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

Mosaic On The Move Summer 2018

Summer has kicked off in full swing.  What looked like a potential rain storm disrupting our concert this past Wednesday night at The Greene turned into a blessing with the storm splitting and a few hundred people coming out to enjoy great music from the Mosaic band, kid’s zone, a student ministry scavenger hunt and giveaways to local restaurants.  It was a great way to love our community. We will have other great concerts and events to love our community with a July 1stConcert at Dominick Lofino Park and Holy Smoke, an outdoor worship, baptism, and BBQ on August 1stat EJ Nutter Park in Beavercreek.
 
Our Student’s will be venture out of our region to do a mission’s trip in Portsmith, Ohio under the great leader of our Student Ministry Director, Chris Mustard.  It’s amazing to see the hunger in our students to want to grow through discipleship and service to others.
 
But it doesn’t stop there.  Mosaic is continuing to be on the move as we embark on our first mission trip abroad as we send a team of 10 to Tijuana, Mexico to work at Tijuana Christian Mission from June 25th-29th.  Our Family Ministries Director, Stephanie Gomez Kellar grew up there and her grandmother and mother started and operate the orphanage provides housing and education to the orphans in Mexico (to read more about Tijuana Christian Mission check out: https://tijuanachristianmission.org/about-us/). Please pray for our team as they begin to go deeper with what we hope is a fruitful relationship in Tijuana.
 
Mosaic is continually to be on the move as a church without walls. There is no such for us to take a break this summer.  We are moving onward and upward to God’s preferred future.  Thanks for being part of the Mosaic Movement.
 
Grace and Peace,
Roz

The Biggest Lesson My Father Taught Me

It's been four years since losing my father to Alzheimer's. Even though he was forgetful in his later years, there are many lessons he taught me that I will never forget. I have reflected on them more after his death than while he was alive. The most important lesson that my father taught without either of us knowing it at the time was about the "f-word"...fear.
 
This valuable lesson was something I reflected on before my father's funeral as I was preparing for the eulogy. Typically, before I speak, I prepare with at least 25 hours of study, writing, prayer and memorization. I am now finding that the more demanding the opportunity, the more of that prep time I spend in prayer. My father's eulogy was no different. I prayed and prayed, but I didn't know exactly what I was going to share about him until 30 minutes before the funeral. I have only conducted and attended a few funerals in my life, but the one thing I've noticed is that a majority of scripture we hear at funerals comes from the New Testament with a few Psalms thrown in the mix. The focus is on death and the promise of resurrection.
 
For my father's funeral, I chose to focus on the Old Testament figure, Abraham. When I felt led to share about Abraham, I told my wife Callie, and she said she had just read about Abraham in her morning devotions. This was a confirmation for me.
 
I'm not going to rehash the story of Abraham, but I'll explain how it ties to my father. My father emigrated from Sicily to Western New York at the age of 44. Sicily was more or less a third world area back then, and in some remote places remains marginal today. We've heard the story of people emigrating so frequently, from an inadequate or unsafe place to a land of opportunity, that I think we fail to put ourselves in the shoes of those who've made this journey of a lifetime. We take it for granted that everything is going to be better for these people in their new land. Even when their lives are improved in the ways they'd hoped for, they still have left behind their home and all that's familiar. They have staked their life earnings and possessions and the safety and future well-being of themselves and their families. They have said goodbye to their lifelong friends and family, all for a hope that they will find a place to live, a job, education and security in a new, unfamiliar area.
 
My father wanted a better life for my mom and sisters, who were ten and eleven at the time. He left his comfortable surroundings to come to a country he had never been to before. He didn't know the language. He didn't have an education beyond the fifth-grade level. He had little money in his pocket, but he was willing to risk it all. The bottom line was my dad did not give in to fear.
 
We often make excuses because of fear...
 
Why I never started that business
Why I never finished school
Why I never stood up to bullies in school and life
Why I never applied for my "dream job"
Why I never dared to talk at a funeral or an important event
Why I never visited a dying friend
 
In the scriptures there are approximately 365 times where God says not to fear; that's one mention for every day of the year! When God calls us to do something, our first instinct is often to worry. Choose today not to give in to fear.

Grace,
Pastor Roz

Summer Time @ Mosaic Church

The official start of summer may be a ways off, but that doesn’t mean that the weather and Mosaic aren’t already in full summer swing!

At Mosaic we place a strong value in connecting, engaging, and being an active part of our community.

We want you to be a part of our community, and we have so many ways for everyone to engage and connect this summer.

General:

  • MosaicSummerConcert at The Greene: Bring the whole family out for great music, fellowship, games, prizes and more at the center lawn on June 13th at 6pm.
  • Mosaic Summer Concert at Dominick Lofino Park: Stop by for wonderful music while you look out at the lake from the amphitheater on July 1st at 7pm.
  • Holy Smoke: Our grill master is cooking up a great main dish for this night of worship with the Mosaic Band and Baptisms at Nutter Park on August 1st at 6:30pm.
  • How Do I Love My Neighbor? A Middle Eastern Approach:  Our International Pastor Ayad Attia born and raised as a Christian in Egypt will present some introductory background on how to love our Islamic neighbors.  There is a lot of confusion today over differences and similarities in beliefs. Pastor Ayad will help us navigate current challenges and answer questions.
  • Tijuana, Mexico Mission Trip: Our amazing team is asking for your prayers as they head to Tijuana on June 25th - 29th to work with an orphanage that is operated by our Family Ministries Director’s, Stephanie Gomez Keller, grandmother and mother.

Students:

  • Student Ministry Mission Trip: Our great group of students grades 6th - 12th are heading to Portsmith, Ohio on July 9th - 15th to work with Jackson area ministry, please send them your prayers. 

Kids:

  • Kid’s Camp: Register your pre-K - 5th grader to learn about relying on God through the storms on a tropical island like Gillian on June 18th - 22nd in the evening from 6 - 9pm. Register: https://vbspro.events/p/events/southcampus 

Let's get summer started, we can't wait to see you!

3 R's

With the arrival of Memorial Day Weekend 2018 it also marks the end of another school year.  We are reminded by all the graduation ceremonies and celebrations that before we just head into summer we all need take a moment to stop, remember all the hard work and dedication on the part of students, faculty, staff and administration and give thanks to God for each person who made this educational achievement possible.  We all will do well to practice the 3 R’s.  No, not reading, writing and arithmetic, the classroom is over! Rather, the 3 R’s-- Remember, Return, Repeat are for LIFE.  These are the 3 R’s in a relationship with God, and they are the 3 R’s of Memorial Day. 

In our human condition, left to our own, we tend to forget the one (or ones) who sacrificed for us, labored for us, worked to provide for us and laid down their very lives figuratively or physically.  We tend to wander away from the truth of saving grace we held at one time so closely. Our gratitude for our freedom diminishes over time if we do not build in special times to practice the 3 R’s.  This is why God set up for the children of Israel feasts and festivals to remember the Great works God had done and is doing. They needed to return to Jerusalem to remember and celebrate together.  Not just once in a lifetime, rather repeat year upon year.  

As Christ Followers, this Memorial Day we are reminded by Jesus that there is no greater love than this, that one lays down his or her very own life for their friend (John 15:13). We remember.  We return to the truth that the freedoms we enjoy in America come ultimately from Almighty God and through the sacrifice of men and women who laid down their lives for a greater cause.  We repeat this year after year.  Now, may we continue to practice the 3 R’s every day, especially through summer, in our own special way in relationship with our Lord and Savior—Remember God, Return to God, Repeat.             

 

 

God's Gift

As human beings, we are not immune to miscommunications, misunderstandings or arguments and are guilty of not always finding the "right" words to say in the tone we want to tell them while in conversation.

It's easy to give into frustration when...

  • You misinterpret instructions at your place of work that creates a cycle of miscommunication.
  • You analyze a situation based on facts and data while your spouse looks at it predominantly through the lens of emotions, or vice versa.
  • You send or receive a text message about a conversation that should be in person, and it's taken the wrong way for whatever reason.
  • You engage in a social media exchange with a person who has a different point of view, but neither one of you takes the time to hear the heart of where the other person is coming from.

The list goes on and on.

We see this playing out in our families, relationships, place of work, culture and even the Church at large.

One of the gifts on the day of Pentecost (the birthday of the Church) in Acts 2 was that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the 120 people in the Upper Room. The people weren't just given power from on high but the gift of communication to spread the gospel. While Satan is the author of confusion, God is the one who brings unity through the Holy Spirit, and it's through the gift of communication.

As followers of Jesus, it means we can walk by the Spirit every day in our ordinary lives and with the numerous interactions we have with others. When we give ourselves over to the Holy Spirit, it doesn't mean we are going to agree with all people or even all Christians on a variety of issues, but what it does say is that we can communicate with one another in a spirit of unity.

I can still love you when we disagree or have been hurt, or even when we have been misunderstood. God's love is the most prominent sign of being filled with the Holy Spirit. It's also the evidence that Jesus talked about how the world can recognize we are different. In John 13:34-35 Jesus says, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

So how do we practice God's love in our communication?

•Assume positive intent from another person before jumping to conclusions.
•Think before we speak.
•Don't talk out of anger or wrath.
•Listen intently to the other person instead of only thinking about how we are going to respond.
•Don't give up.

The gift of communication is something God desires for all God's followers. Let us be people of clear communication, not giving up on one another, but loving one another each day with God's love.

Grace, 
Pastor Rosario

Horse Sense

Growing up, my mom and (dad agreed) to send me to Horse Camp for one week at the age of 9, for two weeks at 10 years old and THREE full weeks in the summer at age 11!  This was always following the little league baseball season.  At horse camp, they taught us campers SO much not only about horses and how to take care of God’s creatures but about life, faith in Jesus and the value of working hard and dedicating ourselves to something greater than ourselves.  But there was another side of horse camp.  You had to work socially to get along with the camp counselors, other campers and that meant a lot of learning to think of others and how they want things done.  Sometimes to get along you had to learn to go along.  There was a variety of farm animals: rabbits, cows, chickens, goats, sheep and peacocks.  And it was MESSY and it was EARLY!  We had to get up when the rooster crowed to go water and feed the animals or go set up breakfast as a “hopper.”   They assigned us to one horse for the duration of our time and at the end we would put on a horse show for parents, family and friends to prove what we learned.  It was a lot of fun and a lot of work too.  Everyone had to look after everyone else.  The owners looked after and supported the counselors, counselors looked after the campers and we all looked after the animals.    

In between archery, playing with the animals, hayrides, smores, chuckwagon breakfast, afternoon swimming and crafts (which I dreaded), they had us study “Horse Sense Rules.” Horse sense was not common sense. It was actually the most challenging part of the week—STUDY.  In the summer?  Arrgh! I hate studying and test taking—only being made to doing crafts is worse.  But we had to learn all about Horse Sense and Safety to keep the horse safe as well as practice principles that kept us safe.  At camp I learned that in life, to really grow and care for others, God’s plan is that we learn to Work Hard, Play Hard, Study Hard and Sleep Hard!  It takes all of them if a community is truly going to thrive and the individuals in it grow.

At Mosaic, we work hard to build a safe environment for everyone to grow in their faith and use their talents that God gave them.  For what purpose?  So that everyone can KNOW the love of Jesus, the Power of the Holy Spirit at work in their life and God’s all surpassing great plan for their lives.  

We are becoming a dynamic Mosaic of Jesus followers by creating a place where YOU can encounter true community with God and each other; engage your beliefs in Jesus and ultimately create a contagious faith in Jesus to share with everyone God brings across your path.  Make Sense? Come on and horse around a bit with others who wish to do the same in a safe and encouraging environment.  It may get messy as we each learn to get along with people who are coming from a different background.  It may be some Work and Study, but we will Play!  You may get tired along the way so take plenty of Sunday afternoon naps.  Guess what? In the end (of this great life-training ground), you’ll be well prepared for eternity!

This Sunday is going to be AMAZING!  New Location: Regal Fairfield Commons 2651 Fairfield Commons Blvd. Beavercreek, Ohio 45431; It’s Bible Sunday where PARENTS will be presenting their kids with God’s Word the Bible--we will have enough, so come on and bring your neighbor; and of course Mother’s Day where we recognize all women in our lives who have made a positive impact.  And of course our sermon series continues, “Bootcamp: Training with the Holy Spirit” Acts 3 and 4.  

Blessings in Christ,

Wayne Botkin         

Better Together

As a church planter who started with no people in Lexington, Kentucky I knew I needed to meet people. I didn’t have an office, and frankly, I didn’t want one which is why I turned my last office at The Point Church (in Trotwood, Ohio) into a prayer room.  I made the lobby my office to meet people.  That’s where I spent my three years.  In Lexington, I made Starbucks my office.  I learned immediate people didn’t go for the overpriced drinks with sizes you have to in Italian instead of small, medium or large.  People are hiding behind their laptops and iPads/iPods because they want to be around others.  One day as I had back to back business meetings I came across a young lady who worked for a nonprofit in charitable giving.  I got her business card.  She wanted to connect with our donors; I didn’t tell her we had no donors because I had an ulterior motive.  I thought she was attractive you lady who happened to be a Christian and I wanted her contact info.
 
I got ahold of her and set up what I thought was a date, and she thought it was a business meeting. When Callie pulled out her business folder to go over what her nonprofit had to offer my jaw dropped because it was apparent we weren't on the same page.  I thought we were on some date.  I tried to steer the conversation to more personal questions, but she didn't have it. I did learn we had some mutual acquaintances and set up a time to hang out with everybody.  I was persistent to say the least.  A lot of my attempts failed.  But she quickly got the hint even more because I kept inviting her to different functions.  I finally landed a date, and it was the best date I had in my life.  However, being the prayer person, she was, God gave her the red light.  I prayed hard because I had not meant anybody like her.  God answered both of our prayers. 
 
The one thing Callie prayed was that God would bring someone into her life that they could “Serve The Lord Better Together than apart.”  I would say the fulfillment of that prayer is lived out in our marriage and family.
 
 It’s also been lived out another way as Pastor Wayne, and I met a few years ago.  We didn’t realize a car ride together to a church planting meeting in Columbus would ignite a God-Dream of Mosaic Church.  We too are serving The Lord Better Together than we could ever on our own.
 
We  also see that in the life of Mosaic Church where we seek to be a dynamic mosaic of Jesus-followers living out Pentecost and the Kingdom of God as in Revelation 7:9 “from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.”
 
We are truly better together and are incomplete without you.
 

  • Black and white, young and old, man and woman, rich and poor… Better Together.
  • Broken and in need of the grace of God… Better Together.
  • An imperfect church serving a perfect God… Better Together.
  • People striving to see people as people… Better Together.
  • Rich in love and full of compassion… Better Together.
  • A place where folk come when life is hard… Better Together.
  • A respite for the tired… Better Together.
  • A church that won’t hold the past against you but will pray you through to a better future… Better Together.
  • Because we are all beggars coming to the same table looking for bread… Better Together.

 
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Roz