The Navigator: 11.18.21

**The above question from Luke 17 has been a “family verse” for the Watts home for many years.  We’ve talked about it as a family a number of times. As I consider the “other nine” lepers Jesus healed that day, I don’t know that they intentionally didn’t thank him (they were ecstatic from being healed).  I think they just forgot.  May we always be humbly mindful of Jesus’ mercy and love that he lavishes on us not just the fourth Thursday in November, but every day of our lives. nw

 

This week’s tip:  Slowing your roll with the Bible

As I finished journeying through the book of Daniel yesterday evening I found myself quite pensive.  What an adventure.  Below is what I posted this morning on social media.  As you disciple your class in regard to reading, studying and applying the scriptures, perhaps this will provide some perspective.  nw

I’ve read through the Bible numerous times and have always enjoyed reading through the book of Daniel.

But, there’s something about going verse-by-verse, slowly.  It’s like being on a road-trip you’ve been on numerous times, but this time stopping at every intersection, historical marker, and place of interest.  (I know that sounds like a horrible analogy. But, you get the picture.)

All of a sudden, although you’ve driven the route more times than you can count, you notice things you’ve never before seen.  And then those points of interest draw you in to discover the events that made them “points of interest.”

Since I began teaching expositionally (verse by verse) a few years ago on Wed. evenings, we’ve mined the treasures of, in addition to Daniel, each of the twelve minor prophets, John, Galatians, James, and Revelation.

I guess I’m sharing this to ask you to consider finding a book of the Bible – any book – and join its adventure into discovery.  Don’t get in a hurry (when teaching the gospel of John, we spent seven weeks in chapter one, alone.)  Find yourself a solid Study Bible.  Then, just soak it up, one passage at a time. 

Rather than feel as though you’re frantically trying to meet a deadline for how long it should take to finish reading, “slow your roll,” and stroll through “the countryside of the Kingdom.”  Stop often along the way to think deeply. (I’m reading the Bible through again during my daily devotions.  It took me a year and a half just to finish the Old Testament.)

Back to Daniel….

In his book, The Gospel According to Daniel, Bryan Chappell describes the life of Daniel as “a long obedience in the same direction.”

And, finally, you’ll be blessed by this comment on Daniel by the beloved teacher, Chuck Swindoll:

“From Daniel’s life and writings we learn that a person of integrity is a powerful instrument in the hand of God.  A life of integrity may lead us into a lion’s den of misunderstanding and ridicule.  But there’s nothing like the freedom and power that God gives those who are determined to do what is right (according to God’s definition of “right”), no matter what the cost.”

Love to you all, Nick

***For further perspective, see my blog, “Don’t Read the Bible Through in a Year,” here.

 

Equipping ourselves to be able to engage in intelligent conversation where the Christian faith is concerned.

“[Historically],There is a strong consensus today among scholars that Jesus thought of himself as an exorcist, a miracle-worker and God’s eschatological agent. Many likewise maintain that he was convinced he would die an imminent and violent death and subsequently would be vindicated by God…Graham Twelftree, perhaps the leading authority on the miracles and exorcisms of Jesus, has argued in several works that the evidence that Jesus was a miracle-worker is so strong that it is one of the best attested historical facts about Jesus.”  – Mike Licona, Ph.D., one of my professors

Indeed, even the Babylonian Talmud accuses Jesus of sorcery.  In short, the Jews were impotent to explain away Jesus’ miracles, so – as the writers of the gospels record – they simply attributed his power to Satan.

 

62-YARD FIELD GOALS & GOD

This is was too good not to share.  If you watched the end of Tech’s game this past Saturday against Iowa State you were, like me, certain the game was about to go into overtime.  But Tech’s kicker, Jonathan Garibay, knew better.  KCBD’s Pete Christy tweeted what Garibay posted after he made the record-breaking field goal, winning the game for the Red Raiders.

 

THIS RENDITION of AMAZING GRACE is PRETTY AMAZING

The man starts out slow but things get exciting beginning at the 1:24 mark culminating in him kicking the chair out from under him at the 2:00 mark.

Enjoy.

