“NEW LIFE” BULLETIN – VOL. 24, NO. 40 & 41 – FAITH OR FEAR
Have you ever had one of those nights when every dream was one that left you waking yourself up to tell yourself it was just a dream? And even though you know it was just a dream, the residue still hangs on you? I had that kind of night just before I needed to write this article. In other words, it’s not something I have my occasional enthusiasm about.
I could have found something from the tried and true authors “borrowed and selected”. They seem to have a big following. But long ago I decided me and the bulletin article would be “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health” So admitting I can’t escape the world around me, here it is.
Just about every national election I receive one of those booklets about how the country is going to hell in a hand basket. They seldom if ever endorse any candidate, but it’s obvious who they want. Mostly they talk about the founding fathers and how it all started when public prayer was taken out of public schools. The central issues are always about the same. No one seems to listen and we are closer to hell than before. I don’t know why we aren’t there yet, but I’m sure some folks think we are. The writers of such articles apparently think not, or else they’d feel they were beating a dead horse.
The recent one I received had a glossy, magazine-type cover, but inside it was handwritten on lined paper, then copied to be printed. I see a number of those handwritten booklets. If the idea is to make the reader see this as a kind of scribal, sacred writing, it may work. As for me, I see an old man without even a typewriter, hunched over a dimly lit desk somewhere in Colorado. It came from Colorado. Colorado seems to be the origin for these missives.
I have never read one of them that said greed, lust for power and unconcern for those less fortunate were the signs of the end. Also, it seems the United States is the only country with the problem. Or maybe it’s the only one seen as worth saving.
Why are fear mongers so attractive to so many people? Is it because it is easier to believe what they say than to take the time to learn if what they are saying is true? Finding truth takes time and it’s not always easy. Political campaigns run on the realization that most people will not check the facts of an ad. The problem with all fear spreaders is that once the fear is cast into the gusts of the information highway, restoring the truth is like trying to put leaves back on a tree in the autumn wind.
Here are some facts. While we were saying public prayers in school, blacks (and in some places, Jews) across the country were being treated with discrimination beyond belief. Black soldiers who won the Medal of Honor in WWII were not allowed to receive them. President Clinton awarded them in 1997. Only one was still alive
Japanese American citizens were sent to internment camps in complete violation of their civil rights and most lost everything they had.
Joseph McCarthy sold the fear that anyone you knew, unless they passed his test, was probably a communist. That fear seeped like raw sewage into businesses, schools, churches and even homes.
Fear is easier that faith because faith, as the letter to the Hebrews says, “Is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (11:1 NIV) What certainty? Knowing where we’ve been. Remember, the Hebrew writer tales them on a backward journey, telling them about all those who went before them, and what they suffered. From that he points to a future where God’s will is fulfilled.
Do I have fears? Yes. I fear the greed and lust for power that sees itself as the privileged ruling class. I fear greed that has the power to deny compassion to those less fortunate. I fear the view that says some people are of lesser value than others. So how can I have faith? By believing that there will be enough of God’s power in the world to overcome those things any time they attempt to become the norm. Are there times when that faith is shaken? Yes.
CONCERNS: Deanna McRoy, Debbie and Buster’s daughter-in-law, has started chemotherapy. Leena Bolin’s brother, Nick, has conferred with a tumor board at Duke. We are glad that neither Susan Phlegar nor Garrett Lee Williams have suffered any ill effects from the steroid shots they received. The change in the weather kept the Phlegars and the Blessings at home last Sunday. A little child, Landon Cooper, has had surgery to repair a hole in his heart. His grandmother works with Teryn Gaynor. Connie Crites’ brother is still about the same. Marta Foy’s mother and father are both having some health issues. He is recovering from a second back surgery. Martha also has two friends, Sharon Breeding and Lauren, who need our prayers. Friends of Del Bolin, Sharon and Billy, are both dealing with cancer, as is Jim Hunter. Jim’s treatment has been going well. Former member, Ray Reiss is in Texarkana receiving therapy as he recovers form a motorcycle accident Jenni Cullum will have hip surgery in December. Continue to remember Alma Martin, Ron Matney (he may have to go on dialysis) Joni Beach’s mother, and Tim Elder.
OUR DAILY BRAED: NOV. 5-10
Monday: Hebrews 4:14-5:10
Tuesday: Matthew 5:17-48
Wednesday: Genesis 1:1-31
Thursday: II Samuel 12:1-15
Friday: Ephesians 6:10-20
Saturday: Psalm 104:1-35
OUR DAILY BREAD: NOV. 12-17
Monday: John 17:1-26
Tuesday: Revelation 19:1-16
Wednesday: Luke 16:19-31
Thursday: Matthew 9:1-13
Friday: I Corinthians 10:1-13
Saturday: Psalm 106:1-48
Remember to turn your clocks back on Saturday, November 3. That’s for those of you who receive the bulletin via e-mail or regular mail if it is on time.
We were excited to learn that James and Megan (Beaver) Downing will be moving back to Roanoke in the next week or so. James was offered a job as a design engineer at a local company that builds cranes.
With cataract surgeries and other things, the Wagners have had to hold off on taking the rest of their vacation. They will be gone from November 9 through 18. The Sunday speakers will be announced. This will also change the date the next bulletin will be printed.
THE ADULT CHRISTMAS PARTY
By request of several folks this year’s Christmas Adult Party will be on December 1. A sing-up list has already been posted on the foyer table. The Hors d’oeuvres will be served at 5:30 PM and the dinner at 6:00 PM. Plan now to attend.
The menu and other needs will soon be selected and passed out. As before, please bring a $5.00 gift for the gift exchange. For the last year or so we have tried to by local items made in the USA. There are any number of places that sell jellies, baked goods, candy and other such items that make nice gifts.
For those of you who attend on Wednesday evening, help is needed to decorate the tree. More information in the next bulletin.
As we have been announcing, for security reasons it has been decided that the downstairs door will be locked each Sunday morning at 10:40. A sign will direct any late comer to the front steps. The door will open from the inside, but not from the outside. Of course there will be considerations made for bad weather and other such needs.
RONALD MCDONNALD HOUSE
A card has been received thanking us for our work there. We will do it again next year. Don’t forget to save all pull tabs, even those from soup cans etc.