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THANKFUL year round

Romans 1:25

THANKFUL  year round

Thanksgiving….continued. It would be GREAT if we could continue Thanksgiving all year round!! No…not the continual eating of food…but the continual giving of thanks. Why is it that we often fall back into a less than thankful state of being? I certainly recognize that downward tendency in my own life, how bout you? I wonder if it has something to do with a wrong focus. By that I mean, a wrong focus on the GIFTS we have instead of the GIVER OF THE GIFTS. I wonder if we are really much like those mentioned in Romans 1:25 who “worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator “NIV This seems to relate to what John Piper writes in his devotional book Godward life. “God is not glorified if the foundation of our gratitude is the worth of the gift and not the excellency of the Giver. If gratitude is not rooted in the beauty of God before the gift, it is probably disguised idolatry” (Godward Life, 214). He goes on to say that appreciation without devotion treats God “like a tool or a machine to produce the things I really love.” As we move to the end of 2017 may we be so fixed on Jesus that all the “gifts” lose their attraction and we are more attracted to Him. Attached is a short video that Chris Ernst passed on to some of us on Thanksgiving Day. THANKS CHRIS. Take and look that let’s have THANKSGIVING …CONTINUED. https://drive.google.com/file/d/15GUgFZRxzyQSZbOUZRm0XSPZ4PWu7JC8/view PastorBrent hkc LET THERE BE LIGHTS. – If you need some lights for your house or shop please check out the Gym for lights that we removed from our facility when we upgraded. THEY ARE FIRST COME FIRST SERVED.

Acceptable to God approved by men

Acceptable to God approved by men

ACCEPTABLE TO GOD AND APPROVED BY MEN

 

…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking,

 but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

 For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.

Rom 14:17-19

 

                This is an intriguing passage.   This passage mentions what most of us really want in life.  We want to be “acceptable to God and approved by men.”  Maybe we aren’t consciously thinking about being “acceptable to God and approved by men,” 24/7 but certainly this motivates us to some degree in the choices we make each day.   The context of this passage is very important and when we look into the context we can be greatly encouraged. 

                The Apostle Paul is writing to the Corinthian believers for many reasons (they had lots and lots of issues in the church) and one of those reasons was a conflict that surfaced in the church because some people bought food in the market place that had been part of the pagan religious system of the day.  Not only did they buy it they also ate it.   The Apostle is normally not reluctant to tell the churches exactly what to do, but in this case, he refuses to do that.  Instead he points out another principle to live by.   Rom 14:13 “determine this — not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way.”    And then goes on to say basically that it’s really not about if you eat the food or not…what really matters is “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

                And here is the encouragement.   To be “acceptable to God and approved by men,” is not about having all the conflicts ironed out…. or all the questions answered…. or even making all the “right” choices in life.   Lord knows that the conflicts and disagreements come up daily, and the questions multiply each time you think you found an answer.  To be “acceptable to God and approved by men” is all about serving Christ with “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

                So in the midst of our conflicts and in the fuzziness of our questions and the doubt about our decisions lets rejoice in the RIGHTEOUSNESS of Christ that has been given to us, enjoy the PEACE we have with God through Christ and share the JOY the HOLY SPIRIT gives to us in the moment.

With you for Him!!!

PBrent

Hkc

FIRESIDE SEATING now open for you.  Tomorrow Nov. 5th our Fireside Room Seating is open for you.   You can go directly into the Fireside room and the coffee will be hot and the Fireplace will be warm.  There are some tables to sit around as well as a few rows of chairs.   If you have children you are welcome to take them with you and in the future when we dismiss the children to Children’s Ministry you can send them back through the Worship Center to the Children’s Ministry wing.   Go ahead and check it out and let us know what you think!

