Category: MBC Family News


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


Special Outdoor Service – May 31, 2020

 

 

Outdoor Worship Service This Sunday (5/31/20) @ 10:30am!

 

Exciting Announcement!

The weather prediction for this weekend has improved, so we are planning an outdoor lawn chair service in the back parking lot of MBC for this Sunday, May 31st at the normal time of 10:30 am!  Everyone is invited, but we would still ask those who fall into higher-risk categories to worship by watching the YouTube livestream from home.

Important notes:

  • Park in the front parking lot ONLY.  We will be reserving spaces on the sides of our building for those who might need extra assistance.
  • Bring a folding chair/lawn chair for each member of your family.  You can also bring a blanket for kids to use to sit directly on the pavement.  You will carry your chairs and blankets from your car around to the back of the building.
  • Please follow social distancing guidelines.  We would ask that you sit with the people who arrived with you. Parents, please keep your party together and sit as a family with your children.
  • The service will begin at 10:30am.  Children’s programming will not be offered, so please bring activities for your kids if they attend (ideas: coloring pages, chalk to use to draw on the pavement, etc.).
  • Restrooms on the east side of the building (children’s wing) will be open for use.

Please continue to pray for us as we seek God’s wisdom in the reopening of our building.  And as Pastor Matt always reminds us, be ready to show grace since there are a wide range of opinions on how to respond to the COVID pandemic. Thank you for your continued flexibility and patience as we adjust service times and activities. 

We can’t wait to see you all again in person on Sunday!

In service to Him and to you,

Heather Hogue for the MBC Leadership Team

 

 


MBC Weekly Update – May 17, 2020

Series: Followership over Spectatorship

Title: Follow Me: The Conditions

Review of MBC’s vision for 2020: Pursuing followership over spectatorship by growing as disciples who make disciples.

Implementation:

  1. Implementation of a global & local mission team.
  2. Equip 75% of MBC partners share the gospel.
  3. Start 4 new LIFE Groups with 4 new leaders.
  4.  All LIFE groups learn basic subjects of discipleship.
  5. Pray at 1:11 pm
    • 1 to share the Gospel with in 2020.
    • 1 to come to faith in Christ in 2020.
    • 1 to personally disciple in 2021.

Passage: Mark 8:27-38

  • The Confession, v 27-30 
    • “Who do people say that I am?”
    • “But who do you say that I am?”
  • The Correction, v 31-33
    • The Son of Man must suffer (John 3:16)
    • Peter’s rebuke
    • “You’re shooting baskets for the wrong team.”
  • The Conditions, v 34
    • Deny himself
    • Take up his cross
    • Follow Me
  • The Rationale, v 35-38

Thoughts

I have to ask… Was anyone able to guess the song when Pastor Matt started “Name That Tune” humming on Sunday morning???  I sure wasn’t!  (My advice–Stick to preaching, Matt, and leave the music to Ryan and Zeke!) However, once Matt said it was the song My Life by Billy Joel, I knew exactly the song he meant!  I’ve even sung the lyrics myself along with the radio, “Go ahead with your own life!  Leave me alone!”  That song was a great reminder of what the first condition of following Christ– Deny Yourself–does NOT look like! 

Matt then mentioned, the second condition for following Christ–“Take up your cross” would have been a terribly gruesome metaphor to Jesus’ audience.  Crosses were the ultimate symbol of shame, pain, and disgrace—not pretty trinkets or artwork on t-shirts. Jesus was asking members of his audience to volunteer to take up the horrible object and its implied suffering in order to follow Him.  And as Matt pointed out, this isn’t like how we use it to sometimes refer to a “cross we have to bear.” Taking up your cross refers to the hardships that directly accompany the cost of following Christ.

Matt shared an example of a student who didn’t get into medical school because he revealed during his interview that he wouldn’t perform an abortion because he was a Christian. I’ve also had several instances where I was challenged to “take up my cross” in the workplace.  At one high school where I taught, a student asked me to start a Bible study.  However, when I went to submit a request to meet along with some other paperwork, I was told by an administrator that the school would be unable to offer an activity like that to the student body because it could be construed as favoring a religious organization. (Irony alert!!!  The administrator was a evangelical Christian and former missionary!)

You would think this kind of thing wouldn’t happen in Texas! I knew the law, and I knew that there was nothing in it to support this decision. My guess is that the administrator didn’t want any unnecessary controversy or attention, so the easiest option was to deny us the option of meeting.  I considered letting the matter drop. I was a relatively new teacher at the school, and I knew this might start me out on the wrong foot with the administration.  However, I was reminded of the story of Esther.  Maybe I was called to that school for “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).  I also remembered Job’s message to his friends, “Though He slay me, I will hope in him” (Job 13:15). I went ahead and requested a meeting with the administrator over student clubs and activities knowing that my message might not be well-received.

I went to school a nervous wreck that day, but after school, I presented my case and offered a defense as to why such a gathering would be well within the laws governing separation of church and state. I looked at my administrator and said, “And you need to know that if you deny us the right to meet, I will do everything in my power to see this through–including taking legal action.”  God was gracious that time, and we were allowed to meet, albeit with certain stipulations. I didn’t end up suffering personal loss that time, but I realize it could have gone differently.  “Taking up our cross” can be costly, but it’s required for those who want to follow Christ.

Finally, true followers of Christ need to be willing to submit to the third condition.  We need to be willing to follow Him–even if that means following Him into suffering.  I was talking to a friend today, and we were joking about how it’s not really submission if it’s something you would have done anyway.  True submission comes when we must bend our will to honor someone else in authority—especially if we have, what I like to call, “better ideas.”  Following Christ means submitting to Him and His authority in our lives.  We may think we have a better idea or a better way of doing things, but ultimately God has our best in mind. Romans 8:28 is clear that for those who love Him, He is working out everything for good.  Following Christ is trusting that God isn’t lying to us in this promise.

Noteworthy:

MBC at large:

  • Unfortunately, with the forecast of bad weather again for this weekend, the Saturday evening service has been cancelled.
  •   Please join us for a live stream of the service on Sunday morning on our YouTube Channel at the normal time of 10:30am.  We are working toward a reopening of the building on June 7th—just in time to celebrate our recent graduates with a rescheduling of our Senior Sunday.  Please remain flexible and give us time to communicate procedures and instructions with you for this reopening.  We have some creative ideas, and we’re looking forward to sharing them!

MBC Students:

  • Movie Night is today, May 22 @ 7:00pm.  They will be watching Disney’s Tangled.  The plan is for students to meet at the church, under the covered drive, and watch the movie outside, weather-permitting. However, know that if they need to move the students inside because of rain, they already have a plan that will allow them to follow the social distancing guidelines. Students may also participate in the movie night via Zoom. Also, the Student Ministries Team is looking for homes to host small groups for their Wednesday night meetings over the summer.  If you’re interested in hosting a small group or if you have any questions about the MBC Student Ministry, please contact Zeke, Corbin Wadkins, or Leah Austin (click here)

MBC Women:

  • Just a reminder and invitation for you to join us for Fitness & Fellowship, Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9am in the main gym. Bring a yoga mat and blocks on Tuesdays.  Bring a yoga mat and hand-weights on Thursdays.  Contact the church office for more information by clicking here.
  • The Women’s Summer morning Bible study begins this Wednesday, May 27th and will be held on Zoom from 9:30-11am.  They will be studying The Gift of Knowing Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery by David Benner (available on Amazon for $10). The “Expanded Edition” includes discussion questions. Peggy Arendsee, the group leader, mentioned that this study would be a nice follow-on for ladies coming out of Re:Gen.  Contact her by clicking here for more information.

MBC LIFE groups:

Join Mike Hogue for a study of Amos this Sunday at 6pm on Zoom! 

Scott BeVier’s Sunday school class is studying 1st & 2nd Timothy via Zoom on Sunday mornings at 9am.  

Scott Taillon’s class will be beginning a study of Paul soon.  The guide they are using was written by Jack Kuhatschek and can be purchased on Amazon by clicking here.

Pam Curry’s Sunday morning Zoom group will be starting Jen Wilkin’s study God of the Covenant on Sunday, May 31st. 

There are other groups meeting, too, including Ed Fricke’s class, the Ambassador class, the Reynolds’ LIFE group, the Keener’s LIFE group, YAM(Young Adult Ministry)s, and more!

  Please contact the church office (click here) if you do not belong to a LIFE group and we’ll do out best to get you connected.

Finally, remember the vision we have at MBC for 2020: Pursuing follower-ship over spectator-ship by growing as disciples who make disciples.  Jesus made clear the conditions.  May God give us all the strength to follow Him and the grace to forgive ourselves and others when we fall short.


In service Him and you!
Heather Hogue


MBC Weekly Update – May 14, 2020

Sermon Recap

Series: Followership over Spectatorship

Title: My Mom Taught Me to Love My Neighbor

Passage: Luke 10: 25-37 The Good Samaritan

Examine: What is your reason not to stop [and help]?

  • busyness, fear, prejudice, lack of grace, compassion, sin, spiritual apathy…?

Questions for application:

  • Are you asking, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
  • Or have you been living as if you must do something to inherit eternal life?
  • Are you being a good neighbor?
  • Are you seeking to love those who are near and in need?

How do I get started on loving my neighbor?

  1. Start with one.
  2. Rely on the Spirit
  3. Love your neighbor out of the overflow of loving communion with Christ. Lk. 10:38-42
  4. Tell people about the Savior, Jesus Christ

Thoughts

Have you ever asked a question when you already knew the answer? When Mike was an instructor pilot and a middle school teacher, he would often ask students questions he knew the answer to, so they would recognize they were about to make a mistake. It got to be known around his squadron as a “Hogue Trap.”  I hate being on the receiving end of one.  Sometimes, it’s as innocent as Mike asking me, ““So how are you planning to get your computer to do….x,y, or z?” and ends with him asking, “Would you like me just to do it for you?”

We don’t know the motivation of the lawyer when he asked Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Was it a “Hogue Trap”? Did he know the answer already and was he just trying to make himself look good?  Was it a trap to get Jesus to give an answer that would be unpopular with his followers?  Whatever the motive, I don’t think anyone would argue that it backfired when Jesus fired the question back, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 

Maybe then the lawyer stood up a little taller since he could demonstrate his knowledge of the Law.  Or maybe he stumbled, not expecting to have the tables turned on him.  I wish we had more insight into the tone of his response, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” At this point, he might have thought “Phew!  I dodged a bullet on that one.”  Or he might have felt proud of myself for such a “spiritual response”—a “Nailed it!” -type of moment.  Jesus’ response, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live,” even feels like He was ready to let the lawyer off the hook. 

However, the lawyer wanted or needed something more. Was it validation?  Was it an attempt to save face?  Luke writes that the lawyer pressed on “desiring to justify himself.”  I hear buzzers going off here!   Warning!  WARNING!!!  Danger Will Robinson!  Danger!  Get out of there! 

Then out of the lawyer’s mouth come the words, “And who is my neighbor?”  This resulted in one of the most famous parables of all time.

So who is our neighbor? Jesus’ answer came in the form of a story.  This kind of answer is sneaky—like medicine wrapped in something sweet and delicious. The answer Jesus gave is that our neighbor is the most unattractive and unwelcome person we can picture.  To the lawyer, it was a Samaritan.  To us, it could be anyone who fits your favorite go-to poor behavior choice, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.  The Samaritan became our role model.  He showed the traveler mercy. He had authentic love for his neighbor.

What does authentic love look like?  It gives sacrificially. It backs down so another can be built up. It gets out of its comfort zone. It speaks up against injustice—sometimes loudly.  Other times, it stays quiet when wronged and forgives.  It writes notes. It picks up Starbucks.  It doesn’t demand credit or the gratitude of others.  It doesn’t grumble.  It doesn’t do anything for show.

Hearing this message on the Good Samaritan from Pastor Matt on Sunday challenged me to look for more ways to demonstrate authentic love to my “neighbors.”

Noteworthy:

Meet Zeke

MBC Students

You may have heard, but we hired a new Pastor of Students Ministries, Zeke Garcia!  You can find out more about him by watching a short YouTube video we made to introduce him on our YouTube channel.  Click here to watch! If you have questions we didn’t answer, or if you’d like to touch base with Zeke himself, feel free to drop him an email by clicking here (zeke.garcia@midlothianbible.org).  You can also call him by dialing directly 940-293-0544.  We look forward to the day when we can introduce Zeke and his family to you all in person!

If you have a middle or high school student, be sure to tune in to Zoom on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights for more interaction with Zeke and the awesome group of individuals who are part of the MBC Student Ministry.  Contact Leah Austin (click here) for more information or if you didn’t receive the Zoom links!

MBC Women

Pam Curry’s study of James starts this Sunday over Zoom!  Click here to email Pam for more information.

Peggy Arendsee’s Summer Study of the book Surrender to Love by David Benner begins May 27thClick here for more information.

Fitness and Fellowship is off and running! (No pun intended!)  Come join us for stretching and conditioning on Tuesdays and Cardio/Step on Thursdays from 9-10am in the main sanctuary.  Bring a yoga mat and hand weights if you have them! Click here for more info.

MBC Family!

With the predictions of inclement weather for Saturday evening, we have rescheduled the “Outdoor Evening Service” for May 23rd at 7pm.  However, this is also subject to change so please stay tuned and we will keep you updated!

Hosea Study –

Join Pastor Mike for a lesson on Hosea as he continues the Zoom study of the minor prophets on Sunday evenings from 6-7pm. Click here to email Mike for the Zoom link and/or for more information.

Finally, as we seek to be true followers of Christ and not just spectators, ask God to show you who your “neighbor” this week and go out and love them!  And know that if I ask you how it’s going, I promise it won’t be a Hogue Trap.

In service to Him and to you,
Heather Hogue


MBC Weekly Update – May 8, 2020

May 3, 2020 Sermon Recap:

Series: Followership over Spectatorship: Growing as Disciples Who Make Disciples

Title: Follow Me: Love One Another

Passage: John 13:34-35  “A new commandment I give to you, love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Love for fellow believers as well as our unbelieving neighbors should be: 

  • Selfless
  • Sacrificial
  • Understanding
  • Committed and forgiving

This means we need the Holy Spirit!

Application:

  • Confess
  • Repent
  • Submit
  • Rely

Only then will we be able to “bear the logo” of Christ –like certain clothing “bears the logo” of Michael Jordan–to fellow believers and to our unbelieving neighbors.

Thoughts:

A sermon on love.  This should be the easiest sermon recap to write! There are so many ways to practically demonstrate love for others.  Like the note on the MBC Kids’ Ice Cream flier lists, we can walk dogs, paint rocks, and draw chalk pictures.  We can also write notes, make calls, bring dinners, and on and on.  Let me be clear.  These are all nice things. Loving things. They’re all great actions that can show love to our neighbors.

Here’s my question though…  Why does it sometimes seem easier to show love to complete strangers than the ones we love the most–our own family?  I’ve been known to make a three course dinner for a family at church and then pick up McDonald’s for my own family (Don’t judge me, though. This was before the book Chew on This and the movie Supersize Me came out).  When I was teaching, it seemed I had almost unlimited patience with my students. I could calmly ask a student to try again with a different answer ad infinitum.  I even made it a personal challenge to try to connect with the most difficult kids to be the “teacher who cared.”

However, when I would get home to Mike and my own kids, I often was short and impatient.  I spoke angry words out of frustration in a tone I never would even consider using with students or coworkers.  Why? I’ve heard it asked, “Why do we tend to treat the ones we love the most…the worst?”  Chaucer’s line from the Canterbury Tales, “Familiarity breeds contempt” is often too close to the truth.

While I don’t have a background in psychology, I do know enough to say that for me, this is just one more piece of evidence which shows us we can’t walk the Christian life in our own strength.  We need the Holy Spirit.  We need His help to love the unlovable, and we need His help to love those who are most precious to us.  Don’t assume they just “know” you love them.  They need to see love in action, too.

Noteworthy:

If you thought that while the church was closed these last few weeks for the Shelter-in-Place Order nothing was going on, you couldn’t be further from the truth! Here are some highlights from the last two weeks!

MBC Kids

  • You saw the MBC Kids and Student ministries loving on each other during the video last Sunday.  This week, a team of volunteers delivered “Carnival in a Bag” kits to kids who participated in the Wednesday night CrossKids program this year! Lydia Weldy, Stephanie Vest, Edna Vara and a team of volunteers didn’t want the kids to miss out on their end-of-year celebration event, so they brought the “carnival experience”  to the kids by providing them with items such as red noses, cotton candy, and shaving cream for a “Pie in the Face” challenge.  Check out their Facebook page, “Midlothian Bible Church Kids Ministry,” to see all the smiling faces!
CrossKids Carnival!

Watch and see if you have the winning raffle ticket or luck rubber ducky! We had a lot of fun demonstrating the different carnival games in your bag, and we hope you do too! Share your photos with us!

Posted by Midlothian Bible Church Kids Ministry on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

MBC Students

  • There is BIG news on the MBC Student front!  As Matt announced on Sunday, we have hired Zeke Garcia as our new Student Ministries Pastor!  Zeke comes to us from Arkansas where he was a former worship leader and youth pastor.  Zeke and his wife, Karlee, have three young children and another on the way due in November!  We hope to have a video introducing Zeke and his family to you soon!
  • Also on the MBC Student front, there will be a movie night tomorrow at 7pm.  They will be watching “Spiderman: Homecoming” on Zoom.  The Meeting ID is: 893 8438 3756  and the Password is: 147771.  I know they are planning to deliver snacks to participating students Friday afternoon before the movie, so make sure Leah, Corbin, and the team know if your student plans to attend.
  • Finally, the Student Ministry team is postponing the service recognizing graduating high school seniors until May 31st.  If you have a graduating senior, please refer to an earlier email from Leah Austin and submit your student’s pictures ASAP!  More details will follow, so look for another email from Leah soon.

MBC Women

  • Our MBC Women had their May “Coffee & Conversation” event last Sunday evening.  It was a virtual lesson on painting with watercolors.  Stephanie Vest led everyone in creating a picture of flowers and succulents, and the resulting pictures weren’t half-bad, if I do say so myself!  It was great to connect with other women over Zoom for this fun activity. 
  • Fitness & Fellowship classes have resumed on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9-10am!  Join us for strength and stretching on Tuesdays and Cardio/Step on Thursdays! We’re also considering offering a Monday evening class.  Email the church office by clicking here for more information.  We’d love to have you join us!

MBC LIFE Groups/Sunday School Classes

  • Zoom has also enabled our LIFE group and Sunday school classes to continue going strong. Here are some of their current offerings:
    • Pam Curry and the women’s class—The book of James
    • Mike Hogue and his Sunday night group—A study of the minor prophets
    • The Taillon’s group meets on Zoom twice a week!  Once for prayer requests and fellowship, and once for their study of Encountering Jesus by Douglas Connelly
    • Scott BeVier and the Scripture by the Inch class is studying 1 & 2 Timothy
  • I know Ed Fricke’s class, The Ambassador class, the Keener’s LIFE group, and the Reynold’s LIFE group are also meeting by Zoom, as well.  Don’t let this virus keep you from feeling connected to the body here at MBC! Contact any of the leaders listed or email the church office, and we’ll help you find the perfect group for you and your family.

We’ve had over 80 households respond to the survey link we put out in Realm last week, and the information we received back has already been extremely helpful as we plan to reopen MBC.  If someone in your family hasn’t completed the survey yet, please click here or copy and paste the following link into your browser and answer a few short questions for us: https://tinyurl.com/y8cnpc3d

Finally, weather-permitting, we’re planning an outdoor worship service on Saturday evening, May 16th from 7-8:30 pm.  Look for another email with more details next week.

In closing, I would encourage you spend some time in the word this week and ask the Holy Spirit to help you find ways not only to love your unbelieving neighbor, but also ways to show love to the ones you love the most.  By this all people will know that you are His disciples, if you have love for one another  (John 13:34-35).

In service to Him and to you,
Heather Hogue


Special News Broadcast – April 30, 2020

Important Information Regarding the Reopening of MBC

MBC Church Family,
I am excitedly looking forward to fellowshipping and worshiping with you all in person again soon. Therefore, it was encouraging to hear Governor Abbott’s phased plan to open Texas. As you may know, this plan allows churches to open worship services on a limited basis. (See attached document.) Yesterday, I had meetings with staff and elder leadership to discern how to do this wisely and with measured steps for the overall welfare of the church family. The consensus from these meetings was to continue live-streaming worship services for the next two Sundays with the hope of resuming in-person services by the weekend of May 17th. These steps will allow church leadership to observe what happens as businesses in Texas begin to reopen. It will also let church staff and ministry teams creatively plan and set up meeting areas for corporate worship that follow the governor’s guidelines. Currently, we are assessing the use of multiple services, prescribed groups, various meeting venues, reservations, and cleaning procedures between services. We are also considering the possibility of a special outdoor lawn-chair worship service on the church’s front green space. The youth ministry team is planning to resume their Wednesday night and weekend gatherings sooner. Youth attending these gatherings will be sectioned off into smaller groups, and all who participate will be asked to utilize appropriate social distancing during meetings. If you would like to volunteer to help set up our future services and assist us in meeting the prescribed guidelines, please email info@midlothianbible.org and put “Set-up Help” in the subject line. Please also continue to pray for church leaders to have wisdom and discernment in these matters as we go forward. As we continue to navigate our way through this pandemic, I would encourage you all to walk by faith in God, and seek first His Kingdom. Look for ways you can love your neighbor and put the gospel of Jesus Christ on display.
By His grace, Matt Reynolds for the Elder Team

Checklist for Churches and Places of Worship