Bimonthly Bulletin


Ahaz Jr. Bar Ahaz was miffed. “I hate working Sabbath patrol!”
“You’re a police officer, Junior,” said his friend, James. “It’s your job to work on the Sabbath.”
“Do you have to call me ‘Junior’? I wish my mother hadn’t insisted that I be named after my father. No other Jew I know is a junior. Why couldn’t I have a name like yours? Your name is Jacob, but you can go by James, the Greek meaning. Do you know what the Greek for Ahaz is? Stenos. Who wants to be called that?”
“Quit complaining Stenos. Get your stuff ready and go out on Sabbath patrol.”
C’mon James, tell the truth. Don’t you think Sabbath patrol is a little Mickey Mouse?”
“Who’s Mickey Mouse?”
“I don’t know. It just popped into my head. I feel like a hypocrite doing Sabbath patrol.”
“Don’t let the captain hear you talk like that! The Sabbath is the foundation of all law. If the Sabbath isn’t kept, then the rest of the law falls apart. You might sneak a one- legged dove in for a sacrifice, but if you break the Sabbath, you’re dead meat. If you don’t want to patrol on the Sabbath, why did you become a cop?”
“We bar Ahaz’s come from a long line of cops. My great-grandfather was a cop. My grandfather and my father were cops. As the oldest son what else could I do but carry on the tradition. We Jews are big on tradition, you know.”
“So go do your job.”
“My job? Last Sabbath I saw Omar the carpenter carrying a piece of wood his neighbor had thrown away. And since he is a carpenter, carrying wood violated the Sabbath.”
“What did you do?”
“I gave him a warning.”
“There are no warnings! I should turn you in for a trick like that! . Now go on patrol. Where did they assign you?”
“That’s another thing. I’m out on the east road. How am I supposed to know if the ones I catch have walked farther than the Sabbath law allows? And, by the way, how fast can you run on the Sabbath? Is there a speed limit? Don’t you think there should be a speed limit?”
“Don’t be funny! You know out on the east road there is a marker that shows the limits of a Sabbath Day’s trip from the city. All you have to do is station yourself in hiding on that line and arrest anyone who crosses it. What’s so hard about that?”
“Okey. That marker is measured from the center of town. What if the guy lives on the east side? He should get maybe several hundred extra feet or more. Right?”
“Now you’re getting legalistic. Regardless where the person lives, east side, west side, all around the town, arrest them if they pass that point!”
“So we are at the center of town. If I go past the marker to catch someone, haven’t I violated the Sabbath?”
“Are you kidding me? We’re the police! We have to break the law to catch the ones who break the law!”
“Why don’t the scribes and Pharisees, and at least a Sadducee or two do Sabbath patrol? They’re the ones who get all bent out of shape over it.”
“Junior, how long have you been on the force? They don’t dare violate the Sabbath. Do you ever see any of them on the Sabbath, except walking to and from the synagogue? If they violate the Sabbath, all their power to be sure the rule of law is kept, collapses.”
“Yeah, right! Who would have the guts to turn one of them in? When was the last time one of them was on trial? And whatever happened to that ‘stoning’ thing?”
“The Romans took away our one- hundred and thirty-fifth amendment rights. I’ve heard stories about the good old days when Sabbath justice was swift. But all that has changed now.”
“Was it legal to stone on the Sabbath? I mean, wouldn’t that be work?”
“I don’t know. But you keep up that attitude and you can kiss your job goodbye. I can only protect you for so long.”
“Fine! Say, about how many people do you catch when you do Sabbath patrol?”
“Usually about ten or twelve.”
“If they’re not stoned, what happens to them?”
“I have no idea. My job is to uphold the law. But I have seen some of them later, and they look pretty bad. I do know they are kicked out of the synagogue.”
“Why is being kicked out punishment?”
“To tell the truth, I have seen some of them who really don’t seem to care. It’s like a burden has been lifted off their backs. The sun’s up. You need to head out.”
Just before sundown, Ahaz returns to the barracks. James, who was assigned Temple guard looks up and asks, “How did it go?”
“Lousy! I thought I had Omar the tailor. He came along and right at the line he went off the road and sat down by a rock. It looked like he prayed and then started on eastward. I jumped out and told him he had violated the Sabbath. He said he hadn’t. He took me to the rock he sat on, and beneath it he had buried a patch of cloth. He then quoted something about where your possessions are, that is where your home is. So, after praying, he said he legally had another Sabbath Day’s distance ahead of him! I had to let him go! Did you know about that Law?”
“Yeah, dummy. Anything else happen?”
“Yeah! And this is why I hate being on Sabbath patrol! There was this one guy; I was sure he was Jewish. But he said he was a gentile.”
“What did you do?”
“I made him show me his identification.”
“Identification?”
“Yeah, you know, that circumcision or uncircumcision thing. I hate Sabbath patrol!”
“Go home, Stenos,”
Keith

CONCERNS: Betty Foy has been having headaches due to a yet diagnosed source. Del Bolin continues to improve from a blister behind his eye. Alisa Flora will be laid up for awhile due to a broken tibia. Anna Ferrell’s dad had some medical issues. but is doing better. Nathan Beach will require several more weeks for his recovery from a virus that attacked his heart region. Kathy Sirgy is also doing better. Erma Williams’ cousin, Eleanor Bresee (cancer) Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, (leukemia) Her brother Nick is not doing well. Kim Hall’s friend, Mary, Martha Foy’s aunt Sue Huels (Betty Foy’s sister) Sandra Anderson, and Gil Richardson. Rich Crites, Jim Hunter, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood, Sharon, Jenni Cullum, Helen Nicklas, Tim Elder, and Mary Smith. Marie Barnett, her mother and the rest of the family. Mrs Matara and Todd Buamgardner. Also Stephanie Dixon as she awaits her surgery in December.

OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 22-27
Monday: Psalm 48:1-4
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
OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 29-OCT 3
Monday: Psalm 119:25-48
Tuesday: Mark 4:1-20
Wednesday: I Corinthians 1:10-31
Thursday: Galatians 5:1-25
Friday: Daniel 3:13-30
Saturday: Colossians 1:3-20

SUPER SUNDAY PLUS
Today is Super Sunday. If you missed the Bar B Que you will still be able to enjoy what was frozen, at today’s meal. There is chicken and pork. Plan to stay.
ALSO: There will be a gift from the congregation given to AC and Jake Fuller. This is the “wedding shower” after the wedding. If you want to help with the gift, give it to Keith, or at the fellowship meal.
THIS AND THAT
Some of our folks will be gone for several weeks. Among them, Vivian Dugan. She will be with her daughter in Eastern Virginia for about a month. T. J. And Judy Hall hope to make the “circuit” and will be gone several weeks starting this week.
DIRECTORY CARDS
We are very close to having all the information cards turned in so a new directory can be developed and printed. There are less than five or six of you who haven’t turned in one yet. If you haven’t please pick up a card from the foyer table and fill it out. Be sure to do both sides. Thanks. As soon as we can get the information we will start taking the pictures.
LOOKING FORWARD
Before we begin to plan for the Peaks of Otter hike and picnic in October, which will be on Sunday, October 19th, we will have a fall clean-up and work day here at the building in October. A final cutting of the shrubs and perhaps cleaning the long-needed area up on Carlton by the telephone junction box, as well as some cleaning on the hill behind the annex, should fix us until spring. There may also be some work inside the building that can be done in the room in which the communion is prepared.
WORSHIP
We are getting use to the changes in our worship service, with the communion before the sermon and the contribution at the end. Here’s a suggestion, if you are presiding at the table, or serving communion, come to the front near the end of the last stanza of the song. This will help fill the “gap” as everyone comes to the front. This can also be done if you are leading the prayer. It will not only make the service go more smoothly, but look more orderly. Also, remember you may use the collection box on the right side pew as you enter.

Unless you’re one of those people who think the Pope is the living meaning of Revelation’s 666, you probably like the guy. Or not. It seems he’s on the ropes with some of his own people, as well as others who realize the influence he has.

I like him. I like that he shrugs off all the pomp with which former Popes (and other high ranking people) seem to love surrounding themselves. I like it that he takes a plain, little car instead of the limousine. I like it that he refuses to use the lush quarters reserved for him, but instead lives in a small apartment. But most of all. I like it that he, with his power and influence in the world, speaks of the same things Jesus found important, rather than just spouting ecclesiastical dogma.

You would think that would endure him to all Catholics everywhere. Not so. It seems the Pope is upsetting some folks with his talk about the poor. Rush Limbaugh (who is not a Catholic) called him a “Marxist.” Actually, Limbaugh said the Pope’s words were Marxist. I suppose what someone says might not necessarily reflect who they are, but I think that would make them a hypocrite.

