BulletinGold #53 
May 1, 2005   Vol 5 #3
 

Editor's Remarks
----by David Bragg

The relentless marching of time brings a seemingly endless series of
transitions to the span of one's life.  Job described it as
being "swifter than a weaver's shuttle" (Job 7:6).  The Psalmist
called the span of one's life as only a "handbreadth," and with
James said we are but a "vapor" (Psalm 39:5; James 4:14).  Wise
Solomon observed that "time and chance [happens to us] all" (Eccl.
9:11).

While BulletinGold is going through a time of transition, my wife
and I prepare for a great change in our lives.  In a matter of days
our youngest child, Kari, will be the valedictorian of 2005
graduating class at Cape Central High School.  This fall she will
attend Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, TN as we adjust to
life in "an empty nest."  Jennie Wilson, a blind poet, eloquently
expressed the key to successfully facing all the transitions of life
when she wrote 101 years ago, "Time is filled with swift transition
.  Build your hopes on things eternal, Hold to God's unchanging
hand" (Praise For the Lord, 244).  I'm confident that it is the
prayer of every contributor represented below that these items serve
to forge just such a bond in the lives of every individual with whom
they are shared.

David Bragg, co-editor
editor@bulletingold.com

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

Just a Minute
by: David Bragg

Moses witnessed many sights in his time. We see him standing beside
the burning bush talking to God. We see him speak the Red Sea
open. This special leader held the single honor of personal
consultation with the Almighty. But to see this sunset may have
been the most spectacular moment of all.

Over the one hundred and twenty years of Moses' life he had often
heard talk of the Promised Land. His people longed for the
fulfillment of that promise even while they languished in the
oppression of Egypt. Moses had seen many sunsets. This one was
special not because it would be his last but because of the land he
saw dusk settle over. A special land he could not enter.

The wilderness journey took its toll on the wavering faith of
Israel. A new generation had emerged to occupy the land. Moses
patiently endured the criticism of his peers during this
transition. Yet in a moment's anger he sinned and the Promised Land
became the Forbidden Land (Numbers 20:1-13). His actions, in just a
minute, made such a difference. Moses stood on the heights of
Pisgah where he had to content himself with looking. Never could he
feel its soil beneath his feet. That night Moses went to his
eternal rest. He left behind a nation Joshua would take into a land
flowing with milk and honey. He left behind, all for a moment's
unguarded action, the dream of a lifetime.

Just a minute, it seems harmless and unimportant yet it can make a
world of difference. Just a minute can make an eternity of
difference. Make the most of as many of them as you can.

David Bragg, co-editor
http://cape.churchofchristwebs.com

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An Awful Legacy
by: Lance Cordle

As you probably known by now, Kansas law enforcement officers are
celebrating the capture of the man who appears to the one had eluded
them for approximately thirty years-the serial killer known as BTK.
I recall reading some news stories about a year ago which described
the taunting of the Wichita police by a man who claimed to be the
killer of at least ten people. He evidently resurfaced in order to
taunt the police. They, in turn, waited   patiently, and waited for
their break. On Friday, February 25, they arrested Dennis Rader,
also known as "BTK."

Over the months I had not become familiar with the letters "BTK," so
when the arrest was announced, I was lost as to their meaning. Soon,
however, I learned their significance. The killer had used these
letters in reference to himself in his letters to the police. The
letters speak of his mode of operation: bind, torture, kill.

How awful it must be for the families of the killer's victims to
live with the images of their loved ones as those who were bound,
tortured, and killed. Their emotional wounds will be again opened
once the trial procedures begin and the legacy will live on.

 Oftentimes, people may think one life doesn't make much difference.
Then, that thought is proven wrong by the life of someone who
influenced others for good. Now, we see a situation one person makes
a large difference in the lives of ten people, their relatives, and
a nation that sees the letters "BTK" as a symbol of evil.

As far as I know, Dennis Rader is married, but he is not going to be
known as a loving and faithful husband. He is a father, but he will
not be known as a wonderful parent.  He was a leader in his church,
but he is not going to be known for his leadership within that
congregation. He was a Boy Scout leader, but he is not going to be
known for his leadership within that organization. Instead, he will
be remembered as one who bound, tortured, and killed. What an awful
legacy.

