BulletinGold #100
April 2009   Vol 9 #2

----by David Bragg

    In March 2001 Donna Richmond, church secretary for the  Lincoln and Tunnell congregation in Santa Maria, CA, began an ambitious project  to assist her fellow bulletin editors  across the country.  Now, 100 issues later, I thought it appropriate to invite Donna to share her reflections as BulletinGold crosses the century threshold.  Her kind response is printed below.  Every issue of BulletinGold over the past four years was issued with deep respect and appreciation of Donna's diligent work in launching and maintaining BulletinGold in its formative years.
    The 100th issue of BulletinGold will present bulletin articles, fillers, and poems from the past, yet relevant as we turn to our future.  And as always, thank you for your ongoing support of BulletinGold.

David Bragg, co-editor

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Panning for Gold
- Feature Articles:  

BulletinGold 100
by: Donna Richmond

    The 100th issue of BulletinGold!  I can't help but rejoice and repeat the words of Paul: “And he that supplieth seed to the sower and bread for food, shall supply and multiply your seed for sowing, and increase the fruits of your righteousness: ye being enriched in everything unto all liberality, which worketh through us thanksgiving to God” (2 Cor. 9:10, 11).  Little did I dream where God's help would lead me when I started BulletinGold in March 2001.  
    God indeed supplied the seed for sowing, and he supplied the sowers.  Countless ministers of the Word and other Christians have supplied sound, biblical articles and poems for BulletinGold.  Each year, new writers have joined us, and those who sent articles for the first issues are still contributing.  It has been a blessing to get to know many of you.  When I needed a website, God sent Ed Thomason, and he has done a wonderful job.  Ed supplies the space for the website, maintains it, adds new features, and posts each new issue.  When I moved to Abilene, Texas, in 2005 to return to school and to work at a full-time job teaching middle school, God sent David Bragg.  He has labored faithfully putting together each issue and ensuring that BulletinGold sends biblically sound material to church bulletin editors all over the world.  David has taken the reins and held them firmly and faithfully for several years, and I now consider BulletinGold his work, not mine.  
    Even though I am not actively involved now in BulletinGold, it is still blessing me.  Each month, I enjoy reading its theme-centered, encouraging articles of faith.  The many friends I have made are still a part of my life and my heart.  As BulletinGold enters its ninth year, I know that it will continue “for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12).  This is my hope and my prayer.

- Donna Richmond, co-teacher for Premier High School of Abilene at the the middle school (grades 6-8), the inclusion special ed teacher for the middle school, and the English as a Second Language teacher for the whole school. Donna may be contacted at donnarichmond93455@yahoo.com

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I Never Intended to Quit!
by: Gus Nichols

     A man who had not attended one service of the church in four years told me he had never thought of "quitting" the church.  I reminded him that he had:
1) Withdrawn his presence from the worship services.  He had failed to sing, pray with fellow Christians, to partake of the Lord=s memorial supper and the fellowship of the saints.
2) Refused to give his moral support to the activities of the congregation.
3) Withdrawn his financial support, for he had not given one dime to help carry on the Lord's work.
Then I asked, "What else would you have to do in order to 'quit' the church?  In case you ever decide that you no longer desire to be a member, what other steps will be necessary to 'quit' the church?"
     As the true status dawned upon him, his expression reflected his sober thoughts.  He replied, "Why, Brother Nichols, I have quit already, haven't I?  Well, I surely didn’t mean to!  And I don't know when I did it...but I've quit the Lord and His church!  I'll tell you right now...I'm coming back."  He did, too.  At the next service, he was restored and three years later, he was still faithful.
     Dear reader, how about you?  Have you quit the Lord and His church without resolving to do so?  Perhaps no one deliberately decides to quit, but many carelessly drift into backsliding.
     If you quit attending services, quit boosting the program of activities planned by the elders and quit giving as God has prospered you to enable the congregation to meet its budget, you need to be restored.

