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Archive for July, 2009

School of Worship (457 x 305)Pastor Eric and Mindy are back. I know everyone is glad to have them back from what we hope was a refreshing vacation.

They invited Pastor Lolo and I over last night to catch up on what has been going on around EFC. I bet they didn’t know they would be up until midnight painting stuff for the Kids’ School of Worship, which, by the way, begins Tuesday night. I hope it wasn’t too much of a painful welcome home for them.

Thanks to Jay, John and Jim

I want to give a quick shout out to Jay Neal for maneuvering us through the service yesterday in Eric’s absence and to John Alden for leading worship yesterday, it was truly a blessing. John is great every week as a part of the worship team, but there was just something special about worship yesterday.

I also want to give a huge “thank you” to Jim “Pop Pop”/”Daddy Jim” Cargile for bringing the message. Here is the Sports Center highlight version: (1) if you’re going to argue and lose, at least learn something from it, (2) if you’re going to argue with God, that’s okay, but you should ultimately surrender (and learn something from it), (3) you are free from slavery, (4) you are made to fellowship with God, and (5) you are an eternal being! It was a great word.

You Heard it at EFC

Kids’ School of Worship

The Kids’ School of Worship begins Tuesday, July 28 and runs through Friday, July 31. The School of Worship is a completely new take on VBS. The children will be learning to to worship using their talents and giftings. They will have the opportunity to worship through art, drumming, dancing, flagging and many other forms of expression. You can learn more or register your children on the EFC website. If you are interested in helping with the Kids’ School of Worship, contact Pastor Lolo.

On the Radar

Night of Worship (NOW) – This month’s NOW will converge with the Kids’ School of Worship for one big church-wide Night of Worship on July 31 at 7:00 p.m. This will be a fun and exciting time for children and adults to come together and worship implementing all of what the kids learn during the School of Worship.

Youth – The youth is still meeting on Wednesday evenings at Pastor Eric’s house at 7:00 p.m. There is also a new youth website – EFCYouth.com, be sure to check that out. The EFC youth will be going to Six Flags on August 6, 2009, and if you want to know how you can get a free ticket, you can find it on the EFC youth website.

Links

A few links that might be of interest:

EFC Facebook Group – If you are a facebooker and want to keep up with the goings on of EFC via facebook, please join our EFC Facebook Group. You can upload photos, videos, or just chat with other EFC facebookers.

Fresh Focus – For the new faces at EFC, I wanted to let you know that EFC’s very own Writers’ Circle has published a 30 day devotional entitled Fresh Focus. If you need a word of encouragement, a reminder of how good God is, or just a little light vacation reading, you can purchase a hard copy at EFC for $2.00 or read online for free at freshfocus.wordpress.com.

EFC Podcasts – Missed any of the EFC sermons lately? You can listen and download at efcsweetwater.com.

Sweetwater Prayer Center – If you want to learn more about the Sweetwater Prayer Center, please visit the Prayer Center’s website (or, better yet, visit the Prayer Center).

Last Word

I want to thank Pastor Eric for allowing me to write the MondayMorning Reviews in his absence. I hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them. If you missed last week’s Monday Morning Review, please take a few minutes and check it out. Have a great week.

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While Pastor Eric is away, he graciously asked me to write the Monday Morning Review (a decision he may ultimately regret). But, for now, let’s have some fun.

I hope you enjoy the “When the Shepherd’s Away, the Sheep Will Play” edition of the Monday Morning Review – and on a Monday morning of all things, go figure.

A Word of Thanks

First of all, a quick but profound word of thanks to Drew and Dawn Brown of Prepare International for the encouraging worship and words.

Remember, as Drew so succinctly put it, “the pain of staying the same is worse than the pain of changing.”

Also, be sure to pray for Prepare International’s new “Antioch Project,” which is the raising of mother churches in Europe to raise leaders who will go out and plant other churches, modeled after the 1st Century church at Antioch.

Missions Sunday

This Sunday was Missions Sunday, the third Sunday of every month at Emmanuel Fellowship Church. If you missed, forgot, or if you just feel like being a bigger blessing to someone in need, here are the missions organizations EFC currently supports:

Prepare International – appropriately enough. I hope Drew was able to give everyone a clearer picture of what Prepare International is doing in the world. If you want to be a part, please consider helping out in any way you can.

Tents of Mercy – If you want to participate in what God is doing among believers in Israel, EFC is currently supporting the Katzir Asher (Harvest of Asher) congregation in Akko. Tents of Mercy is a Messianic Jewish organization spreading the gospel in Israel.

World Bible Translation Center – Help translate the Bible into new languages for distribution throughout the world. You can also check out the WBTC weekly blog if you’re into that sort of thing.

Sweet Water for India – Help EFC to provide clean drinking water to people in India. You can provide financial support through EFC.

Sweetwater Prayer Center – Another of our very own community and world outreaches. It’s a great cause with a great vision behind it, but it takes money to keep it up, and it’s a worthwhile mission if ever there was one.

You Heard it at EFC

On the Radar

Kids’ School of Worship – A completely new take on VBS. You can learn more or register your children on the EFC website. If you are interested in helping with the Kids’ School of Worship, you can email Pastor Lolo.

Youth – The youth is still meeting on Wednesday evenings at Pastor Eric’s house at 7:00 p.m. There is also a new youth website – EFCYouth.com, be sure to check that out. The EFC youth will be going to Six Flags on August 6, 2009, and if you want to know how you can get a free ticket, you can find it on the EFC youth website.

Night of Worship (NOW) – This month’s NOW will converge with the Kids’ School of Worship for one big church-wide Night of Worship on July 31 at 7:00 p.m. The last two Nights of Worship have been amazing, and incorporating the children’s worship will only make it better. Mark your calendars.

EFC Facebook Group – If you are a facebooker and want to keep up with the goings on of EFC via facebook, please join our EFC Facebook Group. You can upload photos, videos, or just chat with other EFC facebookers.

Links

As if there aren’t enough links already, FYI:

Fresh Focus – For the new faces at EFC, I wanted to let you know that EFC’s very own Writers’ Circle has published a 30 day devotional entitled Fresh Focus. If you need a word of encouragement, a reminder of how good God is, or just a little light vacation reading, you can purchase a hard copy at EFC for $2.00 or read online for free at freshfocus.wordpress.com.

EFC Podcasts – Missed any of the EFC sermons lately? You can listen and download at efcsweetwater.com.

Beauty of the Bible – In the shameless self-promotion department, I invite you to have a peek at my very own Bible blog. Have a look around and learn a little about ancient Hebrew, read a few book reviews, or have fun taking quizzes like How Calvinist Are You? or Which Modern Evangelist/Theologian Are You?

Last Word

I hope you have enjoyed the “When the Shepherd’s Away, the Sheep Will Play” edition of the Monday Morning Review. I think I have the floor for one more week, so if you have any news or info that you want featured in next week’s Monday Morning Review, please email me or leave me a comment below. Have a great week.

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Everything Changes jpg

Everything changes when Jesus is at your party!  Go ahead and invite Him over today. 

Podcast

Follow the link to access this Sunday’s message from John chapter 2.

 

 

Links

Here is a beautiful account of Jesus at the wedding in Cana.  It is from the video project of the Gospel of John from the Good News Translation of the Bible.

 

Many of you requested more info about the “That’s My King!” video.  That powerful introduction is from a message by the late S.M. Lockridge.  Here it is on youtube.

On the Radar

Heroes series now available.

Heroes series now available.

Did you enjoy the “Heroes of the Bible” series?  Did you miss a couple and want to catch up?  Want to share them with a friend?  The entire nine message series is now packaged into one great compilation and is on sale at the EFC resource podium for $10.00.

If you would like to help with Brown Bag Ministry this week, meet us at the Jack Lambert Community Center Tuesday evening at 6 pm.  For more info, see the church website at www.efcsweetwater.com.

All youth are invited to join us at Pastor Eric and Mindy’s house this Wednesday, July 8th at 7:00 pm.  Guest speaker Valerie Rosado will be joining us!  Also, check out the new webpage at www.efcyouth.com!

Our first Kids’ School of Worship will be held at Emmanuel Fellowship July 28-31.  This amazing event will follow the format of a VBS with the emphasis of instructing children (and adults) in the privilege of worshipping our King.  If you would like to help with this wonderful event, email Pastor Lorin at peterandlorinlopez@gmail.com.  To register your child, log on to the church website.

Baptism service coming Wednesday, August 5th, at 7 pm.  If you would like to be baptized and have not already indicated so on your connection card, please let Pastor Eric know by emailing him at efcsweetwater@aol.com.

A dear friend and former church member, Shay Proffit, is getting married this weekend.  Emily Elizondo is going to the wedding.  You can contact her if you would like to send a gift or a card.

You Heard it at EFC

Been trying to remember one of those awesome songs we sang?  Here is our worship list from yesterday, for those of you who just absolutely need a copy for yourself.  You can find them for purchase on itunes.com.

  1. “Happy Day” by Tim Hughes
  2. “Mighty To Save” by Hillsong (see a video of this song at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXCAhKDZRlo)
  3. “The More I Seek You” by Kari Jobe
  4. “How He Loves” by John Mark McMillon

Sunday Preview

While Pastor Eric is on vacation next week, Drew and Dawn Brown of Prepare International will be ministering at EFC.  For more information about Prepare, check out their website at www.prepareinternational.org.

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but god_tThere are two words that, when joined together in the pages of the Bible, absolutely change everything — “but God.”

These are the words in The Word that cause you to lean forward and look deeper.  The reality of these words is the longing of our lives.  When we find ourselves in impossible situations, we know we have become prime candidates for a “but God” moment.

The following is a “but God” list that I pray strengthens your faith and gives you courage as you take the next step.

  • Gen 8:1 (NIV)  But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
  • Gen 31:42 (NIV)  If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.
  • Gen 41:16 (NIV) “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”
  • Gen 45:7-8 (NIV)  But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.  So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.  He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.
  • Gen 50:19 (NIV)  But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
  • Judges 15:18-19 (NAS) Then he became very thirsty, and he called to the Lord and said, “You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant, and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?”  But God split the hollow place that is in Lehi so that water came out of it. When he drank, his strength returned and he revived.
  • 2 Chronicles 25:8 (NCV)  You can make yourself strong for war, but God will defeat you. He has the power to help you or to defeat you.
  • Psalm 49:13-15 (NIV) This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings. Selah  Like sheep they are destined for the grave, and death will feed on them . . . But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself.
  • Psalm 73:26 (NIV) My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
  • Psalm 75:6-7 (NAS) For not from the east, nor from the west, Nor from the desert comes exaltation; But God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another.
  • Jeremiah 50:33-34 (NCV) The people of Israel and Judah are slaves.  The enemy took them as prisoners and won’t let them go.  But God is strong and will buy them back.  His name is the Lord All-Powerful.
  • Matthew 19:25-26 (NCV) When Jesus’ followers heard this, they were very surprised and asked, “Then who can be saved?”  Jesus looked at them and said, “This is something people cannot do, but God can do all things.”
  • Luke 12:18-21 (NIV) “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’  But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’  “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
  • Luke 16:15 (NIV) He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.”
  • John 1:12-13 (NAS)  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
  • John 1:18 (NIV) No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only,  who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
  • Acts 2:23-24 (NIV) This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.  But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
  • Acts 3:14-15 (NIV) You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you.  You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.
  • Acts 10:28 (NIV) He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean.”
  • Acts 10:39-40 (NIV) “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen.”
  • Acts 13:29-30 (NIV) When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb.  But God raised him from the dead…
  • Acts 26:21-22 (NCV) This is why the Jews took me and were trying to kill me in the Temple.  But God has helped me, and so I stand here today, telling all people, small and great, what I have seen.
  • Romans 5:7-8 (NIV) Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Romans 5:21 (NCV) Sin once used death to rule us, but God gave people more of his grace so that grace could rule by making people right with him. And this brings life forever through Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • Romans 6:23 (NCV) When people sin, they earn what sin pays—death. But God gives us a free gift—life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Romans 8:3 (NCV) The law was without power, because the law was made weak by our sinful selves. But God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son to earth with the same human life that others use for sin. By sending his Son to be an offering to pay for sin, God used a human life to destroy sin.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 (NIV) Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
  • 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NIV) However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
  • 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 (NIV) I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:24-25 (NIV) But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:37-38 (NIV) When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.  But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NCV) We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We do not know what to do, but we do not give up the hope of living.  We are persecuted, but God does not leave us.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NCV) Christ had no sin, but God made him become sin so that in Christ we could become right with God.
  • 2 Corinthians 7:5-6 (NIV) For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within.  But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus…
  • Galatians 1:13-15 (NCV) You have heard about my past life in the Jewish religion. I attacked the church of God and tried to destroy it.  I was becoming a leader in the Jewish religion, doing better than most other Jews of my age. I tried harder than anyone else to follow the teachings handed down by our ancestors.  But God had special plans for me and set me apart for his work even before I was born.
  • Galatians 3:18 (NIV) For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
  • Galatians 3:20 (NIV) A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.
  • Ephesians 2:3-5 (NAS) Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)…
  • Philippians 2:27 (NIV) Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow.
  • Hebrews 3:3-4 (NIV) Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself.  For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.
  • Hebrews 5:5 (NIV) So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest.  But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”
  • 2 Peter 3:12-13 (NCV) When that day comes, the skies will be destroyed with fire, and everything in them will melt with heat.  But God made a promise to us, and we are waiting for a new heaven and a new earth where goodness lives.

