Roanoke Church of Christ

Month: July 2013


Many, if not all of you who read this will understand what I’m describing.
We stand in the experience of the death and loss of someone not of our immediate family. We feel sorrow, sympathy and even grief, if that’s the proper term. But we also stand outside their circle. We hurt, we ache, but we are not “inside.”
We enter the inside of death’s circle when it is immediate family. It’s different in there. The feel is different. It’s a different world. It is a place where you know death has now entered your world in a different way. Looking around the inside of that circle, if you are among those who are older, the feeling is real and personal. Having lost two brothers in seven months makes life and death look different.
My brother, Walter, was the oldest brother. He and my sister (the oldest) and my brother Richard “Doc,” were born near the end of what is called “The Great Depression.” People were still rebuilding their lives and times were meager and hard.
As I look back on that, I think it strengthened them in ways I was not. By the time I was born things were changing. The war machine brought jobs, and when I was five my mother and father bought their first house with two bedrooms. There were six of us.
Walter was the artist. In high school he drew his own cartoon strip called “Wally the Worm” In Norwood High School art class the students were taken to the Cincinnati Art Museum where discretely posed nude models allowed them to paint the human form, something that I doubt could be done today. I can still remember the oil paintings of nude forms in various surroundings he painted. Later in life he painted at least one portrait for a woman who rented from my parents. I remember she was very pleased with it. My mother asked him to paint her a picture, and he did, but he painted little, if at all after that.
While in high school he built a table for my train in our basement. He used Plaster of Paris to build overpasses, streets and tunnels. It took up a lot of the small basement, which was so dark and scary I only went down there in the day time.
He met at church, and married Orene “Renie” Bolin when he was about nineteen. They had a third floor attic-type apartment with an outside staircase about ten blocks from our house and I would walk there some Saturdays and was always welcome. any time I showed up. Renie was from “down in Kentucky” and on a couple of long weekends when they visited her father, they took me along. When I write about Ben I am envisioning the house and hollow in which her father lived.
Walter had various jobs and finally, after living in a very small house trailer in Bromley, Kentucky, with one child, they had enough money to buy some land up the road. It was a hillside with a creek down between the road and the hill to the place he would build the house. He was selling Fuller Brushes. Then polio struck. One of his legs shriveled to where he could wrap his hands around his thigh. He was six foot two. The doctor called it “Summer flu.” But when it was determined to be polio the doctor refused to change his diagnosis so Walter could get help from the Polio Foundation. I don’t remember how they survived, but somehow they did I do remember helping him on the house and seeing him carry cement blocks from the road down the hill, across the creek, then up the hill to where he had hand-dug the foundation as he dragged his bad leg. By the time he got the house built the crippled leg was almost as strong as it was before the polio. He favored that leg until he died. I can’t imagine how hard it was. But he never stopped. I don’t think he ever really finished that house the way he wanted, but it was home. Jo and I can remember good times with them when we were in Cincinnati. Canasta was the card game of choice and we played a lot of hands. By that time they had three children.
At some point he started selling butcher supplies and then was offered a job as the manager of a small custom butchering plant in Owingsville, Kentucky. From there he was invited to be a partner at a new and larger plant near Greenville, SC. The Donaldson Air Base there had just closed and Greenville had turned it into a center for business. Because the Air Force had moved out there were plenty of homes at a reasonable price. They found a nice brick home on a corner lot and life was good.
When new government regulations came about, small places like his were hit hard. Not due to any sanitary problems, but they couldn’t open until the inspector arrived, and at that time the inspector had several places to open. So that left Walter’s crew waiting for an hour or more while still being paid. He told me often after he paid his employees, there was little left. In the early seventies he finally sold out.
During much of that time he was an elder at a local Church of Christ. He and others would drive up toward Asheville, to a place called “Slater Marietta” and preach. Again, in the early seventies he became their minister. He had intended to preach the Sunday before he died.
When it came to scripture, we were different. He wanted to be “sound” and to be right. We never talked “Bible”, but we loved each other.
While touring Israel he saw children on the street learning Greek. He felt if they could, he could, and he did. Then he felt the need to learn Hebrew, and did so. It was all about his determination to get everything right and to teach the “truth.”.
Over the years I wondered if his legalistic approach would be enough to give him peace when the end came. The day before he died he told those with him not to worry about his driving, (which apparently they were) he wouldn’t hit any clouds on the way up. So for him it did, and I’m glad. That’s about all any of us can ask of our faith, isn’t it?

CONCERNS: Richard Crites; Mary Smith is recovering from back problems. Judy McWhorter’s sister’s husband is being treated for cancer. Also dealing with cancer and after-cancer treatment are: Leena Bolin’s brother, Nick; A friend and classmate of Garrett Lee Williams who has leukemia; Connie Crites’ brother; Jim Hunter; Deana McRoy; Philip Pierce’s mother; Stephanie Rigney; Marge Greenwood; ten year old Regan; Sharon and Billy, friends of Del Bolin. Remember also Gil Richardson, a friend of Martha Foy’s who has muscular dystrophy; Jenni Cullum; Helen Nicklas; Alma Martin; Ron Matney and Tim Elder.

Monday: Daniel 6:6-28
Tuesday: Mark 4:26-41
Wednesday: Psalm 136:1-26
Thursday: Matthew 7:1-6
Friday: Acts 23:11-35
Saturday: Psalm 135:1-21

Monday: I Peter 1:1-11
Tuesday: Luke 2:1-10
Wednesday: Proverbs 2:1-15
Thursday: Romans 15:1-13
Friday: I Thessalonians 5:1-11
Saturday: Psalm 115:1-18

The congregation extends its sympathy to the Keith Wagner family in the death of Keith’s brother, Walter, who died on Monday, July 8th. The funeral was in Greenville, SC on Monday, July 15th.
Our sympathy is also given to Jim Smith in the death of a sister, who died in Tennessee about the same time as Keith’s brother.

Thank you for all the cards, calls, prayers and flowers we received during my brother’s death. Such concern helps in times of grief. Keith Wagner

Today, Sunday, July 21st is Super Sunday. Please stay and enjoy the good food and fellowship following the service

There will be a steering committee meeting in the library following the Super Sunday meal.

Folks from here will be preparing the evening meal at the Ronald McDonald House this evening. If you would like to help, see Martha Albert. If you haven’t done this and toured the house, you’ve missed a wonderful good work. We will stop doing this for awhile and restart in a few months. The “house” has several groups which help with preparing meals.

A new recording devise is now plugged directly into the sound system. This allows the sermons to be recorded directly from the system so CDs can be made of the sermons.

With the new sound system we all need to be sure the building is secure when we leave. The front door was left unlocked after last Sunday’s service. Since there was an attempted break-in a few weeks ago, we were very fortunate not to have lost everything we just installed. Please, if you are the last one out, check all of the doors and be sure they are locked. We all need to take the responsibility to do this to protect what we have.


Instead of remaining at home and fitting themselves for their future duties as housekeepers, our young women flock to the department stores of our cities. This situation has become so serious in many sections of the country that a servant girl can not be had at any price.
As we watch these clerks standing behind long counters from morning until night, inhaling the dust from the goods and floors, pale and reminding one of a plant grown in the shade, we can not help but let our minds drift back to the homes they may have left in the country for the ones taken up in the hum of the busy city
I often think there must be something radically wrong somewhere. It does not seem likely that so many of our young women would be so keen to leave the parental roof if there were a perfect home attachment. Perhaps many of them come from farms of such proportions that there is an endless round of work for every member of the family from early morn until after dark, and where the young folks are permitted to read the cheap, trashy newspapers of the day, filled with records of crimes
All this, naturally enough, brings us down to the divorce question. I used to hear folks speak of marriages where the parties were opposite in disposition and the like, and I thought this was no particular hindrance since they were really married, because if both were determined to get along, they would, and nothing could prevent it.
But we have a different situation today. Women are taking marriage vows without the first knowledge of cooking and housekeeping. I recently read in the daily papers that a young married woman committed suicide while her husband was away at work, and left a note stating that she had done this because she felt she lacked the experience and knowledge properly to perform her household duties.
I want to say, dear reader, it is high time to put out the danger signal and exert every effort to keep our young women on the farm. If you have them at home it is your duty to keep them there. If they want reading matter, it is your duty to see that they have plenty of it and of the right sort, and not allow them to be led away to the city, as so many now are.
The above article is from an actual copy of a Farm Journal, dated March, 1909. It was written by a man (surprise!) named Grant Stanley.
After 104 years, the shadows of those feelings still linger. Advances have been made, but things like equal pay for equal work are still on the table for some lawmakers. The “glass ceiling” is a somewhat modern term that goes back far beyond keeping the girls on the farm. On the other hand, think how many women have been rulers of nations all the way back to before Cleopatra, who ruled Egypt BC.
The internet has a long list of notable women who ruled or held positions of power, with good results. They range from China, Egypt, Assyria, England, France, Spain, Russia, Nigeria, and Hawaii, to name a few. We could add Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel. Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, Margaret Thatcher, and certainly Deborah, Judge of Israel and of course, Queen Esther. You will notice the “New Western World” is still catching up.
How did these women, and others gain such power if women were always seen as domestics or even of inferior intelligence? There is no disparagement of women rulers in the Bible. There were wives of Kings who did mislead their husbands, like Solomon’s many wives and King Ahab’s wife, Jezebel.

