BulletinGold #39
December 7, 2003   Vol 3 #7
 

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond


Tonight, as I sit here preparing this issue, I shiver.  It's a bit chilly outside, and it's raining.  Or I should say it's misting.  I grew up in West Virginia, and they just had their first big snow of the season.  So why comment about a little dampness outside? 

Perhaps the emphasis should be on the word "little."  The Central Coast of California gets most of its rain from September to March. So far this year we have had half an inch of rain.  We were supposed to get rain this weekend, but all we have had is a little mist.  We are in a dry period.  We are still in danger of having wildfires.

Christians can have dry spells when it comes to our spirituality.  I define a dry spell as a time when we don't study our Bible like we should, we don't pray like we should, we don't think about spiritual things like we should, we don't have the love for lost souls that we should, and perhaps, we don't feel the love for our brethren that we
should.  Our hearts feel shriveled, dried up, like a prune. 

Many things or a combination of things-discouragement, loneliness, illness, the loss of a loved one, depression, stress, spreading ourselves too thin, financial problems, sin in our lives-all these, and many other things, can cause us to experience dry spells in our spirituality.  When it happens, we are in danger of hellfire if we
don't correct it. 

A scripture that has always helped me is 2 Kings 6:14-17.  May we, like the servant of Elisha, open our eyes so that we may see the power and glory of God.  Add to that "Therefore, let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." (Hebrews 12:1, 2).  Finally, Hebrews 4:14-16 "Having then a great high priest, who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.   For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched
with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help in time of need."  Help is just a prayer away.  

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

The Incredible Shrinking Man
by: Russ Lawson

The Incredible Shrinking Man
By Russ Lawson

The title sounds like a movie from the 60's doesn't it? Well, maybe the idea I have is a little like one of those. I heard a silly little joke this week that got me to thinking about life. It seems, a man rushed into the doctor's office and shouted, "Doctor! I think I'm shrinking!"

The doctor calmly responded, "Now settle down. You'll just have to be a little patient.."

Yes, I know just how bad that joke is, but I wanted to make a point. For some of us, isn't it about time we started shrinking? Now I'm not talking about the size of your waist, but about your sense of self-importance, at least in relationship to God.

There an old favorite hymn of mine titled "None of self and all of thee." In the song there is a gradual transition, which takes place in our relationship to God. The first chorus says, "All of self and none of Thee." The second says, "Some of self and some of Thee", the third says, "Less of self and more of thee" and the last says, "None of self and all of Thee."

I believe the inspiration for the song probably came from what the apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20 where he said, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

Take a look at your life. is it time you started to reduce? Reduce that is in dependence upon yourself, in your feelings of self- importance and started to let Christ grow in your life. You see our goal as Christians is to get to the point where we can sing to God, with conviction, "None of self and all of Thee."

May our God help you in your life program to shrink in self and grow in Him.

Russ Lawson is the minister of the Greenville Church of Christ in Greenville, Ohio. Email: rlawson@bright.net

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The Glorious Gospel
by: Edd Sterchi

What is the gospel?  Many people give many answers to that question. But let's let the Bible answer it once and for all.  If we look to God's Word on the gospel, we will see just how glorious it truly is.
 
The gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ (Mark 1:1), specifically concerning His death, burial, and glorious resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-4).  It is the message of peace (Rom 10:15), the good news about the glorious grace of God (Acts 20:24).  Truly, the gospel is a blessing from a glorious God (Rom. 15:29).
 
The glorious gospel is the means by which God calls men to Christ (2 Thess. 2:14).  In fact, it is how we partake of God's promises in Christ (Eph. 3:6).  The gospel is where God channels His power to save souls (Rom. 1:16).
 
The gospel is truth in a world filled with deception (Col. 1:5).  It is enlightenment in a world encompassed by darkness (2 Cor. 4:4).  It is life giving in a world shrouded in death (2 Tim. 2:8).  This world will come to an end, but the glorious gospel is everlasting (Rev.14:6).
 
To get these glorious benefits of the glorious gospel, we must believe it (Mark 1:15), receive it (1 Cor. 15:1), and obey it (Rom. 10:16).  Then we need to stand in it (1 Cor. 15:1), live it (Phil. 1:27), serve in it (Rom. 1:9), minister it (Rom. 15:16), and fellowship in it (Phil. 1:5).
 
But be warned: Satan has influenced some men to hide the true message of the gospel (2 Cor. 4:3), to hinder its progress (1 Cor. 9:12), and to pervert and change its glorious truths (Gal 1:6-7).  That is why we must preach it (Mark 16:15), defend it (Phil. 1:17), and never be ashamed of it (Rom. 1:16).  Incidentally, the preaching of the gospel will lead to people believing it and being baptized in obedience to it for salvation (Mark 16:15-16).
 
Paul through inspiration called the gospel glorious (1 Tim. 1:11).  It is glorious!  Let us continually be reminded of just how powerful it is, how it has changed our lives for the better and forever, and that we have a  responsibility to truthfully distribute it.  Glory be to God for His glorious gospel!
 
Edd Sterchi is the minister of the Harrisburg Church of Christ, Harrisburg, Illinois.

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The Value of Your Soul
by: Jimmy W. Cox


Many people have a great interest in gaining material possessions. We shop at places that offer give-aways. It would be hard to figure how many millions of dollars are spent on lottery tickets. But how many people realize their own soul is more valuable than all earthly possessions. "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and forfeit his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matt. 16:26). Reasons why our soul is so valuable-

It came from God, and it was created in the image of God. Gen. 1:26- 27 tells us that our soul (or inward man) was made in the image of God. As such, it is eternal, designed to live forever. Our eternal destination depends on whether we obey God, or make material things our "god."

Our bodies are also important. We should never mistreat our bodies in any way, because our soul or inward man dwells in our bodies as long as we live on the earth. And if we are a Christian, our body is also "a temple of the Holy Spirit, which is in you..For ye are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (I Cor. 6:19-20).

Christ died that our souls might be saved. II Cor. 5:21--- "For he has made him, who knew no sin, a sin-offering for us; that we might become the justified of God, by him."

Our soul needs salvation. Rom. 3:23-"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Our soul can be purified by obeying the Truth (God's Word). (I Pet. 1:22).

The soul was created to live forever. (Gen. 1:26-27). There is life beyond the grave. Read I Cor., chap. 15, to learn about the great resurrection.

Faithful Children of God will live eternally in heaven, in a place being prepared by Christ. (John 14:2-3). Those who do not become children of God, and those who are unfaithful, will hear, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." (Matt. 25:41).

Become a child of God. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God; repent of your sins. (Acts 2:38). Confess Christ (Rom. 10:9-10); Be baptized into Christ. Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:3-5).

Jimmy W. Cox is the preacher of the Columbia Church of Christ, Columbia, Mississippi.

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Quick Riches
----misc. goodies this issue

A Greater Perspective
by: Jimmy Hyde

Not having part or all of your family during the holidays is tough for many.  I have no earthly father.  And having a baby daughter who will not have any grandparents from my side of the family, it is difficult at times.  But above any loss that any one of us has suffered, we have a Heavenly Father who cannot be taken from us and who will never leave us.  So may we take comfort in knowing that no matter what happens, our Heavenly Father loves us and is with us for every holiday.

"Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you."  Deut. 31:6

Jimmy Hyde is the youth minister at the Faith Village Church of Christ in Wichita Falls, Texas.

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

Ev'rything Will Be OK
by: H. L. Gradowith


Hard workers don't always make it to the top,
And sometimes the most determined ones here stop,
Sometimes the best person for the job does lose,
Sometimes we come to grief whatever we choose.
I've shed many tears after doing what's right,
And remained in darkness though seeking the light,
I have failed at the task though giving my best,
Despite laboring true I'm oft denied rest.
I've played by the rules and still finished last place,
Turned the cheek enough times to have a sore face...
I've gained no reward despite the extra mile...
I have struggled and fought knowing all the while
That of earthly success there's no guarantee,
>From trying and failing we'll never be free.
So long as we're in this old world here below
We're apt to lose out whichever way we go...
Don't labor just to get an earthly reward,
For, while men do not care, remember:
The Lord Who rules up in Heaven will never forget;
We'll get our prize then, but we're not there just yet.
Just do what's right and care not for the morrow,
In Heaven the faithful won't come to sorrow;
Put your hand to the plow and stay there all day,
Do as He says: ev'rything will be OK.

H. L. Gradowith
May God Bless You as You Study and Obey His Word. Tim Smith, Enon
Church of Christ http://www.geocities.com/fp5699/ See The Humor
Archive at Yahoo! Groups:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gradowithsdailyhumor/ See The Poem
Archive at Yahoo! Groups:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gradowithspoems/ Gradowith's Homepage:
http://www.geocities.com/gradowith/GradowithsHomepage.html

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

Is your passport for eternity in order?

If you want your words to carry weight, measure them carefully.

God has subpoenaed all of us as witnesses.

Swallowing of pride seldom causes indigestion.

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