Tag Archives: Gospel

EBC Easter Flashback!

Hello EBC Family & Friends,

How was your Easter?  Can you believe that it is over and behind us?  That doesn’t mean we can’t take a moment to celebrate what God did on Easter and what He plans to do in our lives in the future as we follow Him!

So what happened on Easter Sunday at EBC?

Our church family served with both unity of spirit and anticipation to see God work!   All of the prayer, sacrifice, and your sweet and hopeful spirit made Easter Sunday special!

God blessed us with guest families!  We are grateful for the new families God brought to our church on Easter.  They said they received the post card invite and wanted to come and see what we were all about! They did! I am glad that our invite efforts were successful.  Let’s pray that they return this week!

The Holy Spirit of God worked in and through both the 9 & 11 a.m. services!  The music and the message were both encouraging and challenging as we gave witness of the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Both services went smooth as well.

The refreshments between the services for our ministry teams were delicious!  Our fellowship was uplifting as well! All those serving during the services received a needed boost.  Thank you to all who helped with the food and refreshments!

Our attendance was solid!  We had a total attendance of 290, with returning guests and new families as well!

Our Easter offering total: So far, we have received close to $1500 for our Easter offering!  Your offering will help to purchase a new projector and enhance our overall worship experience at EBC!  If you have not yet given your Easter offering you can give your offering this Sunday or online!  Click here to give.

A special thank you: Thank you for all those who decided to serve on a ministry team on Easter Sunday!  Our welcome team, with all our ushers, greeters, and parking lot workers, our music leaders and singers, nursery and children’s church workers all served Jesus and EBC well!  Thank you!

What’s happening next at EBC?

We are so grateful to God for how He worked in and through us on Easter Sunday!  We are looking ahead, however, to see where God is leading us and to what He desires to do in the future at EBC!

Wednesday Adult Bible Study at 7:00 p.m:  Tonight, Dr. Shoemaker finishes his study, Spiritual Warfare, with the practical lesson called, “A Strategy for Victory!”  Come and bring your kids as we have AWANA kids ministry at 6:45 p.m. and teen ministry at 7:00 p.m. and acquire the Biblical tools you need to win during spiritual warfare.

New Sunday Morning Sermon Series, “Purpose Driven Family”!  On Sunday, April 23rd, at 11:00 a.m. we begin a new sermon series at EBC!  We will see how the right purpose, built on a solid foundation of Jesus, His Word, and healthy relationships, will help our families live out God’s purposes and thrive!  This Sunday, Dr. Shoemaker launches this new series with the message called, “Managing conflict in marriage!”  Come and see how to deal with and resolve family conflict the Bible way!

There is so much to celebrate and be engaged in at EBC!  Click here to visit our website.  Hope to see you soon!

Pastor Mike

P.S. Have you been blessed by the ministries of EBC lately?  Click on “Leave a comment” to share your experience!

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EBC Weekly Recap!

Well God has been blessing and working in and through the believers in Christ at EBC! Here’s a quick recap about what went on recently:

  • Started a New Sunday morning sermon series from the Gospel of John! God gave Liberty and worked through the message from John 8, “Jesus is the One who forgives.” Thank God for that!
  • Had a great Kids Team meeting Sunday night!  Great group of ministry volunteers. We all are excited about having our summer VBS! Looking for Jesus to work through us and help us reach new kids and families with the Gospel.
  • Had special prayer for one our teens, Ethan Wilkerson as he is preparing to go on a mission’s trip to Honduras! (Thank you for your prayers and for giving in the love offering on Sunday. All of his expenses will be paid for! Thanks for showing the love of Christ.)

That’s just a week in the life of EBC.

How is God working in your life here at EBC or at your home church? Join the conversation by leaving your comment!

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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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Daily Refocus

As we live life things can get kinda crazy, busy, overwhelming, and even a bit fuzzy too.  Felt that way recently?  Let’s face it, being a spouse, parent, pastor (or whatever your vocation is) is certainly not always easy.  As a matter of fact it’s downright difficult.  Not to mention that the devil is trying to get us off focus and discouraged all the time.   So what do we do?  Well, as one author put it, “Preach the Gospel to yourself!”  Jesus Christ is not to be only our Savior, but our sustainer through all of life!  This verse reminded me of what my focus is to be (Jesus)  and where I find my stamina and really everything I need for living (Jesus!) It says…

Hebrews 12:2-3, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”

As we look to and “consider” Him, remembering all that He went through and all He has done for us He then empowers us, giving us strength to endure and not lose heart.  That’s truth I needed today.  I hope it empowers you too!

