PFBC: Prayer List #21

prayer #5

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:

Justin Aubrecht – Unspoken Prayer Request.  

Carl Benson – Unspoken Prayer Request.

Mike and Christina Boos – Unspoken Prayer Request.

Braden Carroll – Unspoken Prayer Request.

Susan Davis – Please continue to pray for Susan’s father, Chester, that he would come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

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

Jason Feuerbach – Unspoken Prayer Request.

Rick Fields – Pray for Rick and his overall health.

Kira Fikes – Please pray for Kira and for healing in regards to her broken foot.

Steve and Diana Fordham – Pray for Steve and Diana as they battle many different health issues. Prayers for wisdom and discernment in terms of the sale of their Texas home would also be greatly appreciated. Also, please keep Diana’s sister-in-law, Helen, in your prayers as she is dying of liver cancer and does not know the Lord.

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

John Hardt – Unspoken Prayer Request.

Marion Hayes – Please pray for comfort and encouragement as Marion’s father recently passed away. Also, continue to lift up in prayer Marion’s wife, Christine, and her health issues.

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

Gertie Loder – Please lift up in prayer Gertie’s nephew, Tony Harris, who has stomach cancer.

Edwin Luers – Please pray for Edwin’s part-time employee, Wilfred Miller, and his salvation.

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 facing brain surgery in March 2017. Also, please pray for the Lybarger’s son, Blake, who is currently in Air Force Basic Training in Texas.

Adele McPike – Please pray for Adele and her overall health.

Jackie Morgan – Please lift up in prayer Jackie’s friend, Sam, as she continues to grieve the passing of her brother and grandmother.

Jesse Neitzel – Please lift up in prayer Jesse’s step-father who had some recent heart attacks…pray too for his salvation.

Zach Shepherd – Please pray for Zach’s boss’s wife, Sherry Mitchell, who is recovering from surgery.

Arlena Tinnes – Please pray for healing and strength as Arlena continues to battle cancer.

Willie Van Der Molen – Please pray for Willie’s father, Roger, who has a heart condition.

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.

Brian Wilson – Please pray for Brian’s family as they grieve the loss of Brian’s sister, Carol.

Nancy Wilson – Please pray for Nancy’s nephew, Nick Duvall, and his wife, Leslie, as their baby boy named Pierce has stage 3 liver cancer. Please pray for healing and strength.

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 and Phyllis Yoder – Pray for the Yoder’s granddaughter, Katlyn, who just discovered she has a tumor.

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

Heather Zieglowsky – Unspoken Prayer Request.

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 for the unity and blessing of God upon our church.

Our Community – Please continue to pray for all the flood victims in Northeast Iowa.

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.

Our Country – Please pray for President Elect Trump and Vice President Elect Pence as they get ready to assume office in January 2017.

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

Your 2017 Officer Nominees

church-elections

After a thorough nominating and election process, we are pleased to announce your 2017 Officer Nominees:

For the Position of Deacon:

Steve Bohn

Will Luers

Steve Donnolly

Eldon Yoder

For the Position of Clerk:

Mike York

For the Position of Financial Secretary:

Steve Donnolly

For the Position of Treasurer:

Duane Davis

For the Position of Sunday School Superintendent:

Mark Tinnes

*Please Note: You will be voting on only two men for the position of deacon.

The Annual Election of Officers will be held on Sunday, December 4th, immediately following the Morning Worship Service. The vote will be held by secret ballot. All elected officers will then take office on January 1, 2017. Please be in prayer concerning the vote and for God’s will to prevail!

My Third Year As Pastor

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Today marks my third year as Lead Pastor of Prairie Flower Baptist Church. It continues to be an immense privilege to pray for, preach to, and serve alongside of such a caring and generous group of Jesus followers located right in the middle of a cornfield. Prairie Flower, I love being your pastor! Yes, even with all the ups and downs and crazy turns, I still love being your pastor. Indeed, I love you, and I hope you sense that with every sermon I preach and with every personal interaction that we share together. If you don’t sense that, let’s meet up and have a cup of coffee together…because I love coffee…and I love you as well!

Well, as is my custom, let me with writer’s passion and much enthusiasm relay to you the lessons learned and nuggets gathered in my third year as Lead Pastor of Prairie Flower Baptist Church:

  1. I have learned that there are seasons in life and ministry. Some seasons are bad…like really bad. Some seasons, like the current season I find myself in, are good…even very good! And it’s so easy to sink into the Valley of Death and kiss the lips of depression when things are bad, and then soar with wings of wax too close to the sun when things are going well. Thus, I have learned (really in the past couple of years) that you cannot ride your highs too high nor your lows too low. To do so is a recipe for burnout and disaster! In fact, as Joe Paterno, a famous football player and onetime Head Coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, would say: “You’re never as good as you think you are when you win; and you’re never as bad as you feel when you lose.” Bottom Line: I am learning to steward both the blessings and challenges of life (i.e. the seasons of life) in a way that both glorifies God and allows me to remain open for good, productive, and joyful ministry.
  2. I have learned the immense value of giving certain people the green light to speak truth into my life. Let’s face it, we all want to be awesome, well liked, and validated. Even in writing this particular blog post, I want you to like it and validate it. I want you to walk away thinking: “Wow! That blog post was awesome…or insightful…or witty…etc.” But here is reality: I’m not all that awesome…and neither are you. In fact, we all have a ton of blind spots, shortcomings, and sin issues in our lives. And here’s the thing…I’m blind to most of my issues…and so are you! Like I’m totally unware of most of my sin issues and weaknesses. That’s why God, in grace, has given to us things like His Word and His Spirit AND godly friends, within the context of Biblical Community, to showcase our weaknesses and to provide help. But here’s the thing, you must give such godly friends in your life the permission to speak truth into your life. Have you done that? Are your friends allowed to speak the truth into your life, or are they only allowed to give you a hug, tell you how awesome you are, and validate you for who you are? Let me tell you…it’s an uncomfortable grace in your life to have friends who will say: “Uh, this is an issue…you’re wrong…let’s pray together about this…etc.” You know, it’s funny to me how so many Christians love the verse in Proverbs 27:17 that states, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another…”, but these same Christians fail to see what this verse is actually saying! The process of sharpening is a painful process! That is to say, to sharpen something necessitates that something is dull and needs to be sharpened. This verse isn’t talking about friends who merely hug you and validate you, no, it’s talking about true friends who have been given the green light to speak the truth into your life. Do you have such Proverbs 27:17 friends? I have that in Pastor Jon, our Associate Pastor, and in my wife, Heather, and believe me, I’ve grown immensely and am better equipped to lead because of it.
  3. I am learning that the pastorate may be many things, but it’s certainly NOT boring! Ok, admit it. The picture above is funny, right? Especially with the words that go with it? Well, let me tell ya, the ministry is a crazy-fun ride…definitely a calling, but crazy-fun. In the three years of being the Lead Pastor of PFBC, I have yet to have a boring day. Even my “standard/uneventful” days are not boring, but immensely soul satisfying! In one week’s time, I may experience any one of the following: Times of Prayer. Meetings. General Administration. Sermon Prep. Preaching/Teaching. Children’s Ministry. Nursing Home Ministry. Hospital Visitation. Regular Visitation. More Meetings. Strategic Planning. Camp Ministry. Family Counseling. Crisis Counseling. Standard Counseling. Even More Meetings. Drama. And the list goes on! And FYI…all of these things do not happen on Sunday. That’s right…pastors don’t just work on Sundays. The pastorate may be many things, but it’s certainly not boring. Believe me, I have accumulated some stories in three years of ministry that would make you laugh, cry, and even doubt the truthfulness of my story, but trust me, there’s enough happenings in our church for a very entertaining reality TV show, but I digress.
  4. I have a renewed sense of commitment to our mission and vision as a church out on the prairie. Our mission and vision is quite simple: We desire to be a strong church, that makes disciples, for the glory of God. Simple, but in no way, simplistic. This mission and vision is based upon Jesus’ own words in Matthew 28:18-20. It’s truly exciting to be pastoring a church who is catching the mission and vision and allowing God to work in our church and community. No, we aren’t experiencing explosive growth, but we are experiencing growth – both numerically and spiritually! But keep in mind, the end state of “making disciples” isn’t necessarily growth, but glory – God’s great glory! It continues to be my prayer that in whatever we do, may God receive all the praise, honor, and glory! As John Newton would phrase it: “Our work is great; our time is short; the consequences of our labors are infinite.” Let’s stay the course, Prairie Flower! Do not grow weary. Remain #PrairieStrong.
  5. My wife continues to be a woman who is “far more precious than jewels.” Yeah, I know, I always end these types of blog posts on this sappy note, but just endure for one quick minute…and let me tell you…being your pastor is amazing, preaching the Word of God weekly is the greatest privilege of my life, but being married to Heather, my wife, there’s no price tag on that…to be married to her is priceless. Without her, I’m just a crazy half-Asian with a Bible, but with her I’m worth listening to because she finds me worth listening to…and she listens, not because I’m awesome (God and my wife know this VERY well), but because I represent the truth and cling only to the Book. I’m beyond grateful for my precious wife and appreciate her love and loyalty to me and the Gospel ministry.

Well, as one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters would phrase it in his classic work, The Hobbit: “The world is not in your books and maps [or blogs], it’s out there.”  Indeed, it is. And let me just say…pastoring is quite the adventure! So, let me get back to my adventure and I’ll see you when I see you.

Trump VS Clinton: What’s Missing From Our Discussion…

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At the time of this writing, we are t-minus three days before Election Day 2016 (AKA. Implosion of America Day). I am so conflicted. I am part excited, part nervous, hugely entertained, and hugely disappointed. Is this really the America we’ve become? What would George Washington or Abraham Lincoln say if they were alive today? I’m just still blown away by our two options for President of the United States: Donald John Trump VS Hillary Rodham Clinton. I’m unbelievably disturbed.

But at this point, most of our minds are made up in regards to the actions we’ll take in the voting booth. Like an adrenaline-filled game of Russian Roulette, we will spin the cylinder and pull the trigger, hoping the revolver simply clicks with no bang. Suspense. Risk-Taking. Danger. Some of us, however, have completely opted out of this crazy game, and will vote third party. Either way, on November 8th, we are all in for a wild, crazy ride. Pop the popcorn and get ready for a long night.

And in an attempt to educate myself in the godly, biblical response to this election season, I, like many of you, have read a ton of blog posts and listened to a dozen talking heads. For the most part, all that I’ve read and listened to has offered well-reasoned, well-researched, impassioned defenses of voting for either Donald Trump or a third party candidate. And though I feel like I’m extremely educated on the pros and cons of our voting options, I’m no less conflicted and slightly confused. Can I get a witness?

But here’s what seems to be missing from all of our discussions in relation to this election season…it’s not an in-depth discussion of Old and New Testament ethics…it’s not the sovereignty of God in world affairs…and it’s definently not a silent, but deafening, prayer for Jesus’ Second Coming before it’s the “end of the world as we know it”. It’s this..but God is good. That’s right. Our sovereign God, in complete control of every aspect of human affairs (to include this crazy election season) is good. Like morally good, not just aesthetically good. Yes, God, in giving to us Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as our two main options this election, has been morally good to us. Let that sink in for a moment…

This reality sank into my brain late last night while putting the kids to bed. I was reading from their kid’s devotional book on the life of Joseph and this was presented as the big idea: “God is good EVEN when life is scary.” Wow. Talk about truth! Indeed, God is good even when life is scary.

I mean think of Joseph’s life. When put into the pit by his jealousy-infused brothers, God was good. When sold to Potiphar in Egypt as a slave, God was good. When falsely accused by a lust-driven woman and then thrown into prison, God was good. In all these instances, God was sovereign in Joseph’s life AND good in Joseph’s life. God was not simply good at the end of Joseph’s life, when he’s lifted to a position of power and prominence as the second most important man in Egypt, no, God was good and gracious in every aspect of Joseph’s life. Yes, God is indeed good even when life is scary.

And the same is true with our two main choices for Election Day 2016. Our God has been so good to us. Yes, hard to understand, but all together true. If Clinton wins the election and becomes our 45th President, God is good. And vice versa, if Trump wins the election and becomes our new President, God is good – morally, aesthetically good to all of us. We may not know the end of the immediate story (i.e. Election Day 2016 and America), but we do know the end of the ultimate story (i.e. the end of world history). And in the end, God wins because God is ultimately good.

So, it’s three days to Election Day and the pivotal moment of us casting our ballots. What do we do? Well, many things, but in the midst of it all, hear the Word of the Lord: “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever” (Ps. 118:1). Give thanks to God as you approach November 8th because God has been so good (and loving) to us. And as you cast your ballot this Tuesday, make this your parting prayer: “You [Oh, LORD God] are good and do good; teach me your statutes” (Ps. 119:68).

Yes, this is where we land the plane in this blog post, namely, on the tarmac of praise and worship of a sovereign, good God. What a good place to land! How comforting. How extremely hope-filled! So I plead with you, stop fixating and obsessing over the trash can in the middle of the room and look up! Yes, up…and feast your eyes on the chandelier of God’s goodness and grace. We’ll take the trash out later…

Guest Blogger: Julia Rocha – Humble Hospitality

humble-hospitality

It’s that time of year…again. The holidays are quickly approaching; and while they are typically accompanied by joy, love, and laughter, there is also typically the added stress, anxiety, and craze of hosting our beloved friends and family. We see the date, set aside months ago for hosting that yearly gathering, pop up on our calendar, and we are initially seized with momentary panic. We think: “It can’t really be coming up that soon, can it?!”  Once we collect ourselves up off the proverbial floor, we quickly hop onto Pinterest and raid the Home & Garden magazine rack at our local Barnes and Nobel to find some new recipes, décor, and other ideas for hosting a fabulous holiday party.  Plans are formed, lists are created, and things are ordered. The next thing we know it is the day before the said event, and only about a quarter of our list is complete, six dishes have yet to be prepped, the house is not remotely clean, and half of the decorations and party favors still have not arrived! On top of it all, the kids will be out of school in two hours and will need to be shuttled around to their extra-curriculars before hustling over to the church to help out with the Kids Club Christmas Party.

STRESS. ANXIETY. FRUSTATION.

We are entirely on the edge of emotional eruption and are so internally distracted, that we completely ignore Suzy’s ballet instructor as we drop her off for lessons and then later we uncontrollably lash out at the trouble kid at church for something small…simply because he is the “trouble kid” and some steam must blow off at some point, right? We then go home, snap at our kids to get to bed ASAP, and give our spouse the cold shoulder. Our reasoning: “Things need to be done, and they need to be done now!”  We proceed to stay up till 4 AM, prepping dishes and cleaning the guest suite. Three hours later, we rush the kids to school and then spend the rest of the morning in a state of utter chaos and frantic cleaning, decorating, and cooking, because, well, things need to be done! We are then so physically and mentally fatigued by the time our guests arrive that we can hardly enjoy the party we spent weeks preparing for, and instead of investing in our guests, we spend most of our time watching the clock, wondering when we can finally go to bed.

Why are we like this? Does every holiday season have to be a giant whirlwind of fancy parties and expensive gifts? Do we have to spend a month “on edge” running around like a mad squirrel trying to get all of our ducks in a row, just so we can collapse at the end of a party hoping that it at least looked good and the food was tolerable? What is the point?

While I may not yet be a mother, or even an experienced housewife, there are a few things that I have learned (and am still learning) over the course of my short adult life about hosting and loving on others. The most important thing I have learned thus far is to keep the main thing, the main thing. While that may sound cliché, it is something I need to remind myself of daily, or I begin to drown in the ocean of frivolous entertainment expectations and material consumption.

But what is the “main thing?” The main thing is simply this: We want to bless, love, and encourage our guests by sharing the many blessings God has given us.

Matthew 25:34-40 – “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”

My hope is that the following five tips will help you to keep your focus heavenward and outward this Holiday Season.

  1. Don’t stress over perfection. As much as I want my home to look, feel, smell, and taste like something straight out of Joanna Gaines’ magazine, there is not any humanity or relatability in perfection. No one can relate to a perfect home – because no one is perfect. While it is good to do our best to present a clean home and yummy food to our guests, at the end of the day there will never be enough time, kids will be kids, and dinner will be, well, what it is. Don’t get caught up in the expectation of hosting a perfect home, because it will never happen…and your guests will internally thank you, because their life and home isn’t perfect either.
  2. Do think of others. When planning for guests, think about past experiences you have had as a guest. What has made you feel comfortable and welcome? What has made you feel uneasy and awkward? Think through the ideal procession of events as if you were a guest coming into your own home. What would you want to know? Where would you want to sit? What would you like to eat or drink? Are there any potential allergies or special diets?
  3. Less is (almost) always more. You don’t need a million choices of dessert or a hundred garlands hanging from every wall to show that you care. A warm hug, thoughtful words, and a genuine smile mean more than an elaborately decorated home or a fancy supper. While putting forth our best is an excellent way to show that we care, going over the top, simply to impress our guests, is not. Find the balance. If you find yourself becoming wrapped up in the all the fixings and trimmings, stop, pray, and ask the Lord to help refocus your heart.
  4. Set the mood – without breaking the bank. Some of my favorite pieces in home décor are those that tell a story or have a sense of meaning…the ones that have been passed down from generation to generation. The truth is you don’t actually need to have brand new décor items each and every year (as opposed to what Target may have you believe). Shop post season clearance and hit up Goodwill…you may be surprised at the treasures you find! The money you save can be invested in your gifts for others.

Simple Décor Ideas

  • Use fresh greenery from the yard. Clip a branch or two from that pretty tree with golden leaves or use some fresh holly berries from your tree!
  • Use wood slices and mini stumps to add height and interest to your centerpiece. This is ideal if you have access to timber and a chainsaw, or know a friend that does.
  • Add a fun seasonal paper garland or banner to your mantle or china hutch.
  • Make your house smell amazing for your guests by making some fresh apple cider on the stove or by having cookies fresh out of the oven when they arrive.
  • Purchase or make a chalkboard or letter board to use for seasonal quotes and verses.
  1. Remember the reason for the season. In all of the hustle and bustle, remember not to lose sight of the reason for our celebration. We have been gifted undeserved eternal life through the death, burial, and resurrection of God’s perfect Son, Jesus Christ. Keeping this blessing in the forefront of your mind will help your heart remain in the right place and enable you to naturally and lovingly host and share with others.

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.