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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