"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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Easter Children's Celebration 2022
Our Children’s Ministry provided our annual Easter Celebration with the gospel story, games, activities, and of course an Easter egg hunt. We had over 40 children and many adults who participated in a fun Saturday morning celebration of our Risen Savior.
Recently our Acts 2:42 fellowship hosted Elizabeth Brown, who represents Foundation Ministries, for a Mission Moment. Elizabeth was delightful in telling us about the ministry opportunities and conditions in Africa.
We also had Jody Yarbro, and Vicki Thompson share their adventures in Guatmala where they went for a mission dental ministry. A team of 22 people, which included dental students, dentists, and hygienists, to San Raymundo, Guatemala. It’s about two hours out of Guatemala City in the low mountains. In four days of clinic, they saw 540 patients, which were mostly children. Vicki and Joe talked with the children about Jesus and salvation before they entered the clinic. Every day 6 – 10 Guatemalan dental students and instructors came out of Guatemala City and joined them.
May Student of the Month
Mayte Arredondo WHS 2015
As a first-generation student, I have navigated through many financial, psychological, and social challenges. To overcome these hurdles, I sought social support, maintained a work-life balance, and worked with student support programs.
The WBC scholarship helped alleviate financial burdens in college and provided an amazing mentor, Gail Heinen, to work with.
After obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication in 2019, I found it necessary find a “leveling program” to acquire the necessary pre-requisites for becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist, without having to earn a second bachelor’s degree. After much frustrating research to find such a program, I located one with the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.
The course work there was very challenging because my communication degree didn’t align well with the new material I was learning. However, this only fueled my desire to become a better student, and I ended the program by making the dean's list, and earning a Speech Therapist certification.
I am thrilled to report that I have just been accepted into graduate school for Speech-Language Pathology at The University of Texas Health Science Center. As a Speech-Language Pathologist, my goal will be to improve the quality of life for clients by providing the skills to increase confidence and security in oral communication.
After 2 ½ years, the dental clinic at Mission Hillsboro finally opened this past Saturday. Jody and Nancie Yarbro, with the help of a volunteer hygienist named Deb, started seeing patients for the first time in a modern two-chair dental clinic. The clinic is open on the first and third Saturdays of each month, seeing patients who are underserved and uninsured. This is a mission that White Bluff Chapel supports, and was originally sponsored by Becky McKee. We are looking for other volunteer dentists and assistants to help.
April Student of the Month
Dear White Bluff Chapel,
I was beyond grateful when I opened the letter from you informing me that I had been awarded a generous scholarship. Being a first-generation college student from a large family, financing a college education would be a huge hurdle.
Armed with determination, and my scholarship, I enrolled at MCC in Waco, Texas. There I succeeded in obtaining my AS degree. I then transferred to Texas State University in San Marcos. My first semester at TSU taught me a lot about the need for time management skills. In spite of juggling jobs, extracurricular activities, and study time, I was able to earn my BS degree with honors in Exercise and Sports Science.
After graduating from TSU, my plan was to take a gap year and apply for a Physical Therapy Doctoral program. While doing that, I began working at an inpatient rehab hospital, as a Rehab Therapy Tech. This experience cemented my desire to become a Physical Therapist.
Physical Therapy is a more competitive grad program than I had realized. I applied to six schools in Texas, and was interviewed by three of them. Despite being very confident in two of the interviews, I did not receive placement in either one. The disappointment of those setbacks was substantial, but I was taught to not give up. God had other plans for me. Overcoming adversity requires perseverance and passion to achieve one’s goal. I have both! My new plan is to enroll in a Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA) program to bolster my resume, and then to reapply to the Doctoral programs in pursuit of my advanced degree.
WBC played a significant role early on in my college experience. The scholarship allowed me to work less and study more to earn higher grades. I am grateful for the prayers, assistance, and encouragement from my mentors, Carol and Bill Campbell, and for all the other WBC mentors who obviously care about the students they support.”
The Critters Go to Guatemala
A team of creative ladies at the White Bluff Chapel gather together twice a month to cut, sew and stuff cotton into “Critters”. Critters are small stuffed animals made for children to hold in times of distress. Recently, Jody Yarbro and Vicki Thompson went on a dental mission trip to Guatemala with a team of 22 people, which included dental students, dentists, and hygienists, to San Raymundo, Guatemala. It’s about two hours out of Guatemala City in the low mountains. In four days of clinic, they saw 540 patients, which were mostly children. Vicki and Joe talked with the children about Jesus and salvation before they entered the clinic. Every day 6 – 10 Guatemalan dental students and instructors came out of Guatemala City and Joined us. On our free day we visited the old city of Antigua.
March Student of the Month
Allison Powers is a 2020 graduate of Whitney H.S. and recipient of a WBC scholarship. She was an outstanding student participating in diverse activities demonstrating leadership skills and a broad range of interests. She earned 33 college credit hours while in H.S. Allison was very focused on a career goal of becoming an airline flight attendant. The following message we recently received from her indicates that she has embraced her career choice and has a solid plan to achieve that goal.
“I want to thank White Bluff Chapel for the impactful scholarship that I was awarded. It has helped me immensely throughout college. Being assigned a mentor greatly influenced the decisions I made in planning my career path.
Currently, I am a student at McLennan Community College pursuing a degree in Hospitality Management. I am striving to become a flight attendant. As of right now, I am an employee at Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Waco as a front desk agent and I have gotten to meet some amazing coworkers.
I personally want to thank my mentor, Maura Collins. She has definitely been the best part of receiving this scholarship. I especially love our Tres Hermanos lunch dates where she gives me guidance and supports the choices that I’ve made. She has been the greatest help during college and continues to encourage me to push through the hardships. The mentor program is very beneficial because you get to form a bond with someone that will always be there to support you in your future endeavors.
Thank you, White Bluff Chapel, for awarding me the scholarship that helps pay for my tuition, but also pairs me up with an incredible mentor.”
Men’s Ministry Breakfast
The Men’s Ministry is alive and well at White Bluff Chapel! On January 15th the men gathered in the Fellowship Hall for a Men’s Breakfast. In addition to the great food, the participants were challenged by Pastor Randy to be the “Salt of the Earth.” Certainly, their spiritual and practical “salty,” influence is felt throughout our area by their hands-on mission projects, great fellowship, and servant attitude. Thank you men for all you do!
February Student of the Month
Summer Fargason is a 2019 WBC Scholarship recipient, mentored by Pat and Jim Griffin. She was delighted to be featured as a Student of the Month, and has shared the following comments about her experience.
“The WBC scholarship has allowed me to avoid an immense amount of stress throughout my time in college. I’ve not had to worry about buying books or supplies, because the award has covered those expenses for me. My mentors have provided wonderful support during this time. They are always available to give the BEST advice! Both have been college professors, so their wise counsel has been very beneficial.
I am a junior at Tarleton State University, majoring in education. I am hoping to be accepted into Tarleton’s teaching program at the Fort Worth campus, which is much closer to my home in Blum, Texas.
As for my current status, I am making all 100’s in my education classes, and I have a 3.96 GPA. My goal is to graduate by May, 2023 with a BA in Education, and my EC-6 teaching certificate. My focus is early education, and I can’t wait to be pursuing my dream in the classroom as an educator.
Thank you, White Bluff Chapel, for making my life goals and aspirations actually become attainable. As a first-generation college student, I am especially grateful that you have provided this opportunity to me. Without it, I may not have been able to get a college education."
January Student of the Month
Itzel Guille Chavez
Itzel is a 2019 WBC Scholarship recipient. She is mentored by Jim and Anne Duncan, mentors of many WHS tennis players who have become scholarship recipients. Itzel is very grateful to them and to the WBC congregation for their financial and spiritual support.
She says “Because of my WBC scholarship, I was able to graduate with a General Associates Degree, debt free. Through my first two years at McLennan Community College, I was able to receive my CNA license, Associates Degree, and I am currently working on my Phlebotomy License.
Thanks to your assistance, I can move forward on my nursing career path through the University of Texas at Arlington. I appreciate everything you have done for me and I can’t wait to see how many other students succeed because of your support.”
December Student of the Month
My name is Noelia Delgado, a 2019 White Bluff Chapel (WBC) Scholarship recipient. I am a third-year student at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) pursuing a degree in Applied Movement Science and Business of Healthcare on the pre-physician assistant path. As a first-generation student, navigating college and finding ways to finance my education has been a challenge. As I enter my third academic school year, I am excited to learn from brilliant professors and see the challenges that I can overcome.
UT has offered me many opportunities to gain leadership experience through student and community involvement. I was selected to be a part of the Texas Education Scholars in which I get to mentor students and speak in panels about healthcare professions. In the summer of 2020, a couple of students and I co-founded a nonprofit organization, Texas MedstART, dedicated to exploring the intersection between art and medicine. This organization raised money by selling artwork to help pay medical expenses of families impacted by the pandemic
We also run a virtual art class for the children at Dell Medical Center, the Helping Hands Home for Children. We also facetime calls with nursing home residents. This provided those who are more at risk a chance to socialize with students and be creative during this time of isolation. I also received a research internship with CommUnityCare Health clinics, where we conducted research on health disparities and proposed solutions to reduce inequalities.
I work as a Patient Care Technician on the cardiovascular unit concurrent to my studies at UT. I attend training classes, complete modules, and learn rules and regulations for the floor. Each shift I care for a variety of patients with different ailments. In the third surge of the pandemic, I was floated to struggling COVID units. Though this created a new and stressful working environment, I embraced the challenge. My work during COVID has taught me more patience and empathy than any previous experience. It has been a challenge working long hours at the hospital and managing my college courses. However, I have learned to balance work and school by using a planner and better managing my time.
Through my research internship, I was assigned to a physician assistant in urgent care. Shadowing her has shown me that PAs listen not only to heal, but to educate and understand. I plan to attend an accredited Physician Assistant program after I graduate from UT. Additionally, I hope to work to improve access to medical care irrespective of socioeconomic constraints, language barriers, or health literacy.
I have been able to attend UT with the help of the WBC Scholarship, reducing my financial burden and allowing me to focus on schoolwork. I am so grateful for the support and inspiration received from my WBC mentors and sponsors. Becky and Paul Jacobus have shown me so much love and care which has helped me get through some of the challenges that I face. I am extremely honored to be a scholarship recipient. The award has opened many doors and has introduced me to amazing people.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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.
November Student of the Month
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.”
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.
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!
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.
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!”
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.
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.
Elizabeth Prado Posos
Back To School Bash
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
Crosses Everywhere at White Bluff
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.
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!
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’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.”
Athletes in Action
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!
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.
Senior Sunday, May 30, 2021
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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”
Below are mission ministries White Bluff Chapel supports financially through our church budget. If you would like more information and/or would like to be directly involved as a volunteer, please contact the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Athletes in Action
Winning athletes to Christ by earning the right to be heard, walking them towards Jesus, molded-in deep relationships. Showing up at bike races, ready to serve and show the love of Christ when many others are not.
Casa Bernabe Ministries
A Christian orphanage in Guatemala City that serves 150 children.
Christian Dental Society
Provides scholarships to dental students doing mission dentistry in Guatemala and other poverty-stricken countries.
Trains pastors for service in their home churches in Africa and Romania.
WBC helps to distribute Bibles in the Whitney, Blum, and Hillsboro school districts, as well as at Hill College.
Guides Christians on a journey to rediscover a vibrant walk with Jesus through national and local Zoom prayer calls.
Orphans and Widows Hope Project
Pairs orphans with widows in Kenya Africa. The goal is to help orphans grow up healthy, educated and to become faithful followers of Jesus Christ.
Wee Can Know
A ministry in New Orleans to reach children for Christ through partnerships with local churches and schools.
Provide Christmas gifts for children of prisoners.
Cedar Creek Youth Ministry
Pays for a portion of the van expense for transporting kids to Wednesday night bible study.
Make hand-crafted stuffed animals for children in crisis situations, small gifts for nursing home residents and caps for cancer patients.
Isaiah's Place Retreat & Learning Center for the Deaf
Assist in various events at a local retreat and learning center for the deaf community.
Joint Committee for Christmas
Originally formed over 20 years ago, the Joint Committee for Christmas (JCC) is organized to discover the real needs of individuals at Christmas time, and to avoid unnecessary duplications in the efforts to meet those needs.
Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance
There are many varied volunteer opportunities through this community ministry. To learn more about this organization, go to the LWMA website.
Benevolence function of the Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance. To learn more about this organization, go to the LWMA website.
Mission Hillsboro Medical Clinic
Provide medical services for the working poor in the area who do not have insurance.
Our Daily Bread
Whitney area food pantry.
Providence Hospice of Whitney
Provide care for those facing end-of-life issues; medically, spiritually, and emotionally.
Sandy Creek Bible Camp
Provide funding for local disadvantaged children to attend a Christian summer camp.
White Bluff Volunteer Fire Department
Donations from the Chapel missions committee are generally used to assist with the cost of equipment for the firefighters.
College and Career Day
Sponsors with the Whitney community a half-day career program for Whitney High School Juniors. Members participate on panels which explain the educational requirements and rewards of various careers.
Educational Aid Committee
Provides numerous scholarships for seniors graduating from Whitney and Blum High Schools for university, junior college, and trade school tuition. In addition, to help students develop their spiritual as well as educational lives, we link each recipient to a chapel member who serves as a mentor, providing encouragement and advice.
English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) Classes
Provides an opportunity for Spanish speaking people to learn English and become better equipped to function as parents, employees and citizens in our community.
School Supply Program
Assists with the Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance annual drive to provide school supplies for needy students.
This program provides school supplies for needy students in grades pre-K through 5th. Volunteers help purchase, package, and deliver the supplies to the schools.
Teacher Appreciation Day
Express the support and gratitude of White Bluff Chapel to the staff in the Whitney Schools by taking snacks to each of the schools annually.