The Weekly Epistle 9/8/21

We’re all in the same storm, but we’re not all in the same boat.  This was said by a minister describing people’s experiences around COVID.  Same storm different boats (experiences).  
 
For example, there has been an increase in mental issues and addictions.  Loneliness is on the rise.  Isolation is all too common for the elderly and others who have lost their social network.  There have been losses to be grieved such as the loss of get togethers, loss of celebrations, loss of jobs, loss of freedoms, loss of normalcy, and the list goes on.  
 
What about the pervasive feeling of fear in society today?  It seems like we are living in a fear zone.  We’ve got plenty to be afraid of these days.  On some level, we all struggle with fear.  God knows we do.  
 
As you consider the fear of people mentioned in the Bible, when they were told not to be afraid, they actually had every reason to be.  Moses confronting a powerful ruler was a reason to be afraid.  When Mary and Joseph were told they would be the parents of the Messiah, that would cause any parents’ knees to shake.  God instructing Abraham to leave his familiar surroundings to some unknown place, wasn’t exactly calming news.  
 
Fear!  The problem isn’t what we fear.  It is when our life is ruled by fear.  It is when we make decisions based on fear.  It is when we form priorities and react to others from a position of fear.  It is when we get spiritual amnesia (as Max Lucado labels it), so that we forget that our God reigns!  Or that our behavior doesn’t match our belief in a Sovereign God.  
 
I remember one of the most difficult sermons I ever had to preach was the Sunday in 2001 following the terrorists attack on our country on 9/11. One of the Scriptures I referenced that Sunday was Psalm 46.  “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”  The Psalmist goes on to say, “Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.  The Lord Almighty is with us” (read that last line again).  Spend a few minutes to read Psalm 46.  
 
Same storm, different boats, but the Lord Almighty is with us!  Same storm, different boats, but God is Sovereign.  Same storm, different boats, but Christ has overcome the world!  Same storm, different boats, but God will meet us in that place of fear.  
 
The objects of our fear can be real even if it may be blown out of proportion.  We should be honest about that!  But then let it drive you to Him.  Have a proper fear of God that trusts Him with all that is going on.  It is as His love is perfected in us that we are less controlled by fear.
 
And join with others tonight by bringing our fears to God in prayer.  Prayer 30 is tonight from 7:00-7:30 in the gym parking lot.  Hope to see you there!  If not, hope to see you this Sunday as we start a new sermon series in James on “Faith in Action.”
 
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Profiting From Pain
James 1:1-8

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Next Prayer 30

The next prayer 30 is tonight at 7 PM in the gym parking lot

New Sermon Series

This Sunday Pastor begins a new series entitled “Faith in Action” from the book of James.

OWLS

OWLS (Older, Wiser, Loving Seniors) will resume getting together on September 11th at 1:30 in the Fellowship Hall.  We will be blessed with Rob and Patsy Tacker entertaining us in song followed by light refreshments. 

Acoustic Jam Night:

The worship ministry is sponsoring an acoustic jam night for all players and lovers of acoustic-based music. If you play an acoustic instrument…any acoustic instrument…then we would love to have you attend. The event will be hosted at the home of Rob and Patsy Tacker on Friday, September 17. Please RSVP by emailing Pastor Dan at dan@ebclaconia.com

Truck Needed

A plan is in place to remove all the shrubs around the Admin Building and on the corner of the Worship Center at the corner of Washington St and Fairmont St. We need someone with a one ton dump truck to assist us. Or someone with a 3/4 ton or larger pickup truck willing to tow a dump trailer. We would potentially do this Friday, Sept 17 into Sat, Sept 18. 
Email: buildings@ebclaconia.com or call Bill Wixson at: 603-524-8580. Or contact church office.

Hospitality Training

The hospitality team training will be in the Fellowship Hall on Saturday, September 25th from 8:30 – 10:00.  Breakfast will be served.

Community Group Fall Kickoff

It’s that time of year again! Existing Community Groups resume this month. Please contact your Community Group leader for details concerning your group. If you’re looking to join a group, signups will be held the first two Sundays of October.

CASA Volunteers Needed

CASA is looking for volunteer advocates who make a life-changing difference for abused or neglected children. You can register online for a virtual info session on September 22 that will focus on the need for volunteers in the Lakes Region.  Register at www.casanh.org.

The Weekly Epistle 9/1/21

Why is it that when the other person takes a long time, he’s slow; but when I take a long time,
I’m thorough?
 
Why is it that when the other person does something without being told, he’s overstepping his
bounds, but when I do it, that’s initiative?
 
Why is it that when the other person overlooks a rule of etiquette, he’s rude, but when I skip a
few rules, I’m original?
 
Why is it that when the other person pleases the boss, he’s kissing up, but when I please the
boss, that’s cooperation?
 
Why is it that when the other person gets ahead, he’s getting all the breaks, but when I get
ahead, that’s the reward for hard work?
 
And why is it that when the other person doesn’t do it, he’s lazy, but when I don’t do it, I am too
busy?
 
Busy! We wear it as a badge of honor. “How are you doing?” We proudly answer, “Busy!”
Was Jesus busy? I think he was. Jesus was busy…about the right things! Can a busy person
be lazy? Would we dare call a workaholic lazy? What can help us to see any laziness in us?
 
Look at the ant! And I don’t mean the one who is married to your uncle Charlie. But rather that
little bug that can be a nuisance at a picnic or in your kitchen. In Proverbs 6:6-11, the ant is set
in contrast to the sluggard (a lazy person). 
 
 You never see an ant just chilling. Take a look at an anthill, and you won’t see any ants just sitting around or standing around doing nothing. Every one of those ants have a job, and no one has to tell them what it is and no one has to push them to do it or guilt them into it. They just go ahead and do it. It is said that an ant is able to lift 20 times their own body weight. That means that if I had their strength, I could lift approximately 4000 lbs. Ants have been found to build structures 500 times their own height. The life expectancy of an ant is 45-60 days. Yet these tiny creatures accomplish much in their short lifespan.
 
Is there any laziness in you? Lazy? Who me? I am crazy busy! Are you busy about the right
things? Are you so divided in doing many things, that the best things are being neglected? Are
you working furiously on one thing because you are trying to avoid doing something more
difficult? Be like the ant. The ant is the epitome of diligence. Colossians 3:23 tells us,
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”
 
It takes diligence to build a strong marriage. It takes work to engage with our children and
disciple them. It takes energy to care for others in the church. It takes effort to check in with a
sister or brother in Christ to see how they are doing. Pursuing fellowship requires work.
Sharing the gospel is not for the lazy. Whatever you do! What is your “whatever” that calls for
your working at it with all your heart? Are you giving your all in all you do?
 
Working for Him, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Why Can’t we Be Friends?
Book of Proverbs

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

EBC Kids Ministry

Ebc Kids is looking for people who are passionate about Jesus and love working with kids, to serve as preschool / kindergarten teachers. If interested, please contact Victoria Mansfield for more details.  email: victoriayasharianmansfield@gmail.com or phone 603-717-8784

At the present time there is no nursery during 1st service due to lack of workers to care for the children.

Community Prayer Gathering

There will be a community wide prayer meeting on the lawn of the Laconia High School this Sunday, September 5th at 1PM.  Join local churches as we cover our staff, students, teachers and the city and towns in prayer as the new school year begins.

Next Prayer 30

The next prayer 30 will be Wednesday, September 8th at 7 PM in the gym parking lot.

OWLS

Save the date of September 11th.  We will resume getting together and on this date we will be blessed with Rob and Patsy Tacker entertaining us.  Those who heard them over a year ago really enjoyed it so plan to join us.  Further details will follow.

Hospitality Training

The hospitality team training will be in the Fellowship Hall on Saturday, September 25th from 8:30 – 10:00.  Breakfast will be served.

New Sermon Series

Coming in September “Faith in Action” from book of James.

The Weekly Epistle 8/25/21

As the old camp song put it, “They will know we are Christians by our love.”  Who will know?  The world!  How will they know we are Christians?  By our love!  How are we doing?  That camp song was taken directly from John 13:35.  
 
I am concerned that what the world is seeing is a lot of anger from those who profess the name of Jesus.  I am equally concerned that the issues of the day are dividing believers, rather than uniting us.  
 
During the beginning of the pandemic, I came across an article that was entitled, “Church, don’t let the Coronavirus divide you.”  At first pass, that sounds rather ridiculous.  But the enemy of the church is using it.  And quite frankly, we are giving the evil one plenty to work with.  
 
Back when I was doing “Wednesdays in the Word” I shared some thoughts around Romans 14.  It would be helpful if we revisited Romans 14.  I would encourage you to read the entire chapter in one sitting for yourself and read it slowly.  Here the principles I pulled out that I want to reiterate.
 
1.  All of us ultimately are judged by God (verse 1).
2.  Don’t take the place of the Lord in someone else’s life (verses 4-5).
3.  We are to live for the Lord (verses 6-7).
4.  When you judge you are usurping God’s role as judge (verse 10)
5.  We all must give an account to God (verse 12).
6.  Because of love, I must choose the course of action that best builds up the church (13-19). 
7.  Everything that does not come from faith is sin (23).
 
Paul’s words in Romans 14 are addressing matters of ethics on which Christians differ.  On disputable matters of application, we are to be convinced ourselves but allow others to decide as unto the Lord what is right for them.  As it relates to certain issues, one person may have more freedom to exercise his or her faith than the other.  It isn’t fair to assume that you are walking by faith, and others that believe differently than you are walking in fear.  Or that you are walking in love and others who feel differently than you are unconcerned for the well-being of others.  
 
Church, hold to your convictions.  But hold to those convictions in love.  Don’t judge!  Don’t look down upon others.  As Romans 14:17 says, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  And verse 19, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”  
 
Let’s make every effort, church, as we gather as brothers and sisters in Christ to contribute to a safe haven that we all need from the storms around us.  Let’s do our part to provide that safe place where we can break from the chaos in the world.  Church, in this time, we need each other more than ever.  
 
Blessings, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Two Great Tests
Proverbs

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Business Meeting

The annual business meeting will be tomorrow August 26th at 7pm in the church sanctuary.The annual business meeting will be Thursday, August 26th at 7pm in the church sanctuary.

Church Picnic

This Saturday is our annual Church Picnic and Baptism at Ellacoya from 10 -4.  The forecast is for possible scattered showers, but we will enjoy it rain or shine and it is forecasted to be cooler.  There is the pavilion one could get under if the showers do occur.

EBC Kids Ministry

Ebc Kids is looking for people who are passionate about Jesus and love working with kids, to serve as preschool / kindergarten teachers. If interested, please contact Victoria Mansfield for more details.  email: victoriayasharianmansfield@gmail.com or phone 603-717-8784

At the present time there is no nursery during 1st service due to lack of workers to care for the children.

Community Prayer Gathering

There will be a community wide prayer meeting on the lawn of the Laconia High School on Sunday, September 5th at 1PM.  Join local churches as we cover our staff, students, teachers and the city and towns in prayer as the new school year begins.

Next Prayer 30

The next prayer 30 will be Wednesday, September 8th at 7 PM in the gym parking lot.

OWLS

Save the date of September 11th.  We will resume getting together and on this date we will be blessed with Rob and Patsy Tacker entertaining us.  Those who heard them over a year ago really enjoyed it so plan to join us.  Further details will follow.

Hospitality Training

The hospitality team training will be in the Fellowship Hall on Saturday, September 25th from 8:30 – 10:00.  Breakfast will be served.

New Sermon Series

Coming in September “Faith in Action” from book of James.

The Weekly Epistle 8/18/21

The events currently unfolding in Afghanistan are a painful reminder that all is not right in the world. Of course, we already knew this. We can examine our own experiences and see the evidence of a world that is terribly off-kilter. However, Proverbs 16 makes one thing abundantly clear. God is sovereign over the affairs of men (16:1,9,11,31). His ways are higher than ours. His ways cannot be thwarted. 
 
How then are we to live in light of the monolith of God’s sovereignty? 
 
Proverbs 16 encourages us to take up the way of wisdom and steer clear of the way of pride. 
 
In preparation for Sunday’s sermon, read through Proverbs 16 on your own. As you do, note the way of wisdom and the way of pride. Then examine yourself to see how you are walking. 
 
“Am I walking in the way of wisdom?”
“Am I walking in the way of pride?” 
 
Hint: It’s probably a little bit of both. I know that’s the case for me.
 
Don’t be too hard on yourself. 
Don’t be too easy on yourself. 
Just be honest with yourself. 
 
We’ll unpack this passage together come Sunday.
 
Blessings, 
 
Pastor Dan

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

The Way of Wisdom and The Way of Pride
Proverbs 16

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Notice for this Sunday

The Timberman Triathlon will be taking place this Sunday.  We have spoken with the police department and the downtown area will be congested, so it is best to avoid it if at all possible.  You can take the bypass to Union Ave. if that works for you.

EBC Kids Ministry

Ebc Kids is looking for people who are passionate about Jesus and love working with kids, to serve as preschool / kindergarten teachers. If interested, please contact Victoria Mansfield for more details.  email: victoriayasharianmansfield@gmail.com or phone 603-717-8784

At the present time there is no nursery during 1st service due to lack of workers to care for the children.

Church Picnic

Next Saturday 8/28,  is our annual Church Picnic and Baptism.  Look for the insert in the bulletin this Sunday for relevant information.

Baptism Class

Baptism class is scheduled for this Sunday, August 22nd  at 9am downstairs in the Fellowship Hall (during first service).  If you plan to be baptized, you must attend this class.

Business Meeting

The annual business meeting will be Thursday, August 26th at 7pm in the church sanctuary.

Community Prayer Gathering

There will be a community wide prayer meeting on the lawn of the Laconia High School on Sunday, September 5th at 1PM.  Join local churches as we cover our staff, students, teachers and the city and towns in prayer as the new school year begins.

Next Prayer 30

The next prayer 30 will be Wednesday, September 8th at 7 PM in the gym parking lot.

New Sermon Series

Coming in September “Faith in Action” from book of James.

The Weekly Epistle 8/11/21

It is a time when the world is a mess.  International concerns and unrest.  Things appear to be hopelessly out of control.  And even more disturbing is that it doesn’t seem like God is doing anything about it. 
 
I am talking about 620 BC.  The nation had greatly declined that led to its fall.  The prophet Habakkuk looks around at the situation and has something to say about the state of things. He feels free to share his complaints and his frustrations to God.  
 
In chapter 1, verse 2, the prophet’s complaint is, “how long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?”  I remind you he is saying this to God.  What is typical of Old Testament prophets is that a prophet would speak for God to the people.  What is unique here is that the prophet Habakkuk is speaking to God about the people.  
 
He continues, “Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ But you do not save?  Why do you make me look at injustice?  Why do you tolerate wrong?  Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore, the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails.  The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.”
 
There seems to be a suggestion here of unjust oppression of the disadvantaged and that people were wrongly bringing others to court who could not defend themselves.  And no one was doing anything about it.  Not even God.  Know the feeling?  Is that the cry of your heart?  
 
I think we can relate to Habakkuk.  When the prophet says cry out it means to shout.  It is that reaction after seeing some violent story on the news.  You just want to scream.  When the fabric of society is coming apart, when things seem all upside down in the world, like the prophet we wonder how long it can go on without God’s intervention in saying, “enough!”
 
Habakkuk is so exasperated He accuses God of not listening.  In speaking of God not listening what he means is that God is not doing anything about the situation.  Listening is not just hearing it but doing something about it- some kind of active response.  We could summarize Habakkuk’s complaint as “God, do something!”  
 
To Habakkuk’s credit, he takes his complaint to God.  From the depth of his heart, he cries out!  Am I going to the Lord with such earnestness and urgency?  Are you wrestling in prayer in anguish of heart for the matters at hand? Are we striving together in prayer for the real battle at hand which is not flesh and blood but the unseen forces of evil?  
 
One way you can do this is by joining with your EBC family tonight from 7:00-7:30 in the gym parking lot to pray.  This is our third of four “prayer 30” events for the summer months.  I hope to see you there!
 
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Truth Be Told
Book of Proverbs

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

EBC Kids Ministry

Ebc Kids is looking for people who are passionate about Jesus and love working with kids, to serve as preschool / kindergarten teachers. If interested, please contact Victoria Mansfield for more details.  email: victoriayasharianmansfield@gmail.com or phone 603-717-8784

Church Picnic

This Sunday is the last day to sign up for our annual Church Picnic and Baptism scheduled for Saturday August 28th at Ellacoya State Park Pavilion from 10 am – 4pm. Please sign up at the back counter. If you sign up, then there is no admission for entrance to the park.  Just let them know at the front gate that you are with the Evangelical Baptist Church.  The picnic begins at 10:00.  Lunch will be around noon (hamburgers and hotdogs provided), games for all ages at 1:00 and baptism @3:00.

Baptism Class

Baptism class is scheduled for next Sunday, August 22nd  at 9am downstairs in the Fellowship Hall (during first service).  If you plan to be baptized, you must attend this class.

Business Meeting

The annual business meeting will be Thursday, August 26th at 7pm in the church sanctuary.