The Navigator: 5.27.2021

“The greatest negative issue with the church today is not sin, it’s boredom. We have lost our astonishment. The Good News is no longer ‘good news’, it’s ‘okay news’. Christianity is no longer ‘life-changing’, it’s ‘life-enhancing’. Jesus doesn’t change people into wild-eyed radicals anymore, He changes them into ‘nice people’.” – Mike Yaconelli

 

THIS SUNDAY, May 30th – Memorial Day Weekend

  • NO SUNDAY SCHOOL due to potential power outages.
  • ONE COMBINED WORSHIP SERVICE at 10:45am
  • Come hear Tom Heath bring the Word!
  • Church Office closed on Monday for the holiday.

 

IT’S HERE!

  • When? Each Wed. evening in June.; 6-8pm
  • Where? BHBC; 54th & Slide
  • Who? K-6th grade PLUS families (see below)
  • Each evening begins with a meal in our Family Life Center at 6pm.
  • Another new aspect of VBS: we’re encouraging families to come and attend together. Parents! Come sit in with your children!  What a joy it will be to learn together.

 

The question is not, “Was there strong Bible teaching?”, but rather, “Was there strong Bible learning?”

Teaching/Learning Tip of the Week:  ‘Review! Review! Review!’

I am a critical thinker.  I question most everything.  So, when I meet a teacher who challenges me I don’t forget them.   My wife, Michelle, is, in my humble opinion, one of the best teachers I’ve witnessed in action.  Her skill set is exemplary.  She was elected Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year in LISD.  So, based on the axiom, When you stop learning, you stop leading, on more than one occasion, I have asked her advice to help sharpen my own teaching skills.

One of the fundamentals of learning she employs is what we commonly refer to as “reviewing what we’ve recently learned.”  Simple, right?  Yet, we typically fail in this area.  There’s a reason most church-goers have no clue what the sermon last week was about – life happens and we forget.  Moreover, Satan wants us to forget.

This is nothing new.  Consider the words of, both, Paul & Peter, as they wrote their letters to Christians:

I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder… (emphasis mine)

And,…

Dear friends, this is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,… (emphasis mine)

Culture changes, technology changes, but human nature remains the same.  We will always need reminding – especially in an age of unprecedented inundation of information.

A final exhortation from C.S. Lewis, quoting a colleague in Mere Christianity:

‘People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.’

 

SEEN RECENTLY

As a lifetime Youth Pastor, I have walked the halls of countless schools from all over the state of Texas.  And when I see a poster that strikes me I take a picture of it.  Consider this one:

I suspect this is directed toward students.  But, as I considered these words it occurred to me this message goes both ways – truth for the teacher as well as the student.

 

HOW GREAT THOU ART!

“The heavens declare [recount; narrate] the glory [the manifest presence] of God, and the skies [firmament; dome; Gen. 1:6] announce [speak out] what his hands have made [the works of his hands].
Day after day they tell the story [pour forth speech]; night after night they tell it again [declare knowledge].”

The above passage from Psalm 19:1-2 is taken from the Expanded Bible Translation.

I’m presently reading Steven Meyer’s ‘Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe.’ Meyer holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Science from Cambridge.

Michael R. Egnor, MD, is a Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook. He has served as the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and award-winning brain surgeon. He was named one of New York’s best doctors by the New York Magazine in 2005.

Linked here is an article by Dr. Egnor on Meyer’s hypothesis. It’s short, solid and will help ‘give meaning to the data’ to passages such as Psalms 8 and 19.

***The above Hubble Deep Field photo is the interaction of two doomed stars creating this spectacular ring adorned with bright clumps of gas ­– a diamond necklace of cosmic proportions. Fittingly known as the “Necklace Nebula,” this planetary nebula is located 15,000 light-years away from Earth in the small, dim constellation of Sagitta.

 

JUST A LITTLE TALK WITH JESUS

Listen – and be filled with joy!

 

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

I recently had a ‘back & forth’ with a skeptic on social media.  The man was kind and our debate was civil, but we clearly differed on various aspects of the Christian faith.  (The goal of Christian Apologetics is not to win an argument, but to win a friend.) I’ll come back to this man in a moment.  But, the conversation prompted me to post the following on social media.

Consider the following familiar quote by atheist, Richard Dawkins:

“Next time somebody tells you that something is true, why not say to them: ‘What kind of evidence is there for that?’ And if they can’t give you a good answer, I hope you’ll think very carefully before you believe a word they say.”

For once, I couldn’t agree more with Dawkins.  And here’s a scenario of how I would respond.

Skeptic: “Nick, what kind of evidence can you cite in favor of theism?”

Me: “That’s a very good question.  The following evidence really had an impact on me in favor of God’s existence.  Let’s take a look at it together.

  1. The origination of the cosmos
  2. The fine-tuning of the cosmos (focusing on the 2nd law of thermodynamics/entropy)
  3. The Anthropic Principle
  4. Biology – specifically the human genome/ DNA
  5. Human consciousness
  6. The overwhelming historical reliability of the New Testament

There is more evidence from archaeology and history, but this is a solid place to start.

I have faith. But it’s not blind faith.

Nick

I will include my follow-up to this post in next week’s Navigator.

 

THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT? (Nope)

I loved Flip Wilson’s ‘Geraldine’ who would not-so-innocently shout, “The devil made me do it!”

That was comedy. But, the question is valid:  Can Satan make me do something?

According to the Bible, Satan doesn’t have that kind of power. His primary skills are in lies and deception which, in turn, lure us to the trap he’s set for us.

We can mistakenly give Satan too much credit for the mess in which we find ourselves. Sometimes, he had nothing to do with it. We (due to our flesh/sinful nature) successfully messed things up all by ourselves.

“Don’t excuse yourself by accusing Satan.” – Thomas Brooks

 

TRIVIA!

Here is the sublime Pleiades. This asterism is an open cluster of massive hot stars in the constellation Taurus.

Do you know which car company uses Pleiades in its logo?  (Hint: one of their cars is called Outback.)

 

QUOTE(s) of the WEEK

Apart from the payment Christ made on the cross, nobody has a chance of getting off death row. – Lee Strobel

And, this one is great…

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

“Hospitality is making your guests feel like they’re at home, even if you wish they were.” – Steve Swartz.

And, one more…

 

SOUL FOOD:  Fool Proof – How to know when, and when not, to respond to a fool.

“I will not dignify your statement with a reply.”  Ever felt that way?  We all have.  Well, according to the Bible, sometimes that statement is spot-on, while other times a reply may be the better option.  But, how do you know which response is appropriate?  Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick