Bimonthly Bulletin


ROANOKE CHURCH OF CHRIST “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN-AUGUST 2, 2015
VOL. 27, NO. 21&22
WALKER L. SLUSHER
1928-2015
Walker Slusher did not want an obituary, a viewing, or a funeral. He didn’t even want what he received; a grave side service attended by six of his friends.
This “obituary” is because everyone has a story, and this is only a very small part of Walker’s.
THE GOOD
For the last twenty plus years, Walker had been helped in one way or another by people in this congregation. For at least the last fifteen years or more, he would come to the annex Monday though Thursday while I was in the office, and wash up. He had a hot water tank but refused to use it because it cost too much. After he scalded himself carrying water from the kitchen to the bathroom, I told him to come to the office and wash in the restroom. He also had no central heat, and heated his bedroom in the winter with a space heater and an electric blanket.
He would come in, talk a little bit and go into the other office and lay down on the couch, take a nap and then wash up. On Mondays, when I took the contribution to the bank, he would go and do his banking and then we’d stop at Krogers so he could shop. Others helped him as well, but I don’t have room to list all that was done for him by others.
He was not marrying material due to his mental problems. If he had married, it would have been short-lived, because he was a hoarder, mostly of classical records and show tunes. He had an amazing love and knowledge of music.
However, because of memories of not having much growing up, he also collected clothes, lamps and just about any other useful item he could find in a dumpster. I’ll let you imagine what the inside of his house (inherited from his mother) looked like.
He never owned a car, and rode a bicycle, walked, or took the bus. He knew that exercise was good for his mental problems, which he described as “schizoid”. Winters were exceptionally hard on him.
At the burial, it was revealed by a former neighbor that he had been involved in an car accident as a young child and his head hit the metal dashboard and knocked him out. His parents didn’t take him to the hospital. The neighbor was told by Walker’s sister-in law that he suffered from brain damage that caused one part of him to remain somewhat childlike when it came to reasoning.
He lied a lot, or believed what he was saying, even though it wasn’t true. I soon got to the place where I let it go in one ear and out the other. I knew he was lonely and the more he socialized with me and others, the better off he was.
You would never know what the inside of his house looked like judging from the outside. His was about the best kept yard on the street, with the exception of a spare bike and lawnmower or two. He mowed his grass three days before he died.
THE BAD
His mental state often caused him to lie to get sympathy. He once told people he was homeless, and nearly had social services invade his life. When I asked him why he did it, he told me he was homeless, because, according to the dictionary, a home was a social unit where a family lived together, and since he was just one person, he was homeless.
The goal of those of us who cared about him was to keep him in his home as long as possible. We knew if anyone who didn’t care or know him, saw the way he lived, he would be taken out of his house. Had that happened, he would have died in a matter of days in a mental ward.
THE UGLY
He was, like many, obsessed with money worries. At 87 he was in good physical shape, except for a blood clot in one chamber of his heart, which they were treating with an anti coagulant.
On the day he died he complained of chest pains, but would not let me take him to the emergency room for fear of the cost, even though he had medical insurance.. He said he was going to lay down as he always did. He never got up. That’s the ugly. Fear and stubbornness can kill you.
Keith

CONCERNS: Richard Crites is now back at Raleigh Court in the same room he had before. Roger Fisher’s brother, Woody, is in a nursing home in WVA. Larry Foy’s brother, Charles, is in a nursing home in MD. Jim Hunter is home and the latest tests look good. Wayne Phlegar hasn’t been able to get out and about lately. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas is dealing with leukemia. Former member Betty Shepherd needs a kidney transplant. Remember also Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Jenni Cullum, Stephanie Ridney Marge Greenwood and Tim Elder.

OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 3-8
Monday: Exodus 1:15-2:10
Tuesday: Mark 1:16-34
Wednesday: Genesis 17;1-21
Thursday: Job 42:1-17
Friday: Luke 4:1-13
Saturday: Psalm 63:1-11
OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 10-15
Monday: Job 1:1-12
Tuesday: Jeremiah 1:4-19
Wednesday: Matthew 11:1-19
Thursday: Romans 2:1-29
Friday: Revelation 18:1-20
Saturday: Psalm 93:1-5

SYMPATHY
Our condolences to Debbie McRoy in the death of her cousin, Harold Tidwell. The funeral was in Memphis.
THANKS
Thanks to all of those who came to the building last Saturday and did yard work. There will be more done in the days ahead.
IN GUATEMALA
Susan Jordan left Friday to spend a week at the Ezell Clinic in Montellango, Guatemala. Keep her and the work there in your prayers. Susan loves this work and holds the record for the number of times someone from Roanoke has gone to the clinic. We look forward to a report from her when she returns.
TO HONDURAS
Dell Bolin will be part of a medical team going to Honduras. This is a continuing effort to bring aid and healing to this country Keep him and the other doctors and workers in your prayers.
TO LEBANON
AC and Jake Fuller will be going to Lebanon on August 10th to bring aid to those in refugee camps in that country. Pray for their safety during this trip.
THE SERVICE ROSTER
Erma Williams has volunteered to set up the service roster for each month, starting in September. This is not an easy job, so help her out by letting her know the dates you will be away. Also, if you would be willing to serve in a way you did not indicate on the information cards you filled out, please let her know.
GOODBYE
Today will be the last time we have Stacy and David Maharrey with us before they relocate to Oxford, Miss. They have been a wonderful encouragement to us while they were here. We wish them the very best and our thoughts and prayers go with them.
THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND BAR B QUE
Guess what? Labor Day is on Monday, September 7th. So the Bar B Que will be on Saturday, September 5th. We will have a sign-up list on the table in the foyer sometime this month.
Since 1988 we have enjoyed these Saturday’s together. Plan to come.

“Oh, beautiful for patriot dream That sees beyond the years.” (The first line in the fourth verse of America the Beautiful)
Anyone who knows me knows my idea of patriotism is not “America, love it or leave it.” Or “My country, right or wrong.”
I’ve read the accounts of the massacre at Wounded Knee, where Native American women were killed with their babies in their arms and little boys who were told they’d be safe were slaughtered. I’ve read about the Trail of Tears where Native Americans were marched in a Bataan-type death march where families wept as they had to leave the sick and dying along the trail. I know about the internment camps where loyal Japanese Americans were sent simply out of fear and prejudice. I know all that and more, and to deny those things happened or to explain them away, is not patriotic. I can only guess what Katherine Lee Bates envisioned when she wrote those words.
But when I watch the Fourth of July celebrations from Washington, D.C., I am always moved. In fact, I am moved by any aerial shots of the monument and capital complex.
My first time in DC was 1962. Jo and I had been to Philadelphia and stopped by on our way home to see what we could. Back then you could drive and park anywhere you wanted. We rode the elevator up the Washington Monument and then walked down. It was the last thing we did before leaving. My knees were jumping so much I had a really hard time holding the clutch in on the 61 Corvair we owned.
Our next trip was about ten years ago, when we, and some others joined Richard Crites’ biology class from Virginia Western on a DC trip. Again, I was moved. However, not so much by the actual buildings and monuments, as I am the “dream” of what the center of our government can mean, and should continue to mean, not only to us, but to the rest of the world. I use the word “dream” because it is still a dream in progress. Even those who wrote the first words of that dream had no idea the full meaning of what they were writing. Not all men and women were seen as equal, but the dream was there, as were all the dreams of liberty and justice for all.
When Martin Luther King Jr. stood in Washington and ad-libbed a line he didn’t intend to use the “I have a dream” statement became part of history.
For me the dream is beyond the “Beltway,” with it’s power-grabbing, egomania, greed and self-interest. Sadly, that’s part and parcel for all government. The “dream” is that which “sees beyond the years,” as Bates understood when she wrote the words of America the Beautiful.
To see beyond the years is to see beyond the issues which dim the dream until it is almost blurred beyond hope. Perhaps Bates also understood that when she ended the first line with, “Thine alabaster cities gleam, Undimmed by human tears!”
As a patriot, I’m not a flag-waver in the sense of a hands-off approach to what I think is the “mystery of America.” I say “mystery” because America is all of us, not just those who want America to belong to them. Flag-wavers are too often those who refuse to share America with those who see the “patriot’s dream” differently than do they.
Having said that, I still feel emotion when I see the stars and stripes and hear our national anthem.
It was pointed out during the last Olympics that The United States and Honduras are the only nations whose national anthem is about a symbol, and not the country itself. One theory is that the other nations have a background of monarchies and the anthem stems from that. Perhaps, but I’m glad the symbol of this country is its flag. Because the stars and stripes represent all Americans and no one idea in particular.
As I watched the Fourth of July festivities and saw the faces of adults and children of all colors standing side by side waving their little flags, I dreamed an impossible dream. I dreamed of a nation of people standing side by side to bring about the patriot’s dream. But I soon came to myself. I knew there would be anger and road rage as the crowds dispersed to go back to the world where dreams die quickly. Back to a world where we often fail to understand citizens of every nation love their country. We may feel, and openly say, that America is the greatest country on earth. But there are others who feel the same about their country, and we should respect that. Because, while we are all part of the United States of America, we are also citizens of the world. That’s why the layout of Washington, D.C. as a wheel with spokes pointing in all directions is significant to me. Not because we want to enforce our form of government on the world, but because the dream of freedom, equal human worth and dignity on which this country was founded is a dream for all people.
Has the patriot’s dream come true? No. Great dreams never come true, they just keep on becoming truer. Just as the words “All men are created equal” was an unrealized dream at the time they were written, they became, and will continue to become truer as the dream evolves. That’s the “sees beyond the years.” That’s what Martin Luther King Jr. meant. That’s what will keep the dream continually alive, because if it is ever assumed to be complete, the dream will fade into hopelessness. There is no utopian world. There is only the continuing challenge of bringing into reality as much of the dream as possible in our time. As in the past, so in the future, others will see beyond the years to continue fulfilling the dream.
The dream is much bigger than America. It’s the dream of a man named Jesus. His was a dream for the whole world and his teaching makes up the heart of all dreams for a world where all persons are equal. To be part of that means being a patriot in a nation without borders, a worldwide nation where God’s blessings are for all.
Keith

CONCERNS: Richard Crites hopes to be home soon, but is still in Raleigh Court Health and Rehab, room 118. Bud McWhorter is in Brandon Oaks after knee surgery. He may be home by today. Both Joni Beach’s mother and father are having health issues. Jim Hunter is now home. Roger Fisher’s brother, Woody, is now in a nursing home in WVA. Remember as well, Harold Tidwell, Debbie McRoy’s cousin, (brain cancer and heart problems) Larry Foy’s brother, Charles, T. J. Hall as he deals with medication issues. The Hall’s neighbor, Eliza Dyne (breathing problems) Perry Hall’s mother-in-law, Bill Albert’s son, David, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas. Former member, Betty Shepherd needs a kidney transplant. Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Ridney, Marge Greenwood, Jenni Cullum and Tim Elder.

OUR DAILY BREAD: JULY 20-25
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
OUR DAILY BREAD: JULY 27-AUG. 1
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

PANCAKE BRUNCH
Jack Thompson will be holding a fundraiser for his Eagle Scout Project in the Fellowship Hall next Sunday, July 26th following the morning service. Food will be served until 1 o’clock, or until everyone is served. The meal will include pancakes and breakfast ham, as well as butter, syrup and other condiments. Drinks will be Orange juice, coffee, tea and water.
Jack also wants you to know if you attended his last fundraiser, he does not expect you to donate again.
Jack is our second scout raising money for an Eagle Scout project. Nick Bolin raised money to build a nice and much needed storage shed at the minister’s home.
Please attend if you can.

THANKS
Thanks to Lyn Jordan and Holly Wagner for doing some trimming and clean-up work around the building. Weed and foliage killer has been sprayed on some out of place grass, as well as in the back of the annex. More will be sprayed in other areas as well.

THE SIDEWALK
As you can see, the sidewalk the city constructed along Brandon Ave is basically finished. It improves the property as well as the neighborhood. It was done without interfering with our parking lot.
SUPER SUNDAY
This Sunday, July 19th is Super Sunday. Make plans to stay and enjoy both the meal and the fellowship

THE DIRECTORY
The format for the new directory is finished and the printing and assembling will start soon. If any changes have taken place in your information, there still may be time to change it. Call Erma.

MOVING
Stacy and David Maharrey will be moving to Oxford, Miss. about the middle of next month. The contract was not renewed for the group who employed David at Lewis-Gale Medical Center. This put David in limbo as to if he would be hired by the new group, so he and Stacy have decided to move closer to their parents. We are sorry to see them have to make this decision as are they.

Paul Simon’s song, “Mother and Child Reunion” starts with the lines, “No I would not give you false hope, on this strange and mournful day.”
Simon said the title came from the name of a Chinese dish of chicken and eggs by the same name. What the song actually meant has been a source of speculation.
However, the idea of false hope is an intriguing subject. Is there “false hope”? On one hand, it seems that hope is based on the desires of the moment. Are such desires to be brushed aside? Do we not hope against hope? Yes.
On the other hand, can there be false hope based on a faulty understanding of the source of that hope?
While visiting Rich Crites in the hospital, I saw a man go in and out of a room who looked familiar. I since think I know where I’ve seen him, because he is in a place frequented by the public.
One day as I was getting on the elevator to leave the hospital, he also got on. He asked if I was visiting family or a friend. “A friend,” I said. I asked him the same question. He said it was his wife. I asked how she was doing and he said she had multiple problems. I said I was sorry to hear that, and that was about the time we reached the ground floor. As he exited, he said, “She will be all right. We have claimed the gift of healing.” Which, as I understand it, means they had laid a claim on God, or Jesus, and the therefore, the wife will be healed. I thought of the lines from Paul Simon’s song.
Why do I feel that way? It is not because hope should not be part of he and his wife’s lives. It is because somewhere, somehow, someone taught them they could claim a “gift” and it would be so. As I read the Bible, I don’t find that. I do find those who healed, and sometimes the word “gift” was within the context. On the other hand, in Luke, when Jesus sent out his disciples he just told them to heal the sick. In Matthew it says he gave them authority to heal and cast out demons. I’m not sure “authority” means he gave them the gift of healing, but it might. Even at that, it seems it wasn’t a solid thing because none of them could heal the boy while Jesus was being transfigured. (Mark 9) A search of the New Testament will find scant references to healing beyond the gospels.
Why would healing be, without a doubt, the most sought after gift to claim? Because the problem of illness is the most universal malady there is. No one is immune. Illness also leads to death, and death, Paul says is the last enemy.
In reading through Acts on Wednesday evenings, we came to the part where Paul and his companions were in a violent storm off the coast of Malta. In Acts 27: 20, Luke writes, “When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.” Of course, they were not lost at sea, but Luke says “we finally gave up hope of being saved.” Who is the “we”? Was it Paul as well as Luke and the others? Yes. Even Paul. He had said before the journey started that they would all be lost. In 27:10 he said, “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.”
Remember, in Acts 23:11 it says, “The Lord stood near Paul and said, ‘Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” Paul never says he will not die on the way because he “claimed” the vision of the Lord that he would stand in Rome. In fact, he accepts the fact that he could die on the way, hence his comment to the commander about the disaster that lay ahead if they set sail.
Even though Paul had a divine commission to preach the gospel of inclusion to the Gentiles, he never felt he could claim the gift of safety. In II Corinthians 1:8 Paul writes that in Asia it was so bad that “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.”
Again, they survived, and Paul said it was to make them trust God more. But the point is, Paul, even though he had a personal commission to do what he was doing, never used that as some claim that God had to keep him alive.
Anyone who reads the Bible knows that the randomness of life presents constant inquiries. The Psalms are full of such questions. The book of Job addresses the problem. And each examination ends with some kind of an answer that is not a complete answer, because the question is asked again and again. It is a question that will be asked as long as time.
I hope the man’s wife recovers. I also know that while he said they had claimed the gift of healing, the very fact that she is in a hospital being treated by doctors, means he believes that “claim” needs some help. So I understand, except I hope he doesn’t feel God did not honor the “claim” and let them down if she dies. Since I don’t know their name, that’s something I may never know, or need to.
What those who believe in God know, is when things happen over which we have no control, we want God to control it for us. I don’t think that is offensive to God. I think it is to be expected. The danger in that is when God has to do what we ask, or claim. In saying that I’m not about to explain why God does or doesn’t do what we ask. Any attempt I’d make at that would fall short, way short. Each of us has to wade through that on our own. Each one of us has to find a hope, or a strength to stand on. What works for one person will not work for the other. Although absorbing their hopes into our lives may help us find our own “rock” on which to cling.
One thing I know, or am pretty sure I know, is putting a claim on God, no matter how many scriptures someone may quote, doesn’t make it so. I think Jesus knew that when he asked, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me.”
Keith

