Highlights from last week:
As I have visited with people this week, it seems like many felt Sam Ingrassia’s message was particularly timely and meaningful–partly because I think it is easy to picture ourselves as big, thick blocks of marble. (Picture Lucy yelling at Charlie Brown, “You blockhead!”) And I think, deep down, we all dream of becoming something significant like La Pieta—the sculpture Michelangelo carved of Mary holding Jesus that Sam referenced so many times in his message. And like Sam mentioned, the problem will always be transforming a big block of marble into a beautiful masterpiece. As Sam hit his chisel with his hammer from the pulpit, I think I heard other people audibly gasp, like I did, with each hit as we remembered certain painful strikes of the hammer in our own lives.
Bang. The hammer hit the chisel. A childhood hurt. Off came some marble.
Bang. A broken relationship. Off came another chip of rock.
Bang. A critical medical diagnosis. Bang. A sick or lost child. Bang. Physical pain. More chips explode from the impact.
Bang. A betrayal. Bang. A disappointment. Bang. A missed opportunity. Almost like the ticking of a watch go the hammer and chisel—reminding us of the clock-tower from Cinderella about to strike midnight–our time here on earth is limited. Why does it sometimes feel like each minute is filled with so much pain?
May I encourage you that God isn’t finished with you yet? And while you may be hurting from the impact of the chisel, your pain won’t last forever. He who began a good work in you will see you through each and every circumstance (Philippians 1:6).
And if you’re still here walking on this planet, no matter how old, how damaged, or how broken you feel, God still has a purpose for you, or you wouldn’t be here.
So don’t give up. All your pain. All. Of. Your. Pain. God sees it. All of it. Not one of your tears has gone unnoticed by our Savior. And as He wipes away all of your tears (Revelation 21:4), His gentle hand is smoothing out your rough spots. It may feel like sandpaper, but He’s using a polishing cloth made of diamonds. They’re sharp, but they’re the best at the job. And you’re worth it.
This week is a communion Sunday, and we will also be taking a benevolence offering. If you know of a member of the MBC body who is struggling with financial or other needs, you can apply for aid from this fund for them. Contact the church office (click here) for more information.
This Sunday night, there will also be a Community Praise and Worship service at Stonegate Church. Doors open at 5:30pm and the service starts at 6pm. The Revelation Family Bible study and the Y.A.M.s group (Young Adult Ministry) will also be meeting on Sunday evening. Pick one of these ways to “fill your spiritual fuel tank” before starting the work week!
If you’re new to the community at MBC, please consider joining us for our Discover MBC class this Sunday (2/9) and next Sunday (2/16) from 9-10:15am in the Hospitality room. Here you will get a closer look at our mission statement: To glorify God and make disciples by bringing people together through the Gospel and building up mature followers of Christ. You will also get to meet members of the church leadership team, and we’ll feed you breakfast! Register now on the website or call the church office to let us know you’re coming.
Mark your calendars for next Saturday, February 15th , and support our MBC Students as they host a Dinner/Comedy Showcase and silent auction to raise money for this year’s youth camp (June 20-27). Tickets are $5 a person, and you can sign up and pay on our website or you can purchase tickets at the door. Please join them for an evening of good food, fun, and fellowship. Contact Leah Austin (click here) in the MBC Students’ office for more information.
Sunday, February 23rd will feature a baptism at the end of the service. If you would like to publicly demonstrate your faith this way, please preregister on the website and a pastor will contact you.
Now I’m going to speak directly to our MBC women for a moment. First, we are offering two new “Fitness and Fellowship” classes led by Ginger Smith. Come check out our free low-impact strength and conditioning class on Tuesdays and the cardio/step class on Thursdays from 9-10am. If you resolved to get in better shape for the New Year and you’re starting to lose your motivation, come make new friends and get fit with us!
Second, our next MBC Women’s Coffee and Conversations will be in The Hub on Sunday evening, February 23rd, from 7-8:30pm. I know Elizabeth Reynolds, Linda Bevier, and Rachel Staalsen have something very special planned.
Last, don’t forget to get your tickets for our mini-retreat March 13-14 at the Hope 2020 Women’s Conference featuring Liz Curtis Higgs and Lysa Terkeurst at The Avenue Church in Waxahachie.
Finally, the next Family Meal Night will be Wednesday, February 26th and if you don’t want us to say, “No soup for you!” you had better register to attend on the website or in Realm so we have enough food. This “soup-themed” evening which will feature chicken noodle soup, tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, a salad, and pineapple upside-down cake for dessert. Come enjoy dinner before Wednesday night ministries with other members of the MBC family.
So remember, God is smoothing and polishing you into His Poema—His Masterpiece. You are His workmanship. Created for the good works He prepared beforehand for you (Ephesians 2:10). You are a prize sculpture in His art gallery. You are significant. Even when you’re experiencing the pain from the chisel, know that He’s holding you. Tightly. So the chisel goes where it’s supposed to. Your pain is not happening by accident. He won’t ever let you go. And someday He’ll hold you again when we meet Him face-to-face, and He welcomes us home with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21-23).
In service to Him and to you,
Highlights from last week:
I hope you were able to join me in listening to Pastor Matt’s convicting message “Come and See—Part 2” about John 4 and the woman at the well. It included special music by David and Cindy Cox, MBC missionaries who will soon be returning to Brazil, and a special testimony from Amber Knott. If you missed it, you can find it online in our sermon archives area under “Resources”on the main page. There are also many other helpful bits of information and tools on our website including a link to create a RightNow Media account, a short gospel presentation you can share with someone who might be searching, a link for electronic giving, and a list of upcoming events. You can even find the “Weekly Update” under “Resources—MBC Family News”! If you haven’t seen our website recently, check it out! Our IT specialist, Sherri Hatcher, has done a great job creating a useful and beautiful site.
This past Sunday, we had the highest attendance since Mike and I came on staff in July! 351 people were in the Sunday morning service! Thank you again for moving to the middle of the rows to make room for larger families and those arriving after the service begins. Thank you also for all you do to make our visitors feel welcome!
In addition to having large numbers at our Sunday service, we had a busy week of activities! The MBC Women’s ministry kicked off their study of the book Do You Love Me? By Debbie Swindoll and it’s not too late for you to join! Peggy Arendsee facilitates this intergenerational study which meets on Wednesday mornings from 9:30-11am. We provide childcare and a light breakfast, so you’ve really got no excuse to stay home! Hope to see you tomorrow morning at 9:30am in the Hospitality room!
On Sunday night, MBC women of all ages enjoyed a fun night of BUNCO in The Hub! Congratulations for our winners: Anna Taylor (had the final BUNCO), Courtney Rushing (most BUNCOs), and Angel Flournoy (most games won). Congratulations also to the biggest loser-Kay Parry–who lost almost every game and even rolled the lowest number during our roll-off. You might be last in the books, but you’re first in our hearts, Kay!!!
Last week also saw a successful Family Meal Night (although we missed you, Oma!) which served over 119 people a delicious taco dinner. Thank you to Donna Price and Kim Lewis for their amazing sopapillas and cinnamon vanilla ice cream! Thank you also to our team of servers which included LeeAnn and Rick Stover, Becky and Ron Sentz, Linda and Randy Pullen, Linda Lowry, Liz Jackson, Elizabeth Reynolds, Darlene Hardy, and the youth clean-up crew. (Please forgive me if I missed anyone.) You all were incredible. Our next Family Meal Night will be February 26th, so save the date. While we’re still deciding on a final menu, you can trust that it will be delicious.
Finally, it has been fun to see the response to the other new ministries MBC began offering this spring! Doug Arendsee has had a great turnout for his Engaging Mind and Culture group which meets on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8pm. You can check out his class anytime! And the Revelation Family Bible Study has been averaging more than 40 people each Sunday evening in the high school room. Note! This group is not meeting this Sunday night. However, students and seniors alike are welcome and encouraged to join us again on February 9th from 6-7:30pm in the high school room for this in-depth and scholarly study of the End Times.
On February 9th and 16th, we will have our next Discover MBC class. If you’re relatively new to MBC or you’ve been wondering about how to become one of our “member-partners,” please join Pastors Matt and Mike in the Hospitality room at 9am for a closer look at MBC’s vision, strategies for achieving that vision, and our leadership team. Please register on the website (click here) or in Realm since we will be providing materials and a light breakfast for those who attend. It will help us plan better if we know how many people are attending.
Mark your calendars for the MBC Students’ first ever Dinner & Comedy Showcase on February 15th from 5-7pm in the sanctuary. This will be their main fundraiser for the year to support their week of camp and other programming. (No yard sale this year! Sorry Pat Riggin!) Please come out to support them that evening. They will also have a silent auction, and I’ve heard Kim Lewis is donating two gallons of ice cream in your choice of flavor! It’s almost too good to be true! So bring your checkbooks and show our students some love by supporting them at this event. Sign up on the website or in Realm (click here), and contact Leah Austin (click here) if you have any questions or would like to help with the logistics of the evening!
February 23rd will be a baptism Sunday. Please preregister in Realm (click here) if you would like to take this step of publicly affirming your faith in Christ, and a pastor will contact you.
Our next MBC Women’s Coffee and Conversations evening will be Sunday, February 26th from 7-8:30pm in The Hub.
This will be hosted by Elizabeth Reynolds and Rachel Staalsen. So far it’s theme is a mystery, but I’m sure they have something fun in store. Also mark your calendars for the MBC Women’s Spring Mini-Retreat to be held at The Avenue Church in Waxahachie. We will be attending their Hope 2020 conference on March 13th and 14th as a group.
Tickets are $50 and the speaker on Saturday morning is Lysa TerKeurst. Purchase your tickets online by clicking here. There is no reserved seating, but they have agreed to set aside a special section for the women of MBC. We already have over 40 women who will be attending. If you have not already purchased your ticket, please do so and let the church office know so we can set aside plenty of seats for women from our church to be together.
Other items of interest:
Did you know that we’re growing Y.A.M.s here at MBC?!?! Not the sweet potato kind, but the Young Adult Ministry kind! This group is for current college students and graduates as well as young professionals wanting fellowship, Bible study, and service projects. They meet Sunday evenings at the Flournoy’s home from 6-7:30pm. Contact Corbin Wadkins (click here) for more information.
The Sunday morning women’s LIFE group will be beginning a study of Revelation on February 16th led by Lynette Green. They would love to have you join them from 9-10am in room A104.
Scott and Rebecca Taillon’s Sunday morning LIFE group will be starting a study of couples of the Old Testament. They would love to have you join them upstairs in room A201.
Scott BeVier’s class in room A101 will soon begin a study of the book of Judges with a focus on the character of Gideon! If you don’t already attend a Sunday morning LIFE group, come check out one of these!
In service to Him and to you,
Have you been setting your alarm to remind you to pray for an opportunity to share the gospel with one person in 2020, that one person would come to faith in Christ in 2020, and that God would be preparing one person for you to disciple in 2021? It’s a good challenge!
It reminds me of when Mike and I were first married, and we were working with the youth group at the Reese AFB Chapel in Lubbock. I had been meeting with three high school girls regularly for Bible study and prayer, and I thought I had been making real progress. One night, we talked about where they would go if they died. We read verses from the Romans Road (I know, I’m dating myself), and I led them in the Sinner’s prayer. Then, they each voiced their faith in Jesus. I was ecstatic! I drove home from our meeting feeling on top of the world.
Until I got a call later that night from one of the girl’s mothers. She asked if I could write down the words of the prayer we prayed for her, so she and other members of their family could “pray the words that would make sure they got into heaven.”
If I had only asked the girls, “What are you seeking?” Then, I would have been able to discern better if they truly wanted to be disciples of Christ or were merely trying to obtain “fire insurance” that would protect them against going to hell. Yes, Jesus saves us from hell, but He also saves us TO a life with Him and all that comes along with that.
Live and learn.
- Family Meal Night is tomorrow! We hope you will join us from 5:30-6:30pm for tacos, nachos, sopapillas, and Kim’s famous Cinnamon-Vanilla ice cream. You don’t even have to stay for any of our Wednesday night programs to take part in the meal–although we certainly hope you will! I’m sure there’s a class that will help you connect better to the body here at MBC. We have classes for men, for women, one for parents, and–new this semester–is the class, “Engaging Mind and Culture”! Stick around after your tacos! Any one of those groups would love to have you!
- Also starting tomorrow is the MBC Women’s Wednesday Morning Bible Study! Peggy Arendsee will be facilitating a Bible study using the book Do You Love Me? by Debbie Swindoll. This study will explore our relationships with God and others, and we will provide childcare AND breakfast! Come from 9:30-11am tomorrow and connect with MBC women from all generations and walks of life.
The MBC Women’s Ministry will have its Coffee and Conversations: Game Night! this Sunday from 7-8:30pm! Don’t worry if you’ve been attending the Revelation study! Mike promised he’d end the bulk of the study by 7pm so we girls can all go over and play BUNCO together! Bring a snack to share and be ready to win! Those of you who’ve played BUNCO before know there’s even a prize for the biggest loser, so invite a friend or neighbor to come enjoy a fun evening of fellowship. Who knows? Getting them in the door of our church might just be helping them take their next steps in Christ!
If you are interested in possibly taking part in an MBC mission trip to Albania this summer, please stop by the Hospitality room after the service this Sunday for a short informational meeting. Email Mary Thomas (click here) for more information.
Dave and Cindy Cox are MBC missionaries with the Word of Life seminary in Brazil. They will have a table outside the sanctuary for you to visit them and find out more about their ministry. This is their last Sunday with us, so be sure to stop by and pick up one of their prayer cards!
The next Discover MBC class will be February 9th and 16th during the 9am Sunday School hour in the Hospitality room. If you’ve been wanting to take your next steps, e.g. becoming a church member/partner, please join Matt, Mike, and other church leaders to learn more about our mission and vision here at MBC.
We will be having a baptism on Sunday, February 23rd if you’d like to take this next step with Christ! Pre-register on the website (click here) or in Realm if you’re interested, and a pastor will contact you.
MBC Students will be putting on a Dinner & Comedy Showcase on Saturday, February 15th from 5-7pm. They will even have a silent auction! This is their only planned fundraiser for the whole group for the year, so I know they’d appreciate your participation in making the evening a success. Tickets are $5 each and you can purchase them on the website (click here) or in Realm. Email Leah Austin (click here) in the youth office for more information.
Finally, and I’ll just put it out there because statistics say that there are plenty of people who attend church regularly that haven’t put their faith in Christ, if you think being a disciple of Christ is just about escaping hell, come talk to one of the staff here at MBC. We want you to know our King and Savior. Life with Him is not always easy, but He will never leave you or forsake you. Jesus is so much more than a fire insurance policy. Come and Seek Him today!
In service to Him and to you,
Good afternoon all!
You may have noticed that this update is going out a little later in the week than usual… That’s because my college/young adult children have been home this week, and yesterday at 11pm we were just finishing up an intense game night with them and some of their friends (BTW-Don’t play the game Telestrations with an artist. That’s free advice.). A couple of years ago, I would have excused myself early in the evening to go work—even if that meant taking time away from family. Now I know better. Time with our children goes by so quickly; if you blink you miss it.
In my mind, this ties into the message that Pastor Matt gave this past Sunday. Just like you can sit back and parent without really being present in the lives of your children, you can sit back and be a spectator in your Christian walk. Showing up on Wednesday nights, occasionally giving to the church, and even filling a chair in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings are all good things, but they shouldn’t be the end-all of our Christian walk. This attitude of “spectating” is not for mature believers. Spectating can even lead to an “arm-chair quarterback” mentality. Our own Bill Curry told me just today, “It’s easy to criticize when you’re unhindered by experience and responsibility.”
Our 2020 vision here at MBC is: Pursue followership over spectatorship by growing disciples who make disciples. For our walk with Christ to be vibrant and growing, we must actively seek ways to get beyond the role of spectator. Only by truly following Christ on to the playing field of life can we help others take their next steps in Christ.
News from last week:
- If you didn’t notice, last Sunday’s service was PACKED. Being military, our family moved around a lot, and we visited many churches. Mike and I usually didn’t return to churches where people didn’t make room for our family of six to sit together. Even worse was when people assumed we’d be comfortable sitting where the empty seats were—you guessed it–right at the front of the church. No one who arrives a little late wants to sit there! So let’s be sensitive to our newcomers and larger families. Please move to the middle of your rows and leave the back corner rows empty.
- This past Saturday’s Colombia Chili Cook-Off raised over $3100 for the E3/MBC Colombia mission trip in June! Congratulations go to Gary “Spurs of Spice” Spurlock for winning the judged portion of the competition. Peggy “Who Knew that Gurl Could Cook Like That?” was a close second with her delicious white chicken chili. Dawn “The Dawn of a New MBC Chili Champion” Sanders won third place! And as I told you previously, you shouldn’t have counted Otto Weldy out just ‘cuz he was a young ‘un! That boy snagged our hearts and palates with his “Dr. Pepper Chili” which also won him the People’s Choice Award. Thank you to all who helped by setting & cleaning up, bringing desserts, and purchasing items from the auction. Who knew Kim Lewis’ ice cream would score the mission team over $400 during the auction! Or were those just some crazy number tricks to raise the bidding played by auctioneer extraordinaire, April Royal? I guess we’ll never know for sure.
