blog

 

PASTOR’S PEN

 
THROUGHOUT THE WEEK

A Look at our Youth

   This month we will honor our graduates on May 8th.  Also, it is our intent to dedicate our younger children (preschool age or younger) on that same Sunday.  If you haven’t caught it yet this is Mother’s Day.  It will be a fun Sunday.
 

   It has been a year without a youth minister present.  Our search committee is still prayerfully seeking.  I would urge you to pray too.  Many of you may be wondering how is our youth ministry doing?  The two most prominent programs of our youth are Little Tree Ministries (early school age) which meets on Wednesday eve and our SeekerGen (Jr & Sr High) which meets on Sunday eve. 

   Little Tree averages toward 40 children most Wednesdays.  Staffing is vital and approximately 20 to 25 volunteers help in varied ways.  Among these volunteers, are high school volunteers many of them called Watchmen (Leadership group of our SeekGen).  Bobby & Gary Dade prepare every week to feed the multitudes.  Angie Moore organizes and provides material each week.  Tommy Bowen leads their worship and announcements.  Dave Serna will set up and drive vans.  These are but a few of the many volunteers involved.  It is the volunteers that continue to keep the strength in this program.

   SeekerGen attendance tends to be averaging toward 15 to 20 many weeks.  Treats are put together and vans run so that those who want to be there can be there.  Following the story/lesson for the eve they break into small groups and dialogue over what they have learned.  Many of the volunteers for Little Tree are present for SeekerGen.  Also with our older youth, there are many other things that transpire like highway pickup, seasonal parties, FUSE (united worship between several youth groups), and more.

   A youth minister presence is still sought, but thank you to multiple volunteers who are keeping the programs going as strong now has they have been.  This is truly a sacrifice of love.  Summer is coming and camp season is soon.  Vacation Bible School will be July 30 to August 4th.  Plus, a couple of mission trips and more, pray for our youth teams.  For each day of May pray for the varied aspects of our ministry to youth and begin with our volunteers.
C U Sunday,
Bill

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Check out the new Website

An old Senegalese Proverb expresses this thought, “There are no misunderstandings; there are only failures to communicate.”  Our new website is a step in communicating better.  Thank you to the many that have made it possible.  If you haven’t done it already, NOW IS THE TIME to check out our new website, www.fccnevada.org.  It is tempting me to take up a weekly blog which would be above and beyond the bi-monthly newsletter article. 
 
Our website has several new things to check out.  It is easy to maneuver through and will size itself to fit on your phone or your computer display.  It has several informative tidbits as to the varied ministries going on at FCC with the ability to update and communicate further.  It has the monthly calendar of events happening within our church family.  It has GPS (map) guidance to where we are.
 
One of the newest features to our new website is the opportunity give online, or by iPad, or by phone.  It is easy to set up (Trust me, I did it.).  With this new cultural revolution, many choose not to carry cash or write checks but use their debit card or phone to make a financial connection.  The website is equipped to help in that.
 
Another pragmatic quote, “There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but [none] that did not tell stories.” – Ursala LeGuin   It is so easy in the desire to communicate well to forget what it is that we communicate.  Our website is a desire to communicate well.  My prayer is that we seek to continue to communicate well.  But we must always remember what we communicate, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,….”
 
May this Easter declare loudly our mission of Jesus.

Remember if you would, the mission of Jesus.

Bill


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Easter Updates

 
This is taking a moment to bring you all up to date: SeekerGen will host FUSE this Sunday eve (2nd) in our Fellowship Building.  If you don’t know what FUSE is, may I inform you.  It is a united gathering of three youth groups in our area (Rinehart, Walker, & us).  Any are invited to enjoy the worship, fellowship and supper.  Dana Kennard has been invited to be our guest speaker this year.  If I remember right, Dana was among the youth ministers that pulled this gathering together.
 

Gary Woods (Missionary to Tanzania) will be in the area next Sunday, the 9th.  He will share updates as to his work during Sunday School and will be preaching in all of our services.  Our church family has supported Gary & Judy Woods for decades.  They are a part of CMF ministries.  Make a plan now to enjoy Palm Sunday with Gary and our church family.

Easter Sunday will feature one service at 10:30 am. This will follow our Easter breakfast which is a highlight every year.  It is our best attended fellowship.  FCC family will gather for food and reconnecting with many that they haven’t seen.  This begins at 8:00 and will end at 9:45.

Then at 10:30, we will have our worship service.  Our choir will feature “I Will Embrace the Cross.”  It is wonderful to hear our auditorium and parlor ring with the voices of three services.  Many are present and connecting with each other.  There will be a presence of visitors among us.  Don’t be shy.  Talk with them and guide them through the varied morning events. 

We are the FCC family.  Easter is always a beautiful celebration.

C U Sunday,

Bill


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Mission: Jesus

“Absent absolutes, there can be no truth since truth must, by its nature, emerge from absolutes. Absent absolutes, we live in a world of opinion, and in a world of opinions, the tyrant wins. He who has the loudest voice or the biggest gun wins – what a bleak picture!” – Ed Emory, Missouri State Senator

This is one our state’s law makers stating a very bleak worldly picture.  It was no less bleak during the first century.  Politics was broken: Rome was the ruling the factor in Judea, but not the local, everyday government.  Government was done by the Sanhedrin of the day and they questioned many Old Testament truths.  So much so that they had gone further by adding hundreds of laws on top of Old Testament teaching.  Many of them only making the lawyers richer.  Then there were several others among them “Jewish lives matter” called Zealots and the rebelling elements that drew attention from Rome.  Thereby bringing in more Roman military.  Into the midst of this and more God sends his Son.

In John 18:37 is Jesus response to Pilate, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”  Jesus declares that he came to testify of truth and finishes with those who listen to me are on the side of truth.  Are you listening?
 

The world is still struggling with absolute truth.  Lost is still lost.  People wanting to know truth, many not accepting what is truth.  Talk with people about truth laden things: Bible, Jesus, God, salvation.  Invite them to come and learn.  Urge them pray seeking a truthful God’s presence.  We are called to be light amid the darkness.  We have a mission, it is Jesus.

C U Sunday,

Bill


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Biblical Truth

 
Our church has been following the Gospel of John for a few months.  Several years ago, our church family decided that the Biblical truth of Je
sus was of the highest priority.  Leadership has echoed that thought again and again throughout the years to follow.  Our mission is Jesus.
We live in a time that truth is questioned and many will say relative.  Which means that truth can change as it goes from person to person or decade to decade or even culture to culture.  For example, what is true for you, may not be true for me.  It is true that you are poor in the United States having an annual income of $25,000, but many people in Haiti who live on $700 a year our poor looks rich.  Truth is relative.

The FCC family believes that truth is absolute.  And that the Bible is an absolute truth.  This means that it is not changing from one culture to another, or during the year 2017 compared to the year of 1950, or even the personal belief of Martha to Larry.  It isn’t my belief that dictates what the Bible says, the Bible declares God’s truth absolutely.

I also just wanted to update you as to our Youth Ministry Search.  We are still working on the task.  A small group of us visited OCC this week with the intent of raising a resurge of interest, pray for our resurge.

C U Sunday,

Bill


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God’s Worldwide Presence

I first met Tom while working camp in 2000.  Tom was the founder of a group called Disciplemakers.  The force behind their ministry was to seek out local (indigenous) people, train them and then help them start and lead churches in various regions of our world.  Tom shared about a new ministry developing in the Himalayas.  It was a bigger project than he had done before. Rather than a “one by one” disciple making, a class of 20 to 25 disciples would be trained over the course of a year.  When the schooling was done, they would go back to their home areas and begin their work.
While in my freshman year of Ozark Bible College, I heard a missionary speak of ministry in the Himalayas.  I asked God then if I could go someday.  It was one of those meager requests that you make never really expecting it to develop.  Then, almost 25 years later, God made it a reality.  In 2001, I made my first trip to the Himalayas. For five days I taught anywhere from six to eight hours a day the various skills of being a pastor.  Since then I have watched from afar the developing church.  This past couple of weeks Susie and I returned to encourage and hopefully strengthen the brothers and sisters ministering there. The church has just blossomed since 2001. There have been 17,000 baptisms. They have over 200 new churches seeking to follow the call of God. There are as many fellowships of which many will become churches in the future. I cherish the fact that God would use a simple preacher in Missouri to walk in the Himalayas to help with a few encouraging adjustments to His church.
Susie and I would like to share a little of our trip the first Sunday of March during the Sunday School hour.  I invite you to come and hear how God is present worldwide.
C U Sunday, Bill

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New & Coming Soon

If you are able, I would invite you to explore our new fccnevada.org website. I wish to express thanks to Jennifer Z for her many hours of work to update this. It is a wonderful tool for our church family. You can access it on your smart phone or your computer. It is full of wonderful tools that will aid our church family and help us follow what our bunch is doing. Plus, coming soon, there will be several other features including a Bible app and more. Keep checking for the latest.

Also, I would urge you to explore the year to come at FCC. We will soon finish our walk with truth and Jesus through the book of John. Dave and the choir are working on an outstanding new Easter program. Our Family Ministry team is leading in several youth programs and projects that are simply amazing. Coming soon is the Valentine’s Banquet. This will help finance our youth mission projects and camp. So plan to be there.

Finally I would urge you to explore the dimensions of an unlimited, without boundaries, God. I would urge you to pray and dwell in the word this new year.

C u soon, Bill


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He Is Glorified

What a word difference. Look at it:

Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!

John 12:23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”

The first comment is of the Apostle Paul (led by the Holy Spirit) as to the attitude of Jesus in accepting his place among us as a man even to his death. Jesus has humility. The other comment is a quote of Jesus given while riding a donkey during the triumphant entry as he approached the cross/death. Jesus is glorified.

When buying tires for my car, experience has taught me not to buy cheaply. Afterall the tires of our vehicles has the lowliest place, no pun intended. The tires after being mounted may drive out into the mud, or the snow, or the heat of our day. They will enduringly master our skidding brakes or squeal as we accelerate.

Punishment seems to be the life of a tire which may include kicking them or stretching them as the seasons change, or what’s an occasional pot hole or railroad track. How about the tar of a road project while driving? Quite literally the abuse that our tires go through has led us to say, “when the rubber hits the road.” This is a picture of humility and service.

When the tread of the tire is no more and the time is right to buy another set. The glory that the tire will receive is we seek to buy another one made by the same company and brand. We will tell our family and friends of the quality we experienced with that tire. The greatest glory will be our confidence as the one we love drives that vehicle. We know that they are safe.

What a difference the words make. Jesus humiliatingly accepted his role as the servant of God and of man. He lived as the lowliest among us and carried our load through the most horrible conditions. Punishment for the prince of heaven was captivity within the body of man and that was only the beginning. He finally died in the worst way by our hands. Almost like slashing the tires.

Meanwhile, the view of heaven he was glorified because of his obedience. He granted all mankind presence and security before God. The greatest compliment given to Jesus is those that God loves are guaranteed a safe journey home. He is glorified.

We are secure in Jesus, C U Sunday

Bill

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Merry Christmas

Over the next few weeks in countless ways we will celebrate Christmas.  Family becomes a priority for so many on Christmas day.  My family is scattered all over the globe, but it is no less a priority to touch with each other and enjoy the moment with each other.

People will ask occasionally what is it about the church gathering that is so special?  Usually it is stated as, “I can have time with God in the beauty of the woods.”  Yes, you can, but you will miss the family time.  There is something special when a brother takes the hand of another and prays with them.  There is something sweet in watching as a young teen helps that elderly soul up.  The kitchen chatter of a parlor breakfast is pretty amazing.  Many will hold each other for a few moments and the love of Jesus is clearly showing.  Then the coordinated effort that comes of putting the tables away and prepping for what comes next.  Family life is all over the gathering of the saints.

FCC family, thank you for being the special people that you are.  The years that I have been among you are branded into my being because of the countless ways you have been family to me.  Forgive me for bringing so many trials upon you: things like my struggling physical heart; our grief as my Linda graduated from this life to the next; and walking with me as we buried my mom & dad.  Then you have also shared with me in so many wonderful ways: my Susie is part of you; cheering for my children as you would your own; asking about our grandchildren and so much more.

There is no doubt that you would find God in the forest.  But when God offers so much more and it is called the church why would you settle for less?  The church is divinely amazing and so much of it surrounds being God’s family.  Merry Christmas to all of you and thank you for being you.

C u Sunday,

Bill & Susie


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Prayerfully Budgeting

Twice a year is an annual vote for the FCC family. One is in May and we vote in approval of leaders. The second vote of the year is in December and we seek the approval of the budget. The desire of these votes is to communicate and know that we have the united support of the church family.
This year as we will vote upon the budget for next year I wanted to clue you in on a few things. We built the new ramp and the new porch from finances given as a memorial from the Merrit family. We still have approximately $360,000. We have approximately a matching half designated toward missions.

 

This year the offerings have dropped over $20,000 (estimated) for the year. So our budget of $350,936 for this year of 2016 has been dropped dramatically for 2017. The budget for next year is $319,392. We are still in the black as to several things: no debt, the present setting of no youth minister, and good spending on the part of the current leaders.

 

Now if you are like me, your head is nodding and you are close to sleep. Finances are not my gift. Hopefully you are awake enough to ask the “why?” To help with understanding without putting you to sleep, here are a few reasons for the decline in our offerings. First the times, it is tight for most of us right now (we shake our head in understanding). Next, our church family has experienced the loss of several of our supporting saints who are no longer here (illness, death, moving, etc). Another that I have noticed through years of keeping records is that when a youth minister leaves, our finances take a dip. Maybe some people figure that we don’t need it during that time. These are a few reasons. There are probably more

 

So, (hopefully you are still reading and not asleep) how do we approach this? First, with knowledge. You need to be aware that we are still seeking a youth minister and the need is present. Leadership has decided to help with the future youth minister’s salary by dipping into the Merrit fund. Let me say it out loud, “THIS IS NOT A PERMANENT SOLUTION.” Next, we pray about it and if possible decide to give a little more. Many of our leaders have already taken this step. Finally vote in confidence that the FCC leaders are on this with God’s guidance.

 

Confident in God and in you, C U Sunday. Bill

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