An old wise man from the church where I served in Maine loved to say, “If you have trouble sleeping, don’t count sheep, count your blessings.” I should practice that more often. And not just to help me fall asleep, but to fill my gratitude tank. Do I notice the blessings when I am awake?
Years ago, as part of a building campaign, as a family we started a blessing fund. Others have called it a “Count your Blessings” fund. This is how it worked. Any time we were blessed by something we purchased being less than we expected, we put that savings in a blessing fund. If someone picked up the tab or surprised us with a discount or someone gave us a break on a cost (without our asking for one) the savings went into this blessing fund. Our older two kids, who were quite young at the time, would get into it as well and if we missed the savings, one of them would say, “Blessing fund!” It was amazing the amount that was collected through this simple activity. Even more amazing was to see our blessings! We, in a very literal sense, were counting our blessings!
Seeing God’s blessings reaches far beyond monetary gifts. We are blessed with “every spiritual blessing in Christ” Ephesians 1:3 says. We are blessed with God’s protection, His presence, answered prayer, His comfort, His spoken Word, His people, and in knowing that even the troubles of life are sovereignly designed to accomplish His purposes in our lives. There is no question He is a blessing-giver. It is a question of, “Do we see them?” Perhaps your blessing fund will be filled with savings. Or perhaps it will be filled with written accounts of God’s daily blessings in your life. Or perhaps it will be more of a mental awareness to what our great God has given you and is doing in your life- even in those trials. Just try counting them!
I have said it before, I am blessed to serve here at EBC. You are a reminder of God’s goodness. I love worshipping with you each Sunday. And while I am not able to interact with each of you personally each Sunday, my heart is refreshed by you. I hope you are taking advantage of the time in between the two services. I am confident that the more you make it a priority, the more you will be glad you did. And the more others will benefit. I can’t help but think of the hymn, “Make me a blessing to someone today.” Is there someone God wants you to bless today, this week, this coming Sunday?
I remember recently driving through a toll booth prepared to pay my toll when the attendant said, “Drive on through, the person in the car in front of you payed for you.” Was this one for the blessing fund? Well, in that case, I decided at the next toll to pay for the person behind me. Isn’t that how it is supposed to work? We are blessed, so bless others. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9, “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (verse 11).
Blessings to you,
Sermon Direction“Tears in Heaven”
Last Sunday’s Sermon
Bill Wixson is looking for a few strong men with strong backs to help move the old appliances out of the gym kitchen. They will be moving the old appliances out THIS Sunday 9/30 after 2nd service.
If you are able to help, please contact Bill at 524-8580. Please bring old shoes and a pair of gloves.
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, October 14. 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, approximately 11:45. We hope to see you there!
Right People in the Right Places
Part 1: Option 1 Saturday 10/27 9am-12pm
Option 2 Thursday 11/1 6pm-9pm
Part 2: Saturday 11/3 9am-12pm
Must attend both parts.
Sign up in advance to get your book at the Ministry Counter.
Learn more here.
TREC Art Contest
Trajectory REC’s Monday Night Basketball Program is having an art contest! They are looking for artists, designers, those with a creative flair to come up with the new TREC logo to be featured on all TREC Basketball materials including shirts! Connect with Justin Whitman for the details of the contest.
Simply Beautiful Conference
This is a one-day conference for girls, their mothers,
and their spiritual mentors.
When: October 20th from 9am – 4pm.
Where: 14 Hunter Rd. Uxbridge, MA 01569
Purchase tickets here. See Susan Lyle for more details.
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)
- white polo shirts
- pants and dress pants
- button down dress shirts
It is important to understand your gifts and passions to find the ministry best fitted for you. So you will not just be gifted at what you are doing, but also, passionate about it. All believers are called to serve and are given spiritual gifts to bless the church. The upcoming Network Spiritual Gifts class will help you discover how you can best serve in the church. Network is a way for you to discover your spiritual gifts, personal style and passion for serving in the body of Christ. Then you compile it all to get the best ministry opportunities for you.
I went to Network last year. I have completed numerous spiritual gift inventories and Network is the very best spiritual gift inventory I have ever done. It is by far is the most comprehensive and accurate because in addition to filling out your own questionnaires regarding your gifts, it allows for input from others, and factors in your passions. This process of evaluation is key.
I have the spiritual gift of shepherding. You might think that as a shepherd I could come along any group of people to walk through life with them. However, it does not always work that way. When I was serving in children’s ministry, it was a lot of work for me. I burned out quickly. But working with teens in Momentum Student Ministries encourages and excites me. I am more effective and the impact is greater for Jesus.
Why the difference? While I love children, shepherding them is not as closely aligned with my passions. I have a deep love for theology and Bible study and teaching God’s principles to teens and women allows me to flow in the gifts and passions God has given me.
It is beneficial for everyone to go through Network whether you are now serving in a ministry or not. If you are already flourishing in a ministry, Network will provide affirmation you are in a role fitted to your gifts and passions. If you are not currently serving, Network will help you hone in on areas of ministry best suited to you.
Pastor Brian has brought many of EBC’s ministry leaders through this material. At the end of October, you’ll have the chance to take part in Network. Call or text me at (603) 892-2998 or email me at email@example.com if you would like to hear about how Network has impacted me in ministry. If you have any questions, connect with me at the back counter after service over the next few weeks. Don’t put it off.
In the Shadow of Hope series
“A Heavenly Perspective”
Pastor Brian Green