Roanoke Church of Christ

Bimonthly Bulletin


I feel in a reflective mood, which isn’t always good. I was reflecting on an interview where a woman was asked why she voted for Donald Trump. Her answer, “So I can say ‘Merry Christmas.’”
That made me reflect of something I haven’t heard lately, that America was and should always be a Christian nation. Some like the “Merry Christmas” lady, may feel it has finally become one.
It hasn’t. It never was. It never will. I’m glad it won’t. Why? Because it would cease to be America. You see, “nation” and “Christian” are not compatible. A nation is an area with boundaries. Christianity is universal. Nations seek their own partisan agenda. As Jesus noted, “Nation shall rise against nation.” (Matt. 24:7) Christianity’s agenda is a ministry of reconciliation among all nations.
A nation is built on self-preservation by military might. The Church offers itself upon the cross of suffering love. It is not seeking survival, but spreading the good news of God’s love. And, historically, nations have come and gone, but Christianity, at its worst and at its best, after two thousand years plus, still can be a power for good.
Citizens of a nation are, in a general sense, simply those born there, like it or not. No one is born a citizen of the Church. It is by choice that one becomes part of Christ’s purpose on earth.
I don’t want to spend much time on the history of America and its Constitution, but some things need to be remembered. America was never a Christian nation by those who shaped the Constitution. “Christian” nor “God” is mentioned. “Creator” and “Supreme Judge of the World” is, but these are Deist statements which can mean anything. “Religion” is mentioned and everyone is free to choose what that religion is. Article IV.
The Treaty of Tripoli (1797) stated that “The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
There is not enough space nor need to mention everything Thomas Jefferson said about the Bible or religion. However, moving forward in history it was 1954 when the Eisenhower administration added “Under God” to the pledge of allegiance. It should also be noted that President Eisenhower also said, “Our government makes no sense unless it is founded on a deeply religious faith–and I don’t care what it is.”
The idea of a “Christian America” distorts Christianity. It’s the idea that America cannot be a good and significant country unless it is “Christian.” Who is America? America is the people, all people, not just Christians. In fact, often enough it has been “America” which has taught “Christians.” Two examples are racism and patriarchy, both of which were strongly held views by the majority of Christians in earlier periods of America’s development.
Before I go any farther, I should explain the title of this article. In 2016 the state of Tennessee House and Senate pushed a bill to make the Bible the official state book. The Governor, having more civic and historical understanding of America, vetoed the bill. Hence, they missed it by that much. Thank God. By the way, Louisiana also tried and failed, for now.
It’s not that the Bible is not important. It is. But a nation or a state is first of all lead by it’s constitutional law.The Bible is about God, the Jews, Jesus and Christianity.
Jesus, as the leader of Christianity was about a suffering, giving, love for all, even the enemy. If we lay that beside America, the idea that this is a “Christian” nation is a failure.
Jesus said the teaching of the kingdom of God was to be like salt and light. It was like leaven. It was like a mustard seed which grows in the soil (of any country) and brings forth in abundance.
If it becomes captive to any one people or country, it loses its universal value. It becomes identified with a certain ideology, rather than the loving, divine power penetrating the whole of creation. As such, the teachings of Jesus (Christianity) belong to and can thrive in any country, in any culture, in any situation. A Christian church can produce Russian Christians, African Christians and socialist Christians, among others. Democracy, however it is defined, is not Christian, even though at its best it employs the teachings of Jesus.
The Jews (Hebrews) were led by prophets, not kings, at least that was the ideal. It was to be a theocracy. Reading the Old Testament shows that didn’t work very well, as kings and politicians (religious leaders) took power. What would have worked? The easy answer would be if they kept the Law of Moses i.e., and the prophets (God). Did they? Not very well.
Who were the voices of God in the Old Testament? Rarely a king. The record of kings is up and down. But at all times there were prophets. Moses is called a prophet. Nathan guides David and so on. The Jews felt everything hung on the law and the prophets, not on the kings. That being true, what were the guiding principles of the prophets? Take my word for it, they are consistent.
Amos can speak for all them. “Let justice roll down like waters.” 5:24. The rich trample on the poor. 5:11. The poor are driven out or cheated by rigging the scales and currency and the floor sweepings were sold for wheat. 8:4-6. Amos’ message is summed up in chapter 5: “I hate, I despise your religious feasts: I cannot stand your assemblies.” v.21
Isaiah, working in Judah says God denounces the elders and princes of his people and saying “the spoil of the poor is in your houses” Isa.3:14 .
In summery: the powerful treat the poor, who make up most of the populace, as sources of wealth and underpaid labor, using coercion, dishonesty, legal technicalities, and even violence. Justice is the opposite. See Ezek. 18:5-9.

CONCERNS: Judy Hall is in room 116 at Raleigh Court. She is making headway and as soon as she can walk she will go home. Jim Hunter is having pain. Prayers are asked for the Scotts who lost a three month old baby to apparent SIDS. Also for Carlo and Silvia Baltedano in Montellano, Guatemala. Deanna McRoy is cancer free at this time,but the type she has is very aggressive and can return. Keep The Beach’ parents in prayer, as well as a niece, Jamie Cole. Also Del Bolin’s mother, Teryn Gaynor’s mother, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry, Gil Richardson, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

Today’s service will be lead by Wayne Flora. These third Sunday services give us a chance to listen to the gospel from those of the congregation. Be sure to thank Wayne for his service.

This is also Super Sunday, which means we will enjoy a meal together in the annex following the service. Visitors are considered our guests. Please stay.

Del Bolin has been serving as the team doctor for Radford University and traveled to Dayton Ohio with them where they scored their first tournament win in several years. They went on to Pittsburgh and at the time of this printing had not yet played, so if Del is here it means they lost.

Just kidding a little. It was mentioned that since we are now required to pay for trash collection, we could now begin to clean up the area at the end of our property and the city would remove the brush placed on the curb. You may notice the pile Len Jordan worked up is gone. Yeah! However, a call was received from the city saying they do not do that for businesses, and we are a business. So all we get for the money is that other refuse except brush will be picked up. But some nice man did pick it up. We can fill the dark can with brush, or haul it away. Such is life in the big city.


“Never again will I curse the ground because of man.” Gen. 8:21
I’m not going to write about the flood, but I am going to mention a rainbow.
As you may know, the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida have labeled one of several organized protests against the lack of political movement to quell gun violence, especially with assault-type weapons, “Never Again.”
When they returned to that school on Monday to retrieve what they had left behind in the wake of the shooting, which left fourteen students and three faculty dead, they were greeted by a rainbow in the sky.
The school hockey team lost one member to the shooting. They were to play in a tournament to decide the state championship and they were not expected to move up in the brackets. They won the state with seventeen players.
Let’s recap. Seventeen people killed. Seventeen players won the state hockey championship as underdogs. One protest movement chose “Never Again” as their slogan and a rainbow greeted them on Monday as they went to the school for the first time since the shooting.
If I were a person who looked for omens and signs, and I was one of those the students feel have dragged their feet due to political pressure, I’d be worried. In fact, they need to be worried regardless.
I was in my mid twenties when the civil rights movement was gaining momentum. I remember a preacher passed out literature with a black man’s face super-imposed over a monkey, which contained all the dangers of rape and sexually transmitted diseases and social chaos blacks and black/white marriage would bring into the populace if they were granted equality. A discussion took place and one preacher offered what he felt was the calming word. He said something like, “This can’t be pushed on people. You can legislate it. It will take time.”
“Now is not the time to talk about it.” “We’ve got to move slowly” That has been said after every mass shooting or social crisis. But there comes a time when, as Victor Hugo said, “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” Get ready, that time has come, just as it did with integration and a long historical list of other such events.
There are those who see the students at Stoneman Douglas as immature and not able to make decisions on such an important issue. On one social media outlet, a retired teacher for 24 years, wrote her solution to Parkland’s shooting. She told the students not to protest, but to go back to school and find the lonely, ignored, etc., person and make friends with them. It was long letter offering some good advice. It seems she was sure this would solve the problem. Her solution never addressed the fact that some damaged people do not kill others, in fact, in many cases they go on to become leaders. The mystery of nurture or nature and evil has not yet been solved. Her suggestion misses the urgency. While reaching out to the “loner” or lonely, nothing is done to stop the one not yet reached, or can’t be reached, who has a killing machine in their hand.
Where would we be with racism in America if no one had stood up and said, “Enough”? I’m not sure where we would be, but it wouldn’t be where we are, and we’ve not gone far enough.
Those who see the students as being children, not mature enough to understand the big picture, might want to remember the quiet line of black children walking in protest in Montgomery Ala., who were met with fire hoses and police dogs. It was seen around the world and the power of Jim Crow and Bull Conner cracked a little more.
These young people in Florida were met with round after round from an assault rifle. It also was seen around the world and the survivors can hear the political powers cracking.
Throwing in a little Bible, we might remember David and Goliath, which has become the standard for the little guy beating the big guy. Or even the words of the prophet Isaiah, “And a little child shall lead them.”
Students across America are making their voices heard. They will march on Washington and they will not even have to march around the Capital seven times, if you listen carefully you can already hear the foundations of self-interest, greed and power cracking. The time has come. Sadly once again, at the cost of children.
Finally, the words of junior Sheryl Acquarola, as she gave her emotional protest speech at the State House in Tallahassee: She said her little brother told her as he left for his grade school following the Douglas shooting, “Don’t worry, I won’t be murdered at school today.” Think about that.

