All You Wanted to Know about the BHBC Music Ministry (and more)

MUSIC NOTES: 2.13.18

 

THIS SUNDAY, Feb. 11th

Choir:  Shine on Us

Preacher:  Jason

NOTENO REHEARSAL this week for, both, Adult Choir and Praise Team due to the Valentine holiday.  However, I will still teach at 6:30pm for those able to attend this week’s class on Revelation.  (see below for more info)

 

First of all – there is no news to share at this time. (Sorry!) But I did want to assure you of a couple of things: 

  1. The people you voted to serve on the Search Team “get it.” I have been given the privilege of attending every meeting and have been impressed with their desire to “not settle,” but rather to take whatever time necessary to find the person Christ has set apart for this role in our church.  They are 100% unified in this conviction.
  2. In addition, I have enjoyed and appreciated the team’s honesty, humility and willingness to boldly share individual convictions.  Simply put, there are zero “yes men” on this team.

The team, chaired by Larry Vialle, is working prayerfully and diligently.  Lift them to Christ!  nw

 

A PICTURE DEFINITELY SAYS A THOUSAND WORDS

A dear friend sent me this photo (below) over the weekend. I must confess – when I saw it my heart leapt within my chest as it helped remind me how my son, Jordan, may have very well spent his first moments when he entered Paradise.

For everyone who has lost a loved one – know this: they don’t miss us.   And they would never want to return to this fallen, corrupt planet. Because of the Cross and the Empty Tomb they are right now experiencing unfathomable joy and peace.

A reunion is coming… nw

 

The 5th chapter of Revelation has a special meaning in my life.  I’ll explain why on Wed. evening, Feb. 14th, at 6:30.  Additionally, we’ll join the disciple, John, in the throne room of heaven as supernatural drama unfolds in the moments leading up to God unleashing his righteous judgment on a sinful, rebellious world.  Join me as we continue mining the scriptures and discovering what God has to tell us through this fascinating book.  nw

 

Lots of pics!  Here we go….

Exterior framing began going up this past week

This week, sheet-rock is going up (it’s beginning to “take shape”)

View of first floor from inside our main hallway (sorry – had to take the pics through a very dirty window 🙂 )

Views of top floor framing from northwest, and south parking lot

Basement hallway (childrens ministry area); view from the west

Huge basement classroom (where the lower courtyard used to be); view from west, then from east

New washer & dryer in a newly remodeled area of the Preschool Ministry

 

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

“Some people want to live within the sound of chapel bells; but I want to run a mission a yard from the gates of hell.”  Steve Camp, Run to the Battle

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

For those who may be unaware – there has been a moronic trend among teens to eat Tide Pods.  It’s been dubbed the Tide Pod Challenge.  Many have been rushed to their local ER.  I saw this meme last week that was written, obviously, for all the mental giants choosing to consume laundry detergent. (I clearly remember eating dirt as a kid – but never laundry detergent.) 🙂

 

GRACE NOTES:  He’s Not a Tame Lion

Behold Jesus Christ: the wild, terrifying, untamable Lion of Judah.

Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

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MUSIC NOTES: 2.6.18

 

THIS SUNDAY, Feb. 11th

Choir:  My Soul Longs for Jesus

Preacher:  Jim Gerlt

 

LUBBOCK POLICE HOMELESS OUTREACH TEAM

Sgt. Steven Bergen with the Lubbock Police Dept. will be joining us this Sunday evening, Feb. 11th, at 5pm for a brief presentation about the Lubbock homeless population and how we can best minister to them.  For more info about the LPD’s Homeless Outreach Team (HOT), click here.

 

Unlike the more-often-than-not “ceo mentality/top-down/driven by insecurity” model we sadly find in many church leaders, the following quote posted by a close friend of mine is, in my opinion, spot-on:

“A godly leader finds strength by realizing his weakness, finds authority by being under authority, finds direction by laying down his own plans, finds vision by seeing the needs of others, finds credibility by being an example, finds loyalty by expressing compassion, finds honor by being faithful, finds greatness by being a servant.” —Roy Lessin

I’ve always believed that “in order to lead/teach you must first be lead-able/teachable.” Even Jim Collins in his best-seller ,Good to Great, describes the “level 5 leader” as possessing the characteristics mentioned in quote cited above.

Final thought: Within the context of church leadership – far too many men serving as pastors never learned – or ignore altogether – that the word “pastor” literally means “shepherd” (not ceo). I’ve shared the following wisdom with young pastors so many times I’ve lost count.  I heard a preacher say it years ago, “Always remember: sheep are led, not driven.”

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

And a bonus…

“The only hope for this country is God. I don’t have any faith in the Republican Party. I don’t have any faith in the Democrat Party. The only hope for this nation is God.” (Franklin Graham in recent interview)

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

Classic…

 

GRACE NOTES:  The Holy Who?

Southern Baptists tend to be a bit in the “biblical dark” about the Holy Spirit.  We shouldn’t be.  Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

1.23.18

 

THIS SUNDAY, JAN. 28th

Choir:  Lord, I Need You

Preacher:  Jason (Haggai 1:1-2:1)

 

UPDATE:  Most recent estimated date of completion is August.

Was able to tour the progress on the 2nd floor (3rd floor if you include basement).  Here are a few pics:

Looking southwest toward Slide Rd…

Looking due west…

Looking northwest toward 53rd.  This wide-angle view helps give some perspective as to just how huge this addition is going to be. (And an enormous amount of square footage is still not within view in this photo.)

Looking northwest.  A closer view.  The AC units will be moved to the roof and the unfinished floor will be filled with concrete to match the side facing 54th St.

Basement.  Where the lower courtyard used to be located, adjacent to Childrens Ministry area.  Ceiling will be left “exposed’ and painted black, which is common in many restaurants to give that “industrial feel.”  We’ve also considered making this room a dance floor.  Just kidding.  Sort of.

 

WEEK 3 – CHAPTER 3

Before wading into the “what will be” section of Revelation (which commences in chapter 4), this week we finish up the “things that are” with Jesus’ letters to the 7 churches of ancient Asia Minor.  Of the seven letters, three remain in chapter 3: Sardis, Philadephia (not the one in Pennsylvania), and Laodicea.   These letters are pregnant with timeless lessons and warnings for the church of modern day. Join me, nw

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

On those who irresponsibly preach about Christ’s second coming (setting dates; arrogantly dogmatic in the position they hold regarding yet-to-happen prophetic events; etc)…

“I am sure the devil hates the teaching of the Lord’s [second] coming by the crack-pots he’s sent to preach about it.” Late 19th century Boston pastor, Dr. A.J. Gordon

My objective during our Wed. evening study together is to simply exposit the scriptures as well as share my conviction when necessary for helpful biblical interpretation.  But, most of all, I pray that the Holy Spirit ignites such a hunger in you for His Word that you, on your own, do the hard work of wrestling with these passages in a responsible manner.  nw

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

Her:  I’m exhausted. I was up until 4am with the baby.

Him:  It’s probably not good to keep a baby up that late.  (That’s how the fight started)

Also…

Frustration is trying to find your glasses – without your glasses.

 

GRACE NOTES:  Lean on Me (The gospel according to Bill Withers)

Read the blog (and listen to the song) here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

MUSIC NOTES: 1.16.18

 

THIS SUNDAY, 1/21

Choir:  All the Way My Savior Leads Me

Preacher:  Jason (preaching from Psalm 51; read through entire chapter)

 

THE SECOND COMING ACCORDING TO WAYLON JENNINGS

The second coming of Jesus Christ has always gripped my imagination. Believe it or not – my first real fascination with the topic came from, of all places, a song by one of my all-time favorite country artists, Waylon Jennings. I must have been around 10-12 years old when I first heard it – and I think I listened to the song a dozen times in a row on that old record player. I can still remember being half filled with awe and half scared to death.

The song is appropriately titled “Revelation” and, although the theology in the final line of the song is biblically inaccurate, the song’s description of how the world may react to Christ’s return is just as sobering to me today as it was 40+ years ago.  Enjoy…

 

Week 2:  Chapter 2

This week, we move from the things [John has] seen, [to] those [things] that are”the church age.  In a teaching series from Revelation 2-3 I like to call, “You’ve Got Mail,” we’ll dive into the letters Jesus delivered to seven churches in Asia Minor/modern-day Turkey (these churches represent the church – Body of Christ – from history to modern-day).  Four of those letters – written to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum & Thyatira – are recorded in chapter 2.   Following a brief review of last week’s lesson on chapter 1, this is where we’ll camp.

You can watch Session 1 from last week here…  Maranatha, Nick

 

WED. EVENING CLASSES OFFERED; BEGINNING JAN. 10th; 6:30pm

**Below is the “nuts & bolts” info.  For more information click here.

Revelation:  led by Nick Watts; Worship Center

Men’s Study:  “Being a Dad/Fatherhood”; led by Mike Lewis; Lower Level Room 9

Women’s Study: “Living Life Together”; led by Judy Gerlt ; Bergstrom Hall. 

