The Navigator: 7.9.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 7/12

Back to our regular schedule.

 

POLICY ON WEARING MASKS – BHBC’s official statement:

Bacon Heights Baptist Church will comply with Governor Abbot’s executive order to use a face covering in public.  Please wear a face covering in this facility.

Masks are available at doors 1, 2, and 3 at no cost to you.

The executive order allows for masks to be removed when you are:

  • Attending a worship service
  • Attending Sunday School

 

PROTOCOL FOR COVID-POSITIVE CASES

Leadership has recommended the following steps should you discover a COVID-positive case who has been in contact, on campus, with other BHBC members:

1. Confirm the accuracy of the news with the actual person suspected of testing positive.

2. Contact the church office.   We will notify membership of a positively identified case but will not, without the person’s permission, identify them by name.

3. Contact your class immediately if that person has been attending your class.

We do know of BHBC members who have tested positive.  But, they have not been in contact with other BHBC members here on campus.

 

I’M OUT PREACHING the NEXT THREE SUNDAYS

As I announced this past Sunday morning, I have been invited to preach three successive Sundays at First Baptist Church, Kerrville, TX.  I shared with our Personnel Team that if I didn’t love to preach, teach and exposit scripture so very much I would not have entertained an invitation to be out three straight Sundays.

That said, since we are in the most capable hands of DL Lowrie and our outstanding staff, our Personnel Team approved and supported my absence.

I will be in Kerrville July 12, 19 & 26 (but in Lubbock during the weekdays). So, pray for me that Christ would be lifted up and, as he promised, draw all people to him.

 

DO YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO NEEDS SOME COMPANY?

This past Tuesday during Staff Meeting, I asked the staff how they were doing.  These days of all-things-COVID can be surprisingly difficult.  (Professional Counselors will tell you a new term has emerged called ‘COVID Depression’.)

I wanted to know if anyone on our staff was struggling with discouragement, loneliness or fear and/or anxiety.  We had a good time of sharing and prayer.

That led to further discussion about people at BHBC who may be struggling in similar ways.  I dropped in on Sonshiner Choir rehearsal on Tuesday and told them what I would like to tell you here:

There is a biblical principle called ‘the ministry of presence.’ If you – or someone you know – just needs some company and interaction with someone who loves them and cares about them would you let us know?  We will immediately contact that person and set up an appointment to spend some time with them.

From prison, a lonely and weary Paul wrote to Philemon:

“I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.”

Our goal and hope is to be used in the same way.

 

DON’T STOP SHEPHERDING YOUR FLOCK

Per my entry immediately above, please continue to check on your ‘sheep’.  I pray daily for a vaccine so people can safely connect with one another again.

The human touch is an innate need for us all.  Sheep need a shepherd.

 

For a list of Search Team members please see last week’s NavigatorPray for them!

They are presently meeting on Monday evenings.  I visited with chairman, Michael Dain, and the following instructions are approved by the Search Team:

Should you have pastoral recommendations, questions, concerns, etc., you can email the Search Team at pastor@baconheights.com.  Your email will be forwarded to chairman, Michael Dain, who will, in turn, communicate your email to the team.

 

HOW TO PRAY WITHOUT CEASING

We know the command like the back of our hand:

“pray without ceasing”,…

What does that mean, exactly?  Good question.

It means to be persistent.

Linked here for you is a solid commentary on what it means to pray without ceasing, offering practical counsel to help us pray longer and more consistently.  Read the article here.

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

Pastor Lowrie’s most recent sermon can be viewed here.

My most recent Table Talk from Hosea can be viewed here.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

“We enter the starting blocks of life not knowing the length of the race. Our life may be a sprint or a marathon. We are not told in advance. All we can decide is how we will run.”Eric Liddell; Scottish Athlete; Winner of 400 Meters, 1924 Olympics; Lead character in the movie, Chariots of Fire.

And,…

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

Comedian, Jim Gaffigan, on ‘parenting’: (he has five children)

“The only difference between riding a tandem bike with your 8 yr old and dragging a dead body is nothing.”

“My 4 yr old son gave me a hand-made card for Father’s Day.  Maybe for Christmas I’ll draw him a picture of some toys.”

“Look, you lost a tooth.  Congratulations.  Enjoy looking like a hillbilly.  Here’s a dollar.”

“The hardest part of parenting is when I’m with my kids.”
“People get burned out in big families, you can even see it in the naming of children. It’s always like, the first kid, ‘You were named after Grandma.’ The fourth kid,‘“You were named after a sandwich I had. Now get your brother, Reuben.’”

 

And, speaking of children…

 

SOUL FOOD:  It’s Still the Cross

We are ‘bent’ (to borrow a term used by C.S. Lewis) toward forgetting what is true.  How?  By becoming distracted by, as when Peter began sinking while walking on the Sea of Galilee, focusing on the storm rather than the Lord.

Only the Cross – not politicians, media, etc. – has the power to heal our land.  And if we focus too much on politicians and media we can miss what God is doing throughout our world, right now.  Read my blog here.


ON the HORIZON:  Quarterly Business Meeting – Sunday, July 26th

The new BHBC E-news will be posted on Friday, July 10th.  You can view it here.

 

For the Cross and the Empty Tomb, Nick

The Navigator: 7.2.2020

 

THIS SUNDAY, JULY 5th:  COMBINED SUNDAY SCHOOL & WORSHIP

All Sunday School classes will meet at 9:15.  Combined worship service at 10:45.

Classroom assignments for July 5th:  (NA indicates class is not yet meeting on campus)

Open Door – Student Center

Duncan A & B – FLC

Agape-108

Ladies’ Class – will combine with Open Door

Special Friends – 110

Travelers – 209

Wellspring – 210

Singles – 211

The Village – NA

Base Camp – 215

Generations – 216

Young Adult – NA

University – NA

Transitions – 219

 

PASTOR SEARCH TEAM MEMBERS & ALTERNATES – Pray for them!

BHBC has affirmed a total of 10 members for our Search Team:  4 from each worship service will serve with 2 ex officio members.  Additionally, an alternate was elected representing each worship service.

Representing 9:15am Worship Service:

Kathy Clark (Secretary); Mike Smith; Ray Swearingen; Gib Weaver (Vice Chairman)

Alternate:  Larry Vialle

Representing 10:45am Worship Service:

Michael Dain (Chairman); April Gamble; John Gardner; Chris Slayton

Alternate: Shannon Beeles

Ex Officio Members: 

David Barker (Chairman of Deacons); Clint Hutcheson (Chairman of Personnel)

***NOTE:  Alternates will attend all meetings but have no voting privileges.

 

COVID RELAUNCH UPDATE

Face Masks:  Just a moment ago, Governor Abbott issued a mandate stating all Texans must wear face masks when in public places, with a few exceptions.  You can read the entire KCBD article, which includes the exceptions, here.  The 9th exception relates to churches.  Erring on the side of caution, BHBC will be asking all attendees to wear a mask.

As stated in the last Navigator, due to the Governors’ (and Lubbock’s) slowing down of reopening, coupled with the spike in local positive testing, both Youth and Children’s activities will not resume on July 12th as originally stated.

 

JESUS WAS NO SOCIALIST

Please read my blog here.  Mankind has, since the beginning of time, been desperately trying to form-fit Jesus into human agendas.  A mature and careful study of scripture prevents us from being deceived by cleverly worded arguments that sound right, but are completely wrong.

In my blog I reference a solid article.  Here’s an excerpt:

Jesus taught people to be of generous spirit, to care for their families, to help the poor, to assist widows and orphans, to exhibit kindness, and to maintain the highest character. You can translate all that into the dirty business of coercive, vote-buying, politically driven redistribution schemes only if you read the Bible without pay­ing attentionor if you’re willing to distort Jesus’s teachings to advance a political agenda.

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

Pastor Lowrie’s Shepherd’s Heart:

Our worship will come on the day after the 4th, but it will not be too late to consider the plight of our nation, nor to consider a hope that God has given to us. I would encourage you to bring the whole family as we meet in one time of worship for the whole family. The musicians will bless us. But it will not be just right without you.
Your search committee did not lose any time—they had their first meeting on Sunday evening. They are taking this responsibility very seriously. But for them to be at their best, they need our prayers. I am asking God to keep them full of faith, the Spirit, and wisdom as He did the leaders in Acts 6. Remember last Sunday: LET US LOVE ONE ANOTHER! Love is the unmistakable evidence of God’s presence and work among us.
Blessings! D. L.

 

Pastor Lowrie’s most recent sermon can be viewed here.

My most recent Table Talk from 1 Peter 3:15 can be viewed here.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

Leave it to Chesterton to, like a laser, get to the heart of a matter:
“The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion.” ~ G.K. Chesterton
And,…

“We can no more catch a hurricane in a shrimp net or Niagara Falls in a coffee cup than we can grasp the infinity of [God and his love for us].” – Brennan Manning

Oh, ok – one more. 🙂

“Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.”
“That is because you are older, little one,” answered Aslan.
“Not because you are?”
“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”
(C.S. Lewis’ ‘Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.’)
Commentary:  What Lewis is portraying here is the direct correlation between one’s spiritual growth and one’s view of God. As author/theologian, Rowan Williams, comments, “The more [Lucy] develops [her faith in Aslan], the more there is to see and know of Aslan.” Translation: as we grow in our Christian faith, we see Truth more clearly; our view of God deepens as much as it widens. For Narnia, Nick

 

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

Based on our current national state of affairs…

And, a bonus…

 

SOUL FOOD:  Has God Surrendered His Throne? (Not even close.)

The world (our nation, in particular) appears to be out of control.  Both Paul and Peter often included the phrase in their letters, “In way of reminder…”  God knows that we are in constant need of being reminded of what is true.  Permit me to encourage you by reminding you of what is true.  Read my blog here.

