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An invitation is a powerful thing.

It means you have been accepted and included.  It means there is a place for you in the activity at hand.

I’ve been invited and uninvited to special events.  I’ve been thought of and forgotten.  I vividly remember the long walk home after I was asked to leave an event at a not so gracious hostess’ home one evening in college.

An invitation takes you from being a casual observer to an active participant.  It cuts through every potential barrier and puts you on the inside of the action.

One of Jesus’ greatest frustrations was the exclusive nature of the Jewish faith in his day.  Jesus gave this fiery rebuke to the teachers of the law:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”  – Matthew 23:13

But, you have been invited to the party!  The ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus are your invitation to participate in the abundant life.  The only limitations you have are the ones you have placed on yourself.  Nobody has the power to limit who you are in Christ.

My friends, God is doing amazing things among us.  It is an overwhelming joy to be a part of the transformation of lives and healing of the broken.  And you can be a participant, not just a spectator.

I invite you to take your next step in ministry.  I believe God is calling you to join in the work He is doing.  How will you respond to His invitation?

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”  – 2 Peter 1:3-4

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In yesterday’s message, we explored the story of a man named Jacob in the Bible.  His life is woven together with the thread of “almost.”  Many times he found himself incredibly close to God’s plan for his life, but he would so very often pull up short before he reached the goal.

Here is a review of Seven Key “Almosts” in Jacob’s life:

  • Almost Never Happened: Jacob’s mother, Rebekah, was barren, but his daddy, Isaac, prayed for her, and she conceived twins.

Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was barren. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.  (Genesis 25:21)

  • Almost The First Born Son: Even from the womb, Jacob was grasping for the blessings of God as he grasped at his brother’s heal when he was born.  Esau was still the firstborn, but Jacob connived his way into getting the firstborn son’s benefits.  He bought the birthright for a bowl of beans, and he stole the blessing with a bowl of soup.

After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob.  (Genesis 25:26)

  • Almost blessed By God: God appears to Jacob and speaks amazing promises over his life, but Jacob tries to connive God.  He tries to hijack the blessing and make a deal with God’s promises.  Jacob responds to God’s promises with a statement of, “If you will bless me, then I will follow you.”

There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will… Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will…”  (Genesis 28:13-20)

  • Almost Married The Girl Of His Dreams: In one of the most heartbreaking stories of the Bible, Jacob wakes up the morning after his wedding to discover he is married to the wrong woman.

When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?”  (Genesis 29:25)

  • Almost Got Paid For Years Of Work For His Father-In-Law: Jacob’s father-in-law, Laban, steals the flock of sheep he had promised to give to Jacob.

“Agreed,” said Laban. “Let it be as you have said.” That same day he removed all the male goats that were streaked or spotted, and all the speckled or spotted female goats (all that had white on them) and all the dark-colored lambs, and he placed them in the care of his sons. Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban’s flocks.  (Genesis 30:34-36)

  • Almost Leaves His Father-In-Law Behind: Jacob attempted to leave his father-in-law’s house and get a fresh start on life, but his wife, Rachel, stole her father’s idols and brought all of the spiritual junk with them.

When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household gods. Moreover, Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him he was running away. So he fled with all he had, and crossing the River, he headed for the hill country of Gilead.  (Genesis 31:19-21)

  • Almost Repents And Gets Right With God: In fear of losing his life, Jacob cries out to God for protection, but he ends up wrestling with God rather than surrendering to Him.  Jacob almost loses a leg in that wrestling match.

So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.  (Genesis 32:24)

But something happens in the middle of Jacob’s almost life.  God steps in.  God doesn’t just almost step in.  God steps in.  And God fulfills His promise to Jacob, and His purpose for Jacob’s life.

I challenge you to leave your life of “almost” behind.  Allow yourself to fully surrender to God, and dare to discover what He can do through a life that is completely given over to Him.

 

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The Gift of TonguesThe gift of tongues is one of the most amazing presents God has ever given.  As we learned in yesterday’s message, tongues has value both in a corporate church service and in the personal life of a Christian.

The grace to pray in other languages is a gift available to every believer who has received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and it has many benefits.

Praying in tongues allows your spirit to pray and by-pass the emotions or misunderstandings of your mind.  It is not a replacement for praying with your intellect and understanding; rather it is a beautiful addition to your prayer life.

The Bible says some pretty amazing things happen when we exercise our prayer language:

1. We pray according to God’s will.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.   And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.  – Romans 8:26-27

2.  We complete the full armor of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. – Ephesians 6:18

3. We strengthen our faith.

But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. – Jude 20

Remember, your prayer language isn’t something that is received as much as it is released once you have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  I encourage you to continue to pursue a release of this amazing gift in your life.  Allow the grace of God to empower you to engage your spirit in prayer and let your mind take a break!

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In my high school Physics class, we had the chance to take on the legendary assignment to drop an egg from the roof of the school without cracking it.

This project was cool for a variety of reasons, the first being we had permission to get up on the roof of the school.  It was also a project that allowed us to get out from behind the desk and apply what we had learned to a hands-on project.

We came up with some wild and crazy contraptions involving coat hangers, rubber bands, duct tape, electrical tape, scotch tape, athletic tape, and anything else we could raid from the teachers supply closet.  Most of our designs looked great and were built on good theories, but the structures we created just didn’t hold up well to the long drop and sudden stop from the roof.

Much to our chagrin, the most secure design, even after repeated test drops, belonged to the girl who rolled her egg in a pillow and stuffed it into a shoe box.  No amount of bouncing, trouncing, or pouncing could crack that egg.

Physics class may have come and gone, but we all still find ourselves trying to develop contraptions to keep our hearts safe from the pounding this world dishes out.  We try ideas built on great theories or celebrated in the latest books, but we can’t seem protect ourselves from feeling like we are carrying damaged cargo.

There just isn’t a good substitute to being wrapped up tight and tucked inside a safe place.

In John 14:20 Jesus promises:

On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

I am so thinking Jesus got an a “A” in Physics class!

He knows how to hold the human heart safely and securely.  John 14:20 tells us Jesus has wrapped Himself around us, and God is wrapped around Him, then He placed the Holy Spirit inside of us to further cushion us from the hard jolts of life.  We are wrapped up inside and out in the marvelous grace of God.

All of us were born into a broken world, and we have all experienced the breaking this world has to offer.  But, when we are born again in the grace of God, we are born into a security that holds us steadfast through every long drop or sudden stop that comes our way.

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Attempting to wrap our finite minds around the majesty of an infinite God is a wonderfully noble, if not oftentimes laughable goal.

But, our love for God and His gift of the Holy Bible lead us onward into a continual discovery of His nature and character.

In an attempt to explain the essence of God in the Holy Trinity, one of the most beautiful documents ever to describe God was written in the year 500 A.D.

We know it today as the Athanasian Creed.

But this is the faith: That we worship one God in trinity, and trinity in unity;
Neither confounding the persons; nor dividing the substance.
For there is one person of the Father: another of the Son: another of the Holy Ghost.
But the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.
The Father is uncreated: the Son is uncreated: the Holy Ghost is uncreated.
The Father is immeasurable: the Son is immeasurable: the Holy Ghost is immeasurable.
The Father is eternal: the Son is eternal: the Holy Ghost is eternal
And yet there are not three
As also there are not three uncreated: nor three immeasurable: but one uncreated, and one immeasurable.
So likewise the Father is almighty: the Son almighty: and the Holy Ghost almighty,
And yet there are not three almighties: but one almighty.
So the Father is God: the Son is God: and the Holy Ghost is God.
And yet there are not three Gods; but one God.
So the Father is Lord: the Son Lord: and the Holy Ghost Lord.
And yet not three Lords; but one Lord
For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to
acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord
So are we forbidden to say, there are three Gods, or three Lords.
The Father is made of none; neither created; nor begotten.
The Son is of the Father alone: not made; nor created; but begotten.
The Holy Ghost is of the Father and the Son: not made; neither created; nor begotten; but proceeding.
Thus there is one Father, not three Fathers: one Son, not three Sons: one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.
And in this Trinity none is before or after another: none is greater or less than another.
But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together, and co-equal
So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

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As  you undoubtedly are aware, we at EFC are in the middle of the sermon series “Mountains and Valleys.” Last week, Pastor Eric preached on “Living Dangerously in the Valley of Dry Bones.”

Yesterday, Jim Cargile very carefully walked us through the Valley of the Shadow of Death cleverly demonstrating that the walk is, in fact, the point of it all. If you missed it, check out the podcast when the podcast link below becomes active.

It’s an exciting time around EFC! The new children’s wing and youth room are taking shape. If you haven’t seen the progress, pop in some time and see what’s going on.

Podcast

Click here to listen to Jim’s message “The Valley of the Shadow of Death.”

On the Radar

The Children’s School of Worship is fast approaching. It will be August 8-11. You can register your children next week. Check with Pastor Lolo for additional details.

Rock the Desert is also just around the corner. If you or your youth are interested, you can contact the other Pastor Loran for more information. You must register by July 28. The cost is $30 which includes your ticket, food and transportation. If you just want the ticket, it’s $20.

Growing Together is ongoing and you can continue to help by volunteering to help with construction, painting, and, of course, contributing financially.

Links

I can’t guest post on MMR without shamelessly plugging my own blog, Beauty of the Bible (an exploration of the beauty of the Word of God). Come look around and, if you’re interested, subscribe.

Jim mentioned his late-night fascination with Blue Letter Bible during his sermon. Check it out. It’ll definitely be worth your time. iPhone users can download the Blue Letter Bible App for free. I did Sunday night. Speaking of Bible apps, there are plenty of great Bible and Bible study apps for iPhone, Blackberry, and many other smartphones. Here are a few of my favorites (and they’re all free):

Interested in other online Bible resources? The Resources page on my own blog has several to keep you occupied.

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, July 25, we will continue our exploration of valleys in the Bible with the other Pastor Loran.

I want to thank Pastor Eric for once again allowing me to fill in and write this Monday Morning Review. I always appreciate the opportunity to do so.



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Garden of Gethsemane

Through His death on the cross, Jesus purchased the salvation of mankind, but He won the victory as He prayed alone in a garden the night before.

In Matthew 26:39, we read:

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

When Jesus is being arrested just moments later in the garden, John 18:11 records:

Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

As He prayed with His friends asleep around Him, Jesus wrestled with the cost of saving mankind.  It was in this place our Lord won the victory over the cross before one nail was driven into His body.

Just as Jesus gained victory over the cross through His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, God invites us to this lifestyle of overcoming faith.  We can walk in victory before we step up to fight the battle — but, there is an essential key we must see in John 18.

When He had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it.  Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. (John 18:1-2)

Jesus was not a stranger to the Garden, nor was He a stranger to prayer.

It is difficult for us to approach God with faith and confidence when we feel like foreigners to prayer.  We will not know how to approach God for help if we are not familiar with approaching Him as a friend.

I encourage you to meet with God in your garden today; you will be glad you did tomorrow!

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Our God loves a good building project.  Through the pages of the Bible, we see Him inviting people to build arks in the wilderness, walls in fifty two days or less, and cities where there was once a mess.

One of my favorite building projects in the Bible is the construction of the tabernacle.  As the Children of Israel are making their way through the desert, God lays out the blueprints for a tent to house His presence during their journey.

In Exodus 35, we hear the invitation from God for His people to unite and build together.

Exodus 35:4-5 — Moses said to the whole Israelite community, “This is what the Lord has commanded: From what you have, take an offering for the Lord. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the Lord an offering…”

A few verses later, we learn a building project requires more than an offering of resources, it requires the gifts and talents of God’s people to get the job done.

Exodus 35:10 — “All who are skilled among you are to come and make everything the Lord has commanded…”

And, once the invitation to build together is given, the miracle begins to occur as the people respond.