GriefShare:  led by Tom Heath; Annex 3 – 5109 54th St. (across 54th from main office)

Strength to Love:  led by Dormye Halbrooks & Cam Johnston (see web link for location info)

Divorce-Care:  led by Isaias & Sonya Martinez; Conference Room

English as a Second Language:  This class will meet on Sundays at 3 pm beginning Jan. 7, 2018.  Meets in Rm 129

 

TO ALL THE SINGLE MOMS OUT THERE…

This past weekend, as I was helping Michelle with a number of errands and chores around the house, I couldn’t help but remember my mom having to take care of all of those types of things all by herself – all while raising three children.

Following my parents’ divorce between my 9th & 10th grade years, my mom was quickly forced to find a part-time job she would work every evening after leaving her full-time job for the day.

Beginning that year, when football season was over in the late Fall, mom would place a newspaper on my bed with part-time jobs circled. So, when I went to work part-time at 15 it was not to “help me learn responsibility” but rather to help my mom pay bills.

That first year i worked at our Chick-fil-a in our mall. Mom’s part-time, evening job at that time was at a clothing store in the same mall. She would come down during her break and get a beverage – always upbeat and smiling, no doubt to help me know “everything was gonna be alright.”

But, I knew, even though she tried not to show it, life was hard. I can remember seeing her cry during times she was lonely and times when money was so very short.

In addition to raising us kids and working two jobs, she’s the one who made sure the rent was paid, the cars were inspected & registered and running properly, that all of us kids had money for lunches, take off work and get us kids to the dr whenever we were sick – she even continued to cook supper almost all the time when we all got home. I could go on…

Just wanted all you single moms to know that all you do matters – and that you are awesome. And, with all of my heart, I thank you for not giving up. Only in heaven will you know the full impact of your relentless love shown to us children.  nw

 

  • The kitchen and restrooms near the FLC have been completed for several weeks now.
  • Photos really don’t do justice to the amount of work being done on the steel framework for the second floor (third floor if you count the basement.)  You need to see it for yourself. 🙂
  • Below the surface:  a ton of work continues to take place in the basement/children’s ministry area.
  • Things are moving along nicely.  Estimated completion date:  late summer 2018

 

USELESS INFORMATION

While watching one of the NFL playoff games this past weekend (commentated by Jim Nantz and Tony Romo) it occurred to me:

The No. 1 color-commentator for CBS NFL games: former Cowboys quarterback (Tony Romo)

The No. 1 color-commentator for FOX NFL games: former Cowboys quarterback (Troy Aikman)

The best all-time color-commentator for Monday Night Football: former Cowboys quarterback (Don Meredith)

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

I have a book in my library titled, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.  Former atheist, Lee Strobel, summarizes that argument succinctly in this recent tweet of his:

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

As baseball fans begin looking forward to Opening Day on March 29th, I present to you a little baseball humor…

 

GRACE NOTES:  “Behold, he is coming…” (Revelation 1:7)

Christ is on his way.  And there’s no power on earth that can stop him.  Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

MUSIC NOTES: 1.9.18

CHOIR REHEARSAL resumes this Wed., Jan 10th! 5:30pm

 

THIS SUNDAY, Jan. 14th

Choir:  Shine On Us

Preacher:  Jason (see Eph. reference above for Jason’s text for this Sunday)

 

Prepare to join me on Wed. evenings, beginning Jan. 10th, for our verse-by-verse study of the last book of our Bible.  God has much to tell us regarding “what [has been] seen, what is now and what will take place later.”  (1:19) We will take this learning experience slowly, studying approximately 1 chapter per week. 

John MacArthur rightly stated,

“Those who ignore Revelation deprive themselves of a rich treasure of divine truth.”

In preparation for our scriptural journey together, read through chapter one of this fascinating “revelation/unveiling” of Jesus Christ.  And then join me on Jan. 10th, at 6:30 in the Worship Center.  Nick

 

WED. EVENING CLASSES OFFERED; BEGINNING JAN. 10th; 6:30pm

**Below is the “nuts & bolts” info.  For more information click here.

Revelation:  led by Nick Watts; Worship Center

Men’s Study:  “Being a Dad/Fatherhood”; led by Mike Lewis; Lower Level Room 9

Women’s Study: “Living Life Together”; led by Judy Gerlt ; Bergstrom Hall. 

