Bimonthly Bulletin


I don’t usually quote a scripture to start an article. It seems to some if a scripture is quoted it adds authenticity to what follows. That may or may not be true.
In Amos 7:12 it says: “Then Amaziah said to Amos, ‘Get out you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there.’”
It seems Amos was sticking his nose where some folks felt it didn’t belong. Jesus did that. During the last three years of his life, every time he entered Jerusalem for Passover, he was seen by the religious leaders as someone who should go back to Galilee and preach there. Why? Because he was being seen more and more as a potential Messiah.
Before I journey into the land of imagination, I need to point out that not only does Amaziah tell Amos to go back where he came from, but he accuses him of doing it for money. “Earn your bread there…”
Imagine the elders and the chief priests in Jerusalem getting together as Passover approaches. “The Nazarene is coming again this year. My friend in Galilee sent word that he and his followers are gaining in number. There is talk that he will make his move against the Romans this year.”
“What makes anyone in their right mind believe a divided kingdom such as ours can defeat the whole Roman world?”
“The scriptures say the Lord will give the anointed one the victory. He can call down heavenly angels.’”
“You mean like when the Maccabees’s drove out the Seleucids?”
“Well, you have to admit they changed things. They reestablished our religion back to as close to its original form as possible.”
“Right. So what’s the problem? The Romans may own the world, but they leave us alone as long as we pay the taxes and keep the peace.”
“The key word there is peace. If the Romans get wind of a possible revolution they will be on us like flies on a carcass. That’s why we need to do something if he comes to town and stirs up trouble.”
“I heard he snuck into town last Passover. What was that about?”
He could have been casing the place in order to decide on a plan of attack. We know he stays in Galilee the rest of the time.”
“It’s always someone from Galilee. Why doesn’t this Jesus fellow stay in Galilee? Why stick his nose in our business? We are the religious leaders”
“Well, he is seen as a faithful Jew and a rabbi as well. Coming to the temple for Passover is a sign of his devotion to God.”
“Not everyone who comes to Passover is devout. Look at your brother!”
“Let’s not get personal! We could talk about your daughter’s divorce. Our problem is the people. They have either seen him say and do things that are Messianic, or they have heard the rumors about what he appears to have done. They may force him to become a Messiah.”
One of the scholar/scribes piped up with a disturbing bit of history. “He is also called a prophet. Remember Amos? He tried to tell the king reforms needed to be put in place and Amaziah, the high priest told him to go back home and keep his nose out of their business. Do we want to be guilty of killing a prophet of God?”
“Anybody can say they are a prophet! And, by the way, when did anybody ever listen to a prophet? Read Amos again.”
“But what if they had listened to him? Wouldn’t things have been better?”
“We’ll never know. What we do know is we can’t beat Rome, even if we wanted to, and God never sent angels to help in any of the past wars.”
“So, what’s our plan. What if he comes in quietly, as he has in the past?”
“Even when he comes in quietly, when the people hear he is in town, it gets pretty noisy. All we can do is see what happens. If he stirs up any trouble we’ll have to take action.”
“What do you think would happen if we got the Romans to see him as a danger to the peace? Maybe they would crucify him for us.”
“I would rather sit down and talk with him and see what his plans are. If he’s planning a revolt, maybe we could convince him to stay in Galilee. If he starts a revolt there, we can keep our hands clean.”
I’ve taken you on this little imaginary journey to ask a question: How many times in history has a person, or persons, been told to keep their nose out of something and go back where they came from, who actually became the catalyst for meaningful change?
Looking at the life of Paul, how many times was he seen as a troublemaker by the Jews when he preached to the Gentiles?
How many of the great religious reformers were imprisoned or killed because they stuck their nose in where people said it didn’t belong.? The list is as long as history.
Are there people in every situation who have no agenda for good, but are simply trouble makers? Of course. On the other hand, think how many times in history it was the so-called trouble makers who stuck their nose in where they were told it didn’t belong, who changed the history of religion and human rights. You can almost be sure when you hear someone say, “Everything would be fine if he (or she) would just keep their nose out of it” that the issue is something which needs attention, and that it will take as many “nose stickers” as possible to resolve it in a meaningful way. .
Like Amaziah, the priest in Amos’ time, and those who saw Jesus as a threat, too often we Christians do not look like Amos, Jesus, Paul and the others. We look like the ones who saw them as intruders. You never can tell when a prophet of God may stick their nose in where it does belong.
Keith
CONCERNS: Jim Hunter was admitted to Roanoke Memorial on Monday. He had an episode similar to a mild stroke. He has recovered well from that, but had surgery on his foot on Thursday. Still on the concerns list are Debbie McRoy’s sister-in law, Ellen Tidwell, and Debbie and Buster’s daughter-in law, Deana. Her cancer has been in remission, but is a very aggressive kind. Bill Albert’s son, David, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Stephanie Ridney, Marge Greenwood, Jenni Cullum and Tim Elder. T.J. Hall is having health issues and will see another doctor soon. Both of the Phlegars have been under the weather since returning from their trip.

