Roanoke Church of Christ

Bimonthly Bulletin

THANKS GOD, BUT WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY? – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

       In the History of Christianity, and pretty much everything we humans do, change comes because we don’t like something the way it is. If we can’t change it we leave it and do what we want done. Every segment of Christianity started that way.  Most were born out of heresy, exclusion or abuse of power. Others came from a particular view of scripture. Today it is not so much doctrine as it is needs and the expectation of what God will do for us.  
         Pat Boone told us a miracle a day would keep the devil away. So folks went looking for daily miracles. Now let me say if you go looking for God working in the world you will come closer to finding it than if you don’t look. But as I read Pat’s book, that’s not quite what he was saying. You could expect all kinds of God-brought miracles if you had the faith they would happen.
    About that same time the “gifts of the (Holy) Spirit surfaced. Now we could be lead by the Spirit and we wouldn’t have to worry about doing wrong or getting lost if we were in the“Spirit”. But Spirit-led people were often interested first in what God (the Spirit) was going to do for them than bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit. See I Corinth 11-14.
    Healing was and still is a big part of certain segments of Christianity, and has been for years. Putting out your fleece, as in the story of Gideon, was another way to be sure God would make everything work out. Everyone wants a sign, and that was an often request made of Jesus.
    So what has God done for me lately? If God is all-wise and all-powerful, surely we can expect some of that wisdom and power to be given to us. When I hear about these new up-and-coming church groups, I always hear how God works with power in their group. God lays it out in front of them; all they have to do is rake it in. And while the people are all about the same, their differences keep them looking for the best experience to see God working the way they want in their lives.
    Am I about to complain? Yes. Why? Because that’s not what I read in the Bible. Do I read of mighty works and miracles? Yes. But do they make up the bulk of the story of God in the Bible? No.
    Let’s take a trip down Biblical Memory Lane. First there’s the miracle of creation. Then what? How long before Noah builds the ark? Maybe six hundred years or so. Then there’s Abraham. How many wonders did he get except the promised child, and the ram that kept Isaac from being toast?  The rest of the time he walks by faith alone and it wasn’t easy.
    His heirs see few “mighty works” and finally, Joseph ends up in Egypt. There he ends up in prison on a trumped-up charge. He has the gift of dream interpretation and two guys in prison promise to help him if he tells them their dreams. He does and they forget they ever knew him. Finally the word gets out and the king gets his dreams interpreted and Joseph works for the king and turns the country into a radical socialist nation. 
    Then there’s Moses. He gets some 
really good “signs and wonders” like the burning bush, the rod-snake, plagues and the crossing of the sea, manna and water from the rock and the Ten Commandments. Where are the signs and wonders? They then wander in the wilderness for forty years. How many miracles do we read about during the “wandering”?
    They cross Jordan on stopped-up water. Jericho falls. Then what? They win battles, the Judges come along and there’s Gideon’s fleece, Sampson’s hair and some slick war strategy. Samuel arrives. How many daily signs and wonders do you read in his life? The kings arrive, and years pass without any notable signs except for Elijah and Elisha. Years go by with the divided kingdom in one mess after the other.    Then comes the invasion and exile. They spend years in exile away from their land. How many miracles did they get? Along come the reformers, like Ezra and Nehemiah. How many days did they just walk by faith only? 
    Ezekiel gets his valley of dry bones, but his life is almost daily bad, as is Jeremiah’s and the rest. All of them call for a reformed and restored nation and the rewards they promise for this are not signs and wonders, but a nation worthy of being called God’s people.    
    Of course, we are New Testament folks and we do see the works and wonders of Jesus written there. They are what the hoped-for Messiah would do; meaning they hadn’t been done much before. So when we read the life of Jesus, we tend to see those things which fall into the spectacular. The daily grind of faith gets lost in the excitement of the exception. Question: How much did Jesus’ signs and wonders convince people that he was the Messiah of God? Not much. Did he use the signs and wonders to prove he was the Messiah? No. Not once does he do a miracle and then say, “That proves I’m God’s son the Messiah”.
    Jesus dies and is raised and his followers go out into the world with the good news. It starts with wonders, i.e., the day of Pentecost. In Acts there are wonderful happenings, the dead are raised, and jail doors are opened. Paul is converted. How many miracles did Paul get? He didn’t even get relief from what he called his “thorn in the flesh”. He walked day after day by faith in Jesus and the resurrection, never seeing a wonder, other than the grace and love of God.
    Christianity is a life choice. It is the conviction that God spoke through Jesus the Son, and told us how to bring about God’s will on the earth. The gospel is not first about establishing churches and saving souls for eternity. It is about God’s will here and now, and the assurance of things hoped for, such as the defeat of death and eternal life as the result.
    Being a Christian is often a hands dirty, legs weary, walking in the dark, life. It’s not about what God will do for us, as much as it is what God has already done.
               Keith

     ROANOKE CHURCH OF CHRIST “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN-JULY 21, 2019
CONCERNS: Mark McRoy’s  neighbor’s cousin Paul Esteppe, has jaw cancer. Teryn Gaynor’s  continued prayers for her stepfather. Joni Beach’s niece, Jamie Cole. Pray for Darnell  Barnes. Jo Wagner’s sister, Judy Powell throat Cancer and her cousin Harold Clark, Lung Cancer.  Donte McCadden, a young father with CF. Former members, Ray and Debbie Reiss,son-in law, David, brain Cancer Treatment.Deanna McRoy has a kind of cancer that can return at any time.  Debbie McRoy’s cousin, Linda Alsup health issues along with husband, Prentice recurring cancer.Also: Joni and Alan Beach’s fathers, Gary Overstreet, Bill Albert, Jim Hunter, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver, Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

SERVICE TIMES:
Bible Study: 9:30 AM
Sunday Worship: 10:30 AM
Wednesday Evening: 7:0

ROANOKE CHURCH OF CHRIST
NEW LIFE
Editor/Minister
Keith Wagner

__________________________________

                       RESCHEDULING
    The Church work Day will be rescheduled for a later date due to the intense heat.

                SUPER SUNDAY
    Was cancelled due to the extreme heat  and the number of folks who will not be attending due to vacations this week. 

              THANKS 
    To our guest speaker Buford Lumsden for last week’s service. We were grateful to have him as our  guest speaker and we  really appreciated his message.

ADD TO YOUR DIRECTORY
    Carolee Crosen’s address :
2123 Lynn Ave SW, Roanoke, VA 24014
Phone # 540-520-0300.
 Rob & Gloria Kinney: 2033 Darlington Rd SW  Roanoke, VA 24018 
Phone # 540-774-5466   
.GOOD NEWS 
    Teryn’s mom’s screens came back clear and her blood count  numbers were good. No tumor was visible.  Thanks for your prayers.  She will be doing a couple of more treatments. 

                DEAN’S LIST 
    Congratulations to  Jack Thompson for  making  the Virginia Tech Dean’s list for Spring 2019.

WINDOW BLINDS
    The Window blinds in the foyer must be kept closed due to the amount of heat coming through the windows.  Also the doors to the auditorium must be kept closed to keep the cold air in.          