GriefShare:  led by Tom Heath; Annex 3 – 5109 54th St. (across 54th from main office)

Strength to Love:  led by Dormye Halbrooks & Cam Johnston (see web link for location info)

Divorce-Care:  led by Isaias & Sonya Martinez; Conference Room

English as a Second Language:  This class will meet on Sundays at 3 pm beginning Jan. 7, 2018.  Meets in Rm 129

 

THE RELENTLESS (AND FUTILE) ATTEMPT TO ATTACK THE HISTORICAL EXISTENCE OF JESUS CHRIST

This past Christmas morning the Washington Post decided it would be a perfect time to question Jesus’ existence in history.  Written ignorantly as well as irresponsibly, one of my professors, Dr. Mike Licona (one of the scholars interviewed by Lee Strobel), quickly posted the following response:

“Shame on the Washington Post. But not at all surprising. When the Post can publish an article claiming Jesus never existed, it’s just one more weight on the scale of the sort of poor journalism we have often come to expect from that news source. Apparently, it does not matter to the Post that, despite the fact there are countless agnostic, atheist, and Jewish historians, less than a dozen of them hold that Jesus never existed. In fact, there are only 7, according to that position’s leading proponent, Richard Carrier. And that’s when Carrier includes himself! Imagine if Christian scholars proposed an equally ridiculous hypothesis, such as the earth is flat and that there were only 7 who held this view. Such a position would never be taken seriously. And rightly so. I suppose the Post was courting the only readers it would have on Christmas morning.”

As New Testament scholar, Dr. Jeremiah Johnston, once said, “There is more evidence for the existence of Jesus than for any other ancient figure.”   Even atheistic New Testament scholar, Dr. Bart Ehrman, in his book, Did Jesus Exist?, writes, “The reality is that, whatever else you may think about Jesus, he certainly did exist.”

A rebuttal to the Post’s article is linked for you here, as well as an additional informative article here.

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

“The book of Revelation is not meant for casual or ‘lite’ reading; to genuinely hear it summons us to grapple with God’s judgment on a world in rebellion against him.” Dr. Craig Keener

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

BONUS:  Enjoy this series of photos from USA Today from the animal kingdom.  They are laugh-out-loud funny.  Click here to view them.

 

GRACE NOTES: The Most Important Question a Person Will Ever Answer:  Who is Jesus?

Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

MUSIC NOTES: 12.19.17

Merry Christmas from my Family to Yours!

(When this photo was taken at the mall in Abilene, TX, Michelle and I had been dating for about a month.  A lot of water under the bridge since then. I was 20.  She was 19. 🙂 )

 

 

THIS SUNDAY, DEC. 24th (Christmas Eve)

NOTE:  One Service at 10:30am (no SUMMIT groups; No Choir)

Choir will not sing: Dec. 24th; Dec. 31st; and Jan. 7th (rehearsals resume Wed., Jan. 10th)

Preacher:  Jason  (see primary text above: Micah 5:2)

 

BHBC Christmas Eve Worship Service:  6pm

Music will be led by our friends from Community Heights Church.  Jason will bring a brief message.

 

CHRISTMAS TIME IS HERE @ BHBC

If you missed this past Sunday’s Worship Services, here’s a recording of our Offertory.  I begin with a brief Christmas-themed medley before our talented Praise Band joins me in performing the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas Eve Sarajavo.

 

2nd floor (or 3rd floor if you consider the basement) now taking shape.  The tower on the left is the newly relocated west stairwell.  The tower in the middle is the extension for the elevator.  Finally, the tower on the right is the newly relocated east stairwell.  The staircases have been lowered into the new stairwells.  Most of the steel for the framing has been delivered.

 

 

Prepare to join me on Wed. evenings, beginning Jan. 10th, for our chapter-by-chapter study of the last book of our Bible.  God has much to tell us regarding “what [has been] seen, what is now and what will take place later.”  (1:19) We will take this learning experience slowly, studying approximately 1 chapter per week.  Over the Christmas/New Year holidays, in preparation for our scriptural journey together, read through this fascinating “revelation/unveiling” of Jesus Christ.  And then join me on Jan. 10th, at 6:30 in the Worship Center.  Nick

 

QUOTE of the WEEK

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE

A couple were busy shopping just before Christmas.

The wife suddenly noticed that her husband was missing and, as they had a lot to do, called him on his cell. She asked, “Where are you? You know we have a lot to do.” He replied, “Remember the jewelers we went into about 10 years ago, and you fell in love with that diamond necklace? I couldn’t afford it at the time and I said that one day I would get it for you?”

