The Witness

Volume 40, Issue 40

October 5, 2022


"Settling for Rocks"

Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal, but I press on to lay hold of that for which Christ has laid hold of me (Philippians 3:7-12).”

One of the things that fills my pockets these days are the bacon flavored treats that we are constantly giving Ozzie as we train him to obey basic commands. Out of all of the treats and toys we have tried to use for training purposes, these treats are clearly his favorite. They have been amazingly persuasive in getting him to sit, come, and stop nipping everyone’s legs as they walk by. He and I have also had a few “Come to Jesus” moments that have helped with the biting too.

Despite Ozzie’s love for these bacon flavored treats, he often settles for rocks when we take him for walks. No matter how hard we try to show him that obediently dropping the stray rocks he finds along the way will lead to delicious treats, he constantly chooses rocks over treats. Despite the fact that these rocks are damaging to his teeth, incapable of being properly digested, or providing the nutrients he needs to grow healthy and strong, he often settles for the rocks.

In today’s passage, Paul encourages Christians living in Philippi to choose the heavenly gains of Christ over the earthly gains of the Roman Empire. Contrasting the sharpness of his tone in his letters to the churches in Corinth and Galatia, Paul was proud of the Church of Philippi for their generosity in supporting his ministry and commitment to continue meeting together despite opposition. However, he was also aware of their tendency to get so distracted keeping the Jewish laws that opposed the Gentiles or chasing after the prosperity offered by the Roman Empire that they would forget the heavenly call of Christ on their lives. In order to address it, he reminds them of all of the losses he had accrued and sufferings he had faced because of his commitment to Christ. Though difficult, he reminded them that all of the earthly gains he gave up were nothing but “rocks” in comparison to Christ’s heavenly promise of “attain[ing] the resurrection from the dead.”

God’s people have always been tempted by the rocks in front of them. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve chose one forbidden tree for their rock, over all the fruit in Eden that God had provided. At Sinai, the Israelites chose a golden-calf for their rock, over a God who had just parted the Red Sea and saved them from an entire Egyptian army. In Canaan, the Israelites chose an earthly king for their rock (King Saul), over the heavenly king that Samuel promised. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Judas Iscariot chose 30-pieces of silver for his rock, over the salvation promised by the Son of God.

Our rocks may vary, but our tendency to choose the temporary over the eternal is just as pervasive today as it was then. Despite the fact that these rocks are damaging to our lives and incapable of providing the spiritual nutrients we need to grow healthy and strong, we often settle for far less than what Christ offers. Like Ozzie, we know the treats of our Master are much better, but the rocks in front of us are all too tempting. What are the rocks in your life for which you often settle?

This week, may we take some time to consider these rocks that tempt and distract us from the heavenly treats God has promised. As we do, may we remember Paul’s encouragement in the verses that followed: “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have laid hold of it, but one thing I have laid hold of: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal, toward the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).” 

-- Travis

This Sunday,October 9th

We hope you'll be able to join us for worship this Sunday at 8:45 or 11:00 AM. Travis' sermon is "Good News?" and the scripture is 2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15. The Youth Choir will share one of their songs during worship, as well. If you cannot join us in person for worship this Sunday, please tune in through our website or Facebook group page.

Wednesday Night Activities

Our Adult Bible Study on the exploration of our Baptist identity continues tonight at 6:15 PM. We hope that you can attend in person; if not, tune in on our website or Facebook group page during or after the study. Youth Missions Group (6:00 PM - headed to the SPCA tonight) and Children's Choirs (6:15 PM) will continue, as well.

Following are our menus for October:

  • October 12th - pancakes with syrup, scrambled eggs, bacon, & fruit.
  • October 19th - fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, green beans, cold salad, bread, & dessert.
  • October 26th (please note that this menu has changed) - hot dogs, baked beans, fries, slaw, & dessert

Please make or change your dinner reservations by 5:00 PM each Monday. Changes to your reservation can only be made after 5:00 PM Monday if you become sick before Wednesday evening, in which case we ask that you contact us as soon as possible. This year's dinner pricing is $7/adult (13 years and older); $5/child (ages 4-12); children 3 and under are free; the max per family (living in the same household) is $20. Takeout boxes are 50 cents/each.

Preteen Events: Mark Your Calendar

October 23rd we will meet at the church at 4:00 PM to head to Layman Farms on the church bus. Cost is $15.

November 20th we will meet at the church for regular Crew activities, 4:00 - 6:00 PM, with a meal.


Thrive Student Ministry

FALL RETREAT: November 11th - 13th at Camp Wilderness Adventure! Click here for all the details and registration form! Sign up by October 20th.

TONIGHT: We will head to the SPCA for our missions activity. We'll leave the church at 6:00 PM and return at 7:15 PM.

THIS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9TH: - Wally Mayo will continue his study on The Bible & Science during Extreme (6:30 PM). Parents are welcome to attend.

Parents, can you help chaperone for various events? Click here to sign up.

JOY Seniors

If you are still interested in going to the Attic Theater Saturday, October 15th it is not too late to sign up. Our seats may not be together, but we can still get tickets ($12/each). If you are riding the bus, it will depart VBC at 1:30 PM. If you are driving, please be at the theater by 2:00 PM.

The JOY Senior October luncheon will be out and about! We will depart VBC at 9:15 AM October 25th, travel to Heritage Market and Ikenberry Orchard, and enjoy lunch and fellowship at Cracker Barrel. Please sign up at the JOY Senior table. The cost of this trip is only what you spend.

A preliminary count for tickets for the "Christmas Spectacular" at the Wohlfahrt Haus on November 13th is due by October 13th. If you are planning to go, please sign up and pay ($62/person - includes lunch, play, tax, tip, and transportation) at the JOY Senior table as soon as possible.

Happy Hearts has two upcoming opportunities for service:

  • We will sponsor a candy sort on Tuesday, October 18th, 10:00 AM - noon in the small dining room, to prepare candy for Trunk-or-Treat. This is a quick and easy way to serve our church and community. Please sign up at the JOY Senior table so we will know how many stations to set up. Hope to see you there.
  • We are also collecting coats for K-12 students in our local schools during the month of October. Please bring your new and gently used, clean coats to the rack near the Missions Tables starting this Sunday. Thank you for helping us keep kids in our community warm this winter.

Blessing Box: A Current List of Needs

Items now needed for the Blessing Box are as follows: oatmeal & grits (individual packets), men's soap, Jiffy cornbread mix, spaghetti noodles, spaghetti sauce, baked beans, and cans of vegetables (any kind). Items can be dropped off at the appropriate bin at the Missions Tables. Monetary donations are always accepted; please mark your donation payable to Vinton Baptist with "Blessing Box" in the memo line. Thanks!

Mark Your Calendars for Trunk-or-Treat!

This year's Trunk-or-Treat is scheduled for Wednesday evening, October 26th at 6:00 PM. The Family Life & Rec Team will plan and coordinate games. We'll have face painting and balloon animals. We'll also have a contest for the best dressed trunk/theme! Click here to register your trunk and specify your theme.

We will have dinner at 5:30 PM, as usual, with hot dogs, baked beans, fries, slaw, and dessert. Everyone is welcome to join us for dinner, but we must have your reservation by 5:00 PM on Monday, October 24th.

We are collecting candy for this event: Starburst; Dum-Dums; Smarties; mini candy bars (like Milky Way, Hersheys, Twix, Kit Kat, Reese's, etc.); Halloween-themed gummy snacks; and salty treats (cheese puffs, pretzels, etc., in individual bags). Please turn in all donations in the appropriate bin at the Missions Tables.


Christmas Craft & Vendor Fair

On Sunday, December 4th from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM, VBC will host a craft & vendor fair in our gym to raise funds for summer camps. If you are a vendor, please click here for vendor guidelines and the registration form. If you have questions, please contact Whitney Russell.

Joan St.Clair

407 Brookledge Drive

Vinton VA 24179-4429

Please extend a warm welcome to Starr Vaughter, Arielle Woodliff, and Cameron Flanagan, who joined VBC by professions of faith this past Sunday, October 2nd. Their address is 1561 Wyndham Drive, Apt. F, Vinton VA 24179. We are happy to have Starr, Arielle, and Cameron join our church family!

Thank you to the Fellowship/Berean Sunday School class for their donation to the general budget.

Thank you to the Dorcas Sunday School class for their donation toward Operation Christmas Child postage.

Fall RVBA Meeting

Several messengers were elected during our September Ministry Matters meeting to represent VBC at the Fall RVBA Meeting to be held October 25th at Melrose Baptist Church. There is room to have additional messengers attend, as well. If you are interested, please contact the church office at 540-343-7685. The Fall Meeting includes dinner 5 - 6 PM (your cost $10 - menu includes grilled chicken, green beans, mac & cheese, peas & carrots, & dessert); workshops 6 - 6:45 PM (Ward Haven with Giles Gilley, Budgets/Nominating with Sandy Sloane, The Least of These Ministry with Dawn Sandoval, and possibly more);  and the meeting at 7 PM.

Operation Christmas Child

We're one month from this year's Operation Christmas Child deadline of November 6th! There are wrapped boxes at the Missions Tables that are ready to be stuffed (along with brochures with suggestions on how to stuff your box). You will also find at the Missions Tables a list of requested items for packing extra shoeboxes. If you would like to help wrap empty boxes, come to room 102 on Tuesdays or Thursdays, 10 AM - noon. Monetary donations to help cover shipping ($10/box) for extra boxes are also appreciated. If you have empty shoeboxes to donate, drop them at the Missions Tables or contact Darlene McCaskill (540-890-6748) so that she can arrange to pick up your empty boxes. 

Requests for Boys & Girls Club

One of our Boys & Girls Club classes needs empty 2-liter bottles, empty Gatorade bottles (small or large), and lids from either Pringles cans or cans of frosting. Please drop off in the appropriate bin at the Missions Tables. Thank you!

Check it Out:

"Westward to Home," a new three-book

series by Melody Carlson, is available in the Library.

October 2022 Calendar