BulletinGold #110
February 2010   Vol 9 #12
 

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BulletinGold #110
February 2010
Vol. 9 Num. 12
Editors:
David Bragg
Edward Thomason
BulletinGold
BulletinGold is published the first Sunday of each month to help Church of Christ bulletin editors and writers share Bible-based, doctrinal material for church bulletins and Christian writing. You received BulletinGold because you subscribed. If you received this copy from a friend and would like to subscribe, please send a blank email to: BulletinGold-subscribe@yahoogroups.com Be sure and reply to the letter sent to your email by YahooGroups. If you need to unsubscribe, you may do so by sending an email to: BulletinGold-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
 
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In This Issue:
Articles
Nuggets
Poems
Quotes
- The Innocense of Childhood, Alan Smith
- Protecting Our Kids, Lance Cordle
- What You Need to Say to Your Children, Norman and Ann Bales
- A Helper Fit For Him, David R. Ferguson
- Building A Sense Of “Self-Worth” in Our Children, Don Loftis
- Honor Parents, Ron Thomas
-
Three Mothers, James D. Burns
-
Grandma's Cake
-
Blunt Children
- Perfect Love, H. L. Gradowith
-
What Makes a Home? By Fanny S. Reeder
- Hugs
- A Place for Boys
quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs


New Postings At
BulletinGold
Extra
Editorial by David Bragg
The dominant theme of this issue of BulletinGold revolves around the family, a vital institution that impacts not only the community and nation but also our Lord's church. As a "guest editorial," I thought the following item spoke eloquantly of the very practical and pressing need of stronger relationships strenghtening our homes.

David Bragg
http://www.davidbragg.org/


Dad's Greatest Gift

   "The greatest gift I ever received from my dad," said a successful attorney, "was a small box he gave me with a note inside, stating, 'Son, this coming year I will give you 365 hours, an hour every day after dinner. It's yours.  We'll talk about what you want to talk about.  We'll go where you want to go and play what you want to play.  They will be your hours.'
   "My dad not only kept his promise of that gift," said the attorney, "but every year he renewed it, and it's the greatest gift he ever gave me.  I am the result of him giving me those hours."

-Selected; 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 through their website at http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com
Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
The Innocense of Childhood
By Alan Smith

Sometimes I want to be a kid again. I want to go back to the time when:
 
-- Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo."
-- Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming "do over!"
-- "Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.
-- Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in "Monopoly."
-- Catching fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening.
-- Being old referred to anyone over 20.
-- The net on a tennis court was the perfect height to play volleyball and the rules didn't matter.
-- The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.
-- It was magic when dad would "remove" his thumb.
-- It was unbelievable that dodgeball wasn't an Olympic event.
-- Having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot.
-- Nobody was prettier than Mom.
-- Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.
-- It was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the "big people" rides at the amusement park.
-- Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.
-- Abilities were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare."
-- Saturday morning cartoons weren't 30-minute ads for action figures.
-- "Oly-oly-oxen-free" made perfect sense.
-- Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for giggles.
-- The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.
-- War was a card game.
-- Water balloons were the ultimate weapon.
-- Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle.
-- Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin.
-- Older siblings were the worst tormentors but also the fiercest protectors.
                                           (author unknown)
 
     There's an innocence about childhood.  As we grow older, we lose that innocence and life becomes more complicated.  Like Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, we all live out in our own lives what it means to have sin affect our relationship with God and our relationship with one another.
     "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.  She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.   Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked..." (Genesis 3:6-7a)
     Taking the fruit of a tree giving us more knowledge isn't as wonderful as we think it will be.  As we grow older, we know more and more, but often find ourselves wishing that we were younger when we didn't know nearly as much.  We can never regain that innocence, but thank God we can find forgiveness!
     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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Protecting Our Kids
By Lance Cordle

    As Yogi Berra once said, “You can observe a lot by watching.” A couple of weeks ago my wife, Laura, and I were walking across the church building’s parking lot when we noticed a bird that appeared to have a broken wing. We looked down with pity on the bird and even commented on its condition.   Little did we know that we had become part of a natural scenario in which a bird cares for its young.
    A few days later, Laura noticed that the bird (we now know to be a killdeer) had laid eggs just beside the steps leading up to the church building.  After she had pointed them out to me, I went back to see them. When I approached, the adult bird ruffled its feathers and ran away, trying to distract me from bothering the eggs. I was fascinated by this behavior and took others to see it as well.
    As I reflect on the experience, I think of the marvelous foreknowledge that moved the Creator to instill within the killdeer the instinct to protect their young. If God cares so much for such a small, frail-looking creature, surely he cares for us. That is exactly the point of Jesus in Matthew 6:24-34.
    But even more importantly, I think, such instincts teach us that the duty of a parent is to protect his or her children. The distraction techniques of the  killdeer are just the way the protective instinct plays out in that species. Other animals have other methods, but the instinct was placed there by God.
    Man, however, is different in that he can think, and knows that he should protect his children. He may not always do so, however. It is a sad commentary on our society to see  mothers and fathers fail to protect their children. They should be doing everything within their power to provide them food, shelter and clothing. The Bible clearly says that a Christian man who fails to provide for his house has denied the faith (1 Timothy 5:8).
    Providing physical shelter is not the only way of protecting children.  Emotional and spiritual protection is also needed. Our children need to know that we love them. They need lots of hugs and kisses. They also need to know that their mothers and fathers love each other. The security of a good, solid marriage will help keep children from seeking emotional fulfillment elsewhere. Finally, being attentive to our children’s behavior and reasonably monitoring their activities can protect them from the tragic circumstances of evil people and things such as pornography, drugs, etc.

- Lance Cordle preaches the Calvert City church of Christ in Calvert City, KY.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.calvertchurchofchrist.com


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What You Need to Say to Your Children
By Norman and Ann Bales

    Our entire community went into shock last week when the lives of five wholesome, well-liked American girls were forever altered within the space of a few seconds. Five teenage girls got into one vehicle and started down the interstate highway intending to cheer for their school at a Friday night football game. Somewhere along the way, they lost control of the vehicle. The car flipped; and when it came to rest, three of the girls were dead; another was severely injured. The other young lady survived with only minor injuries.
    We know what you may be thinking, but according to police reports, no drugs or alcohol were involved. Everyone who knew them speaks highly of their character. The girls were said to be fine Christian young ladies. How did they lose control of the car? No one really knows.
    So why are we writing about a traffic accident in All About Families? The father of one of the girls said something that we can’t put out of our minds. He said, “Tell your children that you love them every day.” We think about our readers. Our readers include husbands, wives, parents, grandparents, children,  and single people - people who have caring relationships with others, either through family ties or friendship. How long has it been since you let those who are closest to you know how much you care about them. Do you just take it for granted that they understand the depths of your feelings?
    You need to tell them you love them, and you need to do it often. 

- Norman and Ann Bales—All About Families; 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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A Helper Fit For Him
By David R. Ferguson

“It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18 [RSV]).
 
    It is rare that one finds spiritual wisdom and godly truths in a rock song, but such is the case with a little ditty from 1965 called Game of Love by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders.  In this tune are found these words: “The purpose of a man is to love a woman, and the purpose of a woman is to love a man.  It started long ago back in the Garden of Eden when Adam said to Eve, ‘Baby, you're for me!’”
    As this song so rightfully declares, God made us to be men and women.  He made men to desire women, and He made women to desire men.  Adam soon discovered that animals were not a substitute for a wife.  God also did not provide another man to be Adam’s helpmeet.  What God has reserved in the union of marriage between a man and a woman is not to be abused by men with men, men with animals, or women with women.  Woman was made for man.  Men are to desire women, and vice versa.  As the words to the song rightfully say, “The purpose of a man is to love a woman, and the purpose of a woman is to love a man.”  Even more than this, the purpose of both men and women is to “Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man,” (Ecclesiastes 12:13 [RSV]).
    The answer to man’s loneliness was provided by God, and it was one woman.  Adam had no one to love, to talk to, or embrace, no one to help or give himself to, no one to comfort and no one to produce others like himself.  But God provided.  If we are in a married relationship we should be thankful for His provision.
    We see the Lord God in Genesis 2 as the first matchmaker in history.  God was also the first anesthesiologist.  He put Adam in a deep sleep before performing this rib surgery.  When Adam awoke, God presented him with a great gift.  Adam could see he was like her, but she also differed from him.  He had an immediate reaction.  It is not unreasonable to conclude that Adam offered the first love poem in history at the initial moment he laid his eyes upon her.  “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23 [RSV]).  In Hebrew, ‘ish’ means man and ‘ishshah’ means woman, but ‘ishshah’also can mean soft and cuddly.  It was love at first sight!  You might think you could make a more beautiful poem, but this is quite spectacular for the spur of the moment. It is interesting to note that from the first, even before Valentine’s Day and Hallmark cards were invented, love expressed itself in poetry.  Adam accepted God’s gift.
    May the Lord bless you!
 
- David R. Ferguson preaches for the Lakeland Church of Christ in Mattoon, IL.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website at http://lakelandchurchofchrist.web.officelive.com/default.aspx


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Building A Sense Of “Self-Worth” in Our Children
By Don Loftis

    Good parents help their children develop healthy independence. The goal is for children to function and make good decisions even if parents are not present. One tool in achieving that goal is continually instilling a sense of self-worth into their lives. This is more than self-esteem—it is an inherent value of being created in the image of God. As parents, three activities will be useful.
    First, children need to know how important they are to their family. Emphasis needs to be placed on their uniqueness and the role they play in the family. They need to hear, “What did we ever do before you were a part of our home?” Unconditional love will help them feel wanted, secure, and accepted.
    Secondly, all children need to have a sense of control over their own bodies. We warn against sexual abuse. With the concept of good touch—bad touch. A child needs to know they have the right to say “NO” to someone who is making them uncomfortable.
    They also need to know that key adults in their lives will listen to these concerns and take seriously any threats to this “safe space.”
    While protecting younger children from sexual abuse, sadly our culture almost promotes sexual exploitation of teens and young adults. Styles of dress, immodest by nature, are increasingly disrespectful of the person wearing them. Linda White comments, “Modesty declares that a woman’s body is precious; for when something is precious, it is protected. Modesty, therefore, enhances self-respect.
    Finally, parents need to have high, but realistic expectations for their children. Praise needs to be expressed both for accomplishments and effort. Guiding children to use their talents and to maximize their strengths is important. However, even in failure, it is possible to stress a child’s potential for future success.
    Too many children develop destructive habits because they feel defeated  and unimportant. Others grow up feeling unworthy to be loved by even their mate. Every child needs to discover the immense value of both life and soul.

- Don Loftis, Families 2000 & Beyond; 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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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
Honor Parents
By Ron Thomas
 
    For years Hollywood has taught (and confused) kids into thinking that parents are nitwits. Parents are old, too set in their respective ways, too confining, and just plain not fun! Unfortunately, in some families this is dead on!
    However, parents are crucial to a child’s physical existence, and they are crucial to a child’s moral compass as well. In Matthew 15, the Lord rebuked the religious leaders because they regarded the children’s responsibility toward their parents (Matthew 15:1-6) in a disrespectful way. They relegated God’s divine will to something submissive to man-made traditions. Honoring our parents was (is) something the Lord thinks important; when a child refuses to do this, not only is the family unit affected adversely, but society is affected as well. But someone might say, “My parents do not deserve the honor the Lord wants me to give them!” Perhaps your parents have not done what needs to be done, but couldn’t you do much good in respecting (honoring) them as the Lord would have you?

- Ron Thomas serves as preacher and an elder for the Highway church of Christ, Sullivan, IL  Visit their website as http://www.highwaycofc.com


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Three Mothers
By James D. Burns
 
     The second Sunday in May is a day set aside to honor mothers.  Perhaps modern mothers can identify with one of these three from the Bible.
     Eve was “the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20).  She and Adam had “sons and daughters” (Genesis 5:4); only three are named: Cain, Abel and Seth.  Of the first two, Abel was righteous, Cain was wicked.  Cain even killed his brother (Genesis 4:1-8).  Eve could well have asked, “When two children are reared in the same home, what causes one to be good and the other one to go astray?” It’s an old question.
     Mary was chosen of God to be the mother of His Son.  Much is implied about her character in God’s choice.  Her years of mothering are but touched on in the New Testament.  Her Son was brutally killed at age 33.  She could understand those who ask, “Why did my child have to die before I did?”
     Eunice was a faithful Jewish woman married to a Greek (Acts 16:1; 2 Timothy 1:5).  She reared her son Timothy without the full support of her husband.  Timothy had not been circumcised as a baby as the law commanded (Acts 16:30>  Even today some godly mothers are not able to do all they desire in rearing their children because their husbands are not faithful.  But Timothy was taught well (2 Timothy 3:15).  Many mothers today teach their children the Scriptures without the help of the fathers.

- James D. Burns, Henderson, Tenn.; 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 through their website at http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com


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Grandma's Cake

     A little boy told his Grandma how "everything" was going wrong.  He was having problems with school and his friends, and even his computer was broken.  Meanwhile, his Grandmother was baking a cake.
     She asks her grandson if he would like a snack.
     He answered an enthusiastic, "Yes!"
     She said, "Here, have some cooking oil." 
     "Yuck!" answered the boy.
     "How about a couple raw eggs?"
     "No, grandmother."
     She then asked, "Would you like some flour or baking soda?"
     The amazed little boy said, "Those things are bad."
     The grandmother replied, "Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves.  But when put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!"
     The truth is that life is composed of many good things and some bad things.  What we do with the good and the bad determines who and what we become.  Don't get me wrong.  Tough times are no fun, but they sure can make us better and stronger if we face and deal with them.

- Pure Living, 11-10-2000; 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 t hrough their website at http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com


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Blunt Children

Who is the boss at your home?
Mom doesn’t want to be boss, but she has to because dad is such a goofball.
Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

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



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Hearts of Gold - poetry
                              Perfect Love
                        By H. L. Gradowith

Together, side by side, we've stood for many years,
And so often we've known days of joy, days of tears;
I can't think of a time in my life without you,
The precious things you say, the lovely things you do;
When we stood there before all the world and our Lord
Life for me then began when I gave you my word.

I don't know who'll go first, but I know we'll both go,
For no one ever stays in this old world below;
And I don't guess I'd want to at that, anyway,
But should you leave me here -- how I'd dread that awful day!
How could I then go on, how could I make it through.
For so much of my life has been built around you.

But should He then see fit to let me first go Home,
Though I'd leave you alone in this old world to roam,
I would linger close by the Gate of that City,
With its Street of pure gold, and its sights so pretty.
Waiting there for the day when you'll walk through the Gate.
Why, just thinking about it - I can hardly wait!

Together, side by side, we've stood for many years,
And so often we've known days of joy, days of tears;
But when we come at last to the end of our way,
The sun of our lifetime marks the end of our day,
May we meet over there in that City Above,
Where we'll dwell, There as here, in the Lord's Perfect Love!

[ For My Wife, Freda,
And Ray's Wife, Nell,
And The Love Shared By All Devoted Husbands And Wives]

- H. L. Gradowith  For more information on H. L. Gradowith and GRADOWITH POEMS e-mail group visit http://www.geocities.com/fp5699/ - the website of Tim Smith, minister of the Enon church of Christ in Webb, AL.


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                  What Makes a Home?
                   By Fanny S. Reeder

What makes a home? Four walls of polished stone?
Or brick and mortar laid with nicest care?
Nay! Prison walls are made without as fair.
Within--look not within--corruption there
With ignorance and sin defiles the air.

