First Baptist Church
Thursday, July 28, 2016
There's a place for you

Just for You...

A letter from our Pastor....
     Summer is officially here.  Well sort of.  The calendar has not switched to summer just yet, but the events sure have.  This last weekend Julie and I took the girls to Branson for a birthday celebration and to spend time together before camps, VBS, and a mission trip monopolize our time.  We decided to camp out on this trip.   Really camp this time, no travel trailer, not even a propane stove; staying in tents and hammocks while cooking over the campfire.  We checked the weather forecast before we made our reservations and purchased our tickets — ALL CLEAR.  Of course, the weather was 100% WRONG.  It rained Thursday night, all day Friday, Saturday morning, and cleared up just in time for us to go home.  On Friday morning I was able to get a fire going even with the wet wood and we cooked our breakfast. It just took a LOT longer than expected.  Friday night, with even wetter wood, I was barely able to get the fire going, but finally did and we enjoyed our dinner.  On this trip, we discovered that our 21 year old tent no longer repelled water.  The girls claimed a creek was running through the tent and that secretly Julie and I were trying to drown them.  When we packed everything on Saturday morning special care was taken to place every piece of gear inside black trash bags to limit the amount of moisture transfer to the inside of the vehicle.  Needless to say, things just quite did not go according to plan.  

    Our camping conditions were not ideal, but we were not hindered from having a good time together as a family.  In fact, I would say we enjoyed some wonderful moments and even grew closer together.  We still made it to see “Moses” along with the “Behind the Scenes” tour.  We enjoyed Krispy Kreme and Andy’s Custard.  We had to look past the things we could not control and really focus on what we could.  We could not control the weather, but we could control our reaction to it.  I was thinking about this on our way home Saturday night.  How does our camping trip apply to Pawhuska 1st Baptist Church?

    It applies directly because ministry is harder than it has been in a long time.  We constantly are seeing conflicts with church events and the busyness of schedules.  We face the fact people have other avenues to find connectedness where several years ago the Church was one of the few places you truly could.  At PFBC specifically, we peel back the curtain and peer into recent history and we find that volunteers were more abundant and available than they are today.  We are frustrated when we see drops in our attendance and giving.  These are kind of like the rain.  They are in someone’s control, but not ours.  We cannot directly change it, so how do we react to it?  As a church family we must do what my family did on that soggy camping trip — look for the good.  We must look to see where God is working and join Him there.  We must look past our personal frustrations and see where and how we can help.  We must ultimately come together in Unity & Fellowship.  We do this by looking past any personal agendas we may have and truly look to the needs of others.  We then focus our attention to meeting those needs through the love of Jesus Christ.  You know, this is the simple definition of the word JOY — Jesus, Others, and You.  We must allow Jesus 1st place in our lives.  We must then focus on the needs of others.  Finally, we can address our personal needs (not wants).  This is true of a family on a rained out camping trip, just as it is for God’s people at Pawhuska 1st Baptist Church.

    I am excited about what God has in store for us together here at Pawhuska 1st Baptist in the year 2016 and beyond!  God has brought us all here together at this time for a mighty work.  Be in constant prayer for discernment for understanding of what this work is.  “Greater things are yet to be done in this city…”  Be constant in prayer.  Be actively seeking the welfare of Pawhuska (Jeremiah 29:4-9).  Together we must, “Touch the World…Impact Eternity.”  In our mission and ministry at Pawhuska FBC, we must truly put Pawhuska First!  It is in our name.  It is our mission.    

In Service for Him,

Bro. Jeff Laughlin




















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