Most recent BHBC E-News.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 6.18.2020

 

THIS SUNDAY, JULY 21

During our meeting with Pastor Lowrie this past Monday morning he offered, “Since we missed Mother’s Day due to COVID, what do you think about making this Sunday, traditionally Father’s Day, more of a ‘Parents Day?'”  My reply?  Brilliant.

Join us this Sunday as D.L. shares what the Bible says about the relationship between a child and his/her parents.

 

REMINDER:  Pastor Search Team & 2020-2021 Church Budget Vote

The deadline for Pastor Search Team nominations was this past Sunday, June 14th.

Announced this past Sunday morning in both services was a called business meeting on Sunday, June 28th, at the conclusion of both worship services to vote on the following:

1) Affirm the selections for pastor search committee, and                                                                 2) 2020-2021 budget that will run from July 1-March 31.

Both votes will be “voice votes”.

Wednesday, June 24 at 6pm – Town Hall discussion regarding budget for anyone interested.

 

SUNDAY, JULY 5th:  COMBINED SUNDAY SCHOOL & WORSHIP

All Sunday School classes will meet at 9:15.  Combined worship service at 10:45.

Classroom assignments for July 5th:  (NA indicates class is not yet meeting on campus)

Open Door – Student Center

Duncan A & B – FLC

Agape-108

Ladies’ Class – 109

Special Friends – 110

Travelers – 209

Wellspring – 210

Singles – 211

The Village – NA

Base Camp – 215

Generations – 216

Young Adult – NA

University – NA

Transitions – 219

 

COVID RELAUNCH:  Phase 3

* Sunday, July 12th – all Youth & Childrens Ministry activities resume.

 

DON’T BE DECEIVED BY THIS

The picture immediately below has been making the rounds on social media.  Its message is fallacious, religious propaganda created to plant seeds of doubt regarding the reliability of modern English translations by those who woodenly – and ignorantly – believe the KJV is the only reliable English translation of the Bible.

I have read three books by respected scholars on “how we got our English Bible.”  (If interested, you can investigate those resources here and here and here. Either would be a strategic addition to your library.)

Before reading further, please watch this brief clip by renowned New Testament scholar, Dr. Bill Mounce, for easy-to-understand insight into the historical reliability of modern English translations of the Bible:

Additionally, please watch the 3-minute video below by another renowned New Testament scholar, Dr. Dan Wallace, regarding “variances” between various translations:

Finally, consider reading the articles I have linked for you here.  They are wonderful, informative resources.  You can access the articles here and here and a lengthier, more academic article here.

So, why would I make such a big deal out of this issue?

Because, as teachers of the Bible – what we proclaim to be the sole source of Christian authority – we better be able to defend it.

The above section of this E-News is also accessible via my blog here.

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

Pastor Lowrie’s message from this past Sunday, 7/14, can be viewed here.

My Table Talk from this past Sunday, 7/14, can be viewed here.  Apparently, this one hit home with listeners as it was viewed well over 400 times in one day.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

The “quote” for this week is actually a brief visit between Pooh and his good friend, Piglet.  Enjoy…

“Piglet?” said Pooh.

“Yes Pooh?” said Piglet.

“Do you ever have days when everything feels… Not Very Okay At All? And sometimes you don’t even know why you feel Not Very Okay At All, you just know that you do.”

“Oh yes,” said Piglet. “I definitely have those days.”

“Really?” said Pooh in surprise. “I would never have thought that. You always seem so happy and like you have got everything in life all sorted out.”

Piglet replied and encouraged Pooh, “Well here’s the thing…it’s okay to feel Not Very Okay At All. It can be quite normal, in fact. And all you need to do, on those days when you feel Not Very Okay At All, is come and find me, and tell me. Don’t ever feel like you have to hide the fact you’re feeling Not Very Okay At All. Always come and tell me. Because I will always be there.”

Piglet continued, “It’s always friendlier with two.”

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD:  They’re Coming for Our Faith

The day is coming – perhaps in our lifetime – when what our Founding Fathers fought for in regard to Religious Freedom – will become criminal.   And we’d better be ready.  Read my blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 6.11.2020

LAST SUNDAY EVALUATION

From my perspective, it appeared all went smoothly this past Sunday, 6/7.  Please let me know if we need to make adjustments.

 

UPDATE:  Pastor Search Team & 2020-2021 Church Budget Vote

Our Personnel & Finance Teams have affirmed the following timeline regarding Search Team Nominations and Budget vote:

Sunday, June 14 (Enews as well as from pulpit) – Announce a special called business meeting on Sunday, June 28 that will deal with two votes:

1) Affirm the selections for pastor search committee, and                                                                 2) 2020-2021 budget that will run from July 1-March 31.

Wednesday, June 24 at 6pm – Town Hall discussion regarding budget for anyone interested.

Sunday, June 28 – Vote at the end of each worship service  We will enter business session at the end of the morning worship service on June 28th;  both votes will be a “voice vote.”

 

SUNDAY SMALL GROUP INFO:

A couple of additional small groups are moving on campus.  The full list I have presently is as follows.  Please let me know if corrections are needed.

