Roanoke Church of Christ

Month: July 2019


       In the History of Christianity, and pretty much everything we humans do, change comes because we don’t like something the way it is. If we can’t change it we leave it and do what we want done. Every segment of Christianity started that way.  Most were born out of heresy, exclusion or abuse of power. Others came from a particular view of scripture. Today it is not so much doctrine as it is needs and the expectation of what God will do for us.  
         Pat Boone told us a miracle a day would keep the devil away. So folks went looking for daily miracles. Now let me say if you go looking for God working in the world you will come closer to finding it than if you don’t look. But as I read Pat’s book, that’s not quite what he was saying. You could expect all kinds of God-brought miracles if you had the faith they would happen.
    About that same time the “gifts of the (Holy) Spirit surfaced. Now we could be lead by the Spirit and we wouldn’t have to worry about doing wrong or getting lost if we were in the“Spirit”. But Spirit-led people were often interested first in what God (the Spirit) was going to do for them than bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit. See I Corinth 11-14.
    Healing was and still is a big part of certain segments of Christianity, and has been for years. Putting out your fleece, as in the story of Gideon, was another way to be sure God would make everything work out. Everyone wants a sign, and that was an often request made of Jesus.
    So what has God done for me lately? If God is all-wise and all-powerful, surely we can expect some of that wisdom and power to be given to us. When I hear about these new up-and-coming church groups, I always hear how God works with power in their group. God lays it out in front of them; all they have to do is rake it in. And while the people are all about the same, their differences keep them looking for the best experience to see God working the way they want in their lives.
    Am I about to complain? Yes. Why? Because that’s not what I read in the Bible. Do I read of mighty works and miracles? Yes. But do they make up the bulk of the story of God in the Bible? No.
    Let’s take a trip down Biblical Memory Lane. First there’s the miracle of creation. Then what? How long before Noah builds the ark? Maybe six hundred years or so. Then there’s Abraham. How many wonders did he get except the promised child, and the ram that kept Isaac from being toast?  The rest of the time he walks by faith alone and it wasn’t easy.
    His heirs see few “mighty works” and finally, Joseph ends up in Egypt. There he ends up in prison on a trumped-up charge. He has the gift of dream interpretation and two guys in prison promise to help him if he tells them their dreams. He does and they forget they ever knew him. Finally the word gets out and the king gets his dreams interpreted and Joseph works for the king and turns the country into a radical socialist nation. 
    Then there’s Moses. He gets some 
really good “signs and wonders” like the burning bush, the rod-snake, plagues and the crossing of the sea, manna and water from the rock and the Ten Commandments. Where are the signs and wonders? They then wander in the wilderness for forty years. How many miracles do we read about during the “wandering”?
    They cross Jordan on stopped-up water. Jericho falls. Then what? They win battles, the Judges come along and there’s Gideon’s fleece, Sampson’s hair and some slick war strategy. Samuel arrives. How many daily signs and wonders do you read in his life? The kings arrive, and years pass without any notable signs except for Elijah and Elisha. Years go by with the divided kingdom in one mess after the other.    Then comes the invasion and exile. They spend years in exile away from their land. How many miracles did they get? Along come the reformers, like Ezra and Nehemiah. How many days did they just walk by faith only? 
    Ezekiel gets his valley of dry bones, but his life is almost daily bad, as is Jeremiah’s and the rest. All of them call for a reformed and restored nation and the rewards they promise for this are not signs and wonders, but a nation worthy of being called God’s people.    
    Of course, we are New Testament folks and we do see the works and wonders of Jesus written there. They are what the hoped-for Messiah would do; meaning they hadn’t been done much before. So when we read the life of Jesus, we tend to see those things which fall into the spectacular. The daily grind of faith gets lost in the excitement of the exception. Question: How much did Jesus’ signs and wonders convince people that he was the Messiah of God? Not much. Did he use the signs and wonders to prove he was the Messiah? No. Not once does he do a miracle and then say, “That proves I’m God’s son the Messiah”.
    Jesus dies and is raised and his followers go out into the world with the good news. It starts with wonders, i.e., the day of Pentecost. In Acts there are wonderful happenings, the dead are raised, and jail doors are opened. Paul is converted. How many miracles did Paul get? He didn’t even get relief from what he called his “thorn in the flesh”. He walked day after day by faith in Jesus and the resurrection, never seeing a wonder, other than the grace and love of God.
    Christianity is a life choice. It is the conviction that God spoke through Jesus the Son, and told us how to bring about God’s will on the earth. The gospel is not first about establishing churches and saving souls for eternity. It is about God’s will here and now, and the assurance of things hoped for, such as the defeat of death and eternal life as the result.
    Being a Christian is often a hands dirty, legs weary, walking in the dark, life. It’s not about what God will do for us, as much as it is what God has already done.

CONCERNS: Mark McRoy’s  neighbor’s cousin Paul Esteppe, has jaw cancer. Teryn Gaynor’s  continued prayers for her stepfather. Joni Beach’s niece, Jamie Cole. Pray for Darnell  Barnes. Jo Wagner’s sister, Judy Powell throat Cancer and her cousin Harold Clark, Lung Cancer.  Donte McCadden, a young father with CF. Former members, Ray and Debbie Reiss,son-in law, David, brain Cancer Treatment.Deanna McRoy has a kind of cancer that can return at any time.  Debbie McRoy’s cousin, Linda Alsup health issues along with husband, Prentice recurring cancer.Also: Joni and Alan Beach’s fathers, Gary Overstreet, Bill Albert, Jim Hunter, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver, Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.

Bible Study: 9:30 AM
Sunday Worship: 10:30 AM
Wednesday Evening: 7:0

Keith Wagner


    The Church work Day will be rescheduled for a later date due to the intense heat.

                SUPER SUNDAY
    Was cancelled due to the extreme heat  and the number of folks who will not be attending due to vacations this week. 

    To our guest speaker Buford Lumsden for last week’s service. We were grateful to have him as our  guest speaker and we  really appreciated his message.

    Carolee Crosen’s address :
2123 Lynn Ave SW, Roanoke, VA 24014
Phone # 540-520-0300.
 Rob & Gloria Kinney: 2033 Darlington Rd SW  Roanoke, VA 24018 
Phone # 540-774-5466   
    Teryn’s mom’s screens came back clear and her blood count  numbers were good. No tumor was visible.  Thanks for your prayers.  She will be doing a couple of more treatments. 

                DEAN’S LIST 
    Congratulations to  Jack Thompson for  making  the Virginia Tech Dean’s list for Spring 2019.

    The Window blinds in the foyer must be kept closed due to the amount of heat coming through the windows.  Also the doors to the auditorium must be kept closed to keep the cold air in.          


William James, one of the founders of psychoanalysis, wrote a book with the above title. James himself didn’t have too many religious experiences. He was, however, interested in the experiences of others. He was not all that religious, but he defended on a mystical level, the right to have all the religious experiences a person wanted.
    I’ve had religious experiences. James might have examined them if he got bored with the real interesting stuff. But these are the ones which bother me the most. Over the years I’ve heard more than one preacher describe in rather explicit terms what women do to make men lust. It may not qualify as a real religious experience, but it is an experience and it is about religion
    A friend of mine recalled a time at a summer youth camp, and as part of the staff he was listening to a speaker tell the kids how awful it was to use things in the Bible for humor. I’m sure you’ve heard some of them. It’s like, “Who is the best tennis player in the Bible? Joseph, because he served in Pharaoh’s court.” Or, “Who smoked the first cigarette? Rebekah. It says ‘Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lit off her camel.” (That’s only funny if you know “Camel” is a brand of cigarette.) 
    The speaker went on and on, listing one after another all the examples he was condemning. My friend, as would I, was trying not to laugh out loud, as were all the kids. You see, such things can be funny. The problem is when you find yourself on the other side of another person’s religious experience. To the speaker, the list was a sacrilege, for the kids and people like me and my friend, it was creative and funny. That’s the kind of religious experiences I have, not the ones James would like to investigate.
    It was fifty years ago that West Virginia wanted resend the existing Blue Law. I sat through more than one meeting of preachers where I was told if stores stayed open on Sunday we would see the end of the family as God had ordained it. (At this point you may insert any current doomsday warning) Sunday shopping would increase divorce, unwed mothers and crime. Churches would have to compete with shopping centers. It was a real serious issue for the preachers in  West Virginia. No surprise that myself and another preacher ended up on the wrong side, and it was an experience! You have to be careful when you mess with another persons religious issue. I told them I was from Ohio, where the was no Blue Law. But because we were Christians we didn’t shop until after church on Sunday. I pointed out that in the present case, stores were not opening until after most churches had been out an hour or two. That is no longer the case today, but as far as I can tell, the family unit, while perhaps suffering, is not suffering from eating at Olive Garden after church.
    In the West Virginia case, many of the churches in the Kanawha valley had chemical worker who worked shift work, and had to work on Sunday. There were also nurses and doctors and emergency personnel who had to work on Sunday. Off course, I was told those were necessary jobs, but if all places could stay open it would be the ruin of our society. If thee prophets of doom were right, the world would not have made it out of the first century. Of course, maybe one day (NOT) someone will pick the exact time ruin came upon the earth like a plague, because someone every day is announcing the end as we know it.
    With all the religious experiences we have, I was thinking we could make a list which would define them in simple terms. After all, we all know what Damascus Road Experience means.
    How about The Big Chill? Being baptized in an unheated baptistry. 
    Raiders of the Lost Ark. Finding out too late that some kids ate the communion bread. That’s a religious experience!
    Friendly Persuasion. (An oldie, I know) The moment your older sibling keeps elbowing you in the ribs to the 4/4 time of “O Why Not Tonight.”
    The Longest Yard. Trying to get by that guy at church who is always asking why you haven’t been baptized.. That is a very real religious experience!
    La La Land. The time a friend took you to Lakewood Church to hear Joel Osteen.
    Frozen. The day there was no heat in the church and the elders refused to dismiss the services on the ground that suffering was good for the soul.

THOSE TO SERVE IN JULY*Announcements: Wayne Flora
Serve Communion: Connie Crites
                            Mark McRoy
                           Maggie Foy
                            Garrett Williams
Usher: Jeff Bland
Communion Care: Blessing Family
Singing:        S                cripture:
7-Scott Blessing                Holly Wagner
14- Karen Branch                Holly Wagner
21-Del Bolin                        Holly Wagner
28-Del Bolin                        Holly Wagner
Communion:                Nursery:
7-Mike Branch                Alisa Flora
14-Mike Branch                Alisa Flora
21-Mike Branch                Alisa Flora
28-Mike Branch                Alisa Flora
Lead-Susan Jordan
Assist- Mike Branch & Leena Bolin
If you cannot serve call Erma Williams

JULY BIRTHDAYS7-Kathy Sirgy        8-Larry Foy
9-Nathan Flora    13-Samuel Blessing
16-Zona Fisher    19-Jim Hunter
21-Brock McRoy    Oliver Hogan
26-John Bolin
2-Jake & AC Fuller    
4-Wayne & Susan Phlegar
13-James & Mary Smith
* This is a summer schedule. Any time you need a replacement one will be provided.

CONCERNS: Mark McRoy’s  neighbor’s cousin Paul Esteppe, has jaw cancer. Teryn Gaynor’s mother’s tumor has enlarged and is being treated.  Continued prayers for her stepfather also. Joni Beach’s niece, Jamie Cole. Ray Barnes pray for his wife, Darnell.  Jo Wagner’s sister, Judy Powell throat Cancer and her cousin Harold Clark, Lung Cancer.  Donte McCadden, a young father with CF. Former members, Ray and Debbie Reiss’son-in law, David, brain Cancer Treatment. Deanna McRoy has a kind of cancer that can return at any time.  Debbie McRoy’s cousin, Linda Alsup health issues along with husband, Prentice recurring cancer. 
Also: Keep Judy McWhorter, Joni and Alan Beach’s fathers, Gary Overstreet, Bill Albert, Jim Hunter, Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver, Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder

2606 Brandon Ave SW
Roanoke, Va 24015\

Bible Study: 9:30 AM
Sunday Worship: 10:30 AM
Wednesday Evening: 7:00

Keith Wagner

CHURCH  WORK  DAY     Mark  your Calendar for July 20th. The  next plan  work day.  Please take a look at the list  in the fellowship hall by the entry/exit door.  Check to see if you can  accomplish any of the items on the list?  Please let us know if we missed something that needs to be done?  Please be aware  that you can work on any project at your  leisure if  July 20th, doesn’t  work  with your schedule.  Please make  notes on the list as appropriate, so all will know the status of the work.

THANKS    To Susan Jordan for last Sunday’s  hymns and history. Thank you, Susan for your  time and coordination of these hymns. Everyone enjoys learning the history behind our hymns. 

    Next Sunday July 14th, We  will have a Guest Speaker Burford Lumsden.  Burford has worshiped with Varies Christian Churches. Burford was baptized many years ago in the cold April Waters of Maggie Creek. 

  The following people are now worshiping with us.   Kate Etuk, Rob and Gloria Kinney and Carole Chosen.    

    There’s always room for you.  Please come join us on Wednesday for our weekly supper and bible study. We’re studying The Corinthian letters. Keith will be  having Eye Surgery on July 10th, and will not be there that Wednesday night. 


    Since today is Father’s Day, I would imagine a number of sermons will be preached telling fathers how the Bible wants them to be. I guess that’s OK, except finding a father in the Bible to use as an example isn’t that easy. In fact, finding a family in the Bible to use as an example as a Godly home is just as hard. Of course, the Bible is not primarily about home life.  
    The idea of the Bible telling us how to have happy moms and dads and kids is interesting, because it seems anyone who is religious claims to know just what the answers are. I’m not saying the Bible doesn’t give sound, spiritual advice on how to live and get along with each other. I’m saying it is next to impossible, or impossible, to find a family unit in the Bible with all the right stuff.
    In West Virginia I knew a preacher who preached about how mothers should dress in modest apparel (his view, of course) for his Mother’s Day sermon. A young lady I met in WVA told me her father felt the same way, only not just on Mother’s Day. He refused to let this nineteen year old daughter cut her hair or wear any kind of makeup. His right? Yes, but she sure did it up when she left home, and religion. The Bible talks about being a holy people, we’re just not sure where those families are.
    Maybe Job is the only father in the Bible who doesn’t have a bunch of black marks on his permanent record. But I doubt you would hear any sermons on Job this morning. If there is another, make a mental list of fathers and families as they develop in scripture.
Adam? One son kills the other. Noah may not be too bad, if you overlook his drunkenness after getting out of the Ark; and maybe cursing his son, Ham, for whatever it was he did when he saw him. Of course, maybe we’d all get a little drunk after being cooped up for forty days and nights with all those animals and the kids constantly asking, “Are we there yet?!” 
    Abraham would surely come to mind, with his faith and all. But then he gives his wife away twice to save his own skin. Later, when impatience sets in for an heir, with his wife’s permission, (he should have been smarter than to believe that would work!) he fathers a child by Sara’s servant, Hagar. Then He lets Sara tell him to toss them out to fend for themselves, or die trying. Of course, as the story goes, God told Abraham to send Hagar and her son, Ishmael away, and that God would make him also a great nation. However, Hagar isn’t in on that until later. And we might excuse it because it was way back then, which is my point. So how are we going to find the right example when all that stuff wouldn’t be allowed today  as it was then?
    Look at Moses. What ever happened to his sons? They never figure in the history of Israel in any way, shape or form. The only time we see them is when they arrive with his mother to visit dad in the wilderness at the foot of “the mountain of God.” In Exodus 18:2 it says, “Now Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, had taken Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her away, and her two sons….” That’s the last we hear of her or them. However, in I Chron. 23 &26 the sons, Gershom and Eliezer are mentioned and are associated with the tribe of Levi. Did they go with Moses? Maybe, but Moses marries an Ethiopian woman. How’s that for family values?
    Even in the New Testament we have the same problem. We know a little about the family in Jesus’ time and what was expected of a father, though it is not spelled out in the NT. We do not know when  Jesus’ father, Joseph died. All we know is he is only mentioned in the early life of Jesus. Jesus mother will, at one point, conclude he has lost his mind about being the Messiah. (Mark 3:21) What was a family like which had the right stuff for a sermon in Jesus’ day? We don’t know. Peter seems to leave his wife and mother-in law to follow Jesus. Good? Or bad? In that time, probably OK. Today? Questionable, unless it’s military service. Even then, we don’t know what the family was like. 
    We might think of the story of the Prodigal son, and if there are sermons on being a good father on Father’s Day, that one would likely be used. However, that one won’t work. The story of the Prodigal is about the nature of God, as Father, not fathers like the rest of us. I don’t mean a good father is not forgiving or offers second chances. I mean that Jesus is describing God, and no father is like God. Godly, yes, but not perfect in love as is God., especially in this story, that in context, was about who Jesus was hanging out with.
    If any of us had a son who had done what the prodigal had done, we would expect, as well as “repentance” (a change of direction) a real change in direction. What are the child’s plans and how can we help with them. We want a change of heart. Human fathers have a right to see that a change of life has happened. But only God has the right stuff.
    That does not mean that as parents we do not love and support our children as they grow and mature, even with their failings. That’s what parents are to do. But the story of the prodigal is not about a prodigal child, it is about the amazing love of God.
    There may be no perfect father in the Bible, however, there are things said that can guide fathers. We can see the life of Jesus and his moral and ethical teaching. We can do our best, “best” is the key word, to live out our lives with honesty and integrity.
That’s a sermon for everyone who follows Jesus. 
    If a grown child is asked about a childhood memory that best described their parents, you will hear a defining word about their parents. Of course, many fathers and mothers also grow and repent (change) as they age. When the children become parents they will understand how important that is.

