Listen! Did you hear Rome fall? I grew up living in fear that Gibbon’s reasons for the fall of Rome would be the downfall of every nation, I needed to listen for the thud. I even had a woman tell me about twenty years ago that America had to fall (a president had been elected she didn’t like) because every nation fell after two hundred years.
Who in their right mind would want a nation about the size of Florida to rule all of Europe? Or the idea that the sun never set on Great Briton’s holdings? Isn’t independence a good thing? Isn’t freedom what we all want for ourselves and others?
While I’m talking about falls, when was the last time anyone quoted J. Edgar Hoover? He was almost sanctified in the past, but finding dresses in his closet after he died kind of took the shine off his pronouncements.
I face 2011 the way I’ve faced all the coming years since I “woke up”. I’m both anxious and excited. I’m not surprised that greed and selfishness are still running the politics of the world. That makes me anxious, but not hopeless, I find that within all the corruption there are still those who fight against it, and often win. Neither does the evil in the world surprise me, but I will not let it define my world view. I am amazed at the sacrificial good people all over the world do for others. And I believe that as more and more years come and go some of the evils that plague us will pass with them.
I feel sorry for those people who believe there was some time in the past that was the best of times. They are afraid of the future because they are narrow in mind. Those days never existed, except to them and them alone. When we define the good old days by our singular definition, we make ourselves out to be fools.
I grew up in the fifties. I have fond memories of the “rock ‘n roll” age in Norwood, Ohio. My world was small. The world of southern blacks was not my world. That would come near he end of that decade. When I saw the segregated part of the country my idea of “good old days” faded. They were good for me, but not good for all Americans.
It was near the end of my “good old days” that I realized even though my mother also worked, she could not get a credit card without my father co-signing Nor could a woman buy a house without a man to co-sign the deed, no matter how much money she made and how little he did. So I was excited when the days of equal rights for women came along. My good old days faded a little more.
The technology of television brought pictures from Montgomery, Birmingham, Atlanta and Mississippi into our living rooms. Segregation could only be good days for the prejudiced and bigoted. When it comes to that, I suppose another generation will have to die off to remove the stain of racism. I was in Kroger just before Christmas and two elderly women were talking and blocking the isle I wanted to go up. One was on a riding cart, the other was about four feet eight and bent over. She looked to be in her late seventies. They were talking politics. As they started to move, the small one said to the other, “I vote for the one I think will do the job best.” As I stepped by them I said something about how we did need to find the right kind of people to serve. As I walked away she said her choice was Sara Palin. I didn’t realize she was coming up the same isle where I was picking up an item. I heard her say, “My grandson voted for that thing in the White House! People ought to know better than to put a d–n n—-r in the White House!” All I could do was look at her and say “O my goodness!” and walk away. It is sad that after all these years that feeling is still alive.
I remain excited about the potential of the future. I think those who are always seeing the “rapture” coming are people who don’t want to go unless they take the rest of us with them. It’s as if they can’t imagine a world without them, and the world they see isn’t worth having. The world has to end with them. It’s as if they feel since they have failed to see God’s continuing will being done on earth, that God has to do their bidding and end it all. That seems egotistical to me. The will of God is not conditioned by a person’s lack of vision for the future of the earth
As for me, in 2060 I would like for my grandchildren to say, “Granpa would be so excited to see what the world is like.” And I’d like for them to tell their children so that in 2111 they will say, “I wish great-granpa could see this.” That’s my vision and I’m sticking to it. After all, didn’t Jesus say, in Matthew 12:29, “How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first tie up the strong man?” Has Satan tied up Jesus or Jesus Satan? Your answer will be part of the final.
CONCERNS: Jim Smith is doing well after cataract surgery. Mary is still having back problems. The Hall’s neighbor has cancer. Mike Breeding and his wife need pray for their heath and well-being. Trisha, a friend of the Bolins, Joanne Elder and Erma Williams are still seeking employment. Joni Beach’s mother (cancer), Connie Crites’ father is also dealing with cancer as is Zona Fisher’s niece. Wayne and Susan Phlegar’s son is recovering from being struck by a car while riding his bicycle. The driver did not stop. Also, their friend, Julie, has just about reached the extent of recovery after a serious stroke. Wayne is still having circulation problems in his leg. Remember Helen Nicklas and Isabelle Simmons. Roger Fisher’s nephew (cancer) Barbara McCauley, Jenni and Wilma Cullum, Tim Elder and the work of Health Talents Int. And Bread For A Hungry World and the recovery going on in Haiti.
OUR DAILY BREAD: JAN. 3-8
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
OUR DAILY BREAD: JAN. 9-15
Monday: Psalm 40:1-17
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 FOOD PANTRY
The food pantry has been restocked and a few families have benefited from it.
THE FRUIT BASKETS
The holiday fruit baskets have all been delivered. This year the baskets were paid for with a donation made in the memory of Polly Altice.
The poinsettias in and around the auditorium need good homes now that their job of beautifying the building for the holidays is over. If you would like one or know someone who would, please take one. Just leave any dish or coaster on which they are sitting.
Richard Crites will be giving a financial report from the steering committee today. He will also be telling us about some ideas and plans for this year.
The information sheets for the new directory have been collected. If you missed updating yours or if there are any recent changes, see Keith.
Judy Hall is once again assembling all knitters to knit scarves for children in the Roanoke schools. She has purchased the material and all she needs is your help again on this good project. She will be back in town soon if you need to talk to her.
We are having some trees cut behind the annex that were in danger of falling on the building. This will give us additional wood for the fireplace as well as make the area look better. Once the weather clears and drys out the large branch leaning toward the front of the main building will be cut off. This might also be a good time to once again warn you that the large trees along Brandon Ave. are old and limbs are dying and falling off. Be careful where you park on windy days and when there is heavy snow or ice on the trees.
THE CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE
A nice number of you came to the Christmas Eve service. It was especially nice to see families (some from out of town) gathered together for the service.
This year Kirsten Pierce read the story for the children (and the rest of us) and we enjoyed Karen Branch leading us in the songs of the season. Thanks to both of them and all who attended for making it a good experience. For some the evening was topped off by eating out afterwards.