Roanoke Church of Christ

Bimonthly Bulletin


In today’s atmosphere of anti Muslim sentiment, have we stopped to ask this question: Where have the Muslims been all this time? Where were they in World War II, or during the cold war? Did they suddenly come on the scene out of nowhere? No. They have been around since Abraham, although not organized until Muhammad came along. He was born 570 AD but traces his linage back to Abraham through Ishmael and Esau. So there were centuries in the land of Ishmael that were preIslamic.
In the years following the arrival of Islam, a monotheistic religion which believed idolatry to be wrong, wars between the polytheistic Meccans and Muhammad’s army were fought. The Quran, written by Muhammad, became the Bible of Islam.
It is interesting that a time in the history of Muhammad, the Jews and Christians was one of mutual acceptance. However, the Jews rejected the idea that Muhammad was a prophet of God. Jews and Christians living in Muslim controlled lands were left to worship as they chose, as long as they paid their taxes. In the coming centuries the tension would increase and the well-known crusades took place, which spread over a few centuries in which millions on all sides died.
While there were battles between the Jews, Christians and Muslims, history does not record a worldwide jihad like we see today. Of course, “worldwide” did not mean then what it does now. While the battles are still religious and political, they are more ideological than territorial.
So why are there Islamic terrorists all over the world today? It is not because of the Quran or Muhammad. It is based on several social factors, and like Jews and Christians, when such factors challenge their belief, they seek a source to validate their actions. Christian extremists kill abortion doctors. In the 1970s in West Virginia, a Christian (?) blew up a bridge to keep the school busses from taking children to school where controversial books were to be used. . The cause for violence is always aggression and fear. The fear of losing something. The fear of change. That’s why Christians killed each other during the Reformation Period.
There are radical Jews, and they are seen as a pariah by other Jews, but they read the same scriptures, but do not act the same..
A radical Muslim can turn to the Quran and find justification for their hatred and anger. Radical Jews can do the same, as can Christians. It seems there are less Jews and Christians who do that than Muslim’s, but it is important to know it is the radical, fundamentalist ones who do, not all of them.
If we were to base our actions on the actions of those in the Bible, people who “heard” the word of the Lord,” we could do as they did. In the Quran 9:5, which is a seventh century book, it says, “Slay the idolaters wherever you find them, arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. Make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites.” Just the kind of thing a radical Muslim needs to validate violence.
In I Samuel 15:3, Samuel, speaking for the Lord tells King Saul, “Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy them. Do not spare them: put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.” You may remember that Saul spared the king as well as everything “that was good.” This brings the wrath of God upon him. Because he did not commit complete genocide, Saul has disobeyed God.
Throughout history, “Amalekite” became the “tag” for anyone believed to deserve “holy” killing. During the Middle Ages, the Catholic popes called Muslims “Amalekites” as a way to justify killing them.
According to Penn State Professor, Philip Jenkins, the Puritans (Europeans) used the I Samuel passage to justify killing native Americans, even saying not to would be disobeying God. In Rwanda in 1994, Huta preachers used I Samuel to justify the total slaughter of the Tutsi’s.
Remember Mit Romney? He’s a Mormon. Remember the anti Mormon sentiment in churches many years ago? Remember the Texas Baptist preacher who got in hot water by calling Mormonism a cult. He also said he would hold his nose and vote for Romney.
If you want, you can look for yourself at the violence in the Book of Mormon on the internet, or read the book. I have looked at the statements on the net, and I find them to be just the same as those who look at the Old Testament and insinuate that because violence is there, it has to be the way modern Jews and Christians act. This is also true with those who read the Quran and insinuate that all Muslim’s act out the violence seen there.. Do some of them? Yes.
I never heard any of the Book of Mormon’s violence mentioned during the Romney campaign. And I’m glad. I don’t know any Mormons who take the book’s violence as a directive for their lives. There may be some, but I haven’t heard of them. I’m pretty sure, despite being a Mormon, Mr. Romney received more votes from conservative Christians than did President Obama.
Scott Peck, who may or may not be considered an authority on human nature, says that fundamentalism in any form, religion, government etc., is a sign of immaturity. I would agree with that, though I might be so arrogant as t say a sign of ignorance, which is the quality of immaturity.
A truth: You find what you are looking for. If you want to find violence in the Bible, or the Quran or the Book of Mormon, you can find it. If you look for the good in those books, you will find it, as you can in all such ethical and moral documents. However, the real issue is, as Jesus said, the fruit that springs from what is read and believed. It will either be good or bad. He also said the fruit we bear would be the telltale sign of who we are. Regardless.

CONCERNS: Gary Overstreet had successful triple bypass surgery and will spend some time in rehab. Continue to remember Garrett Lee Williams’ friend, Hannah. Joni Beach’s mother and father, her aunt, Pat Voss and her niece, Jamie Cole. Also Jim Hunter, Wayne Phlegar, Bill Albert’s son, David, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, Sandy Blanchard and those caring for her. Sandy is from the congregation where Del Bolin grew up. She has cancer and has lost her sight. Kim (Hall’s) friend, Mary (MS) Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Jenni Cullum and her friend, Sean, Mary and Jim Smit and Tim Elder.

