That Navigator: 9.17.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 9/20

Preacher:  DL Lowrie

 

Offering Totals Update:

After more offerings and pledges were turned in after Sunday, the following figures are current:

Cash given on Sunday:  $35,000

Pledges for next twelve months:  $285,000

 

Wednesday Evenings Resume for BHBC Student Ministry!

A huge thanks to our student ministry volunteers for loving God and loving students.

Students will meet in the FLC at 6:30 throughout the Fall Semester:

10/7 – Group 1 testimonies

10/14 – Family Night with Dana

10/21 – 11/4 – Group 2, 3 & 4 testimonies

11/11 – Family Night with Dana

11/18 – Help students prepare and share testimonies

11/25 – Thanksgiving holiday

12/2 – Family Night with Dana

 

Online Lord’s Supper – 9/27

As we did in April due to COVID, Pastor Lowrie will lead us, virtually, in the observance of the Lord’s Supper the evening of Sep. 27th.  After being recorded ahead of time, the video will be published on the BHBC web site on the evening 9/27.  Since the video will remain on our web site, you and your family can observe the ordinance privately in your home any time that is convenient for you.

 

A Brief Biblical Principle from this Past Wed. Evening’s Time of Learning:

In John 6:16-24, we find the familiar passage recounting Jesus walking on the surface of the Sea of Galilee.  John doesn’t mince words as he describes the reaction of the tough, weathered fishermen:  “they were terrified.”

Jesus comforts the disciples by assuring them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.”

But there’s more to Jesus’ statement here.  Much more.

The Greek words used for “It is I” are the same Greek words used for each time Jesus proclaims “I Am” throughout John’s gospel.  Using God’s covenant name given to Moses at the burning bush, the Jews knew exactly what Jesus was saying:  “I AM the Word made Flesh, I AM Almighty God.”

Life, under normal circumstances, can be scary.  Add COVID to that and the anxiety of many has gone through the roof.  Regardless of how rough the waters become, listen.  And what you’ll hear is Jesus saying, “I AM here.  I’ve got you. Trust me.”

 

Fall Fest! Sort of…

Due to COVID (it seems like I’ve begun most of my statements with that phrase this year), we will not be hosting our traditional Fall Fest in late October.  However, Dana and her brilliant team will be putting together “Fall Fest Bags” for children.  These bags will contain resources for knowing Jesus, info about BHBC and, of course, candy.  Dana has let informed us to let folks know that we can begin collecting candy now.

 

The Mary Hill Davis offering is the annual cooperative offering led by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.  Unlike the Lottie Moon Offering in the Spring, which is given for foreign missions, the Mary Hill Davis Offering goes toward church-starts and mission strictly in the state of Texas. For the next two Sundays, 9/20-9/27, we will highlight this mission emphasis, inviting people to give.

 

JORDAN MORALES – Farewell Reception: 9/27; Commons

Please bring thank you notes and/or a gift card to show Jordan how grateful we are for the Lord sharing her with us.

 

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

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

For Pastor Lowrie’s most recent sermon, click here.

For my lesson on John 5 last week, click here.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

In regard to God shielding Moses with his own hand to protect him from dying from the exposure to God’s glory (Exodus 33:18-23), Tim Keller comments:

“Moses is protected from God by God.  That’s the gospel.”

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

From the mouths of babes…

 

SOUL FOOD:  The Agnosticism of Science

A complement to last week’s blog.  You can read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

 

The Navigator: 9.11.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 9/13

Preacher:  D.L. Lowrie

***Ingathering Day – both morning worship services

The Offering: Two Sundays ago I presented the biblical framework behind the “special offering” to inaugurate our new giving campaign to retire the debt incurred from our most recent construction.  This Sunday, just prior to the sermon, we will ask the people to leave their seats and make their way to the front (this will be an organized procedure) and place their Pledge Card and/or special offering in a basket located on the Communion Table.

To ensure no one feels awkward for not choosing to participate, we will communicate to the people they should remain seated if (1) they have already turned in their Pledge Card, (2) are not physically able to join the procession, or (3) they are still praying about what God would have them give.  This will be a celebration.

Concert of Prayer:  Sunday evening, 6pm – We are asking our people to return to the Worship Center Sunday evening at 6pm for a time of celebration and intentional prayer.  There will be music, testimony, scripture, and, of course, prayer.  Afterward, we will move to the FLC for fellowship and a light snack.  It will be good to restore more fellowship among our people.

Between Now and Sunday morning – I am asking you – the shepherds of our small group flocks – to enter into intentional periods of prayer with your class as we quickly approach Ingathering Day this coming Sunday.  “If my people,…will pray…”

 

THANK YOU, JORDAN MORALES

As I mentioned a few weeks back, our Youth Pastor, Jordan Morales, resigned to take a teaching position at Southcrest Christian School here in Lubbock.  Her last Sunday is Sep. 27th.  Let’s say thank you that morning in between, and after, our morning worship services by bringing thank you notes and/or gift cards.  The reception will be in the Commons.

 

One principle from this past Wed’s time of learning:

Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” – John 5:8

Brief context: Jesus is in Jerusalem and sees a number of people lame, blind and otherwise ill and incapacitated.  He walks up to one man who, the scriptures tell us, had been in his crippled state for 38 years.  Let that sink in:  thirty. eight. years.  Jesus simply looks at him and says, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”  This man hasn’t walked in 38 years.  His ligaments are non-existent.  His muscles are all atrophied.  He must be thinking, “That’s impossible.”

Biblical Principle:  God often asks us to do the seeming impossible.  He whispers to us, “I want you to forgive (that person who hurt or betrayed you.)”  “I want you to attempt to reconcile your relationship (with your estranged friend/relative.)”  “I want you to trust me with (your devastating disappointment.)”  “I want you to share your faith (with an acquaintance you suspect is resistant, or even hostile, toward the Christian faith.)” And so on.

A frightened and very young Mary replied to the angel, Gabriel, “How can this be, [how can I be pregnant], since I am a virgin?”  Gabriel replied, “Nothing is impossible with God.”

Paul wrote,

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13

By the way, the crippled man got up, rolled up his mat, and, for the first time in almost 4 decades, walked away.  We get up each morning like every other morning, but we never know what a day may bring.

In way of celebration & excitement – you know my heart so, hopefully, I don’t need to qualify the following with making certain you understand I don’t share this in way of boasting. (There’s no one less impressed with themselves than me.)  Further, I will not mention this often.  I simply want you to know how Christ is working in our midst.  In addition to the crowd we are having on Wed. evenings, this past message was viewed Wed evening by over 300 people on Facebook Live.  Soli Deo Gloria

 

PARKRIDGE ANNUAL BANQUET: Can you join me?

The annual Parkridge Pregnancy Center Banquet is Thursday evening, 9/17, at the Lubbock Civic Center.  BHBC has reserved a table for 8.  I am still looking for four people who might like to attend with me, Michelle, and D.L. & Alice Lowrie.  The meal is wonderful and the guest speaker, Bob Goff, is outstanding.  The only cost for the evening is your time.  Help me fill up our table!

 

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

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

View Pastor Lowrie’s most recent message here.

 

QUOTES of the WEEK

And…

Sometimes Satan’s strongest attacks come after a victory. ‘So let the one who thinks he is standing be careful that he does not fall.’ 1 Cor 10:12

One more…

“The gospel is complex enough to keep theologians and philosophers busy writing learned tomes for years, and yet simple enough for a child to grasp the essentials.” – Francis Schaeffer

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD: Is Christianity Anti-Science?

Read the blog here.

Solus Christus, Nick

The Navigator: 9.3.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 9/6

Preacher:  DL Lowrie

NOTE: OFFICES CLOSED for Labor Day

INGATHERING DAY:  9/13 – both morning worship services

The Offering:

This past Sunday I presented the biblical framework behind the “special offering” to inaugurate our new giving campaign to retire the debt incurred from our most recent construction.  On Sunday morning, 9/13, just prior to the sermon, we will ask the people to leave their seats and make their way to the front (this will be an organized procedure) and place their Pledge Card and/or special offering in a basket located on the Communion Table.

To ensure no one feels awkward for not choosing to participate, we will communicate to the people they should remain seated if (1) they have already turned in their Pledge Card, (2) are not physically able to join the procession, or (3) they are still praying about what God would have them give.

I can promise you this will be extremely exciting and celebratory.  Personally, I cannot wait to be a part of it.

Concert of Prayer:  Sunday evening, 9/13; 6pm

We are asking our people to return to the Worship Center that evening at 6pm for a time of celebration and intentional prayer.  There will be music, testimony, scripture, and, of course, prayer.  Afterward, we will move to the FLC for fellowship and a light snack.  It will be good to restore more fellowship among our people.

Between Now and 9/13

As I stated this past Sunday morning, I am asking you – the shepherds of our small group flocks – to enter into intentional periods of prayer with your class as we quickly approach Ingathering Day on the 13th.  “If my people,…will pray…”

 

SPEAKING OF PRAYER…

I have a few books of centuries-old prayers that I read through from time to time.  The Bible is replete with recorded prayers.  The Psalms, alone, contain 150 of them.  You’ll find the longest recorded prayer in Nehemiah 9. When people ask me to help them learn how to pray I encourage them to begin by reading through prayers already given to us by God in His Word.  Below is a prayer from a book of prayer I have titled, The Valley of Vision.  From the 18th century.

Lord, your departure (ascension following your resurrection) was not a token of separation, but a pledge of your return.

On that day, this corruptible shall put on incorruption. This mortal, immortality. This natural body, a glorious body. This weak body, a body of power.

Beyond the grave is resurrection, judgment, acquittal, dominion. Every event and circumstance of my life will be dealt with – the sins of my youth, my secret sins, the sins of abusing your name, of disobeying your Word – all will be judged.

Yet, that day is not a horror to me. For your death has redeemed me, your Spirit fills me, your love animates me, your Word governs me.

I have trusted you and you have not betrayed my trust. O God, keep me in this faith, and ever looking for Christ’s return.

Amen

 

KCBD WEEKEND METEOROLOGIST, KELLY PLASKER

By now, many of you have read or watched the story of Kelly Plasker’s taking of her own life this past Sunday.  Her story has not only been widely covered locally, but also covered nationally by the Today Show and Fox News.

About two years ago, Kelly’s son, Thomas, took his own life.  He was 19.  Due to my own history with my son, Jordan, a mutual friend connected me to Kelly.  And, over the past two years, we have had a number of visits as I counseled and encouraged her how to survive the suicide of a child.  Alas, Kelly lost that psychological battle last Sunday.

Kelly leaves behind two teenage children.  Her daughter called me on Monday and asked me to preach her mom’s funeral.  (I met with Kelly’s children today.) The service is Saturday morning, 10am, at Lake Ridge Chapel, and will be broadcast all over.  You can read details regarding the service here.

Would you please lift this precious family to Jesus?  Would you please pray for me as I prepare to offer them, and all those watching, hope in the Cross of Christ?

 

PARKRIDGE ANNUAL BANQUET

The annual Parkridge Pregnancy Center Banquet is Thursday evening, 9/17, at the Lubbock Civic Center.  BHBC has reserved a table for 8.  I am looking for four people who might like to attend with me, Michelle, and D.L. & Alice Lowrie.

 

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

Our mid-week times of learning have been strongly attended and heavily viewed on BHBC’s Facebook page.  To God be all glory.

Here’s a nugget of truth from this past Wed. evening from John 4.  Jesus has kept his divine appointment with an outcast, immoral Samaritan women at the site of Jacob’s Well near Sychar, en route with his disciples to Galilee from Judah.

Unlike Nicodemus in chapter 3, the woman immediately believes in and puts her faith in Jesus.  What happened next in this woman can only be described as a rhapsodical eruption of joy and freedom.  Let’s pick up the story with vss 28 and following:

Then the woman left her water jar, and went into the city and began telling the people, “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done! Can this be the Christ?” So the people left the city and were coming to Him…  Now many Samaritans from that city believed in Him and trusted Him [as Savior] because of what the woman said

She was so excited she forgot to take her water jar back to town with her!  The one evangelized immediately becomes the evangelist!  And she does this without any concern about what people knew of her former way of life. Why should she?  In a matter of seconds her spirit was quickened/awakened to the Holy Spirit of Almighty God.  She no longer was carrying the crippling weight of shame and guilt.  She was a new creation! All the old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  In a nutshell, she leaves behind the water jar as she now carries in herself the Living Water.

O God, ignite this kind of passion in us that we might boldly and lovingly share our faith.  Amen

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN THE BIBLE SAYS GOD IS JEALOUS?

It’s a part of the 2nd of the 10 Commandments.  And Moses makes it clear later on:

“Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Ex. 34:14)

I heard a celebrity once say condescendingly, “I just can’t respect a God who says he’s jealous.”

At face value, I would agree with the celebrity.

But that is the mistake we make when we are irresponsible in our study of scripture.

God’s jealousy is nothing like human jealousy.

I could go on.  But this brief quote from philosophy professor, Paul Copan, Ph.D., from his book Is God a Moral Monster? is a solid, concise explanation.  Peace, nw

 

 

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

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

View Pastor Lowrie’s most recent message here.

To view my message on John 4 from this past Wed. evening simply go to Bacon Heights’ Facebook page, scroll down and click on the video.

 

QUOTES of the WEEK

“For too long, we’ve called unbelievers to ‘invite Jesus into your life.’ Jesus doesn’t want to be in your life.  Your life’s a wreck.  Jesus calls you into His life.  And His life isn’t boring or purposeless or static.  It’s wild and exhilarating and unpredictable.” – Russell Moore

And…

Very good to remember:  [Jesus said], “Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting. (Matthew 18:7)

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

Also… Deep Thoughts:

1) When one door closes and another door opens, you are probably in prison.

2) Cop: Please step out of the car.  Driver:  I’m too drunk.  You get in.

3) If you’re sitting in a public place and a stranger takes the seat next to you, just stare straight ahead and whisper, “Did you bring the money?”

 

SOUL FOOD: American Idol

Idols come in all shapes, sizes and forms.  And many of us – even Christians – can still be guilty of worshiping them.  Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 8.27.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 8/30

Preacher:  DL Lowrie

 

God is already blessing greatly.  (See next item immediately below.)

This Sunday I will make my final presentation in regard to exhorting and encouraging our people to prayerfully consider being a part of the retirement of our present debt incurred from our new construction.

Our “ingathering” day will be Sunday, 9/13.  That is the day we will be asking everyone to bring and present their gifts and/or pledges before the Lord.  This Sunday, 8/30, I will provide the biblical history associated with the Jewish ingathering.  What the Bible records is extremely exciting.

 

These are strange days that can often be discouraging.  So a good word is always timely.  Allow me to share a few here:

  1. This past Sunday we welcomed back our youth & children’s ministries.  And the attendance was almost overflowing!
  2. Monday morning I poked my head into the room where our money-counters gather to say hello (I do this every week).  Gaylon Kerr turned around and, with a huge smile on his face, said, “Our building receipts are strong!”
  3. I was thrilled to be able to welcome our people back on Wednesday evenings.  And, like our youth & children on Sunday, our attendance was strong.  It was personally rewarding to see so many of our precious people.  Further, after I finished teaching, two people walked up to me and asked if they could join BHBC!  I’ll present them in the early service this Sunday.
  4. Dana, Mike & I met with all of our Youth Workers this past Sunday to visit about ‘next steps’ in light of Jordan Morales’ recent resignation.  My heart was filled with joy as we engaged in solid, spirited discussion and, as a result, were able to create what I believe is a wise and effective strategy for leadership in the coming weeks.  The Lord has blessed us with wonderful youth ministry leadership.

My friends, there is so much good happening within our midst.  It’s good for you to know that.

 

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

Each week, I hope to share with you here just one nugget from the previous Wed. evening’s study.  Since this was the first time we gathered to learn since March 11th, we reviewed the first three chapters of John’s gospel. John 3:16-18 reads as follows:

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

We are familiar with vs. 16, but note vss. 17-18.  Because vss. 17-18 are precisely why vs. 16 is called “good news.”

We’ve deserved hell ever since Eden (Genesis 3).  But, God, slow to anger and abounding in love, immediately revealed his plan known to redeem us from the enemy’s hand.  God so loved us too much to let us remain under eternal condemnation.

When we, as Christians, stand before a holy, just God, we will hear from his throne the verdict, “Not guilty!”  Why?  Because of the Cross and the Empty Tomb.  Author, Neil Anderson, describes it this way:

“Many Christians live as, if they mess up, the hammer of God will fall on them. But the hammer has already fallen. It fell on Christ, who died “once for all” our sins. (Rom. 6:10) We are no longer ‘sinners in the hands of an angry God.’ We are saints in the hands of a loving God who has called us to ‘draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith….(cf. Heb. 10:22).” – Neil Anderson

Hallelujah!

 

THE EPIDEMIC OF BIBLICAL ILLITERACY

A recent article cited that over half of U.S. Christians believe good works will get them into heaven – over half.  (Read the article here.)

C.S. Lewis once said about philosophy, “Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.”

Translated to biblical teaching: “Teaching of sound, biblical doctrine must exist, if for no other reason, because bad biblical teaching needs to be corrected.”

One of my overarching passions in ministry is to eradicate biblical illiteracy through the teaching and preaching of responsible, sound doctrine.  And, this was one of Paul’s passions as well:

[Pastors and teachers are given the responsibility to equip God’s people with sound doctrine.] “Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.” – Ephesians 4:11-14

This kind of teaching requires great focus and dedication because it carries with it eternal implications.  This is precisely why James warned, Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.

Never, ever forget:  what you’re doing matters.  Always.

 

WHEN WE INVITE SOMEONE TO CONSIDER TRUSTING CHRIST, WHAT IS IT, EXACTLY, WE’RE ASKING THEM TO DO? (I’m glad you asked.)

I just finished a book by one of my professors.  A former ardent atheist, the answer she gave to this question is, in my opinion, brilliant.
“When we invite people [to consider faith in Christ] we are inviting them to come home and, in so doing, also to explore a glorious new country, where there is always more to discover.”
“We are inviting them to be made truly whole, as unique individuals, and also to discover the joyous ‘fellowship of the [resurrection.]’”
[We are inviting them to see] “that the universe is profoundly meaningful, that all things are interconnected in and through Christ, and that to be a Christian is to be fully alive, now and eternally.
“God is the ultimate Artist, and Author, and Composer: in his work, all creation sings, and each of us is called to join in the cosmic harmony.” – Dr. Holly Ordway; Imaginative Apologetics: An Integrated Approach to Defending the Faith

 

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

 

QUOTES of the WEEK

G.K. Chesterton was a towering figure, both in physical and societal stature.  A brilliant literary scholar and defender of the Christian faith, the man possessed a rare wit that could slice an opposing argument in half.  Should you be interested in reading him further I would humbly suggest to begin with his book, Orthodoxy.  This week, enjoy two of his quotes here.

“Men do not differ much on what things they call evil; rather, they differ on what evils they will call excusable.” – GK Chesterton

And…,

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

Call it the Youth Pastor in me.  But, every now and then, when I sense people need a respite of laughter and joy in their lives, I like to do what I can in order to help bring a little sunshine into their otherwise cloudy day.

Background:  I’m not certain exactly when it began.  Perhaps, it was birthed while I served in a church puppet ministry when I was a teenager.  Regardless, at some point decades ago, I imitated Kermit the Frog for the very first time.  And it ended up being a staple through the next 30 years of ministry.  More than that, each time I’ve spoken to public school elementary classes (usually during “Red Ribbon” week) I am almost always asked to “bring Kermit.”

I recorded this in just a few minutes last week posted it on my Facebook page. It’s been viewed almost 2.5 thousand times with many commenting, “Thank you! I needed to laugh.”  Mission accomplished.