Among the tremblers over what the Pope is saying, is Billionaire Ken Langone, founder of Home Depot. In an interview with CNBC he said he was “feeling ostracized by the Popes messages in support of the poor.” He went on to say he might stop giving to charitable causes unless the Pope stops. (Isn’t there some curse for people who threaten a Pope?) He said that such talk could make the wealthy “incapable of feeling compassion for the poor.” I guess that means if you’ve been told in the law of Moses; “However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you,” (Deut 15:4) you should tell Moses that such talk is likely making you incapable of doing what he has commanded.

Let’s do one more, just for fun. Deut. 15:11. “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore, I command you to be openhanded toward your brother and toward the poor and needy in your land.”

There is an interesting twist in those two verses. One says there should be no poor in the land of promise. The next says there will always be poor people in the land and they should be cared for. Is the “should” the ideal and the “always” the reality? If 15:11 states the reality, then even if the land should have no poor, it does. And it does, not because the poor are lazy. It happens because that’s the way life is. Some will have a better chance than others because all things are never equal. Regardless, the poor are to be helped.

Mr. Langone may or may not have used a little soft blackmail on Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York. Langone, who is helping raise 180 million dollars to restore St Patrick’s Cathedral told Dolan of a rich donor who was “worried” about the Pope’s remarks concerning the poor. He said, “I’ve told the Cardinal, ‘Your Eminence, this is one more hurdle I hope we don’t have to deal with. You want to be careful about generalities. Rich people in one country don’t act like the same people in another country.” Really? So greed is not the same country to country? Are some country’s poor different from anothers?

The Cardinal told CNBC that the donor’s concern seemed to be based on “a misunderstanding of the Holy Father’s message.” Good save Cardinal.

When it comes to the 180 million to restore St Patrick’s Cathedral, I’m okey with that. I think historical places need to be kept around. And I don’t think the Pope has come out and said he thinks that money should go to the poor.

My advice to the Pope is that he pull in his reins and get back to preaching the gospel. He should talk about the peace that passes understanding and how the poor should glory in suffering because suffering produces perseverance and how the poor are blessed by God. He should say that all things work together for good to those that love the Lord and stuff like that. If he keeps on talking about the rich sharing their wealth he could end up like another guy who said things like, “Sell what you have and give to the poor and follow me.” Even the Pope should know what happened to him. If not, some wealthy person should take him aside and teach him.
Keith

CONCERNS: Alisa Flora broke her tibia and will be going to Duke today. T. J. Hall is having back and vision problems. Del Bolin has a blister behind his eye due to an old injury. While it bothers his vision, the doctor say it will clear in three months or so. Nathan Beach’s recovery will take several months. Kathy Sirgy has had some relief from back pain. Erma Williams cousin, Eleanor Bresee, (ovarian cancer) Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, (leukemia) her mother, Helen Nicklas, and her brother, Nick. Kim (Hall’s) friend, Mary. Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, and Gil Richardson. It was good to see Jim and Mary Smith able to be with us last Sunday, as well as Wayne and Susan Phlegar. Remember as ell, Rich Crites, Jenni Cullum, Jim Hunter, Deanna McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood, Del Bolin’s friend, Sharon, Tim Elder and Mrs Matara. Marie Barnett asks prayers for her and her family as they deal with various issues and the declining health of her mother, Mildred.
Wayne Flora’s postmaster, Todd Baumgardner.

OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 8-13
Monday: Psalm 119:57-72
Tuesday: Matthew 12:38-50
Wednesday: James 1:19-27
Thursday: Jonah 3:1-4:11
Friday: Romans 6:1-23
Saturday: Psalm 113:1-9
OUR DAILY BREAD: SEPT. 15-20
Monday: I Samuel 16:1-13
Tuesday: Mark 15:1-20
Wednesday: Luke 12:1-12
Thursday: I John 2:11-24
Friday: I Peter 4:1-19
Saturday: Psalm 11:1-7

THE BAR B QUE
Since 1989 we have had a Labor Day weekend Bar B Que. Each year we get better and better at preparing the pork, chicken and a few years ago we added brisket.

We had two different cuts of brisket and one was outstanding. Perhaps next year we can use that cut again. Also the pork was a different cut, the kind used at a regional Bar B Que restaurant. We had very good results with it.

