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Archive for the ‘Healing’ Category

Gdanks, Poland

Gdansk, Poland

Wow! There’s a lot to talk about this morning. Pastor Eric is in Poland (soon to be in Croatia), Pastor Mindy, Pastor Lolo and Jay Neal got set on fire at Global Awakening’s School of Healing, it was Missions Sunday, and it’s the harvest season.

Has there ever been a better time to be at EFC? Well, the Cowboys did lose, so maybe next week will be even better.

Courage

Courage is a curious thing. And as we learned from Pastor Mindy, courage can also look like a crazy thing. But, when God is on your side, it can also be a pretty cool thing. Just like Jonathan’s plan to take on the Philistines single-handedly seemed crazy, we should start coming up with some crazy plans of our own, and trust that the same God who delivered the Philistines into Jonathan’s hands, will deliver our enemies into our hands. Courage, after all, is a lot easier to command when your trust is in God.

You can read this part of Jonathan’s story at 1 Samuel 14.

Missions Sunday

Appropriately, yesterday was EFC’s Missions Sunday. For anyone who stumbles upon this post or who is relatively new to EFC, the third Sunday of every month at EFC is designated specifically for giving to mission organizations. Here are just a few of the opportunities to support missions work at Emmanuel Fellowship Church:

Prepare International – Pastor Eric and Keegan are currently traveling with a team from Prepare International, and EFC members frequently support and accompany Prepare International mission teams.

Mission Brazil – Part of the reason Pastor Mindy and Pastor Lolo attended the Global Awakening School of Healing and Impartation was because it is a prerequisite to travel with a Global Awakening team to Brazil, which they will be doing in 2010. If you are interested in going to Brazil with the team, please contact Pastor Mindy for more information.

Tents of Mercy – Tents of Mercy is a Messianic Jewish organization spreading the gospel in Israel.  Tents of Mercy currently has five congregations throughout Israel, and EFC currently supports the Katzir Asher (Harvest of Asher) congregation in Akko.

World Bible Translation Center – Help translate the Bible into new languages for distribution throughout the world.

Sweetwater Prayer Center – Help support our very own Sweetwater Prayer Center.

Harvest Season

It’s the harvest season, and all the seed you have sown over the year – whether financial, in ministry, or at home – is ready to be harvested. The key, however, is to harvest because the crop doesn’t gather itself. So go and gather your financial harvest. Go and gather your spiritual harvest. Go and gather the harvest of souls you have worked on all year. They are ripe for the harvest.

I’m not sure where exactly that came from, but I hope it’s a good word for somebody, or a lot of somebodies.

You Heard it at EFC

The just-for-Bryant Wilkinson version (which includes his favorite song):

On the Radar

Advent Choir – The Advent Choir is a new and exciting adventure for EFC and is open to anyone who would like to participate. The choir will sing throughout the holiday season. Practice begins tonight November 16, 2009 @ 7pm at EFC.

WorldChangers – The EFC children’s ministry, a.k.a WorldChangers, has a new website where parents can keep up with weekly lessons and everything else going on with their little world changers.

Revelation Bible Study – The Revelation Bible Study meets weekly on Tuesdays @ noon at EFC. It’s not too late – it’s never too late. Come join in this in depth study verse-by-verse through the book of Revelation led by EFC’s very own Curtis Ward, who is blogging about the study on his blog The Watchman’s Gaze. Check it out.

Last Word

All the reports I’ve heard from Pastor Eric have been good, so keep praying for the wondeful work being done in Eastern Europe by Pastor Eric, Keegan and the whole Prepare International team.

I think I will also be writing next week’s Monday Morning Review, so if you have any news or info that you want included, please email me or leave me a comment below. Have a great week.

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Matthew 6 v 14 and 15 jpg“But I just don’t know if I can ever forgive what was done to me.”  I’ve looked into the tear filled eyes of many as they have spoken those words with a quivering voice.

But, what if I told you that you didn’t have to forgive WHAT was done to you?  

WHAT was done to you was wrong.  WHAT was done was unjust.  WHAT was done should never have happened, and I pray it never happens again. 

You are not expected to forgive WHAT has happened to you in your life.  The key to forgiveness is that we must find the grace to separate the offense from the offender.  When we are able to untangle the two, then we make the choice to forgive WHO it is that hurt you.

WHAT was done is the action that was committed against you.  WHO did it is the actor that was used to bring the pain.  In the process of forgiving the person, we must look beyond them to see the true source of the offense that has occurred in our life.

Our battle is not against flesh and blood, and though the WHO that hurt you may have been in flesh and blood form, that person was only a tool in the hands of an enemy.  It is the enemy of your soul who has come to lie to and steal from you.