So, for those who may need a laugh, here you go…

SOUL FOOD:  America & the Supernatural

We actually live in a nation ripe for discussion about something beyond the physical realm.   Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 8.20.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 8/23

Preacher: DL Lowrie

Primary Text:  Zechariah 4:6

 

FOR THE KINGDOM:  HIS KINGDOM, HIS POWER, HIS GLORY

  • I met with our Deacon Body this past Sunday evening and explained in more detail the theological framework behind our For the Kingdom debt-retirement campaign.  This Sunday in both worship services I will share part of what I shared with them.  I share this with you here so you can share it with your class.  Clear communication is paramount.
  • Prayer – God forbid that we proceed with any endeavor without calling on God for wisdom, strength and courage.  I am asking you to do one of two things:  either dedicate a portion of your Sunday morning class time to prayer dedicated to ‘For the Kingdom’, or develop a strategy for some other outside-of-class effort to pray together (or both).  My friends, I cannot convey to you how important this is.  We will be dedicating time in our worship services to pray for this as well.

 

IS YOUR BHBC WEB SITE INFO CORRECT?

Last week, I had asked you to let me know if your information on our church web site was current.  For those who were unable to reply, Dormye Halbrooks graciously contacted you on my behalf.  Please check the site to make certain all is accurate.  The present generation clicks on a web site to gather information. As such, it is critical our information is succinct and accurate.  Click here to make certain all information is correct and current.

 

Michael Dain, Chairman of our Search Team, will give the team’s monthly report this Sunday in both worship services.

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

 

Learning resumes next Wednesday, 8/25!  6:30pm

The Gospel of John – Nick Watts – worship center

GriefShare – Tom & Diane Heath – 209

DivorceCare – Isaias & Sonya Martinez – 215

Strength to Love – Cam Johnston – 109

***Youth & Childrens Ministries resume this 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.

 

THANK YOU, JORDAN MORALES

For those who were unable to attend this past Sunday, our Youth Pastor, Jordan Morales, submitted her resignation to take a full-time teaching job at Southcrest Christian School.   Her last day of full-time responsibilities at BHBC will be Sunday, Aug. 30th.  Then, to help with the transition, the Personnel Team has asked her to help on Sundays only throughout September (she agreed), making her final day associated with BHBC employment September 27th.

Next Steps:  Mike Lewis, Dana Kluzek, and I, along with two representatives from Personnel, Clint Hutcheson and Brad Whitaker, met with Jordan last Sunday.  Mike, Dana and I will meet with all of the Youth Worker Volunteers, as well as Tina Findley, the Youth Ministry Admin. Asst., this Sunday during lunch to get our bearings and begin developing a plan for a continued strong and healthy ministry.  Having 25 years experience in full-time youth ministry, and still having a great love for teens, Personnel has asked that I serve as Tina Findley’s immediate supervisor so as to do all I can to set her and that ministry up for success during the interim.  Our Youth Ministry is blessed with wonderful, capable volunteers who love the Lord and teenagers deeply.  We are in good hands.

It is the consensus that we not pursue a new Youth Pastor until we first call our next Lead Pastor.  I strongly support this decision.

 

A ‘SHORTER SUMMA’

I’m currently reading Thomas Aquinas’ ’Shorter Summa’ which is his own concise version of his tome, ‘Summa Theologica.’  Aquinas was a brilliant 13th century theologian.

He writes incisively:

“To restore man, who had been laid low by sin, to the heights of divine glory, the Word of the eternal Father, though containing all things within his immensity, willed to become small.” (“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” John 1:14) “This he did, not by putting aside his greatness, but by taking to himself our littleness.”

This is unique to the Christian faith.  No other religious worldview holds to a God who becomes man, taking on their guilt so that they may be set free. That’s the gospel.

 

RAVI ZACHARIAS on ATHEISTIC EVOLUTION

Zacharias’ five-minute story here is brilliant.  May you be, both, encouraged in your faith as well as better equipped to defend it.

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

To watch Pastor Lowrie’s most recent sermon click here.

To watch my most recent Table Talk click hereWhat the Bible Says About Hell, Part 2

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

“[When we] fight the Lord’s battles with the devil’s weapons, if we cut our own fingers we must not be surprised.” – Charles Spurgeon

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD:  Consequences

Just because we ignore consequences doesn’t make them go away.  Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

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. Should you and a friend be attacked by a bear the National Park Service states:

“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