Month: July 2015

Matt & Ty Join the AFBC Team


Matt Snook
IMG_8810Ty Haguewood

It’s a great week at Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church as we welcome new staff members Matt Snook and Ty Hageuwood.

Matt Snook
Worship Pastor
Matt joins us from Washington, Oklahoma. He served as Music Minister at First Baptist Church in Washington also nurturing young lives as a track coach and elementary music teacher. Matt has a bachelor’s degree in Church Music from Oklahoma Baptist University and cheers for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

I strive to love people and minister to their needs. It is my duty and privilege to share the love of Christ with everyone around me. My truest form of worship is obedience. – Matt Snook

Matt shares his life with wife Emily and their sons Coen, 10, and Bennet, 1. When not exploring with his boys, Matt enjoys remodeling houses and daydreaming about secret passages. (Those secret passages might come in handy one day.)

Matt’s favorite verse: Colossians 3:23
Ty Haguewood
Student Pastor
Happy to return to mountain views and yummy food, Ty is no stranger to AFBC. He accepted Christ during his sophomore year of high school when he was a part of our student ministry. Now he’s back and ready to lead our students in their walk with Christ.

I believe that when Christ saves us we are no longer the same. This calls us to passionately pursue Him through evangelism, discipleship and service. Once you’ve seen the Lord, you are obsessed with what you’ve seen.
– Ty Haguewood

Ty previously served as Student Pastor at First Baptist Church in Calhoun City, Mississippi. Currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree, Ty is a New York Yankees fan who enjoys hip-hop music, watching movies and eating Dion’s pizza.

Ty’s favorite verse: Hebrews 2:9
Please help us welcome them (in the comments). We can’t wait to see how God uses Matt and Ty to impact lives.

We Are… An Authentic Community

By Karen Polich

Acts 2:42-46 They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had a need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.

Pastor Michael Cook’s sermon series We Are… continued with a focus on what it means to be an authentic community. Called to chase after God’s standard, we should seek to invest in the lives of those around us.

Togetherness is more than simply hanging out. Committed to learning together and sharing, an authentic biblical community grows together. Life is done together. It is more than time spent together in corporate worship on Sundays. The ups and downs, the joys the sorrows are all shared.

Four results of a true biblical community.
1. God makes His presence known. People can see the difference. It is an opportunity to be part of something special.
2. Needs are met. We all have challenges, but God is working in our challenges. He is mending, repairing and reconciling hearts in the midst of brokenness.
3. Joy returns. Enthusiasm is unmistakable. Others can see it and want to be a part of the joy. (John 20:19)
4. Lives are changed. The purpose of everything done at Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church is to add to lives. It is not about adding to numbers. A life saturated in Christ will overflow.

It’s easy to share our lives when good things are happening. Sometimes, though, there is more bad than good. Pain can come from many sources, even those close to us.

Our hurts and wounds are meant to be healed. It might be the hurt came from trusted people in a church. Our expectations will never be fully met until we reach authentic perfection in heaven. Knowing this doesn’t fix the hurt, but could it be that choosing to forgive will have an impact that is life altering?

Willingness to take people where they are and love them is the beginning of an authentic community. Pour your life into others and see what God will do.

Listen to Pastor Michael Cook via podcast here. Learn more about the core values of Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church here.

Freedom in Forgiving

By LuAnn Edwards

Why is forgiving others so hard? We know it is what the Lord desires – what He asks us to do in His Word. We know this, but the hurt is real; the pain is deep. How can we let go of it and truly forgive?

Apparently we can, for the Bible says, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another” (Col. 3:13a). Forgiveness is our choice. We may choose to forgive from our heart or choose to hang on to our bitterness and resentment which often leads to anger and hatred.

I have been hurt many times over the years. A friend’s snide remark behind my back, deceitfulness on a job, a supervisor who thought I was incompetent, and a friend not wanting me in her life any longer are just a few of the times when I needed to forgive. These events were painful and forgiveness did not come immediately or easily. I had to pray and ask the Lord to soften my heart so I could forgive them. I asked Him to allow me to see them through His eyes of love.

When we hold on to unforgiveness, we make it an idol in our lives. It becomes more important than God and honoring His Word. We feed it by justifying that we have the right to hold on to it, but does holding on to it ease the pain or fuel it? Our unwillingness to forgive keeps our past alive, and the bondage of bitterness can destroy us and our testimony for the Lord. When we fail to forgive, we allow the person who hurt us to continue their control over us.

There is a verse in the Bible that says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). One truth is that forgiving others sets us free!

When we forgive, we are set free from the painful emotions that rob us of our joy. We can then let go of the past, the hurt, and the anger so we can move forward in faith, love and healing.

Whether your pain came through rejection, abandonment, abuse, or betrayal, forgiving those responsible for your pain will bring healing to your hurting heart. Forgiving those who have hurt you brings you freedom!

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Eph. 4:31-32).

We Are…Striving for Impacting Worship

By Karen Polich

What is worship?

It’s easier to talk about what worship is not. Worship is not music. It is not a program and it is not a feeling. Pastor Michael Cook continued his We Are… sermon series teaching why it matters to strive for impacting worship. Listen to the podcast here.

While music can be part of worship, it is a language of its own.We like different styles. Traditional or contemporary it doesn’t matter. Music itself is not worship. Music can be a great tool used in our worship.

Worship is not a slot of time on Sunday mornings. What we bring on Sundays should be an outpouring of our life. Worship does not have a specific start time and stop time based on events.

We worship because He Is good, not because we feel good. Our worship should be greater than how we feel. God is greater than how our day is going. He is unchanging.

Worship is the response of your heart to an amazing God!

The expression of your heart in worship is your language. God sees that. He is focused on what you bring. We are not the audience, He is. Our worship is something we bring to God.

Romans 12:1 (NIV)
A Living Sacrifice
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Three anchors come out of this verse, demonstrating what worship should be. God’s mercies touch everything in our lives. Our bodies should be a living sacrifice. We should strive to be holy and pleasing in what we offer to God.
God does not want pieces or parts. He wants ALL of you. He is not looking for us to make a sacrifice, He wants us to be the sacrifice.

Worship is the believer’s response to all He is and to all He has done. It is an outpouring of our hearts to who God is.

Is worship overflowing in your life? An incredible God deserves worship that spills out of everything we do.

We Are… People that Matter to God

By Karen Polich

The people details are one thing that sets Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church apart. What a difference it makes when people truly care about one another. Pastor Michael Cook’s sermon series We Are… shines light on why people matter. Listen to the podcast.

One thing the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ CAN and SHOULD do better than anyone is to give away the love of the Christ through the Gospel. – Michael Cook

Romans 1:14-16 (NIV)  I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

Paul understood that God had done something radical in his life and he should share it with everyone else. Everyone has an opportunity to know Christ. Christ followers have a responsibility to show the love of Christ.

During the Last Supper, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. Do you wonder if they were even aware of the dirt on their feet before He did this? After a busy day, it might have been easy to overlook. Are we ever in a place where we no longer see the dirt on our own feet? We stop being thankful, no longer seeing the blessings all around us.

We should never lose sight of the dirt on our feet. We are debtors who can never pay for what we have been given. What a gift! When we have something amazing, don’t we want to share it with others? What God has done for us should spill out into the lives of those around us.

Spiritually, our immediate condition never determines our ultimate value!

Jesus looks into the heart and sees what is great.  Regardless of where we are or what we have done, we are forgiven.

Challenge: Be ALL IN. Let God’s love for you spread to people you know and encounter.

We Are… Excellence in What We Do


By Karen Polich

Pastor Michael Cook’s sermon series, We Are… takes us deeper into the core values of Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church and how we can apply them in our lives. (AFBC Core Values) Listen to the podcast here.

Excellence can be defined as giving our best to God.

God’s people began to neglect certain things. Their passion and excellence were fading. Keeping the best for themselves, they gave God blind and lame sacrifices thinking He wouldn’t notice. God was not pleased. (Malachi 1:6-14)

Seeking excellence in all we do matters, but how often do we offer God our leftovers instead of our best? This can happen for many reasons.

Wrong thinking. Our tendency to compare, impacts giving our best. We think we are less than this person or greater than that person. God is asking only for what is MY best.

Wrong priorities. At times we have the “perfect sacrifice” but aren’t willing to offer it to God. God always knows where our passion is. Where we spend our talents, money, time and focus reveals our hearts. God wants the best we have to offer, not our leftovers.

Wrong motives. This can creep up on any of us. Our motives can deteriorate to the point that we can no longer recognize the difference between excellence and mediocrity. “Just enough” to get us by is not what we are made for.

What happens when we give our best in all we do? Excellence spills over into a lifestyle that honors God.

He is worthy of the best we have to give. Romans 8:32 (NIV) He who did not spare his own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?

Attention to detail makes a difference. When we approach everything with excellence in mind, it will reflect all around us. Big or small, everything we do matters. When we seek excellence, we not only honor God, but we honor who He created us to be. It allows us to shine light in the lives of others. People will know that they matter. It inspires.

Challenge: Take a look at your life. Where is your focus? Make excellence a priority and ask God to show you how you can honor Him with your best.


Something to Consider

Guest post by Luke Myers (Originally appeared on


I find it worthwhile to consider and think it wise to stop and say:
I am one of 6 billion other “me’s” that live on this tiny speck of clay.
To consider the many other billions who’ve gone on to live before,
Who lived, loved, and dreamed like you and in death do so no more.

Consider the many infant souls, whose journeys have just begun,
Consider their wide variety of nation, culture, home, and tongue.
Consider that just this day alone on this speck of clay called Earth,
Will bring 150, 000 deaths and 360,000 births.

Now consider how a globe large enough to lodge some 6 billion lives,
Can in fact exist as a tiny dot, so minuscule in size.
Consider how our Earth will travel 1.6 million miles today,
Orbiting its energy source, some 93 million miles away.

Consider that this burning sun is 860,000 miles wide,
And somehow large enough to fit 1.3 million Earths inside.
Consider the Earth tilted on its axis at 23.5 degrees,
To yield its 4 seasons: snow, heat, wind, and changing leaves.

Consider we’ll spin at 1,040 miles per hour in flight,
To faultlessly bring about both the heat of day and the cool of night.
With one full revolution each day to hide the sun’s vibrant light,
And its promise to return again with warmth to kindly bring us sight.

Now consider if one thing went wrong or simply altered in its pace,
And the magnitude of consequences that we could not stand to face.
Consider the great, blazing sun at 27 million degrees,
And how quickly we would burn if nearer, if farther how we’d freeze.

Consider if our Earth changed course, trajectory, tilt, or speed,
And appreciate the scale of divine precision that we rely on and daily need.
It’s amazing to consider these marvels by the second taking place,
And still without full comprehension of the size of infinite space.

So consider now our greatest feat of measurement within our human might:
186,000 miles per second, the specific speed of light.
Consider that our greatest minds and inventions and our technological gain,
Will fall so short of such a stunning measure and its speed will not attain.

Consider now that at this speed, our little, tiny speck of clay,
93 million miles from the sun is but 8.3 minutes away.
Consider now our solar system, if its edges you wished to breach,
Would take that same light over 4 hours for it boundaries to reach.

Consider 25 trillion miles, the expanse to our nearest neighbor star.
Consider the 4 years and 2 months it would take for the light to tour this far.
Consider the 100 billion other stars that reside in our very galaxy alone.
Consider the 100,000 light years from its outer borders to our home.

And consider that just when we believe that we can comprehend no more,
There are 100 billion other galaxies that the light could go explore…

Now go back to our tiny Earth again, our dot, our speck of clay,
Where you’re one of 6 billion other souls that will live and breathe today.
With an outlook realigned and a perspective that’s fresh and new,
How could you ever actually think that this universe revolves around you?

Such error and neglect we embrace when we think there’s nothing higher,
Than for God to make us “happy” and give us all that we desire.
What reverence will go missing and what foolishness we’ve done,
When we assume our comfort and wish list as His priority number one.

But perspective can be revised and vision can become so clear,
When we finally take our eyes and energy off our depleted, worn-out mirror.
May we know that from Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things.
And it’s only by His benevolence and power that this life to us He brings.

What wisdom is gained when this truth we believe, grasp, and know:
It’s His universe, His reality, His plan, and His show.
And it’s only by His endless grace that we, flawed and simple man,
Can somehow be an instrument, a speck, in His great and perfect plan.

“Oh Lord, I cannot know or choose what amazes me about You most,
That You’ve created worlds unknown or that You draw near to me so close.
How amazing that You create all the galaxies that paint the nighttime sky,
Yet smile when I sing to you and hear me when I cry.

A universe too immense for thought with no two stars the same,
And yet You know my every single need and You know me by my name.
One hundred billion galaxies and still I trust in what You’ve said:
You know the desires of my heart and numbered the hairs upon my head.

Oh Lord, I just cannot comprehend or ever fully understand,
How You could love me as You do and include me in Your great plan!
So when I consider the stars above, Your mighty power and majesty,
May I consider the wonderful, awesome truth that You consider me.”

Bio: Luke Myers is 29 years old and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He and his wife have a daughter who is nearly 1 year old. He works as a physical therapist and enjoys sports, music, and writing. He also loves to read and learn about our wonderful Lord Jesus! Read more at



By Karl Lee

Freedom!  Liberty! These are strong words that bring vivid pictures to your mind.  Words which excite and cause the heart to beat a little faster.  They are two words used interchangeably.

They are words that have echoed down through the millennia; a cry that has issued forth from the throats of millions.  FREEDOM!  Even now in this twenty-first century the cry for freedom and liberty echo across the nations of this world.

Here in America we are blessed beyond measure. We have freedoms that many countries do not have.  These freedoms have come with a price, a cost paid with blood and lives.  Yet, our men and women have stepped forward in times of need to ensure not only our liberties and freedom but also those of other nations.  We are a nation of lovers of freedom and our country.

Yes!  We covet our freedom.  We have stood tall in protecting it.  We are Americans!  We are a people that cherish the things of our nation and what they stand for.  We thrust out our chests with pride as we remember the stirring words of Patrick Henry as he stood before an assembly of our early nation’s leaders in St. John’s Church, Richmond, Virginia on March 28, 1775.  Mr. Henry, who eloquently spoke concerning a separate nation for England, ended his speech with these powerful words, “As for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Yes!  And who cannot remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he stood before the Lincoln Memorial, August 28, 1963 with his resounding speech, “I have a dream!”

Freedom!  How diligent we need to be lest we lose it through apathy. Stand up Americans!  Stand up and defend your freedom.  Let your voice be heard not only here at home but in our nation’s capitol.

I am an American!  God Bless America!


Pray for Our Honduras Mission Team

On Friday July 3rd, Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church Outreach & Evangelism Pastor, Kevin Linthicum, will be leading a mission team to Honduras. The team will return to the US on Friday July 11th. This team consists of:

Evan Anderson, Jameson Anderson, Bethany Bentley, Kevin Linthicum, Chetan Sahu, Mykaela Savage, Robyn Savage, Burben Sullins, Trason Sullins, Trey Sullins, Ashley Tafoya, and Robert Thomas

While not all of us can travel to Honduras, we can participate in this mission opportunity by praying for our missionaries. As a congregation we want to be intentional about how we pray. Please pray specifically for:

  • Safe travel
  • Safety in the mission field
  • Strength, stamina, and good health
  • God’s protection and provision
  • The completion and dedication of a new church
  • Open doors to share the Gospel
  • Lives to be changed
  • Families of our missionaries

We invite you to join with us as we pray for this team and how God will use them to change the world!

For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.
1 Corinthians 3:9-10