6, 2005 Vol 5 #2
to the "inaugural" issue of BulletinGold
under new co-
editors. Let us begin by properly
recognizing our deep appreciation
for Donna Richmond, who as a church
secretary not only conceived of
the need for such a practical ministry but
also developed and
maintained it through some of life's most
difficult hurdles. So when
my good friend and co-editor Ed Thomason
informed me of Donna's
situation, and the possibility of this
work being hindered, along
with a proposition of working together to
maintain its viability,
possibly until Donna feels that she can
resume her post as editor, I
was happy to accept.
So to Donna's many subscribers I wish to
pledge that we will do our
very best to bring to you each month the
high quality Bulletin (and
sermon illustration) tool that you have
grown to trust over the
years. We hope that you continue to use
BulletinGold, recommend it to
your friends, share your articles with us
for consideration, and
provide us with any ideas you may have on
how we can do a better job
in serving you.
And to Donna, who recently wrote to Ed
Thomason in an email that she
was happy with the new arrangement, and
that BulletinGold "needs some
fresh wisdom, and you are the ones to
provide it," you have provided
a great service to the Lord's work (it
takes two preachers to try to
take your place). None of us will ever
know just how many hours you
have invested into this ministry but we
all thank you for your
efforts. It was certainly not time wasted.
Panning for more Gold
preacher's articles this issue
appreciation is in the "eye of the
beholder." A case in
point was a work in Maine entitled,
"Learn How to Fly Over a Very
Large Larry." While it is obvious that
the "artist," Daniel Bozhkov
of Bulgaria, spent considerable time on
his project, it seems most
came away asking the same question,
With the passing of each second one's
life (Isa. 40:6; Ps. 102:11;
Job 7:7; Jas. 4:14), along with the
unique opportunities it offers
(Gal. 6:10), slips forever out of reach.
Christians must be alert to
every possible chance to share God, His
Son, and His Word to those
they encounter, especially at the
regularly scheduled assembles. In
the June 2004 Gospel Advocate Colquitt
Nash wrote, "In 1957, Life
magazine labeled the time churches give
to Bible classes or Sunday
school the most wasted hour of the week"
(Making the Important
Effective, 32). Careful preparation can
insure that when the church
assembles it will not be deemed "wasted
time" by those who attend.
Many spiritually minded individuals
attest that the scant time
devoted to public study and proclamation
of God's Holy Word is far
from "wasted." It is also a great
mistake to confine Bible study and
evangelism to those few hours each week.
Study, prayer, ministry, and
daily integrity as a Christian
throughout the week will prepare the
worshipper/Bible class student for the
weekly assemblies. Being thus
prepared, this Christian family can
eagerly anticipate their time
with other believers. For those who are
unprepared and lack spiritual
focus, the Christian assembly may
contribute about as much value as
Bozhkov's hayfield, which he flattened
into a crop-circle portrait of
TV talk show host Larry King, when all
is said a done it seems to be
just a waste of time.
David Bragg, Cape Girardeau, Missouri http://email@example.com
Makes You Think, Doesn't It?
is an excerpt from my diary of my most
recent trip to
Africa. It was written pertaining to one
of the lessons I heard at
the "Africans Claiming Africa"
The evening session consisted of more
country reports and the keynote
address. It was given by Fidelis Udofia
of Nigeria. It was a thought-
provoking sermon based upon the question
God asked Moses in Exod.
4:2, "What is in your hand?" Basically
his points were:
1) If you have something in your hand,
you have an opportunity.
2) If you have something in your hand,
you have a responsibility.
3) If you have something in your hand,
you have accountability.
He continued and clarified by using the
example of a gun. Put a gun
in your hand, and you have all kinds of
opportunities, good and bad.
You can maim or kill a person unjustly,
or you can kill an animal to
feed someone. You can use it
threateningly to take something that is
not yours, or you can use it to improve
your own skills. Put a gun in
your hand and you have a responsibility
- a responsibility to use it
properly and safely. Put a gun in your
hand and you have
accountability. You will have to answer
for how you did or didn't use
it - to the legal system, to others in
your life, and to God.
