Roanoke Church of Christ

Bimonthly Bulletin

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 27, NO. 25&26 – CHRISTIAN (?) MACHISMO

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.
Keith

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.

OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 7-12
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

OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 14-19
Monday: Exodus 3:1-15
Tuesday: Matthew 9:14-34
Wednesday: Ecclesiastes 12:1-14
Thursday: II Corinthians 5:11-21
Friday: II Samuel 11:1-27
Saturday: Psalm 121:1-8

THE BULLETIN
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.
THE BAR B QUE
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.
THE RECORDS
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 SIDEWALK
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.
OUR ABC KIDS
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.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 27, NO. 23 & 24 – HAVING LUNCH WITH PETER

“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
Keith
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.

OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 17-22
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
OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 24-29
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

SYMPATHY
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.
THE NEW DIRECTORY
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.
BACK FROM GUATEMALA
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.

THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND BAR B QUE
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.
THE BULLETIN
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.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 27, NO. 21&22 – WALKER L. SLUSHER

WALKER L. SLUSHER
1928-2015
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.
THE GOOD
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.
THE BAD
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.
THE UGLY
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.
Keith

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.

OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 3-8
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
OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 10-15
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

SYMPATHY
Our condolences to Debbie McRoy in the death of her cousin, Harold Tidwell. The funeral was in Memphis.
THANKS
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.
IN GUATEMALA
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.
TO HONDURAS
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.
TO LEBANON
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.
THE SERVICE ROSTER
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.
GOODBYE
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.
THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND BAR B QUE
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.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 27, NO. 19&20 – FOR PATRIOT DREAM

“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.
Keith

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.

OUR DAILY BREAD: JULY 20-25
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
OUR DAILY BREAD: JULY 27-AUG. 1
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

PANCAKE BRUNCH
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
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.

THE SIDEWALK
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.
SUPER SUNDAY
This Sunday, July 19th is Super Sunday. Make plans to stay and enjoy both the meal and the fellowship

THE DIRECTORY
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.

MOVING
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.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – 27, NO. 15&16 – THE CLAIM

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.”
Keith

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

OUR DAILY BREAD: JUNE 22-27
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

OUR DAILY BREAD: JUN. 29-JULY 4
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

NEW LIFE
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
Congratulations to John Bolin, who was elected Hidden Valley High School’s senior class president for the 2015-16 school year.
CONSTRUCTION
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.
PHOTOS FROM THE GRADUATION BANQUET
James Downing took and posted pictures from the graduation banquet. If you would like to see them, go to our web site: ronokechurchofchrist.com Thanks James and to all who made it a wonderful evening with food and fun.
THANKS
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!
SUPER SUNDAY
Today is Super Sunday. It is also Father’s Day. Stay and treat dad to a meal.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 27, NO. 11&12 – STICKING THE NOSE IN WHERE IT DOESN’T BELONG

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.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – NO. 15&16 – IT SAYS! NO IT DOESN’T!

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.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – NO. 13&14 – THIS IS MY STORY

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.

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 27, NO.11&12 – HOW TO UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE

If you take the title of this article literally, don’t. I know a losing cause when I see one. However, it is important, I think, to have some sense of how to read the Bible and understand it. It’s called “hermeneutics” And one hot issue is usually how the Bible is inspired.
For most of us it has been divided into two main groups: Those who believe every word in the Bible was spoken and directed by God, via the Holy Spirit, and therefore, is literally true in all areas of science and history. Some may even include medicine as well.
The second group says God inspired the Bible’s human authors to deliver God’s message to the world, but the expression of the message was in their own words in the literary and cultural style of their own time; and that it is a spiritual book, not a scientific book. The purpose of the Bible is to reveal the nature of God to those who, by faith, seek to follow its teachings.
Obviously, those two groups are Jews and Christians, and therefore, what teachings are followed vary from the Old and New Testament.
For those who seek to understand the structure of the Bible’s inspiration, especially the New Testament, there is no better place to start than in Luke’s gospel. There he writes, “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”
Luke says his gospel came from eyewitnesses and his own research. That is in stark contrast to the idea that he somehow heard the Spirit of God telling him what to write.
In I Corinthians 7:12, Paul says, “To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer, and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.” The same thought goes on for two more verses.
In v. 25 ff he says he has no command from the Lord about unmarried (virgin) women. But he says he believes his judgement is trustworthy.
Finally, my personal favorite. Hebrews 2:6. “But there is a place where someone has testified” and he quotes from Psalm 8. Wouldn’t God (the Holy Spirit) know where he wrote that?
So, what’s this all about? It’s about a lot of things, but mostly the younger generation.
We live in a time of amazing and rapidly changing technology and understanding. Humans, from the time they are born want answers about everything, and that’s a good thing. That’s how we grow. However, rapid scientific advances have created a whole new area of questions about God and the Bible. Something isn’t true simply someone says it is true. If it’s true, it has to meet certain tests. Those tests do not deny faith. Faith is something which is a realization, and we continue to make those leaps of faith based on the experience of others. That’s why Paul and the Old Testament say things like, “By faith so and so did something.” Those are examples of faith. However, each step of faith has its own unknown events and possibilities.
In this age of inquiry, not all questions can be answered. That’s not the problem. The problem is when the answer given will not hold up under examination,
such as the meaning of inspiration. Does “God’s word” mean the actual words spoken by God, or God’s word as presented by inspired Godly men and women?
Inspiration is not denied by understanding that those who wrote scripture, wrote it in the historical and cultural understanding of their time. So in order to receive the great truths of scripture, we have to separate them from the limits of the historical time in which they were written. We might keep in mind all those like Galileo Galilei, who were called heretics because they challenged a belief, based on scripture, such as that the earth was the center of the universe.
Keith

CONCERNS: Jim Hunter had tests on a lymph node last week and began chemotherapy on Thursday.. Bill Branch is doing well. Betty Billings remains in Raleigh Court Health Care Canter, room 112A. She is slowly regaining her strength. Bill Albert’s son, David, remains on a list to receive a liver transplant. He lives in New Jersey. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas has leukemia. Kim (Hall’s) friend, Mary. (MS) Betty Foy’s sister, Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson and Gil Richardson. Rich Crites, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Ridney, Marge Greenwood, Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder, Mary Smith and Mrs. Mataro. Wayne Flora’s postmaster, Todd Baumgardner is doing well after a kidney and pancreas transplant.

OUR DAILY BREAD: APRIL 6-11
Monday: Psalm 119:1-24
Tuesday: Matthew 12:22-37
Wednesday: Revelation 3:14-22
Thursday: Galatians 2:11-21
Friday: John 15:1-11
Saturday: Psalm 112:1-10
OUR DAILY BREAD: APRIL 13-18
Monday: Psalm 48:1-14
Tuesday: Romans 11:33-12:8
Wednesday: Matthew 15:29-39
Thursday: Luke 15:1-10
Friday: Galatians 6:1-10
Saturday: Psalm 19:1-14

EASTER EGG HUNT
There will be an Easter Egg Hunt after Sunday’s service for all the little children in the yard by the annex. Holly Wagner will meet with the children and get them started.
SMILE
Since this is Easter Sunday, and often we get “decked out” a little more on Easter, it would be a great day to have your picture taken for the new directory. That’s true regardless of what you are wearing. See Erma if she hasn’t lined you up for a picture.
THE ADULT CLASS
After spending forty days (minus weather related time off) the adult class has concluded the study and reading of the New Testament set in book style. For the next month or so, Del Bolin will be teaching the class. He will be asking us to examine the scriptures in relationship to who we are here at Roanoke. He started last Sunday and the discussion was very informative. It would be a good time to start coming if you haven’t been.
THINGS TO DO
Several projects around the building can now be started easier since the weather is warming. These are things that involve the inside of the building, but are easier to do if they can be taken outside to do. We want to replace a front pew with one that was removed from the back when the handicapped restroom was built. It has a crack all the way down the middle where the boards have separated. We also want to trim down another pew so it can be put back in the back. We have those who will do most of these jobs, but may need a little man power to get them done. A time will be announced soon. Also, we may need to have a “spring cleaning day for outside the building before the weather gets hotter.
THE COMMUNION
We all realize how hard it is to break something which is not a tradition, but the way it has been done for a long time. We’ve made several attempts to change the way the servers come forward. Please come forward during the last stanza of the communion song. It helps the one who presides at the table. It would also help if the song leader would remind those who are serving when the song is announced

“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 27, NO. 9&10 – SELMA ON MY MIND

Every time I reflect back on the events we know as the Civil Rights Movement, I think about how people with Bible in hand, coming from their respective Christian churches, went out to spew racial hatred. How does that happen?
We know how it happens. No child is born prejudiced. Prejudice is taught, either by the mouth or by actions. Sometimes unintentional (and intentional) standards are set. There can be subtle insinuations that one color is better than another. Is the white, driven snow actually pure? The idea that the bride wears white to represent her purity, according to research, started around the 20th century. Historically, in some countries, brides wore white as a sign of wealth.
Biblically speaking, “dark” or “black” is beautiful and mysterious. In the “Song of Songs” (The Song of Solomon, which is not about the church), the exotic lover is dark skinned. Likewise, the list of dark-skinned people in the Bible is notable, and there is no noticeable disparagement of them due to color. Anyone interested in such a list can find an abundance of material on the internet.
The various historical ideas about the origin of black being associated with evil are too involved to go into here. However, that there is discrimination based on feelings of superiority and inferiority based on culture or color, is deeply and insidiously imbedded in human history. It is still very much part of the present. Think the University of Oklahoma fraternity.
One of the troubling things about the history of segregation in the US is how long it took (and takes) to really work on it, as well as Christian (?) opposition to it. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed the bill to integrate the public school system. It would be three years before any action was taken in segregated areas. Then, in 1957, Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas saw, under federal protection, its first black students.
Meanwhile, in states like Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, to name the more notable ones, nothing was done. This, along with the general unrest among the black population of those states, led by such men as Martin Luther King Jr., caused a movement for to be born.
As I watched the memorial ceremony at the Edmund Pettus Bridge last week, I remembered one of the things I heard said during those years, while being many miles away.
If you happen to be in Selma, there is only one memorial to a person involved in the Civil Rights Movement there. It is to Viola Gregg Liuzzo. You can read her story on any internet encyclopedia. In short, she was a thirty-nine year old white woman who went to Selma to shuttle those who would take part in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March. While doing that, she was seen with a black marcher in her car by four members of the KKK. They chased her down and shot and killed her. She was married, and a mother of five children.
Here’s what I heard about her from those around me. She got what she deserved because she should have stayed in Detroit. She went there to sleep with black men. As a woman she had no business being a Civil Rights activist, especially since she was from the north. I never heard one good word about her from Christian and non-Christian alike. Her death was her own fault.
However, had she gone to Africa with a religious group and was murdered by the locals for interfering with their way of life by educating girls, she would have been considered by most, a martyr. Some, of course, would say she was not wise taking such a risk, especially if she were the mother of children. Such decisions made by those who are called to take such risks always causes the cautious to wonder. And I admit to being one of them. But I thank God for such people. They are the world changers.
At the Selma bridge, speeches were made about how far we have come since Bloody Sunday. Those advances are thankfully obvious. But even without the speeches saying the work is not finished, we see it on the news media every day. It is a sad truth, that the deaths of those of color, does not resonate the same in the world as do those considered white. (Let each one examine themselves.)
The stress I feel for history, is the place the religious of all kinds have had in it. It is easy to point the finger at any radical group. The problem is to me, that each one of them may be reading from the same (spiritual) guide book. For those of us from a Judo/Christian background, we see people reading the same words and arriving at different conclusions. The Jewish leaders who rejected Jesus’ teaching read from the same works as did he. In some ways, this may be expected, and even understood, at least in some areas. However, when the discussion evolves around the worth of the person or persons, there can be little room for differences. The Bible makes that very clear. Except for some, the clarity is still not the same as it is for others
How could the black race be tied to the curse of Ham? I heard that in my early life and I suspect that it is still around. A close look at the text from Genesis 9:25 shows that it was not Ham, but his son, Canaan, who was cursed. That did not keep an early body of Jewish writings from saying the black race was the cursed race. (See various internet sites)
The constant issue for followers of Jesus is to be as sure as we can, that what he taught is not lost in our own prejudices and presuppositions. Just take the Sermon on the Mount and discuss each teaching and see how easy it is to water them down to fit our own interests. At any time in any discussion about the ethics and teachings of Jesus, the explanations can be worlds apart. And yet, for most, Paul saying that everyone should submit to the governing authorities, (Rom. 13:1) is crystal clear. But that’s what the Selma marchers didn’t do, and those troopers who beat them did. Which do you think was doing the will of God?
Keith
CONCERNS: Betty Billings (Keith’s sister) is in Raleigh Court Health & Rehabilitation Center. She is in room 112, bed A. Bill Branch had successful heart surgery and is now home recovering. Bill Albert’s son, David, is now at home, and is on a kidney transplant list. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, (leukemia) Kim Hall’s friend, Mary (MS) Betty Foy’s sister, Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Rich Crites, Jim Hunter, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Ridney, Marge Greenwood, Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder, Mary Smith, Mrs Mataro and Todd Baumgardner.