THE VARIETIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

William James, one of the founders of psychoanalysis, wrote a book with the above title. James himself didn’t have too many religious experiences. He was, however, interested in the experiences of others. He was not all that religious, but he defended on a mystical level, the right to have all the religious experiences a person wanted.
    I’ve had religious experiences. James might have examined them if he got bored with the real interesting stuff. But these are the ones which bother me the most. Over the years I’ve heard more than one preacher describe in rather explicit terms what women do to make men lust. It may not qualify as a real religious experience, but it is an experience and it is about religion
    A friend of mine recalled a time at a summer youth camp, and as part of the staff he was listening to a speaker tell the kids how awful it was to use things in the Bible for humor. I’m sure you’ve heard some of them. It’s like, “Who is the best tennis player in the Bible? Joseph, because he served in Pharaoh’s court.” Or, “Who smoked the first cigarette? Rebekah. It says ‘Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lit off her camel.” (That’s only funny if you know “Camel” is a brand of cigarette.) 
    The speaker went on and on, listing one after another all the examples he was condemning. My friend, as would I, was trying not to laugh out loud, as were all the kids. You see, such things can be funny. The problem is when you find yourself on the other side of another person’s religious experience. To the speaker, the list was a sacrilege, for the kids and people like me and my friend, it was creative and funny. That’s the kind of religious experiences I have, not the ones James would like to investigate.
    It was fifty years ago that West Virginia wanted resend the existing Blue Law. I sat through more than one meeting of preachers where I was told if stores stayed open on Sunday we would see the end of the family as God had ordained it. (At this point you may insert any current doomsday warning) Sunday shopping would increase divorce, unwed mothers and crime. Churches would have to compete with shopping centers. It was a real serious issue for the preachers in  West Virginia. No surprise that myself and another preacher ended up on the wrong side, and it was an experience! You have to be careful when you mess with another persons religious issue. I told them I was from Ohio, where the was no Blue Law. But because we were Christians we didn’t shop until after church on Sunday. I pointed out that in the present case, stores were not opening until after most churches had been out an hour or two. That is no longer the case today, but as far as I can tell, the family unit, while perhaps suffering, is not suffering from eating at Olive Garden after church.
    In the West Virginia case, many of the churches in the Kanawha valley had chemical worker who worked shift work, and had to work on Sunday. There were also nurses and doctors and emergency personnel who had to work on Sunday. Off course, I was told those were necessary jobs, but if all places could stay open it would be the ruin of our society. If thee prophets of doom were right, the world would not have made it out of the first century. Of course, maybe one day (NOT) someone will pick the exact time ruin came upon the earth like a plague, because someone every day is announcing the end as we know it.
    With all the religious experiences we have, I was thinking we could make a list which would define them in simple terms. After all, we all know what Damascus Road Experience means.
    How about The Big Chill? Being baptized in an unheated baptistry. 
    Raiders of the Lost Ark. Finding out too late that some kids ate the communion bread. That’s a religious experience!
    Friendly Persuasion. (An oldie, I know) The moment your older sibling keeps elbowing you in the ribs to the 4/4 time of “O Why Not Tonight.”
    The Longest Yard. Trying to get by that guy at church who is always asking why you haven’t been baptized.. That is a very real religious experience!
    La La Land. The time a friend took you to Lakewood Church to hear Joel Osteen.
    Frozen. The day there was no heat in the church and the elders refused to dismiss the services on the ground that suffering was good for the soul.
            Keith

THOSE TO SERVE IN JULY*Announcements: Wayne Flora
Serve Communion: Connie Crites
                            Mark McRoy
                           Maggie Foy
                            Garrett Williams
Usher: Jeff Bland
Communion Care: Blessing Family
Singing:        S                cripture:
7-Scott Blessing                Holly Wagner
14- Karen Branch                Holly Wagner
21-Del Bolin                        Holly Wagner
28-Del Bolin                        Holly Wagner
Communion:                Nursery:
7-Mike Branch                Alisa Flora
14-Mike Branch                Alisa Flora
21-Mike Branch                Alisa Flora
28-Mike Branch                Alisa Flora
RMH:
Lead-Susan Jordan
Assist- Mike Branch & Leena Bolin
If you cannot serve call Erma Williams

JULY BIRTHDAYS7-Kathy Sirgy        8-Larry Foy
9-Nathan Flora    13-Samuel Blessing
16-Zona Fisher    19-Jim Hunter
21-Brock McRoy    Oliver Hogan
26-John Bolin
JULY ANNIVERSARIES
2-Jake & AC Fuller    
4-Wayne & Susan Phlegar
13-James & Mary Smith
* This is a summer schedule. Any time you need a replacement one will be provided.

CONCERNS: Mark McRoy’s  neighbor’s cousin Paul Esteppe, has jaw cancer. Teryn Gaynor’s mother’s tumor has enlarged and is being treated.  Continued prayers for her stepfather also. Joni Beach’s niece, Jamie Cole. Ray Barnes pray for his wife, Darnell.  Jo Wagner’s sister, Judy Powell throat Cancer and her cousin Harold Clark, Lung Cancer.  Donte McCadden, a young father with CF. Former members, Ray and Debbie Reiss’son-in law, David, brain Cancer Treatment. Deanna McRoy has a kind of cancer that can return at any time.  Debbie McRoy’s cousin, Linda Alsup health issues along with husband, Prentice recurring cancer. 
Also: Keep Judy McWhorter, Joni and Alan Beach’s fathers, Gary Overstreet, Bill Albert, Jim Hunter, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver, Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder

ROANOKE CHURCH F CHRIST
2606 Brandon Ave SW
Roanoke, Va 24015\
540-982-0500    


SERVICE TIMES:
Bible Study: 9:30 AM
Sunday Worship: 10:30 AM
Wednesday Evening: 7:00

ROANOKE CHURCH OF CHRIST
NEW LIFE
Editor/Minister
Keith Wagner

CHURCH  WORK  DAY     Mark  your Calendar for July 20th. The  next plan  work day.  Please take a look at the list  in the fellowship hall by the entry/exit door.  Check to see if you can  accomplish any of the items on the list?  Please let us know if we missed something that needs to be done?  Please be aware  that you can work on any project at your  leisure if  July 20th, doesn’t  work  with your schedule.  Please make  notes on the list as appropriate, so all will know the status of the work.

THANKS    To Susan Jordan for last Sunday’s  hymns and history. Thank you, Susan for your  time and coordination of these hymns. Everyone enjoys learning the history behind our hymns. 

GUEST SPEAKER
    Next Sunday July 14th, We  will have a Guest Speaker Burford Lumsden.  Burford has worshiped with Varies Christian Churches. Burford was baptized many years ago in the cold April Waters of Maggie Creek. 

 WELCOME
  The following people are now worshiping with us.   Kate Etuk, Rob and Gloria Kinney and Carole Chosen.    

WEDNESDAY EVENING
    There’s always room for you.  Please come join us on Wednesday for our weekly supper and bible study. We’re studying The Corinthian letters. Keith will be  having Eye Surgery on July 10th, and will not be there that Wednesday night. 

THE RIGHT STUFF – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

    Since today is Father’s Day, I would imagine a number of sermons will be preached telling fathers how the Bible wants them to be. I guess that’s OK, except finding a father in the Bible to use as an example isn’t that easy. In fact, finding a family in the Bible to use as an example as a Godly home is just as hard. Of course, the Bible is not primarily about home life.  
    The idea of the Bible telling us how to have happy moms and dads and kids is interesting, because it seems anyone who is religious claims to know just what the answers are. I’m not saying the Bible doesn’t give sound, spiritual advice on how to live and get along with each other. I’m saying it is next to impossible, or impossible, to find a family unit in the Bible with all the right stuff.
    In West Virginia I knew a preacher who preached about how mothers should dress in modest apparel (his view, of course) for his Mother’s Day sermon. A young lady I met in WVA told me her father felt the same way, only not just on Mother’s Day. He refused to let this nineteen year old daughter cut her hair or wear any kind of makeup. His right? Yes, but she sure did it up when she left home, and religion. The Bible talks about being a holy people, we’re just not sure where those families are.
    Maybe Job is the only father in the Bible who doesn’t have a bunch of black marks on his permanent record. But I doubt you would hear any sermons on Job this morning. If there is another, make a mental list of fathers and families as they develop in scripture.
Adam? One son kills the other. Noah may not be too bad, if you overlook his drunkenness after getting out of the Ark; and maybe cursing his son, Ham, for whatever it was he did when he saw him. Of course, maybe we’d all get a little drunk after being cooped up for forty days and nights with all those animals and the kids constantly asking, “Are we there yet?!” 
    Abraham would surely come to mind, with his faith and all. But then he gives his wife away twice to save his own skin. Later, when impatience sets in for an heir, with his wife’s permission, (he should have been smarter than to believe that would work!) he fathers a child by Sara’s servant, Hagar. Then He lets Sara tell him to toss them out to fend for themselves, or die trying. Of course, as the story goes, God told Abraham to send Hagar and her son, Ishmael away, and that God would make him also a great nation. However, Hagar isn’t in on that until later. And we might excuse it because it was way back then, which is my point. So how are we going to find the right example when all that stuff wouldn’t be allowed today  as it was then?
    Look at Moses. What ever happened to his sons? They never figure in the history of Israel in any way, shape or form. The only time we see them is when they arrive with his mother to visit dad in the wilderness at the foot of “the mountain of God.” In Exodus 18:2 it says, “Now Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, had taken Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her away, and her two sons….” That’s the last we hear of her or them. However, in I Chron. 23 &26 the sons, Gershom and Eliezer are mentioned and are associated with the tribe of Levi. Did they go with Moses? Maybe, but Moses marries an Ethiopian woman. How’s that for family values?
    Even in the New Testament we have the same problem. We know a little about the family in Jesus’ time and what was expected of a father, though it is not spelled out in the NT. We do not know when  Jesus’ father, Joseph died. All we know is he is only mentioned in the early life of Jesus. Jesus mother will, at one point, conclude he has lost his mind about being the Messiah. (Mark 3:21) What was a family like which had the right stuff for a sermon in Jesus’ day? We don’t know. Peter seems to leave his wife and mother-in law to follow Jesus. Good? Or bad? In that time, probably OK. Today? Questionable, unless it’s military service. Even then, we don’t know what the family was like. 
    We might think of the story of the Prodigal son, and if there are sermons on being a good father on Father’s Day, that one would likely be used. However, that one won’t work. The story of the Prodigal is about the nature of God, as Father, not fathers like the rest of us. I don’t mean a good father is not forgiving or offers second chances. I mean that Jesus is describing God, and no father is like God. Godly, yes, but not perfect in love as is God., especially in this story, that in context, was about who Jesus was hanging out with.
    If any of us had a son who had done what the prodigal had done, we would expect, as well as “repentance” (a change of direction) a real change in direction. What are the child’s plans and how can we help with them. We want a change of heart. Human fathers have a right to see that a change of life has happened. But only God has the right stuff.
    That does not mean that as parents we do not love and support our children as they grow and mature, even with their failings. That’s what parents are to do. But the story of the prodigal is not about a prodigal child, it is about the amazing love of God.
    There may be no perfect father in the Bible, however, there are things said that can guide fathers. We can see the life of Jesus and his moral and ethical teaching. We can do our best, “best” is the key word, to live out our lives with honesty and integrity.
That’s a sermon for everyone who follows Jesus. 
    If a grown child is asked about a childhood memory that best described their parents, you will hear a defining word about their parents. Of course, many fathers and mothers also grow and repent (change) as they age. When the children become parents they will understand how important that is.
        Keith 

CONCERNS: Judy McWhorter is able to be at worship but is still recovering  from  knee surgery. Teryn Gaynor’s mother’s tumor has enlarged and is being treated. Also: Joni and Alan Beach’s fathers. Mark McRoy is asking for prays for Paul Estette  who has a rare form of cancer. Gary Overstreet, Bill Albert, Jim Hunter, Sheila  Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver,  Marjorie Wilson. Melanie Gentry. Wayne Phlegar. Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder. 

ROANOKE CHURCH F CHRIST
2606 Brandon Ave SW
Roanoke, Va 24015\

Steering CommitteeDel Bolin    Wayne Flora
Mike Branch   Susan Jordan
Martha Foy    Judy McWhorter
540-982-0500

SERVICE TIMES:
Bible Study: 9:30 AM
Sunday Worship: 10:30 AM
Wednesday Evening: 7:00

Editor/MinisterKeith Wagner

FATHER’S DAY    Happy Father’s Day to all of our Father’s. Father’s day celebrates the contribution that fathers and father figures make for their children’s lives.

SUPER SUNDAY    Today (June 16th) is Super Sunday. 
    It is also Father’s Day. Where could Dad get a better meal than right here. The Fellowship meal will be in the annex following the service.  Visitors are considered our honored quests.  Please  plan to stay.   

SUNDAY MORNING
    The Sunday morning class is now in the book of Galatians. Come and join in. 

THANKS
    Our thanks to everyone that came out to help on June 1st for  the Church Work  Day. 

NOTICE    During the hot weather the dead limbs on the tree near the main entrance to the parking lot dry out and  fall off. You can see some residue from recent limbs. Be careful when parking there especially on windy days. 

WEDNESDAY EVENING
    Please come join us on Wednesday for our weekly supper and bible study.  Feeds your body and soul at 6:00 pm.  We’re studying The Corinthian letters.  There’s always room for you. 

SUMMERTIME
    This is the time of year when our folks are traveling. If you are going to be away let the office know.  Please keep our church members that our traveling in you prayers.  

THE DAY THEM TWO SINNERS CAME TO CHURCH – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

It were the spring of forty-four
The times were mighty poor
But I’ll never forget the day
It were the twenty-fourth of May
The day them two sinners came to church.

As they walked in and sat down near the front
You could’a heard deacon Wilson’s grunt\
Bout half way into next week
As he slid down in his seat
The day them two sinners came to church.

The feller were ol’ Tom Strunk
Commonly known as the town drunk
He smiled to the left an’ then to the right
It were really quite a sight
The day them two sinners came to church.

The other member of this unusual procession 
Were Millie, from the world’s oldest profession.
That lady of the night were there bright as day
Right there on that sunny twenty-fourth of May
The day them two sinners came to church.

Billy Bob were leadin’ the singin’
About them golden bells a ringin’
An folks were doin’ their best
To sing them songs with zest
The day them two sinners came to church.

I were thinkin’ about the communion
I knowed there be some confusion
If them sinners touched the emblems
And caused some scriptural problems
The day them two sinners came to church.

Billy Joe Hicks weren’t sure what to do
But he handed the bread to them two 
As he watched ol’ Tom Strunk
Break off a good-sized chunk
The day them two sinners came to church.

Next came the fruit of the vine 
I hoped ol’ Tom didn’t think it were wine
As he stared at the cup
Before turnin’ it up
The day them two sinners came to church.

Millie didn’t touch the plate or the tray
And kinda looked the other way
But there was a sadness on her face
As if she knowed she were out of place
The day them two sinners came to church

Elder Johnson looked fit to be tied
Wider Jones looked about to die
Preacher Herman were startin’ to tremble
While his outline he tried to assemble
The day them two sinners came to church.

We’s all lookin’ at brother Herman
To start his hell-fire sermon
The hymns had been sung
The church bell had been rung
The day them two sinners came to church.

The sermon were fiery an’ pointed
Brother Herman almost came disjointed
As he tried to reign them in
Preachin’ all about kinds of sin
The day them two sinners came to church.

It were such a powerful sermon
He had us all a squirmin’
Sweat were runnin’ under my collar
As I promised to give more than a dollar
The day them two sinners came to church.

Ol’ Tom began to nod
While Millie sat straight as a rod
Never takin’ her eyes off Brother Hermon
As she listened to that hell-fire sermon
The day them two sinners came to church

When they didn’t accept the invitation
I sensed a sigh of jubilation
They left  and never came back again
And you should’a heard that last Amen
The day them two sinners came to church.

Why they came we were never told
I reckon we treated them kinda cold
The only person with whom they spoke
Was crazy Barney Polk
The day them two sinners came to church.

Ol’ Tom died the very next summer
We heard Millie ran off with a drummer
I’m old but I aint dead yet
And you cen bet I’ll never forget
The day them two sinners came to church.
                                             kw

THOSE TO SERVE IN JUNE
Announcements: Mike Branch
Serve Communion: Maggie Foy
                   Joanne Elder
                   Debbie Mcroy
                   Garrett Williams
Usher: Erma Williams
Communion Care:   Williams
Singing:        Scripture:
2-Karen Branch    Mark Mcroy
9-Scott Blessing    Susan Jordan
16-Del Bolin        Martha Foy
23-Scott Blessing    Connie Crites
30-Del Bolin        Judy McWhorter
Communion:        Nursery:
2-Abraham Sirgy    Alisa Flora
9-Wayne Flora    Joanne Elder
16-Scott Blessing    Holly Wagner
23-Keith Wagner    Susan Phlegar
30-Wayne Flora    Connie Crites
If you cannot serve, call Erma Williams

JUNE BIRTHDAYS
13-Mike Branch         13Susan Jordan
 21-Wayne Flora          29-Joni Beach  

JUNE ANNIVERSARIES1-Garrett & Erma Williams 
4-Wayne & Elisa Flora
25-Lyn & Susan Jordan
28-Dillon & Laura Hogan

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE
 Mike Branch and Debbie McRoy

CONCERNS: Judy McWhorter is able to be at worship but is still recovering  from  knee surgery. Teryn Gaynor’s mother’s tumor has enlarged and is being treated. Also: Joni and Alan Beach’s fathers. Gary Overstreet, Bill Albert, Jim Hunter, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver, Marjorie Wilson. Melanie Gentry. Wayne Phlegar. Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.    

ROANOKE CHURCH OF CHRIST
NEW LIFE
Editor/Minister
Keith Wagner

VISITORS
    We were blessed with visitors. Carolee Grosen and her two granddaughters, Ruby and Sophie. Kate Utuk, a close friend of the Foys came as well.

CHURCH  WORK  DAY
    A plan to have a work day is June 1st, which was yesterday as the bulletin is dated. However, a tree fell behind the building during the storm on Wednesday. Since most of you receive the bulletin via email, take note. 

SUNDAY MORNING
    The Sunday morning class is now in the book of Galatians. Come and join in. 

THANKS
    Our thanks to Wayne Flora for the sermon last Sunday. Copies are available. If you want one, see Keith. 

..THANKS ALSO
    Thanks to Connie Crites, Joanne Elder and Holly Wagner for keeping  the flowers watered in front of the annex

NOTICE
    During the hot weather the dead limbs on the tree near the main entrance to the parking lot dry out and just fall off. You can see some residue from recent limbs. Be case full when parking there.

WEDNESDAY EVENING
    Please come join us on Wednesday for our weekly supper and bible study.  Feeds your body and soul at 6:00 pm.  We’re studying The Corinthian letters.  There’s always room for you. 

2019 GRADUATES
    Congratulations to Carson McRoy who graduated from William Byrd High School with honors and is already working.

THE WORSHIPER* – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

I enter the room used for worship,
The one we hesitate to call a sanctuary.
I smile at others and we exchange small Talk.
But soon I find I am confronted with myself.

I wonder about the years that have passed,
And if I made the progress I should have?
So many things have been left undone,
And dreams have faded into a fog of doubt.

It’s amazing how simple life looks when
You are young,
And how soon it takes on new complications.
What was absolutely certain and Unchangeable,
Have become uncertain and have changed.

I didn’t intend it to be this way.
I didn’t sit down and say,
“I will make this mistake.
I will let this important thing get away from Me.”
But time is the spoiler which erodes And corrodes.

I wonder how alone I am?
Do the ones who sit within my reach,
Whose singing voices I can hear,
Know the disappointments and fears I’ve Known?

The minister has just said God loves me.
Does he know anything about me?
Does he have any realization at all
As to what it would take for God to love Me?

Sometimes I wonder why I come to this Place.
I feel like a moth drawn to the flame;
A flame which is said to purify,
But seems to want to totally consume me.

What would happen if the heavens Suddenly opened
And the secrets of my life poured out?
Would the minister still say God loves me,
And would the others still smile and be Friendly?

The tears now silently slip down my Cheeks.
I wipe my eyes and notice
I have been Discovered.
Will they ask me if they can help,
Or will they think I’m a fool?

Do they realize how hopeless I feel,
How crazy it seems to keep coming to this Place;
A place of hope, a place where change is promised,
And yet each day seems worse
Than the one before?

Lord, I would seek your face.
I would look Into your eyes
And pray I would see the softness
I’ve heard is there;
And in some real way,
I might see the soul of God.

My God.
If I could just see your mouth
And Know that when I approach, you smile.
That you might even laugh with me
As I hear you say, “I love you”

Could I possibly in this moment,
Father, Reach out and take your hand?
Could I feel the very strength of God,
Given willingly to me?

Could it be,
If I looked into your eyes
And heard you tell me you do love me,
And I Touched your hand,
Would you take me in your arms like a Small child?

Father, could I leave this place today
With my hand in yours as you lead the way?
Could I know I can be just what you want Me to be?
Please Father, look at me, smile at me, touch me!

    Keith

*These are a combination of thoughts I’ve felt and have also been expressed by others over the years.

THOSE TO SERVE IN MAY
Announcements: Connie Crites
Serve Communion: Lyn Jordan
Susan Jordan
Holly Wagner
Garrett Williams

Usher: Jeff Bland
Communion Care: Wayne Flora
Singing: Scripture:
5-Karen Branch Martha Foy
12-Del Bolin Marta Albert
19-Scott Blessing Joanne Elder
28-Scott Blessing Judy McWhorter
Communion: Nursery:
5-Mike Branch Susan Phlegar
12-Scott Blessing Susan Jordan
19-Abraham Sirgy Holly Wagner
28-Keith Wagner Alisa Flora

If you cannot serve, call Erma Williams

MAY BIRTHDAYS
2- Jay Thompson 7-Debra McRoy
20-Sherry Bland

MAY ANNIVERSARIES
22- Abraham & Kathleen Sirgy
26-Delmar & Leena Bolin

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE
Marta Albert leads this work along with Holly Wagner

    ROANOKE CHURCH OF CHRIST “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN-MAY 5,2019

CONCERNS: Judy McWhorter is still recovering from knee surgery. She had her staples removed on 5/1/19. She is now able to walk with a cane and no longer needs a walker. She will be starting out patient therapy next week. Which means she will be able to drive. Please keep her in your prayers. Teryn Gaynor’s mother’s tumor has enlarged and is awaiting a treatment plan. Also: Joni and Alan Beach’s fathers. Gary Overstreet. Bill Albert. Jim Hunter. Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver, Marjorie Wilson. Melanie Gentry. Wayne Phlegar. Jim and Mary Smith annd Tim Elder.

ROANOKE CHURCH OF CHRIST
NEW LIFE
Editor/Minister
Keith Wagner


CHURCH WORK DAY
There is still work to be done around the church. Our next work Saturday is May 11th. Please join us to help make our church beautiful. There is a sign up sheet in the annex next to the entry/exit door. Can you accomplish any of the items? Is there something we missed? You can pick a project and work on your schedule also. Please make any notes, as appropriate, so all will know the status. Plans are to have a different monthly Saturday to provide a variety of opportunities for each of us to lend a hand. Next date will be June 1st.

