Category: MBC Family News


MBC Weekly News – September 22, 2020

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


MBC Weekly News – September 11, 2020

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



MBC Weekly News – July 23, 2020

 

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


MBC Weekly News – July 16, 2020

 

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


MBC Weekly News – July 9, 2020

 

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.


Christmas in July!

 

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

 

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.

MBC Weekly News – June 18, 2020

 

Sermon Recap for June 14, 2020

Title: A Runaway Prophet & God in Pursuit

Passage: Jonah 1:1-16

  • Scene 1: God’s commission. 1:1-2
  • Scene 2: Jonah’s flight and spiral down in rebellion. 1:3
    • Why does Jonah run from God?
      • He did not want to share God’s mercy with the Ninevites
    • What  about you?
      • Are you running from God in some way?
  • Scene 3: God’s merciful pursuit and loving discipline. 1:4-16

Respond to the mercy of God and show the mercy of God.

Thoughts

The example I have which ties into this week’s sermon came pretty quickly after I heard Pastor Matt tell the story of “Wrong Way Roy.” 

Back in the early 2000s, Mike was stationed at McGuire AFB, and our family lived in southern New Jersey—about 20 minutes from Philadelphia.  We would often go into the city to visit various attractions and historical landmarks such as the Philadelphia Zoo, the Liberty Bell, the US Mint, and Independence Hall. 

Once when Mike was deployed somewhere in the Middle East, I decided to take our three kids (all of which at the time were four years old or younger) and my mother to the Franklin Institute to learn more about Ben Franklin.  All in all, it was a great visit.  Four o’clock rolled around and we had satisfied our desire for history for the day, so we headed out to the garage where I had parked our minivan. I got everyone strapped in and proceeded to drive down the labyrinth of spirals to exit the garage.  By the time I reached the attendant and paid for parking, I was thoroughly turned around.  (Please note: This was before cell phones, GPS satellites, and Waze.)

I sat at the exit to the parking garage for a moment trying to figure out whether to turn right or left.  There was a traffic light over the exit to the garage and it displayed a bright red left arrow. For some reason, I took that to mean that I wasn’t supposed to turn left out of the garage.

Unfortunately, that was not what the traffic light meant.

It meant I should have just waited for the arrow to turn green.  Instead, however, I turned right—and proceeded the wrong way down one of the busiest one-way streets in Philadelphia. And did I mention it was rush hour? 

It didn’t take long for me to realize my mistake as a street full of cars, led by a huge, red double-decker tour bus began to barrel toward me, their horns blaring.  The bus driver gesticulated frantically for me to get out of the way. I began to panic as an accident with the bus seemed unavoidable.   

However, at the last moment, the driver of the bus–my perceived threat–pulled diagonally across all four lanes of traffic and slammed on his brakes.  He used his bus to block the oncoming car and signaled for me to turn my car around.  I did so with great haste and a hot face. Then I high-tailed it out of there.

Now, I’m no Jonah, and it wasn’t a matter of me rebelling that got me into trouble.  However, I did make the choice to go the wrong way down a one-way street—which could have had serious consequences.  The interesting part is the person I dreaded the most—the bus driver– it was his mercy that saved my family and me from serious harm that day. 

I don’t know what lesson God is trying to teach you with Matt’s message from Jonah.  But I do know this: Mercy is always appropriateIf you’ve been wronged, show mercyIf you’ve done wrong, ask forgiveness and pray for mercy. Thank the Lord for His continual mercy upon us.  (Psalm 103:1-5)  And if God has shown you something He wants you to do and you’re not doing it, if nothing else, the story of Jonah shows us that it’s futile to continue down that path.  The longer you wait to follow God, the more it will hurt you and people you love.  Turn around now. You don’t want to get flattened by a bus. 

Noteworthy:

New and Improved Service Options!

  • Click here to see a video where Pastor Matt explains the changes, but here they are in abbreviated form:
    • There will be only one 8:45am service, and it will be located in the Senior High School room.
      • Pastor Mike will work with Andy Keener to create a worship time that includes more traditional songs, choruses, and hymns
      • Matt will speak live with a full sermon
    • The 10:30 am Family Service will continue in the Middle School Room.
      • Zeke will lead the worship portion along with selected MBC Students
      • Matt will speak live for 20 minutes
      • Please park in the back lot of the church and enter & exit through the east/Childcare entrance doors.
    • We will have the normal 11am service in the sanctuary/gym.
      • Ryan will lead this more contemporary worship time 
      • Matt will speak live with full sermon
      • Park in the front lot and enter through the west/main Family entrance to the building
    • An 11am Mask-Only service will be held in room A104.
      • This worship service will be viewed as a livestream from the sanctuary
      •  Park and enter by the north Office entrance to the building
    • We will only be Livestreaming the 11am service for now.  Click here or paste the following link into your browser to view this service: https://youtu.be/uaeP9djEPIw

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.

MBC Students

  • If you have middle or senior high school students, mark your calendars now for the “ONE Weekend” in-house retreat from Thursday, July 30 through August 2nd.  
  • In order for Zeke and his crew to pull off an event of this magnitude, they need host homes (students would arrive between 10-11pm and depart by 9am) on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  If you are able to help provide lodging for a small group of students, please contact Leah Austin (click here) or Zeke Garcia (click here) ASAP.

No Minor Prophets Study this Sunday night!  They will continue their study by examining Nahum on June 28th.  Contact Mike Hogue (click here) for more information.

Fitness and Fellowship continues Monday afternoons @ 4:30pm (Cardio/Step), Tuesday mornings @ 9am (Strength and Stretching), and Thursday mornings @ 9 am (Cardio/Step).  Classes are free and we’d love to have you join us.  Contact the church office (click here) for more info.

After cleaning the church library, we have a number of extra Bibles and other resources to give away.  Stop by the table in The Hub and take as many as are useful to you or your family.

Thank you for continuing to show us (the staff) grace as we seek to provide the best worship experience possible for you while still following the Governor’s COVID Pandemic guidelines.  As Matt has pointed out, none of us have ever had a class in “Pandemic Management.”  And, like you, we all hope these times pass by us as quickly as possible so we can get back to “normal”–whatever that will look like.

Unfortunately, that was not what the traffic light meant.

In service to Him and to you,
Heather Hogue


MBC Weekly News – June 13, 2020

 

Sermon Recap for June 12, 2020

Title: The Glory of God, the Gospel, & Ethnic Harmony

Scripture passage: Various

Two questions

Why should ethnic harmony matter to every follower of Christ?

  • The image of God is reflected in ethnic diversity (Genesis 1:26-27)
  • Sin and Satan are the root of ethnic disharmony (Genesis 3)
  • The Gospel of Christ is answer to the root of ethnic disharmony (Colossians 3: 12-13)
  • The Gospel Mission is ethnically diverse (Matthew 28:19, Acts 1:8, Revelation 7:9–10)

What should I do as a follower of Christ to pursue ethnic harmony?

  • Examine my heart & repent where needed
  • Listen & learn to understand
  • Be a minister of reconciliation
  • Pray

To be honest, last week was exhausting for many—myself included.  It was exhausting to read the how my black brothers and sisters have suffered injustice.  It was exhausting to see how good police were lumped in with those who murder.

So I was toying with the idea of not putting out an update this week, since the one from last week was almost a precursor to Pastor Matt’s message on Sunday.  However, I started to hear from various people who shall remain nameless, “What happened to the update for this week? Are you okay?” and I felt compelled to write this short follow-up.

I checked my Facebook feed this morning, and in a strange coincidence, I saw that June 12th is officially Loving Day in several states.  And if you look up the history of Loving Day--and I encourage you to do so–you’ll see why I wanted to get the update out tonight.  As believers, we know we should celebrate Loving Day every day since we are supposed to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, and minds and love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:38). In fact, that was one of Matt’s recent messages. However, what you may not know is that June 12th is Loving Day because it marks the anniversary of the 1967 US Supreme Court decision to strike down individual states’ bans on interracial marriage.  It is called “Loving Day” because the couple at the center of the original court case were Richard and Mildred Loving from Caroline County, Virginia.