OUR DAILY BREAD: MARCH 16-21
Monday: Jeremiah 31:23-34
Tuesday: I Corinthians 11:17-34
Wednesday: ACTS 6:1-7
Thursday: Matthew 5:21-48
Friday: Psalm 119:129-152
Saturday: Psalm 67:1-7
OUR DAILY BREAD: MARCH 23-28
Monday: Psalm 40
Tuesday: John 8:48-59
Wednesday: Philippians 2:14-30
Thursday: Ephesians 2:1-22
Friday: John 19:1-16
Saturday: Colossians 1:3-20

THE GIDEONS
Joel Pack will make a short presentation about the work of the Gideons International as they place Bible throughout the world. Those who wish to contribute to that may do so in the foyer after the service.
SUPER SUNDAY
Today is also Super Sunday. This once a month fellowship meal brings us even closer together as a family. Plan to stay. A special invitation is extended if you are visiting with us today.
AWAY
Occasionally we are told when people will be away for more than just a weekend. Vivian Dugan will be with her daughter on the coast for the rest of the month while Kathy and Jeff are in Italy.
Jeff Forsyth will be in Boone NC for the a few weeks as part of his training. Karissa is there this weekend.
THE SUNDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY
We are nearing the end of reading the New Testament in book form and out of the traditional order. If you have not been part of it and have the book, come and share what you learned.
THE FENCE
You may have noticed that someone took out a section of our fence. This was a dumb thing that had nothing to do with the snow.
Wayne Flora, who installed it way back when, says we can repair it ourselves. He can purchase the needed material when the weather warms and we will plan a day when it can be fixed.
DIRECTORY PICTURES
With the approaching of warmer weather, Erma likes to use natural light for the directory pictures. She will be asking you on nice days if you will have your new picture taken. Once the process starts, if you want to wear something special for the picture, just know that from now on, on nice Sundays, you may have the directory picture taken.
ALSO: Erma needs some help with a program she is putting on here in the annex. If you can help see her for the date and details.