Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas from NHBC!

Luke 2:1–7

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Right In Front of My Eyes

I've had the same nativity set for years. The ceramic pieces were made by a friend of mine who died several years ago. Each year I remember her as I put them out, and at the end of the season, I carefully pack the pieces away. However, after even the most careful packing for so many years....Baby Jesus was beginning to look pretty dinged up. The paint was chipped and it seemed a little disrespectful to put on display. I knew my friend wouldn't want me to continue to use it. So....I began the search for another set. But...I was also faced with the dilemma of what do you do with Baby Jesus? I didn't want to donate a damaged piece, but to throw it away seemed wrong! :  ) And so it sat on the counter, while I wondered, "What do I do with Jesus?"

My search was disappointing. Either I didn't like the expressions on the characters, they didn't look realistic, they were too expensive, or something else deterred me on each one. I then began to open up the cute set of little kids spelling out the word, "peace," a new decoration that I'd purchased this year. When the last piece was placed on the table and I stepped back to take a look, I was surprised to see that not only did they spell PEACE, but they were dressed in nativity scene apparel...they were, in fact, a NATIVITY SCENE. The nativity had been right there in my home all along, and I had missed it.

I was struck by two truths during those couple of days. 1) We are all faced with the question, "What do I do with Jesus?" Our answer and that of others has eternal significance. And 2) Sometimes Jesus is right in front of our eyes and we miss Him because we aren't looking. Open my eyes, Lord, to see you and to help others see you, and to make the right choices of what to do with Jesus. The ball is in our court.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Give Thanks!

Psalm 100:4–5 (NIV)

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Give Thanks! 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Lessons learned from Princesses and Friends

A few days ago, I participated in our church's Trunk or Treat event. Watching the line of kids and adults go by, I was aware that not one single person looked the same. Everyone had their own identity, even if they were wearing the same costume. They were all unique.

We, too, by God's creation, are all unique. No one refused to come to the event because not everyone was dressed like them. Not a single participant stayed away because we were giving out other candy besides the one they liked best. And best of all....we all had fun. "Dogs" admired the superheroes, the princesses filled up their bag with all different kinds of candy, and the farmer smiled at them all.

Everyone had different roles for that event. We couldn't all be passing out treats, someone had to be in costume and ready to receive. It didn't happen without some work. It would've been a terrible time if everyone had been sullen and unappreciative. There were appropriate times for each ingredient, and it couldn't all happen at once. No one was out to see who had the best costume, who was passing out the best candy, or who delivered it in the best way. There was (and continues to be) appreciation shown to those who gave, those who came, those who prayed, and those who were there that night. I believe the event was a wonderful example of community and life as God would have us live.

At one time, I was that child in costume, and at one time, I was that parent lugging the coats and snapping pictures. That's not my role now, though. But it doesn't mean the role I have now can't be enjoyable and a part of the whole. Through life, through the church, through our jobs.....our roles change. But God doesn't.....and He still has ABUNDANT life for us....if we'll let Him give it, according to what He knows is best. And by the way....don't be afraid to try a piece of candy you've never tried might just like it! : )

Monday, October 27, 2014

Go Outside!

My mom was always trying to get me to go outside. Her reasoning was persuasive: sitting in front of the television all day was bad for my eyes; think of all the fresh air and sunshine; all my friends were outside, so why wasn't I outside. The list could go on and on, so eventually, I went outside. I think that maybe she just wanted a few minutes of peace and quiet in the house, but even if that was true, outside was better. There were adventures, discoveries, and more that I would have missed curled up on the couch. Outside was better.

Often we can find ourselves becoming very comfortable inside the church. Truthfully, it is a great place to be! We find hope, comfort and encouragement there. It is important, however, to understand the purpose of the hope, comfort and encouragement. We don't come to church to stay inside; we come to church to be equipped to go outside. Jesus' Great Commission to his disciples was to "Go."

Matthew 28:19–20 (NIV84)

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Come to church to get equipped, then go outside. It's really exciting what God is doing out there!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It's Always Today

I love Hebrews 3:13a. It says, "But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is called "Today." It makes me smile, because when you think about it, we are being exhorted to encourage one another everyday....since it is actually always today. Tomorrow never comes, because once the clock turns to midnight and one milli-second (or whatever is a smaller unit than that), it isn't's today. It's another one of those 'keep on keepin' on' passages. Barnabas is one of my favorite Biblical characters...we are told his name means Encourager.

I can remember telling my kids, 'tomorrow, we'll...' do such and such. So then when that day came, they asked, 'is this tomorrow?' That was a hard one to answer...."Well, it's actually today"..."But you said we'd do this tomorrow, and now we're doing it--so isn't this tomorrow?" Try to explain to a four-year old that yesterday today was tomorrow, but now it's today, and tomorrow is tomorrow.... It laughingly makes my brain spin even now!

But this instruction isn't a matter of fact, it's very straightforward -

Encourage one another TODAY!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Night Out

Everybody likes a night out. Whether its dinner at your favorite restaurant, or just spending time with family and friends, a night out can be a wonderful break from the routine of the everyday. NHBC is set to begin a new opportunity called National Heights Night Out. Each month, we will choose a restaurant and invite the NHBC family to join together in a time of fellowship and outreach. This month, we will meet at Panera's on Kansas Expressway Monday, September 29th. If you bring a NHBC flyer between 4-8 PM (available at Panera's will make a donation to our partner school, Fremont Elementary. The evening will also include an informal worship service in the party room at Panera's at 6:30 PM. Invite a friend and join us for a great time of outreach and fellowship in our community.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Just a Little Thing

Three to four inches wide and just an inch long. Just a little bitty thing--but oh, the havoc it can cause. My husband had a gallbladder attack in the middle of the night last week, and that 'little bitty thing' caused him enormous pain. And to top it off, what was REALLY the cause was a stone lodged in the gallbladder's neck - so, even smaller still!

It's amazing what trouble small things can cause....a hangnail, a splinter, even a paper cut. Similarly, it's amazing what trouble small things can cause in relationships. A careless word, a thoughtless look, an ill-timed laugh. How carefully we need to be watchful over small things throughout the day.

It's also amazing what GOOD can come from small things. A kind word, a hand squeeze, a quick word of prayer, or even a short note. May we be faithful to the small things that are good....and watchful over those small 'stones' that can be hurtful to the cause of Christ.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Labor Day

Labor Day is around the corner. That used to mean the end of summer vacation. Now it means that school has been in session for several weeks - we are ready for a break! Use this Labor Day as an opportunity to celebrate the opportunities we have to serve the Lord. It is a privilege and a joy we so often miss because we are not watching for the opportunities we have each day.

Psalm 100:2
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Colossians 3:23–24
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Brand New

New crayons, a full bottle of glue, a blank composition notebook, brand new folders, and everything loaded into a new backpack! A new teacher, new classmates, a new grade, and sometimes a new school.  Our backpack giveaway was last night, and it was so much fun to see the excitement of the kids as they picked the new backpack of their choosing, and then looked like Christmas, as they unpacked their bag of supplies custom packed for them, according to their teachers' specific requests.

The Bible has something to say about new beginnings, too:

2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Isaiah 43:19 -  See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Lamentations 3:22-23 - Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

The new school supplies will get used and wear out. However, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He gives life-changing gifts of freedom to anyone who follows him as Lord and Savior. Unlike our worldly gifts, what He offers is the ultimate gift, the greatest gift of all!

Monday, July 28, 2014

125th Anniversary Reflections

One hundred and twenty five years. That seems like a lot. Many people have passed through the doors of our church in those years. Many have found salvation in Christ, seen their lives and families transformed by His grace, worshiped the Savior, and served the Lord through all those years. Celebrating our anniversary July 27 was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on and give thanks for all the ways that God has worked in and through the congregation of our church.

God has exciting days ahead for us. People all around NHBC and our world need to know the love of Christ. That's our focus. That's our call. That's our vision - to Love God, Love People, and Grow Together.

I can't wait to see what God is going to do in year 126!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Different, yet same

What a wonderful two weeks of VBS we had. It's hard to believe they are both already over. Since we have one at church, and one at an apartment complex, they are VERY different. Tons of kids and workers vs. a handful of workers and a few kids; rooms all over the church, decorated and in use compared to one room for all; three hours for five days instead of two hours for three days--just to name a few. However, the message is the same for both...the message of Jesus--a real man who loved us and died for us, and the redemption that can be ours. And the kids are ultimately the same....just like us, in need of a Savior. It doesn't matter if they've heard of Him, have a church home, or what their family life is like.

Just as these two VBS weeks differ, everywhere we look in the world, we see change and inconsistences. What a blessing to know that Jesus NEVER changes. "Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven's lights. Unlike them, He never changes or casts shifting shadows" (James 1:17)." "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).

Big church, small church, blended family, raised in church or not, young, old, male, just doesn't matter. We've all sinned. We're all condemned on our own. But the wonderful news is...He died for all, and desires that no one perishes. It truly is the good news of the gospel!!!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

On Mission

In their publication Assisting You and Your Church to be Totally His, the International Mission Board offers suggestions on ways that everyone can be involved in sharing the Gospel of Christ with our world. Those suggestions include:

Embracing People Groups - of the 11,000 people groups identified in the world, the IMB estimates that 6405 of them have less than 2 percent of their population who are evangelical Christians. Approximately 3100 of these groups have no evangelical presence at all. Embracing one of these people groups means partnering with the IMB to develop strategies to reach them for Christ. You can find out more at

Prayer - pray specifically for people groups and those seeking to reach them. You can learn more by using the CompassionNet App available for iPhone, iPad, and Android.

Give to Make a Difference - giving generously through the Cooperative Program, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, the Annie Armstrong Mission Offering, and other mission giving opportunities allows missionaries to focus their energies on sharing Christ with those who do not know Him. You can find out more at

Meet Human Needs - Through caring for physical as well as spiritual needs, we follow the example of Jesus. You can find out ways to help at

Join the Journey - multiple opportunities exist for both short term and long term mission endeavors. Watch for opportunities here at NHBC, such as the GCBA Guadalajara Mission Trip each July, the Taiwan Mission Trip in the Summer of 2016, and local missions through our partnerships with Lifebuilders Ministries and Fremont School. You can also discover opportunities at

Find your place to be On Mission with Christ!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Showers of Blessing

I love the short, easy rains we’ve been having lately.

The sun shines brightly on the flowers and leaves, making them sparkle like diamonds, and must’ve inspired the writer of “My Favorite Things” (raindrops on roses…..)

The humidity lifts and oftentimes a cool breeze blows in.

Bright rainbows shine in the sky, reminding us that God keeps His promises.

The grass seems to turn greener right before our eyes.

You want to stay out in it, and your thoughts turn to yet another song, “Just Singin’ in the Rain.”

What a blessing God has given us, yet it is so easy to take for granted. Job 5:10 (NIV) "He provides rain for the earth; he sends water on the countryside.” Maybe I need to find some puddles to jump in….makes me smile, just thinking about it!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Consider the Lilies

Shortly after my mother died, it was time to cut back the lilies, which were no longer blooming. God spoke to me about how though currently unseen, my mother still lived, and I would see her again, just like the lilies.

Recently, the lily greenery started poking through the soil, and has filled in quite nicely. Each day, I look expectantly, waiting to see the blooms show up, and the various colors make their appearances, but there's nothing yet.

One day while looking out, God spoke to me, asking if I was looking for Him just as anxiously and expectantly. Sometimes our prayers are like that, too. We look each day, but it appears as nothing is happening. We grow weary with anticipation, and begin to wonder if we'll ever see the answer. But
Hebrews 10:23 tells us: "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."

God must've known our impatient hearts, and tells us repeatedly to 'hold on.'

Psalm 27:14 - Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.
Isaiah 40:31 - But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.
Conversely.....I must ask myself......Is God waiting on me?.......


Monday, April 28, 2014

The Image of God

 “Oh, he looks just like his daddy.”

I hear some form of this statement on a regular basis concerning my son, Meyer.  I arguably think that he looks a lot like his mother; he has her eyes and some of his facial expressions are distinctly hers. But, I do have to admit the strong father/son resemblance between myself and Meyer.  And, I must confess, it warms my heart!

Resemblance is such a funny thing.  Have you ever noticed how at times siblings look just alike and then at other times, it seems that their features couldn’t be more different. 

The Bible tells us that we have been made in God’s image.  In Genesis 1:27, it says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (ESV)

Have you ever stopped to think about that: you are made in the image of God.  What exactly does that mean, anyway?  Of course, I know that there are many theological explanations of what this verse is talking about. But, at the risk of over-simplifying the concept, it just means that we look like Him.  Whether that is physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, or something else altogether…, well, that’s not the point I’m trying to make. 

Suffice it to say, there’s a resemblance.  Sometimes, we can deny and resist that image, but it’s there, nonetheless. 

When I look at my son, I can see a little of myself in him.  And, it brings me great joy to see a part of me reflected in him.  What joy it must bring our Heavenly Father when He can see His own likeness being mirrored in us.  And, since we are made in His image, we bring Him the most glory when we reflect His character—when our image is that of goodness, love, and holiness.  But, sometimes, our ability to do this is hindered by sin. 

It is our original purpose to shine forth God’s image to creation, so let me encourage you to not deny or resist that image by choosing to do things that you know are not a reflection of Him.  Be who you were created to be—the very image of God. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Easter on Mother's Day

Easter had a special meaning for me this year. My mom went to be with the Lord in August. When you lose a family member, suddenly Easter takes on a fresh new meaning. It's not just a story or a pageant play - Jesus defeated death!

Which will make this year's Mother's Day special. I'm sure there will be some difficult moments, but because of the meaning of Easter, I know that I haven't celebrated my last Mother's Day with my mom. I can't call her this Mother's Day like I used to, but one day, we'll be together praising the Lord.

That will be a Mother's Day to remember!

John 11:25–26
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fair Weather

The calendar says Spring is here. I look out my window and see the tiniest of green leaves here and there. When Spring comes, isn't everything supposed to be blooming and bursting forth in beauty?

The skies are gray and the forecasters issue storm warnings. The next forecast issues the possibilities of frost. Wait! Where's the sunshine, gentle winds, and warm temperatures?

Sometimes we feel that way about the Christian life. We're supposed to have peace, love, and joy...God's supposed to defeat the enemies, supply all our needs and calm the storms!

A storm comes, but so does a beautiful rainbow. Days later, the same glance out the windows shows lots more green leaves and flowers peeking through,  I'm able to leave my coat at home. "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens." Ecclesiastes 3:1. "But those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31. Sometimes I sure am a slow learner.....

The birds are chirping outside my window. It'll rain today, and tomorrow the green of Spring will show even more. But because I know THE Weatherman, I will have new mercies EVERY morning--and I can have sunshine in my SOUL no matter what storms of life may come, nor what season of life I'm in! What a great forecast!

Monday, March 24, 2014


Vacation Bible School is around the corner! Yes, I realize it is March and that our VBS is in June, but plans for the week are already in full swing. In two weeks, we have our annual VBS kickoff. Jeanne Carpenter, Becky Woodall and Jan Weaver always plan an exciting evening to get us ready for a great week of VBS. My favorite part is seeing all the wonderful people who volunteer their time, not only for the week of VBS, but for the preparation in advance.

Be in prayer for these extraordinary folks as they get ready to teach the children of our community about the love of Christ. Be in prayer for our church as we welcome the families of VBS children and seek ways to show them the gospel message. Be in prayer for the children as they come and, while having a super week, find out about the Savior.

It's never too early to pray for VBS!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Seasons Pass

At the beginning of winter, it seemed everywhere I turned, I saw or heard phrases like, "Let it Snow," "I love the snow!" countdowns of how many days until Christmas, etc. Now, it's quite the reverse....I hear and see, "Die, Winter, Die!" countdown to Spring, "I hate snow," etc.

This brings several things to mind--1) We're never satisfied, or not for long, it seems--ha! 2) It's good to look ahead. 3) I'm so thankful for the variety of seasons.

Sometimes we feel as though the winter or stormy seasons of our lives will never end, too, and we long for brighter days. During these times, it is important to remember that we are not alone. The Bible has MANY verses of encouragement. The following are just a few of them: “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, sincerely and in truth.” Psalm 145:18; “The Lord upholds all those (of His own) who are falling and raises up all those who are bowed down.” Psalm 145:14; "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:28-29. Seasons change, both in the weather, and in the events of our lives. God DOESN'T.

Monday, February 24, 2014


My mother taught me how to iron. Lesson one: make sure you grab the right end. I had the burned hands to prove the validity of lesson one. Lesson two: don't leave until you've unplugged the iron. I had the shirt with the iron shaped burn mark to prove the validity of lesson number two.

Somewhere between these two lessons, my clothes were supposed to get iron. When I got to college, that all fell by the wayside. I learned if you packed enough clothes into your dorm closet, they basically iron themselves.

Interestingly enough, one of the hymns of faith was written while ironing. "In Times Like These" was written by Ruth Caye Jones during the depths of World War II. One day, while ironing, the words came to her. She jotted them down and put them in her apron pocket. Over the next several years, this hymn became widely used, especially at Billy Graham crusades.

It's not difficult to see why this hymn became so popular. In the midst of the darkness of a world war, the words of the hymn gave great comfort:

In times like these, we need a Savior
In times like these, we need an anchor
Be very sure; Be very sure
Your anchor holds, and grips the Solid Rock!

We live in an evil, tragic world. If ever there was a time to proclaim the message of Jesus, it is now. If ever there was a time to proclaim the hope we have in Christ, this is it. Our world needs the Solid Rock.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Happier Birthday

My birthday was yesterday. We had a fun celebration.

When our kids were little, we enjoyed planning their birthday parties and gifts so much.  We would pick out just the right invitations, work on their guest lists, prepare the food, decide on a cake, and count down the days. Even now that they are older, their birthdays are very special to me.

Part of the birthday fun was remembering back to the days they were actually born. However, NO birthday was as exciting as the days they were born AGAIN. Before they were born, we prayed for them, waited anxiously for them, and rejoiced when they actually made their arrivals. Conversely, after they were born, we prayed for their salvation (their rebirths), waited anxiously for God's timing for it to occur, and rejoiced when those days came. It was even a HAPPIER birthday!

On the other side of the coin, next week will be the first time my mother hasn't been here for me to contact on her birthday. She's now in Heaven where birthdays are a non-issue! I miss her so very much, but would not call her back for anything.

Celebrations are wonderful things, and I'm glad we get to enjoy with each other. But no earthly celebration will compare with the one that is to come.....that day when we walk into Heaven, and see Jesus face-to-face in a land where there are no tears, no sorrowing, and no sin. Wow..."What a Day That Will Be!" Just as it is written, "Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And [which] have not entered the heart of man--all that God has prepared for those who love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9. What a wonderful promise!




Monday, January 27, 2014

Check Your Thermometer

We've had some interesting weather of late. On the day I'm writing this, the recorded high temperature dropped almost fifty degrees from the previous day. That would not have mattered when I was ten. No, I didn't tolerate temperature changes better when I was younger. I had a broken thermometer. It was permanently stuck on 75 degrees. No matter what, it was always the perfect weather.

But of course it wasn't. Even if the thermometer read 75, it was still 10 degrees outside. It was a good day to have a coat and mittens, no matter what the thermometer said.

Sometimes our spiritual thermometer gets stuck. Through neglect, inattention, and apathy, we often don't notice the lag in our enthusiasm for serving the Lord, and suddenly it has been weeks since the last time we read our Bible or prayed.

The solution is simple - use a thermometer that works. Satan will provide all kinds of excuses not to do so, but make the scripture a constant part of every day. Spend time reading God's word every day, and listen for his voice. Allow God's Holy Spirit to use the wisdom of His Word to take your spiritual temperature. Memorize scripture to take it with you as you go through the day. You'll find God warming your heart, no matter what the weather.

2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy NEW Year!

"New"--it seems like a simple little word, one we've heard our whole lives, not worth much in a game of Scrabble, and one that we use all the time.

The dictionary defines it, of course, as 'having recently coming into existence." However,
for Christians, two of the definitions have very special meanings.... "being other than the former or old"  and, "different from one of the same category that has existed previously." How WONDERFUL that Christ makes us NEW...not like our 'old' self with all its baggage and sin (2 Cor. 5:17), and He gives us a DIFFERENT life--a life abundant (John 10:10).

In our humanness, we celebrate the start of the New Year--but as Christians, we have reason to celebrate our newness every day! And, we can look forward expectantly to the 'new heaven and new earth' to come! In the meantime, what a great promise is found in Lamentations 3:22: "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning." Now those are reasons to celebrate!

Getting a Fresh "START" in the New Year

Stop Making Excuses - Proverbs 28:13 - A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.

Take an Inventory of Your Life - 2 Corinthians 13:5 - Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.

Act in Faith - Matthew 9:29 - According to your faith let it be to you.
Refocus - Philippians 3:13 - …but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead…
Trust - Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

(Acrostic by Rev. Jim Mooney)