BulletinGold #50
February 6, 2005   Vol 4 #9
 

Editor's Remarks
----by Donna Richmond

The Word of God constantly amazes me, for no matter how much I study
it, I find that it always has something new to teach me.  In its
pages I discover stories and advice for every possible situation and
problem people can have.  The Lord knows his creation, mankind, and
He did not leave anything out of His instruction book for us.

Why, then, do preachers and elders have to constantly and
consistently beg Christians to study their Bibles and attend Bible
classes on Sunday morning and Wednesday night?  Why do our preachers
and elders have to work just as hard, if not harder, to keep church
members coming to worship God?  Why would Christians rather read
newspapers, magazines, novels, or sit in front of the TV than study
the Guide to life?  Perhaps one of the reasons we put Bible stories
and articles in church bulletins is to entice church members to study
just a little bit more of the Bible.

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

Longing For Home
by: Joe Chesser

Longing for home. We all know the feeling. We plan a vacation for
months, excitedly detailing each day's activities. We can't sleep the
night before we leave because we are so anxious to get started. We
are having a wonderful time, but invariably somewhere along the way
our thoughts begin to turn toward home. Vacations are fun, but it's
not home. It's nice to go camping or stay in a motel, but it's not
home. How often have you said and heard, "It's great to get away, but
it's sure good to be back home." Why? Because home is where we
belong, where life is real and fulfilling.

It's great to have company over the holidays. It's great to have
family visit for several days. But I've often thought, "It was sure
great to see them come, but it's also great to see them go." Why?
Longing for home as it is meant to be.

I believe the Apostle Paul was in that frame of mind when he wrote 2
Corinthians 5. In a sense, our life on earth can be compared to going
on a vacation. We live in temporary housing. There is much to do,
much to experience and enjoy, but it's not like being home. The older
we get, the nearer we come to ending our vacation here on earth, the
more we long for home. At least that's the way Paul describes it for
Christians.

In 2 Corinthians 5:1-9 Paul speaks of life as being in an "earthly
tent." Yet, while in this tent, we "long to be clothed with our
heavenly dwelling." ... "Therefore we are always confident and know
that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the
Lord." ... "Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and
has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."

Sometimes we are enjoying our vacation so much that we don't want to
go home. We don't even want to think of home. Instead, we long to
stay another day or two. We may even wish for our vacation to be
permanent. That's what Satan is wanting us to believe about vacation
here on earth. He wants us to long for a few more days here than to
be at home with the Lord.

That's why we are to walk by faith, not by sight. Do you "prefer to
be away from the body and at home with the Lord"? Does your faith
allow you to see that the heavenly dwelling is so much better than
this present tent? Are you longing for home? Then make it your goal
to be pleasing to Him.

Joe Chesser is the preacher for the Fruitland Church of Christ in
Jackson, Missouri.

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Colonel Sanders
by: Kevin Rayner

"Genius, that power which dazzles humans, is oft but perseverance in
disguise." -H. W. Austin

Before beginning his famous franchise, Col. Harland Sanders worked as
a streetcar conductor, a railroad fireman, a justice of the peace, an
insurance salesman, and held other occupations. In 1930, at the age
of forty, he was operating a service station in Corbin, Kentucky,
when he
decided to offer food to his customers. At first, he served them
right off  the dining table in his living quarters. His food was
popular, and he eventually opened a restaurant across the street from
the station. Over a period of years, Sanders developed the secret
combination of eleven
herbs and spices that went into his chicken recipe. But when a new
interstate highway bypassed his town, Sanders sold his business and
began collecting Social Security. That could have been the end of the
story, but the colonel decided that he was not ready for the retired
life.

At the age of sixty-six, Sanders took to the road in an old station
wagon. Every time he saw a restaurant, he stopped, knocked on the
door, and prepared a batch of his special recipe chicken. Restaurant
owners made handshake deals to use the recipe and pay Sanders a
nickel for every
chicken they sold. After the Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe was
introduced, most of the restaurants found that their customers
couldn't get enough of the "finger lickin' good" chicken. Success
blossomed and KFC restaurants were franchised throughout the United
States and around the globe. In a poll taken in the late 1970s,
Colonel Sanders was listed as one of the five most recognized persons
in the entire world.

It's never too late to begin, but once you begin, it often takes
enthusiasm, perseverance, and patience to realize success.  You think
about that!

