BulletinGold #34
July 6, 2003   Vol 3 #2
 

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

Three months can sure fly!  I thank you for the rest.  In the last three months I have finished my class, finished up my work until August 1, and had gall bladder surgery June 24 (the quick and easy kind where one is in the pre-op room one minute, then home six hours later).  I’m sure that my surgery was much, much easier than the old “cut and slash.”  However, it was no picnic, and I am still regaining my energy. 

The number of new websites and resources created by members of the church is growing by leaps and bounds.  This BulletinGold contains a few new ones.  Our poetry section also introduces you to two new brotherhood poets.  I thank all of you who send me articles and poems.  I am still looking for short articles from our Christian sisters.  Please remember to include the name and location of the church of Christ you attend.

You can advertise to BulletinGold’s over 500 subscribers for only $5.00.  Ad length is four lines with each line containing 80 characters/spaces.  Send your articles and ads to Bulletin.Gold@verizon.net .

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

Faith, Hope, and Love in the Life of Joshua
by: Jim Bullington

Sports teams sometimes make dramatic comebacks in the standings; sometimes, as they say, they go from “worst to first.”  Joshua made a dramatic comeback, but the stakes were not trophies and rings; the stakes were righteousness and life. 

After Joshua and Caleb reported that the land of Canaan was a fair land that could be taken through the power of God, the congregation rebelled against Moses and said, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.” (Numbers 13.4).  Joshua and Caleb addressed the rebellious crowd, once again urging them to trust God and go forward fearlessly into the land that flowed with milk and honey (Numbers 14.6-9).  Notice the reaction of the congregation to their future leader: “And all the congregation said to stone them with stones.” (Numbers 14.10).

This scene depicts Joshua almost at absolute and total odds with the rest of Israel; only a handful of folks believed as he that they should take the land as God had said.  From a political standpoint Joshua was at the bottom of the ratings; only Aaron and Moses ranked lower.  As a mental exercise, fast-forward the clock about 38 years or so and meet Joshua again; the circumstances being radically changed.  Shortly before dying, Moses had laid his hands on Joshua (Deuteronomy 34.9) consequently, the record says that Joshua was full of the spirit of wisdom and the people heeded him.  Joshua had gone, as the saying goes from worst to first!

Now watch the first official act of Joshua as the leader of Israel:  “Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess.’” (Joshua 1.11).  Hundreds of years of slavery and forty years of wanderings were about to come to an end; the land of Canaan lay just ahead and only obedient faith was required to proceed.  From the past deeds of Joshua and Caleb, one can see that God had made the right choice of a leader.  Joshua was unafraid, obedient, and determined.  Under his hand, the people would go forward and ultimately conquer the land of Canaan.

The life of Joshua shows once and for all that it truly isn’t over until it’s over.  When others might have counted him out, Joshua’s service was just beginning.  We shouldn’t find this entirely strange since the same could be said of Joseph and Moses; Joseph rose to power from a prison cell and Moses inherited the reins of Israel from a land of refuge!

Faith was a central and fundamental part of Joshua’s character.  When others did not believe God, Joshua took the Lord at His word; he looked at things through the eyes of faith.  Going from worst to first demands faith.  Going from worst to first means never giving up!

Jim Bullington is an elder at the Chestnut Mountain Church of Christ in Chestnut Mountain, Georgia.  This article is the June 10, 2003 issue of “Today’s Little Lift.”  You can subscribe to “Today’s Little Lift” by sending a blank email to:

TLL-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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Things of Which We Can Be Certain
by: Mel Martin

1The unalienable love of God – Romans 8:38-39.

2. Comfort in affliction – Psalm 73:26; Luke 4:18; 2 Cor. 4:8-10, 16-18.

3. Support in death – Psalm 23

4. Jesus is coming again.

     a.  John 14:2,3 – “I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a  
        
place for you, I will come again.”

     b. 2 Thessalonians 1:8,9 – “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that 
        
know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who
         shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the  
         
Lord, and from the glory of his power.”

5. A glorious resurrection – Philippians 3:21; 1 John 3:2.

6. The wicked will be punished – 2 Thessalonians 1:8,9; Romans 12:19.

7. The righteous will be rewarded – Revelation 19:9 – “…blessed are they which are  
    called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

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

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Integrity
by: A Jay Kelly

His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. Job 2:9-10  Lynn Anderson had a hit with a song called “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” many years ago. In the song, a wife was reminding her husband that not everything goes right all the time and that relationship had to be able to weather the storms as well as the good times. There is an Arab proverb that sums up that feeling quite well. It says, “All sunshine makes a desert.” That would seem to sum up what Job told his wife as well. We need to understand that Job was far from perfect and his wife was probably not as evil as we make her out to be from this verse. How many times have we had the same reaction as Job’s wife to our problems? How many times have we wanted to give up? How many times have we told ourselves or others that this is just too hard? How many times has Satan tempted us to quit trying? Some of us have given in from time to time and Satan is using that failure to incite us to give up again. We need to be like Job. No, he was not the paragon of virtuous understanding we sometimes think him to be. He failed to understand all the reasons for God’s allowance to Satan, but so do we. Is there really anyone reading this who claims to understand all of why God does what he does?  We don’t need to always understand, just believe. We can understand it later. We’ll have all eternity.

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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A Long, Long Time...
by: Russ Lawson 

Some men in a pickup truck drove into a lumberyard. One of the men walked in the office and said, "We need some four-by-twos." The clerk said, "You mean two-by-fours, don't you?" The man said, "I'll go check," and went back to the truck. He returned in a minute and said, "Yeah, I meant two-by-fours." "Alright. How long do you need them?" The customer paused for a minute and said, "I'd better go check." After awhile, he returned to the office and said, "A long time. We're gonna build a house."  

Time is relative isn’t it? What I mean is it depends upon the context of what you are saying as to what “time” means. I liked the story about the little fellow who wanted his dad to do something with him. The dad said, ‘Just a minute and I’ll be with you.” The little fellow piped up, “is that a ‘real minute’ or a ‘wait-a-minute’? Tell any little child that all time is the same and they will think your are just a ‘crazy adult’.

In the 23rd Psalm the writer talks about how long God will care for his people who serve him. Notice what the writer says, “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord FOREVER.” The apostle Paul trying to encourage people to remain faithful wrote these words in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 about Christ’s returning for his people. “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

Anyway you look at it; “forever” is a long, long time…. Yet, knowing that, are you preparing for “forever”? You see, this is going to be a real forever, not just a pretend forever where God will change his mind sometime.

My prayer is that God will give each of us the motivation to prepare for “forever,” while there is still time.

Russ Lawson, Greenville Church of Christ, Greenville, Ohio

Email: rlawson@bright.net  

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Quick Riches
----misc. goodies this issue

Marriage Under Attack

The God-ordained institution of marriage is under attack in courts across the nation, and your help is needed to save it before the one man-one woman definition of marriage is completely and radically redefined. Homosexual marriage will soon be a reality if you fail to get involved! Go to www.nogaymarriage.com and sign the petition supporting a federal marriage amendment.

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Hushers

Six-year-old Angie and her four-year-old brother Joel were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang, and talked out loud. Finally, his big sister had had enough. "You're not supposed to talk out loud in church."  "Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked. Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, "See those two men standing by the door? They're hushers."

Submitted by Kevin Rayner,  Rochester, MN

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/off-the-church-walls/

Subscribe:  off-the-church-walls-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

Life's River
by: Rick Woodall

The river flows within my mind,  
Leaving a reflective past behind.  
Water flowing over stones  
Purifying as it goes.

Only the river really knows,  
All the stories it bestows.  
But all that’s heard at the waters edge,  
Is the whisper of rapids from the ledge.

The river was born from the flood.  
Cutting through the rocks and mud.  
What a story the river could tell,  
Of those who drifted under the sail.

Life is a river starting at the spring,  
Pouring from God’s wonder rain.  
Flowing down His chosen trail  
Through the mountains, hills and dales.

The river flows into the sea.  
Who knows the destiny of you and me?  
Only God knows our fate.  
As we wonder, as we wait.

It’s best to let the river flow  
Knowing it’s under Gods control  
By faith He’s with us to the end,  
The sea waits around the bend.

Composed by: Rick Woodall 5/28/03. Rick serves as the Associate Minister for the Metro Church of Christ in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Listen to their “Life Thoughts” web broadcast here:  http://www.qix.net/~metrococ/page5.html

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God, Let me be...
by: David L. White

God, let me be--  
Not the Self that I would be  
But the one You are looking for,  
The one who praises and adores  
One who puts You First and Foremost,  
The one who reverences the LORD of Hosts!

God, let me be--  
By Thy Grace, a Better me  
A soul so possessed by Thy Spirit,  
That others can see and hear it  
As manifest by Thy holy Fruits,  
And stabilized by Thy Life-giving Truths.

God, let me be--  
One of Dependability  
One whose faith is seen in action,  
One who makes Christ his attraction  
One who lets his light e'er shine,  
For the Glory to be all Thine!

David L. White preaches for the Bearden Church of Christ in Bearden, Arkansas.  His website is http://poetrypoem.com/poetry1021 copyright ©2000-2002 by the author.

All rights reserved by author.

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

The person who sows seeds of kindness enjoys a perpetual harvest.

A face that cannot smile is like a bud that cannot open.  It dries up on the stalk.

He who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.  Proverbs 11:18

Sow a thought and you reap an act.  Sow an act and you reap a habit.  Sow a habit and you reap character.  Sow character and you reap a destiny. 

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