Exodus 35:20-29 — Then the whole Israelite community withdrew from Moses’ presence, and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved him came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work on the Tent of Meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments. All who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought gold jewelry of all kinds: brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments. They all presented their gold as a wave offering to the Lord. Everyone who had blue, purple or scarlet yarn or fine linen, or goat hair, ram skins dyed red or hides of sea cows brought them. Those presenting an offering of silver or bronze brought it as an offering to the Lord, and everyone who had acacia wood for any part of the work brought it. Every skilled woman spun with her hands and brought what she had spun—blue, purple or scarlet yarn or fine linen. And all the women who were willing and had the skill spun the goat hair. The leaders brought onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece. They also brought spices and olive oil for the light and for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense. All the Israelite men and women who were willing brought to the Lord freewill offerings for all the work the Lord through Moses had commanded them to do.

It is remarkable to see all the necessary resources coming together for the people of God to do the work of God.  But, I am baffled as I consider the reality that this offering is coming from a community of former slaves who have found themselves on a journey through the desert.

Who thinks to bring rams skin dyed red or the hides of sea cows with them through the desert?  But, just as the need presented itself, the resource was available!

This would be an amazing story if it stopped here, but God-sized stories rarely stop when you expect. 

Exodus 36:2-7 — Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. So all the skilled craftsmen who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left their work and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.”

Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, 7 because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.

“More than enough!”  Those three words define the potential for the people of God to take on any building project.

Making their way through the desert, God provided His people with the instructions, resources and skills to build a tent that could house His glory.

If God can do that over there, I know He can do it here in Sweetwater, as well!

Once again, I invite you to prayerfully consider the invitation to unite as a church family in the Growing Together 2010 expansion project.  Construction begins with Blitz week on July 5, and we are still gathering the resources and volunteer man power to make this project possible.

When everyone unites to share from what they have, a miracle can take place!

Podcast

Click here to listen to Pastor Mindy’s Father’s Day message, “Transfigured and Transformed.”

Links

“I’m Watching You!”  Click here to review yesterday’s Father’s Day video.

Thanks for the compliments on my Father’s Day tie.  You can order a custom photo tie at snapfish.

On the Radar

Membership Dessert for those new to Emmanuel Fellowship.  We invite you to join us Monday, June 28, at 7:00 pm for a time of fellowship and discovery as you learn more about how to connect with EFC.  Childcare will be provided.

Open House at the von Atzigen’s!  We would love to have you as a guest in our home next Wednesday, June 30, from 7:00 pm till whenever.  You can find us at 1911 Hoyt Street–it’s the cute white house on the corner with the big back yard full of people!

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. “Dancing Generation” by Matt Redmand
  2. “Wonderful Maker” Jeremy Camp version
  3. “Child of God” by Kathryn Scott
  4. “Nothing is Impossible” by Dwight Hufthwait

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, June 27, we will climb our final mountain in the “Mountains and Valleys” sermon series.

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A few months back, Pastor Morris Sheats (one of my ministry heroes and mentors) shared about a sermon series he was preparing on the questions Jesus asked.  This concept intrigued me, and I decided to jump into study of this topic myself.

I have been amazed by how masterfully our Lord uses questions to teach vital spiritual truths.  Jesus never asked a question because he needed to know the answer.  He used questions the way a surgeon uses a scalpel, to delicately cut into a new level of understanding.

Compiled here is a list of questions Jesus asked.  Though it is probably not exhaustive, it is an extensive collection of interrogations still demanding answers of us.

I find myself amazed at the power of these questions to cut into my soul.  I’d love to hear which question most jumps off the page and leaves you pondering as you read today.

