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?

Answering God’s Call

By: Rebekah Pitz

Throughout my life I have heard the term “God’s calling,” quite often. I have heard people say that they have been “called to ministry,” or “called to be a missionary” or “called to full-time Christian service.” It was just a term that kind of got glossed over in mission’s conferences, or chapel services throughout my life. I know that it is our duty as Christian believers to be involved in some type of ministry so I never really felt “called” to ministry. I just did it because it says in I Corinthians 12:12- “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.” I knew that I was part of the body of Christ, so I knew I was essentially “called” to serve.

The question always remains “where” to serve in the body?

I have been serving the Lord through music for as long as I can remember. I began singing in church when I was three years old. I never stopped. In 2001, I graduated from Cedarville University with a degree in vocal performance. I was not sure what God wanted to do through my life, but I knew that it involved music in some capacity. For ten years I was the music director at my church in Dayton, Ohio before God moved us out here to Albuquerque. When we moved out here, I joined praise team and choir and about a year ago, God moved us to this church where I have been able to serve in that arena.

About 3 months ago, I was feeling under-the-weather and while my husband brought our children to church I stayed at home and decided to worship in my hammock. (I do not recommend skipping church, but if you do have the opportunity to worship in a hammock, you need to seize that opportunity!). I was reading my Bible and began praying about how God really wanted to use me at AFBC. Is there another place that He wants me to be, even if that stretches my levels of comfort?

Let me side-track for a moment and tell you about one of my favorite Bible stories. I have always been fascinated by the little boy Samuel. He was living with Eli the priest and one night he heard. “Samuel! Samuel!” Eli told him that he needed to answer, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening,” for Eli knew that it was God who was calling the young boy. I have often wondered what it would be like to audibly hear the voice of the Lord, as Samuel did that day.

Sitting on my hammock, I felt the Lord nearly audibly whisper “Rebekah, you need to raise up children to be worshipers in my name.” I sat in shock because this was such a new idea to me. But, because the Lord had “called me” I decided to pursue it and ask if they needed anyone to help in Kid’s Klub, Sunday worship times.

Unbeknownst to me, the children’s leadership team had been meeting together for over a year and had been praying for someone to come along to take over the music/worship portion of their services. My coming to them was a direct answer to prayer and it quite literally blew me away.

I cannot deny it. I have been CALLED by the Lord to do this. Because of this, I know that He will bless and I pray that He does so in such a miraculous way that lives will be changed.

Philippians 2:13, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” Where is God calling you? Are you ready to answer the call and serve Him today?


Direction – 2014

“Lack of direction, not lack of time is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days,” Zig Ziglar.

Pastor Michael Cook laid out the direction of Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church and the three concepts that God has put on his heart. Listen here.

  1. We need to have an intensity about touching the lives of people. Are you willing to make an intentional effort to do something in the lives of others? What if it costs you something?
  2. Margin. Modern day living devours our margins. Our fellowship will work toward creating margin and becoming debt free. This should apply to our personal lives as well.
  3. Tool Box. We can take care of the things we need when we have margins.

Opportunity awaits to dig deep into prayer life and ask God about His direction. It is an opportunity to do something different, perhaps better. Being truly committed may involve sacrifice. It may change things about you, uncovering pieces of God’s intricate design.

Many choose to be a spectator watching from the stands instead of jumping over the fence to join the team. We have a choice about our time and our direction. God’s priorities can be our own. Someone “all-in” exudes passion. They have direction. Beautiful to watch, it can be contagious.

Going “all-in” creates a heart so completely engaged that lives can’t help but be impacted. What might God do if we all moved in His direction, committed to the core?