OUR DAILY BREAD: MAY 18-23
Monday: Matthew 18:10-20
Tuesday: Romans 14:1-18
Wednesday: II Thess. 3:1-16
Thursday: Genesis 45:4-28
Friday: Mark 10:17-31
Saturday Psalm 105:1-45
OUR DAILY BREAD: MAY 25-30
Monday: John 17:1-26
Tuesday: Revelation 19:1-16
Wednesday: Luke 16:19-31
Thursday: Matthew 19:16-30
Friday: I Corinthians 10:1-13
Saturday: Psalm 106:1-48

OUR GRADUATES
This year we have several levels of persons achieving graduate degrees. For some of them, these are steps along the way to possible other degrees. From Cave Spring High School is Garrett Lee Williams . Melisha Scruggs became a Certified Nursing Assistant. Laura Abbot (Branch) Hogan received an Associate of Arts Degree from Virginia Western. Stephanie Dixon received a Nursing Degree from the Jefferson Collage of Health Sciences.
We want to do our best to honor all these graduates at an upcoming date when they can all attend. As soon as it can be set we will announce it via the Sunday handout and email. It will be on a Sunday evening.
SUPER SUNDAY
Today (May 17) is Super Sunday. These fellowship meals bring us together in ways our busy world makes harder and harder. Plan to stay and enjoy the fellowship.
STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING
The steering committee will meet in the library after the Super Sunday meal.
They will be looking at some ideas for improvements in areas of our worship together, such as reconditioning the baptistry.
SPRING CLEAN-UP
One of the things the steering committee will discuss are possible dates for us to do trimming and brush clearing above the handicapped parking lot. That area has needed attention for a long time. Our hard work has made the annex yard look much better.
The shrubs in front and around the building also need attention. There is also a little bit of inside things to be done. A cabinet needs to be hung above the toilet in the upstairs restroom, and there is some work to be done on a pew or two.. This can be done in stages, but we need to get started.
THANKS
Thanks to Holly Wagner, Jack Thompson and Mary Willa Foy for preparing the Sunday evening meal at the Ronald McDonald House.

I receive a journal of sorts, and when I read it I feel like I’m reading a foreign language. Its approach to understanding scripture is familiar, but so foreign than mine. A most recent one was filled with why women shouldn’t be seen as equals in church. I wasn’t surprised when I read that Jesus never appointed a woman apostle, as if that sealed the issue. Jesus never appointed a Gentile apostle either. So, what does that mean? Nothing.
Don’t think I’m going on a scripture quoting spree. I believe that is a waste of time. In every issue involving human rights, scripture shooters have held their lines and shot scriptures across the bow at each other. It is always serious, even getting some people killed.
One thing about getting old is that you have a history, it fact, you are history! Before I was born, scripture shooters fired barrages at each other about women’s suffrage, you know, the right for women to vote. What caused suffrage to happen? A force that has never been defeated, human progress and reason. Of course one scripture shooter’s side claimed victory, but the battle was not won there.
I can remember when the man was the divinely chosen head of the family. The wife, or even women, were to be in complete submission to the men around them. I can remember a wedding I attended where the officiant told the bride that her husband had been given authority over her by God, and that she should never correct him, that God would do it. I prayed the two, bright, intelligent couple wouldn’t listen to such drivel! Of course, there were scriptures to support it.
I remember when preachers preached that a woman’s place was in the home, and if she entered the workplace it was not God’s purpose for her and they had scriptures to prove it, In fact, they had more than did the opposition. But guess who won?
Anybody remember integration? Remember the scriptures used to support segregation? How about that “curse of Ham” thing? Throwing Bible bombs at each other didn’t solve it. What did? The greatest power known to man. Victor Hugo said it, “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”
I remember when Christian Barnard transplanted the first heart in the 1960s. In a chaplain’s seminar we were asked to debate the moral and religious implications. There was a lot more scriptures against it, than for it. You know, “As a man thinks in his heart” and how evil comes from the heart. And we even talked about the possibility of brain transplants. Talk about a moral dilemma! But when I talk about that seminar today, younger people laugh that it was even an issue.
In the 70’s the “role” of women in the church surfaced. It floundered for a while, and then took off. The scripture throwers are still at it, but most young folks see it as nonissue. Why? You know what I’m going to say. The quoting of scripture will not do it, anymore then it did the other issues of equality and human rights. Time thankfully marches on, and so does human development and understanding.
Today, the issue of marriage equality. Scripture is being thrown by both sides. Articles and books are written. Sermons are preached. A recent article in the local paper said since Jesus came to fulfil the Law, all of the Old Testament was still in effect. Problem solved!
Just as all the other human rights issues were not solved by tossing scriptural hand grenades, neither will this one. It will be settled one way or the other and the world will not end.
There are still people who think women are inferior, should stay in the kitchen, not do the same jobs as men and receive the same pay. There are still people who believe in discrimination, no interracial marriage, and all kinds of discrimination; and, scripture will still be tossed around. However, as the rolling tide of time goes on, we may learn better how to love each other and treat each other as we would want to be treated. We’ve done it before.
Keith

CONCERNS: Rich Crites is recovering from a broken arm. Jim Hunter is having cancer treatment and his diabetes is also an issue. Leena Bolin’s aunt’s husband has died. Keep “Aunt Betty” in your prayers. Debbie McRoy’s sister-in law, Ellen Tidwell, is being treated for heart problems. Bill Albert’s son, David remains about the same. Lee Nicklas, Leena Bolin’s aunt has leukemia. Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Ridney, Marge Greenwood, Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder and Mary Smith. As you pray, remember all those in the Nepal earthquake.

OUR DAILY BREAD: MAY 4-9
Monday: John 1:1-18
Tuesday: Luke 18:1-4
Wednesday: I Corinthians 1:3-11
Thursday: II Corinthians 5:1-8
Friday II Corinthians 1:23-2:11
Saturday: Psalm 97:1-12
OUR DAILY BREAD: MAY 11-16
Monday: Mark 14:26-42
Tuesday: Acts 1:1-14
Wednesday: Psalm 43:1-11
Thursday: Acts 5:17-32
Friday: Hebrews 2:10-18
Saturday: Psalm 107:1-43

