BulletinGold #99
March 2009   Vol 9 #1

----by David Bragg
    Preparation for one's life vocation is very important.  Whatever career is chosen, the Bible discusses a complete program for a successful life.  It serves as a pattern for all of humanity.  Below is a brief outline of this training for success.
    Mental Growth.  Every trade demands instruction in the skills necessary to succeed.  To survive in a trade one must be able to perform those skills to the satisfaction of the employer or patrons.
    Physical Growth.  Maturity is a must to succeed in the adult world.  The sophisticated business world of today is no place for the immature and childish.  Strength, stamina and drive, traits that come with age and experience, are essential.
    Social Growth.  To prosper in the marketplace requires a certain amount of the social graces.  Although manners are not universally practiced in this sometimes crude modern world, the successful are often the well-liked.
    Spiritual Growth.  Ethics are still vital in the professional realm.  Often belittled or scoffed at, the good do not finish last.  Any financial success is degraded without the high values of God.
    This issue of BulletinGold will address essential qualities needed to succeed in this modern world while also enjoying the ultimate success of divine approval at the final judgment.  Not only must these traits be personally embraced, they must also be taught to the children who will be the leaders of tomorrow.  The Bible offers a program of training for success that is tested and proven.  It will succeed because this was the training of Jesus (Luke 2:52).

David Bragg, co-editor

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Panning for Gold
- Feature Articles:  

Parents, Protect Your Children!

by: Carl Mitchell

    In a beautiful, poetic statement in the Psalms, we read, “Righteousness and peace have kissed each other" (85:10). The thought conveyed is that these wonderful qualities go together. I believe that is the nature of God’s word—such an affinity exists among its great virtues that one seems to lead naturally to others on a continuously ascending scale.
    This is also true of evil. We could very well apply this principle to today—”New Ageism and postmodernism have kissed each other.”
    These Satan-inspired philosophies are everywhere around us. They travel well in the same company, not that they are the same in all their contents, but they are very much alike in their  basic attitudes toward the absence of absolute truth, their centering upon the individual rather than God as the seat of authority and in their scorn of a final judgment according to Holy Scripture.
    Parents should be alert to the powerful thrusts that various forms of media offer these “kissing companions.” The film industry, television, popular magazines and plethora of books feature these unholy companions.
    If you think those pushing the “New Age” philosophy are silent, go to a bookstore to see the abundant choices featuring channeling, messages from angels, guided imagery, meditation, the benefits of hallucinogenic drugs, psychic powers, works regarding “Mother Earth”” (Gaia), reincarnation and much more. Better yet, consult a good source of      information about the negative impact this movement is having, such as Douglas Groothuis’ Jesus in an Age of Controversy (Harvest House, 1996).
    New Age and postmodern philosophies are being propagated through entertainment. Their “buzz words” have infiltrated our education system. At a time when frightened screams accompany any reference to God, the Bible, or Christian faith in the public schools, these religions and philosophies appear welcome.
    What can parents do to protect their children from such a culture that promotes such worldly views? First, we must realize that we can count on God blessing our efforts for good. Second, we must be aware that the picture I have just painted is not imaginary—our culture is rapidly changing as a result of these influences. In fact, George Barna’s Index of Leading Spiritual Indicators (Word Publishing, 1996) shows that:
¨ Almost 25 percent of adults surveyed believe in a New Age-type god who will reveal himself through culturally developed religions;
¨ 11 percent see God as a “state of higher consciousness”;
¨ 3 percent believe every person constitutes god;
¨ 8 percent see god as the final consummation of human development;
¨ 8 percent believe that the future can be seen through astrology.
Parents must educate their children in the great truths of the Bible—God’s plan to send Jesus, his incarnation, life, teaching, redemptive sacrifice for sin and resurrection. They must teach them about Christian living, divine help, the second coming, judgment, heaven and hell.
    They should share their conversion stories.   They must  understand that they are in a life-and-death struggle with Satan for the destiny of their children and that there is too much at stake to depend on Sunday school, Christian schools, VBS, or summer camp to equip them for the battle.
    Parents must give the best they have to direct the souls of their children to the God who created them and who desires to live with them eternally.

- Church & Family,  Summer, 2005; Church & Family, Summer, 2005; 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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Parents Have To Live It
by: Alan Smith

     At one point during a game, the coach said to one of his young players,  "Do you understand what cooperation is and what teamwork is all about?"  The little boy nodded in the affirmative.
     "Do you understand that what really matters is not whether we win or lose, but that we play together as a team?"  The little boy nodded yes.
     "Good," the coach continued.  "And, when a strike is called, or you're thrown out at first, you don't argue, curse, attack the umpire with a bat, or throw dirt in the opposing team members' faces.  Do you understand all that?"
     Again the little boy nodded, "Well, sure, coach.  That's what you taught us."
     "Good," said the coach.  "Now, please go over there and explain all that to your mother."
     I've been to a few Little League games when the above conversation needed to take place!  It's sad to see parents who act in an irresponsible manner because you know that they are teaching their children (and others' children) to behave in a similar manner.
     God has given those of us who are parents an awesome responsibility -- not only to teach our children what is right, but to live in such a way that they can see that we are willing to practice what we've been teaching them to do.
      Moses told the parents of Israel to take the laws which God had given them and "teach them diligently to your children...." (Deut. 6:7).  But before telling parents to do that, he warned them:  "Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it...." (Deut. 6:3).
     Before we can teach a love of God and others to our children, it must be in our own hearts.  May God bless those of you who are parents as you strive to do just that.  May your life be so filled with a desire to follow God that your children will be open to hear all that you have to say to them.
     Have a great day!

- Alan Smith, author of the popular "Thought For Today," and minister for the White House church of Christ in White House, TN, may be contacted at alansmith.servant@gmail.com

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How Can Parents Best Help Their Children to Love and Worship God?
by: David P. Brown

     Much time and hard work is required to properly train children. For this reason many parents are failing in their duty to help children love and worship God. For several generations, parents have not trained their children. Selfish and lazy parents who are not willing to put forth the effort and make the sacrifices necessary to train children are the primaryreasons for the sad state of affairs children find themselves in today. Parents want their children “out of their hair” at all costs. Play and entertainment have replaced a responsible attitude in the lives of parents. Lazy parents do not want to face the conflicts that arise when proper training procedures of children take place. An incorrect definition of grace and love on the part of parents has also condoned and propagated permissiveness.
    Reproductive power is a glorious gift from God (Gen. 1:27-28), but it does not automatically make good parents and ensure good children. To help children love and worship God is one of the greatest challenges parents face. With this in mind and with the limited space to answer the question posed by the title, I will affirm that the greatest help parents can provide for their children in loving and worshiping God is to teach them the proper attitude toward and response to spiritual authority (Col. 3:17).
     God is the ultimate in love and authority (1 John 4:8; Psa. 47:2; 83:18; 115:31). Parents must first therefore, be willing to respond to God's love and commandments in their own lives before they can be the proper help to their children in doing the same. There must first be the proper standard to guide the home (Rom. 13:1; 2 Tim. 3:15; Deu. 6:6-7; Pro. 22:6). Again the parents must live by this standard before they can expect their children to. Twenty times in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles, when kings are mentioned it is recorded “and his mother was” or “he walked in the ways of his father.” Parents must, therefore, train, nurture, and admonish their children by the infallible standard, the Scriptures (Pro. 1:8; Eph. 6:4; 1 Tim. 1:5). This is a much neglected principle. Does the child see his parents studying the Bible? Do they know the joy of having their parents talk with them about what the Bible teaches?
    Children must be taught to respect authority. This begins with children learning to obey their parents (Eph. 6:1). Nothing is much more unbecoming and sinful than children left to their own way. The child not taught to obey his parents will be a problem in every facet of society. Parents are to see their children comply with correct rules and principles.  Training has not taken place unless children are caused to submit to parental authority (1 Sam. 3:13; Gen. 18:10; Jos. 24:15). Discipline, both preventive and corrective, must be practiced if godly parents are to have the respect they deserve. A part of this discipline is
chastisement. The following verses should be diligently studied and obeyed: 1 Samuel 7:14, Proverbs 13:24,49:48, 22:15, Hebrews 12:6-7. If children are to grow up into responsible, God-fearing adults, it will be when parents have helped by training their children to respond correctly to properly constituted and scriptural authority (Psa. 47:2; 83:18; 115:3; Dan. 4:34-35; Rom. 9:20-21). Paul commanded, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God" (Rom. 13:1).
    Parents must note Exodus 20:11, Deuteronomy 27:16, Proverbs 30:17, Matthew 15:4, 20:11, Ephesians 6:2-3. Why should parents expect their children to love and submit to the authority of Christ when they were not trained to love and submit to the authority of their parents?

- David P. Brown, Spring, TX; via the Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere church of Christ, Belvedere, SC.  Ken Chumbley preaches for this congregation, and he may be contacted at their website: http://www.belvederechurchofchrist.org or e-mail: church@belvederechurchofchrist.org

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by: Stan Mitchell

    A FRIEND OF mine tells of the day he went with a group of people to a nursing home, to the ward that cares for those suffering from Alzheimer’s...
    Most of the residents were, to put it as kindly as possible, no longer there. Their stares were vacant, their memory as empty as a Montana prairie. They remembered nothing, knew no one, not even themselves. It was a heartbreaking experience.
    What could the visitors do? What could they say? Because they didn’t know what to talk about, they sang hymns – “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” and “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know.”
    And something astonishing happened. These elderly people began to sing along! Silver heads perked up, feathery thin voices were raised in song. Apparently the earliest childhood memories are the very last to go, and these poor victims of this dreadful disease remembered the songs they sang in Sunday school. Their oldest memories, dating to before the Fireside Chats, before the Waffen SS, before that street in New York crashed – these memories still lit these otherwise dark minds!
    And they say that children don’t learn anything!
    Of course “they” must have never had a child. Children are high fidelity microphones, picking up every breath, every inflection, every tone they hear. When parents quarrel, they know; when ladies use language that once made sailors blush, they hear; when voices are raised in honor of an incomparable God, the sound and the words lodge deeply in the memory.
    Tell an adult that God is right here, in our midst, and he will scoff. Tell a child, and he will say, “OK.” Tell an adult that he should forgive his brother, and he will set his face in stone and intone, “Never!” Tell a child to forgive his brother, and in moments they will be lost in their play again.
    The Teacher said it best: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).
We behave as if children are a barrier to worship, that their squirming and shuffling gets in the way of our time with God. Contrast this attitude with that of Jesus, who drew them into the very center of his activities. The disciples said, “send them away.” Jesus said, “bring them to me!”
    Will you bring your children?
    All of which makes me determined that we will put in our children’s memories things of substance, pieces of our spiritual heritage that have stood the test of time.
    You see, the real tragedy is not when an Alzheimer’s victim forgets his childhood, but when a society forgets its conscience.
     “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).
- Stan Mitchell at http://www.forthright.net/   Mike Benson edits an on-line devotional entitled KneEmail.  To subscribe, send ANY message to: kneemail-subscribe@welovegod.org  Mike may be contacted at mlbenson@wowway.com

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“Put yer Heart into it sun”
by: Shane Robinson

    I used to work with one of the “countriest” people you could ever meet. He was a smart and excellent friend. Although our backgrounds were completely opposite, we worked together very well. One Friday, in late January, he taught me a lesson I would never forget.
    We were working in Nashville Tennessee. We had to finish our job before we traveled 2 and ½ hours back home. It was about 15 degrees outside and it had been drizzling “freezing rain” all day. My coveralls were frozen (literally), my hat had icicles hanging off the bill, but worst of all, my feet were cold. I was ready to “call it quits,” go home, and finish the job on Monday. One problem, our boss wanted the job done yesterday (if you know what I mean). I told my buddy, “I just cannot go on any farther, I am cold and I am tired.” He replied, “put yer heart into it sun, we aint never gonna go home if you don’t.”
    It was then that I realized I had been focusing on the obstacles surrounding me and not on the goal that was set before me. Sure it was cold, sure I wanted to go home, but that was not helping the job at hand, and if I didn’t “put my heart into it,” I was never going to win the prize (going home). It is amazing what we can accomplish when we “put our hearts into it.” After I put my heart into it, and got serious, it wasn’t any time at all until the job was finished and I was sitting in the warm truck on my way home.
    Christians have a race to run (Hebrews 12:1-2). There is only one path (Matthew 7:14), and only one way to reach the goal (John 14:6). Will there be obstacles in our path? You better believe it (Ephesians 6:16; 1 Peter 4:8). We must not get side-tracked with any obstacles that come across our path (James 4:7). The key is to focus on the “race set before us,” “put our hearts into it,” and “look to Jesus” who is at the finish line cheering us on to win the prize…going home (John 14:1-3)!!!

- Shane Robinson preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:  http://lhcoc.org/

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Nuggets and Quick Riches
-    misc. goodies this issue

A Prescription For You

 If you are impatient, sit down quietly and talk with Job.
If you are strong headed, go see Moses.
If you are getting weak-kneed, take a good look at Elijah.
If there is no song in your heart, listen to David.
If you are a policy man, read Daniel.
If you are getting morbid, spend a while with Isaiah.
If you are chilly, get the beloved disciple to put his arms around you.
If your faith is weak, read Paul.
If you are getting lazy, watch James.
If you are losing sight of the future, climb up the stairs of Revelation and get a glimpse of the promised land.

- 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

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Ten Commandments For Teen-Agers

1. Don't let your parents down, they brought you up (Ephesians 6:1-4).
2. Be humble enough to obey, you may give orders some day (Matthew
3. Choose companions with care; you may become what they are
    (1 Corinthians 15:33).
4. Choose only a date who would make a good mate (Colossians 3:1).
5. Guard your thoughts; what you think, you are (Proverbs 23:7).
6. Be master of your habits, or they will master you (Romans 6:16).
7. Don't be a show-off when you drive; drive with safety so you arrive
    (Proverbs 16:18).
8. Don't let the crowd pressure you.  Stand for something, or you=ll fall
    for anything (Exodus 23:2).
9. Go to church services faithfully; make the week's first steps the church
    building steps (Hebrews 10:25).
10. To Christ always be true; He gave His all for you (Titus 2:11-14).

 - Selected; - via the weekly bulletin of the Harrisburg church of Christ in Harrisburg, IL.  You may visit their website at http://www.harrisburgchurchofchrist.org

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Good Trade!

     My husband, two-month-old daughter and I were flying to Kansas for a family wedding and met up with my father on a connecting flight. He was sitting in business class and felt guilty because we were in coach.
      To compensate, Dad made his way to the back of the plane after take-off, bringing with him some first-class goodies and taking my fidgety daughter up front with him for a few minutes. Just then a woman behind me, who had seen the whole thing, leaned forward and asked, “Did you just trade that baby for a couple of packs of pretzels and some cookies?”

- Reader’s Digest, August, 1997, p. 139, contributed by Jennifer L. Daugherty; via The Lantern, Highway church of Christ, Sullivan, IL  Visit their website as http://www.highwaycofc.com

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Memos From Your Child

Don’t spoil me. I know quite well that ought not to have all that I ask for—I’m only testing you.
Don’t be afraid to be firm with me. I prefer it; it makes me feel more secure.
Don’t let me form bad habits.  I have to relay on you to detect them in the early stages.
Don’t make me feel smaller than I am. It only makes me behave stupidly “big.”
Don’t protect me from consequences. I need to learn the painful way sometimes.
Don’t take too much notice of my small ailments. Sometimes they get me the attention I want.
Don’t nag. If you do I shall have to protect myself by appearing deaf.
Don’t tax my honesty too much.  I am easily frightened into  telling lies.
Don’t be inconsistent. That completely confuses me and makes me lose faith in you.
Don’t put me off when I ask questions. If you do you will find that I will stop asking and seek my information elsewhere.
Don’t forget that I can’t thrive without lots of understanding and love—but I don’t need to tell you, do I?

- presented by Harvey Colter,  Sunnybrook Children’s Home; 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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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

A Father's Prayer

A teardrop crept into my eye as I knelt on bended knee;
Next to a gold haired tiny lad whose age was just past three.
He prayed with such simplicity APlease make me big and strong,
Just like Daddy, don=t you see? Watch o=er me all night long.@

AJesus, make me tall and brave, like my Daddy next to me.@
This simple prayer he prayed tonight filled my heart with humility.
As I heard his voice so wee and small offer his prayer to God,
I thought these little footsteps someday my path may trod!

Oh, Lord, as I turn my eyes above and guidance ask from Thee;
Keep my walk ever so straight for the little feet that follow me.
Buoy me when I stumble, and lift me when I fail,
Guard this tiny bit of boy as he travels down life=s trail.

Make me what he thinks I am is my humble gracious plea
Help me ever be the man this small lad sees in me!

- James C. Guy, Canal Heights church of Christ, in Demopolis, Alabama.  He may be contacted at THE BIBLE SAYS website at: http://biblesays.faithsite.com

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by: Lisabeth Foster

Hospitality is growing up,
Hospitality is being kind,
Hospitality is enjoying people,
Hospitality is sharing,
Hospitality is courage, and
Hospitality is anonymous.
Without hospitality, what have we?
With hospitality, what can we ever lack?

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Father's Advice
by: James E. Laird

My dad and I, long years ago, were walking down the street,
When suddenly a little dog came yelping 'round our feet.
He snapped and snarled so viciously -- that angry little pup
Appeared to me as though he thought he could eat us up.
I turned and threw some stones at him, which always missed the mark,
But when I tried to drive him off, the louder he would bark.

"Now, my son," my father said to me, "just plod along your way.
Don't turn your head for yelping dogs. Remember what I say!
You'll noticed if you pay no heed to him and hold your peace,
That little dog will soon grow tired and all his noise will cease.
But every time you stamp your foot and shout to him; 'Begone,'
you show that he's annoying, and keep him following on.

"It takes a dog to fight a dog! Post that above your shelf!
When canines come and snarl at you, don't be a dog yourself.
And later, when you're older grown, and petty men attack,
Don't stoop to pick up stones to throw, don't try to answer back;
Just walk right on and pay no heed to anything they say,
And soon they'll give it up and turn and run away.

"It is a very ancient dodge those petty minds employ,
They say that gods first angry make the man whom they destroy.
And little dogs and little men who snarl behind your back
Will only snarl the louder if you answer their attack:
And they'll have done the very thing they started out to do;
If, being yellow dogs themselves, they make one out of you!"

- James E. Laird, via Gospel Digest, December, 1959

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Love is Never Silent
by: Natalie Hope Rallis

A loving heart, a gentle smile,
a warm and tender touch,
We give so many things in life
but nothing means as much.
A little inspiration
when someone loses hope,
A kind word of encouragement
when they no longer seem to cope.
A simple phrase, " I love you"
when no one else is there,
Taking hold onto a hand
in a little heartfelt prayer.
"Love is Never Silent,"
It has so much to say,
And it is our greatest blessing
when we give it all away.

-- Natalie Hope Rallis; Submitted by Mark McWhorter.  Mark may be contacted at mtmcvb@concentric.net

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

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 as http://www.highwaycofc.com

If you don't laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you’re old.
What you do not understand, treat with reverence and be patient, and what you do understand, cherish and keep (Augustine of Hippo).

- 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

You are younger right now than you will be ever be.
You can keep folks from having a bad opinion of you, but you can keep them from being right about it.
There’s trouble in the home when mother is a soft voice and father is a soft touch.

We teach more by what we are than by what we say and do.
The cooing may stop when the honeymoon is over, but the billing will probably go on forever.
- 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

The sanctity of marriage and the family relation make the corner-stone of our American society and civilization (James A. Garfield)

Vows made in storms are forgotten in calms.

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