7, 2003 Vol 3 #4
|What's in a
name? We Christians believe that the
EVERYTHING! We would not be called
by any other name than Christian. We
would not be members of any other
For the last 50 years, 100 years, or who
knows how long, we have been the church of
Christ. Yes, I know how long the
church has been in existence (since the
day of Pentecost in Acts 2), but that's
not what I mean. We have been the
church of Christ with a little "c"
starting the word "church." I think
I heard the reason once.. something like
"We don't want to be like the
denominations." Really, I'm not
sure what I heard once upon a time
probably over 30 years ago.
As most of you
know, I'm an English teacher. In
BulletinGold I write "Church of Christ"
with a capital "C." Why?
First, "Church" is part of our name, and
therefore, is a proper noun.
Proper nouns begin with a capital
letter. Second, that is the way we
are listed in telephone books, city
directories, and anywhere else you look
up. Third, we are as
important--no, make that more important,
than any denomination. Why
shouldn't we begin with a capital "C"?
Now, I don't want to start a big
debate. If you believe that the
word "church" should not begin with a
capital letter, that's okay. After
all, it's not a matter of faith
(doctrine), at least not to me. If
you send me an article, and tell me that
you want the name of the church you
attend spelled with a little "c," I will
comply, but only because I love your
soul. But if you go back and look
at the old Greek New Testament
manuscripts, you will not see verses,
sentences separated by punctuation, nor
more than one size of letters.
Those have all been added by men.
Panning for more Gold
preacher's articles this issue
Johnnie D. Fredman
I'm sure most of you recognize
the title of this article.
"S.O.S." has long been used as an
international distress signal. I
had heard of several possible meanings
for the letters "S.O.S.", so I did a
little research. As it turns out,
they don't mean anything. Those
letters were chosen because of their
Morse Code entries. Both letters
were a series of three, ".- - -
.". Also, it seems that with the
advent of GPS tracking and wireless
communication, "S.O.S." was officially
replaced as the international distress
signal in February 1999.
However, I want to submit to you that
these three letters do have a meaning,
and it is a distress signal. As
Christians, we have something
special. While our lives are not
perfect, we have a hope and a peace that
those without Christ long to have.
All around us are friends, neighbors,
relatives, and acquaintances who are
dying. They are dying spiritually
because of the sin in their lives.
They are dying because they are held
firmly in Satan's grasp. They
don't know the peace that serving Jesus
brings. They don't know the hope
being a Christian gives that lets us see
past the troubles of today and focus on
the glories of Heaven to come.
All around us are people who are in
distress. They are dying and need
our help. For the next year, I
want to encourage you to practice an
"S.O.S." - Save One Soul. Jesus
said in Matt. 9:37, "The harvest truly
is plentiful, but the laborers are
few." The harvest is truly
plentiful for us today. There are
thousands of people right
here in our community who need Jesus.
We are commanded by Jesus to "Go and
make disciples." (Matt. 28:19).
That means me. That means
you. We are to be making
disciples. We are commanded by
Jesus to go out and teach others about
Him. Have you ever done
that? If not, then you are being
disobedient to God's will. I
promise you, if you've never felt the
joy of bringing someone to Christ, you
are missing out on one of the greatest
one can experience.
Make it your goal in the next year to
Save One Soul. Think of all the
people you know who need Christ and pick
two or three. Write their names
down. Think about and write down
ways you can approach them with the
gospel. Pray for them. Pray
daily that God will open their hearts to
His Word. Pray daily that God will
be with you as you teach them. He
has promised He will be (Matt.
28:20). If we all
just save one soul this year, think of
what that will do for the Lord's
church. An S.O.S. has been
issued. Will you answer the call?
Johnie D. Fredman is the University
Outreach Minister at the Southwest
Church of Christ in Ada, Oklahoma.
|Go Home To Your
Friends And Tell Them...
I'm sure most of us are very
familiar with the account in Mark 5 of
Jesus healing the demon-possessed man.
This happened in an area of Galilee
known as the country of the Gadarenes.
This man was out of control and was
terrorizing the people and harming
himself. After Jesus cast the demons
out, the people of the area pleaded with
Him to leave. The healed man, now in his
right mind, greatly desired to go with
Jesus. Jesus' reply to him was, "Go home
to your friends, and tell them what
great things the Lord has done for you,
and how He has had compassion on you"
We often wonder why the Lord did not
take this enthusiastic convert with Him.
After all, couldn't he have been more
help to Jesus in His travels rather than
left in this area of the fearful,
resentful, and unbelieving? Jesus must
have left him there for a reason. Well,
as Paul Harvey so many times has stated,
let's look at the rest of the story.
Jesus does leave the area in
v.21, and that seems to be the end of
the account. But a deeper reading
reveals a lot more. The former
demon-possessed man did indeed proclaim
all that Jesus had done for him, and all
marveled at this (v.20).
Then, when Jesus returned to the area in
Mark 7:31ff, He was greeted in a much
different manner than when He left.
