Roanoke Church of Christ

Month: March 2011


by my friend, Ben
I saw Ira Jeffords comin’ up the holler before ma did. O’ Blue saw him too. He did. Ol’ Blue had a thing about him an’ folks. He did. An’ he didn’t take to Ira. He didn’t. I reckon Blue weren’t alone in that, cause Ira were one of them tax assessors. He were.

Ira’s job were to come around every year an’ assess your property, how many rooms were in your house an’ estimate all your personal property. It were not all that uncommon to hear that some folks had told Ira to stay offen their property or else.

Well, ma heard ol’ Blue let out a growl-like bark an’ come to see what were goin’ on. She did. Ol’ Blue headed off toward the barn as Ira got outta his county truck. He did. I didn’t dislike Ira, I just didn’t like the way he treated folks. It seemed to be well-known that Ira would cut down on his estimates for friends and relatives. It were. Pa’d heard the rumor more’n once that Ira would take money to cut estimates. He had. So I were a tad relieved that pa were at the saw mill when Ira came. I were.

When ma saw who it were, she called out to Ira an’ told him to come on up on the porch an’ have a big cold glass a sweet tea. She did. I were wonderin’ iffen Ira were prone to shavin’ assessments a little for sweet tea. I were.

Well, Ira took out one a them big red railroad handkerchiefs an’ wiped the sweat offen his face an’ told ma he’d love to have some sweet tea. He did. She asked iffen he’d like to come inside, but he said sittin’ on the porch would be fine. He did.

Ira were one of them big men what looked like they didn’t do much hard work. He were. But he still sweat a lot. He did. When he sat down in pa’s ol’ rocker, I were afraid it might break. I were.

After he sat down an’ took a big ol’ swaller of that tea, he opened his tax book. He did. He said he reckoned we still had the same number of rooms we had the last time he were here. Ma said that were right. Ma said we were savin’ up for a septic system an’ indoor plumin’ but they weren’t quite there yet. She did. Ol’ Ira raised one of his bushy eyebrows an made a note, tellin’ ma she were obligated to let the county know of any improvements. He did. Ma said she knowed that.

He wanted to know what kind of truck pa were drivin’. He did. Well, I could tell ma were a tad put off‎ by that question, an’ she said, “Ira, I reckon you already know the answer to that, bein’s that you’re the county assessor an’ all.” She did. Ira shook the ashes offen the cigarette he’d lit onto the porch an’ I could see a little grin come over his face. I could.

Now I were ready for Ira Jeffords to finish his business an’ get on offen our property. I were. Well, about that time he asked ma iffen he could have another glass a tea. He did. Ma said she’d be glad to get him one, an’ she did. He took the glass an’ said he were goin’ down to the barn an’ check out the livestock an’ equipment. He did. Inside I were kinda hopin’ he surprise ol” Blue an’ maybe Blue’d run him off. I were.

Well, after piddlin’ around longer in the barn than I were comfortable with, Ira come walkin’ back toward the house. He did. Just as he got to his truck he said, “Come here boy an’ fetch this here glass an’ give it to your ma.” He did. I looked at ma an’ she nodded for me to get it. She did. Ira mumbled a thanks for the tea an’ said he’d send out the tax bill in a month or so. He did. With that he drove off raisin’ a cloud a dust that took five minutes to settle. He did.

I went into the kitchen where ma were gettin’ supper ready an’ I asked he how she could be so nice to someone like Ira Jeffords. I did. I were wonderin’ iffen she were afraid that iffen she weren’t, he’d raise our taxes. I were. Well, ma stopped peelin’ potatoes an’ sat down at the table. She said, “Benny, it’s a right hard lesson to learn, but we shouldn’t treat folks the way they might treat us. I don’t treat Ira the way I do to make him be good to us. I treat him the way I do because it’s right. Iffen I treated Ira the way he treats folks, wouldn’t that make me just like him? Now Benny, I ain’t sayin’ I’m better’n Ira. I’m just sayin’ it don’t do no good not bein’ good to other folks. Even the Lord treated tax collectors like everyone else. He did.” Well, I knowed ma were right, but it were gonna take a heap a work for me to like Ira Jeffords. It were.
CONCERNS: Eleanor Crush continues with chemotherapy. Mary Smith is improving each day. Jamie King, the daughter of Stephanie Dixon, is in the hospital recovering from an automobile accident. Maci Winebarger is having chemotherapy and things look good. Mike Breeding and his wife. Joanne Elder and Erma Williams as they look for employment. Alan Beach went to Mayo Clinic for a check-up. Joni Beach’s mother is about the same. Helen Nicklas is not doing well at this time. Randy Conners has a serious type of malignant cancer. Andy Arnold needs our prayers. He has stepped away from his treatment program. Roger Fisher’s nephew in Florida is about the same. Remember Wilma and Jenni Cullum. Jenni had carpal tunnel surgery last week. Also Tim Elder, the work of Health Talents International and Bread For A Hungry World, and those around the world who are trying to recover from political and natural disasters

