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Archive for the ‘Devotional’ Category

Each of us has a perspective, a point of view concerning the cross.  All of our lives have been influenced by the crucifixion of Jesus.  But, what did those early witnesses see?  What was the perspective of those first century merchants, craftsmen, soldiers, and politicians?

The Bible records one sentence written in a message from a politician’s wife, and we discover even from the safety of her vantage point, her life was impacted by this Messianic preacher from Galilee.

Mathew 27 records her story: 

11 Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.

12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” 14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.

15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the Feast to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew it was out of envy that they had handed Jesus over to him.

19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”

20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.

21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.

“Barabbas,” they answered.

22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked.

They all answered, “Crucify him!”

23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”

25 All the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!”

26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

Click on the media player to hear a dramtic presentation of a view of the cross through the eyes of Pilate’s wife.

On the Radar

We will not have any church activities this Wednesday evening due to Spring Break.  We pray you enjoy a wonderful time with your family this week!

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. “See His Love” Jesus Culture version
  2. “Your Love Never Fails” Chris Quilala version
  3. “You Gave Your Life Away” by Katherine Scott
  4. “Here Is Love” Brian Johnson version

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, March 21, 2010, we will continue our dramatic preaching series, “Vantage Points” with a look at what three different mothers saw when they stood beneath the cross.

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Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible : New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

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Consider these Bible facts:  Jesus traveled and taught for three years.  There are about 110 pages in the Bible dedicated to His ministry and message.  We have approximately 25,000 words that Jesus spoke recorded in the Bible.  Of those 25,000 words, Jesus taught about the Father in Heaven at least 181 times.

This means 1 out of every 140 words, Jesus was speaking about His Father.  His central message and purpose was to restore us to a relationship with our Daddy in Heaven. 

The following is a compilation of my ten favorite verses about our Father in Heaven.  All but two of them are spoken directly by Jesus Himself.  May you experience His love as you read the truth about your Abba.

10.  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  –Matthew 6:26 

9.  “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?  And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.  In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.  –Matthew 18:12-14 

8.  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.  –Luke 6:35-36 

7.  “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  –Luke 12:32 

6.  “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”  –John 14:1-2 

5.  “No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.  — John 16:27 

4.  For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  — Romans 8:15-16 

3.  “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”  — Matthew 7:9-11 

2.  How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  –1 John 3:1

And what is the message all of these verses are hammering into our hearts?

  • You have a daddy who loves you.
  • He is strong enough to protect you.
  • He is engaged enough to teach you.
  • He is tender enough to hug you.
  • He is alive enough to play with you.

And the Number One verse regarding the love of the Father is this amazing truth–  no matter how far you have wondered, you can still come home!  Regarding the prodigal son, Jesus tells us:

1.  “When he came to his senses, he said…I will set out and go back to my father”  –Luke 15:17

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Click to view the Father’s Love Letter

Podcast

You can find Pastor Eric’s message, “The Love of the Father,” on the Emmanuel Fellowship Church web site.  Click to listen

Links

Fathered By God by John Eldredge

Healing the Father Wound by H. Norman Wright

Groovy Giveaway — Peter Lopez is giving away videos of the new series from the creators of Veggie Tales, “What’s in the Bible?”  Head over to www.BeautyoftheBible.com to enter to win. 

Quotes

“Father! – to God Himself we cannot give a holier name.”  –William Wordsworth

On the Radar

Kingdom Principles for Raising Children second session tonight, March 8, at 7:00 pm.  Childcare is provided.

Lifegroups meet this Wednesday at 7:00 pm.  Click here for more Life in Sweetwater information.

Revelation Bible study this Tuesday from 12:00 – 1:00 pm in my office.  Everyone is welcome to join in, just bring your Bible and a lunch box.  Keep up with the progress at The Watchman’s Gaze.

Be in prayer for our Youth Mission Trip as they head to Mission Arlington over Spring Break.

Our Nursery is taking applications for a consistent Sunday morning Nursery Worker.  If you or anyone you know are interested in filling this position, please contact the church office at 325-236-9200.

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” by Jesus Culture
  2. “Your Love is Everything” by Jesus Culture
  3. “Freedom Reigns” by Jason Upton
  4. “Mighty to Save” by Hillsong

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, March 14, 2010, we begin to turn our hearts toward the amazing sacrifice of our King upon the cross.  “Vantage Points” is our four week series leading up to Easter.  Each week will offer a dramatic presentation of a witness to the crucifixion.

