BulletinGold #82
October 2007   Vol 7 #8

----by David Bragg
The Education of Pharaoh

     Convinced he and his nation had merely fallen victim to an incredible string of bad luck, Pharaoh decided to pursue Egypt's large, recently freed slave population.  With the exit of the Hebrews, Egypt felt its loss.  Who would serve?  Who would work the fields?  Who would build their great cities and marvelous monuments?

     Pharaoh's cabinet, magicians and wise men, disagreed with him publicly over the source of their leader's problems.  What he saw as unfortunate coincidence they saw as the finger of God (Exodus 8:19).  Deserted, discouraged and disgruntled, Pharaoh set out to get even with Moses.  Frogs.  Flies.  Boils.  Hail.  Darkness.  The death of his first-born.  No longer would he settle for threats.  He was fed up.  He had had enough.  Pharaoh ran into the wilderness with a vengeance to bring back this nation of rebel servants.

     Moses had undergone his own trial by fire.  Fleeing for his life, Moses spent forty years as a shepherd in the desert.  The very people he was sent to deliver rejected him (Exodus 5:21).  All the while he was afflicted with misgivings and, even at times, doubt.

     The difference between these two men can be explained by their respective educations.  Reared in the easy life, surrounded by wealth and privilege, Pharaoh held a degree from the University of Easy Street that, when tested, left him bitter and angry.  He focused on his hardships, and in pride his heart was hardened.  However, Moses held a degree from the University of Hard Knocks, from which he had learned to rely on the power of God to sustain him. He was schooled by a deep religious conviction that, when tested, allowed him to place his trust in God.  As he matured in faith he grew content and confident.  This enabled him to not focus on the injustices he endured but on the One who had empowered him to endure.

     The Bible is filled with examples of those who endured through spiritual reliance on God.  You will find some of their stories in this issue of BulletinGold.  I hope that each of our subscribers, and each of your readers find encouragement through them.

David Bragg, co-editor

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Panning for Gold
- Feature Articles:  

Rahab and Redemption
by: David Ferguson

     "‘Behold, when we come into the land, you shall bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which you did let us down by: and you shall gather unto you into the house your father, and your mother, and your brethren, and all your father's household. And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we shall be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him.’ And she said, ‘According unto your words, so be it.’ And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window." (Joshua 2:18-19; 21)

     It seems to me that redemption is represented by the scarlet thread hanging from Rahab's window. Redemption is a buying back, and it refers to deliverance and the price paid for that deliverance.

     Rahab was saved from certain death by placing the scarlet thread in her window when Joshua and the Israelite nation were conquering the fortified city of Jericho. What an unlikely recipient of God’s grace was Rahab, for she was a harlot! And yet God was able through His love, grace and mercy to make room for this sinful woman who eventually became an ancestor of His Son and our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ!

     Today, the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ shines through our scarlet thread of redemption, the blood of the Son of God. The individual who views the Light of the world and obeys His blest commands is delivered from sin and death and gains an entrance, and an inheritance, into the Promised Land, which is Christ: "I am the light of the world: he that follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12)

     Redemption was accomplished in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. He led a pure, sin-free life and became the perfect sacrifice for all of mankind: "For such a High Priest became us, holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needs not daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people: for this He did once for all, when He offered up Himself." (Hebrews 7:26-27) Redemption was all accomplished in Christ Who, as He was taking His last breath before dying on the cross, uttered, "It is finished!" (John 19:30)

     Just as Rahab hung her scarlet thread of redemption out her window, so, too, should we hang our scarlet thread of redemption, the blood of Jesus Christ, from the window of our heart, and proclaim Him to a lost and dying world in dire need of redemption. Why not take hold and claim your inheritance in Him today?

- David R. Ferguson preaches for the Lakeland Church of Christ in Mattoon, IL.  He may be contacted at davidferguson61@yahoo.com

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Grasshoppers and Giants
by: Dick Miller

     Numbers 13 speaks of twelve spies who are sent out to explore the land of Canaan. Ten of the twelve spies see Canaan as being impossible to conquer.  They spread a discouraging report among the Israelites. They saw themselves as grasshoppers next to the giants who lived there.  They were looking at the appearance of things and said, "We can't do this."

     However, two spies saw things differently.  Caleb and Joshua said, "We can take this land."  They saw the same thing that the other ten spies saw but they arrived at a different conclusion.  Have you ever pondered the difference between these two when compared with the other ten? What set them apart? Why did they stand against the minority?

