Another Pastoral Epistle 7/3/18

True Freedom! What is freedom? What does it really mean to be free? Some might say that freedom is the ability to pursue happiness with minimal constraints imposed by others. Some might answer that freedom is the right to do what we want to do.

July 4this the day we Americans set aside to celebrate the birth of our nation and the freedoms we enjoy. And we should. However, our greatest freedom is found in another citizenship. We belong to a far better country. In Hebrews “hall of faith” chapter it says of the people who walk by faith that “they were longing for a better country- a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:16). Earlier in that same chapter it is said of Abraham, “For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). Hebrews 13:14 says, “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.”

Our citizenship is in heaven! Being citizens of a better country frees us from trying to make this one the kingdom of heaven. Being citizens of heaven, we know that there is a greater freedom than to be free in the American sense. Jesus said, “If you remain in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). This is the freedom we are to promote. While there is a place for us to defend our constitutional rights, our primary focus is our kingdom mission; to bring as many Americans (and beyond) to the better, lasting country.

David Mathis, executive editor for Desiring God Ministries, writes, “Let’s be profoundly grateful for the freedom we have in this country to recruit for the true one, and let’s be unashamed to seize upon our fellow Americans’ desire for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and show them in whom such joy is truly found.”

Church, enjoy your Fourth of July celebrations with family, friends, food, and fireworks. Let it lift our hearts in praise for our Christ-bought freedom from the guilt of sin. Let our lives reflect that our greatest joy is in knowing Him who has set us free…we are free indeed!

Citizen of a better country,
Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“Jesus has not given up on the church” Revelation 1:9-20

Links to Last Sunday’s Sermon

audio
video

Meal Train

Dave and Shannon Dyer have a meal train set up for them. Please consider helping them out during their time of need, as Dave is recovering from surgery. SIGN UP HERE!

ELMM

The next meeting of the Military Ministry (ELMM) will be Saturday July 14th @ 0800 in the Fellowship Hall. Veterans, retirees, active duty military, men, women and all denominations are welcome. So please come join us in fellowship, prayer and discussion of our common bond of those who serve.

EBC KIDS

Please pray for EBC Kids! We are expanding this Fall and adding a new classroom for kids downstairs. We therefore need more helpers and teachers to serve once a month! Please pray for us as we grow and pray for more volunteers to join our team. Please email Mary Whitman at mflain@liberty.edu or call 540-986-6626 if you are interested in serving in this growing ministry!

Worship Service Live Stream

The Library will now serve as a “Cry Room” for parents with children who need to step out. You can now go watch the entire Worship Service live. Located downstairs next to the Fellowship Hall.

Church Picnic

Save the Date! Sept. 9th Details to come!

Another Pastoral Epistle 6/27/18

I don’t like to wait! Ok, I admit it. I said it aloud. Whether it is in traffic, standing in line, sitting in the doctor’s office, being on hold, or looking forward to something fun, I am terrible at waiting. I don’t do very well when it comes to waiting on God either. Ok, I admit that too! So when I come to passages that call me to “wait on the Lord” I know this will require a supernatural work.

Part of the problem in waiting is that I view it as inactivity. To me, it is just a waste of time. I need to be “doing” something. What if I thought of waiting as a process word? That in my waiting, God is working in my life. What if I took those moments of waiting and did more reflecting and pondering of the things of the Lord? And what if that waiting had to do with my slowing down a bit? It is in waiting that deepens my dependence on Him.

Another thought around waiting is that the biblical word has more to do with a confident expectation. That is why you might see the word hope in some translations in place of “wait.” For example, Isaiah 40, verse 31 says, “But those who wait on the Lord (or hope in the Lord) will renew their strength.” Renewal of strength is promised to those who wait on Him to provide it. When we admit we have no other help and are in need of Him to give us strength, we can be confident that God will give us the strength we need. Will we wait for it?

Pastor Dan and family are away for the month of July for some renewal. I want to share the elders’ perspective on this time off for Dan:

As many of you know, EBC recently voted to approve a sabbatical policy to honor and help protect the physical, emotional and spiritual health of our pastors. When the elders first discussed the concept with the pastors, it was our hope that Pastor Dan, having served here for 7 years, could benefit from the policy in 2018, because of some of the significant and unique personal, health and corporate challenges he has dealt with over the last several years. However, because the elders wanted to put a fair, well-thought out policy in place and have the members of the church approve it through a church vote, the timing did not work out for Pastor Dan.

Since Pastor Dan could greatly benefit from some physical rest at this time, we have encouraged him to take the month of July off as a long vacation, using his annual benefit of four weeks of vacation time to do so. This should not be seen as sabbatical time under the new policy, but as a long vacation time during which he can recover, recharge, and enjoy some much-needed family relaxation. Hoping this time would work, Dan has been arranging for others to fulfill his responsibilities at church during his time away.

We hope that you will join with the elders in praying for Dan, Susan and their children during this time and encouraging Dan both before and after his time away. Thank you.

Remember to pray for On-Goal Soccer Camp as it is up and running this week. Pray for a big and lasting impact on our community!

Speaking of prayer, it was suggested that we keep prayer builders in place over the summer! I totally agree. Prayer builders will meet this Sunday from 10:05-10:25 in room behind stage.

I can’t wait to see you all Sunday,

Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“Christ, the Victor”
Revelation 1:1-8

Link to View Last Sunday’s Sermon

audio
video

Meal Train

Dave and Shannon Dyer have a meal train set up for them. Please consider helping them out during their time of need, as Dave is recovering from surgery. You can sign here.

Help Needed

Help is needed for a new family in our church on July 1st. Meet at the Bauman’s home 16 Shepard St Laconia at 1pm. They will be moving next door, so it will be a short move. Please contact Lisa if you are able to help.

Prayer Builders

Prayer Builders is back on! We will be meeting the 1stSunday (this Sunday) of the month from 10:05-10:25 in the room behind the stage.

Worship Service Live Stream

The Library will now serve as a “Cry Room” where you can go to watch the entire Worship Service live. Located downstairs next to the Fellowship Hall.

Church Picnic

Save the Date!!! Sept. 9th Details to come!

SOULFEST August 2-4

Volunteers Needed Areas include security, retail, hospitality, stage crew, and many others. Benefits available for volunteers! To apply go to: thesoulfest.com/volunteer/

Momentum

Momentum will not be meeting starting next week 6/26 and will pick back up in August

Monday Prayer Group

1:30pm Prayer time will not be meeting for the summer and will resume in the fall.