HOLIDAY SCHEDULE & UPCOMING EVENTS

  • Offices will be closed Wednesday, 11/22 at noon through Friday, 11/24.
  • 11/28 – Lottie Moon Offering emphasis
  • 12/5 – Silent Communion; 4-6pm
  • 12/8 – Children’s Ministry Family Night
  • 12/12 – Christmas Sing-along with the SonShiner Choir; 5pm

 

QUOTE(s) of the WEEK:

“How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none. God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which He must work. Only to know that is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves.” – A.W. Tozer

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” — Leo Tolstoy

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

A guy said to his buddy:  “My wife thinks I put football before marriage, even though we just celebrated our third season together.”

And, in light of the Thanksgiving holiday…

 

SOUL FOOD:  The Worship Wars

I have no clue why this post of mine was shared from my Facebook page almost 50 times.  Apparently, the topic still strikes a nerve.  The “war” has been raging for a while.  Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 8.5.21

THIS SUNDAY, 8/8

  • Sammy finishes up his sermon series on 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 and the victory we have in Jesus Christ.
  • On Sunday, 8/15, join us at 5pm in the Worship Center for a special, intentional time of prayer.

 

WELCOME, LUKE, KAYLA & LEVI KILMARTIN!

Luke was called by BHBC this past Sunday, 8/1, to be our new Youth Pastor.  And I am thrilled!  Luke will be in attendance, but only as a “guest” this Sunday, the 8th.  He, Kayla & Levi will make the move from Corpus Christi the following week and officially begin on Sunday, the 15th.

 

  • Who?  All Adult Sunday School Leadership
  • When?  Sunday, Aug 15th; 4-5pm
  • Where? Rm. 108
  • What are we doing?  Sharpening our shepherding & teaching skills, as well as unveiling BHBC’s Fall emphasis.

 

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

It’s been said that a preacher should have a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other.  Jesus was keenly aware of the political and societal culture in which he lived.  When people asked him questions he was always prepared to give an informed response.

The axiom of biblical preaching and teaching is to, first, help the listener to understand the meaning of the text in its original cultural context i.e. how would have the original listener(s) understood it.  The next step is obvious:  responsibly translate the text’s truth and principles into early 21st century life.

I could offer numerous cultural topics here.  But, let’s look at just two:  the rapidly growing disinterest with organized religion, and CRT (Critical Race Theory).

The “Nones:”

  • Why should I care about people who have no interest in God?  Because Jesus did.  The interview linked here is intriguing for two particular reasons.  The gentleman giving the interview is an avowed atheist.  Yet, the man being interviewed is not only a Christian, but also a Baptist pastor.  His name is Ryan Burge.  What gives Burge credibility on this topic is his profession.  He is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Graduate Coordinator at Eastern Illinois University.  I will tell you Burge speaks in the interview more as a professor than a pastor.  But, I get this.  He is trying to connect with his atheist host who, no doubt, has a primarily atheist audience.  Great nuggets of insight.  Click here for the link.

Critical Race Theory (CRT):

Why should I care about CRT?  My answer is simple:

  1. Racism is repeatedly condemned in scripture and the topic is white-hot in North American culture.
  2. As such, it is likely the topic might arise during discussion at some point.
  3. Consequentely, it’s possible someone asks about CRT.  And I want to make certain you are informed and equipped to dialogue intelligently about this combustible topic.

So, what does does CRT really mean?  Why is it so divisive?

The original meaning of the seminal ideology is clear:  CRT is reverse-racism. It’s goal is for an individual’s identity to be determined by race.  Further, CRT teaches that all white people are inherently racist, whether we want to be or not.  CRT is the anthesis of Martin Luther King’s famous statement from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

But, what’s happened is that the meaning of CRT now means different things to different people.  And that’s where the vitriol and division is rooted.

Below are some resources that will, if you aren’t already, help give insight into this combustible current issue.  Both talks are from African-American pastors.  Tony Evans does an outstanding job of explaining why CRT is so divisive.  And Voddie Baucham does an equally outstanding job of elucidating CRT.

 

 

Mid-week opportunities for learning & discipleship are set!  Click here to see this Fall’s line-up.  Meal – 5:30; classes – 6:30.

 

OLYMPIAN CONVICTION: A Gold Medal Attitude

Two things you cannot miss about Olympic Champion Caeleb Dressel are the Five Gold Medals around his neck from his performances in Tokyo and the mega-sized eagle tattoo on his left shoulder. It’s not surprising that NBC wouldn’t report the backstory on the eagle.

Caeleb says the tattoo was inspired by one of his favorite Bible verses, Isaiah 40:31, which says,

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.”

Dressel is a committed follower of Jesus Christ.  He was raised in a Christian home but grew in his faith during college at the University of Florida.

After a rough patch in his life, Dressel says, “I started swimming again and really just put all my trust in God and knowing that He’s going to take care of everything for me, good or bad.” Sometimes for a race Caeleb writes Scripture references on his face. A recent tweet is typical of his attitude: “When you avail yourself of God’s grace and power, your comeback is always greater than your setback.”

 

THE BIBLE: God’s revelation of Himself to us

“So many are looking for special revelation from God while it sits on their shelf gathering dust.” – Burk Parsons

 

Friendly reminder: Please mark your calendar for Sunday evening, October 3rd; 6pm, in our FLC.  Spouses are invited.   Guest speaker:  Dr. Jim Hardwicke.  (More about Jim in the coming weeks.)

 

QUOTE(s)

“God’s plan A for your life is that you will go through regular periods of suffering. And there is no plan B.” (cf. 2 Timothy 2:3) – Clay Jones

“Your accumulated offenses do not surpass the multitude of God’s mercies: your wounds do not surpass the Great Physician’s skill.” – Cyril of Jerusalem, 4th century AD

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

And,… do you know anyone like this? 

 

SOUL FOOD:  The Ministry of Presence

Sometimes, it’s better to just be quiet.  That’s all they need.  Read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 7.1.2021

THIS SUNDAY, 7/4

  • Sammy continues his summer series in the Psalms.
  • One Sunday School hour at 9:15; one combined worship service at 10:45.
  • FYI – room assignments are changing for some:  Beginning July 11th, Special Friends (9:15) will meet in Rm. 109.  Open Door (10:45) will meet in Rm. 109.  The Ladies’ Class (10:45) will meet in Rm. 110.
  • This Sunday, 7/4, due to the schedule-change, Open Door will meet in the Worship Center.
  • Also, continue to pray for our Youth Pastor Search Team.

 

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

Since I’ve been out a couple of weeks, this week’s Teaching/Learning Tip of the Week is a ‘Triple Dose’:  ‘Shallow Theology’, ‘Systematic Theology’, and ‘A Warning’.

First, a word I posted recently on my Facebook Page:

  • To my fellow pastors (this includes teachers. The biblical word ‘pastor’ means ‘shepherd’ i.e. anyone who leads God’s sheep.)
  • Quote below is by Dustin Benge:

Shallow theology inevitably produces:

    • shallow preaching/teaching,
    • shallow worship,
    • shallow counseling,
    • shallow ministry,
    • shallow lives.
  • Study hard. Pray fervently. Preach and teach boldly and with love.

Second, What is the Value of Systematic Theology?

  • Don’t let a big theological term like Systematic Theology scare you off.  As I’ve blogged before, every Christian is a theologian.  It’s just that some make a career out of it.
  • Paul was a systematic theologian.  In a message sent to the believers in Ephesus, Paul wrote, For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose and plan of God.”
  • The “whole purpose/plan/counsel” – not just cherry-picked passages. In simpler terms, it’s “interpreting scripture in light of scripture.”  It’s precisely why I always provide parallel/affirming biblical passages when preaching/teaching a particular primary text.  In short, it’s allowing God to be the primary commentator on his Word.
  • Linked here for you is a solid article on this topic by author, Randy Alcorn.  Please do me a favor and read it when you have time.  It’s my desire that our teaching faculty be the best trained, most responsible teacher/shepherds around.  From the article:
    • Systematic theology is “what God has to say about [a particular] subject in His Word.” It requires that we examine the whole counsel of God, the larger picture, lest we leave out something vital that is not recorded in Titus or Hebrews or Joshua or Proverbs (or whatever book may partially address a given issue). Ours shouldn’t be just a view based on a single passage or book of Scripture, but based on the whole counsel of God, which offers us checks and balances that we would not be aware of from a single book or chapter or paragraph of Scripture.

  • You can read the entire article here.

Third, a warning for those who shepherd God’s sheep.

I am presently in Jeremiah in my daily devotionals/quiet times.  The southern kingdom, Judah, is conquered and taken to Babylon during the time of Jeremiah’s ministry.  A primary cause of Judah’s abhorrent sin was the corrupt leadership of their “pastors/shepherds of the day.”  Many of the Old Testament prophets announce judgment on corrupt religious leadership.

Here’s one pericope from Jeremiah 23:1-4,

“What sorrow awaits the leaders of my people—the shepherds of my sheep—for they have destroyed and scattered the very ones they were expected to care for,” says the Lord.  Therefore, this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to these shepherds: “Instead of caring for my flock and leading them to safety, you have deserted them and driven them to destruction. Now I will pour out judgment on you for the evil you have done to them… Then I will appoint responsible shepherds who will care for them, and they will never be afraid again. Not a single one will be lost or missing. I, the Lord, have spoken!

Wow.  Think God takes pastoring/shepherding seriously?

Linked here is the remainder of the passage cited above.  Reading these passages and hiding them in our heart will continue to remind us all what James, the half brother of Jesus, would write some 6 centuries later:

Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.

Stay humble.  Pastor responsibly, and by example.

 

WORLD NEWS:  IRAN

It’s these types of headlines that fly under the North American cultural radar that should be noted by us all.  Read the article from the Jerusalem Post here.

 

OBJECTIVE MORALITY

I recently saw this quote on social media:

“If the Bible calls it a sin, our opinion doesn’t really matter.”

Can you imagine if every individual on planet earth was given the right to decide what is right and what is wrong? (That’s sorta going on right now, right? It always has.)

Those who hold a “everyone should have their own opinion of what’s right and wrong/what’s true for you doesn’t mean it’s true for me” have never thought this through to its logical end.

Based on that logic – Mother Teresa was right, but so was Hitler.  Gandhi was right, but so was Pol Pot. Your morals are right, but so is Boko Haram’s. And so on. There is either one standard for right and wrong, or there are many.  You can’t have it both ways.

Everyone’s got a subjective standard which is relative to their particular worldview, which is why God has given us objective morality based on his standards, not ours.

NOTE: For an in-depth consideration for objective morality – and its argument for the existence of God – I strongly recommend C.S. Lewis’ ‘The Abolition of Man.’  If interested, further insight into Lewis’ work is tackled by one of my former professors, Oxford’s Michael WardAfter Humanity: A Guide to C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man.

 

STRANGE BUT TRUE: A Whale of a Tale

Just in case you missed it, linked here is the real-life story of Cape Cod diver, Michael Packard’s, harrowing adventure inside a whale a couple of weeks ago off the coast of Massachusetts. Read the story here.

 

QUOTE(s) of the WEEK

The penalty which Christ endured was not a mitigated penalty for sin, but the whole weight of God’s wrath fell on him. He was treated as a thing accursed, for he was made a curse for us; made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. – Spurgeon

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

You know you’re in a country church if over half your congregation thinks a cantata is an entree at Taco Bell.
SOUL FOOD:  The Hardest Prayers to Pray
So, as I was writing the other day I thought to myself, “What was the very first blog I ever wrote?” Written in 2007, here it is.  Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 2.19.2021

As the sub-zero temperatures held their death-grip, I would think about the above quote from C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia.  Narnia – where it was always winter.  Well, until Aslan roared.

“Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” – Psalm 30:5

 

THIS SUNDAY

Preacher: Sammy – Part 2 of 3 in a series on the love of God

 

SHEPHERD YOUR SHEEP

I know – I keep saying this.  But, we forget, right?  Which is precisely why both Paul and Peter would use the phrase, “In way of reminder,” when writing letters to believers.

COVID, coupled with the winter weather we’re experiencing, can make us feel isolated.  Sheep do not ever need to be isolated.  They/we weren’t designed that way.  So, always remember to reach out with a call, an email or a text just to check on them.

 

SOBERING FOOD-FOR-THOUGHT

A warning to the sneaky, scheming, and manipulating…

“If you set a trap for others, you will get caught in it yourself. If you roll a boulder on others, it will crush you instead.” – Proverbs 26:27

Thinking about sabotaging the reputation or plans of another?  Think again. And save your own life a world of hurt.

 

CARMAN LICCIARDELLO:  1956-2021

 

After Carman passed away this past Tuesday, 2/16, at a Las Vegas hospital due to complications associated with a hernia surgery, one writer penned: “There will never be another Carman.”

He was the Elvis of Christian music. His music played a huge role in my youth ministry. We attended concerts. Watched his music videos (my favorite is ‘Witch’s Invitation”). On one summer mission trip our youth choir – 100 strong – sang a musical comprising choral arrangements of all Carman songs. And on more than one Easter Sunday I’ve sung his powerful ‘Sunday’s On the Way.’