     We are given some insight in Numbers 14. Listen to God's response to the spies' report. "They have seen my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I performed both in Egypt and in the wilderness, but again and again they tested me by refusing to listen.  They will never even see the land I swore to give their ancestors.  None of those who have treated me with contempt will enter it."

     Of Caleb God says, "He has remained loyal to me, and I will bring him into the land he explored."  Loyalty to God is what set Caleb and Joshua apart from the other 10 spies. Loyalty and faith are similar.  Faith is seeing the unseen.  Caleb and Joshua saw God fulfilling his promise and they believed that the land of  Canaan could be Israel's.  They saw the power of God over the power of men.

     Do we focus on the obstacles in our lives instead of the God who can overcome all things? Do we look at things from man's perspective instead of God's perspective? Who are we looking at for approval? Do we want the approval of men or of God? Are we asking, "What do people want, ' or "What does God want?" Are we most concerned with people's opinion, or God's opinion?  Are we people pleasers or God pleasers?

     The odds haven't changed.  The majority still look at things from a human perspective.  It is always a minority that sees things from God's perspective.  We need to be in the minority.  We must look at life through a "God-lens."  What does God want? What is God's will? Is this pleasing to God?  Is this bringing glory to God? Are the things we see as obstacles bigger than God? Are we grasshoppers or giants when it comes to faith?

     Will you join me in praying for God to open our eyes to His wishes and to the possibilities around us if God is in the equation?

-- Dick Miller, with the Philo Road church of Christ in Urbana, IL.  Via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted at - ron33dor@yahoo.com  You may also visit their website at www.arthurchurchofchrist.com

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Pilate’s Problem Can Be Your Problem Too – Washing Your Hands May Not Get Them Clean
by: Gerald Cowan

     Contempt! That is perhaps the best word to describe the attitude of the majority toward Jesus Christ, His life and His ministry and His church. He was held in contempt by His own nation – “He came to his own but they would not receive him”(John 1:11). The Roman governor and his occupation force turned away from Jesus so the Jews could have him crucified. His disciples failed him – one betrayed him to those who wanted him dead, and nearly all abandoned him at his trials. We are going to look more closely at Pontius Pilate’s problem with Jesus, and also with the Jews’ problem with him. We understand it, but we can never approve or justify what they did to Jesus.

     It is easy for us to hold Pilate in contempt, a weak man who washed his hands of responsibility and gave in to the improper demands of the people he ruled. It is easy for us to hold the Jewish leaders in contempt too, for not understanding the words of God and accepting the Messiah, the Christ, He sent to them. It is easy for us to hold in contempt those disciples who were with Jesus daily for some years, for failing to help Him, for seeking to save themselves from the trouble He was enduring.

     It will not do, in any of this, to say “It was God’s will that Jesus die, and all these people were just carrying out what God had said must happen." You will notice, if you read the scripture account of these things, that all those who rejected, denied, abuse, abandoned, and killed Jesus were held accountable for it. They had either to find forgiveness for it or be punished and rejected by God for their part in it.

     What might God’s attitude be today toward people in the organized religions, including a multi-fractured “Christendom,” that routinely denies the will of Christ, disgraces Him by insipid self-serving worship, disobeys and repudiates His commandments, accepts what He rejects, and insists that He be seen as head of  “one of the great world religions,” and not as “the one and only way to the one and only true God, the author and finisher of the one and only true religion” – people who insist on crucifying Him again by refusing to accept Him for what He really is?  What must God think of government that will not defend the Christ but gives people freedom to continue abusing and neglecting Him, so long as they do not insult or offend anybody else by doing so? I think the word might very well be contempt.

     You and I, just like Pontius Pilate and the Jewish people of Jesus’ day, must make a choice. Will we hold the Lord in contempt and be held in contempt by Him? What are you doing with Jesus who is Christ?

- Gerald Cowan preaches for the Dongola church of Christ in Dongola, IL.  He may be contacted at Geraldcowan1931@aol.com

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Read The Instructions
by: Steve Higginbotham

     When I was a boy, I can vividly remember my first two-wheeler bicycle that my dad bought me. It was a red Huffy "Cheater Slick" with a banana seat.  Now, when he bought the bike, he had a choice of buying a display model that was already assembled, or he could buy the "bike in a box" that you had to assemble yourself.  We bought the bike in a box because it was five dollars cheaper.
     So we took the bike home and spread all the parts out on the living room floor.  To a little boy, it all looked so confusing.  But one thing I knew...I knew where the hand grips went, so I popped them on the handle bar without reading the instructions.  To my dismay, I later learned that I shouldn't have been so hasty and should have read the instructions, for the handle bars had to be threaded through a joint prior to putting on the hand grips.  Ut-oh.  Too late.  The grips were on, and wouldn't come off, so one of the grips had to be cut off.  Consequently, my red Huffy bike always had just one hand grip.
     That lesson learned many years ago reminds me that Life comes so much easier when we read the instructions.  In fact, God left us an instruction book, the Bible.  For instance, one of the things He tells us in the Bible is that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35), and yet how many people do you know who are pursuing happiness apart from giving and selflessness?  
     Friends, do yourself a favor and read the instructions before you make a mistake.  God made you, and he knows best how you are to function.  For best results, consult the owner's manual.
- Steve Higginbotham is the minister for the South Green Street church of Christ, Glasgow, Kentucky.  He may be contacted at shigg@glasgow-ky.com  [Copyright © 2007, South Green Street Church of Christ, Glasgow, Kentucky.  Permission is granted to copy these articles.]

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Charting Your Course
by: Terry Livingston and David A. Sargent

     In 1760, a thirteen year old boy left his home in Arbigland, Scotland to take a job aboard the two-masted brig, Friendship, leaving the British port of Whitehaven.

     Life on the Friendship was far from luxurious, as the vessel at eighty feet was not particularly large for Atlantic crossing.  Quarters were cramped and air circulation below deck was poor.  The food was stale and water in tight supply.  Work was strenuous with masts, spars, canvas and rope.  It was a grueling means of livelihood.

     However, the boy's fortune would be aided by the master of the Friendship, Captain Robert Benson, who took him to the rail of the quarterdeck one day to show him the proper use of a navigating instrument called an octant.  It allowed a mariner to determine the angle of a heavenly body above the horizon, even on a rolling ship.  By knowing the angle of the sun, moon or stars, a mariner could determine his latitude at sea by calculation.  The boy diligently set out mastering celestial navigation, along with the numerous intricate details of rigging and sailing a tall ship.

     A few years later, in 1767, in Kingston, Jamaica, he had completed a trip and had been paid in full.  Desiring to return to Scotland, he encountered the master of the brig John, which would be sailing for Kirkcudbright, a port near home.  Captain Samuel McAdam offered him free passage.  But tragically, during the passage, both Captain McAdam and the first mate died of fever.  Unfortunately, none of the remaining crew knew how to navigate.  

     Suddenly, the John was a ship without direction as there was nothing reliable in their surroundings to guide them, nothing with which to get their bearings, nothing that offered the way home. . . .

     But their passenger knew.  He knew that in order to get home he needed to look heavenward!  Taking his octant, he fixed his sights on that above which is true and reliable and unchanging.  He charted a course for home through the confusing seas to deliver the John safely to port in Scotland.  The owners of the ship were so pleased that they immediately rewarded the twenty-one year old sailor his first command as captain of a vessel.

     He would not fail in his opportunities.  He would soon take command of American vessels in the War of Independence as both captain of a ship and commodore of a squadron.  He would never suffer a naval defeat even against better-armed foes.   Today, he is buried in the United States Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Maryland.  An inscription there reads that:

     Admiral John Paul Jones "gave our Navy its earliest tradition of heroism and victory."

     To reach that "HEAVENLY HOME"  WE too, must look HEAVENWARD.  For God – who is TRUE, RELIABLE, and UNCHANGING (James 1:17) – so loved us that He gave us His Son to pay the price for SIN - that which keeps us from reaching our intended destination.  Jesus is our Captain who has chartered the course, and through His blood, has made the way to heaven accessible (John 14:6).

     To reach that "HEAVENLY HOME" WE must also TRUST and OBEY the Captain: believing in and trusting Him (Acts 16:30-31), turning from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).  THEN, we must continue to follow Him faithfully (1 John 1:7).

     Will YOU trust and obey the Captain of our salvation?