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE VOLUNTEERS
Those of you who have volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House are invited to a picnic and ball game at the Salem Red Sox Stadium on May 12th. The gates open at 6:00 PM. The number attending must be turned in by the 5th, so let Keith or Martha Albert know today. Also, don’t forget to save all the pull tabs from cans. These are a vital resource of funds for the house. Also: We have received a thank you card from the house for our volunteers.
A FURTHER NOTE
Concerning Jenni Cullum’s move: Jenni has moved to Bliley Manor, which is a group home for adults with brain injuries. This enables her to be with people all the time who have experienced brain injuries. It allows her the freedom and independence she has wanted. Her phone # in the last bulletin was wrong. It should be 804-840-3724.
CONGRATULATIONS
Stephanie Dixon will be “pinned” this Thursday at 4:00 PM at the Scottish Rite Masonic Lodge, 622 West Campbell Ave. The Graduation ceremony will be on Friday, May 8th, 9:30 AM at the Elmwood Amphitheater on Jefferson Ave. She would love to see anyone who can come.
Stephanie’s journey has been of interest to us because it was after a trip to the Ezell Clinic in Guatemala, she decide to start on a new path and become a nurse.
We also are thinking of other graduates and are planning a time together to honor all of the. More details later
BEN HAS MOVED
Ben Robertson has moved into the house in the Glenvar area. His address, when all settled in, will be 3508 Gene St.,Salem, VA 24153. Several folks helped with the move yesterday.
WELCOME BACK
The Halls have returned from several weeks in Texas, with some stops along the way. T.J. had a wisdom tooth removed when they got home and it has taken a toll on him.
We also learned that Wayne Phlegar fell while visiting their son. They will be home tomorrow.

If you read this, keep in mind that I am not rewriting the Bible. You might do it differently, but this is my story of Jesus, and about almost everything important.
Way back when time started, human beings saw strange lights in the area above them. They called that area many things, sky being one of them, as well as heaven, or, the heavens. From the sky came loud noises and flashes of light, as well as rain and hot air, all of which could cause pain, harm and death, as well as life. The mountains sometimes spit out hot liquid or shake and fall on them. The seas could swell up and cover them. So it was easy for them to believe the things they saw and experienced were caused by someone, or something. Finding themselves in such a situation, they tried to make contact with the powers that ruled their world by appeasing them. They sacrificed things they valued, even in some cases, their first born children, especially young girls.
They also tried to please these beings in the sky by building images which they hoped mirrored those they called “gods.” If they wanted good crops, they fashioned a crop god. If it was many sons, they fashioned a god representing fertility. Since there were so many different categories it kept them busy. Needless to say, it was a never-ending job.
However, there were some who thought the idea of a lot of gods was too much and impossible to live and die with. They decided to appease just a one and only god. Since there was only one, they wrote it with a capital letter. But there was still a problem. They knew what was good and what wasn’t. They knew there should be some punishment for what was bad and harmful. So it seemed reasonable that there should be a reward for doing good, which presented another problem. It didn’t seem to work that way no matter how hard they tried. They wrote about it and sang about it. They noticed that the life-giving sun and rain fell on the good and the bad. But at times their many-gods neighbors did better in certain areas then they did. So on occasion, just to cover all the bases, they built an idol or two. It wasn’t that they no longer believed in the one God, it was that it couldn’t hurt to be sure.
There were many who maintained the one-God belief, but one man stood out. He followed his beliefs and in time had two sons, each by a different woman. One went one way and the other went another. They both became leaders of great nations, each believing in the one God.
As time passed one son’s people faced hard times and ended up in a foreign country. They stayed there for four hundred years. During that time they became saturated with the culture and beliefs of that country. So much so that they forgot their past culture and lives. It was so bad they were to become known as the “No people.”
After four hundred years of that, a leader among them was born. He was saved from infant death and ended up being raised by the foreign king’s daughter. As he grew, he felt a deep connection to his own people, who had become seen as dangerous, and therefore, enslaved.
After several incidents, one caused this leader to run for his life. When he finally returned, it was with the almost forgotten belief in the power of the one God. He demanded that his people be allowed to go out into the countryside and worship the one God. His intent was not to come back. After several refusals and related tragedies, the king let them go. So they exited the land and headed to the land promised to their ancestor.
It was not an easy journey. Four hundred years in the country they were leaving had left its mark. At every problem they wanted to go back. When things didn’t go right, or they believed what they were doing was a mistake, they reverted to the ways of the old land and culture. Their leader, and those close to him, realized they had to do everything possible to separate the people from the past. So they banned everything that might remind the people of the culture they had left behind. It was not so much that the things were wrong in and of themselves, but they reminded the people of what they had left behind.
Over the years of their travel, rule after rule about things which took them backwards to what was no more, and blocked them from moving forward and becoming their own people, was banned. This was necessary for their freedom from the past.
When they reached the land of their ancestor, in time, as they became more and more independent of the past, the strict rules were softened. They married people who they were once forbidden to marry, and other customs changed as well. But there was one thing they still struggled with: What was the real nature of the one God who had brought them here? They were still surrounded by people who believed in multiple gods. Like those before them, they also tried to cover all the bases and played around with the “many-god” idea. They still felt if they did right they should not suffer, and asked why the evil people seemed to have it better. Maybe the other gods could do the trick.
Finally a man was born that was so different, he was seen as the one God appointed to reveal God’s true nature. He was so loving and kind people felt looking at him was to see the one God. The message he delivered was so powerful that when he was killed for it, they said God loved the world so much, that this son of his was given to show and save mankind from all the other false ideas about God. They saw in this man that God is love. They saw in this man that God was not against them, but on their side. They saw in this man that they did not have to sacrifice and worry to appease God. Because of that they realized the only sacrifice God wanted was that they lived like the one they called God’s son. Those who did, realized that kind of love cast out all the fears of history and they joyed in living in that amazing freedom.
Keith
CONCERNS: Jim Hunter has started chemotherapy. Debbie McRoy’s sister-in-law, Ellen Tidwell, is having heart problems. Del Bolin’s mother is also having heath issues. It’s good to see Bill Branch back after heart surgery. Betty Billings, Keith’s sister is in Raleigh Court Health Care Center, room 12A Bill Albert’s son, David, remains about the same as he awaits a liver transplant. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, has leukemia. Kim (Hall’s) friend Mary (MS), Sue Huels Betty Foy’s sister, Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Rich Crites Deanna McRoy, Stephanie Ridney, Marge Greenwood, Tim Elder, Mary Smith and Jenni Cullum also need our prayers.