Monday: John 8:21-47
Tuesday: Luke 22:14-30
Wednesday: Luke 12:13-34
Thursday: Psalm 51:1-19
Friday: Acts 4:32 – 5:11
Saturday: Acts 4:32 – 5:11
Psalm: 99:1-9

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

If you look behind the annex you can see that the trees we wanted cut are on the ground and cut up. As soon (perhaps April 16) as we can get the log splitter here we will be preparing the wood for next year’s use. We will need folks who can clean up the hillside as well as those who can cut some trees that have been on the ground for some time. Once the hillside is clean we will look at perhaps planting some redbud trees and other ornamental small trees. Get you chain saws and other tools ready.

If the bulletin looks different this time it is because due to our DSL upgrade, we had to replace our rather antique computer. This caused the problem of getting the files we needed from the old to the new, which is not yet finished. We discovered we needed some more hardware to do that. In the meantime, it will take a while to get used to a new word processing program. So you can see the spacing is a little different but we hope to have that worked out soon.

Due to the nasty weather last Sunday and the smaller crowd we were unable to finish getting all the pictures and information we need. The directory will be assembled in the next week or so, with or without being as complete as we would like it. If you want to be sure all the information we have gathered is correct, see Erma today. The camera will be here if you want a picture taken.


I’m sure there is an explanation for the dietary laws of Israel. Simply put, it seems anything that eats other blood-bearing living things is off limits, with some exceptions that have to do with the animal’s foot, or some other characteristic of the bird etc.. It seems to have to do with a belief that eating an animal that had eaten another living thing might give the eater the power or characteristics of both animals, or being made unclean by eating something that had eaten some other living thing’s blood. I’m still not sure why the rabbit is unclean just because of it’s feet. Neither am I sure why a kid goat should not be boiled in it’s mothers milk. (Deut. 14:21) It seems that this, like many of the prohibitions of Moses, had to do with a practice that was done by Egyptians.

If the Hebrews, who had been absorbed by Egyptian culture for 400 years were going to be a distinct and “holy” (different) people, they had to leave behind everything Egyptian. As we read their story we see the constant attempt to go back, or to rekindle the memories of Egypt. The golden calf would be one such an example.

On another level we see the prohibition against “mixing” things like grain, and animals, cloth and even people. While Moses seems to have no problem taking an Ethiopian woman for his second wife, the Hebrews were to remain a pure race. Adultery was more about the result than the act itself. The result was that the birthing place, the womb of a man’s wife, was now made unclean, polluted, adulterated, by another man’s seed. This rendered the woman useless, so she was to be stoned. The man who polluted her was also to be stoned because he had made unclean the place the husband’s offspring could be born pure and carry on his tribal name. The exception was for divorce, which could only be done by the husband. Even before the time of David the marriage purity laws had faded. So Ruth, a Moabite (Moabites were banned for several social and political reasons) becomes the wife of David’s grandfather. So it’s not an Old Testament/New Testament thing.

All of this can be understood within the context of Moses recreating the people of God. Those things necessary for that to happen would fade away the longer they were away from Egypt. However, they were never far form the influence of the world around them, so they were constantly warned about idols and all things pertaining to pagan worship. The Old Testament attests to the fact that they were never very good at avoiding either of those things.

Be that as it may, there is the issue of “The Lord said…” All through the Old Testament in every rule, requirement, law and ordinance, there is attached, “The Lord said…” The tricky question is if this was some actual voice of God, or an attempt at understanding what the God wanted. One of the most important statements in scripture is when Jesus said several times in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, “You have heard it said of old”, each time referring to the law of Moses. Meaning, “The Lord said to Moses” or “The Lord said through Moses. but I say to you.”

So when Jesus said, “But I say to you” (and the “But” is very significant) was he saying, “God said to you, but I say to you”? If what Moses said was what God said, if Jesus is God’s “word”, how could Jesus say, “God said , but now I say”?

God can only speak within the context of time. In other words, if Moses heard God say to build several giant silver birds with jet engines and fly the Israelites to the promised land, Moses would’ve thought he’d inhaled too much swamp gas. Therefore, what Moses does to bring about the desired result, is guided by the voice of God that speaks within the context of Moses’ understanding of how to do it. That being true (I’m sure there are those who say it isn’t) the word (will) of God will always be heard and implemented within the context of the social, moral and theological understanding at the time.

So, back to the original question: When did God start liking pork? From the beginning. The Bible says God created everything and pronounced it good. And we now know that each creature has its place in what can be a fragile ecosystem.

How then are we to decide what is the present will of God and what is not? The common method is the, “If something in the Old Testament is commanded or condemned in the New Testament, it is applicable to the Christian. Not a very good method of interpretation. Then someone added “necessary inference”, meaning if it is inferred in the context. Also not a good method, but it does move toward a broader understanding. There’s also “example”, which is also weak. For example, in Exodus 31:16,17 it says the sabbath was to be kept as “a lasting covenant” vs. 16, “forever” vs. 17. It was also observed in the New Testament and was observed well into the New Testament period by Jewish Christians. And, with good reason. It was to be observed “forever”. The Seventh Day Adventists keep Saturday/Sabbath because the scriptures say to.

Another one is Passover. It was to be done each year according to the law. However, in II Kings 23:22 it says they had not observed a Passover since the time of Joshua and the kings of both Judah and Israel. Passover was observed in both testaments and it is certainly a significant event. However, it, like most of the Old Testament laws were for a particular time and a particular people, the Israelites, not the whole world.

A good explanation for what I’m saying is found in Leviticus 18. After a long list of “abominations” beginning with, “The Lord said to Moses” it says, “Do not defile yourself in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled.”

The importance of this is how we use scripture. Something seen as a danger to bringing about the will of God under certain circumstances may not be necessary in all situations. Avoiding anything Gentile is one of those situations. It is not that God didn’t love Gentiles, or pigs, it was that they were a hindrance at the time.

CONCERNS: Mary Smith had back surgery on Friday. This was done to correct a vertebra. She was told she would walk out the same day, or on Saturday. Eleanor Crush is being treated for pancreatic cancer. A six year old patient of Del Bolin’s, Maci Winebarger, is at St. Judes in Memphis with a malignant tumor on her brain stem. She has a mom, dad, and two brothers and two sisters at home. A website has been set up: Jamie King suffered serious injury in a car accident, She is Stephanie Dixon’s boss’s daughter. Pray for the Pendelton family in the death of husband and father, Matt. Mike Breeding and his wife, Randy Conner, cancer, Joanne Elder and Erma Williams as they seek employment. Joni Beach’s mother is doing better than expected. She has cancer. Connie Crites father (heart problems). Isabelle Simmons and Helen Nicklas, Roger Fisher’s nephew, Jenni and Wilma Cullum. Tim Elder, the people of Japan, the work of Health Talents and Bread For A Hungry World.

FOOD PANTRY: The food pantry has been restocked and tow families has been helped form it.

Monday: Hebrews 4:14-5:10
Tuesday: Matthew 5:17-48
Wednesday: Genesis 1:1-13
Thursday: II Samuel 12:1-15
Friday: Ephesians 6:10-20
Saturday: Psalm 104:1-35

Monday: Ephesians 1:3-14
Tuesday: Philippians 1:3-18
Wednesday: II Corinthians 9:6-15
Thursday: Luke 5:17-26
Friday: I Timothy 6:1-10
Saturday Psalm 111:1-10

Today, March 20, is Super Sunday. We may have to have the air conditioner on! Plan to enjoy the good food and fellowship following the service. Let’s remember those with March birthdays and anniversaries, as well as guests, go first in the serving line.

Due to the weather we haven’t been able to take the outside shots for the directory. We are only short a few photos, so today would be a great day to be sure Erma has an updated picture for the directory. She will be contacting you after the service this morning.

Each year Second Presbyterian Church brings in a scholar for this series. Last year those who went enjoyed hearing Barbara Brown Taylor. This year the speaker will be Diana Butler Bass. She will speak on Sunday evening March 27, at 7:00 PM and on Monday, March 28, at 7:00 PM.This is a free lecture series. She has written several award winning books that deal with the history of Christianity.
As soon as the trees are all cut we will be having a work /log splitting day. This will take a few good hands. We will be using a hydraulic splitter, so we will need loaders and stackers. With the amount of wood we will have we will be able to keep the fireplace working for next year and a few years after that. This early notice is so those of you who need to tune-up your saws can be ready.

We have decided to do one more year (at least) of Vacation Bible School. Erma would like for you to start saving all inside tubes gift wrap comes on, as well as paper towel and bath tissue tubes. There will be a training session coming after Erma conducts one for the area churches that us Group material.

Due to competition Verison has given us DSL internet connection and unlimited long distance calling for a little less than we were paying for our standard service. This means the bulletins can be sent out from the office as well as the service roster. E-mail can also be read, and needed research information can be gained at the office. We will be all hooked up next week.


by my friend, Ben
Jake Hanson’d sent me’n Arval Johnson over to Stanleyville to help Lynell Proctor get his loggin’ truck outta the mud. He did. Lynell were his cousin. He were. Arval were to ride back with Lynell iffen we got it unstuck. Iffen we did, Jake told me to go on home an’ he’n some of the other fellers would stay an’ help ‘em unload. He did.

Well, it were late March an’ by the time we got that truck out it were getting’ dusky-dark an’ startin’ to rain. It were.

I were about an hour outta Hickory Ridge when I saw her. She looked to be all of fourteen or so. When she saw me she raised her thumb like she were hitchin’ a ride. She did. Her hair were all down in her eyes an’ she were soakin’ wet. She were. Well, I knowed I had to stop. I did. When I did she went around an’ got into my truck. I told her she ought to be careful hitchin’ rides. She said weren’t nothin’ could be done to her what her step-pa hadn’t already done. She did. I asked iffen she were runnin’ away an’ she said she just couldn’t take it no more. Then I asked iffen she knowed where she were goin’. She said anywhere were better’n where she’d been. She did. I asked iffen she’d let me take her to the sheriff’s office an’ she said she didn’t want no law.

I asked her name, an she said “Rosella”. She weren’t tellin’ me no more than that. I asked her iffen she had a ma. I did. After a long pause she said her ma didn’t want to believe her when she told her what were goin’ on. She said her ma were so desperate an’ poor she didn’t know what they’d do iffen he throwed them out.

Now, this were a right troublin’ situation for me. It were. I knowed I couldn’t leave her on the road somewheres. An’ I didn’t want her to spend the night in jail an’ then be sent back. At least not until she’d had a chance to tell her story to the right folks. Since she’d told me she were fifteen I knowed I needed help as soon as I could find it. I did. It were then I thought of Sara Jane an’ Billy Joe Bradley. Billy Joe bein’ a doctor an’ all, he’d know just what to do. He would.

So when I got to town I told Rosella what I were gonna do. That it were either Sara Jane an’ Billy, or the sheriff. After tellin’ me just to leave her alone, she finally agreed to go to Sara Jane an’ Billy’s. She did.

Sara Jane let us in an’ she’n Billy listened to Rosella’s story. They did. Since it were getting’ late they agreed that it would be best iffen she spent the night with them. That way they could talk about what could be done for her the next mornin’. They did.

As I drove on home in the rain I remembered a time when me’n ma were ridin’ with pa on a rainy night just like this one. We were. All of a sudden there were this wet cat in the road. Pa swerved to miss it an started to drive on. But ma told him to stop. Now pa weren’t much of a cat person. He weren’t. But ma said she weren’t leavin’ that poor creature out in the rain an’ dark. She did. Well, that cat were scared to death. It were. Pa had to throw a gunny sack over it to keep it from scratchin’ us to death. He did

When we got home ma tried to feed it some warm milk. She did. But it just hunkered down behind the stove. Ma said from the marks on it that somebody’d mistreated it real bad. She said we’d just have to be patient with it. She did.

