BulletinGold #48
November 7, 2004   Vol 4 #7

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

Thanksgiving is almost here!  Sometimes it is only when we are in the midst of our worst troubles do we truly understand the most precious things through which God blesses us.  For example, I never realized how much Christ's sacrifice meant until I had cancer and thought I would die.  The thing that mattered the most to me then was the blood of Christ.  It is not until we lose a dear one who has been a faithful servant of God do we realize how much heaven means.  No wonder the apostle Paul writes, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ."  Ephesians 1:3.

Besides all the spiritual blessings that God gives us, He showers us with the daily necessities of life and much more.  There is no way we can thank Him and praise Him enough.  May each of you have a wonderful and praise-filled Thanksgiving.

Avon will give 10 cents toward breast cancer research every time someone "pulls on the rope"---please take a minute and do it!!!

Please don't forget to pass along the email.

Also, please do this:

Please tell ten friends to tell ten today! The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on "donating a mammogram" for free (pink window in the
middle). This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising! Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know. http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

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

First Pray!
by: W. A. Martin

The urgency of the work might seem to demand that each worker run into the field and begin the harvest. However, we are impressed by the fact that Jesus said, "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest." This verse hits the cruciality of prayer.  Prayer is not a substitute for reaping, but a companion activity. The workers are urged to pray and then go to work.  In our day let us pray earnestly that there may be more workers to help harvest billions of souls who need to know Christ. The task can be accomplished only if every Christian takes seriously his daily duty, personal responsibility to teach, to preach concerning the kingdom, and help all manner of people in need.

All of us want to be as much like our Lord as possible. We want to think like He thought, speak like He spoke, and to live like he lived.  If we will work as He worked, we can make great strides toward becoming like Him.  Let each of us prepare himself to teach, privately or publicly or both. Let each of us prepare himself to
speak in some appropriate way concerning the kingdom and salvation.

First Pray! "Say not ye, there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest. Behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.  And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal; that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. "(John 4:35-36)

Paul wrote, "I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.  So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to
the Greek." (Rom. 1: 14-16).

Someone wrote, "Thanks for prayers that thou hast answered. Thanks for what thou doest deny. Thanks for storms that I have weathered, Thanks for all Thou doest supply, Thanks for pain and thanks for pleasure, Thanks for comfort in despair.
Thanks for grace that none can measure, Thanks for love beyond compare."

Today most of us pray for more things than we are willing to work for.  YET, PEOPLE MUST NOT PRAY FOR GOD TO DO WHAT THEY WILL NOT DO.

W. A. Martin  attends the Scurry Church of Christ in Scurry, Texas. He is editor of a bulletin sent out to several thousand homes quarterly for the Church of Christ. He has preached for 53 years.

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Many Mansions
by: Paul McClung

In John 14:1-4 we find these words: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I to go prepare a place for you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto
myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know."

When we see a loved one who is a Christian slip away from us into the great beyond, we find great comfort in these precious words of our Lord.  These words tell us of the heavenly home which our Lord is preparing even now for his disciples.  As we watch our loved ones go down the valley of death one by one, we are made to realize that it will not be long until we will follow in their footsteps.  It is very comforting to know that when this happens to us, that we also can be where Jesus has gone.  However, I would like to emphasize the fact that Jesus has not promised to take everyone to the Father's house of many mansions.  He has promised to take only those who believe in him and follow in the way that he has outlined for men to travel.

The hope of salvation is in Christ.  In 2 Cor. 5:17 Paul says, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."  Since salvation is in Christ, how does one get into Christ?  He must believe in Christ (John 8:24).  He must repent of his sins (Luke 13:3).  He must confess his faith in Christ (Romans 10:9, 10).  He must be baptized (Mark 16:16.  There are many passages which emphasize that baptism is the final step in Christ.  Romans 6:3 says "baptized into his death."  Romans 6:4 says "Buried with him by baptism into death, we should walk in newness of life."  Galatians 3:27 says "baptized into
Christ."  If these words were used only one time, that would be enough, but they are used repeatedly in the New Testament.  We must continue faithful unto Christ until the end of the way (Matthew 10:22).  Life is too short, death too certain, and the mansions of heaven too wonderful for us to be careless in our attitude toward the
Lord and His work.

Paul McClung is a retired minister and elder of the 4th and Stuart Church of Christ in Brownwood, Texas.

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Death and True Life
by: Lawrence Barr

The most wonderful blessings are promised to those who put their trust in Jesus. But then Jesus has some pretty stiff things to say to His followers:

"No one can serve two masters." (Matthew 6:24)

"No one after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62.

"So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions." (Luke 14:33).

How is it that I can be a Christian like that? The reason I ask is that, apparently, there is no other kind of Christian.

Paul describes our becoming a Christian as dying and being buried with Jesus when we are baptized (Greek: immersed, which is a picture of a burial) into Christ. He says that we rise from the waters of baptism to walk in a new life (Romans 6:3, 4).

Being dead we aren't too worried about our belongings, our social standing, or our feelings. They don't really mean anything anymore. We don't worry about whether we are getting what we think we deserve from others but instead, being hidden in Christ and enjoying our life there, we are focused on what we can do to help others, individually, and the body of Christ in general.

Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is like a hidden treasure that is worth buying with all we own, but it does cost everything we own. If you or I are still thinking about ourselves and this and that we want for self, then the old man who died is trying to come back to life, or he never really died in the first place.

If that sounds radical to you, think about Jesus saying we need to take our cross and everyone of us carry it every day!

How about you? Is the old man dead? Do you have a new list of priorities? Is Jesus at the top?

Lawrence Barr preaches for the Indiana Church of Christ in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

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A Holy God
by: Jay Kelly

You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell. Psalm 5:4

David was not always a righteous man as man sometimes counts righteousness, but he could pray this prayer with confidence that God would answer.  Why is that? Is there something in God that is capricious or arbitrary in who He chooses to help and who He chooses to hinder?  If there is no righteous, as the apostle tells us, how
can David be so confident that he will be included among the righteous and not among the heathen?

Maybe the answer is verse 11 - .let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice."  The answer is in who we trust.

We know we're all sinners, but who do we trust for our salvation? Do I trust my good works? They can't make up for the evil I have done.  Do I trust in man's wisdom? Look where that has gotten us - wars and rumors of wars.  Do I trust in God? Is my obedience an act of merit or do I simply trust Him?

What is so special about the waters of baptism? The power of God promised upon our faithful obedience!  It isn't the water, the preacher or even the location - it is the God!

God has no pleasure in wickedness and so we make it our life's work to avoid such. Maybe it is because we are afraid at first, but fear should change, as we grow closer to God, to an immense respect and love that will not allow us to hurt God without feeling the pain ourselves.

Evil cannot travel with God. When human beings give themselves over to a life in rebellion with God, they can no longer travel with Him. That's something for us to remember as well.

When we sin, the blood of Christ covers it, but that is not an excuse to sin.  Instead, it is a reason to avoid it. We have been forgiven and are the children of God. That gives us a reason to live according to a higher standard than the world.

David understood a very great truth. It doesn't matter who likes or dislikes us.  If God is pleased, everything is all right.

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

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Quick Riches
----misc. goodies this issue

Simple, Eternal Acts
by: Steven Yeakley

Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John
had said and who had followed Jesus (John 1:40).

Not a lot is said in the New Testament about Andrew, the apostle of Jesus Christ.  He is know as "the brother of Simon Peter" - one of the greatest apostles.  When we read Acts, the first half seems to revolve around Peter.  He was used by God to do so much for spreading the news of Jesus to a lost world.

But what about Andrew?  What did he do?  His "claim to fame" was that he brought someone to the Lord.  He did not use pen and ink to write out a formal request.  He was not a person of great standing to have servants to send in his place.  His action was simple, to the point, and very personal.  The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ).  And he brought him to Jesus.

If God could reach a rough fisherman like Peter through a brother's invitation, could he us our invitations to reach a lost soul?  If Andrew were here, he would say, "Absolutely." 

Pray this prayer: "Please use me, dear Lord, this week to bring someone to Jesus."

Steven Yeakley is the Involvement/Outreach minister for the Faith Village Church of Christ in Wichita Falls, Texas.

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

The Journey
by: Rita Teta

Darkness surrounded me: He held my hand, "I'm
Frightened ", I cried, "I cannot see!"
He whispered,  "I know the way."
I felt the jagged, slippery rocks beneath my feet,
I felt the angry wind against my face.
I stumbled, I wept, my spirit sank within me.
I cannot go, this is too long, too hard;
I cannot go!
He whispered, "Wait, I know the way."
I was anxious. Where are we going, wait for what?
I wanted to know.
Then it happened!  I saw a streak of light up ahead.
He turned, He smiled.
The dark clouds parted, the sun streaked through,
I saw the quiet waters, the green pastures,
My heart sang!
He put His arms around me and whispered, "I will never
Leave you, nor will I ever forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5)
.."I know the way"

Borrowed from the Focus on Truth Web Site http://www.focusontruthonline.org/

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Teach Us

Teach us, O God, to serve Thee as Thou deserveth;
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil and not to seek to rest;
To labor and not to ask for any reward,
Save that of doing Thy will.
Grant to us, Lord, we beseech Thee,
The spirit to think and do always such things as are right.

Borrowed from "The Evangel," the bulletin of the Morro Bay, California, Church of Christ.

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

The man who doesn't have time to go to church is like an automobile
that doesn't have time to stop for gasoline.

Don't just count your days, but make your days count!

When you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere!

Confessing your sins is no substitute for forsaking them.

When growth stops, decay begins.

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