The Navigator: 8.13.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 8/16

Preacher:  DL Lowrie

Other:  At the conclusion of both worship services, I will be presenting a brief explanation regarding our campaign to retire the debt incurred from our new construction.  Based on the conclusion of Jesus’ model prayer in Matthew 6, our slogan is summed up in three words: “For the Kingdom.”  This is not merely a ‘slogan.’ Rather, it is a biblical mandate, an axiom of theology.  And I am thrilled to elaborate on its implications this Sunday morning.  Could it be that an emphasis on retiring debt can also serve as a period of widespread spiritual growth – even revival?  According to God, it can.

 

Would you do me an enormous favor and make certain to have someone in your class take roll every Sunday?

Many of you already faithfully do this.  But, COVID has upset the norm in many ways.  As such, I simply wanted to remind you that we need this weekly data to monitor the health of our Sunday School attendance.

Why is this data important?  (Glad you asked.)

Small Groups/Sunday School is the backbone of any church.  This is where ‘community’ takes place and takes root.  It’s where, due to the more intimate context, people can openly engage in dialogue and human connection.  People get lost in a ‘crowd’ (corporate worship), but they connect in a ‘community’ (small groups).

I am so very grateful for you.  Continue to faithfully shepherd your sheep, loving them, teaching them, and caring for them.  Every single thing you do matters, because it’s done for Christ.

 

What are you presently teaching?

All of you are faithful to let me know when you are completing one series and beginning another, but COVID has affected my memory.

Would you be so kind as to reply to this email and update me on what you are presently teaching?  I would like to update our Small Group page on our church’s web site.

 

Dana Kluzek (children), Janyth Brannon (preschool) & Jordan Morales (youth) have put together a thorough list of guidelines that will be implemented on 8/23 (when those ministries resume) to help protect both children and volunteers from COVID.  I will resist listing all those guidelines here since, together, they comprise nine pages of material. That said, below are some general policies:

Re-Opening Protocols for the Family Ministry Team

When you enter each Family Ministry Area:           

*Everyone will have their temperature checked before entering.

*There will be someone at the check in stations ready to sign you in.

*Chairs will be spread out for social distancing.

*Masks are required, but once teachers are in their classroom they are free to remove it if they choose.

*No food or drink will be served.

*Only parents and children are allowed in the Family Ministry areas (those who are not teaching or dropping off/picking up will not be allowed in).

*Please read and observe all signs in the Family Ministry Areas.

 

BUILDING THE THIRD JEWISH TEMPLE

The Bible strongly indicates the Jews will build a third and final temple in the end times.  DanielJesus, Paul and John in the book of Revelation describe events that could only occur if the temple were rebuilt.  Additionally, as you will find in the article linked here, it appears God is stirring the hearts of the Jews toward that goal.

God is moving the chess pieces into place before he calls “checkmate.”

From the article:

“Although Kallner implied that the group won’t outright lobby to build the Third Temple, he did say that building it is the “dream of the Jewish people.”

Read the article here.

Maranatha – Come, Lord Jesus. nw

 

EVIDENCE

Have you ever been chosen to sit on a jury?  I have.  Twice.

I distinctly remember sorting through evidence as we inched toward a verdict.

Linked here for your critical thinking is an outstanding blog written by physicist, Michael Strauss, for those skeptics who are truly honest in desiring to know if the Christian faith is reasonable.

I found this blog especially interesting because Strauss appeals to one’s understanding of courtroom-related evidence and its relation to scientific/empirical evidence.  Read the brief blog here.

 

FROM THE ODD SIDE OF LIFE

I’m hoping (strongly) this article was written tongue-in-cheek.  Otherwise, the article would be hard to bear.

The following is from the article from the National Park Service.  Should you and a friend be attacked by a bear…

“Do NOT push down a slower friend (even if you think the friendship has run its course),”

Like you, I’m shaking my head that this story even needs to be written (clearly, this has happened before and necessitated the article.)  But, just in case you need to be reminded, here are instructions telling you that if you and a friend are being chased by a bear don’t push your friend down so that the bear will attack them while you make it to safety.  Read the article here.

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

Pastor Lowrie’s most recent sermon can be viewed here.

My most recent Table Talk can be viewed hereWhat does the Bible say about Hell? Part 1 of 2

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

And,…

“At the cross, Christ has taken your story of misery upon Himself and He has given you His story of resurrection and hope.” – Edward Welch; Depression: A Stubborn Darkness

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

So true…

 

SOUL FOOD:  Does God Hear Every Single Word We Say? (You bet he does)

“By your words you will be acquitted, by your words you will be condemned.”  – Jesus Christ

Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 8.6.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 8/9

Preacher:  D.L. Lowrie

 

A MESSAGE FROM NICK

 

The following mid-week opportunities for learning will begin Aug. 26th, 6:30pm

The Gospel of John – Nick Watts; worship center

GriefShare – Tom & Diane Heath; 209

Strength to Love – Camille Johnston; 109

***Youth & Childrens Ministries resume on Sunday, 8/23, but they will NOT host mid-week activities until data can be observed from local school districts as they resume face-to-face classes.  Should COVID cases not break out among students in area schools our teen and childrens ministries will resume quickly.

 

DEADLINE IS THIS SUNDAY, 8/9 Partner with our Missions Team in blessing both Wester and Williams Elementary Schools.  Bring one or more items from the list below to the large hallway just off the Commons.