Kevin Rayner preaches for the Oak Tree church of Christ in Rochester,
Minnesota.
http://www.geocities.com/otchurch

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Communing With the Lord Jesus!
Words of Caution and Encouragement

by: Jim Graham


"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion  of the
blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of
the body of Christ?" 1 Corinthians 10:16.

"For he that eats and drinks in an unworthy manner, eats and drinks
judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body."  1 Corinthians
11:29.

"For this cause, many are weak and sick among you and many sleep (are
dead)." 1 Corinthians 11:30

In these Chapters, the apostle Paul not only provides commentary on
the meaning and significance of the Lord's Supper but serves a
warning, a timely word of caution, to any disciple who neglects to
devote adequate attention  to this feast of the Lord. To again quote
the apostle, "he.eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning
the Lord's body." And, "many are weak and sick among you and many
sleep (are dead)."  Just how is this possible?

By eating the unleavened bread and drinking the wine in an unworthy
manner, not discerning the Lord's body. You may be surprised at this,
or maybe not, that the improper observance of the Lord's Supper could
reap such consequences!  But, how do we "discern" (distinguish,
understand, recognize, identify, detect) the Lord's body?  By
reverently remembering the Lord as we partake; by remembering what
Jesus has done for us and what he continues to do, "in remembrance of
me." 1 Corinthians 11:24, 25. Matthew 26:26-29.

· In eating and drinking we're to, "proclaim the Lord's death till he
comes." 1 Corinthians 11:26.
· We're to examine ourselves, "Let a man examine himself, and so let
him eat of that bread and drink of that cup." 1 Corinthians 11:28.
· We're to do it in remembrance, "Take eat; this is My body, which is
broken for you; do this in remembrance of me." 1 Corinthians 11: 24.
· Again, we're to do it in remembrance, "This cup is the new
testament in my blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in
remembrance of me." 1 Corinthians 11:25. Remembering that the Lord's
blood was "shed for many for the remission of sins." Matthew 26:28.

Lord, please help us to keep these truths in mind as we partake of
your Supper. Let us also study diligently the occasion when you
initiated this solemn feast with your apostles and, be thus able to
better understand this aspect of Christian worship. See Matthew 26:26-
30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:14-20.

But, what if we fail?

· Lord Jesus please deliver us from such failure. We want to escape
the possibility of eating or drinking judgment to ourselves. We want
to avoid the possibility of exposing ourselves, due to our neglect,
due to a distraction, to the dangers of judgment, weakness, sickness
or death.

No matter what the distractions might be, they ordinarily serve to
hinder our ability to properly partake of the Lord's Supper; our
ability to concentrate, to discern, to partake in remembrance of
Jesus and his loving sacrifice for us.

To many, it is helpful to close the eyes as we meditate, as we
examine our lives, as we reverently look back to the cross, in order
to avoid any visual happenings around us which will, in all
probability, pull us away from our sacred thoughts. It is also very
helpful to remember that Jesus is there beside us as we partake. You
can read of this promise, to his disciples, in Matthew 26:29,
following his eating and drinking the supper with them. "But I say to
you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until
that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom". All of
which is to inform us of that communion or closeness, which Jesus has
with us, his disciples, as we partake of the Lord's Supper.

Bill Graham is the Coordinator for World Bible School, Main Street
church of Christ, Springfield, Tennessee.

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Quick Riches
----misc. goodies this issue

How Do I Talk to My Friends about the Church?
by: Todd Clippard

Allow me to suggest four ways to communicate effectively this vital
Bible truth.  This plan can used to teach any "controversial" Bible
truth.

Speak INTELLIGENTLY - This requires STUDY!  "Study to show thyself
approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly
dividing the word of truth"  (2 Tim 2:15).  May we never be guilty of
misusing or misrepresenting God's Word.  Speaking intelligently
requires a knowledge of what to say, but it also includes knowing how
to say it.  Too many people have driven from the truth by well-
meaning Christians either through poor attitudes or poor selection of
words.  Colossians 4:6 says, "Let your speech be always with grace,
seasoned with salt, so that ye may know how ye ought to answer every
man."  Jesus spoke in words the common man could understand (Mark
12:37).  Use words that are easily understood and create an interest
in learning more.