CONCERNS: Rich Crites will be in rehab at Raleigh Court Health and Rehab, room 119 while he rebuilds his strength. Roger Fisher’s brother, Woody Fisher, is in failing health. Debra McRoy’s cousin, Harold Tidwell, has stage 4 brain cancer as well as heart problems. Larry Foy’s brother fell and is not doing well. Jim Hunter is still having issues related to diabetes. Former member, Betty Shepherd’s kidney’s have failed and she needs a transplant. T. J. Hall is still having problems getting his blood pressure regulated. Wayne Phlegar has been unable to get out lately. Remember Bill Albert’s son, David

OUR DAILY BREAD: JUNE 22-27
Monday: Matthew 22:1-22
Tuesday: Colossians 1:21-2:7
Wednesday: John 6:52-71
Thursday: Romans 7:1-12
Friday: Matthew 23:1-22
Saturday: Psalm 114:1-8

OUR DAILY BREAD: JUN. 29-JULY 4
Monday: Matthew 22:23-40
Tuesday: John 2:13-25
Wednesday: Proverbs 3:1-18
Thursday: Jonah 2:1-10
Friday: Matthew 23:23-39
Saturday: Psalm 127:1-5

NEW LIFE
On Sunday evening, June 7th, Margaret (Maggie) Foy was baptized into Christ here at the building.
It is always wonderful to see the children of parents who have taught their children, as well as the children being exposed to and taught by their church experience, respond to the love and grace of God.
CONGRATULATIONS
Congratulations to John Bolin, who was elected Hidden Valley High School’s senior class president for the 2015-16 school year.
CONSTRUCTION
As you can see, the construction of the sidewalk by the city in front of our property, while cutting into some of the parking spaces, has provided us with two redone entrances to the parking lot.
According to the contractor, they will be relining the parking area so as too not reduce our parking, at least by too many spaces.
PHOTOS FROM THE GRADUATION BANQUET
James Downing took and posted pictures from the graduation banquet. If you would like to see them, go to our web site: ronokechurchofchrist.com Thanks James and to all who made it a wonderful evening with food and fun.
THANKS
You may or may not have noticed that the back pew on the side toward the hill has been shortened so that it lines up with the rest. When we developed the handicapped restroom we also had to widen the area from the handicapped parking area door in front of the cry room. This meant the removal on one short pew and adjusting the other, which did not match the alignment of the rest. Jim White has taken care of that.
We will also replace the short pew that was originally there with a shorter version. Thanks Jim!
SUPER SUNDAY
Today is Super Sunday. It is also Father’s Day. Stay and treat dad to a meal.

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