  • Kleenex
  • Gallon-sized Ziploc Bags
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Paper Towels
  • Crayons
  • Glue Sticks
  • Disinfectant Wipes
  • Coffee & Creamer (for the teachers)

 

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH IS AN INTELLIGENT FAITH

I would like to elaborate on No’s 2 and 4:

No. 2 – Clearly, there’s a great deal of biblical history archaeology has not yet discoverd (and there’s a great deal they have).  But know this:  not a single biblically-related discovery has contradicted the biblical record.  Not one.

No. 4 – The ‘Embarrassment Argument’ is rarely used for the reliability of scripture because far too few even know about it.  Consider the following: the fact that the Bible elevates women to equal status with men (and Samaritans equal to Jews – John 4:9) was unheard of and would have angered to the Jewish male population.  Also: that Mary became pregnant during her betrothal (the Jewish period of engagement) to Joseph  was scandalous (Matthew 1:18), as well as, according to Hebrew law, deserving of death (cf. Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22; John 8:4-5); that Jesus’ own family accused him of being crazy (Mark 3:21); that the ‘hero’ of the story was executed like a criminal (Luke 23:32); I could go on – these parts of the gospel story would have been of great embarrassment to the Jewish people.  And, as such, examples such as these make it completely unlikely that Jews who were followers of Jesus would have invented the gospel story.

 

NEW LANDSCAPING

We have been so disconnected due to COVID that one of my desires in this weekly publication (as with the video clip above) is to keep you as updated as possible on just about everything.

Just so you know – we are in the process of redesigning our landscaping.  For years, we’ve had feather grass adorning our campus.  But what most people don’t know is that “feather grass + West Texas = bad combination”.   For years, just about every day, we pick up a good deal of trash that has blown in and gotten stuck in that grass.

Deacons and other volunteers helped remove all the feather grass and prepare the soil for Bermuda grass, which you know is drought tolerant, making it easy to maintain in this part of the state.

In the foreground of this photo is that little strip of ground that is exposed around the perimeter of most buildings and homes.  Presently, it’s a mess with weeds taking over where the feather grass once was.  Fear not.  These strips of ground are next on the list and will be filled in with decorative rock.

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

Pastor Lowrie’s Shepherd’s Heart:

When I read in a church paper last week a statement by their pastor, It shocked me. He wrote, THE MORE YOU MISS WORSHIP, THE LESS YOU MISS IT. I can’t get this out of my mind. Our loss of our faithfulness in our worship worries me more than the loss of our health to the virus.
Our bodies will go back to dust, virus or no virus, but our souls must be prepared to transition out of this world into the realm of the eternal. Worship is absolutely essential for our spiritual well-being.
In just two more weeks, we will take the BIG STEP of bringing the whole family back to church. I will be praying for you as you prepare your family for this. If there is something we can do to make this happen, let us know.
Blessings! D. L.

**Pastor Lowrie was gone this past Sunday but will return to the pulpit this Sunday.  I preached in his absence. You can view that sermon here.

My most recent Table Talk can be viewed hereHow I Forgave my Dad

 

QUOTES of the WEEK

And…

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD:  Bad News Argues for the Good News

Did you know that bad news actually argues for the biblical worldview?  Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 7.30.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 8/2

Preacher:  Nick

Primary Text:  Judges 6-7; The God who uses Nobodies

 

Partner with our Missions Team in blessing both Wester and Williams Elementary Schools.  Bring one or more items from the list below to the Welcome Center between July 19th and August 9th.

  • Kleenex
  • Gallon-sized Ziploc Bags
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Paper Towels
  • Crayons
  • Glue Sticks
  • Disinfectant Wipes
  • Coffee & Creamer (for the teachers)

 

Our youth & children’s ministries will resume on Sunday, August 23rd.

 

LORD, PLEASE SPEAK TO ME!  (He is.)

“So many are looking for special revelation from God while it sits on their shelves gathering dust.” – Burk Parsons

 

For the Kingdom

I, along with Dana Kluzek & Mike Lewis, have met with our Finance Team to present and discuss steps for moving forward with our fast-approaching Debt Retirement campaign.  What I have personally seen in scripture, as well as discussed with pastor friends of mine, is very exciting.  I am convicted that we will not only pay off our new-construction debt early, but quickly.  More on this in next week’s Navigator.

 

The following mid-week opportunities for learning will begin Aug. 26th, 6:30pm

The Gospel of John – Nick Watts – worship center

GriefShare – Tom & Diane Heath – 209

 

For a list of Search Team members, or to know the steps for communicating with the Team, please see click herePray for them!

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

Pastor Lowrie’s most recent sermon can be viewed here.

My most recent Table Talk can be viewed hereHow God called me into Ministry

 

QUOTES of the WEEK

And..,

“What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace.” ― John Wesley

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

And…,

A funny thing happened while I was preaching in Kerrville.  During some free time I was convicted that people needed something to laugh about in this bad-news-filled society in which we find ourselves.  The home I stayed in had a piano in my bedroom.   So, I wrote a quick parody of Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’ called ‘Sweet Quarantine’, recorded it and posted it on my Facebook page.

Well, apparently a lot of people needed a laugh because it’s now been viewed over 12 thousand times on Facebook.  Interestingly, it was even shared by Christy Hartin from KCBD Lubbock. (And she shared that I was one of the pastors at BHBC.  You’re welcome for the free publicity.)  Enjoy…

SOUL FOOD:  ‘Worshiptainment’

Warnings for churches who begin to lose their way.  Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 7.16.2020

NOTE:  Due to me preaching a Youth Camp next week, the next Navigator will be published on July 30th.

