The Weekly Epistle 3/17/21

“I’ll pray for you.”  Ever said that and forgot to pray?  Talk about feeling guilty.  And the only thing worse than that is when the person you said you would pray for says to you, “thanks for praying.”  What do you do with that one?
 
Years ago, I became very convicted about this well-intentioned but overused Christian cliché.  I desire that my “Yes” be yes and my “No” be no and that applies to my promise to pray for someone.  Here are some practical tips that may help you to keep your word when it comes to praying for others.  
 
If it is appropriate, pause to pray with that person right then.  This can even be done on the phone.  
 
As soon as possible after hearing that request, pray for that person, even if it is a brief word with God.  
 
Immediately, write down the prayer request.  On Sundays, when a prayer request is shared with me, it is helpful for me to write that request down on my bulletin.  I know some people who keep a notebook with them to write it down as soon as possible.  It also helps them to follow up with that person later.  
 
Instead of saying, “I will pray for you,” you might say, “as that comes to mind, I will pray.”  Then ask God to bring that person and their request to your mind.  You might be surprised how often you will be reminded during the week.  
 
If the person is fine with your sharing that request with others, then involve others in praying.  This not only serves to strengthen and bless others in their faith but helps keep you accountable.  
 
God has given us this wonderful means of grace, called prayer.  The more we pray, the more our faith is strengthened in the God who hears and answers our prayers.  And don’t think of prayer as an activity you do at a prescribed time, but an attitude of prayer in which you can do while you are driving, walking, jogging, exercising, cooking dinner, trying to fall asleep at night.  
 
There have been many nights when my inability to sleep has led me to pray for you.  Often, my mind will recall those I saw in church this past week, to lift them up in prayer.  Even if I might not have specific personal requests, I can pray Philippians 1:9-11 or Colossians 1:9-11 or for your marriage or for your children, or for your ministry, or for God to open up opportunities for you to share your faith. 
 
Speaking of prayer, there will be a “prayer 30” the night of the business meeting (March 25).  At 6:30 we will join for 30 minutes of prayer, all are invited to this time of prayer.  
 
If you are a member of the church, then the business meeting is an opportunity for you to hear more from the leadership about affiliating with the Evangelical Free Church.  There will be an update on the convent building project, financial report, and a recommendation from the elders to approve Gary Cobis as an elder. 
 
It has been such a blessing to see more and more of the EBC family on Sunday mornings. Until then, blessings to you!  Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

God and Graffiti
Daniel 5

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Communion

We will be celebrating communion this Sunday. If you are joining us from home, please have your elements ready.

Business Meeting

Our next business meeting will be Thursday March 25th at 7pm with a prayer time at 6:30pm. Please mark this on your calendar and come out for an update on EBC happenings.

Child Dedication

There will be a child dedication on Sunday, April 11. If you are interested, please mark your calendars to meet with Pastor Brian on Sunday March 28 between services (10:15-10:30)

Good Friday

Join us for our Good Friday service on Friday April 2nd at 7pm.

Easter Sunday Services

For Easter Sunday, the mask requirements will be the same for both 1st and 2nd services. Masks are required to be worn to and from your seats only. EBC Kids will take place during 2nd service only and nursery will be provided during both services.

Upcoming Missions Trip

Are you interested in joining a short-term Mission trip?  EBC’s Global Outreach Team is joining with Rick Odess from Missions Door to send a group to El Salvador for church related projects.  This would be a 9 day trip in or around August.  If you are interested or have questions, please reach out to Mary Beth Letourneau (603-545-7329) or another member of the Global Outreach Team.

Prayer and Praise

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

The Weekly Epistle 3/10/21

The elders will be recommending to the church membership, Gary Cobis to serve as elder. Gary has completed the 10 sessions for effective spiritual leadership, met with the elders, and meets the biblical qualifications for eldership. Here is a little of Gary’s story.

My name is Gary Cobis and I have been married to my wife Brenda for 28 years, we reside in Gilford. I have two sons, the oldest is Nathan and the youngest is Zachary. They both attend EBC and our Friday night small group and are currently are starting their careers in law enforcement. We are excited to have an addition to our family, Zachary’s fiancé Jade Pickowicz, they will be married in July.

I started my personal relationship with Jesus Christ in 1997 after many years of trying to manage my own life; substance abuse problems and a family history of alcoholism. I attended twelve step programs and personal/couples counseling. For ten years prior to my accepting Christ, I was sober and taking all I could from my support system at the time; knowing all the while, there had to be something more. Shortly after my father’s death, I had a lot more unanswered question. One day I was listening to a pastor on the radio talk about the attributes of God,” All love, All power, All knowledge etc.,” which I agreed with, then he added “Jesus was God, and is God.” These words would change my life and family forever; I knew God, but I didn’t know his name until then.  I realized that Christ died for the sins of the world, and this included me.

Living in Halifax, Massachusetts, our family attended a Congregational Church for a brief period of time then attended New Hope Chapel in Rockland. I began to teach and lead home bible studies, welcome to the family class (EBC calls it Discovery Class) and facilitated the men’s ministry.  We moved to Rochester, Massachusetts where we attended Church in the Pines. My roles consisted of deacon, board member, small group facilitator, and men’s bible study leader; in addition, my wife and I assisted in the start-up of Celebrate Recovery. I am thankful for my wife’s love, support and prayers throughout the years, and for that I will be forever grateful. After eight years we moved to Gilford, New Hampshire.

We started attending Grace Capital in Laconia. My roles there included elder, life group leader, and assistant youth group leader. I experienced many loving relationships in this church family, they were close in my heart, but my doctrinal differences prevented me and my family from continuing to attend. We started attending Evangelical Baptist Church in Laconia. My wife and I completed the Discovery Class and became members of EBC. We currently host a small group at our home on Friday nights and I lead the weekly study.

I see my role as an elder at EBC Laconia as it is written in God’s Word 1 Timothy 3 and Titus: Protecting the flock, staying spiritually alert, caring for practical needs of the church family, and teaching the Word of God. I look forward to working with Pastor Brian, Pastor Dan and the other elders in shepherding the church and assisting them in any way possible. Thank you for considering me in the role as elder.

In Christ,

Gary Cobis

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

The Mighty Have Fallen: One Man’s Story
Daniel 4

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Save the Date 
Business Meeting

Our next business meeting will be Thursday March 25th at 7pm with a prayer time at 6:30pm. Please mark this on your calendar and come out for an update on EBC happenings.

Child Dedication

There will be a child dedication on Sunday, April 11. If you are interested, please mark your calendars to meet with Pastor Brian on Sunday March 28 between services (10:15-10:30)

Easter Sunday Services

For Easter Sunday, the mask requirements will be the same for both 1st and 2nd services. Masks are required to be worn to and from your seats only. EBC Kids will take place during 2nd service only and nursery will be provided during both services.

Upcoming Missions Trip

Are you interested in joining a short-term Mission trip?  EBC’s Global Outreach Team is joining with Rick Odess from Missions Door to send a group to El Salvador for church related projects.  This would be a 9 day trip in or around August.  If you are interested or have questions, please reach out to Mary Beth Letourneau (603-545-7329) or another member of the Global Outreach Team.

Prayer and Praise

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

The Weekly Epistle 3/3/21

I know God’s will for your life.  That’s right, I know God’s will for your life.  Isn’t that a load off your mind?  What is it?  It tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:3, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified.”  You might be thinking, “Well, that is a big letdown!”  
 
But this is indeed great news.  It can free you up from all the other issues surrounding the will of God.  It is the genius of the gospel played out in your life.  God wills for you to be sanctified.  Sanctified is a big word that means, “set apart and to be put to proper use.”  The thought is that something is set apart for its intended purposes.  Our intended purpose is to bring glory to God as He works out in us the image of Christ.  
 
We know where God is going.  He is working in our lives in such a way that is moving us toward greater Christlikeness (see Romans 8:29).  How?  We don’t really need to know that.  And that is freeing!  Trusting in God to carry out His will in our lives is liberating.  The pressure is off!
 
We won’t know why God allows certain things to happen in our lives.  We will not fully see this until the curtain is closed upon history.  But we can be certain of God’s care in every situation of life and if it is His will to sanctify us, He will accomplish that!  What is our part?  Respond in faith.  Faith is always God’s will for me.  Faith is my responsibility!  
 
Since it is God’s will to sanctify us then that means he is in control of the outcome of our choices.  That is not saying He is in control of our choices, but the outcome of those choices.  God can use anything He chooses to accomplish His goal of conforming us to the image of His Son.  
 
