Good afternoon, MBC Friends and Family!

If you were participating in the live-stream of our service yesterday, you probably noticed that the sermon cut off abruptly. It wasn’t you or your computer! It was a problem with our internet provider. Sherri Hatcher, our IT administrator, has already started working to fix this recurring issue, and thankfully Ryan was able to piece a complete service together, so you wouldn’t have to miss the end of Matt’s message–“Growing in the Church.” Click here or copy and paste the link below into your browser window to watch the service in its entirety:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDAu1_TkLsU

More information of note–

 

There’s an app for that!

  • Next Sunday, we will be launching a new resource for you to use–our own MBC custom app! From this app, you will be able to view sermons, give online, see our church-wide calendar, receive updates and texts, and much more! You can wait until Sunday, but if you want to get a jump on the rest of the congregation, go download the app now! Search the App Store or Google Play on your phone for “Midlothian Bible Church” and try it out! We think you’re going to love it!

 

 

  • Remember to go to our website and click on the “Resources” tab to download materials to help you celebrate the Advent season with your family!

 

  • Next Sunday, December 2nd, is the last Sunday we will be distributing tags for those who want to participate in Manna House’s Angel Tree project. Please return your unwrapped items no later than Wednesday, December 6th!
  • Donate unwanted or unused Christmas cards to the Venus Prison Ministry for offenders to use to send Christmas messages to their families. Leave your cards in the church office and I will get them to Bill Curry! If you want to help assemble gift bags for the 1100 inmates at the Sanders Estes Correctional Facility in Venus, join us in the high school room at 9am on Saturday morning, December 19th. Click here to let me know if you’re planning to come!
  • December 16th will be the last time Wednesday evening groups will meet in 2020.  All groups will resume on January 9th at 6:15pm. There are some great new studies starting in the new year! We hope you will be able to join one!
  • The church office will be closed Monday, December 21st through Sunday, January 4th. 
  • Our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service will be Thursday, December 24th at 5:30pm. Mark your calendars now for this family-friendly service!
  • PRAISE!!! Thank you for praying for Zeke’s mom! At last update, she was doing somewhat better! However, please remember to keep the Law family in your prayers, as well as all of those still struggling with COVID right now.

Enjoy the sunshine on this beautiful afternoon and remember that even though Thanksgiving is formally over, it is still… “a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord and to sing praises unto Thy name, O most High” (Psalm 92:1 KJV)!

In service to Him and to you,
Heather Hogue

weekly update – 10-22-2020

This update will be a little out-of-order, but we wanted everyone to know that since the forecast is for beautiful weather this weekend, we decided to jump on the opportunity to have ONE OUTDOOR SERVICE THIS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25th AT 10:30am! (No family service!) Bring lawnchairs and an awning if you have them, but know that we will have extra chairs on hand if you don’t bring your own!  We have posted the lyrics for the songs on our website (click here), but we will also have paper copies on hand for you to use. Finally, here is the link for the livestream in case you’d prefer to watch from home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocqjBwo1lh4

Noteworthy

Community Outreach Opportunities

  • The North Texas Food Bank will be having its first-ever Mobile Pantry in Midlothian here in the MBC parking lot on Friday, November 6 from 9-11am.  If you or anyone you know could benefit from some free fresh produce and groceries, please stop by!  Feel free to tell others since there are no residency or income requirements to receive a box!  Also, we still need volunteers to direct traffic and pass out food.  However, you MUST preregister and sign up at the following link: https://ntfb.volunteerhub.com/event/index/12661722  If your schedule allows, we would love you help in serving the community this way!
  • Don’t forget that MentorsCare needs adult mentors for at-risk high school students at Midlothian Heritage High School.  See the table in the Hub for an application or call the church office for more information.  If enough people from MBC sign up to be mentors, they do a training here for all of us at once, so let me know by clicking here if you’re interested!

MBC Kids

  • Starting the following week on November 1st, we will be going back to one service at 10:30am, and we will offer Children’s Church to our elementary-age congregants!  Please be on the look out for new registration procedures, as children will need to check in before the service begins—NOT in the middle of the service as they did before.  We still need volunteers to be able to offer Sunday School for children at the old time of 9am, so if you feel led to serve as a Sunday School teacher or as a Children’s Church helper, please let Lydia Weldy know by clicking here.

MBC Students

  • Just a reminder to join Tyler Larson for his “How to Study the Bible” series on the book of Ephesians in the Hospitality room from 9-10am Sunday mornings.  Donuts are provided!

Sermon Recap for 10/18/20

Series: Growing as Disciples Who Make Disciples

Title: OUR POSITION IN CHRIST

Passage: Romans 6:1-19

Outline:

  • We were slaves to sin  (Romans 6:6, 17-18)…
    • and sin is a BAD MASTER!!!
  • We have been united with Christ (6:4-5)….
    • Our slavery to sin is OVER!  We have been set free from sin and now can say, “NO!” to our old master.
  • We are compelled to consider…(6:11-14)…
    • Ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus!!!

Whenever I hear a message on our position or identity in Christ, I always picture when the Rafiki, the monkey, takes Simba to the reflecting pool on the plains of Africa from the movie, “The Lion King.”  When Simba expresses fear and uncertainty about returning to the rest of the pack at Pride Rock, Rafiki says, “Remember who you are!” Rafiki reminds Simba that Simba is the son of the king.  While it might have been fun for Simba to roll around in the mud and eat bugs, it wasn’t how the king of the jungle should act.  Simba had responsibilities that came with his identity, and he needed to step up and assume his position as rightful heir to his father’s kingdom.

While not perfect, this is a good picture of how we, as believers, out to consider ourselves.  We may like laying low and getting dirty with sin. It’s easy to fall for the lie that sin is the better choice or that it still has dominion over us.  However, it’s not true!!! We are children of the King of ALL Kings, and along with this position comes a new identity.  We choose not to sin–not out of fear of losing our salvation!  We choose to follow Christ away from sin even when it’s hard because it’s who we are.  And we know we can say “No!” to sin because:

  • We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Phil 4:13)
  • God has given us a Helper who dwells in us! (John 14:16-17)
  • He (Christ) has given us all things we need for things pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3)
  • God is faithful and he will not allow you to be tempted beyond your ability (1 Cor 10:13)
  • God’s grace trains us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions (Titus 2)

I will end this update with this benediction from Jude 24-25, “Now to Him who is able to  keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time now and forever. Amen.”

In service to Him and to you,
Heather Hogue

 

weekly update –  10/8/2020

 

I must admit that I’m a little sad to have finished our study of Second Timothy.  First, it means the summer is over. Second, I just love the imagery Paul uses in the book. The word pictures which compare the Christian life to that of a soldier–my personal favorite because of my military wife & brat background, an athlete, and a farmer have always resonated with me. I like the reminder that the Christian life isn’t straight-forward, quick, or easy.

But we’re on to a new series now–Growing As Disciples Who Make Disciples! If you haven’t already purchased a workbook through your Sunday school class/LIFE group, please send me an email and I’ll put on aside for you!  Some of the topics in store for us on this journey are: Our Position in Christ, Intimacy with God—the Disciplines of Devotion and Prayer, and Lifestyle Choices in the Real World.  This Sunday, Pastor Matt will take on Issue Two in the book: “What Must I Do to Be Saved?”  You don’t want to miss it!

We’ve been going through the workbook as a staff, and I’m enjoying it.  Even if you have been a Christian your entire life, you may not feel comfortable walking a new believer through some of these issues.  The workbook and Matt’s series of sermons should go a long way toward helping us here at MBC fulfill our vision for 2020: Pursuing Followership over Spectatorship by growing as disciples of Christ who make disciples of Christ.

This past Sunday we jumped head-first into one of these fundamentals of the Christian life with Matt’s message about the conversion experience and the story of Saul from Acts 9.  Do any of you remember listening to books on tape?  Those of you old enough may even recall the sound of Tinker Bell’s wand reminding you to turn the page for the Disney stories on cassette.  I also owned a series of cassettes called “Bible Times” narrated by the incomparable Burl Ives.  My absolute favorite tape of the series was the story of Saul’s conversion, and that was what came to mind as Paul Schrodt read the story from Acts 9.  When Burl Ives told the story, I would close my eyes and hear the tension in the cries of men, women, and children when Saul broke down their door to arrest them. I heard the electronic zing for the lightning bolt and the boom of the Lord calling, “SAUL! SAUL! WHY ARE YOU PERSECUTING ME?” I could hear the terror in Ananias’ voice when he agreed to go where Saul was staying.  But the best part were all the astonished voices at the end of the tape that discussed Saul’s transformed life.

As Matt mentioned, the story of Saul should remind us all that no one is beyond hope. No one is beyond the grasp of God’s grace. God is in the business of changing lives. We must believe that. We must never give up praying for the salvation of our friends, loved ones, bosses, coworkers, elected leaders…anyone who doesn’t know Christ as his/her Savior. And just like the story of Saul reminds us, we can take hope! While cassette players and books on tape have gone the way of the dinosaur, our God has not.  He is still in the business of changing lives today–even the most unlikely!

Noteworthy-

MBC At Large

  • Wow!!!  Our “Bringing in the Harvest” Challenge for Manna House raised over $3131!!!  Thank you all for your generous donations to this great ministry!  Congratulations to the following who won prizes in the raffle:
    • Keith and Janet Hearn                   $100 Chick-Fil-A gift card
    • Jason and Christina Carter            Manna House t-shirts
    • Elias and Kelli Naatz
    • Hansel and Gayle Stack                Manna House aprons
    • Judy Estrada
    • Suanne McDermott
    • Dianna Pierce
    • Elizabeth Todd
    • Jo Falco                                         Manna House tumbler
  • Please come by the church office to pick up your prizes.  In addition, everyone is invited to come by my office to get a Manna House pen and bracelet (while supplies last).  Don’t forget to use your Heaven’s Attic coupons!
  • Many Sunday school classes have begun to meet here at the church at 9am including the Beviers’ class, Paul Schrodt and Gatlan Turk’s class, Pam Curry’s class for the women of MBC, and the Arendsees’s Spiritual Formation class.  Call or email the church office (972-723-0002) for more info or to figure out which class is right for you!
  • We need greeters!  If you are not in a high risk category, would you consider joining our Hospitality team as a Greeter?  Please contact Cathy Spurlock (cathydspurlock@aim.com) for more information.

MBC Kids

  • We are getting ready to offer Children’s Church at our 10:30am service starting at the beginning of November!  In addition, we plan to begin Sunday school for kids shortly thereafter.  Many of our prior volunteers are high-risk for COVID, creating a need for more workers.  If you feel led to stand in the gap and help with this important ministry, please contact Lydia Weldy (lydia.weldy@midlothianbible.org).

MBC Students

  • Tyler Larson has started a class for middle and high school students on how to study the Bible.  Students may join him at 9am on Sundays in the Hospitality room for a closer look at Ephesians and free donuts!  Also, there will be a lock-in for Senior High students only on Friday, October 16th.  Contact Zeke Garcia or Leah Austin (leah.austin@midlothianbible.org) for more information.

As the election gets closer, please keep our country and its leaders in your prayers as we are commanded to do in 1 Timothy 2:1-4. And remember that just like Saul, no one–no one–is beyond God’s reach.  Take time to pray for your unsaved loved ones (and not so loved ones) today.

In service to Him and to you!
Heather Hogue

SERMON RECAP FOR 9/20/2020

Title: Preach the Word

Passage: 2 Timothy 4:1-5

Preach the Word

  • Remember your direct report (v 1 & 2 Cor 5:10)
    • Two Implications:
      • Take your calling to serve seriously (James 3:1 & Hebrews 13:17).
      • Take courage! Jesus notices when others do not.
  • Preach the Word fully (v 2)
  • Be aware of the cultural challenge (v 3-4)
  • Preach the Word with perseverance (v 5)

THOUGHTS…….

Some of you know that we have a dog.  Her name is Annie, and she is a 73-pound Lab/Blue Heeler/Great Pyrenees mix.  Last year, about this time, we took her to a dog park near our house.  She and another dog were having a great time chasing each other and play-biting. That night we noticed a small cut by her ear. Over the next few days, we saw her take her paw and scratch at the injury. Then, we noticed her rubbing her head on the sides of her dog crate. Soon after that, she began to scrape her head on our walls, on the corners of our furniture, and on anything else she could. A large bald spot began to emerge on her head by her ear.  Eventually, we had to take her to the vet for medicine and the crowning of all dog humiliations—the cone of shame.  Why?  All because she couldn’t withstand the itch from the cut on her ear as it healed!  Can you guess where I’m going with this?

In 2 Timothy 2 4:3-4, Paul talks about a time when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. Just like our dog was willing to do just about anything to relieve her itchy ear, my guess is that many humans will also do almost anything to avoid the conviction they feel in their hearts when the Word of God is preached accurately.

I had a friend once confide in me that she went to church to feel good and be inspired.  At least she was honest.  Now that I know better, I might gently suggest that someone who preaches the Bible rightly does inspire—people to examine themselves and repent.

It’s funny, too, because like in Matt’s illustrations about the auto repair shop and the doctor’s office, I’m sure my friend would find another repair shop if the mechanic hid the truth to make her feel good about her car instead of telling her what was actually wrong with it.  And I can’t think of anyone who would rather be told that they were in good health when they actually needed life-saving medicine–just because the doctor didn’t want to risk offending that person.

But not so, when it comes to modern-day church goers. The itch to feel good and be inspired is strong.  However, we all need to be very careful.  We can’t run from Bible teacher to Bible teacher with the goal of only getting our ears scratched.  Just like with our dog, Annie, that kind of behavior can lead to a “bald spot”—or worse.  May we all be challenged this week to open up the dark parts of our hearts to the light of all of God’s word for healing. It might hurt a little now, but I’m betting in the long run, it will be infinitely better than having to wear a cone of shame.

NOTEWORTHY-

There are only a few days left in September which means there are only a few days left in our “Bringing in the Harvest” Challenge to raise money for Manna House, a local ministry that provides food and other resources for the underprivileged of Midlothian.  $28 feeds a family of four for a month, so for every $28 donation, you will receive a 28% off coupon to shop at Heaven’s Attic, Manna House’s thrift store, and we will enter you in a raffle for some Manna House merchandise and a $100 Chick Fil A gift card!  You can donate on our website by clicking here and selecting “Giving” from the top menu bar. You can also leave a check with Mary Curry in the Hub on Sunday.  Click here to watch a short video with more information about Manna House and its mission!

Wednesday night ministries are back—and charging full speed ahead!  Please join us from 6:15-8pm for Bible studies for both men and women, activities for middle and high school students, and our CrossKids program for children. Registration for Re:Generation has closed, but the Re|Engage program to strengthen marriages remains open for newcomers until October 14th.  Contact the church office (click here) for more information on any of these programs.

Many of our Sunday morning adult LIFE groups have resumed meeting in-person here up at the church. Make sure to touch base with your group to find out when and where they are meeting next!  To find out more about what Sunday school classes and LIFE groups MBC currently offers, email the church office (click here). Unfortunately, we are unable to offer Sunday school for children at this time. However, if you have children, make sure to check out our Family Service in the Senior High School room on Sundays at 10am.  It is kid-friendly and approved for wigglers!  Email Lydia Weldy (click here) for more information.

Make sure to stay connected to us and to each other—whether it be by watching the service on our YouTube channel or by attending in-person.  And the next time a scripture rubs you the wrong way, lean into it.  Pray that God will use His word to cut away and heal parts of your life that are damaged or diseased.  We don’t want to leave with our ears scratched if surgery is really what is needed.

In service to Him and to you,
Heather Hogue

Good morning, MBC Friends and Family!

Boy! Did it feel weird to type in the date in for today’s update! I’ve been watching Facebook over the last few days, and it’s been interesting to read where everyone was on 9/11/2001 and what they were doing. For the record, September 11, 2001 was the first and only time I directly defied an order from a military policeman and was chased through a parking lot of a Burger King by someone carrying an M-16 machine gun…  I’ll save that story for another time, but suffice to say, don’t try and separate a mother from her children–especially during a national emergency.

September 11, 2020 does share some eerie similarities to September 11, 2001, doesn’t it?  The world is seemingly out-of-control.  Fear runs rampant. Natural events seem almost apocalyptic.  However, one thing I learned from the Minor Prophets study is that God is just, and He is always working.  His plans will be accomplished, and He is in control of everything that happens here on this planet.  As Zephaniah said, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing” (Zeph 3:17).  To be honest, as I sit here and remember 9/11/2020, I am strangely comforted–not by the current mess we are in–but by the fact that God was, is, and still will be in control of 2001, 2020, 2021, 2025, and any subsequent years…no matter how bad things seem to get. And He has promised that all of this will work together for His good–which ultimately is OUR good.   And just like the rainbow in the sky reminds us: God always keeps his promises!

Noteworthy:

  • This Sunday is our big Celebration Service!  Click here or copy and paste the following address into your browser for a short video message from Pastor Matt which explains why and how we will be celebrating! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB6AG7ETKlI    Since it is an outdoor service, we have posted the lyrics for all the songs on our website!  Click here for the words to the great worship songs we will be singing on Sunday. This outdoor service starts at 10am and will be followed by free boxed lunches and snowcones in the back parking lot.  Bring an awning/canopy and lawn chairs if you have them.  You don’t want to miss it.
  • We had a great turnout last week for the kickoff of our fall Wednesday night ministries!  However, it’s not too late if you couldn’t make it last week!  You can still join re:generation, Re|Engage, Finding God Faithful (for women), and a study of Psalm 23 (for men) from 6:15-8pm every Wednesday from now until December 16th. Please make sure to register in Realm–especially if your children will be participating in CrossKids or CrossKids Jr.  Contact the church office (click here) for more information on any of these classes!
  • Don’t forget that since September is Hunger Action Month, MBC is sponsoring Manna House with a campaign to “Bring in the Harvest.”  Those who donate at least $28 ($28 feeds a family of 4 for a month!) will receive a coupon for 28% off their entire purchase at Heaven’s Attic—Manna House’s thrift store!  In addition, for every $28 you donate, you will be entered in a raffle for special Manna House prizes such as t-shirts, aprons, pens, bracelets, and a $100 Chick Fil A gift card. You can give now on Realm (click here) or by designating “Manna House Harvest” on your check or contribution envelope to support this gospel-centered ministry that meets the needs of the hungry and underprivileged here in Midlothian and Ellis County.
  • Doug and Peggy Arendsee will be starting a new small group on Sunday mornings called Life with God.  Contact Doug @ douglasarendsee@hotmail.com  (307-286-1135) for more information.
  • Mike has concluded his study of the Minor Prophets, but the group is continuing to meet with a new study of 1st John on Zoom!  Please email Mike (click here) if you’re interested, so he can send you the notes for the study and an invitation to join the Zoom meeting!
  • Finally, we will be honoring the Clark family with a “Shower” for their new additions and a “Birthday Sprinkle” for Gracelynn.  See details on the MBC Women’s Facebook page or contact the church office (click here) for more information.  Collection of gifts will be next Sunday, September 20th in the Hub.

As crazy as these times were and are, we still have quite a bit to be grateful for, so when the world seems to be spinning all around us, remember 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17: Rejoice always, Pray without ceasing, Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  May you be aware of God’s comforting presence this week!

In service to Him and to you!
Heather Hogue

 

Sermon Recap from 7/19/2020:

Series: Persisting in Passing the Baton of Faith—A Study of 2nd Timothy

Week 2 Title: CONNECTING TO THE CAUSE

Passage: 2 Timothy 1:8-18

Five M’s

1. Mandates

  • Do not be ashamed
  • Share in suffering
  • Follow the pattern of sound words
  • Guard the good entrusted deposit

2. Message

3. Models

4. Motivation

5. Means

Application:

Guard your deposit of gospel ministry by:

  • Walking by the Spirit
  • Keeping your eye on the prize
  • Following good models
  • Participating in your ministry calling

Thoughts:

I don’t think Mike mentioned it from the pulpit, but we had company last weekend.  David and Carol Sue Merkh of the Word of Life Seminary in Brazil stayed with us for a couple of nights on their way to visit their son and his family at Lackland AFB.  Those names may not sound familiar, but Carol Sue is the sister of MBC missionary, David Cox, and she is also former MBC pastor Dave Wyrtzen’s niece!  Our connection to Carol Sue is really what brought our family down to try Midlothian Bible Church!

I write all this because David and Carol Sue could not have picked a better weekend to visit since one of the themes of Sunday’s message was to find and follow good models.  Early on in our marriage, David and Carol Sue served as models to us of godly faith, service, and family in—of all places—Mount Laurel, New Jersey!  Mike met with David weekly for Bible study and mentoring. Together, Mike and I enjoyed participating in a Bible study for young couples which usually included games and food—both of which were Carol Sue’s forte.  In addition, they provided a tangible example of what parenting and home-schooling looked like at a time when we were far from our families.  Here’s another interesting detail—during the year they poured into Mike and me, they were on furlough!!!  Let that sink in for a minute.  They found time to pour into us during a year they were supposed to be getting refreshed from their lives in the mission field of Brazil.

Mike’s message from 2 Timothy had, as one of its themes, the importance of good models. At its core, 2 Timothy is a letter from an older man to his son in the faith to encourage him to “follow the pattern” of Paul and his “sound words” (2 Tim 1:13).   But make no mistake, the call for mentors to model godly living rings for both men and women.  Here are some more examples of good and bad models from my life:

Good–

  • The wife of one of Mike’s mentors at the Air Force Academy showed me how to doctor 8 boxes of Betty Crocker scalloped potatoes and make them appear home-made so she could serve 25 or so cadets who just “happened” to show up at their house one Sunday afternoon after attending services at the Cadet Chapel.  She modeled how to adapt and be flexible while remaining gracious and patient. 
  • Another pastor and his wife took Mike and me out to lunch every Sunday after church–never asking or expecting us to pay. Every. Sunday.  They modeled true generosity.  In addition, the wife would meet me at least once-a-week at a local ceramics studio to paint knick-knacks–not because she needed more junk to set out at Christmas–but because she knew as an 18 year-old newlywed,  I needed a safe place to talk and work through important issues like how to love my husband well and what godly submission looks like.  As you can probably imagine, we spent a lot of time on that.
  • Some of our dearest friends and models are a couple now living in Oklahoma. The gentleman was a teacher at the College of Biblical Studies in Houston, and he started mentoring Mike and teaching him Greek in 2000.  They are in their eighties now and are still fervently serving the Lord. They somehow find time to call and visit us regularly and are pseudo-grandparents to all four of our children.

Bad examples of modeling, but examples nonetheless—

Once, a woman told me she could “mentor me,” after I asked, but she would not be able to acknowledge me in public—even to say, “Hello.” She worried it might compromise her husband’s reputation if people on our Air Force base knew they had friends who were lower-ranking. I quickly re-evaluated my request and assured her I really didn’t need a mentor after all.  She modeled how people could hurt others by placing too much value on worldly honors and positions.

A pastor we had in Virginia told Mike and me after the service one morning when we asked if he and his wife wanted to go out to lunch with us, “Just so you know up front, I don’t have any extra time to invest in anyone right now.  And my wife is very private.”  About 10 years later, Mike heard him give a message about how at “his church” they made sure mentoring was a priority. Ironically, he was a model to us that pastors should be very careful what they preach.

 

So there you have it. Examples of both. Here are a couple of thoughts. For starters, none of them were perfect. But they were available. They did life with us. They were generous with what they had. Sometimes that showed itself as financial generosity. Sometimes, they were generous with their time. They never made us feel like an imposition.  And here’s one more thing– even though they were clearly our “mentors,” they never made the relationship feel one-sided.  Whether they faked it or not, the models I loved the most somehow still made me feel like I was contributing something to the relationship.  Lesson? Nobody wants to be someone else’s charity project.

I think this passage from 2 Timothy fits in perfectly with MBC’s vision for 2020.  (And believe it or not, we’re already over halfway through 2020!)  It’s really not much of a stretch to see that a good “discipleship” relationship will also include some good modeling.  So be in prayer this week–set your alarm for 1:11pm, like many of us who are on staff do– that in 2020, God will give you:

  • One person to share the gospel with
  • One person that would believe the gospel
  • One person to disciple/model in 2021

Noteworthy:

MBC At-Large:

  • The elders have decided that we will continue live-streaming only until the end of July.  Mike Hogue will be bringing the message the next two weeks, and we hope you will join us—either live on YouTube or by watching some other time during the week.  To view this week’s message, click here or copy and paste the following address into your browser window anytime after 10:30am this Sunday morning!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G675AeX7nw4
  • Be sure to send us your prayer requests by clicking here so we can lift you up as a staff.  We want to be the prayer warriors supporting you like the ones Paul mentions in 2 Timothy 1:3-5!
  •  

Fitness & Fellowship:

  • Ladies!  If you’re interested in some exercise and encouragement, join us Monday afternoons at 4:30pm or Tuesday/Thursday mornings at 9am.  All women ages 14 and up are invited.  Monday and Thursday have a cardio emphasis, and on Tuesdays, we focus on strength and stretching.  No experience or $$$ required.  Just bring yourselves and be ready to work!

Christmas in July:

  •  There is only one full week left in July, so let’s see if we can help Bill Curry reach his goal of $3500 to provide Christmas gift bags to every inmate at the Sanders Estes Correctional Unit in Venus.  So far, over $1500 has been donated, which means they have about $2000 left to go.  Remember Jesus’ words about the final judgment from Matthew 25:36, “I was in prison and you came to me.”  Most people can’t enter a prison to do the work of the gospel, but thanks to his connections, Bill Curry can. Please consider giving to this effort to bring the real message of Christmas to these inmates by selecting “Christmas in July” from the online giving drop-down menu. Or you can just send in a check to the church with “Christmas in July” in the subject line. I first got involved in this ministry myself three years ago. It’s good work, and I can honestly say I’m different now for it.

 

Blankets for BESTWA:

    • This has been an extremely encouraging week as several people have stepped up to donate the remaining items on our wish-list!  We will be assembling the “Clean Birth Kit” bags sometime next week.  If you’re interested in helping with this project (you will need to wear a mask) please email the church office (click here).  Technically, our initiative doesn’t need to end just because we met our goal!  If you still feel led to donate, please keep bringing new/gently-used receiving blankets or twin sheets to the church.  We will be sending them with Andy on his next trip to Liberia.  However, if enough are donated, BESTWA will rent a shipping container to get them over the ocean!  Let’s see if we can make them do it

Minor Prophets:

  • Join Pastor Mike Hogue on Zoom this week at 6pm for a study of the book of Habakkuk.  Mike has a special affinity for this prophet.  Join the study Sunday evening to find out why!

I told you that God was going to do something with this study of 2 Timothy!!!  While we miss worshiping with you in person, we hope you will stay connected to us by participating in the live-stream or by remaining involved in your LIFE group.  As always, if you have any prayer requests, or if you need anything at all, please feel free to contact the church office.  Call 972-723-0002 or click here to send me an email.  I’d love to hear from you!

In service to Him and to you!
Heather Hogue

 

Sermon Recap from 7/12/2020:

Persisting in Passing the Baton of Faith—A Study of 2nd Timothy

Week 1 (7/12/20): Fanning Low Embers of Ministry

Scripture passage: 2 Timothy 1:1-8

Situation & Setting

  • Writer — Paul
    • Cling to the promises of God in the face of fear
  • Recipient—Timothy
  • Occasion—So Timothy would not fear or be timid

How do we help fan the flame of timid & fearful minister?

  • Give encouragement that reminds people of their resources for gospel ministry
  • Offer exhortation that inspires people to move forward in dependence on the Holy Spirit

Overview of 2nd Timothy:

  • Guard the Gospel (2 Tim. 1:14)
  • Endure hardships over the Gospel (2 Tim. 2:3)
  • Continue living out the Gospel (2 Tim. 3:14)
  • Share the Gospel (2 Tim. 4:2)

Thoughts:

I’ve heard that the way the Lord works in the world is like how a Master Weaver creates a tapestry on a loom.  That became very apparent to me as I sat here writing this update.  The first “thread” in my mind was the fact that I was writing a sermon recap on a series Pastor Matt entitled “Persisting in Passing the Baton of Faith.”  I realized the second “thread” was the fact that today was Midlothian Bible Church’s 47th anniversary.  Forty-seventh anniversary!!!   Passing the baton of faith through 47 years of effective ministry!!!  God wove those two threads together well, don’t you think?

I’m not going to pretend to have had a part in our church’s history (Mike and I joined in 2014 and came on staff just last summer).  To discover more about our church’s heritage, you’ll have to talk Dan & Jeannie Baucum, Kim Lewis, Leah Austin, most of the Ambassadors’ LIFE group, and many others.  However, I did have the honor of attending the homegoing of Ella Curry this past week.  She was a founding matriarch of MBC.  When Dave Wyrtzen described how she and others used to meet and pray in a circle as a home Bible study, I felt like I was looking down on that small group of believers from above—almost like Scrooge and the ghost of Christmas past in Charles Dickens’ famous play, “A Christmas Story.”

I bet there were times that Ella Fern, as Pastor Dave affectionately referred to her, and the other founding members of MBC had the “happy feet” Matt talked about in his message.  My guess is that they suffered “hits” to their faith.  There were probably times they struggled with moving forward.  However, Ella and the others pressed on through whatever fear they might have had and continued to build the kingdom of God here in Midlothian.  What a legacy!  And what a great illustration of people who did not give up on passing the baton of faith.

We’re in a difficult time right now. In fact, if our present condition was a football field, the COVID challenge and the racial unrest in our country would certainly appear as HUGE and insurmountable linebackers–like one of Mike’s favorites Mean Joe Green of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  However, you are not playing for just any team!  And you don’t have just any coach!!! 

Think of it this way: Our coach is the Lord Jesus and the battle is already won!!! We are in the 4th quarter, and there are only minutes left.  We just have to hang in there and keep playing. We know you are struggling.  We know you are lonely. We know you want to meet again.  We do, too.  Just keep getting up to play.  Keep stepping up to the line.  Keep reaching for the ball.  Resist the urge to give in to fear or despair.  Resist the urge to have “happy feet.”  We can do this.  We can finish strong.  Just like Ella Curry and the other saints that have gone before her.

 

How do we do this when it feels like it’s just too much?  Just like Timothy couldn’t do it alone, neither can we.  The suggestions to invest in a godly mentor (vs 1:3-5), fall back on the influence of a godly family if you have one (3:14-15) , and tap into the power of the Holy Spirit (vs. 1:6-7) that Matt pulled out of 2 Timothy 1:1-8 are just as much for us as they were for Timothy.

Noteworthy:

MBC At-Large:

  • The elders have decided that we will continue live-streaming only until the end of July.  Mike Hogue will be bringing the message the next two weeks, and we hope you will join us—either live on YouTube or by watching some other time during the week.  To view this week’s message, click here or copy and paste the following address into your browser window anytime after 10:30am this Sunday morning!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G675AeX7nw4
  • Be sure to send us your prayer requests by clicking here so we can lift you up as a staff.  We want to be the prayer warriors supporting you like the ones Paul mentions in 2 Timothy 1:3-5!

MBC Students:

  • THIS Thursday, July 16 from 7-9:00pm, MBC Students will have an “Outdoor Games/Water Night”!  They will have gaga ball, corn-hole, nine-square, volleyball, and a water slide!  Please contact Leah Austin (click here) for more information.  Also, MBC Student Ministry team is super-excited about the upcoming “ONE Weekend” retreat July 30th -August 2nd which will now be held at Camp Lebanon in Cedar Hill!  Look for an email from Leah Austin describing all the fun activities they have planned and other details.  Finally, they will have a meeting for parents on Monday, July 20th, at 7:00pm in the youth room and they’d love to have all parents attend!  If you have questions about these or any other MBC Student activities, please contact Leah Austin using the link above.

Fitness & Fellowship:

  • Our free Fitness & Fellowship classes for women ages 14 and up are back!!!  Come at 4:30pm Mondays or 9am Thursdays for Cardio/Step/Interval training and 9am Tuesdays for a Strength and Stretching workout.  Contact the church office by clicking here for more info.

Christmas in July:

  • This month, we are collecting a special offering to support Bill Curry’s effort to provide over 1000 Christmas gift bags (which include a clear presentation of the gospel message) to the inmates at the Sanders Estes prison in Venus.  Supplies for these gift bags cost approximately $3500.  Please consider donating a special gift for this important outreach ministry by giving online and selecting “Christmas in July” or by sending in a check to the church with “Christmas in July” in the subject line.  Click here to email Chaplain Bill Curry for more information.

 

Blankets for BESTWA:

  • We are still be collecting new or gently-used receiving blankets (flannel preferred), twin sheets (cotton preferred), quart-size Ziploc bags, rubber gloves, single-use Neosporin/antibiotic ointment sachets, hotel-size bars of soap, stethoscopes (new or used), or blood pressure cuffs.  Call ahead (972-723-0002) and then drop off your items in the church office.

Minor Prophets:

  • Join Pastor Mike Hogue on Zoom this week at 6pm for a study of the book of Habakkuk.  Mike has a special affinity for this prophet.  Join the study Sunday evening to find out why!

With the way this update came together, I can’t wait to see what God will teach me this week from 2 Timothy.  I hope you’re ready for a great series!  I know I am! In service to Him and to you,
Heather Hogue

 

Sermon Recap from 7/5/2020:

JONAH: God’s Great Mercy   

Title: A Compassionate Mercy 

Passage: Jonah 4:1-10 

Scene 1: Jonah’s response  (vs.1-4) 

Scene 2: God teaches (vs.5-9)

  • Jonah’s heart exposed (vs. 10-11) 
    • Jonah is self-righteous 
      • Self-righteous people have a hard time extending grace and mercy to other although they demand it for themselves.  
      • Self-righteous people present themselves as the standard. 
      • Self-righteous people judge others and assume God will measure up to their expectations. (Crawford Loritts) 
    • Jonah is self-centered  

Two Questions: 

  1. Who do you reflect more–Jonah or God? 
  • If you are not reflecting God… 
    • Repent 
    • Remember His mercy on you
    • Request His help to reflect Him 

 

2.       Who are your Ninevites? Who do you not want to see mercy poured out upon?  

Thoughts:

Matt’s message this past Sunday really hit home for me.  Unfortunately, when it comes to extending mercy and forgiveness to others I see myself reflecting Jonah more often than I would like.  For example, I’ve gotten mad at Mike when he didn’t respond to one of my “very important” texts right away, but then expect I him to be gracious with me and “let it go already” when the tables are turned, and I overlook one of his texts.

This brings me to something I learned in the Minor Prophets Bible study.  About a month ago, Mike taught an overview of the book of Jonah, and he drew our attention to the Hebrew word chara

Is this you?

This word appears several times in the book. It usually means to become hot or kindled, but it can also mean angry.  This pairing of heat and anger in the Hebrew word chara is similar to how we pair the idea of being hot and angry in English when we use phrases such as, “He is so hot-tempered!” or “I was hot when I found out the mechanic over-charged me for the repair.”  

In Jonah 4:1, when Jonah reacts to God’s mercy on the Ninevites, the verse reads “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was chara.”  So we can read that as Jonah was hot, angry, or some combination of both. And after Jonah finishes ranting about how he knew the Lord would relent and have mercy on the people of Nineveh in verse 2, the Lord says, “Do you do well to be chara?”  In other words, “Is it good for you to be hot/angry over this?” and Jonah does not respond.  (Side note: Was this one of the first instances in the Bible of giving someone giving someone else the “silent treatment”?  Perhaps!  Beware–it didn’t end well.)

Then we read that Jonah sulks away and climbs a hill which overlooks the city of Nineveh.  God–in His grace– appoints a plant to grow and give Jonah some shade.  The plant dies and Jonah begins to suffer from the heat.  So much so the Bible says “that he [Jonah] would faint.”  Here’s the interesting play of words: God again says to Jonah in verse 9, “Do you do well to be chara—hot/angry for the plant?” And Jonah said, “Yes, I do well to be chara. Chara (hot/angry) enough to die.”  The irony is that he was both angry that the plant had died and he was really hot—like sitting in the mezzanine section at the old Globe Life Park hot.  It’s as if God was saying, “You might have thought you just were just hot (as in angry) before.  Let’s see how you fare when I take away your shade and turn up the temperature.” 

God used the plant to teach Jonah a lesson. Jonah already knew God is “a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster (4:2).”  God extends mercy and forgiveness to all—even to those we think don’t deserve it.  Jonah needed to learn a lesson about his heart’s temperature.  He didn’t realize he needed to “chill out” and extend the same cool shade of mercy to the Ninevites that God had extended to him through the plant.

Bottom line: the hot anger of self-righteousness cannot coexist with the cool and refreshing forgiveness and mercy that God provides.  We can’t hold on to anger when we are wronged because God Himself extends the ultimate mercy and grace to us.  While we were still sinners.  With no strings attached.  And like Corrie ten Boom said when the prison guard who tormented her sister asked for forgiveness, “Was I going to ask for more?”

I went and did some more research into Corrie ten Boom and found another quote that was interestingly relevant.  She wrote, “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”  So the next time you find your heart hot with self-righteous anger, remember Jonah.  We, too, have turned and gone the opposite way God was calling us at times.  Yet, God extended us forgiveness, grace, and mercy to us through Christ—nothing else required.  Let’s not let the temperature of our hearts get the better of us when He has called us to forgive.

Noteworthy

MBC at-large:

MBC Students:

  • MBC Students will be returning to Wednesday night meetings in host homes starting this Wednesday, July 15th.  Look for an email from Leah Austin for locations of meeting because some group locations have changed.  Be sure to register for “ONE Weekend” in Realm.  If your family is interested in providing housing to a small group for this event, please let Leah, Zeke, or Corbin know (click here).

Fitness & Fellowship

  • Our free Fitness & Fellowship classes for ages 14 and up will begin again on Monday, July 13th.  Come at 4:30pm Mondays or 9am Thursdays for Cardio/Step/Interval training and 9am Tuesdays for a Strength and Stretching workout.  Contact the church office by clicking here for more info.

Christmas in July

  • July is traditionally the month we collect a special offering to support Bill Curry and the Venus Prison Ministry.  Last year, Bill and members of MBC provided over 1000 Christmas gift bags (which included a clear presentation of the gospel message) to the inmates at the Sanders Estes prison in Venus.  Those gift bags cost approximately $3500.  Please consider donating a special gift for this important outreach ministry by giving online and selecting “Christmas in July” or by sending in a check to the church with “Christmas in July” in the subject line.  Click here to email Chaplain Bill Curry for more information.

Blankets for BESTWA

  • While we had to cancel our Women’s sewing event for July 12th, we will still be collecting new or gently-used receiving blankets (flannel preferred), twin sheets (cotton preferred), quart-size Ziploc bags, rubber gloves, single-use Neosporin/antibiotic ointment sachets, hotel-size bars of soap, stethoscopes (new or used), or blood pressure cuffs for some time.  Call ahead (972-723-0002) and then drop off your items in the church office.

Thank you again for showing us grace as we seek the best ways to minister to you all during these strange times and circumstances.  

In service to Him and to you,
Heather Hogue

Isaiah 8:11-12 For the Lord spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

 

Prison Ministry fundraiser

The MBC Prison Ministry began in 1998 in answer to the calling found in Matthew 25: 36

“I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”

The mission of the prison ministry is to give encouragement and hope to “the least of these”, which society deems worthless and undeserving. Without hope spirits die and lives spiral into ruin.

Lives can be touched and changed when what is given can’t be returned and what is received can’t be paid for.  This is accomplished by shining the love of Christ into the darkness and reclaiming territory lost to the enemy.

This ministry focuses on preparing offenders for reentry back into society.

  • This accomplished in several ways: The ministry provides general chaplaincy operations which include counseling, administrative support, and religious programming for the 1050 men in the Sanders Estes Unit located in Venus, Texas.

  • An annual distribution of Christmas gift bags to inmates each December.  In many instances, these gift bags are the only Christmas presents that some receive. To prepare for this event, we have a “Christmas in July” fundraiser throughout the month of July.

  • The ministry hosts marriage seminars throughout the year to provide inmates who will soon be returning to their families a day with their spouse to reconnect and begin the reintegration process.  One wife commented that the seminar saved her marriage. 

  • Finally, the ministry provides incarcerated veterans specialized trauma and benefit counseling and other special programs.  For example, inmates in the program lead Veteran’s and Memorial Day observances which give a sense of meaning and purpose to others.     One member once said that “I feel as if I am worth something again.” 

Currently, due to the pandemic, outside organizations are not able to enter the prison. However, the MBC Prison Ministry is working closely with Chains of Grace—another ministry that provides re-entry supervision and services for men and women coming out of incarceration—and plans to be ready with support and programming for inmates as soon as the prison reopens to visitors.

Contact Bill Curry at 972.951.3122 or chapcurry18@charter.net  if you’d like to know more or get involved.

https://chainsofgrace.org/

 

Blankets for BESTWA

  • BESTWA needs blankets, sheets, and other supplies for its clean birth initiative! Our goal is to provide 100 receiving blankets and 50 twin sheets for Andy Perkins to take on his next trip to Liberia which will be this September (Lord-willing). Please bring any of the following items to MBC over the next five weeks and put them in the “Blankets for BESTWA” Pack-n-Play display in the Hub:
    • New or gently-used receiving blankets (flannel preferred)
    • New or gently used twin sheets (cotton preferred)
    • Quart-size Ziploc bags
    • Rubber gloves
    • Single use Neosporin/antibiotic ointment packets
    • Hotel-size bars of soap
    • Stethoscopes (new or used)
    • Blood pressure cuffs
  • In addition, to support this initiative, the next MBC Women’s Coffee and Conversation event will be a Sewing Night on July 12th from 7-8:30pm. You can hone your sewing skills or learn some new ones by making blankets here at the church! We will provide supplies & instructions on how to make basic blankets, as well as how to sew a quick nine-patch strip quilt.  Register in Realm or on our MBC website for the “Blankets for BESTWA” event, so we have enough supplies and space for everyone.