The Navigator: 11.19.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 11/22

Preacher:  D.L. Lowrie

 

As of Tuesday morning’s Staff Meeting, decisions were made by staff to cancel all mid-week activities effective next week.  What this means is that we will not meet again for mid-week activities until further notice – hopefully, when we resume in January.

Due to the spike in COVID (we have church members as well as staff contracting the virus) in Lubbock and surrounding communities (Lubbock has set up tents outside hospitals and Amarillo has brought in mobile morgues) we are choosing to err on the side of caution.   Additionally, we have cancelled both the Adult & Children’s Christmas musicals due to shrinking attendance in both choirs (due to COVID).  Attendance, church-wide, was our lowest so far this past Sunday, with many choosing to stay away for health concerns.  We suspect this trend will continue throughout the remainder of the year.

Finally, we will not be offering the Lottie Moon Post Office this year to help prevent the spread of the virus due to different people handling the mail. (We will still be promoting the Lottie Moon offering in the worship services.)

Sunday worship services, as well as Sunday School, have not changed and will continue to meet.  Masks are strongly encouraged in the hallways and Commons.  If you have been in contact with someone suspected of infection, or you don’t feel well, please stay home.

More information as it becomes available.  Be wise, and keep praying for a cure.

 

FOSTERING HOPE (with modifications due to COVID)

This is an FYI to share with your class.

 

LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF

“And a second [greatest commandment] is like [the first]: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

I am presently reading Eric Mataxas‘ outstanding biography on the 16th century German reformer, Martin Luther(While doing mission work in Germany, Michelle and I toured the castle in Eisenach where Luther translated the Greek New Testament into German.)

Hate and vitriol are in strong supple today (it actually always is, but the media/social media reports little else.)

Luther once wrote,

“A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none (i.e. a Christian is subject to no spiritual authority other than Christ). And a Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.”

He continues,

[Therefore,] “I will give myself as a sort of Christ to my neighbor as Christ gave himself for me.”

That’s powerful.

 

A PRAYER FOR WEARING A MASK

I thought this was so poignant and powerful. I hate wearing a mask but this man’s prayer is a paradigm-shift. It’s like one of those pictures where some people see the young lady and some see the old hag. It all depends on perspective. The Lord used this man’s prayer to alter my perspective. Love to you all, nw

 

TTU TO RECEIVE $275,000 FEDERAL GRANT FOR MENTAL HEALTH & SUICIDE PREVENTION

When I present my talk on Suicide Awareness & Intervention I tell the audience that the topic of suicide is no longer taboo, but now widely covered by the mainstream media with cover articles by Newsweek and headlines in the New York Times.  So, it should be no surprise to find this article yesterday on the KCBD web site.

All praise to Christ for TTU’s efforts to help people choose to live.

99% of those who attempt to take their life don’t want to die, they just want the pain to stop.

Read the brief article here.

 

A Nugget from Wed’s time of learning in John 8:31-46:  True or False:  Choose. There is no Middle Way.

Have you ever noticed that telling someone the truth may actually destroy unity rather than promote it?  It was Paul who asked the Galatians: “Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?”

In John 8, Jesus continues to undress the self-righteousness of the Jews, finally arriving at the root cause of their sin by saying,

I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.”  …You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires… (emphasis mine)

Even as born-again Christians, we are quite capable of sliding back into the patterns of behavior we demonstrated when our “father was the devil” i.e. gossip, lying (a half-truth is still a whole lie), lust, anger, hatred, slander, selfishness, etc.

Years ago, while reading an outstanding book by theologian/counselor, Neil Anderson, I came across this powerful statement:

“Freedom from spiritual conflicts and bondage (lying, sexual sin, gossip, unforgiveness, anger, greed, etc.) is not a power encounter; it’s a truth encounter. Satan is a deceiver, and he will work undercover at all costs. But the truth of God’s Word exposes him and his lies. His demons are like little cockroaches that scurry for the shadows when the Light comes on. Satan’s power is in the lie, and when his lie is exposed by the truth, his plans are foiled.”

The passage we unpacked Wed. evening began with Jesus’ familiar words, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

We can’t will-power our way out of bondage to ingrained habits of sin.  Only the application of biblical truth can set us free.  And how do we become aware of truth?  By holding tightly to the teaching of Christ.  Read his Word, memorize his Word, apply his word.  The truth (his truth) will set you free.

