The Navigator: 9.30.21

THIS SUNDAY: Grow

  • Sammy will unpack the second of four pillars of his current series.

 

Our inaugural Small Group Leadership Appreciation Banquet is finally here.

  • Final attendance count is just under 80.  Get ready for a wonderful dinner, a ton of fun, and to be lifted up & encouraged.
  • The banquet begins at 6pm in the FLC.  See you all there.

 

The question is not only, “Was there strong Bible teaching?”, but also, “Was there strong Bible learning?”  This week’s tip:  Fundamentals

I played football, baseball, and took piano lessons for years.  All three activities had something in common.  At the beginning of every practice and rehearsal, my coaches/instructors always began with the fundamentals.  Every. Single. Time.

As Small Group Leaders who teach God’s Word and shepherd his sheep, based on scripture such James 3:1, we should take the fundamentals seriously.

Don’t ever forget these 7 fundamentals:

  1. You can’t give what you don’t have. Being precedes doing. Be faithful and disciplined in your own spiritual growth via daily devotional time involving biblical study and prayer – even if its just for a few minutes. Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.”  Additionally, if your “well is ever dry” and you need a break/sabbath, never hesitate to let me know.
  2. Be a responsible student of scripture.  Pray fervently for understanding. Study context. Take time to think and work through hard passages. All of these disciplines will help you to be able to “correctly handle the word of truth.”  One theologian wisely wrote in regard to studying a passage of scripture:  “If we can know the author, the audience, and the purpose the author had in mind, this goes a long way in understanding what God is saying to us in that passage.”  When you stop learning, you stop leading.
  3. Lead with love. Jesus said, “By this all will know if you follow me, if you love one another.” Not “if you are a skilled teacher,” but “if you love one another.” Your class may not always remember what you taught them, but they will always remember how you treated them.
  4. Lead by example. Jesus said – and modeled – “The greatest among you shall be your servant.” Sheep are led, not driven.  Be on time to class.  Always show up prepared.  Our listeners can smell “winging it” a mile away.
  5. Know why you believe what you believe.  Learn to think deeply, and critically.  One writer wrote, “When we can’t even engage in elementary dialogue with someone who asks a tough question about the Christian worldview, it serves as one more reason for that person to move on to a worldview is more respected by its adherents.”  Peter didn’t mince words.  He said to “always be prepared to give an answer [a logical defense] to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
  6. Approach teaching as seriously as God does. James wrote, “Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly [because we have assumed greater accountability and more condemnation if we teach incorrectly]. Prepare well, and leave the results to God.
  7. Regularly share the gospel with your class for two reasons. (1) Never assume everyone who attends is a Christian, and (2) it will remind and equip your class to share their faith as well.

 

MORE OF THE SIDE OF PRO SPORTS YOU NEVER SEE

 

WINTERIZING CARS: DEACON MINISTRY

This Saturday, from 9-noon, here at BHBC, deacons will be winterizing cars for all single ladies (all ages.)  This includes checking belts, hoses, fluid levels, tire pressure & tread, and windshield wipers.  Should you know someone who might enjoy this free service please pass the info along.

 

WOW

This is Olympus Mons on the Martian surface. It’s the tallest mountain/volcano in the solar system at 16 miles above the surface. To help put this in perspective, Mt. Everest is 5 1/2 miles tall.

Olympus Mons is 374 miles in diameter (the distance from Lubbock to Austin.)  It’s what’s known as a shield volcano because of its distinctive shield shape.

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Most of you know I grew up in a horrifically violent home.  Had I not been home on a particular Sunday night in 1980, I am certain my dad would have murdered my mom.

So, when I saw this article recently on Everything Lubbock, I took notice.  Do we really have a domestic violence issue in Lubbock? From the article:

According to statistics cited by Lubbock Area United Way, Lubbock’s domestic violence rate was twice the state average as of 2018. The Lubbock Police Department reports family violence was the leading cause of homicides in 2020, with 11 local residents losing their life to the crime.

The article also offered resources for help.  My heart hurts for those who exist in this private terror.  Should you know someone caught in this nightmare, let them know there is hope and help.  Read the article here.

 

MISSION/MINISTRY FAIR: October 17th

I’ll include more info on this in next week’s Navigator.  Briefly,…

  • The exhibit will be in the Commons all morning.
  • One table will represent our small group ministry (Sunday School & Wed. evenings).  Should you have anything specific you would like for me to include let me know.

 

The historicity of Jesus.

Bart Ehrman is a New Testament scholar and professor at UNC Chapel Hill.  He’s also an “agnostic with atheistic leanings.”  I read his book, Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth.  (An odd book written by an atheist, right?) Here’s what he said in his opening comments:

“The reality is that whatever else you may think about Jesus, he certainly did exist.”

