The Witness

Volume 40, Issue 42

October 19, 2022

"God's Response"

Several years ago, Whitney and I took the boys to Lowes Home Improvement to purchase a few Halloween decorations for our front porch. As we entered the store, the boys were so excited; once we turned down the Halloween aisle, their excitement quickly turned to fear. The Halloween section was full of spooky inflatables, ghostly figurines, shrieking skeletons, and all kinds of ghastly creatures with glowing eyes and sharp teeth. It was quite a scene for a two- and four-year-old. In response, the boys clung to us with all kinds of questions. After trying to describe what they had seen, they wanted us to help them understand it, our affirmation that it was all pretend, and our assurance that we would keep them safe.

As adults, I think we need that same assurance at times. We live in a world of weekly natural disasters, global threats of war and terrorism, a polarized political scene, and repeated mass shootings. The truth is, we do not have to go far to end up on a scary aisle or two in our world; unfortunately, the shrieking skeletons we find on these aisles are not pretend.

How do we respond? How do we remain calm and optimistic without becoming desensitized or cynical? According to scripture, out of all of the responsibilities to which Christ calls us, one of the most important is prayer. In “Working the Angles” by Eugene Peterson, he describes prayer in this way: “Prayer is not something we think up to get God’s attention or enlist his favor. Prayer is answering speech. The first word is God’s word. Prayer is a human word and is never the first word, never the primary word, never the initiating and shaping word simply because we are never first, never primary . . . the first word is everywhere and always God’s word to us, not ours to him.”

When Jesus was faced with a scary aisle of evil and temptation in the wilderness, he responded by saying, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).’” John repeatedly said it this way in the book of Revelation, “Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying . . . (Revelation 2:7).” By listening, Paul heard the voice of Christ and was given a new name and mission. By listening, Peter heard the voice of God and discovered his view of the Gospel was too small. By listening, Jesus overcame his fears, went to the cross and saved the world.

All throughout scripture we see the power and impact of listening to God. Lives are not transformed by what is said to God, but rather what is heard from God. Fear is not squelched by what is described to God, but rather what is revealed in God. The world is not changed by those who speak for God, but rather by those whom God speaks through. In the coming days, if we happen to find ourselves on a scary aisle, may we turn to God, cling to him, describe what we’ve seen, and then be willing to listen for his response. The same letters that spell the word “listen” also spell “silent” when rearranged. Hearing God’s words of assurance for us this week will likely require both.       

-- Travis

This Sunday, October 23rd

Come worship with us this Sunday at 8:45 or 11:00 AM. Travis will have a message from Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22 titled, "Elephants in the Room." The Youth Praise Team will be leading music in both services. If you cannot join us in person, please tune in through our website or Facebook group page.

Wednesday Night Activities

Adult Bible Study on the exploration of our Baptist identity continues tonight at 6:15 PM. If you cannot attend, tune in for the livestream on our website or Facebook group page. Youth Missions Group, Children's Choirs, and adult choirs will continue, as well.

The menu for next Wednesday, October 26th is hot dogs, baked beans, fries, slaw, & dessert. Please note that next Wednesday is also Trunk-or-Treat. We will have dinner at 5:30 PM in the gym, as usual. Reservations are still due by 5:00 PM Monday, October 24th. Regular dinner costs apply [$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; first-time guests are complimentary; takeout boxes are 50 cents/each]. At 6:00 PM, Trunk-or-Treat games and activities will begin. There will be no other Wednesday evening activities.

Preteen Event this Sunday

This Sunday, October 23rd, third - fifth graders will meet at the church at 4:00 PM to head to Layman Farms on the church bus. Cost is $15.


Thrive Student Ministry

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

Tomorrow, October 20th, is the last day to sign up for FALL RETREAT, which is scheduled for November 11th - 13th at Camp Wilderness Adventure! Click here for all the details and registration form. Contact Whitney with any questions.

JOY Seniors

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 ASAP. The cost of this trip is only what you spend.

Happy Hearts is collecting coats for local K-12 students during the month of October. Please bring your new and gently used, clean coats (adult hoodies are appreciated, too) to the rack near the Missions Tables.


Wednesday, October 26th at 6:00 PM

Invite your friends, neighbors, and family! Games will be provided by the Family Life & Rec Team. We'll also have balloon animals. And this year we'll have a contest for the best dressed trunk/theme! Click here to register your trunk and specify your theme. We currently have 18 trunks registered, and we need at least 2 more!

We will have dinner at 5:30 PM October 26th in the gym, 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. The usual dinner prices apply, and first-time guests are complimentary.

It's not too late to donate goodies for Trunk-or-Treat. The items we need are 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). All donations should be turned in at the appropriate bin at the Missions Tables by Sunday, October 23rd. Thank you!

5th Sunday

Please note that October includes a 5th Sunday (October 30th), and we will be following our 5th Sunday schedule: Sunday School at 9:15 AM and One Combined Worship Service at 10:30 AM. After worship, please join us for our first post-COVID potluck luncheon! The church will provide chicken, rolls, and drinks. Please bring your favorite potluck masterpiece to share. We're looking forward to worshiping and fellowshiping together!


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. Please return your form ASAP, as spaces are filling up. If you have questions, please contact Whitney Russell.

Geneva Dillon

Carrington Cottage Memory Care

270 Commons Parkway #304

Daleville VA 24083-1707

Thank you to the Open Door Sunday School class for their donations to Operation Christmas Child postage and to the Happy Hearts' Coat Drive.

Thank you to the Fellowship/Berean Sunday School class for their donation to Capital Needs.

Christian sympathy is extended to Todd & Cindy Sowers, Christiaan, Austin, and Hannah in the death of Cindy's sister, Connie Taylor Gibson of Texas.

Deacon Nominations

Nomination forms are available at the Welcome Center for next year's new deacons. As always, this is an important decision; please make it a matter of prayer. When you are considering whom to nominate, please keep in mind that our deacon body is currently working on our vision for the future and our core values in a post-pandemic world. With that said, we need the experience and wisdom of our older members, as well as the unique and innovative thinking of our younger members. We have changed our meeting schedule somewhat - we are now meeting every other month for a little longer meeting. We have streamlined the meeting process, with signup sheets for benediction and communion, allowing our meetings to be more productive. We will be participating in some holy experiments and trying new ways to connect with our congregation and community. Please click here for a copy of the nomination form, which also lists our current and lifetime deacons, or find originals at the Welcome Center. Please drop your completed form in the nomination box at the Welcome Center by Sunday, November 6th.

Operation Christmas Child

The Operation Christmas Child deadline is right around the corner:

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. 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 them up. Finally, if you would like to help but just don't have the time to pack a shoebox or shop for items, click here to build a shoebox online for as little as $25.

Blessing Box Needs

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.

Check These Out:

New Items in the Library

  • The Life We're Looking For: Reclaiming Relationship in a Technological World
  • "Brookstone Brides" series by Tracie Peterson (3 books)
  • Crossroads by Irene Hannon
October 2022 Calendar