SUNDAY MORNING
The Sunday morning class is finishing a study of the book of Acts. Come and join in. A new study will be selected soon. It you have suggestions, come and share them.

WEDNESDAY EVENING
Please come join us on Wednesday
for our weekly supper and bible study. Feeds your body and soul at 6:00 pm. We’re studying Romans. There’s always room for you.

THANKS
Thanks to Connie Crites for the flowers in front of the annex. Erma was also involved as well.

CONGRATULATIONS!
Nick Bolin will Graduate this month from Virginia Tech with a Master’s Degree in History, with a Certificate in Public History.

        2019 GRADUATES
If others will be graduating this year or know someone who will, see or call Erma Williams.  

THAT TIME – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

   That cross,    Stained with sins
    To painful to tell
    As it stands stark 
    Against the darkening sky;
    Pronouncing its judgement 
    To the world

    That hill,
    With its history of
    Past victims to numerous
    And shameful to tell.
    A monument to man’s
    Judgement
    Or inhumanity.

    That hand 
    With fingers extended.
    Then clinched tight,
    Almost obscuring the nail
    Driven deep into the palm.
    Beads of sweat dot the face
    Of this dying man.

    That head
    Hanging heavily,
    Swaying from side to side;
    Its thorny crown
    Grotesque against the sun.
    From the heaving chest 
    Come the sighs of death.

    That face,
    Eyes tightly shut.
    Then wide open;
    As though seeking
    A comforting word.
    The tongue wets the lips
    Against the fever.

    That man,
    Hanging on that cross
    Hears the weeping,
    The scornful laughter,
    Tastes the hyssop  
    As a voice from somewhere
    Says he was a son of God.

    That peace,
    The rest of death.
    When pain and time stops.
    Life is over.
    It is finished.
    Its purpose fulfilled.

    That tomb,
    Dark and foreboding;
    Mouth gaping wide,
    Ready to consume its 
    First guest.
    Ashes to ashes 
    Dust to dust.

    That stone,
    Rolled into place.
    The grave has its prize.
    Now sealed tightly against     
    Intruders and even God.    Now things can return
    To normal.

    That moment,
    A stirring.
    Life surges in.  
    Arms and legs
    Stretch as if from sleep.
    The stone resists,
    But begins to move.

    That morning,
    A bird sings,
    As  the first rays of sunlight
    Kiss the spring flowers
    Near the open tomb. 
    Footprints in the dew
    Lead to a risen Savior.

                    Keith

CONCERNS: Judy McWhorter had knee replacement surgery last week. She us doing fine. Debbie McRoy will not have surgery. No blockage was found in Doug Bolin’s heart. Doug is Del’s brother. However, he still has a problem. These people are dealing with cancer: Teryn Gaynor’s mother (her husband has advanced Parkinson’s). Jeff Bland’s mother, Patricia.  Ray Barns, (his wife, Darnel also so has heath problems) Judy Powell and Harold Clark. Former members, Ray and Debbie Reiss’ son-in-law, David. Deanna McRoy, Debbie McRoy’s cousin, Linda Alsup and husband, Prentice. Others to remember are the parents of Joni and Alan Beach and Wayne Flora. Joni Beach’s niece, Jamie Cole. Gary Overstreet, Jim Hunter, Bill Albert, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Donte McCadden (CF) Marjorie Wilson, Tim Elder, Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, and Melanie Gentry 
.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD!
    On Saturday, April 13, at 1:45 AM, Lucas James Downing arrived in this world. He weighed in at 6lbs, 14oz and 19 inches long.
    Needless to say, James and Megan are proud as punch, as are grandparents and extended family. Lucas is the first Great-grandchild of Keith and Jo Wagner. 

WELCOME BACK
    Jonathan Densby and his family are with us once again. He will be teaching the  adult class and presenting the morning sermon. Jonathan is one of the men the steering committee is interviewing to become the minister as Keith retires. Be sure to meet the family today.

EASTER EGG HUNT
    There will be an Easter egg hunt following the morning service. It will take place in the yard behind the annex. Holly Wagner will give the go signal. Children should meet her at the back door of the building. This is for all preschool children.

SUPER SUNDAY
    Today, April 21, is Super Sunday. Plan to stay for the fellowship meal following the morning service. If you haven’t met the Dansby’s, this would be a good time.

THANKS
    Thanks to everyone who came out on the work day. You may also notice as you come into the building that the landings and porches have been resurfaced as well as the side walks power-washed.Erma and Garrett Williams and Wayne Flora painted lines on the parking areas.

VIVIAN DUGAN
    Vivian Dugan will be away longer than she expected due to Cathie and Jeff traveling.

JUST THINKING – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

   At some point in my ministry I became more and more fascinated with the person of Jesus. Much of my church life had left me with a view of him as an antheral, otherworldly type, with just enough humanity to keep him on the ground. I think  leaving that view in people’s minds is an insult to the man he was.
   Therefore, I want to stretch our thinking by looking at what Jesus did know, what he did not know, and what he seems to say he wanted.
    What did he not know? We are told in Luke 2 that he “grew in wisdom and stature.” In Matthew, Mark and Luke say when asked about what Jesus warns is coming, he replies that no one knows, including him. Only the Father knows. These warnings, read carefully, refer to the destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred in AD 70. Even though Jesus could see the storm clouds forming, even he did not know the exact time. If you insist on extending these verses to the end of time, the result is still the same. In Hebrews it says Jesus “learned by the things he suffered.”
    What did he know? He knew the will (reign/kingdom) of God was to come on the earth. He prayed, “May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” He said in Lk. 4, quoting Isaiah, that the spirit of the Lord was on him and had anointed him to preach good news to the poor, freedom for prisoners, sight to the blind, release the oppressed and proclaim it was the year of the Lord’s favor. In Lk.11:20, he said if he cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of god was here. What does it appear he wanted? For God’s will to be done on earth and that he was here to make it happen.
    Did he want to overthrow Rome by force? No. He said the kingdom of God was like a mustard seed which grew quietly. He said the kingdom was like yeast, which also worked from the inside. He said the kingdom was inside of us. And yet, he often does things which seem to be forming an army of resistance. When he fed the five thousand men in Mk.6, he had them sit in groups of fifty and a hundred, which was the way troops were divided. When he feeds the multitude in Jn 6, the crowd saw this as sign that he was the to led them as a military king.
    When he looked at Jerusalem and said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often have I longed (wanted) to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing”, did he mean it? (Mt.23.37) Did he come to try, or to die trying?  Did he know it was hopeless, or did he think he might have a chance? 
    From where we stand, we have a hard time imagining he believed he could bring about the will of God on earth. But all through his life and teaching, he taught about how the will (kingdom) of God was supposed to be…on earth. 
   He knew, as all the prophets before him, that God’s will for the earth was not about military force. I haven’t done an exhaustive search, but I can’t find a prophetic book that says war will restore God’s will in Israel. All of them speak of mercy and justice, in one way or another. Jesus know the Messianic goal was as a reformer. Someone to whom the people would listen to and follow. He also knew all prophets suffered for their message, sometimes even dying. Did they hope they would be heard, or did they know they would fail? Why do it if you know it will make no difference. The joke on Jonah is that he wanted to fail at Nineveh, but succeeded. The irony of that story should not be lost on us.
    As for me, looking at the man Jesus, I think from what I read, that he hoped the Jews would listen, and that from Jerusalem to the rest of the world, the will of God on earth would be spread, as the prophets like Isaiah and others had said.  As his story unfolds, for awhile, thousands believed his message. At some point, however, as was the result of all reforming prophets, he saw the cross as a possibility if he kept on proclaiming the will of God. Should he give up? Should anyone give up because they reach the place they know they may not complete the work to be done? That’s not the way we move forward. Jesus may have come to the place he knew God’s will would not be complete in his lifetime. But he never stopped trying to bring it about. In fact, he realized that it takes the supreme sacrifice to make it happen.
    Will the will of God succeed? It’s up to us.
        Keith
NOTICE
Keith is starting his retirement, but will be working part time during the transition period as the church decides future plans. Therefore, following issues of the bulletin may contain reprints from years past. This will mean some changes in the mailing list.

