Roanoke Church of Christ

Bulletins

THE BALANCE – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

Is the glass half empty or half full? We all know people who say only an blind and diluted person would say half full. In fact, there are those who think the glass is quickly emptying. It’s not a matter of time running out, though it might, it’s a matter of civilization becoming a moral cesspool. Take a room of a hundred people and ask about the future and my guess it will be about 50/50 as to if it will be better.
There is truth in the phrase, “That’s how I see it.” How we view the world around us is the result of how we see it. It is also a fact that two people may see the same world and come away with different opinions. How is that possible? That’s the question philosophers and social scientists have been studying for centuries.
Was Jesus a half full or a half empty guy? I can almost hear the gears of scripture grinding. The prophets paint a pretty dim picture in the Old Testament. But they also speak of the restoration of Israel in glowing and utopian terms. But what about Jesus?
If you look on the internet about Jesus being pessimistic or optimistic, you will find multiple ideas. Some laughable, to say the least. There are lots of quotes from the prophets about how the Messiah would not be someone who would attract us, a man of sorrow, despised and afflicted etc. Poor Jesus, with all those descriptions he didn’t have a chance. “Be careful not to look like you’re having too much fun out there eating and drinking with the sinners, Jesus!”
Some say Jesus was neither optimistic nor pessimistic, but realistic. Who can define realism? Is there such a thing as realism? Is realism the end of hope and faith?
The dictionary definition of realism and all its associated words, does not really define reality. “The practice of accepting a situation as it is and dealing with it accordingly.” Great. Is the situation really “as it is” or is it as I perceive it to be? Is it possible that the big black thing coming at me in the dark woods is not a bear, as the accepted situation appears to be, but rather a big black dog? We tend to define reality according to our situation, even if the situation isn’t the reality we assume it to be. (Even my head is spinning after saying that!) So let’s get back to Jesus.
I confess I’m looking at Jesus from a half full philosophy of life. That doesn’t mean I am never pessimistic, like how I feel about the way things are in the political climate of the country. But as a follower of Jesus, I want to know as best I can in my somewhat prejudiced mind, how he viewed the world for which he was going to give his life. Did he see it as a lost cause? Did he know that even though he would die trying to bring about the kingdom of God on earth as it was in heaven, it would never happen? When I say the kingdom of God on earth, as Jesus did in his prayer in Matthew 6, I mean the earth as God would have it to be. Did Jesus believe that was possible?
This begs the question of why he did what he did. Did he know what God wanted was not possible, even though he would teach it as though it was? Did he, as many do, see himself as simply a sacrifice to pay God for the dept of the world’s sin?
Here is how I see Jesus. His life was to teach people the will of God. No better summation of that can be found than in the sermon on the mount in Matthew and the sermon on the plain in Luke. Any life that lived out those moral and ethical teachings would be the life God wanted for humankind. Doing it would be the kingdom of God on earth as it is in the mind of God i.e., “heaven.”
Did he know that he, as the prophets before him, would be rejected and even die? Yes. Did knowing that stop him from teaching the will of God? No. Did knowing that he would be rejected mean that he had failed? No. Failure is to do nothing. Success is to know that each one who teaches the nature and love of God, will change the world. Did Jesus do that? I think so. That’s why I believe he knew his life and death was worth it, and that in doing what he did would keep the world in balance. Evil would never be more powerful than God (good).
So when I get pessimistic I find the news stories about random and unusual acts of kindness. I experience a young person holding open a door for me with a smile and a “Hello.” I remember a little boy in a Chinese restaurant who wished us “Happy Thanksgiving” as we paid our check.
Do I feel that way all the time? No. But I believe in God’s world, if nothing better, it stays balanced.
Keith

CONCERNS: Debbie and Buster McRoy’s daughter-in-law, Deanna, has had a reoccurrence of cancer. Judy Hall was hospitalized for about all of last week with a painful blocked saliva gland. She is to be released today, 12/3. Scott Blessing weather related has back problems that has kept him at home. Both Joni and Alan Beach’s parents are having health problems. Remember also Joni’s niece, Jamie Cole. Gary Overstreet is now home. Continue to remember Teryn Gaynor’s mother as she has cancer treatment. Del bolin’s mother, Tolly Nicklas, Leena’s cousin, is in hospice care with late stage ALS. Abby Keeting, the little girl being treated for leukemia. Josh Thirston, recovering from a kidney transplant. Laura Schreiner has been unable to be out lately. Melisha Scruggs friend, Jeanie, who has a small child with various health issues. Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

SAYING GOODBYE
We are both happy and sad that Ben Robertson has found a job in his field. However, it will take him to Manassas. He will start on Dec. 11. Over the years Ben has been with us, he has been a part of every part of the church life. With his kind and quiet strength he made us all better.