THIS SUNDAY, 7/19

Regular schedule

 

LOCAL MISSIONS: SCHOOL SUPPLIES

Partner with our Missions Team in blessing both Wester and Williams Elementary Schools.  Bring one or more items from the list below to the Welcome Center between July 19th and August 9th.

  • Kleenex
  • Gallon-sized Ziploc Bags
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Paper Towels
  • Crayons
  • Glue Sticks
  • Disinfectant Wipes
  • Coffee & Creamer (for the teachers)

 

For a list of Search Team members please see click herePray for them!

Chairman, Michael Dain, will be bringing a report in both worship services this Sunday, July 19th.

Should you have pastoral recommendations, questions, concerns, etc., you can email the Search Team at pastor@baconheights.com.  Your email will be forwarded to chairman, Michael Dain, who will, in turn, communicate your email to the team.

 

CELEBRATING KINGDOM WORK

As often as I am aware, I want to remind you that God is very much at work during this strange season of life here on planet earth.

This past Tuesday at Staff Meeting, Dana Kluzek was sharing how defeated Children’s Ministers around the country feel at the moment with having to cancel VBS, Backyard Bible Clubs, and related summer events.  (It’s easy to get discouraged in ministry.  The devil makes sure of it.)

But then she shared something quite extraordinary.  She said,

A lady who cleans our church building during the week noticed VBS materials on the Children’s Ministry display table just off the Commons. (Dana had made resources available to all who could safely implement them either at home or in their neighborhoods.)  The lady took a kit home for her grandkids and the children in her neighborhood and led a week-long Bible Club in her neighborhood, teaching children about Christ!

Jesus said, “My father is always working…”

 

CREATIVE CHRIST COMMUNITY

Speaking of these strange days, many individuals and/or families are restricted to their homes.  Always be available to help families learn how to have worship in their own home.  Of course, with the advent of modern technology, even people who live alone can enjoy online Christian community.  A building is not the church, the Body is.

 

CHRISTIANITY?  I WOULDN’T BET AGAINST IT

When I see a quasi-conservative article from the ultra-liberal Huffington Post that actually presents the Christian faith in a favorable light I get a little curious. I’m glad I read this one (first published in 2016, updated in 2017.)

Excellent food-for-thought for thinkers like myself who apply brutal honesty to the evidence and rationale from all sides of an argument.

The book referred to in this article is by Michael Rota (PhD, Saint Louis University), associate professor of philosophy at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard from 2006-2007, and he is the author of several academic articles in philosophy and philosophical theology.

The article’s author, Keith Hess, misunderstands Pascal’s famous wager, stating the wager is between Christianity and atheism only. He offers an argument stating, should I choose to believe in God, which God do I choose? The God of Christianity? Islam? Judaism? And so on.

But, Hess, along with others who try to pass off Pascal’s wager as flawed, fail to understand the obvious:  Pascal’s wager is more focused. His wager is one’s choosing to embrace the Christian faith (the God of the Bible) vs. all other faith worldviews.

Short article. You can read it here.  nw

 

PRAYING FOR A CURE

Encouraging news.  Read it here.   And here.

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

Pastor Lowrie’s most recent sermon can be viewed here. The Power of Praise

My most recent Table Talk can be viewed here. How I Came to Faith in Christ

 

PRAYERS APPRECIATED

As I noted last week, I will again be preaching at FBC, Kerrville, this coming Sunday, 7/19, in both of their worship services.  However, additionally, I will be preaching their Youth Camp on Monday through Wednesday.  Finally, I will drive to Austin to officiate a wedding on Thursday and Friday before returning to Kerrville to preach again on July 26th.  Only the Holy Spirit can bring life-change.  And that is always my goal when I teach and preach.  I covet your prayers.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

And…

“If you are thinking of being a Christian, I warn you – you are embarking on something that is going to take the whole of you.” – C.S. Lewis

One more? 

Laughing is good exercise.  It’s like jogging on the inside.

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

I love this photo!  The wonder of a child.  Her face is very much like mine was when Braums opened here in Lubbock.

 

SOUL FOOD:  The Breath of a Buffalo in Wintertime

God has given us one life.  Don’t waste it.  Read my blog here.

 

QUARTERLY BUSINESS MEETING:  Sunday evening, 7/26; 5pm

MOST RECENT BHBC E-NEWS can be viewed Friday, 7/17, by clicking here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 7.9.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 7/12

Back to our regular schedule.

 

POLICY ON WEARING MASKS – BHBC’s official statement:

Bacon Heights Baptist Church will comply with Governor Abbot’s executive order to use a face covering in public.  Please wear a face covering in this facility.

Masks are available at doors 1, 2, and 3 at no cost to you.

The executive order allows for masks to be removed when you are:

  • Attending a worship service
  • Attending Sunday School

 

PROTOCOL FOR COVID-POSITIVE CASES

Leadership has recommended the following steps should you discover a COVID-positive case who has been in contact, on campus, with other BHBC members:

1. Confirm the accuracy of the news with the actual person suspected of testing positive.

2. Contact the church office.   We will notify membership of a positively identified case but will not, without the person’s permission, identify them by name.

3. Contact your class immediately if that person has been attending your class.

We do know of BHBC members who have tested positive.  But, they have not been in contact with other BHBC members here on campus.

 

I’M OUT PREACHING the NEXT THREE SUNDAYS

As I announced this past Sunday morning, I have been invited to preach three successive Sundays at First Baptist Church, Kerrville, TX.  I shared with our Personnel Team that if I didn’t love to preach, teach and exposit scripture so very much I would not have entertained an invitation to be out three straight Sundays.

That said, since we are in the most capable hands of DL Lowrie and our outstanding staff, our Personnel Team approved and supported my absence.

I will be in Kerrville July 12, 19 & 26 (but in Lubbock during the weekdays). So, pray for me that Christ would be lifted up and, as he promised, draw all people to him.

 

DO YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO NEEDS SOME COMPANY?

This past Tuesday during Staff Meeting, I asked the staff how they were doing.  These days of all-things-COVID can be surprisingly difficult.  (Professional Counselors will tell you a new term has emerged called ‘COVID Depression’.)

I wanted to know if anyone on our staff was struggling with discouragement, loneliness or fear and/or anxiety.  We had a good time of sharing and prayer.

That led to further discussion about people at BHBC who may be struggling in similar ways.  I dropped in on Sonshiner Choir rehearsal on Tuesday and told them what I would like to tell you here:

There is a biblical principle called ‘the ministry of presence.’ If you – or someone you know – just needs some company and interaction with someone who loves them and cares about them would you let us know?  We will immediately contact that person and set up an appointment to spend some time with them.

From prison, a lonely and weary Paul wrote to Philemon:

“I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.”

Our goal and hope is to be used in the same way.

 

DON’T STOP SHEPHERDING YOUR FLOCK

Per my entry immediately above, please continue to check on your ‘sheep’.  I pray daily for a vaccine so people can safely connect with one another again.

The human touch is an innate need for us all.  Sheep need a shepherd.

 

For a list of Search Team members please see last week’s NavigatorPray for them!

They are presently meeting on Monday evenings.  I visited with chairman, Michael Dain, and the following instructions are approved by the Search Team:

Should you have pastoral recommendations, questions, concerns, etc., you can email the Search Team at pastor@baconheights.com.  Your email will be forwarded to chairman, Michael Dain, who will, in turn, communicate your email to the team.

 

HOW TO PRAY WITHOUT CEASING

We know the command like the back of our hand:

“pray without ceasing”,…

What does that mean, exactly?  Good question.

It means to be persistent.

Linked here for you is a solid commentary on what it means to pray without ceasing, offering practical counsel to help us pray longer and more consistently.  Read the article here.

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

Pastor Lowrie’s most recent sermon can be viewed here.

My most recent Table Talk from Hosea can be viewed here.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

“We enter the starting blocks of life not knowing the length of the race. Our life may be a sprint or a marathon. We are not told in advance. All we can decide is how we will run.”Eric Liddell; Scottish Athlete; Winner of 400 Meters, 1924 Olympics; Lead character in the movie, Chariots of Fire.

And,…

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

Comedian, Jim Gaffigan, on ‘parenting’: (he has five children)

“The only difference between riding a tandem bike with your 8 yr old and dragging a dead body is nothing.”

“My 4 yr old son gave me a hand-made card for Father’s Day.  Maybe for Christmas I’ll draw him a picture of some toys.”

“Look, you lost a tooth.  Congratulations.  Enjoy looking like a hillbilly.  Here’s a dollar.”

“The hardest part of parenting is when I’m with my kids.”
“People get burned out in big families, you can even see it in the naming of children. It’s always like, the first kid, ‘You were named after Grandma.’ The fourth kid,‘“You were named after a sandwich I had. Now get your brother, Reuben.’”

 

And, speaking of children…

 

SOUL FOOD:  It’s Still the Cross

We are ‘bent’ (to borrow a term used by C.S. Lewis) toward forgetting what is true.  How?  By becoming distracted by, as when Peter began sinking while walking on the Sea of Galilee, focusing on the storm rather than the Lord.

Only the Cross – not politicians, media, etc. – has the power to heal our land.  And if we focus too much on politicians and media we can miss what God is doing throughout our world, right now.  Read my blog here.


ON the HORIZON:  Quarterly Business Meeting – Sunday, July 26th

The new BHBC E-news will be posted on Friday, July 10th.  You can view it here.

 

For the Cross and the Empty Tomb, Nick

The Navigator: 7.2.2020

 

THIS SUNDAY, JULY 5th:  COMBINED SUNDAY SCHOOL & WORSHIP

All Sunday School classes will meet at 9:15.  Combined worship service at 10:45.

Classroom assignments for July 5th:  (NA indicates class is not yet meeting on campus)

Open Door – Student Center

Duncan A & B – FLC

Agape-108

Ladies’ Class – will combine with Open Door

Special Friends – 110

Travelers – 209

Wellspring – 210

Singles – 211

The Village – NA

Base Camp – 215

Generations – 216

Young Adult – NA

University – NA

Transitions – 219

 

PASTOR SEARCH TEAM MEMBERS & ALTERNATES – Pray for them!

BHBC has affirmed a total of 10 members for our Search Team:  4 from each worship service will serve with 2 ex officio members.  Additionally, an alternate was elected representing each worship service.

Representing 9:15am Worship Service:

Kathy Clark (Secretary); Mike Smith; Ray Swearingen; Gib Weaver (Vice Chairman)

Alternate:  Larry Vialle

Representing 10:45am Worship Service:

Michael Dain (Chairman); April Gamble; John Gardner; Chris Slayton

Alternate: Shannon Beeles

Ex Officio Members: 

David Barker (Chairman of Deacons); Clint Hutcheson (Chairman of Personnel)

***NOTE:  Alternates will attend all meetings but have no voting privileges.

 

COVID RELAUNCH UPDATE

Face Masks:  Just a moment ago, Governor Abbott issued a mandate stating all Texans must wear face masks when in public places, with a few exceptions.  You can read the entire KCBD article, which includes the exceptions, here.  The 9th exception relates to churches.  Erring on the side of caution, BHBC will be asking all attendees to wear a mask.

As stated in the last Navigator, due to the Governors’ (and Lubbock’s) slowing down of reopening, coupled with the spike in local positive testing, both Youth and Children’s activities will not resume on July 12th as originally stated.

 

JESUS WAS NO SOCIALIST

Please read my blog here.  Mankind has, since the beginning of time, been desperately trying to form-fit Jesus into human agendas.  A mature and careful study of scripture prevents us from being deceived by cleverly worded arguments that sound right, but are completely wrong.

In my blog I reference a solid article.  Here’s an excerpt:

Jesus taught people to be of generous spirit, to care for their families, to help the poor, to assist widows and orphans, to exhibit kindness, and to maintain the highest character. You can translate all that into the dirty business of coercive, vote-buying, politically driven redistribution schemes only if you read the Bible without pay­ing attentionor if you’re willing to distort Jesus’s teachings to advance a political agenda.

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

Pastor Lowrie’s Shepherd’s Heart:

Our worship will come on the day after the 4th, but it will not be too late to consider the plight of our nation, nor to consider a hope that God has given to us. I would encourage you to bring the whole family as we meet in one time of worship for the whole family. The musicians will bless us. But it will not be just right without you.
Your search committee did not lose any time—they had their first meeting on Sunday evening. They are taking this responsibility very seriously. But for them to be at their best, they need our prayers. I am asking God to keep them full of faith, the Spirit, and wisdom as He did the leaders in Acts 6. Remember last Sunday: LET US LOVE ONE ANOTHER! Love is the unmistakable evidence of God’s presence and work among us.
Blessings! D. L.

 

Pastor Lowrie’s most recent sermon can be viewed here.

My most recent Table Talk from 1 Peter 3:15 can be viewed here.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

Leave it to Chesterton to, like a laser, get to the heart of a matter:
“The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion.” ~ G.K. Chesterton
And,…

“We can no more catch a hurricane in a shrimp net or Niagara Falls in a coffee cup than we can grasp the infinity of [God and his love for us].” – Brennan Manning

Oh, ok – one more. 🙂

“Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.”
“That is because you are older, little one,” answered Aslan.
“Not because you are?”
“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”
(C.S. Lewis’ ‘Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.’)
Commentary:  What Lewis is portraying here is the direct correlation between one’s spiritual growth and one’s view of God. As author/theologian, Rowan Williams, comments, “The more [Lucy] develops [her faith in Aslan], the more there is to see and know of Aslan.” Translation: as we grow in our Christian faith, we see Truth more clearly; our view of God deepens as much as it widens. For Narnia, Nick

 

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

Based on our current national state of affairs…

And, a bonus…

 

SOUL FOOD:  Has God Surrendered His Throne? (Not even close.)

The world (our nation, in particular) appears to be out of control.  Both Paul and Peter often included the phrase in their letters, “In way of reminder…”  God knows that we are in constant need of being reminded of what is true.  Permit me to encourage you by reminding you of what is true.  Read my blog here.

Most recent BHBC E-News.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 6.18.2020

 

THIS SUNDAY, JULY 21

During our meeting with Pastor Lowrie this past Monday morning he offered, “Since we missed Mother’s Day due to COVID, what do you think about making this Sunday, traditionally Father’s Day, more of a ‘Parents Day?'”  My reply?  Brilliant.

Join us this Sunday as D.L. shares what the Bible says about the relationship between a child and his/her parents.

 

REMINDER:  Pastor Search Team & 2020-2021 Church Budget Vote

The deadline for Pastor Search Team nominations was this past Sunday, June 14th.

Announced this past Sunday morning in both services was a called business meeting on Sunday, June 28th, at the conclusion of both worship services to vote on the following:

1) Affirm the selections for pastor search committee, and                                                                 2) 2020-2021 budget that will run from July 1-March 31.

Both votes will be “voice votes”.

Wednesday, June 24 at 6pm – Town Hall discussion regarding budget for anyone interested.

 

SUNDAY, JULY 5th:  COMBINED SUNDAY SCHOOL & WORSHIP

All Sunday School classes will meet at 9:15.  Combined worship service at 10:45.

Classroom assignments for July 5th:  (NA indicates class is not yet meeting on campus)

Open Door – Student Center

Duncan A & B – FLC

Agape-108

Ladies’ Class – 109

Special Friends – 110

Travelers – 209

Wellspring – 210

Singles – 211

The Village – NA

Base Camp – 215

Generations – 216

Young Adult – NA

University – NA

Transitions – 219

 

COVID RELAUNCH:  Phase 3

* Sunday, July 12th – all Youth & Childrens Ministry activities resume.

 

DON’T BE DECEIVED BY THIS

The picture immediately below has been making the rounds on social media.  Its message is fallacious, religious propaganda created to plant seeds of doubt regarding the reliability of modern English translations by those who woodenly – and ignorantly – believe the KJV is the only reliable English translation of the Bible.

I have read three books by respected scholars on “how we got our English Bible.”  (If interested, you can investigate those resources here and here and here. Either would be a strategic addition to your library.)

Before reading further, please watch this brief clip by renowned New Testament scholar, Dr. Bill Mounce, for easy-to-understand insight into the historical reliability of modern English translations of the Bible:

Additionally, please watch the 3-minute video below by another renowned New Testament scholar, Dr. Dan Wallace, regarding “variances” between various translations:

Finally, consider reading the articles I have linked for you here.  They are wonderful, informative resources.  You can access the articles here and here and a lengthier, more academic article here.

So, why would I make such a big deal out of this issue?

Because, as teachers of the Bible – what we proclaim to be the sole source of Christian authority – we better be able to defend it.

The above section of this E-News is also accessible via my blog here.

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

Pastor Lowrie’s message from this past Sunday, 7/14, can be viewed here.

My Table Talk from this past Sunday, 7/14, can be viewed here.  Apparently, this one hit home with listeners as it was viewed well over 400 times in one day.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

The “quote” for this week is actually a brief visit between Pooh and his good friend, Piglet.  Enjoy…

“Piglet?” said Pooh.

“Yes Pooh?” said Piglet.

“Do you ever have days when everything feels… Not Very Okay At All? And sometimes you don’t even know why you feel Not Very Okay At All, you just know that you do.”

“Oh yes,” said Piglet. “I definitely have those days.”

“Really?” said Pooh in surprise. “I would never have thought that. You always seem so happy and like you have got everything in life all sorted out.”

Piglet replied and encouraged Pooh, “Well here’s the thing…it’s okay to feel Not Very Okay At All. It can be quite normal, in fact. And all you need to do, on those days when you feel Not Very Okay At All, is come and find me, and tell me. Don’t ever feel like you have to hide the fact you’re feeling Not Very Okay At All. Always come and tell me. Because I will always be there.”

Piglet continued, “It’s always friendlier with two.”

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD:  They’re Coming for Our Faith

The day is coming – perhaps in our lifetime – when what our Founding Fathers fought for in regard to Religious Freedom – will become criminal.   And we’d better be ready.  Read my blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 6.11.2020

LAST SUNDAY EVALUATION

From my perspective, it appeared all went smoothly this past Sunday, 6/7.  Please let me know if we need to make adjustments.

 

UPDATE:  Pastor Search Team & 2020-2021 Church Budget Vote

Our Personnel & Finance Teams have affirmed the following timeline regarding Search Team Nominations and Budget vote:

Sunday, June 14 (Enews as well as from pulpit) – Announce a special called business meeting on Sunday, June 28 that will deal with two votes:

1) Affirm the selections for pastor search committee, and                                                                 2) 2020-2021 budget that will run from July 1-March 31.

Wednesday, June 24 at 6pm – Town Hall discussion regarding budget for anyone interested.

Sunday, June 28 – Vote at the end of each worship service  We will enter business session at the end of the morning worship service on June 28th;  both votes will be a “voice vote.”

 

SUNDAY SMALL GROUP INFO:

A couple of additional small groups are moving on campus.  The full list I have presently is as follows.  Please let me know if corrections are needed.

8am – Duncan A – Student Center

9:15 – Generations – 216                                                                                                                                        9:15 – Traveler’s – 209                                                                                                                                        9:15 – Wellspring – 210                                                                                                                                             9:15 – Singles – 211                                                                                                                                                      9:15 – Basecamp – 215                                                                                                                                          9:15 – Transitions – 219                                                                                                                                             9:15 – Friends of God – FLC

10:45 – Agape – 108                                                                                                                                                    10:45 – Ladies’ Class – 109                                                                                                                                   10:45 – Duncan B – FLC                                                                                                                                       10:45 – Open Door – Student Center

Also: (in way of reminder)

1. No “meet & greet” during worship services.  (Folks will need to take care of this before and after the service at their own discretion.)
2. Every other row of chairs has been removed to help with social distancing.
3. Masks are available, but not required.
4. Offering will be collected at designated locations just outside the sanctuary. (there will be no passing of the plates)  Mike Lewis & Jon Kjosa have created a wonderful, primary drop-off location just outside the Preschool Ministry entrance in the Commons.
5. No “come to the front” during the invitation/response time immediately following the sermon.  Those needing to make decisions will be instructed where to meet a pastor after everyone is dismissed.  Additionally, ‘decision/response cards’ will be available in the pocket on the back of the chairs in the worship center.

Other:

Coffee will be available at the north Kiosk in the Commons as well as at Door 3 and will be served by leadership.

 

THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE GLORY OF GOD (Ps. 19)

This past week I posted on social media reminders from science to strengthen the faith of believers.  May your faith be strengthened as well.

1)  Our vast galaxy, The Milky Way, is spinning at the incredible speed of 490,000 mph. But even at this breakneck speed, our galaxy still needs 200 million years to make one rotation. And there are over a billion other galaxies just like ours – all functioning with remarkable order and efficiency.

Note astrophysicist, Neil DeGrasse Tyson‘s, words below in a book of his I read titled, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry:

“This universality of physical laws (of the cosmos) tells us that if we land on another planet with a thriving alien civilization, they will be running on the same laws that we have discovered and tested here on earth…

Science thrives not only on the universality of physical laws but also on the existence and persistence of physical constants… If you do the math, you can determine that a star’s luminosity is steeply independent on the universal law of gravity. In other words, if gravity had been slightly different in the past, then the energy output of the sun would have been far more variable than anything the biological, climatological, or geological record indicates.

