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Posts Tagged ‘EFC’

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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School of Worship (457 x 305)Pastor Eric and Mindy are back. I know everyone is glad to have them back from what we hope was a refreshing vacation.

They invited Pastor Lolo and I over last night to catch up on what has been going on around EFC. I bet they didn’t know they would be up until midnight painting stuff for the Kids’ School of Worship, which, by the way, begins Tuesday night. I hope it wasn’t too much of a painful welcome home for them.

Thanks to Jay, John and Jim

I want to give a quick shout out to Jay Neal for maneuvering us through the service yesterday in Eric’s absence and to John Alden for leading worship yesterday, it was truly a blessing. John is great every week as a part of the worship team, but there was just something special about worship yesterday.

I also want to give a huge “thank you” to Jim “Pop Pop”/”Daddy Jim” Cargile for bringing the message. Here is the Sports Center highlight version: (1) if you’re going to argue and lose, at least learn something from it, (2) if you’re going to argue with God, that’s okay, but you should ultimately surrender (and learn something from it), (3) you are free from slavery, (4) you are made to fellowship with God, and (5) you are an eternal being! It was a great word.

You Heard it at EFC

Kids’ School of Worship

The Kids’ School of Worship begins Tuesday, July 28 and runs through Friday, July 31. The School of Worship is a completely new take on VBS. The children will be learning to to worship using their talents and giftings. They will have the opportunity to worship through art, drumming, dancing, flagging and many other forms of expression. You can learn more or register your children on the EFC website. If you are interested in helping with the Kids’ School of Worship, contact Pastor Lolo.

On the Radar

Night of Worship (NOW) – This month’s NOW will converge with the Kids’ School of Worship for one big church-wide Night of Worship on July 31 at 7:00 p.m. This will be a fun and exciting time for children and adults to come together and worship implementing all of what the kids learn during the School of Worship.

Youth – The youth is still meeting on Wednesday evenings at Pastor Eric’s house at 7:00 p.m. There is also a new youth website – EFCYouth.com, be sure to check that out. The EFC youth will be going to Six Flags on August 6, 2009, and if you want to know how you can get a free ticket, you can find it on the EFC youth website.

Links

A few links that might be of interest:

EFC Facebook Group – If you are a facebooker and want to keep up with the goings on of EFC via facebook, please join our EFC Facebook Group. You can upload photos, videos, or just chat with other EFC facebookers.

Fresh Focus – For the new faces at EFC, I wanted to let you know that EFC’s very own Writers’ Circle has published a 30 day devotional entitled Fresh Focus. If you need a word of encouragement, a reminder of how good God is, or just a little light vacation reading, you can purchase a hard copy at EFC for $2.00 or read online for free at freshfocus.wordpress.com.

EFC Podcasts – Missed any of the EFC sermons lately? You can listen and download at efcsweetwater.com.

Sweetwater Prayer Center – If you want to learn more about the Sweetwater Prayer Center, please visit the Prayer Center’s website (or, better yet, visit the Prayer Center).

Last Word

I want to thank Pastor Eric for allowing me to write the MondayMorning Reviews in his absence. I hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them. If you missed last week’s Monday Morning Review, please take a few minutes and check it out. Have a great week.

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While Pastor Eric is away, he graciously asked me to write the Monday Morning Review (a decision he may ultimately regret). But, for now, let’s have some fun.

I hope you enjoy the “When the Shepherd’s Away, the Sheep Will Play” edition of the Monday Morning Review – and on a Monday morning of all things, go figure.

A Word of Thanks

First of all, a quick but profound word of thanks to Drew and Dawn Brown of Prepare International for the encouraging worship and words.

Remember, as Drew so succinctly put it, “the pain of staying the same is worse than the pain of changing.”

Also, be sure to pray for Prepare International’s new “Antioch Project,” which is the raising of mother churches in Europe to raise leaders who will go out and plant other churches, modeled after the 1st Century church at Antioch.

Missions Sunday

This Sunday was Missions Sunday, the third Sunday of every month at Emmanuel Fellowship Church. If you missed, forgot, or if you just feel like being a bigger blessing to someone in need, here are the missions organizations EFC currently supports:

Prepare International – appropriately enough. I hope Drew was able to give everyone a clearer picture of what Prepare International is doing in the world. If you want to be a part, please consider helping out in any way you can.

