Sunday, February 22, 2015
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Look forward to seeing you in worship this Sunday. These are exciting days to serve the Lord!
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Thank you for your time and participation in our "Spring Blitz and Prayer Walk." We had approximately 50 people attend today's blitz and we were able to go to at least twelve different neighborhoods! Special thanks to Lonnie Broussard for preparing our delicious jambalaya and for all of our folks who brought side dishes. Also, thanks to the ladies who came up during the week to prepare our materials for distribution.
The main purpose of our going out was to let people in our community know that we care about them. Aside from letting folks know about the opening of our new facilities, we prayed for our neighbors and areas where we walked. Thanks again for making a spiritual investment in the lives of people in our community.
To God be all the glory!
"I thank my God every time I remember you." Philippians 1:3
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
The word “transition” may be defined as “a movement or development from one stage or style to another.” The word is also used in the field of music to describe “a musical passage leading from one section of a piece to another.” I like these concepts as they relate to our upcoming transition to our new worship and children’s center. A transition does not have to be an abrupt change, it can resemble more of the idea of a pleasing musical passage leading from one section of a piece to another. In music and in life, it’s the familiar along with the “transitions” that make life always interesting and always a journey.
On March 1st when we have our first worship service and when our children move to a new place, we will be leaving some things that are familiar, “notes” and “stanzas” that we know well. And we will be entering into a new “section” of our ministry together as God’s people. In some respects, we will be singing the same song but we will be adding some new “sections” to our faith journey.
What Remains the Same
Some things won’t change come March 1st. We will still be God’s people on mission. We will still be seeking to be the presence of Christ in our community and world. The structure and format of our worship service will be similar to what we’ve been doing for the last few months, it will be a blended experience combining the best of our traditional and celebratory services. Our adult Sunday morning Bible studies will continue in their current buildings and rooms.
What Will Change
Our Sunday morning times will change. Sunday School/Bible Study will meet from 8:45-9:45 a.m. and our one worship service will be at 10:00 a.m. Aside from worship space, our new facility includes two wings. Our nursery and preschool through first grade Sunday School classes will move to the new preschool wing (the wing closest to our current educational building), and our “Kids Time” ministry will move to a new “Kids Time” wing (the wing that is on the right after entering through the main entrance). There will be a covered walkway leading from our educational building to a side door which takes you into the main foyer area.
The main foyer area will have a “Welcome Center,” “Coffee Shop,” and several sitting areas. The facility will be very open and “user friendly” for both our members and our guests. Throughout our building process the following vision sentence has been kept at the forefront. At HBC we want to be “A welcoming place for families to connect with God and others, growing into the full measure of Christlikeness.”
One significant but I believe positive change for us will be that our two separate services will be combined into one new beautiful unity! The combination of wisdom and energy has the power to make our new “piece” of music together exciting and dynamic.
New Facility “Blitz”
On February 15th after our second service, we plan to deliver 1,500 packets to our neighbors inviting them to celebrate with us as we move in to our new facility on March 1st. I hope that you will make plans to join us. The plan is to have a brief lunch after church and then go out in some selected areas of our church field to prayer walk and share our packets. The church will provide the main course and we are asking you to consider bringing a side or desert. We want to keep it pretty simple and respect your time. Families are encouraged to take part. Here’s an example of how this could work. If we have 100 people total to participate, each team of two people could deliver 30 bags. That comes to about one street in an area subdivision which could easily be done in less than an hour. We can do this! Let’s all be a part. If because of health you are not able to prayer walk, perhaps you could be a driver and person of prayer or come help put our packets together. You can call Kim at the office for the details on when this will take place.
Dedication Day Is March 22nd
Some people have asked why we are having our dedication day this far into the month. First, we will have a special prayer of dedication on March 1st when we have our first service. Second, the other Sundays in March were just not as conducive to holding a dedication for the following reasons. On March 8th the time changes and we spring forward one hour. It’s never a good idea to start something new or have something special on a time change day. Also, there is a major wedding on the night before (the 7th) that many of our members will be involved in.
On March 15th we have a major concert tour coming to HBC. They will need to be in the worship center as soon as possible on that Sunday. This is a huge event and will require the energy and efforts of many of our members. Also, the day before is the Upward Banquet which is very labor intensive for many of our folks. March 22nd is the earliest Sunday that we will have an uninterrupted time to dedicate our facility and to have a time of fellowship afterwards. Even though we will have our Disciple Now group finishing up on this Sunday, this will not hinder us at all. In fact, their focus on this weekend is ministry and missions which will go along nicely with what we want to communicate to our community on Dedication Day.
These are exciting days to serve the Lord together. Let me encourage you to pray, praise God for His wonderful working and grace, and participate in the great work that God is doing. See where He is working and join Him. “To Him be the glory in the church . . . forever”! (Eph. 3:21).
“I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3
Thursday, December 11, 2014
One of the wonderful gifts that we have because Christ came into our world is the gift of access to God. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:1-2, ESV, my emphasis). Access to God has both universal and exclusive qualities. Access has been made possible for all people, but it is exclusive to those “justified by faith.”
The universal nature of God’s plan is wondrously brought out in many of the Gospel accounts that we associate with the Christmas story. For instance, the “Wise Men” or “Magi” were from the East, they were Gentiles (non-Jews) from a pagan land and yet they were drawn to the hope of the Messiah. “They came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him” (Matt. 2:1b-2). The hope of salvation (access to God) led them to undertake their long journey and when they found the Christ child, they were not disappointed. “They were overjoyed” and upon finally seeing Jesus, “they bowed down and worshiped him” (2:10-11).
That access to God would be made possible for all people was at the heart of Simeon’s song of praise sung after he himself saw the Christ child. “For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel” (Lk. 2:30-32, my emphasis). No wonder the “Wise Men” came! The light of Christ has come, may we too bow down and adore Him!
The shepherds in the fields watching their flocks were considered religiously unclean because of their work and were looked down upon among their own people. They were essentially outsiders even though they were on the inside. The message of Christ’s birth brought by the angel of the Lord, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Lk. 2:11), first came to the outsiders, shepherds, unclean in a unlikely place.
God was saying something very powerful in these first stories, something that will be said repeatedly in Jesus’ ministry in words and actions. Jesus is a friend of sinners (Matt. 11:19). God desires all people to come to know Him (Jn. 3:16; 2 Pet. 3:9). God didn’t send His Son for good people, he came for all people. The barriers have been torn down, access to God has been made possible for all people, all who will recognize their need and come to God through Jesus Christ. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5). “O Come, Let Us Adore Him!”
So what does this gift of access mean for the believer? For one, it means you have a constant friend in Jesus, you’re never alone, you can call upon Him. Listen to God’s invitation and promise to you. “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jer. 33:3). Prayer opens for us a whole new and beautiful view of life.
The year is 1940, four siblings – Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie – are among the children evacuated from London during WWII to escape the Blitz. They are sent to the countryside to live with professor Digory Kirke. While the four children explore the house, Lucy climbs into the wardrobe and discovers that inside is a magical forest in a land called Narnia, a land far from the very real bombs dropping in London. So begins C. S. Lewis’s story, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. In your prayer closet, your spiritual wardrobe, your quiet place, you can call upon God the Father who has created this vast universe, who ushers you into a place far more wonderful, beautiful and real than Narnia. “O Come, Let Us Adore Him!”
The believer has access to God. This is a liberating and life-changing truth but it also means that you are responsible to the God who created you. As Baptists we have long cherished the teaching of the priesthood of the believer, that every human being is responsible before God and can respond to God directly without any human mediator. No church, institution or human being can mediate your relationship before God. You have been given a great gift, the gift of freedom, the gift of access to God’s grace in Christ. How tragic it would be to throw it all away through neglect or apathy. “O Come, Let Us Adore Him!”
In the Chronicles of Narnia, after Lucy returns from Narnia that first time, she tells her siblings joyfully what she has discovered although at first they don’t believe. But she can’t keep the story of Narnia a secret. As believers, we too cannot keep what we know a secret. We want all people to know that access to God is now possible, the way to the kingdom of heaven has been opened! You too can embrace the Christ of Christmas and by doing so gain entrance into the kingdom of heaven! “O Come, Let Us Adore Him, Christ the Lord!”
“For His Glory!”
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Join us this Sunday, May 25th as Tom Morrow brings an update on the work of the Kazembe Orphanage in Zambia, Africa. Tom will be sharing in both the 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services. Our children will meet with Tom during a portion of their Sunday School hour at 10:00 a.m. in the auditorium. A love offering will be received for the Kazembe Orphanage at the conclusion of each of the services.