TIME CHANGE – You can come to church tomorrow at 10:00 am or you if prefer to NOT SET YOUR CLOCK BACK…. you can come at 9:15 am and listen to the worship team rehearse, or help make coffee for the rest of us who will arrive a little before 10 am  (SMILE)  EITHER WAY…SEE YOU TOMORROW.

The End of The Beginning

Genesis 50:26

The End of The Beginning

THE END OF THE BEGINNING
Gen 50:26
They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

I just finished reading through the “book of beginnings” - the book of Genesis. I actually listened through it this time and I noticed something different as I listened, I noticed how the “book of beginnings” ends. Gen 50:26 “They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.” The “book of beginnings” that tells us that God BEGAN everything... BEGAN again with Noah....BEGAN His covenant with Abraham...BEGAN the 12 tribes through Jacob....but then it ends with Jacob’s favorite son embalmed in a coffin in Egypt. What a sad way to end the “book of beginnings”.
That made me think of how many times in my life things began well, but ended poorly. Began hopeful but ended hopeless. Began promising but ended in despair. Can you think of times in your life when things began well but seemed to end poorly? Maybe you are at one of those "bad endings" right now.
But if we go back shortly before Joseph was embalmed and in a coffin, we hear what he tells his brothers. Gen 50:25 "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here." He knows he is going to die. He knows the people are in a foreign land? And yet he knows for sure that God has another BEGINNING in store for His people.
We are never at the end of God’s beginnings. His mercies are new every morning. His grace is sufficient for each day. His plans are ongoing even when it seems like we are can’t keep going. It could be that the END is just the BEGINNING.

With you
PB
Hkc

FIRESIDE SEATING. – Check it out Sunday Nov. 5th. You might really like the environment in the Fireside room as you can sit around a table, and even stand up if you just can’t sit very long. Acoustical panels go up at the end of Oct and it will be READY FOR YOU ON NOV. 5TH.

NUMB

Matthew 9:36-37

 

 

Numb

                I have been wanting to write down some thoughts in light of the recent event in Las Vegas….but I feel a bit numb to it all.  I say that by way of confession.  I don’t want to be numb…I don’t want to grow callused to human tragedy….I don’t want to grow insensitive to the pain of people.  Yet when I first heard the news of the shooting in Las Vegas my immediate response was not shock or horror but more of a sad resignation and apathy.  Lord forgive me!!!! 

                I don’t know how you respond to wave after wave of tragic news that you hear.   Let’s pray for each other that we never lose at sense of repulsion toward evil…and that we never lose a sense of compassion for those who are caught in the cross fire of evil.   May we be more like Jesus who “Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.” Matt 9:36-37

                Let’s allow these events to deaden our attachment to this world and enliven our longing for the Kingdom of God to be seen more and more in it’s beauty and for King Jesus to be acknowledged as the only answer to the fallenness of mankind.

                Let’s gather tomorrow morning and worship the King, and be reminded of His truth.  Hope to see you then.

Pastor Brent

hkc

#blessedlife

Psalm 1-2

#blessedlife

#blessedlife

                Last Sunday, we began a series in Psalm 1-2 called The Blessed Life.  Following the sermon, just before moving into worship songs Linzee said something about #blessedlife.   Now at the time I didn’t think much of it, because I really don’t get this “hashtag” thing.  So, I did a bit of research.  Here is the result of my research (for those of you who don't already know) “People use the hashtag symbol (#) before a relevant keyword or phrase in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter search. Clicking or tapping on a hashtagged word in any message shows you other Tweets that include that hashtag.”  Got it?  So now I am a bit interested in this # stuff… but not enough to start tweeting.  But I am wondering what a blessed life would look like in “tweetville”.   What do people really think about when they think about a “blessed life”.   I wonder if anyone thinks of a “blessed life” as a life that blesses others.  Blessings are not to be hoarded but passed on.   Read Gen 12:1-4 and see how the blessing that God gave to Abram was to ultimately be a blessing “all the nations”.   God is not stingy with His blessing and nor should we be.   For many people, the only way they will know that God can provide a blessed life is if someone who has a blessed life blesses them.   Sometimes it doesn’t take much.

                Join me and some others at the Skate Park this Sunday Sept. 10th after church as we #efbcburgerbless others. (nice huh???)  Hit reply if you would like to join in on the blessing.  Tom Filaroski will be cooking the burgers and dogs…Pastor Scott will have everything else we need….so come and hand out some burgers.

See ya

Brent

hkc 

 

"Satisfied"

SATISFIED

                I’m reading through the Gospel of Matthew in preparation for our fall series and this morning was re-reading the Sermon on the Mount.  You are familiar with what we call the “Beatitudes”….remember this one,

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matt 5:6

                I was struck by this promise of being “satisfied”.  The word means to be “filled” and has the idea of abundance and sufficiency.   The same word is used in Philippians when the Apostle Paul speaks of being content because of the Lord’s provision for him.   I love this promise of being “satisfied”, but there is a catch to it.   I will only be “satisfied” if I “hunger and thirst for righteousness”.   When my heart desires and thirsts after things that are either contrary to or inconsistent with righteousness then I am left unsatisfied and disappointed.  I am sure all of us can recognize that experience of being unsatisfied with life when our hearts and minds are set on the wrong desires.   It happens all too often to me.   How bout you?   Jesus is often called the “righteous one” in scripture and if we keep Him in our thoughts and in our focus then our hearts “hunger and thirst for righteousness”.  Not a righteous of our own but a righteousness that can only be found in Jesus. 

Thirst on….

“ALL I NEED” – We continue this coming Sunday in our series in Psalm 23.  “He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.  He restores my soul;”     PARENTS – all Children will be dismissed into the Fireside room for a short time prior to the sermon and then return for the sermon and communion.   The purpose is 2-fold.  1) VBS starts on Monday and we want to introduce them to the theme of VBS and some of the songs.  2) The Redemption Story being shared prior to the sermon has some sensitive topics in it that we want to shield the children from.    Thanks for working with us.   You can call me if you have questions about this.  THANKS PB  

"Sugared Water"

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, Matt 6:33

"sugared water"

                  "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, 

                                                              Matt 6:33

 

            I read an interesting story this week about Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak the founders of Apple Computer.   These 2 men changed our world by their development of personal computers that seem almost ESSENTIAL in our lives today.

        At one point in the growth of their company Steve Jobs realized that if the company was to grow it needed someone to help with the management.   He needed the best, so he approached John Sculley, who was the President of Pepsico, a very successful company.   Steve Jobs offered Sculley a position with Apple but was quickly turned down because…well who would leave a very high paying job with a multi million $ worldwide company to manage a small startup?   But Jobs was persistent and came back later with another offer, only to be turned down again.   In a last-ditch effort Jobs passionately presented his visionary ideas to Sculley and he asked Sculley a question that ultimately forced him to accept.  The question was this: “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”

Sculley wanted a chance to change the world, so he took a risk and he left Pepsico and the sugared water and indeed did change the world!!!

 IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THIS TYPE OF JOB OFFER IS MADE TO US DAILY.  Do we want to sell sugared water, BY INVESTING IN THINGS THAT DON’T LAST, or invest in HIS KINGDOM AND CHANGE THE WORLD? 

 With you for the Kingdom

Pastor Brent

hkc

A Single Meal

A single Meal

A Single Meal

“A single meal”

“ (let) there be no immoral or godless person like Esau,
who sold his own birthright for a single meal. “

Heb 12:16

                The story of Esau recorded in Gen. 25 – 27 is a gripping and sad story.   As the NT writer of Hebrews reflects on Esau he uses the words “immoral” and “godless” to describe him.   That seems a bit harsh to me, how bout you????  I would not pick those words to describe Esau….really wasn’t he just a bit “short sighted”…maybe a bit “impatient” even “hasty”????  I usually save the words “immoral” and “godless” for much more serious issues.   So, this is one of those times when we need to allow God’s word to reshape our thinking.  And when we do allow God’s word to reshape our thinking we begin to see those words “immoral” and “godless” might just apply to us.

                How often have I been so focused on “a single meal” right in front of me that I have sacrificed a spiritual blessing and missed the opportunity to secure eternal fruit.   Now we need to understand that the “single meal” is not about food, it’s about something in front of us that is temporary, transitory and of no eternal value.   We are faced with making decisions about “single meals” all day, every day.  The Apostle Paul speaks about these “single meals” of life this way.   “we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”  2 Cor 4:18     Do you see it?  The “single meals” are about the temporal…the things seen and not the eternal things not seen

                The reason that this life is so hard to navigate is because we actually need some “single meals” in our lives to simply survive.  Yet if we spend all our time, money and energy on the “single meals” we miss the real purpose of life.  The “single meals” don’t feed us they actually end up strangling us spiritually, just like Esau.   We miss the real blessing of life.  We spend all of God’s resources (time, money, energy) to fill us up temporarily but invest nothing for the glory of God in eternity.   Maybe that is “immoral” and “godless” and if I am honest I can say that in many ways that applies to me. 

May God help us see beyond the “single meals” to the eternal fruit that our lives can produce for His glory.

With you in the challenge

Pbrent

hkc

Sunday June 25th.   Potluck (bring salad and dessert) chicken provided.  Covenant Members meeting to follow.

Sunday July 2nd.  Church 101…come and enjoy lunch with the church leadership team and see what EFBC is all about.

Sunday July 23rd.  Worship Outside The Box.   A day to BE THE CHURCH and not just GO TO CHURCH.   Listen up for all the details. 

Dwelling Securely

Ps 16:7-11

Dwelling Securely

Dwelling securely

 

7 I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

8 I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will dwell securely.

10 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

11 You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy;

In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.  Ps 16:7-11

 

Are you secure?   Do you feel secure?  Is it possible to be secure?  The question of security surfaces in our minds when ugly, unexpected and evil events happen close to us.  I am not sure why they are so unexpected, yet they are.  In our relatively comfortable rural context we just don’t expect the type of events that took place in our local grocery store to happen.   It is interesting that the scripture often speaks of security (v 9 above) yet it is seldom directly connected to the physical reality but instead the spiritual reality.   Notice the passage above.  In verse 8 the author refers to setting the Lord “continually before” him…as well as having the Lord at his ”right hand”  The result is that he “will not be shaken.” and he will “dwell securely.”  I am not naïve enough to think that life will never shake me or that tragedy will never touch me.  I let go of that illusion long ago.   Yet I am also not naïve enough to think that my ultimate security has anything to do with my physical context…..it really has everything to do with my spiritual mindset.  Have I set the Lord “continually before me” …meaning have I set Christ as my goal…my ambition….my aspiration?   It’s interesting that this portion of this Psalm is quoted by Peter in his sermon in Acts 2….and Peter is applying it to Jesus.   So, was Jesus secure?   Did Jesus feel secure?  Was it possible for Jesus to be secure?   The answer of course is “YES”.   What happened in Jesus’ life was not a tragedy but part of an eternal plan for the Glory of God.   So, let us “dwell securely” today and every day!!!!

Thanks for allowing me to give vent to my thoughts during this strange time we live.

Pastor Brent

hkc

HE has NOT Changed.

Prov 1:33

HE has NOT Changed.

Prov 1:16

For their feet run to evil and they hasten to shed blood.

We were all reminded again yesterday just how much sin has impacted our world.   Details are still forthcoming yet what we know causes us to recoil and wince at the grisly crime in downtown Estacada.   I was called early this morning and was asked “what do you tell people when something like this happens”?   My response was simple.  Evil and sickness saturate this world because of sin, and when it hits close to home we are reminded of this stark reality.    Yet even this stark reality should not cause us to fear.  This does not mean that we must run and hide and live in anxiety.

Prov 1:33

 "But he who listens to me shall live securely and will be at ease from the dread of evil."

Evil though some people “run to evil and hasten to shed blood” we can be assured that God’s purposes and plans have not been derailed.   Living “securely” does not mean that there is no evil around us.  Being “at ease from the dread of evil” does not mean terrible acts don’t happen in small towns.   Security and ease is only found when our hearts are fixed on our all-powerful and all-knowing God who holds us in His hands.   May the Lord be pleased to use us during this time to speak peace and calm to a world that so desperately needs it.  God is still very, very good all the time....HE HAS NOT CHANGED. 

With you securely

Pastor Brent

hkc

Thinking of YOU

Ps 40:5

Thinking of YOU

Thinking of you.

It’s nice to be thought of.   Have you ever received a note, email, text or phone call “out of the blue” just because someone was “thinking of you”?  While that experience does not happen regularly, when it does happen it makes us feel significant.    Consider these 2 statements from the book of Psalms.  Ps 40:5  ‘Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done, and Your thoughts toward us; there is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, they would be too numerous to count.”  Ps 139:17-18 “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.”    These statements in Psalms reminds us that our God is a personal God.  He is not simply a force or power or influence.   He controls all the events of His vast universe yet at the same time thinks of and relates to His creation in a personal way.  He is “thinking of you” at this moment.   Maybe He will give you a call today (smile).    This truth reveals another reason to worship Him and love Him.

I hope you recognize some of God’s blessings on this day, whatever you spend your time doing.

I am really looking forward to Mother’s Day at EFBC tomorrow.   MOM 2 MOM -  A CONVERSATION WITH MOMS THROUGH THE AGES.   Some of the EFBC moms are prepared to share some great thoughts to bless all the moms.    Hope to see you.

pb

hkc

OPPORTUNITY – There is a need for Foster Parents in the Estacada area.   Is this something the Lord has been promoting your heart about?    What an amazing way to impact a young life.    RIGHT NOW, there is an opportunity to impact the life of a 3rd grade boy that would love to stay in the area.   Contact the church office and we will get you started in right direction.

   

Dark times in a different light.

Enlighten my eyes

DARK TIMES IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT

My devotional scripture reading is a bit random.  I don’t have a well thought out plan as I spend time in God’s Word.  So, in a somewhat random way I was reading Psalm 13 yesterday.  I was struck by the question “How long?” which is asked 4 times.  If you read the Psalm, and I hope you will, you get the clear sense that the author (King David) is going through some very disheartening stuff.  We are not told what he was going through, yet we do know there were many times in his life that events seemed to roll over him like waves crashing down on him.    He wondered if God had forgotten him.  He felt like God had turned his face away.  He was full of sorrow constantly.   Have you felt like that?  Maybe you feel like that right now!   What does King David do in this dark time?  He makes an interesting request…” Enlighten my eyes”

I suppose that request could be taken many ways….and yet when you look at how this Psalm ends I would suggest that King David is asking God to give him a different perspective.   He is asking God to help him see things differently.  It seems that sometimes the waves of life keep pounding down on us again and again and again, and all we want is for it to STOP!!!    How long we ask?  But what if we saw things differently?  And even though the waves keep coming, our perspective changes and also our attitude.  David’s attitude did change, but I am not sure his immediate circumstances did, and he ends up writing… Psalm 13:5 “But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.  I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.”  I think I will give that approach a try when the next string of waves hits.   How about you?

With you for the long haul

Pastor Brent

Hkc

Easter Sunday April 16th.   Services at 9 and 11 or stay for both if you want (smile).  Sunrise service at 6 am at the stadium.

Hey guys are you signed up for the retreat yet.  May 5-6 at the Oregon Coast…beautiful Rockaway Oregon.   Do it now.  Go to www.estacadafirstbaptist.org and commit.  You will be glad you did.  

 

Dressed For Success

“Dressed for Success”

1 Peter 5:5

…all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another,

 

You probably knew this but how you dress impacts your behavior.  Here is what the experts say…

”Science says that the clothes we wear affect our behavior, attitudes, personality, mood, confidence, and even the way we interact with others. This is “Enclothed Cognition“. The term Enclothed Cognition is used to describe the effect that our clothes seem to have on various psychological processes like emotions, self-evaluations, attitudes, and interpersonal interactions. Clothes affect our behavior and our moods because of the symbolic meaning that we (as a society) ascribe to different types of attire.”

 

Like I said…you probably already knew this.   But consider how the Apostle Peter speaks about humility.  He exhorts his readers to “clothe” themselves with humility, not just be humble.   We discussed the implications of that in men’s group today.   Great thoughts were shared.   Being “clothed” with humility implies more of a constancy than just a choice.  It even implies that this humility is something more of a gift we are given, as opposed to something we work ourselves up to do.  Being “clothed” with humility implies that humility is something displayed everywhere we go not just in certain situations.  We are to be “clothed” with humility at home, work, church, on the court, in the field, with our children, with our spouse, with our neighbor.   Go ahead and read the passage in 1 Peter 5 and notice that being “clothed” with humility actually is not about our attitude toward people but more about our attitude toward God, the one who is “opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble”.

So, let’s dress for success, looking to Jesus the perfect example of being “clothed” with humility.

Thanks guys for the great discussion today.

PB

hkc

Potluck and vision meeting following our worship gathering tomorrow April 9th…..BRING FOOD.  Child care provided.

MEN’S RETREAT…MAY 5-7.  Guys go to the website RIGHT NOW estacadafirstbaptist.org and register.  Well worth your time and $.

WOMEN….don’t worry….even if you’re not currently in a women’s Bible study you can begin the 1st week in May, and get in on the True Woman 201 Interior Design   Contact Kim Dodrill at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

 

STANDING AT YOUR GRAVESIDE

 
 

Standing by your graveside

I stood by a graveside today with family and friends to remember a sweet and wonderful woman.  Most of you would not know her, and the last years of her life were spent in a home for those with Alzheimer disease.   Yet in spite of how the last years of her life were spent, those around her graveside celebrated the positive impact she had on their life.  Standing by the graveside is always a good reminder for me about how a life can be lived well no matter how the last years are spent.  Somethings in life we have very little control of….but we certainly have control over the memories we leave in people’s minds.   What memories will flood people's minds standing around your/my graveside.    Phil 1:3  I thank my God every time I remember you.

Pastor Brent

hkc

The TOT is tired but doing well.  Stay in constant prayer for the team as they step by faith with a desire to see more people worship the 1 true God. 

Men - don’t miss the 2017 Men’s Retreat at Rockaway Beach Oregon – May 5-7.   Great speaker….great time to get away and connect with the Lord and other men.  Check out the EFBC website to register or register tomorrow in the foyer. 

 

How have we domesticated God?

Yawning at tigers

This passage ( below) has been challenging to work through this week. But it has caused me to ponder how we might have domesticated God in our minds.  Do we really want a "fearful" God or would we rather have a "buddy" to hang out with on Sunday mornings?  Makes me think of a great book on this ..." Yawning at Tigers". 
The author captures an important truth with this..."Only a God who punishes evil and rights wrongs is ultimately a God of love. … To fear the Lord is not to suggest God is callous or cool. Just the opposite, in fact. It is God’s consuming love that makes Him so dangerous. Because He cares deeply for His creation, He will not tolerate evil and injustice forever.”
Hebrews 10:26.  For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.  Have you tamed God....just so He is easier for you to believe in?
More tomorrow...Oh and don't forget to set your clock forward... Sorry!
Pb
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