BulletinGold #47
October 3, 2004   Vol 4 #6

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

This issue of BulletinGold features some short stories instead of poems.  Sometimes poetry is hard to come by, and since I had none, I thought these little stories might be a nice change.  While they do not contain scriptures, I believe each one makes a valid biblical point.  I hope you enjoy them and can use them in your bulletins. 

In the last BulletinGold, I asked for your prayers that God would help me win back my friend whom I wronged.  It has been a month, and we are talking, working together, and eating lunch together.  Yes, we both still hurt, but I thank God that He has touched her heart, and I pray that He will work with her and help her forgive me.  Please continue to pray with me that I may be able to talk to her about Christ and the church some day.   

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

Planned Parenthood: T-Shirts for Sale
by: Steve Higginbotham

Just about the time when you think you've heard and seen it all, you're again reminded of just how depraved and utterly devoid of conscience some people can be.  Case in point - Planned Parenthood.

As you know, Planned Parenthood has been one of the leading organizations in our nation promoting abortion and the mother's right to choose.  As if their ungodly counsel to women was not bad enough, recently Planned Parenthood has gone a step further away from morality. 

On their website, Planned Parenthood is offering t-shirts for sale.  The words on the t-shirt simply declare, "I had an abortion."  Here is how these "I had an abortion" t-shirts are advertised by Planned Parenthood.  

"They have finally arrived!  Planned Parenthood is proud to offer yet another t-shirt in our new social fashion line: "I Had an Abortion" fitted T-shirts are now available. These soft and comfortable fitted tees assert a powerful message in support of women's rights."

Are you shocked?  Outraged?  Are you surprised that some would be so bold as to wear a shirt with such a message?  Why should you be?  When one's conscience is dulled to the point of being able to justify the killing of innocent babies, then why would we be surprised that some would be so bold as to wear a t-shirt proclaiming the same?

Friends, it's later than we think.  We live in a world that not only practices evil deeds under the cover of darkness, but openly parade their evil for all men to see.  If there's ever been a time when our nation needs righteous people to pray intercessory prayers, it's now! (James 5:16).

God's Word On The Matter:  
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34). "These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:16-19).

Copyright © 2004.  Steve Higginbotham preaches for the South Green Street Church of Christ, Glasgow, Kentucky. Permission is granted to copy these articles.   To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mercEmail/ 

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Do Christians Really Have a Choice when Casting their Vote?
by: J. Todd Clippard

This November, the citizens of our great nation will elect a President, U.S. Senators, Congressmen, and other officials.  Tragically, some Christians separate their “politics” from their responsibility to do what is morally right.  I find it unconscionable how many “Christians” openly align themselves with candidates who support homosexuality, abortion, and other positions opposed to Bible doctrine.  Despite claims these are “political issues,” they were moral issues first.  When politicians turn moral issues into political issues, the faithful Christian must support that which is biblically right.  Christians have the responsibility to support candidates whose views are most closely in accord with God’s Word.

Christians are to be good stewards (1 Cor. 4:2).  To whom much is entrusted, much will be required (Luke 12:48).  How then can a Christian support a candidate who openly supports an ideology destructive to righteousness and holiness?   Sadly, I am convinced that no matter the amount of warning or scriptural pleas, many Christians will vote for candidates who will use their office to promote a godless agenda.

God ordained civil government (Rom. 13:1-7).  Christians are to obey the laws of the land and conduct themselves in an orderly and godly fashion (1 Pet 2:13-17).  We are expected to pay taxes and to pray for the leaders of the land (Mt 22:17-21; 1 Tim 2:1-3).  But no citizen is forced to vote; it is a right and privilege.  However, our rights as U.S. citizens are superseded by our heavenly citizenship. Therefore, research should be done on each candidate to evaluate their moral stances as compared to the law of Christ (Phil 1:20; Heb. 11:16).  Support should be given to men and women of high integrity and moral fiber who will make decisions to help steer our country back toward God’s word.  Too often, Christians vote based upon their family history of supporting a particular party or the perceived economic advantages of supporting a particular party.  Such reasoning is faulty and shallow for one who claims to be a child of God.

When the subject of voting and morality arises, some turn defensive and say, “How I vote is nobody’s business but my own!”  (In the 13 years I‘ve been preaching, every person who chastised me for “preaching politics” supported candidates who promoted abortion, homosexuality, the lottery, etc.).  However, when one enters the voting booth, the only parties truly involved are not the voter and his political party, but the voter and God.  We will stand before God one day and give an account for our actions (2 Cor. 5:10); this includes how we vote.  Christians who vote for candidates who promote ungodliness are part of the problem and not part of the solution of getting our country back on the right track.  How can one pray for the good of our country when he supports candidates whose agenda undermines the very foundation of our nation?

In this year’s national elections, two issues at the forefront of the political debate are homosexuality and abortion.  One presidential candidate opposes abortion and expanded rights for homosexuals; the other supports all forms of abortion and favors homosexual marriage.  In light of this, do Christians really have a choice in how to vote?  May we elect our leaders in such a way as to invoke God’s blessing.  “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).   

 J. Todd Clippard preaches for the Burleson Church of Christ outside of Hamilton, Alabama.  

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The Impartial God
by: Jimmy W. Cox

"For there is no impartiality with God."
–Rom. 2:11.
To "not show favorites" is a character trait that is to be admired in a parent, a teacher, a business manager, or any person in any calling. It should be a necessary trait of a judge. No amount of wisdom or ability can substitute for impartiality. Yet, it is a rare quality—seldom found.
The text speaks of the impartiality of God. Because all persons are His creatures, He treats all of them equally. He has declared all under sin. (Rom. 3:23). The sins of God's most faithful such as Abraham, Noah, etc., are recorded. The sins of David, a man "after God's own heart", are also recorded. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (I John 1:8).

A common Savior is provided for all of us. Jesus is not the Savior for a particular race or class of people. Jesus died for all. (John 3:16). The gospel is to be preached to every creature. "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:15-16.)

The same invitation is extended to all. To the weary and heavy-laden --Matt. 11:28; To the thirsty—John 7:37; To all who will come—Rev. 22:7.  None who respond truthfully and sincerely will be rejected. – John 6:37.

God has only one plan of salvation for all.  Believe in Jesus as God's Son, John 8:24; Repent of your sins Acts 2:38; Confess Christ before men Matt. 10:32; Be baptized into Christ Acts 2:38, Rom. 6:3-5; Remain faithful Rev. 2:10.

A common church for all. "…I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."—Matt. 16:18. "And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence." Col. 1:18.

God requires the same standard for all. "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age." Titus 2:11-12 Aren't you glad that God is impartial? 

Jimmy Cox is a member of Columbia Church of Christ in Columbia, Mississippi.  He teaches the adult Bible class and writes a weekly religious article which is run in the local newspaper.

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Lessons To Be Learned About the Lord's Supper
by: Mel Martin

First, the Lord’s supper is a symbolic feast.  When Jesus says, “this is my body…this is my blood” (Matthew 26:26, 28), he is using figurative language.  The bread is not literally his body; neither is the fruit of the vine literally his blood.

Second, the Lord’s supper is a memorial feast.  Jesus said, “This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me” (I Corinthians 11:24).  From the rainbow in the sky to the Passover feast, God’s people were accustomed to symbols used as a remembrance (Exodus 12:14; 13:3, 9; Deuteronomy 16:3).

Third, the Lord’s supper is a communion feast.  “The cup of blessing which we bless, it is not a communion of the blood of Christ?  The bread which we break, is it not a communion of the body of Christ?” (I Corinthians 10:16

Fourth, the Lord’s supper is a covenant feast.  “For this is my blood of the covenant, which I poured out for many unto remission of sins” NASB (Matthew 26:28).  “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many” (Mark 14:24).

Fifth, the Lord’s supper is a proclamation feast.  “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come” (I Corinthians 11:26).  The Lord’s supper is a declarative statement.  Our actions teach fundamental truths.

Mel Martin preaches for the Lincoln & Tunnell Church of Christ in Santa Maria, California.  

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Quick Riches
----misc. goodies this issue

President Garfield's Appointment

James A. Garfield was a gospel preacher, Civil War general, Congressman, Senator, and President of the United States.  History will never be able to judge what kind of leader he might have been because he was shot by a crazed office seeker and died after only six months in office.  However, the following story might be the standard one should use in judging his conduct as President. 

Early one Sunday morning, a group of party leaders came by the White House to see him and discuss a bill they thought should be passed by Congress.  They were surprised when President Garfield said he had a very important appointment and would talk to them later that afternoon. 

“But Mr. President,” one man asked, “What could be more important than this?”  Garfield arose and walked to the door, turned to look at the party leaders, and said, “Gentlemen, I have an appointment at the Lord’s table.”  He then left with Mrs. Garfield and went to a Sunday morning worship service.  

Author Unknown  

From the bulletin of the Morro Bay, California Church of Christ

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The Lord's Baseball Game

The Lord and Bob were watching a baseball game in which the Lord’s team was playing Satan’s team.  The Lord’s team was at bat, the score was tied zero to zero, and it was the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs.  

Love stepped up to the plate.  He swung at the first pitch and hit a single, because Love never fails. 

The next batter was Faith, and he also got a single because Faith works with Love. 

Godly Wisdom was the next batter.  Satan wound up and threw the first pitch.  Godly Wisdom looked it over and let it pass.  Ball one.  Three more pitches, and Godly Wisdom walked because Godly Wisdom never swings at what Satan throws.

The bases were now loaded.  The Lord turned to Bob and told him He was going to bring in His star player.  Up to the plate stepped Grace.  Bob said, “He sure doesn’t look like much!”

Satan’s whole team relaxed when they saw Grace.  Thinking he had won the game, Satan fired his first pitch.  To the shock of everyone, Grace hit the ball harder than anyone.  But Satan was not worried.  His center fielder let very few get by.  He went up for the ball, but it went right through his glove, hit him on the head, and sent him crashing to the ground.  Grace scored a home run.

The Lord’s team won.  The Lord then asked Bob if he knew why Love, Faith, and Godly Wisdom could get on base but could not win the game.  Bob said he did not know why.  The Lord explained, “If your love, faith, and wisdom had won the game, you would think you had done it by yourself.  Love, Faith, and Wisdom will get you on base, but only My Grace can get you Home. 

Author Unknown

From the bulletin of the Morro Bay, California Church of Christ.  

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Lessons From a Child

A father started to read a magazine, but his little girl Jessica kept interrupting him.  Finally, he tore a sheet out of his magazine on which was printed the map of the world.  Tearing it into small pieces, he gave it to Jessica and said, “Go into the other room and see if you can put this together.”  

After a few minutes, Jessica returned and handed him the map correctly fitted together.  The father was surprised and asked how she had finished so quickly.  “Oh,” she said, “on the other side of the paper is a picture of Jesus.  When I got all of Jesus back where he belonged, then the world came together.”

Author Unknown

From the bulletin of the Morro Bay, California Church of Christ.  

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

Live life prepared to die, and die prepared to live.  
When life needs rebooting, remember—Jesus saves!  
Christianity is a pilgrimage, not a sightseeing tour.  
Does being BUSY mean: B—being  U—under the S—Savior’s—Y—yoke?  
The best exercise is stooping down and lifting up another.  

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