The Navigator: 11.19.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 11/22

Preacher:  D.L. Lowrie

 

As of Tuesday morning’s Staff Meeting, decisions were made by staff to cancel all mid-week activities effective next week.  What this means is that we will not meet again for mid-week activities until further notice – hopefully, when we resume in January.

Due to the spike in COVID (we have church members as well as staff contracting the virus) in Lubbock and surrounding communities (Lubbock has set up tents outside hospitals and Amarillo has brought in mobile morgues) we are choosing to err on the side of caution.   Additionally, we have cancelled both the Adult & Children’s Christmas musicals due to shrinking attendance in both choirs (due to COVID).  Attendance, church-wide, was our lowest so far this past Sunday, with many choosing to stay away for health concerns.  We suspect this trend will continue throughout the remainder of the year.

Finally, we will not be offering the Lottie Moon Post Office this year to help prevent the spread of the virus due to different people handling the mail. (We will still be promoting the Lottie Moon offering in the worship services.)

Sunday worship services, as well as Sunday School, have not changed and will continue to meet.  Masks are strongly encouraged in the hallways and Commons.  If you have been in contact with someone suspected of infection, or you don’t feel well, please stay home.

More information as it becomes available.  Be wise, and keep praying for a cure.

 

FOSTERING HOPE (with modifications due to COVID)

This is an FYI to share with your class.

 

LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF

“And a second [greatest commandment] is like [the first]: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

I am presently reading Eric Mataxas‘ outstanding biography on the 16th century German reformer, Martin Luther(While doing mission work in Germany, Michelle and I toured the castle in Eisenach where Luther translated the Greek New Testament into German.)

Hate and vitriol are in strong supple today (it actually always is, but the media/social media reports little else.)

Luther once wrote,

“A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none (i.e. a Christian is subject to no spiritual authority other than Christ). And a Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.”

He continues,

[Therefore,] “I will give myself as a sort of Christ to my neighbor as Christ gave himself for me.”

That’s powerful.

 

A PRAYER FOR WEARING A MASK

I thought this was so poignant and powerful. I hate wearing a mask but this man’s prayer is a paradigm-shift. It’s like one of those pictures where some people see the young lady and some see the old hag. It all depends on perspective. The Lord used this man’s prayer to alter my perspective. Love to you all, nw

 

TTU TO RECEIVE $275,000 FEDERAL GRANT FOR MENTAL HEALTH & SUICIDE PREVENTION

When I present my talk on Suicide Awareness & Intervention I tell the audience that the topic of suicide is no longer taboo, but now widely covered by the mainstream media with cover articles by Newsweek and headlines in the New York Times.  So, it should be no surprise to find this article yesterday on the KCBD web site.

All praise to Christ for TTU’s efforts to help people choose to live.

99% of those who attempt to take their life don’t want to die, they just want the pain to stop.

Read the brief article here.

 

A Nugget from Wed’s time of learning in John 8:31-46:  True or False:  Choose. There is no Middle Way.

Have you ever noticed that telling someone the truth may actually destroy unity rather than promote it?  It was Paul who asked the Galatians: “Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?”

In John 8, Jesus continues to undress the self-righteousness of the Jews, finally arriving at the root cause of their sin by saying,

I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.”  …You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires… (emphasis mine)

Even as born-again Christians, we are quite capable of sliding back into the patterns of behavior we demonstrated when our “father was the devil” i.e. gossip, lying (a half-truth is still a whole lie), lust, anger, hatred, slander, selfishness, etc.

Years ago, while reading an outstanding book by theologian/counselor, Neil Anderson, I came across this powerful statement:

“Freedom from spiritual conflicts and bondage (lying, sexual sin, gossip, unforgiveness, anger, greed, etc.) is not a power encounter; it’s a truth encounter. Satan is a deceiver, and he will work undercover at all costs. But the truth of God’s Word exposes him and his lies. His demons are like little cockroaches that scurry for the shadows when the Light comes on. Satan’s power is in the lie, and when his lie is exposed by the truth, his plans are foiled.”

The passage we unpacked Wed. evening began with Jesus’ familiar words, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

We can’t will-power our way out of bondage to ingrained habits of sin.  Only the application of biblical truth can set us free.  And how do we become aware of truth?  By holding tightly to the teaching of Christ.  Read his Word, memorize his Word, apply his word.  The truth (his truth) will set you free.

Watch the the lesson in its entirety here.

 

THE HISTORICAL RELIABILITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

I post these kinds of videos and quotes weekly on my Facebook page.  Here’s a short video clip that will continue to strengthen your faith, as well as equip you to have intelligent dialogue where Christianity is concerned.

 

QUOTE(s) of the WEEK

Once we embrace Christ, we are instantly made righteous because of his righteousness, and not because of anything we have done or could do. (cf. 2 Cor. 5:21)

An argument for a Creator from a non-Christian physicist:

“There is powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all…It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe…The impression of design is overwhelming” ⁠— Physicist, Paul Davies (not a Christian), Cosmic Blueprint

And, one more from the great thinker, C.S. Lewis…

“Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is finding his place in it, while really it is finding its place in him.”-C.S. Lewis  (There’s nothing wrong with owning stuff.  The decay to our fellowship with God comes when our stuff begins owning us.  nw)

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD: The Danger of Good Leaders Becoming Proud When They Are Older And Successful

This is a guest-blog written by my dear friend, Dr. Jim Hardwicke.  It is applicable not only to pastors, but to those who serve on any level of local church leadership i.e. Sunday School teachers, deacons, committee personnel, etc.  Heed the Bible’s warning in this blog.  Read the blog here.

 

For a list of Search Team members, or to know the steps for communicating with the Team, please click here and scroll down. Pray for them!

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick