Monday Morning Rewind 5/13/2024

Hey all, sorry for making the Monday Morning Rewind a Monday Afternoon Rewind. It’s been one of those mornings!

 Our “Rooted” series will continue this coming Sunday with the discipline of Fellowship.  The next couple of weeks after that will be Service and then Evangelism.  I hope you are finding these messages on “spiritual disciplines” useful.  I know that many of you are “seasoned Christians” but I hope that you find at least one or two helpful nuggets in each message.  As a coach, I used to take my staff to clinics to network and learn.  I told them that much of what they hear at their respective sessions might be repeat but if you can catch one thing, no matter how small it might be, that can help you become a better coach or person, it would be worth the time and effort.  Long ago, the apostle Paul recognized that we are all on a learning journey and that journey doesn’t end until the day we take our last breath and Jesus takes us home. He wrote in Philippians 3:12-15 that he hadn’t achieved perfection yet.  This is Paul, probably the greatest evangelist and maybe the most influential man in all the Kingdom of God in his day, saying this! Twice in the following verses he says “he presses on, looking forward.”  No matter how long you have been a follower of Christ, there is always much to learn.

 I will share one example of continual learning with you from my personal life. I was preaching one Sunday during the Easter season and a retired pastor who I respected mightily was in the congregation.  I was in Matthew 26 teaching on the Last Supper.  Jesus had told the disciples that one of them would betray Him.  One by one they ask “Is it I Lord?”  The Greek for Lord here is the word kyrios which means “the one to whom I belong.”  The last disciple to ask the question was Judas who asks “Is it I, Rabbi?”  Rabbi is translated as teacher.  Notice the difference?  It was something I had picked up early on but this seasoned pastor told me he had never caught that and thanked me for pointing that out.  It was a dual lesson for me.  The first lesson was that we are never too old or experienced not to pick up new information or teachings.  The second was that this highly respected pastor was humble enough to admit that he had more to learn.  I have taken those two lessons to heart.  I go to church leadership conferences and coaching clinics for the purpose of learning new things.  Wilfredo de Jesus, a national church leader, said that leaders never quit learning.  If you quit learning, you quit leading. 

All of you, regardless of your age or experience, are leading someone somewhere.  I pray that you develop the habit of lifelong learning to better equip you for the journey ahead and the work of the kingdom.  Afterall, my duty as your pastor is to “equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13).  Sometimes in church just as in coaching a sport, you go back and review the fundamentals because it is easy with time to forget the foundational elements of any task.  Give me five more messages to get through the fundamentals and then we will journey with the apostles into the work of the early church and those foundational elements by beginning a study of the Book of Acts.  I can’t wait to see what happens when Jesus unleashes the disciples on the Kingdom!  All I know is that the work started with a handful and today millions and millions of people claim to follow Christ.  What a journey!

Pastor Rick

Monday Morning Rewind 5/5/2024

Hey MABC family & friends, 

Let’s start this morning out with a big thank you to all who brought “goodies” for the Lawrence Elementary School faculty and staff.   Thank you to the AWANA crew who made individual bags of trail mix and cookies for each member of the faculty/staff. The teachers we ran into in the faculty/staff lounge were wowed by how much we brought.  They mentioned something about a sugar high the rest of the week!  I will be posting some pics on Tuesday.  I am trying to establish a pattern of posting on Facebook that was recommended by some people smarter than me in social media so that we can maximize our reach.

 I think back to our message yesterday about worship and two aspects we talked about.  The first is sacrifice and the other was service.  You sacrificed financially to either buy goodies or to buy the ingredients to bake or make snacks.  And in doing so, you served a very deserving population in the teachers at Lawrence Elementary School.  In my family, I have a sister, a brother and his wife, a niece and a nephew’s wife who are all teachers. We have several retired teachers in our church family. Teachers are underappreciated and in this current social climate don’t get a lot of respect or support.  You made their week!  Everyday someone will walk in to the faculty/staff lounge and see YOU!  In the long run, we hope they begin to see the Lord as we build this relationship in the coming year.

 This is just a beginning in an effort to change our neighborhood for the better.  I often ask churches I go to help a couple of questions.  If your church was to close down, would your neighborhood notice?  Other than an empty building with a “For Sale” sign, would they notice you are gone?  Remembering that this is a marathon and not a sprint, let’s desire to be a place that the community would dread losing.   To do that means we have to get uncomfortable and be engaged in community.  In a recent church leaders conference video I shared with the Wednesday night Bible study crew, Wilfredo de Jesus, the General Treasurer of the Assemblies of God, says that the “irresistible church” lives heart first.  What he means is that we must have a heart of compassion for and minister to our neighborhood.

 Again, thank you for your efforts in this outreach.  I believe we were all called at this time to seek and save the lostto serve and not be served. Those are red letter words in the Bible which means they are not my words but the words of the One who called us together.  Let’s tell Him that we think He is “worthy” by doing just that!

Pastor Rick

Monday Morning Rewind 4/29/2024

Good Monday morning!

It has been said that Michael Jordan, the Hall of Fame professional basketball player, was a stickler for fundamentals.  It is most likely something he learned early on as he was cut from his freshman basketball team in high school.  Before I go on, can you imagine what people think about that coach today?  “You cut Michael Jordan?”  Here is what Jordan said about fundamentals:

You can practice shooting eight hours a day but if your technique is wrong, then all you  are doing is becoming very good at shooting the wrong way.  Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise.  (Fundamentals for Men, Vince Miller)

Did you catch that?  Get the fundamentals down and everything else will improve.  I believe it is the same thing in our spiritual journey.

This week, if you don’t have a regular time set to dig into the Bible, set a time.  Take that first step today.  For Sherry and me it is in the morning.  If we don’t get it done then we find that life has a way of interrupting.  Start with 5 minutes or one chapter.  It helps me to journal using the SOAP method as I study.  I write down a particular verse or passage that spoke to me that morning, that is the S – Scripture.  Then as I read it, I look at it to see what it is saying to me, O is for Observation.  The A is an important part.  Whatever we have read and studied should move us to some kind of Action or Application. Write down what you think the Word is calling you to do.  And then turn it into a Prayer.  Turn it in to a prayer?  Wait a minute…that is another spiritual discipline!  One turns into two!

Another thing that is important to me is the spiritual life of men, especially younger men.  I read one article recently where the chief executive officer of a wealth management group said that young men not being men will lead to a crisis in the housing market!  The next generations’ attitude towards work and life are issues.  More young men are living at home with their parents, starting families later in life.  Then we top it off with the number of homes without a father figure physically present or if he is present he is not engaged.  Most of the homeless men at the Union Rescue Mission that I worked with had no father figure.  I taught a fatherhood class at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility and guess what?  Most of the men in the class had no father figure in their lives either.

Now, I know we don’t have many “young men” in our congregation but we all know younger men who are struggling.  They may be your sons or grandsons, your nephews, a neighbor or a co-worker if you are still in the workforce.  This coming Sunday we will begin a new class looking at how we can make a difference in their lives and even ours.  Remember that “transfer” of information to the next generation we talked about in Sunday’s message? As for us, Paul said we won’t have it all together until we get to heaven, keep working on it.  I invite you men to join me in choir room behind the Sanctuary this Sunday at 9:10 am.  We will look discuss the “Statehood of Manhood” and hear from a leading men’s pastor on that topic.  If you didn’t pick up a copy of the report yesterday let me know and I will email it to you.  Also, think of someone you might invite to join you.

Have a great week.  Set up that Bible study time and get busy getting the fundamentals down.

Pastor Rick

Monday Morning Rewind 4/22/2024

Hey MABC family & friends,

Thank you for the prayers regarding Sherry’s health yesterday.  After spending the day at home in bed she was able to make the trip to Dallas today to the Church Leaders’ Conference.  It is a great place for learning and sharing ideas with other pastors and church leaders.  There will be a total of 3200 of them here!  During breakout sessions and at meals you are encouraged to sit with people you don’t know and exchange thoughts and ideas with others.  Plus, the praise and worship and food are excellent!

What a great day yesterday with Tessie’s baptism!  At some point, with her permission, we will share more about her journey to Jesus.  It is a decision she didn’t make lightly as there may be a high cost for her to follow Jesus. Continue to prayer for her spiritual protection and prayer for her family. 

I hope our message yesterday about being able to recognize a “rooted” or mature believer gives you something to think about in your walk with the Lord.  As I said, many people go home after Sunday worship either unchanged or unmotivated to make changes in their life.  Look, none of us will have it all together until we get to see Jesus face to face and that includes me.  Just ask Sherry!  I am still a work in progress myself.  As I worked on that message during the week I asked myself the very question I asked you to ask of yourself: Are people’s faith stronger for having interacted with me?  James 3:1 says those that teach will be held to a higher standard! That’s why I don’t take my preaching and teaching lightly. 

There is a story told about President Abraham Lincoln going to church one Wednesday evening with one of his companions.  He was always allowed to sit in the pastor’s study with the door open so he could hear the message without having to interact with the crowd.  After the message as they walked back to the White House, the companion asked the president what the thought of the message.  President Lincoln said “It was brilliantly conceived, biblically relevant and well presented.”  The companion replied “So it was a great sermon?”  “No,” the president replied.  Iit failed.”  It failed because the pastor did not ask us to do something great.’

Please know this.  I will always challenge us to do more and do it better.  Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great” says that good is the enemy of great.  Why you ask?  If you think you are good enough, or our church is good enough, we will never be motivated to achieve greatness.  Kasey Kasem was a radio show host of The Top 40 Countdown.  He would always close his show by encouraging his listeners to “keep their feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”  From what I can understand from reading about him, he meant keep it real but don’t get complacent.

Have you gotten complacent in your faith?  Are you roots deep in Jesus or just below the surface?  Wide maybe but not very deep?  Is your foundation solid?  Or are you building on shifting sands?

Have a great week.  I know that Sherry and I will have one.  It is so fun to get with other leaders and hear what is going on in the Kingdom Church.

Pastor Rick

Monday Morning Rewind 4/15/2024

Hey MABC family & friends,

Sherry and I hope you had a great day of worship yesterday.  Thank you for the time away with our granddaughters in the KC area.   It was a busy weekend with recital practice, recital, and a couple of rec league volleyball games.  Sandwiched in there was Sunday worship with one of our granddaughters.  And other than a “little” Kansas wind, the weather was beautiful.   As you know, our current method for working together was based on having the time to do just that in my “retirement” years – spend more time with family.

On the Sunday after Easter, I shared with you the importance of church membership and what I thought the commitment of a church member should be.  I told you that I have a vision for every church member of one hour of worship, one hour small group of some sort and one hour of service weekly.  If we tithed on our time to the Lord that would be 16.8 hours.  Three hours hardly seems like much compared to that.  I have a great way for some of you to join me in getting in your one hour per week of service and be engaged in some outreach.

Lawrence Elementary School is just down the road a piece on Maple.  They are needing volunteers to come and make an impact in their school.  They can use help in the Library shelving books and maybe reading to children.  You may just show up for an hour at lunchtime and visit with kids in the cafeteria.  If you are more active you can go out to the playground!  If you don’t like kids (gasp!) but want to serve, they will make arrangements to work in the office and make copies for teachers.   I have met with Cindy the principal and she is excited to see how we can be a part of what they are doing.  Next year will be a busy year as they absorb some students from Payne Elementary located on Harry and Meridian.  It is one of the schools being closed down as part of USD 259 budget cuts.  It is easy to volunteer.  I am including the link to the volunteer sign up.  It is of no cost to you and takes very little time.  I filled out the form Wednesday about 3:30 pm after meeting with Cindy and was approved the next morning.  Just click on the “Fill out form” link in the colored box.  Use the side bar to scroll down on the form.

            http://www.usd259.org/volunteerregistration

Let me know when you sign up!  We also have the opportunity to make an impact on the staff!  May 6-10 is Teacher Appreciation Week.  I know how much you all love desserts as witnessed by the room full of them when we had the lunch for Sherry and me.  I will have a sign-up sheet out in the foyer and would love to inundate the teachers and staff with goodies for the week.  They do not have to be individually wrapped for the faculty/staff lounge.  Let’s end the school year on a big note and signify that we are ready to partner with LES in making a difference in our community.

We also have an opportunity for “in-house” service with our tech team.  We need additional people to learn sound and audio/visual production for our worship services.  As we look to expand our production for outreach purposes, we will need your help.  Reach out to Phil or Stacy Roenne if you want to know more.

Thanks again for the Sunday away.  Look forward to our new series on the “Growing Christian” this Sunday.

Pastor Rick

Monday Morning Rewind, 4/8/2024

Good Morning MABC family and friends,

I hope you are preparing for an interesting day as we await the “total eclipse” later this morning and early afternoon.  I think in our area we are to expect around 87% of total eclipse.  The next opportunity for us in America to view another total eclipse is 2044. 

Yesterday’s message focused on Jesus’ question to Peter there on the shore of Galilee. It had been some time since the two had seen each other and Jesus knows His time on earth is coming to an end.  He has business to attend with Peter, the one whom He has chosen to be the leader of the Church moving forward.   After the events of Holy Week, Jesus needs Peter to affirm his love and trust in Him.  Jesus knows that things are going to get tough for those who chose to follow Him after He returns to His Father in Heaven.

Do you love me more than these?  We aren’t sure what “these” Jesus was talking about in Peter’s case. Jesus asks us the question as well.  What is the “these” in your life that keeps you from being “all in?”  What is it that holds you back from total surrender?  Does Jesus have every part of your day except at work? Are there things you say and do at work that those who sit near you in church might think are questionable?  Do you flirt with line between honesty and dishonesty?  The so called “gray areas?”  Men, when you are out with the “boys” what is your conversation like?  Your jokes?  Your stories?  Ladies, when you are gathered with your friends, who do you talk about? 

All of us battle something.  Satan is a wary adversary and he knows our weaknesses.  He loves it when he gets us going in the wrong direction, saying the wrong things, and doing things which might cause others to question the sincerity of our faith life and damage our witness.  He loves when he can get us isolated and alone.  That is why we need each other.  We need community.  We need the church.  Not the building but the people.

Most importantly, we need Jesus. Until the day we enter into our eternity we will fight this battle with “these.”  The battle goes a little easier when we follow the plan of our leader, the Lord Jesus.  He has a plan for us and his ways are good.  And, He has already defeated Satan at Easter and is coming back to make all things right.  Put your trust in Him in Him and Him alone.

Your “these” will come and go but Jesus has promised to be with us always.

I will not be in the office this morning.  I will be over tomorrow for the pastors’ cluster meeting and an Evangelism/Missions team meeting. 

Have a great week.  Don’t look at the eclipse without protection!

Pastor Rick