Changing The Scorecard

There are so many things to give thanks for as we have seen God move in remarkable ways through the people of Mosaic Church.  From starting a ministry to people on the margins, ministering through ESL, Arabic Bible Study, Alpha, Student Ministry, New Hope, Joshua Recovery Ministry and several other opportunities to becoming a dynamic mosaic of Jesus-followers.

So how are we doing as a church?  Many friends and colleagues often ask me that question. The typical answer is the usual metrics, butts, and bucks.  Butts in seats (attendance) and bucks in the offering plate.  While those things are essential and need to be tracked, they aren’t the sole scorecard.

A great example of what I’m talking about is what took place this past weekend.  We had one of our greatest worship experiences.  Mosaic didn’t have record numbers in attendance or a special guest speaker.  But what made it unique is that we had 13 nations represented at Mosaic.  

God is fulfilling the vision of Revelation 7:9, “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.”

We have not arrived, we are just scratching the surface of what God wants to do.

We are blessed to be on mission with you!

Grace and Peace,

 

Pastors Wayne and Roz

A Neglected Prayer

As a child in a Catholic School Montessori, I was taught the Lord’s Prayer.  I didn’t know what it meant when I was 5 years old, but it was something I have never forgotten.  In fact, looking back at memorizing that prayer was a sign of God’s pursuing grace in my life.    The Lord’s Prayer is one of the most famous prayers in all of the scripture because; after all, it’s called “the Lord’s prayer.”  Many Christ-followers have it memorized, share it in unison, and may even have it displayed in their homes and the walls of their churches.  However the one neglected prayer that is often overlooked and underutilized is Jesus’ prayer in Matthew 9:38 and Luke 10:2: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
 
Much like the Lord’s Prayer, when we pray this “harvest prayer” we can become the answers to our own prayer.  We can become the actual laborers in the harvest field.  As Mosaic has surged past its first year of existence as a worshipping community, we see how God is moving and how hungry the people are for God. God is going to bring a harvest, but we need more laborers in the harvest field.
 
Let us pray to see laborers for this harvest but also let us be the answer to your own prayers!  Join the movement.  We are Better Together!

Better Together In Jesus,

Pastor Roz

Turn Your How into Wow!

Turn Your How into Wow!

When Pastor Wayne and I received the initial vision to start Mosaic Church a few years ago with the possibilities of reaching out to a diverse group of people it was something we couldn’t shake.  The thought kept coming to our minds and hearts before we finally took the initial steps of allowing God to make it a reality.  Whenever God calls you to do something, it’s typically accompanied by a mixture of excitement (the “wow” factor) and fear (the “how” factor).  After the excitement wears off the typical question is “how will this get accomplished?”  I love the way one of my favorite preachers, Andy Stanley puts it, “WOW ideas to life, don’t HOW them to death.”  If you get stuck with always thinking of the “how” and think it’s solely on you, it doesn’t allow God the room to work out the details through the supernatural.  

Pastor Wayne and I had no idea how we were going to reach out to a diverse group of people.  However, as we prayed, fasted, listened, and explored God’s preferred future we started to see the pieces come together with our International Pastor, Ayad Attia joining our team, an Arabic Bible study, an international small group and then last night with our kickoff for ESL classes.  The energy was electric as we had new friends who attended from Brazil, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Syria, Iraq, Ethiopia, Italy, Ghana, South Korea, and China.

It was a reminder that Mosaic Church is created to live into a greater vision.  It's a vision of what we are called to live into and what's to come in the future as John “The Revelator” explains in Revelation 7:9.   “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands.”

Thank you for being part of this God-movement.  Mosaic Church would not exist if it weren’t for your prayers, presence, gifts, and service.  Let’s continue to be “wowed” by what God does in our midst.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Roz

Is There Really Enough Love To Go Around?

There are some matters you don’t understand until you fully experience them. I heard parenting was difficult, and never doubted it. It’s one of the most significant challenges and joys that my wife, Callie and I have ever experienced in our entire lives. The joys definitely outweigh everything else.


We are fortunate that everybody is healthy and doing well this first week at home as a family of four. Though the transition is tight in our household right now, it’s toughest on our oldest, our 17 months old daughter, Lily. There is no doubt Lily will be a great big sister, but there have been numerous stink eyes and jealous moments this past week. It breaks our hearts.
 
I know it’s a part of the growing pains, but even at a young age, we can quickly get overwhelmed with the fear that there is not enough love to go around? And also though we grow out of it, it ends up getting masked into other things like insecurities, and overconfidence to compensate for our hurts, and a scarcity mentality.
 
God’s love is infinitely more significant than any earthly parent. And God desires to give good gifts to God’s children. So as siblings, brothers and sisters, we need to be reminded that there is enough to go around. God doesn’t play favorites or hold out or rob one person so that God can bless another one of the kids. There is enough of God’s love to go around. Let’s live in God’s love and reflect that every day. Jesus said it best in John 13:34-35, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
 
While we have a lot going on in our personal lives, families, and as a church let’s never lose sight of God’s love.  We can have the best worship team, thought-provoking sermons, the latest and greatest technology, an elaborate marketing strategy, and a plethora of offerings to the community but if we don’t have God’s love as Mosaic Church, it all means nothing.
 
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Roz

Out of Order

During my senior year in high school, I tried to enter the fall by “doing it all.”  Playing trumpet in marching band and being a squad leader was plenty enough one would think.  There were two-a-day practices in August leading up to school starting, special events, and functions all part of the marching band experience.  That would have been enough in the schedule.  But no, I thought running cross country would be fun too.  So, I worked out with the cross country team.  Meets weren’t going to be at the same time as Football Friday nights, and I could work out with the team after band rehearsal every day after school.  On top of that, I thought I would try to be a Senior class officer.  Oh yeah, and take all my senior classes and work some Saturday and Sunday evenings as a bus-boy at a local restaurant.  

One day in late September, following lunch at Arby’s, a pain developed in my stomach and wrapped clear around my back.  I doubled over and was laying on the ground at school.  I thought it was the horseradish sauce I ate at lunch on the roast beef sandwich.  After a visit to the emergency room and the urologist, we discovered that there was a problem with my kidney.  Surgery could fix it but could wait until after spring graduation.  But one thing was clear—I had overdone it.  My life was OUT OF ORDER.       

My life was entirely out of order due to an overwhelmed schedule—saying YES to too many good things.  To say the least, it was WAY too much, and I had to drop out of something.  I had to choose to rest.  

The Lord designed us to enjoy life and our work.  In fact, we are reminded and even commanded to work for six days and REST one day (24 hour period) a week.  Work for six, REST for one.  Enjoy work and activity for 6 days.  Then, enjoy ceasing from all work.  Reset, restore, renew, relax and return to work balanced.  

In Psalm 46: 10 we read, “Be still and know that I am God.”  To live well, be still and know God is God.  Practice rest.  Practice balance. When you find that Life is out of order, rest.  Be still and know that God is in control, and we are not.  God sustains us when life is going well.  And, God can restore us, even and especially when our life is out of order.  Enjoy your August!  

Shalom, my Friends,

Pastor Wayne   

  

Holy Smoke

As Pastor Wayne and I were dreaming up Mosaic’s Holy Smoke Event for next week we were imaging the taste of grilled meats from the smoker, the aroma in the air, worship, preaching, and baptism happening. As I got to thinking of how the visible sign of smoke is part of grilling in a smoker I started to think of the extra-biblical expression used concerning the Old Testament, it’s a form of a Hebrew, Shekinah, which literally means, “he caused to dwell. Shekinah was used as a way to describe God’s presence on earth. Shekinah first appeared in the Israelites escape from Egypt. In Exodus 13:20-22 it says,” After leaving Succoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.”

Later on, in Exodus 33 God spoke to Moses out of the pillar of cloud bringing an assurance to Moses and the Israelites that God’s presence would be with them every step of the way. After this time the Israelites would welcome God’s presence in a portable, plain tent known as a “tabernacle” that would travel with them throughout their time in the wilderness. Many years later God’s presence would have a permanent home which was the Temple built in Jerusalem and eventually destroyed again in 70AD. However, the incarnation of Jesus meant that God’s presence wouldn’t be contained no longer in a cloud of smoke, a tent, or a temple but in a God made flesh. As Jesus ascended into Heaven, the early followers were given the same Spirit that rose Christ from the dead. One of the metaphors of The Holy Spirit in The Bible is fire. John the Baptist described it by saying in Luke 3:16, ““I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

Next Wednesday night, on August 1, 6:30PM, at EJ Nutter Park (E J Nutter Park, Beavercreek, Ohio, 45434) we will be asking for the fire of The Holy Spirit to be among us. Invite a friend, bring a side dish, a lawn chair, and prepare for experiencing God’s presence!

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Roz

Dealing with Disappointment

A few nights ago one of my childhood heroes, Jim Kelly, won The Jimmy V Award for perseverance at the ESPYs, an ESPN awards ceremony. Jim Kelly was the NFL star quarterback for the Buffalo Bills in the 80s and early 90s (I'll get to that in a second). Jim Kelly fought a rare form of cancer and was declared cancer-free in 2014, until his cancer recently returned. In Kelly's acceptance speech he started to choke up when he reflected on another tragedy in his life, the death of his 8-year-old son, Hunter, who was diagnosed with Krabbe disease after being born.

It is no doubt that Kelly has battled a lot, both post-retirement and also during his football career. Kelly led my team, the Buffalo Bills, to an unprecedented four Super Bowl appearances. While I looked forward to each of these four games, they bring up a lot of painful memories from my childhood as a Buffalo Bills' fan. Recently these memories were stirred up again as ESPN featured the story, "Four Falls of Buffalo," to chronicle their four straight Super Bowl defeats from 1990-93. I cried myself to sleep along with the rest of Western New York. The Buffalo Bills became known as "B.I.L.L.S. = Boy I Like Losing Super Bowls" and the butt of many jokes.

Through the ups and downs in his football career and life outside of sports, Kelly has no doubt persevered. Kelly attributes it to his faith in Jesus Christ. At the awards ceremony last night, he said something that rings true for us. "I came up with a saying: Make a difference today for someone who is fighting for their tomorrow." Disappointment doesn't discriminate. We all experience it whether it's on a smaller level or a more significant level.

You didn't do as well on a test even though you studied for hours.

You didn't get the promotion you thought you deserved.
Your job was eliminated.

You experienced rejection by someone you were hoping to date.

Your spouse cheats on you.

A family member passes away.

Disappointment happens in ministry, at work and in personal and family life. We know it will come, but how will we choose to handle it? Here's what the Jim Kelly and The Buffalo Bills taught me:

Acknowledge the disappointment. If we never talk about it with friends, in accountability circles or with spouses, we hold onto it instead of getting rid of it. There is something that happens when we are real before others and God. The truth sets us free, even if it's painful.

Let it kick your butt. However, only for a bit. It's okay to put your head under the covers or bury it in the sand for a moment. It's normal; however, it shouldn't be something we consistently do. It's good to remind ourselves of the promise that, "Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning." (Psalm 30:5b)

It's not the end of the world. This too shall pass. We always have the promise of a new day with new opportunities before us. Loss and disappointment are very much real emotions but can't be an excuse for not taking the next opportunity or God-adventure right in front of us. Every season in life comes with twists and turns, but disappointment is not a perpetual season we have to find ourselves in.

Tomorrow is a new day. Life goes on, and the pain doesn't last even though the scars do. They are reminders of lessons we can learn and carry with us for the rest of our lives to help others for God's glory.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Rosario Picardo

Independent Dependent

Only recently have I become more interested in reading the full document of the Declaration of Independence.  I must have been distracted in Mr. Inskeep’s  8thgrade American History class and missed out on a few details or perhaps just crammed for the test.  Imagine that?   In any case, I’m learning there are many facts about the document that I either forgot, did not realize or think much about at age 14.   With the passing of time, I appreciate more now the freedoms the document stood for and our forefathers and mothers fought and died. For instance, the document was not signed on July 4th.  It was adopted by the Continental Congress on the 4thand thus we celebrate Independence Day, but it was not signed until a month later.  Thirty of the Fifty-Six signers suffered terribly for their bold declaration: capture, torture, loss of property houses either pillaged or burned, loss of life or family member’s death. Only one man who signed recanted after torture by the British, but later swore allegiance once again to the United States.       

But here’s one observation I’ve made about the document itself—Wow, is it loaded!  There is power, passion and no doubt story behind each phrase and thought penned.  There are no doubt references to specific stories and individual encounters of injustice, exploitation, excessive uses of force, extortion behind each statement that prompted the declaration that enough is enough.  More stories and accounts than even historians can completely uncover are buried deep within the document.  The most famous and universal statement is this:    

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”   

Think about it for a moment with me—“We hold these truths to be self-evident”—as in, there is truth, that is absolutely naturally apparent to all humans.  There is a Creator of truth—and we are NOT the creator of this truth, nor did any king or government create such a universal law.  There is ONE who is above all and in all and through all who has determined this truth.  Not so popular a thought in today’s “my truth, your truth” philosophical environment. Although we love the second section of the declaration, the right to—Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness—we all too quickly forget our dependence upon the first.  

I would offer what the bible declares, as followers of Jesus, we recognize our dependence in the midst of our independence from slavery to sin, fear and death.  We have a dependence in the midst of our freedom that helps keep us grounded in the reality that there is a truth maker, upon which we are dependent for our freedom.  He is the Creator and his name is Jesus Christ.  We are not the way the truth and the life.  But we follow and depend on the one who is!  Therefore, we can have life, liberty and pursue happiness as he is the real giver of that freedom.         

Check out these declarations of truth:

Ephesians 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

Romans 3:22-25

22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.

 Galatians 5:1

5 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Simply put, the truth is, because of Jesus, I’m no longer a slave to fear and oppression, I am a child of God.  And God declares us free and independent from the tyranny of sin, fear and death with NEW LIFE in Jesus.

May we as independent dependent followers, live out our independence to bless others as we depend on His Grace, power and love.

Happy Independence Day! 

Pastor Wayne