BulletinGold #36
September 7, 2003   Vol 3 #4
 

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

What's in a name?  We Christians believe that the answer is.
EVERYTHING!  We would not be called by any other name than Christian.  We would not be members of any other church. 

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 us
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. 

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

S.O.S.
by: 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 joys
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.

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Go Home To Your Friends And Tell Them...
by: Ed Sterchi

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" (v.19).

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" (Matt. 15:30-31).

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 compassion
on you" and see what happens!

Ed Sterchi is the minister of the Church of Christ that meets in Harrisburg, Illinois.

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The Presence of God
by: Steven Yeakley


In the book of Exodus, we read about the "presence of God."  God's people encountered His presence.

   at the burning bush (Es. 3-4),
   in the 10 plagues sent on the Egyptians (Ex. 7:-11),
   crossing the Red Sea (Ex. 14),
   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. 25:22),
   in the glow of Moses' face (Ex. 34:29-35) and
   as the completed tabernacle was filled with the Lord's glory (Ex. 40:34-38).

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, Texas.

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The Storms of Life
by: Roy A. Crutcher


"For 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 his parents.
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 basic facts:

[1] Others have worse problems
[2] things could be worse
[3] Usually the good in our lives outweighs the bad
[4] 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

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

Repentance is Renewal
by: Rose Ann Noey


As we go from day to day,
As we walk along the way,
We sin.
 
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
Your Ways.
 

As 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.

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


It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. Psalms 118:8

Kind words are short to speak, but their echoes are endless.

The example we set for good or ill is immeasurable.

Giving our best today is the recipe for a better tomorrow.

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