  1. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? (Matthew 5:46)
  2. If you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? (Matthew 5:47)
  3. Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (Matthew 6:27)
  4. Why do you worry about clothes? (Matthew 6:28)
  5. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? (Matthew 7:3)
  6. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? (Matthew 7:16)
  7. Why are you so afraid? (Matthew 8:26)
  8. Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? (Matthew 9:4)
  9. Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? (Matthew 9:5)
  10. How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? (Matthew 9:15)
  11. Do you believe that I am able to do this? (Matthew 9:28)
  12. What did you go out into the desert to see? (Matthew 11:7)
  13. To what can I compare this generation? (Matthew 11:16)
  14. If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?  (Matthew 12:11)
  15. How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man?  (Matthew 12:29)
  16. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? (Matthew 12:34)
  17. Who is my mother, and who are my brothers? (Matthew 12:48)
  18. Why did you doubt? (Matthew 14:31)
  19. Why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? (Matthew 15:3)
  20. How many loaves do you have?  (Matthew 15:34)
  21. Do you still not understand? (Matthew 16:9)
  22. Who do people say the Son of Man is? (Matthew 16:13)
  23. Who do you say I am? (Matthew 16:15)
  24. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26)
  25. How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? (Matthew 17:17)
  26. From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes–from their own sons or from others? (Matthew 17:25)
  27. 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? (Matthew 18:12)
  28. Why do you ask me about what is good? (Matthew 19:17)
  29. What is it you want? (Matthew 20:21)
  30. Can you drink the cup I am going to drink? (Matthew 20:22)
  31. What do you want me to do for you? (Matthew 20:32)
  32. John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or from men? (Matthew 21:25)
  33. What do you think? (Matthew 21:28)
  34. Have you never read in the Scriptures? (Matthew 21:42)
  35. Why are you trying to trap me? (Matthew 22:18)
  36. What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he? (Matthew 22:42)
  37. Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? (Matthew 23:17-19)
  38. How will you escape being condemned to hell? (Matthew 23:33)
  39. Why are you bothering this woman? (Matthew 26:10)
  40. Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour? (Matthew 26:40)
  41. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? (Matthew 26:53)
  42. But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way? (Matthew 26:54)
  43. Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? (Matthew 26:55)
  44. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)
  45. Why are you thinking these things? (Mark 2:8)
  46. Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? (Mark 4:21)
  47. What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? (Mark 4:30)
  48. Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? (Mark 4:40)
  49. What is your name? (Mark 5:9)
  50. Who touched my clothes? (Mark 5:30)
  51. Why all this commotion and wailing? (Mark 5:39)
  52. Are you so dull? (Mark 7:18)
  53. Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him ‘unclean’? (Mark 7:18)
  54. Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it. (Mark 8:12)
  55. Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? (Mark 8:17-18)
  56. When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up? (Mark 8:19)
  57. When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up? (Mark 8:20)
  58. Do you still not understand? (Mark 8:21)
  59. [To the blind man] Do you see anything? (Mark 8:23)
  60. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? (Mark 9:12)
  61. What were you arguing about on the road? (Mark 9:33)
  62. Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? (Mark 9:50)
  63. What did Moses command you? (Mark 10:3)
  64. Why do you call me good? (Mark 10:18)
  65. What do you want me to do for you? (Mark 10:51)
  66. Why are you trying to trap me? (Mark 12:15)
  67. Do you see all these great buildings? (Mark 13:2)
  68. Are you asleep? (Mark 14:37)
  69. Could you not keep watch for one hour? (Mark 14:37)
  70. Why were you searching for me? (Luke 2:49)
  71. Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house? (Luke 2:49)
  72. Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? (Luke 5:22)
  73. Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? (Luke 5:23)
  74. Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46)
  75. Where is your faith? (Luke 8:25)
  76. What is your name? (Luke 8:30)
  77. Who touched me? (Luke 8:45)
  78. Will you be lifted up to the skies? (Luke 10:15)
  79. What is written in the Law? How do you read it? (Luke 10:26)
  80. Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers? (Luke 10:36)
  81. Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? (Luke 11:40)
  82. Who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you? (Luke 12:14-15)
  83. Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (Luke 12:25)
  84. Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? (Luke 12:57)
  85. Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? (Luke 14:31)
  86. Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? (Luke 14:34)
  87. Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? (Luke 15:4)
  88. Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? (Luke 15:8)
  89. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? (Luke 16:11)
  90. Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? (Luke 17:17)
  91. 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? (Luke 18:7)
  92. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8)
  93. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? (Luke 22:27)
  94. Why are you sleeping?  (Luke 22:46)
  95. For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry? (Luke 23:31)
  96. What are you discussing together as you walk along? (Luke 24:17)
  97. What things? (Luke 24:19)
  98. Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory? (Luke 24:26)
  99. Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? (Luke 24:38)  
  100. Do you have anything here to eat? (Luke 24:41)
  101. What do you want? (John 1:38)
  102. Why do you involve me? (John 2:4)
  103. You are Israel’s teacher, and do you not understand these things? (John 3:10)
  104. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? (John 3:12)
  105. Will you give me a drink? (John 4:7)
  106. Do you want to get well? (John 5:6)
  107. How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God? (John 5:44)
  108. If you do not believe Moses’ writings how will you believe me? (John 5:47)
  109. Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat? (John 6:5)
  110. Does this offend you? (John 6:61)
  111. What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! (John  6:62)
  112. You do not want to leave too, do you? (John 6:67)
  113. Have I not chosen you? (John 6:70)
  114. Has not Moses given you the law? (John 7:19)
  115. Why are you trying to kill me? (John7:19)
  116. Why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath? (John 7:23)
  117. Where are they? Has no one condemned you? (John 8:10)
  118. Why is my language not clear to you? (John 8:43)
  119. Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?  (John 8:46)
  120. If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? (John 8:46)
  121. Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? (John 10:36)
  122. Are there not twelve hours of daylight? (John 11:9)
  123. Do you believe this? (John 11:26)
  124. Where have you laid him? (John 11:33)
  125. Do you understand what I have done for you? (John 13:12)
  126. Don’t you know me, even after I have been among you such a long time? (John 14:9)       
  127. Who is it you want? (John 18:4,7)
  128. Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me? (John 18:11)
  129. Is that your own idea, or did others talk to you about me? (John 18:34)
  130. Why question me? (John 18:21)
  131. If I spoke the truth, why did you strike me? (John 18:23)
  132. Why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for? (John 20:15)
  133. Friends, haven’t you any fish? (John 21:5)
  134. Do you love me? (John 21:17)
  135. What is that to you? (John 21:22)
All Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible : New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

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The fact that you are reading this article is evidence that you are, or have recently been, connected with the U.S. Power Grid.  Right now, through over 180,000 miles of transmission lines, power is being supplied to the millions of homes in the United States.

With all of our advances in the technology to generate electricity, it is baffling we have not developed a way to store large quantities of electricity for mass distribution.  Electricity must be generated on demand for public use.

A key limitation in the distribution of electricity is that, with minor exceptions, electrical energy cannot be stored, and therefore it must be generated as it is needed. A sophisticated system of control is therefore required, to ensure electric generation very closely matches the demand. If supply and demand are not in balance, generation plants and transmission equipment can shut down.  In worst case scenarios, this can lead to major regional blackouts, such as occurred in California and the US Northwest in 1996 and in the US Northeast in 1965, 1977 and 2003. To reduce the risk of such failures, electric transmission networks are interconnected into regional, national or continental wide networks, thereby providing multiple redundant alternate routes for power to flow should (weather or equipment) failures occur. (Wikipedia: Electrical Power Transmission)

This limitation of our electrical power grid illustrates a vitally important spiritual truth.  We can generate energy through relationship with God, but we do not have long term storage capacity.

If we desire to walk in the strength and grace of our Lord, we must stay connected to Him as our power source.  We do not have the battery capacity to neglect relationship with God and expect to remain vibrant and effective.

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.  (Isaiah 40:31 NKJV)

If you would like to learn more about staying connected with God’s power grid, click on the podcast link below.

Podcast

Power Grid will be available on podcast soon.

Links

Click here for the full wiki article on the U.S. Power Grid.  

Click here to see the Sweetwater High School coaches have a dynamic encounter with power as they get tazed in a law enforcement demonstration.

On the Radar

We invite all new believers to participate in the upcoming Baptism Celebration this Sunday, May 16, 6:00 pm, at First Christian Church.  Please make plans to attend one of our Baptism classes as well.  Contact Pastor Eric for more information.

To Save A Life free movie night!  Wednesday, May 15, at 6:30 pm in the High School Auditorium.  Youth and parents are invited to experience this amazing and in touch film.

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 Won’t Relent” by Misty Edwards

Sunday Preview

Sunday, May 16, we are transitioning into a new and intriguing sermon series.  You are invited to come and explore with us the “Questions Jesus Asked.”

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