Student Ministry Update

I hope that this finds you well and that you are all surviving this social distancing. Please know that you and your students are being prayed for through this. Your youth leaders are working to get set up to do Zoom meetings where we will have Bible study and fellowship online. Please send an updated email address that we can use to connect with your student as we move toward our Zoom group meetings.

With this new obstacle (social distancing) comes new opportunities, and we are trying to connect with our students via social media including a new Loft TikTok account. Social Media is always a concern with all the negative influences that are out there, but I believe that with close and consistent monitoring, social media can be an avenue to build our students up, especially during this time of social distancing. Some of the upcoming Social Media events that I am considering are scavenger hunts, talent shows, and TikTok duet competitions.

I have added a list of our social media options below.

        Instagram  –  @loft_student_ministry

        Facebook  –  @theloftnm

        TikTok  –  @loft_student_ministry

        YouTube  –  Loft Student Ministry

Please be in prayer for our students and our staff as we navigate this unprecedented time of social distancing.

Sid Ware – sid@thepeoplechurch.org

Student Ministry Director

Home Discipleship Opportunities for Children During School/Church Closures – shared by Beth Aultman

  • Challenge kids to read the book of Luke together or individually. (Here is a challenge from last year with age-appropriate segments of Luke divided out. bcnm.com/nm-kids-reading-gods-word
  • Have your kids choose a Bible story and put together a dramatic re-enactment of it. Record it and post on social media for others to see.
  • Write and decorate cards to thank those who are part of your child’s development.
  • Play board games together or provide kids with a file folder and encourage them to make up their own board game.
  • Challenge your kids to memorize Bible verses or passages like Psalm 23. Award prizes for accomplishments.
  • Start a Bible verse challenge. Have your kids create motions for a verse.  Record your kids making the motions, send it to another family, and ask them to do the same and keep passing it on.
  • Do random acts of kindness like super-secret spies. Bake cookies and leave them on doorsteps without anyone seeing you.
  • Make a ‘blessings’ board and write down everything we’re thankful for that God has provided for us.
  • Start a ‘generations’ book and call grandparents and other family members and ask them how they came to know Christ as their Savior. Write down the stories in a book to keep the legacy of how God has been working in your family.
  • Study a Biblical map of Jesus’ journeys or Paul’s travels and find the Bible stories that relate to the locations.
  • Try to reduce screen time, but a Google search can help you find Bible story videos. Watch the video then and compare it to what’s actually in the Bible.  Make a chart of differences.
  • Take misc. items from around the house and have each member of your household create a sculpture or art project based on their favorite Bible verse. Post on social media allowing others to vote for their favorite.
  • Put the first letter of the books of the Bible on paper. Put one letter per paper.  Spread the papers out in a room and have the kids jump on the letter as you say the books of the Bible.  Make it a game by timing it and seeing if they can do it faster each time.  Use one testament at a time for younger kids.
  • Make rock art with simple encouraging messages such as God loves you or Be Joyful. Paint the rocks, once dry, walk around your neighborhood and leave them in places where people might see them.
  • Write out parts of a Bible story on paper and cut into strips. Hide the strips.  Have children search for them and then ask kids to put the strips in correct order.
  • Serve others. One of my Facebook friends is offering to take her kids and shop for older adults that don’t need to be out.  What can your family to for someone else during this time?
  • Decorate a ‘giveaway’ box with encouraging Bible verses, clean out rooms and find things you can put in it to give to others in need.

List created by Krista Peterson, the Baptist Convention of NM’s associate director of children’s leadership development.

Words from Pastor Johnny

Church family,

As you most assuredly know, the Coronavirus has reached New Mexico. Although the Secretary of Health has issued a prohibition against mass gatherings, thankfully churches are exempt. However, we will use wisdom and prudence should the need arise to change our structure for meeting together.

We understand you may have serious concerns about COVID-19 (commonly called the Coronavirus).

At this time your staff and leadership team are continuing to meet and evaluate the situation. We want to help provide an environment for you to worship our Lord. We want to encourage you to make use of the hand sanitizers that are placed throughout the church building. We want to discourage you from shaking hands. However, we continue to encourage you to welcome guests and visitors with kind words and a warm smile. We encourage you to stay home if you feel sick, have not been fever free for 24 hours, or if you have severe underlying health conditions and are greatly concerned about coronavirus.

As always, if you cannot come, we would love for you to worship with us through our Facebook page , feel free to send a friend request to johnnycandacespicer on Facebook. Currently, our services are streamed live on our personal page weekly.

In times like these, let us not lose sight of the Hope that we have. Possibly, during this kind of climate – people we have been praying for will be most sensitive to the truths of the gospel.

We encourage you to be open to the questions of others and sharing with others about the hope you have in Jesus during this time. We will continue to update you about plans and services at FBC Moriarty as conditions change and are warranted.

First, unless you hear otherwise, all First Baptist Church Moriarty events will go on as scheduled.

Additionally, we want to remind all what this means to us as believers in Christ. Remember that “God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7). While none of us hopes to catch this or any other sickness, we have confidence and peace knowing we belong to and are under the sovereign watch-care of the Lord! We want to fall somewhere in between the extreme of dismissing this (or any other sickness) as insignificant, and the other extreme of hysteria encouraged by some in the media and others.

Finally​, join us in asking God to use this virus scare for the good of His Kingdom. (Romans 8:28) Pray that many will open their hearts to Christ as they ​are forced to consider life and death. Pray that churches will be strengthened during this time rather than weakened. Use this window of opportunity to talk to people about eternity and your assurance because of your relationship with Jesus.

My prayer for my life and yours is that we will choose Faith over fear, prayer or panic, and joy over despair. God is good and we are hopeful for how He will use this situation for His good.

Your pastor, staff & deacons are praying for you to our unchanging God during these ever-changing times that we live!

On Mission,                                                                                                                                   

Pastor Johnny  

2 Peter 1:3-4                 

Initial Coronavirus Response Plan (COVID-19)*

Recommended Precautions:

  • Washing hands frequently (using warm/hot water and soap and the ideal duration is the time it takes to say “The Lord’s Prayer” twice.)
  • Do not touch your mouth, nose or eyes.
  • Greet one another without hand shaking (elbow bump or wave).
  • Anyone who is sick needs to stay home.  Fever free for 24 hours.
  • Be sure the church has your current contact information (forms at Welcome Center).
  • Continuous cleaning and sanitation practices (all areas of the church will be cleaned).

Weekly church services can be viewed on-line on Facebook; johnnycandacespicer– feel free to send a friend request. The audio recorded messages are also available on our website; www.thepeoplechurch.org

Children’s Ministry Update

On March 21st the Baptist Convention of NM will host its annual Young Lives Ablaze Children’s Evangelism Conference. We have 5 kids, in grades 3rd through 6th currently signed up to attend. If you missed the early deadline, it’s not too late to attend the conference. Contact Beth for details and to register your child. The conference is held at Eastern Hills Baptist Church from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is a fun filled, faith building day!

Secondly, we are excited to have recently added a Two-year old Bible Study Class on Sunday mornings! It is our joy to partner with parents as they train up their children in the love and instruction of the Lord. If you have a desire to work with kids birth through 5th grade, please contact Beth to find out the current needs in our Children’s Department.

Finally, save the date and spread the word! Vacation Bible School is right around the corner! It is scheduled for June 1-5 for children 4 years old through those who have completed 5th grade. This VBS is an exciting Wilderness Escape where children will experience first-hand that God guides and provides.

Beth Aultman – Beth@thepeoplechurch.org
Children’s Ministry Director

The Love of God

One of the central themes of Scripture is the love of God.  We must see how God has woven a thread of redeeming love through the Bible, culminating with the greatest expression of love, Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus came for a people who needed to be redeemed. The definition of redemption is to be bought back, to be reclaimed usually through some cost, or to be recovered or rescued. God sent Jesus on the ultimate rescue mission, one that would cost Him his life. He knew all of it and yet he still came and gave his life for you and me. True love requires sacrifice, is selfless, and is honorable. 1 John 3 describes the amazing love of God that needs to be present in all our lives. “We love because he loved us first.” He revealed that love by giving His life as a ransom for many. How has God’s love been present in your life? Are you revealing that love daily?

On Mission,

Pastor Johnny

What Made The Wise Men Wise? (Matthew 2:10-12)

  1. They worshiped Him with the right attitude. These men were looking for the King. They expected to find Him. When they lost sight of the star for a brief period of time, they did not give up and go home. They kept going believing that something special had taken place. When they saw the star again, “they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy” (Matt 2:10).

Are you expecting to encounter the living Christ this Christmas?

  1. They worshiped Him with the right altitude. I realize that sounds preacherly, but that’s what they did. When the magi arrived in Bethlehem and found the Child that they had been seeking for years, they fell on their faces and they worshiped. They didn’t stand there and gawk. They didn’t work the room pressing flesh and kissing babies. They weren’t worried about appearances. The text says the “fell down” and they “worshiped him.” (v. 11a)

How are you planning on spending your Christmas?

  1. They worshiped Him with the right gratitude. The worship of the magi did not end with their falling prostrate before the young Child. Their worship continued as they presented their gifts. They brought riches not pittances. They brought their best not their leftovers. They brought gifts befitting a King. (v. 11b) What are you offering Jesus this Christmas? An occasional thought or the worship He deserves? ( Article: Peter Beck)

The bumper sticker says: Wise Men Still Worship Him.   Do you?

On Mission,

Pastor Johnny

Who was St. Nicholas aka “Santa Claus”?

It is important to know authoritative history. The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young.

Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church.

Source: http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/who-is-st-nicholas/

On Mission,

Pastor Johnny

Thanksgiving is Thanksliving

With another Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, I wanted to encourage you to remember the reasons we are to be thankful and hopefully explain the ways I believe we can cultivate an attitude of gratitude. I pray that this is helpful for you as you celebrate the holidays this year and look toward to the future year of 2020 with an expectation that God is going to do something great in your life and in our church. We must recognize the present blessings of God.

 I am reminded of the story in Luke 17:11-19 (10 Lepers & 1 Grateful Heart) The one man who was a Samaritan (outcast) recognized the healing that took place and returned to Jesus to praise Him for being Lord and Savior. I believe this man found not only physical healing, but spiritual healing as well. He did not take for granted his healing but recognized it as a gift from God! Like the other nine, too many times we take for granted the blessings of God, because we live in a nation who has all but forgotten the blessings of God. Revival is as close as your desire for it. God desires for personal renewal and seeks to use a nation who will call Him Lord. It begins with one grateful heart.

God bless you as live thankfully for Him!

On Mission,

Pastor Johnny

Abiding in Christ

Abiding in Christ is the most vital place a believer can find themselves. The Word picture Jesus uses in John 15 is the Vine and branches. What is the Vine dresser’s goal for the Vine (branches)?  That the vine/branches bear more fruit. However, the danger in bearing more fruit, for the sake of bearing fruit can lead to self-contentment or self-sufficiency. As true branches we must guard against being fruitful for our glory, or we could end up as a dead limb.

The Vine dresser (God the Father) also “prunes” the Vine’s branches by cutting back, excess, old wood and excess shoots from branch to make it healthier. The function of pruning is to help the branch deepen its dependence on the vine and bear more fruit. The Vine dresser’s pruning knife is the Word of God. How did the Word (Christ) prune the disciples (branches) for growth? He taught them by example, walked alongside them, preparing them for the Spirit to fill them, and to empower them for their journey of bearing more fruit.

Abiding in Christ and pruning is accomplished for God’s glory. Hebrews 4:12 states, “the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword piercing to the division of Soul and Spirit of the joints and marrow, discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

On Mission,

Pastor Johnny

Surrender vs. Commitment

Surrender is defined as yielding to the power of another, to submit possession of one-self. God calls us to absolute surrender to Him. Because God is our Holy Creator and Redeemer He deserves nothing less than absolute surrender. As believers, there can be no half-hearted attempts at following Christ.  Jesus taught His disciples that they must abandon “all” and follow Him. He told the rich young ruler to sell “all” he had and follow Him. (Matthew 16:25, Luke 18:18-23)

When theologian & author Andrew Murray asked a fellow pastor “what is the great need of the Church?”, the answer was, “absolute surrender was the one thing.” (Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray) The term absolute consists of giving everything for one cause, and upon completion having nothing left to give. Is this the cry of your heart? Absolute surrender to the will of God will revolutionize your prayer life, your devotional life and your walk with Christ.

Surrender is different than commitment. With commitment, you have a tendency to use your willpower to accomplish a task. Commitment is about you. Asolute surrender is about God and His will and power. One example of this is the subject of breakfast with the chicken and the pig. The chicken is committed and produces an egg. The pig absolutely surrenders and produces bacon.

On Mission,

Pastor Johnny