CHRISTMAS SUPER SUNDAY DINNER
As we did last year, our special Christmas dinner will be the Super Sunday meal on Dec 17. Plan to bring a special dish and enjoy the decorated annex.

THE NEW ENGLAND VILLAGE
Judy McWhorter has set up her New England Christmas village in the annex. She does this in honor of her mother’s memory.
This year it looks especially beautiful due to the hanging quilts she has hung along the walls. Stop by the annex on Super Sunday and look at it.

CHRISTMAS SERVICE
Over the years we have met on Christmas Eve for a Christmas service. This year Christmas in on a Monday. It has been suggested that we do the Christmas Eve service at the morning service on December 24, rather than in the evening.
That service, for those who haven’t attended a Christmas Eve service, will consist of singing the songs of Christmas and hearing the corresponding scriptures read.
The communion service and offering will be at the conclusion and the final song will be “Let There Be Peace on Earth”

THANKS
Thanks to Holly Wagner for setting up the Christmas tree in the annex. Also to Leena Bolin for the beautiful decorations both in the auditorium and the annex. To Wayne Flora for helping hang the quilts and Adam Fleming for replacing the annex lights.

FROST ON THE PUNKIN – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

by my friend, Ben
When it come to punkins, Pa thought they were perty much a waste of time. He did. But Ma always had a little patch on the hill not far from the back door. She did.
Come the first frost she’d pick out two or three of the best’ of ‘em. She would. She’d take out the seeds an’ cut the rest up an’ cook it in a big ol’ pot. She would. She’d put the seeds on a cookie sheet an’ bake ‘em in the oven. They made a right good snack. They did.
After that there punkin were cooked up just right, Ma’d let it cool a bit an’ then cut off the rind. She would. Then it were time fer my job. She’d fasten the food grinder on the table top. She would. Put in the right blades an’ I’d turn the crank while she fed in the punkin. She would.
Now when it come to punkin, I reckon Ma were an artist in her own right. She were. Her punkin bread an’ rolls were known all across Hickory Ridge. They were. I’d heard folks were known t’ get a might testy when bidin’ for her punkin goodies at the town Fall Festival. They did. She had some secret ingredient what nobody knowed but her. She did. Since she never wrote no recipes down, the secret went with her when she passed away. It did.
While usin’ punkin were only limited by her imagination, Ma’s punkin pies were right up there with her punkin bread. They was. Along with all them little personal touches she’d get the heaviest cream George Wilson’s Dairy could make an put it in them pies. She would. Them there pies would almost melt in your mouth. They would. The rich, creamy taste would make your whole body feel good. It would.
Ma’s punkin patch is still back there on the hill. It is. I tried to make a pie once or twice after she were gone, but it weren’t the same. It weren’t. I reckon I coulda tried harder, but them pies an’ Thanksgivin’ weren’t about pies an’ turkey. It weren’t. Thanksgivin’ were about Ma. It were. It were about her thankfulness for me’n pa an’ God an’ everything she had in this world. It were.
I can remember wakin’ up early Thanksgivin’ mornin’ to the sound of her workin’ in the kitchen. An’ hearin’ her singin’ “In the sweet by an’ by.” I never knowed nobody more thankful for what they had than Ma. I reckon that’s why she loved Thanksgivin’ so much. That an’ the joy it brung her in helpin’ make Thanksgivin’ good for others.
She had this here little game what caused her eyes to twinkle on Thanksgivin’. She did. Just being’ the three of us, we didn’t need no big turkey an’ four or five pies. We didn’t. But Ma would get a big ol’ bird an’ when it an’ all the trimmin’s was done, she’d sit us down for the feast. She would. Then when we was done, she’d take half of the turkey an the fixin’s an’ two of her pies, an’ load em’ up in two or three boxes. She would.
Well, me’n Pa knowed what were comin’ next. We did. We’d load them boxes into the ol’ truck an’ head out to wherever she said. We would. She never told us where we was goin’. That were all part a the game. It were.
At the hard road she’d tell Pa which way to turn. She would. Now she knowed who were gettin’ that there Thanksgivin dinner. She did. She’d sneaked about findin’ folks what weren’t gonna have no Thanksgivin’ an’ have the preacher go out an’ be sure they’d accept it. She would.
One time she had Pa turn up Conklin’s Holler Road. She did. Now Conklin’s Holler were known as one of them hollers what you stayed out of. It were. Folks back there weren’t known to be the friendly type. They weren’t.
Well the ol’ truck lurched an’ bounced as Pa crossed from one rut to the other tryin’ to keep from gettin’ stuck. He did. Some feller come out on his porch with a shotgun an’ watched us go by. He did. More’n one hound dog run after us. They did. Finally Ma pointed to a house on a hill just up the road. She did. She told Pa to stop there an’ blow the horn twice. She did.
When he did, a thin woman an’ four kids come out on the porch. They did. The kids just stared at us. They did. The woman started to say somethin’, when a large burley man stepped outside. He come down the path an’ I could see a pistol on his hip. I could. He said, “You the one’s what the preacher sent?” Pa said, “yessir.” He looked at me an’ the boxes me an Ma were holdin. He did. Then he turned an’ walked up the hill without sayin’ another word. He did.
When he got to the top he waved his hand an’ the woman an’ kids come down to get the food. They did. The man went in the house an’ when he come back out he come down the hill. He did. He come up to Pa’s winder an handed him what looked like a dollar bill. It did. Pa said it were fine, that we didn’t want no money. The man said, “Take the money or take the food back.” Ma nodded an’ Pa took the money an’ thanked the man. He nodded at the kids an’ they took the boxes up the hill. They did. The woman looked at Ma an’ in almost a whisper, said, “Thank ya.” Ma said. “God bless ya, an’ enjoy the food.” She did.
When I thought about all the love an’ work Ma put in fixin’ the meal, I couldn’d help but say I didn’t think them folks were right grateful for what she’d done. I did. Ma looked at me an’ said, “Benny, them folks are poor, but they also got pride. Their pa accepted help, but didn’t want no charity. Him payin’ what he could let him keep his dignity. It did. It’s important for us to remember that poor folks are just like the rest of us, septin’ they don’t have as much. Fact is, Benny, there’s worse things than bein’ hungry, an’ that’s bein’ made to feel different and ashamed. You know what I mean?”
I told her I did. Cause I remembered when Raleigh Montgomery made fun of me in the schoolyard cause my overalls had a patch on ‘em. He did. I can still remember how I felt even to this day. I can. Nobody should be made to feel like that.
Keith

CONCERNS: We are saddened to learn that Deanna McRoy, Debbie and Buster’s daughter-in-law’s cancer has returned. The outlook is not good and our prayers are asked as Alec and the rest of the McRoy’s deal with the days ahead. A friend of Maggie Foy’s, Michala, had back surgery and will be out of school a couple of months. Keep the following people in your prayers: Gary Overstreet, Del Bolin’s mother, Abby Keeting (treated for leukemia), Luke Beach, Judy Hall (eye issues), Teryn Gaynor’s mother (cancer treatment) Ben Robertson (job hunting), Tolly Nicklas (in hospice care) , Steve Gaynor’s sister, Betty, Josh Thirston (kidney transplant) Melisha Scruggs friend, Jeanie (has a very sick child), Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber. Amber is paralyzed from the neck down. Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson (MS), Jamie Cole, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

OUR DAILY BREAD: NOV. 20-25
Monday: Psalm 119:1-24
Tuesday: Matthew 12:22-37
Wednesday: Revelation 3:14-22
Thursday: Galatians 2:11-21
Friday: John 15:1-11
Saturday: Psalm 112:1-11
OUR DAILY BREAD: NOV. 27-DEC. 2
Monday: Psalm 48:1-14
Tuesday: Romans 11:33-12:8
Wednesday: Like 15:1-10
Thursday: Galatians 6:1-10
Friday: Psalm 23
Saturday: Psalm 19:1-14

THE SERVICE TODAY
Today’s service has been arranged and conducted by Wayne Flora. Our thanks to him for doing this.

THANKS
Thanks to the Floras, Connie Crites and Holly Wagner for preparing the evening meal at the Ronald McDonald House last Sunday.

SUPER SUNDAY
Today is also Super Sunday. If you haven’t been in the annex lately you have missed seeing Judy McWhorter’s quilt display. She has graciously placed them along the walls, not just for viewing and adding beauty to the room, but to act also as a sound block to help with the acoustics. Plan to enjoy the meal as well as the atmosphere.

STEERING COMMITTEE
There is no scheduled steering committee meeting for today. However, if there is a need which needs to be addressed, one will be called.

PANERA BREAD
For several years we have collected the leftover bread from Panera and delivering it to the Rescue Mission. Those who have been doing it need some help. The pick-up is on Thursday evening at 10:00 PM. Delivery is on Friday Morning. If you can help, see Leena Bolin, or Mike Branch, or one of the others who have been doing it. Thanks.

ANNEX LIGHTING
The lighting in the annex is in need of upgrading and we hope to be able to deal with this soon.

THE LETTER TO ROME FROM THE APOSTLE JOEL – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

(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,
Joel.

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.

OUR DAILY BREAD: NOV.6-11
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

OUR DAILY BREAD: NOV. 13-18
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

FALL BACK
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.

THANKS
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.

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE
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 ROANOKE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
The Symphony is having several special priced evenings in the coming weeks. Information is on the foyer table.

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

DON’T CONFUSE ME WITH FACTS – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

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.
Keith

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.

OUR DAILY BREAD: OCT. 15-24
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

OUR DAILY BREAD: OCT. 23-28
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
The service today will be arranged and conducted by Mike Branch. Our thanks to him for sharing his thoughts with us today’
SUPER SUNDAY
This is also Super Sunday, Please stay for the fellowship meal following the service. If you are a visitor consider yourself our guest.
STEERING COMMITTEE
There will be no steering committee meeting today unless a need arises.
THE PEAKS HIKE AND PICNIC
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.
AWAY
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.
EMAIL
New email? Let Keith know.

WHEN THE LABEL DOESN’T STICK – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

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.”
Keith

OCTOBER BIRTHDAYS
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
OCTOBER ANNIVERSARIES
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.
OUR DAILY BREAD: OCT. 2-7
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
OUR DAILY BREAD: OCT. 9-14
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

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

PEANUT BUTTER DRIVE
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.

AWAY
Judy McWhorter will be visiting family in Vermont this week.

FURNITURE
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.

PEAKS HIKE AND PICNIC
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.

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

FROM MY PERSPECTIVE – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

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.
Keith

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.
OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 18-23
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
OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 25-30
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
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.

SUPER SUNDAY
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.

HURRICANE IRMA
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 DUGAN
Vivian will be away for the next three weeks.

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

PEANUT BUTTER DRIVE
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.

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

DEAR GOD – NEW LIFE BULLETIN

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.

OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 4-9
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
OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 11-16
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

FROM THE FORSYTH’S
“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.”
Kirissa

THE BAR-B-QUE
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.

NEEDED
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 TEXAS FLOODING
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.
PEANUT BUTTER DRIVE
This is an open ended drive for Feeding America. Bring some with you when you come tochurch.

LESSONS FROM CHARLOTTESVILLE – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

“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”.
Keith.

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.

OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 21-26
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
OUR DAILY BREAD: AUG. 28-SEPT 2
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

NEW BABY
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.

SOME FAMILY NEWS
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.

SUPER SUNDAY
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.

THE SERVICE TODAY
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.

NEEDED
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.

THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND BAR B QUE
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

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

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.”
Keith

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.

OUR DAILY BREAD: JULY 3-8
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

OUR DAILY BREAD: JULY 10-15
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

DEL BOLIN
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.

HOME AGAIN
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.

FAITH NIGHT AT THE BALL PARK
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.

WONDERFUL NEWS
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!

ANYONE GOT SOME TIME?
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.

IT HELPS TO HAVE HELP – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

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.
Keith

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.

OUR DAILY BREAD: JUNE 19-24
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

OUR DAILY BREAD: JUNE 26-7/1
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

FOR TODAY
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.

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

SUPER SUNDAY
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.

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME
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.

THE RESCUE MISSION
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.