Please let Chef Jeff Bland know how much you enjoyed it. We started about 6:00 AM. Jeff came early but had to leave before it was time to eat. And thanks to all of you who came and made the day special for all of us who cooked the meat, as well as bringing more food than we’ve seen for a while at the Bar B Que. It was a great day.

Among the visitors was Melissa Keller, who attended here while at Roanoke College and Jeff and Tammy Hunter.

We had a good amount of pork and some chicken left over. It has been frozen and we hope you will enjoy it on Super Sunday

TODAY
Today we will have the pleasure of hearing from Susan Jordan concerning her week at the Ezell Clinic in Guatemala.

A REMINDER
Since we have made some changes in the order of worship, with the collection taken at the end of the service, remember there is a collection box on a right rear pew as you enter. If you wish, you may deposit your contribution when you arrive.

DIRECTORY CARDS
Even though for many of you the information for the directory has not changed, please fill out a new card. These also serve as a handy record for the office, as well as the basis for the directory. We haven’t upgraded these cards in several years so please take the time to fill one out. Also, the directory is not a “membership” list, just a list of folks who worship here.

I’m not about to tell you I understand everything in the Bible. But I have discovered that what I thought I understood can be wrong. I have discovered that some of it has to do with perspective.

For example, if I read the book of Genesis and the following history of the Jews, I can have a bad view of how women were treated. There is no doubt that women were basically property in most cases. They had little to say about the conditions under which they lived. So it is easy to see those conditions as the way it was supposed to be, and that God said it was the way it was supposed to be. So if I didn’t like it, I’d have to lump it, or find some way of explaining it away by saying that’s the way things were back then, which is also true. That would also be true of polygamy.

I was listening to something from a guy named Timothy Keller, who put a different spin on what could be going on back then.

He pointed out that among the most distasteful things we see men doing was having more than one wife. They bought them, worked deals for them and collected them like trophies. How those wives felt about it was beside the point. But what Keller pointed out was that if we read the Old Testament closely, we will find that there is not one case where polygamy was a happy situation. Every polygamous marriage caused problems. Well, we don’t know about Lamech and his two wives, except he brags that his ancestor Cain was (somehow) avenged seven times, but in killing a man who had injured him he was avenged seventy-seven times.

Abraham shows up and we know how that hand-maiden-wife thing worked out. Jacob will end up with two wives and there were problems. Then there are the kings. In the story of the kings the many wives they collected were a constant source of conflict. In fact, In Deuteronomy 17:17 Hebrew kings, when anointed, are to be told not to have many wives. The example would be both David and Solomon.

So, one way of looking at polygamy in the Old Testament is to look at how it turned out, rather than that it was a good thing. Which, according to the record, it never really was. Looking at the outcome should teach us, as well as those who want to justify it, to see it differently.

However, while I agree with Keller’s point, there is still the question as to why those prophets who spoke for God did not more openly condemn the practice. It may be because it was so culturally intrenched, that in their minds it was not a bad thing. That the rule in Deuteronomy is not sited is probably due to the books of the Torah not yet being assembled. At this point much of the law was oral tradition.

Another thing he pointed out was the constant rule that the oldest son was the one to receive the inheritance. However, in every case in the Old Testament, it is the younger son who receives the blessing that seems to count. Ishmael is the first born, and is blessed by God, but it is Isaac who is seen as the child of the promise. Esau is the first born, but it is Jacob who receives the true blessing from his father. But Esau does very well himself.

Jacob’s (now Israel) first born was Reuben, but Levi and Judah will have more prominence, and Joseph is the favored one who saves the day. Jacob does the same thing when he blesses Joseph’s sons. Gen. 48:14.

These culturally accepted rules of birthrights are being subverted at every hand in the Old Testament, especially in Genesis.

Another example of this is slavery. When someone says the Bible condones slavery, they are right. However, we think of slavery as the type that enslaved Africans, kidnaped and brought to America and other countries, where they were slaves for life. This was not the way slavery was in the New Testament. However, that is not to say it was the ideal. Paul’s letter to Philemon shows that, as well as other places where he encourages slaves to attain their freedom. That slave owners in America used such passages to tell slaves God wanted them to obey, was a perversion of the context.

Here’s another one, (not from Keller) and I have to admit it will change how I preach about the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. When we think of “hem” we think of the hem on the cuff of our pants, skirt, or robe. The tassels that were commanded in Judaism were originally, as far as history can tell, the tassels on the end of a long robe, which is the image we get from the story of Jesus and the woman. However, with the passing of time the “garment” “tallit” in Hebrew, became the prayer shawl worn around the shoulders. It also had tassels which could be “enlarged” to make one seem more holy. So it is likely that when the woman touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, she was touching the hem of his prayer shawl, which makes sense. She was not bent over, just sick. In a crowd it would be easy for her to touch one of the tassels that hung from the shawl. The tassels were the most personal and holy part of the shawl, so that was the best place to sneak in a touch which represented his personal power.

I did find it interesting that while Keller did a good job in the wives and first born categories, he fell back into his own assumption when he talked about Moses and the Passover. He was talking about the seriousness of obeying God and he said, (this is a quote) “God said to Moses, ‘You all deserve to die because of your sins. Slay a lamb and put the blood on the doorpost and find shelter under the blood of the lamb. And when the angel of death passes over you won’t be paying for your sins.”

If you read Exodus 11&12 where the instructions for the Passover are detailed, the word “sin” or the idea that Israel’s sin, or lack thereof had anything to do with the death angel passing over them is just not there. What they escaped was death, not sin. So even when we do a pretty good job of understanding in one area, our presuppositions may get us in another.
Keith

CONCERNS: Stephanie Dixon had an evaluation at the UVA Medical center on Wednesday. Her brother, Dwayne will suffer no permanent damage from a nail puncture in his eye. Betty Branch had knee replacement surgery on Wednesday and should be home by today. T. J. Hall will see a neurologist next month. Nathan Beach is recovering from a virus which inflamed the area around his heart. Erma Williams’ cousin, Eleanor Bresee’s cancer is advancing. Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, (leukemia). Kim (Hall’s) friend, Mary; Martha Foy’s aunt, Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, and Gil Richardson. Also Leena Bolin’s brother, Nick and her mother, Helen. The Phlegars, Rich Crites, Jim Hunter, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood and Sharon, a friend of Del Bolin. Also remember Jenni Cullum, Tim Elder, Mary Smith, Mrs. Matara, Marie Barnett and her family and Wayne Flora’s postmaster, Todd Baumgardner. Bud McWhorter’s knee surgery has been postponed.

OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 18-23
Monday: Joshua 24:14-28
Tuesday: Acts 9:1-9
Wednesday: James 5:1-18
Thursday: I John 1:5-2:6
Friday: Hebrews 12:1-14
Saturday: Psalm 138:1-8

OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 25-30
Monday: Malachi 1:1-14
Tuesday: John 3:1-15
Wednesday: Psalm 65:1-13
Thursday: I Peter 2:1-10
Friday: Matthew 4:1-11
Saturday: Exodus 15:1-18

THE ANNUAL BAR B QUE
The time slipped up on us, but there is just thirteen days until the Saturday Bar B Que. A sign-up sheet is on the foyer table. All you need is to write your name and the number who are attending. We’ve done it so many years we now know how much pork, beef and chicken to fix based on your preference over the years. However, we do need the number who will be attending. As always, the meat will be provided. Those coming will bring the extras. We hope to eat around 4:00 PM Invite your friends and family.

THE WORSHIP SERVICE CHANGE
After more discussion, the steering committee has decided that the contribution will still be collected as before, but at the end of the service. The collection box on the rear pew may still be used by those who so chose. The collection will be accompanied by a song, after which the one making announcements will offer closing comments and a closing prayer, which will include thanksgiving for the offering. The service will close with a final song. Thanks for your help as we make these changes

SUSAN JORDAN
Susan has returned from the Ezell Clinic in Guatemala and we hope she can give us a report about her week there at next Sunday’s service.

SUPER SUNDAY
Today, August 17, is Super Sunday. These occasions give us time to be together and enjoy fellowship as a family. Plan to stay and eat following the service.

STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING
There is some brief business there steering committee needs to address. They will meet in the library after the Super Sunday meal.

WEDNESDAY EVENING
We have had to cancel Wednesday evening services on two occasions due to the hot weather and the inability to cool the annex and not knowing quite why this was occurring now and not before. It seems one of the electrical phases coming into the annex had failed, so the air conditioner was only working at half it’s efficiency. The AEP problem also fried a circuit in the smaller unit. It has all been repaired and things should be fine.

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