Another Pastoral Epistle 11/21/18

“Give thanks in good circumstances, for this is the will of God.” Wait! That isn’t what First Thessalonians 5:18 says. It says, “Give thanks in most circumstances.” Wrong again! It says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God.” Certainly “all” can’t mean “all.” In the original language, it still means all. How is it possible to give thanks in all circumstances especially if our circumstances are horrible? When life seems to be one disappointment, one difficulty, one discouragement after another, how can we possibly obey this command?

Let’s visit the upper room where Jesus shared a last meal with His disciples. You will recall that Jesus took bread, and just before he had broken the bread it says, he gave thanks. Jesus knew what was about to happen. He would feel the full wrath of God for the sin of the world. He would encounter physical pain, verbal abuse, betrayal, and be misunderstood. He was about to endure a living nightmare, yet He gave thanks!

Hebrews 12 sheds more light on the source of His thanks. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of God.” Jesus’ eyes were on his future joy. His focus was beyond the cross to the promised joy that would result from it. When we find it challenging to give thanks in our circumstances, look to the joy set before us. It has been said this way, “If the joy Jesus promises is real and you believe him, there’s no circumstance that can steal your thanksgiving.”

So give thanks, church, give thanks! In ALL circumstances! Someday God will complete the work in you. Someday you will be raised from the dead to never die again. Someday you will see Jesus, be with him, and fully enjoy all the benefits of heaven. And for now, God promises to give you the grace you need for every circumstance and meet all of your needs! Give thanks!

EBC Kids has set up a table for you to show your appreciation to those who serve so faithfully in that ministry. So, if you or one of your kids could take just a few minutes to write out a “thank you” they will be collected and shared at the EBC Kids Training and Encouragement Brunch on December 1. Stop by at one of the tables this Sunday!

As I stated in last week’s epistle, consider ways you can express your thanks to someone. Say thank you to the store clerk, waitress who served you, person who held the door open for you, the one who prepared your meal, did the dishes, works with you or for you, and on it goes. Nurture a thankful heart. It is contagious!

And did that verse say, “Give thanks only on Thanksgiving Day”?

Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for you!
Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“A Woman and a Dragon” Revelation 12:1-6

Last Sunday’s Sermon

New Service Times

1st service: 9am 2nd service: 10:45am. Fellowship time in between 10:15-10:45.

Cancellation Procedure for Sunday Mornings

In the event of bad weather that would potentially impact services, the following will be taken into consideration: the current weather in Laconia, timing of the weather event, and whether roads, walkways, parking areas will be cleared. A decision will be made by 7:30 am to cancel one or both of our services. Events in the afternoon or evening will be dealt with separately. EBC will notify of cancellation using the following: WMUR TV, Church website news feed www.laconiachurch.com, Email (weekly epistle list), and EBC public and private Facebook pages.

ATTN Network Coaches

Please return your packets to the office as soon as possible. Thanks!

New Women’s Bible Study

The Women’s Ministry invites you to a 4 week Bible Study beginning next Tuesday, 11/27, 7pm-9pm. “Unwrapping the Names of Jesus” will lead us through the 4 weeks of Advent (Hope, Preparation, Joy and Love). The study offers five daily reflections that focus on that week’s name of Jesus. We will gain a greater sense of awe and wonder at who Jesus is. Sign up at the Ministry Counter beginning this Sunday.

EBC Kids Volunteer Training Brunch

All EBC Kids volunteers are encouraged to come for this time of refreshment and training. Saturday 12/1/18 from 9:30am-11:30am

Newcomers Luncheon

If you are new to EBC in the past two years, you are cordially invited to our upcoming welcome luncheon for new attenders on, Sunday, December 2nd. This will be a great opportunity to meet and connect with other newcomers and members of the EBC family. The luncheon will be held after the second service, 12pm. We hope to see you there. Please email the office to RSVP.

Business Meeting

December 6th @ 7pm

Save the Date

Missions Conference February 8-10, 2019

Another Pastoral Epistle 11/14/18

I recall my personal struggles as a young follower of Christ praying publicly. Especially praying for missionaries. My “go to” prayer was, “God bless the missionaries.” That isn’t a terrible prayer, but it did feel a bit too general. How could I really rejoice in answered prayer? How was this strengthening my faith as I prayed for them?

A few years later, my eyes were opened to the prayers spoken in Scripture. Not only the long prayers of Daniel, Nehemiah, David, and Jehoshaphat, but specific requests in the letters of the New Testament. There is Philippians 1:9-11 and Colossians 1:9-11 and Paul’s request for prayer at the end of Colossians for an open door for evangelism and the clear words to speak. These prayers teach us how to pray. Scripture is full of examples!

I came across one again just this week. In Romans 15:30-32, Paul requests prayer for safety, positive reception of the gospel, and a refreshing visit with the saints in Rome. Now that is something we can pray for our missionaries, for the church, and for each other. One thing is certain about praying Scripture- we know that this is God’s will.

Church, I pray for you consistently. I pray that we know the power of the risen Christ that lives in us. I pray that we embrace truth over all the other “voices” that compete with that daily. I pray that God’s bride remains pure, steadfast, faithful, and growing in love with Jesus. My prayer for you is that we excel in giving, serving, worshipping, and loving. An almost daily request is for an increasing dependence on Him as we remain in Christ.

The prayers found in the epistles often include one common feature. They begin with thanks. And the thanks are often for the church. So, as we pray for each other and for the church, the challenge is to begin with thanks. Who can you thank God for today? Consider the church family and pause to thank God for specific individuals and for what God is doing at EBC.

I would add to not only give thanks to God for those people, but also practice expressing your thanks to them. So often we have thankful thoughts, but for one reason or another, not share them with words. But when we do, others are encouraged, it can stir them up to love and good deeds, and it helps to create a climate of gratitude in our church. Gratitude can be as contagious as grumbling and complaining. And who knows the power of your words of thanks in lifting a wounded or weary soul? Who can you speak your words of thanks to this week? Say, “thank you” to someone today!

I thank God for you! I look forward to seeing you this Sunday!

With thanksgiving,
Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“What’s God Building?”
2 Samuel 7

Last Sunday’s Sermon

New Service Times

1st service 9am and 2nd service 10:45am. Fellowship time in between 10:15-10:45.

Operation Christmas Child

This week is Collection Week for packed shoe boxes. Drop off at the gym 11/12-11/19, Mon – Fri, 4pm-6pm and Sat 1pm-4pm.

New Community Group Starting

In an effort to meet the expanding desire of EBC’s members and regular attenders, we are pleased to announce another Community Group to be hosted in Gilford on Friday evenings at 7:00 PM at the Cobis’. Please contact Tim Whitman at tawhitman@liberty.edu or 540-986-6625 to be connected to this group or any other group!

Love INC

Annual Christmas Wreath Fundraiser November 17th. Pick up your wreaths at the EBC Gym this Saturday from 12pm-2pm Order yours today! Call 366-1525.

Momentum

MSM will NOT be meeting next Tuesday 11/20/18

New Women’s Bible Study

The Women’s Ministry invites you to a 4 week Bible Study beginning Tuesday 11/27, 7pm-9pm. “Unwrapping the Names of Jesus” will lead us through the 4 weeks of Advent (Hope, Preparation, Joy and Love). The study offers five daily reflections that focus on that week’s name of Jesus. We will gain a greater sense of awe and wonder at who Jesus is. Sign up at the Ministry Counter beginning this Sunday.

EBC Kids Volunteer Training Brunch

All EBC Kids volunteers are encouraged to come for this time of refreshment and training. Saturday 12/1/18 from 9:30am-11:30am

Newcomers Luncheon

If you are new to EBC in the past two years, you are cordially invited to our upcoming welcome luncheon for new attenders on, Sunday, December 2nd. This will be a great opportunity to meet and connect with other newcomers and members of the EBC family. The luncheon will be held after the second service, 12pm. We hope to see you there. Please email the office (office@ebclaconia.com) to RSVP

Business Meeting

December 6th@ 7pm

Save the Date

Missions Conference February 8-10, 2019

Another Pastoral Epistle 11/7/18

On November 11, 1918, in a railway carriage in Compiengne Forest in France there was an agreement (armistice) between the Allies and Germany to end World War I where 116,516 American soldiers lost their lives. Major hostilities were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11thday of the 11thmonth. What the United States previously observed as Armistice Day was renamed Veteran’s Day in 1954. Veteran’s Day honors those who serve or have served in the United States Armed Forces. I thank God for the service and sacrifice of over 20 million veterans in this country! It is a day we remember the scars that veterans have received in battle.

Do you have any scars? I am not talking about military battle wounds, but scars that remind you of something. One scar I have on my left arm reminds me of a box cutter that just missed one of my veins when I was stocking shelves working at a supermarket years ago. It still sends a shiver up my spine thinking about it. Scars remind us of something. It might be the birth of a child that reminds you of the gift of life. It might be a scar from a surgery that reminds you of the life you enjoy today. Any scars?

My mind goes to the Apostle Paul who said, “I bear in my body the mark of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:17). Paul had physical scars as a soldier for Jesus Christ. I don’t have any of those to show you. Many around the world do have scars because of their faithful witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We will visit this some more as we come to Revelation, chapter 11 this Sunday. Suffice it to say now, do others see the evidence of Christ in your life? Do you have “scars” as a soldier of Jesus Christ?

11/11 is not only Veteran’s Day it is the Sunday our service times change. Our first service will be at 9:00 and second service will be at 10:45. There are some practical reasons for making this change, but I do hope that the reduced time between the two services encourages more fellowship, not less. I cannot stress enough the importance of the time between two services to mingle and catch up with each other.

The change supports our mission. It ties into our purpose in adding the second service in the first place. Our adding of a second service was intended to fill the empty chairs so that more people could engage in the life of God’s people and the worship of our great God and to sit under the teaching of God’s Word. Praise God for the increase of an average of 40 people each week since adding the second service. Most of that growth has happened in the second service, so it is time to see how God grows the first service. May God add to the number of people being saved and to the number of people getting involved in the life of EBC.

Praise God for the 250 kids that walked through our trunk or treat last Wednesday. It was such a blessing to see the church family enjoying the time together and hearing the appreciation of our guests. Several adults expressed thanks. One neighbor stopped to share a prayer request with me. It was a great night!

Hope to see you this Sunday! Come early to check out the ministry displays around the worship center. Praise be to our Savior for His nail-scarred hands!

Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“From Witness to Worship” Revelation 11

Last Sunday’s Sermon

Service Time Change

This Sunday, November 11th, we will have new service times.
1st service will begin at 9am and 2nd service will begin at 10:45am.
There will still be a fellowship time in between approx. 10:15-10:45.

Operation Christmas Child

You can still pick up your Operation Christmas Child boxes at the Ministry Counter in the back of the Sanctuary this Sunday.
Collection times for the packed boxes will be during the week of 11/12-11/18 Mon – Fri 4pm-6pm and Sat 1pm-4pm.

Ministry Fair

This Sunday 11/11 we will have our Ministry Fair. Stop by the Ministry Tables to see what ways you can get involved here at EBC.

Office Closed

The office will be closed Monday 11/12

New Community Group Starting

In an effort to meet the expanding desire of EBC’s members and regular attenders, we are pleased to announce another Community Group to be hosted in Gilford on Friday evenings at 7:00 PM at the Cobis’. Please contact Tim Whitman at tawhitman@liberty.edu or 540-986-6625 to be connected to this group or any other group!

New Women’s Bible Study

The Women’s Ministry invites you to a 4 week Bible Study beginning Tuesday 11/27, 7pm-9pm.

“Unwrapping the Names of Jesus” will lead us through the 4 weeks of Advent (Hope, Preparation, Joy and Love). The study offers five daily reflections that focus on that week’s name of Jesus. We will gain a greater sense of awe and wonder at who Jesus is.

Sign up at the Ministry Counter beginning this Sunday.

Love INC

Annual Christmas Wreath Fundraiser November 17th.
Order yours today! Call 366-1525.

The Team meeting to go over all the details about the Christmas Blessings Project will be tomorrow November 8th at the Lakes Region Vineyard Church from 6:30pm-8:30pm. If you are being called to volunteer in any way, would like to donate, or have any questions about this event please email: info@loveinclr.org or call the Love INC office at 603-366-1525.

Click HERE to see details on ways to volunteer.

Another Pastoral Epistle 10/31/18

I read that at a pastor’s conference there was a large sign at the front of the auditorium. It hung above the platform for all the pastors in attendance to read each time they entered the room and sat down. In big bold letters it read: “Relax everybody. For once you’re not in charge!” I guess pastors need to be reminded of that. But don’t we all? Isn’t the word to all of us- Relax! we’re not in charge?

In our study through Revelation a major theme that keeps rising to the top is that God is in charge. That’s not to say we don’t have responsibilities to fulfill or that we shouldn’t take charge in roles assigned to us or that we have a Que sera Sera-“whatever will be will be” attitude. But God is in control. The Creator is also the sustainer of all things. Isaiah was stunned at the power of God to create and name and sustain every star in the heavens (Isaiah 40:26).

Even secular scientists conclude that planet earth is “just right” to support life. It has been said this way, “Over the past thirty years or so, scientists have discovered that just about everything about the basic structure of the universe is balanced on a razor’s edge for life to exist.” In other words, there is a recognition by scientists that hundreds of finely-tuned features in the universe are all necessary for the universe to exist and for life to exist in the universe. Naturalists chalk it up to chance. But the most reasonable explanation was that all the just rightfeatures necessary to support life points to an intelligent designer, the Creator God!

The Creator and Sustainer of everything is not irrelevant. So exhale and relax, for the One who calls each star by name and keeps the universe going is the God who holds you. I need that reminder. God calls me to keep in balance living responsibly and trusting in His sovereign control. My confidence is that there are enough mercies to deal with every situation that comes my way. God is in charge of the mercies- they are new every morning. I can trust that tomorrow’s mercy will be sufficient for tomorrow’s troubles or tomorrow’s tasks or tomorrow’s curve balls. Relax! You are not in charge!

One way we express that confidence in God is through prayer. As a church, all we do must be bathed in prayer. Prayer builders is this Sunday from 10:05-10:25. Praise God for the faithful ones who meet each month to pray for EBC and our worship services. Would love to have you join us! With the service time change beginning on 11/11 (9:00 & 10:45), prayer builders will still meet the first Sunday of the month from 10:20-10:40.

Be sure to check out the displays around the worship center this Sunday of the ministries of EBC. This is an opportunity to increase your awareness of what is happening at the church and to see ways you can be involved in our vision for making disciples.

Our God is working in our church. Lives are being impacted through His people and His Word. Our dependence is on Him to grow and sustain us by His powerful hand!

Blessings to you,
Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“Strong Angel, Strange Assignment” Revelation 10

Last Sunday’s Sermon

Daylight Savings Time Change

This Sunday we change the clocks BACK an hour.

Prayer Builders

Prayer Builders will be meeting this Sunday from 10:05-10:25 in the room behind the stage.

Service Time Change

Beginning Sunday, November 11th, we will have new service times.
1st service will begin at 9am and 2nd service will begin at 10:45am.
There will still be a fellowship time in between approx. 10:15-10:45.

New Community Group Starting

In an effort to meet the expanding desire of EBC’s members and regular attenders, we are pleased to announce another Community Group to be hosted in Gilford on Friday evenings at 7:00 PM at the Cobis’. Please contact Tim Whitman at tawhitman@liberty.edu or 540-986-6625 to be connected to this group or any other group!

Operation Christmas Child

You can still pick up your Operation Christmas Child boxes at the Ministry Counter in the back of the Sanctuary this Sunday. Collection times for the packed boxes will be during the week of 11/12-11/18

OWLS

The next OWLS Event will be Packing Operation Christmas Child boxes. Join them November 7, that EBC Fellowship Hall at 1:30pm. Once the packing of boxes is completed they will enjoy fellowship and dessert. Please see Norma, Jay or Bette, with any questions.

Ministry Fair

This Sunday 11/4, and Next Sunday 11/11, we will be having our Ministry Fair. Stop by the Ministry Tables to see what ways you can get involved here at EBC.

Love, Inc. Christmas Blessings Project

The team meeting to go over all the details about this amazing opportunity to help others will be on November 8th at the Lakes Region Vineyard Church from 6:30 to 8:30pm. If you are being called to volunteer in any way, would like to donate, or have any questions about this event please email: info@loveinclr.org or call the Love, INC. office @ 603-366-1525.
Click HERE to see how you can volunteer.

Women’s Community Group

The Wednesday morning Women’s Community Group will not be meeting next week 11/6.

 

Another Pastoral Epistle 10/17/18

“But we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.” Those words were spoken by the apostle Paul. A man wrote those words? I don’t know about you, but my impression of Paul is that he is a man’s man, a tough-minded guy who wouldn’t hesitate to set you straight if your theology was a bit off. I can imagine if I knew Paul was coming to my house for dinner that I might be a little intimidated. Would my prayer of thanks for the food come up short? Would I be sure to brush up on my knowledge of Scripture before he arrived? Would I concern myself with trying to impress him? And what if he picked up on that?

In that same letter to the Thessalonian church, Paul continued by saying, “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.” Paul wasn’t afraid to express how he felt about them. There was another side to Paul that could easily be missed. Likely, people were quite comfortable in his presence. He genuinely cared for people and it showed. As the old adage goes, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

At the welcome luncheon (you will hear more on this in next week’s epistle), Pastor Dan “interviewed” me in a speed round fashion to answer his questions with the first thing that came to my mind. Favorite food? Lobster! Favorite Pats player? Brady! Favorite state? Maine! Oops! New Hampshire is a very close second! Favorite thing about EBC? The leadership team I get to serve with and the people of EBC!

It is all about the people! Again, Paul speaks of people as his joy. Church, you are my joy! It is not possible for me to get to know each of you to the same degree. But I love seeing you when we worship each Sunday. I enjoy even the quick greeting or brief check-in that takes place on Sunday morning. When there was a discussion about changing the worship service times which would shorten the time between services, I resisted it a bit because it might mean connecting less with the people on Sunday morning. EBC, you are my joy! I pray for you and want nothing more than to see you grow in Christ and love one another.

Speaking of service time changes, on November 11, we will be switching to a new schedule in order to grow the first service. First service will be at 9:00 and second service will be at 10:45. The hope also is that the shortened time in-between services will result in more people connecting with each other.

Don’t forget about the opportunity to show our neighborhood we care by using our facility to host Trunk or Treat on Wednesday, October 31 from 5:00-8:00. Consider decorating your trunk. We are shooting for 20 cars (we presently have 7). You can also sign up to provide candy or food for that evening. Do pray that we touch this neighborhood with His love as people pass through that night! It is all about people!

With thanks for you,
Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“Global Warning!”
Revelation 8

Last Sunday’s Sermon

Service Time Change

Beginning Sunday, November 11th, we will have new service times.

  • 1st service will begin at 9am
  • 2nd service will begin at 10:45am.

There will still be a fellowship time in between approx. 10:15-10:45.

Operation Christmas Child

Starting this Sunday, you can pick up your Operation Christmas Child boxes at the Ministry Counter in the back of the Sanctuary.

Save the Date

The next Ministry Fair will be held Sunday November 4th. Stay tuned for more details to come.

EBC Kids Date Change

The “EBC Kids Volunteer Training and Brunch” that was schedule for October 20th has been rescheduled for Saturday, December 1st, from 9:30-11:30am. All EBC Kids volunteers, please make this change in your calendar.

Service Time Change

Beginning Sunday, November 11thwe will have new service times.
1stservice will begin at 9am and 2ndservice will begin at 10:45am.
There will still be a fellowship time in between approx. 10:15-10:45.

Trunk or Treat

We will be hosting our 3rd annual Trunk or Treat!

  • October 31st from 5pm-8pm, bring your kids by the gym parking lot for some extra fun!

This is a great way to get to know our church neighbors and them us.
We would like to have our parking lot full of decorated trunks for a safe place for kids to enjoy the evening. If you would like to participate and decorate your car trunk you can sign up this Sunday. There are also other ways you can help make this night special by donating cider, candy, or making a soup or chili for our participating families to have for dinner that night. Other items needed are fire pits, lighting and portable generators.

Sign up this Sunday at the Ministry Counter and see Laura Hollenbeck with any questions.

Love INC

Annual Christmas Wreath Fundraiser November 17th.
Order yours today! Call 366-1525.
NEW December Christmas Blessing Project. Will provide Christmas gifts to 25 children from their 2018 clients. You can help sponsor a local child with any denomination.

Gift cards can be given to Ron Deducca or Norma Phillips.

Clients will contribute $10 per child and receive a $100 gift card to shop for their child.

They will attend a Christmas Gospel program. A trained Love INC volunteer will shop with them for their children’s gifts.

Clothing Donations Needed

Belknap county Dept. of Corrections is asking for clothing donations for both male and female inmates for when they are released from custody as well as for inmates who have job interviews through the Work Release Program.

Donations will be collected now until the end of October.

Please see Lisa Bauman. A box will be located by the coat closet where you can leave your donations each week.

Suggested items are:

  • Coats and jackets
  • winter hats
  • scarves and gloves
  • winter boots
  • blue jeans
  • sneakers and shoes (W sizes 5-10 and M sizes 9-13)
  • socks
  • white polo shirts
  • pants and dress pants
  • button down dress shirts
  • blouses
  • sweaters
  • blazers