Tears started to flow down her cheek. Choked up, she said, “Yes…, I do remember.”

“Well, I’m in the gun shop next door to that.”

And a bonus…  (my favorite Far Side Christmas cartoon)

If you’re not able to make out the text at the bottom, it says, “Unbeknownst to most theologians, there was a fourth wiseman who was turned away for bringing a fruitcake.”

 

Sunday AM, Dec. 24th:  One Worship Service at 10:30 (No SUMMIT Groups)

Sunday PM (Christmas Eve), Dec. 24th:  Christmas Eve Worship Service at 6pm

Dec. 25th: Offices closed

Dec. 26th – 29th:  Offices open 9am – Noon

Sunday, Dec. 31st:  One Worship Service at 10:30 (No SUMMIT Groups)

Jan. 1st:  Offices closed

Jan. 7th:  Regular Sunday morning schedule resumes

Jan. 10th:  Choir rehearsal resumes

 

GRACE NOTES:  Bethlehem Happened for One Reason:  Calvary

carpenter shop cross

Read the blog here.

 

Soli Deo Gloria & Merry Christmas, Nick

MUSIC NOTES: 12.12.17

THIS SUNDAY, Dec. 17th

Choir:  Festival of Hymns & Carols (the one with the Hallelujah Chorus)

Preacher:  Jason (primary text is Isaiah 7:14)

ADULT CHOIR NEWS

THANK YOU for your tireless work and prayer, all of which made for a wonderful and powerful musical celebration of Christ’s birth this past Sunday.  Far too many compliments were shared to list here.  Suffice it to say – Christ used you mightily

ALSO:  NO REHEARSAL Dec. 13, 20, 27, or Jan. 3rd.

IS MOVING THE U.S. EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM RELATED TO BIBLICAL PROPHECY?

This past week, in light of recent news, I was asked the following question:  “I would like to know if Pres. Trump’s deal to make Jerusalem the capital of Israel has anything to do with prophesy of the end times.”

I am very careful when talking/teaching about biblical prophecy.  As with the nearing of Y2K (remember that?), preachers and pundits were spouting off all kinds of irresponsible interpretations of scripture.  Some comments made by religious leaders about moving our embassy to Jerusalem have produced more of the same; or, as one editorialist described, “one more example in a long line of Christians saying stupid things that make the rest of us look bad.”

Here was my response to the question I was asked:

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem by Trump has no connection with specific biblical prophecy. However, it has what I like to refer to as biblically prophetic implications due to the event being a “first of its kind” with regard to Israel i.e. Trump is the first sitting U.S. president to (1) visit Israel on his first trip abroad, (2) visit the Temple Mount Western Wall, and (3) recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Additionally, moving the embassy to Jerusalem exacerbates an already present hatred of Israel by the Arab nations who are relentlessly looking for any reason to wipe Israel from the face of the global map.

Let me be crystal clear:  Does the information in the above paragraph have any connection to specific biblical prophecy.  No.  You won’t find any doomsday predictions here.  Does the Bible clearly state that Israel will play a primary role in the return of Christ?  Yes.  So should any global news related to Israel be of interest to believers.  I believe it should.  (The fact that, in May 1948, Israel became a recognized state for the first time in 2500 years when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem, is, I believe, of tremendous significance.)

Now, back to last week’s news…

The controversy surrounding the move of the embassy to Jerusalem dates back decades. A law passed in 1995 under the Clinton administration considers Jerusalem the capital, and even mandates the move of the embassy there. But no sitting president has had the courage to actually follow through with it due to fear of opposition and intimidation from Middle Eastern Arab states. (The UN is in full panic mode and has called for an emergency meeting.) One editorial stated, “There was a time when 16 countries maintained their embassies in Jerusalem. Succumbing to Arab pressures, however, they relocated their embassies to Tel Aviv, where the U.S. and other countries have long kept their embassies.”

Israel is almost always in the news. (Prime Minister Sharon described the Temple Mount as “the most volatile square kilometer on the planet.”) But, because of how the Bible describes Israel’s role in end-times prophecy, any news that centers around Israel on a global scale (such as last week’s news) should be watched closely.

I could offer much more commentary but this is already too much :))

These are exciting times. God is “moving the chess pieces into place.” And one day the trumpet will sound as God says “checkmate.”

As Jesus, himself, said about his imminent return – keep watching; keep praying.

Maranatha, nw

POPE FRANCIS & THE LORD’S PRAYER

Both mainstream and social media exploded last week in reaction to the publication of a conversation between Pope Francis and a Catholic prison chaplain regarding one line in the “model prayer” (commonly called the “Lord’s Prayer”) cited by Jesus in both Matthew’s & Luke’s gospels.  (You can read the context of the story from the National Catholic Reporterhere.)  Rather than  link an article for you here, simply google “Pope and the Lord’s Prayer” and you’ll find all the news you care to read about it.

So, is the Pope really – actually – suggesting we rewrite a line in the Bible?

The National Catholic Register quickly came to the Pope’s defense with an editorial entitled, “No, Pope Francis Is Not Changing the Lord’s Prayer.”   While I agree with part of the Register’s defense of the Pope, I must disagree with some of it as well.  Even if the Register is correct and the Pope had no intention of rewording the Lord’s Prayer, it’s the Pope’s commentary on the passage with which I take issue.  The Pope states,

It’s me who falls. It’s not Him who pushes me into temptation, as if I fell. A father doesn’t do that. A father helps you to get up right away. The one who leads into temptation is Satan.

At first glance, this seems perfectly logical.  Certainly, Satan is the tempter – not God.  Jesus’ half-brother, James, wrote, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.” (James 1:13).  However, God – for His own sovereign reasons – can, and will, permit us to be led into tempting circumstances – which is precisely why Jesus chose to word the model prayer the way he did.  After all, Luke records in his gospel in chapter 4, verses 1-2: Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.” (emphasis mine)

There is much in the Register article about the accuracy of the English translation of “lead us not into temptation”.  This I can tell you:  as far as the modern English translation of Jesus’ words, “do not lead us into temptation,” goes – the phrase is an extremely accurate and responsible translation based on the oldest and most reliable manuscripts.  And, as cited above, Jesus’ words complement fully the passage found in Luke 4.

I read one headline that claimed the Pope’s reason for his comments was because the idea of God “leading us into temptation” makes God “look bad.” After researching, I cannot find that article – so it may well be the Pope never said that.  But, while we’re here, let’s address a statement like that. That logic would necessitate the rewording – or removing – of many passages in the Old Testament.  For example: God ordering the annihilation of Israel’s neighboring tribes, or God’s “hardening of Pharaoh’s heart,” not to mention the entire doctrine of an eternal hell reserved for those who reject faith in Christ.  One is faced with the ultimate question: “Where do we draw the line in rewording biblical passages where, based on human opinion, God looks bad.”

“We preach Christ crucified,” Paul wrote.

Focus on the cross – not on passages that, in myopic human opinion, cast God in a bad light.In sum, whether the Pope’s words were taken out of context or not; whether he really did mean that we should reword part of the Lord’s Prayer or not…

With my utmost respect for my Catholic friends: Pope Francis (and anyone else unsatisfied with the accurate wording of the Bible) – don’t be “led into temptation” to mess with God’s Word.  nw


The holidays can be magical. But, they can be just as much – or more – stressful. I sometimes sing to myself, “It’s the most anxious time of the year..”

Satan is deftly skilled at using panic and stress to make us forget the most elementary things of God – at least he has done that with me. So allow me to offer a very quick reminder of what is true.

Isaiah wrote, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose mind is fixed on You.” (26:3) The Hebrew imagery for “perfect peace” is the idea of the stillness of the ocean floor while a hurricane rages on its surface.

Jesus is whispering to you, “I’ve got this.” nw

LOOKING AHEAD:  HOLIDAY CHURCH CALENDAR

Sunday AM, Dec. 24th:  One Worship Service at 10:30 (No Small Groups)

Sunday PM (Christmas Eve), Dec. 24th:  Christmas Eve Worship Service at 6pm

Dec. 25th: Offices closed

Dec. 26th – 29th:  Offices open 9am – Noon

Sunday, Dec. 31st:  One Worship Service at 10:30 (No Small Groups)

Jan. 1st:  Offices closed

QUOTE of the WEEK

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE 🙂

Q:  What does Santa suffer from if he gets stuck in a chimney?

A:  Claustrophobia

Q:  What kind of motorbike does Santa ride?

A:  A Holly Davidson

Q:  What do you call Santa’s little helpers?

A:  Subordinate clauses

GRACE NOTES:  Being on the Receiving End of Gossip

I received a call last week from a distraught friend who’d just discovered some horrible – and untrue – things said about them.  As I counseled them as to what to do (and not to do) I was reminded of this blog I wrote some time back.  Perhaps someone needs to be, this week, reminded of these biblical principles where gossip is concerned.  You can read the blog here.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

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