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

Archive for January, 2015

MUSIC NOTES: 1.27.15

THIS SUNDAY, 2/1

Choir: “Great & Mighty”
Preacher: Jim Gerlt

 

REHEARSAL INFO

Praise Team: 6pm in the Worship Center

Adult Choir: 7:15pm in the CHOIR ROOM behind the Choir Loft

Handbells: Sundays: 4pm.

 

SUNDAY EVENINGS TEACHING/PREACHING SERIES – NICK WATTS – LAUNCHING FEB. 15th

It would be impossible to describe to you here what I have learned these past months while pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Apologetics from Houston Baptist University.  So, having received the love, blessing and support from the entire BHBC Staff, I will begin a ministry of preaching & teaching on Sunday evenings, beginning Feb. 15th.

The call God has place upon my heart to proceed with this particular ministry is intense. I shared with the staff that, like Jeremiah, the conviction to teach/preach has become akin to a “fire shut up in my bones.”  As such, in order to introduce my opening series, Jim has graciously allowed me to preach on Sunday morning, Feb. 15th, with the series beginning that evening.  I hope you will be able to attend.  Because I cannot wait to tell you what I have to tell you. 🙂

 

REGION 17 SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT: UPDATE (For those unable to attend last Sunday)

This past Sunday morning I shared with our church family a miracle that took place following my speaking engagement last Wed., 1/21, at the Lubbock Civic Center.  For those who were  unable to attend Sunday, I’ve printed the “miracle” in the link immediately below.  The photo was snapped follwoing one of the sessions.  These two wonderful students are from Seminole High School.

http://nickwattssoulfood.com/2015/01/27/that-man-who-lost-his-son/

Summit Conference

 

A DISCOVERY OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS – ARCHAEOLOGY

The period of time between the originals (autographs) of ancient literature and the earliest extant copies (manuscripts) is of great significance when scholars are investigating and determining the authenticity of the manuscripts. The Bible outdoes other ancient literature by a quite amazing distance. And this discovery (linked below) simply reinforces the Bible’s authenticity for those who might otherwise question it. (I’m actually presently studying this precise topic in one of my classes at HBU.)

This discovery is actually a couple of years old, but it’s making news again as scholars are preparing to make the finding public. I’ve included a second link to some commentary made by Dr. Daniel Wallace, a scholar at Dallas Theological Seminary.

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2015/01/22/mummy-mask-papyrus-may-reveal-oldest-known-gospel/

http://www.dts.edu/read/wallace-new-testament-manscript-first-century/

 

“GOD, ARE YOU OUT THERE?” RABBI YOSEF BITTON THINKS SO.

http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/recognizing-the-creator-of-the-cosmos-as-the-god-of-history/2015/01/15/

 

FOR YEARS I PLEADED WITH GOD TO MAKE ME STRAIGHT, SO WHY DID MY PRAYERS GO UNANSWERED?

This is excellently written, and powerfully communicated.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/for-years-i-pleaded-with-god-to-make-me-straight-so-why-did-my-prayers-go-unanswered-133098/

 

COLLABRO

Sometimes, I will swing by the nearest coffee shop to study, enjoy a warm beverage, and visit with the locals. Recently, while studying, I kept hearing, in my opinion, absolutely beautiful male voices singing brilliant arrangements of Broadway songs and ballads.

Before I left, I asked who it was playing over the speaker system. I was told it was a group called Collabro. Presently, I can’t get enough of them. Winners of 2014 Britain’s Got Talent, they have a new album, Stars. I’ve almost worn it out.

Below are two sample videos: The first video is while they were still competing on “Britain’s Got Talent” – the song is a diminished version of “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables. The second video of them, after having won the “Britain’s Got Talent,” singing the beautiful, “Say Something.” To hear their back-story, Google their auditions on Britain’s Got Talent.  Enjoy.

 

I’VE STOPPED READING ALL THE “WHY (fill in the blank with a demographic) IS LEAVING YOUR CHURCH” BLOGS.

Apparently, I’m not alone.

I have grown weary of the ubiquitous blogs titled something like this: “Why 20-Somethings/Millennials are Leaving the Church.” While a few blogs – very few – offer some wisdom, 99% of them simply represent a single blogger’s biased opinion, resulting in a diatribe of said blogger’s personal grievances and gripes with the local church.