I know Dennis Rader is an extreme example, but everyone will leave a
legacy (2 Corinthians 5:10). If we follow the Lord as we should,
that legacy will take care of itself (Psalm 1:6). Would it not be
wonderful if those three letters could describe our life in words
such as "benevolent, tender, and kind?" 
                                                                    
        -Lance Cordle preaches for the Calvert City Church of Christ
in Calvert city, KY.  He may be contacted at
Lance@calvertchurchofchrist.com

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A Destructive Vice
by: Ron Thomas


The percentage of those who access pornography - according to USA
TODAY
Snapshots - is as follows:
- Men who have never been married: 57%
- Once-married men: 54%
- Married men: 44%
- Women who have never been married: 22%
- Once-married women: 17%
- Married women: 11%

     I would like to address what I hope is not a problem with
anyone here.  However, because it is a problem in this country, it
might very well be a problem here, but unknown except by the one
person struggling.

     Looking at the statistics above (from Focus on the Family),
this country is infested with a destructive vice that contributes,
in a major way, to marital problems and divorces. It must be
addressed.

     It is easy (and correct) to condemn the guilty participants.
However, I would encourage a more helpful approach. Knowing the Lord
will condemn people who refuse to shake themselves from this devil's
hook, it seems to me, we must seek to help people rather than
ostracize them.

     How do we do this? Well, to begin, it must be understood that
looking at pornography is lustful in its very nature and spiritually
deadly. We must not minimize the severity of this to those plagued
by such a vice.

     Secondly, it may very well be that those guilty of this vice
are seeking to get themselves away from it but their shame and
embarrassment is so great that they feel as if they can talk to no
one, not even their spouse. We need to make ourselves available to
talk to the one dieing in shame.

     Pornography is just as bad as any other sin a person commits;
it is not worse, it is just as bad. Giving a sympathetic ear, giving
spiritual advice, and praying together can help someone get a handle
on the problem and then encourage them to come up out of well of
despair.

     Third, encourage one to remove all instruments that invites
this sin.  What I mean by this is the computer (internet). One of
the reasons the plague is so bad is because the computer is so
private and whatever is seen can be "washed" away. A person is
involved in a crime leaves traces of evidence so law enforcement can
identify the criminal. With the computer, all traces of the vice
under discussion can be wiped away. But we know pornography is not a
crime and people feel secure behind a screen that can produce no
image of participator. But the Lord knows our name and, in this
context, that is not a good thing.

     Remember when the Lord was confronted with a woman taken in
adultery (an aspect of pornography; John 8:1-11)? What did the Lord
say to her? You might look at that and consider what we would say to
a person who was trapped by something similar.

- Ron Thomas preaches for the Highway church of Christ in Sullivan,
IL.  He may be contacted at rthomas1@one-eleven.net

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Too Late!
by: John Shafer

It was a day not unlike most.  It was a time when the church would
be coming together.  At least that's what I thought.  You see the
door was locked the building had been sold.

I don't remember when it started to happen.  I do remember that
there was so much enthusiasm when we first started meeting.  We had
a goodly number of those who attended.  We had fellowship with each
other outside of our weekly meetings.  Everyone could hardly wait
until the next meeting time.  Why we even had campaigns to invite
others.  We would go door to door with invitations.  We had gospel
meetings.  What a joy when someone in the community would visit and
an even greater joy when someone was baptized!

Then a few of us started missing services occasionally.  No I don't
Mean just going out of town and worshiping there but just too tired
or company had come to visit or some other activity that kept me
away from attending service.  The first few times I was feeling bad
but then I found out it just got easier and easier each time to miss.

Today I came just to see what was going on.  But it was too late. 
You see others started following my example and stopped attending
too.  No the preaching was sound (except those sermons that stepped
on my toes concerning attendance) and what was taught was right from
the Bible.  We just all stopped coming because our priorities had
changed.  I never dreamed this day would come in my lifetime.

Then I stopped and looked at my life.  It certainly had not been
what It should be.  I was the one who went from being excited about
coming to services to being one who rarely came.