What makes a home? 'Twere better far to roam
Unhoused than have a part in dainty halls,
Where rarest gems of art adorn the walls,
If there's no hearth-fire bright for poorest poor
Who linger in the night without the door.

What makes a home? 'Tis where the weary come
And lay their burdens down, assured of rest.
'Tis where we learn to know our dearest best;
Where little children play, blessing and blest --
Though walls of coarsest clay enwarp the nest.


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                Hugs
 
There's something in a simple hug
That always warms the heart;
It welcomes us back home
And makes it easier to part.
 
A hug's a way to share the joy
And sad times we go through,
Or just a way for friends to say
They like you 'cause you're you.
 
Hugs are meant for anyone
For whom we really care,
From your grandma to your neighbor,
Or a cuddly teddy bear.
 
A hug is an amazing thing-
It's just the perfect way
To show the love we're feeling
But can't find the words to say.
 
It's funny how a little hug
Makes everyone feel good;
In every place and language,
It's always understood.
 
And hugs don't need new equipment,
Special batteries or special parts -
Just open up your arms
And open up your hearts!

- Author Unknown


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                       A Place for Boys

A place for the boys, dear mother, I pray,
As cares settle down round our short earthly way;
Don't let us forget, by our kind, loving deeds,
To show we remember their pleasures and needs,
Though our souls may be vexed with problems of life,
And worn with besetments and toilings and strife,
Our hearts will keep younger, --your tired heart and mine--
If we give them a place in their innermost shrine;
And to our life's latest hour 'twill be one of our joys
That we kept a small corner, -- a place for the boys.

-Boston Transcript as given in A Mother's Year, Helen Russ Stough, 1905. Submitted by Mark McWhorter.  Mark may be contacted at mtmcvb@concentric.net


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Gold Mines ---- quotes, sayings & sign messages
Worry doesn’t eliminate tomorrow from its griefs, but it does empty today of its joys!!

- via The Central Message, the weekly bulletin of the Central church of Christ in Paducah KY.  Jim Faughn serves as an elder and preacher for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the church’s website: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. In this life we get nothing save by effort.  [T. Roosevelt]

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

No home can rise above the people in it.

Back when a woodshed stood behind the American house many cases of juvenile delinquency were settled out of court.

It is harder to hide feelings we have than pretend to have feelings we lack.
 
One who thinks he can get along without others is mistaken. One who thinks others can get along without him is even more mistaken.

Patience is the willingness to become what you can be, and not a readiness to accept what you are.

Patience is when you can listen while a fellow tells you about the same operation you had.
 
The trouble with patience is, the more you have, the more people expect you to use it with them.

To be sure the bank of friendship does not fail you must make frequent deposits.

What you do not start you will not have to stop.

If you don’t strike the match you won’t have to put out the fire. If you don’t commit the sin you won’t have to suffer the consequences.

- 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

Anyone can count the seeds in an apple... but only God can count the apples in a seed. [Author Unknown]

- Via Family Matters, the weekly bulletin of the Jackson church of Christ in Jackson, MO. Edd Sterchi preaches for the congregation.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.jacksonchurchofchrist.com

“At times, it is better to keep your mouth shut and let people wonder if you’re a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.”  [Andrew Carnegie]
 
“It is very difficult for an individual who knows the Scripture ever to get away from it.  It haunts him like an old song.  It follows him like the memory of his mother.  It remains with him like the word of a reverenced teacher.  It forms a part of the warp and woof of his life.” [Woodrow Wilson]
 
“It seems that every family tree has some sap in it.”
 
Laughter: The shortest distance between two people..
 
- 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 through their website at http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com

Home is the place where we are treated best and grumble most.
 
- Submitted by Larry Miles, author of "Larry's Lines" at http://larryslines.com


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BulletinGold Extra ---- recent postings on our Blogsite
Step By Step
Christianity on the Jobsite, Adam Faughn
Your Choice, Charles V. Cash
When Dark Days Come, Phil Sanders
Facing Monumental Decisions, Dan Jenkins
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