We Found a Church

Greetings to everyone.  My name is David Flores, Jr., and my wife Jana and I are members of Mosaic Church.  We have been attending Mosaic for the last 9 years.  When Jana and I met, we were both attending different churches in the Greeley area.  Then, we got married and decided to find a church together.  We thought had we found a church home that we attended for about a year, but then my brother Angel started Mosaic, and soon we found ourselves visiting on several occasions.

While still attending our home church, I knew in the bottom of my heart that one day we would be a part of my brother’s church.  While I was careful to never voice this feeling to Jana, as I was not wanting to tilt the scales in Mosaic’s favor, I decided to let Angel’s unique style be the deciding factor.  One Sunday afternoon while driving home after a service at our then home church, Jana mentioned something.  She said that while she rather enjoyed our then home church, she was beginning to prefer my brother’s services.  We spoke at length because I didn’t want the fact that he was my brother to muddy the waters because I know how important a church is to the structure of a home environment.  Soon after this discussion, we were attending Mosaic on a regular basis.  Not only is my brother a true man of God, he is a powerful and engaging speaker.

Have our lives been full of bliss since we made this decision? No. We are normal people who have normal problems just like anyone in our situation.  To make matters worse, we are a true example of the new American family.  We are a blended family of his, hers and ours together. Between the two of us, we have 7 children.  Our lives are full of trials and tribulations which at times can create an organized chaos that has become our new normal.

Growing up in a Christian home, I was more accustomed to this “Mosaic” style of church.  Jana on the other hand did not grow up in the church.  Her family attended church once a year on Easter Sunday.  When we met, she was Catholic, which was a fulfilment of her first marriage which obviously ended in divorce.  So, finding a church was somewhat challenging.  Switching after only a year together proved to be quite another animal.

While I do not consider myself a social butterfly, I do find it rather easy to engage in conversation at Mosaic. Whether that person is a friend or a stranger, walking up to someone and striking up a conversation is easy.  Jana always teases me when I get done making rounds at church by saying, “Are you done shaking hands and kissing babies?” Deep down inside, I don’t do it for me. I do it to find that one person who finds it difficult to do this on their own.  In my humble opinion, this (in a way) forces other people to come out of their shyness shell.

In 2016, I decided that we needed to get more involved in the Mosaic family.  I wanted Jana to feel at home in our new church.  Typically, when service was over, we mingled just a bit.  What I began to realize was that we were mingling with just the members of my family. Why? Because Jana found it difficult to make new friends.  She needed to come out of her own shell.  What better way to get involved than to sign up for a Connect Group?  Once again, I didn’t do this for my sake, I did it purposely to get Jana to meet other people.  We signed up for our first Connect group which met on Monday nights at a couple’s home.  They opened their home to couples as well as their children for a weekly potluck and a few hours of games and light conversation.

Jana began making new acquaintances and more importantly, friends within the Mosaic circle.  This proved to be so successful that we agreed to open our own home and offered the same thing for couples and their children the following semester.  Jana is not only finding her “friend” circle growing, she also decided to begin using her natural talents (she is a teacher) to begin helping in the children’s church area as a Sunday School Teacher.  You can call me the ultimate Puppet Master.

DavidfloresChances are, your story is much different than ours, but that doesn’t matter. We want you to become a part of this as well.  I’d like to invite you to attend a service and look around.  We are a unique community of believers.  Are we perfect? The simple answer to that question is a resounding NO.  We are a body of people looking for that small fulfillment that is missing from each one of our lives.  In the coming weeks, we will begin our signups for our Fall Connect Groups.  Look around at what each table is offering.  Maybe you’d like to join a group that, like us, is offering a potluck dinner and an evening of conversation.  Someone may be offering a bible study group to have coffee and getting into God’s word.  Perhaps you might even enjoy joining a group of men AND or women who enjoy watching mixed martial arts-Wings, pizza, and combat fighting.  You never know what each table has to offer.  Take a chance and sign up.  You never know… you may end up enjoying it so much that like Jana and I, you may open your home for the next semester.

We are a people of doubters and we have struggles just like everyone else.  While it may appear that we have everything in order, we don’t.  We fall short each day.  The truth about the human condition is that nobody is perfect.  Nobody is flawless.  Nobody is faultless.  We are all sinners who continue to sin and fall victim to this insane world that we live in.  So, don’t let the smoke and mirrors of our lives fool you that we are perfect and untouchable.  We are nobody special. We just wear good makeup (well not really because I don’t, but you get my drift).  Once again, who are we?

We are people who try to make this community better each day.  We are retail workers, teachers, electricians, principals, administrators, plumbers, painters, bankers, firefighters, police officers, nurses, roofers, cementers, brick layers, housewives, househusbands, full-time students, cake makers, musicians, business owners, probation officers, leaders of the community, city employees, county employees, state employees, insurance agents, estimators, farmers, fence builders, welders, bull riders, car salesmen, oil workers, gas workers, retired persons and plenty other occupations that are too numerous to mention.  In other words, we are you. Your spouse. Your children. Your parents. Your family.  Come be a part of a growing community with the one goal of making each other a better person.

While I may not make a hole in one every time I play golf, if I can land on the green, I know I am close.  Once again, my name is David Flores, Jr.  Come visit us and make sure to come shake my hand and tell me your name.  Oh, and feel free to invite me to lunch!!

Building A Masterpiece-Guest Post by Houstan Aragon

 

When you hear the word Masterpiece it invokes a certain image to everyone, and that image can be vastly different from person to person. The experts say that when you study something for 6 years you will obtain a Master’s degree in any number of fields in education. According to Webster’s dictionary  a masterpiece/s is a work of outstanding artistry, skill or workmanship–An artist or craftsman’s best piece of work. Well this got me thinking about all the factors that go into a masterpiece; having a Godly gift, patience, perseverance, humility, diligence and discipline for a great period of time while continuing to ever so slightly tweak the process so that the next time it becomes easier.

Thinking of doing all of these principles and how you then begin to apply them to the many facets of life; I believe the bottom line is change. I’m sure that we have all heard that the one thing in life that is constant is change, and as oxy moronic as it sounds, it is absolutely true. If you are not doing at least one thing every day to better yourself from the day before than in essence you are going to fall behind. Which brings me to the beginning of this year of 2018. In lieu of setting another New Year’s Resolution that I will mostly not accomplish, I chose to focus on one word and using that word in all the aspects of my life for the betterment of myself and those around me. The word I chose was Change.

   Recently I feel there has been a lot of transition happening in my life, and I feel like I am not on solid ground as I have been taking on great challenges that have been earned and bestowed upon me. The way I see it, I can either rise to meet those challenges or I can succumb to my fear of doubt, fear of regret, and fear of not being good enough to handle these new and scary responsibilities while knowing all my failures and short comings from my past.

Here are a few things that I have gained from the Lord and His word:

  • The regret of doing or not doing, the failures you’re holding onto: God can take those experiences and teach you wisdom.
  • The pain that cuts you to your core when you feel that you have let yourself or others down and the disappointment that comes with that: God can and will use that you draw you closer and closer to Him.
  • Your life is never too messy for God, as He is our maker. The things in your life you feel ashamed of, how broken you may feel at the ugliest of moments are the exact things that God will use to mold you into precisely who you are meant to be and that is what make you, YOU! It is the parts of a tapestry of those experiences that makes each of us works of art.unnamed

When we bring our messes, mistakes and insecurities to Him and go all in, laying it all down before Him, He can then make us into His perfect masterpiece.

I thank you Heavenly Father, which you have taken my messes and transformed them into such beauty. Doing Your work in our lives with intention, much as a craftsman does to perfect each work into a Masterpiece.

Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure Heart, oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit with in me.”

Confession of a Spiritual Gangsta-Guest Post by Mario Aragon

Here is something I’ve learned about being a Christian; it’s not easy.

In fact, God promises it will be hard. The more you try to have a relationship with God, the more the enemy will attack you.

One of the greatest tools the enemy will use is isolation and lies. He will make you feel alone in your struggle and your problems. He will tell you that you are the only one with this problem and no one will care. However, this cannot be farther from the truth. Don’t let your isolation consume you. REACH out, trust in our Heavenly Father.
We at Mosaic are here for you. We are a family and we are going through this crazy life together. Don’t let the lies of the enemy take root in your life because you are loved. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Most of all, you are not alone. We all struggle with something.

Let me be vulnerable for a moment: I struggle with anxiety. In fact, as I write this I have read, erased, and retyped it many times. My mind is telling me that no one will care about what I have to say. Every time I step into church or teach kids in kids church I often wonder why God chose me for this.  I’m definitely not qualified for it. I struggle with this but I’m glad I have my Mosaic family there for me. I have a wonderful wife, family, friends, and above all I have a great and mighty God that constantly reminds me that I am worthy and I am not alone.

If you need a friend or someone to talk to know I’m here for you. Most importantly you have God. He is always with you even when you feel the loneliest. Remember you are not alone in your struggles, problems with depression, or whatever. Stay strong and always keep on fighting!

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Just…Try – Guest Post Caiti Mondragon

“Every accomplishment comes from the decision to try.”

Last May, Ray graduated from UNC. As I was sitting there watching my kids’ reaction to him walking up on stage and getting his college degree, I vowed to myself that I would go back and finish as well. But, there was a catch. I would only go back if I didn’t have to retake the public speaking class that I received a “D” in during my first go round at UNC. How did I get a “D” you might ask? Easy. I wouldn’t show up on the days of my presentations.  Well, I showed up for my first two, I believe…and that’s it. Not sure how many of you know this about me, but public speaking terrifies me. My two biggest fears are snakes and public speaking. That’s it. Terrifies me.

Anyway, I decided to meet with a counselor, and found out that I didn’t have to retake it! Music to my ears! Also, the icing on the cake was that I could probably finish my degree in 18 months to two years. Even better. I enrolled, and I am now in my second semester back at UNC.

I know for a fact that God has a sense of humor because as I was sitting in my first class (last semester), the professor began going over the syllabus and as I’m skimming at the same time I see in bold letters, Oral Presentation. Wait…I said I wouldn’t do this if I had to get in front of people and speak. Yet, here it says oral presentation? I stressed the entire semester over this presentation. But, when those 6 minutes and 40 seconds were over, I felt so proud of myself. I did it!

On to my current semester!! Feeling like a million bucks, the first week of classes I found out that I have a presentation in Every. Single. Class. Immediately, the balloon of confidence I was riding in popped. No way I can do this. I thought for sure somewhere in the syllabus I would find the word SNAKES too! Might as well!

Switching gears for a second, this year, Elijah decided to wrestle. He has grown so much as a person and as a wrestler. It’s been pretty amazing to watch his progress. My Elijah is so much like me, sometimes it hurts. He gets down on himself very easily, so when the arm of his opponent is raised, you can see his “balloon of confidence” slowly start to let out air every time.

Saturday was a rough day for Elijah. He did pretty good his first match, but his second match, it was a totally different boy on the mat. He was backing away from his opponent and every time he would get on his back, he would cry out to me or his big sister, Emaleigh. He was trying to do anything to get the ref, or his coaches to stop the match…but it kept going. It was really heartbreaking to watch as Elijah has never done this before.

He came off the mat, completely scared, defeated and deflated. He immediately called Ray. Now, I’m not sure exactly what Ray told him, but from what Ray told me later, it went something like this: He told him that his coaches or the refs would never put him in harms way. He told him that he has got to believe in himself because if he goes on the mat already defeated, he will lose. He needs to go out there, confident in himself, and he can win! He told him he has the tools that he has learned in practice to be a great wrestler…he just needs to believe in himself. And, most importantly, he told him that he is always with him. Although he can’t be there physically because of work, he is there in his heart…always.

The next match, Elijah went out and pinned his opponent in 57 seconds.

Just as Elijah needed a pep-talk from his Daddy, sometimes we all need that same word of encouragement from our heavenly Father. As I watched Elijah sitting on the bench after that awful match, I couldn’t help but think of how I started this semester feeling already defeated and how much I could use a pep talk myself.  No, I don’t want to do presentations, but I know that God is teaching me something. It would be easy to just quit, or find other classes. But, I’m not learning anything if I am constantly sitting in my chair of comfort. I knew gong back to college wasn’t going to be easy…but I will finish on top, just like Elijah did.

Yesterday at church, I got the same piece of encouragement that I needed. Our pastor preached on having a vision. In a nutshell, there are 4 steps of vision:

1.The Spirit’s Prompting

2. Uncertainty

3. Resistance

4. Divine Clarity

Can I just encourage you (probably because I need to remind myself) that when you get to the uncertainty and the resistance of your vision (because you will get there), don’t let that stop you from completing the vision that God has put in your heart! Push through, persevere because seeing your vision come to pass in God’s timing will be totally worth all of the sweat, tears (and presentations)!

Thank you to Caiti Mondragon for giving us permission to repost her blog! Click Here to visit Caiti’s blog: MrsMomdragon and read more.