PS  Today no matter what you find yourself doing no matter where you are, you are going          to experience victory–in Jesus!

What’s your story?  Has God renewed your focus?  Does He need to?  Join the conversation by leaving your comment!

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Vision Flashback!

 

Vision…what do we see?

Earlier this year in February we had an important meeting.  It was a typical business meeting.  It was fine.  There were no issues or problems.  No one made a protest or charged the pulpit.  One thing that did happen is that our vision for the future was clearly shared.  I reminded us that our vision is to see EBC become a church of ministry teams—one team per ministry.

I define a ministry team as a group of believers in Jesus who are like-minded, unified in purpose, mission, and vision and are advancing!   As I reminded us of the vision I challenged each one of us to examine our own lives and walks with God and be willing to take the next step!

Last post I shared step one!

Step 1: Unify in Purpose

Who is EBC about?  We are to be about Jesus and His great Gospel!  We are to be about making Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior glorious in all we say and do!  This means as we gather and worship and serve we communicate our love and appreciation for who Jesus is and what he has done for us.   And when that happens He is pleased and His presence is known! He appears! He manifests Himself to us in His power and glory!  Souls are saved and saints grow in Him!

Step 2: Be active in Mission!

What is EBC supposed to be doing? Paul told the church in Philippians 1:27 that as we gather to worship Jesus we are to Strive together for the faith of the Gospel! To strive together means that we work hard at the same time with one another to accomplish His work!  What’s that work?  The work of the ministry is the faith of the Gospel!  It’s everything that’s involved in helping more people know Jesus and make Him known!  It means that we with a like mind and single focus believe the Gospel, live the Gospel, and then share the Gospel with others.

We need to take an honest look and ask, “What are we doing to help more people hear the Gospel and come to Christ  in our community?”  God wants us to come together as a team and put forth hard effort to help more people know Jesus as their Savior and grow and mature in Him! 

Step 3: Get in the game!

As I preached the word and reminded us of our vision of striving together for the faith of the Gospel I left us with one final step!  I asked us this question, “What will be your next step to help us fulfill our purpose, mission, and vision?”  To all those who call EBC their church home, their faith family, the place where they worship Jesus, what is your next step?  Maybe it’s to attend the worship services more regularly, receive Jesus as Savior, get baptized, or maybe even become a member of our church family.  Whatever your next step is be sure to take that step in faith.  And why not let me know or a church leader know about your next step.  If you have any questions I would love to talk with you and pray with you about your next step!  As we grow closer to Jesus and His Word He will show us the “next steps” to take.

Ready to take your next step at EBC?  Why not leave a comment and share how God has led you or is leading you to take your next step.

 

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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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My Twitter Conversation with an Atheist: Part 2

Got Proof?

My twitter conversation with the “Atheist community” turned out to be a pretty exciting opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  After sifting through several tweets from several atheists I noticed that one atheist in particular seemed to be responding often and with interest and logical and realistic questions.  Then I got a great idea:  continue my twitter conversation about the existence of God with him.  So we sent several tweets back and forth.  He told me that he had read the Bible through and he still chose to believe that God did not exist.  He told me that he did not believe there was any real “proof” that any God exists.  You see that is the Atheist’s go to statement. They say, “If you can prove that God exists than I will believe.”  Not true. The atheist has already made up his or her mind that they will live life as if God/Jesus does not exist.  The problem is not proof, but a rebellious attitude toward a holy and loving God. The decision to be an atheist, although a bad one does not negate the reality that there is a God. The tweets continued and actually this one atheist in particular got me on to “Twitlonger” which allows you to type unlimited text instead of 140 characters a normal tweet allows.  After praying and seeking God’s mind on how to respond I pointed this one atheist to the Scriptures in Romans 1:19-20 where it says, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto them.  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”  Creation, that is everything we see gives great proof that there is a God a being greater, stronger, and wiser than us humans.  Humans are the most intelligent of God’s creations—at least some are.  He also stated the simple response that it takes more faith to believe that there is no God than to believe there is a God!  As a matter of fact it is very logical to a thinking person.  Genesis 1:1 simply states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth!” The things we see every day in our world and universe point to a real and personal God!  Denying this fact is like saying I don’t believe that I live on planet Earth. Look around man, at all the beautiful creation, people–your breathing air and not floating around etc.  There is no doubt that you are on planet Earth.  Denying this fact does not change the truth that you are living on Earth.  I’m not trying to be rude but God’s Word says in Psalms 14:1a, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”  No one wants to be a fool:  a stupid fellow.  I did not share this verse with this atheist as I was trying to speak the truth in love.  But the fact is out of love I would want someone to tell me if I was stupid in an area of my life as serious as where my faith rests and where my eternal destination is determined!

