The Witness
Volume 39, Issue 50
December 15, 2021
The term GIGO, typically pronounced “guy-go,” is an old computer programming acronym that stands for “garbage in, garbage out.” George Fuechsel, an early IBM programmer and instructor, is generally given credit for coining the term. Fuechsel used "garbage in, garbage out" as a way to remind his students that a computer simply processes what it is given; therefore, the quality of output is determined by the quality of the input. For example, if a computer program asks for a number and the user enters a letter, the result will be an error; flawed input produces flawed output, or “garbage.”

According to retired teacher and author Hal Urban in his book “The Power of Good News,” our minds work the same way. If our brains are the personal processor of our lives, and we are free to choose what goes into them, what we allow into our minds determines what comes out. Quoting an unknown author, Urban states: “Your mind is like a garden, your thoughts are the seeds; you can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.”

Though a number of different authors are given credit for this pithy saying, the concept goes back thousands of years to the Book of Job. Trying to explain the misfortune that had overtaken his friend, Job’s friend Eliphaz declared: “As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same (Job 4:8).” A similar message can be found in the Book of Proverbs, which states: “Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of anger will fail (Proverbs 22:8).” Paul used similar imagery when writing to the church of Galatia: “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up (Galatians 6:7-9).”

Though “you reap what you sow” is an effective way to explain the power of our actions, this phrase can also be used to understand the power of our thoughts. If “sow” means plant and “reap” means harvest, whatever is planted into our minds will determine what is harvested—flowers or weeds. The information we put into our minds will determine the attitudes, expectations, and viewpoints that grow out of our minds.

If George Fuechsel was right, “garbage in, garbage out,” according to Urban, the opposite is also true. As such, Urban developed a new meaning for the acronym GIGO. Rather than “garbage in, garbage out,” he taught his students “good in, good out.” Just as planting bad seeds can produce a field of weeds, planting good seeds can produce a garden of flowers.

The season of Advent focuses on a different theme for each week. Last week highlighted the peace of Christ; this week emphasizes the gift of joy. As we seek to experience the joy of this season, the joy of Christ’s birth through the gift of Emmanuel, may we be reminded that joy is a choice. However, we cannot simply choose to feel joy and instantaneously feel joyful. Joy is an output, not an input. Joy is the result of the good we put into our minds and plant into the lives of others. “So let us not grow weary of doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.” In other words, good in, good out.
Sunday Worship, December 19th
The Fourth Sunday of Advent
Please plan to join us for worship this Sunday at 8:45 or 11:00 AM (Sunday School at 9:50 AM). We have baptisms scheduled at both services, and children's choirs are also scheduled to sing at both services. The Young Musicians Choir will sing at 8:45 AM, and all three children's choirs will sing at 11:00 AM. If you choose to worship virtually, please access our livestream through our website or FB live.
VBC Family Christmas Tree
Our Giving Tree in the Welcome Center will transform into our VBC Family Christmas Tree as of this Sunday. If you have not added a family ornament to our VBC tree in the past, we ask that you bring an ornament to represent you and/or your family, label it with your family's name and "2021," and place it on the tree this Sunday. We store these ornaments at the church during the year and display them on our Family Christmas Tree each Christmas.
A Higher Note
I want to say a special thank you to all who contributed to last week's musical service, "The Road to Bethlehem." Every service takes a lot of volunteers to produce and execute. Last Sunday took even more. Thanks to Tyler Lyon for coming to help make sure our livestream was covered. Our sound persons: Gari Melchers, Mark Hough, and Greg Mason. The media controllers: Mark Olsen and Mary Beth Monroe. The church Hostess Committee and Helping Hands for arranging the decorations. The Melchers family for being our accompanists. Joanna Williamson and Devan Harman for narrating. All that sang in the choir. The church staff for their flexibility, printing materials, and media coordination. This is beginning to sound like an Oscar speech. So, thank you to those I might have left out of this list. We appreciate the support the church gives to the Music Ministry all year.

Thanks for the cards, gifts, and special acts of kindness toward Mary Beth and me during this season.

Wednesday Night Activities
Tonight is our last Wednesday Night Dinner of the year! We will have Adult Bible Study (click here for tonight's study guide), Thrive Youth Group, Children's Choirs, and adult choir rehearsals tonight, as usual. We will NOT meet December 22nd or 29th, but will resume our Wednesday activities as of January 5th.
Bible in a Year Reading
Read this week:
The Old Testament: 2 Chronicles 13-26
The New Testament: Revelation 1-13
Old Testament Prophecy: Haggai; Zechariah 1-9
Gospels: John 1-12
Meditate: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” John 1:5
Prayer: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." --Martin Luther King Jr., “Strength to Love”, 1963
Preteen Christmas Event
Preteens will meet for their Christmas party this Sunday at 4:00 PM in the church parking lot. We will leave in the church bus and head to Macado's game room for a meal, fellowship, and fun. Bring a small gift for a gift exchange! We will return to the church after dinner for hot chocolate in the gym. We will wrap up our evening of fun by 6:30 PM. We hope you can join us!
Children's Christmas Boxes
If you have not yet picked up your Children's Christmas Box, you can do so through this Sunday on the first floor of the children's wing. If you need a box delivered to your house, please contact Sarah to arrange delivery. We want to be sure everyone who needs a box receives one.
Thrive Student Ministry
Sunday, December 19th: Progressive Dinner at 5:30pm.
-Bring a gift of up to $15 for our Christmas gift exchange. We will progress from home-to-home enjoying dinner and end with a Christmas gift exchange game. We will return to the church at 8:00pm.
Monday, December 20th: We will help provide dinner for the children at the Rescue Mission. Meet at the church at 3:45pm. We will keep you updated through text on return time. 
Young Adults Christmas Party
All college students and young adults are invited to our Young Adults Christmas Party this Saturday, December 18th at 6:30 PM at the home of Mark & Jennifer Sink, 556 Olney Road in Vinton.
Invite your family and friends
to this year's Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, which will
be held in our sanctuary. We
hope you will come and
celebrate the Savior with us!
December 26th & January 2nd Worship
On Sunday, December 26th we will NOT have Sunday School, and we will have one combined worship service at 10:30 AM. There will be no evening activities.
On Sunday, January 2nd we WILL have Sunday School at 9:15 AM, and we will have one combined worship service at 10:30 AM. There will be no evening activities.
As of January 9th, we plan to be back to our regular Sunday morning and evening schedules.
Upcoming Wednesday Studies
*Wednesday Women- What Does it Mean to Be Chosen?
Beginning January 12th, the Wednesday Women will begin a new study based on The Chosen television series about the life of Jesus. The study will connect readers to the history of Jesus' life and the stories of the Bible in a new way. The study will follow season 1 of the series to discover, “What does it actually mean to be Chosen?”
Join Susan Jones on Wednesday mornings from 10-11:30am starting January 12th for this new study! Cost of the book is $16. Please sign up in the church office.

*Parenting with Love and Logic
Beginning January 5th on Wednesday nights, Whitney will be leading a small group study following the Parenting with Love and Logic curriculum by Foster Cline and Jim Fay. Cline and Fay teach caregivers how to parent effectively without the power struggles. The goal of the study is to put the fun back into parenting while providing meaningful, tangible ways to provide consistency, love, and healthy skills in ourselves and our kids.
Join Whitney for Parenting with Love and Logic on Wednesday Nights at 6:15pm in the small dining room beginning January 5th. Cost of the book is $16.

*Spiritual Disciplines
Beginning January 5th on Wednesday nights, Kim Yonce will be leading Bible study in the gym at 6:15pm, and the topic is spiritual disciplines, especially those evident in the narrative of Joseph in Genesis 37-50. We will be drawing on spiritual disciplines presented in Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth and Jim Wilder's Renovated: God, Dallas Willard, & the Church That Transforms. You are encouraged to read through Genesis 37-50 over the Christmas and New Year's break in preparation for this study.
Audrey Ferguson
3120 Richard Avenue NE
Roanoke VA 24012
December 12, 2021:
8:45 AM
In person - 199
Online - 142
11:00 AM
In person - 186
Online - 153
Sunday School - 241
End-of-Year Giving & Office Hours
All envelope and in-person offerings/tithes must be received in the church office before 12:00 PM on Tuesday, December 28th to be counted toward your giving for 2021. Any offerings received after that time will be counted toward your giving in 2022. Online gifts can be made through December 31st and will still be counted for 2021. If you have any questions, please contact the church office.

Please note that the church office will be closed Friday, December 24th and Monday, December 27th in observance of the Christmas holiday, as well as Friday, December 31st in observance of the New Year's holiday. There will be no Witness published the last week of December.
Thank you to the CrAzY cReW for their donation to the Community Assistance Fund.
Poinsettia Memorials & Honorariums
A special thanks goes out to all who purchased poinsettias to beautify our sanctuary this Christmas season. Please click here for the list of honorariums and memorials represented by each poinsettia. Feel free to take your poinsettia home at the conclusion of the December 26th morning worship service.
Lottie Moon Post Office
Please check the Lottie Moon Post Office for any cards that you may have received; cards are organized alphabetically by last name. If you would like to "mail" cards to church members using the Lottie Moon Post Office, please do so by this Sunday, December 19th at 25 cents/card. All proceeds benefit the Lottie Moon Foreign Missions Offering.
Please extend a warm welcome to Hallie Cox, who joined VBC this past Sunday by profession of faith. Hallie's address is 5100 Cloverdale Road, Roanoke VA 24019. A baptismal service is scheduled for this Sunday.
Children's Worship
We need volunteers for Children's Worship for each Sunday morning service. Please consider serving in this important ministry to our children. If you're interested, but you're not sure what's required, please see Sarah. Otherwise, please click here to sign up (dates available through January). Thanks for serving!
"Be a Piece of the Puzzle" Adoption
Fundraiser for Joseph and Kristi Miller
Joseph and Kristi Miller have struggled for many years with infertility. After much prayer and discernment, they plan to welcome a child into their home, not grown inside or by them, but grown in their hearts. They are excited to see where God takes their family, made of abundant love.

Could you be a piece of the puzzle that brings a child into a home filled with God’s love? You can purchase a piece of their adoption fundraiser puzzle, available in the church lobby, for a donation of $5 (or more!) per piece. Donations should be made by December 26th via cash or check/online donation to Vinton Baptist Church with the memo line: Puzzle Adoption Fundraiser for Joseph and Kristi Miller. Begin putting the puzzle together as a symbol of our support for the Millers. Once the puzzle is complete, new baby Miller will have a puzzle hanging as a reminder of the love this community shares for their family.
To the Folks at Vinton Baptist,
Thank you for the peace lily sent for my mom, Betty Marshall's, funeral.
Love, Steve Marshall