My girls are good friends with Carman’s niece, Loni Licciardello. She did my daughter, Kelsie’s, makeup before her and Brandon’s Wedding No. 2 near Branson, MO. I got to visit with Loni that day. My daughter, Macy, told her I sing ‘Sunday’s On the Way’ on some Easter Sundays. Loni later told Macy Watts she told Carman about that. He told her, “He may keep me out of a job.” 🙂

I will keep singing it.

 

A PRAYER

From The Valley of Vision:

O incomprehensible but prayer-hearing God,

I thank you for the riches to me in Jesus – for the unclouded revelation of him in your Word where I behold his person, character, grace, glory, humiliation, sufferings, death and resurrection.

I come to you with nothing of my own to offer – no works, nothing of worth, no promises. Just me.

Deliver me from the natural darkness of my own mind, from the corruptions of my heart, from the temptations to which I am exposed, from the daily snares that attend me.

O Lord, I am astonished at the difference between what I receive and what I deserve – the heaven I am bound for, the hell I deserve.

O God, it is amazing that we can talk so much about our mere human power and goodness when, if you did not hold us back at every moment, we would be devils incarnate.

Nothing exceeds your power. Your might is infinite, your grace limitless, your name glorious.

Let angels sing for sinners repenting, for prodigals restored, for Satan’s captives released, for blind eyes opened, for broken hearts healed, for giving us hope in a sometimes hopeless world.

Destroy in me every lofty thought.  Break my pride to pieces and scatter it to the winds.

Let my words and actions be firmly rooted in your Word.

I ask great things of a great God.

Amen

 

 

QUOTE(s) of the WEEK

Are you in the dark right now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? If so, then remain quiet…darkness is the time to listen. – Oswald Chambers

Tell me about the God you don’t believe in. There’s a good chance I don’t believe in that God either. – Tim Keller

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” – Steve Martin

“Frisbee-tarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.” – George Carlin

I’m not fat – I’m just easier to see.

 

SOUL FOOD: The Privilege of Drawing Near to God (and what it cost)

Until the New Covenant was instituted by Jesus as the Last Supper, approaching God was different than it is now.  Read the blog here.

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

 

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: 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: 2.7.2020

THIS SUNDAY, Feb. 9th

Preacher: Nick

Primary Text:  Acts 17:16-34

 

NEW FORMAT for WED. EVENING MEALS

Beginning Wed., 2/12, meals will be prepared at the church and cost only $5.

Deadline for reservations hasn’t changed.  Please make those reservations by noon on the preceding Monday, along with payment.

Menu will be posted in Sunday’s worship guide.

 

WHEN THE MORMONS COMING KNOCKING

First and foremost, remember they are people who need the love of the biblical Christ as much as we do.  Always be kind and respectful even in disagreement.

Read the helpful article here.

 

prayer

This week, please pray specifically that BHBC members:

  1. would examine ourselves in light of God’s Word (Psalm 119:105)
  2. would be filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:25)

 

FRIENDLY REMINDER:

Sunday School Leadership Appreciation Banquet – Sunday evening, April 26th.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

GRACE NOTES:  Is Christianity Anti-Science?  (Not at all)

Read the blog here.

 

THIS WEEK’S BHBC CHURCH-WIDE E-NEWS:  click here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

 

The Navigator: 1.23.20

THIS SUNDAY: 1/26/20 – “The Greatest Story Rarely Told”

Preacher:  Nick

Primary Text:  Acts 1:8

 

My friends, as you know, there have been adjustments these past few weeks.  But, believe me when I say:  I sincerely believe God is preparing us for something extraordinary.

In his outstanding testimony, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, Jim Cymbala, pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, said to his church early on in his ministry:

From this day on, prayer will be the barometer of this church.  Prayer will be the measure by which God blesses us.

Our staff gathers regularly inside the main offices and calls out to the Lord on behalf of our people and one another.  There is great refreshing going on among us.

Our Personnel Team has given our church some needs for which to pray.  Each week, I’ll include new requests.  Here are the first two:

  1. that BHBC will become a house of prayer.  (Matthew 21:13)
  2. for revival and spiritual awakening.  (Psalm 85:6)

Also, continue to pray for our Personnel Team.  Those members are:

Cindy Andrews

LaDonna Barker

Richard Clark

Melba Crutcher

Debbie Heberly

Clint Hutcheson (chairman)

Fred Satterwhite

Brad Whitaker

Dedra Wood

**Remaining on the Team for a season are:  Jim Barber & Cindi Cobb

 

CHRIST IS TOUCHING & CHANGING LIVES – THROUGH YOU

I simply want to remind you of something volunteer leadership commonly forget:  the Lord is using  you mightily to help people learn the Truth, find peace, and rediscover hope.  Never – ever – think for a moment your tireless, weekly preparation does not go unnoticed by Christ.  He is changing lives.  And he’s using you to do it.

 

MID-WEEK CLASS, GOSPEL of JOHN, ROOM-CHANGE

Due to being forced to bring in extra chairs to Rm. 108 this past Wed. evening, we are moving my class to the Worship Center, effective immediately.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

The Good News of Jesus in a nutshell…

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

GRACE NOTES:  Prayer in the Face of Christ’s Return

Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

The Navigator: 3.27.19

THIS SUNDAY, 3/24

Preacher:  Jason

Primary Text:  Luke 14:25-35

 

COMING APRIL 7TH…

I cannot express in words how excited I am about this ministry event.

Three times when I was in Youth Ministry I invited Dr. Ross to come speak, minister to, and work with our parents and students.  God has extraordinarily gifted this servant in the area of strengthening families.  Here is the schedule for the day:

SCHEDULE:

9:15 – All adults in the Worship Center with Dr. Ross

10:45 – Combined worship service (overflow seating will be available).

Noon – Special Event luncheon for parents and their teenage children

 

 

Koinonia is a Greek word that occurs 20 times in the Bible. Koinonia’s primary meaning is “fellowship, sharing in common, communion.” The first occurrence of koinonia is Acts 2:42,

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

Christian fellowship is a key aspect of the Christian life. Believers in Christ are to come together in love, faith, and encouragement. That is the essence of koinonia, making it a fundamental component of spiritual growth.

Please, if you don’t already, intentionally invest in regular fellowship with your class. 

No one needs to be told life is busy – we all know that.  But we make time for what’s most important.  So, on occasion (monthly? quarterly? per semester?) – whatever is most effective for your class – schedule time to come together outside of classYou’ll find the Holy Spirit using biblical fellowship to infuse your class with spiritual health and growth.

Speaking of fundamental components,…

 

PLEASE NEVER FORGET TO MAKE THESE TWO FUNDAMENTALS A WEEKLY PART OF YOUR CLASS:

1 . Brief “welcome” to all guests.  We pray for hurting and searching people to join us.  So, every single week – just as we do in “big church” – we need to devote just a minute to welcoming guests and encouraging them to complete a blue Connect Card (see pic below).  The biblical term “pastor” means “shepherd.”  As a class leader you are also a shepherd of the flock entrusted to you by God. Our staff contacts these guests every single week and then we funnel names to respective class leadership.  Make sure guests know there is no “pressure” to complete a card.  But that it helps us better shepherd them.

2 . The Gospel.   Never assume that, just because a person attends a small group, they’re saved.  Lost people attend church all the time. A simple statement like the following – or something similar – could change someone’s life: “You’ll make no greater decision in your life than to trust Christ as your Savior. If you’ve never done that please talk to me or one of our leaders after class.”

 

Please pray for me this weekend.

As I mentioned Sunday, since this past November the NE suburbs of Dallas, alone, have experienced eighty suicides.  As a result, I have been invited to speak at an upcoming conference, Weekend of Hope, sponsored by The Lakes Church; Sachse, TX.  (You can access their Facebook page here.)

I will speak twice on Saturday, then I will preach on Sunday morning.

99% of those who attempt suicide don’t want to die – they just want the pain to stop.

For Narnia.

Love to you all, nw

 

EASTER SUNDAY SCHEDULE (April 21st)

8am – Added Worship Service (choir will not sing in this service; music will be more along the “flavor” of the 10:45 service)

9:15am – Regular worship service

10:45am – Regular worship service

All SUMMIT Group times are unchanged.

 

NOTE:  SUMMIT Group Web Page publication is delayed.  New posting date is April 4th.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

For those trying to kick a bad habit…

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

 

GRACE NOTES:  Suicide & the Bible

In light of me speaking this weekend on this particular topic, I thought I might provide for you a blog I penned just four months after my son, Jordan, took his own life.  It has been viewed over 50,000 times.

For those who foolishly believe suicide is not at epidemic levels, consider this:  The Associated Press published an article last November with the following headline:  Suicide, at 50 Year Peak, Pushes Down U.S. Life Expectancy

Read my blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick