BulletinGold #25
July 7, 2002   Vol 2 #5

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

Summer is a very busy time, and like most, I have been very busy. I had not looked at the BulletinGold website for some time. Imagine my shock and dismay last week when I went to the BulletinGold website and saw an ad for online gambling! I thought the ads that the host, Bravenet, runs across the top would always be ads for their website making tools. My sincere apologies to all of you who subscribe to BulletinGold and use our site. I am planning on moving the BulletinGold site as soon as possible.

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

Observations on the Lord's Supper
by: Paul Clements

When Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper during the last Passover supper which he ate with his disciples, he set in place one avenue of Christian worship (Mt. 26:29). Christians proclaim the Lord's death in this memorial feast (I Cor. 11:26). We do this on the first day of the week because it is authorized by approved example in the scripture (Acts 20:7).

The divinely appointed elements of the Lord's Supper are unleavened bread, representative of the body of Christ, and the fruit of the vine, symbolizing the blood of Christ (I Cor. 11:23-26). We do this in remembrance of Christ's death, the only means of redemption for sinful man.

When Paul wrote the church of God at Corinth, he found it necessary to correct some abuses they were making of the Lord's Supper. He had praised them for their loyalty (I Cor. 11:2), but because of the shameful condition which existed in the Lord's day worship, he could not praise them for that (I Cor. 11:20-22). Whatever the cause, it appears they were turning the Lord's Supper into a common meal. In addition, there were divisions within the congregation, and they were not respecting each other as brethren. This unbrotherly attitude may be where the problems all started.

By the way, this passage does not condemn the eating of food in a church meeting house. If this were true, the church in the first century would not have been able to worship in homes where the families ate their food. Paul didn't condemn the Corinthians for eating in the place where they assembled, but for their unchristian conduct in eating and drinking to excess, and ignoring other brethren in the process. When Paul said "it is not possible to eat the Lord's Supper" (11:20), he didn't mean they couldn't go through the form of eating the supper. He meant they could not do it in an acceptable manner. Paul sets forth the divine origin and purpose of the Lord's Supper with the intent evidently to condemn the misconduct of the brethren in Corinth, and to encourage them to get right with God. If Christians today come to worship with the wrong attitude toward any item of worship or toward any brother, they are not in a position to be pleasing to the Lord whom they claim to serve (cf. Mt. 5:23ff).

Some have misunderstood the phrase, "an unworthy manner" (I Cor. 11:27). This is not talking about an unworthy person. We should not fail to partake of the Lord's Supper because we think we are unworthy. If we had to wait until we were worthy by our own merits, we could never partake! I n order to make sure we partake in a worthy manner, a man must "prove himself" (I Cor. 11:28). We must test our attitude toward the Lord and our brethren. Christians must come to the supper with a spirit of humility and reverence and observe it in a proper way. The Lord's Supper is certainly an important part of Christian worship.

Paul Clements wrote this article while he was preaching for the church of Christ in Meridian, Mississippi.

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Half Empty or Half Full?
by: Bill Brandstatter

A teacher set a glass of water on his desk. The water reached the half-way point in the glass. He asked his students: "Is this glass half empty, or half full?" The purpose of the query was to learn who in the class were optimists and who were pessimists. The optimist would have observed that the glass was half full. The pessimist would have declared it to be half empty.

The apostle Paul was an optimist. He saw a silver lining behind every cloud. He stated that he had learned "whatever state I am , to be content" -Phil. 4:11. How could Paul have this attitude? He wrote that statement while in a Roman prison. The answer lies in what he thought about and filled his mind with. Paul thought on things just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy (Phil. 3:8). Then he encourages Christians by writing:" thing things which you learned, and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you" (Phil. 3:9). The Christian should be an optimist. There are a number of reasons a Christian should be optimistic.

First, all our fears can be overcome. John said that the victory that overcomes the world is our faith - 1 John. 5:4. If I have the right kind of faith, I can be optimistic in a pessimistic world.

Second, mistakes can be forgiven. No one is so bad that God will not forgive him. We all make mistakes (Rom. 3:23). Even the apostle Paul made mistakes (1 Cor. 9:27). Someone once wrote, " He made no mistakes, he took no wrong road, he never fumbled the ball, he never went down beneath the weight of the load, he simply did nothing at all." This is a great mistake - Jas.4:17. There is no reason to let sin keep us out of heaven.

Third, the great assurance by God we have in this life. Paul made a really optimistic statement when he wrote, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Rom. 8:28). Paul and John both knew what it was to face temptation. Temptation can be resisted and overcome- 1 Cor. 10:13.

Fourth, your labor is not in vain in the Lord. When we are trying to reach people with the gospel, our attitude should be ..Never give up, never give up, never give up. Paul admonished Christians to not "lose heart" (Gal. 6:9). Some measure success by numbers. Seed needs to be sown and given time to germinate. We should let God have his time (1 Cor.3:6).

Fifth, God has provided us with an all-sufficient guide to follow. This guide is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Ps. 119:105). God has provided us with all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3).

Sixth, man's necessities are promised. Jesus said that if the kingdom of God and righteousness were top priority, God would provide us with the necessities of life (Matt. 6:33). He provides us with many things, however, that are unseen. The spiritual blessings in Eph. 1:3 are items which cannot be seen. They can be experienced, however, by the faithful child of God. Some of these include prayer, fellowship, and giving. From the very beginning, God has provided. He still does today. We can be happy in this life and in the life beyond. God will provide.

Christians should be optimistic for at least the above six reasons. The last reason, however, is the most important. Christians should be optimistic because they are God's people. God is on their side (Rom. 8:31). God has provided a way out of sin. The Christian has sins forgiven. That alone ought to cause optimism , hope, and a brighter tomorrow.

If you looked at the glass the teacher presented, would it be half empty or half full?

Bill Brandstatter preaches for the church of Christ in Vienna, Illinois.

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Can a Gift Have Conditions?
by: Lawrence Barr

Recently I was having a discussion with a friend about the wonderful gift of salvation that God has purchased for us by the sacrifice of Jesus’ death. I asked him if he thought a gift would still be a gift if there were conditions attached. He replied, "No, it would not be a gift." I posed a scenario whereby a rich friend offered to give him a car if he would meet him the next morning at 7:00 at a certain place in town. I asked, "Would you get the car if you didn’t show up?" He said, "No, of course not." I then asked, "If you went and got the car, would it be a gift or not?" Then he saw the point. Of course it would be a gift. In no way does a condition mean we earn what would otherwise be a gift.

So why is it that when Jesus and his apostles attach the condition of faith and baptism to salvation (see Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38 for starters) that many begin to cry, "That’s works salvation, not grace!"? I would truly like to learn how, when I was baptized, I did any work at all. Do you know? Instead, when I believed in Jesus and was baptized (by someone else) into Him, I was surrendering to His marvelous grace! Have you surrendered?

Lawrence Barr preaches for the Indiana Church of Christ, Indiana, Pennsylvania.

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Quick Riches
----misc. goodies this issue

Stirring Waters
by: Rick Woodall

Many times in my life the calm waters have been stirred. Stirring waters are signs of change. When the water stirs the course of time may be altered. One might be called upon to make some remarkable changes in their life.

There was once a man who could do nothing to change his condition. He was lying by the healing pool to wait for the waters to physically stir. When the waters stirred the people would get in the water for healing.

The big problem was this man could not get in the water. He would beg for assistance but everyone was too busy getting in the pool to help him. He never made it to the water while it was stirring. Then along came Jesus and the man reports to him.

John 5:7 "Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."

Jesus had the answer. John 5:8 Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." John 5:9 at once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

Many opportunities pass us by. The door is open but we can’t get through the door cause it is jam packed with people going through the door. Before we can get in the door is closed. The water is stirring, but we can’t make it to the water.

The good news is this. My gift reminds me that Jesus knows our situation. He will not leave us without an answer. He will come to our aid.

Listen to Jesus. Mat 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Mat 11:30 for my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Is the water stirring in your life? You can’t seem to make it to the water in time? Wait on Jesus. Listen to His Word. You might find yourself doing something you could never do before.

Rick Woodall Life preaches for the church of Christ in Sterlling Heights, Michigan. This message is from the June 24, 2002 issue of "Life Thoughts," his weekly devotional message.

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

Defend the Truth
by: Rose Ann Noey

Defend the truth, you men of God, 
The truth which God has given.
When others say,
"Oh, it's ok
"To choose your road to heaven."
"What road you choose, you should not care
"As long as we're all striving.
"Play fast and loose
"With Bible Truth -
"Make Faith your own contriving."
As gently calm as water seems
Upon the beach a-splashing,
Satan's a fox
Hiding dangerous rocks -
On which Faith's boat comes crashing.
Remember what the Bible says
In giving us a warning.
Our ignorant way
Makes easy prey
For those who're bent on harming.
But you, dear friends, build up your lives
Upon the Holy Faith.
And others snatch
From Satan's cache
Before the time's too late.
Defend the truth, you men of God.
Defend and take a stand!
There's just one road
To Heaven's abode -
And the Bible's that Heavenly Plan.

Based from Jude

Rose Ann Noey worships with the Yorktown Road Church of Christ in Logansport, Indiana. She states that a couple of phrases in this poem were from a little commentary written by her friend Brad Price, who preaches in Goshen, Indiana.

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Wisdom From the Book
by: Ron Adams

Proverbs 6:16-19

There are six things which the Lord hates,
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
   haughty eyes,
      [sees oneself as better than others]
   a lying tongue,
      [tells the truth only when it's convenient]
   hands that shed innocent blood,
      [hurts those who haven't done anything wrong]
   a heart that devises wicked plans,
      [thinks up ways to do evil]
   feet that run rapidly to evil,
      [eager to be involved in doing wrong]
   a false witness who utters lies,
      [lying to help a friend or to hurt another]
   one who spreads strife among brothers.
      [fostering turmoil among members, friends or family members]
These actions are not only hated by God,
but are harmful to others, and are devastating
to the one who does them.

Ron Adams preaches for the North San Diego Church of Christ in San Diego, California. "Wisdom from the Book" is from the June 26, 2002 issue of his "Thursday's Thought."

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

Repentance clears the way for our walk with God.

Our spirituality can be compared to an airplane ride. The higher we rise, the smaller the things on earth become.

Life for some folks is the practice of sowing wild oats six days a week, and on the seventh day going to church and praying for a crop failure!

Some of God's greatest preachers never stood in a pulpit!

Untold millions are dying--untold!

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