8am – Duncan A – Student Center

9:15 – Generations – 216                                                                                                                                        9:15 – Traveler’s – 209                                                                                                                                        9:15 – Wellspring – 210                                                                                                                                             9:15 – Singles – 211                                                                                                                                                      9:15 – Basecamp – 215                                                                                                                                          9:15 – Transitions – 219                                                                                                                                             9:15 – Friends of God – FLC

10:45 – Agape – 108                                                                                                                                                    10:45 – Ladies’ Class – 109                                                                                                                                   10:45 – Duncan B – FLC                                                                                                                                       10:45 – Open Door – Student Center

Also: (in way of reminder)

1. No “meet & greet” during worship services.  (Folks will need to take care of this before and after the service at their own discretion.)
2. Every other row of chairs has been removed to help with social distancing.
3. Masks are available, but not required.
4. Offering will be collected at designated locations just outside the sanctuary. (there will be no passing of the plates)  Mike Lewis & Jon Kjosa have created a wonderful, primary drop-off location just outside the Preschool Ministry entrance in the Commons.
5. No “come to the front” during the invitation/response time immediately following the sermon.  Those needing to make decisions will be instructed where to meet a pastor after everyone is dismissed.  Additionally, ‘decision/response cards’ will be available in the pocket on the back of the chairs in the worship center.

Other:

Coffee will be available at the north Kiosk in the Commons as well as at Door 3 and will be served by leadership.

 

THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE GLORY OF GOD (Ps. 19)

This past week I posted on social media reminders from science to strengthen the faith of believers.  May your faith be strengthened as well.

1)  Our vast galaxy, The Milky Way, is spinning at the incredible speed of 490,000 mph. But even at this breakneck speed, our galaxy still needs 200 million years to make one rotation. And there are over a billion other galaxies just like ours – all functioning with remarkable order and efficiency.

Note astrophysicist, Neil DeGrasse Tyson‘s, words below in a book of his I read titled, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry:

“This universality of physical laws (of the cosmos) tells us that if we land on another planet with a thriving alien civilization, they will be running on the same laws that we have discovered and tested here on earth…

Science thrives not only on the universality of physical laws but also on the existence and persistence of physical constants… If you do the math, you can determine that a star’s luminosity is steeply independent on the universal law of gravity. In other words, if gravity had been slightly different in the past, then the energy output of the sun would have been far more variable than anything the biological, climatological, or geological record indicates.

Such is the uniformity of our universe.” [end quote]

To say the universe “just happened” requires more faith than to believe an intelligent Creator is behind it all. Personally, I do not have enough faith to be an atheist.

2) Praveen Sethupathy is a genetics professor at Cornell University.  He said,

“Science is necessarily agnostic with respect to anything outside of the natural realm. It neither accepts it, nor can it refute it.”

Sethupathy’s statement here begs the question, “Then why do some scientists insist that science tells us the existence of God is a ridiculous idea?” This is where scientists go off the rails of science and dip their toe into (or dive into) philosophy and theology. In other words, it is merely their personal opinion, completely unsupported by science.

It comes down to, as Mark Twain described, “confident ignorance.” If someone with enough degrees behind their name sounds bold and confident enough, those who are afraid to think for themselves will swallow whole whatever this “expert” has to say.

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

Pastor Lowrie’s sermons are no longer recorded mid-week. Beginning this Sunday, 6/14, his messages will go live on Facebook for those wishing to remain home and watch his messages online.  As always, the message will be linked to the “recent messages” page on BHBC’s web site.

In the event you missed it, you can view Dr. Lowrie’s most recent message from June 7th by clicking here.

Nick’s Table Talks – I had been strongly encouraged to continue these live, online messages.  But, honestly, I was unsure if there would still be interest as resuming Sunday morning worship necessitated my moving the talks to a different time.  Nevertheless, I went live on Sunday evening and discovered that, within a few hours, the message had been viewed over 300 times.  So, at least for now, I will continue.  Clearly, people are hungry for truth.  This past Sunday’s message was Part 1 of “When God Ran.” You can view the message here.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

Universal Laws

1. If you dial a wrong number, someone always answers.

2. The probability of seeing someone you know increases dramatically when you don’t want to be seen.

3. When you try to prove to someone/mechanic/repairman that something won’t work, it will.

4. After your hands are coated with grease, your face will itch and you’ll need to use the restroom.

5. Any tool, nut, bolt or screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible location.

6. The severity of an itch is inversely proportional to one’s reach.

7. If you’re driving and need to return a text, you will hit every green light. If you’re running late, you will catch every red light.

8. If you are carrying your groceries – or stuff from work – to the car in your right arm arm, your keys will be in your right pocket. Or vice-versa.

9. If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

 

Soul Food:  Is He Worthy?  (He is.)

As I state in this week’s blog, quoting the 20th century pastor/author, A.W. Tozer, “While it looks like things are out of control, behind the scenes there is a god who hasn’t surrendered his authority.”  Read the blog here. 

