BulletinGold #87
March 2008   Vol 8
#1
 


Editorial
----by David Bragg

His father's image may have been reflected in Timothy’s physical appearance.  It is not unusual for the son’s face or stature to resemble that of the father.  The son may have even mimicked his father’s mannerisms.  The father may have given his name to the boy who so quickly grew to manhood, but it doesn't take much of a man to give those things.  Eunice taught Timothy how to live (2 Tim. 1:5).  She introduced him to a loving God and molded his heart by divine truths (2 Tim. 3:15).  It was at her knees that he learned right from wrong, to respect God and to serve others.

Timothy grew, thanks to his mother, to be respected by all who knew him (Acts 16:1-2).  Paul immediately saw in him the spark of a servant carefully kindled under a mother's loving touch.  God must have beamed with pride as Timothy, like His own Son, became a minister.

Meanwhile Timothy's father is noticeably absent.  It is as if his contributions ended at birth.  Did Timothy ever know the love that must have resided in his father's heart?  Could his father appreciate the man Timothy had become?  Was this man, shrouded in a world Timothy chose not to share, the one who planted in a young heart the fear that would dog him as an adult (1 Tim. 5:12)?

Think of the great strides Timothy enjoyed for the cause of Christ through the investment of his mother.  Imagine how much greater Timothy's achievements for good could have been had his father had filled the role, in God’s service, that he alone could fill. 

As we being the eighth volume of BulletinGold our thoughts return to the always relevant theme of the family.  Each of the items below will reflect on this timely subject, some from the viewpoint of the child, others from that of the parent or even the grandparent.  Throughout this issue you will be reminded just how powerfully God can work through our families if only we, through obedience, will allow Him.  Timothy was a great servant of God, but he would have undoubtedly been even more effective as a minister had his earthly father really been to him a real, spiritually-minded father.

David Bragg, co-editor
http://davebragg.blog.com/

__________________________via BulletinGold

Panning for Gold
- Feature Articles:  


Everyone Needs Three Fathers

by: Gerald Cowan

     Think with me as we focus on fathers, with a glance at mothers as well, paying special attention to the three fathers every person needs.

      Everyone needs a natural bio-logical father. Reproductive abilities of men and women are abused today in ways that must be called contrary to nature, violation of God’s design and purpose. In vitro fertilization is common. Genetic engineering is within reach. Cloning is probably not far away. These things are not only contrary to nature, they are contrary to God. Those who do them are not “correcting nature” but are “playing God.” God did not intend for children to born without a father. Those who cannot have their own natural children can adopt.

     Everybody also needs a proper father figure. A father is an example of authority and responsibility given, accepted, and applied. The family is to be patriarchal, not matriarchal. The husband and father is the head of his whole family. Every child deserves adequate provision for his physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. In the absence of a biological father the child needs a father figure to follow, and it must be a man. A stepfather can serve. A male relative can serve if there is no one else. Adoptive fathers can be a wonderful blessing. Foster fathers are also a blessing, but the problem is, they are often temporary. The one male who cannot be a proper father figure is the “live in boy friend.” I suppose it is fair to say that not all children appreciate their father, but that does not change the fact that they need one who functions well.

     Everybody needs a proper relationship with the Heavenly Father, God. He was the Father/Creator of the physical bodies of Adam and Eve. But that isn’t true for us. Our bodies were produced by parents.  God is “the Father of our spirits.”  He is also the Father who adopted us into His family – adoption makes us in some ways more special than any “natural children” of God could be.

     He is the perfect “father figure” too.

     Without a biological father we would not exist. Without a proper father figure we might not know how we ought to live. But without a Heavenly Father your prospects for life after death would be terrifying. The only way to have God as your Heavenly Father is to choose Him.
 
- Gerald Cowan preaches for the Dongola church of Christ in Dongola, IL.  He may be contacted at geraldcowan1931@aol.com

__________________________via BulletinGold


Shacked Up Couples
by: John Gipson

   When I turned on my computer this morning I was greeted with an item which said, “Turns out getting married is becoming downright old-fashioned. Shacked up couples now outnumber those who’ve tied the knot.”
   
   Woes to those unmarried couples who have financial quarrels over rent, utilities, credit cards, etc., and show up before “Judge Judy.” In no uncertain terms she will tell them that if they don’t have a marriage license our courts have made no provision to settle such disputes, and they are on their own.
   
   Does it seem to you that we are getting to the point in our society where the difference between right and wrong is either not discerned or else willfully ignored?
   
   Or consider the overt promotion of homosexuality. Has some law been passed that requires every TV show to have at least a token homosexual? We must have “tolerance,” our society says.
   
   Those who offer objections are immediately branded with a sneer as “Fundamentalists.” Yet fundamentals are absolutely imperative today. Athletes who ignore fundamentals make for losing teams. In fact, mastering the fundamentals is absolutely necessary in any discipline.
   
   As a nation we enjoy the benefits of Christianity while tending to reject the source of those benefits. In the words of Richard Halverson, “like parasites we are feeding on lingering blessings produced by the spiritual leadership and dedication of earlier generations; the blessings are fading, ethical and moral levels decline toward the increasingly degenerate society.” We want to sow to the wind without realizing that we will reap the whirlwind.
   
   An ancient prophet warned, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). Will we be wise enough to heed his warning?

— John Gipson; via The Family Friend, a monthly newsletter published by the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  It is an excellent resource for articles relating to the family.  To learn more consult the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com

__________________________via BulletinGold


What To Leave Your Children?
by: Bob Spurlin

My son and daughter-in-law have presented us with our first grandchild, a granddaughter, “Laney Rose Spurlin,” on January 8th of 2008. A friend sent me word last week that he and his wife were expecting their third child later this year. It is a wonderful blessing to be presented with a child from almighty God. The writer of the Psalms said, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is its reward” (Psa. 127:3). We have observed that "children are an heritage of the Lord," which means God has loaned us our children for a short time. We must make the best of this limited amount of time to prepare the path for our children and grandchildren. Let us consider the following:

Jesus told the Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32. It would be profitable for us to know that according to Jewish law given in Deut 21:17, one-third of a father's estate went to the younger son, while the remaining two-thirds went to the older son. Background study reveals that the sons could demand and receive their inheritance while the father was still living. Freedom of parental restraints led some sons to take their portion and leave home just as the prodigal son did.  

We have the responsibility to leave the following for our children and grandchildren:

1. A GOOD NAME. My parents use to tell us, "remember who you are and the name you bear wherever you go.” To leave our children a good name is of paramount importance. The wise-man said, "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold" (Proverbs 22:1). Solomon also stated, "A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth" (Ecc. 7:1).  

The good name we wear will have doors of opportunity opened to them in various fields of endeavor. We should want our children and grandchildren to wear the name Christian! Luke writes, "And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch" (Acts 11:26). A good name, once lost, is difficult to get back. Let us be cognizant of the name we wear, both the physical and spiritual name, and preserve it at all costs.  

2. A CHRISTIAN HOME.  To leave our children the presence of a Christian home is one of the most valuable gifts that may be passed on to our offspring. When the prodigal son sat brokenhearted in a pigsty, he had been stripped of everything except his memories of home (Luke 15:17-22). We have often heard the expression, "Distance makes the heart grow fonder." The prodigal son learned that things at home were not nearly as bad as originally thought.

There is not a greater influence on earth that is superior to that of a Christian home. We would be hard pressed to leave our children something more valuable than the home, which hath foundations build upon God (Psalms 127:1-3). As time passes and our bodies have returned to the dust of the earth it will be most satisfying that we have left our children a wonderful heritage, the home.

3.  THE GIFT OF THE CHURCH. This glorious blood bought institution, the church, was conceived in the mind of God in the vastness of eternity (Eph. 3:10-11). The church has stood the time of prophetic utterances (Isaiah 2:2-3; Daniel 2:44; Joel 2:28-32; Mt. 3:2, 16:18). To see these great passages fulfilled in Acts chapter 2, on the first Pentecost day following the resurrection of Christ, confirms the divinity of God's plan. Christ's shed blood punctuates the purchase price of the church, making it the object of God's love (Mt. 26:28; John 19: 34, 30; 3:16; Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:7);

One of the amazing gifts to pass on to our children and grandchildren is the legacy of the church of Jesus Christ (Rom. 16:16). Bear in mind the church is not ours to pass on, but rather it comes from the Creator of all things (Gen. 1:1; John 1:1-4; Eph. 5:25-27). God is the author of the church, and we have the responsibility as Christians to teach these holy and impressive truths to all, especially to our loved ones.