Watch the the lesson in its entirety here.

 

THE HISTORICAL RELIABILITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

I post these kinds of videos and quotes weekly on my Facebook page.  Here’s a short video clip that will continue to strengthen your faith, as well as equip you to have intelligent dialogue where Christianity is concerned.

 

QUOTE(s) of the WEEK

Once we embrace Christ, we are instantly made righteous because of his righteousness, and not because of anything we have done or could do. (cf. 2 Cor. 5:21)

An argument for a Creator from a non-Christian physicist:

“There is powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all…It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe…The impression of design is overwhelming” ⁠— Physicist, Paul Davies (not a Christian), Cosmic Blueprint

And, one more from the great thinker, C.S. Lewis…

“Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is finding his place in it, while really it is finding its place in him.”-C.S. Lewis  (There’s nothing wrong with owning stuff.  The decay to our fellowship with God comes when our stuff begins owning us.  nw)

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD: The Danger of Good Leaders Becoming Proud When They Are Older And Successful

This is a guest-blog written by my dear friend, Dr. Jim Hardwicke.  It is applicable not only to pastors, but to those who serve on any level of local church leadership i.e. Sunday School teachers, deacons, committee personnel, etc.  Heed the Bible’s warning in this blog.  Read the blog here.

 

For a list of Search Team members, or to know the steps for communicating with the Team, please click here and scroll down. Pray for them!

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 11.12.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 11/15

Preacher:  DL Lowrie

Text:  Luke 15

 

Boxes are due this Sunday, 11/15.

Note: I shared the following with our Missions Team

  • Don’t be discouraged by the number of OCC boxes that have not been taken.  It’s simple math.  We set out the same number of boxes we’ve always set out and have shown videos each Sunday as we always have. But, due to COVID, we are only averaging a little over 200 on Sundays, at best.  So, proportionately, people have taken the same number of boxes as in the past.

 

A Nugget from Wed’s time of learning in John 8:21-30:  Knowing vs. Believing (There’s a dangerous difference.)

The only unpardonable sin is unbelief.  Mental assent (knowing about God without placing one’s faith in Christ) is, according to the Bible, not enough.

Anyone can – and often do – say they’re a Christian without any devotion to the biblical Christ whatsoever.   Paul described this to Timothy as “having a form of godliness but denying its power.” 

As James, the half-brother of Jesus, warned, even the demons’ theology is orthodox. Satan can quote the entire Bible (he demonstrated this in the wilderness temptation) although he doesn’t believe it.

To translate ‘mental assent’ into North American church culture, Jesus warned that anyone can quote Bible verses, sing the songs, give money, even talk to others about God – and still be lost and headed for a devil’s hell.

An indicting statement about the term ‘Christian’ comes from the renowned, late British atheist philosopher, Bertrand Russell.  In his treatise, Why I Am Not a Christian, he writes:

Perhaps it would be as well, first of all, to try to make out what one means by the word Christian.  It is used these days in a very loose sense by a great many people.  Some people mean no more by it than a person who attempts to live a good life… The word does not have quite such a full-blooded meaning now as it had in the times of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.  In those days, if a man said that he was a Christian it was known what he meant.  [You read and studied the Bible, accepted and obeyed its teaching,] and believed every single syllable with the whole strength of your convictions.

Jesus warned,

I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior of the World].

You can watch the entire lesson here.

MID-WEEK CLASSES & ACTIVITIES END FOR HOLIDAY BREAK

Except for Youth & Children, all Wed. evening activities conclude next week, 11/18, for the holiday season.  They will resume on Wed., 1/13.

 

I found this encouraging.

There is progress being made both here in the U.S., as well as around the world.  Here is a brief article from The Jerusalem Post regarding progress being made to find a cure.

 

THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY SCHEDULE

There will be no change to our regular Sunday schedule for the Thanksgiving holidays.   Sunday School and Worship Services will proceed as normal.

The church office will be closed Nov. 26-27.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

From Gary Larson’s beloved Far Side:

 

SOUL FOOD: How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong?

“Jesus Christ is my favorite philosopher.”  Does that statement sound strange?  It shouldn’t.  Read the blog here.

 

For a list of Search Team members, or to know the steps for communicating with the Team, please click here and scroll down. Pray for them!

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 11.5.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 11/8

Preacher:  D.L. Lowrie

 

Boxes are available in the Commons! 

Nov. 15 – Boxes, filled with supplies, are due at BHBC.

 

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY BIBLE TRANSLATIONS?

I get asked that from time to time.  The answer? So we can read the Bible. (The truth is, since the autographs (originals) of the Bible do not exist, every single Bible that’s ever been printed is, by definition, a translation.)

But, it may be surprising that getting a Bible in the language we understand came at great cost.  John Wycliffe and William Tyndale were merely two of the pioneers of Bible translation burned at the stake for the “crime” of translating the Bible into the language of the common people.   One historian describes Tyndale’s final moments:

On Friday, October 6, 1536, after local officials took their seats, Tyndale was brought to the cross in the middle of the town square and given a chance to recant. That refused, he was given a moment to pray. English historian John Foxe said he cried out, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!”

Why would the religious leadership consider the translation of the Bible from Latin into English, German, or other languages a crime worthy of death?  Because, as Wycliffe, Tyndale, and other martyrs rightly believed, all Christians should be able to learn the Christian faith for themselves.  This conviction necessitated the Scriptures needing to be translated into languages the people understood.  However, this was a courageous, nay dangerous, endeavor.  For when the masses were able to read the Bible for themselves, the corrupt church leadership of the day would no longer be able to manipulate the people by manipulating the scriptures.

The brave Wycliffe, hailed as the morning star of the Reformation, went so far as to call out the church leadership publicly,

England belongs to no pope. The pope is but a man, subject to sin, but Christ is the Lord of Lords and this kingdom is to be held directly and solely of Christ alone.

Wycliffe would also say to church leadership,

“If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy who drives a plough to know more of the scriptures than you do.”

This did not sit well with the power-hungry pastors of days.

The blood of many men paved the way for us to have the Bible translated into languages people can understand.

I have a number of books in my library describing how we got our English Bible. I am deeply moved every time I refer to them.  May we never take the scriptures we hold in our hand for granted.

Click here to read a solid article on the value of multiple English translations. 

 

What is the Definition of Christianity?

Have you ever been asked that question?  If not, how would you answer it?  How about beginning with letting God answer the question:

For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received—that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures. – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. – Romans 10:9-10

 

 

A Nugget from Wed’s time of learning in John 812-21:  Willful Ignorance

Unbelief never has enough proof; willful ignorance never has enough truth.

Willful ignorance is demonstrated by that person who says, “Don’t bother me with facts. My mind is already made up.”

Jesus said,

If anyone wants (is willing to; desires) to do God’s will, he will know about my teaching, whether it is from God or whether I speak from my own authority.

In short, if you’re willing to know the truth, you’ll know the truth.

Ignorance is cheap; ignorance is common; and ignorance in the face of evidence for truth is terminal.

The author of Hebrews lamented,

So we see that [Israel] could not enter [the Promised Land] because of unbelief.

The only unpardonable sin is unbelief.

And a willing unbeliefa refusal to to honestly investigate the claims of Christ – is a death sentence.

To watch the lesson in its entirety click here.

 

BHBC UNIVERSITY MINISTRY IS GROWING!

If you’ve never had a chance to meet Shawn Coleman you are missing out on a blessing.  God brought Shawn to us a few years ago to shepherd a fledgling university ministry.  What God has done through him is nothing short of amazing.

God has given Shawn favor in our community.  For example, last year he was asked by the coaching staff at LCU to lead weekly Bible Studies for them.

Now, due to outgrowing their mid-week meeting room on the second floor, they’ve been forced to find a larger place to meet.  So, last night, for the first time they met in our Student Ministry assembly room, and will continue to do so until further notice.

Pray for Shawn, his wife (Kimberly), and their two precious daughters.

 

QUOTES of the WEEK

And…,

 

LAUGHTER IS  GOOD MEDICINE

Personally, I stand behind this statement.

 

SOUL FOOD:  Paranormal Activity – Can we communicate with our deceased loved ones?

Seasonally, we’re a week late on this topic.  But, doctrinely, for Christians it’s always relevant.  Read the blog here.

 

For a list of Search Team members, or to know the steps for communicating with the Team, please click here and scroll down. Pray for them!

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

 

The Navigator: 10.29.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 11/1

Preacher: DL Lowrie

 

This Sunday, 11/1, boxes will be available.  The schedule is as follows:

Nov. 1 – Boxes will be available for pick up

Nov. 15 – Boxes, filled with supplies, are due at BHBC

 

THE BIBLE 101

There is no greater Christian priority than the study and application of God’s Word.  It is our sole source for right and wrong.  It is sufficient for all matters of life – and the life to come.

It answers better than any other source the basic questions that must be asked about any worldview:

  1. Where did we come from?
  2. What went wrong?
  3. What’s the solution?
  4. How do things end?

Paul quoted the prophet, Habakkuk:

“The righteous (that’s Christians) shall live by faith.”

Where does faith come from?

“Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

Satan knows this.  And that is why biblical illiteracy is at an embarrassing level among Christians.

We are without excuse for biblical ignorance.  Bookshelves bend under the weight of available resources for studying and knowing the scriptures.

Linked here for you is an article that contains 9 basic facts about the Bible.  Most facts are trivial (as “when was the Bible first divided into chapters and verses?”), while No. 8 helps you answer questions about various approaches to different English translations of the Bible.  I will include more in-depth resources in the coming weeks.

Read the article here.

 

POLITICS (Oh, I’m walking a tightrope now. 🙂 )

I don’t post my political convictions publicly because I have neither the time nor the interest in arguing with people who have no interest in civil discourse (this would comprise 99.999% of those on social media.)

However, I did post the blog linked below because I considered it very solid food-for-thought.  Written by philosopher and defender of the Christian faith, Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D.  (pronounced “Groo-tise”; second syllable rhymes with ice.)

I love this quote by Bono,  the lead singer of U2:

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.

Read the brief blog here.  And don’t forget to vote.

 

FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE

A friend sent me this haunting melodic piece of music recently.  Enjoy.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

Fear does not stop death. It stops life.  And worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles.  It takes away today’s peace.

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD:  I’ve Failed as a Parent

If you have children, at some point in life you’ve, no doubt, thought this.  We all have.  Read the blog here.

 

For a list of Search Team members, or to know the steps for communicating with the Team, please click here and scroll down. Pray for them!

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 10.22.2020

 

THIS SUNDAY, 10/25

Preacher:  DL Lowrie

 

It’s that time of year again!

This Sunday, 10/25, we will begin promoting this endearing ministry.  The schedule is as follows:

Nov. 1 – Boxes will be available for pick up

Nov. 15 – Boxes, filled with supplies, are due at BHBC

 

PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST?

I am truly astounded that this wasn’t headline news on every news outlet known to mankind.  2020 has been a painful year.  But, there are signs all around us that remind us that God is mightily at work.

Below are social media posts from two Middle Eastern media outlets regarding the, previously unthinkable, improvement in relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

Why do I include this for you?  Because Israel is, according to the Bible, still God’s chosen nation.  As tiny as it is on our globe, it remains the world’s geo-political center.  When something this momentous takes place, Christians should take note.

The Arabs hate Israel.  This is a miracle of biblical proportions.

Read more about the story here and here.

 

A Brief Biblical Principle from this Past Wed. Evening’s Time of Learning:

Amidst the scene of “the woman caught in adultery”, John records,

“They made her stand in front of [the crowd].” 8:3

The religious leaders caught the woman “in the very act” of adultery but conveniently excused the man (some scholars speculate the man was a fellow Pharisee.)  Nevertheless, they had already violated the very Old Testament law with which they were using to attempt to trap Jesus.  But I digress.

My point is this:  Who shamed and humiliated the woman?

The church people.

Chuck Swindoll once lamented,

If I were not a Christian, the reason I would choose not to become a Christian is because of the words and actions of Christians toward one another.

The 19th century philosopher and professed atheist, Friedrich Nietzsche, offered this stinging indictment:

I would believe in their Savior if they acted more like they have been saved.

Paul warned,

“Therefore you are without excuse, whoever you are, when you judge someone else. For on whatever grounds you judge another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge practice the same things”

I have long lost count of how many people I have counseled who’ve been hurt by the church.

Author, Philip Yancey, wrote,

Sadly, to a world desperate for this grace the church sometimes presents one more form of un-grace.

Did Jesus’ grace and mercy for the woman excuse her sin?  As Paul wrote, “May it never be!”  I covered that in my session.  My point in this brief devotional thought is simple:

Too often we more resemble the Pharisees than Jesus.

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

Pastor Lowrie’s most recent sermon, as of this posting, has not yet been posted on our web site.  Check our web site for updates.

To view this Wed’s exposition of John 7:53-8:11, click here.

 

For a list of Search Team members, or to know the steps for communicating with the Team, please click here and scroll down. Pray for them!

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD:  Availability over Ability

Read the very brief blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 10.15.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 10/18

Preacher: DL Lowrie

 

It’s that time of year again!

On Oct. 25th, we will begin promoting this endearing ministry.  The schedule is as follows:

Nov. 1 – Boxes will be available for pick up

Nov. 15 – Boxes, filled with supplies, are due at BHBC

 

A Brief Biblical Principle from this Past Wed. Evening’s Time of Learning:

John 7:45-47 tells us…

45 Then the officers returned to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why didn’t you bring him back with you?” 46 The officers replied, “No one ever spoke like this man!” 47 Then the Pharisees answered, “You haven’t been deceived too, have you?

Previously, the religious leaders had sent the Temple police to go and arrest Jesus.  Above, you can see how that went.

What I want to draw your attention to here is the condescending, judgmental, pompous treatment of the Temple police by the religious leaders.  They are saying, in essence, “Are you that stupid?  Has this psychopath fooled you too? You’re an uneducated dimwit!”

Culture changes, but people never do.  This type of bullying is just as present today as it was then.  Just try expressing your conservative opinion on social media.  See how that goes for you.

But, Jesus didn’t shrink back from the bullies.  When the truth is on your side there is nothing – and no one – to fear.

Mark Twain once said,

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure. – Mark Twain –

Use big words, sound academic, attack their character, insinuate they are stupid, use intimidation tactics, and, by all means, don’t lower yourself to having intelligent, civil discourse with someone with whom you disagree.  (You might actually learn something.) This is defined as “confident ignorance.”  This is called bullying.

Richard Dawkins, the brilliant biologist, atheist and author of the best-selling, The God Delusion, opined,

“Religion is a fairy-tale dreamt up by people afraid of the dark.”

In response, the brilliant scientist and Oxford professor, John Lennox, countered,

Atheism is a fairy-tale dreamt up by people afraid of the light.”

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE?

13 Principles for Addressing the Present Social Unrest

Dr. Douglass Groothuis is a brilliant theologian, philosopher, critical thinker and defender of the Christian faith.  Last month, he posted a very brief, simple food-for-thought blog on the topic of responding to the present social unrest.  I thought it was solid enough to pass along.  NOTE:  No’s 12 & 13 can appear confusing as he is referring to ideologies.  Read the article here.

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

Pastor Lowrie was out of town last week.  For my message, ‘Hell: a truth discovered too late,” click here.

To view this Wed’s exposition of John 7:37-52, click here.

 

For a list of Search Team members, or to know the steps for communicating with the Team, please click here and scroll down. Pray for them!

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

When life seems too gnarled to be unraveled, remember that God is able to untie the biggest knot.

And…

Obedience is easy when God’s Word fits into our plans. But our love for him is tested when his plans are contrary to ours.

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD:  Bitter or Better?  (It’s up to you.)

Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

 

 

The Navigator: 10.8.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 10/11

Preacher:  Nick Watts; John 7:25-36

First Grade Bible Presentation:  During this Sunday’s 10:45 worship service, Dana Kluzek will present our 1st graders with the most precious gift: the Word of God.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” – Isaiah 40:8

 

CHRIST AT WORK

News from 2020 is not all bad.  Jesus said he is always at work.

  1. This past Saturday, our deacon body cleaned up two of our church-owned homes as well as winterized the cars of 14 single moms & widows.
  2. My dear friend, Jerry Ramirez, at FBC, Lubbock, spear-headed an effort to feed some 3000 people at UMC this past week.  Several people from BHBC were able to join the effort.

 

HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN CHRIST’S RESURRECTION?

When responsibly investigating historical events, historians commonly assert, “anything is possible, but we look closely at the evidence for what is most plausible.”

The resurrection of Christ is the epicenter of the Christian faith.  Without the resurrection there is no Christianity.  Therefore, every believer should be able to engage in intelligent dialogue on this topic.

The facts presented in this 6-minute video don’t prove Jesus’ resurrection (no one can disprove it either).  What these facts do is present evidence that makes any explanation other than Jesus bodily rose from the dead implausible.

 

CHRISTIAN HISTORY – OUR ENGLISH BIBLE

The vast majority of Christians have no clue as to the price that was paid (by many) for us to have a Bible translated into English (as well as other “languages of the people.”)  I have a number of books on this topic.  I would highly recommend reading  A Visual History of the English Bible: The Tumultuous Tale of the World’s Best-Selling Book.

This past Tuesday, October 6, I was mindful of the anniversary of what took place in 1536, when William Tyndale was burned at the stake for translating the Bible into the English language. His last words: “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.” For Tyndale, the Bible “for the people” meant that all could drink from the truth itself, without pressure or pretext. Two years after Tyndale’s death, King Henry authorized the distribution of the Matthew bible, much of it Tyndale’s work.

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

For Pastor Lowrie’s most recent sermon, click here.

NOTE:  Pastor Lowrie is doing extremely well after being taken to the ER last Sunday.  In fact, he was back at our offices on Monday morning as good as new.

 

For a list of Search Team members, or to know the steps for communicating with the Team, please click here and scroll down. Pray for them!

 

QUOTE(s) of the WEEK

This is absolutely profound:

And,…

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD:  Moving at the Pace of God

Ever try to hurry God up?  That’s always a bad decision.  Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 10.1.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 10/4

Preacher:  DL Lowrie

 

THIS SATURDAY, 10/3: Winterizing Cars & Annex Clean-up

After a brief meeting at 8am, our Deacon Body will be winterizing cars from 9am-Noon in our parking lot. Additionally, we will be cleaning out garages in our church-owned homes that perimeter our church.

 

Don’t ever forget these 6 fundamentals:

  1. You can’t give what you don’t have. Be faithful and disciplined in your own spiritual growth via daily devotional time involving biblical study and prayer – even if it’s just for a few minutes. Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Additionally, if your “well is ever dry” and you need a break/sabbath, let your pastor know.
  2. Be a disciplined and responsible student of scripture.  And, know why you believe what you believe. Study context. Take time to think and work through hard passages. When you stop learning, you stop leading. Think deeply. 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.” (cf. 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Peter 3:15)
  3. Lead with love. Jesus said, “By this all will know if you follow me, if you love one another.” (John 13:35) 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.” (Matthew 23:11) Sheep are led, not driven.  Be on time to class.  Always show up prepared.  Our listeners can smell “winging it” a mile away.
  5. 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.” (James 3:1) Prepare well, and leave the results to God.
  6. 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.

 

This Sunday, 10/4, in both worship services, our former pastor, Jerry Joplin, will be giving us a testimony as to how BHBC’s monetary investment in the furtherance of God’s Kingdom through the Lubbock Baptist Association is making a difference.

 

A Brief Biblical Principle from this Past Wed. Evening’s Time of Learning:

In chapter 7, as all Jews were preparing to attend the Festival of Shelters in Jerusalem, Jesus informed his brothers he was not going to Jerusalem with them.  They countered, quite strongly, that he should not only go with them, but also put his miracles on display for all to see.

John records:

So Jesus replied, “My time has not yet arrived, but you are ready at any opportunity!

What we see here is Jesus’ avoidance of the wrong time in God’s sovereign plan, and Jesus’ perfect obedience to the right time in God’s sovereign plan.

The scene hearkens back to John 2, where, at a wedding in Cana, Jesus’ mother appealed to him to help (miraculously) with the depleted wine.  Jesus replied to her,

“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

Mankind hurries about life often forgetting that God’s Timetable is not random.  Search the gospels and you will find that Jesus was never in a hurry, nor was he ever late.  God’s timing is always impeccable.

Jesus’ brothers were thinking in terms of mere human logic.  Jesus knew better.

Don’t rush God.  That’s never a good idea.  Wait for him.  His timing is always best.

