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Archive for October, 2010

It’s been a wild few weeks around EFC!

Between the Take Everything Tour, A Night With The King, the coming Light the Night and Spiritual Freedom Retreat, there is a little (or a lot of) something for everyone to do. I hope everyone is finding ways to participate, enjoy and help out. More on the helping out part later.

I want to give a special thanks to the Burke’s for the terrific messages they shared yesterday. They were very encouraging and motivational.

Podcast

If you missed the Burke’s messages, I think you will be able to listen to them online when the link becomes active.  Click to listen.

On the Radar

Light the Night: Next Sunday evening from 6-8 pm EFC will have the Light the Night fall festival. Kids of all ages are welcome to join us for games, food, jumping castles, and prizes! It’s going to be loads of fun, and friendly costumes are welcome.  A concession stand will also be open. For more information or to volunteer to help, contact Pastor Lolo. We still need:

  • Volunteers to man stations, and
  • Candy donations.

Spiritual Freedom Retreat: The Spiritual Freedom Retreat is November 5 & 6. If you have never attended, please prayerfully consider doing so. Even if you have and you need refreshing, join us again. Childcare will be provided and so will lunch on Saturday. You can register online.

Lifegroups: Lifegroups continue this Wednesday. If you haven’t joined a Lifegroup, there is one tailor made just for you:

  • Family Lifegroup-led by Cliff and Carolyn Lotzenhiser’s and Ray and Deb Doak meets @ the Lotzenhiser’s.
  • Ladies Lifegroup-led by Jay Neal meets in the Prayer Center.
  • Bible Study-(and, honestly, probably the coolest Lifegroup ever) led by yours truly meets @ EFC in the fishy room.
  • New Members-led by and meets @ the von Atzigen’s.

Revelation Bible Study continues Tuesdays, 12-1 pm.  Bring your lunch and join in the discussion!

Election Day is November 2: We are privileged to be able to participate in our government by electing our public servants. I encourage everyone to exercise this right on election day.

Stay Connected

You can stay connected to the EFC happenings on facebook or any of these websites and blogs:

Shameless Self Promotion

I can’t let you get away without plugging my very own Bible blog, Beauty of the Bible. It’s got an all new look and feel, so if you haven’t checked it out in a while, click on over.

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, October 31, we will continue with the sermon series “The Children’s Bread: Exploring what the Bible Teaches about Healing.”

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I am overwhelmed, my friends, overwhelmed by love.

Every once in a while it hits me.  It sneaks right up in the middle of busyness, interrupts my “to do” list and punches me right in the gut.  I am amazed by how much I love you.

It is a privilege and a joy to pastor and love the people of Emmanuel Fellowship Church and the city of Sweetwater, Texas.  Your faces and your stories each have a special place in my heart.

My heart overflows with thanksgiving as I consider the miracles of grace God has done among us.  I rejoice over the marriages that have been healed and the salvations that have occurred.  It is a tremendous joy to know that among us the lost are being saved and the broken healed.

In the midst of the joy, I am also painfully aware of those among us who are hurting right now.  I know there are hearts wrestling with disappointment, loss, and grief.  I know there are those among us who show up smiling on Sunday morning attempting to mask loneliness and frustration.

My friends, I love you.  I care about the things that matter to you.  Your problems are not too small or too big to talk about, and I am not too busy to spend time with you.

You are loved, and I pray as you read this message, the love of God will overwhelm you.  May you be overwhelmed by love from God and love for God.  May you be overwhelmed by love from your church and love for your church.  May love replace lies with truth in your heart.  May love shine light on darkness.  May love win in your heart, in your mind, in your life today.  May love win!

 

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Does God still heal?

Can I pray for the sick?

Why do some people not get healed?

Where does sickness come from?

 These are the questions we are looking at during the current sermon series at EFC, Healing: The Children’s Bread.

Once you have an encounter with the amazing power of God and experience healing first-hand, you usually don’t have a problem answering the first question.  However, many people stumble on the second one.  Is praying for the sick only appropriate for a few, select people?  Maybe just the pastors?  Possibly just the really special people who haven’t taken an aspirin in ten years?

I’d like to encourage you today, my friend, with the truth that Jesus not only invited YOU to pray for the sick, He fully expected you to do it!  The Great Commission is an invitation for us to do what He himself had already done—heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons, and raise the dead.

Whew!  Sounds kinda intimidating, doesn’t it?  How about this—follow Jesus, do what He asks you to do, when He asks you to do it, learn from your mistakes, and try again.  Can you handle that?

If you need some help getting started, here’s a few pointers:

  1. Find someone sick to pray for (shouldn’t be too hard!)
  2. Find out what the problem is.
  3. Put your hand on them and pray for their healing.  Pray outloud.
  4. Stop and ask them if they feel God doing anything in their bodies.
  5. If they feel something, thank God for what He’s doing and ask for more.  If they don’t, pray again.
  6. If you’ve prayed for awhile and do not sense anything happening, pause and ask God if there are any other directions you need to follow.  Obey what He says.
  7. Repeat until breakthrough comes.

 

 

 

 

 

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PRAY FOR A VERDICT

Imagine for a moment you are in a courtroom.  You have witnessed the prosecutor mount staggering evidence against a defendant.  You have heard the testimony of witnesses.  You have seen the evidence.  Everyone in the room is convinced of the guilt of the defendant.

Imagine what it would be like for the prosecutor to take a case this far, and at the last minute dismiss the jury.

The goal of any court case is the verdict, the final decision made as a result of the evidence presented.  Just as a prosecutor leads a jury to a point of decision, I believe it is the purpose of our prayers to reach a verdict.

In Luke 18 Jesus tells us the story of a widow woman to teach us that we should pray and never give up.  He concludes the story by saying:

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”  Luke 18:6-8

How many times have we stopped short of the verdict in our ministry and our prayers?

I encourage you to consider the story of the widow woman and her quest for justice.  Allow it to strengthen your resolve in seeking a favorable verdict in your prayers.

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