Roanoke Church of Christ

Month: August 2019

THE GREAT UNKNOWN – New Life Bulletin

     The title has nothing to do with the line from the song that goes, “From here to the Great Unknown.”      
    To explain the title, go back in time with me to the sermons you’ve heard. My guess is that you heard about Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, John the baptizer, Jesus, Peter, Paul and a few others. Probably at some point in each of those sermons the preacher held one or two of these folks up as examples of how we should be. We left church wondering when it would be our time to build an ark, or kill a Goliath, or be crucified like Jesus, and go into all the world like Paul. Anything less seems to fall short of what is a “real” Christian. In other words, we were always “falling short of the glory of God.” That is until we get our act together and became like the people the preacher held up before us.
        There is also that hairy problem of the Holy Spirit. If we were taught that the Holy Spirit was the Bible, problem solved, almost. Now all we had to do was duplicate the instructions in the New Testament and we would be safe. We would be lead by the Spirit of the Word, as it were. Among the problems with that is the person who could quote the most scripture would be considered the most “full of the Spirit”. (“Which version of the Holy Spirit do you want? KJV, ASV NKJV or some other? We have it in hardback and soft leather?”) We would also become literalists, which to the thinking student of scripture is impossible.  So we need to find a way to decide which passages to follow and which to not. This, of course, is true even if we are not among those who believe the Spirit is the Bible.
    I said the Holy Spirit is a hairy problem because when we see the passages that speak of the “indwelling Spirit” we also have to deal with them. That’s where the rub comes in for most of us. We are told that the Spirit gives us “spiritual gifts”. So we look around and we don’t see anything. If someone asks what our gift is, we are stuck. Those who try to display what they feel is theirs, seem to ruin it, if indeed they have it right. Which I think in most cases of self-recognition, they don’t. All I can say here is I think the gifts of the Spirit are best seen in us by others, and accepted by us in faith. 
    However, as a reading of Paul’s letters to the Corinthians indicates, the concept of the Spirit giving gifts can be a problem. As seen in the first letter, the “visible” gifts were the most sought after. But as time passed and they seemed to fade in and out of church life, so some explanation needed to be made. At some point it was decided by some that those “visible” gifts were only for a certain time and place. Therefore, they no longer existed, hence the Bible itself became the Holy Spirit. Regardless the excitement about that view and the scriptures used to defend it, it didn’t and won’t hold water, more less the Holy Spirit..
    Left without a “The end!” from God, some set out to find the treasures of the lost Spirit. Meaning they wanted visible proof of  the  Spirit  in  their life. In some cases visibility became the test as to if the person had the Holy Spirit or not. This led to some faking and hypocrisy. It also leads to frustration and disappointment as well as constant questioning of oneself. 
    In the New Testament there is never any doubt that the confessing person (Christian) doesn’t  receive God’s Spirit in their life. I’m not going to list the scriptures which  would confirm that. My interest is in what a “spiritual” person is supposed to look and act like. 
    What does a spiritual person look like? Are there some “Christians” in any church who lack the presence of God’s Spirit in them? Don’t we look for the Moses’ and the Abrahams, and the Pauls? How many do we find that we can put our finger on and say it? On any given Sunday all across the world, churches are filled with believers who come, involve themselves in worship, and leave. If they were told to list their particular Holy Spirit gift at the door, how many could? How many would feel very accepted if they couldn’t?  Why we feel that way is because those who preach and need to keep the wheels of the church turning, as well as being driven by the need to convert the world to Christ, need more wheel turners and converters. In other words, more people like Paul are needed.
    Now, let’s look at the actual picture in the New Testament, at least as we have it. We know about Peter and Paul and a few other “evangelists”. We are told that on the day of Pentecost three thousand folks were converted and “added” to the church. What happened to all of them? Did they all go off preaching? Some did. But behind those who did, were the great unknown. Those who never went beyond the edge of the town or city in which they lived. They assembled to worship and praise God and went out and loved their neighbors. We can imagine (because we still see it) that they did deeds of goodness and kindness. Hopefully they never wondered if they had received the gift of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Hopefully they were never made to feel unspiritual because they didn’t feel the need to express visible proof of the indwelling Spirit by displaying their gift (talent).    
    Are there unspiritual people who say they are Christians? Yes. What’s the test? For Paul it was the result, the “fruit” of the Spirit’s presence. In Galatians 5:22ff, Paul says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love. Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Strange, but there’s no “speaking in tongues” or “prophesying” there. Neither is there a “Be a giant for Christ”, though any one of those might cause someone to be, but not everyone. 
            Most of us are part of the great unknown, except to God who lives in us and makes God visible in the above (yes, visible) attributes. Do we have to be good at all of them equally to have the Spirit? No. Salvation is not by gifts, but grace. 