Such is the uniformity of our universe.” [end quote]

To say the universe “just happened” requires more faith than to believe an intelligent Creator is behind it all. Personally, I do not have enough faith to be an atheist.

2) Praveen Sethupathy is a genetics professor at Cornell University.  He said,

“Science is necessarily agnostic with respect to anything outside of the natural realm. It neither accepts it, nor can it refute it.”

Sethupathy’s statement here begs the question, “Then why do some scientists insist that science tells us the existence of God is a ridiculous idea?” This is where scientists go off the rails of science and dip their toe into (or dive into) philosophy and theology. In other words, it is merely their personal opinion, completely unsupported by science.

It comes down to, as Mark Twain described, “confident ignorance.” If someone with enough degrees behind their name sounds bold and confident enough, those who are afraid to think for themselves will swallow whole whatever this “expert” has to say.

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

Pastor Lowrie’s sermons are no longer recorded mid-week. Beginning this Sunday, 6/14, his messages will go live on Facebook for those wishing to remain home and watch his messages online.  As always, the message will be linked to the “recent messages” page on BHBC’s web site.

In the event you missed it, you can view Dr. Lowrie’s most recent message from June 7th by clicking here.

Nick’s Table Talks – I had been strongly encouraged to continue these live, online messages.  But, honestly, I was unsure if there would still be interest as resuming Sunday morning worship necessitated my moving the talks to a different time.  Nevertheless, I went live on Sunday evening and discovered that, within a few hours, the message had been viewed over 300 times.  So, at least for now, I will continue.  Clearly, people are hungry for truth.  This past Sunday’s message was Part 1 of “When God Ran.” You can view the message here.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

Universal Laws

1. If you dial a wrong number, someone always answers.

2. The probability of seeing someone you know increases dramatically when you don’t want to be seen.

3. When you try to prove to someone/mechanic/repairman that something won’t work, it will.

4. After your hands are coated with grease, your face will itch and you’ll need to use the restroom.

5. Any tool, nut, bolt or screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible location.

6. The severity of an itch is inversely proportional to one’s reach.

7. If you’re driving and need to return a text, you will hit every green light. If you’re running late, you will catch every red light.

8. If you are carrying your groceries – or stuff from work – to the car in your right arm arm, your keys will be in your right pocket. Or vice-versa.

9. If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

 

Soul Food:  Is He Worthy?  (He is.)

As I state in this week’s blog, quoting the 20th century pastor/author, A.W. Tozer, “While it looks like things are out of control, behind the scenes there is a god who hasn’t surrendered his authority.”  Read the blog here. 

View BHBC’s most recent church-wide E-News here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 5.27.2020


Pastor Search Team Nominations

We received word from our Personnel Team that nominations for our Pastor Search Team will resume on Sunday, June 7th (our first Sunday to resume corporate worship), and conclude on Sunday, June 14th.  At that point, those nominated will be contacted to ask if they accept serving on the team.  Once the team is set, they will begin their search.  Lift these people to the Lord.  God has already chosen our next Pastor.  Our responsibility is to be careful, prayerful listeners.


BHBC/COVID-19 Relaunch Update

In way of reminder from last week’s Update, the following was decided by our leadership for a proposed “Phase 2” relaunch:

June 1-28 (Beginning Sunday, June 7th)

  • 8am Sunday School
  • 9:15 Worship and Sunday School
  • 10:45 Worship and Sunday School
  • No preschool, children, or youth
  • Beginning June 1, BHBC offices will return to pre-COVID-19 operations i.e. all employees reporting for regular office hours.

 

Needs?  Questions/Concerns?

Should there be anything you need to help set you up for success with your class don’t hesitate to contact me.  It is my joy to serve you.

Room Assignments on June 7th:  this is up to your discretion.  Please poll your class and let me know what they’re more comfortable doing: continuing to meet in a larger room?  Or, returning to your normal classroom.

 

Atheists in Praise of Christianity?

Yep.

Everyone from Gandhi to those U.S. Founding Fathers who were not Christians (but, rather “deists”) have had towering respect for Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s gospel, chapters 5-7.

Although not entirely surprised, I read this article with great interest and believe you will find it enlightening as well.  You can read the article here.

 

Encouragement

You can view Pastor Lowrie’s wonderful, most recent message on Romans 8:28 by clicking here.

Pastor Lowrie’s ‘Shepherd’s Heart’ note was sent out after I had already emailed you last week.  Here is that note:

My heart is excited! A date has been set for our first gathering for worship on June 7. My heart has been reminded this week that worship is really all about God. He delights in the worship of His people. And by His Spirit, He enables and energizes our worship. The greatest joy a pastor can ever know is to sense the movement of the Holy Spirit in his heart as he tries to open the Word to the people. Thanks for giving me the privilege of experiencing this week by week.

June 7 will be different, but we will assemble together before the Lord our God and worship Him.   Let’s get ready!   Blessings!  D. L.

This past Sunday’s Table Talk seemed to strike a nerve as it’s been viewed now almost 600 times.  The title is “My Name is Gossip.”  Gossip, as you well know, is that sin Christians tend to forget is sin.  On a lighter note, I called one of our senior adults to check on them a couple of days ago and he facetiously quipped, “I watched your Table Talk and I want you to know I’m not gossiping!”  You can view the Table Talk here.

 

Ravi Zacharias

A little over a week ago, one of Christianity’s greatest (and most humble) defender’s of the faith succumbed to cancer and took his first steps in Paradise.  He was 74.

Ravi Zacharias was raised in India before professing his faith in the risen Christ.

I watched his presentation given at Princeton University as he masterfully answered, “Why I’m not a an atheist,” to a packed auditorium of curious academics.  It’s about 40 minutes in length, but riveting in content.

Zacharias’ acumen, intelligence, ability to articulate truth, and overall life experience is beyond my ability to comprehend.  Watch, listen, and grow strong in your faith.

 

Quote of the Week

“Jesus Christ has broken the power of Satan;….and henceforth evil spirits, instead of having power over us, tremble and are [terrified] of every true Christian.” – John Henry Newman, 1801-1890

And,…I thought of this quote as I read of a certain pastor who had to resign due to moral failure…

“Christians are not so much in danger when they are persecuted as when they are admired.” – Charles Spurgeon

 

 

Laughter is Good Medicine

Country people don’t even tell you when you miss your exit.  They just wait until you pass it, then ask, “Where are you going?”

 

Soul Food:  Can a Christian Become a Non-Christian?

The topic of “de-conversion” is as old as Scripture, but in modern times it tends to make big news when associated with a celebrity.  Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

BHBC Statement on COVID-19 as of 3.20.2020

Friends,

Below is the most current statement from BHBC regarding cancellations and/or adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Allow me to offer a personal word first:

  • You will notice that, due to having travelled to Missouri this past week, I have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.  Currently, I feel great and show no signs whatsoever of being ill.
  • Per number 5 of the BHBC Statement below, as best as you can, continue to “shepherd your flock” via email or phone calls.  And know that, although quarantined, I am here to shepherd you.  I love you so very much.
  • These are unprecedented times that can cause an anxious soul to be gripped with fear.  I am spending my “free time” calling many of our elderly members to check on them and just visit, simply reminding them they are not alone, asking if they need anything and praying with them.
  • The day my son died my wife, Michelle, looked me in the eyes and said, “Nick, this is the day we decide what we truly believe.”  It is always in dire times we decide what we believe.  The humble, 20th century pastor, A.W. Tozer, once said, “While the world seems to be spinning out of control, we have a God who has not surrendered his throne.” Jesus, on the night before he was crucified, put it this way: “I have told you these things so that you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble. But take courage/heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
  • Like Simon Peter that stormy night on the sea of Galilee, it is awfully easy to lose focus of Jesus and turn our attention fully to the terrifying storm.  To help people remember what is true I will briefly teach on Facebook Live at 11:11 on Sunday mornings, as well as on Wed. evening (time to be announced.)

 

The current BHBC statement begins here:

The following met on Thursday, March 19th, to discuss a strategy for church operations:

D.L. Lowrie, David Barker (Chairman of Deacons), Meredith Harrison (Chairman of Finance), Dana Kluzek and Mike Lewis.  Clint Hutcheson (Chairman of Personnel) and Nick Watts were unable to attend.

NOTE:  Nick Watts has been asked to self-quarantine for 2 weeks due to travelling to Missouri this past week.

The following decisions were made at the March 19th meeting:

  1. Effective immediately all meetings, ministries, and programming that meet on the main campus are cancelled until further notice.  This includes the budget town hall meeting and budget vote that were originally scheduled for March 22nd & 25th, respectively.
  2. A sermon will be recorded weekly and made available on the Bacon Heights website by Sunday morning.
  3. Meredith Harrison suggested we continue to operate under the same budget until we are able to assemble again for our Town Hall meeting and official vote for next year’s budget.  Meredith or a Finance Team member will draft a letter to be mailed by March 25th, encouraging members to make an end-of-fiscal year contribution.  This letter should also in the BHBC E-News, if possible.
  4. Search Team nominations will be put on hold.  Clint Hutcheson will consult with the Personnel Team and get back to Gail White regarding a new deadline.
  5. Sunday School classes are encouraged to maintain contact with their class members. Class Directories can be obtained easily via email by simply calling the church office.
  6. There will no new hiring at this time.  The positions vacated by Machenzee Flores will not be filled at this time.  Further, Tami Hines’ soon-to-be vacated position, will not be replaced.
  7. Until we receive further guidance from Federal, State and/or local government our office will remain open for normal business hours during the week.
  8. Staff is encouraged to continue on with normal duties and to minister to members and/or the community in any way we can.

The following people will be the primary sources of information:

Facebook/social media – Nick Watts

BHBC web site – Mike Lewis

E-news – Gail White

Phone – office staff

 

Lastly, laughter really is good medicine.

You may need to laugh a little.  I saw the following on social media.  It will bring a chuckle to your soul.  Enjoy…

Coronavirus Pandemic, day 16.

If anyone is still out there, I’m alive but struggling. Food is running low. Down to only 459 days worth. My hands are super sanitized and my rear end is super clean. Down to 1599 rounds of ammo (dropped 1 round down the heat vent while doing daily inventory).

Power still on, but for how long? Missing human interaction but I have my dogs.. for now.. (I’m soaking their food in BBQ sauce in an attempt to marinate them from the inside in case I have to eat them). I have also started to soak the cat food in BBQ sauce, I have 9 of them. Will eat them first……. I fear dark days ahead.

News is all bad. Neighbors have attempted to leap from windows to their death, (they all have single story homes so they are just badly bruised).

Blew through most Netflix series so may have to re-watch some again.. Basic Survival is a definite challenge. I vow to persevere to the end, I am a survivor!

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick