What if? By Erin DuBroc

October 9, 2014

Erin DuBrocWhen I was asked to share what motivates me and my husband to bring our family to church throughout the week, I had to laugh as the first idea that popped into my head was self-preservation. The throes of young parenting can be tough, and who doesn’t love free coffee, childcare, and spiritual refreshment from the late night, early morning, and hormone-wrecked trenches? More than that, who doesn’t appreciate being able to show up somewhere exactly as they are and be greeted by empathetic smiles, sincere kindness, and real talk?

For me, time at South Main embodies Jesus’ words, “Come to Me, all who are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Inhale. Exhale. Reset. Plus, there’s a whole lot of Jesus in and through the grounds and people of South Main, and I need more Jesus every second of the day.

What if we realized we can show up as the person weak and weary from whatever trials we’re walking through and be loved by others in our church family regardless if we know them well or not? Conversely, what if we sought to be that blessing to others when we’ve made our way out of the valley and encounter someone who’s in one of their own? To give and receive, by God’s grace — that’s one of the aspects of South Main I deeply appreciate.

What if… By Ragan Courtney

October 4, 2014

Ragan CourtneyMy childhood games were exciting and fulfilling as we started off new adventures with, “What if…”. What if I was not a third grader, but a cowboy in the old west?

I remember going to the Dixie Theatre on Saturday afternoons to see the movies that ran matinee serials with cliffhanger endings. On Saturdays I was fortunate if Roy Rogers was starring in the movie. I loved him, his singing, his horse, his sidekick, and even his girlfriend, Dale Evans. With only a few blocks to travel to get back home, I would ride Trigger down the sidewalks of that small, southern town because I was Roy Rogers. If I had seen earlier that his picture would be playing, I would borrow one of Mama’s silk scarves that she used to tie back her hair while doing housework. Instead of wearing the scarf on my head, I wore it tied around my neck like Roy did and it would flutter in the breeze stirred up as I galloped back home. I was not on a horse really, but I was running in a steady, skipping gallop; as I said, I was Roy Rogers.

What if it was Roy Rogers who called me to study theatre and not God like I told my dad when as a young adult, I dropped out of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary to move to New York?

What if the lessons I learned so early in Sunday school and seemed to abandon in my move north were really true?

What if Jesus did love the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white?

What if we were all part of the family of God?

What if the homeless people who hang around the periphery of our church are really part of our family?

What if his command to love one another like he loves us was taken literally for what it says?

What if we stopped playing like we were Jesus and realized that Christ in us was the hope of glory and the only hope for our world?


What if you truly get involved at South Main Baptist Church?

September 26, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 1.40.02 AM

By Dorothy Griffin

My journey at South Main started sixty-five years ago. It was a “no-brainer” to join South Main as newlyweds since my husband had been working in Houston for a year with Vernon Garrett. For that first year as members of South Main, we sat in our respective Sunday school classes and listened to Dr. Westmoreland’s sermons. But church was not a part of our weekday activities. Then Frank Golden invited us to BYPU. (For those of you younger than 60, that was the Sunday evening equivalent of Sunday morning Sunday school classes).

That was the beginning of becoming part of the church family—making life- long friends as we not only worshiped together but shared life with each other. And becoming part of the church family opened doors to serve at South Main. When my first-born was a year old, I was asked to be Mildred Dill’s assistant in the two-year-old Sunday school class. What a learning experience and what a joy! The journey of friendships and opportunities to serve have continued through the years.

As I look back, I cannot imagine life without being part of South Main and am grateful for the profound influence it has been on our entire family. South Main is MY CHURCH. If you are not already, get involved in one or more of the myriad of activities available and make South Main “MY CHURCH” for you and your family.

“We are all St. Peter walking on the water.”

July 25, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 1.20.38 PMReflections on of the book, How Do I Find God? by Greg Funderburk

We are reading, How Do I Find God? together as a congregation this summer. I’ve found the words within this volume help me find new doors to glimpsing a passing God. Some of the words give us a more lasting glimpse.

About three quarters through the book on page 145, Reverend John McNamee quotes philosopher, Gabriel Marcel, to say that the believer and unbeliever can communicate with each other only when the believer reveals the strains of unbelief within himself. Marcel points to Peter believing as he walks along the waves, then unbelieving, he sinks below…in a sense, faith and a lack of faith existing together in the same person at the same time.

Mcnamee picks up on this, explaining how the will nudges the intellect where the mind cannot go for want of clarity or evidence. That nudge, McNamee, says, is Grace.

How do we find God, it is asked…Reverend McNamee explains that upon entering this mystery of grace, it’s simply a matter of paying attention.

Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit. – Reflections by Greg Funderburk

July 6, 2014

“You will eventually find God whether you want to or not.”

Our congregational book for the summer, How Can I Find God, keeps offering compelling thoughts about God and us. As you go this summer, wherever life takes you, stay close to your church family and to your Heavenly Father by reading along. About half way through the book, author Frederick Buechner offers the quote referenced above, taken, from all places, the stone lintel of the Swiss home of famous turn of the century psychiatrist C.G. Jung, who was a contemporary of Sigmund Freud. Buechner offers us this interesting quote, then writes, If you want to (even if you don’t happen to believe God exists) all you have to do is find some quiet place, be quiet inside yourself, and ask God to let you find Him (or Him you). As far as I know, it is a prayer that is always answered.

How Can I Find God…Reflections by Greg Funderburk

June 20, 2014

One of my favorite things to do on summer vacation used to be hitting an amusement park. I loved the roller coasters that looped and corkscrewed and turned me upside down. The forces and the the velocity-charged changes in perspective was the attraction. However, my age and the accompanying fact that the function of my inner ear balance mechanism is apparently fossilizing keeps me from riding these coasters 5 or 6 times in a row like I used to growing up.

Nevertheless, I do still enjoy being turned upside down by a writer, theologian, dramatist, or artist who dramatically changes my perspective. As together we read through our summer congregational book, How Can I Find God, I wanted to point out the perspective-changing offering of Stanley Hauerwas which appears roughly half way through the book, on page 75 and 76. Hauerwas, is a Christian ethicist, author, and professor at the Divinity School of Duke University where our own Amy Grizzle-Kane studied with him. He turns the book’s central question around writing that “God is not easily found because we cannot ‘find’ that which is so near to us as our next breath…”

He asks if perhaps the better question therefore is, “What do I do now that God has found me?”

He goes on to teach that one can fully discover that God has already found them by seeking out a person who is an adept follower of Christ, writing that such apprenticeships are readily available by simply going and getting involved at a local church. So, even as you are away this summer, stay close to your church home and your co-followers of Christ. And if you are nearby this summer,  come to church, where you will discover how near God already is as you worship each Sunday. As Professor Hauerwas puts it, “…nothing can be more important than simply turning up and placing one’s self amidst people who are praying to and praising the One know as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

Stay Close.

How can I find God? Insights by Amy Grizzle Kane, Minister to Adults

June 9, 2014

Sister Helen Prejean answers the question in our summer book, How Can I Find God? and writes how she finds God in the faces of the poor and struggling people of the world.  She has spent a lifetime serving the least of these and her service has evolved into a special passion for persons on death row and in prison and their families.  Guilty or not guilty, it’s not for her to say.  It’s her calling to love no matter what. 

I have read her book, Dead Man Walking, and I have heard her speak here in Houston.  She is truly a phenomenal woman of God’s grace and strength.  I think sometimes our temptation is to almost immediately say, “well, I could never do that, so how will I find God if that’s how she did it?”

As we read through this book this summer, we might all have moments where we say, “Well, I’ve never experienced God that way” and it’s important to remember that’s ok.

Even Sister Prejean says, “I can’t function if I don’t have that sense of being at the center of myself and in the soul of my soul, so that I am truly operating from the inside out.”

She reminds us that each of us is created in the image of God and each of us has a gift and a passion that God gives us.  Perhaps in finding that and staying true to who each of us is as a child of God (operating from the inside out) is part of the journey of “finding” our God, who is, actually, always present.

Do you find you have a sense of wholeness, a centeredness in God, when you operate from the inside out?  What does that mean to you?


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.