Speak INCREMENTALLY - Don't try to teach everything you know (or
think you know) in one sitting.  Sometimes in our zeal to teach, we
overload our audience with too much information.  Remember!  Most of
our friends have never considered the idea that denominationalism is
anti-biblical and unacceptable to God!  The "one church is as good as
another" idea has been taught to them all their lives.  Even Jesus
practiced this principle.  In John 16:12, He told the twelve, "I have
many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now."  These men
had been with Jesus, heard His teaching, and witnessed His miracles
for three years, yet Jesus knew the limitations of their
understanding.  Paul writes similarly to the Corinthians in 1
Corinthians 11:34.
 
Speak ILLUSTRATIVELY - "A picture is worth a thousand words."  The
same is true in teaching.  We all love to hear folks who can "spin
yarns" and place you in the middle of their stories as if you were an
invisible spectator.  Great teachers and preachers do the same. 
Consider Jesus' first record sermon in Matthew 5-7.  Jesus pictured
His audience as the light of the world and a city on a hill (5:13-
16).  Not coincidentally, He was on a mountain at the time.  He
illustrated the hypocrisy of the religious leaders (6:1-8) and the
worthlessness of worry (6:25-34).  He illustrated using hyperbole (an
intended exaggeration - 7:1-5).  He spoke of narrow and broad roads
(7:13-14), of sheep and wolves figs and thistles (7:15-20), of firm
and foundering foundations (7:21-27).  In like fashion, the church is
pictured in many ways.  It is called a kingdom in Matthew 13, meaning
it has a king, subjects, a law, and a boundary.  In 1 Corinthians 3,
Paul describes the church as a family (v 1), a field or vineyard (v
9), a building (vv 9-14), and as a temple (vv 16-17).  All of these
characteristics of the church can be explored individually.

Finally, speak INSISTENTLY - "Buy the truth and sell it not" (Prov
23:23).  Do not compromise the truth.  Where the Bible speaks
definitively on a subject, we must be firm in our resolve concerning
that truth.  The Bible speaks clearly as to the number of churches
having a scriptural right to exist . . . ONE!  Jesus promised to
build His church, not churches (Matt 16:18).  On the day of
Pentecost, the saved were added to the church (Acts 2:47).   
Ephesians 4:4 says there is one body.  Earlier in that same epistle,
Paul equated that body with the church (Eph 1:23).  Later, in
Ephesians 5:23-32, Paul uses 12 nouns and pronouns to describe the
church . . . all of them singular.  This settles the matter of how
many churches Jesus built and how many existed in the New Testament.

We must not be ashamed to say what the Bible says on this or any
other subject (Mark 8:38).  Let us all prepare ourselves to speak as
oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11).  Anything less is to do God and His
word a terrible injustice. 

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

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Now That I Am A Christian
by: Mel Martin

1. Now that I am a Christian, and my sins are forgiven, it is
comforting to know that no one can take salvation from me.
2. I have the final say as to where I will spend eternity, and no
one, absolutely no one, can keep me out of heaven.
3. My soul cannot be taken; I must give it away.
4. If I am lost, it will be only because I have given something in
exchange for my soul. "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain
the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in
exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:26
5. The teaching of God's word is that a man sins when he is drawn
away by his own lusts and is enticed. Then, when lust conceives, it
brings forth sin (James 1:14-15).  It is not the case that one is
forced into sinning.

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

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Filled with the Knowledge of His Will
by: Mel Martin

"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to
pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the
knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That
y might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in
every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God."  Colossians
1:9, 10

With Bible study comes responsibility.  We are responsible for laying
aside our own wishes, desires, background, prejudices, emotions, and
any other attitudes, dispositions, or sentiments that may shade,
mask, or veil the truth of the Bible.

Paul urges "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a
workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word
of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15 - NASB). A failure to handle accurately the
word of truth will result in our not knowing the truth.

If we say that we love God, want to please Him, want to walk hand in
hand with Him, then we must know His will. We must know His word in
its purity. We must not tamper with His word. No additions,
deletions, or modifications should be tolerated. Demand that
preachers of God's word deal faithfully with the word of God.  Let us
be like the Bereans, who "received the word with all readiness of
mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were
so" (Acts 17:11).

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

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

Feed on the bread of life, then feed it to others.

Sin is the greatest of all detectives; be sure it will find you out.

We need to ask the Lord to save us from evil hearing as well as from
evil speaking.

The world is full of men who are making good livings but poor lives.

CHRISTISNOWHERE
Now read it again!)

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