View BHBC’s most recent church-wide E-News here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 5.27.2020


Pastor Search Team Nominations

We received word from our Personnel Team that nominations for our Pastor Search Team will resume on Sunday, June 7th (our first Sunday to resume corporate worship), and conclude on Sunday, June 14th.  At that point, those nominated will be contacted to ask if they accept serving on the team.  Once the team is set, they will begin their search.  Lift these people to the Lord.  God has already chosen our next Pastor.  Our responsibility is to be careful, prayerful listeners.


BHBC/COVID-19 Relaunch Update

In way of reminder from last week’s Update, the following was decided by our leadership for a proposed “Phase 2” relaunch:

June 1-28 (Beginning Sunday, June 7th)

  • 8am Sunday School
  • 9:15 Worship and Sunday School
  • 10:45 Worship and Sunday School
  • No preschool, children, or youth
  • Beginning June 1, BHBC offices will return to pre-COVID-19 operations i.e. all employees reporting for regular office hours.

 

Needs?  Questions/Concerns?

Should there be anything you need to help set you up for success with your class don’t hesitate to contact me.  It is my joy to serve you.

Room Assignments on June 7th:  this is up to your discretion.  Please poll your class and let me know what they’re more comfortable doing: continuing to meet in a larger room?  Or, returning to your normal classroom.

 

Atheists in Praise of Christianity?

Yep.

Everyone from Gandhi to those U.S. Founding Fathers who were not Christians (but, rather “deists”) have had towering respect for Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s gospel, chapters 5-7.

Although not entirely surprised, I read this article with great interest and believe you will find it enlightening as well.  You can read the article here.

 

Encouragement

You can view Pastor Lowrie’s wonderful, most recent message on Romans 8:28 by clicking here.

Pastor Lowrie’s ‘Shepherd’s Heart’ note was sent out after I had already emailed you last week.  Here is that note:

My heart is excited! A date has been set for our first gathering for worship on June 7. My heart has been reminded this week that worship is really all about God. He delights in the worship of His people. And by His Spirit, He enables and energizes our worship. The greatest joy a pastor can ever know is to sense the movement of the Holy Spirit in his heart as he tries to open the Word to the people. Thanks for giving me the privilege of experiencing this week by week.

June 7 will be different, but we will assemble together before the Lord our God and worship Him.   Let’s get ready!   Blessings!  D. L.

This past Sunday’s Table Talk seemed to strike a nerve as it’s been viewed now almost 600 times.  The title is “My Name is Gossip.”  Gossip, as you well know, is that sin Christians tend to forget is sin.  On a lighter note, I called one of our senior adults to check on them a couple of days ago and he facetiously quipped, “I watched your Table Talk and I want you to know I’m not gossiping!”  You can view the Table Talk here.

 

Ravi Zacharias

A little over a week ago, one of Christianity’s greatest (and most humble) defender’s of the faith succumbed to cancer and took his first steps in Paradise.  He was 74.

Ravi Zacharias was raised in India before professing his faith in the risen Christ.

I watched his presentation given at Princeton University as he masterfully answered, “Why I’m not a an atheist,” to a packed auditorium of curious academics.  It’s about 40 minutes in length, but riveting in content.

Zacharias’ acumen, intelligence, ability to articulate truth, and overall life experience is beyond my ability to comprehend.  Watch, listen, and grow strong in your faith.

 

Quote of the Week

“Jesus Christ has broken the power of Satan;….and henceforth evil spirits, instead of having power over us, tremble and are [terrified] of every true Christian.” – John Henry Newman, 1801-1890

And,…I thought of this quote as I read of a certain pastor who had to resign due to moral failure…

“Christians are not so much in danger when they are persecuted as when they are admired.” – Charles Spurgeon

 

 

Laughter is Good Medicine

Country people don’t even tell you when you miss your exit.  They just wait until you pass it, then ask, “Where are you going?”

 

Soul Food:  Can a Christian Become a Non-Christian?

The topic of “de-conversion” is as old as Scripture, but in modern times it tends to make big news when associated with a celebrity.  Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

BHBC Statement on COVID-19 as of 3.20.2020

Friends,

Below is the most current statement from BHBC regarding cancellations and/or adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Allow me to offer a personal word first:

  • You will notice that, due to having travelled to Missouri this past week, I have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.  Currently, I feel great and show no signs whatsoever of being ill.
  • Per number 5 of the BHBC Statement below, as best as you can, continue to “shepherd your flock” via email or phone calls.  And know that, although quarantined, I am here to shepherd you.  I love you so very much.
  • These are unprecedented times that can cause an anxious soul to be gripped with fear.  I am spending my “free time” calling many of our elderly members to check on them and just visit, simply reminding them they are not alone, asking if they need anything and praying with them.
  • The day my son died my wife, Michelle, looked me in the eyes and said, “Nick, this is the day we decide what we truly believe.”  It is always in dire times we decide what we believe.  The humble, 20th century pastor, A.W. Tozer, once said, “While the world seems to be spinning out of control, we have a God who has not surrendered his throne.” Jesus, on the night before he was crucified, put it this way: “I have told you these things so that you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble. But take courage/heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
  • Like Simon Peter that stormy night on the sea of Galilee, it is awfully easy to lose focus of Jesus and turn our attention fully to the terrifying storm.  To help people remember what is true I will briefly teach on Facebook Live at 11:11 on Sunday mornings, as well as on Wed. evening (time to be announced.)

 

The current BHBC statement begins here:

The following met on Thursday, March 19th, to discuss a strategy for church operations:

D.L. Lowrie, David Barker (Chairman of Deacons), Meredith Harrison (Chairman of Finance), Dana Kluzek and Mike Lewis.  Clint Hutcheson (Chairman of Personnel) and Nick Watts were unable to attend.

NOTE:  Nick Watts has been asked to self-quarantine for 2 weeks due to travelling to Missouri this past week.

The following decisions were made at the March 19th meeting:

  1. Effective immediately all meetings, ministries, and programming that meet on the main campus are cancelled until further notice.  This includes the budget town hall meeting and budget vote that were originally scheduled for March 22nd & 25th, respectively.
  2. A sermon will be recorded weekly and made available on the Bacon Heights website by Sunday morning.
  3. Meredith Harrison suggested we continue to operate under the same budget until we are able to assemble again for our Town Hall meeting and official vote for next year’s budget.  Meredith or a Finance Team member will draft a letter to be mailed by March 25th, encouraging members to make an end-of-fiscal year contribution.  This letter should also in the BHBC E-News, if possible.
  4. Search Team nominations will be put on hold.  Clint Hutcheson will consult with the Personnel Team and get back to Gail White regarding a new deadline.
  5. Sunday School classes are encouraged to maintain contact with their class members. Class Directories can be obtained easily via email by simply calling the church office.
  6. There will no new hiring at this time.  The positions vacated by Machenzee Flores will not be filled at this time.  Further, Tami Hines’ soon-to-be vacated position, will not be replaced.
  7. Until we receive further guidance from Federal, State and/or local government our office will remain open for normal business hours during the week.
  8. Staff is encouraged to continue on with normal duties and to minister to members and/or the community in any way we can.

The following people will be the primary sources of information:

Facebook/social media – Nick Watts

BHBC web site – Mike Lewis

E-news – Gail White

Phone – office staff

 

Lastly, laughter really is good medicine.

You may need to laugh a little.  I saw the following on social media.  It will bring a chuckle to your soul.  Enjoy…

Coronavirus Pandemic, day 16.

If anyone is still out there, I’m alive but struggling. Food is running low. Down to only 459 days worth. My hands are super sanitized and my rear end is super clean. Down to 1599 rounds of ammo (dropped 1 round down the heat vent while doing daily inventory).

Power still on, but for how long? Missing human interaction but I have my dogs.. for now.. (I’m soaking their food in BBQ sauce in an attempt to marinate them from the inside in case I have to eat them). I have also started to soak the cat food in BBQ sauce, I have 9 of them. Will eat them first……. I fear dark days ahead.

News is all bad. Neighbors have attempted to leap from windows to their death, (they all have single story homes so they are just badly bruised).

Blew through most Netflix series so may have to re-watch some again.. Basic Survival is a definite challenge. I vow to persevere to the end, I am a survivor!

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 3.12.2020

NOTICE:  Due to the Spring Break, there will be no Navigator E-news published next week.

 

CORONAVIRUS STATEMENT from BHBC

After meeting with Dana Kluzek & Mike Lewis this morning, we are issuing the following statement regarding the Coronovirus pandemic.  Our objective is to be proactive rather than reactive.  That said, we are approaching this crisis prayerfully and with an alert, yet balanced, mindset.  While we believe a degree of unnecessary panic has taken over the minds of many, make no mistake: we are not taking this crisis lightly and are watching daily for updated data.  As circumstances in our region progress we will certainly work diligently to “stay ahead of the game” where necessary precautions are concerned, keeping the health of our people our utmost concern.  Our official statement is as follows:

As you know the Coronavirus has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.  Many organizations and events are either modifying their activities or cancelling altogether.  The leadership at BHBC acknowledges that Coronavirus is a legitimate concern for many in our community.

At this time, we have not modified any of our programming.  The staff is monitoring the situation and will keep the health of our most vulnerable members as our highest priority.  To that end we have been doing the following to keep our facility properly sanitized (in addition to the excellent work already being done by our facilities staff):

  • Purchased an electrostatic sprayer that can disinfect large parts of the facility quickly
  • Placed extra hand sanitizer throughout the facility
  • Encouraged “social distancing measures” as you deem appropriate (not shaking hands, hugging, etc.)

We will do all we can to maintain a clean facility and ask that you be responsible for personal protective measures (e.g., stay home when sick, frequent handwashing, cover your mouth with coughing/sneezing, etc.).

Click hereto watch a 3 minute video produced by NBC of a man who contracted the virus on a Cruise Ship.  It should bring some peace to your mind.

GOOD NEWS – A cure?  Additionally, click here and here to read recent articles citing scientists in Israel who hope to have discovered a cure.

 

THIS SUNDAY, 3/15

Preacher:  D.L. Lowrie

 

The proposed BHBC budget for April 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021 has been reviewed and approved by our Finance Team.