What “but” do you need from God today?

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OK, time for a pastoral confession, sometimes I even surprise myself with what I say on Sunday morning.  Yesterday’s message had one of those surprising moments. 

I planned to use the drowning illustration to conclude the sermon, but as I was setting the illustration of being swept out to sea by the hidden rip current of sin, the most amazing image entered my mind.  I could see a lamb swimming by.

It is such an odd image.  A lamb doesn’t belong in the ocean.  In fact, a lamb would seem to be more vulnerable than me or you 300 yards off shore.  But it is that out of place feeling that makes the illustration work. 

A lamb is the most unlikely life jacket in the world, but if you were drowning in the ocean you would grab hold of anything.

So what do we do when we are drowning in depression, in brokenness, in rage, in regret, in fear, or in shame?  How long can we tread water alone? 

If you can relate to the feeling of drowning in this world, I want you to see that the Lamb is with in reach.  You can grab hold of Him for salvation.

If I remember correctly, The Lamb can even walk on water!  Let Him pull you to a safe place today.

 John 1:29

 Podcast

Click here to access this Sunday’s message from John chapter 1

 

 

 

 

 

Links

 

 

Want to see a film version of the gospel of John?  Get a great DVD version at Amazon.

How about a fun, easy to read version of the gospel of John?  You can order a copy of the Message Bible’s version of John to read and then give it away to a friend who needs to encounter your King Jesus by logging on to CBD.

On the Radar

All youth are invited to join us at Pastor Eric and Mindy’s house this Wednesday, July 8th at 7:00 pm.  If you still need a Summer Youth Calendar, we will have one for you at that time, including information about our upcoming road trip to Six Flags.

FountainGate Fellowship in Abilene is hosting a Worship Training Seminar on Saturday, July 11, from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm for worship team members and those who just love to worship!  More information is available on their website

Our first Kids’ School of Worship will be held at Emmanuel Fellowship July 28-31.  This amazing event will follow the format of a VBS with the emphasis of instructing children (and adults) in the privilege of worshipping our King.  If you would like to help with this wonderful event, email Pastor Lorin at peterandlorinlopez@gmail.com.

Our church is assisting the Brown Bag program this month.  If you can help with food sacking on Tuesday, July 14th, from 6-8 pm, or food distribution on Thursday, July 16th, from 1-2 pm, please email Pastor Eric at efcsweetwater@aol.com.

You Heard it at EFC

Been trying to remember one of those awesome songs we sang?  Here is our worship list from yesterday, for those of you who just absolutely need a copy for yourself.  You can find them for purchase on itunes.com.

  1. “Dancing Generation” by Matt Redmand
  2. “I Have Found” by Kim Walker
  3. “The More I Seek You” by Kari Jobe
  4. “You Won’t Relent” by Misty Edwards

Sunday Preview

For the months of July and August, we will take a summer tour through the life of our Lord Jesus as told in the book of John.  I invite you to join us this Sunday for our second message in the series “That’s My King!”

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