4.  THE PLAN OF SALVATION. One of the memories that remains near and dear to my heart is reciting the plan of salvation, which was often repeated in our home as a child. Reciting the five steps to salvation: (Hear) - Rom. 10:17; (Believe) - John 8:24; (Repent) - Lk. 13:3; (Confess) - Rom. 10:10; and (baptism) - Mk. 16:16. My siblings learned these five steps to become a Christian. This wonderful spiritual exercise used in our homes today will make better boys and girls in preparation for that heavenly home.       

- 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 (©2000-2006 BOB SPURLIN).

__________________________via BulletinGold


Goal-Setting and Your Family
by: Lance Cordle

A recent sermon on Philippians 3:13-14 by Jerrie Barber has gotten me to thinking. In the sermon, brother Barber emphasized the positive power of setting goals. He also gave five categories in which we can set those goals: Spiritual, Personal, Family, Health, and Financial.

Since family relationships affect all these areas, I thought it might be good to set these before us, and include possibilities that we can use. In fact, you may want to pick out some goals you can set individually. Then, either mark them on this sheet, or write them down on another sheet of paper and keep them before you all year. You might also make extra copies for your family members to allow them to use them personally, as you did. Finally, you might also consider the list as a family and set the family goals together.

Here are the areas and some possibilities. Remember, these are suggestions and possibilities. You do not have to implement them all, or all at once. Feel free to make some of your own.

Spiritual
  -Make sure that God is considered in every decision you make—and that He has first place in your life.
  -Read the Bible through in one year.
  -Read the Bible daily, with an emphasis on a variety of topics.
  -Study a specific Bible book or topic (maybe one per month or 3-4 over a period of twelve months).
  -Set aside a specific time for daily prayer.
  -Use Galatians 5:22-23 and/or 2 Peter 1:5-8 to measure your spiritual maturity and make a conscious effort to develop those traits in your life.
  -Set aside 5-10 minutes daily to dwell on spiritual things—the direction of the local congregation and your place in it; your influence on others; your daily walk with God, etc.
  -If you are not now in the practice, begin attending every worship/Bible study assembly of the saints.

Personal
  -Think of positive ways you can make an impact on someone else’s life, and begin to practice them:
    - Frequent “Thank you” notes.
    - Notes of encouragement.
    - Notes which address a problem between you and another person—maybe an apology, or at least acknowledgement of a problem and statement of a desire to work it out.
    - ”Missed You” notes to those who have been absent from worship assemblies.
    - Regular visits to hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, as well as visits to those “shut-in” at home.
    - Make an effort to talk to at least five people a day in a genuine, look-them-in-the-eye-I’m-interested-in-you-manner.
  -Make a list of books that you would like to read over the year and check each one off as it is completed.
  -Look back and remember your dreams of years gone by, and pick out two or three things (or more) that are still possible for you to achieve (college degree, a hobby, learning a language, etc.) and begin working toward at least one of them.
  -Go over your daily schedule and see if you can free up more time by scheduling tasks and completing them promptly.
  -Make time for leisure activity for yourself.

Family
  -Look at your role within the family (parent, spouse, child) and choose at least one area of that role in which you can improve and work to do so.
  -If you are married, read at least one book during the year about marriage.
  -If you are a parent, read at least one book during the year about parenting.
  -Subscribe to a magazine for families.
  -Plan and go on a family vacation.
  -Take short (day, 2-3 day) family trips to somewhere besides homes of extended family.
  -Decrease the amount of time the family watches TV.
  -Implement a family Bible-reading/devotional period.

Health
  -Begin a regular exercise program (vigorous exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week).
  -Have regular check-ups: physical, dental, and optical.
  -Make an effort to have a balanced diet.
  -If you are overweight, set reasonable goals, take reasonable time and attempt to lose weight—think of some way to reward yourself—a reward that does not involve food.
  -Read at least one book during the year on some health-related topic of interest.