OUR DAILY BREAD: APRIL 20-25
Monday: I Timothy 6:11-21
Tuesday: Psalm 119:89-112
Wednesday: Mark 2:15-3:6
Thursday: Acts 8:4-24
Friday: Luke 22:39-53
Saturday: I Corinthians 15:42-58
OUR DAILY BREAD: APR 27-MAY 1
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

SUPER SUNDAY
Sunday, April 19 is Super Sunday. The rain should be over and all the spring colors should be at their peak, so what better way to enjoy it than a good meal after the service? Looking forward to being with you.
IT’S ALMOST HERE
Has it been two years? We’ve all watched as Stephanie Dixon made a life-changing decision to become a nurse after going to the Ezell Clinic in Guatemala. Well, the time is near! Here’s the information for about her graduation.
The Baccalaureate Pinning Ceremony will be May 7th at 4:00 PM at the Scottish Rite Masonic Lodge, 622 West Campbell Ave. The graduation ceremony will be May 8th at the Elmwood park Amphitheater on S. Jefferson St. at 9:30 AM.
Stephanie would be honored to have anyone there if they can make it.
She can’t wait to get back to Guatemala, but will need to work awhile before going.
THANKS
You may have noticed the bright and shiny section of the fence as you came today. Our thanks to Wayne Flora for getting the material and fixing it.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
Former member Jenni Cullum wants us to know that she has moved into her own apartment. This is something she has hoped for and has now been able to do. Her address is 6117 Bliley, Richmond, Va 23225. She has a phone and the number is 804-840-3727.
AWAY
The Phlegars plan to be gone for a few weeks visiting their son. The Halls will return near the end of the month after being in Texas.
ADULT CLASS
The Sunday morning adult class is being taught for the next few weeks by Del Bolin, with Mike Branch filling in when Del is gone. The discussions have been both interesting and a valuable look at scripture. You’ll enjoy it if you come.

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