When did the subjugation start? Nothing in scripture indicates it. It may have come when the Israelites were in captivity and married foreign women. It is true the value of women was seen as less than that of men under the Law of Moses. However, at no time was it said women could not rule over men. If they could not, that would leave Deborah and Esther stepping well out of their “roles.”
As we look at the history of important women rulers, we should examine the New Testament statements about women with that in mind. What was the context for the statement? Honesty requires no less.

CONCERNS: Rich Crites had some tests done this week and will see another of his doctors on Tuesday. Walter Wagner, Keith’s brother, has a very limited number of days to live, due to the spread of cancer. Judy McWhorter’s sister’s husband has started treatment for prostate cancer. Leena Bolin’s brother, Nick, has had pneumonia. Gil Richardson, a friend of Martha Foy, has severe muscular dystrophy. Those dealing with or recovering from cancer are: Connie Crite’s brother, Jim Hunter, Deana McRoy, Philip Pierce’s mother, Ruby Stahl, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood and ten year old Regan. Remember also Jenni Culum, Helen Nicklas, Alma Martin, Ron Matney and Tim Elder.

Monday: II Thessalonians 1:2-12
Tuesday: Matthew 1:18-25
Wednesday: John 2:1-11
Thursday: I Thessalonians 1:2-10
Friday: II Timothy 2:1-13
Saturday: Isaiah 40:1-11
Monday: Matthew 2:1-12
Tuesday: Matthew 2:13-23
Wednesday: Genesis 31;36-50
Thursday: Acts 9:19b-31
Friday: Psalm 122:1-13
Saturday: Psalm 140:1-13

Our new sound system has been installed. The covers for the speaker openings will be put up as soon as they are done. For any song leader who wants to use it, there is a nearly invisible ear to mouth microphone available. For the hearing impaired there are four wireless ear microphones. They are available at the sound station in the rear.
During the next few weeks we will be testing the fan noise level in hopes of being able to circulate more cool air. Be patient while we work this out.
On a related note, There was concern that seeing the truck of the installation company would arouse interest in thieves, and early last Sunday morning someone tried to break in the handicapped door. We are now making arrangements to have motion detection lights and cameras installed.. Be sure that all doors are locked and dead bolted when you leave the building. In the meantime, enjoy the new system.

Once again Wayne Flora has been planning and working to make this year’s C4 a fun event of games, learning and food. Wayne has big plans in store, so mark July 30,31 on your calendar and get ready.

There are two dates when we will be preparing the evening meal at the Ronald McDonald House this month. On Super Sunday the adults will be in charge. The last Wednesday of the month (31st) the teens will be going with those adults that go with them.

Super Sunday is Sunday, July 21. Mark the date and plan to stay for the fellowship meal

If you noticed extra cars in the lot when you arrived for Sunday School, it was the group from the Congregational Church that sleeps in our annex on the way to mission work in the Tenn, Ky area. They could not stay for worship this year.