A “town hall” meeting to review and discuss the budget is scheduled for Sunday evening, 3/22, at 5pm.

We will vote (no discussion) on Wednesday evening, 3/25, in the Worship Center at 6:30pm.

 

Leadership Appreciation Banquet Sign-Up Begins

It’s time to begin signing up for our Sunday School Leadership Appreciation Banquet scheduled for Sunday evening, April 26th, at 6pm.

All leadership and spouses are invited/encouraged to attend!

No cost to you.  It’s our way of saying “thank you” for pouring your lives into so many week in and week out.

Again, our guest speaker is Jim Hardwicke.  One of the most humble men I’ve ever met, I met Jim in 1978, when I was a sophomore in high school in Abilene, TX.  It was under his love and leadership that I committed my life to God’s call into vocational ministry.  The Lord  continues today to impact my life through Jim.  I am overjoyed to be able to have him pour his life into you, just as he did me.

Please reply to my email – nick@baconheights.com – to make your reservation.  AND, to let me know if you will need childcare (provided).

 

This week’s prayer requests:

  1. that we would faithfully and diligently seek God.  Jeremiah 29:13
  2. that we would have vibrant fellowship with God.  Philippians 4:4-5

 

Nominations for BHBC’s Lead Pastor Search Team continue…

Deadline for nominations is Sunday, March 22nd.

All ballots must be signed.  One ballot is allowed per church member.

Click here to read the ballot.  (On the back side of the ballot is a list of members not allowed to be nominated i.e. BHBC employees, etc.)

 

Being the dad of two daughters, there have been numerous visits over the years with them regarding a predatory personality known as “the sociopath.”  Because a sociopath exudes charm they are difficult to spot – at first.  But, in time, after they have methodically cast their spell over their victim, it becomes frighteningly clear who and what they are.

I recently read a solid article on the topic.  If interested, you can read it here.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD:  It’s Okay to be Afraid

Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 3.5.2020

THIS SUNDAY, March 8th

Preacher:  D.L. Lowrie

Primary Text:  Psalm 56

 

This past Sunday, Machenzee Flores, submitted her resignation.

Machenzee was hired in May, 2018, to lead the music in our 10:45 worship service.  She and her husband, Drew, met with me on Monday, 2/24, to apprise me of their conviction.  She will begin working at UMC in the urology dept. following her last day at BHBC.

Her final Sunday to lead is this coming Sunday, March 8th.

As I announced this past Sunday morning following her resignation, we will say good-bye as a church family to her and Drew between this Sunday’s two worship services, as well as following the 10:45 worship service.  You will be able to find them in the Commons.

Please consider bringing tokens of your appreciation such as thank-you notes and/or gift cards.  nw

 

Nominations for BHBC’s Lead Pastor Search Team continue…

Below is a link to the ballot all members have available to them through the deadline to nominate, March 22nd.

All ballots must be signed.  One ballot is allowed per church member.

Click here to read the ballot.  (On the back side of the ballot is a list of members not allowed to be nominated i.e. BHBC employees, etc.)

 

THE GOSPEL of JOHN

From this past Wed’s study in chapter 2…

In vss 13-22, we find John’s account of Jesus driving the money-changers out of the temple courtyard.  The temple represented the very presence of God, holy and almighty.

Paul made it clear in his first letter to the Corinthians that no longer is the temple of God a man-made structure or building.  For now, upon our profession of faith in Christ, we become living, breathing “temples of the Holy Spirit.”

Do you not know and understand that you [the church] are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells [permanently] in you [collectively and individually]? 17 If anyone destroys the temple of God [corrupting it with false doctrine], God will destroy the destroyer; for the temple of God is holy (sacred), and that is what you are (Amplified)

The question is as serious today as it was that day in the temple courts:  is there anything in the temple (us) that shouldn’t be there?  If there is, it will draw God’s wrath no less than it did when Jesus drove out the “den of thieves.”

The early church father, Origen, states it well:

Is anything “mingling with your soul”, preventing you from being fully devoted to Christ?  If so, confess it, and give God permission to “clean house” so you can, again, be free.

 

This week’s prayer requests:

  1. that we would be repentant and dependent people.  (Jeremiah 15:19)
  2. that each person would discover his/her spiritual gift, passion and ministry.  (1 Corinthians 12:1)

 

REMINDER:

Should you need anything whatsoever (curriculum, resources, encouragement, etc.) simply let me know.  I am here to do whatever possible to ensure your success in shepherding your sheep.  People get lost in a crowd.  But they connect and grow in a community.  And that’s what your small group provides.  Thank you for pouring your life into so many.

 

WEDNESDAY EVENING MEAL for 3/11:  Lasagna, Garlic Bread & Salad (reserve by Mon. noon)

 

JUST SO YOU KNOW…

In the classic holiday film, It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey tells his future wife, Mary,

What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word, and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.

Well, next Monday would be the best time to try. 🙂

From the USA Today article:

The first supermoon of the year is coming to a sky near you Monday. This month, the full moon is also known as the worm moon… Monday, our moon will be “only” about 222,081 miles miles from Earth, which is about 16,000 miles closer than average.

The moon’s orbit around the earth is not a perfect circle, meaning there are times the moon is closer to the earth than it is most of the time.  Read the full article here.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

(Thanks to Gib Weaver for these)

 

SOUL FOOD:  His Mercies Are New Every Morning.  However….,

Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

 

 

The Navigator: 2.27.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 3/1

Preacher:  D.L. Lowrie

Primary Text:  Exodus 25:31-40

 

Nominations for BHBC’s Lead Pastor Search Team begin this Sunday, 3/1.

Below is a link to the ballot all members will have available to them beginning this Sunday.  Final day to nominate will be March 22nd.

All ballots must be signed.  One ballot is allowed per church member.

Click here to read the ballot.  (On the back side of the ballot is a list of members not allowed to be nominated i.e. BHBC employees, etc.)

NOTE: For those who missed the Personnel Team’s announcement this past Sunday morning, click here to read the announcement in its entirety.

 

 

This week’s prayer requests:

  1. That we would adhere to sound doctrine.  (John 14:23)
  2. That we would be united in the love of God.  (John 17:23)

 

Sunday School Leadership Appreciation Banquet

Sunday evening, April 26th.  Guest Speaker:  Jim Hardwicke

Free.  Spouses are invited.  Sign-up will begin after Spring Break.

 

Meet Sy Garte.  Dr. Garte is a biochemist who has taught at New York University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Rutgers University. He is the author of The Works of His Hands: A Scientist’s Journey from Atheism to Faith.

Christianity Today published a solid article by Garte a couple of weeks ago titled, “I Assumed Science Had All the Answers. Then I Started Asking Inconvenient Questions.”

Read the brief article here.

 

WEDNESDAY EVENING MEAL for 3/4:  Stew & Cornbread (reserve by Mon. noon)

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

“Some people ask the secret to my wife’s and my marriage.  We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week.  A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing.  She goes on Tuesdays, I go on Fridays.” – Henny Youngman

 

GRACE NOTES:  The Last Straw

Have you ever done something you believed was the “last straw” with God?  Have you ever felt like you’ve, finally – once and for all – ruined your life?

Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

Feb 26 Interim and Search Committee Announcement

 

The Navigator: 2.19.20 moi

THIS SUNDAY

Preacher:  Jerry Joplin

Primary Text:  Acts 4:32-35

 

UPDATE from our PERSONNEL TEAM

  1. BHBC former pastor, Jerry Joplin, has been invited to preach on the topic of ‘unity’ this Sunday morning, Feb. 23rd.
  2. Personnel will make an announcement in both services this Sunday regarding an Interim Pastor.
  3. Per Personnel’s announcement this past Sunday, all Bylaws will be strictly followed regarding the search for our next Lead Pastor.  As such, very soon a Pastoral Search Team will be formed (from a church-wide vote) to begin the process of said search.
  4. Please be lifting these items to the King!

 

CELEBRATING GOD’s FAITHFULNESS @ BHBC

“On arriving there (Antioch), they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done…”  Acts 14:27

As a staff (just as Paul commonly did after returning from his missionary journeys), we have been regularly pausing to celebrate all God is going, both, in our separate ministry areas as well as church-wide.  Here are a few examples of God’s faithfulness:

  1. The Spirit of the Lord has been both strong and sweet among our people.
  2. There has been, both, strong attendance and tremendous freedom in our worship services.
  3. Wed. evening teaching classes have been overflowing.
  4. Our Wed. evening newly formatted church meal has exploded in attendance.
  5. Eight people have joined in recent weeks!  I cannot tell you how rare this is when a church is in an interim period.  Almost always, people hold off from joining until they see who the church calls as their next pastor.
  6. Our ministry staff is operating in an extraordinary manner.  There is so much love, with frequent times of joining together in the office and praying together.
  7. And, rather than ‘sit in idle’ during this interim period, Dana Kluzek, Mike Lewis and I (fulfilling the duties of the Lead Pastor, as instructed by Personnel) are acting on conviction that Christ is blowing ‘fresh wind and fresh fire’ through our local Body.  This conviction precipitated the changing of the banners in our worship center based solely on God’s powerful promise to us in 2 Chronicles 7:14:

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

 

THE CROSS OF CHRIST

The next day [John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)

At the conclusion of last Wednesday evening’s study on the gospel of John we circled back around and finished the evening focusing on this proclamation made by John the Baptist when he saw Jesus coming to be baptized.

“…who takes away the sin of the world.”  This is it.  This is the gospel.  Jesus clearly articulated his reason for coming in Luke’s gospel when he said,

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)

Below is a powerful quote by the late author and poet, T.S. Eliot.  Everything begins and ends with the Cross of Christ.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

GRACE NOTES:  Do Prophets Still Exist?  (The kind that can predict the future?)

A recent national news article caught my attention as it centered around a southern California pastor claiming to be able to prophecy future events.  Do these types of prophets still exist?  Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick