Mother’s Day: Let’s Reschedule

Mother’s day is a much more stressful day for pastors than you may realize. The most visible difficulty is the high wire guessing game: “Who is the oldest mother here today?” But that is just the beginning of sorrows. Think about the pressure of getting everyone out early to crowded restaurants! 
It is not because of a shortage of references to mothers in the Bible! God has placed the word in His Word nearly 300 times. The Scripture implies it even more often. It’s not because the Bible is unclear about the importance of honoring mothers – it is the fifth commandment after all (Exodus 20:12). The difficulty comes from the biblical command to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep.


Some of you who will worship with us on Sunday have lost your mother, whether recently or years ago. We know that your grief is described by the Bible as one of the deepest kinds (Genesis 24:67, Psalm 35:14), and want to love you in your pain. 
Some of you who will worship with us on Sunday have no relationship with your mother, or you are a mother who has been rejected by a child. Rejection is a feeling God knows better than anyone!  We want to bring His compassion to you. 
Some of you who will worship with us on Sunday have struggled with getting pregnant. We want you, apart from childbearing, to know you are infinitely valuable and adored by God (Isaiah 54:1-8).  
Some of you who will worship with us on Sunday have lost children. Some of those children were lost before they were even born. We want you to know that the mourners are blessed because they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4).
Some of you who will worship with us on Sunday have had abortions. We want you to know the forgiveness of God. Through that forgiveness, we want to reassure you that you can one day meet the child you never knew (1 Corinthians 6:11).   
Some of you who will worship with us on Sunday have had some or all of your children unwed. We want to show you God’s forgiveness, and let you know that although there are accidental parents, there are no accidental children (Psalm 139:19). God has used your sin for good. 


Some of you who will worship with us on Sunday are adoptive or foster parents. We want to affirm your full motherhood and celebrate that these children are yours as much as if you had borne them. We want to thank you for modeling what God has done for us (Galatians 4:4-5). 
Some of you who will worship with us on Sunday have no biological children, but through evangelism and mentorship have many children in Christ (1 Timothy 1:2, Titus 1:4). We want to celebrate how you have been fruitful and multiplied for the Kingdom. 
For those of you who are godly mothers, teaching your children about compassion, faith, and love, we want to honor you. We want to celebrate those of you who, through godly mothers have come to follow God (2 Timothy 1:5). 
Through the Scripture, we want to teach people how to honor their mothers and teach mothers how to be good ones. We want to rescue the family from the chains our modern world has wrapped around it, and we want to use it as a tool for raising up children as disciples of Christ. 

A Proposal

How can we possibly fit all of these things into one Sunday and a Hallmark card? Who can honor that which aligns with God’s plan, while still loving and celebrating those who do not, and do it all in an hour? Above all that, we have to make clear that motherhood is not your ultimate purpose as a woman! Glorifying God is. The Bible calls being unwed and without a family a gift, although everything in culture (inside and outside of the church) screams the opposite (Matthew 19:11-12). 
How can we do it? We can’t. This is the kind of rhythm which we must establish every week. So, tomorrow, we will try to honor moms of all stripes. We ask for your understanding and compassion as we do it imperfectly. Know this year that we love and value all of you! 
But, for next year, I have a better plan.
Let the church handle these things weekly, shaping hearts and minds for God’s glory and into His design. We’ll keep honoring mothers and revealing the Master Plan for families. But annually? Move Mother’s Day to Monday and let the employers deal with it. 🙂
– Brother Justin
PS Cynics: I did get something for my wife and my mom already, I am not just looking for an extra day. 🙂 

First Steps Class

A week from Sunday (May 6th), we will be starting a new Sunday School class called “First Steps.”  If you are curious about Christianity, this is the class for you. If you are interested in joining the church, this is the class for you. If you have recently joined, this is the class for you. If you have been a member, but feel like you would benefit from having the things you have picked up over the years covered in a systematic way, this is the class for you. 
It will run on a 13-week cycle, so you can start at any time, stay for a quarter and then hop into another class (we’ll help you pick one). I am excited about teaching this class to get to know some of you better and to spell out these foundational truths. 
Because we will be rotating through, the lessons will be interwoven, but here is the main topic I have planned for each week:
  1. How to Study the Bible For Yourself
  2. Who is God?
  3. Knowing You Are Saved and Secure
  4. Resisting Temptation
  5. Believer’s Baptism and The Lord’s Supper
  6. Empowered for Service (Where do I fit?)
  7. Praying with Power
  8. The Nature of the Church
  9. The Operation of the Church (Business Meetings, Leadership and More)
  10. In the Beginning (Creation, Marriage and other Controversial Things)
  11. Passing it On (How to Share Your Faith)
  12. The End of the World (The End Times, Heaven and Hell)
  13. You Reap What You Sow (Budgeting, Saving and Giving)
We will meet in the Educational Building in the old nursery. Come in on the West Lang Street parking lot, through the back door, take a right and it will be the first classroom on your right (room signs are coming soon). 
Let me know if you have any questions! Justin@alvinmbc.com 

Easter Thanks

Brothers and sisters, 
I am sitting here amazed (after a 2 hour “power nap” 🙂 ) at all of the wonderful work accomplished here today and in our revival services. I am trying to think of everyone to thank. 
Thank you to:
  • The men who came early to set up chairs for the sunrise service (about 120 people!)
  • Sis Debbie, Sis Musi and all the teachers and nursery workers who made our guests feel safe and taught their kids
  • The musicians who brought us such beautiful and powerful music (especially the AMBC Angels Girls’ Choir)
  • The food teams who made a wonderful breakfast
  • The Ostroms for going and buying more food because I drastically underestimated the number of people God would send
  • Sis Angela and the egg-cellent egg hunt she put together, and the massive team who showed up to stuff eggs, hide them and direct the kids
  • Those who knocked on doors to hand out flyers (we had about 275 in our main service this morning, plus teachers and kids in the nursery and other buildings – thanks to you inviting!)
  • Those who invited friends and family personally and through social media
  • Brother Bradley for helping with my sermon 
  • The media and audio teams, who did an awesome job (and Bro Todd, Bro Tom and Bro Scott for training them)
  • The greeters and valet parkers (my computer says that is not a word) who received people as they came, directed them and made them feel welcome
  • The small army of ushers to receive the offering
  • The prayer warriors who paved the way for the revival and the resurrection celebration
  • Our great evangelists, Bro Darrel Owens and Bro Bobby Bryant for the revival week (and the generous offerings for them!)
  • Sister Colleen for calming me down, praying for me, supporting me and keeping things in perspective
  • Sister Julie for being my brain outside of my brain here in the office
  • Jesus for dying, rising again and showing up this week.
If I left you out, I am sorry. I do appreciate all of you! 1 Corinthians 12:27 says “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” Thank you for showing up as Christ’s body this week. We are having at least 3 baptisms next Sunday as the fruit of your labor. It is amazing to see all of the pieces come together and I look forward to seeing what God does next. 
To God alone be the glory, for He is Risen!

When We Gather

Sunday School and Bible Study: 9 AM
Sunday Morning Worship: 10:15 AM
Sunday Evening Worship: 6 PM
Wednesday Evening Prayer Meeting: 7 PM

Jan 7, 2018
The Extraordinary Ordinary Christian Worships
  • Jan 7, 2018The Extraordinary Ordinary Christian Worships
    Jan 7, 2018
    The Extraordinary Ordinary Christian Worships
  • Jan 6, 2018January 6
    Jan 6, 2018
    January 6
    Mark 4:21-41
  • Jan 5, 2018January 5
    Jan 5, 2018
    January 5
    Mark 3:20-4:20 
  • Jan 4, 2018January 4
    Jan 4, 2018
    January 4
    I ask your forgiveness for running behind as I try and figure out how to handle some problems we have had. I will, God willing, be caught up this week. Pray for me as I try to balance production quality (sound, outside noises on the recording), material quality (study, notes) and the need to produce something every day. I will continue to date them like they ought to have been posted, for the sake of future reference.
  • Jan 3, 2018January 3
    Jan 3, 2018
    January 3
  • Jan 2, 2018January 2
    Jan 2, 2018
    January 2
    By: (All)
  • Dec 31, 2017Thou Shalt Well Remember
    Dec 31, 2017
    Thou Shalt Well Remember
    Series: (All)
    We are a forgetful people. Deuteronomy 7:17-26 teaches us, from the perspective of the Israelites just outside Canaan, how to remember the things God has done for us in the past as we press forward into the future. Begin 2018 right, by remembering what God has done for you in the past, and blazing forward in His power into the future. 
  • Nov 19, 2017Preparing for the Holidays
    Nov 19, 2017
    Preparing for the Holidays
    Series: (All)
  • Jul 16, 20171 Corinthians – Conclusion
    Jul 16, 2017
    1 Corinthians – Conclusion
  • Jul 9, 20171 Corinthians – Life from Death
    Jul 9, 2017
    1 Corinthians – Life from Death

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