Monday: Isaiah 6:1-13
Tuesday: Matthew 13:1-23
Wednesday: John 6:1-15
Thursday: Luke 15:11-32
Friday: Genesis 39:1-23
Saturday: Psalm 66:1-20
Monday: Hosea 11:1-9
Tuesday: Matthew 10:24–39
Wednesday: Exodus 16:1-36
Thursday: Luke 7:36-50
Friday: John 13:31-38; 18:15-27
Saturday: Psalm 103:1-22

As noted in last week’s order of worship, Roger Fisher’s brother, Woody, died on Monday, November, 2. He had suffered for several months with complications, including diabetes. The funeral was in West Virginia. We extend once agin our sympathy to Roger in the death of his brother.
Today, Nov. 15, is Super Sunday. This was not listed in the order of worship for last Sunday, so those of you receiving this via email, please note it and plan to stay for the fellowship meal following the service
A couple of business items need to be addressed, so we will have a meeting of those steering committee members available on Sunday after the meal.
Not in time for this bulletin or the Order of Worship, a new printer will be purchased. We have been using refilled printer cartridges and the print heads may be at fault. However, in trying another one, there was no improvement. A brand new cartridge could be tried, but if that didn’t work, that cost could have been added to a new printer. So a new one will be in use by next week.
Thanks to Scott Blessing for filling in for Keith last Sunday while they were in West Virginia. We are blessed with several talented speakers
Keep in mind that Kirissa and Jeff Forsyth need a place to stay for a few months until he finishes his training and they relocate to Winston-Salem, NC. Their lease runs out before they are ready to move. If you know of someone, or can help, let them know.
Stephanie was in Las Vagus last week presenting her research on cancer at a medical convention. The trip was paid for by both Carilion and the Jefferson School of Medical Science.
Jack is spending a few days visiting the Naval Academy.


In the most recent issue of the Christian Chronicle, there was a discussion about guns in Church. You can guess for yourself the expressed feelings. However, one Alabama preacher who was pro-guns in church, (even though he said he mostly left his Ruger locked up in his office when he preached) justified his weapon-carrying by quoting Luke 22, where Jesus said, “…and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” So with gun and scripture in hand, off he rode.
I’ve heard that scripture used that way before, along with the explanation that Jesus knew without him they would need to defend themselves with weapons, in this case, a sword. Jesus’ reason for saying that is ignored. The next words out of his mouth are: “It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” From this statement, the disciples said ,”See Lord, here are two swords.” To which Jesus said, “That is enough.” Enough for what? To protect twelve of them?! No, two were enough to fulfill the prophetic accusation that he was the leader of an insurrection, i.e., “numbered among the transgressors.”
Buy a gun. Buy twenty of them, just don’t feel you have to justify it by finding a scripture to support it.
I find it interesting that Jesus seldom quoted scripture. The one significant time he did he said , “You have heard it said of old….but now I say to you…” Of course, there are those who say Jesus was scripture. That might be, but those who heard him didn’t see it that way.
What about Paul, for example? Neither does he underline his teachings with constant scripture. He even quotes from the Greek poets. While he felt what he taught was authoritative, he never claimed everything he said was backed up by scripture. In I Corinthians 7 he says in v.12 and 25, that he doesn’t have a word from the Lord, but offers his own opinion. In v. 40 he offers his opinion and says, “…and I think that I too have the spirit of God.” Paul is not afraid to say what he believes to be God’s will, even if he has no “Thus says the Lord” to back it up.
Is scripture important? Of course. It is the foundation of our faith. It provides insight as to the nature of God, and the will of God. There’s everything good about taking a text and doing one’s best to extrapolate the meaning from it for our lives. It is another thing to make up one’s mind about what is wanted, and then go looking for scriptures to prove a predetermined outcome, and I’ve done that.
I know I’ve harped on this before, but I see it so often. A person has made a point, or is writing about a subject, and they need to validate what they have said, so they seek a scripture. Is it always wrong? No. Is it always right? No.
Let’s end with a little narrative. Someone attends worship and there is a praise team, which they believe is unscriptural. They inform someone and rather than argue, the person sets them back by asking their forgiveness, which promotes the following: “Are you going to stop using a praise team?”
“No. I just asked your forgiveness for doing so.”
“So you admit it’s wrong.”
“No. I know it offended you and I asked that you forgive us for that.”
“Forgiveness only works when there is repentance, and repentance means to stop that for which you are seeking forgiveness. Anything less than that is not Godly sorrow, as Paul says in II Corinthians 7:10. To ask forgiveness without stopping the offense is not true repentance.”
“Let me get this straight. When you sin, or whatever requires you to ask forgiveness, you always stop doing what you asked forgiveness for?”
“That’s what the Bible says.”
“So you never sin that sin again?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“But you did have Godly sorrow?”
“But you will have to ask forgiveness again? True? So how is that true repentance?”
“All I know is you’re wrong.”

CONCERNS: Roger Fisher’s brother, Woody, is under hospice care. Betty Billings is dealing with shingles. Melisha Scruggs’ cousin has been declared cancer free. Remember Join Beach’s parents, and also her aunt, Pat Voss, as well as her niece, Jamie Cole. Gary Overstreet will have open heart surgery on the 5th. Also Jim Hunter, Wayne Phlegar, Bill Albert’s son, David, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, Sandy Blanchard and those caring for her. She is from the congregation Del Bolin grew up. She has cancer and has lost her vision. Kim (Hall’s) friend Mary (MS), Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Jenni Cullum and her friend, Sean, Mary and Jim Smith and Tim Elder.

Monday: John 5:19-47
Tuesday: Philippians 1:19-30
Wednesday: Genesis 7:1-24
Thursday: Lamentations 1:8-16
Friday: Romans 8:12-25
Saturday: Psalm 133, 134
Monday: Psalm46
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

Sue Huel’s died on Friday, October 23 in Kingsport, Tenn. Sue was Betty Foy’s sister and Martha’s aunt. The funeral was Thursday in Richlands, VA.
On Thursday morning the 29th, James Downing’s grandfather died in Charlottesville, VA. He had been in failing health for the last few weeks.
Martha Albert became a great grandmother a little over a week ago. Nash Hunter was born to her grandson, Andy and his wife. They live in Alabama.
The Wagner’s will be in West Virginia next weekend. Their granddaughter, Melanie is getting married in Huntington, WV. Keith is officiating. Melanie and her husband, Preston, will be living in Jacksonville, Fla. For the time being.
In case you don’t receive email, Jeff and Kirissa Forsyth need a place to stay from December 1 until they relocate to Winston-Salem at the end of February.
Their lease runs out December 1, and they need a short term place to live. If you have any ideas, let them know.
We have committed to serving the evening meal at the Ronald McDonald House once a month next year. This is a special work which is enjoyed by all who are involved. It is also appreciated very much by those families who have children in the hospital, many of which come from as far away as West Virginia.
If you receive this via email, don’t forget to set your clock’s back on Saturday.