Financial
  -Using the following biblical gauges, give weekly to the Lord:
    - According to your income (1 Cor. 16:2)
    - Generously (2 Cor. 8:7)
    - Sincerely (2 Cor. 8:5,8)
    - Willingly (2 Cor. 9:7)
  -Set up a retirement plan and contribute to it on a weekly or monthly basis.
  -If in debt, set up a workable plan to pay off the debt as soon as possible.
  -Set aside loose change and use the cash for items or activities you could not otherwise afford.
  -Set up a plan for Christmas-spending.
  -Establish a budget and follow it.
  -List specific ways you can conserve energy/save money and implement them daily (turn down thermostat; walk instead of driving short distances, etc.)

In dreaming and setting these goals, you will put yourself on the road to achieving them. You may not attain all of them, or even half of them. However, if you do reach some of them, you can use that success to build on in the future.

You may want the help of family members with some of your individual goals.  In fact, in areas like weight-loss and exercise, their help may be absolutely essential.

So go ahead: dream, make goals, assist your other family members with theirs.  I think  you will be glad at the end of the year.

—Lance Cordle, via The Family Friend, a monthly newsletter published by the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  It is an excellent resource for articles relating to the family.  To learn more consult the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com

__________________________via BulletinGold

Sibling Rivalry
by: Ray Wallace

   Dad has a great love for healthy competition, in sports, business, or any other arena. Healthy competition focuses the goal and sharpens the senses, as he liked to say. Healthy competition builds character and instills the traits of respect, evaluation, honesty, and camaraderie. What a great vehicle for learning, this “healthy competition!”
   
   It was a warm summer afternoon, just right for practicing baseball in the side lot my parents owned. But a light gray sky offered little in the way of contrast between sky and baseball! The lot was too small for actual batting/fielding practice, so Dad would hand throw “pop flies” high to give his boys practice judging the place we had to have our gloves as gravity and wind worked to undermine our best efforts.
   
   Actually, I had gotten fairly good, but not quite as good as Bill, my older brother. Then it happened. Somewhere between my growing (over) confidence and that gray sky, that white horsehide monster slipped just over my glove and whacked the bottom of my Adam’s apple! Gag, spit, cough, gasp, but not words! Dad did what he could but the best healer was time. The embarrassment was almost as bad as the dull ache in my throat.
   
   Hmmm—competition can also bring pain at times . . . but not always physical pain. Little league lore is replete with stories of screaming dads, embarrassed moms, and frustrated coaches—not examples of healthy competition. The challenge is to help the kids learn teamwork and how to be a good winner as well as a gracious loser. But in all those details, we must still learn the careful art of helping each of our children attain success in areas of their own ability. If a child sees no area in which he or she can excel, the result is most often the jealousy we call “sibling rivalry.”
   
   I speak not of healthy competition between siblings, but of a rivalry that turns to jealousy and threatens the very bond of brotherhood. Parents must address the subject of jealousy! Jealousy is a serious malady. Jealousy evolves into a disease that eats the spirit as cancer eats the body.
   
   A shock to most Christians is the reality of Romans 13:13-14 which places jealous in a short but heinous sin list. What can parents actually do? I’m glad you asked.
   
   The first thing to do is make sure you child has some area in which he or she can excel. Anything from homeruns, to touchdowns, to an “A” on the report card, to music, to cleaning up a room is a worthy target for praise. Once a child has found an area of expertise, he has an area in which he can “win.”
   
   Equally important is to praise each child genuinely. Praise builds confidence. Praise creates desire to keep trying. Praise wards off unhealthy rivalry and jealousy. Allowing each child a full measure of confidence not only guards against jealousy but also builds spiritual endurance. Hebrews 10:35, 36 says, “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.” (Confidence is a major building block of endurance!)
   
   With the reassurance of love, teach each child, individually, the ugliness of jealousy. Most Christians are dumbfounded to realize the significance of Romans 13:13-14. Most of us remember, “ . . . make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts,” from verse 14. But few remember that the last thing mentioned in verse 13 is “jealousy.”
   
   That’s a little scary! In this passage, God actually places jealousy parallel to some very distressing sins. Let’s read together:
“Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.”
   
  Whew… pretty heavy stuff! Jealousy is like adultery! We must learn to control it! When you as a parent begin to live out that reality in your own struggles with jealousy, your kids will begin to learn by example as well as words. You will hear them building up and encouraging one another rather than dealing in the dreaded “sibling rivalry” that is so destructive to the development of Christ-like character.
 
