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Matthew 9:36-37




                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



Psalm 1-2



                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






                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!!!


 With you for the Kingdom

Pastor Brent


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



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… 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


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


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.



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


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


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 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.



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 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 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


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!
Image result for yawning at tigers

The Mission of Making Disciples


“Good” and “not so good” reads.

It feels like I have been playing a bit of “catch up” since returning from my time away, so this is my first postsabatical PastorBlog.   One of the great blessings of my time away was to have time to read widely.  In my daily pastor duties it seems that I read constantly…..but the reading is usually narrowly focused on my current study.  For those of you who enjoying reading here are the books I enjoyed and you might too.

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Quresh.  An amazing story of a Muslim coming to faith in Jesus.  This book helped me understand more of the Muslim religion and I was strengthened in my faith and prayer life.  I am currently reading the sequel No God but one: Allah or Jesus?  Which is a more detailed presentation of the differences between Christianity and Islam.

Death comes for the Deconstructionist by Daniel Taylor.   An intriguing mystery novel with lots of theological nuggets to consider.  Well written and enjoyable to read.

The Imperfect Pastor (discovering joy in our limitations through a daily apprenticeship with Jesus) by Zack Eswine.  This was an encouraging book for me, but unless you are a pastor you might find it a bit dull.   This “imperfect pastor” appreciated the honest confessions of another pastor.

From Eternity to Here by Frank Viola -  I didn’t agree with the author’s view of spirituality but I was challenged to think about my relationship with Christ differently.

Fool’s talk (Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion) by Os Guinness.  This book helped me think differently about my conversations with unbelievers.   A great read especially if you enjoy apologetics.

Mansions of the Heart: (Exploring the Seven Stages of Spiritual Growth) by R Thomas Ashbrook.  This book was well outside my normal reading genre.  Thomas Ashbrook unpacks in practical ways a book written by Teresa of Avila way back in the 1500’s.  It was a good read that expanded my thoughts on what it really means to have Christ live in and through me.

Spent Matches (Igniting the Signal Fire for The Spiritually Dissatisfied) by Roy Moran.  This was by far was the most challenging book I read.  It has huge implications for how the church can get back on the mission of making disciples.  You just might see some changes at EFBC because of this book.

I am looking forward with expectation to some good changes at EFBC that will bear fruit for all eternity.

With you for Him

Pastor Brent


TOT ALMOST THERE – Let’s work together to get our TOT fully supported as they head to India to continue our ministry among Tibetan Buddhists.   They need about $3K to be fully funded.   Also…please pray the India Visa’s are processed quickly with no problems.

The Lord is the Lord of every and all seasons.

Psalms 90:2

Psalm 90:2  Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

            Here we are moving steadily into 2017 - but I thought the computers were going to stop in 2000.  And what about the Mayan calendar ending Dec. 21, 2012 - maybe they just ran out of stones to put more dates on?!   Nevertheless, here we go into a new year.   I am looking forward to this new season especially because I know the Lord is the Lord of every and all seasons.   Exciting days are ahead.

            I announced at the end of our worship gathering on Jan. 1 that I will be “away” for all of January.   I will be on sabbatical.  That may be a new concept for some so here is a great definition I found. 

The word sabbatical, which can be a noun or an adjective, comes from the Greek word sabatikos, which means “of the Sabbath,” the day of rest that happens every seventh day. Most teaching jobs come with the promise of a sabbatical, which is a year of not having to teach, though you still get paid. During your sabbatical, you usually are expected to do research and perhaps write a book — in other words, keep working.

            To clarify…it’s only a month, not a year…I won’t be writing a book, at least not yet….I will do some research.  I would appreciate your prayers.   All the other elders are ready and willing to step in and serve the body in all the ways necessary while I am gone.

Thanks for this opportunity

Pastor Brent


Stories are God's idea...

Have I ever told you the story about the time I fell off the roof of my grandparents’ house?   Would you like to hear it?  

OF COURSE YOU WOULD…EVERYONE LOVES A STORY!   That’s why Jesus was always telling stories.  Right now, each of us can remember many of the stories Jesus told, and we even remember the point of the story.  Stories grab the emotion.  Stories help us remember what is important.  Stories are God’s primary form of communication in Scripture.  I read recently from Dan Taylor “Stories are God’s idea. God is the one who created story — the form of story — and us as story-shaped creatures. He has chosen story as the primary way to present himself to his creation. The Bible does not simply contain stories; it reflects God’s choice of the form of story as the primary means by which to tell us about himself and how to be in right relationship with him. It is also the form God has chosen to preserve that knowledge over many, many generations.

I don’t often use stories in my sermons, but I should.  Stories are life changing.   THIS SUNDAY – NOV. 20TH  you will hear a story. A great story about Reverend Henry Maxwell.  This particular story is in book form and has sold 30 million copies and is one of the best-selling books (stories) of all time.  I find that amazing because it really is a story about Jesus and His work in the life of Rev. Maxwell. 

Don’t miss this Sunday.  It will be a great time as we worship Jesus and be challenged to walk IN HIS STEPS.  Parents, your children will love this story, so we will have the older children (like Communion Sunday) stay with their parents.

See you soon

Pastor Brent


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