Special to Inside The Pew

Two-time defending American Southwest Conference volleyball champions Hardin-Simmons is the preseason choice to win the ASC West Division and HSU senior Madison Reyes and junior Christine Sas have been named the preseason offensive and defensive players of the year in the division.

The Cowgirls went 29-6 in 2011 and won the ASC title. HSU received 11 of the 12 votes in the poll of the leagues head coaches and sports information directors and had 71 total poll points. Texas Lutheran received the only other first-place vote and was a distant second with 60 points.

Concordia, Schreiner, Howard Payne, and Sul Ross State rounded out the poll.

Reyes, who was the league MVP as a junior outside hitter, led the ASC with 3.84 kills per set a year ago. She was also the MVP of the ASC tournament.

“It is an honor, I think preparation is a lot of what went into,” said Reyes. “I want to work hard for my team to keep the honor.”

Sas, who is also an outside hitter, averaged 3.77 digs per set and also had 2.84 kills per set and led the league with 58 aces.

“It is really exciting, because I take a lot of pride in my defense,” said Sas. “As a non-defensive player, it is nice to be recognized.”

Texas-Dallas was the preseason pick to win the ASC East. UTD’s Dana Hilzendager was the preseason offensive player of the year in the ASC East and Texas-Tyler’s Emily Wood was the preseason defensive player of the year.

By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

In Shreveport, Louisiana: Powerful Journey Organization will host the 2012 Powerful Journey Women’s Conference and the One Word Away Men’s Conference from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 23 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 5971 Financial Plaza in Shreveport, La. Receive an inspiring word from Plano residents Phyllis Byrd Jenkins, founder of Powerful Journey Organization, and Pastor Dave Jenkins, founder of One Word Away. Cassandra Robertson will serve as worship leader. The event costs $30 per person or 2 for $50. Click here to register.

In Port Arthur, Texas: The Port Arthur Christian Women will hold its luncheon “It’s Always Tea Time” on June 15 beginning at 11:45 a.m.at the Pompano Club LeChambre Room, 330 Twin City Highway, Port Neches.  The cost of lunch is $15 per person. Vicki Beard from Airport Travels, who will share some helpful travel tips. Kaylee Dickens from Port Neches will bring our special music. The slated inspirational speaker will be Betty Anderson from Montgomery, Texas. Reservations are essential for the luncheon and for the nursery, if needed, and may be made by calling Donna at 722-0951 or Mary at 962-5571 by Tuesday, June 12.

In Abilene, Texas: Citing personal and family reasons, Hardin-Simmons softball coach Dan Sheppard has resigned his position effective June 15.

“This was not an easy decision,” said Sheppard. “I have thought about this for a while and believe there is a need for me to give more attention to my family. I had to consider if I could continue to give HSU all the job deserves and still fulfill family commitments. I appreciate HSU giving me this opportunity.”

Sheppard spent two seasons as the Cowgirls’ head man and had a record of 47-36. His teams finished second in the American Southwest Conference West Division in both seasons.

A full search for his replacement will begin immediately.

In Euless, Texas: CareerSolutions will sponsor a free seminar by Terry Sullivan, social media maven, LinkedIn coach, and marketing executive, on “Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile” on Wednesday, May 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. at First Baptist Church Euless, 1000 W. Airport Freeway, in Euless room 115. The event is FREE, but will be first-come, first-served and seating is limited. Seating will begin at 5:30 p.m. Participants are asked to bring a copy of their LinkedIn profile to the event.

Submit calendar items to pewnews@aol.com

By Tonya Whitaker
Inside The Pew

PLANO, Texas – Bob Hostetler has a message for Christians – quit going to church.

He also tells us to quit saying prayers, quit reading your Bible, quit volunteering, quit enjoying fellowship, and so on.

Bob Hostetler

Hostetler, co-founder of Cobblestone Community Church in Oxford, Ohio, uses the Bible to explain why Christians should improve in these areas in his latest release, “Quit Going To Church.” (ISBN 978-0-915547-70-8, $14.99, 224 pages, Leafwood Publishers)

While all these requests sound a bit far-fetched, think again. This thought-provoking and “pull-of-the-gloves” book is based on the premise that much of how we think and act, a great percentage of what we do today as church-going people, bears a slight resemblance to the way of Jesus and “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3 NIV).

The title of the book and its subsequent chapters issue an eyebrow-raising challenge, showing how many of us have misunderstood and distorted the good news of Jesus and replaced Christianity with something else.

For instance, in the chapter “Quit Going To Church,” he points out that Christians should “stop going to church and start being a church” that resembles the one in Acts 2. What should a church look like? Hostetler said it should be holy (“spirituality” and “being the church”), catholic (“universal” and “all of us together”), and apostolic (“based on the teachings of the apostles” and “provide gift-based leadership”). Furthermore, Hostetler tells readers to shy from the long-held notion by some that going to church makes you a Christian. This portion of Hostetler’s book takes me to James 2:14-26, when James talks about faith and deeds. What are you doing to fulfill Christ’s kingdom Monday through Saturday?

Hostetler contends Christians should quit tithing because the practice is misrepresented in today’s church. Everything we have belongs to God. Therefore, if you truly understand the New Testament church, 10 percent or any portion that man constitutes as tithing is incorrect. Jesus wants His people to surrender all to Him. Not 10 percent, but 100 percent. Everything! (Luke 14: 25-34).

As I read more, I stumbled into another nugget that made me nod my head in agreement. Hostetler tells believers to quit helping the poor and unite with them. The author boldly says, “When Jesus said, ‘You will always have poor among you (John 12:8 NIV), he meant, ‘among you.’ Not ‘on your drive to the office’ … Not ‘in shelters,’ … or in neighborhoods far from your community. He meant among you.”

Sadly, some have swayed from the Christ’s roadmap for His church. Hostetler is attempting to convey in “Quit Going to Church” that traditions and customs were not a part of first century Christianity and it should not have a place in the 21st century church. This straightforward title has nothing to do with “denomination” or who is right or wrong. But, if you believe in Him with all your heart, you would adhere to Christ’s vision for His church.

Learn more about Hostetler at www.bobhostetler.com. To purchase this book, visit Leafwood Publishers.