CONCERNS: Judy McWhorter is able to be at worship but is still recovering  from  knee surgery. Teryn Gaynor’s mother’s tumor has enlarged and is being treated. Also: Joni and Alan Beach’s fathers. Mark McRoy is asking for prays for Paul Estette  who has a rare form of cancer. Gary Overstreet, Bill Albert, Jim Hunter, Sheila  Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver,  Marjorie Wilson. Melanie Gentry. Wayne Phlegar. Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder. 

2606 Brandon Ave SW
Roanoke, Va 24015\

Steering CommitteeDel Bolin    Wayne Flora
Mike Branch   Susan Jordan
Martha Foy    Judy McWhorter

Bible Study: 9:30 AM
Sunday Worship: 10:30 AM
Wednesday Evening: 7:00

Editor/MinisterKeith Wagner

FATHER’S DAY    Happy Father’s Day to all of our Father’s. Father’s day celebrates the contribution that fathers and father figures make for their children’s lives.

SUPER SUNDAY    Today (June 16th) is Super Sunday. 
    It is also Father’s Day. Where could Dad get a better meal than right here. The Fellowship meal will be in the annex following the service.  Visitors are considered our honored quests.  Please  plan to stay.   

    The Sunday morning class is now in the book of Galatians. Come and join in. 

    Our thanks to everyone that came out to help on June 1st for  the Church Work  Day. 

NOTICE    During the hot weather the dead limbs on the tree near the main entrance to the parking lot dry out and  fall off. You can see some residue from recent limbs. Be careful when parking there especially on windy days. 

    Please come join us on Wednesday for our weekly supper and bible study.  Feeds your body and soul at 6:00 pm.  We’re studying The Corinthian letters.  There’s always room for you. 

    This is the time of year when our folks are traveling. If you are going to be away let the office know.  Please keep our church members that our traveling in you prayers.