Sometime durin’ the night it come out an’ drank the milk an’ ate the soft eggs ma’d cooked for it. But it stayed behind the stove. It did. That is until pa went out the back door to do somethin’. Well, that cat lit out that door an’ headed for hard road. It did. It looked back only once an’ jumped into the weeds an’ disappeared. Ma said it probably wouldn’t do no good to try to catch it, cause it’d been so hurt by human folks that it weren’t ready to trust no one. She did.

The next mornin’ on the way to the saw mill I stopped by Billy Joe’s clinic to see iffen they’d decided how to help Rosella. I did. Billy Joe said she were gone when they woke up. He tried to find her but she were nowhere to be found.

I reckon iffen the folks what are supposed to love an’ care for us do us wrong, the scars can keep us from trustin’ anyone to love us, just like that cat ma tried to take care of. I do.

As I drove to work I couldn’t get Rosella offen my mind. I couldn’t. I wondered iffen she were okey. I knowed there weren’t nothin’ I could do ‘cept say a little prayer for her. Which is what I did.

CONCERNS: Mary Smith has been scheduled for release from rehab next Tuesday. They will make a decision on what treatment to be used on Eleanor Crush this week. She has stage three pancreatic cancer. A little six year old patient of Dr. Bolin’s has been diagnosed with a malignant inoperable brain tumor. Her name is Macy. She is now at St. Jude’s in Memphis. Teryn Gaynor’s principal’s husband has terminal cancer. She is Karen Pendelton and her husband’s name is Matt. Also dealing with terminal cancer is the husband of a friend of Erma Williams that some of us also know, Debbie Conner. His name is Randy. Andy Arnold, needs our prayers for strength as he deals with his life situation. Those who remain on our prayer list are: Shawn Bumbalough, Mike Breeding and his wife, Joanne Elder and Erma Williams (employment needs), Joni Beach’s mother, Roger Fisher’s nephew, Barbara McCauley, Jenni and Wilma Cullum and Tim Elder.

Monday: Mark 14:26-42
Tuesday: Acts 1:1-14
Wednesday: Psalm 42:1-11
Thursday: Acts 5:17-32
Friday: Hebrews 2:10-18
Saturday: Psalm 107:1-43

Monday: Matthew 18:10-20
Tuesday: Romans 14:1-18
Wednesday: II Thessalonians 3:1-16
Thursday: Genesis 45: 4-28
Friday: Mark 10:17-31
Saturday: Psalm 105:1-45

Ben and Sheila Robertson will be going to China later this month. Ben will be there on business with GE and Sheila gets to go with him. They will be gone for a little over two months. Ben has provided us with a service list through May. If there are any changes needed let the office know. Or, if you can, find someone to fill in for you.

Also, Richard and Connie Crites will be gone a few weeks this month. They will be going to Wisconsin to see Connie’s father and then visiting with Rich’s family in Illinois.

About this time each year the government worries that we are wasting too much daylight. That being the case, it has asked (required unless you live in one of those states which has seceded from DST) that on March 13 at 2:00 AM we start saving one hour each day. To do this we must set our clocks forward one hour before retiring on March 12. As to what you are to do with the hour you save, the government has not specified. However, we know the IRS will not let you claim it as a deduction. The saved hour is also like manna, it must be used that day. How is up to you.

Three days in March have been reserved by Joanne Elder’s group, Karios. They will be in the annex on Friday evening, March 18th from 6:00-10:00 PM. On Saturday, March 19th from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. And on Saturday, March 26th from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. There are three dates in April as well, along with Erma Williams using the Annex on April 16th for VBS training. Keep these dates handy so you can tell when the annex will be available to use.

There will not be another bulletin before Super Sunday, so while we’re talking about dates. Super Sunday will be on March 20. Last month we had almost everyone who worshiped with us stay for the meal. Let’s do it again this month.

Talk about herding cats! We just about have all the pictures for the new directory. However, please take note that those of you who wanted a warning so you could look better than you already do, we will be finishing up (hopefully) this Sunday if the weather co-operates for outdoor shots.