- Terry Livingston / David A. Sargent.  David A. Sargent, minister for the church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: www.creekwoodcc.org

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How To Make Void God’s Word
by: Bob Spurlin

     The Bible repeatedly emphasizes the importance of knowing God's Word. We must also beware of the consequences of disobedience (James 1: 22-25). Jesus defined discipleship as abiding in His word. John recorded the Savior's words: "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8: 31-32). It is little wonder that Paul admonished Timothy to study the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15). The Bible pronounces "nobility" on the Bereans because of their diligence in studying and practicing God's Word (Acts 17:11).

     Coming to knowledge of the Holy Scripture should make us keenly aware of the devastating nature of sin (Romans 6:23). The prophet Isaiah affirmed that sin separates us from God (Isa. 59:1-2). The apostle John taught that sin is a transgression of the law (I John 3:4). Furthermore, the apostle stressed, "All unrighteousness is sin" (I John 5:17).

     Let us now consider the exhortation from Isaiah: "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isaiah 55:11). The divine promise is that God's Word will not return to Him void, if people will honestly accept and revere it.

     Note the following ways in which man can make void God's Word:

1. THE SIN OF COMMITTING THAT WHICH IS EXPRESSLY FORBIDDEN. There is not a more striking way in which God's word can be voided than by openly and deliberately transgressing God's law. The law of burnt offerings in (Lev. 6: 8-12) forbids the fire going out from the altar. Thus any extinguishing of the fire would void God’s word. The clarity of this mandate could not be misunderstood, as the consequences would be dire.

     God’s commandments from Mt. Sinai were etched in stone, showing Israel the importance of strict obedience. “Thou shalt not kill” (Ex. 20:13) and “Thou shalt not steal” (Ex. 20:15) are clear and unmistakable commands. Also, to commit the sins listed in Galatians 5:19-21 is to void God’s Word. We must not do that which is expressly forbidden.

2. THE SIN OF SUBSTITUTION MAKES VOID GOD’S WORD. The Scripture implores man not to deviate from God’s Word by addition, subtraction, or alteration of any kind (I Cor. 4:6; Col. 3:17; 2 Jn. 9). Cain’s offering in worship was rejected because he substituted the sacrifice that God required (Gen. 4:3-5; the Heb. 11:4). Instead of worshipping God by faith, Cain offered a sacrifice from his own wisdom (Isa. 55:8-9).

     Nadab and Abihu, the priestly sons of Aaron, substituted the fire from the altar by offering a “strange fire” (Lev. 10:1-2). The Lord was very specific about the prescribed fire to be used (Lev 6: 8-12). These two priests were devoured by fire because of their substitution. Conversely, many today are substituting God’s will for their own way. For example some religious groups have substituted sprinkling or pouring for scriptural baptism. The Bible clearly enunciates immersion as the proper mode for baptism (Acts 8: 37-38; Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2: 12). Indeed, let us not substitute our way over God’s way.

3. THE SIN OF DECEPTION MAKES VOID GOD’S WORD. The young prophet of I Kings 13 was deceived by the old prophet and consequently lost his life (I Kings 13:18-24). This illustration from the Old Testament proves that when we are deceived, we must pay the price for deception. The young prophet knew full well the instructions given to him by the Lord, but found that he was in a position where the old prophet seduced him. Therefore, the young prophet was not excused for obeying the older prophet, and disobeying God. Moreover, he paid the price for his sin, suffering death at the hand of a lion (I Kings 13:24). Paul informed the Galatians: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed (Gal. 1:8). Listening to an angel or anyone else preach a different gospel will cause our souls to be lost.

     If a love for the truth is absent from our hearts, a fatal delusion will be thrust upon us. Read 2 Thessalonians 2: 10-12. Solomon also writes, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12). The truth is a precious gift to the soul of man. Conversely, we must reject the doctrine that deceives our soul, which will make void God’s Word (Prov. 28:26).

4. THE SIN OF NEGLECT OR OMISSION MAKES VOID GOD’S WORD. The priests were given specific guidelines about the care of the altar, the burning of the wood, the burnt offering, etc. If the priest neglected his duty, sin would be the result. Someone has stated that neglect is a respectable sin, but whatever you call it, the consequence will bring tragic results. James writes, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). For one to neglect a duty enjoined upon us by Scripture is an act of omission. To ignore a direct command, apostolic example, or a necessary implication is sin.