In another strange coincidence, as I prayed and thought about an example of ethnic harmony to write about for this update, I kept coming back to one of my earliest memories.  I had a bright yellow dress with special hand-embroidery and a white hat to match that I only got to wear on special occasions such as spring holidays or school pictures.  However, my mom told me to put it on one Saturday morning when I was about four years old.  I asked her where we were going; she said it was to a wedding. I remember asking, “Who is getting married?’  She replied that who it was, wasn’t important.  But it was important that we go to the wedding.  I never understood more than that until recently when I was going back through some pictures my mom sent me.

In the stack of pictures, I found one of the wedding!  There I was in my yellow dress, wincing with the grief of every four-year-old who has had to suffer through a long wedding ceremony.  There was my mom, beautiful as always, smiling brightly at the newly-pronounced man and wife. And there were the bride and groom—an interracial couple in Madison, Wisconsin.

What an epiphany.  The moment my mom thought was too important for us to miss.  We went because she knew it was essential to show love and support to this couple as they demonstrated their love for one another.  And this Loving Day, may I also challenge you to also show Christ’s love and acceptance, regardless of race, to all the ethnicities represented in Midlothian…and beyond. 

Noteworthy

Service info!

    You have FIVE ways to participate in worship this Sunday!  They include:

    1. 8:45 am livestream on our YouTube channel

    2. 8:45 am Regular Service in the Sanctuary/Gym

  • Park in the front lot of the building
  • Enter and exit through the front doors (west entrance) of the building ONLY

    3. 8:45 am Mask Only Service in the Senior High School room.

  • This service will have a pared down worship team (keyboard only) and an emphasis on more traditional songs (hymns).
  • Park in the back lot of the building (east/childcare)
  • Enter and exit through the high school doors

     4. 10:30 am Family Service in the Middle School Room (upstairs)  NOTE THE TIME CHANGE!!!

  • This service is geared toward families with young children
  • Bring a blanket and sit on the floor with your kids because this service is “wiggle-friendly”
  • Park in the back lot of the building (east/childcare)
  • Enter and exit through the main east entrance (childcare doors) ONLY

     5. 11am Regular Service in the Sanctuary/Gym

  • Park in the front lot
  • Enter and exit through the front doors (west entrance) of the building ONLY

Request

In addition, since we have added so many new options for worship, we need new greeters.  Research shows it is important that we have people in place to help answer questions and make people feel welcome. Even with all the COVID restrictions in place, we had at least one new family attend last Sunday!  Please respond to this email (click here) if you are able to help us greet at any of our in-person worship services this Sunday. 

Small/LIFE Groups

Several small groups are also beginning to meet again on Sunday morning in person including the Women’s group, the Ambassador class, and the BeVier’s class, so check with your group leader to see if yours is included.

Blankets for BESTWA

Candi Summers and the team at BESTWA has asked to help provide new linens for BESTWA’s clean birth initiative.  Our goal is to collect 100 receiving blankets and 50 twin sheets. To support this goal, MBC Women will make our next Coffee and Conversations event on Sunday, July 12 from 7-8:30 pm a sewing session to help those who don’t know how to sew a receiving blanket and to provide a place to spread out and construct blankets for those who do.  If you are unable to join us on the 12th, please consider donating a receiving blanket (flannel is preferred) or twin sheet (cotton is preferred).  They can be new or gently-used.  Bring your donations and leave them in the Pack-n-Play that is part of the “Blankets for BESTWA” display in the Hub. Andy Perkins will be taking them when he goes back to Liberia in September (Lord-willing).

Final thoughts

We don’t have much credibility as Christians if we send money and supplies to missionaries in other continents, but we don’t demonstrate God’s love and acceptance to our neighbors here in Midlothian.  This is not about taking a side against police.  Many police officers marched with us last Saturday and Sunday at events here in Midlothian.  This is about ethnic harmony and racial reconciliation—ideals we are called to as believers.  So make the effort.  Take on what may feel awkward and uncomfortable at first.  Pray. Listen. Really try to listen.  Examine your heart.  Take steps to reconcile with “brothers of different colors” when needed. #Bethechange that Midlothian and the rest of the world so desperately need to see right now.

In service to Him and to you,
Heather Hogue


MBC Weekly News – June 3, 2020

 

Sermon recap for June 1, 2020:

Title: Better Together

Passage: Ephesians 4:1-16

How?

  • Pursue spiritual unity (vs 1-6)
  • Utilize spiritual diversity (vs 7-12)
  • Grow in spiritual maturity (vs. 13-16)

*Outline adapted from Tony Merida’s book Christ-Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in Ephesians

Thoughts:

I found myself thinking a lot about Pastor Matt’s message Better Together over the last few days.  For a message initially aimed at unifying our local body of Christ at MBC, the larger message of the sermon seems surprisingly appropriate for the events going on in our country right now. Pursue Unity. Utilize diversity. Grow in maturity.  Please bear with me while I try to bring my personal experience to bear on this message.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of Mike’s and my favorite activities is to go estate-saling.  For those who don’t know, going to estate sales is basically like going to a garage sale that encompasses an entire house.  Once, when we were out estate-saling in a very expensive and upscale area of Dallas, we walked into a home, and the woman behind the cash register looked me over. Looked. Me. Over. Have you ever gotten “that look” before?  The look that’s a combination of judgment and suspicion? The look that says, “You don’t belong here.” I suddenly felt very self-conscious. I looked down. I had on an old t-shirt and ratty sweatpants. Definitely not the labels she was used to seeing in this part of Dallas. I tried to shrug it off.  Maybe she was just grouchy and I was reading into the situation. I tried to ignore her gaze as I entered the house and began to look around.

I brought an item up to the register and asked her how much it was.  Her face turned tightened and she accused, “This had a price tag on it. Where’s the price tag?” I shrugged apologetically and left the item with her.  Then I noticed one of her workers following me around the home and watching my every movement.  Was she implying that she thought I was trying to steal something???  Was I being “profiled”???

The color started to rise in my cheeks.  I felt a hot combination of embarrassment and anger. I grabbed Mike’s arm and told him we needed to leave RIGHT NOW.  He didn’t understand, so when we got to the car, I tried to explain my feelings to him.  “Did you hear the way she talked to me???  I think she even had someone follow me around the house!” I remember shaking with anger.  Mike tried to play it off, “Don’t worry about it. What she thinks doesn’t matter.”  But that was little consolation.  It did matter to me.  It mattered because she made a negative assumption about my character and WHO I WAS based on what I was wearing and what I looked like.  The experience left me angry—raging angry.

But here’s the real rub: This is as close as I can get to a personal experience where I suffered prejudice or discrimination. And it is NOTHING like what African Americans and POC (Persons of Color) go through on a regular basis.  I’ve seen first-hand as a teacher how black students are sometimes disciplined more severely than white students.  My daughter’s friend is an African-American student at MIT.  He was stopped and frisked because police thought he was robbing his own dorm room.  The city of Fort Worth watched a young, black woman get shot in her own home by a policeman investigating a potential break-in.  And the nation watched in horror as George Floyd was suffocated to death at the hands of four police officers.  We need the message of “Better Together” now more than ever.  And “Better Together” doesn’t just apply to people in the church—it is how Christ wants us to view our brothers and sisters of different colors.  We need to be better at bringing people of different races together.

So how do we do that?  As Matt says, “Every question is a theological question.” According to rest of Ephesians 4, we must:

  • Put away falsehood (v25)
  • Speak the truth (v25)
  • Be angry and do not sin (v26)
  • Do not let the sun go down on our anger (v26)
  • Let the thief no longer steal (v28)
  • Let no corrupting talk come out of our mouths (v29)
  • Do not grieve the Spirit of God (v30)
  • Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you along with all malice (v31)
  • Be kind to one another, forgiving one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (v32)

 

Please note that all of these require action.  Paul doesn’t simply say, “Just realize that the truth is important.” We must speak the truth.  We are called to take definitive actions to help promote unity of the body, and I would also submit, the unity of our country.

If we are not POC (People of Color), we must, at a minimum, acknowledge that we have very little shared experience on the topics of prejudice and racism with our African-American brothers and sisters, and we should do all we can to change that narrative.  One way I’ve discovered is to reach out to POC and listen.  Not “listening to respond” as my one friend put it, but “listening to understand.”  She expressed to me, “POC have been trying to explain our hurt and fears to white America for centuries. However, we’ve also stepped back, or even stepped down, to keep the peace–allowing many to step on us. We have allowed minor victories to suffice just because they were victories. However, we didn’t realize that people were still not understanding.  And white America is not used to all this: all this screaming and shouting, all this demanding, all this violence. You would think this not to be true because POC have protested and rioted before, but it soon ceased because someone put a band-aid over a still seeping wound.”

Another friend who is also a POC mentioned these ideas when I asked what we as a church can do to help the current situation.  She wrote:

  • Make sure you/they are educating themselves about the issues.
  • Look up historic oppressions so you can speak against things that are rooted in hate and ignorance.
  • Check yourself for biases about race and see if they are rooted in hatred.
  • Evaluate the people you are doing life with and intentionally invite people of color into your life to fellowship with you as believers. We are supposed to be “seeking a person of peace” (Luke 10) and “not forsaking meeting with one another.” That should be a diverse meeting of people (Hebrews 10:25).
  • Challenge the people you hear who have biases or say derogatory things to educate themselves on “what is true, what is lovely, what is noble” (Philippians 4:8) about the people who are different from you and celebrate that with them rather than looking for evidence of hateful biases. Remember the big picture– humanity is broken. We ALL have a sin issue & there are sin issues we need to address regardless of race.
  • Intentionally patron black (any minority) owned business and share those businesses with friends.
  • Challenge officers you know to be intentional about living in the communities they work in our truly serving and buying in the communities they work in, seeking the person of peace in the communities they are serving and protecting so that they know what normal crime is in the area.
  • Host community prayer nights for the nation and for race relations; mourn and seek God for wisdom answers and reconciliation.

These are tangible things we as a church can to do to help our community be “Better Together.”  I’ll be bringing even more ideas and resources to you in the future.  Don’t lose hope.  We can help #bethechange that points people to the gospel of Christ.

Noteworthy:

You’ve been waiting for it!  And it has arrived!!!  This Sunday, June 7th, we will be reopening the church for worship services!  We will be a releasing a video with all the details tomorrow, but here is the gist:

We will have 5 options for you to participate in our worship service:

  • 8:45am livestream on our YouTube channel
    • This message can then be viewed any time thereafter
  • 8:45am Regular Service in the “Sanctinasium”
    • Park in the front lot of the building
    • Enter and exit through the front doors (west entrance) of the building ONLY
  • 8:45am Mask Only Service in the Senior High School room.
    • This service will have a pared down worship team (keyboard only) and an emphasis on more traditional songs.
    • Park in the back lot of the building (east/childcare)
    • Enter and exit through the high school doors
  • 11am Regular Service in the “Sanctinasium”
    • This week will feature a “Senior Celebration” with a video and tribute marking the graduation of our MBC high school seniors. Graduating seniors include Max Allen, Sara Austin, Madison Birdwell, Emily Bishop, Megan Clay, Ben deDios, Keila Finnestad, Dean Fretwell, Cait Hullett, Emily Morren, Madeline Reynolds, Caleb & Colby Schuelke, John Seimears, Brant Taylor, Ben Toliver, Braeden Vaughan, Alison Wilkins, and Matthew Zavala.  There will be a table in the foyer where you can leave cards for the graduates, if so desired.
    • Park in the front lot
    • Enter and exit through the front doors (west entrance) of the building ONLY
  • 11am Family Service in the Middle School Room (upstairs)
    • This service is geared toward families with young children
    • Bring a blanket and sit on the floor with your kids because this service is “wiggle-friendly”
    • Worship will be a mix of children’s choruses and adult worship songs.
    • Activities will encourage movement
    • Sermon will be streamed in (8:45am message) but in the future, there may also be a live “kid-friendly” message presented by Matt, Mike, Zeke, or other MBC member.
    • Park in the back lot of the building (east/childcare)
    • Enter and exit through the main east entrance (childcare doors) ONLY
    • ENTRANCE /EXIT PLAN

We have started earlier to give us time to disinfect between services as per the governor’s guidelines for reopening Texas. I have attached a map Mike created to this email which should help explain things even better for more “visual” people, so check it out!

I apologize for the length of this update.  Believe me, I spent a great deal of time in prayer trying to craft the best and most gracious response to recent events.  I do believe that Jesus is the answer to what the world needs.  We, as believers, just need to do a better job bringing the message to them–the message that we are “Better Together.”

In service to Him and to you,
Heather Hogue