Let’s pause for a moment and consider our own forgiveness and the grace we received from the life and death of Jesus on the cross.

In Colossians 3:13, Paul tells us:

“Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

When we reflect upon our own salvation, we realize that God Himself separated the WHAT from the WHO in our lives.

WHAT we did was paid for through the death of Jesus on the cross so that WHO we are could be forgiven by the grace of God.  What an amazing gift!

Now it is our turn to give what we have so freely received as we release WHAT was done to us to the justice of God and allow even it to be paid for on the cross.  We then make the decision to forgive WHO it is that our enemy used to commit the act against us.

You can make the choice to forgive today by praying a prayer such as the one below.

Father in Heaven, Thank you for the forgiveness I have received from you.  I repent of holding unforgiveness in my heart.  Just as You forgave me, I make the choice to forgive_______________.  I release what was done to me to Your justice.  I ask that Your grace would cover _______________ and free them from the lies of our enemy, releasing them to a life of joy and healing in Your goodness and blessing.  Amen.  

Podcast

If you would like to learn more about the choice of forgiveness, you can click HERE to listen to the entire message of “Give Forgiveness” by Pastor Eric.

Links

I opened yesterday’s message with the miraculous story of Chris Carrier and the power of his choice to forgive.  Read Chris’ full story by clicking HERE.

You can also read more about the power of forgiveness as it brings healing to the nation of Rwanda.  Follow these links to read a news story from CNN and discover a power testimony from World Vision.

At the conclusion of yesterday’s service, I referenced a great series of videos on youtube entitled “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage.”  Here’s a clip of Mark Gungor and his humorous revelation about the male and female brain.

On the Radar

Brazil Mission Trip — Pastor Mindy and Pastor Lorin leave in December for a mission trip to Brazil!  They will each need to raise over $3,000 for trip costs.  For more info and to find out how you can support their trip, click HERE.

The Freedom Weekend is quickly approaching.  Have you signed up?  Make plans to join us November 6 – 7 for an amazing weekend of discovering the healing and joy found in Christ Jesus.   Space will be limited, so sign up early!  For more information, a schedule, and registration information, click HERE.

Happy Birthday to the Sweetwater Prayer Center!  This week marks the one year anniversary of the Prayer Center (and the 11 year anniversary of our church).  I encourage you to make visits to the Prayer Center a part of your weekly routine.  Schedule in opportunities to soak in the presence of the Lord.  You can register and get the 24 hour access code the Prayer Center by clicking HERE

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. “Your Love Never Fails” Jesus Culture version-This song totally rocks! 
  3. “I Repent” by Barry and Michelle Patterson
  4. “How Marvelous” Chris Tomlin version

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, October 11, is our final week of “Live Like You Were Dying.”  I invite you to join us as we culminate this series by discovering how each of us can “Embrace Eternity.”

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My King - Now I See Cover jpgThe healing of the man who was blind from birth is an amazing story found in the Scriptures.  As we studied together yesterday, I was acutely aware of the need to handle the Word of God with integrity and precision.  I have included a Bonus Post of study notes from John 9 with this week’s review to allow you to continue to dig into the truth of the healing power and purpose of our King.  Dig deep!

Podcast

Click here to listen to the full version of Pastor Eric’s message from John 9.

Links

Our beloved Pastor Lolo was featured in the Sweetwater Reporter last week.  You can read the full article by clicking here!

I recently discovered a great new version of the “That’s My King Video” on Youtube.  It’s longer and sassier and packs quite a punch.  Go check it out.

On the Radar

This week, our Lifegroups will join together with our Youth Group and Children’s Ministry, all under one roof!  We will have an all-church Night of Worship this Wednesday evening at 7 pm in the EFC sanctuary.  A nursery will be provided, but our older children will join us in worshipping King Jesus. 

Kid’s Church begins this Sunday for children ages 4 years – 5th grade!  For more information, see our children’s ministry page on the church website.

Our Discipleship Training Series “Beauty of the Bible,” with Peter Lopez facilitating, will begin Sunday, September 13th and run for the rest of the month on Sunday evenings.  This class will begin at 6 pm and last approximately one hour.  The class is free of charge, and a nursery will be provided.

Our ladies will be attending a great women’s conference hosted by Church on the Rock in Lubbock, Texas on the weekend of September 18-19.  Save the date for this refreshing time, gals!  Registrations must be made through EFC by Sunday, September 13thFor more information or to register, click here.

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. “Sing to the King”
  2. “I Asked You For Life” by Kim Walker
  3. “Your Love Is Like” by Rick Pino
  4. “Mighty To Save” by Hillsong

Sunday Preview

Take the chance...September is going to be a remarkable month as we explore the spiritual truth found in Tim McGraws’s hit song “Live Like You Were Dying.”  I look forward to sharing the adventure with you!

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We concluded our series from the book of John yesterday with an exploration of the story of healing of a man who was blind from birth.  Our primary focus was on the conversation between Jesus and His disciples’ in John 9:1-5.

This story is an absolutely amazing encounter with the healing grace of our Lord and it is written in more detail than most of the other stories in the book of John.  It highlights the tension that is occurring between Jesus and the Pharisees, and this passage contains one of the biggest misunderstandings of Scripture in the Bible.

John 9 vs 1-5 NASB jpg 

What conclusion can we draw from this text?  At first glance, it appears that God made this man blind so Jesus could come along and heal him.  We are going to explore the language of this text and see if we can reveal how this misconception occurred.

If we begin to apply the basic principles of Biblical interpretation, a different picture unfolds.

It is important to remember that our oldest manuscripts of the New Testament are in Greek.  They are hand written, they are written without punctuation or spaces between words, and they contain very few capitalizations.

When scholars work with these texts, they not only have to translate the words, but have to determine where sentences begin and end as well.  Sometimes it is their subjective opinion that determines the location of periods and commas.

And the placement of a period or a space can make all the difference in the world!

Let me illustrate the point.  Imagine a man came home to see this letter scribbled on a note card and lying on the kitchen table.

Honey Dinner jpg  

How can we perceive this note?

 Hey, Honey dinner is on.  I love you just a little.  Trip to the store.

Or, is it possible she is telling him:

 Hey Honey, Dinner is on.  I love you.  Just a little trip to the store.

We look at those options and consider this very easy to interpret: We conclude that she loves him, they have plans for dinner, and she has gone to the store.

Our conclusion is based on our assumption of a healthy relationship.  But what if they had just had a fight?  What if her ex-boyfriend works at a store?  What honey is she having dinner with?  What exactly is a honey dinner anyway?

Remove capitalization and punctuation from the text and things can get complicated in a hurry.

Here is another illustration.

godisnowhere jpg 

What do we have in this text?

 God is now here jpg

 

When you take a confusing situation, add a language barrier and throw in about two thousand years of time, it is possible that you could misunderstand what Jesus is communicating.

I believe it all boils down to the placement of a period — and the unnecessary addition of words for clarification.

Let’s look again at the text.  We are reading from the New American Standard Bible, one of the most literal translations available.

John 9 vs 1-5 NASB jpg 

You may notice that some of the words are in italics.  The preface to the NASB reads, “Italics are used in the text to indicate words which are not found in the original Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek but implied by it.”  The italicized words included in this literal translation of the Scripture are an attempt by the translators to increase readability and understanding of the text.  When translators cross the line of adding “implied words,” they have moved from the function of translation and take on the role of interpreting the Scripture. 

A certain level of interpretation from translators of the Scripture is to be expected, but the interpretation will always pass through the filter of human bias and understanding.

So, literally, the words in italics are not found in the original language.  You could cross them out of your Bible and not be altering the Word of God.

Let’s try it —

John 9 vs 1-5 NASB crossed out jpg

 

This is very interesting. When we take out the words that don’t exist in the Greek we are left with an incomplete sentence in verse three.  What do we do with that? 

We realize that the conclusion of verse three is found in verse four.

John 9 vs 1-5 NASB punctuation jpg 

You may ask, “Why are you making such a big deal out of this one verse?”

It is because this verse deals with one of the foundational lies that is attacking the church: the belief that God causes sickness in people so that He can be glorified.

And it almost looks like you can find it in the Bible.  But, when you look at the text, you realize it is grammatically incorrect to make that assumption, and it is spiritually incorrect to assume it as well.

It is theologically inconsistent for God to afflict people and for Jesus to heal them.  They would be working against each other, which could lead to the incorrect conlusion, “But God afflicted them, so that Jesus could heal them.”

The truth is God doesn’t have to afflict people.  There is enough brokeness in the world without the creator and sustainer of life hurting people.

Another essential aspect of Biblical interpretation is allowing the Bible to interpret itself.  It is important to allow the Sciptures to bring clarity to difficult concepts contained therein.

Let’s look at what else the Bible says about the relationship between Jesus and God concerning healing and the source of brokeness.

Acts 10 vs 38 jpg

Question: According to this passage, who did Jesus heal?

Answer: All who were oppressed by the devil.

Question: Where is God according to this passage?

Answer: God is with Jesus.

It does not say Jesus went around healing those who were oppressed by God.  Jesus healed those who were oppressed by the devil.  The reason Jesus appeared was to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

When you see Jesus — you see the perfect revelation of the heart of God.

The confusion occurs because all of us have seen situations where someone we know or love has come through a tragic situation and drawn closer to God on the other side.

Our natural deduction is to assume God did that to them so they would learn to depend on Him.  That is where the lie creeps in —- but, the truth is that God cannot give what He doesn’t have.  God doesn’t have sickness.  He doesn’t have disease.  God is not poor or broken or ashamed.  He doesn’t give that junk away.

We live in a broken world, and people get broken because of the brokenness of sin.  But, God is not the one breaking, He is the one healing.

It is important to understand this today so we can learn to trust the heart of the Father and know His intention of goodness toward us.

Jer 29 vs 11 jpg

The key to the confusion in John 9:3 really comes from the fact that the disciples are asking the wrong question.  They are wanting to know “Why?”  Why is he blind?  Why did it happen to him?  Why aren’t I blind?  Did sin cause this? If so, whose sin?

We hear the disciples question, and we want to know the answer, too.

Why do bad things happen to good people?  Why is there hurting, hunger, and brokeness in the world.

Why?  Why?  Why?

The fact is: Jesus doesn’t often answer the why question. 

He doesn’t feel a need to justify Himself or your circumstances to you.  Rarely, if ever, do we discover why.

When we look to John 9:3 for the answer to “Why?” of course we get confused, because Jesus is not answering “Why?”

Jesus is telling us “What now?”

The key to moving forward in life isn’t found in asking “Why?”  The question we must consider is, “What do I do now?”  Jesus will lead you through that question.

 

(Blogger’s Note: A special thanks to Pastor Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, California, for first introducing me to this remarkable truth from John chapter 9.)

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My King - Bethesda Cover jpgYesterdy, we looked at the encounter Jesus had with the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda.  The man had been there, knocked down, alone, and broken for 38 years, or to put it into perspective 13,870 days.  That’s a long time to suffer!  But then Jesus came.  (Don’t you love that sentence?)  Upon arriving at the scene, Jesus spoke two sentences and the man was made whole.

All of us have areas of our lives that have been knocked down and broken.  All of us have felt alone.  All of us have cried out for the “But then” moment with Jesus.  Wherever you find yourself today, know that Jesus has the ability to change your situation in the space of two sentences.  He is the kindest man you’ll ever know, and He changes everything when He enters the room.

If you have a need and would like someone to stand with you in prayer, drop me a line today at efcsweetwater@aol.com.  Let’s pray together for your “But then” encounter with Jesus.

Podcast

Follow the link to access this Sunday’s message “Healing at the Pool” from John Chapter 5.

Links

Want to see a picture of the Pool of Bethesda?  Archaeologists believe they have found it.  You can check it out by clicking HERE.

Our first Kid’s School of Worship was an over the top radical event.  Many thanks to Pastor Lolo and the 30+ volunteers who gave their time, talent, and sweat to put together such an amazing school for our children.   You can catch a play by play recap of the School of Worship on the Beauty of the Bible weblog.  Click here to check out Night 1, Night 2, and Night 3.

On the Radar

Our Baptism service venue has changed!  We will now meet at First Christian Church on Hailey Street this Wednesday, August 5th, at 7 pm.  I hope you will come celebrate with us as our friends in Christ are baptized!  On a personal note, my heart is ecstatic as I look forward to baptizing my daughter, Brenna Grace, as my sister in the Lord this Wednesday!  You can contact me by email if you desire to be baptized this Wednesday.

The youth are leaving for Six Flags this Thursday, August 6th!  We will meet at the church at 7:00 am and be back home around midnight, with a fun-packed day in between!

School is just around the corner, and Sweetwater Aglow will be hosting their annual Back To School Prayer Walk on Tuesday, August 11, 6:30 pm, at Lighthouse Assembly (on Newman Street).  Make plans to come pray for our schools!

Are you a new member at EFC?  Interested in joining and partnering with us?  We invite you to attend a Membership Dessert on Monday, August 17, at 7:00 pm.  Childcare will be available.

You  Heard it at EFC

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

  1. “Dancing Generation” by Matt Redmand
  2. “I Have Found” by Kim Walker
  3. “The More I Seek You” by Kari Jobe
  4. “When I Think About The Lord” by Shane and Shane

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, we will continue our series “That’s My King!” from the book of John.

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

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

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

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

What “but” do you need from God today?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 John 1:29

 Podcast

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

 

 

 

 

 

Links

 

 

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

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

On the Radar

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

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

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

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

You Heard it at EFC

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

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

Sunday Preview

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

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