Then I awoke!  Had this been nothing but a dream?  No I had awoke to
eternity and stood with nothing to say when I was told to go away. 
Too Late!

What will we say on judgment day?  What will be said to us?

- John Shafer can be contacted through his website at
www.churchofchrist.us

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The Value of Your Soul
by: Jimmy W. Cox

Many people have a great interest in gaining material possessions.
We shop at places that offer give-aways. It would be hard to figure
how many millions of dollars are spent on lottery tickets. But how
many people realize their own soul is more valuable than all earthly
possessions. "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole
world and forfeit his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange
for his soul?" (Matt. 16:26). Reasons why our soul is so valuable-
It came from God, and it was created in the image of God. Gen. 1:26-
27 tells us that our soul (or inward man) was made in the image of
God. As such, it is eternal, designed to live forever. Our eternal
destination depends on whether we obey God, or make material things
our "god".

Our bodies are also important. We should never mistreat our bodies
in any way, because our soul or inward man dwells in our bodies as
long as we live on the earth. And if we are a Christian, our body is
also "a temple of the Holy Spirit, which is in you..For ye are
bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body, and in your
spirit, which are God's." (I Cor. 6:19-20).

Christ died that our souls might be saved. II Cor. 5:21--- "For he
has made him, who knew no sin, a sin-offering for us; that we might
become the justified of God, by him."

Our soul needs salvation. Rom. 3:23-"For all have sinned, and come
short of the glory of God." Our soul can be purified by obeying the
Truth (God's Word). (I Pet. 1:22).

The soul was created to live forever. (Gen. 1:26-27). There is life
beyond the grave. Read I Cor., chap. 15, to learn about the great
resurrection.

Faithful Children of God will live eternally in heaven, in a place
being prepared by Christ. (John 14:2-3). Those who do not become
children of God, and those who are un- faithful, will hear, "Depart
from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil
and his angels." (Matt. 25:41).

Become a child of God. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God; repent
of your sins. (Acts 2:38). Confess Christ (Rom. 10:9-10); Be
baptized into Christ. Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:3-5).

- Jimmy Cox attends the Columbia Church of Christ in Sandy Hook, MS.

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Weaseling Clauses
by: Hardie Logan

People often wonder why we are so precise about the way a doctrine
of God is stated. They do not wonder this when it comes to writing a
contract for a house they are buying, they want it to be very
precise. They do not wonder this about any other contract they are
involved in, because they know that once they sign their names, they
have to live up to and fulfill the terms of the contract as the
contract states it. Yet, when it comes to the contract God has given
us, many people want, what is often called, "weasel clauses".

"Weasel clauses" appear a couple of ways. On the one side, a "weasel
clause" is something that is not written very precise so there is
room to get around, get by, or get under what the contract was
originally intended to mean. Lawyers look at contracts to see if
they are of "standard form" meaning they do not have "weasel clause"
wording in them. The second kind of "weasel clause" is wording that
nullifies other parts of the contract and makes that part worthless.
Again lawyers look for wording of this nature and advise their
clients as to the ramifications of the wording. Either way,
the "weasel clause" allows a person of the contract to "weasel" out
of their responsibility of the contract. "Weaseling" is often not
being truthful or keeping with the intent of the
contract. "Weaseling" is not honorable. Thus, people who do
the "weaseling" are generally not of honorable and respectful
persons.

This brings me to the Bible. The Bible is written as God wanted it
to be written. It is God's contract with man. There are
no "weaseling clauses" in it. Mankind does not have to follow one
word of the Bible. They have not been forced to, are not forced to
and will never be forced to; ever. God is not like that. But to have
the promises God has promised, one must follow the Bible, as it is
written and to the full intent of what God intended for it to mean.

- Hardie Logan preaches for the Marshfield church of Christ in
Marshfield, WI.

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Nuggets and Quick Riches
----misc. goodies this issue

The Theme of the Thessalonians - Jesus is Coming!
by: Todd Clippard

Jesus is Coming!  So . . .