3-Vivian Dugan 5-Bonnie Blessing
12-Buster McRoy 13-Bill Albert
29-James Downing 31-Erma Williams

10-Alan & Joni Beach
19-Bill & Martha Alb

CONCERNS: Judy Hall was to be transferred to Raleigh Court Nursing Care on Friday. Mark McRoy asks prayer for a colleague, Keith Scott and his wife who lost a three month old baby to apparent SIDS. Also prayers for Carlos and Silvia Baltedano who live in Montellano, Guatemala and are part of the Health Talents team at the Ezell Clinic. Deanna McRoy has been given a cancer free at this time. However, her type of cancer is very aggressive and can return. Teryn Gaynor’s mother is still being treated for cancer. Both Joni and Alan Beach’s parents are experiencing health problems as is Del Bolin’s mother. Continue to remember Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver, Marjorie Wilson Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Rat and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jamie Cole, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

March 11 (next Sunday) starts Daylight Savings Time. Be sure to set your clocks ahead an hour before going to bed on Saturday.
Each year, usually in March, a member of Gideons International speaks to us about the Gideon’s work of distributing Bibles throughout the world. Richard Perkins will represent them this year. He will speak briefly before the sermon and will take an offering in the foyer after the service from those who wish to contribute.
Thanks to Len Jordan for cleaning up the lower end of the parking lot. It had been overgrown with ivy creeping out from the yard. Lyn is also interested in cleaning the lower end of the yard between us and the apartments. Since we now pay for refuse collection all be have to do is stack it on the curb. However, large trees will have to be cut in smaller sections. A day will be planned for this work as the weather gets milder.
The Wednesday Evening Class continues in the Gospel of John. This week we will start chapter 4, where Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well.
March 18 will be the next Super Sunday. Plan now to attend.
If you are graduating from any educational school or training center, let Erma Williams Know. The banquet will be in May.
Vivian Dugan will be away for the next few weeks.


I see similarities between the end of (legal) segregation and the issue of immigration. They are both more ethical issues than legal ones.
Many Christians look at what Paul said in Romans 13 about “submitting to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established” and so on, as God’s absolute law.
If all governing authorities are to be submitted to because they are established by God, what would it mean when King Xerxes commanded that everyone kneel when Haman passed by and Mordecai didn’t. He broke the law. Haman saw this, and wanted the law kept. You remember that this lawbreaking event led to the liberation of the Jews So breaking a law, broke a law.
When Daniel was in Babylon the King passed a law which said when the music sounded everyone must bow toward the ninety-foot golden idol. Three Jews refused, and having broken the law, ended up in the fiery furnace. Daniel himself ended up in the lion’s den because he prayed against a law that banned his kind of praying. Now I realize we could put Daniel and his friends in the “Better to obey God than man” category. (Peter, Acts 419) But Daniel’s “law breaking” caused King Darus to proclaim to all the land that the God of Daniel was “The living God who lives forever.” (6:26)
Are there not laws that if kept would make one disobedient to God? What about loving one’s neighbor as oneself? What about “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down ones life for a friend”?
In Hitler’s Germany it was against the law to aid or hide a Jew. The penalty was imprisonment or death. Few German Christians broke that law. Those like the Ten Boom family, (The Hiding Place) when caught, died in concentration camps except for Corrie. The life and diary of Ann Frank also show the bravery and tragedy of breaking a bad law. By the way, the Germans used America’s Jim Crow laws to fashion the Nuernberg laws against Jews.
The Jim Crow laws were actual, “on-the-books” laws in Jim Crow states. When Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery Ala., she broke the law (of God?). She intended to break it after talking to Christian lawyer and Church of Christ minister, Fred Gray, along with others of Martin Luther King Jr.’s associates. She went to jail for doing it, but that, and all the other lawbreakers, like those four who sat at the Greensboro Woolworth’s lunch counter in 1960, broke the legal (God ordained?) Jim Crow law into pieces.
Like the current immigration law, Jim Crow law was a blanket law. It had nothing to do with education, talent, money or anything other than color. The current immigration law, as I understand it, is “country blind,” meaning all immigrants are treated the same. Perhaps not. Money talks. Regardless, the immigration application costs $725.00. If the Green Card route is taken, the cost is in the thousands.
In Acts 10:27-29, Peter tells Cornelius, “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him.” (A kind of early Jim Crow law.)
Since it seems no such explicit law can be found in the Bible, it might be dismissed as custom. However, Peter says it is a law. If it was a law, as Peter said, it may have been a law set down by the ruling Jews. Who else? Be that as it may, it would still fall under the usually excepted definition of what Paul calls a “Ruler.” Romans 13 says nothing about the ruler’s religion, qualities or background. Under this definition, would we say Peter broke the law of a God-ordained authority?
That would be a problem since Peter says it was God who told him it was a bad law. “But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean.” (v.28)
I ran off a list of Jim Crow laws. Keep in mind, these are laws laid down by the “authorities” and “rulers.” (Rom. 13:1-3)
Would we as Christians obey something like this? “Any person who shall be guilty of printing, publishing etc. in favor of social equality etc., shall be guilty…and subject to a fine not exceeding $500.00 or imprisonment not exceeding six months or both.” Wouldn’t Peter’s vision speak to that? Wouldn’t that also make it fall into the category of “Better to obey God than man”?
No doubt we have an immigration problem. No doubt there are “bad” people who slip into this country. But the “blanket” approach does not work any better than the Jim Crow laws. It was easy to keep the blacks in line with such laws, except when there were those who challenged them by breaking them. This is also historically true.
What we are seeing with immigration is that “one covers all” does not work, at least for those with the compassion we expect from good (Christian?) people.
On the Jimmy Kimmel show, he had a husband and wife with a small child. The husband, a citizen, was in the military. The child was born in the US. The wife was undocumented. Kimmel asked about six people what to do. All of them pointed to the law being broken, but one man insisted the child could stay but because the mother broke the law, she had to go. He’s right. She broke the law. How would you view that law? The same as the Jim Crow law? A blanket which treats the person by color regardless. Or in this case an undocumented person, regardless?
As we watch this issue unfold, as Christians we should recognize that all bad laws were broken and replaced because someone had the courage to break them, like Peter. And to know that God knows the difference and expects us to speak for God.
In Paul Simon’s words, “The mother and child reunion is only a moment away.”
I hope so.

CONCERNS: Judy Hall may be home by this weekend. She will be at home and cared for by home health care providers. Susan Jordan has asked our prayers for Carlos and Silvia Baltedano in Montellano, Guatemala. Deana McRoy continues cancer treatment, as does Teryn Gaynor’s mother. Both Joni and Alan Beach’s parents have health issues, as does Del Bolin’s mother. Sheila Jansen and her daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jamie Cole, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

This Sunday is Super Sunday. We will share a meal together in the annex following the service. Plan to stay, and if you are a visitor consider yourself our guest.

On this third Sunday of the month we have a special service. It will be built around a devotional service lead by one of our members.

Karen Branch has spent the week in Costa Rica with AC on a religious retreat

After a rather large gas bill, (It appears we were undercharged in December) the gas company checked out
our service, including installing a new gas meter. It seems the old one was too small for both buildings. It was also discovered that the main furnace had a draft problem. When our H&C man checked, he found that the top of the furnace had rusted out due to water collecting for the air conditioning coil. This will require removing the side of the furnace and patching the hole, as well as raising the whole unit so the water will drain properly.
The work will begin on a Monday and should be done by the following Friday. So it will not interfere with the Sunday service unless something unforseen occurs.

The class is studying the Gospel of John.


Investigation has shown that most church goers don’t read the Bible very much. Most just take in what a preacher or a teacher tells them the Bible says.
However, when we read the Bible we can be influenced by what we have seen and heard. When J. B. Phillips developed his translation “Good News For Modern Man” he said he had to look at the texts as Greek texts, not as the New Testament. He also added that it was impossible for him to shake all his preconceived ideas.
There are enough critics who point out what they see as the faults in scripture. Ok. But not if you are uninformed about the structure of scripture. I listened (briefly) to such a critic until he began to talk about “Revelations”.
There is a story in the Talmud about two rabbi’s arguing over a scripture and a Heavenly voice shouts, “Enough! You are both right!” That’s never been comforting to most of us.
Let’s look at two differing scriptural stories that are both right.
Genesis 1 The earth was without form, darkness and water covered it. On day 1 God separated the darkness with light, and the light was called “day” and the darkness “night”.
On day 2 God separated the water and the upper water was called “sky”.
On day 3 the waters were gathered together and dry ground appeared. The ground was called “land” and the waters were called “seas”.
On day 4 God made the sun, moon and stars.
On day 5 God created the sea and water creatures, birds and land creatures. They were to procreate and increase.
On day 6 God created man (human kind ) in his own image, male and female. He told them to increase and multiply and fill the earth, as well as rule over every living thing. The implication is that man and beast were vegetarians. v. 29,30
For some reason there is a traditional chapter break before the seventh day when God finished and rested. (2:1-4a)
Chapter 2:4b starts a second story. In this story God is finished with the earth and the heavens and there is no vegetation because the earth is dry and no one to work the ground. God then makes water gush up from the ground to water the earth for there was no rain yet.
Man (the meaning in Hebrew is (“Adam”) is created from the dust of the earth and God breathed into him life. Then God planted a garden in Eden and it had all kinds of trees that were beautiful. And in the middle of the garden were two special trees, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The garden is nurtured by a river which ran through it. The garden became the home of the man to tend and care for. He was told every tree was his except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The tree of life is not banned.
In this story man appears before the animals and birds. Adam gets to look them over and name them, but no suitable helper was found among them. ( 2:20) So God takes a rib from man and makes a woman, Eve (the mother of all living).
The rest of this story tells the continuing experiences of the two of them.
Note some differences. In the second story 2:4b it is one sentence, or thought. God makes it all in one movement. The Lord planted a garden with trees. But in story 1 trees came before man.
Birds and animals are created, but in story 1 they are created before man. Here they are created as companions for the man. Woman comes after animals and man.
Two stories which cannot be read as one, but both are in the Bible. Those in the literal camp say if there is a contradiction the Bible should be thrown in the trash. By the way, that is also the contention of the critics of the Bible. This is bad theological math, that one plus one equals zero. That’s when we use the Bible as a prop to hold up our ideas. Why not see it has two stories (from God) that are there for a reason. Stories that we can learn from.
The Bible is not a single statement of belief. It’s a combination of voices about God. The two creation stories cause the readers to be involved in dialog. It says there can be two equally important ways to understand great truths. To dig in and discuss such differences, such as in 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles, and the Gospels, is to understand the Bible rather than just read it. It is in understanding that we honor and apply it.

CONCERNS: Judy Hall remains in a Greensboro Hospital Critical Care Unit. The ventilator and the trac has been removed and she is breathing on her own. However, she has been heavily sedated. They are withdrawing her from that and she will become more and more alert in the days ahead. Deanna McRoy continues cancer treatment. Both Joni and Alan Beach’s parents are having health issues, as does Del Bolin’s mother Teryn Gaynor’s mother is being treated for cancer. Melisha Scruggs’ friend, Jeanie. Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Melanie Gentry, Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

Because we often announce that it’s gong to happen, you know that once a month our folks prepare the evening meal at the local Ronald McDonald House. The last time there was no water due to a water break. But they made it happen. Thanks to all who helped.
Also, several of folks pick up the left over bread at Panera Bread and deliver it to the Rescue Mission. By the way, they also need help once in awhile. See Mike Branch, Erma Williams, Susan Jordan, or Leena Bolin who are among those we thank for doing this.

Keep in mind that when it is around freezing we will not heat the annex for the Wednesday evening soup supper and Bible study. If you have a question when the temperature is close to freezing, give Keith a call. Sometimes the temperature varies in the area. On those questionable days emails will now be sent.

You may have noticed in the local paper that a Soup for Seniors drive is starting. In the past it seems the mail carriers picked the soup up. Last year there was so much they needed extra voluntaries. This year it seems it needs to be dropped of at local places, such as all Freedom First Credit Union Banks, and four Vista eye centers locate in Salem, Franklin Rd in Roanoke, as well as Hershberger Rd and Sommerfield Ct.

Remember if you change your email address to let Keith know.


It may be due to a misunderstanding of the purpose of the Bible that leads people to a Biblical conclusion which is not the intent of the writer. We have been influenced to read the Bible as if we are reading instructions from God. There are instructions in the Bible, especially in the books of the Law. On the other hand much of the Bible was written as a corrective and to point out the separation which existed between God and humankind.
The reader often comes from a background of “scripture plucking” or “cherry picking”. A scripture is found which fulfills an already preconceived idea an it becomes the foundation for a complete doctrine.
An example of this is the oft repeated statement that God can’t look on sin, despite any number of statements to the contrary. The most common use is to explain why Jesus cried out that he was Godforsaken on the cross. If that is the conclusion, then a passage is necessary to substantiate it. What is found is Habakkuk 1:13. “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong.” (NIV) So there you have an answer and a doctrine about what God can and can’t (see) look at.
However, if the continuing context is read it says the contrary. The rest of verse 13 says, “Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?” That and the rest of the book shows God being very aware of (looking at) the sins of the people.
In I Cor. 11:1-16 why does Paul address the length of hair, the wearing of veils, and the covering of the head in public worship when men and women pray and prophesy? Is he writing a manual on how to do church? No. He is dealing with a problem. What is the problem? If we don’t know that we can’t know what he’s talking about. We know it has to do with women, praying and teaching, (prophesying) the veil and the length of hair. The length of men’s hair is used as a comparison.
Why would this be a problem? The head covering, according to research (Tyndale Bulletin 41.2 (1990) p.245-260 by David Gil) was not worn by all women. It was worn by married women, but not exclusively. It was often seen as an elitist item. What was understood when worn by a married woman, was respect for her husband. If we note other issues involving women who are now “in Christ” in Corinth, we can see the “veil” problem had to do with leaving the wrong impression. If Jesus was their Lord, then they could, in essence, take off the veil (today it might be the wedding ring) and proclaim their first love was to the Lord.
In 1 Cor. 7 (a very revealing chapter) Paul address marital questions among these new converts to Christ. What about Sex? What about marriage itself? In v, 10 the question about a wife separating herself from her husband is addressed. Why would a new Christian entertain such a question? Why would Paul say she can? BUT it is not to get another man. She must remain unmarried. Counsel that! If the single life doesn’t work out she can only be reunited with her husband. What’s going on here?
At least two possibilities. One it may be related to Paul’s warning about the “present crisis” v.26, and the time being short, v.29. This explains the verses which advise against marriage. Which leads to number two. Are the women, wishing to spend what time is left in complete service to the Lord in this new-found freedom from earthly things, including husbands? Why else would Paul allow a marriage to be dissolved even if just temporarily?
As to the wearing of veils, the Gentile (Roman) women may have felt the same way. Jesus is now their Lord, first, not their husbands. Removing the veil would send the wrong message both to the husband and the community at large. Paul does not want that. There will be trouble enough . This was never instruction for how church was always to be done.
The same is true in I Tim. 2. The men are urged to pray. Did they not know that? Why be told? Because they were angry and disputing. V. 8. About what, can be seen in the previous verses.
The women were to dress modestly and decently with propriety and not with expensive jewelry and clothing. V.9,10. Why? Simply put, it delivered the wrong message. Again, research says the Roman government had laws (though not successfully maintained) against showing one’s wealth or standing with jewelry and clothing. Paul does not want these newly converted women to leave the wrong impression with their Gentile friends. The church was not an elitist group. These verses were not intended to become a manual for women’s fashion unless they address the motive for dressing in such a way. The problem Timothy is to deal with is Gentile women converts who are leaving the wrong impression. Carroll Osburn suggests that they want to look like independent women with Jesus only as their Lord. The dress of independent women was often associated with “loose” women. However, such proof is somewhat spotty.
Without going into detail, because it’s a long discussion, Can there be forgiveness without the shedding of blood?
In II Sam. 12 is the story of David and Bathsheba. When Nathan tells David his sin, and David confesses his sin, Nathan tells him the Lord has taken away his sin. Nowhere in the following story is there any blood offering.
In I Kings 21 there is the story of Ahab and Jezebel. When Elijah brings his sin in front of him he”tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and went about meekly.” V27
God sees his humility and granted him a reprieve of sorts, without a blood sacrifice.
The people of Nineveh did not offer blood sacrifices, but were forgiven.
How many times did Jesus forgive sins? (under the Old Law) without a blood sacrifice?
Looking at the whole Bible helps us not build a doctrine on a few misplaced verses.

CONCERNS: Judy Hall remains in ICU at Lewis Gale Medical Center. She is critically ill. Deanna McRoy continues with cancer treatment. Abby Keeting (treated for leukemia), Teryn Gaynor’s mother (cancer treatments), Melisha Scruggs friend, Jeanie who has a small child with health issues. Sheila Jansen and Daughter, Amber Weaver, Ray & Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jamie Cole, Alan and Joni Beach’s parents, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder
Please update those who have been placed on the Concerns list. We do want to know of progress and other issues.

We were saddened to learn of the death of Tolly Nicklas, Leena Bolin’s cousin. The Bolin’s are in Pennsylvania this weekend for his memorial service.
Also: We learned of the death of former member Diane Sumney’s father. It happened on New Year’s Day.

We have received cards and pictures from the Sturms and the Maharrey’s David and Stacy sent pictures from their trip to Paris and wrote a very nice note about their experience while they were with us. One problem, the pictures and the note have been misplaced. As soon as it is found it will be posted.

Next Sunday is Super Sunday. Plan to stay for the fellowship meal following the service. If you haven’t seen the annex since Judy McWHorter’s quilts are along the walls as an improvement both in beauty and in acoustics, come by and see it. There will be a fire in the fireplace unless we have exceptionally warm weather.

Next Sunday is also the Sunday we have an alternative service, either of singing and readings, preaching or a combination of all of them. The leader will be announced in that days handout.

A brief report will be given next Sunday concerning our financial situation for last year. The steering committee will discuss the budget for this year if we have enough members in attendance.


What about the Holy Spirit? If your experience is similar to mine ( meaning the Church of Christ is the only church you’ve been attached to) it was somehow connected to baptism. You were supposed to “receive” it, but you weren’t sure what to do with it. It was best not to worry about it and just accept it on faith. Having a Holy Ghost inside you could cause you to get spooky if you weren’t careful. You might become a Holy Roller, if you know what I mean.
In view of those folks who let the Holy Ghost get out of control, and say and do all kinds of stuff, some lines had to be drawn. The “Death of the Springfield Presbytery” made us historically proud, but all that stuff that went on at Cane Ridge made us nervous. Shrieking and barking like dogs, women whipping their heads back and forth so hard their hair cracked like whips was not our cup of tea.
So somebody decided to make the Holy (Spirit) Ghost and the “Word” (the Bible) one in the same. If you read the Bible and understood and obeyed the words, you had the Holy Spirit (Ghost). So that took care of that and we could breathe a little easier.
But there were some who found this view not aligned with other scriptures. They began to ask about the “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit as Paul mentioned in such places as I Cor. 3:16 and 6:19 (among others) where it said the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, dwells in the believer. Along with the idea of being”led” by the Spirit (Gal. 5:18) and the fruits of the Spirit, (Gal. 5:22) some of the “Word only” folks began to rethink the Holy Spirit.
Of course, just as in past times (like Cane Ridge) some folks wanted as much of the Spirit as they could get, as if they hadn’t gotten enough at, say, their baptism. And just as at Cane Ridge some preachers encouraged people to experience being filled with the Spirit. At Cane Ridge (some Methodist preachers I think) were disturbed that Barton W. Stone didn’t try to quell such antics. The same was true when some more modern believers (in the early 1970s) went to churches where they could be encouraged (taught) to speak in tongues.
All this caused more than a ripple in the Churches of Christ. Most noted was what some called the defection of Pat Boone, who was the most famous of ours to go over to the “Charismatics.”
Attempts were made at finding middle ground in seminars around the country. And they provided a place to share and examine the meaning of the Spirit of God in believers lives.
On the other hand, the “Word only” folks marched into battle with the sword of the Spirit/Word flashing. They contended for the faith via “soundness tests” and confrontations to determine true loyalty to the Word. While this is still an ongoing, but fading issue, it was hot for about fifteen or more years. As of today, it seems the “indwellers” are pretty much written off by the “Worders.”
If you were an “indweller” and a “led byer” you tried to make some spiritual and useful sense out of having the Spirit of God/ Spirit of Christ/ Holy Spirit in you. You will notice I used all three terms, but not in a Trinitarian sense. When it comes to understanding having a Holy Spirit in me, I’m not going to worry about if it’s one third of God or what? I just want to understand how to be in harmony with it. I want to avoid as much as I can what Paul called “Quenching the Spirit.”
It seems that Paul, in I Cor. 2:10ff, believes the indwelling Spirit is the only way to understand the things the Spirit of God reveals. I don’t know all that meant to Paul when he said it in Corinthian context, but he doesn’t seem to be talking about understanding scripture, as such. In Rom. 8:16 he says the Spirit in us tells us we are God’s children. This being true, we are called on to make decisions based on the presence of the Spirit of God “in” us. That means we will not need to find a scripture to use as a proof text for every decision we make about what God wants done.
If I look at the New Testament to decide if slavery is approved, I will find that it is. It does not matter if it matches the idea of African slavery as it took place in this country. It is the Holy Spirit of God that begins to whisper deep inside humankind that such thinking is not righteous. Spiritual people, not perfect people, spiritual people are those who have the eyes and ears of their heart open to those even scripture might seem to reject as worthy. Jesus did that.

Announcements: Martha Albert
Serve Communion: Lyn Jordan
Susan Jordan
Debbie McRoy
Carson McRoy
Usher: Garrett Williams
Communion Care: Holly Wagner
Singing: Scripture:
7-Karen Branch Martha Foy
14-Del Bolin Steve Gaynor
21-Karen Branch Connie Crites
28-Scott Blessing Mark McRoy
Communion: Nursery:
7-Wayne Flora Joanne Elder
14-Scott Blessing Connie Crites
21-Del Bolin Holly Wagner
28-Abraham Sirgy Susan Phlegar

5-Alan Beach 5-Judy Hall
8-Anna Ferrell 17-Jim Smith
18-Abraham Sirgy 22-Logan McRoy
28-Keith Wagner 31-Martha Albert

CONCERNS: Judy Hall remains in ICU at Lewis Gale Medical Center. The infection in her jaw which required surgery, is responding to the antibiotics. However, due to the toll on her body, she has been fed via IVs; on oxygen, and recently had a tracheotomy. This is because other treatments can only be done for so long. She is responding to touch, her eyes open and she is gradually becoming more and more alert. Visits are limited to one person for ten minutes. However, her family has been in town, so allow them all the time they need with her. Call T J’s cell phone and check about visits. Keith will do updates via email as he knows about her condition.
Some good news. Deanna McRoy had almost a 100% success with her last cancer treatment. She still has more to go, but this is a big step. Scott Blessing’s back has kept him at home. Both Joni and Alan Beach’s parents are having declining health problems. It’s good to see Gary Overstreet able to attend services again. Continue to remember Teryn Gaynor’s mother as she is treated for cancer. Del Bolin’s mother, Tolly Nicklas, Leena Bolin’s cousin is in hospice care with late stage ALS. Abby Keeting, the little girl being treated for leukemia has had her last treatment. Melisha Scruggs friend, Jeanie, whose child has medical issues. Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

It’s never good news when something is going to cost money. You may not know, but because the church does not pay property tax, we are granted one trash can for trash and one for recycling.
Recently the City of Roanoke passed a law that says everyone must pay a trash collection fee, including churches. It will cost about $150.00 a year, much less that the storm water runoff fees.
The good news is that because we were limited to two gratis trash cans, we had to dispose of all other material ourselves, via the dump. Starting next month we will be able to have all materials we need to dispose of picked up by the City. This means when we clear brush or trees they will now be picked up.
As you may have noticed, the owners of the apartments at the lower end of
our property have cleaned some of our land to improve the looks. We have talked with them about improving all the land between us. Now come spring we can remove all the trimmings we have placed in that area and have grass all the way to the end of our property in the fenced in area.

As we enter another year we will be looking at the things we were able to do in 2017. A report will be presented soon on a Sunday morning, with a view of the new year. If you have any ideas share them with a member of the steering committee.

As a group we have been good at volunteering to serve in the public worship. As the new year is now here, if you are not presently signed up for a task, pray about it and perhaps join in with those who make the service run smoothly.


What is a Christian? If you asked the Apostle Paul, he might say it was not his favorite term. Yes, it did become a term for the Christ believers, first in Antioch, which means it was used in other places as well.
The long-held opinion has been that it was not a decision by the Antioch church to be called Christians, but rather that they were tagged with that label by those around them. They were never referred to as the Christian Church. In fact, Paul never refers to himself as a Christian, or anyone else, for that matter. As Jerry Sumney points out in his book, “Paul” Paul prefers the idea of being members of the “church.”
Along with the mention of “Christian” in Acts11:26 (Antioch) the only other connection of the term to Paul, is in Acts 26:28, when he is before Festus, Governor of Judea and King Agrippa in Acts 26. After hearing Paul’s testimony, Agrippa asks Paul if he thinks in such a short time, did he expect to make him a Christian? Regardless all the “almost persuaded” sermons and songs, Agrippa is using the term “Christian” in the derogatory, everyday street use of the word.
The final use of the word is in I Peter 4:12. Here the term “Christian” (“If you suffer as a Christian…”) does not hint that it is the term used by the followers of Jesus to describe themselves. It simply says they suffered because of the label they were called by those persecuting them. If you think I’m saying to discard “Christian” I’m not. I just want to set up the rest of this article.
Since “Christian” is the now universally accepted term for a follower of Jesus, what makes such a person a Christian?

