BulletinGold #44
July 4, 2004   Vol 4 #3
 

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The week of July 12 is critical for the status of marriage as being
only between a man and a woman.  Sometime during that week, the US
Senate will vote on The Federal Marriage Amendment. Senate Democrats
have vowed to kill the amendment. Their action will allow one
liberal, activist Federal judge to overturn all marriage laws and
make homosexual marriage legal in all 50 states. Our actions could
greatly influence that outcome.  Our lack of action most certainly
will.

Grassfire is an organization that collects signatures-enough
signatures to make a difference in issues that matter.  As a
Christian, I feel like signing their petition against The Federal
Marriage Amendment is one way I can help fight Satan and his forces. 

Grassfire in not a religious organization, and your signing the
petition will not help any denomination.  See what Grassfire has done
by going to http://www.grassfire.org .

"Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any
people" (Proverbs 14:34)  I don't want homosexual marriage to be
legal in every state.  If you want to sign the petition for The
Federal Marriage Amendment, please click on the link below:

http://www.grassfire.net/32/petition.asp?PID=6817673&NID=1 

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

What Ignorance Does to the Church
by: Ben Justice

1. Ignorance causes the church to forget the fundamentals of
Christianity.  Peter declared, "Wherefore I will not be negligent to
put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them,
and be established in the present truth" (2 Peter 1:13).
2. Ignorance causes false doctrine to invade the church more easily. 
Ignorance is causing many, even whole congregations, to be "carried
about with every wind of doctrine"  (Ephesians 4:12).
3. Ignorance causes immorality to invade the church more easily. 
Paul spoke of such in Romans 1:28, telling about those who "did not
like to retain God in their knowledge."
4. Ignorance causes the church to not be able to answer Bible
questions.  "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready
always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the
hope that in you with meekness and fear" (1Peter 3:15).
5. Ignorance causes the church to not be able to carry on spiritual
talk.  Paul said, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto
spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.  I have
fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able
to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.  For ye are yet carnal: for
whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye
not carnal, and walk as men?" (1 Cor. 3:1-3).
6. Ignorance causes the church to be ineffective in evangelism.  It
is sad indeed when the church can't teach the lost the ABC's of
Christianity because of ignorance.  God wants all men "to come unto
the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4).
7. Ignorance causes the church to offer unwarranted criticisms. 
Jesus said, "But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have
mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless"
(Matt. 12:7).  People offer unwarranted criticisms many times because
of their ignorance.
8. Ignorance causes the church to be rejected by God.  "My people are
destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected
knowledge, I will also reject thee" (Hosea 4:6).

We need to take heed to the words of the apostle Paul, "Awake to
righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I
speak this to your shame" (1 Cor. 15:34).  There is not much one can
do for the person who willfully rejects Bible knowledge.  People may
not realize it, but this is exactly what a person does when he
chooses to miss the services of the church and when he chooses to
neglect personal Bible study. 

Ben Justice resides in McMinnville, Tennessee.  The above outline is
taken from his article in "Seek the Old Paths" Vol. 15, No. 6, June
2004, p. 44.  Garland M. Robinson, Editor, East End Church of Christ,
McMinnville, Tennessee.  www.seektheoldpaths.org

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Assessing Our Lives
by: Dennis Russell

We need to spend some time every now and then just assessing our
lives.  When we do it, it would be good to think about the
differences Christ has made in our lives.  If all you do when you
come to church is to think how far you fall short of God's ideals,
you can become very discouraged and depressed.  If I, like the
prophet of old Amos, held up God's plumb line for you to measure the
crookedness of your life by the straightness of God's plumb line, you
would get depressed.  None of us is perfect.  Each of us continues to
fall short daily.  What would your life look like if your life were
to be stripped of all God's work and influence?

We are a blessed people.  It is good when we gather in worship to
think about what your life has been like in Jesus Christ, and to
envision all of this suddenly being stripped away.  This would indeed
motivate us to reflect on the benefits we have enjoyed. 

As we assess our lives, it is good to consider God's continuing
activity in our lives.  What is God doing now?  What kind of plan
does he have for me in the future?  It is so much easier to look back
and see how God has worked in the past than it is to see Him at work
today.  Time and distance often give us a better perspective.  The
apostle Paul reminds us that in the Christian life there is a dynamic
in our relationship with God.  It's a relationship that is alive,
growing, and open-ended.

Dennis Russell preaches for the Foster Road Church of Christ in Santa
Maria, California.

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Think on These Things
by: Pat Phelps

"The mind is its own place," says Milton, "and in itself can make
heaven of hell or a hell of heaven."  The man in jail thought himself
there.  He was mentally a thief, or a thug, or a murderer first.

The lawyer is made by thinking law.  The artist is made by thinking
art.  The same is true of the musician the scientist, the physician,
or the teacher.  Of course, there are other things that help the
process along, but no specialist is made without thinking his
specialty.  So the Christian is made by thinking in terms of
Christ.  "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus."

Whatsoever things are true-think on these things.  Why?  Because that
is the only way to be true!  Whatsoever things are honest-think on
these things.  Why?  Because this leads to honest actions! 
Whatsoever things are just, or pure, lovely or of good report, think
on these things.  Why?  By so thinking, they become a part of our
character.
"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he," says the inspired
writer.  The things we are thinking today are determining what we
will be tomorrow.  An old adage admonished, "Sow a thought, reap an
act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a
character, reap a destiny."  It is evident that our thoughts are
determining our immediate and our ultimate destiny.  The pure, the
upright, the noble, the courageous and the Christ-like are not that
way by chance.  They are like they are because they think as God
would have them think.

Pat Phelps is an elder at the Faith Village Church of Christ in
Wichita Falls, Texas.

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

Grace

The mistakes of my life have been many,
The sins of my heart are more,
And I scarce can see for weeping;
But I know at the open door.

I am lowest of those who love Him;
I am weakest of those who pray;
But I come as He has bidden,
And He will not say me nay.

My mistakes His free grace will cover;
My sins He will wash away,
And the feet that shrink and falter
Shall walk through the gates of day.

Author Unknown

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God Is Love
by Cindy Harrison

Love's a light on the darkest night
That warms the cold, cold heart-
A lighthouse for the lonely soul
That makes the fears depart.

Love's a torch that lights the way
When everything seems lost-
A smile that fills an empty room
When life is tempest tossed.
Love's a star that leads the way
To lowly Bethlehem-
A light that shines in every heart
Of those who worship Him.

Love's a never-ending light
That shines from heaven above-
A light illumined in the heart,
Declaring God is love!

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Seven Deadly Sins

Politics without principle,
Wealth without work,
Pleasure without conscience,
Knowledge without character,
Business without morality,
Science without humanity, and
Worship without practice.

Author Unknown

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

To make a mountain out of a molehill, just add dirt.

Learn from the mistakes of others.  You can't live long enough to
make them all yourself.

Never borrow trouble.  The interest on the investments is entirely
too high for wise investors.

He who does what he should will not have time to do what he should
not.

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