songs,
You sit there and sing along.
Then I'll sit, you pass the plate:
Grape juice, crackers, then money - but wait-

Someone needs to lead a prayer.
My turn now, it's only fair.
You can preach, but not too long.
I'll lead the invitation song.

Children play, but what of us,
When all we do is gripe or fuss?
Do you think that God is pleased
With worship from a heart diseased?

Let's hear the Word then turn about
To earnestly seek that Heavenly Route.
With contrite heart and conscience clear
We'll truly worship our Lord so dear.

Rose Ann Noey worships with the Yorktown Road 
Church of Christ in Logansport, Indiana.

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Just A Minute
Author Unknown

I have only just a minute.
Only sixty seconds in it.
Forced upon me, can't refuse it.
Didn't see it, didn't choose it.
But it's up to me to use it.
I must suffer if I lose it.
Just a tiny little minute,
But eternity is in it!

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

Be careful of your thoughts.  They may break into words at any time!

The man of the hour is generally one who has made every minute count.

Make the most of life on earth, but know the best is yet to come!

Your problems can never exhaust God's provisions.

Master your habits, or your habits will master you.

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