Roanoke Church of Christ

Bimonthly Bulletin

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

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.
Keith

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.

SYMPATHY
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.

SEASON’S GREETINGS
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.

SUPER SUNDAY
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.

THIRD SUNDAY SERVICE
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.

STEERING COMMITTEE
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.

HOLY WHAT? – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

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.
Keith

HOSE TO SERVE IN JANUARY
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

JANUARY BIRTHDAYS
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.

GOOD NEWS, KIND OF
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.

THE NEW YEAR
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.

THINK ABOUT IT
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.

THE CHRISTIAN – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

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
No.

Belief in the inspiration of scripture.
No.

Belief that God created the universe.
No.

Belief that God created humankind.
No.

Belief in the Virgin birth.
No.

Belief in miracles.
No.

Belief that Jesus walked on water.
No.

Belief that Jesus died on a cross.
No.

Belief that God raised Jesus from the grave.
No.

Belief that Jesus was raised alive.
No.

Belief in baptism.
No.

Belief in the trinity, or Godhead.
No.

Belief in the resurrection of the dead.
No.

Belief in the return of Christ.
No.
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.
Keith

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.

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

TODAY
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.

SUPER SUNDAY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
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
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.

PANERA BREAD
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.

THE BALANCE – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FROST ON THE PUNKIN – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OUR DAILY BREAD: NOV.6-11
Monday: Isaiah 53: 1-12
Tuesday: Matthew 28: 1-20
Wednesday: Ezekiel 34:1-16
Thursday: Acts 21:37-22:16
Friday: Psalm 14:1-7
Saturday: Revelation 20:11-21

OUR DAILY BREAD: NOV. 13-18
Monday: Psalm 139:1-24
Tuesday: Matthew 8:1-13
Wednesday: Matthew 12:1-14
Thursday: Colossians 2:8-19
Friday: Revelation 2:1-11
Saturday: Matthew 16:13-28

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OUR DAILY BREAD: OCT. 15-24
Monday: Psalm 46
Tuesday: John 14:1-11
Wednesday: Psalm 23
Thursday: Isaiah 26:1-4
Friday: Matthew 5:1-16
Saturday: I John 2:7-11, 15-17

OUR DAILY BREAD: OCT. 23-28
Monday Exodus 3:1-15
Tuesday: Matthew 9:14-34
Wednesday: Ecclesiastes 12:1-14
Thursday: II Corinthians 5:11-21
Friday: II Samuel 11:1-27
Saturday: Psalm 121:1-8

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

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

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

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

CONCERNS: Little Abby Keeting continues to be treated for leukemia. Martha Foy had hip replacement surgery in Charlotte NC. She is doing fine but will be with her aunt who lives there for a week or so. Judy McWhorter’s friend, Josh Thirston is having problems after a kidney transplant. Judy Hall is also having issues with her cornea transplant. Luke Beach, great-nephew of Alan and Joni is having treatment to shrink a benign brain tumor. Scott Blessing is having serious back pain. Del Bolin’s mother is doing better. Teryn Gaynor’s mother continues cancer treatment. Steve Gaynor’s sister is improving. Ben Robertson is still job hunting. Continue in prayer for Melisha Scruggs friend, Jeanie, who has a child with health issues. Tolly Nicklas, Sheila Jansen and her Daughter, Amber Weaver. Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Ray & Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jamie Cole, Jim & Mary Smith and Tim Elder.
OUR DAILY BREAD: OCT. 2-7
Monday: Matthew 7:7-11
Tuesday: Romans 3:21-31
Wednesday: James 2:14-26
Thursday: Mark 2:-12
Friday: I Peter 1:3-12
Saturday: Psalm 105:1-45
OUR DAILY BREAD: OCT. 9-14
Monday: Acts 17:16-34
Tuesday: Colossians 3:1-17
Wednesday: John 11:17-44
Thursday: Romans 4:1-8; 5:1-11
Friday: I Thessalonians 5:12-28
Saturday: Psalm 118:1-29

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

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

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

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

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

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

FROM MY PERSPECTIVE – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN

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

CONCERNS: Alisa Flora did very well with her surgery. She may be home by today. Abraham Sirgy asks prayer for a friend, Timothy Johnson. Del Bolin asks prayer for Abby Keeting, a little girl being treated for leukemia. Luke Beach, grandnephew of Alan & Joni. Judy and T. J. Hall. Judy is having eye problems and T. J. with migraines. Teryn Gaynor’s mother continues with cancer treatments. Ben Robertson is job hunting. Tolly Nicklas is in nursing care. Steve Gaynor’s sister. Betty. Gary Overstreet. Melisha Scruggs’ friend, Jeanie, who has a child with health problems. Sheila Jansen and her daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Ray and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jamie Cole, Jim and Mary Smith and Tom Elder. The Thurston boy Judy McWhorter ask prayer for had the kidney transplant and did fine.
OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 18-23
Monday: Psalm 40:1-17
Tuesday: John 8:49-59
Wednesday: Philippians 2:14-30
Thursday: Ephesians 2:1-22
Friday: John 19:1-16
Saturday: Colossians 1:3-20
OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 25-30
Monday: John 10:1-18
Tuesday: Matthew 13:24-43
Wednesday: Psalm 90:1-17
Thursday: Luke 14:15-24
Friday: Amos 5:18-6:1
Saturday: Psalm 71:1-24

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

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

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

VIVIAN DUGAN
Vivian will be away for the next three weeks.

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

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

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

DEAR GOD – NEW LIFE BULLETIN

Dear God,

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

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

OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 4-9
Monday: Genesis 12.11-20
Tuesday: I Samuel 3.1-18
Wednesday: Philippians 3.7-11
Thursday: I John4.7-21
Friday: Romans 7.13-8:11
Saturday: Ephesians 3.7-21
OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 11-16
Monday: Jeremiah 31.23-34
Tuesday: I Corinthians 11:.17-34
Wednesday: Acts 6.1-7
Thursday: Matthew 5.21-48
Friday: Psalm 119.129-152
Saturday: Psalm 67.1-7

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

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

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

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