The Navigator: 12.17.2020

NOTE:  This will be the final Navigator E-news for 2020.  The next one will be published on January 7th.  Have a wonderful and safe holiday.  Nick

 

VOTE THIS SUNDAY

Due to the dramatic decrease in attendance (this is consistent in all churches, not just BHBC), a motion will be made in both worship services this Sunday, 12/20, to forgo a minimum number of people required to be present to vote when a pastoral candidate comes to preach in view of a call to be our next pastor.

The Bylaws state a quorum of 250 members must be present.  Presently, we are running in the 180’s.

 

12/20 – Regular schedule

12/24Christmas Eve Service; 5pm; DL will pre-record leading the Lord’s Supper for those who might want to observe communion during the Christmas holiday.  You can do so by accessing our web site.

12/25 – Offices closed

12/27 (Sunday) – Combined worship; 9:15 – Small Groups; 10:45 – Worship Service

1/1 – Offices closed

1/3 (Sunday) – Combined worship; 9:15 – Small Groups; 10:45 – Worship Service

***12/21-12/31 – Offices open from 9 until noon.

 

FINAL TABLE TALK of 2020:  A Strange Way to Save the World

Based on the number of people who watch these Table Talks on my Facebook page it is clear that there are many people looking for truth and hope in our world.  My prayer this week is that you will see the baby in the manger as never before.

We are perplexed not only by the “how” of Christmas, but also the “why.”  Strap up your sandals and let’s journey to Bethlehem together.  Let’s better understand the psychopath known as King Herod who so desperately tried to prevent the coming of the promised Messiah.  Let’s “peek over the shoulders” of Joseph and Mary as they settle into a cattle stall that first Christmas.  Let’s walk along side the shepherds in the nearby field as the sky explodes with light and great joy.   And, let’s take a new and fresh look at the baby in the manger.  nw

 

THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE GLORY OF GOD

You, no doubt, recognize the above phrase from Psalm 19.  In his Reflections on the Psalms, C.S. Lewis wrote,

“I take Psalm 19 to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.”

As I have before mentioned, there is a “geek side” to me in that I have a deep love for studying astronomy as well as astrophysics.  So, when I stumbled across the article linked for you here titled, “Astronomers Just Mapped 1 Million Previously Unknown Galaxies,” I knew I had to share it with you.  Why?  Because, when you look at the baby in your Nativity Scene, it can be easy to forget that that baby, being God, is the one who spoke these galaxies into their very existence.  Read the article here.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

And, a bonus…for those who are using a real tree:

 

SOUL FOOD:  Two entries this week…

Why We Sing “Joy” and not “Happiness” to the World – read the blog here.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day – read the blog here.

Merry Christmas, St. Nick

The Navigator: 12.10.2020

HOLIDAY SCHEDULE

12/24 – Christmas Eve Service; 5pm; DL will pre-record leading the Lord’s Supper for those who might want to observe communion during the Christmas holiday.  You can do so by accessing our web site.

12/25 – Offices closed

12/27 (Sunday) – Combined worship; 9:15 – Small Groups; 10:45 – Worship Service

1/1 – Offices closed

1/3 (Sunday) – Combined worship; 9:15 – Small Groups; 10:45 – Worship Service

***12/21-12/31 – Offices open from 9 until noon.

 

UN-CHRISTIAN

I saw the meme below the other day and it reminded me of the indicting statement made by 19th century, German atheist philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche:

“I would believe in their Savior if they acted from like they have been save.”

 

FOSTERING HOPE – Final Notice (with modifications due to COVID)

 

The easiest lessons to learn are from the mistakes of others:

In the Old Testament, God had entrusted Solomon with more wisdom than anyone else on planet earth.  That wisdom led to untold wealth and power.

At first, Solomon was humble and obedient to God.  But, as time wore on Solomon, like so many after great success, let his guard down and and became lazy where his devotion to God was concerned, even worshiping other gods.

This did not go well for Solomon. 

The book of Ecclesiastes is a fairly depressing book of the Bible to read.  And could well be titled the statement at the top of this post.

So, when reading it, we have to see a man who, after decades of remarkable success, now laments his sin and, in a quasi-depressed state, wants to keep others from wasting what God entrusts to us.

Among other life-lessons, Solomon writes about true friends – not the fair-weather friends who, when crises come our way, are no longer there. Or, after thinking they are you’re close friend, you discover they’ve  stabbed you in the back.  (Someone once said, “A true friend is someone who stabs you in the front.)

Solomon writes:

“Two are better than one because one can help the other.  If one falls the other can help them up.  But woe to that person who has no one to lift them up.” (4:9-10)

He is describing a friend who is always there for you, loves you enough to tell you the truth, and would never do anything to harm you or your reputation.

There are many learned-the-hard-way lessons Solomon shares in this book.  Being extremely careful as to whom you let into your circle is just one.

Love to you all, Nick

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

“A godly leader finds strength by realizing his weakness, finds authority by being under authority, finds direction by laying down his own plans, finds vision by seeing the needs of others, finds credibility by being an example, finds loyalty by expressing compassion, finds honor by being faithful, finds greatness by being a servant.” —Roy Lessin

And,…

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD:  Angels Among Us – Part 1

There is great interest in angels during the Christmas season.  What does the Bible say about them?  Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 12.3.2020

 

STAY THE COURSE

With the spike in COVID cases all churches are dealing with decreased attendance.  Please make a point to stay in contact with your people.  Faithfully shepherd your flock.  We were created by God not for isolation but for community.  In short, we need one another.  Thank you for humbly serving Christ.

 

GLENNA APPLEWHITE – RESIGNATION

Glenna contacted me on Monday evening with the news that she has chosen to resign as our choral director.  She explained her decision was due to the ongoing COVID crisis, as well as her dad having moved in with her and Marc so they can take care of him.  Below is my note to the choir:

  1. First and foremost, when Glenna informed me of her conviction to resign I was heartbroken.  She has been a delight to serve alongside.  Her personality and sense of humor light up my day.  When COVID is over we will have a huge “thank you” party for her.
  2. Speaking of COVID, due to the extreme spike in cases here in the Lubbock area, we will continue to have no choir until further notice – and this may extend until a vaccine is available.  We will unapologetically err on the side of caution.
  3. Lastly, God already has a successor to direct the choir.  God gives wisdom.  God is wisdom.  He will lead us to that person.
  4. One more thing:  I love you all.  Grace & peace, Nick

When you see Glenna tell her ‘thank you’ and give her a virtual hug.

 

FOSTERING HOPE (with modifications due to COVID)

 

‘TIS THE SEASON

The song goes like this:  “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

But, somewhere along the way, it’s become (for many people) the most stressful time of the year.  Traffic, long lines at the stores, the pressure and cost associated with buying gifts, etc.  And, this year, COVID simply exacerbates it all.

So, recently I posted ‘Wisdom from God’s Word regarding anger.’  I am posting it for you here:

“Short-tempered people do foolish things…” (Prov. 14:17)

“…a hot temper shows great foolishness.” (Prov. 14:29)

“Better to be patient than powerful,…Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent;…” (Prov. 16:32; 17:28)

“Sensible people control their temper,…”  (Prov. 19:11)

Mark Twain rightly asserted:

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

We’re never weaker than when we’re angry.  Peace, nw

 

TABLE TALKS RETURN FOR DECEMBER

Although we’ve completed our Fall semester, numerous requests have necessitated the continuation of me teaching on Wed. evenings, which I am thrilled to do.

Topics & dates are as follows:

Wed., 12/2 – What are the odds? (a look at the inexplicable, remarkable fulfillment of centuries-old prophecies surrounding Christ’s birth)

Wed, 12/9 – I Didn’t See That Coming! (The scandal, the suspense, the danger: God’s strange way of saving the world)

Wed, 12/16 – The Visited Planet (God becomes flesh)

Jesus fulfilled 333 Old Testament prophecies.  What are the odds of Christ fulfilling only 8?  It’s humanly incomprehensible.  Be encouraged by being reminded of what we already know:  that baby in the manger is the promised Messiah prophesied about in our Old Testament.

 

SATURN & JUPITER WILL ALIGN FOR THE ‘CHRISTMAS STAR’ THIS MONTH

From the article:

This will be the closest conjunction since 1623 and will officially take place on Dec. 21, although the “Christmas Star” will be visible the entire fourth week of the month.

Read the article here.

 

SLEIGH RIDE

Since our daughter, Macy, works on Thanksgiving day, we had to make the trip to Branson, MO, to spend the holiday there.  While there, we visited Silver Dollar City (where Macy performs).  Upon entering the park you are met by a 6-story Christmas tree that is a sight to behold.  I submit for you here a magical light display to the beloved ‘Sleigh Ride.’  I posted it on my Facebook page and it’s been viewed well over 1.3 thousand times.  I thought, in light of the season, you might enjoy viewing it as well.  St. Nick

 

QUOTE(s)

“Satan bombards our minds with false thoughts of unworthiness and unrighteousness. ‘How could you do that and call yourself a Christian?’, Satan hisses. But Satan is not your judge; his is merely your accuser. When Satan’s accusations of unworthiness attack you, don’t pay attention to them. Instead, say to yourself, ‘I have put my trust in Christ. I have been rescued by God from judgment, and He has declared me righteous.’ Satan cannot determine a verdict or pronounce a sentence. He can only accuse. Don’t buy it.” – Neil Anderson

And,…

When I ask people when they really grew spiritually I have never had anyone describe a time that was easy.  Never. – Chuck Swindoll

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

The man’s sister didn’t believe he could build a car out of spaghetti.  He said, “You should’ve seen the look on her face when I drove pasta.”  (moan….)

A bonus,…

This 90-second clip has made the rounds.  I can’t explain the man playing the soprano sax other than him being tone-deaf.  It is curious that the other musicians didn’t know that prior to this train-wreck.  That said, although the clip is painful to watch, it is fun watching the other two musicians who, it looks like, just want it to end quickly. Enjoy this “worship service”.

 

SOUL FOOD: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

The story behind the song will inspire you with hope.  At the end of the blog is a beautiful rendition of the song by Zach & Melissa Walker from BHBC.   Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick