BulletinGold #42
March 8, 2004   Vol 4 #1
 

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

This edition of BulletinGold marks the beginning of our fourth year of publication.  It has been a work of love for me and has blessed me so much.  I have met many wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ. As much as I enjoy this work, I need to take a few months off to attend to some personal matters. 

I hope to be able to send BulletinGold out again the first Sunday in June.  I will continue to keep you all in my prayers and ask that you also take me and my sons before our Father.  Please keep sending me your articles and news.  Although I will not be publishing for a little while, I will still work behind the scenes.  May God bless and keep you all in His care.

Donna

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

Perspective
by: A. Jay Kelly


"If you will return, O Israel, return to me," declares the LORD. "If you put your detestable idols out of my sight and no longer go astray, and if in a truthful, just and righteous way you swear, 'As surely as the LORD lives,' then the nations will be blessed by him and in him they will glory." Jeremiah 4:1-2

By the time Jeremiah wrote, the nation of God consisted only of Judah. Israel - the northern kingdom - had been destroyed because of their apostasy about a century earlier by God through the Assyrians.

Judah was about to experience the same thing. Although Josiah was on the throne and he was arguably the best king in their history, their own apostasy was too far gone.

But, God was still there pleading for their return and not just out of concern for them. If they would return, He tells them, the nations would also be blessed.

That is a message for today. You see, we can get so tied up in the world and worldliness that we forget our purpose. We can even become like the Prodigal Son and forget we are the children of God.

If that happens, we can be assured of something else as well. God is still there, pleading and waiting like the prodigal's father. He has a ring, a robe and a feast waiting for our return.

Yes, there are consequences for sin. Judah was destroyed for theirs. There was a remnant, however, who did return and from whom came the Messiah.

God can do the same with us. Sin may hurt us physically and spiritually, but it cannot destroy us unless we refuse God's offer. 

That's a message we all need to hear. It's also a message we need to tell.

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

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Willing to Stand for God's Truth
by: Dave Cordry


The number of so-called marriages between homosexuals in San Francisco exceeded 2000 this past week. That in spite of the fact that four years ago the state of California defined marriage as a relationship exclusively between a man and a woman. That in spite of the fact that the governor of California called for the city to cease and desist its illegal practice. When people want something bad enough, they will ignore any law or practice that stands in their way. And they are!

Now, imagine with me for a minute what might be the outcome of the push for legally sanctioned married status by homosexuals. It might become legal in all fifty states. Laws might be passed that prohibit any distinctions between what those who are homosexual are entitled to do and what those who are not homosexual can do. Those who are not homosexual may face fines and imprisonment because they don't allow homosexuals to engage in some kind of activity.

Now think of the church. God's Word still condemns homosexuality as an abomination (Lev 18:22), still lists homosexuality with other sins such as murder and kidnapping (1 Tim 1:10), and still says that those who continue to practice such will not enter the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9-10). The preacher in this future scenario decides to retire. Among the applicants for the preaching position is an avowed,
practicing homosexual. It would be illegal to dismiss him as a candidate because he is homosexual. It would likewise be illegal to preach on those passages which condemn homosexuality. Failure for the church to comply with the law of the land would result in the loss of tax exempt status. (Oh well!) Failure for the church to comply with the law of the land would result in Christians being imprisoned. (Enemies of the state - again!) Failure to comply would not be an option.

Sound far fetched? Those who took a stand against abortion before it was legalized in 1973 warned that what we see today would happen. Abortion has essentially become another form of birth control. And if the morning-after-pill, "Plan B," becomes an over the counter drug, it will become even more prevalent. That sounded far fetched to many in 1973.

When the world declares sin to be righteous, Christians are still called upon to condemn sin. God will condemn the sinners who remain unrepentant, but Christians must continue to condemn sin. Will you be ready?
    
Dave Cordry preaches for the Columbus Avenue Church of Christ in Anderson, Indiana.  Their web site is at www.columbusavechurch.org .

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Mountain People
by: Rick Woodall


On a lazy Sunday afternoon in the mid 60's there was a Christian lady that loved to sing.  She spent most of her adult life teaching in a one-room schoolhouse near the mountain village of Tunnelton, West Virginia. She could sing just about every song in the hymnbook. I would return to the church building to spend some time with her. We would rehearse song after song. Irene was in her early 60's and suffered from chronic emphysema. The moments that she would spend with the children in our congregation were precious. Out of these gatherings in that little mountain church house came a wealth of knowledge. The time would come when all this wisdom would be put to use in a geographic area that would astonish the imagination. Irene
lived another 5 years with this terrible disease. She never had the opportunity to see the achievement of her compassionate, unselfish heart, but something tells me she knew all along. This teacher made a difference in so many lives.

I would like to take you to the Old Testament and remind you of another person that taught the people but never envisioned all the results.

Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, who did all those miraculous signs and wonders the LORD sent him to do in Egypt--to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. - Deu 34: 10-11

Moses was a humble man who did not think he qualified for the demanding assignment ahead. Yet, with a conversation with the Father at the burning bush he came to the realization that Gods vision was much stronger than his own. His preconceived obstacles disappeared under the supervision of the higher power. He never had the opportunity to observe the accomplishment of his dynamic work. High on the mountaintop Moses could only guess what was yet to be.

Then the LORD said to him, "This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, 'I will give it to your descendants.' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it." And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the LORD had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. - Deu 34: 4-6

You might be thinking you don't make the grade. You could be wondering if you are making a difference. Could it be that you are wondering if there is any use in trying?

A long time ago a woman from Appalachia was gasping for breath. She inspired a number of gospel preachers and some fairly decent song leaders that have touched many lives. A man who was watching sheep became the greatest prophet that God knew "face to face".  Who can you inspire in the near future?

Rick Woodall is the Associate minister for the Metro Church of Christ in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Hi is also the Teen Group Leader. They have an Internet broadcast of Life Thoughts located here: http://www.qix.net/~metrococ/page6.html
They also have a web page loaded with good links for your faith at: http://www.qix.net/~metrococ

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A Long and Winding Road
by: H.L. Gradwith

In loving memory of Imogene (Graddy) Gray, sister to my grandmother,  Geneva Gray.  Aunt Imogene passed away late Monday night.  We will miss her.

It's a long and winding road,
`Neath a very heavy load,
And the payoff isn't in this world at all;
Troubles rise on ev'ry side,
Still in faith we must abide,
Getting up ev'ry time we stumble and fall.
Here we strive to bear our cross,
Counting ev'rything but loss.
Knowing someday, somewhere there's a Better Land;
In the Lord we've learned to trust,
And `til this flesh turns to dust
In all things, at all times, for Him we will stand.
Through so many sleepless nights,
Filled with heartaches, filled with frights,
He's been holding our hand, and drying our tears;
When we think we can't go on,
That the evil one has won,
When we find ourselves falling to doubts and fears,
Then He comes to bring relief,
Casting from us strife and grief,
And the strength we have sought at long last we find;
It's also a narrow road.
And He helps us bear our load.
And someday our troubles shall be left behind.
We'll move to a Happy Place!
Thanks to His Amazing Grace!
And our cross we'll exchange for a shining crown;
There no cries of grief shall rise,
And there'll be no teary eyes,
And nothing that offends will ever be found!
So until then we endure,
Striving ever to be pure,
Endeavoring always a clean race to run;
Longing for that Happy Day,
When we'll hear our Savior say:
"You have finished the course, Enter in, well done."

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When Sorrows Come
author unkown

When sorrows come, and they will,
It seems life's roads are all uphill.
The winter sky is always gray,
But spring is only weeks away,
When all the trees you thought were dead
Shall wear new leaves and buds of red.
The snow will melt upon God's earth
And all shall marvel at new birth,
When everywhere the eye can see
The earth declares His majesty.
When sorrows come, and they will,
Have faith, my friend, and peace, be still.

Author unknown.  Taken from "The Evangel," bulletin of Morro Bay
Church of Christ, Morro Bay, California.

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

A man may go to heaven without health, without fame, without great
learning, without a great name, without big earnings, without
culture, without friends, or without a thousand other things, but he
can never go to heaven without Christ!

When you bury the hatchet, don't mark the grave.

A smile is a curve that sets a lot of things straight.

The man who tries to do something and fails is infinitely better than
the one who tries to do nothing and succeeds.

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