THOSE TO SERVE IN ARIL
Announcements: Mike Branch
Serve Communion: Connie Crites
            Joanne Elder
            Martha Foy
            Garrett Williams
Usher: Erma Williams
Communion Care: Blessings
Singing:         Scripture:
7-Del Bolin        Martha Albert
14-Scott Blessing    Mark McRoy
21-Karen Branch    Debbie McRoy
28-Del Bolin        Susan Jordan
Communion:        Nursery:
7-Abraham Sirgy    Susan Phlegar
14-Wayne Flora    Susan Jordan
21-Abraham Sirgy    Holly Wagner
28-Keith Wagner    Connie Crites
If you cannot serve, call Erma Williams
APRIL BIRTHDAYS
23-Maggie Foy    25-Del Bolin

CONCERNS: Jeff and Sherry Bland have had flu-like symptoms.  Debbie McRoy has back surgery in the near future. Those are suffering from cancer and under treatment are Judy Powell and Harold Clark, (Jo Wagner’s  sister and cousin), Ray Barns, (pray for his wife, Darnell) Teryn Gaynor’s mother, (Teryn’s step-father has advanced Parkinson’s). Ray and Debbie Reiss’ son-in law, David. Debbie McRoy’s cousin’s husband, Prentice Alsup, and Deanna McRoy. Others with health issues are Jim Hunter, Jamie Cole,(Joni Beach’s niece) Donte McCadden, a CF patient, The parent(s) of Wayne Flora, The Beach’s and Del Bolin. Gary Overstreet, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Remember, Amber was paralyzed in an accident years ago and cannot speak. Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

                      IF A TREE FALLS ON A SWING SET, DOES STATE FARM HEAR IT?
    (State Farm is used only as an example) A pine tree from our property fell on a neighbor’s swing set up on Laburnum. They called to see what we could do. As you may know, it’s “An act of God” which means nobody is responsible according to insurance companies. Wayne Flora went to the home and with the owners help, cut up the tree. Thanks Wayne. You were like a good neighbor, you were there..

CONGRATULATIONS!
    Our own Bonnie Blessing took home the first prize ribbon for the Viewers Choice Award at the Burgland Center Quilt Show. Each attendee was given material in which a slip of paper was to show the most liked. Bonnie’s won. It was a four year project with about 7,400 hand-stitched pieces. Way to go Bonnie!

                                                        JONATHAN DENSBY RETURNING
    The Steering Committee has invited Jonathan and his family to return. He will be speaking on Easter Sunday, March, 21.
    The steering committee needs feedback from the congregation about Jonathan. If you were not hear when he spoke last time, it can be heard on the church face Book page.

                                                         SPRING CLEAN-UP DAY
    We are looking at a date this month for a clean-up day at the building. April 20, or some later date is suggested.
AWAY
    Alisa Flora is in Alabama, visiting with her sister, Melanie. She will return this week.
SUPER SUNDAY
    Easter falls on Super Sunday this year. Plan to stay for the fellowship meal following Jonathan’s sermon.

“PEDIFUL PEDIFUL” – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

Jed Clampett used to say that when he referred to something dim-witted second cousin Jethro Bodine said or did.
I found those words floating through my mind as I looked at a copy of Does God Exist, a quarterly published by John Clayton. Clayton is one of the best among the Churches of Christ in making science and religion compatible and relevant. He has no problems saying he believes in evolution.
Evolution meaning: “An unfolding type of change.” Everything evolves. Science, Business, education, even theology. And that last one is the rub. This has caused Clayton to be branded by some in the C of C.
He tells of not long ago receiving a call from an 80-year-old retired science teacher and widow of an elder, who had taught Sunday School with a half-century experience of teaching children, who was told she could no longer teach because, in her words, “You aren’t much of a Christian because you believe in evolution.” Then, not much later another woman called and said she had been removed from teaching her second grade Sunday School class because, “You believe in science.” “Holy Charles Darwin, Batman! Are we still in the dark ages?!” Or, as Jed Clampett would say, “Pediful! Pediful!”
Such an attitude toward science from religious circles comes partly from refusing to understand scripture within its historical and literary context.
Psalm 139:13 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” To say, as some do, that this means God selects the sex and personality of every person, is to say what it does not say. It is a poetic way of giving God the glory for one’s life. Neither does Psalm 51:5 teach that we are born sinners. The Psalm, traditionally accredited to David after his adultery with Bathsheba, says, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Is this a direct quote from God? No. This is David reflecting on his sin and expressing his deep remorse, so much so that he sees himself “bad to the bone!” God never said that, nor did Jesus.
Perhaps the things said about Judas come to mind. If you believe he was created to betray Jesus and had no choice, then give him a break. He did what he was created to do. He fulfilled the will of God. Name your next kid Judas.
However, these and other such examples fall into the literary context. The Gospels were written after the Epistles.
Jesus died, rose from the dead (defeating the last enemy) and ascended. The Gospels are told from that context. Therefore, salvation from sin and death came from all of the pieces falling into place. Without those elements, the story of salvation falls apart. Therefore, in its own way, it is the will of God. Could Jesus have turned away from the cross? Yes. In fact, it is in his refusal to escape the cross that he reveals the love and grace of God. His death and resurrection changed everything.
It’s the things which fall into the poetic context that cause some to reject science. To take poetry and say it means God develops each person like an individual knitting project is to misunderstand and misuse scripture. To understand human birth and development, we need to look at science. Evolving science has brought us from believing that children born with a birth defect is a curse from God, to understanding in most cases, the root cause. The tragedy of religion gone wrong is that in some areas even today, children born with something as simple as a cleft pallet are seen as cursed by God.
The fear of the advancement of human knowledge (science) has historical roots in religion. Perhaps, among scriptures about God’s thinking and man’s thinking, is the story of Eden, where it appears that humans try to become God. It messed up everything. Just about every venture into scientific discovery has been seen by some as an attempt to become God.
I can remember when I was in early grade school, seeing one of those National Enquire-type magazines proclaiming in fearful type, “Test-tube Babies Are Coming!” At that age I was having enough trouble with where babies came from without replacing the stork with a test-tube!
What I’m saying is this; let’s give God a break and stop blaming him for everything we don’t understand that goes wrong. “Wrong” is a relative term. What we may see as wrong in the beginning, can become a blessing (a right) when we look back on it. This is often true in the case of a child born with an affliction. However, while we may become thankful, the affliction was caused by physiological reasons. Children born with two sets of reproductive organs are said to be the result of a mix up in the chromosomes at a critical point of development. It is science that helps us to understand and deal with what some religions would say is the will of God.
Any advancement of science that alters the accepted “natural” flow of life is often seen as an affront to God. We sing that God is the “Ruler of all nature” but we dam up rivers to produce irrigation and electricity. We build flood walls to hold back water from its “natural” flood course.
We alter biology by cross-breeding of plants and animals. But when it comes to humankind we feel we are imposing on God. The Bible was used to make black/white marriage illegal for years.
Is it possible to upset human development and create Frankinstiens? Who knows. What about cloning? I know of a lawyer who had the DNA from a son who died young stored, hoping to clone him so he could have the chance at life he failed to have. These are issues where faith and science need to come together.
Faith in God can help by maintaining the sanctity of life while not misusing scripture in any way. We can stand in awe of the knowledge that is part of our God-given creative nature. We have come this far, and with wonder and reverence, continue for as long as life lasts.
Keith