Twitter Conclusion

After sharing the 2 illustrations above concerning God’s existence it did not make much head way.  Truthfully it did not seem to make any sense or difference in this atheist’s life.  But he kept in touch and continued our conversation via twitter. Then he sent me a message that really captured my
attention.  He said in order for me to believe you need to give me some empirical evidence that will clearly demonstrate my Biblical theory.  Basically you need to show me some tangible real life evidence that I can see and test that God exists! His message was a great challenge.  Below was my last tweet I shared with him.  As I wrote it and sent it I prayed that God would enlighten his eyes to the truth and that he would place faith in the One true God and Savior Jesus Christ!

@earnric if you are lkg for evidence by experience & observation then I got it for you: me! You will know God/Jesus exists when you place faith & trust in Him and His Word–the Bible! You cannot and will not find any other evidence that tops a changed life. Anyone who has heard the “Gospel”—the good news that Jesus came to earth died on the cross for your sins & mine then rose again that whoever believes in Him—exercises faith in Him will have their sins forgiven, will become a child of God (will know God) and will recv eternal life as promised by Jesus—live in heaven one day w/ Him forever instead of hell. Believe this, and pray recvg God’s gift of eternal life and you will have your experiential evidence. I know God exists because I put His word to the test and placed my faith in Him—believed that Jesus sacrifice was enough to forgive my sin & give me what He promised-to know Him etc. Just cause you read the bible through doesn’t mean much. It’s when you exercise (faith) in what the Bible says that there is power.  It makes you wise unto salvation. You will
then know & experience God when you place your faith in Him!

Have you had a similar conversation with someone God put in your path?  Someone who needed Jesus? What interesting ways has God allowed you to get the Gospel out to those who do not believe? Start the conversation by leaving your comment!

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My Twitter Conversation with an Atheist!

Conversation Starter

Had some seriously raw dialogue with some “Atheists” a while back and thought it would be an interesting post!  I actually was just tweeting about how God had allowed me to minister to a dying man in a hospital and received a very surprising response.  I was on my way to visit a member of our church who was sick and in the hospital.  As I arrived ready to minister I found myself walking  aimlessly through the hospital kinda lost (it’s so easy to get turned around). God, however, was doing the aiming! While trying to find the sick member’s room a man walking in the hall saw that I had my bible and a badge so he stopped me and made a serious request.  He asked if I would go and pray with his dying brother.  He didn’t know how much time he had left and wanted to be sure He had everything settled with His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I agreed to make the visit.  I went into the sick man’s room and introduced myself.  He was in much pain, but was alert enough to have a  conversation.  During our visit I had the great honor of talking to him about Jesus and how he could be sure he knew he was on his way to heaven through faith in Him.  The man wanted to pray and pray he did.  I believe he already knew Christ but was praying for assurance of his salvation.  After he prayed his face lit up a little and he thanked me for coming by.  Well after that great moment of being used of God to share the Gospel of Christ I wrote a tweet about the experience.  And I shared how God in His divine way led me to a dying man and that after our visit this man had assurance that he was on his way to heaven regardless if he recovered from his illness or not.

Tweet! Tweet!

Well a few days later I noticed that someone had sent me a tweet (messages through twitter)  responding to the tweet I sent about the dying man.  Actually I received a few tweets from different
folks all who were “atheists.”  You see atheists choose not to believe that God exists.  They choose to reject the truth of God’s Word and decide to just ignore Him and live life their own way.  One man’s
twitter name was “Good without God.”  His message basically asked, “Isn’t that what hospitals are for?”  “And if he had died before you got there then what?” Another atheist asked, “How can you say that this man had received salvation from God and could know that he would go to heaven?  How do you know?”   All these questions caught me by surprise, but then the light went on!  This was just what I was praying for: an opportunity to share the truth about the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who do not know Him!

Seizing Opportunities!

Well I responded to this atheist by sending another twitter message and before I knew it an entire community of atheists was sending me tweets.  While some atheists just questioned my faith in Christ and the existence of God others made statements that were downright vulgar and vicious.  One
atheist tweeted to his atheist followers, “check out @mikeramondetta this out to be good!”  Well good did come as a result, good with God of course!

Next week’s post will include my conversation with one atheist in particular and how God used our twitter conversation to communicate the Gospel of Christ to him.

Maybe you have had a similar situation. What interesting ways has God allowed you to get the Gospel out to those who do not believe? Start the conversation by leaving your comment!

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