When You Want to Give Up…

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Do you ever get so frustrated with life that you simply throw your hands into the air and scream, “I’m done! I’m out! I can’t take this anymore.” Perhaps you’re dealing with a difficult child, a unique work problem, some illness or disease, or perhaps you’ve been giving 110% in a relationship that seems to be going nowhere. You’re tired, upset, and just want to quit. What do you do? Where do you turn? Well, a few thoughts:

  1. Preach the Truth to Yourself – Let me be clear: It is a lie from the pit of Hell that your life and what you’re doing with your life doesn’t matter. Here’s the Truth: Your life matters because God designed your life to matter, and what you’re doing with your life (as long as it doesn’t involve axe-murdering people and other forms of debauchery and wickedness) matters because God designed all that you do to reflect His glorious grace (cf. 1 Cor. 6:20 and 1 Cor. 10:31). In other words, you were fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14) and all that you do, as a believer in Jesus Christ, has the potential of reflecting your status as a trophy of God’s grace (Eph. 2:4-7). Preach these truths to yourself often and with zeal. These are truths worth getting excited about! These are truths worth preaching over and over and over again, especially when you’re ready to give up and quit.
  2. Reorient Your Life Around God and His Word – In a nutshell, your life is not all about you! So when frustration strikes, beware of self-pity. That is to say, the mentality that screams: “Woe is me! I suffer more than all of thee!” This mentality is a close cousin to the action that leads to giving up and quitting. Indeed, self-pity is sin. It’s just that simple…it’s sin. It’s selfish to become so introverted that you think life is all about you and that life should work like you think it should work. In moments of frustration and doubt, consciously and intentionally reorient your life around God and His Word. Realize that life is not all about you; it’s about God and His glory. Realize that life will go wrong. After all, we live in a fallen world because of sin and selfishness, but Jesus is greater than sinners and grace is greater than sin! If you give up and throw in the towel, you’re essentially saying that your life and your problems are too BIG for God to handle. This is heresy. This is sin. This results in a me-centered universe, not a God-centered universe.
  3. Bathe Yourself in Gospel Hope – Ahh! There is hope! Real hope. True hope. God-honoring, Christ-exalting hope for the believer in Jesus Christ. And it doesn’t center around a better set of circumstances or all your problems in this life going away. Forget Joel Osteen and the demonic delusions of the Prosperity Gospel! Our hope is built on the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Because Jesus died, was buried, and rose again, we have a future inheritance that can’t be taken away from us (1 Peter 1:3-5). We can endure any amount of difficulty and frustration here on earth because our final destination is a perfect reality in Heaven, not a better reality here on Earth. In fact, all of the frustrations and difficulties here on Earth are designed to whet our appetites for this future hope, namely, being in Heaven with Jesus forever. Bottom Line: We endure difficulties here on Earth because of the JOY that is set before us (Heb. 12:1-2).

Prairie Flower, life is tough. Life gets hard and very difficult. But we press on! Why? Because this is God’s will for our lives (Phil. 3:14). Don’t give up. Keep going! To do so speaks volumes about a God who is infinitely greater than your life and all the problems that plague it.

God Moves: Ukraine 2016

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Dear Prairie Flower Baptist Church,

Last year a missionary family that we support by the name of Vovo and Laura Kisarets came to visit our church. I can honestly say that their presentation was different than most missionary presentations that I have seen. Vovo got up on stage to preach and present his ministry, but Laura got up there with him (not too out of the ordinary). What threw me off was when Vovo began to speak; because he was speaking Ukrainian and Laura started to translate for him! I didn’t really know what to expect, but God worked through Vovo’s powerful message and presentation. In their presentation, they explained that one of their ministries was teaching conversational English to Ukrainians. At the end of their presentation, they said they were looking for teams to help them teach at their next English school and camp.

The Holy Spirit began to move in my life, but at first I wasn’t sure if God was moving or if I was just feeling a tug by my own feelings. I did not want to be hasty, so I talked to Pastor Dave in the morning to receive wise counsel. When I talked to him, he had mentioned that someone else had approached him about the trip as well. We thought that God might be opening up this door of ministry, so we prayed for God to continue to lead us. After that, the doors just kept opening and shortly after that we decided to make the trip official.

Without going into detail, there were so many unknowns, variables, and details that I didn’t even know where to start as I was planning for this trip. God moved and worked in so many different ways to make this trip happen and everything for this trip just seemed to fall into place. Don’t get me wrong, there were many times that I would get pretty nervous (especially buying tickets); but every time a problem would arise, we would pray, give it to God, and He would provide! It has been such a great growing experience and I am excited to see what God will do while we are there.

I am trying not to post full names, the dates of the trip, and other important facts on social media for security reasons, but we are leaving very soon. Our team is comprised of six individuals that God has uniquely placed together: Eldon, Phyllis, Braden, Janine, my wife (Julia), and myself. We have been praying for this trip and I know that many other people have been too, but here is how you can specifically pray for us while we are on our trip:

  1. Safe and Smooth Travels – Safety always seems to be concern these days and for good reason! Also, Laura said that the airports in these countries can be hard to deal with, so please pray that our arrival and departure would be without complications.
  2. Vovo and Laura – They are working very hard to prepare for these schools and camps. So please pray that God would give them strength and endurance to finish strong and do their best.
  3. The Ukrainian People – We will be coming into contact with many different people. Please pray that God would begin to work in the hearts of these people and that we would be bold with the Gospel!
  4. Our Team- Traveling will be exhausting, teaching will be new, and trying to communicate with people of a whole different culture and language will be difficult. Pray that God would give us strength and wisdom to deal with the difficulties that lie ahead.

We are so excited to see how God is working in the Ukraine and to see how God will use us while we are there!

Thank you so much,

Pastor Jon

 

PFBC: Prayer List #16

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The following list of prayer requests can be prayed for in your own quiet time with the Lord, in your own family worship time, or in Growth Groups. Please keep the following requests in your prayers:

Angela Aery – Please lift up in prayer Angela’s brother, Bobby, who struggles with suicidal thoughts. Pray too for Angela that God would give her grace and strength to meet the many different challenges in her life, especially in the raising of her son.

The Aubrechts – Pray for Rachel’s grandma who is battling many different health issues right now. Also, please keep Justin in your prayers as he starts up a new business with his friend, Adam Fisher. Pray that they continue to get business through the summer months.

Carl Benson – Unspoken Prayer Request.

Christina Boos – Please pray for Christina’s brother, Jason, who is struggling with seizures.

Jess Caster – Please pray that Jess would be able to find a new nursing job as she was just laid off from her current nursing job.

Ray Cooper – Unspoken Prayer Request.

Tonnie Crile – Unspoken Prayer Request.

Greg Dunbar – Please lift up in prayer Greg’s mom, Debbie, who is struggling with cancer and is fighting it by means of chemotherapy and radiation.

Jason Feuerbach – Unspoken Prayer Request.

Steve and Diana Fordham – Pray for Steve and Diana as they battle many different health issues. Also, prayers for wisdom and discernment in terms of the sale of their Texas home would be greatly appreciated.

The Goodlanders – Pray for the Goodlanders and their overall health.

Rick Hammes – Please pray for Rick’s brother-in-law as he recovers from open heart surgery.

Christine Hayes – Unspoken Prayer Request.

Matt Latcham – Please pray for Matt’s mother, Linda, who is battling cancer.

The Lucas Family – Unspoken Prayer Request.

Brent and Tori Lybarger – Please lift up in prayer Brent’s mother who is battling cancer. Also, please pray for Brent and Tori’s daughter, Brooklynne, who is struggling with drop seizures and other difficulties.

Pam Miller – Please pray for Elisabeth Tinnes’ friend, Pam, who lost her baby at 31 weeks. Pray for comfort and encouragement for the whole family involved.

Phil Reed – Please pray for Phil and his heart health.

Rhonda Reed – Unspoken Prayer Request.

Jan Rosien – Please pray for Jan as she grieves the loss of her dear husband, Jim.

Danica Smith – Please pray for Danica’s landlord and friend, Mary Stattler, who is 92 years old and is struggling with her health.

Arlena Tinnes – Please continue to pray for healing and strength as Arlena battles cancer.

Shanon Walker – Please be in prayer for Shanon as she undergoes treatment for adrenal stress. Pray that her body recovers and that she becomes fully healthy once again.

Judy Wolf – Pray for Judy’s daughter (Sandi) as she continues to battle cancer in her lower body. Sandi does not know Christ and so prayers for her salvation are also needed. Also, please pray for Judy’s granddaughter (Maddie) and her salvation. Also, please pray for Judy’s great-granddaughter (Errin) who has a heart implant…Errin is just 4 years old. Pray too for Errin’s father, Eddie, and his salvation.

Eldon Yoder – Please lift up in prayer Eldon’s brother (Arlin) and his wife (Mary Lou) as they are struggling with their health and need to make a major decision about long-term healthcare.

Mike York – Please pray for Mike’s wife, Becky, as she is struggling with tendonitis.

Julie Zieser – Please continue to pray for Julie that she would experience relative comfort as she transitions to her new life under Hospice Care.

PFBC Leadership Team – Pray for your Lead Pastor, Associate Pastor, and Deacons that God would grant to them wisdom, discernment, vision, and unity.

Our Church – Pray that we would embrace our mission and vision to be a strong church that makes disciples for the glory of God.

Our Visitors – Please pray for our many visitors that continue to come to PFBC. Pray that God would work in their hearts and lives. Pray that God would grow our church numerically and spiritually.

Our Missionaries – Please pray for our many supported missionaries that they would remain faithful and fruitful.

Our Church’s Missions Trips – Please pray for our teams headed to Ukraine and Grenada on short-term missions trips this summer. Pray for good preparation and effective Gospel ministry!

Our Country – Please pray for our country and our upcoming election this fall.

Please Note: We update this prayer list on a monthly basis. If you would like a prayer request to be added to this list, please let Pastor Dave or Pastor Jon know. Thank you!

Broken Church: Series Schedule

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Hello, Prairie Flower! It’s so good to back with you from a fantastic family vacation in Branson, Missouri. Thanks again for allowing us to go. We have returned to you refreshed, relaxed, and ready to run the race that God has for us.

I am particularly excited about our upcoming brand new original series that we’ve entitled, “Broken Church: Grace For Them – Grace For Us”. This will be a 12-week study through the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. This series will launch this Sunday, June 12, and will extend through Sunday, August 28.  Below you will find the BIG Idea of the Series as well as a Sermon Series Schedule.

BIG Idea of the Series: WHAT you’re doing (in terms of sinful behavior) is not in line with WHO you are. Thus, let your GOSPEL-IDENTITY shape your EVERYDAY ACTIONS and you’ll find WHO you are in line with WHAT you’re doing.

June 12 – Broken, Yet Blessed – Part 1 – 1 Cor. 1:1-9

  • A message on our Gospel-Identity in Christ…

June 19 – Divided, Yet Unified – 1 Cor. 1:10-19 (cf. 1 Cor. 3:1-9)

  • A message on the absurdity of factions in the church when we are ONE in Christ…

June 26 – Foolish, Yet Wise – 1 Cor. 1:20-2:16 (cf. 1 Cor. 3:18-23 and 1 Cor. 4)

  • A message on the call of God on our lives despite our human weakness and foolishness…

July 3 – Sexually-Deviant, Yet Sanctified – 1 Cor. 5 (cf. 1 Cor. 6:12-20)

  • A message on the seemingly strange dichotomy between sexual activity and worship…

July 10 – Two, Yet One – 1 Cor. 7

  • A message on the sanctity of biblical marriage…

July 17 – Constrained, Yet Free – Part 1 – 1 Cor. 8-10

  • A message on the biblical balance between our freedoms in Christ and our love for Christ…

July 24 – Constrained, Yet Free – Part 2 – 1 Cor. 8-10

  • A message on the biblical balance between our freedoms in Christ and our love for Christ…

July 31 – Fractured, Yet Family – 1 Cor. 11:17-34

  • A message on the importance of unity in and around the Gospel and not socio-economics…

Aug 7 – Prideful, Yet Gifted – Part 1 – 1 Cor. 12-14

  • A message on the need and priority of ALL the gifts in the Body of Christ…

Aug 14 – Prideful, Yet Gifted – Part 2 – 1 Cor. 12-14

  • A message on the need and priority of ALL the gifts in the Body of Christ…

Aug 21 – Ignorant, Yet Glorified – 1 Cor. 15

  • A message on the foundation of our faith and the fuel of the Gospel – Resurrection Power!

Aug 28 – Broken, Yet Blessed – Part 2 – 1 Cor. 16

  • A message on our Gospel-Identity in Christ…

Please be in prayer for this series and be sure to interact with the messages on social media using the hashtags #BrokenChurch #PFBC #PrairieStrong.