CONCERNS: Jim Hunter had to have more of his foot remove due to diabetes. Debbie McRoy will be scheduled for back surgery in the coming weeks. Her cousin, Linda Alsup has health issues and her husband, Preston is being treated for cancer. Judy McWhorter had a bout with bronchitis last week. Teryn Gaynor had the flu last week. Those being treated for, or recovering from cancer are: Ray Barns, (pray also for his wife, Darnell) Judy Powell, Harold Clark (Jo Wagner’s sister and a cousin) Teryn Gaynor’s mother, (also her step-father has Parkinson’s) Former members, Ray and Debbie Reiss’ son-in-law, David and Deanna McRoy. Donte McCadden, a CF patient, Jamie Cole, Joni Beach’s niece. The aging parents of Wayne Flora, the Beach’s and Del Bolin. Continue to pray for Gary Overstreet, Jim Hunter, Bill Albert, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver, Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Tim Elder and Jim and Mary Smith.
WELCOME
We welcome today, Jonathan Dansby and his family. Jonathan comes to us from Duke University, where he will graduate in May with a Master of Divinity Degree. He is the first minister speaking with the steering committee and the church concerning the position of pulpit minister.

SUPER SUNDAY
Today is also Super Sunday. The fellowship meal in the annex will follow the morning service. Plan to stay and get to know Jonathan and his family.

MARCH 31
On Sunday, March 31, we will have the annual visit by a representative from the Gideon’s Int. A short presentation will be made before the scheduled service, and he will be taking a retiring offering after the service in the foyer.

THE BULLETIN
It has been decided that the Bulletin will continue to be printer bi-monthly. The middle of the month issue will contain an article which will continue to fill the inside, with the front and back carrying the concerns and the news. The last-of-the month bulletin will contain an article as well as the list of those who will be serving the congregation, along with a list of birthdays and anniversaries.

VISITOR
Last Sunday, Andy Todd visited with us. He is with the Food and Drug Administration. He has a girl friend in Cincinnati, and visits her when he can.

WHAT IF? – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

When I was in high school, living in a home with no air-conditioning, in the early morning hours of summer when I wanted to sleep, the strains of “Ah Sweet Mystery of life at last I’ve found thee. Ah at last I know the secrete of it all” pierced my brain. It came from an aspiring singer a few houses away, who also had no air-conditioning. She would sing it over and over honing what I suppose was a rich, operatic voice. I use that as an introduction to the article for no other reason than it still reverberates in my brain when I think of the mystery of life. So lets take a little journey in life’s mystery.
What if the Pharaoh of Egypt who honored Joseph would have put out an edict which said, “From this day forward and forevermore, the house of Joseph shall be a welcome and protected people in our land. It is and let it be so”. As you know, instead “there arose a Pharaoh in Egypt who did not know Joseph.” We can understand that, being that the Hebrews had been there about 400 years. But what if they had been protected by law? What if there was no need for an exodus?
What if, under this new idea they were protected and multiplied and in time out-numbered the Egyptians? Since they had been in Egypt all those years they had only a legendary attachment to the God of Jacob and Joseph.
According to the little research I’ve done, their religion was a mixture of Abrahamic oral tradition and Egyptian practices during that 400 years. What if the fertile crescent of Egypt looked more “promising” than the land of Canaan? The small detail of an edict of protection (citizenship) could have changed the course of history.
So what? We can’t change history, but history can change us. We can learn from the mistakes and ignorance of the past. As the saying goes, if we don’t we’re bound to repeat them.
For some, the great mystery of life is if life is preordained, or haphazard? It is easy for some to say it is all planned by God to the last detail. Say, for example, the question of how long you are going to live and how you will die? Does God know? What does the “all Knowing”, the omniscience of God mean?. I have no comfort in believing that God knows how and when I’m going to die. Why? Because I don’t know, and I don’t have any information about it , nor do I want to. The only persons I know who know how and when they are going to die are those about to be executed, or terminally ill. Were I such a person I would have little comfort in believing it was the unchanging will of God. So if God knows, it does me no good. The comfort comes from knowing I will have lived with meaning and purpose, and trusting God to be loving.
I’m not talking about people having near death experiences or second chances. I’m talking about believing God planned, and therefore, causes everything to happen in a life.
Our response to the nature of God is to say things like, “God allows.” Really? How do we know that? Because if it happens, and does not fit within our comprehension we have to explain it in some way. Saying something happens without God causing it seems to somehow diminish God.
Does it diminish God to believe in a world (or universe) designed to operate within certain laws, and that humankind exists in relationship with those laws, and suffers when those laws are broken? We see evidence of that every time we look at history and even today.
The intervention of God into life is a mystery, compounded by its “beyond our controlness.” But to live as though God moves with us, rather than preordaining every happening, gives me a relationship where I can be thankful for life and accept the painful things as part of having that life. But it also means eliminating as much of that pain and suffering as I can, and helping others to do so. And in so doing, believing that is the work of God, and not the undoing of God’s will.
Everything is in hindsight. We cannot change history. All we can do is change the present. We build on both the ignorance and wisdom of the past, while believing there is a purpose and power beyond us which inspires us to dream big dreams and overcome great barriers as we reach out to the meaning of being made in the image of God. And that is God’s predetermination. The rest is up to us.
Keith

THOSE TO SERVE IN MARCH
Announcements: Wayne Flora
Serve Communion: James Downing
Megan Downing
Susan Jordan
Lynn Jordan
Usher: Mark McRoy
Communion Care: Holly Wagner
Singing: Scripture:
3-Scott Blessing Judy McWhorter
10-Alan Beach Connie Crites
17-Del Bolin Martha Foy
24-Karen Branch Holly Wagner
31-Alan Beach James Downing
Communion: Nursery:
3-Abraham Sirgy Susan Jordan
10-Scott Blessing Susan Phlegar
17-Keith Wagner Holly Wagner
24-Mike Branch Connie Crites
31-Wayne Flora Holly Wagner
If you cannot serve, call Erma Williams

MARCH BIRTHDAYS
3.Vivian Dugan 5-Bonnie Blessing
12-Buster McRoy 13-Bill Albert
29-James Downing 31-Erma Williams
MARCH ANNIVERSARIES
10-Alan & Joni Beach
19-Bill & Martha Albert

CONCERNS: Debbie McRoy is going to have back surgery as soon as it can be arranged. Jim Hunter will have to have more of his foot removed due to diabetes. Mark Floyd, a friend of Judy McWhorter’s fell from a horse and had to have brain surgery. The Reiss’ son, David is still being treated for brain cancer. Joni Beach’s niece, Jamie Cole will have brain tests at UA Birmingham. Ray Barns had an adverse reaction to chemo and they are seeking alternative treatments. Keep his wife, Darnell in prayer as well. Remember also Deanna McRoy, Debbie McRoy’s cousin Linda Alsup and husband, Prentice who has cancer. Others dealing with cancer are Teryn Gaynor’s mother, Judy Powell and Harold Clark (Jo Wagner’s sister and a cousin) The parents of Wayne Flora, The Beach’s fathers and Del Bolin’s mother. Donte McCadden (cf) Wayne Phlegar, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Jim and Mary Smith Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry and Tim Elder.

BULLETIN CHANGE
As Keith moves closer to retirement, the bulletin will be published monthly, rather than bi-monthly. The weekly handout will contain news and notifications. Other needed information between bulletins will go out via email.
THANK YOU
From Megan & James Downing: “A big, heartfelt thank-you to everyone who attended the baby shower yesterday. (2/23) We are so excited to start this new adventure, and cannot wait for Luke to meet our wonderful church family. Your love, support, and prayers have meant so much to us and we are extremely grateful. All our love, Megan and James Downing
GUEST SPEAKER
On Super Sunday 3/17 Jonathan Dansby will be speaking. He will teach the adult class as well. Jonathan is a prospect to replace Keith. He will graduate from Duke this may.
KEITH’S RETIREMENT
Keith’s retirement will be somewhat gradual. The first changes will take place in April when he only preaches twice a month. This will decrease in time as the search for a new minister proceeds. When the new minister comes, he will do the office duties he ha s done since Wilma Cullum retied tow days a week. How long this will continue depends on several factors.
JIM HUNTER
Jim Hunter is waiting for a hospital room. Martha can’t be with Bill at the lake and Jim here in town. Jim has a god support group, but there are times when a little extra would help. He is confined to the upstairs while at the Skylark house. He can use rides to the doctor, as well as daily needs. His phone # is 540-797-8030. Call and if you go to the house he will tell you how to get in.
AWAY
Vivian Dugan will be will her other daughter until May 1.

YES VIRGINIA, THERE IS A CONTEXT – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

    I don’t like “cherry-picking” scriptures. That’s when a point is being made, even a legitimate  one, and to enforce it, an out of context scripture is attached. The problem is that in so doing, both the point and the scripture is weakened. The point is either valid or not, and tagging on a scripture that is out of context, damages both.
    Preachers are as bad as anyone,  and they shouldn’t be. That is not to say what they are talking about is baseless, just that attaching a scripture to it does not make it any more authentic, and if the scripture is out of context, the point becomes questionable. 
    A week or so ago a local minister dropped by to say hello. (Not a CofC preacher) As we were talking the phone rang. I let it ring through, telling him it was probably a call for money, or some other help. It was, because as soon as the answering machine came on they hung up. I said I supposed he got those kind of calls. He said yes, but the ones that bothered him were the ones where the people showed up at church services. I told him we had a little of that, but generally it was people who came to the office. I said I’d heard a lot of different stories. At that point his eyebrows raised and I almost knew what he was going to say. He said, “Well, the Bible says he who will not work shall not eat.” He then pointed out how it was wrong to help people who would not work. I told him of some of the people who come seeking help and asked if he knew any place that would hire the likes of them with, say, no public transportation available or decent clothing. The discussion more or less ended there.
    I agree we should not cater to freeloaders, my problem is that he felt the scripture he used sealed it in stone. It’s in II Thess. 2:10, where Paul says, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” Context.  Thessalonians deals with the expected return of the Lord. At the end of  I Thessalonians Paul deals with the issue of when the Lord will return and who will be with him. In 4:14 it says it will be those who have “fallen asleep in him.” In v. 15 he says “…we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left til the coming of the Lord, will certainly not proceed those who have fallen asleep.” In 5:14 he urges them to “warn the idol”. II Thessalonians continues to deal with, among other things, the same issue. He ends with, “…keep away from every brother who is idol and who does not live according to the teaching you received from us. (3:6) He then reminds them that they (he)  worked for their food. Meaning they were not idol, but paid for their food, even if they had the right to be fed. (v. 9) Then he says the man who will not work  shall not eat.  In v. 11 he refers to the non-workers as “busybodies”.
    Context: Those who were not working were members of the church, brothers and sisters. Had they never worked? Or were they now waiting for the return of the Lord and expecting, for some reason, to be fed by the church?  Were they the ones who were causing confusion about the coming of the Lord? What was the “teaching” they were ignoring?  We don’t know. What we do know is they were called “brothers” who had stopped working and expected the others to feed them.
    Are we to assume that no one in Thessalonica would give them a handout? There are some things we do not know, but what we do know is they were part of the church. If the church found itself in a similar situation today, and I have no idea what that would be, could it react the same? Yes. 
    I’ve mentioned before that Jesus teaches without backing it up with scripture. “By what authority does he do this?” A thing is good or bad, true or not by itself. When he said “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is talking you to court…”, he didn’t back it up with a scripture. (Matt 5:25,26) Is it a true statement without a scripture? Of course.
    If I told you that I was God’s son because the Bible said so, how would you react? You would ask me where I got such an idea. If I said in Matthew 3:17, Mark 1:11 and Luke 3:22, you would say those words were spoken to and about Jesus, and you’d be right. They are there, but only about Jesus in that context.
    I saw a scripture sited the other day which was used to prove the beginning of human life. It was Jeremiah 1:5.  “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to all the nations.” Context: This is God telling Jeremiah that he had been set apart before he was born. It is no more about every person than God’s words to Jesus being God’s son being about all people. Or because Paul was a “Chosen instrument” (Acts 9:15), that we all chosen instruments as well.  
    Issues  about wealth, poverty, life,  death and the environment are important for every human being. Misusing scripture only makes the argument look weak.
        Keith

THOSE TO SERVE IN FEBRUARY
Announcements: Wayne Flora
Serve Communion: Maggie Foy
            Susan Jordan
            Lyn Jordan
            Garrett Williams
Usher: Erma Williams
Communion Care: Connie Crites
Singing:        Scripture:
3-Alan Beach        Martha Foy
10-Karen Branch    James Downing
17-Del Bolin        Judy McWhorter
24-Scott Blessing    Susan Jordan
Communion:        Nursery:
3-Scott Blessing    Connie Crites
10-Mike Branch    Susan Jordan
17-Abraham Sirgy    Holly Wagner
24-Wayne Flora    Holly Wagner
If you cannot serve, call Erma Williams
FEBRUARY BIRTHDAYS
5-Wayne Phlegar    15-Steve Gaynor
25-Karen Branch    28-Nick Bolin
FEBRUARY ANNIVERSARIES
19-Buster & Debra McRoy

CONCERNS: Debbie McRoy is recovering from an injured back. Others in Debbie’s family with health problems are a cousin, Linda Alsup and her husband, Prentice. Jo Wagner’s sister, Judy Powell may have to reenter the hospital for cancer treatment. Jo’s cousin, Herald Clark has lung cancer. Teryn Gaynor’s mother is once again in cancer treatment and her step-father is having Parkinson’s issues. Remember Del Bolin’s mother, Alan Beach’s father and Joni Beach’s father. A CF patient friend of Holly Wagner’s, Dante McCadden and his wife and children. Bill Albert is recovering from a back injury. Ray and Debbie Reiss’ son-in-law (brain cancer) Among the shut-ins are Wayne Phlegar, Jim and Mary Smith. Also Sheila Jansen and Daughter, Amber Weaver Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry, Ray and Darnell Barns and Tim Elder
WEDNESDAY EVENING
    The Wednesday evening soup supper and Bible study has been disrupted due to several factors the last two weeks. With the severe cold appearing to be past, we look forward to regular services for a least awhile.

VISITORS
    With all of our number who were gone last Sunday, we were blessed with visitors from the area. Pray that they will come back. With regard to that, a ride may be needed for one of them. They live in the Colonia Rd, Ogden Rd area. The ride will be just for worship. Let Keith know if you can help with that.

SPRUCING UP
    The Steering Committee will be talking to several people about doing some painting and repairs around the building Due to the cooler weather, such things as outside painting will have to wait awhile, but some other things can and will be scheduled
SOUP FOR SENIORS 
    You may have read about the Soup for Seniors drive. This notice is rather soon, because it will end on Saturday, Feb. 9th. That means you will have to remember to bring it next Sunday and it will be delivered on Monday. Items needed are soups (low sodium),peanut butter, crackers and individual breakfast packages. See on line for a longer list.  As you know, we have a food pantry here at the annex. It is stocked by individual contributions and is available for those who are in need who come by the office.