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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.

Podcast

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.

Links

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.

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I sure don’t want to come across as spiritually egotistical, but my Lord is amazing.  Everything about Jesus is wonderful.  My life is better because of Him — and I believe yours could be too!

The book of Hebrews paints some beautiful pictures of the majesty and superiority of Jesus.  Here’s a collection of verses I simply title “Jesus is Better.”

  • So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.  — Hebrews 1:4 (NIV)
  • (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.  — Hebrews 7:19 (NIV)
  • Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.  — Hebrews 7:22 (NIV)
  • But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.  — Hebrews 8:6 (NIV)
  • It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.  — Hebrews 9:23 (NIV)
  • You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.  — Hebrews 10:34 (NIV)
  • Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.  — Hebrews 11:16 (NIV)
  • Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection.  — Hebrews 11:35 (NIV)
  • God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.  — Hebrews 11:40 (NIV)

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ fill you with hope.  May you come to know how much better life can be when you yield the throne of your heart to Jesus.  And may your day of discovery come soon!

 

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“So, my dear Christian friends, companions in following this call to the heights, take a good hard look at Jesus. He’s the centerpiece of everything we believe, faithful in everything God gave him to do.”  Hebrews 3:1-2 (The Message)

As you take a good hard look at Jesus this week, I invite you to review these blog posts to renew the wow factor in your heart of the amazing love of our amazing King!

 

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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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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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