How does this fit into knowing the will of God for basic life decisions?  At the risk of oversimplifying it, here is the rule of thumb to follow.  Follow the will of God in personal sanctification trusting that God will use the choices you make to accomplish His purposes in you.  That is not to say, God doesn’t want to be involved in your decisions.  That is not to say that God does not concern Himself in areas of personal guidance in your life.  He does!  But His main agenda is transformation.  His will for your life is that you are sanctified, set apart for His intended purposes for you to be more like Christ today than you were last year.  
 
As John Newton so aptly put it, “I am not what I might be, I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I wish to be, I am not what I hope to be.  But thank God I am not what I once was.”  
 
Yes!  We are a work in progress.  I need to patient with you.  And I ask you to do the same for me and for each other.  And together we show the world the difference the gospel has made in our lives!  “We have this treasure (gospel) in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).  
 
Blessings, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

God Can, But If Not Principle
Daniel 3

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Save the Date 
Business Meeting

Our next business meet will be Thursday March 25th at 7pm with a prayer time at 6:30pm. Please mark this on your calendar and come out for an update on EBC happenings.

Discovery Class

This Sunday we begin our next 4 week Discovery Class at 9am in the Fellowship Hall.
This class is for those looking for more information about our church and those considering membership. This class is required for those who wish to become a member at EBC.

EBC Kids

EBC Kids will begin on Easter Sunday during 2nd service. Stay tuned for more details!

Upcoming Missions Trip

Are you interested in joining a short-term Mission trip?  EBC’s Global Outreach Team is joining with Rick Odess from Missions Door to send a group to El Salvador for church related projects.  This would be a 9 day trip in or around August.  If you are interested or have questions, please reach out to Mary Beth Letourneau (603-545-7329) or another member of the Global Outreach Team.

Prayer and Praise

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

The Weekly Epistle 2/24/21

Hi Church,
When news broke about Ravi Zacharias and verified as true, I found it difficult to put into words my thoughts and feelings.  Deeply troubling would be one way to describe it.  It became so overwhelming and disheartening to read of how he used his spiritual authority to prey on a multitude of women over the course of many years, I had to choose to stop reading anymore of the details. 
 
Frankly, I am deeply troubled to see Christians and ministry leaders empathize with Ravi Zacharias.  With fear and trembling I even speak of this matter, as if to think for a moment I am somehow righteous by my own doing.  I need God’s grace daily.  If I think I am standing firm, Scripture warns, be careful that I don’t fall.  We must be alert to the danger of taking any step on a slippery slope of wrong choices.
 
We all struggle with temptation.  I am not immune to the devices of the evil one and the lust of the flesh.  While that is true, this abuse should not be seen as normal.  Being a sexual predator is not within the normal range of the struggle of sin.  For someone to confess that they could be the next Ravi Zacharias, they should immediately withdraw from ministry and seek help. 
 
I am not trying to be harsh here.  These actions by this one leader are more than a slip and a fall.   We are not speaking of a “slip up” and one being overtaken by sin.  In that case, it should be a different response.  A response of grace, truth and love.  For one who is overtaken by sin, we are to restore that brother or sister (Galatians 6:1).    
 
This kind of abuse of one’s power should not be compared to temptation that is common to us all.  We cannot be silent.  What about the abused?  How does it come across to the victims of his abuse to empathize with Zacharias?  Does our well-intentioned and well-versed (pat) answers that empathize with Ravi serve to bring healing to them? 
 
So, while my heart aches hearing this news of a respectable leader, I can’t even find the words to express my concern for the women survivors of the abuse.  And what about our Savior’s name being mocked and dragged through the mud.  I realize that Jesus is big enough to protect His glory and doesn’t really need us to do that, but it does add a layer of difficulty to our witness. 
 
So, church, take to heart Paul’s words to Timothy, “Watch your life and doctrine closely,” (1 Timothy 4:16).  While these God-given words have special relevance to people in leadership, it is a warning for all followers of Christ.  Reports like this are a sober reminder to stay close to the Shepherd. 
 
How is your soul?  Are you growing?  Is God’s Word transforming you?  Are you staying in fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ?  Are you keeping in step with the Spirit of God?  Are you doing something today you said a year ago you would not do? 
 
Let this be an opportunity for a check-up on our own heart.  In that way, what was intended for evil can be used for good! 
 
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

It’s Amazing What Praising Can Do
Daniel 2:19-49

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Service Change

We are now offering two services. The 9 am service, masks will be required to be worn for the entire worship service. The 10:45 am service will continue as is and you may choose to remove masks once you are seated. Masks must be worn while entering and leaving the building as well as during fellowship time. 
We will continue to livestream at 10:45 am.
We are doing this on a temporary basis to be considerate and loving of those who would like to attend but prefer stricter guidelines around masks.

Save the Date 
Business Meeting

Our next business meet will be Thursday March 25th at 7pm with a prayer time at 6:30pm. Please mark this on your calendar and come out for an update on EBC happenings.

Discovery Class

Join us for 4 weeks beginning March 7th on Sunday mornings at 9am. This class is for those looking for more information about our church and those considering membership.

EBC Kids

EBC Kids will begin on Easter Sunday during 2nd service. Stay tuned for more details!

Upcoming Missions Trip

Are you interested in joining a short-term Mission trip?  EBC’s Global Outreach Team is joining with Rick Odess from Missions Door to send a group to El Salvador for church related projects.  This would be a 9 day trip in or around August.  If you are interested or have questions, please reach out to Mary Beth Letourneau (603-545-7329) or another member of the Global Outreach Team.

Prayer and Praise

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

The Weekly Epistle 2/17/21

Do you ever wonder, why?  You tell a person there’s 400 billion stars and he’ll believe you, but tell him a bench has wet paint and he has to touch it? Why?  
 
Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle? 
 
If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes? 
 
Why are there five syllables in the word monosyllabic?  
 
Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?  
 
When two airplanes almost collide, why do they call it a “near miss” sounds like a “near hit” to me? 
 
Speaking of airplanes, if the black box flight recorder is never damaged during a plane crash, why isn’t the whole airplane made of that stuff?  Why?  Probably the most asked question in the English language. It has been noted that a child can ask 14 whys in 4 minutes. 
 
In the gospel of John, when Jesus’ disciples encounter the man born blind, they asked, “Why was this man born blind?”  Jesus in a masterful way doesn’t directly answer their question, but He turns their why question into a how.  “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (see John 9:1-3). 
 
It is fine to ask why.  God hears those prayers.  Asking why helps us process our hurt and brokenness.  It can move us to greater trust in our Savior.  
 
But somewhere in that process God wants to turn our why into how.  How might God use this trying time to fulfill His purposes?  How might God use that pain to serve the Christian community?  How might God use this struggle to bring me into a deeper relationship with Him?  How might God use this mess to show off His power?  How might my story fit into the greater story of God’s plan of Redemption?  
 
Laura Story put it this way, “The myth is that contentment begins with understanding why.  The truth is contentment begins with asking how God might use this for His glory.”
 
There are many matters we don’t understand.  I find myself asking why again and again.  There is really nothing wrong with that.  Yet I also know how draining it can be.  I know that it can overwhelm my heart so that my preoccupation is on the things that are out of my control.  It can become very unproductive.  I really don’t need to understand why before I make myself available for His work through me.  I don’t need to have it all figured out before serving Him.  
 
His purposes are so much bigger than ours and someday we will see it in totality.  Someday it will all make sense.  For the time being, get involved.  For now, jump in fully doing the will of God.  Trust Him with the whys and find excitement in how God might use your situation to bring glory to Him.   
 
Blessings to you, church! 
 
Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

One Person’s Dream, Everyone Else’s Nightmare
Daniel 2:1-18

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Service Change

We are now offering two services. The 9 am service, masks will be required to be worn for the entire worship service. The 10:45 am service will continue as is and you may choose to remove masks once you are seated. Masks must be worn while entering and leaving the building as well as during fellowship time. 
We will continue to livestream at 10:45 am.
We are doing this on a temporary basis to be considerate and loving of those who would like to attend but prefer stricter guidelines around masks.

Save the Date 
Business Meeting

Our next business meet will be Thursday March 25th at 7pm with a prayer time at 6:30pm. Please mark this on your calendar and come out for an update on EBC happenings.

Discovery Class

Join us for 4 weeks beginning March 7th on Sunday mornings at 9am. This class is for those looking for more information about our church and those considering membership.

Office Hours Next Week

Due to next week being school vacation week, the office administrator will be out of the office next week.
You can reach Corianne via email at corianne@ebclaconia throughout the week

Prayer and Praise

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