  Help them excel, praise them genuinely, reassure them lovingly and teach them individually. Help them discern the difference between ugly jealousy and healthy competition. Now, where did I put that baseball?       
 
- Ray Wallace; via The Family Friend, a monthly newsletter published by the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  It is an excellent resource for articles relating to the family.  To learn more consult the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com

__________________________via BulletinGold


Your Children Are Watching
by: Ruth Patterson

     What lessons are you teaching during the holiday season? Between Thanksgiving and Christmas everyone seems to be in a hurry. Time goes by too quickly for adults. Not so for children. To them it seems like the time will never come when school vacation will start, or when Grandma is coming to visit, or when they can open presents. To children the world moves at a much slower pace, so they are able to “see between the lines” of our actions.

      Do we put more emphasis on the doing than on the feeling? Is preparing dinner for everyone a chore, or a blessing when family members can get together? Is shopping for presents something that has to be done, or something we do out of love? Are presents the center of the season, or are loving and sharing the major components?

      While as Christians we are not commanded to celebrate the birth of Christ, many of us do celebrate Christmas, though not with any religious significance. There is nothing wrong with remembering the birth of our Savior, even during December. This is a good time to approach others with the Gospel, since they are already thinking about Jesus. Do our children see us sharing our faith, or do they see us as too busy to think of others? Are we “in the Christmas (Christian) spirit” of love and kindness, or does the hectic schedule make us grouchy?

      At this time of year we are reminded to “remember the needy.” This is all well and good, and with rising heating costs they may need more at this time of year. But, there are people in need all year long. Do you donate to charity? Do you volunteer your time to help those less fortunate? Do you talk about how fortunate your family is to have whatever it is that you have?

      If your actions were the only indication children had of how they should celebrate life, what would their perceptions be? The children around you are watching. What are you saying?
 
- Ruth Patterson is secretary & Sunday school teacher at the Church of Christ of Hinesville, GA.
[hnvlcofc@coastalnow.net].

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Nuggets and Quick Riches
-    misc. goodies this issue


12 Rules for a Happy Married Life

Never go to bed mad.
Never both be angry at once.
Never bring up a mistake of the past.
If you must criticize, do so lovingly.
Never meet without an affectionate welcome.
Neglect the whole world, rather than each other.
Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire.
When you’ve made a mistake, talk it out and ask forgiveness.
If you have a choice between making yourself or your mate look good—choose your mate.
Never let the day end without saying at least one complimentary thing to your life’s partner.
Yield to the wishes of the other as an exercise in self-discipline if you can’t think of a better reason.
Remember, it takes two to make an argument.  The one who is wrong is the one who will be doing most of the talking.

—Author Unknown, via The Family Friend, a monthly newsletter published by the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  It is an excellent resource for articles relating to the family.  To learn more consult the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com

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Kids In Church

3-year-old Reese:  "Our Father, Who does art in heaven, Harold is His name. Amen."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A little boy was overheard praying:  "Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it.  I'm having a real good time like I am."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
One particular four-year-old prayed, "And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A Sunday school teacher asked her children as they were on the way to church service, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?"
One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3.  The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake.  Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson.  "If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, 'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.'"
Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, "Ryan, you be Jesus!"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A father was at the beach with his children when the four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore where a seagull lay dead in the sand.  "Daddy, what happened to him?" the son asked.
"He died and went to Heaven," the Dad replied.
The boy thought a moment and then said, "Did God throw him back down?"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A wife invited some people to dinner.  At the table, she turned to their six-year-old son and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?"
"I wouldn't know what to say," the boy replied.
"Just say what you hear Mommy say," the wife answered.
The boy bowed his head and said, "Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"

- via e-mail

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When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking

 When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.
 When you thought I wasn’t looking, you fed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.
 When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me, and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.
 When you thought I wasn’t looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust in God.
 When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.
 When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing, and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don’t.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn’t feel good, and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw tears come from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it’s all right to cry.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I learned most of life’s lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.
When you thought I wasn’t looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, “Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.”
   
   (Written by a former child)

-via email, The Family Friend, a monthly newsletter published by the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  It is an excellent resource for articles relating to the family.  To learn more consult the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com

__________________________via BulletinGold


Definition Of “Home”

HOME - - A world of strife shut out.  A world of love shut in.

HOME - - The place where the small are great, and the great are small.

HOME - - The Father’s kingdom, the Mother’s world, the child’s paradise.

HOME - - The place where we grumble the most and are treated the best.

HOME - - The center of our affections, around which our heart’s best wish entwines.

HOME - - The place where stomachs get three square meals a day, and our hearts a thousand.

HOME - - The only place on earth where the faults and failings of humanity are hidden under the sweet mantle of charity.

- Author Unknown

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue


My Dad

He couldn’t speak before a crowd
He couldn’t teach a class
But when he came to Sunday School
He brought the folks in mass.

He couldn’t sing to save his life,
In public couldn’t pray;
But always his jalopy was just
Crammed on each Lord’s day.

And although he couldn’t sing,
Nor teach nor lead in prayer.
He listened well, he had a smile,
And he was always there
With all the others whom he brought
Who lived both far and near.
And God’s work prospered for
I had a consecrated dad.

- Author Unknown

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The Soul of a Child

The soul of a child is the loveliest flower
That grows in the garden of God,
Its climb is from weakness to knowledge and power,
To the sky from the clay and the clod.
To beauty and sweetness it grows under care,
Neglected, ‘tis ragged and wild,
‘Tis a plant that is tender, but wondrously rare—
The sweet, wistful soul of a child!

Be tender, O gardener, and give it its share
Of moisture, of warmth, and of light.
And let it not lack for thy painstaking care
To protect it from frost and from blight.
A glad day will come when its bloom shall unfold,
It will seem that an angel has smiled,
Reflecting a beauty and sweetness untold
In the sensitive soul of a child.

—Author Unknown, via The Family Friend, a monthly newsletter published by the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  It is an excellent resource for articles relating to the family.  To learn more consult the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com

__________________________via BulletinGold


Being A Grandmother

I like to walk with Grandma,
Her steps are short like mine.
She doesn’t say, “Now hurry up,”
She always takes her time.

I like to walk with Grandma,
Her eyes see things mine do.
Wee pebbles bright, a funny cloud,
Half hidden drops of dew.

Most people have to hurry,
They do not stop and see,
I’m glad that God made Grandmas
Unrushed and young like me!

- Unknown

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A Father’s Prayer

Dear God, my little boy of three
has said his nightly prayer to Thee;
Before his eyes were closed in sleep
he asked that Thou his soul would keep;
And I, still kneeling at his bed,
my hand upon his tousled head;
Do ask with deep humility,
that Thou dear Lord, remember me;
Make me, kind Lord, a worthy dad,
that I may lead this little lad
in pathways ever fair and bright
that I may keep his steps aright;
O God his trust must never be
destroyed or even marred by me;
So for the simple things he prayed
with childish voice so unafraid;
Dear Lord, kind Lord, remember me.

- Author Unknown

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

"A happy childhood is poor preparation for human contacts." (Colette)

I am determined that my children shall be brought up in their father's religion, if they can find out what it is.  (Charles Lamb)

One brow wrinkle is the result of 200,000 frowns.  (“Real Facts #168 Snapple bottle top)

“Be kind to unkind people—they need it the most.” (Anonymous)

“It is not the parts of the Bible I don’t understand that bother me. It’s the parts I do understand.”  (Mark Twain)

It only takes one counterfeit Christian to put all Christians under suspicion.

No two people are exactly alike, and probably both are glad of it.

One purpose of a wedding ring is to cut off your circulation.

Your day often goes the way the corners of your mouth turn.

- 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

Never comes mortal utterance so near to eternity as when a child utters words of loving praise to a mother. Every syllable drops into the jewel box of her memory to be treasured forever and ever. (George B. Lyon)

- via The Lantern, Highway church of Christ, Sullivan, IL  Visit their website at
http://www.highwaycofc.com

“Let us remember that, as much as has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as the lips, and shows itself in deeds.” (Theodore Roosevelt)

- 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

THE AVERAGE DURATION of an American marriage is now 9.4 years.

THE MOST NEGLECTED ability is that of being able to mind one’s own business.

SENSE OF HUMOR: What makes you laugh at something which would have made you mad if it had happened to you.

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few engage in it.” (Henry Ford)

- 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
http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com

Keep your head and your heart going in the right direction and you will not have to worry about your feet.

- 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
http://www.harrisburgchurchofchrist.org

__________________________via BulletinGol