He concluded with these words: "Now, put
a Bible in your hand..."
Edd Sterchi is the minister of the
Harrisburg church of Christ in
By Bryan McAlister
Too great is the amount of information in
the book of Hebrews to
relay in one brief article. Of the
numerous lessons, perhaps the most
practical to our lives we learn, Jesus
left heaven and came to earth
for our benefit, to learn of us, to
understand us, and to help us as
we make our way back to heaven.
Troubles can monopolize our lives if we
are not watchful in our
management of them. That is certainly not
to say we can schedule our
trouble in life at times when it is more
convenient (wouldn't that be
great!). It is to say though, when
troubles arise, if we are equipped
in our understanding, we will be better
able to handle those
difficulties. We are promised adversity,
and should meet it with a
calculated response. Part of that response
involves our awareness of
Jesus' sympathizing ear (Heb 2:14).
Jesus is described as one who sits in
heaven, literally waiting to
help us in our lives on earth. He serves
as our Mediator,
communicating the adversities we face to
God, when we pray through
the Son. Those who have confessed the good
confession, Jesus as the
Son of God, are encouraged to not only
remain true to this
confession, but also remember what it
truly means to our lives. If
you have made the confession of faith,
that Jesus is the Sovereign
Son of God, you believe He is able to
help, when others do not
understand your temptation (Heb 2:17).
Having confessed Jesus as the
Christ, you affirm His purity of sacrifice
for your sins as
being "free" and "freeing" of your bondage
to sin (Heb 9:26). With
the confession of Jesus as the Christ, you
admit that He will aid
your life even when you are bombarded with
troubles (Heb 13:5). Now
the question is, do you live this way?
Among the requirements placed upon us in
receiving help from God, key
to our aid, is approaching the throne of
grace, in order that we
might obtain mercy and grace to help in
our need (Heb 4:16). Sadly,
many of God's people will ridicule God for
their adversity, without
ever examining their response in the midst
of the trial. You see
friend, God requires you and me to come
boldly to His throne, in time
of need (Heb 4:16). It sounds simple, but
when I am in need of help
and sympathy from God, I need to ask!
Likewise, it may sound too
easy, but when I ask in boldness, it will
Perhaps God's help will come in the form
of a brother or sister in
Christ calling on me out of concern. Maybe
my peace will come through
time spent in study of God's message to
me. I may even find peace
when I pause for prayer and conversation
with my Lord. Whatever the
case, my God will grant me His grace that
I may continue on to the
place where indeed resides true rest from
all my troubles.
Bryan McAlister is the minister of the
Jackson church of Christ in Jackson,
Dealing With The Unexpected
dealing with unexpected surprises and
sorrows in life. It is
human nature to desire to control what
is happening in our lives, but
there will always be things happening to
us over which we are simply
powerless. These are the times in which
our faith must sustain us
regardless of our obstacles. These are
the times in which we must
turn our lives over to God, and trust in
Him fully to provide for us,
and comfort us, as only He can do.
None of us is immune from tragedy. We
need to prepare ourselves for
the unexpected events that await us,
both great and small, and we can
do so by spending time in God's word,
and by increasing our prayer
life. Just as the body needs food to
enable us to live healthy
physical lives, so too, our spirits need
a daily diet of spiritual
nourishment that only comes from an
intimate knowledge of God's word.
It is this intimate knowledge of our
Father that will give us
the "peace that passeth understanding"
and "shall guard your hearts
and your thoughts in Christ Jesus."
We have a victorious Savior in our
corner acting in our behalf. The
pain you bear was borne by Him at
Calvary. He knows you, and He knows
what is best for you. Turn to Him and He
shall comfort you, for it is
in Him that our victory is maintained.
Keep your mind focused on Him.
There is nothing in your life that is
bigger than Christ, if you will
simply turn it over to Him.
Worrying over that in which you have no
control has a debilitating
effect by distracting us from that over
which we do maintain control.
There are many brothers and sisters in
Christ who love you and care
greatly about you, even more than you
ever know. Turn to them, and
allow them to help bear your burdens,
"and so fulfill the law of
Christ," (Galatians 6:2).
The choice is ours, and ours alone. No
one can take that from us. We
can either let our burdens be a
discouragement and a hindrance to our
spiritual growth, or we can take control
by choosing to exercise our
faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ,
regardless of what Satan
tosses our way, and find ourselves even
closer to God our Father. He
loves us! In fact, He loves us so much
that He gave us His very own
Son to bring us back to Him even when we
had willfully walked away
from Him! That is how much He loves us!
David R. Ferguson is the minister of the
Lakeland Church in Mattoon, Illinois
|The Anchor Holds
David A. Sargent
This very day
many are suffering in dire circumstances
of war and
natural disaster. Our hearts and our
hands go out to those who have
suffered unimaginable trauma.
A question looms in the minds of those
Is there ANY hope?
When faced with difficult circumstances,
the Psalmist was also on the
verge of despair. He wrote: "My tears
have been my food day and
night, while men say to me all day long,
'Where is your God?'" (Psalm
42:3). Yet, he reminded himself of the
ONLY true source of hope in
any and every circumstance: "Why are you
downcast, O my soul? Why so
disturbed within me? Put your hope in
God, for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God" (Psalm 42:5).
Is there any hope? YES! Our hope is in
A preacher was putting the finishing
touches on a sermon that he was
soon to deliver when his telephone rang.
Answering the phone the
preacher heard the words of a student:
"Last night my child died."
The preacher thought to himself, "What
can I say to him?" Then he
made up his mind: "I will say to him
what I would say to anyone. It's
captured in this gospel song [by Edward
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
On Christ, the Solid Rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
Because of Christ, one may proclaim
along with the writer of the book
of Hebrews: "This hope we have as an
anchor of the soul, both sure
and steadfast" (Hebrews 6:19). An anchor
is used to provide
stability, even in the times of storm.
In the same way, one's hope in Christ
gives stability in the storms
that life brings.
This hope extends beyond the storms of
this life - even beyond the
grave - to an eternity with God in the
Paradise of Heaven (Revelation
The basis of this hope is a relationship
with God -- who loved us so
much that He gave His Son to die for our
sins so that we might have
hope beyond the troubles of this life.
We can share in this hope if
we will believe in Christ and trust Him
(Acts 16:31), repent of our
sins (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus
before men (Romans 10:9-10), be
baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness
of our sins (Acts 2:38),
and "LIVE" in this hope by continuing to
follow Him (1 John 1:7; 3:3).
Are YOU downcast and disturbed with the
struggles of this life? Put
YOUR hope in God. He ALONE is our Savior
and our God - the anchor for
And the Anchor holds!
David A. Sargent is a minister with the
church of Christ at Creekwood
in Mobile, Alabama. Archived issues of
"Living Water" can be viewed
and accessed at: http://www.creekwoodcc.org
goodies this issue
--J esus, Son of God Eternal
--E verlasting Lord is He,
--S avior of a world of sinners,
--U niversal King to be,
--S ought us, brought us victory.
--C hrist is due all adoration,
--H umbly born to save our race,
--R uler of the whole creation
--I ntercedes and gives us grace,
--S aves us from sin's condemnation,
--T ruly worthy of all praise!
Author unknown (via Ruth Patterson,
feature story on a local television
station caught my
attention: "How Young People Can Avoid
Poverty." Being a Christian,
knowing that God is concerned about
those who are poor, and living in
a nation that has something of a social
conscience, I was interested
to know that someone sees ways to help
young people avoid such a fate.
In fact, I think these factors should be
broadcast as broadly as
possible. My expectation is however,
that they will not. The main
reason they will not is that at least
one of them is considered
a "moral choice" and the combination of
the three "smacks" of
religious "ought-ness." You be the
judge; here they are:
1. Finish school.
2. Get married.
3. Wait until at least your twenties to
Lance Cordle is the pulpit minister of
the Calvert City church of
Christ, Calvert City, Kentucky. (Via
"The Family Friend," March 2005,
published monthly by the Calvert City
The Value Of A Smile
A smile is nature's best antidote for
discouragement. It brings rest
to the weary, sunshine to those who are
sad, and hope to those who
are hopeless and defeated.
A smile is so valuable that it can't be
bought, begged, borrowed, or
taken away against our will. You have to
be willing to give a smile
away before it can do anyone else any
So if someone is too tired or grumpy to
flash you a smile, let him
have one of yours anyway. Nobody needs a
smile as much as the person
who has none to give.
Selected (via "The Sower," Arthur Church
of Christ, Arthur, IL; Ron
Hearts of Gold
A Smile is Catching
I smiled at Mrs. Jones;
She smiled at Mrs. Brown.
The next thing that we knew,
The smile had the town.
Whate're the case may be,
It takes a smile to loosen
The jaws of Mrs. Lee.
So when your jaws get rusty
>From drooping with a frown,
You just get hep and loosen up-
With the smile that's going 'round.
(Author unknown; via The Sower, Arthur
Church of Christ, Arthur, IL;
Ron Bartanen, editor)
Still On My Feet
H. L. Gradowith
I am tired
and weary and I need a rest,
Friend don't get me wrong, I know I have
But sometimes when storm clouds are
And it seems that I have no place I can
I despair and worry and begin to fall.
And just when it seems that I will lose
It is then that I think of the blood He
And His promise that I shall be safely
Through the valleys of life to a better
Where with Jesus someday I will take my
But, still, I'm tired and weary and need
When troubles come I will do my very
Sometimes I wonder if my best is enough.
The roads I have traveled have sometimes
I've fought many battles and I've braved
But thanks to His mercy I'm still on my
I'm not sure just how. but, I'm sure
I'll make it,
Whatever comes up, I'm sure I can take
He'll lead me through hard times to a
Where by His side someday I will take my
So when I'm tired and weary and need a
And when my faith is being put to the
I'll stop and remember that He's there
I'll rejoice knowing His blood has set
I'll look forward to Heaven where doubt
And pain and sorrow and grief and ev'ry
Will at long last by His Hand be wiped
Just think of that City! The Unending
I'll trade all life's valleys for a
Where with my Precious Lord I will take
(March 9, 2005) H. L. Gradowith (Tim
Smith) preaches for the Enon
Church of Christ near Dothan, Alabama.
See The Humor Archive at Yahoo! Groups:
See The Poem Archive at Yahoo! Groups:
|I WALKED THE
A. C. WILLIAMS
I walked the
path of suffering--I thought I was
But soon I learned that others had
heartaches like my own.
A legion came to join me--an
To share and bear our burdens--heal
suffering with song.
I found courage in their handclasp--I
found patience in their calm;
I found hope in faith's assurance--I
found healing in their balm.
I'm not alone in suffering--I'm not
alone in tears;
For those who weep with those who weep
can wipe away my tears.
And too, when sore affliction comes--a
dreary, rainy day;
I look inside my heart and find rich
blessings stored away.
I take them from a treasure chest--and
count them o'er and o'er;
And think how good God's been to
men--why don't we trust Him more?
If all were sun and sunshine--if clouds
would never weep;
Would little flowers lift their
heads--would sowers ever reap?
The valleys down below us, but emphasize
Low-hanging clouds about us are pierced
with shafts of light.
If sickness never hindered, and pain
ne'er wracked our frame;
Would days of health be cherished, if
suffering never came?
In deeps of life's great ocean, may
suffering be pearled;
And in the days of reck'ning be a gem of
& sayings for bulletins and signs
He died for me so I live for