The Navigator: 1.21.21

 

WELCOME SAMMY & ANITA!

(I tried to get a photo with Anita, but had to settle for Sammy.)

Sammy & Anita will begin their ministry here on Sunday, Feb. 14th.  What a joy it is to have them.  Please pray for:

  1. Their departure from FBC, Levelland.  They have been there 11 years, are dearly loved, and will be missed.
  2. FBC, Levelland.  As we conclude the search for a lead pastor, they are just getting started.
  3. The sale of the Elliott’s home in Levelland.

 

A NOTE FROM SAMMY:

MEN:

I want to encourage all husbands to be a part of the Marriage Summit Challenge this Saturday, 1/23.  It will require TWO hours of your time but could be the catalyst to strengthen your marriage.  In a day where too many marriages are just surviving, I would encourage all husbands to be intentional in taking a step or two to help build strong and thriving marriages.

Saturday will be the start of a three-week challenge.  Husbands are to gather to be encouraged and challenged in their marriages.  They will be given a three-week challenge and then will be invited back to a virtual rally at the end of the three weeks.  Husbands are encouraged to bring their wives to that final rally.

Join us this Saturday in the FLC.  I am looking forward to getting to know each of you and doing life with you as well.  I hope to see you this Saturday.

Sammy

 

A Nugget of Truth from this week’s time of Learning:  John 8-9

What price are you willing to pay to stand up for biblical truth?

Take the two most combustible issues of the day:  sexuality & the rights of the unborn.

If someone asks your position on either of these topics are you willing to pay the price for biblical truth?   Someone once said, “If you want to help others  you will tell them the truth; if you want to help yourself you will tell them what they want to hear.”

Having the courage to stand firmly for biblical truth will cost you friends, prestige and status.  How can we be sure of this?

That’s what it cost Jesus.  And much more.

In 1945, only days before the end of the war in Nazi Germany, Deitrich Bonhoeffer was standing trial because he refused to shrink from biblical truth.  Below is from the memoirs in the introduction to his classic, The Cost of Discipleship:

He was then executed.

In 1521, the reformer, Martin Luther, stood before the most powerful man in the land.  Told to recant his commitment to biblical truth or risk arrest, or even death, Luther made his famous statement:

Immediately pursued for assassination, Luther became an outlaw and was confined to isolation at the Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, Germany.  (Michelle and I have stood in the very room at Warburg where Luther would eventually translate the Greek New Testament into German.)

We sometimes contemplate dying for our faith.  The more unsettling question is, “Are you willing to live for it?”

Jesus did both.

And Jesus says to us, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”

You can view the lesson in its entirety here.

 

 

Our Youth Ministry volunteers are hard at work providing solid opportunities to our teens for learning and spiritual growth. FYI – Wednesday nights (Breakthru) resumed this past week. 6:30-7:30 in the FLC.  Bible 101 series:

  • How did we get the Bible?
  • How can we know the Bible is true?
  • How the Bible is organized.
  • Overviews of Old Testament and New Testament books.
  • How to study the Bible.

 

THANK YOU, DL & ALICE! – Jan. 31st

What can I say about DL and Alice Lowrie?  On Sunday morning, Jan. 31st, their final Sunday here at BHBC, we will host a Thank You Reception for them in our Commons.  More on this in next week’s Navigator.

 

AMERICA: Spiritual, not necessarily Christian

A few years back I sat in a room in Los Angeles and listened to sociologist, Tony Campolo, speak on the current spiritual state of mind in North America.

I wrote down this statement he made:

“America is not a Christian nation. But it is a deeply spiritual nation.”

Based on my own decades working with students at the time, I immediately agreed.

So, this recent article linked below is no surprise. From the article:

“Even among the quarter of Americans who do not identify with a religion (atheists, agnostics, and those who say they are “nothing in particular”), most still describe themselves as a spiritual person.”

This is precisely why visiting about the supernatural remains relevant.  It demonstrates a wide-open receptiveness to the Bible, God, etc. We see this demonstrated over and over again in Paul’s ministry as he connects with those who worship pagan gods. He was able to build common ground due to their openness to a metaphysical reality.

Let’s take this a step further.

One of my grad professors (and former atheist), Dr. Holly Ordway, in her book, Apologetics and the Christian Imagination: An Integrated Approach to Defending the Faith, rightly observed:

We live in what is essentially a post-Christian age. Church attendance has dropped; increasing numbers of people feel comfortable admitting to agnosticism or atheism; every day the media gives evidence of a deep-seated hostility toward Christianity (especially on any topic related to sexual ethics).

Ordway’s point is that, unlike life up until the mid/late 20th century, society no longer readily accepts the Bible as absolute truth.  As Ordway later writes,

“People have only a vague idea of Jesus, one that’s frankly not interesting enough to be worth bothering about; for them, Christianity is just one more option on the spiritual menu, and an outdated one at that.”

The point in the article linked here for you below is exciting because it tells us what was written millennia ago is still true:

[God] has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God].

People, although not Christian, are still open and hungry for God – and they don’t even know it.  It’s our job to be ready and available to visit with them. Read the brief article here.

 

QUOTE(s) of the WEEK

“Christianity gives a meaning for life that suffering can’t take away from you.” – Tim Keller

And,…

“I pray that when I die, all of hell will rejoice that I am no longer in the fight.” – C.T.Studd.

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

And,…

My mechanic told me, “I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.” – Steven Wright

 

SOUL FOOD:  A Wait Problem

Few, if any, of us do patience well.  Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick