From the Coach’s Desk: Jon Rocha

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This past winter I had the privilege of beginning one of my most anticipated dreams: coaching high school basketball. I was just an assistant at Mid-Prairie High School, but I must say that it was one of the most satisfying, beneficial, and stretching things I have ever done. God taught me so much through this last season, and I would like to share just three of the many things I learned.

1.     Success takes hard work.

You might be reading this and be thinking “well, no duh!” It may surprise you, however, how many people say this is a true statement, but allow their actions to say something completely different. Each member of the team wants to be a starter, or to be a great ball handler, or have a solid jump shot; but not every player will actually put in the time to play pick-up ball whenever it is available, watch good basketball to learn the game better, or commit to shooting 300 shots a day in the off-season.

Christians often have that same mentality. Every Christian wants to be seen as a spiritual leader whose voice is heard when a problem arises, serve in the most important areas, or have God drop a million dollars in their lap so they can give it all away. However, not every Christian will devote themselves to the daily study of God’s Word, step up to the plate when help is needed in a “non-glamorous” role, let their opinion go when it isn’t being received well, or even commit to giving on a regular basis. Being a solid Christian takes a ton of grace and a commitment to hard work.

2.     Everything always looks easier from the outside.

Ever since playing in high school, I have wanted to coach basketball. I remember talking to my dad and my friends about it. In college, I talked about problems, schemes, and strategies with my fellow players and captains. I thought that I could always correctly diagnose a problem and that I always had the perfect solution. When I became a coach, I knew my team had only one win the season before… I thought to myself that any coach and team should be able to win more than one game in a season just by sheer motivation and hard work. I thought it would be easy!

I was right about one thing, you can win more than one game in a season by motivation and hard work. However, I was very wrong about it being easy! Getting stomped by 30 points in our first game put things into perspective really quick.  I helped with three different teams (Freshman, JV, and Varsity) and our combined record was roughly 15 of 65! That is a lot of losing. I have never personally played on a team with such a poor record, and I quickly saw how hard it was to motivate players to work hard. It really gave me a new perspective on seeing other people’s problems, because from the outside, things always look so easy and the solution seems so clear.

In the Christian life, it can be easy to point fingers at leadership and tell them what they need to do to fix things. It can be easy to look down on struggling Christians and think that you are so much better because you don’t have the same problems. It can be easy to look at the heavy hitter and think he has it made in the shade because everything is “given to him.” The truth is, however, that until you decide to step up, help, and get your own hands dirty; things will always look easier from the outside.

3.     Basketball is not the goal, Christ is!

I love basketball! It is something that I have enjoyed since I was a kid, so much so that I really need to guard my heart against it at times. That is not why I decided to coach though and my wife would not have let me coach for that reason alone (good for her)! I decided to become a coach because I knew it would be a great way to meet unsaved people (and boy was I right). Thirty seconds into my first practice a kid swore at me and told me to get lost! Right then and there I knew there was no way I was going to be able to do this on my own, and I began to pray. And by the end of practice that kid had apologized to me!

That really set the tone for the rest of the year. Each day on my way to practice or a game, I would turn my radio off and pray for the basketball team. I would pray for my relationships with the coaches, the team, individual players and for opportunities to share the Gospel. Each day I walked away with answered prayer and it was amazing! Now that basketball is over, the real mission begins. I have already spent time with many of them outside of basketball and am now praying for opportunities to share Christ with them. That is the real reason I became a coach, and I love it!

PFBC: Prayer List #24

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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:

Rachel Aubrecht – Please pray for Rachel’s home church, Gospel Light Baptist Church, as they seek a new Senior Pastor.

Ise Beinhart – Please pray for this young child as she battles severe health issues.

Carl Benson – Unspoken Prayer Request.

Mike Boos – Unspoken Prayer Request.

Ray Cooper – 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.

Steve and Diana Fordham – Pray for Steve and Diana as they battle many different health issues.

Ron Gates – Please pray for Ron as he recovers from open heart surgery and as he goes through physical therapy.

Dillon Gingerich – Please pray for Dillon as he recovers from skull fracture surgery and is currently in physical therapy.

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.

Gayle Hendricks – Please pray for Gayle’s mother, Carol, who just went into hospice care. Pray for strength and comfort for her whole family.

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

Verla Lewis – Please pray for Verla and her many health complications.

Sonya Love-Smith – Unspoken Prayer Request.

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

Brent and Tori Lybarger – Unspoken Prayer Request.

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.

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.

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 son, Todd, who is in poor health and needs healing. Please pray for Todd’s salvation as well. Pray too for Judy’s great-granddaughter, Errin, who has a heart implant and other health complications.

Phyllis Yoder – Unspoken Prayer Request.

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

Heather Zieglowsky – Unspoken Prayer Request.

Our Church – Please pray for our church as we contemplate moving forward with purchasing new land/building.

Our Community – Please pray that we would effectively reach out to our community and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with boldness.

Our College Students – Please pray for our College Students as they are away studying and working.

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

Our Leadership Team – Pray for our Lead Pastor, Associate Pastor, and Deacons that God would grant to them wisdom, discernment, vision, and unity. Pray too for our Summer Intern, Lance Lewis, who will be coming to PFBC from May 14 – August 6.

Our Country – Please pray for President Trump and Vice President Pence as they lead our country these next four years.

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!

Reverberations of Good Things

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I was recently talking to a fellow pastor in our state and he mentioned that he was hearing “reverberations of good things” about the work of God at Prairie Flower Baptist Church. What an encouraging conversation that was to me. I grinned from ear to ear as he spoke because truly “good things” are happening here and for that we give to God great praise.

In fact, we’ve already had two new people join our church last month and two more will join this Sunday! Pastor Jon will also be conducting another baptism on Sunday, Feb. 12 as well as preaching in the morning worship service. How wonderful it is to see people saved, baptized, and added to the church. This is truly what it’s all about!

As was mentioned in our last Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 29, we are truly experiencing the overwhelming blessings of God upon our church. In addition to seeing people saved, baptized, and added to the church, we continue to balance our budget to the point that we gave a 10% raise to all of our supported missionaries! What a blessing to be a part of a church who gives so generously and joyfully.

We also mentioned that this summer we will be bringing on a Summer Intern (Lance Lewis) for 12 weeks (May 14 – Aug 6). Lance is a pastoral studies major at Faith Baptist Bible College and will need this internship to graduate from his studies. We are privileged to allow Lance to serve alongside us this summer. He will engage in the full life of pastoring while he is here (i.e. preaching, teaching, officiating ordinances, conducting meetings, making visits, counseling, etc.). Also, some of our newest members, the Yoders, have volunteered to house Lance for the entirety of his stay with us! I am truly grateful for those who step up and serve with such hospitality.

In our meeting, we also had a dynamic discussion on the possibility of our church buying land for the purposes of a new church building. As I’ve stated before (and will probably state again), we have simply outgrown our current facility and need to look into land/building that will be, not a “growth barrier”, but a “growth engine” for the cause of Christ. This is something that we have discussed for years, and are now finally putting some feet to our words.

As a Leadership Team, we have prayed, planned, and had many meetings about moving this initiative forward. And from the tone and tenor of our last meeting, I can safely say that both the Leadership Team and Congregation of Prairie Flower are ready to move forward with land/building! As one member put it, “This is exciting!” Another said, “Let’s really give to our kids the space they need to run during AWANA!” Truly there are so many possibilities that await us to serve our people (both current and future) with a new building. To be sure, this is scary-exciting, but we will continue to pray and see how the Lord leads. Again, we have no prospects yet on land/building, but would really appreciate any insights or leads that you might have on this exciting next step.

Prairie Flower, with growth comes change. And with change comes many opportunities to see people saved, baptized, and added to the church. In the end, we just want to stay true to our mission and vision “to be a strong church, that makes disciples, for the glory of God”. Will you continue to pray for your Leadership Team and church family? We simply desire to please Him as we boldly move forward.