2009 Vol 9 #3
In all the
attempts of success, man has sought
various measures. Some measure
success by awards, peer recognition,
or verbal praise. For others,
the number of digits following the
dollar sign measure success.
Some seek success in the trappings of
things: cars, houses, "toys."
Success is measured by some in the
number of hours spent pursuing their
leisure hobby and others by time spent
in the office. None of these
measures are nearly as accurate as
Success, to Mother,
is measured in spiritual riches and
faithfulness to God. When God is
revered and His will upheld, to her
you are in first place. When you
unselfishly serve others she knows you
learned well the secret of life.
No matter what the world may say, by
Mother's Measure you have succeeded.
To the faithful
Christian mother success is not in
what their children "have" but who
they are. They cannot fail as
long as they can look their mother in
her eyes and honestly say, "you did
The family plays a
critical role, not only in modern
society but also in the Lord's
church. With both Mother's and
Father's Days just around the corner,
this is a great time to re-emphasize
the family to those impacted by our
teaching. This issue of
BulletinGold will focus on the home.
Decreasing the Divorce Rate
A few years ago, each party agreed that
the other was just the right one. There
was a relatively short courtship, but
both parties agreed that this was a
“match made in heaven” and that they
were in this for the long haul.
Looking back on
those days, it can now be admitted that
each one saw a few flaws in the other,
but they were so excited about the
prospect of being together that these
flaws were insignificant, to say the
least. Each party did whatever was
necessary to look and act “just right”
in order to please the other.
promises and entered into a contractual
agreement. Neither party could see
anything that could cause a parting of
the ways. What an exciting time the
early days were as they experienced the
excitement of courtship and enjoyed the
thrill of actually being together daily.
Now, after a
number of years, the excitement is gone;
some of those earlier promises have been
forgotten or ignored; those little flaws
seem to have grown into huge problems;
the relationship and the people in the
relationship have gone through some very
tough times. Increasingly, the grass is
looking greener elsewhere.
In fact, there
have already been some temptations.
Somebody that seemingly has much more to
offer has attracted the attention of one
or both of the parties. There may, in
fact, have been some very enticing phone
calls from other parties.
Beware! If something doesn’t
change soon, the brotherhood will be
witnessing yet another “divorce” of a
preacher and a congregation. There will
be no acrimony. They will part as
friends, but they will part and each
will be forced to go through the same
process again (possibly with the same
results after a few years).
anything that can be done to keep this
from happening? The suggestions below
are just that --- suggestions. They are
neither inspired, nor are they
comprehensive. They are merely offered
as some things to which some
consideration might be given. While they
may apply to husbands and wives, they
may also apply to congregations and
preachers and they may keep both divorce
-- Don’t ever stop dating. Continue to
do things for each other “just because.”
Go the extra mile to make the other
party feel special. Think “outside the
box” on this one.
-- Remind yourself regularly about the
good qualities in the other party that
were so attractive in the first place.
The qualities that really matter do not
fade with age.
-- Do your best to live up to all the
commitments that were made. If it is
impossible to live up to one or more,
explain why. Do not assume that “they’ll
understand.” They probably do not!
-- Help each other carry the load. A
helping hand is very often much more
meaningful than either a great sermon or
a sizeable paycheck.
-- Communicate. Communicate.
Communicate. Those who truly love one
another do not talk about each other;
they talk to each other. They also
listen to each other.
-- Look in the mirror. Our Lord warned
against seeing the fault in another
without correcting our own faults (cf.
Matt. 7:3-5). “They” or “he” could, in
fact, be part of the reason that things
are not as they used to be or as
desired. At the same time, part of the
problem could be “me” or “us.”
Long ago, the apostle
Paul wrote some words to a church that,
if heeded by every congregation and
every preacher, would dramatically
reduce the divorce rate:
"I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,
beseech you to walk worthy of the
calling with which you were called, with
all lowliness and gentleness, with
longsuffering, bearing with one another
in love, endeavoring to keep the unity
of the Spirit in the bond of peace"
(Eph. 4:1-3, NKJV)
- Jim Faughn preaches for the Central
church of Christ in Paducah, KY.
He may be contacted through the
congregation's website: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org/
or his blog: http://jimfaughn.blogspot.com/
A first grade teacher seated her
students in a circle. She asked
them what they wanted to be when they
grew up. One by one, each child
got up and announced, "I'd like to be a
nurse like my mother," or "I want to be
a banker like my father," or "I want to
be a teacher like you, Miss Smith."
The last child
to speak was the most shy and timid
little boy in the class. He said, "When
I get big, I'm going to be a lion tamer
in the circus. I'm going to face
those animals with my whip and chair and
make them leap through hoops of fire and
obey all of my commands." Seeing
the disbelieving looks on the faces of
his classmates that he could ever act so
boldly or bravely, he was quick to
reassure them, "Well, of course,
I'll have my mother with me."
Many of us have
had the self-confidence to accomplish
great tasks because we knew that our
mothers would be there to support
us. In a couple of days, we will
have a special opportunity to honor
mothers. I think this is a
valuable holiday because, if you are a
mother, you will likely never much
special recognition for the work that
you do - training your children to
love God, teaching them compassion,
instilling self-confidence within them,
developing character and teaching
morals. You will perhaps never be
honored publicly, given a medal (or even
a certificate), or be compensated
monetarily. All that you do may go
unnoticed and unappreciated at times.
though, that there is great value in
what you are doing. On Mother's
Day, may you receive the honor due you.
rise up and call her blessed; Her
husband also, and he praises her."
And be assured
that someday you will receive the honor
from your heavenly Father for the
difference you make in the world.
Have a great
- 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 email@example.com
or at the blog http://tftd-alansmith.blogspot.com/
While at the office this afternoon, I
received a telephone call from my 10
year old son. He said in a very
quiet, solemn voice, "Daddy, I was going
to mow the yard and I accidentally
poured the gasoline where the oil is
supposed to go and now the mower won't
Well, my first
thought was money. That mower was
nearly $200.00. So I made sure he
understood just how expensive a mistake
he had made and I lectured him about
being so careless, then I hung up.
up the phone, I sat and my desk and
rehearsed my words in my mind.
They were a little harsh and weren't
very understanding. Then my mind
went back to my own childhood. I
recalled an occasion when I poured the
wrong type of gasoline in my dad's new
Lawnboy lawnmower, ruining it. How
could I be so hard on my son when I had
done the same thing?
So I left work
and drove home to talk to my son.
He was sitting in the chair with a
sullen look, not wanting to make
eye-contact. I said, "Matthew, do
you want to know what happened to me
when I was about your age?" He
looked up at me and said, "What?"
I said, "I was going to mow the lawn for
grandma and granddad and I poured the
wrong type of gasoline in granddad's
lawnmower and ruined it."
Immediately, a smile broke out across
his face. Nothing more needed to
be said, but I added one more
comment. I said, "You know
Matthew, you're a lot like your dad."
not an easy proposition, and neither is
being a child for that matter. So
maybe if we're patient with each other,
we'll both learn from our mistakes and
P.S. - Anyone wanting to get rid of a
- Steve Higginbotham is the minister for
the South Green Street church of Christ,
Glasgow, Kentucky. He may be
contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2008, South Green Street Church of
Christ, Glasgow, Kentucky.
Permission is granted to copy these
the Grandmothers Gone?
The year 2000 is now twentyfour days
old. What modern times we live in . . .
And, my, how these times have changed. I
have a birthday approaching and my age
is so very insignificant. It doesn’t
matter because times have changed and I
find it discouraging.
I was raised in the church and am so
very grateful that my grandmother made a
way of life for me. Sunday mornings,
Sunday nights, and Wednesday nights were
for worship. No questions asked. As a
child, I willingly admit to that burst
of excitement if for one reason or
another we didn’t go to church. But, for
the most part, my childhood days of
worship were happy times and I felt the
comfort of God’s word even then. Sunday
afternoons were spent around the dinner
table enjoying a wonderful meal that my
grandmother had prepared. During
those days, you didn’t dare take a bite
until the blessing was said. I’ve seen
my grandmother give thanks over a bowl
of beans and a piece of cornbread. Where
have the blessings gone? I ask because I
don’t know. Maybe we don’t want to
offend anyone by offering a blessing and
we don’t want to embarrass ourselves
shamefully by doing the honor of giving
thanks. We should give thanks that we
even have the opportunity to give
I just can’t
remember a day that I spent with my
grandmother when she didn’t refer to God
and His glory. I remember, not so long
ago, driving with my grandmother on a
beautiful fall afternoon. The leaves
were turning their beautiful shades of
orange and red, and my grand-mother
said, “Only God can make a tree.” Of
course, I had noticed the fall colors,
but paid attention instead to my needs,
my schedule, and basically, my life. My
life at that time had absolutely no room
for, or any need to be mindful of “God’s
On a similar
outing on a spring day she began to
admire the big white fluffy clouds in
the sky. She commented on how beautiful
they were and that hey looked like “you
could sit on top of them and let your
feet hang off.” I can still hear those
words, but the daily commute to punch
the time clock has created tunnel vision
that blocks out God’s wonders. Where has
the appreciation of God’s beauty gone?
Again, I ask because I don’t know.
drive to be there and get it done has
blinded us so much that we don’t allow
ourselves the moments to remember just
how small we are in God’s beautiful
are filled with God, His blessings, and
a good map with clear directions to His
door. My today is filled with anguish
over the fact that I didn’t lose the
map, but intentionally put it away in
favor of going my own way—My own way,
which has left me lost and without
purpose. My tomorrow, I pray, will be
filled with hope and reassurance from
God that I may take up His map and make
my journey through life on the right
path. Thanks to my grandmother, I know
how to read a map.
Growing up, I
can remember my grandmother making us
turn away from the television when a
beer commercial came on. In recent days,
watching anything on television with my
grandmother has just gotten to the point
that I become embarrassed. And fearful
of what she might see simply
because you just never know what’s
needs grandmothers. Someone to speak
openly about God and someone to remind
us continually of His plan for us and to
remind us of His blessings.
So now I ask,
“Where have all the grandmothers gone?”
I’m just not sure. I do know that my
grandmother has started her journey
home. Just a few more hours and her work
here will be done. Soon, there will be
one less grandmother and one less
teacher. Thank God for grandmothers who
are sent from above. I hope God has a
beautiful cloud awaiting my
grandmother’s arrival. One that she can
sit on and let her feet hang off. While
she’s there I hope she will look down at
me, through God’s trees, and see me
reading my map, the map that will lead
me to God’s door, and hopefully, to a
place on a the cloud beside her,
—Airport Church of Christ bulletin,
Valdosta, GA; 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
I Am A
Our “little” girl (she’s been married
almost three years now) came home the
other day from the doctor’s office where
what we had suspected had been
confirmed, she is expecting our first
grandchild. A few days later she went
back and had her first sonogram. She
brought home the picture and said,
“There the baby is-our little Lima
Bean.” She wrote: Today we had our first
ultra sound! It was incredible. I am 9
weeks along tomorrow and the due date is
November 9th. Who knew that this early
in the pregnancy I would be able to see
what I saw. Tommy and I talked about it
before we went into the doctor’s office
and had decided that we would most
likely not be able to tell what part was
the baby this early. How could we be
wrong with our vast amount of knowledge
and experience on the subject (much
sarcasm applied). What we saw was small
but amazing! I could we see him/her
moving around and I could see the little
heart beating. It was no bigger than a
lima bean (that’s what I’m calling
him/her right now, “my little lima
bean”) but it was very easy to see. And
then the lady doing the ultra sound
turned up the sound and you could hear
the heart beat! I’ve heard a bunch of
women describe this before, but the
feeling that you have when you see that
little being that is inside of you and
hear its little heart beating is
telling people, very proudly, that I am
going to be a grandfather. I am hereby
recanting that statement. I believe with
all my heart that I am now a
grandfather, and that my daughter is a
mother-now. Everything that happens from
here on happens to her living child. No
one (except God) knows right now if it
is a boy or a girl. But anyone who is
honest knows that the baby lives and is
our grandchild, and Carol Leah and
I saw some
placards on television last night:
PROTECT A WOMAN’S RIGHTS-DON’T OUTLAW
ABORTION. I am angered with a righteous
anger when I see this stupidity. When a
beating heart is cruelly crushed and
stopped, that is murder as surely as if
someone took a gun and shot a newborn.
But that is not the subject here.
I pray that our
grandchild is healthy and will stay that
way as he/she enters the world outside,
and as it grows. May it have a long life
of happiness and peace.
I quiver as I
think about the world into which our
grandbaby will be born. Right is called
wrong, and wrong is called right on
every hand. Movies, television, music,
and friends will be pulling this little
one in his/her life to come and serve
evil. May God be with this baby’s
parents, grandparents, all those who can
influence him/her for good. May the
child have a willing spirit of service
to God. This world can be overcome and
defeated, but it is not easy.
thank God that the baby is being carried
by a mother who will not abuse it now,
or after it is born. I am thankful that,
Lord willing, he/she will be carried in
the arms of parents that will care for,
love, and nourish her/him. I am thankful
that, Lord willing, he/she will be
carried in the arms of parents that will
care for, love, and nourish her/him. I,
above all, am thankful that this baby
will learn about God, that he/she will
sing “Jesus Loves Me” before singing
“Barney,” or “Blues Clues,” etc. This
youngster will be given every chance to
go to heaven because of strong Christian
parents who love each other, God, and
I join with my
daughter when she concludes: “I pray
every night that this little baby will
be as healthy as possible and will make
it through all of the dangers that come
along with pregnancy. It is still early
but I already love him/her with all of
my heart!!” AMEN.
Editor’s Note: Thomas Harry Hatfield V
was born on October 28, 2006 to Tommy
and Carol Leah (Kelly) Hatfield.
— via The Family Friend, Calvert City
church of Christ, Calvert City,
misc. goodies this issue
Happy Father's Day
A man was
walking through the deep snow when he
heard the voice of his oldest son
saying: “I’ll step in Father’s tracks.”
He was trying to do it, and two younger
brothers were at the same thing. The
father went to the house of prayer to
seek God that evening, thinking, “If I
lead my sons thus, I’ll make tracks for
- via the weekly bulletin of the
Harrisburg church of Christ in
Harrisburg, IL. You may visit
their website at http://www.harrisburgchurchofchrist.org
"And what other nation is so great as to
have such righteous decrees and laws as
this body of laws I am setting before
you today?" Only be careful, and
watch yourselves closely so that you do
not forget the things your eyes have
seen or let them slip from your heart as
long as you live. Teach them to your
children and to their children after
Remember the day you
stood before the LORD your God at Horeb,
when he said to me, "Assemble the people
before me to hear my words so that they
may learn to revere me as long as they
live in the land and may teach them to
their children." - Deu 4:8-10
"Fix these words of
mine in your hearts and minds; tie them
as symbols on your hands and bind them
on your foreheads. Teach them to your
children, talking about them when you
sit at home and when you walk along the
road, when you lie down and when you get
up. Write them on the doorframes of your
houses and on your gates, so that your
days and the days of your children may
be many in the land that the LORD swore
to give your forefathers, as many as the
days that the heavens are above the
earth." - Deu 11:18-21
From these two Old
Testament verses I derive my life
thoughts for Mothers day 2008. In these
scriptures we see the urgency to teach.
The things to be cultivated are real
life experiences of how God worked in
the lives of the generation before. It
is hard to teach these things to the
next age bracket if one has let the
cares of this world take their heart and
mold it into something other than
If a parent is
not full of enthusiasm for what God has
done for them how can they pass it
on? I personally do the things I
do today not out of tradition or habit
but out of true loyalty to the cause. My
parents taught me the realism of God. Â
That loyalty came from wonderful
teachers. Holding God the Father in the
highest regard is not something that
just rubs off on an individual. I can
still hear my mother cleaning house and
singing the hymns that we grew up with.
She often shared with us how things
would just seem totally impossible if
not for God superseding our standard of
My gift reminds me
that if you were blessed to have a mom
who sat down with you and shared her
personal connection with the all
powerful architect of every thing we are
and everything we are to be. Then my
friends your eyes have been open to a
better life here and a better life
In the back of my
mind I wonder, how many are faithful
today because of a Mom who was a teacher
who kept her heart full of the wonders
- Rick Woodall is the minister for the
Yorktown Road church of Christ in
Logansport Indiana. His weekly
devotional message, Life Thoughts, can
be found through this address: http://mysite.verizon.net/yorktownroadchurchofchrist/
The men who
ride in rodeos
Need to be tough, of course—
But they should have a two-year-old
And spend time as a horse!
- Lavonne Mathison, Sourcebook for
Speakers; 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 - email@example.com
You may also visit their website at http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com
kept a garden, a garden of the heart.
She planted all the good things that
gave my life its start.
She turned me to the sunshine and
encouraged me to dream, fostering and
nurturing the seeds of self-esteem.
And when the winds and rains came she
protected me enough,
But not too much because she knew I
needed to grow strong and tough.
Her constant good example always taught
me right from wrong,
Markers for my pathway that will last a
I am my mother’s garden.
I am her legacy and I hope today she
feels the love reflected back from me.
- Author unknown; 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
|Hearts of Gold
Someone is Watching
Edward "Jack" Smith
God would watch him
in his old familiar stance,
snug his tie into his collar,
tuck the tail into his pants,
button up his vest,
put his suit coat on just so,
pull the hanky from the pocket,
buff each shoe across the toe.
Each Sunday God would watch him
lift his Bible from the table,
mark the page where he was reading
about Christ, or Paul, or Abel,
gently close the book
between his thumb and left four fingers.
So many years he carried it thus,
his fingerprints still lingers.
Each Sunday God would watch him
attend worship and take part
in prayers, in praise, in Amens,
and offerings from the heart.
After service he would tarry
to bid each one good-bye.
Each Sunday God was watching,
and as his child, so was I.
I watched him try to live for Christ,
faithfully every day.
I listened to him talk with God
until I learned to pray.
I watched him and learned how to love,
to be humble, and how to give.
Now, someone else is watching me
and learning how to live.
- Edward "Jack" Smith, Poet Laureate of
Dorchester County, SC, is a member of
the Summerville church of Christ,
It Takes a
Helen Steiner Rice
It takes a
mother’s love to make a house a home,
A place to be remembered, no matter
where we roam.
It takes a mother’s patience to bring a
child up right
And her courage and her cheerfulness to
make a dark day bright.
It takes a mother’s kindness to forgive
us when we err,
To sympathize in trouble and bow her
head in prayer.
It takes a mother’s wisdom to recognize
And give us reassurance by her loving
words and deeds.
It takes a mother’s endless faith, her
endless confidence and trust,
To guide us through the pitfalls of
selfishness and lust.
And that is why in all this world there
can never be another
Who will fulfill God’s purposes as
completely as a mother.
- 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
noses and washers of ears.
Smoothers of bumped spots and wipers of
Bathers of babies and umpires of spats.
Finders of boots and mittens and hats.
Helpers with lessons and makers of beds.
Shakers of dust cloths and combers of
button-sew-oners and winders of clocks.
Menders of dresses and darners of socks.
Tellers of stories and readers of books.
Doctors of heartaches and hearers of
Generals directing all family affairs.
- Author unknown; 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 - firstname.lastname@example.org
may also visit their website at http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com
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
& sayings for bulletins and signs
character is like a fence—it cannot be
strengthened by whitewash.”
“The greatest glory of a freeborn people
is to transmit that freedom to their
children” (William Havard; from
Trib-Bits, Decatur, IL Herald).
About the time we learn to make the most
of life, the greater part of it is gone.
Cold feet may be a sign your soul is
Many things that are learned by experience
should not have been learned at all.
Sometimes a man holds opinions and
sometimes they hold the man.
The most sought after labor saving device
for a woman is a man with money.
There is a difference between the books
that men make and the Book from God that
makes men. The Bible is often rejected by
the world which is put off by people who
supposedly are produced and directed by
it. How could anyone be expected to accept
and respect a Bible which Christians
neglect and a God they represent so
plant upon the earth, so man rests upon
the bosom of God. He is nourished by
unfailing fountains and he draws, at his
need, inexhaustible power” (Ralph Waldo
- 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
Modesty is the first line of defense for
sexual purity (1 Timothy 2:9-10)
- A Long, Hot
Summer, Neil W. Anderson, editor, Gospel
Advocate, September 2007, p. 3.