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Posts Tagged ‘Fellowship’

In the 25th chapter of the book of Matthew, Jesus tells an intriguing story.  He introduces us to two servants who are each given a certain amount of talents by their master.  They each invest the money wisely and double what was given to them.

There is also a third servant in the story, a man who received one talent.  This man took his talent and buried it in the ground.  Listen to the words of the third servant:

“I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground.”

Those are painful words.  Those are convicting words.

As a servant of Jesus, I pray those words will not be my declaration before my Lord.  As a pastor, it is my sincere prayer those words will not be your declaration before our Lord.

My friends, God has made a deposit into your life, a good deposit.  And He is looking for a return on His investment.  He has a right to expect you to bear good fruit.

Have the circumstances of your life caused you to bury the talent Jesus has given you?  “I was afraid…I was too busy…I was hurt…I was offended…I was (insert excuse hear)…and went out and hid my talent in the ground.”

Don’t you think it’s time to break out your shovel, dig up those talents, and invest them in the Kingdom of God?

 

 

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I’ve never been short of new ideas.  In fact, Mindy and I joke that about one out of three of my ideas might actually have some potential.  So, I come up with lots of ideas in order to get to that third one faster!

  • “Wouldn’t it be great if…”
  • “What if we…”
  • “Has anyone ever…”
  • “Just imagine…”

These are some of the phrases you’ll hear around our house or in a staff meeting at church.

One time I had the great idea of designing the entire theme of our church around an “Under Construction” concept.  Some of the highlights of this grand thought included giving a pair of gloves embroidered with an EFC logo to all church members.  I thought we could follow that up by placing every family’s name on a hammer and hanging them up in the church as a demonstration of our common purpose to build together.

I know some of you are wondering why we haven’t implemented such an amazing idea already, but, apparently, some ideas don’t play out in the implementation phase as well as they do in the brainstorm phase.  (Which basically means they don’t pass my wife’s décor standards.)

The point behind the hammer and gloves was to communicate the value of each individual to the vision and ministry of Emmanuel Fellowship.  There is work to do around here — and your hands fit the gloves.

As we continue to grow as a congregation and reach out to our community with the message of the gospel, it is my sincere desire that every member of EFC discovers how their unique gifts connect them to the ministry of the Body of Christ.  And, maybe someday, you’ll have a hammer with your name on it!

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.  –1 Peter 4:8-10

 

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Links

A Collection of MondayMorningReview Christmas posts:

On The Radar

Our youth will be rocking in the New Year at the Red Letter Rock Fest in Snyder, Texas, this December 31.  Check out the Salvage Yard website for more details.

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. “O Come All Ye Faithful” traditional version
  2. “Desert Song” by Hillsong
  3. “Let Heaven Shout Jesus” Culture version
  4. “Wonderful Maker” Jeremy Camp version 

Family Connection

Check out these resources to connect with our ministry to children and youth.

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, December 26, Pastor Eric will present the fourth message in our “Christmas – The Divine Gift Exchange” sermon series.  The service will close with a special activity for families, so don’t miss this meaningful morning.

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  1. I am thankful to be part of a team of ministers who are amazingly energetic, passionate, and creative.
  2. I am thankful to be part of an elder board that is wise, prayerful, and hands on.
  3. I am thankful for an army of EFC volunteers who love children, greet, welcome, usher, serve communion, and work hard to make every church gathering a joy and a success.
  4. I am thankful for the building renovations this year that have given us room to grow.
  5. I am thankful for those who gave their hearts to Jesus this year.
  6. I am thankful for the weddings I was able to officiate this year.
  7. I am thankful for the healing we have experienced this year.
  8. I am thankful to serve on staff with my best friend, my wife.
  9. I am thankful to be where I am, doing what I am doing, and for the people I get to do stuff with!
  10. I am thankful that 2011 will be even better than 2010.  The best is yet to come!

Links

If you need more encouragement to be thankful in the big things as well as the small things in life, check out www.aholyexperience.com.  Blogger Ann Voskamp has a ministry of exhorting her readers to gratefulness.

