Posts Tagged ‘Worship’

In the midst of all of the loud music, bright lights, and excitement of yesterday’s worship service and evening concert with The City Harmonic, one testimony brought the entire day’s activities into perspective.

A young man caught me after the concert and said, “Pastor Eric, this was a breakthrough day for me.”  He then went on to describe the freedom he experienced to lift his hands and celebrate as a worshipper.

“This was a breakthrough day for me.”  Amen. Amen. Amen!

Those are the words a minister lives to hear.  All of the planning, all of the prayer, all of the work is focused toward this one beautiful goal — spiritual breakthrough and growth in the lives of the ones we love.

I believe this young man’s personal observations were an accurate assessment of what we experienced as a church body yesterday.  It was a day of breakthrough as we were stretched in many areas.  From attendance, to sound quality, to lighting effects (I didn’t know our lights could do the things they did!), to the teamwork it took to make it all come together, we were stretched to reach out to new levels of breakthrough.

As pastor of Emmanuel Fellowship Church, I am blessed and overjoyed by where God has brought us as a congregation, and days like yesterday invite me to dream of where God is taking us as we continue to follow Him in this grand adventure.

As I laid my happy/sleepy head down on my pillow last night, I found myself in agreement with the words of my friend, “This was a breakthrough day for me.”

I pray it was for you as well.

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Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.  Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. – Romans 4:16-5:5 (NIV)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13 (NIV)

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. – Colossians 1:27 (NIV)

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.  We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 (NIV)

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure… – Hebrews 6:19 (NIV)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Trouble a door of hope. – Hosea 2:15 (NIV)


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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.

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