BulletinGold #41
February 1, 2004   Vol 3 #9

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

As a single parent who is trying to work full time, keep up with everything around the house, and keep food prepared, I think I do pretty well.  However, I no longer cook our food from scratch, but rely on pre-cooked frozen foods from the grocer, meals from fast-food restaurants, and sometimes, because of a lack of time, sandwiches or
cheese and crackers and canned soup. I also got into the habit of having a ten o-clock cookie or candy snack at work. The results of my poor eating habits were my having a lack of energy, pounds of extra body weight, and a susceptibility to every cold that came along. 

Three weeks ago I found a wonderful new nutritional supplement. Taken as a liquid, its nourishment quickly reaches cells in every part of my body because it absorbs quickly and completely.  I have much more energy and no longer need a mid-morning snack.  I sleep much better and am refreshed and ready to begin my day when I wake up.  I feel like I have taken a huge step to better health.

Now before you think your editor has lost her marbles and turned BulletinGold into an advertisement, let me explain.  Sometimes we don't realize it, but  we get into bad habits when it comes to our spirituality.  Our reading materials are the newspaper, our favorite magazine or book, or paperwork at our jobs.  Like quick foods and junk foods, they fill a void, but they do not nourish. 

We need a good dose of the Word of God every day to keep us spiritually fit and sin free.   God's Word can do so many things for us.  It shall make us free (John 8:32).  It is able to build us up and to give us an inheritance among all them which are sanctified (Acts 20:32).  It gives us faith (Romans 10:17).  It renews our mind (Romans 12:2) and gives us learning, that we might have hope (Romans 15:4).  It is able to make us wise unto salvation and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:15-17).  It is our life (John 6:63).  Let us, like newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that we may
grow thereby (1 Peter 2:2). 

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

Your Can't Ride God's Fence
by: A. Jay Kelly

He sent back this answer: "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape?  For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish.  And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" Esther 4:13-14.

One can sympathize with Esther's plight. Hand-picked in a royal beauty contest to replace a queen whose virtue got her banished, she was understandably afraid of breaking one of the immutable laws of the Medo-Persian Empire. Namely that whoever entered the throne room without permission did so on pain of death should the king be displeased at the interruption.

There is more here at stake than one person's life, however. The fate of an entire race rests in the hands of this young lady, for without her intercession Haman will surely have his way and the Jews will all die.

The fate of the world rests in her hands as well. Without the Jews, there is no Judah and no Law-Giver. Without the Messiah, there is no hope; man will be eternally damned.

Of course, we know the rest of the story. Esther went in and not only destroyed Haman, but saved her people resulting in the coming of Jesus of Nazareth and salvation to all some 400 years later.

Our choice is no different today. Salvation will come to all. No, not all will be saved, for not all will obey the message, but the gospel will be preached.

It is up to us whether we will be a part of the greatest undertaking in the history of the world. In fact, it has been going on since before man was created. That great undertaking is the preaching of the gospel.

We can choose either to ignore our commission or not. Either way the gospel will be preached, but what will happen to us if we refuse? 

Jay Kelley is the evangelist for the church of Christ in Colby, Kan.
His e-mail is jkelley@nwkansas.com

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Christian Point of View
by: Mel Martin

Philippians 4:6-7  "Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

When Paul wrote the words of this text, he was in a Roman prison. From the standpoint of the world, he had ample reason to be discouraged and pessimistic.  He did not, of course, know what might happen to him.  The Roman authorities did not know and honor God as he did, and they were not interested in serving Him.  He might have to linger in the prison for many years, or his life might be taken from him at any time. 

But Paul was not thinking in terms of the world.  He had long since learned to trust in the Lord (2 Timothy 1:12); and he had every reason to believe that whatever happened to him would result in God's glory and his good (Philippians 1:12; Romans 8:28).  With this confidence, he could urge his brethren in Philippi to rejoice in the
Lord always.  So let all men know about the gentle disposition which Christians possess under the most trying circumstances.  It was in this spirit that Paul wrote Philippians 4:6-7.

