Roanoke Church of Christ

Author: admin


(Any similarity to living persons or person is purely coincidental)
My dear brothers and sisters in Rome. My lovely wife and I are looking forward to visiting with you soon in your lovely city.
I hope to bring you a message of hope and prosperity from the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I’m sure you remember when we sent our brother also known for his preaching to you in humility and patience. While the amphitheater was a nice venue, and it was packed to overflowing, with many standing outside, the rain dampened the occasion, to say the least. Therefore, I would like to suggest that you make plans to find a larger venue for my upcoming arrival. As you know appearance is everything. Our God is a mighty God and that must be recognized when we arrive.
Please send some of the brethren on a scouting trip around the city. I am planning to buy land on one of the highest hills around the city for my new church. As of yet we have not made the progress in Rome I have hoped to make. However, it has been better than Athens. I’d prayed to God, along with our prayer warriors, that he would open the doors for us to build a church on Mars Hill. While I’m sure that will come, the Spirit is not ready yet.
When I arrive I will tell you my plan to convert all of Rome to the gospel. Since I last saw you I have been guided by the Spirit to preach a gospel that will open their hearts to the word of God. It has taken me into a deeper understanding of what I call “The Gentile Hope.”
Gentiles want what everyone wants. They want inner peace and security. However, the basis for attaining that is a misunderstanding of God. They believe in many gods, both male and female. Each god has its own special blessing to give. To receive that blessing they must please, or appease each god in order to gain the blessing. This requires them to do all sorts of ungodly things and offer ungodly sacrifices. And even after doing all that, they are never sure if they actually pleased the gods. If they don’t get what they asked for they think they didn’t get the sacrifice right or weren’t worthy of the blessing.
Fatalism is deeply ingrained in them. They think it is possible that they are among the ones the gods will never bless. In any case, they can never find security and fulfillment in that kind of religion.
That’s where my gospel will set them free. As you know from those who came to you from me, I preach a gospel of a God whose only purpose and joy is to serve those who come to him. We are created in his image. As God is great and has everything that makes him God, he also wants his children to have everything which will show the world how wonderful he is.
The gospel is that God loved us so much that he gave his only son to show us the way to a beautiful and prosperous life. Jesus said it himself, “I have come that they may have life abundantly.”
When the Gentiles in Rome see God as the one who lives to bless them with every earthly and spiritual blessing, they will flock to the amphitheaters to be converted.
Of course the wealthiest among them will be the first to come. It is always the blessed who want more blessings. When they learn of a God whose very existence is to bless everyone with wealth and abundance they will come to worship him.
Seeing the rich come will inspire others to come so they too may have the abundant life reflected in the richness of wealth and beauty.
Their gods live in glorious temples. Our God lives in his people. And the way God has chosen to be seen in the world is in the success, beauty and wealth of those who claim him. No God worth following wants to be seen as a loser.
My lovely wife, Vicky and I will depart as soon as our new chariot is finished. We’re having it built by the best craftsmen in the East. As you know people from the East are innovators. Rather than only having two wheels as do most chariots, this one will have four. The covering will be the finest leather to keep out the rain and sun. It will be drawn by four black Arabian horses accompanied by our armed body guards.
I will send a letter letting the brethren there know our planed departing date. I know you will make all the necessary arrangements ahead of time so that our entry into the city will be not only be unforgettable, but make the Caesar curious about the power of our God.
The prayers of the church here are with you, as are mine.
May the God of all glory and power and might and wealth beyond measure bless you until we meet.
From God’s humble servant,

CONCERNS: Abby Keeting, as she is treated for leukemia. Martha Albert’s niece lost her home to the Santa Rosa fires. Bud McWhorter took a little fall, but is back on his feet now. Remember Del Bolin’ss mother, Teryn Gaynor’s mother, Luke Beach, Jamie Cole, Ben Robertson as he looks for a job. Also Tolly Nicklas, Steve Gaynor’s sister, Betty, Josh Thirston, Melisha Scruggs’ friend Jeanie, whose child has serious heath issues. Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson, Wayne Phlegar, Ray and Darnel Barnes, Gil Richardson, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

Monday: Isaiah 53: 1-12
Tuesday: Matthew 28: 1-20
Wednesday: Ezekiel 34:1-16
Thursday: Acts 21:37-22:16
Friday: Psalm 14:1-7
Saturday: Revelation 20:11-21

Monday: Psalm 139:1-24
Tuesday: Matthew 8:1-13
Wednesday: Matthew 12:1-14
Thursday: Colossians 2:8-19
Friday: Revelation 2:1-11
Saturday: Matthew 16:13-28

Since most of you who are members here receive the bulletin before the date at the top of the last page, just a reminder that Daylight Savings Time ends on Saturday night. Remember to set your clocks back an hour before going to bed and we’ll see you all refreshed from that extra hour’s sleep.

Our thanks to Adam Fleming for both buying and installing a new security light at the end of the annex. The old one was obsolete and the dusk to dawn switch which operated the lights outside the office door was no longer working. This caused those lights to stay on continuously.
We are still in the process of redoing the lights inside the annex.

It has been decided that we continue with preparing the evening meal at the Ronald McDonald House through next year. This is a really good work and if you’ve every been involved you can see, as well as hear the appreciation from the families who have children in the hospital.

The Symphony is having several special priced evenings in the coming weeks. Information is on the foyer table.

With many of our travelers back and
Del Bolin’s three brothers with us, we had an uplifting service last Sunday.


This statement used to be laughable. Today it is, if I dare say it, “factual.”
“Facts” are rapidly fading into oblivion. If you don’t believe me check social media.
Fact or fiction? I don’t know. But you’ll get the point. A story went around about an old woman who was told we had landed a man on the moon.
When she heard about it, she said something like. “I pray to God it isn’t true, and if it is I don’t want to know about it.” What that poor woman, bless her heart, didn’t know was that it all took place in an aircraft hanger in the Arizona desert in a place known as Area 51.
I was reading a column by Leonard Pitts where he discussed how little truth matters today, or we could say “facts.” He referred to an article he’d written about a World War 1 African American soldier named Henry Johnson, who though wounded 21 times, fought off a company of Germans. (Do a google search)
Pitts received a response from a guy who said it was all a lie. Actually he called it something else. Pitts had his assistant do all the research and sent it to the guy. He was unmoved. Pitts went on to say, “What struck me wasn’t so much Ken’s ignorance. Rather, it was how impervious his ignorance was to corrective fact. That was when I first fully understood that we had entered a new era wherein facts – those things that once settled arguments conclusively – carried all the weight of goose down.” Ouch! He went on to list a number of “fact checking” sites. I was reminded that a family member heard someone say, “Well, who checks the fact checkers!?” Goodbye facts.
I admit I’ve almost given up on facts. And yet facts are the rocks on which we hope to build our lives.
As a Christian and a preacher, I’m always looking for facts (rocks) on which to build my understanding of God and Jesus. I am well aware that my rocks aren’t the same as someone else’s. However, what each one ends up with is a theology or philosophy of God. In other words, what we perceive to be facts shape our religious lives. And while there are those who are sure they have the absolute true facts about the Bible, they are surrounded by people who believe their own differing facts are the just as true.
In many cases this matters very little. But in each case an attitude is developed that becomes a guide for that person’s understanding of God. And that’s a fact.
To follow Jesus we each have to decide who he was. We primarily use the New Testament, especially the gospels. However, we rarely if ever, read the gospels without prejudice. Most of us read them with a background of teaching. Someone has told us who Jesus was and what he meant before we got there.
I remember a Sunday School teacher saying Jesus was able to go in and out of his body, because it said in the KJV in Luke 4:30, concerning their desire to kill Jesus, “But he passing through the midst of them went on his way.” What’s the big deal? Well, this Jesus isn’t like us and that influences how we think of his humanity. Is he human or not? Also, was Philip teleported to Azotus in Acts 9? If you check the internet you will find as fact that he was. However, newer translations indicate other understandings.
I recently saw an article (which I now cannot find) about Jesus and the Syrophoenician women. Without me going into the details of why it was written, he said something like, “It is plain that Jesus was testing the woman.” Well, that’s one explanation. The problem comes when we find something another writer tells us about Jesus that doesn’t fit our preconceived ideas. We don’t want Jesus to call anyone a dog, a common Jewish term for Gentiles.
Let’s examine the “test” idea in Matthew 15:20ff. Why would Jesus test her? Where did he ever test anyone who asked for healing, especially for a child? If it were a test, why would Jesus tell her he was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel? Was that the truth or a lie? If it was a test, is it all right to lie when it’s a test? Is it all right in a test, for Jesus to call the woman and her daughter dogs?
I see this as a moment in Jesus’s life when he realized he could not be who God sent him to be and not open God to the world beyond Israel.
It does not offend me that Jesus learned something more about his purpose from a Gentile woman. Why do I see it that way? Because it fits what I understand the scriptures say about him.
In Luke 2:52 it says Jesus grew in wisdom and stature. It is the writer of Hebrews who makes the strongest case for Jesus learning more and more about his ministry. In Heb. 4:15 it says Jesus was tempted in every way as are we. In 5:7-9 it says he “…offered up prayers and petitions with cries and tears to the one who could save him from death.” And that “…he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him…” What you think “once made perfect” means will reveal your view of who Jesus was.
For some the issue is that if Jesus learned it meant he sinned by not knowing. However, learning does not automatically mean what is unlearned is a sin. If Jesus’ statement about dogs came from common usage, it doesn’t mean he sinned by using it. It means he learned it was not a term that rightly and properly defined the Gentiles.
Will my “facts”change anyone else’s facts? No. This is just my attempt to understand and follow the one Peter told Cornelius about. “…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how he went about doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” (Acts 10:38)
Facts may be hard to come by, but when we find them they should change us. Can we start by saying doing good is in fact a good thing? It’s a start.

CONCERNS: Martha Foy is recovering well after hip surgery. Abby Keeting is still being treated for leukemia. Judy Hall is having eye problems. Teryn Gaynor’s mother is being treated for cancer. Ben Robertson had an interview in Blacksburg, and another in New York. Remember these in continued prayer: Tolly Nicklas, Steve Gaynor’s sister, Betty, Josh Thirston, Melisha Scruggs friend, Jeanie, Sheila Jansen and her daughter, Amber Weaver. Amber is paralyzed from the neck down. Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Ray & Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jamie Cole, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

Monday: Psalm 46
Tuesday: John 14:1-11
Wednesday: Psalm 23
Thursday: Isaiah 26:1-4
Friday: Matthew 5:1-16
Saturday: I John 2:7-11, 15-17

Monday Exodus 3:1-15
Tuesday: Matthew 9:14-34
Wednesday: Ecclesiastes 12:1-14
Thursday: II Corinthians 5:11-21
Friday: II Samuel 11:1-27
Saturday: Psalm 121:1-8

The service today will be arranged and conducted by Mike Branch. Our thanks to him for sharing his thoughts with us today’
This is also Super Sunday, Please stay for the fellowship meal following the service. If you are a visitor consider yourself our guest.
There will be no steering committee meeting today unless a need arises.
Because of changes within the congregation, as well as scheduling conflicts, we have canceled the annual Peaks Hike and Picnic. Instead, Bill and Martha Albert have invited us to their home on Smith Mountain Lake next Sunday. Martha will need some help getting things ready and some have already volunteered.
The plan is to enjoy a picnic style late lunch because it gets dark so much faster now. However, if you need to eat after the service, come and eat some more!
The fall colors on the lake should make for a lovely evening, as well as the warm weather we have been having.
Martha wants us to spend some time singing as well. Plan to come next Sunday afternoon.
Once again we have several members away this weekend. James and Megan Downing are on an anniversary trip. Lyn Jordan is displaying his pottery at a Craft Fair. Leena and Del Bolin are in Beaufort SC enjoying some time together, Connie Crites is in Charlottesville, visiting with Kelly and her family.
New email? Let Keith know.


Labels! What are they good for? Nothing! Well, at least not much. We need labels on items. The problem is when we label people and ideas.
I have to admit that nearly all the labels stuck on me have been merit badges of sorts. “Unsound” is now antiquated, but I have that one in my box of old labels.
“Liberal” is the longest lasting, and while I don’t display it, I don’t deny it either. It’s in my theological blood, though only via a transfusion. Or perhaps I should say a “transformation.”
I’m not sure exactly when it started, but it was before I entered Northeastern Institute for Christian Education (NICE). If you want to see for yourself, go to NICE the Early Years. It’s on Facebook. What you will find are pictures from the first Church of Christ educational institution from preschool through college that was fully integrated when it opened in 1959. By that standard it was liberal. There was Interracial dating. Also liberal by the standards of that day. I’ve mentioned NICE before, but it connects to what I’m saying now.
There, I witnessed the suspicion of the local and area CofC preachers to the “liberal” school. I have to admit it was a little exciting. I was seeing the Bible in ways I’d never been taught or thought about before. I couldn’t get enough. However, sadly, due to suspicion and jealousy, from the top down to the religion department, the administration resigned or was replaced.
So I started into the preaching world knowing there would be labels. I also knew I had to decide which of those labels I would accept while maintaining my integrity and honesty toward the teachings of the Bible. That decision lead me in several different directions. I found myself leaving concepts and methods of interpretation on which I thought I was to stand, according to what I had been taught in church. It was very often a scary place and I’m not that brave.
Throughout the years I have seen labels define Christianity. Liberal and Conservative being the general terms. I recently saw a detrimental comment about “liberal Christianity.” No definition was given. I’m sure it would not be the description of what I would call liberal.
Let’s see if we can decide liberal from conservative. Since this is in a Christian context, we will use that as a basis. Question: Was Jesus a liberal according to the scribes and the Pharisees?
When Jesus was accused of eating with tax collectors and sinners, was that viewed as liberal or conservative by the religious standards of the ruling body?
Was his take on Sabbath rules liberal or conservative?
Was the apostle Paul a liberal or a conservative according to the Jews?
In the early church were the Jewish Christians who wanted the law of circumcision ( which was supposed to be an eternal covenant) and the dietary laws of Judaism maintained, liberal or conservative?
Would the Gentile Christians who ate meat sacrificed at the pagan temples be seen as more liberal than the Jewish Christians who would not?
Were Martin Luther and the other reformers liberal or conservative according to those who stood against them?
Was Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who apposed the take over of the church in Germany by Hitler and spoke out against him, as well as being part of a plot to kill him, a liberal or conservative?
Was William Wilberforce, who worked against slavery in England liberal or conservative?
Were those Christians who apposed slavery in America, liberal or conservative?
Was Frederick Douglas a liberal or a conservative?
Were those Christians who worked for women’s suffrage liberal or conservative?
Was Martin Luther King Jr. a liberal or a conservative?
Were those who walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma Alabama liberal or conservative?
Was Nelson Mandela liberal or conservative?
I’ll leave the answers to you. My point is that while labels are used to define, they also divide. They put a narrow definition on the individual and groups. Are there conservative liberals and liberal conservatives? Of course.
I’m not sure how many “yes” and “no” answers the reader of these questions would give. I only know that I would be honored to be associated with any of them labeled “liberal.”

1-Mary Smith 4-Laura Schreiner
4-Garrett L. Williams 10-Brice Reid
14-Connie Crites 15-Mary Willa Foy
20-Lyn Jordan 20-Melisha Scruggs
24-Teryn Gaynor 4-Susan Phlegar
27-TJ Hall 31-Elliot Hogan
3-James & Megan Downing
8-Mike & Karen Crush Branch
9-Scott & Bonnie Blessing
19-Jeff & Sherry Bland

CONCERNS: Little Abby Keeting continues to be treated for leukemia. Martha Foy had hip replacement surgery in Charlotte NC. She is doing fine but will be with her aunt who lives there for a week or so. Judy McWhorter’s friend, Josh Thirston is having problems after a kidney transplant. Judy Hall is also having issues with her cornea transplant. Luke Beach, great-nephew of Alan and Joni is having treatment to shrink a benign brain tumor. Scott Blessing is having serious back pain. Del Bolin’s mother is doing better. Teryn Gaynor’s mother continues cancer treatment. Steve Gaynor’s sister is improving. Ben Robertson is still job hunting. Continue in prayer for Melisha Scruggs friend, Jeanie, who has a child with health issues. Tolly Nicklas, Sheila Jansen and her Daughter, Amber Weaver. Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Ray & Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jamie Cole, Jim & Mary Smith and Tim Elder.
Monday: Matthew 7:7-11
Tuesday: Romans 3:21-31
Wednesday: James 2:14-26
Thursday: Mark 2:-12
Friday: I Peter 1:3-12
Saturday: Psalm 105:1-45
Monday: Acts 17:16-34
Tuesday: Colossians 3:1-17
Wednesday: John 11:17-44
Thursday: Romans 4:1-8; 5:1-11
Friday: I Thessalonians 5:12-28
Saturday: Psalm 118:1-29

A total of $2,000.00 has ben sent to The Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort to help those effected by recent Hurricanes.

Feeding America’s drive for peanut butter is ongoing. Just kept it on your mind when you shop. There is o deadline. Peanut butte supplies one of the best nutritional needs for helping families.

Judy McWhorter will be visiting family in Vermont this week.

The family needing furniture has found enough for now. However, in the future, if you are replacing something, call or check with Keith first. Such needs come and go.

Changes in the congregation, as well as scheduling issues caused last year’s event to be canceled. If there is enough interest, we will do it this year. However, an alternative could be rather than rush up to the Peaks of Otter after the Super Sunday meal, a Saturday could be picked out on which to go. That could be just for the hike, or perhaps a picnic as well. Let’s talk about it.
Another option could be a picnic at a local park, such as Green Hill. This could be done on a Sunday afternoon because it is much closer and tends to offer more room for picnicking. Planing such an event would allow us to determine the right time to enjoy the fall colors, since the warming trend of recent years has backed off the fall display.

If you have changed your email address lately, give Keith a copy if you want to keep getting news and up dates.


Let me start at the beginning, if there is a beginning. When it comes to politics, my mother was a Democrat and my father was a Republican, at least that’s what they said. I never knew them to actually vote. They said it was because each one would void the other’s vote.
I remember being in a schoolyard when FDR died. School was dismissed early that day. A few years later in the same schoolyard, I remember saying I wanted Dewey to win. Why? I heard my father say he should. He didn’t and my world didn’t change as far as I could tell.
I was mad when Truman fired General MacArthur. Then my brother who was in the Army during the Korean “Conflict” told me the President was the Commander-in-Chief of the military and MacArthur had disobeyed an order from the President. My life didn’t change.
Jack Kennedy was a Catholic and that was bad, according to a lot of people, including the church my family attended. He was elected and my life didn’t change. However, it was about that time I started looking beyond my life and looking at my country and the rest of the world.
We moved to West Virginia to start work with a small-town church, and it might have been then we decided to register to vote. In that state you had to chose a party, so we both chose the party of Jo’s parents. But we didn’t vote until several years later. We did get a taste of politics in that little town. One of the elders was a local Justice of the Peace and another was on the county school board, and part of the same political party. The JP held court on Sunday, which I was to understand was illegal.
A member there was on the inside of the local and state politics. He took me to the capital where I met, as I remember, the Governor and one or two of his close sidekicks. He would later go to prison.
When the two above mentioned elders decided to fire me (the elder who wanted me hired had retired and moved away) I was told by my “insider” friend that the school board member had been told to leave the county or go to jail for some kind of misappropriation of funds. I was his last act as an elder. All of the afore mentioned men were part of the political party we’d registered with.
The town had two Methodist churches. One was a white frame building and was called the Southern (Republican) Methodist Church. The other, a fine brick building on the hill by the Court House was known as the Northern (Democrat) Methodist Church. I’m fairly sure they were not “United” Methodists.
As to if the split made a lot of difference, I don’t know. The designations seemed to be more a part of family and personal preference rather than history. They seemed to get along fine.
We had close friends at church who were part of the opposite party from us. Once in awhile I would hear them speak about the corruption of the opposition party, and I didn’t disagree. I was not into politics.
I don’t remember the first time Jo and I voted. I think it was when Jimmy Carter was running. I remember the fear that went around when he said he was a born again Christian. That was a new one. People didn’t know what to do with that. How would that influence his decisions?
It was, as I remember, during the Reagan Administration, that I first heard good friends, the kind that made our lives better, say disparaging things about the other political party. This was done in front of their “brothers and sisters who were part of the “other” party.
This atmosphere seemed to grow, and during the Clinton years it became more exposed. A church member said at a gathering that she wished someone would assassinate Hillary Clinton. When my wife said she surely didn’t mean that, she assured her that she did. I shouldn’t have let it pass, but I did. It wasn’t long before she moved to another church. As we talked, I said I was glad there were two political parties. She said there should be only one-hers.
During that same time, a couple attending a small group meeting of this church, quit the meeting and the church because what was supposed to be a Bible study turned into bashing the political party of which they were a part.
Out of that came open statements that one political party was about Christian values. Which meant the other was not. More than one person has said a person couldn’t be a Christian and be a member of the other party. Which means if you were part of that party you were not a “true” Christian. A friend told me a person she’d known for a long time tried to drag her in a political discussion she didn’t want to have, and when she told her friend, she never heard from her again.
I have a minister friend who had to basically announce in the church bulletin that the church would be a politically neutral zone.
To say this has been part of the history of politics, even causing a war between the States, is beside the point. This is about Christians. You know, like the Christian Jews and the Gentile Christians having respect for one another’s views about Gentile things and Jewish things. It was just too easy to say the uncircumcised Gentile Christian was not a “real” Christian.
Don’t get me wrong, there are “Christians” and then there are “Christians”.The “real” ones are known by how they reflect the qualities of Jesus. I say “how well” because none of us are exceptionally good at doing that, but the difference is evident when we do get it right, or when we get it wrong.
As Christians we are not to be, as Paul would say, “of the world.” That the “world” smears and lies about its opponents is evident. So it behooves Christians to fact- check anything they see posted as truth. And while doing so, respect those who see things differently. It is the “truth” which sets us free. I know Jesus is the truth which sets us free. But you get the point.

CONCERNS: Alisa Flora did very well with her surgery. She may be home by today. Abraham Sirgy asks prayer for a friend, Timothy Johnson. Del Bolin asks prayer for Abby Keeting, a little girl being treated for leukemia. Luke Beach, grandnephew of Alan & Joni. Judy and T. J. Hall. Judy is having eye problems and T. J. with migraines. Teryn Gaynor’s mother continues with cancer treatments. Ben Robertson is job hunting. Tolly Nicklas is in nursing care. Steve Gaynor’s sister. Betty. Gary Overstreet. Melisha Scruggs’ friend, Jeanie, who has a child with health problems. Sheila Jansen and her daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jamie Cole, Jim and Mary Smith and Tom Elder. The Thurston boy Judy McWhorter ask prayer for had the kidney transplant and did fine.
Monday: Psalm 40:1-17
Tuesday: John 8:49-59
Wednesday: Philippians 2:14-30
Thursday: Ephesians 2:1-22
Friday: John 19:1-16
Saturday: Colossians 1:3-20
Monday: John 10:1-18
Tuesday: Matthew 13:24-43
Wednesday: Psalm 90:1-17
Thursday: Luke 14:15-24
Friday: Amos 5:18-6:1
Saturday: Psalm 71:1-24

Today we will hear Lyn Jordan tell us about his experience while working with the Ezell Clinic in Guatemala. Susan has been going for several years and this year we sent Lyn along.
He had several new experiences, as does everyone who goes for the first time. We are looking forward to hearing from him today.