     The writer to the Hebrews said, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3). The original word for “neglect” is used in Mt. 22:5: “they made light of it;” this refers to those who disregarded the invitation to the marriage supper. It means to have the opportunity, but to pay no attention to it. An often made equation states: Opportunity + Ability = Responsibility. We all have the freedom to make choices either to the marriage feast, or answering the gospel call (2 Thess. 2:14). To neglect the opportunity to obey Christ is a serious omission making void God's Word (Luke 6:46).


     Dear reader friend, we can make void God’s Word by doing any one of the four things discussed in the aforesaid article. Let us not be guilty of violating or repudiating the Word of the living God.

- Bob Spurlin, the "horizontal" preacher, has been bedridden with Multiple Sclerosis for a number of years, yet continues to faithfully serve his Lord through a number of avenues, most notably his writing.  In addition to his website, http://www.bobspurlin.com/, you may contact Bob via his email: prechteach@aol.com (©2000-2007 BOB SPURLIN).

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Nuggets and Quick Riches
-    misc. goodies this issue

The Prodigal Son

A Bible school class had been studying about the prodigal son. The teacher gave a quiz to see how well they understood the parable. She asked one youngster, “Who was sorry when the prodigal son came home?”  The boy gave it a lot of thought, then said, “It was probably the fatted calf.”

- via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Dongola church of Christ, Dongola, IL.  Gerald Cowan serves the congregation as minister.  He may be contacted at Geraldcowan1931@aol.com

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A Little Perspective

Pythagorean Theorem: 24 words
The Lord’s Prayer: 66 words
Archimedes’ Principle: 67 words
The Ten Commandments: 179 words
The Gettysburg Address: 286 Words
Declaration of Independence : 1,300 words
U.S. Government regulations on the sale of cabbage: 26,911 words

Enough said!

- via The Lantern, Highway church of Christ, Sullivan, IL  Visit their website as www.highwaycofc.com

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Four Things You Can Do With Your Hands

1. Wring them in despair.
2. Fold them as if there were nothing to do.
3. Clench them in anger.
4. Find a place where they fit in the work of the Lord and


- BULLETIN DIGEST;  - via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  Lance Cordle preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com

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Keep The Fork

     There was a woman who had been diagnosed with cancer and had been given 3 months to live. Her doctor told her to start making preparations to die (something we all should be doing all of the time). So she contacted her preacher and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.  She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what she wanted to be wearing. The woman also told her preacher that she wanted to be buried with her favorite Bible.

     Everything was in order and the preacher was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. “There’s one more thing,” she said excitedly. “What’s that?” came the preacher's reply. “This is very important,” the woman continued. “I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.”

     The preacher stood looking at the woman not quite knowing what to say. “That shocks you, doesn’t it?” the woman asked. “Well to be honest, I’m puzzled by the request,” said the preacher. The woman explained, “In all my years of attending church socials and functions where food was involved, my favorite part was when whoever was clearing away the dishes of the main course would lean over and say ‘you can keep your fork.’ It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming. When they told me to keep my fork, I knew that something great was about to be given to me. It wasn’t Jell-O or pudding. It was cake or pie. Something that was really sweet. So I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, ‘What's with the fork?’ Then I want you to tell them: ‘Something better is coming so keep your fork, too.’”

     The preacher's eyes were welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman goodbye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of heaven than most people did. She KNEW that something better was coming.

     At the funeral people were walking by the woman’s casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over the preacher heard the question “What’s with the fork?”

     And over and over he smiled. During his message, the preacher told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The preacher told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you oh so gently that there is something better coming. Keep your fork. The best is yet to come.

- Selected; via the weekly bulletin of the Harrisburg church of Christ in Harrisburg, IL.  Edd Sterchi serves as one of the congregation's ministers.  He may be contacted at sterchi@midwest.net   You may visit their website at www.harrisburgchurchofchrist.org

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

"Knowledgeable" Fool!

I'm sorry to say, but from observation
Education brings: a lack of humiliation...
And God uses the "foolish" the wise to confound
Those strange, odd, and peculiar: most unprofound
To most brilliant minds, Hell's a "myth"
Quoting some, "Who gives a rip!"
("Ever learning, and never able"
To distinguish between "fact," and that which is "fable")
Don't get me wrong, I'm for learnin'
But math and geography don't bring "discernment"
There IS one Book that I recommend
To my enemies and my friends
Information that can tell:
How to get to Heaven, and bypass Hell!
It's the ONLY Book on earth
That is God's Book and the more you read
The more upon it you'll want to feed!
It's addicting I will warn!
But guarantee: it will not harm!
Seems as though the most "educated"
For some odd reason despise and hate it...
And while commendable, they may keep the "Golden Rule"
Without Jesus, they'll end up in Hell: a "knowledgeable" fool!