If you’ve decided to read this article, let me say up front that I believe there are things common to all humankind. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll use Maslow’s list. Physiological, Safety, Love-belonging, Esteem, and Self-actualization. If you want an expanded definition look them up.
However, within each of these categories there is room for individual preference. One man’s meat is another man’s poison. Or, gentlemen prefer blonds but marry brunets. You get what I mean. I’m sure there have been studies done, and continuing to be done, on why certain people are attracted to other certain people, and why some are not attracted to those same people. Why do some people chose one vocation over another? Why do we see a particular talent (gift) in one child and not all the siblings? How much does DNA play in all that? So why would we almost insist that people who believe in God, particularly in the teachings of the Bible, all think and feel alike?
Are the individual qualities and desires of one person supposed to be brought in line with the qualities and desires of another? In the area of religion, or “church orthodoxy”, when one person expresses how they live their life, are all the rest supposed to live theirs the same way? Because a religious person likes football and another person thinks it is a waste of time and rather proudly says they’d rather read good books, should those who like football feel less spiritual?
While on vacation years ago, we went to a North Carolina church. We were flying blind, but I knew as soon as I saw the tract rack in the foyer, what to expect. The preacher said, for some reason perhaps known only to him, that when he had to stop his work and take the family on vacation, his idea of a vacation was too take his books and study the Bible. I felt the comment was self-serving. What eldership wouldn’t love to hear that? I thought he should be stoned for working on vacation. I also wondered how many people he made feel they had to be like him to be a super saint?
When it comes to scripture we have the same problem. Paul says he had learned to be content no matter the circumstances. There is certainly a lesson there. But what is it? If you happened to read last Sunday’s paper about the conditions under which many children in the Bristol, Va. live, would you tell them they should learn to be content, even though they do not have food to eat over the weekend? Would you tell the child who comes to school with bruises from the mother, to be content? Would you tell the mother, caught in an abusive relationship, to be content? Other passages can cause the same result, if painted on to cover a deeper issue.
When Paul talked about “modest” clothing, how many times has that been defined by someone according to their hang-ups or standards in a way which indicated those who didn’t agree were somehow sinners? How many times was the culture and the context examined to try to come close to that which Paul was referring?
How many people have read what Paul said about marriage and then defined that to fit themselves and everyone else? In so doing, they set the standard for the rest, making them feel guilty because they don’t feel the same way. I remember a woman who, with three children and a loving husband, said it was better not to be married because of what Paul said in I Cor.7.
I thought about this in the adult class last Sunday morning. Among other things, we talked about forgiveness. A visitor pointed out (as he understood it) that unless we forgive, God would not forgive us. Of course, we all knew the scripture to which he was referring. In my warped mind I was thinking, “Then we’re all in a heap of trouble!” If you think always forgiving others exactly as one should, and of course, asking forgiveness, cleans the slate, what need is there of grace?
Abraham Sirgy said, “What is forgiveness?” The discussion turned to the Amish people who forgave the man who murdered their children in a Pennsylvania town. But Abraham’s question is necessary, what is forgiveness?
In the irony of life, that evening, on 60 minutes, there was a segment about Glenn Ford, a black man freed after thirty years of solitary confinement for a crime he did not commit. The focus was on the prosecutor, Marty Stroud, who tried him. Stroud now says he did it to boost his ego, and that critical evidence was not checked.. He said they even laughed at how easy the case would be. He now sees it as a hole in his life that can never be filled, and it could be seen on his face. A year after Ford was released, he died of lung cancer. No treatment or compensation was awarded him. In the days before Ford died, Stroud went to him and asked his forgiveness for the callous injustice he’d inflicted upon him. Ford refused. You can judge him if you like. Quoting a scripture might even help you make that judgement, but be sure you know what you would do if you were him.
What is forgiveness? Is it a one size fits all? No. Forgiving someone who bumps into you is not the same as forgiving the one who raped and murdered your child. We all know that. Someone who asks forgiveness is much different from someone who says they don’t want or care about receiving it.
I think forgiveness is multifaceted. When we are on the receiving end, we want one size fits all. “You have to forgive me because I asked, and you’re a Christian, and if you don’t God won’t forgive you ever, until you do!” It’s even harder on the giving end.
No one doubts that forgiveness is a healthy thing. But I don’t have a simple, clear-cut answer as to what forgiveness is. What I think I know is amid all the complexities and psychological makeups of humankind, one-sized answers only leave us feeling hopeless and helpless. Maybe it falls into Paul saying to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. . Maybe. Keith

CONCERNS: We’ve learned that Whit Robertson’s brain cancer is now terminal and he is under hospice care. Whit is the teenage son of a good friend of Leena Bolin. They ask prayers that he not suffer. Alisa’s sister, Melanie Gentry will be seeing a specialist soon about her vision and balance problems. Betty Foy was unable to be out and about due to headaches. Her sister, and Martha’s aunt, Sue Huels, is very ill. Hannah, Garrett Lee’s friend, has had something of a relapse with the leukemia and is at Duke. Melisha Scruggs cousin, Autumn, is being treat for brain cancer. Joni Beach’s mother, Betty Voss, as well as her father, are dealing with declining health issues. Joni also asks pray for her aunt, Pat Voss, and her niece, Jamie Cole. Sandy Blanchard is from Del Bolin’s home congregation and is fighting cancer and has lost her sight. Gary Overstreet had open heart surgery on Thursday at RMH. Remember also Woody Fisher, Roger’s brother, Jim Hunter, The
Phlegars, Jim and Mary Smith, Bill Albert’s son, David, Lee Nicklas, Kim (Hall’s) friend, Mary (MS) Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Jenni Cullum and her friend, Sean, Tim Elder and Del Bolin as he finishes his medical work in Honduras

Monday: Exodus 14:10-31
Tuesday: Isaiah 2:1-14
Wednesday: Romans 14:1-9
Thursday: John 5:1-18
Friday: Genesis 4:1-18
Saturday Psalm 146:1-10
Monday: John 1:35-51
Tuesday: Revelation 1:4-20
Wednesday: I Corinthians 6:7-20
Thursday: Luke 17:11-19
Friday: Philippians 2:1-13
Saturday: Psalm 98:1-9

Late congratulations to Connie Crites on becoming a grandmother again. Mya Maurer was born to Kelly and Geoff on September 23. The boys are getting use to having a sister in the house.
Congratulations to Nick Bolin for making the dean’s list at Virginia Tech. Actually, Nick has made it every year since he started, but this was the first time the local paper published the list.
Today is Super Sunday. Among the goodies we will enjoy at the meal will be some of the pork and beef which was frozen after the Bar B Que the last of September. Those of you who were unable to attend, be sure to give it a try
Today is also the day some of us go to the Peaks Of Otter for a hike, if you are among the young at heart, and a picnic.
As always, if you are riding the bus, be sure to get there as early as possible. The tickets sell out quickly if the weather is nice. It looks to be sunny and in the mid fifties, but remember, it is cooler up there.
We had twenty-one folks sign up for the picnic, however, if you didn’t and want to join us, please do so.
Thanks to Susan Jordan for telling us of her experiences at the Ezell Clinic. Her love of going and helping with the medical work done there by Health Talents has inspired others to plan to go with her next year.
Thanks to all of you who have prepared the Sunday evening meal at the Ronald McDonald House lately.
If you don’t get the local paper, the Extra section in Wednesday’s edition featured our own Chef Jeff Bland. It was a great article about Jeff’s accomplishments as well as his choice of a healthy lifestyle that not only produced significant weight loss, but in his view, saved his life.


The obvious answer is “No one.” The answer for some is, “A chosen few.”
Every Sunday (I think) the local paper asks a religious question of local (I think) clergy. Last week’s was if Christians and Muslims worshiped the same God. They also try to get two different views on the asked question.
One guy said “No”. Then he began to point out the differences between Jesus and the teachings of Islam. That was not the question. However, in his answer he defined “Christian” as those who believed, among other things, in the trinity, even saying that to deny the trinity, (an unbiblical term) was to deny Christ and therefore the loss of salvation. I did notice, since I had the feeling that he was of the opinion that the Jewish nation was still the “apple of God’s eye”, that he didn’t say the Jews worshiped a different God because they denied the trinity and Jesus as Messiah altogether. Neither did he start with Abraham, the place where both Jews and Muslims start their faith.
When it comes to who worships the “right” God, it becomes more philosophical than theological. In other words, we make God fit our image of God, as have people from time immortal.
A way to answer the Biblical question of who owns God, would be to ask if the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees worshiped the same God as did Jesus? Did Paul worship the same God as did Jesus? The answer is obviously “yes”. If believing in the trinity is a matter of salvation, why didn’t the Jews have such a doctrine? Was their understanding and interpretation of God’s will the same as Jesus’ and Paul’s? Obviously, “No”.
The question is not whether there are different Gods, but how God is perceived. By the way, some Muslims say Christians worship three Gods because of the idea of the trinity, whereas they only worship the God of Abraham. I’m not sure what the preacher would have said if the question was, “Do Christians who worship Theos, (the New Testament Greek word for God) worship the same Allah, (the Arabic name for God) as the Muslims? And is that the same God (Yahweh, YHWH) of the Jews?” And, is “God” (from the Germanic) the only valid name of all those other names?
I think it would be safe to say that among the world’s major religions, the philosophical traits of the one known as “God”, at the center, would be that God belongs to everyone and everything. Or as Paul would say, “Who is over all and through all and in all.” Eph. 4:6 Which would parallel Luke 6:35, “But love your enemies…Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.” Matthew, in the same context, says, “He causes his sun to rise on the good and the evil and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteousness.”
When I was looking up these passages on the internet, (it’s quicker than using my trusty concordance) I found people taking issue with whether God loved the wicked, and quoted scripture to back it up.
Is God the God of “all flesh”? Of course. Coming from a Biblical background, the heart of the Bible is that God is the source of everything. Upon the arrival of Abraham, the Bible follows his decedents and the promise made to him. However, a promise was also made to Ishmael, and the Muslim people’s history follows him.
The Bible centers on Abraham and Isaac’s decedents. Therefore, it is no surprise that the idea of who God is, is based on the relationship of the Hebrews to God. However, there are places in the Old Testament where the idea that God is the God of all flesh can be seen. Moses has no trouble marrying a Midianite and Cushite. In Amos 9:7 it says, “Are not you Israelites the same to me as the Cushites?” declares the Lord. Did I not bring Israel up from Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?”
Regardless the “God”, what is seen in the life of the follower reveals the nature of the God they worship. The God of Jesus can be seen in what he said and did. The same is true in the Christian and anyone else.

CONCERNS: Alisa Flora’s sister, Melanie Gentry is much improved at this time. Melisha Scruggs cousin, Autumn, is being treated for brain cancer. Keep in prayer Joni Beach’s parents ,especially her mother, Betty Voss. Also Joni’s aunt, Pat Voss, and her niece, Jamie Cole. Roger Fisher’s brother, Woody, Jim Hunter, The weather has caused those effected by it to suffer aches and pains. Among them, Susan and Wayne Phlegar and Scott Blessing. Remember Bill Albert’s son, David, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, Sandy Blanchard and those caring for her. She is from the congregation where Del Bolin grew up. She is fighting cancer and has also lost her sight. Kim (Hal’s) friend, Mary, Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Jenni Cullum, her friend, Sean and Tim Elder.
Monday: Psalm 16:1-11
Tuesday: Matthew 20:1-16
Wednesday: Amos 3:12-4:5
Thursday: Hebrews 10:19-39
Friday: Ephesians 5:3-20
Saturday: Psalm 148:1-14
Monday: I Peter 1:12-25
Tuesday: Psalm 95:1-11
Wednesday: Matthew 14:13-33
Thursday: Romans 12:9-21
Friday: I Timothy 1:12-2:7
Saturday: Psalm 116:1-19

Thank you to all those who came out and helped prepared the meat from the Bar B Que. Even though it rained off and on all day, the pork, beef and chicken turned out great. We prepared it differently this year and from the amount eaten we seem to have arrived with a plan for next year. Also, thank Jeff Bland for getting the pork and beef for us.
Jim and Mary Smith have sold their home in Goodview and will be moving into The Glebe this week. This will bring them closer to Roanoke, their doctors and other confidences. The Glebe is an independent living facility in the Daleville area.
To all of my dear church family
Where do I begin? You have loved us, cared for us, supported us, prayed with and for us over these last 2 1/2 years of Rich’s illness. Every card, call, visit, offer of food, and encouraging word has meant so much.
Peace and comfort came from knowing Rich suffers no more and is in the arms of Jesus.
Bless all of you for your many expressions of love and kindness.
October is the month we have the Peaks of Otter Hike and Picnic. We need to plan now as to how many are interested in going. Of course, as we age, less of us are hiking, or riding the bus. But those who don’t have enjoyed the picnic time together as we see the fall colors start to emerge.
The sign-up list will be out soon so the interest in this event can be assessed.
It will be after the Super Sunday meal on October 18.
Susan Jordan has been out of town for several weekends and has been unable to tell us about her week at the Ezell Clinic in Guatemala. As soon as she has the time she will once again share her experiences with us.
Next Sunday there will be a correction list for the new directory. If you see something on your page that is incorrect, write it down and give it to Keith.


“NEW LIFE” BULLEIN-Sept. 20, 2015
On Friday, September 4, at 5:00 P.M. a violent thunderstorm passed through Roanoke, dropping quarter to pea-sized hail across the Roanoke valley. Some parts lost power. Among them was the home of Richard and Connie Crites. Richard had just arrived home on Wednesday. He’d been in a nursing facility after fighting cancer for three years. Thursday was a good day, but on Friday it was hard to tell if he was awake. At 10:25 that night, he took his last breath. Connie, Kirsten and I were with him.
It is almost symbolic that the lights went out the night Richard died. Richard was a light to all who knew him, and for all of us who loved him, a light in our life went out that night.
Rich came from a typical Church of Christ background. You went to church because that’s what Church of Christ people do. You knew what you were supposed to think and do. If you showed up and had your ticket punched, checked off the list of dos and don’t, you went to heaven. He was faithful to this concept for much of his life.
When his first wife decided marriage was not for her, it crushed Rich. No one in his family had suffered a divorce. It was a very low point in his life. However, even though his first wife moved away, Rich still did things for her parents until they died.
In the mystery that is life, he and Connie found each other here at church and began a life together that all who knew them recognized was meant to be.
Even if Rich hadn’t seen it yet, others saw his potential as a servant of God. Not long after his marriage to Connie, he began to think about relationship with God, rather than “checking off the list.”
Those who knew him from the time he arrived in Roanoke, right out of college, to teach Biology at Virginia Western Community College, all saw the change in him. What they saw was a man of integrity, love, service and grace. One can only wonder what he might have been had he not had the experiences that led him and Connie to become the inspiration to others that they were. Both having previous marriages, they became the source of strength to those who needed guidance in starting marriage over.
Rich cherished what marriage to Connie and his place in her daughters lives gave him. The compassion and goodness he’d learned as a little boy, made him a trusted husband, father, friend and teacher.
For a short time in the early 90s while we served as two of three elders, I noticed something special about Rich. He had his ego under control. For a short time there was just the two of us serving as elders. If someone came to me to talk about something, and not him, he was fine with that. The same went for me. If we felt that a confidence wouldn’t be broken, we’d ask each other for help. So often egos get involved in leadership which defeats the process. However, even after he and I resigned and the direction of the church became the function of the steering committee, as well as the congregation, he was still seen as the leader. In fact, more folks turned to him than me, for which I was grateful. You can’t imagine the trivia that occupies some folks mind.
Rich was a reluctant leader. If you know your Bible, most significant prophets and leaders did not believe they were. That’s one of the wonderful things about transformation. It just happens. Of course, in most cases there is a foundation laid. Rich would talk about how his mother was the spiritual leader in their home. He talked about hearing her sing hymns as she worked around the house. This, along with his father’s work ethic laid the foundation for Richard’s life.
Every minister’s family has people in each congregation they serve who, in some way, becomes a place of refuge. These are people who draw you into their lives and make yours better. I could list all of their names from the first church to the present, but none was better than Rich and Connie. Their home, as well as several others, became a place where the church family was often invited. Beyond those occasions were those which involved Jo and me. Invitations to dinner theaters, the Lime Kiln Theater, Mount Rogers and White Top, just to mention a few.
There was also the times it would just be Rich and I. Sometimes up on the Blue Ridge Parkway or at Arcadia, where he would introduce me to all kinds of growing specimens. But mostly we’d talk.
He was a guy from the farm. I was a guy from the city who had left the farm at five years old. But we both never forgot the smell of corn, clover, livestock and the distinct smell of leaves and corn stocks in the fall.
For a number of years before he was no longer able, he was the church treasurer, On Mondays after he retired from teaching, he would come by the office and pay bills. If there were none, we talked about anything and everything that came to our minds.
Beyond the church, countless of his students have praised his personal concern and help in achieving their educational goals. Among those he influenced were the folks at Famous Anthony’s. Restaurant. Even though he hadn’t been able to eat there for some time, at least two of the women wait staff came to the viewing to pay their respects.
Around his neighborhood, Rich was like State Farm, he was there; with a snow shovel, a chain saw, whatever it took as a good neighbor. The world is a little dimmer without him.
At his memorial service he had the last word, and this is what he said: “ I want to thank all of you for allowing me to come into your life. It has been a privilege! As your friend, mentor, teacher, parent husband or family member, I wish you well. I have lived a full life. For each of you, I would urge that you immerse yourself in the love of God and His Son. There is nothing more Valuable in this world. Walking with Them is a wonderful trip.”
CONCERNS: Melisha Scruggs’ cousin, Autumn, is being treated for cancer. Mary Smith spent a few days in the hospital in order to regulate her heart medicine. Roger Fisher’s brother, Woody is still under nursing care. A friend of Betty Shepherd is recovering from an assault. Melanie Gentry is showing some improvement after being in the hospital in Birmingham, Ala. Remember Joni Beach’s mother, Betty, as well as her father and aunt, Pat Voss, and also her niece, Jamie Cole. Jim Hunter is about the same. Also Wayne Phlegar, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, and Bill Albert’s son, David. Former member, Betty Shepherd’s condition has stabilized for the time being. Betty Foy’s sister, Sue Huels is very ill. Continue to pray for Sandra Anderson, Gil Shepherd, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Jenni Cullum, her friend, Sean, and Tim Elder.

Monday: II Thess. 1:2-12
Tuesday: Matthew 1:18-25
Wednesday: John 2:1-11
Thursday: I Thess 1:2-10
Friday: II Timothy 2:2-13
Saturday: Isaiah 40:1-11
Monday: Matthew 2:1-12
Tuesday Matthew 2:13-33
Wednesday: Genesis 31:36-50
Thursday: Acts 9:19-31
Friday: Psalm 122:1-9
Saturday: Psalm 140:1-13

Today (September 20) is Super Sunday. Several of our folks are out of town, but be sure to stay after the service and enjoy the fellowship meal.
We have rescheduled the Bar B Que for the last Saturday of this month, which is this coming Saturday. If you were unable to sign up for the first date, don’t worry, there will be plenty of chicken, pork and beef. However, if you did sign up and will not be able to attend, let Keith know.
This time together will honor Rich Crites, who loved the Bar B Que’s and enjoyed preparing the cooked meat for all of us to eat. This will be a time when we can all be together, since it was not feasible to
do so after his memorial service.
Since it is a little later in the month we may not have to worry about the heat and can enjoy the approaching fall weather.
We need to have a brief steering committee meeting after the Super Sunday meal for all those members who are available. We will meet in the library.
Del Bolin has started a new study in the Sunday morning Adult class. He will be leading the discussion involving the qualities of the Christian life and the Biblical scriptures which apply.
Many of you know that in cleaning out Walker Slusher’s house there are many Long Play record albums ranging for Big Bands, Broadway tunes, Symphonies, and classical, as well as some popular songs from decades ago. Some of them are temporarily stored under the pews in the annex. If you enjoy “wax” stop by and pull out a box or two and take a look. Some will be sold to a dealer, and the rest given to thrift stores in the area. ALSO: Walker seemed to collect lamps. If you would like to look and see if you could use one or two, see Keith about going in the house.
In the next week or so the immigration people will come and get what they can use as they settle people in Roanoke who have come to this area and country to start new lives after leaving disrupted countries in the world.


