Month: November 2014

What Are You Thankful For?

By Gerry Wakeland

This is the time of the year when our hearts and minds turn to thanksgiving. Have you ever wondered what goes through the mind of a preschool child? I asked a few of the children from our church, “What are you thankful for?”

These were the answers that I received.

• “God!” Kariela Polich exclaimed excitedly.
• Two-year old Jewell Dorroh replied that she was thankful for her Mommy and Daddy and big sister.
• Ella McFadden is thankful for God and Wawa and Papa. Her older brother Aidan placed Mom and Dad at the top of his list.
• Five-year old Micah Overman is grateful for the video games he will play on Thanksgiving. His three-year old brother Noah is going to build a robot on Thanksgiving.
• Dylan Metros is thankful for balloons, “BIG balloons,” he said.
• Trenton Pitz is thankful for his Mom and Dad.
• Brycen McGahn is grateful for his Mommy and Daddy and then he quickly added that he loves his toys.
• Savahanna Case is thanking God for her Grandpa and Nanny this year.

What are you thankful for this year?

Back to the Basics

By Karen Polich

You come to God through Jesus or you don’t come at all. – James Phillips

Have you ever been lost and had to stop and ask for directions? You may have asked only after realizing you were suddenly in a place you shouldn’t be, miles from your expected destination. Often we will wander in confusion, thinking we can find the way on our own. Pastor Kevin Linthicum reminded us that salvation is not something we can do on our own and that when we know Jesus, we know the way.

John 14: 1-6 ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.’
Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’
 Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’

Pastor Linthicum brought us back to the basics on what it means to know Christ.

I am the way. Before Jesus there was no way. When we know Him, we know the way.

I am the truth. The truth is exclusive, it is eternal and absolute. John 8:32 says, Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

I am the life. We can be satisfied with nothing less that the life Jesus describes. John 10:10, The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

This world cannot offer eternal life. The abundant life we seek can only be found in Jesus Christ. Where are you headed today? Are you lost and in need of directions? We have the biblical roadmap of truth. When we choose Jesus, we know the way. Have you chosen the abundant life that can only be found in Christ?


By Gerry Wakeland

The room was overflowing, filled with the excited chatter of supporters and volunteers who came together to dedicate the beautiful new home of The ROCK at NoonDay.


Danny & Roberta Whatley

Executive Director, Danny Whatley thanked everyone for coming and introduced former KRQE newscaster, Dick Knipfing who emceed the evening. Board Co-Chairs Jim Roach and Ruthie Horn Robbins recognized the many individuals and businesses that made the new building possible.

Chet Stewart was in Calvin Horn’s Sunday School class when the dream of NoonDay was birthed. Chet shared a little bit of that history with the guests. In 1982, through a great spiritual renewal, God gave Calvin Horn a passion to provide a hot meal and message of hope to the homeless and working poor in downtown Albuquerque. He went to his men’s Sunday School class at AFBC and shared his vision. Not long after, this group of men along with other volunteers from AFBC began preparing and serving lunches in the Fellowship Hall at the church downtown. The first meal was served on Thanksgiving Day in 1982.

A little known fact that Chet shared was how they came up with the name NoonDay. While most people think it was because they were serving lunches the truth is that it was taken from the scripture Isaiah 58:10 which says, “and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” This was the start of the ministry that became known throughout the city as NoonDay.


Trey Sullins & Ollie Allred

One of the first people that Calvin Horn approached to serve on the newly established ministry board was Ollie Allred. “Ollie, you could be a big help to us,” he said. Ollie admits that at first he was not much of a proponent of Calvin’s idea. But Calvin persisted and one day after church Ollie went home and gave it some serious consideration. He thought to himself, Jesus would not turn these people away. It was then that he went back to Calvin and agreed to serve on the board and has continued to serve for over twenty-five years.

Throughout the years this thriving ministry has grown and evolved into one of New Mexico’s largest feeding programs. NoonDay has served over 108,000 meals in the past year and anticipates that by the end of 2014 they will have served at least 120,000. In addition to serving meals, they function as a day shelter for the homeless and provide a number of additional resources for those who need help.

Along with growth comes change. Danny Whatley shared some of the changes with me. “NoonDay is now The ROCK at NoonDay. Some have asked why change the name. The answer is, while maintaining our present base of support, we need to introduce and re-introduce this amazing ministry to a new generation of supporters.” However, as the Director, I promise that we will maintain the high level of integrity that has been a hallmark of this ministry since its beginning. Our mission remains the same, to see the homeless and hurting find a relationship with Christ as we meet their physical needs showing them the compassion of Christ, sharing the Word of God and presenting a clear path to a relationship with Christ.”

To be more effective in fulfilling their mission, they have moved into a new building at 2400 Second Street which will allow them to accomplish more than they could at the old facility downtown.


Ed & Linda Kolle

But some things never change. AFBC members are still very active in the ministry of The ROCK at NoonDay. Our own Ed Kolle was instrumental in getting tile laid in the new building. Ollie Allred, Dr. David Robbins and his wife, Ruthie, Jim Roach, and Dr. Phil Uphold serve on the Board of The ROCK. Many of our members fulfill Calvin Horn’s vision by serving meals each day. One Monday a month our seniors stuff the NoonDay mailing. And throughout the year we are faithful to collect much needed items for our less fortunate brothers and sisters and their families.

Reflecting on the evening, Pastor Michael Cook shared these sentiments, “As my eyes swept through the crowd at the NoonDay grand opening, I was gratefully reminded of the immense passion that the Seniors of AFBC demonstrate for missions and ministry. I have never served a congregation that has so many faithful and giving seniors.”

The ROCK at NoonDay is a perfect example of how God gave one man a passion, a dream to make the world a better place and with God’s guidance and the help of many of God’s people this dream continues to be a reality.

. . . being confident of this, the He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 NIV

What dream has God given you and what are you doing about it?

Click here to learn more about The ROCK at NoonDay.

Days of Suffering – Job: The Man,The Meeting & The Manner

By Karen Polich

Job had a particular belief system regarding God. Job blessed the name of the Lord in all things.

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised.” Job 1:20-21


Regardless of life’s circumstances, the nature of God is unchangeable. How we react to our circumstances affects our relationship with Him. In all things, God is God. Understanding the character of God allows us to richly and rightly experience Him. Pastor Michael Cook brought us three driving factors that impact the way we relate to God.

Three truisms- the driving factors we need to understand:

1. Life is filled with circumstances that are not fair.
2. God may bless us in life, but He does NOT owe us blessings.
3. God is ALWAYS good; whether life is fair or not; whether we are blessed or not.

The Bible teaches us that God loves us, He wants to bless us, and He challenges us to be a reservoir of blessing to others. It does not teach us that we are entitled to demand from God. There isn’t anything that we deserve in the name of fairness or entitlement. There is a clear distinction between what God promises us and thinking that we deserve something from Him. God’s goodness is eternal and unyielding. Job understood this. It was the very foundation of his belief system.

Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?” Job 1:8.  Ponder this: “Have you considered my servant (insert your name here)?”

How do you relate to God? Are you ready for your name to be on His lips in that question?

Listen to Pastor Michael Cook via podcast here.

The Power of Paul’s Prayers

By Kristin Overman

A few years ago I was doing a study on Colossians and came across this prayer that Paul prayed for the believers,

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light. Colossians 1:9-12

Paul’s prayer was so powerful. It really seemed like he was fighting a battle with his prayer. Suddenly I felt that my prayers were missing that power. So many times I prayed for wisdom, health, safety, money, etc. My prayers were more about earthly needs than the needs for spiritual battle.

Don’t misunderstand me; I know God cares for our every need no matter how small. We pray for lost toys, for kids to sleep and use the potty in our house. I know God truly cares about those things. He wants us to rely on Him for our earthly needs but also for our spiritual battles. Many times I forget that we are in a constant spiritual battle.

I decided to look not only at Colossians but all of Paul’s letters and see what he prayed for. In doing so, I noticed three things in Paul’s prayers. He prayed for the believer’s walk, for their witness, and for God’s work in them. He did not pray that they would change. Here are just a few of the things I found.

Paul prayed that they would…

Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord
Please Him in all respects
Bear fruit in every good work
Increase in the knowledge of God
Attain all steadfastness and patience
Joyously give thanks to the Father for their inheritance
Speak forth the mystery of Christ

He prayed that God would…

Make it clear how they ought to speak
Give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him
Count them worthy of their calling
Fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power in order that the name of Jesus may be glorified in them and them in Him

I also noticed how he prayed. He used words like always, constantly, devoted, not ceasing, keeping alert, thankful and joyful. In other words, prayer should be a consistent discipline, done with a spirit of joy and thanksgiving.

I pray you can use this list of prayers for yourself, your children and other believers, etc. Fighting our spiritual battle could be so much more effective if we prayed like this for one another.


Days of Suffering: The Man & the Meeting – Part 2

By Karen Polich

“That’s not fair!”

How many times have you heard that statement? Complaints are waged in the name of fairness by people of all ages. A child will stomp their feet and cry, throwing a fit for all to see, while an adult often looks for justice, digging in their heals with outrage. If we want to see how unfair this broken world is, we don’t have to look far. Sickness, job loss, broken relationships and just bad circumstances name only a few of the unfair struggles we face.

As Christ followers we have a choice. We get to choose how we will approach the unfairness of this world. We can demand and expect life to be fair or we can choose to accept the fact that life isn’t going to be fair all of the time.

Pastor Michael Cook continued with Part 2, The Meeting, in his Days of Suffering sermon series. Pastor Cook gave us truism #1: Life is filled with circumstances that are not fair.

Last week we discovered Job, the man. Now we look at the meeting between God & Satan concerning Job. Listen to the podcast here.

Job 1:6-12

One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[b] also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” 12 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

We have the luxury of seeing these events with the curtain pulled back, but not Job. Job is living out this situation with no idea that God and Satan have had this meeting. Satan is not just attacking Job, his assault is on the very righteousness of God. God saw Job as blameless. If there was anyone who didn’t deserve bad things happening to him, it was Job. What came upon Job, came without reason. It is a reminder to us that bad things happen to good people without reason.

Days of suffering will come regardless of what we do. How we choose to deal with suffering will define us.

When we live with the idea that we are entitled, we are on a path that takes us into the wilderness of misunderstanding. The unfairness of the cross can be our guide to remembering that life is not going to be fair and suffering will come. We can choose to trust God and the incredible promises He has given us.

How will you choose to face suffering in your life?





Thankful for God’s Blessings

By LuAnn Edwards

“,,,And be thankful” (Col. 3:15b).

Sickness, grief, and moving away from family, friends and a job I loved are experiences that have affected me greatly over the years. However, I am still thankful for God who has given me opportunities to grow and learn through each of these experiences and has blessed me in so many ways.

He has blessed me with His Salvation. What greater gift is there? Jesus died for me! I did nothing to deserve it; He died so I could live eternally with Him. All I had to do was accept His offer and receive His free gift. When I surrendered my life to Him, He offered me grace, hope, mercy and love.

He has given me such an amazing family. My God-loving husband unselfishly gives of himself to show his love and commitment to me. We have a grown daughter who serves the Lord alongside her husband as youth pastors. Our son too has dedicated his life to the Lord and is an example of Christ to his family and others. Our teenage daughter is serving the Lord with the musical talents God has given her. We also have three adorable grandchildren learning to live for Christ.

He has blessed my family with a caring church home. I am thankful for the people within our fellowship who pray for me and encourage me in my walk with Christ. Two families in our church have willingly taken our youngest daughter into their homes giving my husband and me the opportunity to visit our ailing or dying parents in another state. One of these trips took about 10 days, yet this family loved on our daughter, got her to school each day and helped her with her homework. That was sacrificial on their part and truly a blessing to us. Also, our daughter is very active in the youth group where she is learning solid biblical principles.

He has given me a job I enjoy going to each day. I am accepted and appreciated for who I am and what I do. I believe the Lord has me where I am for a purpose. I strive each day to give Christ my best while sharing His love through my example. I trust that I am making a difference.

Is my life without problems? No! In a job when I didn’t want to get up in the morning to face another day, I stood upon the Word of God to get me through. His Word brought me strength, hope and peace. During a time when my husband served on the staff of a church, and there was not enough money for him to take his full salary, I prayed and believed God would provide food for our family. God answered that prayer through a couple in our church. When my teenage daughter and I do not seem to agree on anything and I become weary, I go to God’s promises and read them over and over until they become alive in my spirit. I am so very thankful for the Word of God and the comfort and healing I find there.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17). For this I am especially grateful.

Days of Suffering: The Man & the Meeting -Part 1

By: Karen Polich

Twenty times Job asked God, “Why?” Twenty times God refused to answer Job’s question.

When we are buried deep in the hole of suffering, we want answers.  “Why?” seems like such a simple question to ask when we don’t understand. We want desperately to make sense of the senseless; we think understanding will somehow lessen the ache that comes with suffering. Perhaps understanding would bring comfort. What if that isn’t so?

Pastor Michael Cook’s latest sermon series, Days of Suffering, brings us to the book of Job. Job 1:1-5 tells us about the man. Spiritually Job is blameless and upright. He walked in obedience with fear of God and shunned evil. Financially he has much. Parentally he stressed his spiritual values into the home and constantly went before God on behalf of his children. Yet Job suffered.

Pastor Cook asked, “What if God’s way of comforting us is actually in those moments when He doesn’t tell us why? Could it be the greatest act of His mercy and grace?” Ecclesiastes 1:18 leads us to a profound thought of what the answer to “Why?” might mean.

 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief. Ecclesiastes 1:18

Suffering brings many things, but it doesn’t always bring answers. We learn more about who is in control in the midst of our struggles and how to minister to people. We can also learn how to suffer as a child of God.

We will all suffer. Pastor Cook discussed 4 scriptural ways of suffering:

As this sermon series continues, we will learn what it means to suffer. We will learn from God’s Word and the life of Job.  Listen to Pastor Michael Cook’s podcast here.

  1. Persecution

This is undeserved. We see this over and over in the New Testament.

  1. Punishment

Suffering that comes in the deserved consequences when we have done something wrong.

  1. Chastisement

This comes out of God’s love. It is for our growth and to bring what is best for us.

  1. Affliction

Never completely understood in this world, this undeserved suffering is permitted by God. Job never saw his affliction coming.

As this sermon series continues, we will learn what it means to suffer. We will learn from God’s Word and the life of Job.  Listen to Pastor Michael Cook’s podcast here.

Are you engulfed in suffering, struggling with “Why”? Seek God, seek Him with everything.