Ehrman then spent over 300 pages supporting his argument.  Don’t let anyone tell you Jesus never existed.   One of my professors rightly said, “There is more evidence for the existence of Jesus than for any other figure in human history.”

 

QUOTE(s)

I’m often asked, “Do you take the Bible literally.” My answer is, “Yes, where it is meant to be taken literally. Everything in the Bible is literally true but not all of it is expressed in a literal way.” – Frank Turek

On politics:  Bono,  the lead singer of U2, once said, “The Left mocks the Right.  The Right knows it’s right.  Two ugly traits.  How far should we go to try to  understand each other’s point of view?  Maybe the distance grace covered on the cross is a clue.” – Jim Wallace, God’s Politics

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD:  That Peculiar Planet Known as Uranus

When God spoke the cosmos into existence he could’ve made everything look the same.  But, God is an artist.  Read the article here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 9.16.21

THIS SUNDAY, 9/19

After last Sunday’s service (9/12), I walked to my car and just sat there in silence, overwhelmed with God’s grace and mercy.  Jerry Joplin and D.L. Lowrie were used mightily by Christ.

This Sunday, Sammy begins unpacking the vision God has given him for the next season of BHBC.

 

We’ve arrived at the deadline, this Sunday 9/19, to confirm your reservation for our inaugural Appreciation Banquet.

**My heart rejoices at the fact that we are at near 100% attendance for all leadership.  Present attendance stands at fifty-four!

About our speaker, Jim Hardwicke: Jim and his wife, Michelle, live in Springfield, MO., and have three grown children.  My youth pastor when I began going to church in high school, it was under Jim’s compassionate leadership and influence that I gave my life to Jesus in way of full-time, vocational ministry.  Jim went on to pastor in Missouri, eventually earning his Ph.D.

I’ve visited at length with Jim and am thrilled at what the Lord has laid on his heart to tell us.

 

New Adult Classes begin this Sunday, Sep 19th!

  • 9:15am – Young Professionals – taught by Shawn Coleman; Rm. 218
  • 9:15am – Cornerstone (all ages) – taught by Mike & Kristen Lewis; Rm. 215

 

The question is not only, “Was there strong Bible teaching?”, but also, “Was there strong Bible learning?”  This week’s tip: learning by asking questions

I remember as a kid in school, when I didn’t understand what the teacher was saying I was always embarrassed to raise my hand and ask a question.  Little did I know, no one else in the class had a clue either and were equally embarrassed, or just didn’t care.

Recently, I came across the following post on Twitter.

If you think about the scenes the biblical writers describe as Jesus taught, you’ll remember numerous examples of intelligent people asking him questions:  Nicodemus is a perfect example, as well as Jesus’ own disciples.

Asking questions actually demonstrates diligence and a mature and aggressive desire to learn.  For, there is so much to learn that we do not know.  And, how are we going to learn if we don’t ask hard questions?

 

THE SIDE of SPORTS WE RARELY GET to SEE

Almost everything we’re fed by the media is the side of sports that embodies scandal, controversy,  and anything else that happens to fit their narrative.  However, there is so much more going on than meets the public eye.  Below are a bunch of big, strong men on their knees before the King of Kings.

 

  1. Is the Bible a fairy tale based on legend? Scholars agree that legends grow over time i.e. more embellishment, not less. The earliest gospel, Mark, was written around 65 AD. The latest gospel, John, was written some 30 years later. Yet, John records less of Jesus’ miracles than Mark. Skeptics fail to mention this.
  2. Evidence for God: A collection of up quarks, down quarks, and electrons is reading this sentence.” – Steve Robinson, professor of physics, Belmont University

 

QUOTE(s) of the WEEK

This first quote is actually a prayer.

“I thank You, my Creator, that You have given me joys in Your creation and ecstasy over the work of Your hands. I have known the glory of Your works as far as my finite spirit was able to comprehend Your infinity.  If have said anything wholly unworthy of You, or have aspired after my own glory, graciously forgive me.” – Johannes Kepler, “An Astronomer’s Prayer”; Kepler was a key figure of the 17th century Scientific Revolution, and formulator of the three laws of planetary motion.

And,…

God’s patience with our sin does not suggest his approval. Never confuse the two.

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE (Prov. 17:22)

 

SOUL FOOD: Revenge

Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 9.9.21

THIS SUNDAY, 9/12

This is it!  The kick-off for our Fall emphasis.  Once again, here are the details:

  • No Sunday School/Small Groups that day.  Everyone (youth through adults) will meet in the Worship Center both hours9:15 and 10:45.
  • As with all Sunday mornings, we’ll have a break between the services and enjoy snacks and fellowship in the Commons together.
  • Important:  the two services will not be the same.  Jerry Joplin will be preaching at 9:15.  D.L. Lowery will be preaching at 10:45.  Additionally, the music will be different in both services as well.
  • On 9/19, Sammy will unpack his/our vision for BHBC.  Very exciting days ahead.

 

BE. OUR. GUEST!

Sunday School Leadership Appreciation Banquet; Sunday evening, 10/3; 6pm

I am THRILLED at your response to this wonderful evening we’re going to have together!  You’ll never know how grateful I am for your consistent love for Jesus and for people.

***Deadline to RSVP is Sunday, 9/19.

 

Two New Adult Classes begin on Sep 19th!

  • Young Professionals – taught by Shawn Coleman; Rm. 218
  • Cornerstone (all ages) – taught by Mike & Kristen Lewis; Rm. 215

Check out our full list of learning opportunities here.

 

The question is not only, “Was there strong Bible teaching?”, but also, “Was there strong Bible learning?”  This week’s tip: humility

For several weeks, I’ve been focusing more on our heart rather than our skill-set.  This is because being precedes doing. (It’s the reason Jesus said our distinguishing characteristic is love and not skills in teaching.)

This past Wed. evening I journeyed with my class through Daniel 4. (Internet speed has been painfully slow here at the office.  I will try and link this week’s study as soon as it is able to upload.)

Daniel 4 is an intriguing story on several levels.  But, I only want to focus on one aspect here.

Pride is a poison.  And, like all sin, pride enslaves.

Both biblical and secular history is littered with stories of people who’ve succumbed to pride and its sad consequences.

Nebuchadnezzar was an extremely gifted leader.  Secular history records his genius as a king and military general.

God had given Nebuchadnezzar numerous chances to humble himself and turn from his pride and temper.  But Nebuchadnezzar chose to learn the hard way.

What ensued was a seven-year vacation living like a wild animal in the woods barking at the moon.  (That should humble just about anyone.)

But, even after this harrowing experience of insanity, Nebuchadnezzar still had a choice to make:  would he dig in his heels, or will he finally, in essence, confess, “There is one God, and I’m not him.”  Fortunately, he chose the latter.

It’s easy to focus on the fact that we are all loved by God, but a lesser remembered fact is that we’re all expendable, as well. 

I often remind my daughters, both professional performers,

“Every last ounce of talent and skill with which God has entrusted to you is on loan.  As quickly as God gave it to you, he can take it away.  Use it wisely, and humbly.”

This goes for those of us who teach, too.

I’ve seen too many teachers/preachers act as though God should feel lucky to have them on his team.  We’re told repeatedly how good our teaching is and, if we’re not careful, we begin believing our own press.

Paul asked the proud Corinthians,

For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

In Proverbs 6, using a poetic device, Solomon records that God hates pride:

“One of the things God hates is a proud look.” [the attitude that makes one overestimate oneself]. Amplified

Every time we stand before God’s people we should stand humbled that God would even consider using us to play a small role in the furthering of his Kingdom.

One final warning.  And who better to give it than Nebuchadnezzar, himself:

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble. (emphasis mine)

 

PAUL HARVEY: “If I were the Devil.”

With my dad being a news journalist and TV anchor for the NBC affiliate, KRBC, in Abilene, TX, I was introduced early on to Paul Harvey.  Only 3 minutes long, this is one of his classics.

Originally aired in 1964, it’s a relevant now as it was then.

 

A TRIBUTE TO THE THIRTEEN U.S. SOLDIERS KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN

This past Saturday, the NC State Band paid tribute to our fallen military.  I didn’t last 30 seconds before my eyes welled up with tears.

 

QUOTE(s) of the WEEK

Do you know people who enjoy dominating a conversation so that neither you nor anyone else can get a word in edgewise?  They love to hear themselves talk.  I have found this quote to be true on many occasions.

“The less men think, the more they talk.”— Montesquieu

And,…

God’s patience with our sin does not suggest his approval. Never confuse the two.

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

And, how about a bonus…

I’ve always been told English is the most difficult language to learn.  Based on the following, I believe it.

  1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
  2. The farm was used to produce produce.
  3. The dump was so full it was to refuse refuse.
  4. The man decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  5. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
  6. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  7. Their things need to be returned to their house so see if they’re there.

 

SOUL FOOD:  Lambs and Dragons

Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

 

The Navigator: 9.2.21

THIS SUNDAY, 9/5

Sammy & Anita are taking some well-deserved time away.  In his absence, I will be preaching a message I’ve titled:  The Hope-Giving, All-Sufficient, Indestructible Word of God.  My objective and hope is that all who listen would fall in love with their Bibles again, or perhaps for the very first time.

 

Sunday School Leadership Appreciation Banquet; Sunday evening, 10/3; 6pm

“Elegance” may be a little over the top.  But, I chose the graphic because I want you to understand this is not a “chicken strips buffet.”  We will be enjoying steak dinners in your honor.  Cindy Andrews is making certain the decor in the FLC will be beautiful.

Please, if you’ve not already, make your RSVP’s.  Deadline is Sunday, 9/19.

 

Join us on Sunday, September 12th, for something very special.

  • No Sunday School/Small Groups that day.  Everyone (youth through adults) will meet in the Worship Center both hours – 9:15 and 10:45.
  • As with all Sunday mornings, we’ll have a break between the services and enjoy snacks and fellowship in the Commons together.
  • Important:  the two services will not be the same.  Jerry Joplin will be preaching at 9:15.  D.L. Lowery will be preaching at 10:45.  Additionally, the music will be different in both services as well.
  • NEW:  Inside this week’s bulletin you will find a QR Code that takes you to a digital invitation to send to friends.
  • The following Sunday, Sammy will unpack his/our vision for BHBC.  Very exciting days ahead.

 

The question is not only, “Was there strong Bible teaching?”, but also, “Was there strong Bible learning?”  This week’s tip: Meditation

When I was a kid, whenever I heard the word “meditation” I always associated it with eastern religions and transcendental meditation. Then, as I began to read the Bible, I came across multiple passages about the spiritual discipline of meditating on God’s word.

After Moses died, God instructed Joshua,

“Study [My Word] continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” – Joshua 1:8

Many people will say, “I don’t know how to meditate.”

Oh, yes you do.

Have you ever worried? Worry is negative meditation. And we all know how to worry. Sometimes for days on end.

While we often set a goal to “read the Bible through in a year” (quantity), meditation accomplishes a different goal (quality.)

Author, Nancy Leigh Demoss, wrote about this topic,

“Absorb the Word into your system by dwelling on it, pondering it, going over it again and again in your mind, considering it from many different angles, until it becomes part of you.”

Try this: think of your favorite Bible verse or passage and meditate on that passage for a few days in a row.  Turn it over again and again in your heart and mind. Who was the author? What do you think he was thinking and feeling at the time? How might that passage translate to life in 2021?  Are there objections and/or hard questions you have for God about the passage? Memorize it. Look at it in different translations. Then, just listen. And you will hear the whisper of a still, small voice as God begins to illuminate the depth of His Word.

Can you hear the Lion’s roar? “Aslan is on the move,” Lewis encourages us in his Narnia Chronicles.  Listen.  The adventure awaits.  nw

 

YOUR GLORY IS HIGHER THAN THE HEAVENS!

“I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.” – Abraham Lincoln

This is NGC 2623, a pair of spiral galaxies in the late stage of collision. This is called a titanic galaxy merger. It is 253 million light years from earth, and traveling away from us at 3400 miles per second. – Per. Second.

“When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place—… O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!” – Psalm 8:3, 9

 

FOR THOSE WHO ARE BOTHERED BY DOUBTS

**I’ve chosen to include this post from my Facebook page because I was taken back by how many times it was shared on social media.  Apparently, there are many who deal with doubts concerning their salvation.  Should you encounter someone in your flock dealing with doubt, perhaps what I shared with my friend can help.

I met with a friend at their request this past week.  They wanted to make certain they had been saved (“saved” is the word the Bible often uses to represent one’s decision to place their faith in Christ.)

After sharing a warm beverage and reflecting on the truth of scripture my friend was reassured that their name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (cf. Revelation 20:11-15)

Many – especially when the fragility of life becomes all too real due to serious illness, or age – begin to be bothered by doubt and fear as to what they’ll wake up to after their final breath on earth.

The Bible says you neither have to doubt nor fear.

Paul wrote, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9

And when the jailer asked Paul, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul calmly replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.” – Acts 16:29-31

Can this decision ever be undone?  According to the testimony of scripture itself – never.  Paul wrote, “In [Christ], …when you heard the word of truth, the good news of your salvation, and [as a result] believed in Him, were stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit [the One promised by Christ] as owned and protected [by God]. The Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance…” – Ephesians 1:13-14, Amplified

Your salvation – your decision to place your faith in Christ – is sealed with the Holy Spirit.  And no power on earth or in heaven can break that seal.

nw

 

COVID CONCERNS

The church staff recently discussed the rise of COVID cases and what that means for our church.  At this time, we are not going to make any modifications to our schedule or ministries.  However, we do ask that we all help stop the spread of illness by taking any precautions you feel are necessary.  We encourage you to do the following:

  1. Stay home if you are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19.
  2. Wash your hands often.  Hand sanitizer is wall-mounted inside doors 1-3.
  3. Practice social distancing.

 

QUOTE(s) of the WEEK

“The devil’s boots don’t creak.” (Scottish proverb)

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8

And,…

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God. – Aeschylus

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD:  Mind Games

If we’re not careful, our mind can become Satan’s basecamp.  Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick