The Weekly Epistle 8/5/20

I remember my grandpa when he would be working on a project would mutter to himself.  I was curious about that until one day when working in the garage I was doing the same thing.  I was talking under my breath to myself.  Then I realized that this was biblical.  
 
The word “meditate” means to mutter.  When Joshua was told to meditate on the Book of the Law, day and night, he was to call to mind God’s Word and in essence talk to himself about the Word of God.  Meditating on God’s Word is to ask yourself questions about the truth.  The idea is to ponder what you read.  It is to think intensely on the words of Scripture.  Biblical meditation is different than Transcendental Meditation or any other type of meditation that calls you to empty your mind of rational thought.  It is the exact opposite of that dangerous practice.  Biblical meditation engages the heart and mind.  
 
Biblical meditation is a lost art today.  We are too much in a hurry to ponder a passage of Scripture.  We fight silence.  We aren’t good at slowing down.  Biblical meditation takes time.  We get restless thinking on one passage when there is so much more of the Bible to read. 
 
I want to encourage you to practice the discipline of Biblical meditation.  Take a passage of Scripture and read just a few verses then think through what those verses are saying.  Ask yourself questions about the truth, like, “What difference does this truth make in my life?  What do these verses say about living the Christian life?  How does this lead to praise to God or what should be my response to this?”  Talk to yourself about the passage.
 
Perhaps you could meditate on the passage of Scripture we will be looking at this Sunday, Philippians 3:1-11.  It is a long passage so chew on it in smaller chunks, like 1-6, 7-9, 10-11.  The point is, take time to chew over in your mind the Word of God.  You will be better for it.  
 
The Psalmist states that the one who does this is “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers” (see Psalm 1).  Tim Keller shares this insight on Psalm 1.  “Trees don’t grow overnight.  Meditation is a sustained process like a tree growing its roots down toward the water source.  The effects are cumulative.  You must stick with it.”  
 
Church stick with it.  Put your roots into Scripture.  It is then you will not be tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching, as Paul puts it in Ephesians 4:14. 
 
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Of Greatest Importance

Philippians 3:1-11

Last Sunday’s Sermon

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

NEW Livestream Time

Beginning this Sunday, we will start livestreaming at 9 am. The link will be published on the website, in the weekly epistle and on the EBC Bulletin Board.

Communion

We will be having communion this Sunday using prefilled communion wafers and juice. These will be available for you to pick on your way into the sanctuary Sunday morning. For those of you worshipping with us at home, please be prepared to join us in communion. 

Bulletins

We have begun printing bulletins again. 
These will be available on the table as you walk into the sanctuary. 

Annual Business Meeting

Save the date for our annual business meeting Wednesday Aug 26th
Financial review will be held Sunday August 16th at 10 am in the Fellowship Hall. Zoom will be offered.

 

The Weekly Epistle 7/22/20

The new normal.  I don’t particularly like that phrase.  I am not even sure what it means.  But it is used a lot as it relates to our present-day reality of the pandemic crisis.  But what does that mean for the church?  I have craved for the day that things go back to normal. 

But should we go back to normal?  Is that healthy?  I can wish all I want for things to go back to normal in my home of the days when my daughter was 10.  But my youngest is 16.  And driving.  And has a boyfriend.  This is not “my first rodeo” and yet embracing the changes that come with parenting a 16-year-old don’t come easy.  But that’s how life is.  Whether it is in a family or in the life of a church we have to progress through one change after another.

The matter at hand is not about settling into a new normal, it is about change and progress.  Is God using this pandemic to awaken us to new and different opportunities?  I found the words from pastor Mark Sayers helpful.  He said, “My encouragement for leaders at this moment who are feeling frightened, scared, or a loss of control is to step into this moment.  This is an incredible moment- God wants to do something- so step into it.” 

The truth is, if we stay stuck on normal, we will miss the opportunities God has placed before us.  Life should not ever settle into normal.  The goal is to progress through the changes in life. 

This is why it is critical we are seeking the Lord for what it is He has for us in these days.  Next Tuesday night, July 28 once again we will meet from 7:00-7:30 in the gym parking to pray as a church family.  I cannot overemphasize the importance of this time of prayer and the expression of unity as a church. 

I know that current events in the world can get you down.  I know that any requirement to wear a mask can be frustrating.  I know that not being able to see loved ones and friends because of this pandemic is hard.  I know that Sunday morning is not the same.  Let’s (and I speak to myself) get our focus off of getting back to “life as we knew it” to seeing the One who will make all things new.  The Lord Jesus wants to be our sustenance.  He is the Good Shepherd who will lead us, feed us, guard us, and bring us safely to our eternal home. 

Cling to these words from Jesus’ lips, “In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).  Yes!  These are difficult times.  But it isn’t a “new normal” we are looking for or getting back to normal but growing through these times and gaining a greater understanding of what God has for us in this world. 

We may not like it but “it is what it is.”  I don’t particularly like that phrase either!

Blessings to you, church!

Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

The Ins and Outs of Christian Living

Philippians 2:12-18

Last Sunday’s Sermon

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Fellowship of Prayer

Join us Tuesday July 28th at 7pm for our Fellowship of Prayer in the gym parking lot. 
Rain date will be Wednesday.

Annual Business Meeting

Save the date for our annual business meeting Wednesday Aug 26th
Financial review will be held Sunday August 16th at 9am in the Fellowship Hall. Zoom will be offered.

On Goal Picnic

In lieu of a picnic this year we are putting together snack boxes for the families on Saturday.

Please contact the office if you’re willing to help. Items can be dropped off at the church office by August 6th. Please call with any questions. 524-2277 or corianne@ebclaconia.com

On Goal Coach Meal Trains

We have two meal trains set up so you can sign up to provide meals for the coaches during the week of On Goal. If you have any questions, please contact the office or Betsy Weller. Details are on each link. Thank you for your faithful support to this wonderful ministry.

Coaches lunch meal train sign up can be found HERE

Coaches dinner meal train sign up can be found HERE

 

On Goal Soccer Camp

August 4th – August 8th Register today at www.ongoal.org

K-1st 9am-Noon $145 / 2nd-9th 9am-3pm $165

Family discounts and Laconia resident discounts are available as well as scholarships are still available.  

Community Carwash

A free carwash for our community August 1st from 10am-12pm. Held off campus by our Local Outreach team to show the love of Christ. Help is needed, please contact Cheryl Hayes at 524-9774 or the church office at office@ebclaconia.com

Giving

You can continue to give either online on our website www.laconiachurch.com and clicking on the green Give button or by mailing your checks to the office. 50 Washington St Laconia, NH 03246

Prayer and Praise

If you have any prayer requests or needs, please email Corianne at: corianne@ebclaconia.com