- Finally, we had a GREAT turnout for the Revelation Family Bible Study—so much so that we’re going to move the study to the Senior High School room this week to make use of a larger projection screen for those who want to take notes. Mike will use also use a mike to better increase his chances of being heard. Please join us this Sunday from 6-7:30pm for an engaging time of Bible study! Contact Linda Hachat (click here) for more information.
- Please join friends of Grant Kunz here at MBC this Saturday from 6-9pm for the “Help Grant Kunz Rock His New Stem Cells” fundraiser. This catered event will feature BINGO and a silent auction. Contact Cindy Fearis (click here) for more information or to purchase a ticket.
- Our next Family Meal Night will be in one week from today–Wednesday, January 22nd – from 5:30-6:30pm and will feature tacos, nachos, sopapillas, and Kim Lewis’ famous ice cream. You won’t even need to shell out the cost of a small goat to try it here! Please make sure to register on the website (click here) or in Realm so we know how much food to prepare! ($5 per person, $10 max per family suggested donation).
- The MBC Women’s Ministry is gearing up for the spring by bringing you a new morning study (Do Love Me? by Debbie Swindoll) led by Peggy Arendsee. Join us Wednesday mornings starting January 22nd from 9:30-11am for great teaching from the Word, fellowship, and breakfast snacks. Childcare will be provided. Cost is $10 for the book and you can pay and preregister on the MBC website.
- The MBC Women will also be getting together on January 26th from 7-8:30pm for Coffee & Conversation around a fast-paced game of BUNCO! I picked up some GREAT prizes (LUSH cosmetics & huge food baskets) at “After Christmas” sales, and you won’t want to miss this time of fellowship and fun. Invite a neighbor and bring a plate of snacks to share. Call the church office for more information.
- The next Discover MBC class will be February 9th and 16th at 9am in the Hospitality room. If you’ve been wanting to make the jump from spectator to partner (member) here at MBC, this is a great opportunity to explore opportunities to minister, connect with the elders and pastoral team, and learn some of the specific aspects of our policies and doctrinal statement. We will provide a light breakfast both Sundays, so please preregister on the website so we have enough food for everyone!
Finally, as you get ready for the final football game of the season, make it your goal this week and for the rest of 2020 to be a true follower of Christ and not just a spectator! Get in the game of making disciples!
In service to Him and to you!
This week’s update will focus on the upcoming Colombia Chili Cook-Off this Saturday, January 11th from 4-7pm! The following people have already registered:
- Elizabeth “Tastiest Chili This Side of 287” Todd
- Mary and Bill Curry (aka. The Bonnie and Clyde of Chili)
- Andy “BESTWA to Make Chili” Perkins
- Doug “Packin’ the Heat” Roberts
- Stephanie “There’s No Chill in This Children’s Worker’s Chili” Vest
- Gary “Puttin’ the Spurs of Spice in That There Chili” Spurlock
- Former champion and MBC Chili Master, CL Smith
- Otto “Don’t Count Him Out Just Cuz’ He’s a Young ‘Un” Weldy
- “The Newcomer” Tabatha Bourgeois
However, we heard this may not be a complete list because some of you tried to register in Realm, but were unsuccessful. If your name is not on this list and you want to enter your chili, email Cathy Spurlock (click here) ASAP so we can make sure to reserve a spot for you at the judging table. Emailing Cathy will get you registered, and we will bestow a cool nickname on you for the competition!
- 4-4:30pm Entrants arrive with chili and serving utensils in hand
- 4:45pm Judging begins
- 5pm Feasting for the rest of us
- 5:30pm “Cooling of the Tongues” aka. Jeff Thompson shares the vision for Colombia
- 6pm Live auction. Items include an
- Apple TV and a brand new Keurig coffeemaker!
Finally, if you would like to help, but you can’t take the heat, Cathy still needs items for the live auction. Contact her if you or your business would like to donate an item. You can also bring a dessert to share for the dessert table.
Excited to be a part of the show!
Heather “I’m From Wisconsin and the Hottest Thing I Know is Melted Cheese, So I’m Bringing Brownies” Hogue