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* All Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible : New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

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Of all the truths we learn from following Jesus, how to live in relationship with others is one of the most essential.  The central message of the Bible is instruction on how to live in right relationship with God and with one another.  The following is a list of the “One Another” verses found in the teachings of the New Testament. 

Mark 9:50 – Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

John 13:14 – If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.

John 13:34-35 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 15:12 – This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Romans 12:10-16Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.  14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

Romans 13:8-10 – Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Romans 14:12-13 – So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

Romans 15:5-6 – Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 15:7 – Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God. 

Romans 15:14 – Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

Romans 16:16Greet one another with a holy kiss.

1 Corinthians 7:3-5Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

1 Corinthians 11:33 – Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.

1 Corinthians 12:25 – that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.

1 Corinthians 16:20Greet one another with a holy kiss.

2 Corinthians 13:12Greet one another with a holy kiss.

Galatians 5:13 – For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Galatians 6:2Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Ephesians 4:2 – with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,

Ephesians 4:32 – And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 5:19-21speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

Colossians 3:9Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,

Colossians 3:12-13 – Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

Colossians 3:16 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 – And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

1 Thessalonians 4:9 – But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;

1 Thessalonians 4:18 – Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

Hebrews 10:24-25 – And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

James 4:11Do not speak evil of one another, brethren.

James 5:9Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!

James 5:16Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

1 Peter 1:22 – Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

1 Peter 3:8-9 – Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

1 Peter 4:8-10 – And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1 Peter 5:5 – Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

1 John 3:11 – For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,

1 John 3:23 – And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.

1 John 4:7-11 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

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[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=jumper+cables&iid=5256076″ src=”3/6/d/d/Close_up_of_d6eb.jpg?adImageId=8927657&imageId=5256076″ width=”234″ height=”234″ /] The frigid temperatures have wreaked havoc on the battery of my little ’91 Accord.  I was recently greeted with the familiar clicking sound that told me there wasn’t enough juice to get the engine to turn over.

No problem.  Right?  I’ve got a set of jumper cables.

Now, being the positive person that I am, imagine what would happen if I were to only attach the positive cable to my battery when I go to jump it off.  All that positive energy wouldn’t have any way to transfer into my battery to get me moving again.

And this is where the life lesson is learned.  The positive cable needs the negative cable (I prefer to call it the ground cable) to complete the circuit. 

How many times do we try to hook ourselves to only the positive cables of life, just to discover it’s not giving us the juice we need to get going?  The key is, just like my Accord, we must also be grounded in order for our batteries to operate.

We can’t run away from the negative elements of life.  We can’t despise those things that keep our feet on the ground because it is the realities of life that allow the positive cable to do its thing.  Just as a kite needs a string holding it to the ground to allow it to soar to incredible heights, the grace of God is best experienced in a grounded life.

The challenge of an over-positive, Pollyanna perspective is it can lead us to pretend problems don’t exist, or to ignore the very negative situations that must be dealt with.  We must come to understand faith is not a crutch by which we ignore reality; rather, faith is the ladder allowing us to access a greater reality and see it positively impact the world in which we live.

The facts that surround us are subject to change.  Faith is based on the unchanging truth of God’s Word.  My checkbook ledger changes every day, my health report changes, but the truth of God does not change.  And God’s unchanging truth has the power to change my current circumstances.

So, my friends, plug into that positive power supply, keep your feet on the ground, and watch the grace of God do amazing things in your life today!

Podcast

There is no podcast for the January 10, 2010 message.  Sorry, it was a “had to be there” kind of message.

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 you children’s Bible lesson home to the kitchen table. 

Links

I began yesterday’s message by humorously browsing through my vehicle road side emergency kit, but being stuck in a real emergency isn’t too humorous at the time.  Does your family have a plan to handle the unexpected events of life?  Here are a few links for emergency preparedness.

A crisis is only a crisis when we are not prepared for it.  If we prepare ourselves, then a crisis becomes merely a situation.  I’d rather make it through a situation than a crisis!  My personal plan of action, and one I recommend to friends is to keep FOOD on hand for a week (don’t let your pantry get empty); keep some CASH on hand (invest in a fire safe box); and keep GAS in your car (don’t let it get below half a tank).

On the Radar

Lifegroups, RAMP, and worldchangers all start up again for the Spring Semester this Wednesday evening!  Log on to www.efcsweetwater.com for more info and make plans to join us this week!

Our youth will be attending the Julian Drive concert here in Sweetwater on Thursday, January 21st.  Log on to www.efcyouth.com for more info!

Revelation Bible study this Tuesday from 12:00 – 1:00 pm in my office.  Everyone is welcome to join in, just bring your Bible and a lunch box.  Keep up with the progress at The Watchman’s Gaze.

Our church will be helping the Ministerial Alliance serve the needy of our community during the month of February.  We will need a coordinator for this outreach, a driver who can pick up groceries in Abilene with a flatbed trailer, a team of volunteers to help sack groceries for two hours on Tuesday, February 16th, and a few more to help distribute the groceries to those in need on Thursday, February 18th.  If you are interested in being a part of this service project, please log on to the Emmanuel Fellowship Church website and click the SERVE icon.

Make plans to join in the after church Fellowship Meal Sunday, January 31.  It’ll be a great day of fun and family time.  More info (and even recipes!) by logging on to one of the most delicious churches in Sweetwater, Texas and clicking the FELLOWSHIP MEAL icon.

Discover more about Sweetwater, Texas!

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. “Grace Like Rain” by Todd Agnew
  2. “Your Glory” by Mindy von Atzigen
  3. “Your Love is Like” by Rick Pino
  4. “Mighty to Save” by Matt Redmand

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, January 17, 2010, we will get back on track with our Vision 2010 sermon series and take a deeper exploration of a church that “Mends.”

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Pots of Stone Soup are springing up all over the Big County.  From the local fish and chicken eatery to schools and home kitchens, friends and family are cooking up the adventure!

Here is a recipe for Stone Soup submitted by a dear friend, Ron Smith. 

 Ingredients

  •  Any pot that is handy
  •  Enough water to fill pot
  •  A fire starter and extra kindling (just in case)
  •  One special stone
  •  A variety of special soup ingredients, from common to totally unique (These may be gathered from a variety of sources and locations. Don’t turn down anything without very good reason.)

 Directions

  • Start a fire in a convenient, or sometimes in an inconvenient, location. Simply starting the fire is the important initial action.
  • Place pot on fire.
  • Let water begin to simmer. (If absolutely necessary, let pot come to a boil.)
  • Gently place one special stone in heated water. (Sometimes tossing the stone vigorously in the pot works even better.)
  • Gradually add additional ingredients. Don’t fret too much over what order or in what quantity they go in originally. Just make sure there are many ingredients.
  • Stir pot frequently. Don’t get lazy here just because the aroma, taste, and texture are already good. Stirring often is an absolute must for a successful dish.
  • Taste test occasionally, making sure all ingredients are included in their uniquely agreeable proportions.
  • Garnish with a healthy dose of love and serve continuously until all are filled.
  • Move to a new location and start recipe again.

You can discover more of Ron Smith’s writings at www.freshfocus.wordpress.com.

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The story is told of a French soldier returning to his home after the Napoleonic wars.  Weary and alone, he steadily traveled, passing through village after village seeking shelter and the hospitality of his countrymen.

He was saddened to find the devastation of war had broken the spirit of the villagers.  High taxes, poor crops, and uncertainty had stolen their sense of love, trust, and community.  And so our lonely soldier traveled, trying to make his way home, and trying to make these war torn villages more like home as he went.

His luggage was peculiar.  He didn’t carry the rifle that had helped him survive the hard fought battles he had seen.  He didn’t carry a knapsack full of clothing.  Not much could be found in his old wagon, but a large metal pot and a special box with something priceless inside.

One day, he wondered into a village in the region of Lyon and made his way to the town square which housed the local well.  His presence was met by the slamming of doors, the closing of shutters, and mothers calling their children in early from their playing.  The soldier simply whistled and walked on. 

Upon arriving at the well, he filled his metal pot with water, placed it on an old fire pit in the town square, and lit a nice fire underneath.

A miserly old man passed by and scoffed at the soldier.  “Don’t know why you’re stopping here,” he said, “And definitely no need for a cooking fire.  There ain’t a bite to eat in the whole region.  You’ll starve like the rest of us if you stay too long.”

“Oh, I’ve everything I need right here,” the soldier replied.  “In fact, I was thinking of making some stone soup to share with the rest of you.”

With that, he opened the box and pulled out a velvet bag and from the bag he removed one small stone and plopped it in the water.  The soldier leaned over the pot, breathed in the aroma with a satisfactory groan, and gave the pot a stir.

Well, it didn’t take long for the entire village to hear word of a stranger cooking up something odd in the center of town.  Many of the villagers began to make their way toward the square, while many others began to peer out of now unshuttered windows.

As the soldier gave the broth a taste and licked his lips in anticipation of a scrumptious meal, hunger began to overtake the villager’s skepticism.

“Ah,” the soldier said to himself rather loudly, “I do like a tasty stone soup.  Of course, some flour would sure thicken up the broth.  It’s hard to beat a thick and rich stone soup.”

It wasn’t long before a villager returned with a cup of flour and offered it to be added to the pot.

“Excellent,” cried the soldier, “You know I once had stone soup with minced spices and a bit of garlic.  It was fit for a king.”

No sooner had he spoken the words than two housewives appeared with garlic and spices to add to the simmering pot of deliciousness.  And with that, the soldier gave one more sniff of the pot, yawned quite loudly and decided to go and rest under a tree while the stone soup gently cooked.

It was all the villagers could do to resist stealing a spoonful of soup smelling so wonderful with the fresh garlic and spices wafting in the air.  As the soldier slept a farmer made his way to the pot with some carrots he had hidden away in his cellar.  He was followed by a boy who had been sent with an onion.  Not long after that, the local butcher came bustling into the crowd with a sausage he decided could be spared for such a grand event as stone soup.

As the soup bubbled and the list of ingredients grew, the soldier rested until dinner time when he promptly jumped up, rushed over to examine the soup, and determined it to be the taste of perfection, if only it had a pinch of salt.

Moments later containers of salt came at the boiling pot from four different directions.  It was all the soldier could do to keep the soup from being ruined by over zealous salters.

That evening, an entire village of once broken and disconnected people enjoyed a mighty feast on the lawn of the town square.  They laughed and danced and remembered the old times with such fondness that, for the first time in a long time, they had a pleasant hope about tomorrow.

You can only imagine the offers that were made to purchase that magical stone from the soldier, but he refused to sell, and on the next day he loaded up and traveled on. 

Steadily making his way home from the war, he went, making war torn villages more like home along the way.

It can be quickly seen that Stone Soup is a metaphor for life, leadership, and generosity.  As you contemplate the impact of that metaphor on your vision for a new year, I encourage you to ponder three truths revealed in the story.

  1. As a child of God, you are a soldier traveling through a war-torn land on your way home.
  2. You have been commissioned to make this ravaged earth look more like home.
  3. Every pot of soup you start, you do for His glory.

Grace and peace and a Happy New Year to you all!

Podcast

Check back soon for this week’s Stone Soup podcast.

Links

Check out the church website for additional information about life at EFC.

Parents — don’t forget to head over to the WorldChangers page to access ways to connect Kid’s Church to your kitchen table.

On the Radar – Church Holiday Schedule

  • Wednesday, December 30 – No Church Activities
  • Thursday, December 31 – New Year’s Night of Worship — and talent show!  Email me at efcsweetwater@aol.com to sign up.

Revelation Bible study is taking a Holiday break.  We will resume our eschatological exploration Tuesday, January 5, 2010.

The Drum Circle will be getting back on rhythm in 2010.  Drop me an email if you are interested in learning to play hand drums.

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, January 3, is the first Sunday of the New Year — and the decade.  We look forward to a great start to this year and a great morning of worship with you!

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  • Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven.
  • Jesus was wounded that we might be healed.
  • Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness that we might become righteous with His righteousness.
  • Jesus died our death that we might share His life.
  • Jesus became poor with our poverty that we might become rich with His riches.
  • Jesus bore our shame that we might share His glory.
  • Jesus endured our rejection that we might have His acceptance as children of God.
  • Jesus became a curse that we might receive a blessing.

Isaiah 61

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.

5 Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.

6 And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.

7 Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.

8 “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them.

9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”

10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.

For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

Podcast

Podcast unavailable for 12/20/09.

Links

We hope to have a video of our amazing Children’s Christmas Pageant up soon.  Thanks a million to everyone who helped make the pageant such a wonderful celebration of the birth of our King.  Check back soon for the video link.

Discover more about Emmanuel Fellowship Church of Sweetwater.  Click the link to access our website.

Parents — don’t forget to head over to the WorldChangers page to access ways to connect Kid’s Church to your kitchen table.

On the Radar – Church Holiday Schedule

  • Wednesday, December 23 – No Church Activities
  • Sunday, December 27 – Last Sunday of 2009
  • Wednesday, December 30 – No Church Activities
  • Thursday, December 31 – New Year’s Night of Worship — and talent show!  Email me at efcsweetwater@aol.com to sign up.

Revelation Bible study is taking a Holiday break.  We will resume our eschatological exploration Tuesday, January 5, 2010.

The Drum Circle will be getting back on rhythm in 2010.  Drop me an email if you are interested in learning to play hand drums.

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, December 27, is the last Sunday of the year — and the decade.  We look forward to ending the year with a wonderful time of worship and a special message as Pastor Eric shares with us the miracle of “Stone Soup.”

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