Today is also Super Sunday. Along with the other food that is brought, we will have the leftover Bar-B-Que which has been frozen since Labor Day. It consists of pork shoulder and chicken. We were not able to freeze the prime rib because it had been frozen twice before. However, we were able to send it all home with those who came. Plan to stay and enjoy the meal.

Most of us have friend and relatives in Florida. Todd Wagner and his family had no damage to their home in Cape Coral, other then loss of power for about a day. Jen and the children came to Roanoke.
Stephanie Dixon also did fine in Sarasota, with just a loss of power as well.

Vivian will be away for the next three weeks.

There will be a steering Committee meeting in the library after the Super Sunday meal.

The need for peanut butter is ongoing. Feeding America is always distributing peanut butter to families in need. Place it either on the downstairs tale, or on the foyer table.

If you are about to get rid of usable furniture, give Keith a call first.


Dear God,

As one of your children I’m writing to ask you some questions. I know I could call you “Father”, but this is more or less an official letter, you know, about business.
I’m sure you know that a hurricane has struck the Texas coast. It is said to be the worst in their history and the damage will last for months, if not years.
My question is, what did the people of Texas do wrong? I’m not accusing, just asking. You see, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans several years ago, John Hagee, that big-time San Antonio preacher (among several others) said Katrina was your judgement on the sins of that city. So I was wondering, since Hurricane Harvey hit almost all of the Texas coast, including doing historic damage to Houston, its largest city; what sins will John Hagee say brought about your wrath on them? And, is he a hypocrite and false teacher if he does not blame sin on the disaster? He will probably point out that Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church was spared.
While I’m at it, why, with all the evil in the world, are all these disasters mostly blamed on the LGBTQ people? You remember Jerry Falwell blamed the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center on gay marriage and the LGBTQ. He wasn’t the only one. Of course you remember that just before endorsing Mitt Romney for president Roberto Miranda, that preacher in Boston blamed 9/11 on Boston’s lax views on gay marriage because the terrorists flew out of Boston’s Logan Airport.
This Gay matter will all be over soon according to a preacher named Kim Burrell. She says it looks to her like all the Gays will be destroyed this year. It’s September, so I’m wondering, since I’m sure she’s wrong, if those who follow her might be wise enough to see the light?
I know this kind of judgement has been going on for centuries. People believe what they want to. I just have trouble understanding why they continue to follow someone who is proven wrong over and over again?
I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, but that guy, Pat Robertson, is always messing up and using your name to do it. His TV show draws I don’t know how many people each day.
A week before the 2008 election Pat told Mitt Romney he would win the election over President Obama. You also remember he asked you to remove President Obama from office. It didn’t seem to phase him when you didn’t do it. Neither does it phase his listeners when none of his predictions, most of which are preceded by “God told me” do not come true.
How did you feel when Rabbi Nolson Leiter not only blamed Hurricane Sandy on Gay marriage, but said the great flood in the Bible was caused for the same reason? I’ve heard a lot of misplaced stuff about the curse of Ham, but this was a new one on me. I don’t expect you to send me an answer. I’ve kind of figured out that you expect us to use the very nature of what is called “the image of God” in us to show love and compassion to all of humanity, as well as figuring out who is using you to create a personal following and avoid them.
I suppose I’m just venting, but as I’m sure you know, venting is good for the soul. Sometime prayer is just getting all the stuff down deep out in the light so it can be observed at arms length. Having said that, I’m still trying to figure out why anything that has to do with sexuality automatically is a call for all kinds of natural disasters? I’ve yet to hear one of the “God is judging you because…” preachers say that in relationship to massive greed and injustice in the courts, or when money is cut to feed children who go to school hungry. Meals on Wheels feeds the elderly and shut-ins, but when funds are cut, the only preachers who say anything are usually called liberals by the “God caused this disaster” bunch. As I read the Bible, these are major “judgement” issues.
As you know, the disaster in Texas, and primarily in Houston seems to show that you have nothing to do with any such disaster judgements. The rain (even too much) falls on the just and the unjust. I realize the “God did it” folks will say all the “innocent” people are collateral damage because of the sins of others. The Bible Belt excluded. However, as we look at these tragedies we find people of all colors and stripes helping others without asking if they are the reason the disaster happened. I think your son said something about the children of this world being wiser than the children of light. I don’t think the “God did it” crowd is very (en) lightened. But I can say when we see the concern and compassion for others, regardless their race or religion or gender preference, we can see Jesus. And we can hear his words, “Insomuch as you did it to the least of these, you did it to me.”
In closing, I know I don’t need to tell you who I am, but I wonder why “There is none so blind as those who will not see” didn’t make it into the Bible?

CONCERNS: Del Bolin’s mother is not doing well. They are with her this weekend. Also, Leena’s brother, Mike, had a pacemaker installed last Wednesday. Also remember Leena’s cousin Tolly Nicklas. Teryn Gaynor’s mother continues with cancer treatment. Alisa Flora will have surgery at Duke in a week or so. Remember also Gary Overstreet, Steve Gaynor’s sister, Betty, Melisha Scruggs’ friend Jeanie and her sick child, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver, Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry, Gil Richardson Ray & Darnel Barns, Jim & Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

Monday: Genesis 12.11-20
Tuesday: I Samuel 3.1-18
Wednesday: Philippians 3.7-11
Thursday: I John4.7-21
Friday: Romans 7.13-8:11
Saturday: Ephesians 3.7-21
Monday: Jeremiah 31.23-34
Tuesday: I Corinthians 11:.17-34
Wednesday: Acts 6.1-7
Thursday: Matthew 5.21-48
Friday: Psalm 119.129-152
Saturday: Psalm 67.1-7

“Just wanted to pass along our good news! Nelson Oaks Forsyth was born on August 1st (which is my birthday, so we are birthday buddies) weighing 8lbs 11oz 22 in long. Nelson is a family name from my side ans Oaks is a reference to Isaiah 61, where God will raise up “oaks of righteousness …to rebuild the ancient ruins and restore places long devastated…” He is a happy, healthy baby and is doing very well! Jeff and I are tired and a little overwhelmed, but mostly having so much fun caring for and getting to know our little man. We’d love your prayer as we continue to adjust to our new life.
“Hope all is well in Roanoke and at our dear church! We miss and love you all.”

This is being written before the Bar-B-Que, but as always, thanks to those who helped. It looks like a rainy day is expected, but that has happened before. Once the grill is hot it makes little difference. Our thanks to Jeff Bland for his food gift. It was very special and delicious.
What food isn’t eaten will be frozen and will become the main dish for the Super Sunday meal on the 17th.

If you are replacing any furniture, there is a family in need. See Keith if you are going to replace anything soon and he will call and see if there is still a need.

The steering committee will meet briefly after the morning service to discuss how much we will send to The Churches of Christ Disaster Relief program in Nashville. They have the ability to purchase items at a bulk rate and will deliver to Texas what is needed.
This is an open ended drive for Feeding America. Bring some with you when you come tochurch.


“Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh when will they ever learn?”
(Where have all the flowers gone?)

There is nothing to be learned from the events in Charlottesville. If we didn’t already know what brought this about, it does little good to rehash it.
The face of Charlottesville is the face of our nation, and has been since it’s founding. The racism, bigotry and racial superiority seen there is a reflection of a world-wide culture. There is nothing to learn, just the witnessing of reality.
We can string words together in condemnation of such action, but they do nothing to change the facts. This is America and has been from the beginning. The problem comes when we either deny it or don’t know it.
An interesting moment took place after the events in Charlottesville. The media was interviewing several people concerning their feelings about what had happened. One was a United Church of Christ minister who had been part of the clergy apposed to the KKK, Alt-right, white supremacists etc., Another was a local politician who lamented that this kind of thing could take place in the home of Thomas Jefferson.
After he spoke the minister reminded the viewers that Jefferson believed in white supremacy. (See Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia.) There, Jefferson says blacks are “in reason, much inferior, in imagination, dull, tasteless and anomalous”
He also suggests that males would mate with orangutans.
Racism and white (or European) supremacy, male supremacy etc., has been part of the world century upon century. In fact, it defines history. Every conflict has been based on the assumed rights of one race or culture over the other. So embedded in humanity it is often the minority who will dare say it is evil and morally inexcusable. And even having said it, there can haunt in the nether regions of the soul the idea that it might be so. It’s known as prejudice.
I’ve heard the quotations about how hatred has to be taught, and I agree. However, after the Charlottesville incident, the father of one of the white supremacists announced that he and his family were disowning that son. He went on to say he had no idea where his son came up with those ideas, but they were never part of his family. Other relatives commented that the young man had become “scary” and they wanted nothing to do with him. This is a common response by those who have children who become part of hate organizations. Do we believe the testimony of the family? We have no reason not to. Most of us have seen children of “good” families go bad. It would be easy to say it was the devil. But how is it that the devil finds a way to get in? Children with every reason to become part of such groups that bring terror, don’t. That will, for the time being, remain a mystery.
It would also be easy for the Christian to say it was a lack of teaching about God and Jesus. But the evidence would say otherwise. The resent gathering of supremacists gathered in Seattle to have a prayer meeting. Prayer meetings before Klan rally’s was a common experience.
The burning cross was not an antiChristian symbol, but a symbol that God was on their side. How many of those, Neo Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, White Supremacists (NNKKKWS) in Charlottesville, call themselves Christian is anybodies guess. But there is enough evidence to show that many of them do. The leader of the KKK in Danville says they are a peaceful group who want to protect the supremacy of the white race. He claims Christianity but denies that Jesus was a Jew.
How many openly NNKKKWS sit in churches each Sunday? How many preachers accept their views as “just opinion”? If they do it should not surprise us. Many in Christian churches (CofC included), openly endorsed segregation. Our Christian Colleges were segregated. Northeastern Institute for Christian Education (NICE) in Villanova, Pa. was the first to integrate, in 1959.
Racists were not only accepted in churches, but often were ministers and elders and educational leaders. Racism was not called a sin, but Biblical truth.
How did that change? Mostly grudgingly. Government improvement loans were denied any segregated organization. No blacks, no gymnasium money.
Will Christian ministers refuse membership to NNKKKWS who openly espouse that ideology? Will they ask them to renounce it in the name of Christ? Or will it be viewed as one opinion over and against another. Will it be called sin and evil?
The length of time it took for many Christian churches to call segregation sinful and evil took centuries, and there is still an undercurrent of racism in some churches.
Do I understand how it is easy for a “Christian” to spew prejudicial statements and still feel “Christian.” Yes. Because I also understand how easy it is to be drawn into letting fear and superior feelings find a foothold in me. Regardless, it is still sin and evil.
What bothers and frustrates me is remembering the past. The time when segregation was the norm in many places. When blacks and whites couldn’t legally marry. When black children would not be adopted to a white family, and certainly vice versa. I see all this and the progress made, but I am impatient. I don’t want anyone to suffer discrimination or death while so much time is spent waiting for the minds of people to change. We are always looking back to what used to be that is no longer accepted. Thank God in each period there are those who refused to accept such sin and evil.
Once again the Christian church has a decision to make. It cannot claim to follow Jesus, everyone says that. It will have to maintain its integrity and be known by what it produces. As Jesus said, “by its fruits”.

CONCERNS: Teryn Gaynor’s mother had to stop the cancer treatments for a few weeks. Alisa Flora will have surgery at Duke next month. Tolly Nicklas, Leena Bolin’s cousin. Gary Overstreet had cataract surgery and now can enjoy much better sight. Steve Gaynor’s sister is improving each day. Melisha Scruggs asks prayers for a co-worker named Jeanie, who has a child with serious heath issues. Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Ray & Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

Monday: John 1:1-18
Tuesday: Luke 18:1-4
Wednesday: II Corinthians 1:3-11
Thursday: I Corinthians 5:1-8
II Corinthians 1:23-2:11
Friday: Job 1:13-2:10
Saturday: Psalm 97:1-12
Monday: I Timothy 6:11-21
Tuesday: Psalm 119:89-112
Wednesday: Mark 2:15-3:6
Thursday: Acts 8:4-24
Friday: Luke 22:39-53
Saturday: I Corinthians 15:42-48

Former members, Jeff and Karissa Forsyth are the overjoyed parents of a baby boy. His name is Nelson Oaks Forsyth. He was born August 10th.

Lyn and Susan Jordan have returned from working a week at the Ezell Clinic in Guatemala. We look forward to hearing their experiences soon.
Nick Bolin is back, or soon will be, from an internship with Amazon is Seattle. Mom and dad are on a “working” cruse where Del is lecturing as they travel.
Megan and James Downing are spending a week at the Outer Banks with James’ parents.

Today is Super Sunday. We will have our fellowship meal in the annex following the morning service. If you are a visitor consider yourself our guest.

This third Sunday of the month’s service has been arranged and conducted by Wayne Flora. Our thanks to him for his preparation. It will consist a service of readings and songs.

A family of seven is in need of any kind of furniture. They are involved in a civil suit where a landlord rented them a house he did not own and robbed them of most of what they had. Let Keith know if you have anything you a about to replace.

This year’s Bar B Que will be on Saturday, September 2nd. A sing-up list is on the foyer table. While not mentioned as a preference, this year via a gift, we will be smoking some prime rib as well as pork and chicken. Bring food that goes with Bar-B-Que.
We plan to eat about 4:00 PM


Imagine a room just off the large arena-type room in which the Roman Senate met, in say, 125 AD. The Emperor is Hadrian. He and a few hand-picked senators were discussing how to expand the Roman Empire. Hadrian was not as interested in maintaining all of his predecessor, Trajan’s acquisitions, but he did have an interest in social change and civic improvements.
Senator Lucinius was first to address the issue at hand. “Emperor Hadrian, I come to you today to speak about a sect rooted in Judaism. You are familiar with them, as they are sometimes called ‘Christians’ or followers of a Jew name Jesus. They see him as Christ, you know, a king. However, our government, after years of persecuting them, decided many years ago to treat them as we treat other Jews. As long as they pay their taxes and obey the law, they are left alone.”
“I’m aware of these Christians. So what’s the issue we need to discuss,” asked Hadrian.
“For a number of years there have been a growing number of Italians and Romans who are responding to the message of Christianity. Even a sizable group over the years from the royal palace itself. Among those have been people of means who have becoming followers of this Jesus fellow.”
“Do you think they are planning an over through?”
“No, it’s not that. They are very much citizens of the Empire. Perhaps Dionysus could explain it better. He has more contact with them than I have.”
“Emperor Hadrian, I humbly ask your indulgence as I speak about this important matter. We do not think these Christians are a danger to the Empire. In fact, we think they are an asset. For example, Brutus Maximus owns one of the largest toga manufacturing complexes in the Empire. He has factories in all the regions, all the way to Spain. He has become one of several businessmen who are Christians. It seems our system of government is good for business.”
“Of course it is. After all we are ruled by me with help from the Senate. Now, what’s that got to do with some of our citizens becoming Christians?”
The third Senator, Attianus, said, “Let me tell him! Great Emperor. Rather than appearing to be against Christians, we should incorporate them into our process of government. Especially since they seem to be growing faster than any other religion. Even Greeks have converted.
“What we were thinking is giving any Christian businessman an exemption from government taxes.”
Hadrian leaned forward in his seat and with a frown said, “Be careful what you say! Taxing the populace is what puts food on our tables and pays for our vacation homes on the Mediterranean. Our military might rests on taxes. Everything operates on taxes! Now you are proposing letting some people out of paying them!”
Attianus looked afraid to speak, so Lucinius took over. “Lord Emperor, here’s how it will work. We will raise the taxes on the workers, not the owners. With this plan more businesses will open and more people will be working and the economy will flourish.”
“How high will we tax the workers under this new plan? As you know, there is already discontent among those countries we have occupied about the tax rate.”
“Emperor, it’s about the haves and the have nots. It’s always been that way. Some are born to work and others are born to live off of the work of others. What we are doing is just expanding the field. People will work for whatever they are paid, rather than starve. The Christians will jump at the chance at being a greater part of our government.”
“I’m not excited about giving anyone, even a Roman Christian a lot of power.” Said Hadrain.”
“Not to worry. We can pass a law preventing that.”
Hadrian said, “I also hear these Christians operate by a different set of ethics than do others . What makes you think they will go for something that will denigrate others? And what if some of those who work for them become Christians? What makes you think they will take advantage of those I hear they call brothers and sisters?”
Attianus smiled and said, “That’s an interesting point. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. But we know It’s all about the money. Isn’t it Emperor? It’s all about the money.”

CONCERNS: Tolly Nicklas, Leena Bolin’s cousin’s health continues to decline. Gary Overstreet is at home. Steve Gaynor’s sister, Betty, is slowly improving. Melisha Scruggs asks pray for a co-worker named Jeanie, who has a child with multiple health issues. Remember also Jim White’s mother, Carol Jones, who is doing well after heart surgery. Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Due to an accident, Amber can only communicate with her eyes. Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Ray & Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

Monday: Matthew 18:10-20
Tuesday: Romans 14:1-18
Wednesday II Thess. 3:1-16
Thursday: Genesis 45:4-28
Friday: Mark 19:17-31
Saturday: Psalm 67:1-10

Monday: Ephesians 1:3-14
Tuesday: Philippians 1:3-18
Wednesday: II Corinthians 9:6-15
Thursday: Luke 5:17-26
Friday: I Timothy 6:1-10
Saturday: Psalm 111:1-10

Dr, Bolin will be in Honduras with another doctor and twenty-eight medical students for a week or so. They will treat over a hundred patients a day. Keep all of them and the people they treat in your prayers.

Last Sunday Judy Hall asked that we pray for their new “rescued” pound pup who escaped from their care. Happy to announce that she is back safe and sound, and slowly adjusting to her new home.

The Salem Red Sox is having a Faith Night at the ball park on July 29th. There will be Christian music, family entertainment, and 1,000 T-shirts to the first arrivals. The gates will open at 5:00 P. M.
General admission is $6.00 and box seats are $8.00. Sorry, but the flyer didn’t come.

Many of us remember Melissa Keller who worshiped with us while she was at Roanoke Collage. Rich and Connie Crites became her away from home parents. While she was teaching at a college in Eastern Tennessee, she met and married a man who is also a member of the church. He has a daughter from a former marriage and they now have a baby boy on the way.
They have decided to give back to the church, and are now at Crowley’s Ridge College in Paragould, Arkansas. With her PhD. in Biology, they will both increase the status of this small Church of Christ college. What a good story!

The area Roger Fisher cleaned on Carlton has grown up in weeds. Our Yard man will not mow there because it has some rocks and small stumps. If you have a day you can help, let Keith and Holly know and they will join you.


You have heard a Gideon tell stories about those who pick up a Gideon Bible while in some distress, read it and accept Christ as their personal Savior. The story proclaims the power of the Bible. Or, you may have heard a preacher talk about a shepherd who was given a Bible and read it while tending his sheep. When he was done he knew what he needed to do to become a Christian. In other words, it’s simple. Yes, as a start. However, where that start takes the person is another matter.
Many of us were told the Bible “meant what it said, and said what it meant.” No questions need be asked, just do what it said and you’d be saved. Anyone who read what it said and didn’t arrive at the same meaning as you, was wrong. There can only be one right meaning. But what if what it said was not what it meant? What if the meaning of the word in one time meant something different in another time? Even better, what if the story (parable) was understood differently by those who heard it and those who would read it centuries later?
Think of how hard it is to convince people that the “talent” as in the parable of the talents, has nothing to do with using one’s natural ability. But that the word “talent” is a translated word for a sum of money. It is about what one thinks of God, not how one uses God-given ability.
In the last few weeks, having read something, I have been looking deeper into the historical and culture meaning of things in the Bible. I am convinced, that while there is enough to start one on the journey of Christianity, help is needed to grow in wisdom and understanding. Hence the meaning of “disciple” or “learner” or more to our understanding, “student.”
It is easy to say if we just love God and our neighbor as ourselves we have fulfilled the law and the prophets. But when the lawyer asked Jesus who was his neighbor, it was illegitimate question. It was a question disgusted in the synagogue each time that scroll was read. (By the way, during the synagogue service when there was a reading of scripture, there was then a discussion about it.) All sides would be examined. They did not say it said what it meant and meant what it said.
Take for example the “neighbor” question. Certainly the law of Moses had said the neighbor should be loved. But did that mean the inhabitants of Jericho, and the other cities wiped out by the Israelites? “Neighbor,” at the time the law was given had a more narrow definition than it did after Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan. (If we can believe they listened to him.) James and John had just suggested letting them call down fire on the Samaritans who had just tossed Jesus and them out of their city. (Lk 9:54)
Today, while still struggling with who the neighbor is, because of Jesus and the meaning of the gospel as seen in the life of Paul and the church, we know it means anyone, especially those in need.
Let’s look at another one. When Jesus was preaching the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:17 ff, he said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them.” What did he mean? The answer is generally that Jesus kept the Law in every way, every way. But for example, we see him not keeping it when it came touching lepers and other unclean people. So what do we do with that? We try to understand it as it was understood by those who heard Jesus say it.
To do that we have to dig into Jewish culture at the time. This can be done with the blessing of the internet. If you really want to understand Jewish thinking, go to A. J. Levine, a New Testament and Jewish scholar at Vanderbilt. You don’t have to agree with her to learn from her. She is among a number of scholars who have studied the history of Jewish though. Here’s what they say about Matthew 5:17ff. In the synagogue and other places of teaching and learning, when a participant has misrepresented the Law in some way in the eyes of another, he would say, “You are destroying (or abolishing) the Law!” When a participant said something which highlighted the intent of the Law in another’s eyes, the person would say, “What you have said fulfills the Law!”
So it would be possible for those discussing the Law to have different views as to what it meant. The word “fulfill” had nothing to do with literally keeping every aspect of the Law, but whether the listener believed it was or was not “fulfilling” the intent of the Law. Therefore, Jesus is not saying he will keep every part of the Law, but that what he does fulfills the intent of the Law.
Why is something like that important? Because in knowing what the original intent of the words were, keeps the reader from formulating a twisted understanding about how Jesus could keep the Law while seeming to break it. It also answers the question of when he fulfilled it. It was not nailed to the cross when he died. It was fulfilled in the way he lived it.
When someone says Jesus broke the law, someone hurries to say he didn’t because of the Matthew passage. What Jesus was saying, and they understood, even if they didn’t agree, was that his actions fulfilled the intent of the Law.
The Jews didn’t have one solid understanding of the Law. They read it, and then reasoned about how to apply it. Adultery and divorce were problems. They agreed on that. But they argued about what constituted a valid reason for divorce. Jesus said, “Don’t even think about it.”
The same was true of the Sabbath. They knew it was to be kept, but how? So they made a list of things that could or could not be done on the Sabbath. Those items became the Law. If we say Jesus never broke the Law, only the interpretation of the Law, we miss the point. The interpretation is the Law, i.e., the “fulfillment” of the Law.
It may always mean what it says, but for it to do that, we need help in understanding what it actually means.

CONCERNS: Tolly Nicklas, Leena Bolin’s cousin, is in rapidly failing health. Gary Overstreet is now at home. Steve Gaynor’s sister, Betty, suffered a broken hip and had surgery. This is a setback in her recovery from a fall and a stroke. Melisha Scruggs asks prayers for a co-worker named Jeanie, who has a child with multiple health issue. Remember also Jim White’s mother, Carol Jones, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Ray & Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

Monday: John 8:21-27
Tuesday: Luke 22:14-30
Wednesday: Luke 12:13-34
Thursday: Psalm 51:1-9
Friday: Acts 4:2–5:11
Saturday: Psalm 99:1-9, 100:1-5

Monday: John 17:1-26
Tuesday: Revelation 19:1-16
Wednesday: Luke 16:19-31
Thursday: Matthew 9:1-13
Friday: I Corinthians 10:1-13
Saturday: Psalm 105:1-48

Today’s service will consist of Mike Branch’s experiences while on a humanitarian mission in the Sudan. We have been looking forward to this since he returned. Some who are unable to be here have asked that it be filmed. It will be made available when they return. Thanks to James Downing for the camera work and the finished product.

On this Father’s Day we wish each father a great day with family and friends.

As always, Super Sunday falls on Father’s Day. We hope as many of you as possible will be able to stay for the Super Sunday meal following the service today. If by chance you are a visitor, please consider yourself our guest.

The local baseball team associated with the Boston Red Sox, is having a Faith Night at the ball park on July 29th.
There will be music and other family oriented entertainment. T-shirts will be given away to the first 1000 folks to arrive. The gates will open at 5:00 P. M.
General admission tickets for that night will be $6.00 and $8.00 for box seats.
A flyer will be made available next week for those who want to sign up for games tickets.

Remember the Rescue Mission is asking for donations of school items for children whose family can’t afford to buy them. The information is on the table in the foyer.


Everybody knows what a “one liner” is. It’s a condensed version of something bigger. “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” That’s not an easy one for some folks, but you get the point.
When it comes to the Bible, the reviews are mixed. There are some really good ones that express something bigger in one line. I like Jesus saying, “You strain out the gnat and swallow the camel.” You get the picture. Gnat, little, camel, big. You don’t even have to know that both of them were unclean to the Jews to get the point.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has some really good ones. “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” “The eye is the lamp of the body.” “No one can serve two masters.” “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” You get the point.
The difference between these and other “one liners” folks pluck from the Bible is that these are directed at the individual to teach an individual lesson. However, when it comes to the plucking of scripture from its context, it is always, without exception, a reflection of the person’s preconceived theology about life and others. They provide easy answers to difficult problems, and in the process allow the person to remain aloof.
That’s one of the reasons I’d pass a law preventing any politician from quoting scripture in a public speech. First, they might get it right, which only those who already agree with them would value, while their detractors would say was misplaced. Secondly, such use is in effect saying what they are saying is underwritten by God. Again, their followers would agree, their detractors would not. A smart politician can speak to moral and Biblical principles without quoting the Bible as proof.
On the other hand, Bible people are terrible when it comes to plucking one line scripture to set a foundation for a larger belief.
I can still remember sometimes in 1964 or 65, when a very good, generous, well-healed Christian woman said, (I don’t remember the situation, but you can guess) “Well, the Lord said we’d always have the poor with us.” Jesus did indeed say that. However, I remember thinking that I was among the “poor” because of the salary I was getting. I also remember thinking she was more or less expressing her view of “them” and “us.” I don’t blame her, she only reflected the way she’d been taught to use the Bible.
Jesus did say that in three of the four gospels, Matthew, Mark and John. Neither Matthew nor Mark mention Judas’ role in the story. However, Mark (bless his heart) adds a line with real significance. He has Jesus also saying, “and you can help them (the poor) any time you want.” It is John who says Jesus was speaking to Judas.
Context! What is the context? Jesus has just been anointed with some pricey perfume by Mary. Some of the disciples, Judas in John, complains about the waste and Jesus says to Judas, “You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” Oops, we forgot the whole line, as well as considering what Jesus said in Mark.
The passage has been used over and over to say any attempt to eradicate poverty is a pipe dream of liberals.
CONTEXT! Jesus, according to John, is responding to Judas’ complaint. Judas, John says didn’t care about the poor, but was a thief who stole from the treasury. Jesus says to Judas, “You will always have the poor, but not me.” Jesus was no doubt reflecting Deut. 15:7-11. It’s too long to quote here, but about the poor it says, in v. 10,11, “Give generously to him (the poor) and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you and all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore, I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.” This also involves the idea of the jubilee year, which would certainly reduce poverty.
Poverty may always exist, but the Bible does not give that as an excuse to do nothing. In fact, quite the opposite. Neither am I so short-sighted as to think in the wonder of time and space, that the earth cannot be managed in such a way so as to be able to provide adequately for its inhabitants. Even Isaiah envisioned “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.”

CONCERNS: Steve Gaynor’s sister, Betty, is making good progress after a stroke. Gary Overstreet is now at home. Melisha Scruggs asks prayers for a co-worker named Jeanie, who has a child with several health issues. Remember Jim White’s mother, Carol Jones, Sheila Jansen and her daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Tolly Nicklas, Ray & Darnel Barnes, Gil Richardson, Jim & Mary Smith and Tim Elder.
Monday: Isaiah 6:1-13
Tuesday: Matthew 13:1-23
Wednesday: John 6:1-15
Thursday: Luke 15:11-32
Friday: Genesis 39:1-23
Saturday: Psalm 66:1-20

Monday: Hebrews 4:14-5:10
Tuesday: Matthew 5:17-48
Wednesday: Genesis 1:1-31
Thursday: II Samuel 12:1-15
Friday: Ephesians 6:10-20
Saturday: Psalm104:1-35
Congratulations to Dr. Del Bolin. The following was posted on Monday:
Dr Bolin has been promoted to the academic rank of Professor by the Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Committee and the Board of Directors of VCOM. From the first time he stepped in front of a classroom of undergraduates as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Illinois in 1988, he knew teaching was in his blood. He has been recognized with several teaching awards over the years at various institutions, but this new designation of “Professor” is more than a title to him. It is the culmination of 29 years…13 of them at VCOM.. of passionate dedication to educating. Congrats, Professor Bolin.
Jokingly we were told his official title is Professor, Dr. Dr. Bolin, since he has an MD and a PhD. Del will keep his Roanoke office as well.

Dear Pastor Wagner,
I am writing as one of the advisors for our Virginia Tech-Carilion School of Medicine Christian Medical & Dental Association Chapter. Our students are still talking about the special gift your church family gave us last month for our graduation celebration.
Mike Branch recently sent our student rep. (Andy Plaster) a list of church members who supported the event. God knows each one of them so I won’t list all 14 here…just know that we are so deeply grateful for your church’s expression of love!
Not only is Sunday, June 18th Super Sunday, but it is also the day we will get to hear about Mike Branch’s experiences while on his humanitarian trip to the Sudan. Plan to be here.

JUNE BIRTHDAYS: 13-Mike Branch 13-Susan Jordan 21- Wayne Flora 23-Betty Billings 29-Joni Beach
JUNE ANNIVERSARIES: 1-Garrett & Erma Williams 9-Wayne & Alisa Flora 25-Lyn & Susan Jordan
26-Dillon & Laura Hogan 27-Bill & Betty Branch


There is an interesting situation which takes place during the Passover feast with Jesus and his disciples. They are referred to as “the twelve” which John calls “apostles”. After Jesus has told them one of them would betray him, the gospels tell the story of Judas’ betrayal in slightly different ways. Luke says, “they began to question among themselves”. John says they didn’t know which one it was. It is Matthew and Mark who say each the twelve asked Jesus if he were talking about them, including Judas. All of the gospels call Judas a traitor.

But it is Luke alone who says, “Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor”. Luke’s implication is that Judas was not a traitor when he was first selected to be one of the twelve. I find that interesting. Interesting enough to spend some time wondering what happened to turn him into a man so despised that his name became a curse. So let me do what I can, not to exonerate him, but to perhaps understand him. And in so doing, perhaps understand the Judas in all of us.


I loved synagogue school. I could almost see myself with the great prophets as they spoke of the coming Messiah. I sometimes imagined myself as King David, leading God’s kingdom to its proper place among the nations. But it was at my bar mitzvah three years ago, that I felt the swelling of pride mixed with hatred in my chest. When the elders and the rabbi looked at me and said, “Today you are a man!” and I said, “Today I am a man!”, I knew my destiny. I would find the one who, with his army, would restore the glory of Israel.

Growing up I would ask my grandfather to tell me about our nation. We would sit by the firelight as he spoke of the champions of old. But when I asked him why our people were now under the heels of an oppressor, he just looked sad and told me God would not forget his people. I asked him how long we would have to wait? It had been almost a hundred years since there was any sign of independence. He just hung his head and said he hoped to see the redemption of Israel.

The rabbi’s had taught us about the “Hammer”, a Jewish priest named Mattathias, who killed a Greek official when he tried to make a Jewish man sacrifice to a pagan god. He and his five sons became known as the “Maccabees” It is the Hebrew word for “hammer”, because they struck blows against the enemy. So victorious did God make them, that about a hundred years ago, under Mattathias’ son, Judas, our nation was free to govern itself under God. I was proud to carry the name of such a warrior for God, And I wanted to live up to that name.

Then came the end of the Hasmonean Dynasty and about ninety years ago, after some infighting, the Romans came and took over our land. That was what made the hatred swell in my chest every time I thought about it.

I was fifteen when Ira told me about a man from Nazareth named Jesus. He said there were people who claimed he sounded like the promised Messiah. Ira and I were part of a small band of rebels who fought against Rome whenever we could.

Once I saw a Roman soldier kicking an old man who had dropped the soldier’s backpack he’d been commandeered to carry. I was surprised to see a Roman soldier alone, as they usually traveled in groups. I went to them and said I’d carry the load. As the soldier turned to face me I drove my knife into his belly. I’ll never forget the surprised look on his face as he died. I told the old man to go home and tell no one.

What I did brought the Romans down on the town, trying to find the killer. I knew we would have to be part of a much larger force if we were to win our land back.
I wasn’t expecting much when I went with Ira to see this possible Messiah. I’d heard of too many failures in the past. But when I saw Jesus, I was drawn to him. He didn’t speak about revolution, but about the Kingdom of God, which we all knew was Israel. I knew he would change things.

I was surprised when he asked me to become one of twelve disciples who were part of his closest group of followers. Ira was hurt that he wasn’t called, but said he’d stay in touch and maybe he’d join later.

In the following months I watched him do all the things the Messiah was said to do. He fed thousands with hardly nothing. He healed the sick and raised the dead. The crowd wanted to make him the Messiah,but he refused and went into hiding. I suppose the time was not right because his popularity grew more and more with each passing day.

Then one day he excited the twelve of us by telling us to go out across Israel and tell the people that the Kingdom of God was near. He told us to heal the sick and cast out demons, which to my surprise, I was able to do. It was after that trip that I knew he had everything it took to be the Messiah. However, there was one problem. He never assembled an army, and he never spoke hateful words about the Romans. In fact, he upset the leaders of the Jews by showing the hypocrisy which had become commonplace among the scribes and Pharisees.

I knew an overthrow had to be well- planed, so I went along, watching for the moment he would call for a strike. But as the third Passover approached, he began to talk about going to Jerusalem to die. I was not the only one upset by such talk. Peter spoke for all of us when he objected, and was called Satan for doing do.

As I look back, I think he knew all along I would be the one to try to force his hand. I would put him in a position where he’d have to use his heavenly power. So I made a deal to betray where he could be captured. What good is a Messiah who tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us? That had never worked.

It was terrible. He did nothing, and even yelled at Peter when he tried to fight. I realized he was not the Messiah, just an innocent teacher of justice and mercy. But it was too late. When you cause the innocent to be killed, what else can you do but die?

CONCERNS: Kasey Sizemore and family. Doug Bolin, Del’s brother is recovering well after a stroke. Judy McWhorter fell and broke her wrist while in New Hampshire. Gary Overstreet is in Raleigh Court for rehab. Steve Gaynor’s sister, Betty is making slow improvement from a stroke. Judy (Shivers) Edwards is now at home, but still recovering from a stroke. Melisha Scruggs asks pray for a co-worker named Jeanie, whose child has several health issues. Remember Jim White’s mother, Carol Jones (heart surgery) Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson (cancer) Melanie Gentry Wayne Phlegar, Tolly Nicklas, Ray & Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jim & Mary Smith and Tim Elder.
Monday: John 5:19-47
Tuesday: Philippians 1:19-30
Wednesday: Genesis 7:1-24
Thursday: Lamentations 1:8-16
Friday: Romans 8:12-25
Saturday: Psalm 133, 134
Monday: Hosea 11:1-9
Tuesday: Matthew 10:24-39
Wednesday: Exodus 16:1-36
Thursday: Luke 7:36-50
Friday: John 13:31-38 & 18:15-27
Saturday: Psalm 103:1-22

This evening, at six o’clock in the annex, we will honor and celebrate those who are graduating from various levels of education. It is not too late to sign-up to come, but see Erma Williams if you do. She is taking care of the food. Wayne Flora will be the MC for the evening.

As you know, we hosted a graduation banquet for the Virginia Tech/Carlion School of Medicine Graduates in the annex a few weeks back. The following is the thank you note sent by Dr. Aubury Knight.
Dear friends at Roanoke Church of Christ,
On behalf of the Roanoke chapter of the Christian Medical and Dental Association, thank you so much for hosting our graduate recognition. The venue, the food and your hospitality were perfect. I’ve heard many comments since that evening about how perfect the whole evening was.
We look forward to further collaborations.

We were sorry to hear of the death of Kasey Sizemore’s father, Roger. Kasey is the granddaughter of former members, Harriett and Ralph Shivers. The funeral was Wednesday in Salem.

Today is Super Sunday. Plan to stay and enjoy this monthly fellowship dinner.

The Rescue Mission needs several things. As always, they need volunteers. They also need school supplies. A list is on the foyer table, as well as where they can be dropped off.. There is also a pamphlet showing the work of the Mission.

The service today is arranged by Del Bolin. It will be a service of songs and praise. Our thanks to Del and all those who make the third Sundays special. Be sure to thank him, as well as those doing the media. And thanks to James Downing for doing it last week in Erma’s absence.