"not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching"  (Hebrews 10:25)

- via the Shady Acres' Servant, the weekly bulletin for the Shady Acres church of Christ in Sikeston, MO.  Johnny Hester preaches for the Shady Acres church of Christ, in Sikeston, MO.  He may be contacted through the church's website at http://www.shadyacreschurch.com

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Try Running Again
by: Gus Nichols

     Perhaps some reader has tried to be a Christian, but failed. If so, why not try again? Great success does not always come from a single effort. Worthwhile things are always worth trying and striving for, even if we must try again and again. In the year 1917 a tornado destroyed our home, blew it away and ruined our crops out on the farm before it tore up Carbon Hill, Alabama, and left the dead homeless in its wake. But we did not give up and quit. The next spring we found ourselves planting again, and soon we were growing crops.
     Life is like that. Wars are not usually won by a single battle. But battle after battle must be fought before the victory is won. In a way some of the battles are lost, but victory belongs to those who win the last battle.
     One young man started in to fight the cigarette habit but soon felt that the weed had conquered him. However, he decided that no man is licked who will keep on trying, again and again. So he summoned all his forces and marshaled them against his dangerous habit. A day at a time he vowed to his friends and to God that he would not smoke that day, regardless of what happened. Soon he had conquered a habit that is master of millions in our land.
     Very few spend a long life in the service of Christ without ever getting discouraged, and for the moment, giving up in despair. But those who overcome the world are they who (if need be) try again and again – who refuse to surrender to the evil one. If they fail, they go down fighting – soon to rise again.
     It is easy to give up and quit when the going gets rough, as it most certainly will – sooner or later. Long roads usually have some detours and rough places over which one must travel in order to reach the desired destiny.
     The Christian life is like running a race (Heb. 12:1-2; I Cor. 9:25-27). If one fails he should get up and try again. The New Birth is a sort of “Land of Beginning Again” (John 3:5). So is a restoration of an erring child of God (Gal. 6:1; James 5:19-20).

- via the Lake Hills Letter, weekly bulletin of the Lake Hills church of Christ in Chattanooga, TN.  Shane Robinson, preaches for the congregation, and he may be contacted at shane@lakehillschurchofchrist.org or through their website at http://www.lakehillschurchofchrist.org/

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Do We Love The Lord More?
by: Wendell Winkler

     “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.  He saith unto him, feed my lambs.” (John 21:15)
      Do We Love the Lord More Than Our Kinsmen? If we do, we will not let them keep us from obeying the gospel.  We will be willing to leave the religion they have accepted if it is proven wrong.  We will not let them keep us from attending the services of the Lord’s church.  Remember, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37).
      Do We Love the Lord More Than Our Money? If we do, we will not make the heaping of riches the chief object of our living.  We will give liberally of our means to the Lord (2 Corinthians 8:1-5).  Remember, the Lord said, “For the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).
      Do We Love the Lord More Than Pleasure? If we do, we will not engage in that which is forbidden, that which will hurt our influence for Christ.  Remember, the Lord, in speaking of perilous times, said men shall be “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4).
      Do We Love the Lord More Than Praise of Men? If we do, we will be willing to stand for the Lord and the right, though we must stand alone (2 Timothy 4:16-17).  The chief rulers “did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:42-43).
      The Lord should be the supreme object of our affection (Matthew 22:37).  May we learn to sing, and mean it, “More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee.”

- 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  [Originally the House to House/Heart to Heart publication]

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Friendly Persuasion
by: Alexander Campbell

     If, indeed, all mankind were equally in love with the truth, we might have only to propose a change for the better and all would embrace it, but just the reverse of this is the true history of society. The more clearly and forcibly an unpopular truth is argued, the greater will be the dislike to it by all who are interested in representing error.  Pride, ambition and selfishness are all powerful allies of error. The pride of the understanding is the most invincible of all sorts of pride, especially when religion is the problem. And as long as there are conflicting creeds, sects, divisions among religionists, so long will be our duty to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.  Never was there so much need to study as in the defense of truth. We must conciliate the passions, while we besiege the understanding. We are not to suppose all our opponents to be knaves and impostors to be disinterested and obstinate. We must remember that in this world of weakness and error, the good and virtuous are often enlisted under the banners of error. There are honest differences of opinion, and men equally sincere on both sides of many questions.  Friendly and persuasive were the word s and arguments of the prophets, apostles and our Savior to those who appeared honest in their convictions, but severe and tart were their reproofs to such as appeared obstinate in error. Courtesy and kindness will be our best guides, and a good example will often achieve more than a thousand arguments.

- 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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Nuggets and Quick Riches
-    misc. goodies this issue

Ten Commandments for Husbands

by: Hugo McCord

1. Thou shalt remember that thy wife is thy partner and not thy property.
2. Thou shalt hold thy wife’s love by the same means that thou won it.
3. Thou shalt enter thy house with cheerfulness.
4. Thou shalt not let anyone criticize thy wife and get away with it, neither thy father, nor thy mother, nor thy brothers, nor thy sisters, nor any other relative.
5. Thou shalt not take thy wife for granted.
6. Thou shalt not think thyself are “IT.”
7. Thou shalt not praise thy neighbor’s wife; praise thine own.
8. Thou shalt not keep any secrets from thy wife; secrets breed suspicion and wreck confidence.
9. Thou shalt not fail to kiss thy wife good-bye every morning.
10. Thou shalt not forget through all the years of thy life that thy wife whom God hath given thee is the queen in your home and in honor takes precedence over thee.

[Note: Every wife knows soon after marriage if her husband is a prize, a surprise, or a consolation prize.  This last article was originally part of the original article by brother McCord which appeared in the January issue of TFF and was entitled, "Husbands." –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

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Changing My Life Into The Likeness of Christ
by: Wendell Winkler

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Christ was and I must be:
Humble (Phil 2:3-11; James 4:6)
Forgiving (Luke 23:24; Mark 11:25)
Zealous (John 9:4; 2:17; Titus 2:14)
Prayerful (Mark 1:35; 1 Thess 5:17)
Compassionate (John 11:35; Romans 12:15)
Unretaliatory (Mt 26:59ff; Rom. 12:17-21)
Submissive (Luke 22:42; Matt 6:10)
Serving (Matt 20:28; Matt 20:26-27)
Passionate (Luke 19:41; Romans 9:1-3)
Giving (Matt 20:28; Luke 6:38)

With Paul may we affirm, "So now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:20,21). Then, we can sing, and really mean it, "I want to be more like Jesus."

- via The Lantern, Highway church of Christ, Sullivan, IL.  Ron Thomas serves as the congregation’s preacher.  Visit their website as http://www.highwaycofc.com

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History Changed Forever

     In an instant history changed forever, because where once the human mortality rate had held steady at 100%, now it skipped a beat as Jesus, Savior of all mankind, stepped out of dead statistics into life.  Death is the last word no longer for Jesus' followers; life is.
     "I believe in Buddha," some still insist amid the marketplace of the world religions.  "Confucius," say the Chinese.  "Mohammed," cry the Muslims.  "Bhagway Shree Rajneesh," shout his followers, and on and on it goes.
     "Jesus," Mary would tell us; "He changed my life."  And millions around the globe would echo, "Mine, too.  He touched my life, too."
     For while religious leaders have come and gone, the fact remains:
          Only One stepped forth from the tomb.
          Only One has risen from the dead.
          Only One has conquered death.
          Only One offers the promise of eternal life to those who follow Him.
     "I am the resurrection and the life," Jesus said.  "He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."

- via the Lake Land Church Bulletin, the weekly bulletin of the Lakeland Church of Christ in Mattoon, IL.   David R. Ferguson serves as the congregation’s preacher.  He may be contacted at davidferguson61@yahoo.com   You may also want to visit the congregation's website at http://lakelandchurchofchrist.web.officelive.com/default.aspx

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Fanny Crosby

     The grave of Fanny Crosby, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, has a Simple marker that reads, "Aunt Fanny-She Hath Done What She Could."
     Fanny Crosby was blind from six weeks of age because of a Mistreatment by a man claiming to be a doctor.  Yet she wrote more than 9000 hymns, such as: Blessed Assurance; All the Way My Saviour Leads Me; I Am Thine, O Lord; Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross; Praise Him, Praise Him; Rescue the Perishing;To God Be the Glory" and Tell Me the Story of Jesus, to name a few.
     Although blind, she was the guest of six presidents and a personalfriend to Grover Cleveland.  Her 9000 hymns were set to music by every popular American tunesmith of the nineteenth century and still blesses the church of Jesus Christ in our day.
     Someone has said, "It doesn't take much of a man to be used of
God.  It just takes all of him."

- 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 [Originally in Tidings of Good Things].

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Hearts of Gold
----poetry this issue

Blind But Happy

by: Fanny Crosby

O what a happy soul am I!
Although I cannot see,
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be;
How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don’t!
To weep and sigh because I’m blind
I cannot, and I won’t.

— 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 [Written by Fanny Crosby at the age of 8; Bulletin Digest]

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Who Sowed the Seed?
by: C. R. Brewer

Who sowed the seed? None could recall.
But somewhere in the bygone years
A toiler in the ground let fall
A seed that in the soil took hold,
And through long months of heat and cold,
Increased and spread, till now appears
An annual harvest of rich gold.
Who planted the tree? Nobody knew.
But someone, sometime, set it out,
And it through rain and sunshine grew,
Although no eye was near to see,
‘Til from the little tender sprout
There came a sheltering giant tree
And many a pilgrim breathed a prayer
Of thanks for him who put it there.
Who sowed the Good Seed? Perhaps not now,
But in eternity we’ll know.
The Master then will tell us how
Some gentle soul, devoid of fame,
Proclaimed a truth in His Great Name,
Showed someone else the way to go.
And then another, seeing the light,
Turned from the way of doubt and wrong,
And followed the pathway of the right
And thus the good work moved along.
But only in Heaven will it be known
By whom the original seed was sown.

- 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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 I have to live with myself, and so,
 I want to be fit for myself to know;
 I want to be able, as days go by,
 Always to look myself straight in the eye;
 I don’t want to stand, with the setting sun,
 And hate myself for the things I’ve done.

 I can never hide myself from me,
 I see what others may never see;
 I know what others may never know,
 I can never fool myself, and so;
 Whatever happens, I want to be,
 Self-respecting and conscience free.         - Selected

“As in water face reflects face, so a man’s heart reveals the man.” (Proverbs 27:19)                                                                     

- 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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For These We Thank Thee
by: Loise Pinkerton Fritz

Sunrise and sunset,
Ocean and rivulet,
Wild beast and family pet...
For these we thank Thee.

Parent and little child,
Inchworm and country mile,
Teardrop and friendly smile...
For these we thank Thee.

New bud and fading flower,
Small trees and trees with tower,
Downpour and little shower...
For these we thank Thee.

Blessings and trials too,
Dark skies and skies of blue,
For Your love to see us through...
Father, we thank Thee.

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

Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times.  So keep on swinging.

Some Observations

     The trouble with those who stand up for their rights is that they usually sit down when it comes to responsibility.
     Attempting to shirk responsibilities is like trying to run away from your shadow. It goes wherever you go.
     The rights of others are seldom considered by those who demand their rights.
     Everyone is responsible for what they say and do. No exceptions!

- 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

If someone says he can do at 60 everything he did at 20, he probably wasn’t doing much at 20.
Nobody has enough money or other resources to buy back his past.

Your reputation is what people think you are. Your character is what you and God know you are.

- 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

"If you do not feel yourself growing in your work and your life broadening and deepening, if your task is not a perpetual tonic to you, you have not found your place." -- Orison Swett Marden

"Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise."  -- Margaret Atwood, Cat's Eye, 1988

"Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival." -- W. Edwards Deming

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

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