A few years ago I wrote an article about some churches which were having stick fighting and other such events to show that Christian men could “man up.”One participant lost an eye, but was fine with that because it proved he was a man.
Recently I read about Christian martial arts. I’m not taking about black belts or other martial arts that teach discipline, as well as self defense. I’m talking about cage fighting for the fun of it. Or should I say the “Christlikeness of it”, according to the leaders of the movement.
Here’s a few quotes from those involved. John Renken, leader of Xtream Ministries near Nashville, prayed with his fighters at a Memphis match and then encouraged them with, “To the head! To the head! Hard punches!” One of his fighters came away with a broken ankle. .
Some events are billed as Fighting Pastors, where pastors (?) from competing groups fight each other. Of course, there are hugs all around after the fight. Well, maybe not hugs, that might seem too girlish.
Out west in Seattle, at the Canyon Creek Church, Brandon Beals, says, “What lead me to find Christ was that Jesus was a fighter.” One of his flock, a Mr Thompson, said, “Once I accepted Christ in my life, I realized that a person can fight for good.” I think Mr Thompson has that “good” in the wrong category. They like to quote where Paul told Timothy to “Fight the good fight.” That shows the depth of their theology.
Tom Skiles of Spirit of Saint Louis Church remembers church as the place “The men fell asleep.” I wonder who is stronger, men who fall asleep in church, or women who don’t? I’ll bet no one fell asleep during the crucifixion of Jesus.
Okey, what is machismo? The definition is “strong or aggressive masculine pride.” So I’m supposed to be proud of something over which I had no control or choice? Am I supposed to believe that by some ordained wonder I was born male rather then female? Is there a term for strong or feminine pride? If there is it is probably unprintable.
So what does it mean to be a man, and a man of God? Of course, there are cultural ideas, most of which are based on primitive views of male superiority. But when it comes to real strength it has nothing to do with muscles. In fact, one proponent said men are acting too much like women. I’m not sure what he meant by that, but I’m sure he wasn’t talking about Rhonda Rousey, who I’m sure could beat most male fighters and could embarrass any Christian male fighter. She’s also a very attractive woman. She’s the blond in the newer Hardies’ commercial. Rhonda will not fight men. They should be thankful.
Research will also find people of real Christlike strength, including a long list of both men and women that a puff of good wind could blow away. I have no idea how Jesus was built, or how strong he was. The nature of his time would make him fit and able to cope with his culture and surroundings. Did those who wrote about him ever make reference to his masculine strength? No. According to Mark, Jesus was so weak after his beating that he couldn’t carry the cross, or crossbeam. Does that mean he was frail? No. It just means he was no Rocky, or perhaps Mel Gibson..
This is not about physical strength. That is an attainment though dedication and hard work. That’s a good thing and the results can be both beneficial and rather amazing, regardless the sport. The question is, does that define the value of the person? The answer to that is no. That’s the rub with “maning up” being equated with physical strength. It, perhaps unintentionally, defines the person’s worth based on physical ability rather than on mental and moral fiber. Can there be both? Of course. But when physical prowess defines worth, where does that leave the rest? If I’m a male member of a cage-fighting church and I have no desire to do that, am I less a man than those who find the need to prove their manhood in so doing?
There is also and underlying, sometimes spoken, elevation of macho-men over those who are not. Comments like James Dobson’s son, who said, “We’ve raised a generation of little boys” is a good example. By the way, if you’ve seen James Dobson, he’s no macho man.

CONCERNS: Richard Crites is now being cared for at home. Visits are welcome, but call first. Jeff Bland is still healing from knee surgery. Melanie Gentry, Alisa Flora’s sister is critically ill with a yet undiagnosed illness. Betty Voss, Joni Beach’s mother, also her aunt, Pat Voss, as well as her niece, Jamie Cole. Roger Fisher’s brother, Woody, Jim Hunter, Wayne Phlegar, Bill Albert’s son, David. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, Kim Hall’s friend, Mary, (MS) Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Gil Greenwood, Stephanie Rigney, Deana McRoy, Jenni Cullum, her friend, Sean, Diana Sparrow and Tim Elder.

Monday: Daniel 5:17-28
Tuesday: Matthew 13:44-54
Wednesday: I Samuel 17:41-54
Thursday: Psalm 70: 1-5
Friday: Matthew 7:13-29
Saturday: Psalm 1:1-15

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

Since we now have a new and updated directory, and because Roanoke mail is going to Greensboro to be sorted and then back to Roanoke for delivery, making it hard to get the bulletin mailed in time locally for it to reach you, as of the next publication, everyone who has e-mail will receive the bulletin by that method. If you would like a hard copy they will be available at the church. Those who do not have e-mail will still receive the bulletin via regular mail, possibly getting it on Saturday. Again, there will always be copies available at the building.
If you have an e-mail address and do not receive the next issue, let Keith know.
Even though this is being typed before the Labor Day Bar B Q, as always, we can say it was great. The weather forecast looked good and everyone pitched in with good “extras”. Be sure to thank Chef Jeff for getting the meat, and James Downing for being Jeff’s stand-in. Also Holly for cleaning up the patio.
Any leftovers will be enjoyed either on Sunday, or Super Sunday.
We plan on eating around 4 PM, but if you come later there will be plenty/ Also, invite someone, even if you didn’t sign them up.
There was an interruption in the progress of cleaning Walker Slusher’s house of the record (LP) collection. That has been resolved. If you would like to look though some of them and are going to be at the Bar-B-Que on Saturday, they are under the pews in the annex. Just slip out a box and look.
The new entrance at the lower part of the parking lot is one of the nice things we received from the construction of the new sidewalk. It is now open and ready to be used.
The letters from the two children we sponsor in Guatemala are on the downstairs bulletin board. Nery Noe and Luis Alexander Perez Nicolas wish us good health, and Luis wants us to know he is an obedient young man. Cute. Stop by and look at them.


“Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared he fell into a trance.” Acts 10:9b-10.
Peter was in Joppa, staying at the home of Simon, who was a tanner,. It was about mealtime, so he relaxes and ends up in a “trance.” He sees something like a large sheet coming from the sky, with the four corners held up. Inside he saw all kinds of four-footed animals, reptiles and birds. A voice told him to, “Get up Peter. Kill and eat.” He says, “No way Lord! I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” This happens three times. Does anybody notice that Peter refused a direct command from the Lord? If he had been obedient, what would he have killed and fried? It said all kinds of animals etc., so there must have been a clean one or two. Yet seeing them all mixed in together caused Peter to see them all as unclean and disobeys a direct command.
Of course, we could say the sheet and its contents were just a trance thing, not real. But in the trance, Peter is confronted with a real issue. An issue that may have been growing inside him for some time, who and what is clean and unclean before God? With whom would Peter have lunch?
The Roman soldiers arrive from Cornelius, who stop at the gate. Perhaps, because they were asking for a favor, they are sure to show respect by not entering without being invited. When Peter comes down and hears their request for him to go see Cornelius, he invites them in to be his guests. Which is a little weird, because it wasn’t his house, it was Simon’s
It seems the Romans spent the night there, and the next day Peter and some of the “brothers” from Joppa accompany the soldiers to Caesarea. Peter enters this gentile house filled with a bunch of gentiles, and says that they know a Jew, under the law, should not be in a gentile home, or even associate with them. However, God had told him not to call any man (person) impure or unclean.
Now, the thrust of the story is to get to the inclusion of the gentiles in the gospel. But let’s ask a question: How hard was it for him to actually go? What we do know, from his comment to Cornelius, he was stepping outside of Jewish law in so doing. Regardless of his quick response, he had reservations, based more on the interpretation of the law, than the law itself. Peter readily admits that he is doing something he was taught not to do, and from how he says it, he had something in the law to back it up. Yet he sidesteps all that. Why? Well, there’s the trance. How did he know it wasn’t just a bad dream? The arrival of the Roman soldiers helped with that.
Peter’s dilemma was not near as great as was Paul’s. For Peter, the relationship between Jews and gentiles was historically vague. For Paul, when he declared that circumcision was nothing he was in violation of a centuries-old God- ordained, covenant. In Genesis 17, after saying that circumcision was an “everlasting covenant” to be kept for all generations to come, it says in v. 13, “My covenant in your flesh (circumcision) is to be an everlasting covenant.” When did God or Jesus change that? Where in scripture is the authority for that change? Paul was commissioned to be the apostle to the gentiles. Fine with the Jews, as long as they kept God’s covenant of circumcision. It was in the Law, said the Judaizing Christians.
Both Peter and Paul were dealing with the “unclean”, the outsider, the ones not “God-approved.” We may say that the change they made in their attitude and teaching came, somehow, directly from God, but history has not limited such events to trances and a blinding light. It happens every time someone says “Do not call unclean what God has made clean.”
In our own time we’ve seen it. Africans were seen a slaves, and not equal (unclean like a gentile) and scripture was used to prove that. I remember a man back in the early 60s, a good Christian man, who said he could share the Lord’s Supper with blacks, but not at the table in his home. Where did he get that? From his understanding of the Bible.
When did God send a sheet or a blinding light to tell significant people that this view of the unclean (blacks) was wrong? I believe such people were as inspired by God as was Peter and Paul. “Do not call unclean what God has made clean.”
In I Timothy 2:15, after several statements about women, Paul clearly says, “But women will be saved through childbearing…” The statement by Paul would seem to carry a literal interpretation.
In Titus 2:4 women are told to “be busy at home…” It was taught from that passage that a woman should not work outside the home or have a career, especially in fields held by men. Did it take a sheet from heaven or a blinding light to reveal that was an unGodly view? No.
In I Cor. 7:40 Paul gives advice to widows about remarriage, and he says, “I think that I too have the Spirit of God,” relating to his advice. In the seventh Chapter he says v25 he says he has “no command from the Lord” but says he feels his judgement is “trustworthy.” Why does he say that? Because, under the current situation (v26) he believes, it is the right thing to do.
When did Isaiah (who was under the Law) have a trance or see a blinding light when he subverted the Law of Moses concerning eunuchs? (Isaiah 56:1-8)
In II Cor. 3:6 Paul he is a “minister of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” The “letter” is seen as referring to the Old Law. But the New Testament can be used as a “killer” when it does not include those “unclean” that God has made clean.
It is the Spirit of God that moves anyone to seek justice and mercy, regardless of a scripture that says otherwise in its historical or cultural context. Otherwise, we “quench” the Spirit of God. I Thess 5:19
CONCERNS: Richard Crites had a broken arm set on Monday. He is still in Raleigh Court Rehab, room 118. Judy Hall will have surgery on her throat on Wednesday. Roger Fisher’s brother, Woody, is in frail health. Jim Hunter is having some nausea from recent tests. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas has leukemia. Former member, Betty Shepherd, will need a kidney transplant. Remember Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, il Richardson, Deana McRoy, Jenni Cullum, Stephanie Ridney, Marge Greenwood, Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder and AC and Jake Fuller as they work in Lebanon with refugees.

Monday: Genesis 15:1-22
Tuesday: Psalm 2:1-11
Wednesday: Mark 5:1-20
Thursday: Hebrews 9:6-14
Friday: I Thess.4:1-12
Saturday: Psalm 112:1-10
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 19:1-14

We extend our thoughts and sympathy with regard to the death of Larry Foy’s brother, Charles, who died on Saturday, August 8th. In Maryland.
Several copies of the new directory have been completed and are available. Please check your page and see if everything is correct. It is difficult to develop a perfect directory. Just look at your local phone book. If you will note any needed changes and let Keith know, either via e-mail or a note, there will be a page printed so corrections can be made by you.
Thanks to Erma Williams for taking on this project and giving us a color cover picture of the building.
Susan Jordan has returned home from her week with the clinic in Guatemala. We look forward to hearing from her next Sunday if she is ready with her report.

Things are shaping up for our annual Labor Day Weekend Bar B Que. There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the foyer. Please feel free to invite family and friends. We always have enough and more. The date will be Saturday, September 5th. Plan to enjoy the day together.
Beginning soon, the bulletin will be sent to everyone via e-mail who has that service. Because of the transfer of the Roanoke mail sorting service being sent to Greensboro, NC and after sorting, then back to Roanoke, it is almost impossible to get a printed bulletin to you before Sunday. The only way would be to print it before Wednesday, which would cause a number of items to be missed until the next week. However, if you do not have e-mail a hard copy will still be sent to you.
There will always be copies available in the foyer for those who would want a printed copy. Please let Keith know if you change e-mail providers so we can keep the mailing up to date.


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

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

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

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


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

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

Monday: John 5:19-47
Tuesday: Philippians 1:19-30
Wednesday: Genesis 7:1-24
Thursday: Lamentations 1:8-16
Friday: Romans 8:12-25
Saturday: Psalm 133:134
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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Monday: Matthew 22:23-40
Tuesday: John 2:13-25
Wednesday: Proverbs 3:1-18
Thursday: Jonah 2:1-10
Friday: Matthew 23:23-39
Saturday: Psalm 127:1-5

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