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

Archive for June, 2014

MUSIC NOTES: 6.25.14


CHOIR: “Arms of God Medley” – Also, with this Sunday being the last Sunday prior to July 4th (can you believe that?? Where did June go??), you’re going to hear an outstanding solo by Hanna Segrist as she sings our National Anthem.
NOTE: This Sunday, we will observe the Lord’s Supper



The above statement was made years ago by pastor/author, Rick Warren. And I completely agree with him. That is why I am THRILLED that this past week I was accepted by Houston Baptist University’s Graduate School to pursue a Master of Arts in Apologetics.

I shared with Jerry Joplin well over a year ago how God was moving in my life. He met with Personnel and I was given permission to pursue further schooling. I had intended to begin last Fall, but Jordan died and everything in my life came to a screeching halt.

“But God….” (I love that phrase.) But God, in love and grace, has, over this past year, used the unspeakable pain of losing my son to suicide to (1) strengthen my faith, and (2) intensify my desire to help strengthen the faith of all believers.

So, I began searching for the #1 degree in Christian Apologetics in the nation. And I found it. In Los Angeles at Biolo University. Biola had the absolute BEST theologians & defenders of the faith. I couldn’t wait. Then, Scott Willingham preached for Jerry this past March. Scott, a great friend and the Director of Evangelism for the BGCT, said to me, “You should consider HBU.” I replied, “Why??” He said, “Because they’re investing heavily in their Apologetics program – and they’re hiring all the professors from BIOLA!” Within weeks I had changed directions (geographically) and finished my application to HBU.

My friends, I will be taught by Lee Strobel (author of “The Case for Christ”), Dr. Mike Licona (one of the professors Strobel interviewed in his book, “The Case for the Real Jesus”), and the man many consider to be the foremost Christian apologist on the planet, Dr. William Lane Craig. Following my completion of the Masters degree (which I am able to take completely online), I will have the opportunity to consider a Ph.D. in further theological training. We’ll see. 🙂

Interestingly, it was apologetics that saved me from “falling off the cliff” where my faith was concerned in those early days following Jordan’s death. In those early, quiet, lonely days – as much as I did NOT want to believe there was a loving God – I could not escape the very truths I had taught to both students & adults for decades: the order of the cosmos, the intelligent design of the human body, the reliability of the Scriptures, the historicity of Jesus, and the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. As much as my flesh wanted to abandon my faith, I found myself, like Simon Peter, confessing to Christ, “Lord, where else is there to go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)

This particular discipline of study is HUGE where “millennials” are today (“millennials” fall into the age category of 20-something’s & even early 30’s). Apologetics, simplified, is “knowing why you believe what you believe.” For today’s 20-something’s (and a rapidly growing part of America), that’s huge. Millennials are not content with being told something is true just because grandma or a preacher said it’s true. They are thinkers. They tend to question everything (like me). But their questions are GREAT questions! They’re open to spiritual things – including the Gospel! They’re intrigued by Jesus. All they want is for someone to listen to their questions/objections and intelligently visit with them without getting defensive or ugly. Apologetics gives one the tools to do just that. It helps a believer take sound, biblical theology and communicate it to everyone from the seeker, to the skeptic, to the one hostile toward Christianity. In addition, it gives one the tools to help strengthen the faith of fellow Christians – which is exactly what God did for me as my faith lay beaten & crippled following my son’s death.

Dr. William Lane Craig (whom I mentioned before) rightly said, “By laying aside our best weapons of logic and evidence [for the Bible being true], we ensure modern secular culture’s triumph over us. If the church adopts this course of action, the consequences in the next generation will be catastrophic…. A robust natural theology [evidence for God in nature] may well be necessary for the gospel to be effectively heard in Western society today [today’s millennials]…. Properly understanding our culture is important because the gospel is never heard in isolation. It is always heard against the background of the current cultural [context]…. It is the broader task of Christian apologetics to help create and sustain a cultural [context] in which the gospel can be heard as an intellectually viable option for thinking men and women.” The above argument by Craig is exactly why millennials are drawn to the logic of great Christian thinkers such as C.S. Lewis. (I will be taking an entire semester class on Lewis.)

I am scheduled to begin this Fall. 🙂



Great article here by astrophysicist, Hugh Ross. How old is the earth, really? It all comes down to how one interprets the Hebrew word for “day” in Genesis 1. For those certain it was six twenty-four hour days, you need to understand that there is as much biblical support for the earth being billions of years old as there is for the earth being relatively “young”, around 10,000 years old. Bottom line – none of us were there so we just don’t know. The “age of the earth debate” is forever old. Furthermore it’s a “non-essential” where faith in Christ is concerned. Like the “end of the world,” “the beginning of the world” falls under the “no one knows for certain” category. I like what one of my favorite theologians, Dr. Wayne Grudem, said (Grudem leans toward 24-hour days in Gen. 1, but quickly admits that no one can know for certain): “With respect to the length of days in Genesis 1, the possibility must be left open that God has chosen not to give us enough information to come to a clear decision on this question.” Here’s the article about Hugh Ross and his opinion:



Choir: NO mid-week/Wed. rehearsals until late August. HOWEVER, we will meet each Sunday in the Choir Warm-Up Room at 8:45am to rehearse that morning’s song (a piece familiar to everyone), and take a few minutes to rehearse a song for the following week.

Praise Team: We will continue to rehearse on Wed. evenings unless notified otherwise.


GOT QUESTIONS? (Bible-Learning Resource)

FYI – Solid resource for all your Bible questions. At least the answers will get you started on the right path and offer solid food-for-thought. Get learning! 



The Watts family will be enjoying some time away. Dr. Chae will be leading in both Worship Services on Sunday, July 6th.



“If your Christianity depends (solely) upon a pastor’s preaching, then you’re a long way from being where you should be.” A.W. Tozer

“Bitter divisions among Christians give the world the justification they’re looking for to disbelieve the gospel.” Francis Schaeffer

“Even duct tape can’t fix stupid. But it can muffle the sound.” Anonymous


LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE: “Differences Between Men & Women”

A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs. A woman will pay $1 for a $2 she doesn’t need, but is on sale.

A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments, romances, favorite foods, best friends, secret fears, hopes and dreams. A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.


GRACE NOTES: “The Daily Grind of Faith”


Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

MUSIC NOTES: 6.10.14


Choir: ?? (Hyung Sek Chae will be directing; see next news item)
Preacher: Jim Gerlt



I will be in Abilene this coming Sunday, 6/15, helping lead the BGCT sponsored “Super Summer” on the HSU campus. The camp begins on Monday. However, all Executive Staff must report on the 14th. I will be lifting you to Christ! Please do the same for me. It’s one of the most exhausting – and rewarding – weeks of my year.





Choir: NO mid-week/Wed. rehearsals until late August. HOWEVER, we will meet each Sunday in the Choir Warm-Up Room at 8:45am to rehearse that morning’s song (a piece familiar to everyone), and take a few minutes to rehearse a song for the following week.

Praise Team: We will continue to rehearse on Wed. evenings unless notified otherwise.



I preached this sermon on April 3, 2011, here at BHBC in Bro. Jerry’s absence. I refer to Jordan at the 3:45 mark – he was in the audience. Now, even after Jordan’s death, I believe the truth of God’s love – if possible – more than I did then. “The Lord gave; and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be His name.” (Job 1:21)


GOT QUESTIONS? (Bible-Learning Resource)

FYI – Solid resource for all your Bible questions. At least the answers will get you started on the right path and offer solid food-for-thought. Get learning! 🙂



The term “spiritual warfare” became a hot catch-phrase back in the early 90’s with the publishing of Frank Peretti’s “This Present Darkness.” Make no mistake – there is a battle going on. But, we need to understand this battle from a sound, biblical perspective.


HEAVEN IS 4 REAL (but be careful to make the Bible your sole authority for what heaven is and isn’t)

GREAT blog by the foremost Christian apologist of our time, Dr. William Lane Craig.


“THE HEAVENS DECLARE THE GLORY OF GOD” (Psalm 19:1) – God is awesome…..

“When I look up into the night skies and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you have made— I cannot understand how you can bother with mere puny man, to pay any attention to him! And yet you have made him only a little lower than the angels and placed a crown of glory and honor upon his head.” Psalm 8:3-5 (TLB)  (Click on the link below) 🙂



I’ve watched this video multiple times now.  Enjoy 🙂



The Red Raider Baseball team is heading to the College World Series (always held in Omaha, NE) for the first time in school history! WRECK’EM!!


D-DAY, 1944 & 2014 – Normandy, France – “Then & Now”

Powerful “then & now” photos:


QUOTE OF THE WEEK (I’m including four quotes, actually.)

“Hold everything earthly with a loose hand; but grasp eternal things with a death-like grip.” Charles Spurgeon

“The key to prayer is simply praying.” A.W. Tozer

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” Mark Twain



In honor of Father’s Day, here’s something to remind all dads that our kids are always listening to what we say:

After the church service a little boy told the pastor, “When I grow up, I’m going to give you some money.”

“Well, thank you,” the pastor replied, “but why?”

“Because my daddy says you’re one of the poorest preachers we’ve ever had.”


GRACE NOTES: “Church? Not For Me.”

More & more folks are living by this ideal. How do we respond? With love.


Soli Deo Gloria, Nick



Choir: “Shine On Us”
Preacher: Jerry Joplin



Choir: NO mid-week/Wed. rehearsals until late August. HOWEVER, we will meet each Sunday in the Choir Warm-Up Room at 8:45am to rehearse that morning’s song (a piece familiar to everyone), and take a few minutes to rehearse a song for the following week.

Praise Team: We will continue to rehearse on Wed. evenings unless notified otherwise.



David Taylor, a member of BHBC, approached me a few weeks back and asked if I would write an article for the Metro Leader. You should receive a hard-copy of the paper in your mail. But, in the event that you don’t, here is the web edition:



The publishers of the soon-to-be-released “Modern English Bible” (coming Fall 2014) state it’s “the most modern word-for-word translation produced since the King James tradition within the last 30 years.” In my opinion, they’re overstating the “modern” part (they want to sell bibles), but based on what I’ve read so far, the MEV does appear to be a solid translation. And I’m all for making the Bible more readable & understandable to the masses – whatever it takes.

From the early 17th century until the mid-20th century (some 350 years), there was only one widely read translation: the KJV. Even into the 1970’s, a preacher could say, “Everyone please turn to Galatians 2:20,” and everyone’s Bible would read the same. But that was then. Today is different. Much different. Multiple Bible translations have exploded onto the landscape.

Quick Lesson on Bible Translations: First of all, since the original autographs (original manuscripts) are no longer in existence, ALL biblical manuscripts in human possession are translations of the originals. (In other words, there’s nothing “holier” about the KJV than any other reliable translation.  Jesus didn’t speak in King James English. 🙂 ) That said, in modern times the two major categories you’ll read about when reading the Introductions to most Bibles are (1) Formal Equivalence, and (2) Dynamic Equivalence – “formal” focusing on “literal/word-for-word” translation (examples: ESV, KJV & NASB), and “dynamic” focusing on “modern readability/phrase-for-phrase” translation (examples: NLT, CEV & TEV). One other category comprises those translations that fall somewhere in the middle of “formal” & “dynamic”. This last category of translation strives to find an optimal balance between biblical accuracy and modern readability. Examples are: NIV & HCSB. All of the categories of translations mentioned here are translated using the best and most reliable manuscripts, but with different primary objectives in mind.

FYIThe Living Bible is not a translation, but a paraphrase of the American Standard Version. The Message is an actual translation – not a paraphrase – into idiomatic English (the way we actually tend to speak and think.) A brief preview of the MEV is below.



It’s always disturbed me at how many Christians can’t begin to explain how we got the very book on which we base our beliefs. This Fall, I will do a Preaching/Teaching Series on “How We Got the Bible.” It is a FASCINATING story that is sprinkled with the blood of many martyrs who have died so that the Bible might be passed along to us today. In way of introduction, should you be interested, below is a link to a wonderful “coffee table type” book on this topic with stunning photographs. Enjoy



I haven’t attended a Southern Baptist Convention in decades. But, this month in Baltimore, MD, at their annual meeting, the SBC is being forced to “draw a line in the sand” in regard to the convention’s biblical stance on same-sex marriage. Why? Because a Southern Baptist Church in L.A., based on a recent experience by their pastor, now affirms same-sex marriage. I have no doubt that one day, perhaps in our lifetime, the act of speaking against homosexuality will constitute a “hate crime” worthy of prosecution. Until that day, though (and following), we are called to “speak the truth in love.” As you well know, speaking truth won’t make you popular. Jesus was executed for speaking truth. And Paul asked the Galatians, “Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (4:16)

One of the public figures today not shying away from truth is Dr. Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, KY. He has written a sound, biblical and passionate blog in light of the SBC annual meeting. What he has to say applies not only to the SBC reps, but to believers everywhere.

Right now, believers – if they choose to – can do their best to sidestep the issue of homosexuality/same-sex marriage. But, eventually, every single believer will be forced to align themselves with what they believe regarding this divisive issue. Make no mistake, the issue is NOT whether or not to love & embrace homosexuals. The issue is whether or not to love & embrace homosexuality.

Below are two blogs/articles. The first is the one described above. The second is really, in my opinion, far more critical. Matthew Vines is a 24 year old “openly gay Christian” giving all his time and energy to convincing the world that, for millennia, we’ve been misinterpreting the Bible where homosexuality is concerned. Normally, this would be of no real concern. Heretics have been around for millennia, as well. However, a person as intelligent as Vines has the ability to make his case very compelling. And, social media gives folks like him the ability to state his case with lightning speed. Here’s the danger: since evangelical Christians, in large part, tend to be “abysmally ignorant of the Bible” (as one Bible professor described), they’re listening to Vines and considering his arguments.

I have a close relative who is lesbian. I love her with all my heart, and she knows it. I would do anything in the world for her – but I won’t rewrite Scripture for her, or anyone else who’s uncomfortable with what the Bible says.

Satan’s been rewriting God’s Word since Genesis 3. So this is nothing new. But, just as the Old Testament prophets, as well as Jesus, Himself, we must stand up for truth. The second blog does just that.



Jim & Judy are in Japan right now representing the City of Lubbock. The time difference is 14 hours ahead. They’ll be back next week.



“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.” Mark Twain (I’ve known a few people who follow this thought process!)


GRACE NOTES: “The Hardest Prayers to Pray”


Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

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