BulletinGold #105
September 2009   Vol 9 #7

BulletinGold #105
September 2009
Vol. 9 Num. 7
David Bragg
Edward Thomason
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:
The Importance of Midweek Bible Study, by Ray Crawford
Have You Seen __________________ Lately?  By Jim Faughn
Where Are the Elders? By Hardie Logan
Questions About Worship, Cecil May, Jr.
Prayer, by Craig Evans
Growing Churches or Saving Souls? By Mack Lyon
The Church Is Not, by Andrew Connally
When Was The Church Established? By Travis L. Quertermous
A Love So Tremendous, by Catherine J. Carter
My Part
My Hand in God's Hand, by Florence Scripps Kellogg

quotes & sayings for bulletins and signs

New Postings At
Editorial by David Bragg
     Have you ever set out to put together a jigsaw puzzle?  If so you know that each piece has its place in order for the picture to come together properly.  You likely are also aware of your chances (one in 4,298,387 approximately) of completing the task without losing a piece.  You take great diligence in placing pieces only to find that, with just a handful of pieces remaining, one piece is missing.  At this point you will probably decide that, since it is only a sky piece, it is not important to the picture and therefore you do not need to be concerned about searching for it.  Right?  Unlikely.
     As you appraise the incomplete product you become uneasy.  That missing piece begins to haunt you.  You know that if you tried to go to sleep you would only dream about it.  That one stubborn piece can haunt you, laughing at you from its hiding place.  As you look at the hole in your puzzle you try to ignore it, but it stands out like a sore thumb.  Then you realize that it is not just a sky piece, but rather it is a bright, blue and beautiful part of something larger than itself.  Actually, it has an intricate part in the overall picture.  Its beauty is enhanced and complimented by its fellow pieces.  IT IS IMPORTANT! 
     Paul urged his fellow believers to look at Christ’s church in much the same way that you might look at a puzzle.  Each individual member is intricately connected with the body as a whole (cf. 1 Cor. 12).  Each member is important.  Each member has its place.  To understand just where you “fit into” the New Testament church you have to clearly understand what the church is, what its mission is, and where your time and capability can best support the divine work, worship, and worth of the church.  While the thought is both humbling and amazing, it is absolutely true that there is a place for you in Christ’s church.

David Bragg

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Panning for Gold Feature Articles:
The Importance of Midweek Bible Study
By Ray Crawford

     The question was asked me recently, “Are we to believe that Wednesday evening attendance is necessary?”  I believe brother Garland M. Robinson makes a good response to this question by asking, “If you are a Christian, where else would you want to be?”  This is a most revealing question.  It reveals the shallow and hollow depth of devotion one has to the Christ who died for him.  This question speaks volumes concerning those who desire to be somewhere else during the Wednesday night services.
     It is a simple fact that a person will make time for and be engaged in whatever activity pleases him.  The bottom line basically is that people only do what they want to do.  If you want to be a faithful Christian, live a godly life, and go to heaven when you die, then you will make every effort to achieve that end.  One’s attitude and heart is not right who must be begged, prodded and coaxed to attend services of the Lord’s church at any time!  Shame on those who do not put forth the effort to be with those of “like mind” in the faith every opportunity afforded.
- II Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  To meet at any time with the saints to study the most precious Book that tells of everlasting life and what to do to obtain it is the desire of everyone who truly wants to go to heaven.  One day we will stand before Jesus to be judged.  We study the scriptures to be approved of Him so that we might be found living in accordance with His will when He comes to call all things to an end (Acts 17:30,31). 
- II Peter 3:18 tells us, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  This command is to grow in the knowledge of God.  How then could anyone refuse to grasp the opportunity to do what we have been commanded?
     Wednesday night is an excellent time to meet and study.  This time is to supplement our personal home study.  But if the truth is known, few study at home and therefore have no interest in midweek study either.
     Seriously, what else on earth is more important than God, truth, and righteousness?  Read Matthew 6:33 and know that when we put anything ahead of God, the Bible, and church and think we are fine, we are in for a rude awakening on judgment day.

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

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Have You Seen __________________ Lately?
By Jim Faughn

     I guess that it happens in every congregation. See if this scenario looks familiar to you:  A person or a family is not with the saints when they assemble one week at a particular congregation of God’s people.  It is assumed that they must be out of town or something, because it is unusual for them to not meet with the local congregation to worship.  Another week or two goes by and they are still missing.  After about a month or so (or more), somebody asks the preacher, “Have you seen _____________ lately?”  The preacher informs the brother or sister that, yes indeed, he has seen them and/or talked with them and that they are now worshiping somewhere else or are not worshiping anywhere at all.  There is shock and disappointment on the part of the one who has asked about _______________.  As the word gets around, people wonder what in the world could have happened and what could have been done to prevent this situation.
     May I offer one suggestion? Don’t depend on the elders or the preacher to do all of the “checking up” on individuals. Why not make it your responsibility (as well as the responsibility of the elders and preacher) to let people know that you care enough about them to let them know that they are being missed when they are not with us.
     Let me share with you one of my personal goals. It is just that; a goal. Unfortunately, I sometimes fail to meet the goal, but it is always before me and I honestly do try.  It is one of my goals to make it impossible for any former member of the congregation to be able to say, “Well, I was gone for months and nobody ever checked on me. I guess they didn’t care as much as they said they did.”
     How much of an impact would it have if every member of the local congregation would notice when somebody is not attending as they formerly did and made it a priority to live up to all of those “one another” passages in the New Testament? Why don’t we try to find out what that impact would be?
     Will you join me in setting a goal similar to mine? Will you make it a goal to never have to ask the question, “Have you seen ___________ lately?”

- Jim Faughn serves as an elder and preacher for the Central church of Christ in Paducah KY.  He may be contacted at paducahcentralcoc@comcast.net or through the church’s website: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org

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Where Are the Elders?
By Hardie Logan

     The more I read about things happening in the church, the more I want to ask, "Where are the elders?"  In many congregations where strange things are happening, elders are there. And yet the strange things still go on. So the question is valid, "Where are the elders?"
     It appears that since there are elders in these congregations and strange things are going on, then either the elders are supporting the strange things or they just don't care. Either way, the Lord's church, where they are, is being overrun with strange teachings and the flock, of which they are in charge, is in dire danger. How can men, who have been entrusted by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28) to care for and tend the church of God, allow this to happen? Do they not understand God's warnings about faulty leadership?
     Elders are the God appointed leaders in the congregation. A leader is someone in front of the army, not in the rear. When they give a direction, they show they are behind it by leading the rank and file in the direction they think it should go. They must determine the final direction and show their determination in making it happen. The church and God depend on them for this.
     Yet, in the church, many elders are in the rear of God's army. Many think that because they don't see any problems, none exist. Many do not study, many do not visit, many have become lackadaisical about the work of elders, or they have forgotten it. And when some preacher, some deacon, or some member comes along and sells them on some idea that will "grow the church", they are all to eager to show their leadership, not their wisdom, by hopping on the strange doctrine bandwagon.
     In the church, just like in an army, the leaders need to be seen and heard. The rank and file need to know there is a goal, there is direction, there is hope of fulfilling the goal. The rank and file need the encouragement of seeing their leaders in action, not only to protect them, but also to lead them in the right direction. The rank and file need to have the confidence of knowing their leaders will help them, will provide for them and see things through. This applies to leading as well as protecting. Both have to be done by God's leaders.
     And, one thing to remember: God's army can falter because of a lack of leadership.    

- Hardie Logan preaches for the Marshfield church of Christ, in Marshfield, WI.  He may be contacted at xnman01@gmail.com

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Questions About Worship
By Cecil May, Jr.

     Goodman Oaks in Southaven is the largest church of Christ in Mississippi.  Sunday morning attendance is around 700.  Steve Reeves, their preacher, suggests several questions to be asked about what is to be done in worship:
1) Is there precedence for such an act of worship in the New Testament?  Can it be supported by a direct command of Scripture?  Is it an example from the early church meant for us to follow today?  Is it clearly an inference we are supposed to make and follow from the Biblical text?  “I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15).
2) Is this activity intended to bring glory to God or is it geared merely toward human entertainment and satisfaction?  “For do I now persuade men, or God?  Or do I seek to please men?  For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Ga1:10).
3) Will it promote or hinder the unity of the body of Christ?  Paul commands us to “pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” (Rom. 14:19).
     Even when such questions are asked, different answers may be given by different people.  My concern here, however, is that to many congregations seem never to ask such questions.

The only questions being asked by some today apparently are, “Do we like it?  Do we want to do it?  Will it help attract crowds?”

- Cecil May, Jr.;
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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Nuggets & Quick Riches - misc. goodies
By Craig Evans

     Prayer is a vital aspect of a Christian’s life.  It is our opportunity to go before the throne of God and express our great appreciation for Him, tell Him of our struggles, and bring our innermost desires and requests before Him.  It is an awesome thought that we have access to God, who by His omnipotence spoke the world into existence, and by His omniscience knows all about us, and by His omnibenevolence sent His son to die on a cross to save us from our sins.  A God that is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving will hear me.  This week as you enter God’s throne room there are some things that you can pray for:
- The brotherhood - that it may love one another and hold God’s word as its standard of practice and attitude.
- The local congregation - that we may be strong in God’s word, united, caring, and evangelistic.
- World leaders - that they may rely on God’s word for truth so that peace may abound.
- Families - that marriages would be strong, and parents would bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and children will honor their parents.
- The lost - that they may come to a knowledge of God and put Christ on in baptism and live for Him.
- The hurting - that they may be comforted and see God as that comfort.
Paul tells us in 1 Thess. 5.17 “Pray without ceasing.”  Let us never take the wonderful gift of prayer for granted.
— Craig Evans serves as youth minister for 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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Growing Churches or Saving Souls?
By Mack Lyon

     Church growth is the LORD’S business.  “The Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).  Let not man assume control of the Lord’s business.  “Church Growth” experts do not know as much as our Lord knows about who should be added to His church.
     The church’s role in church growth is to preach the saving gospel to the lost.  “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).  There we have Jesus’ own word for that.  Since He is the saved’s Savior, He will know who should be a member of His church.
     The church must focus on its role in saving the lost.  Jesus Christ said, “Go.”  The modern “progressive church” says, “Come.”  To obey the Lord, the church must—
            1. Love the lost.  Jesus, our example, loved the sinner Zacchaeus of Jericho and invited Himself over to Zacchaeus’ house to spend the night.  He converted Zacchaeus that night.  Read about it in Luke 19:1-10.
            2. Seek the lost.  Jesus said, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  Jesus had to leave His heavenly home to come into the world to save the lost.  Why would we think we can reach the lost without going into the world? God forbid that we are on a “church growth” mission rather than a “soul-saving” mission.
            3. Teach the lost.  They may not know they are lost.  It is easy to be lost in the woods and not know it.  It is as easy to be lost in sin and not know it.  As we would show the person lost in the woods the way out, we must show the person lost in sin the way out.  Christ is the way.  Social services will not do it, friend.  Neither will polite pleasantries about nothings do it.  The gospel is God’s power to save the lost (Romans 1:16).  Let’s be sure it’s the gospel we’re preaching to the lost.                                 

– Mack Lyon, speaker for the successful television ministry In Search if the Lord’s Way, may be contacted through their website: http://www.searchtv.org/

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The Church Is Not
 By Andrew Connally

The church is not made up of people who believe they are better than others...
    ...but rather of those who believe they ought to be better than they are.
The church is not made up of perfect people...
    ...but of people who follow a perfect Lord and realize they ought to do the best they can.
The church is not made up of people who never make mistakes...
    ...but of those who acknowledge their mistakes and try not to make the same ones again.
The church is not trying to withdraw from everyone...
    ...but rather to bring everyone into its fellowship and love.
The church is not trying to set up arbitrary rules to hinder anyone...
    ...but to show how following the rule of Christ helps us all.
The church is not trying to take the joy out of life...
    ...but to put real joy into life.
The church is not trying to make you feel ugly...
    ...but trying to instill the beauty of holiness in your life.
The church is not trying to separate you from your money...
    ...but trying to keep your money from separating you from God.

- Andrew Connally; 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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When Was The Church Established?
By Travis L. Quertermous

     This is a question that often evokes serious debate. Some say during the ministry of John the Baptist, others say during the ministry of Jesus Christ. But if we let the Bible explain itself, the answer is easy to find. About six months prior to His death, Jesus promised, “I will build my church…” (Matt. 16:18). Notice that this statement is in the future tense—He had not yet established His church, but soon would. Also, in Matthew 16:18-19, Jesus identified His church with the kingdom of heaven (as He often did, cf. Matt. 13:1-52). Thus, if we can learn when the kingdom was established, then we can also know when the church began.
     A simple combination of three passages (Mark 9:1; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1-4) helps us to understand when the church (or kingdom) began. In Mark 9:1, Jesus predicted, “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.” (If the kingdom is not yet in existence, as many teach, there must be some mighty old folks around somewhere!) So the kingdom would come with power. According to Acts 1:8, the power would come with the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). Therefore, the kingdom/church was established on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ.  Thus, it is no surprise to read at the end of Acts chapter 2, “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (2:47).
     Has the Lord added you to His church? Have you been saved (Acts 2:37-38)?
     Why not visit with us to find out?

- Travis L. Quertermous preaches for the church of Christ in Dexter, MO.  He may be contacted at minister.church@sbcglobal.net or through the church’s website:  http://www.dexterchurchofchrist.com/

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Hearts of Gold - poetry
            A Love So Tremendous
             By Catherine J. Carter

I saw my Savior writhing in pain,
I looked away but looked back again.
HOW could I look away knowing full well,
HIS suffering and HIS pain was to save me from Hell.
As I look in His eyes as He suffered on the tree,
His mouth whispered " I LOVE you",
YES, He was doing it for ME.
A love so tremendous,
A love so true,
He DIED for ME..........
and He died for YOU !

--Catherine J. Carter; 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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My Part

God didn’t put me on this earth to have an easy time.
He put me here to fight a fight, to hold a battle line.
He put me here to help the weak and myself grow strong.
He put me here to lend a hand and help the world along.
He put me here to say a word of encouragement and cheer;
He put me here to sing a song for someone else to hear.
He didn’t put me here to whine, stick out my lips, and pout.
He put me here to do His work and Satan’s evil rout.
He didn’t put me here to seek rewards and starry crowns.
He put me here to do my part and see that love abounds.
So I’ll just seek to do my part as I travel through these lands,
And I will strive to do his will and leave all in His hands.
- Bulletin Digest; via the weekly bulletin of the Central Church of Christ.  Jim Faughn serves as their preacher.  He may be contacted at paducahcentralcoc@comcast.net

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     My Hand in God's Hand
 By Florence Scripps Kellogg
Each morning when I wake, I say,
"I place my hand in God's today!"
I know He'll walk close by my side
my every wandering step to guide.
He leads me with the tenderest care
when paths are dark and I despair,
no need for me to understand
if I but hold fast to His Hand.
My hand in His! No surer way
to walk in safety through each day.
By His great bounty I am fed!
Warmed by His love, and comforted.
When at day's end I seek my rest
and realize how much I am blessed,
My thanks pour out to Him, and then
I place my hand in God's again.

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Gold Mines ---- quotes, sayings & sign messages
A good sermon should be preached over and over. Bad sermons should not be preached at all.

Church membership does not make one a Christian any more than owning a piano makes one a musician.

The fellow who says he is as good as many church members should be required to specify which members.

Some consider it a good sermon if it was directed at somebody else.

A sermon need not be a mile long if it is only a few inches deep.

People these days are so keyed-up and stressed out that it is almost impossible to put them to sleep with an ordinary sermon.

- 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

Christian One-Liners-
   "Don't let your worries get the best of you.  Remember, Moses started outas a basket case."
- 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

The problem is not the church in the world...
...it is the world in the church!

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

Most middle-class Americans tend to worship their work, to work at their play, and to play at their worship.

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

"I don't know why some people change churches.  What difference does it make which one you stay home from?"  - From the Internet

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BulletinGold Extra ---- recent postings on our Blogsite
Burglar and Preacher
The Biblical Scholar,
Kevin Raynor
How Much Time Does It Take
Overcoming Doubt, Bob Spurlin
On Priorities, H. L. Gradowith

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