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Philippians 4:19

God shall supply, all your need supply,
Ask not how, nor question why;
All you need, whate’er it be,
All the need you cannot see.
Need for grace to conquer sin,
Need for power to fight, to win,
Need for patience everyday,
Need for trust when dark the way.
Need for strength to bear each pain,
Need for cleansing from each stain,
Need for love to make life sweet,
Need for charity complete.
Need for pardon for each fall,
Need for mercy most of all
Need for grace to live or die . . .
God shall all your need supply.
- Sword Scrapbook, No. 2; via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  Lance Cordle preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com

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The Word of God

Feelings come and feelings go,
And feelings are deceiving;
My warrant is the Word of God
Naught else is worth believing.
I’ll trust in God’s unchanging Word
Till souls and body sever;
For though all things shall pass away,
His word will live forever
- Selected, via the weekly bulletin of the Harrisburg church of Christ in Harrisburg, IL.  Edd Sterchi serves as one of the congregation's ministers.  He may be contacted at sterchi@midwest.net   You may visit their website at www.harrisburgchurchofchrist.org

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So Be It!
by: J. Randal Matheny

  "His work was immensely popular during his
  time and is still today, although some modern
  critics consider him too sentimental."
  --Written of H.W. Longfellow

If justice and hope are dangerous tools,
And dealers in joy, sentimental fools;
  If faith to achieve
  Makes one naive,
So be it!

If one enamored with the stars
Should be locked up behind bars,
  If far-out dreams
  Are outlandish schemes,
So be it!

The critic's quick to cut and bite
The positive poet from his towered height,
  If he turns his nose
  In huffy prose,
So be it!

I'll walk beneath the spreading limbs,
I'll say my prayers and sing my hymns.
  If God offends
  My closest friends,
So be it!

If shouts of gladness do not please,
That threatening naysayers want to seize;
  If a Bible verse
  Is another's curse,
So be it!

I'd give a glimpse of a better peace,
So all could join in sweet release,
  Surrendering cares
  By sending up prayers.
So be it!

But the way to life is hard and strait,
Not many will enter the godly gate;
  But come with me,
  And we'll find three.
So be it!

- J. Randal Matheny, missionary and minister, is the publisher of Uplift, an on-line and e-mail devotional.  He may be contacted through this website: http://randalmatheny.com/doku.php?id=uplift
When reprinting this material, please be sure to include the following:  Copyright (c) 2006 J. Randal Matheny All rights reserved. You may forward the email to friends as is. You may not alter it in any way or remove any text or attributions.

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

The difference between reading and study is the difference between eating and digesting.  (Ray Duffey, an elder at the Jackson church of Christ, Jackson, MO)


If your lips would keep from slips, five things observe with care: Of whom you speak, to whom you speak, and how and when and where.

The man that puts God first in money matters usually puts Him first in every matter. The rich are not always Godly...but the Godly are always rich.

- Bulletin Digest; via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  Lance Cordle preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com


Learn from the mistakes of others. You won’t live long enough to make all of them yourself.
Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake every time you repeat it.

- via The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Dongola church of Christ, Dongola, IL.  Gerald Cowan serves the congregation as minister.  He may be contacted at Geraldcowan1931@aol.com


"Few delights can equal the presence of one whom we trust utterly." (G. McDonald)

"Action is the proper fruit of knowledge." (Thomas Fuller)

BEING "QUICK TO HEAR": Always listen to the opinions of others.  It probably won't do you any good, but it will them.

- via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted at - ron33dor@yahoo.com   You may also visit their website at www.arthurchurchofchrist.com


To grow tall spiritually, a man must first learn to kneel.

- via The Lantern, Highway church of Christ, Sullivan, IL  Visit their website as www.highwaycofc.com


Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery.  Today is a gift.  That's why they call it "the present."

"A good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help another up."

"Don't tell God how big the storm is.  Tell the storm how big God is."
To prevent truth decay, study your Bible.