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Posts Tagged ‘Love’

I am overwhelmed, my friends, overwhelmed by love.

Every once in a while it hits me.  It sneaks right up in the middle of busyness, interrupts my “to do” list and punches me right in the gut.  I am amazed by how much I love you.

It is a privilege and a joy to pastor and love the people of Emmanuel Fellowship Church and the city of Sweetwater, Texas.  Your faces and your stories each have a special place in my heart.

My heart overflows with thanksgiving as I consider the miracles of grace God has done among us.  I rejoice over the marriages that have been healed and the salvations that have occurred.  It is a tremendous joy to know that among us the lost are being saved and the broken healed.

In the midst of the joy, I am also painfully aware of those among us who are hurting right now.  I know there are hearts wrestling with disappointment, loss, and grief.  I know there are those among us who show up smiling on Sunday morning attempting to mask loneliness and frustration.

My friends, I love you.  I care about the things that matter to you.  Your problems are not too small or too big to talk about, and I am not too busy to spend time with you.

You are loved, and I pray as you read this message, the love of God will overwhelm you.  May you be overwhelmed by love from God and love for God.  May you be overwhelmed by love from your church and love for your church.  May love replace lies with truth in your heart.  May love shine light on darkness.  May love win in your heart, in your mind, in your life today.  May love win!

 

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Consider these Bible facts:  Jesus traveled and taught for three years.  There are about 110 pages in the Bible dedicated to His ministry and message.  We have approximately 25,000 words that Jesus spoke recorded in the Bible.  Of those 25,000 words, Jesus taught about the Father in Heaven at least 181 times.

This means 1 out of every 140 words, Jesus was speaking about His Father.  His central message and purpose was to restore us to a relationship with our Daddy in Heaven. 

The following is a compilation of my ten favorite verses about our Father in Heaven.  All but two of them are spoken directly by Jesus Himself.  May you experience His love as you read the truth about your Abba.

10.  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  –Matthew 6:26 

9.  “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?  And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.  In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.  –Matthew 18:12-14 

8.  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.  –Luke 6:35-36 

7.  “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  –Luke 12:32 

6.  “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”  –John 14:1-2 

5.  “No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.  — John 16:27 

4.  For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  — Romans 8:15-16 

3.  “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”  — Matthew 7:9-11 

2.  How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  –1 John 3:1

And what is the message all of these verses are hammering into our hearts?

  • You have a daddy who loves you.
  • He is strong enough to protect you.
  • He is engaged enough to teach you.
  • He is tender enough to hug you.
  • He is alive enough to play with you.

And the Number One verse regarding the love of the Father is this amazing truth–  no matter how far you have wondered, you can still come home!  Regarding the prodigal son, Jesus tells us:

1.  “When he came to his senses, he said…I will set out and go back to my father”  –Luke 15:17

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Click to view the Father’s Love Letter

Podcast

You can find Pastor Eric’s message, “The Love of the Father,” on the Emmanuel Fellowship Church web site.  Click to listen

Links

Fathered By God by John Eldredge

Healing the Father Wound by H. Norman Wright

Groovy Giveaway — Peter Lopez is giving away videos of the new series from the creators of Veggie Tales, “What’s in the Bible?”  Head over to www.BeautyoftheBible.com to enter to win. 

Quotes

“Father! – to God Himself we cannot give a holier name.”  –William Wordsworth

On the Radar

Kingdom Principles for Raising Children second session tonight, March 8, at 7:00 pm.  Childcare is provided.

Lifegroups meet this Wednesday at 7:00 pm.  Click here for more Life in Sweetwater information.

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.

Be in prayer for our Youth Mission Trip as they head to Mission Arlington over Spring Break.

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 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. “We Cry Out” by Jesus Culture
  2. “Your Love is Everything” by Jesus Culture
  3. “Freedom Reigns” by Jason Upton
  4. “Mighty to Save” by Hillsong

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, March 14, 2010, we begin to turn our hearts toward the amazing sacrifice of our King upon the cross.  “Vantage Points” is our four week series leading up to Easter.  Each week will offer a dramatic presentation of a witness to the crucifixion.

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* All Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible : New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

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Most everyone dreams of “happy ever after,” but not many know how you get there.  As Pastor Mindy shared in yesterday’s message, a good marriage begins in the “single” years—those years before you meet your spouse.  While it’s not true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks (everyone can learn to be more like Jesus), it is true that marriages would be healthier if men and women learned a few lessons beforehand and avoided the painful pitfalls of dating that can lead to wounded hearts and lost purity.

For more (and very practical) insights into how to live as a fulfilled, Godly, single person, check out this transcript of a sermon preached at the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, by Paul Matthias.  His humorous approach will bless you, encourage you, and challenge you!

Podcast

Did you miss yesterday’s message?  Do you want to share it with a friend?  You can find Pastor Mindy’s message from yesterday on the church web site.  Click to listen.

MESSAGE WILL BE AVAILABLE TUESDAY AFTERNOON.

Links

For a book on how to date while guarding your purity, check out Boy Meets Girl by Josh Harris.

For a great guide to protecting your marriage, check out Jerry Jenkins book entitled Hedges: Loving Your Marriage Enough to Protect It.  This book has 10 boundaries that need to be in place in every marriage in order to make sure it is “affair proof.”  A great, helpful read! 

On the Radar

“Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage” continues this Sunday, Feb. 28, at 6 pm.  Make sure all the married couples you care about know they are invited!

“Laugh Your Way” Bonus Night — Monday, March 1, we are adding an extra evening to hear Mark Gungor share the big “yo mamma” session as he reveals The #1 Key to Incredible Sex.  We’ll get started at 7:00 pm.  I don’t think you want to miss this one 😉

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 our church website at www.efcsweetwater.com.

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. 

We also have all the info you need about RAMP, our youth ministry for grades 6-12, at www.efcyouth.com, including the details about our upcoming youth mission trip and summer camp!

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. “Friend of God”
  2. “I Surrender” by Kim Walker
  3. “God, You’re Beautiful” by Anthony Skinner
  4. “Shout Unto God” by Hillsong United

Sunday Preview

Ever wondered why all those “begats” are in the Bible?  Ever been confused by who was the son of who was the son of who?  Those little details send us a very big message.  Join us Next Sunday, February 28, 2010, as we continue our sermon series “Here is Love.”

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It was a tremendous joy to celebrate Valentine’s Day with you yesterday!  As promised, here is a video clip from “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage” by Mark Gungor.  For the rest of the story, I invite you to join us as we continue the series February 21 and 28 at 6:00 pm.  For more “Laugh Your Way” info, click here.

Podcast

What is Love?  Discover the answer by listening to Pastor Eric’s Valentine message.  Click to listen.

Links

Recommended readings for marriage enrichment.  Available at your local bookstore or click the link to purchase on Amazon.

You Can Quote me on That

“It has never been the role of emotions; it has never been the role of how you feel to keep you in love.” – Pastor Eric

“Let me tell you how really great is the challenge of proving your masculinity and charm with one woman for the rest of your life” – President Ronald Reagain

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!

Our youth have a lot on the radar:  Jr. High Boys’ Air Soft war this Saturday morning, a trip to see “To Save a Life” this Saturday evening, and a mission trip over Spring Break—not to mention camp coming up this summer!  So, for more info, log on to the new youth website at www.efcyouth.com!

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 our church website at www.efcsweetwater.com.

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. “Sing to the King”
  2. “Forever and a Day” by Anthony Skinner
  3. “Here is Love” Brian Johnson version
  4. “See His Love” Jesus Culture version

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, February 21, 2010, we will continue our sermon series “Here is Love,” as Pastor Mindy explores the path of love in the single life.

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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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