Mel Martin preaches for the Lincoln and Tunnell Church of Christ in Santa Maria, CA.

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Quick Riches
----misc. goodies this issue

For What Will The Church Be Known?
by: Edd Sterchi

* For its love of selves or its love of lost souls (1 Thess. 2:8)?
* For its spreading gossip or its spreading the gospel (Mark 16:15)?
* For its rudderless drifting or its strong leadership (1 Pet. 5:1-4)?
* For its low ideals or its lofty goals (Phil. 3:14; Col. 3:2)?
* For its knowledge of the world or its knowledge of the Bible (Acts 17:11; 2 Tim. 2:15)?
* For its financial limitations or its generous giving (2 Cor. 8:1-6)?
* For its comatose Christians or its many active members (Eph. 4:16)?
* For its selfish pursuits or its selfless serving (Gal. 5:13; Heb. 12:28)?
* For its internal strife or its brotherly love (John 13:34-35)?
* For its indifferent positions or its defense of the truth? (1 Pet. 3:15)?
* For its cold shoulders or its warm fellowship (1 Pet. 1:22)?
* For its living below God's expectations or its living above the world (1 John 3:3-6)?
* For its helping itself or its helping the needy (2 Cor. 9:12-13)?
* For its passionless "praise" or its spiritual and truthful worship (John 4:24)?
* For its accolade of men or its glorifying of God (Eph. 3:21)?
* For its stagnation or its vibrancy (2 Pet. 3:18)?
For what will this church be known?  For what will you be known?  If you are a member of this church, then this church will be known for these as you are known for these (good or bad).
Edd Sterchi is the minister of the Harrisburg Church of Christ in Harrisburg, Illinois.

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Gossip Wounds Deep
Author Unknown

The wounds from gossip are so deep because everyone connected with it gets hurt.  The people gossiped about are hurt, and though they do not realize it, the people who gossip are hurt.  Remember that he who gossips to you will gossip about you to someone else.  Two things are needed to put an end to gossip.  First, the gossiper needs to close his mouth.  Second, the intended listeners need to close their ears. 
If the gossipers have no one to listen to them, they will have to cease their destructive work.  Remember these things the next time you are tempted to gossip, or someone comes running to you with a juicy piece of gossip.

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

Parent to Teacher
Author Unknown

I bring to you my little child;
Till now he had been wholly mine.
I must recede and share with you,
In teaching him - a task divine.

If I should over-anxious seem,
Forgive me - for I love him so;
And `tis my very life to me
The things that  bring him weal or woe.

Till now the things I said and did
Were held by him as right and true.
Now he will look to you for help,
And quote to me the things you do.

I know that you can teach him books,
No thought of that I need to give.
But answer me this question please;
"O will you teach him how to live?

Author Unknown

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Teacher to Parent
Author Unknown

You've brought to me your little child,
And from this time he's partly mine.
Twill ease my task if you have taught
The love of God and truth divine.

But if the way I teach seems wrong,
And I in error seem to be;
Speak well of me before the child,
Then come and reason it with me.

I hope that you will find in me,
A friend who lives the truth.
I would not have him lose his faith,
Nor disappoint his eager youth. 

If in the days that are to come,
Some evil thing our child should do;
Remember that `twould pain my heart,
And I'd be just as sad as you.

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True Worth
Author Unknown

True worth is in being, not seeming;
In doing, each day that goes by,
Some little good--not in the dreaming
Of great things to do by and by.
For, whatever men say in blindness
And spite of the fancies of youth,
There' nothing so kingly as kindness
And nothing so royal as truth.

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

Most gossips get caught in their own mouthtraps.

It is better to be with God in trouble than out of trouble without Him.

Happiness can be thought, taught, and caught, but not bought.

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

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