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Yesterday was a special moment for our congregation.  Our attendance was at its highest level ever, and the presence of the Lord was strong and wonderful.  As we worshipped together and as I shared on learning to give and receive mending, I was aware that God was doing a great mending among us.  I believe He was mending the broken places in each of us individually and mending us together as a people of faith and love.

It is a great joy and privilege to pastor such a wonderful congregation in which the lost are being found and the broken healed.  May the mending continue both in and through each of you.

Today, in light of our message on mending, and in honor of a national hero, I invite you to pause and consider the life and ministry of one of the greatest menders in the history of our nation.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the thread that took the fragmented pieces of our nation and dramatically moved us in the direction of mending and healing.

Our Lord Jesus taught us:

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse.  Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” — Matthew 9:16-17 (NIV)

The life and teachings of Dr. King sought to not only patch the glaring injustices of his day, but to renew the fabric of our culture, to renew the wineskin of America, so that the message God gave him to preach would not be poured on the ground and lost.

I invite you to pause today and consider the love and sacrifice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Consider the life of a man who had the courage to face the realities of his day, and the faith to change them. 

As you remember Dr. King today, I invite you to do so according to his own words:

“I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to give his life serving others. I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to love somebody.

I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison. And I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.

Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major. Say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Podcast

Did you miss yesterday’s message?  Do you need to hear it one more time?  You can find Pastor Eric’s message, “Mend” on the church web site.  Click HERE to listen.

Links

Discover more about the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at:

The King Center

MLK Online

On the Radar

Ladies, are you ready for a Girls’ Night?  If so, meet us in the EFC parking lot this Friday evening by 5:30 pm!  We will travel to Clyde, Texas, to hear special speaker Tammy Maltby speak on “The Miracle of Hospitality.”  This will be a great evening, so be prepared to be blessed!  If you are planning to attend, please email Mindy at mindychelle@aol.com to let her know so we can make sure we have a seat for you!

FountainGate Fellowship will host an evening of worship with Keith and Sanna Luker, Sunday, January 24, at 7:00 p.m.  If you need to spend an evening in worship and intercession, this will be a great venue to do so!

Log on to www.efcsweetwater.com for more info to make plans to connect with a Lifegroup this week.

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

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

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

Make plans to join in the after church Fellowship Meal Sunday, January 31.  It’ll be a great day of fun and family time.  More info (and even recipes!) at www.efcsweetwater.com. Click the FELLOWSHIP MEAL icon.

Thanks to Curtis Ward for sharing some information with us yesterday about the upcoming Encounter the Cross Retreat!  If you were interested in attending an Encounter, log on to the church website at www.efcsweetwater.com and click on the “encounter” link!

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. “Dancing Generation” by Matt Redmand
  2. “I’ve Found a Love” Jenn Johnson version
  3. “Dwelling Places” by Miriam Webster
  4. “You Won’t Relent” by Misty Edwards

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, January 24, 2010, we continue our Vision 2010 series with an exploration of what it means to be a church that “Trains.”

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