Tents of Mercy – If you want to participate in what God is doing among believers in Israel, EFC is currently supporting the Katzir Asher (Harvest of Asher) congregation in Akko. Tents of Mercy is a Messianic Jewish organization spreading the gospel in Israel.

World Bible Translation Center – Help translate the Bible into new languages for distribution throughout the world. You can also check out the WBTC weekly blog if you’re into that sort of thing.

Sweet Water for India – Help EFC to provide clean drinking water to people in India. You can provide financial support through EFC.

Sweetwater Prayer Center – Another of our very own community and world outreaches. It’s a great cause with a great vision behind it, but it takes money to keep it up, and it’s a worthwhile mission if ever there was one.

You Heard it at EFC

On the Radar

Kids’ School of Worship – A completely new take on VBS. You can learn more or register your children on the EFC website. If you are interested in helping with the Kids’ School of Worship, you can email Pastor Lolo.

Youth – The youth is still meeting on Wednesday evenings at Pastor Eric’s house at 7:00 p.m. There is also a new youth website – EFCYouth.com, be sure to check that out. The EFC youth will be going to Six Flags on August 6, 2009, and if you want to know how you can get a free ticket, you can find it on the EFC youth website.

Night of Worship (NOW) – This month’s NOW will converge with the Kids’ School of Worship for one big church-wide Night of Worship on July 31 at 7:00 p.m. The last two Nights of Worship have been amazing, and incorporating the children’s worship will only make it better. Mark your calendars.

EFC Facebook Group – If you are a facebooker and want to keep up with the goings on of EFC via facebook, please join our EFC Facebook Group. You can upload photos, videos, or just chat with other EFC facebookers.

Links

As if there aren’t enough links already, FYI:

Fresh Focus – For the new faces at EFC, I wanted to let you know that EFC’s very own Writers’ Circle has published a 30 day devotional entitled Fresh Focus. If you need a word of encouragement, a reminder of how good God is, or just a little light vacation reading, you can purchase a hard copy at EFC for $2.00 or read online for free at freshfocus.wordpress.com.

EFC Podcasts – Missed any of the EFC sermons lately? You can listen and download at efcsweetwater.com.

Beauty of the Bible – In the shameless self-promotion department, I invite you to have a peek at my very own Bible blog. Have a look around and learn a little about ancient Hebrew, read a few book reviews, or have fun taking quizzes like How Calvinist Are You? or Which Modern Evangelist/Theologian Are You?

Last Word

I hope you have enjoyed the “When the Shepherd’s Away, the Sheep Will Play” edition of the Monday Morning Review. I think I have the floor for one more week, so if you have any news or info that you want featured in next week’s Monday Morning Review, please email me or leave me a comment below. Have a great week.

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Enter to Win an 8x10 Print

Enter to Win an 8x10 Print

I am amazed at how many forms of communication our Lord can use to convey one message. Whether it came through song, sermon, or art, the message last Sunday was consistent: the love of God transforms us.

When we encounter and receive the love of God, we become participants in the Heavenly exchange. God removes from us our sin and shame and replaces it with beauty and peace. This marvelous trade is possible because of the price Jesus paid by dying on the cross.

In 2 Corinthians 5:21 Paul says it this way, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”

This is what it means to be, as the Shulamite describes herself in Song of Solomon, “Dark, but lovely.” It is the recognition of what we once were and what we are still capable of being, but it is the realization of who we are and who God has made us to become.

God is not holding your sins against you. Will you stop holding them against yourself? Will you come to Jesus for life and salvation?

Follow Through – What do you see?

The flower in darkness displayed above is a piece of prophetic art painted during yesterday’s worship service at Emmanuel Fellowship. I am very interested in hearing what others interpret in it.

Drawing – Win a Free 8×10 Print

Each person who leaves a comment about what they perceive in the painting will be entered into a drawing for a high quality 8×10 print of the painting above. The winner will be announced Monday, May 18, 2009, on this blog, so please check back. The winner must have a U.S. mailing address. Each person can be entered only once.

Podcast

Follow the link to access Pastor Eric’s message from last Sunday at http://efcsweetwater.com/index.php?nid=11648&s=gl

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. Sing to the King, by Billy James Foote 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOicHifW0sQ&feature=related

2. I Have Found, by Justin Byrne and Jon Mohr

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Q-yM4QCIek

3. Your Love is Everything, by Chris McClarney — A personal favorite!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=33DqVAyHaEg

4. Grace Like Rain, by Todd Agnew

www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy6AJ6vVVgM

On The Radar

Calling all Treasure Hunters! We will meet this Saturday, May 16, at 9 am and go out from there in teams. Join us for an adventure in prophetic evangelism and let’s share the love of Jesus with our community! Contact Deb Doak at debdoak@dishmail.net for more information, or log onto the church website at www.efcsweetwater.com.

We will be hosting a Night of Worship in the Sweetwater Prayer Center Friday, May 22, at 7 pm. Come be refreshed and explore music, art, and intercession in a worshipful atmosphere!

We are hosting a Law Enforcement Appreciation meal Saturday, May 23 at Neal’s Chicken and Seafood from 5-8 pm. Send me an email at efcsweetwater@aol.com to join the Hospitality Team.

Sunday Preview

Eleazar is listed among the Mighty Men of King David’s army. You can read about him in 1 Chronicles 11:12-14. He’ll be next Sunday’s hero.

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hero-coverThe rise of super hero movies is a rather interesting phenomenon.  And their popularity speaks volumes about our culture and the questions we are facing.  We all believe that there could be something great about us and we find ourselves waiting for our greatness to be revealed.  And therein lies the problem.  We find ourselves waiting for our greatness to be revealed, and waiting.

In the book of Numbers in the Bible we discover an extraordinary man who spent much of his life waiting for the promises of God to be realized.  But this man did not wait passively for someone else, somewhere else to do something else.  This man, Caleb, knew how to wait actively.

From the life of Caleb we discover:

  1. Your past does not dictate your future.
  2. There are two types of hunger.
  3. You have a mountain to take.

You can hear more about Caleb at:  http://efcsweetwater.com/index.php?nid=11648&s=gl

Scripture

caleb-numbers-14You can track the story of Caleb’s life through the pages of the Bible by reading:

Numbers 13:1-33 Exploring Canaan

Numbers 14:1-38 The People Rebel

Numbers 34:16-29 Assigning the Land

Joshua 14:6-15 Hebron Given to Caleb

Joshua 15:13-19 Marching against Debir

Judges 3:7-11 Othniel: Caleb’s brother

1 Samuel 30:13-15 Caleb Known for Generations

1 Chronicles 4:13-15 Geneology

1 Chronicles 2:42-50 The Clans of Caleb

Follow Through

“Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the LORD spoke in that day…”  –Numbers 14:12

There are 7 mountains that influence our culture.  They are family, government, media, education, arts, entertainment, business, and church.  To discover tools for taking your mountain of influence check out the remarkable teachings of Lance Walnau at: www.lancelearning.com.

Links

A remarkable resource for continued study into the life of this Hero of the faith is “Caleb: The Warrior” by Francine Rivers.  Click this crazy long link to get a copy for yourself. http://www.amazon.com/Warrior-Caleb-Sons-Encouragement/dp/0842382666/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241468931&sr=8-1

You Heard it at EFC

Been trying to remember one of those awesome songs we sang?  Here is our worship list from yesterday.  You can find them for purchase on itunes.com.

  1. “Friend of God” by Israel Houghton

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z5cgajl1Kg

  1. “Everlasting God” by Chris Tomlin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP2nz6PG8KM

  1. “Child of God” by Kathryn Scott

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3r3JAV2r208&feature=PlayList&p=A39C2DE7E674D4C9&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=25

  1. “When I think about the Lord” by Shane and Shane

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLG0OpUmBb4

On The Radar

The National Day of Prayer is this Thursday, May 7, 2009.  A 12 hour prayer vigil will be held in Sweetwater from 7:00am to 7:00 pm at The Sweetwater Prayer Center.  Find out more about the National Day of Prayer at www.ndptf.org.

Catch the latest church info at www.efcsweetwater.com.

Podcast

Hear Pastor Eric’s message from last Sunday at http://efcsweetwater.com/index.php?nid=11648&s=gl

Sunday Preview

This Sunday, May 10, just happens to be my 13 year anniversary!  But for the rest of you it’s Mother’s Day.  Join us on this special day as we worship our Lord and celebrate our moms!

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Welcome to the MondayMorningReview Online. The goal here is to connect the power of Sunday morning to the reality of Monday morning. What do you think?

Scripture

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:37-38

Follow Through

I’ve been chasing my boys from baseball game to baseball game for the last 3 weeks. It has been an absolute blast — and I’m developing a real taste for the overpriced cold cheese on stale chips they sale as nachos.

One of the sights that I have grown accustomed to watching is the kids in the outfield as they run up to catch a fly ball – they will come up on it with their glove in the air and have the ball fly just over their glove and land behind them. So I tried to coach my boy on catching pop flies the other day, I dug into my memory and found myself giving the same instruction that was drilled into my head as a young ball player. When the ball goes up – your first step is back.

Looking straight up in the air and trying to find a little round ball in the midst of all of the lights can be a dizzying experience – and that ball is deceptive. And so to gain perspective, to gather your bearings, and to keep from chasing a ball to the fence, when the ball goes up – your first step is back.

That is a principle that applies to more than just baseball. It applies to life. I’m not saying that we run away from the challenges of life, but it is often important for us to take a step back. Gain perspective. Gather our bearings. In fact, there are some events in life that can only be understood from a backward perspective.

A paradox is a truth that consists of two contradictory ideas. Jesus often taught using paradox.

  • If you want to be first, then you must be…
  • If you want to save you life, then you must…

The problem we face in the Body of Christ is that many times we find ourselves only living one side of the paradox, and not embracing it’s contradiction as equally valid. So let’s look at three backward aspects of life in the Kingdom of God.

The first paradox is found in Luke 6:

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Here’s the paradox: Whatever you want to receive in life you must first give.

  • I just want to be heard. Then listen.
  • I just want to be loved. Then love.
  • I just want to be able to pay the bills. Then you give.

When we decide to just take what we want, we acquire it illegally, or out of God’s timing and what could have been a blessing ends up tasting bitter.

When we give what we want in life, we become a magnet to attract the blessing we are releasing.

The Second Paradox is in Ecclesiastes 11:1 (NIV)

Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.

The second key principle is: Bread floats in water.

You hear that and your immediate response is, “no it don’t.”

And my intellectual response is, “yes it do.”

No it don’t — Yes it do.

No it don’t — Yes it do.

We could get stuck here forever.

Now, I realize that bread shouldn’t float on water. It should get all funky and dissolve, sink, or get eaten, but the truth of the Kingdom is that bread floats on water.

And we don’t’ look to what is most logical to make our decisions. We look to what is most biblical.

The third paradox is found in Matthew 13:33 (NIV)

He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

Here is the third truth: Little is huge in the Kingdom.

It’s the story of the Bible –

  • it’s the little boy takes down the big giant
  • it’s the little army that routes Midianites
  • it’s the little river that heals the Syrian general
  • it’s the little baby that saves the big world from it’s sins

There is no prayer; there is no person; there is no gift that is too small in the Kingdom of God

I am amazed at the power of the insignificant. The insignificant separates champions from contenders.

Water boils at 212 degrees. It takes 212 of those little buddies to change the physical property of water. 211 won’t do it. One degree separates hot from boiling. One degree.

Many of us watched on television last summer as the fastest men in the world lined up to race 100 meters. And we stood in amazement as Usain Bolt set a new world record in the 100 meter sprint, but did you know that only 3/10 of a second separated first from last place on that day. 3/10 is nothing – we waste 3/10 all the time. But on that day 3/10 set a winner apart from a loser.

The Tour de France is a 2210 mile race on a bicycle. In 2008 the winner of that 2000 mile race was determined by 58 seconds. Less than a minute over 2000 miles determined a champion. If you think that’s close, in 1989, I remember watching as a boy as Greg Lemand came from behind to win the Tour de France by 8 seconds. 8 seconds over 2000 miles.

Or how about the 1992 Indianapolis 500? Men and women driving 500 miles at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour – and that year Al Unser Jr. won by .04 seconds. Four hundredths of a second.

Those are the numbers that factor into racing history, but what are the numbers that factor into the history of the Kingdom of God? What are the numbers that factor into the history of your life?

The almosts… The not quites… The could’ves… The should’ves… And the would’ves.

My friends, it is sometimes hard to see from this perspective. Sometimes it seems backward and confusing, but there is truth in the Kingdom of God that applies to our lives today. It is a Truth that isn’t meant to be just talked about, but lived.

  • Whatever you want to receive in life you must first give.
  • Bread floats in water.
  • Little is huge in the Kingdom.

If there is one word I would use to describe my King. It is that He is generous. And when we, as His followers, live generously in every area of life, we are displaying the character of the one we live for.

Will you measure a large life unto yourself today?

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