CONCERNS: Please keep Paul  Esteepe’s family and Teryn Gaynor’s family in your prayers.  Joni Beach’s niece, Jamie Cole. Pray for Darnell Barnes. Jo Wagner’s sister, Judy Powell throat Cancer. Please keep Jo Wagner in your prayer  her cousin Harold Clark passed away .   Donte McCadden, a young father with CF has been air lifted to DUKE.  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.

2606 Brandon Ave SW
Roanoke, Va 24015 

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

Keith Wagner

     Thank you to everyone that came out Saturday to help with the Church  work Day.  The Church is looking good.  Thanks to all who contribute.  Next  Work  Day will be September 7th. 

                PIG ROAST
       Saturday, August 31st  is our annual Pig Roast.  We will be eating around 4:00 pm. Sign up sheet on foyer table.  Please sign up today so we will have the correct head count.  Please bring a side dish to go with the barbeque.  Like buns, chips, etc…            
    Our sympathy is extended to Teryn Gaynor & Family in the death of her Stepfather who passed away in Alabama.        FOUND KEYS
     Found next to the annex looks like a  spare car key and maybe a house key.  Contact Keith or Joanne.

WELCOME    To our  guest  speaker Vernie Bolden. We are thankful to have him as our  speaker today  and we  really appreciate  his message. Vernie is a graduate of Lexington  Theological Seminary, where Jerry Sumney  teaches.

    Rob & Gloria Kinney: 2033 Darlington Rd SW  Roanoke, VA 24018 
These are their correct  phone #’s
Rob’s  Phone # 540-819-3645
Gloria ‘s Phone # 540-819-3642

THANK YOU    We want to thank Susan again for her trip this month to Guatemala.  We appreciate her sacrifices in making this journey to represent Roanoke Church of Christ at Clinic a Ezell. Thank you, Susan for all the good you have done in Guatemala. 


I walked with Jesus.
Not the same way he walks with me, 
He didn’t know I was there.
If he did he gave no sign.
It was if there was a glass wall between us,
And only I could see through it.
I walked beside him,
But we seemed worlds apart.

We were in Palestine,
In his time.
I knew the story
But from my side of the wall 
It was somehow new and strange.
He seemed so alone or sad,
I couldn’t tell which.

As we walked,
Some men stopped him 
And a bitter discussion ensued.
I noticed for the first time
I could not hear him,
Only the others.
They called him a blasphemer and a devil.

When it was over
I was embarrassed for him.
I also knew something of confrontation.
A person can only endure rejection
As long as they have family and friends
Who love them.

I looked for that someone with him
And found no one.
His family and friends stood helplessly by,
Tears filled his mother’s eyes,
As they told her he must have gone mad,
Perhaps demon possessed,
Completely beside himself.
They did not know what to do with him.
He walked on alone as I followed.

There must be someone!
Yes! Those twelve men,
Confused and hopeful
Who followed him.
Then came others 
From villages and towns,
Curious and questioning.

He said things they did not understand
And there were serious doubts.
They questioned why they followed him.
Some began lagging behind,
Others stopped completely.
Even I felt tired And felt the pull of those
Who turned away.
He was ahead of me now,
But I kept walking with him.

More confrontation with religious leaders
Which drained him more and more.
His eyes kept looking heavenward,
As if expecting something.
I saw moments of pain on his face,
As well as on the face of the twelve.
They spoke in hushed voices
That I could not hear.