Be PATIENT! 1 Thessalonians 1:10
"wait" - anemeno = ane (as a prefix intensifies the word it
precedes) + meno (stay in place, endure)
1 Corinthians 15:58
Romans 2:6-7 - God will REWARD our patience

Be HOPEFUL! 1 Thessalonians 2:19
Hebrews 6:19-20 - Hope is our ANCHOR
Romans 5:5 - Hope does not DISAPPOINT (NKJV)
Romans 8:24-25 - Hope SAVES!

Be HOLY! 1 Thessalonians 3:13
2 Corinthians 7:1 - we must perfect PERSONAL holiness
1 Peter 1:15-16
Hebrews 12:14 - without holiness NO MAN shall see God

Be COMFORTED! 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 - God comforts us in ALL tribulation
Psalm 46:1 - God is a VERY PRESENT HELP in trouble
Psalm 145:18 - God is nigh to those who call in TRUTH

Be READY! 1 Thessalonians 5:2
Matthew 24:42-44 - WATCH! for ye know not the HOUR
Matthew 25:1-13 - those who are READY will enter in
Hebrews 9:27 - all will DIE and after this the JUDGMENT

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Grace the S-E-A-M OF OUR Christian Clothing - Titus 2:11-12
by: Todd Clippard

Salvation - "teaching us"
Education - "deny ungodliness . . . live soberly . . ."
Anticipation - "looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing"
Motivation - "zealous of good works"

- Todd Clippard preaches for the Burleson Church of Christ outside
of Hamilton, Alabama.  He may be contacted at.toddrow@ala.nu

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The Lord is my Shepherd

A Bible class teacher decided to have her young class memorize one
of the most quoted passages in the Bible, Psalm 23. She gave the
youngsters a month to learn the verses.

Little Bobby was excited about the task. But, he just couldn't
remember the Psalm. After much practice, he could barely get past
the first line.

On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite Psalm 23 in front
of the congregation, Bobby was so nervous.

When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said
proudly, "The Lord is my shepherd and that's all I need to know!"

-BULLETIN DIGEST (via The Encourager, Calvert City church of Christ,
Calvert City, KY)

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God's Getting Better

A little girl was sitting on her grandfather's lap as he read her a
bedtime story.  From time to time she would take her eyes off the
book and reach up to touch his wrinkled cheek.  She was alternately
stroking her own cheek, then his again.  Finally she spoke
up: "Grandpa, did God make you?"
   "Yes, sweetheart," he answered.  "God made me a long time ago."
   "Oh," she paused.  "Grandpa, did God make me too?"
   "Yes indeed, honey," he said. "God made you just a little while
ago."
   Feeling their respective faces again, she observed, "God's
getting better at it, isn't He?"

- Via The Sower, Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL.

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

C-H-R-I-S-T
by: Edd Sterchi

C is for the Comfort  His name gives to me
H is for the Healing  Received on Calvary's tree
R is for Resurrection  He had, and I can get
I is for my Improvement  Many blessings coming yet
S is for Salvation  Free and full galore
T is for the Teaching  I will follow evermore

- Edd Sterchi preaches for the Harrisburg church of Christ in
Harrisburg, IL.  The congregation's website address is
www.harrisburgchurchofchrist.org

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God Gives Me Time

God gives me time to love the right,
Though crowded are my days,
He gives me time to find delight
In quiet thoughts of praise.

God gives me time to rise above
All little, petty things
And feel the comfort of His love,
The joy His presence brings.

God gives me time to share the load
Of these less blest than I,
Then walks beside me on the road
With grace to satisfy.

God gives me time -- oh, I would spend
Each precious moment well,
For when God's gift of time shall end,
I must bid earth farewell!

--Author unknown (via Ruth Patterson, Hinesville GA)

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A Prayer For Patience
by: Helen Steiner Rice

God, teach me to be patient,
Teach me to go slow,
Teach me how to wait on You
When my way I do not know.

Teach me sweet forbearance
When things do not go right
So I remain unruffled
When others grow uptight.

Teach me how to quiet
My racing, rising heart
So I might hear the answer
You are trying to impart.

Teach me to let go, dear God,
And pray undisturbed until
My heart is filled with inner peace
And I learn to know your will.

- Helen Steiner Rice

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