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Archive for April, 2010

Checking the mail a few days ago, I was excited to see my latest ebay purchase had arrived.  I made my way to the kitchen and sliced through the envelope to see a $100,000,000,000,000 bill.  That’s right, 14 zeros, a one hundred trillion dollar bill!

Although the bill I held was once actual legal currency, the postage stamp on the envelope it came in was worth more than this little piece of paper.  The bill was printed by the Republic of Zimbabwe, which has suffered from hyper inflation.  At the time it was printed, the one hundred trillion dollar bill was designed to accommodate a typical government worker with one month’s worth of salary.  It has since been completely devalued, and Zimbabwe now uses a combination of US dollars and European money.

I bought the bill as a novelty, but also as a reminder.  One hundred trillion dollars is sitting on my nightstand to remind me that economics is the ultimate demonstration of faith.  A quick viewing of any American currency will tell you the money is backed as a Federal Reserve Note, and it will then declare, “In God We Trust.”

The irony of the two statements lies in the fact that faith in God is so much more secure than the hope we could ever put in our Federal Government.  But, every day we demonstrate we are a people of faith as we give and receive little green pieces of paper in exchange for goods and services.  Faith is the foundation of the U. S. economy, and what makes our economy so volatile.

It would do us well to remember faith is the foundation of the economy of Heaven, as well.  Every transaction we make through prayer is processed through the currency of faith.

I think it’s time for a shopping spree!

Podcast

The podcast will be available Tuesday afternoon.

Links

For budget and debt reduction information that Mindy referenced in yesterday’s sermon, check out Dave Ramsey’s site or Larry Burketts’ site.

On the Radar

This Saturday is our Garage Sale for our kids grades 2-5 who are going to camp.  If you’d like to donate some items, please drop them off this Wednesday evening or contact Pastor Lolo at peterandlorinlopez@gmail.com to arrange a different drop-off time.

Family Connection

Parents, be sure to check out the Worldchangers website.  We align our Bible curriculum from the nursery all the way up to our youth.  Access the Family Connection page on the website to bring your children’s Bible lesson home to the kitchen table. 

We also have all the info you need about RAMP, our ministry to youth in Sweetwater High School and Middle School and surrounding campuses, as well, at www.efcyouth.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 usually find them for purchase on itunes.com.

  1. “We Cry Out” Jesus Culture version
  2. “Here Is Love” Jenn Johnson version
  3. “Your Love Is Like” by Rick Pino
  4. “The Same Power” by Hillsong  

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, May 2, we will continue our “Infrastructure” sermon series.

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(cue cheesy infomercial voice) “Have you ever felt like your prayers were falling on deaf ears? Or like everyone else around you was getting blessed but not you? Does it sometimes feel like God forgot about you?

If so, then you need Pastor Eric’s all new Comple Prayer System. It’s guaranteed to get your prayers noticed. Pastor Eric’s Complete Prayer System is guaranteed to shoot your prayers to the front of the line. You’ll have the answers to your prayers in no time. And all of your friends will notice.

Best of all, Pastor Eric’s Complete Prayer System comes with a money back guarantee!

What is this answer to your prayers? It’s Pastor Eric’s A.C.T.S. Complete Prayer System! And it’s as simple as 1-2-3…and, uh, 4.

  • The ‘A’ is for ‘Adoration.’ All you do is adore God the way He’s supposed to be adored. Sweet talk your creator and watch what happens.
  • The ‘C’ is for ‘Confession,’ which we all know is good for the soul. Repent of your misguided ways, and ask God for forgiveness.
  • The ‘T’ is for ‘Thanksgiving,’ which should come around more than once a year. Remember all God has done for you and thank Him for it.
  • The ‘S’ is for ‘Supplication,’ where you ask God to supply your needs-no dictionary needed.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to turn your prayer life around! And Pastor Eric’s Complete Prayer System won’t cost your $500. It won’t cost you $400. It won’t even cost you $100. If you call anytime between now and judgment day, you get Pastor Eric’s Complete Prayer System absolutely free!

But wait, there’s more. Pastor Eric will throw in your salvation absolutely free for eternity if you will accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

ACT(S) Now!” (end cue)

Podcast

Click to listen to “Infrastructure: Communication Systems,” Pastor Eric’s message on prayer.

On the Radar

“All Things New”: If you liked Pastor Eric’s Complete Prayer System, then you will love Pastor Eric and Mindy’s new CD. If you don’t have one, order now.

Kid’s Camp Garage Sale: On May 1, there will be a church-wide garage sale to benefit the kids going to summer camp. If you would like to donate items for the garage sale, bring your stuff to EFC Sunday or contact Pastor Lolo.

Links

Parents, be sure to check out the Worldchangers website.  We align our Bible curriculum from the nursery through to our children’s minsitry.  Access the Family Connection page on the website to bring your children’s Bible lesson home to the kitchen table.

We also have all the info you need about RAMP, our ministry to youth in Sweetwater High School and Middle School and surrounding campuses, as well, at www.efcyouth.com.

Sweetwater Prayer Center-Haven’t visited the Prayer Center in a while? Check out the Prayer Center website.

Beauty of the Bible-One last little bit of shameless self-promotion. Visit the best Bible blog on the web.

Sunday Preview

Thanks to Pastor Eric for asking me to write the review. Next Sunday, April 25, Pastor Eric continues his “Infrastructure” sermon series.  Come join us.

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If you are like me, you watched with a broken heart as scenes of the earthquake in Haiti flashed across your television screen in January.  The images of brokenness and devastation where overwhelming, and it was easy to feel helpless in the face of such a disaster.

The world’s response to the earthquake was amazing to watch, as well.  Resources began to flow into the small nation like a flood.  In fact, resources flowed in so quickly and with such abundance that they were unable to be processed and distributed to the millions of people in need.

As heartbreaking as the scenes of destruction were, the scenes of the Port Au Prince airport overwhelmed with supplies and actually having to turn away planes filled with relief aid left viewers frustrated and bewildered.

Our gifts and our aid were not fully effective because the infrastructure of the nation was so devastated that the supplies could not connect to the need.  The resources were at hand, but still out of reach.

Jesus paints a picture of a similar scenario in a conversation He has with some Pharisees.

Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”  (Luke 17:20-21)

All of our lives have been shaken by some quake or another.  We are all surrounded by people each day who have been wounded by the challenges of life.

How many people suffer every day when the assistance they need is at hand, but still seems out of reach to them?

The resources of Heaven to heal, cleanse, refresh, and make new are nearer than our next breath, but they are of no benefit if we are not able to access them.

One of the keys to hope and healing in life is establishing an infrastructure in the soul that can allow our hearts to access the abundant resources of Heaven.  We must build the necessary roads, bridges, water ways, and communication systems to create a framework through which the culture of Heaven can impact our lives.

Prepare the way for the Lord, and may His glory be revealed in your life.  Amen.

Podcast

Click to listen to “Infrastructure: Roads and Bridges.”

On the Radar

Membership Dessert tonight!!!  You are invited to join us as we enjoy dessert together and share the vision and mission of EFC, and how you can get connected.  We will meet at the church at 7:00 pm and childcare is available.

Beautiful One,” EFC’s Spring Women’s Event is this Saturday, April 17, 10 am – 2 pm.  Ladies, bring a friend and join us for a wonderful day!

“All Things New” CD update: Mindy and I are excited about the great response to the new CD.  The Sweetwater Reporter gave us some excellent local exposure and we are getting good internet traffic to von Atzigen Ministries.  I just dropped a CD in the mail to Oregon this morning.  How cool is that?  We’d love to hear feedback from your experience with “All Things New.”

Youth Bar-B-Q Sandwhich Fundraiser after the service next Sunday!  April 18, we are hosting lunch on the grounds.  The youth are providing sandwhiches to raise money for camp, and the rest of us are bringing dessert and side dishes.  Make plans to hang around for a wonderful time together and bless our youth at the same time.

Kids’ Camp Garage Sale Fundraiser coming Saturday, May 1st.  If you have some items to donate, we’d appreciate your help.  You can bring your items to the church anytime after this Sunday.

Family Connection

Parents, be sure to check out the Worldchangers website.  We align our Bible curriculum from the nursery through to our children’s minsitry.  Access the Family Connection page on the website to bring your children’s Bible lesson home to the kitchen table. 

We also have all the info you need about RAMP, our ministry to youth in Sweetwater High School and Middle School and surrounding campuses, as well, at www.efcyouth.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 usually find them for purchase on itunes.com.

  1. “Beautiful One” by Tim Hughes
  2. “I Have Found” by Kim Walker
  3. “God, You’re Beautiful” by Anthony Skinner
  4. “The Same Power” by Hillsong  

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, April 18, we continue our “Infrastructure” sermon series.  Come join us as we examine the essential building blocks of the Christian faith — and stay for the Fellowship Meal afterwards!

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Photo: Karen Carbone http://www.inbloomimages.com

Mindy and I are excited to announce the release of our first worship CD, “All Things New.”

What began with a birthday gift of recording time in a local studio has grown into something bigger than we ever imagined.  We were so happy with what we captured in the recording that we took it through the necessary production steps to make it available to others. 

“All Things New” is a collection of original worship songs and prayers through the Scripture designed to lead people into an encounter with the beauty of God and His word.

We have been working on the project for almost a year.  While we may be new to the recording process, it has been our privilege to lead people in worship together for years.  One of the things we have always loved to do most is take people on a journey to encounter the presence of God, and that’s what this CD is all about.  It begins in the Psalms and travels right through to the book of Revelation, looking to connect people’s hearts to God every step of the way.

 “All Things New” is set to release Sunday, April 11, 2010, at Emmanuel Fellowship Church and is also available for purchase online at the von Atzigen Ministries website.

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As a child I spent more than my fair share of time removed from the classroom and sitting in the hall. Today I am sitting in the hall of the Middle School as a TAKS monitor — and getting paid to do it!

I never knew all those hours in the hall were  just job training.

Thank you Mrs. Cox, Mrs. Henderson, Mrs. Whaley and all the rest for the excellent life skills.

When life throws you lemons, sell them for a profit!

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Yesterday was a truly beautiful day.  It was an honor to worship with each one of you as we celebrated the resurrection of our Savior, enjoyed fellowship with one another, and stretch our building to the limits of its seating capacity!

It was obvious God was among us as we experienced His presence in worship and were drawn to surrender our will to Him through the message of “Miranda’s Story.”  Such an amazing celebration can leave us waking up on Monday morning wondering, “What now?”  How do we continue to walk in the grace we discovered on Easter Sunday?

In the book of Ephesians, we find a prayer the Apostle Paul prayed over a young and enthusiastic church, and I echo his prayer today for each of you as you continue to walk in God’s marvelous grace.  Paul prayed:

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.  I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at his right hand in the heavenly realms… (Ephesians 1:17-20 NIV)

Today, as you continue your journey of faith,

  • May you know Him better!
  • May you know the hope to which He has called you!
  • May you know the riches of His inheritance!
  • May you know the power of the resurrection!

I’m looking forward to next Sunday!

Podcast

There is no podcast of the April 4, 2010 Easter Service.  (It was a “had to be there” event!)

On the Radar

“Beautiful One,” EFC’s Spring Women’s Event is coming Saturday, April 17, 10 am – 2 pm.  Ladies, mark your calendar for this special time of fun and ministry.  Childcare is free, but children must be registered by this Sunday.  Log on to www.efcseetwater.com and click the “Beautiful One” icon to register your kiddos!

New to Emmanuel Fellowship?  Want to know more about who we are?  Join us Monday, April 12, at 7:00 pm for our Membership Dessert.  Child care is provided. 

Family Connection

Parents, be sure to check out the Worldchangers website.  We align our Bible curriculum from the nursery all the way up to our youth.  Access the Family Connection page on the website to bring your children’s Bible lesson home to the kitchen table. 

We also have all the info you need about RAMP, our ministry to youth in Sweetwater High School and Middle School and surrounding campuses, as well, at www.efcyouth.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 usually find them for purchase on itunes.com.

  1. Happy Day” by Tim Hughes
  2. Mighty to Save” by Hillsong
  3. The More I Seek You” Kari Jobe version
  4. The Same Power” by Hillsong  

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, April 11, we will begin a new sermon series entitled “Infrastructure.”  Come join us as we examine the essential building blocks of the Christian faith.  We will also have a Baby Dedication this week.  If you would like to have your child dedicated and have not yet spoken to a staff pastor, please contact the church offices.

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