I knew that disaster was close at hand,
I stumbled as I walked into the night,
But I was determined to go on,
Because I too had walked
In dubious times.
Where is Judas Going?

He went to a dark garden
Just outside the city.
He motioned for the others
to stay behind.
I started to follow
But something told me I could not.

Then Judas was there
And not alone.
Jesus appeared and was taken away.
There was a brief struggle,
And then we all ran,
Except Judas.

Drained and weary before the High Priest,
Then at Pilate’s palace,
Jesus turned, as if looking for a familiar face.
But only heard cries for his death.
They led him away into the darkness
Where in my dread I dared not go.

Then I heard heavy and labored breathing
And he was moving painfully toward me.
A large beam was laid on his shoulders and He looked small and bent beneath the weight.
My body felt like it was made of stone
As I fell to the ground.

I could hear my scream, “Lord, I can’t!
I can’t go with you!
It’s to much for me.”
He stopped before me
And as he squinted in the early light
He looked at me and said,”I know.”
The glass wall was gone
And I could see clearly the love of God.

Announcements: Judy McWhorter
Serve Communion: Lyn Jordan
                  Wayne Flora
                  Joanne Elder
                  Holly Wagner
Usher: Garrett Williams
Communion Care: Susan Phlegar
Singing:        Scripture:
4-Scott Blessing    Mark McRoy
11-Del Bolin            Mark McRoy
18-Karen Branch    Mark McRoy
25-Del Bolin        Mark McRoy
Communion:        Nursery:
4-Abraham Sirgy    Connie Crites 
11-Abraham Sirgy      Connie Crites
18-Abraham Sirgy    Connie Crites
25-Abraham Sirgy       Connie Crites
*This is a summer list. If you can’t serve, contact Erma Williams

10-Laura Hogan 11-Garrett Williams, Sr.
20-Scott Blessing  28-Holly Wagner    

AUGUST ANNIVERSARIES      17-Mark & Rhonda McRoy
       27-Tim & Joanne Elder
       27- Bud & Judy McWhorter
       31- Steve & Teryn Gaynor
RONALD MCDONALD HOUSEMike Branch and Lyn Jordan
CONCERNS: Jim Washington, friend of Laura Schreiner, is on heart transplant list. Laura Schreiner has COPD. Raymond Eichler has been receptive to housing decisions.  Mark McRoy’s  neighbor’s cousin Paul Esteppe, has jaw  cancer with home hospice.  Don & Sheri Blackwell spine injury recovery back home in Southhaven,MS. Teryn Gaynor’s mother’s tumor scan and reports have come back good. Continued prayers for her stepfather.  Joni Beach’s niece, Jamie Cole. Jo Wagner’s sister, Judy Powell throat Cancer and her cousin Harold Clark, Lung Cancer.  Asking for prayers for Donte McCadden, a young father with CF, who is now in critical care at UVA. 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 REMEMBER: Bill Albert, Jim Hunter Joni & 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: 7:00 PM

Keith Wagner

         CHURCH  WORK DAY 
     Mark  your Calendar for August 10th.  The  next plan  work day is from 9am through Noon.  The accomplishments are beginning to be visible. Thanks to all who contribute. 
    To Scott  Blessing  for last Sunday’s message.  Thank you, Scott for your  time and coordination of “The Broken Wall“ Everyone enjoyed it. 

      Is there something on your heart you’d like to share with the church family?    
Do you know someone who can share the Word with us?  Let a steering committee member know and they will provide available dates. 

       PIG ROAST
       Saturday, August 31st  is our annual Pig Roast from 2-4. Sign up sheet on foyer table. 

GUATEMALA    Prayers for Susan Jordan who will be traveling from August 2nd through 8th, to Guatemala to assist in Health Talents’ clinical work at Clinica Ezell. 

    There’s always room for you.  Please come join us on Wednesday for our weekly supper and bible study starting at 6pm.  We’re studying The Corinthian letters.
The Sunday morning class is now in the book of Galatians. Come and join in. 

       Peanut butter is the number one needed item for Feeding America. It can be used all year.  Drop a jar off on the foyer table.  Thank you for helping our community!