 

THREE SWIVEL STOOLS AVAILABLE

Should you like to have a swivel stool to sit on while teaching simply let me know.  We have three that are available.  See pic below.

 

For a list of Search Team members, or to know the steps for communicating with the Team, please click here and scroll down. Pray for them!

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

For Pastor Lowrie’s most recent sermon, click here.

For Pastor Lowrie’s online leading in the Lord’s Supper, click here.

For my lesson on John 7:1-24 this past Wed evening, click here.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD: Life Is Short, Don’t Miss It

Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 9.24.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 9/27

Preacher:  DL Lowrie

Lord’s Supper Online:  Sunday evening, Pastor Lowrie will be leading us, virtually, in the Lord’s Supper, as he did in April when we were not meeting due to COVID.  You will be able to access the video of him leading sometime Sunday afternoon or evening, and, as such, will be able to observe the Lord’s Supper at your convenience in your own home with family and/or friends.

 

THIS SUNDAY, let’s say thank you to Jordan Morales

As I mentioned a few weeks back, our Youth Pastor, Jordan Morales, resigned to take a teaching position at Southcrest Christian School here in Lubbock.  Her last Sunday is this coming Sunday, Sep. 27th.  Let’s say thank you  in between, and after, our morning worship services by bringing thank you notes and/or gift cards.  The reception will be in the Commons.

 

A Brief Biblical Principle from this Past Wed. Evening’s Time of Learning:

Following Jesus’ “Bloodiest Sermon”, he offers an invitation to appropriate his message to embrace him not merely as a good teacher or miracle worker, but as Messiah, Lord and Savior.  Far from the responses we’ve witnessed at a Billy Graham Crusade, John records:

“From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” (John 6:66)

The Greek word for disciple literally means student or learner, and hundreds of these disciples hung out and around Jesus – but for all the wrong reasons.

These were false disciples.  They had no personal faith in Jesus.  They wanted sizzle, but not substance.  They wanted an A on the test without having to study.  German pastor/martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, sums up the attitude of a false disciple best in his book, The Cost of Discipleship (my copy is well-worn), where he describes what he calls Cheap Grace.

“Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. Grace without cost!  The grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Cheap grace means the justification of the sin without the justification of the sinner.  Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves.  Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, communion without confession.  It is grace without discipleship, grace without the Cross, grace without Jesus Christ.”

Apparently, there will be many false disciples on Judgment Day learning for the first time that their decision not to embrace Christ by faith was a death sentence for all eternity.  Jesus offers this haunting warning:

“On that day [of judgment] many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ – Matthew  7:22-23

Which disciple are you?

 

Our Children’s Pastor, Dana Kluzek, shared the following story this past week in Staff Meeting.  I asked her permission to share it here.  It will warm your heart and remind you all Jesus is doing in our midst:

This past Sunday we started a program in the Children’s Ministry called Bible Buddies.  The kids adopt a Bible Buddy (stuffed animal) that they will read their Bible to.  They also receive a book that contains 30 different age-specific Bible readings for them to read to their buddy and a place to journal about what they read.  Once they complete those readings, they can return the book for a prize and another book.  The purpose of this program is to get kids into the habit of reading their Bibles daily.  The kids were all very excited about this program, and couldn’t wait to adopt!  One of our kids was supposed to go to their grandparent’s house last weekend, and she refused to go until her mom assured her that she would pick up a Bible Buddy and study book for her.  We had another kid who was going to be out the Sunday of the adoptions, and she also came to me and wanted to be sure that she didn’t miss out on adopting a Bible Buddy.  I let her choose one and set it aside for her so that she would have the one she wanted.  On Sunday, all of our Buddies were adopted except for 6 and we ran out of the 1st-3rd Grade Bible Read-Along books.  We also provided each family with a book for the parent or guardian titled “5 Things To Pray for Your Kids.” 

 

 

And, speaking of our Children’s Ministry…

Fall Fest! Sort of…

Due to COVID (it seems like I’ve begun most of my statements with that phrase this year), we will not be hosting our traditional Fall Fest in late October.  However, Dana and her brilliant team will be putting together “Fall Fest Bags” for children.  These bags will contain resources for knowing Jesus, info about BHBC and, of course, candy.  Dana has let informed us to let folks know that we can begin collecting candy now.

 

IN DEFENSE of the CHRISTIAN FAITH: Human Consciousness

Dr. John Lennox is a renowned scientist from Oxford University, as well as a towering figure within the discipline of Christian Apologetics. Allow your faith to be strengthened as you listen to Dr. Lennox use human consciousness as a powerful defense for our faith.  The clip is under 4 minutes in length:

 

For a list of Search Team members, or to know the steps for communicating with the Team, please see click here and scroll down. Pray for them!

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

For Pastor Lowrie’s most recent sermon, click here.

For my lesson on the conclusion of John 6 this past Wed evening, click here.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

“We may be, in part, products of our past: but if the gospel is true, we do not need to be prisoners of it.” – Andy Bannister

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

SOUL FOOD: My Least Favorite Book in the Bible

Click here to see why.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

That Navigator: 9.17.2020

THIS SUNDAY, 9/20

Preacher:  DL Lowrie

 

Offering Totals Update:

After more offerings and pledges were turned in after Sunday, the following figures are current:

Cash given on Sunday:  $35,000

Pledges for next twelve months:  $285,000

 

Wednesday Evenings Resume for BHBC Student Ministry!

A huge thanks to our student ministry volunteers for loving God and loving students.

Students will meet in the FLC at 6:30 throughout the Fall Semester:

10/7 – Group 1 testimonies

10/14 – Family Night with Dana

10/21 – 11/4 – Group 2, 3 & 4 testimonies

11/11 – Family Night with Dana

11/18 – Help students prepare and share testimonies

11/25 – Thanksgiving holiday

12/2 – Family Night with Dana

 

Online Lord’s Supper – 9/27

As we did in April due to COVID, Pastor Lowrie will lead us, virtually, in the observance of the Lord’s Supper the evening of Sep. 27th.  After being recorded ahead of time, the video will be published on the BHBC web site on the evening 9/27.  Since the video will remain on our web site, you and your family can observe the ordinance privately in your home any time that is convenient for you.

 

A Brief Biblical Principle from this Past Wed. Evening’s Time of Learning:

In John 6:16-24, we find the familiar passage recounting Jesus walking on the surface of the Sea of Galilee.  John doesn’t mince words as he describes the reaction of the tough, weathered fishermen:  “they were terrified.”

Jesus comforts the disciples by assuring them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.”

But there’s more to Jesus’ statement here.  Much more.

The Greek words used for “It is I” are the same Greek words used for each time Jesus proclaims “I Am” throughout John’s gospel.  Using God’s covenant name given to Moses at the burning bush, the Jews knew exactly what Jesus was saying:  “I AM the Word made Flesh, I AM Almighty God.”

Life, under normal circumstances, can be scary.  Add COVID to that and the anxiety of many has gone through the roof.  Regardless of how rough the waters become, listen.  And what you’ll hear is Jesus saying, “I AM here.  I’ve got you. Trust me.”

 

Fall Fest! Sort of…

Due to COVID (it seems like I’ve begun most of my statements with that phrase this year), we will not be hosting our traditional Fall Fest in late October.  However, Dana and her brilliant team will be putting together “Fall Fest Bags” for children.  These bags will contain resources for knowing Jesus, info about BHBC and, of course, candy.  Dana has let informed us to let folks know that we can begin collecting candy now.

 

The Mary Hill Davis offering is the annual cooperative offering led by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.  Unlike the Lottie Moon Offering in the Spring, which is given for foreign missions, the Mary Hill Davis Offering goes toward church-starts and mission strictly in the state of Texas. For the next two Sundays, 9/20-9/27, we will highlight this mission emphasis, inviting people to give.

 

JORDAN MORALES – Farewell Reception: 9/27; Commons

Please bring thank you notes and/or a gift card to show Jordan how grateful we are for the Lord sharing her with us.

 

For a list of Search Team members, or to know the steps for communicating with the Team, please see click herePray for them!

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

For Pastor Lowrie’s most recent sermon, click here.

For my lesson on John 5 last week, click here.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

In regard to God shielding Moses with his own hand to protect him from dying from the exposure to God’s glory (Exodus 33:18-23), Tim Keller comments:

“Moses is protected from God by God.  That’s the gospel.”

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

From the mouths of babes…

 

SOUL FOOD:  The Agnosticism of Science

A complement to last week’s blog.  You can read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick