ITLOTC 5-31-19


(In The Life Of The Church)

There Is A Balm In Gilead

A thing you might not know about me is that my undergraduate degree is in music. I have a Bachelors of Music from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR. And after I graduated I spent three years teaching music at the elementary and middle school levels. And one of my favorite parts about teaching music and leading choirs was conducting. And while there were only certain pieces and certain songs that my choirs were ready to learn and perform I spent a lot of time dreaming about what kind of music I could use if I were ever to conduct at a high school or college level. And one song I came back to again and again was a version of There Is A Balm In Gilead by René Clausen. 

There is a version of the song performed by The Concordia Choir (conducted by Clausen!) that I particularly loved – I would listen to it over and over and over again. (Watch and listen to it here if you’re interested! You should. You definitely should go listen to it.) And part of the reason why I love this song is – of course – because of the beauty of the choir, but also it is because of the beautiful simplicity of the lyrics - which are as follows:

There is a balm in Gilead

To make the wounded whole;

There is a balm in Gilead

To heal the sin-sick soul.


Sometimes I feel discouraged,

And think my work’s in vain,

But then the Holy Spirit

Revives my soul again.


There is a balm in Gilead

To make the wounded whole;

There is a balm in Gilead

To heal the sin-sick soul.


If you cannot preach like Peter,

If you cannot pray like Paul,

Just tell the love of Jesus,

And say He died for all.

There is a balm in Gilead

To make the wounded whole;

There is a balm in Gilead

To heal the sin-sick soul.


Gilead was a mountainous part of the nation of Israel – and was in fact known for plants and herbs that were used to make healing balms. So the song is referencing this - but the song is also a response to the question posed in Jeremiah 8:22, “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?”  And we now know and can say confidently – there is a balm in Gilead. There is a healing hope for our souls – and we find that balm and that hope in Jesus Christ.

A thing I know to be true about myself is that I am often focused on the present in a way that can sometimes be detrimental. Every single summer of my life I have thought, “I am never going to know what it feels like to be cool again. I am going to be hot forever.” And every single winter of my life (the majority of them relatively mild Texas winters!) I have thought, “I am never going to know what it feels like to be warm again. I am going to be cold forever.” Every time I have a sinus infection I’m sure that I’ll never breathe normally again. And every time I sprain my ankle I’m sure that I’ll never walk normally again. I know this is bizarre but it’s true. And it’s part of why this song is so meaningful to me. 

When I get discouraged and think my work is in vain – I have to trust with all of my heart that the Holy Spirit will one day revive my soul again. When it is too much to pray and too much to preach I have to remember that what I am really called to do is love – love people well and with the love of Christ that has already been given freely. And on the days when I am most aware of my own sin – the ways in which I am wounded and the ways in which I tend to wound others – on those days when I am tempted to throw in the towel, to call it a day, and give up – on the days when I am sure that a broken sinner like me is incapable of doing good in the world – those are the days when I have to cling hardest to the reminder that there is a balm in Gilead – and that balm is the saving work of Christ Jesus which has already been accomplished on my behalf and on the behalf of every person in this world. And that work is enough to make even the most wounded of us whole – and it is enough to heal this sin-sick soul.

I’d love to hear where you are finding hope lately. What is it that is helping you to remember to cling to hope? Email me here to let me know or if you have any questions at all!

Meet Our Newest UBCer:

Name:  May Wallace Mackey


Birthday: 5/4/19

Birth Weight:  9 lbs. 8 oz.

Birth Height:  21 inches 

Enneagram Number: 5

MealBaby Need:

At UBC we put together meal calendars for our families who have just had babies or who might need a little extra help for one reason or another. We are currently running three different calendars for families with new babies and have several more starting very soon!! We could really use your help to make sure that we can serve our families during these transitional seasons! If you are interested in serving in this way please contact Taylor at

Summer Lovefeast - June 2 - noon

It is finally summer!!!   To kick off the summer, we are having a lovefeast after church Sunday.  We will have some yard games set up, as well as a classic summer movie playing.  The theme for this lovefeast is a summer picnic, so bring your favorite picnic foods: fried chicken, potato salad, sandwiches, fruit salad, etc....  UBC will provide the drinks and a bunch of fried chicken (but we will need more).  If you have any questions email

Summer Book Club

To kick off the summer, we are going to do a book study together.  The book for the month of June will be: Understanding Gods Will by Kyle Lake.  We will read the book during the month of June, then we will have a time to get together and discuss it at the end of month: June 26th.   We have copies of the book available, so if you don’t have the money to buy it, no worries.  If you have any questions, email

SWCC Movie Day - June 5th -1:30pm

We are hosting the first of four movie days this summer, and we would love for you to come.  The kids from the South Waco Community Center will be joining us, and we would love for you to bring your kids as well.  We will also need help passing out candy and drinks, so if you can help please sign up on Sunday in the foyer, or contact

UBC Youth Summer Schedule

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  • Text: Acts 1, “Jesus Ascending”

  • SWCC summer movie days 6-5, 6-26, 7-10, 7-24

  • UBC VBS 6-11-13

  • Young Adult/College Lake Retreat 7-1

Work is Worship

Greeters: Harris

Coffee Makers: Balks

Mug Cleaners: Balks

Money Counter:  JD Newman

Leadership Team

If you have a concern or an idea for UBC that you’d like to share with someone that is not on staff, feel free to contact one of our leadership team members. 

Byron Griffin:

Kerri Fisher:

Jeremy Nance:

Joanna Sowards:

Kathy Krey:

Student Position, Samuel Moore:

Student Position, Anna Carol Peery:

UBC Finance Team

Do you have a question about UBC’s financial affairs? Please feel free to contact any of your finance team members.

JD Newman: 

Catherine Ballas:

Jen Carron:

Mike Dodson:

George Thornton:


If you have concerns about staff and would like contact our human resources team, please feel free to email any of the following members.

Josh Blake:

Ross Van Dyke:

Jared Gould:

Rebekah Powell:

Kristen Richardson: