Pastor's Blog: The Life of a Servant

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

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Sunday Sermon: You Have Value

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

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Pastor's Blog: The Floor Is Now Open for Nominations

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

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Sunday Sermon: God's Great Delight

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

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Pastor's Blog: Certain Truths for Uncertain Times

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

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Pastor's Blog: Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

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Sunday Sermon: The Change That Brings the Greatest Joy

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

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Pastor's Blog: Seeing Through Our Own Deceptions

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

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Sunday Sermon: In This Together

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

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Pastor's Blog: Living Out Our Mission

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

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Sunday Sermon: We Belong Here

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

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Pastor's Blog: Hurting God

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

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Sunday Sermon: He Ain't Heavy

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

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Pastor's Blog: Why Church Matters

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

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Sunday Sermon: Protecting What Matters Most

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

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Pastor's Blog: We've a Story to Tell

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

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What Everybody Needs to Know About Us

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Some years ago, you may remember bumper stickers were the thing. You don’t see them so much anymore, which I have found to be somewhat gratifying, especially when it comes to Christian-themed bumper stickers. I remember seeing some doozies in my time. “Jesus is coming; look busy.” “Warning: In Case of Rapture This Car Will Be Unmanned.” And my personal favorite. “Honk If You Love Jesus,” along with its more unsettling addendum: “Text if you want to see him.”

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Pastor's Blog: Can We Confer?

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

The word “confer” is a grammatically rich one, depending on whether there is an object involved with it. As you English majors will recall, used transitively (with an object) the word suggests the bestowing of an honor on someone, as in, “The school conferred upon her an honorary degree.” But when used intransitively (without an object), it means to come together for a discussion or a deliberation.

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Sunday Sermon: Some Things Are Worth the Risk

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Of the many factors that each of us has had to weigh in making decisions during this season of COVID, one factor that we would never have imagined being as pronounced as it has been over these last several months is the element of risk. It’s not that we hadn’t been weighing risks in our decisions prior to COVID, it’s just that it seems that so much more is at stake now, because we’re talking about our health. And so, before we do anything or go anywhere, we ask ourselves the question, “Is it worth the risk?” If so, then we move forward. But if not, then we stay put.

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Pastor's Blog: Have A Minute?

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

One of the lessons I’ve gleaned since joining the Facebook world is that people probably don’t have a lot of time to park on one post. It seems to me that the platform is designed to allow people to scroll through their timeline and take a peek on what other people are doing and saying. If something grabs your attention, then you can give it more time. If it doesn’t, you can move on to something that does.

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Ministry Highlights: Vacation Bible School 2020

 |  Ministry Highlights  |  Sharon Howard

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Pastor's Blog: Phase Three

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

This Sunday, July 12, marks the third phase of our four-phased plan for resuming in-person gatherings at MBBC, one in which we will add Sunday Morning Bible Study (SMBS) opportunities. Again, as we move into this phase, we do so responsibly, gradually, and with an openness to adjusting our plans as necessary. Fortunately, we have not had any hiccups to this point in the process of implementing our plan, in large measure because of how our attendees have followed the guidelines we put in place to safeguard everyone. We will continue to follow those guidelines, even more strictly now that our gatherings will involve spaces that put us a bit closer to one another, though not to a level that we violate the need to keep practicing physical distancing.

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Pastor's Blog: How Free Can You Be?

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

This weekend will see the usual trappings of Fourth of July celebrations. There will be fireworks and cookouts, family gatherings and backyard activities. But this year won’t see some things that we’ve grown accustomed to on previous Independence Day holidays. There won’t be an entire day’s worth of baseball game in stadiums across the land. There also won’t be the Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island, at least not with a live audience. A lot of our celebrations have been condensed in response to the current pandemic. So, how free are we?

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Sunday Sermon: The One Thing Weariness Can’t Touch

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Of all the guidelines we’ve been living under over these last three months as we’ve been doing our best to navigate this COVID-19 crisis, the one that I’ve found to be the most difficult to practice is making sure that I don’t touch any surfaces unnecessarily. In my mind, there’s a reason that God gave us two hands. He did so in order that we could touch stuff and surfaces and people. But now we are being told that none of that is in our best interest and we should do all we can to refrain from touching anything we don’t have to touch.

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Pastor's Blog: A Matter of the Heart

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

As many of you know, when heart patients are being examined, one of the first things they are given is a stress test. Never has anything been more aptly named. I know this from personal experience. Back when I turned 60, as a part of my routine annual physical, my doctor prescribed such a test for me. I went into it thinking, “Piece of cake; I’m in great shape.” I came out of it thinking, “I had no idea they were going to try to kill me.” The stress test does exactly what it says – it is designed to see how much stress a person’s heart can endure. That’s the only way physicians can determine the condition of a patient’s heart.

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Ministry Highlights: Church Connections

 |  Ministry Highlights  |  Mary Splawn

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Sunday Sermon: Some Things Are Better Left Misunderstood

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

I learned a long time ago that in order to get along with others and “keep the peace,” there are certain topics that should always remain off limits. That’s because those topics tend to be so controversial that any discussion of them is more than likely to push people apart instead of bringing them close together. The two topics that come to mind, of course, are politics and religion because of how people are all over the map on their discussions of them.

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Pastor's Blog: So Far, So Good

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

One of the consequences of making do in the midst of a pandemic is doing your best not to make any glaring mistakes. Because none of us has ever traveled this particular path, we’re not able to draw from previous experience and plan accordingly. Some have likened it to building a plane and flying it at the same time, which is not an ideal plan.

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Ministry Highlights: How Technology Has Furthered Ministry

 |  Ministry Highlights  |  Tim Sanderlin

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Pastor's Blog: The 'Next' Normal

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Ever since COVID– 9 exploded on the scene with all its disruptive strength, we’ve seen adjustments forced upon us in every aspect of life. Businesses have shut down and reopened in a different way. Sports leagues suspended their seasons and some of them are only now resuming competition, but with a very different schedule. Who knows what will happen with schools and football as we move toward the fall? And of course, churches have had to alter their ministries in response to the novel coronavirus.

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Ministry Highlights: Student Ministry

 |  Ministry Highlights  |  Ben Winder

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Sermon:1 Corinthians 13:1-3 “The Worst Bankrupt of All”

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Years ago, I served a church in a community where the local newspaper had a section in each Sunday’s edition in which they printed public records. You could see who got married and who got divorced. You could see who bought property and who sold property. You could see who got arrested and for what reason they got arrested. And worst of all, at least in my mind, you could also see who had filed for bankruptcy.

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Pastor's Blog: Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

The topic that’s been on everyone’s mind this week has been the reaction that has taken place across the country to what we can all agree was the senseless and tragic death of George Floyd on Monday a week ago in Minneapolis. The primary reason it’s been on ours is because of how the reaction spread to Birmingham, as on this past Sunday what began as a peaceful protest turned into an assault on downtown businesses and on members of the media who were there to report on the situation.

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Ministry Highlights: Church Livestreaming

 |  Ministry Highlights  |  Tim Sanderlin

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This Too Shall Pass

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

We’re at that time of the year in the Deep South when weather systems tend to collide with one another, creating the most calamitous conditions in terms of both people and property. Tomorrow, for example, marks the beginning of the hurricane season, and as I understand it, forecasters are predicting an above-average season for hurricanes this year, which should not surprise us at all. If the 2020 hurricane season goes like everything else has gone in this remarkably troublesome year, then we’d better be prepared to “batten down the hatches,” as they say.

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Pastor's Blog: A "Realm" of Possibilities

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Anyone who has discovered the productivity of newer technologies sometimes has to shake his head and wonder how we ever lived without these things. Everything seems to have gotten “smarter” from the phones we use to the televisions we watch to the cars that we drive, and in the process, we like to think that so have we. We have become smarter also.

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Sunday Sermon: Committing to the Hard Way

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Back when it became apparent that the coronavirus had made its way across the Pacific (or the Atlantic, or wherever it came from), I really did think that we’d be in a state of disruption for a month, maybe two, and then everything would get back to normal. That’s one of the reasons I had thought we’d keep the church open, keep our heads and hearts down, and just bulldoze our way through this thing until we made it through to the other side.

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Pastor's Blog: Here's the Church, Here's the Steeple

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

I would imagine that one of the first nursery rhymes you learned growing up had to do with church. Do you remember how it went? “Here’s the church. Here’s the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people.” What made that rhyme so memorable was the way we were able to act it out. First, you’d put your hands together into a ball. Then, you’d press your thumbs together to make the doors. Next, you’d stick up your index fingers to make the steeple. Finally, you’d open the “doors” and have the rest of the fingers represent the people. I don’t know why that exercise was so compelling. Maybe it’s just that we found some level of comfort in knowing that the doors to our church could be opened any time we felt like it.

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Ministry Highlights: Children and Family Ministries

 |  Ministry Highlights  |  Sharon Howard

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Sunday Sermon: Set Christ Apart

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Last year Psychology Today magazine ran an article that would turn out to be far more prescient than they ever could have imagined. The article was titled, “What Are You Afraid Of?” While a glance at the title might lead one to believe that the article would be about different phobias that leave people paralyzed – phobias like the fear of spiders or snakes or the fear of heights – the article actually delved more deeply into core anxieties that act as an undertow in our lives, those fears that are constantly dragging us down and holding us back from becoming the type of person we really want to be – phobias like being rejected or being abandoned or being controlled or manipulated by others. What intrigued me about the article was the way it underscored our fear of losing control and being at the mercy of other people, especially when other people can rarely be trusted to have our best interest at heart (“What Are You Afraid Of?” Psychology Today, 8/4/19).

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Pastor's Blog: Giving Reopening a Crack

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Last week Governor Ivey amended her “Safer at Home” order to allow for churches to resume gatherings. Her only stipulation was that churches maintain a six-foot distance between persons from different households. Since that time, however, her office has released a fuller list of protocols based on guidelines developed by the Center for Disease Control. You can access those updated protocols at https://alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/assets/cov-sah-worship.pdf.

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Ministry Highlights: Serving You Ministries

 |  Ministry Highlights  |  Dr. Wayne Splawn

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MBBC Here for You

 |  Churchwide Updates  |  Amy Hirsch

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Pastor's Blog: Who Was That Masked Man?

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

One of my favorite television shows growing up was “The Lone Ranger.” It was a western adventure series that featured the story of the sole survivor of a group of Texas Rangers (not the baseball team) who was nursed back to health by a trusty Native American named Tonto, who then became his lifelong companion. Together they roamed the Old West, defending helpless souls of all kind against the forces of evil. The Lone Ranger’s trademark was a mask he wore to conceal his identity as he went about battling outlaws of various persuasions. Each episode in the series ended with the Lone Ranger riding off from having saved the day on his trusty steed Silver, while someone baffled by the sight would always ask, “Who was that masked man?” To which the person who had just been saved would always answer, “That was the Lone Ranger!”

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Entrusting Ourselves to Him Who Judges Justly

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Hard times, such as the one we’re going through now, have the potential both to teach us new things about ourselves and to confirm other things we already knew. I’m still not sure what all I have learned over these last two months, but there is one thing that they have confirmed to me about myself – I am not too good at doing deprivation.

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Pastor's Blog: Safer at Home

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Governor Ivey released the first of this week her recommendations for the next phase of our state’s reopening. Titled, “Safer at Home,” the Governor’s new order is a responsible and gradual approach to enabling activities in Alabama to get back up and running. While her order no doubt comes as a great disappointment to many who would have preferred to see our state return to a way of life we enjoyed just two months ago (though it seems much longer), I think she acted wisely…and even faithfully. The public’s health must take precedence over everything, even something as important as our state’s economy.

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Sunday Sermon: Living as Strangers in Reverent Fear

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Earlier this year, The New York Times ran a story titled, “How to Be an Expatriate in 2020.” It was a story that focused on a middle-aged couple, Chuck and Kirsten Burgess, who decided one day to leave behind their two comfortable homes, one in Manhattan and the other in the Hamptons, along with their good careers, in order to move abroad to an entirely different country, where they owned nothing, knew no one, and had no real capacity for speaking any language other than their native English. And so they sold off everything, picked up the little they had left over, and moved lock, stock, and barrel to Barcelona, Spain. What really got my attention in the article was, of course, their reasoning. According to the couple, they transitioned to an expatriate life “because they yearned for something more – not something more in the sense of material things, but in the satisfaction derived from new adventures in new lands.” And as the article went on to feature other Americans who had come to the same decision as the Burgesses, it concluded with this observation on the “expat” life: “This is not a life for those who are running away; it’s instead a life for those who running toward something (“How to Be an Expatriate in 2020,” The New York Times, 2/21/20).

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Pastor's Blog: Opening Up MBBC Again

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Last week the President’s Coronavirus Task Force came out with a three-phased plan to “Open Up America Again.” While not delving into specifics, the plan did offer clear guidelines to the nation’s governors in order to assist them in filling in the details that might get our country’s economy back up and running once again.

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Sunday Sermon: The Goal of Our Faith

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Every journey in life presumes a destination. In other words, when we set out on a particular course, most of the time we are aiming to get somewhere specifically. Granted, we may have adjusted our aim a bit in these recent days because of our current situation. For example, some of us feel the need at times to get out of the house and just go “somewhere.” We don’t have a specific destination in mind; we just know that if we don’t get out we may go “bat crazy,” which by the way is a figure of speech that has lost its charm in light of our present pandemic. But you get the point. A mobile society can’t tolerate a quarantine situation forever, and so we look for ways to get out, which in itself is enough of a destination for most of us.

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Pastor's Blog: Becoming Easter People

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Growing in our understanding of Easter faith is a challenge we Christians face every post-Resurrection Sunday. Because we put so much emphasis on that particular day and those leading up to it (as well we should), we tend to breathe a sigh of relief when Easter Sunday is over, grateful that we accomplished all the tasks that go along with such a signal celebration. What we too often fail to keep in mind, however, is that Easter is much more than a single day on the calendar; it is instead a way to live our faith throughout the year, especially in those seasons where we experience significant headaches and heartaches.

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Easter Sunday Sermon, “Afraid, Yet Filled with Joy”

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

You’re familiar with the term, “mixed bag?” No, that term doesn’t refer to an Easter basket that’s filled with different kinds of candies and colored eggs. The term actually goes back to the turn of the last century when hunters would bag various types of birds and put them together in a single bag; hence the term, “mixed bag.”

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Project 119: Meditations on the Suffering Servant - Isaiah 53:10-12

 |  Project 119, Holy Week Devotions  |  Dr. Wayne Splawn

Today is Good Friday and our attention is focused on Jesus’ death on the cross. One of the most striking aspects of Luke’s passion narrative is the way Jesus prays for His tormentors on the cross. In Luke 24, Luke records these words, “And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’” (Luke 24:34 ESV). If I were being unjustly executed, my natural response would not be to pray the Lord would forgive my executioners. Instead, I would likely be praying for deliverance or justice or for judgement to be poured out on those taking my life. But Jesus does no such thing. Instead, He intercedes for His enemies, asking the Father to forgive them because they do not know what they are doing.

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Project 119: Meditations on the Suffering Servant - Isaiah 53:7-9

 |  Project 119, Holy Week Devotions  |  Mary Splawn

On some level, you and I have each experienced the consequences for our own sins. Think back to a time in childhood when you disobeyed. Did you have some type of punishment for your mischief?

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Pastor's Blog: Where Two or Three Are Gathered, Easter Happens

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

This year’s Easter celebration will be, without a shadow of a doubt, a most unique one. Normally, we celebrate Easter with one of the largest worship gatherings of the year. Everyone is dressed in his finest. The church is brimming with lilies. The choir is at its best, proclaiming the Easter message in all of its glory.

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Project 119: Meditations on the Suffering Servant - Isaiah 53:4-6

 |  Project 119, Holy Week Devotions  |  Ben Winder

This middle day of Holy Week brings us to the middle stanza in the Suffering Servant poem. As we are halfway between Palm Sunday and Easter, so too in this stanza we find ourselves between two sets of pronouns. The third person singular “He” and the first-person plural “we”. Him, the suffering servant alone; us, all of us, together in our sin.

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Project 119: Meditations on the Suffering Servant - Isaiah 53:1-3

 |  Project 119, Holy Week Devotions  |  Amy Hirsch

Have you noticed that most artistic renderings of Jesus portray Him as physically fit with straight teeth? As a Middle Easterner, Jesus likely had a dark complexion and dark hair, but Isaiah’s prophecy warns against depicting Jesus as a man who was particularly attractive. According to Isaiah 53, the Suffering Servant wasn’t handsome, wealthy, or majestic. The prophets declared God would send a deliverer for His people, and the Jews had been waiting in expectation for God to intervene in their situation.

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Project 119: Meditations on the Suffering Servant - Isaiah 52:13-15

 |  Project 119, Holy Week Devotions  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Have you ever heard someone tell you to “look up”? That word of instruction is somewhat unique in that it can come our way either as a warning or as an encouragement. Our attention is either some place it doesn’t need to be, or we can’t see our way forward because of how something in our past has us down. Both situations merit a change in us, which a look upward in the right direction can make happen for the better.

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Sunday Sermon: "God's Answer"

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

My wife and I moved into our new home a month or so ago, and its physical address is not yet on any of the navigation apps. So, when we have needed people to find us, unless they know the neighborhood, getting to our house is evidently impossible.

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Pastor's Blog: A Time to Embrace the Pain

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

​Pain is one of the things healthy human beings do their best to avoid. None of us goes looking for it, in all likelihood because we know that it will eventually come our way. Pain is unavoidable in the course of this life.

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Sunday Sermon: “Something to Anticipate”

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Like for many of you, spring is my favorite season of the year. I especially love the way that everything around me buds and blooms in a cascade of colors that not even Picasso could come close to matching. A good part of it, no doubt, is that spring just happens to be the season that comes after winter, which as we all know is almost always a dreary and dismal time. Even though we live far enough south for it not to get too brutally cold down here in Birmingham, we get just enough of the chilly stuff that we soon weary of it, which makes the springtime something we anticipate most anxiously.

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Pastor's Blog: Biting the (Facebook) Bullet

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

​In times like these we do well to open ourselves to new forms of learning. You’ve probably already stretched yourself in more ways than you ever thought you’d attempt. But the alternative, of course, is to stay mired in your rut, a fate that is far moreworse now than ever, and let the rest of the world pass you by.

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Sunday Sermon: Jeremiah 32:42-44 “Is Anything Too Hard for God?”

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Some years ago, I remember traveling from my hometown in West Alabama to get back to where I was living at the time. The route I took from York was US 80, which we chillingly referred to as “Blood Alley” because of the number of fatal accidents that had taken place on that stretch of road over the years.

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Pastor's Blog: Flattening the Curve

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

It’s been years since I was stuck in a Statistics class in college, where I struggled to wrap my mind around modes and medians and standard deviations. I eventually got the hang of each of those statistical realities.But the one that made the most sense to me immediately was the concept of the “Bell Curve.” Simply put, a curve of that kind represents a normal distribution of variables that distinguishes between the best and worst, with the largest percentage of variables being occupied by the average.For those of you who remember begging your college professor to “grade on the curve” yet had no idea what you were talking about (other than not to grade you by the percentage of correct answers), if the professor was agreeable, that’s how she or he made those determinations.