Matthew's account states, "Then great
multitudes came to Him, having with them
the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many
others; and they laid them down at
Jesus' feet, and He healed them. So the
multitude marveled when they saw the
mute speaking, the maimed made whole,
the lame walking, and the blind seeing;
and they glorified the God of Israel"
What an amazing difference! Jesus went
from being asked to leave to being
welcomed with throngs of people praising
His works. What made the difference? One
man. One man in the right spot at the
right time testifying of what the Savior
had done for him. And when their hearts
were right, the people listened.
Let this wonderful account remind us of
the power of one. Too many times we say,
"I am only one person, I can't possibly
make a difference." This man made a
difference, and so can we. Jesus Christ
has healed us from the demon of the
guilt of sin. He has left you here for a
reason. Now, "go home to your friends,
and tell them what great things the Lord
has done for you, and how He has had
on you" and see what happens!
Ed Sterchi is the minister of the Church
of Christ that meets in Harrisburg,
|The Presence of
the book of Exodus, we read about the
"presence of God." God's people
encountered His presence.
at the burning bush (Es.
in the 10 plagues sent on the
Egyptians (Ex. 7:-11),
crossing the Red Sea (Ex.
in the cloud and pillar of
fire (Ex. 13),
in the thunder, lightning,
loud trumpet blast, smoke and fire at
Mt.Sinai (Ex. 19),
in the angel sent ahead of
them (Ex. 23),
in the ark of the
Testimony-between the cherubim (Ex.
in the glow of Moses' face
(Ex. 34:29-35) and
as the completed tabernacle
was filled with the Lord's glory (Ex.
The presence of God was also felt in New
Testament time. The prophet Isaiah
used the name "Immanuel" to refer to the
coming Son of God. That name means
"God with us" (Mt. 1:23). The
Hebrews writer referred to Jesus as "the
radiance of God's glory and the exact
representation of His being." (Heb. 1:3).
What about you and me? I'm glad that
God's presence was revealed to the
Israelites and that Jesus personally came
to the earth. But I'm very glad that
you and I aren't left all alone.
God's Holy Spirit lives in each and every
one of His children today. The
indwelling of the Holy Spirit cannot be
discerned by physical, mental or emotional
manifestations. But just like we
"know" that God forgives our sins when we
are baptized, we "know" that His presence
is with us today! We know because of
the promise of God (Acts 2:38; 5:32; 1
Cor. 6:19, 20; Eph. 1:13, 14). Be
thankful for His presence in your life!
Steven Yeakley is the
Involvement/Outreach minister at the Faith
Village Church of Christ in Wichita Falls,
|The Storms of
Roy A. Crutcher
affliction does not come from the dust,
neither does trouble sprout from the
ground, For man is born for trouble as
sparks fly upward." Job 5:6-7 (NAS)
Man lives in a world filled with troubles
as is indicated in the above passage.
Because man lives in a trouble filled
world, he will naturally encounter
troubles, obstacles, etc., of various
kinds from time to time. Even Christians
are not immune to such problems. As
Christians we do have some special
blessings from God. Likewise, God cares
for His own in a special way.
Unfortunately, though, we are not
immune to all the problems of life. And,
when problems arise in our lives, we
usually tend to think that our troubles
are worse than anyone else's is. But, as
Christians, we are admonished to "think so
as to have Sound judgment." [Rom 12:3].
Sound judgment tells us that usually there
is always someone worse off that we are. I
am reminded of the poem that tells of the
man who complained because he had no
shoes until he saw a man who had no feet.
Several examples are mentioned in the
poem, each concluding with, "Lord forgive
me when I whine." I read, some time back,
of some devastating cyclones, which had
hit India. Many of our brothers and
sisters in Christ lost everything. One
brother lost his wife, two children and
Another lost his wife, four children, five
grandchildren, his mother - a total
of 31 family members [16 were members of
the Lord's church]. This kind of
devastation puts us in mind of Job as
described in chapter one. But Job
survived, and so can we. Regardless of the
extremity of any problems you might be
facing, rather that feeling
sorry for yourself, just remember a few
 Others have worse problems
 things could be worse
 Usually the good in our lives
outweighs the bad
 count the blessings that you do have.
In every tragedy you can look at
what you've lost and be hateful, or you
can look at what you have left and be
grateful. May God help us to have a
grateful, trusting disposition regardless
of our station in life.
Roy Crutcher worships with the Church of
Christ in Mt. Carmel, Illinois. View
his website at http://hometown.aol.com/racrgc/BulletinArticles.html
Hearts of Gold
Repentance is Renewal
Rose Ann Noey
As we go from day to day,
As we walk along the way,
Tell me, Lord, what can I do?
How can I my soul renew? -
My life to mend?
Can I toss those sins so grim
And submit my life to Him?
For forgiveness, I would ask,
Then set my mind onto the task.
Forgive me, Lord!
Set my mind, my precious Lord,
Set my heart and purpose t'ward
we walk in His Light,
We can put our sins to flight -
Walk day by day.
Rose Ann Noey attends the Church of Christ
at Lincolnway in Columbia City, Indiana.
& sayings for bulletins and signs
It is better to trust in the Lord than
to put confidence in man. Psalms
Kind words are short to speak, but their
echoes are endless.
The example we set for good or ill is
Giving our best today is the recipe for
a better tomorrow.