The Witness

Volume 41, Issue 15

April 12, 2023

An Opportunity

13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and blessed and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And all ate and were filled, and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 14:13-21).

On Sunday, we read Matthew’s account of Jesus’ resurrection. As I shared, I was struck by Matthew’s emphasis on the word “see.” This word appears four times in ten verses. Every time Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were willing to physically “move” to a different location, they “saw” something different. At the tomb, they saw an angel descending and the stone being rolled away. In the tomb, they saw the miracle that it was empty. From the tomb, they saw Jesus. Each time they were willing to move, they were able to see something more than they had before, until ultimately they saw their risen Lord.

Following Sunday’s message someone said to me, “What does ‘moving’ look like in real life?” What a great question! I think we may all answer it a bit differently, depending on the season of life we are in and the circumstances we are facing. There is no way to answer that question in a way that is universally applicable. However, one way we could consider it, regardless of the specifics of our situation, may be more of a “how” versus a “what” or “where.” Sometimes “moving” as the Spirit leads us is less about changing what we are doing or where we are going, and is more about shifting how we approach what we are doing wherever that may be.

When the disciples saw the hungry group of people in front of them, they thought that someone needed to change their location. Either they (along with Jesus) needed to move away from this crowd, or the crowd needed to start moving back toward town in order to get something to eat. Jesus challenged his disciples to approach the situation differently. Rather than trying to send the people away, Jesus instructed his disciples, “you give them something to eat.” Rather than helping the disciples remove the problem (a crowd of hungry people) or move themselves away from the problem, Jesus moved his disciples to change their approach and solve the problem. As a result, an obstacle became an opportunity to participate in one of the greatest miracles of Jesus’ earthly life—the feeding of the 5,000.

Sometimes God’s Spirit moves us over, around, or away from a problem; other times, his Spirit moves us to simply reframe our approach to the problem. Through Christ, almost every obstacle presents an opportunity. How we frame it will determine how we approach it. How we approach it will determine how we work through it. How we work through it will determine what comes from it.

What are the obstacles in front of you today? How might God be trying to change your approach so that you can see more than the problem, but also the possibility? Your move.  


This Sunday, April 16th

This Sunday Travis' message is "God's Church is Enough," and our scripture is Acts 2:42-47. We will also have special guests this Sunday: Israel Bachew, a steel drum musician who was with us several years ago, will be back this Sunday along with his family. He will be ministering through music in both services. If you cannot join us in person, tune in through our website or Facebook group page. All usual Sunday afternoon and evening activities will take place. We'll also have Art from the Heart/CIA beginning at 4:00 PM.

Wednesdays @ VBC

Tonight we will have all of our usual Wednesday evening activities, including dinner (lasagna, salad, bread, & dessert - 5:30 PM) for those who signed up. Join us for Youth missions at 6:00 PM; Adult Bible Study (studying Psalm 30), Children's Choirs, and Praise Team rehearsal at 6:15 PM; and Chancel Choir rehearsal at 7:30 PM.

Next Wednesday, April 19th our menu is burgers, macaroni salad, baked beans, and dessert. Sign up for dinner (or make changes to your reservation) by 5:00 PM Monday, April 17th. Dinner costs: $6/adult (ages 13+), $4/child (ages 4-12), children 3 and under are free, and the max per family living in the same household is $18. First-time guests are free.

Supper Club/Life Group

The April Supper Club will meet this Saturday, April 15th at 5:30 PM in the gym for a Mexican Fiesta theme! Bring your favorite Mexican inspired dish to share, and come join us for food, fun, and fellowship!

Art from the Heart & CIA (Children in Action)

All kindergarteners - 5th graders are invited to join us this Sunday at 4:00 PM for Art from the Heart and CIA!

Fun & the Son Play Group

Fun & the Son has expanded to include both Mondays and Thursdays! This interactive play time for children ages newborn - PreK is organized by Betty Jo Overstreet and meets 9:30 - 10:30 AM.

Thrive Student Ministry's Youth BBQ Fundraiser

The Youth are sponsoring a BBQ Fundraiser for their mission trip to Nashville! This is Eastern NC style chopped pork BBQ with either vinegar or homemade molasses sauce. Coleslaw is also available. BBQ will be smoked overnight by Brad Radford. Ordering options are 1) 1/4 lb. sandwich for $5.00/each; 2) sandwich, chips, & drink combo for $7.00; 3) one pound container of BBQ for $10.00. BBQ must be pre-ordered by Wednesday, April 19th. It will be available for pickup Sunday, April 23rd following each worship service. Place your order in the church office as soon as possible, or click here to order and pay online.

Vinton Baptist Church Hope Center

Cathy Abraham, a Licensed Professional Counselor, is offering free, private, confidential counseling for our VBC family. Cathy focuses on marriage and families, co-parenting through divorce and separation, adults and children having gone through childhood trauma, and general life stressors for ages 13 and up. Appointments can be made for Tuesdays at 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, or 2:00 PM. Sessions will take place at the church, and you can make an appointment by calling the church office at 540-343-7685.

JOY Seniors

Our May trip to Lancaster, PA is full! You can, however, sign up for the wait list in case someone drops out. The final payment (or payment in full) is due by Friday, April 21st for those who have signed up.

The JOY April luncheon will be Tuesday, April 25th. Our lunch will be ordered from Chick-fil-A ($10/person). Sign up and pay at the JOY Senior table, where you can also make your lunch selections. Entertainment will be provided by Rick Dellinger. Please plan to join us for fun and fellowship.

At the request of JOY Senior participants, a surprise trip has been added to explore downtown Roanoke Saturday, May 6th. We will leave VBC at 9:30 AM and ride as a group to downtown Roanoke, where you can plan your own adventure around the many shops/restaurants, Farmer's Market, Market Building, Center in the Square, Mast General Store, a trolley ride, and of course the Strawberry Festival. We will depart downtown at 2:30 PM. Please sign up at the JOY table as soon as possible so that we will know which bus to take.

Preteen Snow Tubing

Preteens (3rd - 5th graders), plan to join us Sunday, April 23rd, 12:00 - 5:00 PM for lunch, snow tubing at Liberty University's Snowflex venue, and a trip to Crumble afterward. Lunch will be provided. The cost for tubing is $15/person. Please complete this required waiver and bring it with you to the event.

Science & the Bible: A Creation Study

This study will kick off Sunday, April 23rd and continue Wednesdays at 6:15 PM on April 26th and May 3rd. Don't miss this enthralling study, led by Wally Mayo, on what the Bible says about the creation. We will also look at how the latest science relates to what the Bible tells us. We will address questions like, what do creation "days" mean, what does the Bible say about a beginning, what about the flood, what about Adam & Eve, are there implications regarding Heaven, are there misunderstandings from the past, is there harmony with science or not?

Karen Musselwhite Smith

Berkshire Health Care Center #61B

705 Clearview Drive

Vinton VA 24179

Thank you to Jeff & Linda Booth for donating a Bible and several New Testaments for community outreach.

Please extend a warm welcome to Brian & Andrea Lafferty, who joined Vinton Baptist Easter Sunday, April 9th. They live at 1027 Claiborne Avenue, Vinton VA 24179 with their son Tucker. Brian & Andrea, we are so happy that you are "officially" members!

Christian sympathy is extended to Anthony Conner and family in the death of his wife, Lisa Zimmerman Conner, on April 9th; and to Sue Burks and Jean Truman and families in the death of sister Joan Dingledine St. Clair on April 8th.

RVBA Spring Meeting

The Roanoke Valley Baptist Associational Spring Meeting will be held Tuesday, April 25th at Villa Heights Baptist Church at 6:30 PM (no meal in the spring). We have as messengers Rudy Jones, Kathryn Sowers, and Chris Monroe. If you'd like to represent Vinton Baptist and have voting privileges, please call Patsy in the church office (540-343-7685) and we'll put you down as a messenger. Thank you!

Journey to the Cross

Thanks to all who had a part in our Journey to the Cross family event this past Saturday, which walked through the stations of the cross from a child's perspective. It was an informative and special time. A special thank you goes to all of our volunteers, who made this event possible.

Can You Help with Children's Church?

We are in need of teachers and helpers for Children's Church for each service every Sunday. If you can volunteer, please click here to sign up. Dates are available from now through the summer. If you'd like to help, but you're not sure what's required, please reach out to Whitney.

Bible Reading Plan

We've made it to Deuteronomy in our Bible reading plan! If you're not there yet, that's okay. Just keep reading. Following are a few notes about Deuteronomy from Fee & Stuart's "How to Read the Bible Book by Book."

The main point of Deuteronomy is "rehearsal of the covenant for a new generation of Israelites just before the conquest" of the Promised Land.

"As you read, you will discover what drives Deuteronomy from beginning to end - an uncompromising monotheism coupled with an equally deep concern for Israel's uncompromising loyalty to Yahweh ('the Lord') their God. This comes out in any number of ways, but its primary moment is in the Shema (6:4-5), which became the distinguishing mark of Judaism and is identified by Jesus as 'the first commandment': 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.' The reason they are to love Yahweh in this way is that he first loved them - when they were slaves and counted for little.... Thus, everything is predicated on Yahweh's love and faithfulness and his actions that flow out of that love and faithfulness."

Three other "distinctive features" are also mentioned by Fee & Stuart. God is fulfilling his promises to Abraham in bringing the Israelites to the Promised Land; there is a "relentless demand" by God that all Canaanite idolatry in the Israelites' path be completely annihilated; and God expects the Israelites to worship at the singular place of God's choosing instead of at multiple places where the Canaanites have worshiped their own gods.

God is using Moses to tell the Israelites everything they need to know - and all of God's expectations for them - before they enter the Promised Land. Click here for a printable copy of our Bible reading plan.

Thank you, VBC friends, for your calls, cards, food, and your prayers in the recent death of my brother, Doug Turner. Your love and care have meant so much.

Marie & Charlie Chattin and family

April 2023 Calendar