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MBBC Response to COVID-19

 |  Worship  |  Amy Hirsch

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Sermon: Jeremiah 31:31-34 “Write It upon Our Hearts”

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

As a “newbie” to smart technology, I continue to be amazed at the immense capabilities I have at my disposal with something as small as my smartphone. Not a week goes by that I don’t discover some new application that delivers on its promise to make my life go so much smoother and so much easier.

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Adjusted Schedule for Sunday, March 15

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Pastor's Blog: Social Respect

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Wouldn’t you know that as we approach the infamous Ides of March that our planet is having to contend with a pandemic that has everyone on the edge of his seat, one that is about as far away from the next person as we can possibly get? The experts in the public health community refer to this tendency as “social distancing," and commend it as one that is in everyone’s best interest to practice.

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Blessed to Be a Blessing

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

There are certain stories that I always seem to fall for. Regardless of how busy I may be, when I’m reading a magazine or surfing the Internet, there are just some stories I can’t pass up. Probably the ones that rank at the top of my lists are the “Best Places” stories. You know the ones I’m talking about – “Best places to live…work…study…retire.” Evidently, I’m not by myself, given how many of them get written.

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Pastor's Blog: Live Your Life

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

In the midst of presidential elections and Daylight Saving Time (which is this Sunday, March 8, by the way), the topic on everyone’s mind is COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus. It certainly has been on mine. Part of it, of course, is my concern for my own health. But the larger part is my concern for how we manage the situation at church, much as other places where people gather in significant numbers on a regular basis have to do.

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March 1, 2020 Sermon: Who’s Telling the Truth? • Doug Dortch

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Some time ago, back when TV was beginning to establish its place or prominence in American households, network executives came up with a format that came to be known as the “game show,” in which contestants would compete with one another for prizes and grand excursions and significant sums of money. It would arguably become a format that would turn out to be the staple of television broadcasting even to the present day.

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Pastor's Blog: Making the Most of Opportunity

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

How is that some people seem so prepared to barge through open doors while others of us find them slamming in our face? Clearly, our level of readiness has something to do with whether or not we make it through those passageways. Some people seem never to miss those moments of opportunity, while others only know them after someone else has taken advantage of them first.

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Pastor's Blog: The Unattainable Ideal

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

I have always been uncomfortable with Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount where He speaks with His disciples about their need to strive for perfection. You remember the verse: “Be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). The whole notion that any of us could strive to be equal to God in any respect boggles my mind. How could Jesus expect sinful folk to rise to this level of performance? It always seemed like in some way Jesus was setting us disciples up for failure, and massively so.

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February 16, 2020 Sermon • “As It Seems Best to God” • Doug Dortch

 |  Sunday Sermon  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Dr. Richard Halverson, former chaplain of the United States Senate, once made a speech in which he contended that many people today suffer from a malady he called “Destination Sickness.” Of course, you won’t find anything of the sort in any medical textbook. “Destination Sickness” is a disease of the soul – one that people contract when they focus all of their time and energy in the wrong direction; for example, in the pursuit of position and possessions as the most important concerns of everyday existence. Halverson describes such a person in this way: “He’s the man who’s become a whale of success downtown and a pathetic failure at home. He’s a big shot with the boys at the office and a big phony with the boys at home. He’s the status symbol to society and a fake in the family.” He concludes that “Destination Sickness is an illness peculiar to a culture that is affluent, but godless” (“A Day at a Time”).

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Pastor's Blog: Letting Go and Letting God

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

These last several days with this infernal rain have been agonizing ones for me. I’m normally a person who takes the weather as it comes, but the amount of rain we’ve received over the last week or so has somehow managed to get the best of me. Part of it may be my weariness over our recent move from one house to another, with all of the subsequent transitional matters that come along with it, most of which seems to have occurred in the rain. But part of it may be my having reached a stage in life where I’m becoming more aware of how so very many things seem no longer to be under my control as they once did and the inevitable exasperation such awareness brings. In other words, my frustration with the weather is just the tip of the iceberg for something much more significant going on under the surface of my soul.

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Cooks On A Mission: February 2020 Menu

 |  Cooks On A Mission  |  Amy Hirsch

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Pastor's Blog: Being Better

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Normally, when we think of making improvements, our minds turn to action. We ask ourselves questions like, “What can I do to become better?” But in the question itself lies the real secret to improvement, which explains why so many fall short in their attempts at doing better. In other words, improvement at anything is more an aspect of being than it is of doing. Work on the “becoming” part and the “doing” part gets remarkably easier.

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Pastor's Blog: Managing Expectations

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Most of you reading this article are aware that this Sunday is “Super Bowl Sunday.” Even if you’re not a football fan, chances are that you’ll be like the vast majority of Americans, glued to the tube, or at least doing something with the game on in the background. Estimates are that around 115 million of us will be tuned in to the game, which represents almost 36% of the population – a staggering percentage when you stop and think about it.

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Pastor's Blog: The Highest Honor

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

A church always functions best and most faithfully when its members live out the teachings of Jesus. While it’s important for believers to think rightly, it’s perhaps even more critical that they live rightly. As the old saying goes, “Anyone can talk a good game.” What turns heads and hearts, especially in this day when people no longer grant as much respect to the church as in day’s past, is for people to align their verbal confession with their behavioral one.

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Pastor's Blog: Toward Bold Faithfulness

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is our primary denominational partner. As you know, CBF sees Mountain Brook Baptist Church as one of the most accomplished congregations associated with their “denomi-network.” In fact, our John Scott now serves as a member of CBF’s Governing Board, which is responsible for the administrative work of the entire body.

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Project 119: Hebrews 13:20-25

 |  Project 119  |  Amy Hirsch

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Pastor's Blog: A "Can’t Miss" Resolution

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

By now I would imagine that you’ve finished making your list of resolutions for 2020. If your list is like mine, it tends to be a recycled one. Somehow we get the feeling that every January we’ll find a renewed dedication to doing things we know are in our best interest, but always seem to be unduly difficult to complete.

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Project 119: Hebrews 13:1-19

 |  Project 119  |  Amy Hirsch

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Project 119: Hebrews 12:18-29

 |  Project 119  |  Amy Hirsch

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The Secret Is There Is No Secret | Wayne Splawn

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As we begin a new year, chances are good that most of us have given at least some thought to New Year’s Resolutions. It may be that you have totally given up on the practice of making resolutions at the start of a new year because you have failed to follow through with plans for self improvement in years past. However, I would venture to guess that even the most cynical among us stands on the brink of this new year with at least a glimmer of hope that we will make positive progress in some area of our lives in 2020.

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The Secret Is There Is No Secret

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Wayne Splawn

As we begin a new year, chances are good that most of us have given at least some thought to New Year’s Resolutions. It may be that you have totally given up on the practice of making resolutions at the start of a new year because you have failed to follow through with plans for self improvement in years past. However, I would venture to guess that even the most cynical among us stands on the brink of this new year with at least a glimmer of hope that we will make positive progress in some area of our lives in 2020.

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Project 119: Hebrews 12:3-17

 |  Project 119  |  Amy Hirsch

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Project 119: Hebrews 12:1-2

 |  Project 119  |  Amy Hirsch

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Project 119: Hebrews 11:32-40

 |  Project 119  |  Amy Hirsch

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Project 119: Hebrews 11:17-31

 |  Project 119  |  Amy Hirsch

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Project 119: Hebrews 11:1-16

 |  Project 119  |  Amy Hirsch

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