CURRENT EVENTS

Below are some recent ministry events.

Community Thanksgiving Service

The Community Thanksgiving Service, hosted by White Bluff Chapel, focused on the many blessings that God provides for us including the blessing of being able to come to our Heavenly Father on a personal basis.  Pastor Randy emphasized that nothing from our past can separate us from the love of our Lord.  Using Psalm 95, Pastor Randy emphasized that God wants to have a meaningful relationship with him.  Approximately 100 people from the community gathered as we worshiped and then joined together for a time of cookies and punch.

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Veteran’s Day 2021

It was--without doubt--the most impressive and inspirational Veterans Recognition Service in the history of White Bluff Chapel.

 

From the welcome by Pastor Randy Marshall, in full dress Air Force uniform, to the rousing closing chorus of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, the service was awesome. There were tears as well as laughter. Somber moments and outstanding musical presentations. If you missed this one you definitely need to dial it up on the internet and view the recording.

 

It all began with the posting of colors by veterans from American Legion #522 and the VFW #12176, followed by The Star Spangled Banner and America, the Beautiful. Bill Louthan's rendition of the patriotic God Bless the U.S.A. was pure perfection. Following the congregation's inspired singing of God Bless America, Gary Johansen read a poem written by his father during World War II on Okinawa. The well written somber poem vividly brought out the horrors of war.

 

An Armed Forces Medley by the choir was highlighted by the trumpets of Dwayne Redding and Brad Lundberg. Randy's message was a reminder of the separation that our service men and women go through at such young ages--but nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

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November Student of the Month

Caleb Sharp

Caleb was a 2019 scholarship recipient.  Having accumulated 24 college credit hours in high school, Caleb was excited to jump into college in pursuing a degree in physical therapy.  The classes he needed were filled, so he was put on several waiting lists.  It was difficult scheduling class registrations.  As a result, he has made several adjustments to his degree plans.

When I visited with Caleb recently, he expressed his gratitude for the scholarship he received saying, “It has helped me immensely throughout my college journey so far.  Since leaving high school, adjusting to life on my own has been a little rough at times, but your assistance has truly been helpful.  Juggling classes with work schedules has resulted in a real financial strain which I have adjusted to.”

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Throughout High school, Caleb was active in volunteer work, accumulating over 400 hours of community service.  After incurring a torn ACL, and enduring the long post-surgical regimen of therapy, Caleb was motivated to enter a medical related career which would help the injured.  Caleb went on to tell me “My major has changed a few times, but I was recently accepted into Blinn’s radiologic tech program, which means I will be administering X-Rays in two years’ time!  All this was made possible through White Bluff Chapel’s support.  Thank you!!!”

Caleb is mentored by Tom and Lois Partridge.

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Critters 20th Anniversary Celebration

This is the 20th year for small handmade stuffed animals known as "Critters" to be made and delivered to children from the ladies at White Bluff Chapel. Sandy Cannon invited ladies to meet in her home in 2001 to cut, sew and “stuff” these cuddly creations. The first stuffed animals were given to children passing through the emergency rooms in hospitals. 

 

After the Chapel was built, Critter ladies needed more room to work and the Knit and Crochet ladies needed a place to meet. Critters became a local mission of the Chapel and continues to be distributed to children who need a special smile or just a little healing comfort. The Knit and Crochet ladies make special creations for senior adults who need scarfs, caps for cancer patients and Afghans. These items are made for individuals who receive Meals on Wheels, who are in nursing homes and independent living facilities. Flag Afghans are also made for veterans in Hospice.

 

During this year 1,600 Critters have been given to Whitney Family Medicine Clinic, Whitney and Hillsboro HealthNow Urgent Care, Hill Regional Hospital ER, Mission Hillsboro Medical Clinic, CPS, CASA and the Texas Department of Health Services in Hillsboro, AMR Ambulance Service in Waco, and Goodall-Wicher Clinic in Clifton, Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.

Critters were also provided to First Baptist Church for Samaritan Purse Shoeboxes and the Whitney Food Pantry for distribution at Christmastime. During these twenty years, over 35,900 Critters have been given out in Vietnam, Honduras, Mexico and Africa and to the “ends of the earth. Just this month, another one of the Chapel’s missions, Wee Can Know in New Orleans, LA received Critters to share with children at Christmastime.

 

Mary Parish, the hospitality chair, catered the luncheon for thirty (30) ladies celebrating twenty (20) years. Sandy Cannon was present and shared an event from the past. The Critter group planted two ten (10) foot trees in front of the Chapel and office door in memory of one of their ladies, Connie Burris. The beauty of these trees is still enjoyed by everyone. 


Critters meet from 10 a.m. until noon on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month in the Maurice Martin Fellowship Hall. All ladies, even if they do not sew, are invited to come “stuff” and just enjoy visiting and fellowship. The last meeting of 2021 will be December 14.

News from AIA

We have exciting news!


Lisa is 19 weeks pregnant this week!!

 

I can't begin to explain how excited and happy we both are. After years of wondering if having a family would be a reality, to have this come true for us is a dream. Lisa has been an absolute champion. She's put our future family on her back and carried it through years of hard work and commitment as we dealt with our infertility issues. My respect, love, and admiration for her has grown even more. I am blessed to have her in my life and to be the future mother of our kiddos. I am humbled.  For those of you who knew what we've been dealing with, thanks for walking through it with us. I know there are prayer warriors out there that we owe so much to. Thank you for loving us so well and praying for our future.

 

Henriksen family is moving to Spain!


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Todd Henriksen and his family, my co-workers and the pioneers of our ministry, are moving to Girona, Spain full-time at the beginning of 2022.

For years we have been praying about having a full-time staff person in Girona, where many of our athletes live and train year round. To be an influential ministry within pro-cycling at the highest level, being in proximity to athletes and the sports biggest events is key. Having Todd and his wife Tabitha (and 4 kids), in Europe will be a massive change for our ministry in western Europe as well as in the United States. We have been talking through these changes for quite some time now, hoping that they would come to fruition.

What is more, Todd has been connecting with AIA staff in Europe, a church planter from Belgium that wants to plant a Catalan church in Girona, a physiotherapist from the pro cycling team INEOS, and many professional riders. Below is a photo of a outdoor church service they did in the park near the city center in Girona two weeks ago.

These changes mean that how we do ministry domestically will need adjustments. Our reliance on volunteers and athletes will have to grow. How we structure our time and what disciplines we chase may change. Professional cycling in the United States is also changing at a rapid rate: the growth of gravel racing, the seemingly slow death of road stage racing, the growth of high school mountain bike leagues, and the growing influence of criterium racing. All of these disciplines are up and down, and our job is to support the athletes where they are and bring spiritual community to them. As the sport changes, so does our strategy.

Having the Henriksens in Spain full-time gives them physical proximity to athletes at the highest level of our sport: World Tour Road cycling and World Cup Mountain bike racing. All of the marquee events and history of cycling reside in western Europe, so having a staff person there long-term is a powerful step forward. Brad Bartz, our other full-time staff member is also expecting to spend a year or two in Singapore, starting next spring, which is another new dynamic we are anticipating.

That potentially leaves myself as the only full-time staff person in the USA. This leaves some uncertainty about how we'll continue our influence domestically but I believe God will raise up leaders, both athletes and volunteers to continue our impact. Our focus on elite mountain biking will continue to grow and our involvement in the road scene will remain a staple in our strategy. As the sport changes, we change with it. All to the glory of God.

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Churchwide Barbecue at the Griffin Ranch

White Bluff Chapel members and friends enjoyed a scrumptious dinner and memorable evening at Jim and Pat Griffin’s ranch Saturday evening.  The weather was perfect, the fellowship was heart-warming, the food was excellent and the country-western sing-along and dancing topped off a spectacular gathering.  So many of our members volunteered their time and efforts with food, setting up tables, chairs and decorations.  A special thanks to Jeff Williams who provided music.

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October’s Student of the Month

Justin McKibben – Class of 2020

Justin graduated from TSTC’s Electrical Lineman program in August, 2021 after dealing with Covid related class scheduling issues.  He managed to graduate early in August’ 2021 while holding on to his job at Tres Hermanos and getting some on- the- job training with an affiliate of Oncore.

In a message from Justin, he stated “College has been an amazing experience.  I absolutely love the courses I’ve taken, and the people I’ve interacted with every day!  I have had many challenges, physical and mental.  I’ve been able to successfully tackle every situation head-on, and have learned how electrical systems work, and how to work on them.  I also have been receiving on-the-job training with J&S Inspections during bad storms (and getting paid for it).  I am hoping to work for a company like Oncore, Centerpoint, or Pike.  As soon as I obtain my CDL, I will be able to work anywhere in Texas.”  

I was also happy to learn that, although he hasn’t had time to practice on his band instruments during school, Justin does plan to get back to playing his music! 

Debbie Hamner had this to say about Justin.  “Seldom have I worked with a student as motivated as Justin McKibben.  He is the most capable student I have ever worked with through our wonderful mentoring opportunity!”

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Esther’s Recital

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 As part of her music degree requirements, Esther Sousa (our wonderful organist) must present recitals in her junior and senior years. Her junior recital was postponed last Spring due to various circumstances, so she presented that recital Thursday evening, September 16, in the Wharton Auditorium of the Music School at Southwestern Adventist University. She played four very difficult selections utilizing alto and tenor saxophones with accompaniment at various times by a string quartet, harpsichord, piano, and flute and did an outstanding job! The recital was very well attended by fellow students and faculty and at least forty enthusiastic supporters from White Bluff Chapel. It was live-streamed on YouTube and is available for viewing using this link. Well done, Esther!

Honoring First Responders

Saturday, September 11, 2021 was the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.   White Bluff Chapel took the opportunity to reach out to our local First Responders to let them know that we thank them for their daily sacrificial service.  They are rare individuals who are willing to run toward the danger when others are running away.  During our Wednesday Evening Acts 2:42 Fellowship, all took time to sign thank you letters to our local Police and Fire Departments.

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Feed the Wildcats

White Bluff Chapel's Men's Ministry was honored to assist the Whitney Wildcats Football team in starting the 2021 season on a positive note. Our very own BBQ master, Danny Bodeker, provided meat and, our designated shopper, Larry Turner procured all the fixins to include a "Best Wishes for The Season" cake that was enthusiastically consumed in large quantities by the team and coaches.

 

The other men, Perry Gaudet, Terry Newman, and Rick Faught provided the labor with vigor. Randy Marshall delivered a great devotion on teamwork and helping others when they miss the mark.  He concluded by saying, 

“What is true on the football field is true in life.  It is full of ups and downs, highs and lows.  Know that failure is not final.  Know that we can and should encourage one another.  As a church, we would like to remind you of the greatest friend, the greatest encourager, the One who can not only embrace us but forgive us of our sins and lead us on a path of true success. He is the friend, encourager, redeemer we call Jesus.”

 

As in years past the event was a positive experience for all concerned and an opportunity for the young men to see Christian Men serving others.   

September’s  Student of the Month

Elizabeth Prado Posos - Class of 2014

 

Dear Educational Aid Committee,

I want to thank you for your generous scholarship which enabled me to pursue my dream of going to college as the first in my family to do so.  Your help has been a blessing to us.  My parents have always been very supportive of me and my brother, encouraging and instilling in us the value of education.  I wanted to make them proud. 

When I received your letter announcing the scholarship award, I was surprised and grateful.  It boosted my confidence that I could really earn a college degree.

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There have been ups and downs over the past six years.  I am so grateful to my mentors, Sara and Harold Edwards, for their encouragement and guidance.  They have treating me like a member of their family.

Recently, I graduated from Texas A & M University with a degree in Human Resource Development.   I am currently employed by Bryan ISD in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and I am also working toward obtaining certification as a bilingual science and math teacher in the same school district.

White Bluff Chapel’s scholarship and mentoring program is making a big impact on the lives of many young adults from the Whitney area.  Thank you for your love and support.

 

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Prado Posos

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Mission Possible​

The Children’s Ministry at White Bluff Chapel hosted a Saturday Mission Day for kids.  The day started with music and devotion by Pastor Randy Marshall.  Then students were divided into groups and had projects that could be shared with others to tell the Gospel Message about Christ.  “Critters” were made, Bible stories told, outside playtime, and other activities that can be shared with others made for a wonderful day for all. 

Ice Cream Social/Ministry Fair

This year’s annual Ice Cream Social was enhanced with a Ministry Fair.  Various ministries had tables set up to allow members to acquaint themselves with ways to get involved.  It was a fun night with an abundance of desserts, ice creams, games, and visiting.  It was a perfect opportunity for new members and visitors to enjoy the fellowship of the chapel as well as educate themselves on our missions and ministries.

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Back To School ​Bash

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Back To School ​Bash #1 was a success.  The weather was nice, the food was delicious, plentiful and the fellowship was the best part.  I heard many of those attending state this was needed just to take a break from thinking about Covid 19 for a few hours.  Yes, it has been a different time these past 20 months or so.  This gathering was old school; pot luck food, picnic tables, swimming, lots of sodas, chips, burgers, hot dogs, and all the trimmings, baked beans, watermelon, and a beautifully decorated sheet cake!  Someone brought the biggest, most luscious tomatoes I have seen in a long time.  Not everything in Texas is big, but those tomatoes surely were.

 

The students enjoyed seeing old high school classmates again.  The stories they shared with one another and with the mentors who attended were funny at times, a little worrisome at other times, and always heartwarming.  The chapel has done a wonderful job with the scholarship program and the mentors continue to guide these young people in a way that God would want. 

 

We, personally, would like to say "thank you" to everyone who was there, mentors and students, and also to those who couldn't attend, but contributed in other ways.  It was our first attempt and we're looking at ways to improve, possibly by scheduling an earlier date.

 

We are excited about having a "Back to School ​Bash​ #2 next year.  

 

Take care and God bless,

 

Paul and Becky Jacobus

Saying, “Good Job” to Tom

Recently, Tom Reedy, announced that he would be retiring on August 8th as Music Director, transitioning from his role as Director to choir member.  After eighteen years of service to White Bluff Chapel, many wanted to say “thank you” for Tom’s years of service.  On Thursday, August 5th, members of the choir enjoyed a wonderful potluck dinner and “roast” for Tom.  To honor both Tom and JoAnn, many choir members shared “tomisims” collected from fun, intense, and sometimes arduous rehearsals over the years. Stories and anecdotes were assembled in a presentation that filled the room with fond memories and hearty laughs. Perhaps the one descriptive phrase for the evening was “Good Sport.” Tom took it with a grain of salt as his choir reflected on his selfless dedication and inspiring leadership.   Welcome to the choir, Tom!

Other celebrations for Tom included a reception between our two Worship Services on Sunday, August 8th and a celebratory dinner on Wednesday evening, August 11th.  The dinner was followed by a program honoring Tom’s dedication.  If you missed it, or would like to see it again, you can access it on our website under “Worship Services.”

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Crosses Everywhere at White Bluff

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What’s up with all the crosses?  I’m glad you asked!

Simple white crosses have been displayed in the yards of White Bluff for many years due to the efforts of Steve Baffic who is a long time resident and member of the Cowboy Church.

Early this summer the Men’s Ministry was asked by Steve to continue this ministry because he believed we have the manpower and energy to succeed in this type of project. We accepted the invitation, offered to build them and make them available free of charge at the Men’s Bible Study. The offer was enthusiastically accepted and now we’re pleased to report there are over 50 crosses in the front yards all across the community and back yards of homes on the golf courses.

The cross has significance as a reminder of what Jesus did for us. It is a powerful symbol to remind us of the price paid for our redemption.

Whether we display it or just think of it, the cross can, and should, draw us nearer to the One who hung on it. Beneath the cross we are one. There are no races, no political parties, no rich, no poor, just a family of believers. Public display of the yard crosses in White Bluff sends the message that God is here and everyone knows God is Love.

Crosses are available at no cost from the White Bluff Chapel Men’s Ministry.

Contact:

Rick Faught  817-913-0777

Howard Clement 254-266-5056

White Bluff Chapel Office 254-694-7060

August’s Student of the Month

Taylor Gilchrist is a 2017 graduate and recipient of a White Bluff Chapel scholarship.  Following is an update from her on her college experience.

 

I spent two years at McLennan Community College where I obtained my Associates's degree before transferring to Texas State University.  While at MCC, I maintained a job at Silos Baking Co. and earned 120 hours of observation at Baylor Scott and White while shadowing physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons.  After arriving in San Marcos, I was hired as a server for The Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar where I worked until now.

 

My time at Texas State University has been amazing.  I have definitely had some tough, demanding classes, but I loved every minute of them and have learned so much.  I graduated in May, 2021 with my Bachelor's degree in Exercise and Sports Science.  I will continue my education at the University of St. Augustine in south Austin to earn my Doctorate in Physical Therapy.  I was recently hired as a physical therapy tech at Physical Therapy of Wimberley where I will work full time till I start at St. Augustine.   Along with all of these exciting events, I just got engaged to my high school sweetheart, Gavin Ruesch!

 

These past four years have been the most difficult, yet most rewarding and fun years of my life.  I am so blessed that WBC has been a part of it!  I am thankful for the scholarship I received, but even more thankful for my amazing mentors, Monte and Marelia Geren. During every step of the way I have been able to go to Monte and Marelia for prayer and encouragement and that is something for which I will forever be grateful!  They have shown me so much love and support, and I know that they will continue to do so for the rest of our lives.

 

Thank you, White Bluff Chapel, for everything you have done for me and so many students in our community!

 

Taylor Gilchrist

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Helping Whitney Neighbors

As a result of the generosity of our members, White Bluff Chapel has establised an Emerging Needs Committee with the purpose of identifying and supporting  neighboring community helping agencies.  One of the identified agencies is “Veteran’s Pardners,”  a local organization that assists area Veterans.  In the pictures above, the Director,Donna Picket met with Rick Faught, Perry Gaudet, Randy Marshall and Betty Newman to explain the various needs of our area Veterans.   A financial gift was given to them to assist in the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs of Veterans and their families.

Another organization the Emerging Needs Committee has identified is the Lake Whitney Senior Center.  The Senior Center offers a variety of activities that serve the needs of Senior Citizens.  A financial gift was also given to support the Center’s ongoing efforts.

​​July 4th Celebration

White Bluff Chapel had an exceptional July 4th Worship Service.  We celebrated our nation’s freedom as well as the spiritual freedom we have in Christ.  The Ring of Praise handbells began our service with “America the Beautiful”.  Trumpets, played by Dwane Redding and Brad Lundberg, added a special effect to hymns and to the anthem, Battle Hymn of the Republic.

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July’s Student of the Month

Wyatt Jackson is a 2016 graduate of Whitney High School.  When asked if he’d consent to be recognized as our Student of the Month, he happily said “yes”.  Following is his response.

 

“I always knew that I liked working with my hands.  When I started seeking college options that offered hands-on learning, I decided to apply to Texas State Technical college.  The career options they offered provided exactly what I was looking for.  So, I enrolled in their Automotive Technology program.

 

The campus was a friendly environment with a balance of learning and recreational opportunities.  With your help, I really enjoyed my time in school.  I was able to live on campus. With the expenses of books, tools, supplies, and basic needs, the WBC scholarship relieved the financial stress to make it all possible.      

 

After completing my studies and graduating, I was fortunate to be offered a position at United Rentals in Cleburne, Texas. I am currently a Service Technician II, and each day I find great satisfaction using the knowledge and skills acquired at TSTC. I am proud of the work I do.  

 

Thank you to the members of White Bluff Chapel, and to my mentor, Howard Clement, for your prayerful support.”  

White Bluff Chapel Chippers

The “White Bluff Chapel Chippers” is a woodcarving club with Harry Seurkamp as master carver/teacher.  After viewing the Nativity Scene and other carvings that Harry had made for the chapel, several came to Harry and asked for instruction on how to carve.  The numbers quickly grew and a club was formed.  The club is open to anyone in the community who is interested from novice (beginners) to intermediate and advanced carvers.  They meet the 2nd Thursday and the 4th Tuesday of every month to pursue new carving projects or receive help with projects they are trying to complete.

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Ladies Bible Study Luncheon

Our Ladies Bible Study who met weekly during the school year, gathered on Friday, June 25th for an end of year luncheon at Pat Griffin’s Ranch.  Pat led us in a review of our Max Lucado study, “Experiencing the Heart of Jesus”.  She encouraged everyone to continue the study through the summer.  Plans for the fall include a second Ladies Bible study on Tuesday afternoon in addition to the Friday morning Bible study.  

Safety Response Team Lends Welcome Hands

White Bluff Chapel has a “Safety Response Team” in place to help our membership in all areas of safety.  You will see them out front during worship services, in our halls and in our sanctuary, helping others to keep safe.  In an earlier post last February, you saw them sweeping snow from sidewalks or you may have seen them helping someone on a walker or a member who didn’t feel well. 

 

On Saturday, June 5, our Safety Response Team had a day of excellent training from professionals with a combined 47 years of experience in the military.  Jaime, Walker and Drew, our own trusted trainers, provided information on how to handle a confrontational situation. Expertise in de-escalation and threat security was enacted to help our team be better prepared. 

 

We are incredibly grateful for these men and women who volunteer their time and talents to help keep us safe.

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Athletes in Action

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I recently had a conversation with an athlete that was going through a tough moment in his life. His relationships were falling apart, loneliness was setting in, despair felt imminent. He described how he felt like a boat that lost its tether to a dock, drifting out to sea. He was feeling the emptiness of living without God's presence in his life, the damage he caused in some relationships and most importantly, how he had forgotten parts of himself.

In the midst of this hardship, he felt like his relationship with God was coming alive again. He began to see how parts of his past-life were isolating, destructive even, to his own spiritual growth, his intimacy in relationships, and his career. He saw how choices he had made were slowly eroding the closeness he felt with God and his motivation to pursue deep, repentant reliance on that relationship felt like a distant memory. 

He felt rattled by this and it was time to make some changes.

Moments like these are like buying a house: location, location, location! We have to put ourselves in the way of the Spirit.  We must ask ourselves, "How can I get smacked in the face with God's presence?"

I believe at any point in our spiritual journey, but especially moments like these, we have to make ourselves a target for encountering God's spiritual movement, both in our personal lives and the lives of those around us. Whatever you need to do: go to church, listen to worship music or sermons, create a space for prayer, get in the scriptures, serve others intentionally, take a slow walk outside with no distractions. We have to aggressively create space to listen to and to encounter God's Spirit moving within and around us. We have to make ourselves a target for God's work. 

These practices ought to be part of our everyday life regardless, but at moments like these where we feel like we are coming apart, we must aggressively and intentionally put ourselves in the way of the Spirit. If the tendency is to reach out to anything but God for survival, we have to attempt to rely on the living presence of God to be our restorative power.

Paul describes the work of the Spirit this way in Galatians: 

"For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want."

Our work as Jesus-people, then, is to discern what is the work of the self (the flesh) and what is the work of God (the Spirit). If you have ever done a "spiritual discipline" before, you have felt this battle palpably. Anytime we intentionally carve out time and space to meet with God, we will feel this tension almost immediately. 

But this is where the rubber meets the road: in real life. It is during the mundane Tuesday, the laundry, the work meeting, or our lunchtime walk, when we have the opportunity to place ourselves in the way of the Spirit. 

How can I place and posture myself to encounter God's presence? 

How can I let the Spirit restructure and rearrange my life?

These are the questions that reorient us when we are disoriented.

As we are entering into our busiest part of the year, I am so thankful to have a team like you supporting us. 

Please remain in prayer for us as we travel and serve athletes this summer. The speed of the year is picking up and the craziness is about to set in! As we leave this last year of varied uncertainty and a difficult professional year for may athletes, we are more excited than ever to walk with them in their journeys. 

I cherish this work and you make it happen. Sending love to you all this lovely spring day!

-Brian 

Critters at the Chapel 

Since the fall of 2001, small handmade stuffed pillows called "Critters" have been provided to several local hospitals and clinics. This ministry was started with Sandy Cannon at the helm, making stuffed animals for children passing through the emergency rooms of hospitals in Hillsboro and Whitney.  Providing Critters has expanded to all children who need a special smile or just a little comforting in our area hospitals. 

 

Are you a “Critter Lady?” If not, you are invited to join the group. You don’t need to know anything about sewing, nor do you need any special talent. Just come for the fun and they’ll show you how to “stuff.” The ladies meet from 10 am until noon on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month in the Maurice Martin Fellowship Hall of the White Bluff Chapel. If you would like to be involved but cannot attend the meetings, you can still contribute to the Critter efforts by sewing and/or stuffing at home. There is also a group of Knit and Crochet Ladies who make special creations for senior adults who need caps and afghans.

 

Currently, Critters are provided to Whitney Family Medicine Clinic, Whitney Health-Now Urgent Care, Hill County Regional ER, CPR in Hillsboro, EMT and Police Departments in Whitney, Goodall-Wicher Clinic in Clifton and Mission Hillsboro Medical clinic.  Critters are also made for Shoeboxes at First Baptist Church and the Whitney Food Pantry at Christmastime.

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Senior Sunday, May 30, 2021

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Senior Sunday is a wonderful celebration of God’s grace in the lives of White Bluff Chapel’s scholarship recipients.  Twelve graduates and their families were honored in our service this year.  As students were introduced to the congregation and their WBC mentors, their mentors presented an award Bible to them in commemoration of the event.  Mentorship is the foundation of our program’s success.  The mentor’s role is to pray for the student, offer encouragement and assistance regarding any difficulties being faced in navigating the college experience.  Many of our members have mentored at least one student over the years providing friendship and guidance to students just beginning their advanced education.  

 

This was our seventeenth year of awarding educational aid to deserving Whitney area graduates.  We want to congratulate these young people for their courage and endurance in this difficult pandemic induced remote learning year.   We also want to recognize and the thank the caring members who are providing mentorship to them.

         Student                                                   Mentors

Jessica Brooke Allen                         Susie & Randy Marshall

Kylie Lynn Booth                                Debbie & Mark Hamner              

Holland Liberty Paige Burkett          Vicki & Dale Thompson

Dawson Brady Hightower                 Maura & George Collins

Grace Ann Karr                                  Linda Yeary

Valerie Ashley Panuko.                      Becky & Paul Jacobus

Isiah Deshonte Payne.                      Gerry & Linda Mayer

Cassie Paige Pettigrew                     Kay & Jay Miller

Fritz Edward Sauer                            John & Kathleen Knightstep

Maebry Analyn Sneed                      Jil Tankersley

Madison Brook Strickling                 Susan & Bill Borg

Kirstyn Mikayla Ward                        Gina & Brad Blankenship

Links Fellowship

A new ministry engagement opportunity has begun at White Bluff.  The initial meeting of the White Bluff Links Fellowship was held on Friday, May 21nd at the White Bluff Resort Old Course pavillion.  Over 40 men and women met over hamburgers and chips to hear Drew Hamilton, the Texas regional Links Coordinator.  Nationwide, Links Fellowships unite around five tenets: Love God and others, Integrate Christ’s reign and integrity into all of life, Network friends together in Christ, Kindle compassion for the poor and needy, Share Christ through the great game of golf.  To learn more, check out www.linksplayers.com. The White Bluff Links Fellowship will be meeting monthly.  More details to come!

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June Student of the Month

Clay Richters - Class of 2018

 

As a WHS student, Clay was a star receiver on the football team.  He aspired to become a Texas Game Warden.  People joked that he would be transferring his skills from catching footballs to catching poachers.

Three years later, Clay is on track to achieve that goal as he stated in this e-mail message:

“I am having a great time at college, despite the ongoing problems regarding Covid.  I started working for a fishing guide service on Lake Whitney, which has been challenging between school and work.  But I am still keeping up with my school work, making the Dean’s list every year.  This scholarship has helped me greatly in paying my tuition so I can complete my degree.  I am still a criminal justice major, and I plan to be a game warden.”

Jack Maddux, former game warden, and his wife, Ruth, have been Clay’s mentors.

Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance

The Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance met in person on May 12, 2021, for the first time since March 2020.  The meeting took place at the Whitney Senior Center with numerous representatives from other churches and volunteer groups.  These individuals work together to ensure that our community can offer services to those needing food, clothing, school supplies while also addressing spiritual and emotional needs.  The Lake Whitney Senior Center provided lunch for the attendees after their meeting.

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Caring Meals Ministry

Every Tuesday evening, Mary Parish makes meals for our Caring Meals ministry.  Anyone can sign up for a meal and make a donation as they pick up their meal at our “drive-thru”.  This service is designed to help those during Covid-19 that needed a meal brought to them at least once a week.  It has become so popular with others who want to make a donation and have a great meal, that we serve around 40 people each week.

National Day of Prayer

Thursday, May 6th, was the National Day of Prayer in the United States, a tradition that began in 1942 when President Truman signed into law the annual event.  White Bluff Chapel participated in the community prayer service hosted by the Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance to observe this day.  Pastor Randy helped lead that service by praying for our military. Other community leaders Ron Roberts, the chaplain of the LWMA as well as Chief Chris Bentley also led prayers for our national, state, and local leaders as well as our police force.

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May Student of the Month

Our student of the month is Ashtyn Thompson, a 2018 graduate of Blum High School.  The following letter from her is heartwarming, and bears witness to the  influence WBC’s Educational Aid/Mentoring mission is having on the lives of local students.

 

“My name is Ashtyn Thompson, and I am classified as a J2 (Junior semester 2), Nursing Student at the Texas Woman’s University College of Nursing located in Dallas. Once I am finished with this semester, I will have one year left to complete and I will graduate with my BSN in May 2022. This semester I have been providing care during clinical visits to mothers and their infants, as well as to U.S. Veterans. My college experience has been a rollercoaster to say the least, but I have learned so much and made many new friends along the way. The biggest challenges I have so far faced are the COVID-19 pandemic like everyone else, and depression. I struggle with depression and on my bad days it can make me feel like I am worthless and a failure even though I have accomplished so much and continue to succeed every day in nursing school. Despite my depression, I have an amazing support system and I pray that God will keep me strong and faithful. I have also been taking the time to learn to take care of myself and my mental health which has helped a lot. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly been a challenge as my courses are now all online, even in nursing school. I do get to attend clinical rotations and that is a huge blessing as I have encountered many patients who had so many kind and encouraging words to say to me. Online learning is much harder than one realizes but I do my best and try to be optimistic. After all, my future career will be rewarding for all my hard work and I cannot wait to be blessed enough to be able to take care of those who will one day become our future which is our children.

The support I have received from WBC was truly a Godsend. My family struggles financially and I was worried from the beginning of my college experience that I would not be able to finish due to a lack of money. The scholarship from WBC has helped to relieve that fear and the stresses of finances. Some of my scholarship money from one semester was also saved and helped me afford to buy a better car that would be safer and cheaper gas wise to drive back and forth to Dallas for nursing school. I also need to mention my mentors, Nancie and Jody Yarbro. The support I have received from them has been amazing as well. They make sure to ask me if I ever have any prayer requests and continue to pray for me. They have also been very invested in my college journey and continue to text me asking for updates and how I have been. I want to thank them as they are absolutely wonderful and God-fearing. WBC is lucky to have such amazing people in their congregation who are whole-heartedly invested in their students.

 

Thank you for everything, Ashtyn Thompson”

Ladies Bible Study

The ladies in our community have several options for Bible Study at White Bluff Chapel.  “Experiencing the Heart of Jesus,” by Max Lucado, is taught on Wednesday via Zoom and on Fridays for those who prefer to meet in person.  This allows not only a choice of meeting in person or on Zoom, but also the opportunity to attend either day of each week for the same lesson.

Bible Study Fellowship meets at our chapel each Thursday morning at 10:00.  Any women interested in studying Matthew in BSF starting September 16th should email Amy at wacobsfdw@gmail.com for more information.

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Education Mission Committee

Each year White Bluff Chapel serves a burrito breakfast to the teachers and staff at each Whitney School in appreciation for their contribution to our community.  Our “Teacher Appreciation” includes a Montes Wildcat burrito, a bottle of water, and a homemade cookie.  This year we also gave each one a “Grateful, Thankful, Blessed” candle as a token of our recognition of their sacrificial service to our children during this challenging pandemic.  They were so appreciative of our recognition and our support.

This is one of our local missions in which we recognize the contributions of those who serve our community enriching the lives of those who live in our neighborhood.

Wee Can Know

Wee Can Know recently sent us a thank you card for our continued support of their mission.  They let us know that our recent donation to their ministry helped purchase 300 Resurrection resource/goody bags which were distributed during Easter week, benefitting nine various ministries.  Phil and Debbie are continuing their “Good News Club” with the children by Zoom each Tuesday evening.  The numbers of children are down, but Phil and Debbie are grateful that they can still connect with children and parents. 

Phil and Debbie are meeting in person at Gethsemane Preschool and First Baptist after-school care each week.  Ninety children participated with their parents at the Easter weekend “Resurrection Egg Drive-Thru” on the parking lot of First Baptist Chalmette.  They also donated 210 of their resource bags to eight additional churches and ministries!!

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Men's Ministry Trash Pick Up

Our Men's Ministry is composed of men dedicated to glorifying God while ministering to others.  This week the men participated in the Great Texas Trash off.  They collected sixteen large bags of trash plus a lot of items that would not fit into the bags.  Later in the week, the men helped a White Bluff neighbor with yard maintenance.  We are grateful for these men who never tire of serving and helping others.