The blog linked below offers the exact response I’ve wanted to write but, alas, have not had the time to publish. The author, Whitney Capps, is spot-on.

If I were able to add one paragraph to Capps’ wisdom it would be this:

It’s not “a young pastor, a young staff, a hipster ethos, and/or cutting-edge technology that draws people.” (Believe me – I know MANY Sr. Pastors far older than I am who are being forced to create new space just to make room for the people of all ages attending.) The nano-second a church believes a personality is the answer to church growth is the moment God removes His mighty hand and, in essence, says, “You want to do this yourself? Have it your way.”  Quite the contrary – Jesus told us the answer to healthy, solid, biblical church growth: “And I, if I be lifted up I will draw all people to myself.” (Jn 12:32)

Here’s an excerpt of Capps’ article, followed by the link to the remainder of her blog:

[Excerpt begins] If I can glean anything from these open letters, it’s this–maybe people (my people, Millennials) are leaving the Church because we are spoiled, selfish, uneasily satisfied, hypercritical, consumeristic and socially enlightened but biblically light-weight….Here’s the thing, the Church’s existence doesn’t depend on Her success, relevance, statistics or Millennials. She has been preserved all these years by the grace and good pleasure of Jesus Christ. He sustains her. The Church’s challenges are not new. Believe it or not, generations have felt all your frustrations before. She has been irrelevant. She has been abusive. She has been wrong. She has been myopic. She has been manipulative, and yet He sustains Her. [Excerpt ends]

http://www.faithit.com/open-letter-people-writing-sharing-open-letters-whats-wrong-church/#.VMZC8dzEG3M.facebook

 

“THE KEY TO PRAYER IS SIMPLY PRAYING” (A.W. Tozer)

Reminder: BHBC will be open every Saturday at 5pm (unless notified otherwise) for prayer-walking.

prayer

 

QUOTE(s) of the WEEK

“A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere – ‘There are Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,’ as Herbert ways, ‘fine nets and stratagems.’ God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous.” – C.S. Lewis using his sharp-as-a-laser wit in “Surprised by Joy” – his story of his journey from atheism to Christianity – which was no simple journey. As he began reading Chesterton and MacDonald, Lewis chimed, “I did not know what I was letting myself in for.”

“Do not believe the gospel has been preached in Christ’s way if it does not make some angry and some happy.” – Charles Spurgeon

“Our own stories have meaning and value when we see them as part of a bigger story.” Alister McGrath

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE:

Common sense is like deodorant. The people who need it most never use it. – unknown

Also….

Cha-Cha

Mans Day & Womans Day

 

GRACE NOTES: “Why the Bible tells us, ‘Do not fear.”

Every Christian should read this most encouraging article by Philip Yancey.

Even with the atrocities of ISIS in view, there’s a reason God tells us, “Do not fear.”

http://nickwattssoulfood.com/2015/01/28/theres-a-reason-the-bible-tells-us-do-not-fear/

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

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MUSIC NOTES: 1.20.15

THIS SUNDAY, 1/25

Choir: “Great & Mighty”
Preacher: Jim Gerlt

 

REHEARSALS

Praise Team: 6pm in the Worship Center

Adult Choir: 7:15pm in the CHOIR ROOM behind the Choir Loft

Handbells: Rehearsal resumes this Sunday: 1/25; 4pm.

 

DEPRESSION: A STUBBORN DARKNESS

Wed., 1/21, I will be at Region 17 here in Lubbock speaking three times to regional high school students on the topic of depression. I would so appreciate your prayers. The conference is all day. However, I speak at 10:40am, 11:30am, and 1:45pm.

It is a sobering study to discover that, historically, some of the most effective pastors, preachers, and missionaries have suffered from depression – which proves that God truly is “made perfect in our weaknesses.”

 

UNITED KINGDOM – MARCH 1985

In 1985, our HSU Concert Choir toured England & Wales.  It was magical.  I recently stumbled across this photo, which only shows part of our choir.  Michelle was on this trip but, apparently, is with the rest of the group – probably at a pub.  🙂  Or, it’s quite possible she was taking the picture.

Me?  I’m standing front & center. To answer your question, yes – that’s my real hair. All of it. Closest I ever came to being James Bond.

HSU choir - 1985

 

YET ANOTHER REASON I’M GRATEFUL TO BE AT HBU…

Apologetics is a lot of things: theology, philosophy, teaching, dialoguing, preaching, thinking deeply. But its overriding goal is, as HBU professor/New Testament scholar, Dr. Jeremiah Johnston, decribes: “teaching Christians to become Thinkers and Thinkers to Become Christians.” The purpose of apologetics is not to “win an argument”, but rather to “win a person.”  Or, in a word: evangelism; reaching the lost by helping them sort/reason through whatever “roadblocks” remain between them and faith in Jesus Christ.

And this is precisely why I continue to be infused with joy and excitement as I watch what God is doing at Houston Baptist University. The link below describes HBU’s new Center for American Evangelism led by none other than Lee Strobel (The Case for Christ series), Mark Mittelberg, and Garry Poole.

How important, biblically, is evangelism (Literally: “to announce or bring good news”)?  Jesus said, And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”  (Matthew 24:14)

http://www.hbu.edu/Choosing-HBU/Academics/Colleges-Schools/School-of-Christian-Thought/The-Center-for-American-Evangelism.aspx

 

36 REASONS SCHOLARS KNOW JESUS EXISTED

Great resource for your files.

https://jamesbishopblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/36-reasons-why-scholars-know-jesus-really-existed/

 

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION IN 2014

Unbelievable…. Come, Lord Jesus. Maranatha!

http://www.religionnews.com/2015/01/07/persecution-christians-reached-historic-levels-2014-will-2015-worse/

 

WHO KNOWS WHAT YOU MIGHT FIND ON YOUR NEXT NATURE WALK?

Michelle and I love history. So, naturally, I found this article quite fascinating.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/01/15/132-year-old-winchester-rifle-found-propped-under-desert-tree/?cmpid=cmty_twitter_fn

 

“THE KEY TO PRAYER IS SIMPLY PRAYING” (A.W. Tozer)

prayer

BHBC open every Saturday at 5pm (until notified otherwise) for prayer-walking.

 

QUOTE(s) of the WEEK

“As you perhaps know, I haven’t always been a Christian. I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” – C.S. Lewis

“A friend will calm you down when you’re angry. But a best friend will stand beside you with a baseball bat shouting, ‘Someone’s gonna get it!” (anonymous)

In honor of this week’s Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, Dr. King once said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.” – Dr. Seuss

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE:

“What happens if you get scared half to death, twice??” – Larry the Cable Guy

 

GRACE NOTES: “Home Where I Belong”

Do you, as a believer, ever feel a longing for “something/somewhere beyond” what you can see? There’s a reason for that…

http://nickwattssoulfood.com/2015/01/19/home-where-i-belong-2/

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

MUSIC NOTES: 1.14.15

THIS SUNDAY, 1/18

Choir: “One of These Mornings”
Preacher: Jim Gerlt

 

“THE KEY TO PRAYER IS SIMPLY PRAYING”  (A.W. Tozer)

prayer

Where one prays make no difference to God i.e. your fervent prayer at home or at work is every bit as powerful there as in a chapel.  That said, we have begun opening the church every Saturday evening at 5pm for those who might enjoy “prayer-walking” through the various rooms, ministry departments, etc.  Frankly, some pray more effectively when there is as little distraction as possible – in other words, “prayer-walking” can actually make praying more difficult.  Others, however, enjoy it, discovering that walking through the church allows God to bring to mind specific requests for specific ministry depts.  The important thing is this:  pray, everyday.

“I fear the prayers of John Knox more than an army of 10,000 men.”  Mary, Queen of Scots

“As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given.”  (The angel, Gabriel to Daniel – 9:23)

 

REHEARSAL INFO

Praise Team: We resume rehearsals this evening, 1/18, at 6pm in the Worship Center

Adult Choir: We meet this evening, 1/18, in the CHOIR ROOM behind the Choir Loft; 7:15pm; Come ready to work – we’re going to be singing a LOT of music tonight.

Handbells: Next rehearsal: 1/25; 4pm.

 

GIVE ME JESUS

The past few days I have been involved in an ongoing online Facebook dialogue with many of my fellow music majors from our days at HSU. Reminiscing about some of our most beloved pieces we sang in Concert Choir, most of us agreed that Larry Fleming’s arrangement of the spiritual, Give Me Jesus, was one of our favorites. Via YouTube, I found a choir performing the exact arrangement from 2013. It. Is. Gorgeous. I can still remember singing the rich bass line as 60 of us “prayed” this prayer through music, both, here in the states on tours, and abroad in England & Wales. Find a quiet place. Relax. And enjoy.

 

7 HABITS OF CHRONICALLY UNHAPPY PEOPLE

Note that, taken from the Huffington Post, this article is not written from a biblical worldview. That said, addressing such vices as jealousy, fear, worry, control, and gossip, the principles stated here are, whether the author would like to acknowledge it or not, quite biblical. Striving for mere happiness is classic hedonism. A believer’s goal is to be like Christ (Romans 8:29) for, apart from Him, there is no true and lasting happiness & joy.  This article well represents the familiar statement:  “Regardless of if people profess their faith in Christ – if people would simply live according to what the Bible teaches the world would be a wonderful place in which to live.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tamara-star/7-habit-of-chronically-unhappy-people_b_6174000.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

 

WORSHIP LEADERS (each one of us) ARE THEOLOGIANS

“We are all called theologians just as [we are] all [called] Christians.” – Martin Luther, “Sermon on Psalm 5:17”

Ed Stetzer is the Executive Director of LifeWay Research Division, a prolific author, and well-known conference and seminar leader. The following excerpt is from his recent 3-part series “A Letter to my Worship Leaders.” My friends, we are all “worship leaders” i.e. the preacher, those helping with the musical worship, the greeters, those who lead in prayer, those who welcome, etc. It is incumbent on us all to take ourselves, as Christians, seriously where theology is concerned.

[Excerpt begins] Worship leaders are theologians, whether you claim to be or not.

I mentioned Colossians 3:16 earlier as a text that encourages song. In context, though, it is a little deeper. It begins, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” It is in that context that we sing together–steeped in the Word of God. You help shape the belief systems of the people under your leadership.

Know the Scriptures. Know what we believe as a church, and don’t try to take us to a place theologically we are not desiring to go.

Make sure your exhortations to worship are within the theological bounds and culture of the congregation. [Excerpt ends]

 

GOD ISN’T DEAD IN GOTHAM

A wonderful interview with Tim Keller, pastor of NYC’s Redeemer Church. Keller is one of my role models for preaching and pastoring. Article is from the Wall Street Journal.

http://nickwattssoulfood.com/2015/01/14/god-isnt-dead-in-gotham/

 

WHY YOU DON’T NEED GOD (CNN)

“My appreciation for life and its potential increased when I stepped away from my faith,” writes author, Ryan Bell.

This CNN article is not only intriguing, it is becoming more and more common as high-profile people continue to leave their faith. This topic requires a great deal of dialogue – space I do not have here in this brief newsletter. However, I thought you might enjoy reading the blog. It’s brief. Here’s your assignment: how would you respond to Mr. Bell if he were sitting across the table from you? (You can’t use “church answers.”) NOTE: I’ll be addressing this on a Sunday evening soon.  Last thing – you can scroll through the photos at the top of the article to see a number of celebrities who are atheists. I did not know this fact about many of them.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/08/opinion/bell-god-atheism/index.html

 

FROM HEALTHCARE SCIENCE…

No more, “Hmmm – where’s that vein?”, as the nurse pokes you another half dozen times.

http://www.medicaldaily.com/pulse/new-vein-finder-device-allows-nurses-see-exactly-where-they-can-draw-blood-313426

 

QUOTE(s) of the WEEK

“It is atheism to pray, and not wait on [God].” – 17th century British preacher, Richard Sibbes  (Saw this quote the other day in one of my books on the Protestant Reformation. The quote struck me to my core – because I am so very guilty of praying, and then not trusting God’s response.)

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE:

“Anytime four New Yorkers get into a cab together without arguing, a bank robbery has just taken place.” – Johnny Carson

 

GRACE NOTES: “Be a Sinner, and Sin Boldly….”

It’s a poisonous doctrine that has burdened people for centuries. And many died hoping to make certain we learned the truth, once and for all.

http://nickwattssoulfood.com/2015/01/14/be-a-sinner-and-sin-boldly/

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

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