Posts Tagged ‘Missions’

My apologies that the Monday Morning Review has lagged to the Tuesday Evening Review, perhaps even the Wednesday Morning Review. I hope everyone was able to satisfy their Monday morning cravings in other ways.

If you missed Sunday morning, I want to echo Pastor Loran’s advice to find a Haiti mission team member or members and pick their brains. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. The testimonies and reports shared during Sunday’s services were absolutely incredible. I want to take a moment to thank all of the Haiti team members for all their hard work, not just during the mission trip, but also in the fund raising and other preparations in the months leading up to the trip. Also, thank you to all of the EFC members who helped to make the trip possible. And last, but certainly not least, to the other Pastor Loran for putting together such an awesome team and trip. I know lives were changed in Haiti and right here in Sweetwater.


I don’t know if the Haiti testimonies and/or Pastor Loran’s sermon will be available in this week’s podcast, but if it is, you can click here to listen.

On the Radar

EFC Volleyball @ Sonic.  Wednesday, July 27, come join us at Sonic for food, fun and volleyball from 7-9pm.

Kids School of Worship (Jammin’ with Jesus) is right around the corner. Sunday, July 31-Wednesday, August 3. The theme this year is “Fruits of the Spirit,” and we still need volunteers to help out with supplies, snacks and manpower. For more information or to volunteer, contact Pastor Lolo.

EFC Fantasy Football League. Yes, it’s that time of year again, and if you missed out last year on the First Annual EFC Fantasy Football League, now’s your chance to get in on all the fun. You can contact league commissioner Curtis Ward to find out how to play.

Discipleship Training: How to Study the Bible. Coming August 7 & 14, 6pm at EFC.

Mother’s Day Out information is available online!  Emmanuel Fellowship Church is excited to host a Mother’s Day Out program beginning Fall 2011 for children ages 1-5.  There are only a few spaces remaining for the Fall semester.  More information and downloadable registration forms are available by clicking HERE.


Follow EFC on facebook. If you don’t already, you’re missing out on the daily EFC dish.

In keeping with the Discipleship Training theme How to Study the Bible, here are a few very helpful online Bible tools:

And, as always, a shamless plug for my very own Bible blog, Beauty of the Bible.

Family Connection

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

You Heard it at EFC

    •  “Friend of God” by Israel Houghton
    • “You’ll Come” by Hillsong United
    • “Higher” by Worth Dying For
  • “Saviour King” Hillsong

 Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, July 24, we continue our summer sermon series entitled, “Prayers that Shook the World,” with Jim Cargile.

Read Full Post »

Our Mission Team has landed in Guatemala, and they have hit the ground running!

Mindy sent me a text that she worshipped our Lord with 150 children this morning.  I’m not sure it was on the original schedule, but I know it was a tremendous joy!

Below you will find the general itinerary for the trip to help you know where they are and how to pray each day.  You can also check out their Facebook pages (Mindy, Deborah, & Jay) for additional details and photos from their adventure. 


  • Tuesday, June 8 – Fly out of Midland, Arrive in Guatemala City
  • Wednesday, June 9 – Tour Gerizim School.
  • Thursday, June 10 – Ministry to Guatemalan Missionaries 
  • Friday, June 11 – Ministry to Guatemalan Missionaries
  • Saturday, June 12 – Ministry to Guatemalan Missionaries / Afternoon shopping adventure!
  • Sunday, June 13 – Worship with the Church in Chimaltenango
  • Monday, June 14 – Fly home!

Read Full Post »

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 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.

Read Full Post »

See the WorldI have the wonderful privilege of taking my oldest son, Keegan, with me on a teaching/training mission trip to Poland and Croatia next week.

We are traveling with Randy Boyd of Prepare International and will speak to students and church planters in their ministry training schools. 

My hope is to bring practical training to church planters and ignite fiery passion in their hearts for ministry and the realities of the Kingdom of God.

Keegan is with me as a friend and a prayer warrior.  I am overjoyed to allow him the opportunity for this cross-cultural experience, and it is my desire to ignite in his heart a fire for missions.  Whatever he chooses to do with that fire is up to him, but I pray his heart will burn with a desire to see our King glorified in every nation and among every tribe and tongue on the earth.

Please pray for a joyous and safe trip.  Pray that our ministry among church planters brings encouragement and equipping that will impact nations for years to come.  Pray for a dynamite time between father and son as we embark on this adventure together.  And please pray for grace and peace to cover Mindy, our home, and our church family as we are gone.

Our Trip Itinerary

  • Thursday, November 12: Depart for the long jump over the pond.
  • Friday, November 13: Turn 35 somewhere over the Atlantic & arrive in Gdansk, Poland for a school on Discipleship
  • Saturday, November 14: Continue Ministry Training School in Gdansk
  • Sunday, November 15: Preach in local churches in the Gdansk area.
  • Monday, November 16: Fly to Croatia & Arrive in Sibinik, Croatia for school on The Kingdom of God
  • Tuesday, November 17: Continue Ministry Training School in Sibinik
  •  Wednesday, November 18: Continue Ministry Training School in Sibinik
  •  Thursday, November 19: Travel to Zagreb, Croatia for school on The Kingdom of God
  • Friday, November 20: Continue Ministry Training School in Zagreb
  • Saturday, November 21: Continue Ministry Training School in Zagreb
  • Sunday, November 22: Preach in local churches in the Zagreb area.
  • Monday, November 23: Fly home!

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.  Check back often for updates from the field.

You can track Pastor Eric and Keegan during their journey on a world wide map at instamapper!  Give it a click, it’s pretty cool.  😉

Read Full Post »

1 John 5 so that you may know jpg“Because it was Jesus who came to us from eternity, to prepare us for eternity and He is our greatest insight into discovering how to embrace eternity.” – Pastor Tom Mullins, Christ Fellowship

A dear friend of mine in college loved to work out and loved to play football.  I remember eating lunch with Jason one afternoon as he said, “I just want to test my body, to see how strong I get, to see how much I can take.”

Unfortunately, neither he, nor the two girls he was traveling with were strong enough to take the impact of a head on collision with a semi truck.  The loss of those three precious lives devastated all of us at Hardin-Simmons that year.

All of us have our limits, and life has an expiration date. 

It is absolutely essential that, in the midst of our journey through life, we prepare ourselves for eternity by embracing Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.  I write these things to you who believe in the Name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”  — 1 John 5:11-13

Do you know that you have eternal life?  It doesn’t have to be a mystery.

I encourage you click on the Podcast link and take a few minutes to listen to “Embrace Eternity,” our message from yesterday.  It could be the best investment you ever make into eternity.

You can also find a great article on embracing eternity at the EFC website. 

May the grace of God fill your life as you discover peace with Him through the cross of Jesus Christ.


Embrace Eternity with confidence!  Click HERE to follow along with Pastor Eric’s message.


“Will my pet be in Heaven?” seems to be the number one question people have about the after life.  Click HERE for Pastor Eric’s blog post on this perplexing subject.

Randy Alcorn is one of the pioneers of modern thought concerning Heaven.  You can purchase his book, appropriately titled “Heaven” directly from his website by clicking HERE

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

This coming Sunday is Missions Sunday, and our church will have an opportunity to give towards this trip.  Ask the Lord before you come if you are to bring a special gift to invest in the people of Brazil.

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

We have a new Lunchtime Bible study coming soon.  Beginning Tuesday, October 20, we will dive into a study of the book of Revelation.  The study will run every Tuesday from 12:00 – 1:00 in my office.  Everyone is welcome to join in, just bring your Bible and a lunch box.

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. “Mighty To Save” Hillsong version
  2. “Wonderful Maker” Chris Tomlin version
  3. “Healer” Kari Jobe version
  4. “In Christ Alone” Rita Springer version

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, October 18, Mindy will be preaching on being whole in your body, soul, and spirit.  Come ready to be blessed with an impartation of Jesus’ perfect peace.

Read Full Post »

They are precious in His sight!

They are precious in His sight!

My decision to become a follower of Jesus has a rather peculiar beginning.

For starters, I believe I was called to be a minister of the gospel even before I submitted my heart to become a Christian.  Through the kindness of friends and effectiveness of bus ministries, I gained exposure to the message of Jesus at an early age.  I was inspired to share this good news and bring life to those who were broken even before I had personally received it.

The second peculiarity follows close behind the first– the fact that I gave my life to Jesus while on a youth group mission trip in Mexico.  It was on foreign soil after a strenuous day of construction projects and leading children in Vacation Bible School that I became overwhelmed by the realization that although I knew Jesus as a “nice guy,” I had never received Him as my personal Lord and Savior.  I went to Mexico to tell others about the cross and, by the grace of God, I discovered it for myself.

Maybe those strange beginnings are the reason that a passion for Missions burns deep in my heart.  I believe Jesus is the hope of all mankind and that it is the birthright of every follower of Christ to share the love of God in a culture foreign to their own.

And so we reach the title of today’s blog.  I felt like a kid in a candy store as we had the privilege of hosting a brother of Persian descent in church yesterday.  His words kept me on the edge of my seat, and the beautiful story of his salvation placed yet another log on the Missions fire.

What is it about Jesus that makes your heart come alive?  What is the fire that burns in your heart?  I encourage you to let the breath of the Holy Spirit fan the flame that burns inside of you.  Let it burn until even those around you are warmed by the fire of God’s call on your life!

For those of you who would like to know more about how you can pray for the people and nation of Iran, I have included a bonus post, “My Prayer For Iran” that I encourage you to check out.

On a personal note, I ask you to please pray for my 12 year old son, Keegan, and I as we take a mission trip together in November to Eastern Europe.  Pray that this exposure to the mission field will fan the flame God has placed in his young heart. 


Due to the sensitive nature of yesterday’s message, a podcast of the sermon is not available.


Want to know more about how you can change the shape of your world?  Check out “Five Ways to Pray for World Missions.”

On the Radar

Week two of “Beauty of the Bible” was an absolute home run!  I encourage you to join us next Sunday at 6:00 p.m. as Peter leads us through another remarkable exploration of the treasures in God’s Word.

We have a Freedom Retreat coming November 6 – 7 at EFC.  If you have not attended a Freedom Weekend yet, prayerfully consider joining us for this remarkable weekend .  For more information, a schedule, and registration information, 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. “We Cry Out” by Kim Walker
  2. “Your Love Is Everything” by Chris Quilala
  3. “Healer” Kari Jobe version
  4. “Where You Go, I’ll Go” by Brian and Jenn Johnson

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, September 27, we will be back in the rhythm of “Live Like You Were Dying.”  Join us as we explore what it means to Love Deeper.

Read Full Post »

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.


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.

Read Full Post »

Change the Shape of Your World

Change the Shape of Your World

As I helped my father-in-law build a tree house for my sons, I was amazed at how the right tools can make a difficult job easier and much more enjoyable.

My sons have been begging for a tree house for years, and I have wanted to build one for them.  The simple truth is I kept putting it off because I didn’t have the knowledge or the resources to get the job done.

Doesn’t that describe how so many of us feel about our prayer lives?

We want to be a prayer warrior and greatly desire to shake Heaven with Bullet Train Prayers for the nations.  We just keep putting it off because we don’t know how.

Not anymore!

Here are 5 tools to equip you to pray for the nations, or that one nation that God has laid on your heart.  It is time to take your prayer life from thinking and wishing to standing and declaring!

Check out these tools and resources for world missions prayer.

  1. The CIA World Fact Book is an amazing place to start your search for world prayer information.  Here you can find information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities.  Now that’s sure to awaken a sense of calling toward a specific place or people.
  2. Operation World is a complete global missions prayer guide.  It is like the encyclopedia of world missions prayer!
  3. Voice of the Martyrs is a sobering website for those of you who feel your heart being led to pray for a persecuted country.  It is a remarkable resource that will take your prayers from focusing on maps and flags to seeing the faces of men and women who put their life on the line because of their love for Christ.
  4. Prepare International is the website of a dear friend and visionary ministry that is helping to develop leaders and churches in Eastern Europe.  Those of you who’s hearts are drawn toward this geographic location will find specific prayer points and meet ministers who are laboring in the forgotten fields of Eastern Europe for our Lord.
  5. Once you determine your world prayer direction, I encourage you to log onto the Sweetwater Prayer Center website and take action to express where your prayers will be focused.  You will find a map on the site indicating which countries are currently being prayed for by friends of the Sweetwater Prayer Center.  I invite you to email me with your name and the country you are praying for so we can count you among the intercessors who will change the shape of the world through prayer.

Now you have some tools.  Go build something!

May the Lamb who was slain receive the full reward of His suffering.

Read Full Post »

When Heaven InvadesOne of my favorite conversation openers usually goes something like, “Man, I had a weird dream last night.”  You never know where it’s gonna go from there — talking wolves, sections of sewer pipe, or even a full scale military invasion may come next.  Our dreams are a mysterious aspect of our lives.

Sometimes dreams are simply the product of our mind trying to process the events of our life, but the Bible records and history affirms that dreams are a remarkable platform for interaction with our Creator.  Modern science indicates dreams occur in the subconscious section of our brain where we do not battle with inhibition.  And in the place where inhibition is turned off, it seems the voice of God makes more sense — the outlandish suddenly becomes possible.

 My friend, Peter Lopez, recently had what I would classify as a “God dream.”  In the dream he saw a beautiful train station with bullet trains coming from and going to all the nations of the earth.  You can read the full account of his dream by clicking here.

 We believe the bullet trains are a picture of the Sweetwater Prayer Center, and we have a twofold vision for the Prayer Center to be a “House of Prayer for All Nations.”  First, we desire to have a representative of every nation pray in the Sweetwater Prayer Center.  Second, we desire to cover all of the nations of the earth in prayer through the Prayer Center. 

 You can partner with us in this vision by prayerfully considering a nation you would like to adopt.  Then, please let us know what nation you will be interceding for.  We have a list of nations waiting to be adopted on the wall in the Prayer Center, or you can post a comment if you already know your nation.

 I look forward to the day when someone from your adopted nation joins us in the prayer center!

 “Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.” Psalm 2:8. 

 May the Lamb who was slain receive the full reward of His suffering.


Read Full Post »

Follow Through

Some things are just worth fighting for.  Your Divine health, the salvation of a friend, your children’s destiny in the Lord—these are just a few things we are called to fight for.  What are you being asked to fight for today?  Don’t shirk back.  Take your stand in the barley field and fight for the seeds in your life.  The enemy would love to devour them before they take root, but don’t let him.  Fight for your harvest!  And while you’re at it, know that the Lord of the Harvest fights along with you.  He is a God of victory!

Mission Review

Passing the seed bucket yesterday may have started off a little confusing, but we made it through, and we saw a remarkable response to the missions needs that we made known.  Over $2,000.00 was given to local and foreign missions yesterday!  Thank you for sowing such abundant seed into the nations.


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


As a parent, do you ever wonder which battles are worth fighting for and which ones aren’t?  Here’s some sage advice from Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family at http://www.uexpress.com/focusonthefamily/index.html?uc_full_date=20010527

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. “We Cry Out” by Brian Johnson
  2. “Where You Go, I’ll Go” by Brian Johnson
  3. “I Surrender” by Kim Walker
  4. “God of this City” by Chris Tomlin and Matt Redmond

On The Radar

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!  Children are welcome, but a nursery will be provided if you desire to use it.  More info on the church website at www.efcsweetwater.com or on the Emmanuel Fellowship Church Facebook Group.

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

Nathan was a prophet who was not afraid to speak the truth to King David.  He’ll be next Sunday’s hero.


Curtis Ward is the winner of 8×10 portrait “Divine Tension.”  Congratulations Curtis and thanks for sharing your insights!

Read Full Post »