Belief in God

Belief in the inspiration of scripture.

Belief that God created the universe.

Belief that God created humankind.

Belief in the Virgin birth.

Belief in miracles.

Belief that Jesus walked on water.

Belief that Jesus died on a cross.

Belief that God raised Jesus from the grave.

Belief that Jesus was raised alive.

Belief in baptism.

Belief in the trinity, or Godhead.

Belief in the resurrection of the dead.

Belief in the return of Christ.
A person can believe all of these things and not be a Christian. A Christian is not someone who believes something. A Christian is someone who lives some thing. A Christian is someone known by their results, not their beliefs.
We can thank James, who said in a context about the quality of the believer, that even the demons believe and shudder. James 2;19. He asks for visible results.
A Christian is someone who takes seriously the answer Jesus gave to a man in Luke 10, when he asked what he needed to do to have eternal life. Jesus asked him how he read the Law. The man knew on what hangs the law and the prophets, and said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus said, “Do this an you will live (eternally).” But the man has a problem with the “neighbor” part. So Jesus tells the story of the (good) Samaritan. By the way, Samaritans were not considered “kosher.” They were hardly an example of a person who could have eternal life.
At the end of the story, when the man admitted that it was the Samaritan who fulfilled the Law, Jesus said, “Go and do likewise (and you will have eternal life).”
Was the Samaritan and the Jewish questioner Christian? No. Or were they? If the Jewish man did the same as the Samaritan did, were they not fulfilling what Jesus said would give them eternal life?
At the end of Jesus’ life, as he ends a string of parables in Jerusalem, he talks about the coming of the “Son of Man.” He says all the nations will be gathered before him and he will separate the people as one would separate the sheep from the goats. To those on his right (sheep) he will say they can enter the kingdom prepared for them since the creation of the world. The reason? They treated those in need as a neighbor and in so doing treated Jesus himself. The goats who did not receive the kingdom were those who did not care for those in need, and therefore did not care for Jesus, the Son of Man.
Were all these people Christian? If they were they are not called that. They were called the “righteous.” That’s another way of saying they lived and loved and thought “right.” That’s what a Christian is, or tries to be.
It’s not a matter of getting a perfect score of the “Christian” exam. It’s knowing what answers are righteous, and then wanting to do them.

CONCERNS: Judy Hall is in Lewis Gale Medical Center ICU. She may be moved to room 546 . She developed an abscess in her Jaw and it had to be opened and drained on Wednesday. She will remain in ICU for awhile and requests no visitors until she improves. Deanna McRoy is dealing with a serious reoccurrence of cancer. Scott Blessing is having continuing back problems. Abby Keeling has finished her last leukemia treatment. Both Teryn Gaynor’s parents are having health problems. Remember both Alan and Joni Beach’s parents, Jamie Cole, Joni’s niece; Del Bolin’s mother; Tolly Nicklas, Leena Bolin’s cousin, (late stage ALS). Josh Thirston (kidney transplant) Laura Schreiner has been unable to attend lately. Melisha Scruggs friend, Jeanie, who has a child with various health issues. Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver, Melanie Gentry. Wayne Phlegar, Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

Monday: I Samuel 16:1-13
Tuesday: Mark 15:1-20
Wednesday: Luke 12:1-12
Thursday: I John 2:1124
Friday: I Peter 4:1-19
Saturday: Psalm 11:1-7
Monday: Joshua 24:14-28
Tuesday: Acts 9:1-9
Wednesday: James 5:1-18
Thursday: I John 1:5-2:6
Friday: Hebrews 12:1-14
Saturday: Psalm 138:1-8

The worship service today will be conducted and directed by Del Bolin. It will be a service of praise in which we may have the opportunity to learn some new songs. Thanks Del for doing this.

Today is also Super Sunday. It is also the time when our concentration is on Christmas. The annex has been arranged in a festive way, as well as a warm fire in the fireplace. You may also visit Judy McWhorter’s New England Village as well as seeing the quilts displayed on the walls. Plan to stay.

Next Sunday is the day before Christmas. We will have only the morning service, (just as always) but the service will consist of the annual Christmas Eve service.
The songs of the season will be sung by the congregation and the corresponding scriptures will be heard by way of a professionally recorded reader.
The congregation will read the call to worship and the benediction. Communion will be at the end of the singing service, with Let There Be Peace on Earth as the closing song. The order of the service will be in the hand-out next Sunday.

The folks at Panera Bread told Mike Branch that some of those who have picked up the bread in the past are not doing it. This means there are one or two other days it can be picked up by us, or if you know another group who can use it to help out in the way the Rescue Mission does, let him know if you know someone, or you will pick it up.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Monday: Psalm 119:1-24
Tuesday: Matthew 12:22-37
Wednesday: Revelation 3:14-22
Thursday: Galatians 2:11-21
Friday: John 15:1-11
Saturday: Psalm 112:1-11
Monday: Psalm 48:1-14
Tuesday: Romans 11:33-12:8
Wednesday: Like 15:1-10
Thursday: Galatians 6:1-10
Friday: Psalm 23
Saturday: Psalm 19:1-14

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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