Wanting to make an Advent wreath to mark the season?  How about Scriptures to read and prayers to pray with your children as you light the Advent candles?  Check out one mom’s ideas at http://www.amazingmoms.com/htm/christmas_advent.htm.

 

 

 

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I’m not who I once was.  I’m not yet who I will be.

These two sentences reflect both the beautiful redemption and the work in progress of a follower of Jesus Christ.  As believers, our salvation is complete, and yet the process of becoming like Jesus and walking into the destinies God has called us to can be challenging—especially if we forget to give ourselves grace.  Grace to grow.  Grace to fail.  Grace to try again.  Grace to overcome.  Grace to succeed.

The good news is that God does not ask us to do anything that He does not also equip us to accomplish.  So, when He says, “Come,” He is already extending the measure of grace that will be needed for us to follow.

In Hebrew, the letter H is illustrated by an open window that signifies “grace.”

God’s very name, YAHWEH, contains two measures of grace—He has more than you need to get the job done.

What has God called you to do?  Everything you need is streaming in through the open window before you.  Don’t let fear make you pull the blinds.  Let His grace in, let it change you, and let it fill you with the courage to trust and obey.

 

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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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Here is love, vast as the ocean
Lovingkindness as the flood
When the Prince of Life, our Ransom
Shed for us His precious blood
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten
Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days

These beautiful words were penned over a hundred years ago during the amazing Welsh revival that saw over a hundred thousand people give their hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ in one year’s time.  What a tremendous move of God that must have been in a nation as small as Wales!  In fact, it would be hard to believe, except that Scripture gives account of 3,000 people coming to belief in Jesus Christ during the world’s first “outdoor evangelistic meeting” led by none other than the Apostle Peter.  It is always God’s fervent desire for spiritual blinders to fall away and for the lost to find a home in Him.

On the mount of crucifixion
Fountains opened deep and wide
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast a gracious tide
Grace and love, like mighty rivers
Poured incessant from above
And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love

I encourage you to take a listen to this beautiful hymn.  As you do, present the names of those in your life that need to know this amazing truth—the floodgates of God’s mercy are flowing just for them.

You can read the story of the Welsh revival HERE

Podcast

Did you miss yesterday’s message?  Do you need to hear it one more time?  You can find Pastor Mindy’s message, “God’s Covenant Love for Families” on the church web site.  Click the sermon title to listen.

Links

If Pastor Mindy’s message made you want to position your family to cooperate with what God is doing in you, you may want to get a hold of the book Relentless Generational Blessings, by Arthur Burk.

As promised in yesterday’s message, here are a few ideas for you husbands (and maybe a few wives!) who need some help knowing what to get your spouse for Valentine’s Day!

  • The old stand-by (Flowers)
  • Try buying a marriage resource like a book or video and promising to go through it with your honey.  You can find some great ones at Focus on the Family by clicking HERE
  • Consider purchasing a photo session with a great photographer for some updated couple shots.  Then, pay to have her hair and nails done before the session.  She may need a new outfit, too!
  • Fill up a notebook COMPLETELY with all the reasons you love her!
  • If none of these sound good, and you decide to strike out on your own—just make sure you follow the romantic gift rule—don’t give her anything that has a plug!

On the Radar

“Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage” class coming to EFC Sunday, Feb. 21 and Sunday, Feb. 28, at 6 pm both evenings.  Make sure all the married couples you care about know they are invited!

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

Lifegroups continue this Wednesday, along with our mid-week age-based ministries.  For more info, log on to the Emmanuel Fellowship Church website.

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

Family Connection

Parents, be sure to check out the Worldchangers website.  We align our Bible curriculum from the nursery all the way up to our youth.  Access the Family Connection page on the website to bring you children’s Bible lesson home to the kitchen table. 

You Heard it at EFC

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

  1. “We Cry Out” Jesus Culture version
  2. “Your Love Is Everything” Jesus Culture version
  3. “Your Favorite One” by Misty Edwards
  4. “Here Is Love” Brian Johnson version

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, February 14, 2010, we will continue our sermon series “Here is Love,” by taking a close look at the marriage relationship.

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