Buckner Spotlight on Students: Take 1

July 30, 2009

destinyDestiny R. Davis is a native Houstonian and a regular attendee of the Buckner After School/Summer Program. She has a younger brother named Dedrick and she resides with her Grandmother. She has been a member of Jordan Grove Baptist Church since the 6th grade. Destiny will be entering the 11th grade this fall. Her favorite subjects are Science and English. She plans to continue her studies in English, Spanish, Chinese, and American Sign Language in the immediate future. 

What are your plans after graduation?

To go to college to study medicine or law, and a foreign language.

What would your ideal college be like?

Freshmen would have to stay on campus so they wouldn’t miss out on any experiences. Shuttles would be readily available, there would be plenty of work study jobs and internship opportunities, small to medium class sizes, and a greenhouse!

What are your hobbies?

Singing in the church choir, reading novels (fiction, romance, and mystery), writing short stories that turn into long stories, poetry, learning about different cultures, baking cakes, and fusion cooking (like chicken fried rice and quesadillas), and adding to my diary.

What are your favorite foods?

Nachos, hot dogs, chili cheese fries, quesadillas, Mississippi Mud Cake, crawfish, apples, peaches, watermelon, green beans, and cabbage!

Are you afraid of anything in particular?

Flying cockroaches and spoiled milk….sooooo gross!

What is your favorite Bible verse?

Psalm 23:4

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

What are some of your favorite things about the Buckner After School/Summer Program?

It’s a good time for social interaction, the atmosphere is friendly, there’s plenty of laughter, two pianos, and I feel comfortable with the volunteers, participants, and the coordinator because she connects with us. But I’m still waiting for her to make more nachos!

What are you looking forward to?

Taking an English course at the Houston Community College (because it’s more challenging), brushing up on Guitar Hero, and more trips to the Galleria!

To meet Destiny and other students, join us in volunteering for the Buckner Summer Program on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 3:30-6:00 p.m. Contact Chelsea Wade at cwade@buckner.org or 713-529-4167 ext. 311 for more information.

To learn more about South Main Baptist Church, go to www.smbc.org 


Michael Jackson, the Father of Music??

July 28, 2009
One of the components of Super Hero Boot Camp at South Main Baptist Church is a classical music appreciation time.  We are taking six weeks to study the life and works of Johann Sebastian Bach. 
Near the end of our third session together, we had an interesting comment.  I had the children seated in the choir loft of the Sanctuary.  I had explained in detail how the great Bach had labored for years as a poor church musician, composing more than 1,200 compositions. Each composition was signed by Bach with his feather quill and with the phrase “soli deo gloria” or “to the glory of God alone”.  With these facts and others,  I thought I had convincingly made the case for “why” we consider J. S. Bach to be called the Father of Classical Music. 
One inquisitive child raised his hand and with a puzzled look on his face asked, “I thought Michael Jackson was the Father of Music”?  Then another child chimed in and asked, “What about Elvis Presley”?  As you can see, we still have some work to do! 
Learn more about South Main at www.smbc.org

KidQuest = Exhausting and Exhilirating!

July 21, 2009

We just wrapped up KidQuest week which brought us 182 children from around Houston to our church for camp.  Some have described it as Vacation Bible School on steroids!  It’s a massive undertaking but a joyous one.  For a week our campus was overrun by kids yelling “Fear Not” and learning how to shine God’s light into the world.

This year’s theme was “Crocodile Dock” and our church was transformed into a murky swampland.  The kids made crafts, attended Bayou Bible Blast (a fun take on Bible Study), Dockside Drive-In (with videos featuring the adventures of Chadder the Chipmunk), Adventure Encounters and much more.  A huge thank you goes out to all the volunteers that make KidQuest possible.  It is amazing to see people using their gifts in making KidQuest a smashing success.  But, of course, without Dolores Rader’s, Minister to Children, strong, enthusiastic and nurturing leadership, none of it would be possible.  Thank you, Dolores!

I urge you to read more about it at:  http://www.smbc.org/NEWSITE/kidquest2009blog.html  There are some really neat perspectives on the week.  Whether you were able to be a part of this or not reading the daily updates gives one an insight into the family of grace that is South Main.

Live.  Laugh.  Love.

Jennifer Gribble

Want to know more about South Main?  Go to www.smbc.org

Simon the Zealot

July 10, 2009
We have been learning about the twelve Apostles this summer in Wednesday night Bible study. There is plenty of material about some of the disciples (Peter, Matthew, John, Judas) and then there is “Simon the Zealot.” He appears in the text of Scripture only three times (Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15, Acts 1:13). In each case, his name is listed among a group of disciples, “Simon the zealot.” But he is a real puzzle to me: what is a zealot doing among the Apostles of Jesus? 
The zealots were as much a political party as a religious group (then, as now, there are sometimes unfortunately little difference between the two). The zealots trace their history back to a terrible persecution of Jews under Antiochus IV Epiphanes in the second century BC. Antiochus Epiphanes placed an altar to Zeus in the Temple, sacrificed a pig on the altar, made it a death penalty offense to observe the sabbath or to refuse to worship an idol. As you might expect, that kind of brutality evoked a brutality in kind. One the the priests from the Temple in Jerusalem, Mattathias ben Yochanan, and his 5 sons (better known as the Maccabees) put together a guerilla army to fight for God and His people. They won, then ruled Jerusalem from 135-37 BC. As Mattathias died, he said to sons, “be zealous with the law and do not hesitate to give your life for the holy cause” thus giving birth the the “zealot” movement. Later, when the Romans took control of Palestine in 63 BC, the zealots were their nemesis as well. By then, they were known as the “assassins.” They carried knives under cloaks and took great pleasure in plunging them into backs of Roman soldiers. Their hatred grew to include anyone who showed slightest accommodation to Rome. 
So what is a “zealot” doing following the “prince of peace”? And how did Simon the Zealot get along with Matthew the tax collector? The short answer is, “I don’t know.” But somewhere along the way, Simon stopped being conformed to the pattern of this world and was transformed by the renewing of his mind (Romans 12: 1-2). I can’t prove this is true, but you can’t prove it is not. I think Simon went to listen to Jesus teach one day, after all someone (with knife under cloak) had to test young rabbi’s words to make sure he wasn’t a Roman lover. I think Simon heard a hope for the future and found a home in the heart of God in the message of Jesus he never knew while holding a knife in his hand. I think Simon found a joy in Jesus he thought was impossible in this world and for rest of his life he was “zealous for Jesus.” That is, he had a zeal to give and share life, not to take it. I think he kept the name “Zealot” as a reminder that people really can change all the way to the heart.
Do you know that your life can be joy-filled? I find it incredibly sad that a number of people hardly believe anymore in the possibility of a joy-filled life. I know people who have more or less accepted life as a prison and are grateful for any occasion that facilitates the illusion of the opposite: a vacation, a new romance, a drink. None of these things bad in and of themselves, but, when sought as an opiate for life, we become conformed by this world and not transformed by the next. But we can have joy that does not leave us in sickness, poverty, even death. We can have joy that moves us from the house of fear to the house of love. We can celebrate because Christ is sharing his own joy with us. We can have zeal, not to shed life but to share it. We can be transformed by the mercies of God. Simon was. How about you?
–Steve Wells, Pastor
For more information about South Main, please go to www.smbc.org

Work and Word

July 2, 2009

Lord, we pledge our truth by giving someone our word.  You pledged Your Love by sending us the Word, but unlike You, our word doesn’t always match our deeds.

Lord, help us to speak and live in Your Word.

There are people who say one thing and then do another, we don’t like “those people,” especially when we realize with all that we sing and all that we say as followers of Christ, we are “those people.”

Lord, help us to speak and live in Your Word.

God, forgive us when we don’t act like Your children and give us courage to overcome our own hypocrisy and to roll up our sleeves and start again at the task of growing Your Kingdom.

Lord, help us to speak and live in Your Word, that the world might see our lives and hear our words and come to know Your Loving Grace.  Let us begin…