Tag Archives: Christ

2 Shots in the Arm we all need!

Today we were pretty beat and tired.  So my lovely wife decided to get us a Starbucks frap with an extra shot–of espresso.  Oh yea, and a cake pop too!  They were great.  They gave us a needed boost.  But as I worshipped today God led me to a couple of passages of Scripture that really gave me what I actually needed–a spiritual boost.  Here they are. I hope they recharge your spiritual batteries too.

Romans 12:1-2, “ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

James 1:2-5, “2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

The more we live the more God wants us to realize that we will find true contentment and completeness in Jesus—who He is to us, what He has done and does for us, and who we are in Him!  Now those are some shots we really need for life and living!

Did you need those shots?  Start the conversation by leaving your comment!

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EBC’s Next Steps!

Vision…what do we see?

Well we gathered together–the saints of EBC that is this past Sunday night for our annual business meeting.  God blessed as we took a look at where we’ve been, where we are, and where we are going. I reminded us of the vision that was cast just a year ago: Improve the quality of ministry by building a church of ministry teams.  I also shared some key facts about our vision and answered a key question: has our vision become a reality?  The great news is that it’s happening!  Vision takes time and effort from everyone in order to become fully realized.  Although we still have a ways to go God and the faithful active and responsible members of EBC have helped put our vision into motion! So I say thank you! 

We took a look back at the 2011 highlights, noting the health and growth God has given to EBC this past year!  Specifically I shared with joy the ministry teams God has helped us put together:

–        Leadership team (Me & the deacons)

–        Youth Team (A.K.A. The Resistance)

–        Praise Team

–        Sound & Media team

–        Kids team

–        Maintenance team (A.K.A Men of Acts)

–        Hospitality Team (A.K.A Bread breakers)

–        Administration team

–        Outreach team

–        Usher & greeter team

I define a ministry team as a group of believers in Jesus who are unified in purpose, mission, and vision and are advancing! I shared with the church that each team is in the beginning stages. We have brought people together who have the desire and giftedness to help bless the church in a particular ministry as we seek to help more people know Jesus and make Him known! The good news is we are advancing! We are making progress! But now it’s time to take our teams to the next level and encourage them to take the next step!

Step 1: Unify in Purpose                                                                                                             

According to Romans 15:5-7 I reminded us of what the purpose is. What is the Purpose of the Church?  Why does this church exist? Our Purpose as a church is to Glorify God! That means we purpose to make Jesus glorious!  With a thankful and sincere heart, we express with our actions, attitudes, and words that we know Jesus and love Jesus and that He is #1!  We make Him look good, be the center of attention, be who we think about, talk about praise, worship, and serve!  A team or a church will not be healthy or effective if it is not unified in purpose.

When we unify in purpose as a called out body of Christ we will receive one another in the body the same way God the Father received us by Christ!  If God can receive us with the great gap between heaven and earth, sinner and perfection, with serious differences than we can and should accept one another in the church and be unified no matter our differences or backgrounds.

The best thing that happens when we unify in purpose is that we make Jesus glorious!  We show forth His praise and attributes. And when that happens He is pleased and His presence is known!  He appears!  He manifests Himself to us in His power and glory! We so need His presence and power as we seek to fulfill our vision.

More steps to come.  How is God leading you now to help EBC with this important “Next Step” (Unifying in purpose) so we can fulfill the vision He has revealed to us?

 

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EBC News!

What’s been happening as the disciples of Christ gather at
Emmanuel Baptist Church in Macclenny Florida?

2011 Missions Conference Highlights!

EBC had a missions conference on October 2-4! This was a great time where we focused on our mission: the Great Commission.  According to Matthew 28:19-20 our mission is to help more people know Jesus and make Him known. This begins in our church, continues as we go and spread the Gospel of Christ in our community, country, and the regions beyond!  Having a missions conference helps us do exactly that! Our theme was building bridges…reaching more for Christ!  Here are some highlights:

  • God blessed us with great preaching from Dr. Shoemaker!
  • We had live Skype calls with 2 of our missionaries: one in Durbin
    Africa, and one in Togo Africa! Awesome!
  • We had great special music by our praise team!
  • The conference was well attended!

Prayerfully our missions conference goal will be reached as well: total participation!  Our desire is to have every member and regular attender commit to give an offering to faith promise missions each week.

Another Ministry Team Formed!

I’m excited that our church has formed another ministry team! The Kids team is now official. Our church’s motto is “Together we can do it.” Our vision is to see our church become a church of ministry teams, doing the work of the ministry together one team per ministry. Why? So we can fulfill our mission best:  All that is involved in helping more people know Jesus and make Him known. God has given our church a group of ladies that are gifted and who love God and kids!  We are excited to see how God will use our unified efforts to reach more kids for Christ in the days ahead!  We are planning an exciting kids activity and practicing for the Christmas musical! Thank you kids team for your efforts!

What’s happening next?

We have a new exciting sermon series beginning Sunday 10/16!  I am excited to start a new series called, “Extreme Spiritual Makeovers: Home edition.” This is a sermon series designed to speak to every family, helping us grow healthy families that know God and experience His presence, healing, and blessing!

God has been recharging our church family on Wednesday nights from 7-8:15 p.m!  Our October adult recharge begins on the 10/12.  Pastor Greg Peters, lead pastor of Parkview Baptist Church, in Palm Coast Florida will be our guest speaker.  Our recharge theme is “Leading with Love!”  He will be kicking off his teaching series with this lesson from God’s Word:  “Loving myself First—Really?”

EBC’s Wednesday Recharge has relevant ministries for all ages to include adults, the Resistance student ministry, the Kids Zone, and a nursery.  God has truly recharged our church family, helping us grow healthier in spirit and in number.

We are also very excited to launch our very first website!  Yes I know—pretty interesting having a blog, facebook page, and a twitter account but no website.  Well it’s a long story and has been quite a project, but we are almost there!  I really believe this new website is going to have a great impact on our church family and attract more guests in the days ahead. Our brand new website is going to help us interact, engage, converse, unite, and be informed all online!

As more disciples gather at EBC to worship God and serve Him it is clear that God is working in great ways and our future is getting brighter and brighter!

How’s your church life been lately?  How’s your life been touched by the ministries at EBC or your local church? Start the conversation by leaving your comment!

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What are you afraid of?

What not to Fear!

What are you afraid of—what do you fear? When I say fear I don’t mean that you are scared like being scared of the dark! I’m talking about things in your life that bother you—things in your life that bring conviction as a Christian because of your reverence and respect for God.  Because you are sensitive and aware of God’s presence in your life you pay careful attention to love, follow, and obey Him and His Word!  If you sin, living contrary to God’s Word and ways you are convicted, bothered, and downright captivated by the fact that you have displeased Him and have strained your relationship with Him.  It’s healthy and good to be sensitive to the things of God and His working in your life. Knowing what to fear and what not to fear will give us great freedom and confidence in our daily walk with Jesus—to know Him, please Him and do His will!  Paul the Apostle is a great example of someone who feared some things as a Christian, but notice first what he didn’t fear.

Paul did not fear losing his salvation in Christ!  2 Tim 1:12 says, “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”  Paul knew that salvation is of the Lord!  His soul was safe and secure in God’s eternal care.

Paul did not fear trials or persecution!  2 Tim 1:6-9 says, “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”  Paul knew that no matter what came his way God was not only for  him, God was with him and would be his strength during trials.

Paul also did not fear that his needs would not be met!  Remember what he told the church at Philippi in Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Time and time again God proved himself faithful in providing his daily needs.

Paul did not even fear the criticism of others!  Paul said in Col 3:23-24, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”  Paul knew that people would have differing opinions about him and God. The opinion that mattered most to Paul was God’s opinion.

What should we fear as Christians? 

Paul the Apostle did not fear many things because of His close relationship with God!  But what did Paul fear in his Christian life? What bothered him and what should bother us?  What should we be sensitive about?

Paul Feared to sin!  Sin is deceiving. It can trick us into giving into temptation.   It can control us.  Sin is also destructive.  Paul said in first Timothy 1:19, “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:”  When we let sin take control it can weaken our faith so much so that it shipwrecks us!  It can destroy us, leaving us on the sidelines of our Christian experience instead of in the game and making a  difference for Christ. And worse still sin breaks our fellowship and hurts our relationship with God.  Does it bother you when you sin—are you troubled that your relationship with God is not right?

Paul also feared that He wasn’t bringing enough glory to God with his life!  How often do you even think about bringing glory to God with your life—pleasing Him in all you do?  Do you daily seek to demonstrate and communicate God’s value and worth?  Paul said in first Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”  Here are some good questions that will help us bring more glory to GodCan I praise God for what I am about ready to say?  Can I praise God for what I am about ready to do?

Paul also feared that he would become a castaway!  First Corinthians 9:26-27 says a castaway is something that is not approved, does not stand the test, and is unfit! Paul was sensitive about pleasing God with his life–doing right.  This perspective motivated him to maintain a testimony for Jesus Christ. The Christian life is a race.  And while we run this race and serve Christ people are watching (family, friends, lost people).  Paul was concerned that his life and his race would be approving unto his Lord and an example for others!  Does it bother you to think that things you may do or not do might be displeasing to God and a poor testimony to others?

Paul also feared that People around him would be lost eternally! Paul had a healthy respect for the souls of men.  As Paul walked this earth serving Christ he passed by people every day.  It bothered him that some of those people would die and spend eternity in a Godless hell!  He said in Romans 10:1, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.”  He cared deeply for his fellow people!  He wanted to see them know Jesus as Savior and Lord.  It bothered him so much that he said he would have given up his own salvation if they would receive it (Romans 9:1-3).   How much does it bother you to know that some of your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors are lost, without Jesus, and on their way to hell?  Is there a healthy fear that motivates you to pray for them and share Christ with them?

What do you fear as a Christian?  Be the first to join the conversation by leaving your comment!

 

 

 

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EBC is Getting Recharged!

Not the Same ole same ole!

It’s been said, “If you do the same thing you have always done and expect a different or better result that’s called insanity!” God is doing some awesome things to recharge our church family at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Macclenny Florida!  On August 3, 2011 we started a brand new Wednesday night program for the entire family.  We wanted it to be Christ honoring and life-giving.  We wanted Wednesday Recharge to give the tired weary saints a supernatural shot in the arm.  Through specific and fervent prayer, and intentional and strategic ministry planning God is using Wednesday Recharge to accomplish these goals!

Recharge who?

For our adult recharge we have Bible teaching on a specific topic that relates to most Christians and young people.  For our August recharge we are privileged to have my father-in-law Dr. Charles Shoemaker with us.  Each Wednesday in August he is teaching on the subject of marriage enrichment.  Although his topic is for married couples the principles apply to all relationships.  It’s been awesome to say the least. Our youth team was pumped about launching an awesome new Student ministry called “The Resistance!” Their motto is “Following God…resisting the world!”   We had the youth building remodeled, repainted, and recharged!  The students at EBC love it and are excited about it!  We made some cool invite cards too so they can spread the word to their friends.  We also launched a new kids program called the Kids Zone!  Although we offered something on Wednesday night for our kids we needed to charge it up a little.  And that’s exactly what happened!  God has blessed us with some great leaders and workers who love children and want to help them know Jesus more in a fun environment.  The kids are loving the Kids Zone!

Recharged Indeed!

God has enormously blessed our new Wednesday Recharge so far!  God has recharged our attendance.  It’s awesome to see so many new faces on Wednesday night worship.  Several young couples came and brought their kids and students.  The first night God blessed us with 77 in attendance.  The next week we had 78.  This past week we had almost 70.  We were averaging about 35 on Wednesday nights.  Now that God has helped us have something exciting and relevant for the entire family our numbers have increased significantly!

We recharged our appearance.  We did much more than just decide to offer something on Wednesday night for everyone.  Much prayer and planning went into it as well.  Besides starting new ministries we also had some cool logos and signs made!  My bro-in-law, Dennis Schaffer, who happens to be a pilot and a pastor, also does some graphic designing on the side. He did excellent work designing the logos for the Resistance and the Kids Zone.   Along with the awesome logos that were designed we had some sharp directional signs made for both the Resistance youth ministry and the Kids Zone.  The signs we hung in the church not only look incredible they make a foundational statement as well:  quality is important!  We want to communicate a spirit of excellence in all we do.  How we take care of our appearance speaks volumes.  When our facilities are neat, tidy, and attractive, when our facilities are well maintained it shows how much we care and that we appreciate what God has given us.

God has also recharged our spirit.  When a church starts something new with the goal of fulfilling their purpose, mission, and vision better than ever before there is much to be excited about!  Because of the time and efforts of those on the Maintenance team (Men of Acts), the youth team, and kids team the foundation has been laid for effective ministry for the whole family on Wednesday nights!  With all of the activity and excitement one thing is abundantly clear:  God is working at Emmanuel Baptist Church!  We have life!  There is something going on of a spiritual nature.  And as a matter of fact there is.  God through His Word and His people is getting Emmanuel Baptist Church recharged.

How has God recharged you and your family at EBC?  Or what has your church done to recharge you and your family through the ministries and services they offer?

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