Pastors' Notes

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The Great Power in Hallway Conversations

Sometimes (often - always) God works despite our best efforts. I can remember vividly my conversation with Tom, around 20 years ago. I was not long out of a Christian college, and I had left that college more confused than clear about God. And now, in Tom's living room, I asked him about some questions I had about how to interpret the book of Genesis. His essential answer:...

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What to Do?

What is the purpose of church membership? Charles Spurgeon: "What odd notions people have of joining the church. Many a young man joins a rifle corps. There he is! When he joins the church, where is he? We have the distinguished honor of having the names of many young gentlemen on our books. But where are they? What are they doing? They think it enough that they have join...

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Sharing Christ, Despite the Pain

Church, Easter is coming! April 1st . . . April Fools' Day. Inviting anyone to Good Friday and Easter Sunday? Inviting anyone to a gathering of people who will worship a man they cannot see, because they believe He was raised from the dead? Paul was an April Fool to the Athenians for believing such a thing (Acts 17:32), and increasingly so are we to our society. Increasing...

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Why Don't We Pray?

She was grieving, and telling me what she so desperately wanted in her marriage. "Have you prayed for that?" I asked. You know the answer: no. But not just "No", but "no" accompanied with a look of puzzlement - "Why have I not asked for this? Huh . . ." I can relate to the feeling. Why don't we pray? When God is so near, and so powerful. When God is so full of love towa...

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Why Church Membership?

Why church membership? Those words are in no verse of the Bible. So why do we practice it at EFree? Because it's biblical. No, it's not in any verse, not those words, but the practice is implied in the early church. In Acts 6:3, the elders tell the congregation to choose from among themselves seven men to be the first deacons. Implied there is that there must have been so...

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Mindfulness

"Mindfulness" is the self-help of our day, and for good reason: we are bombarded by messaging from all kinds of sources. We can barely hear ourselves think. And much of world is dehumanizing: take the statistical analysis one can do on anything now with your phone, or take a trip on an airplane - dehumanizing. We have to stop and put down our screens and force ourselves to...

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Changing My Floozy Heart

Want to grow, and change? Me too. But I frequently have trouble identifying what exactly it is that I'm trying to change. Like a black hole, I know something's there - I feel its gravitational pull, but I don't have light to see it. My heart does worship the way a black hole does gravitation: it is automatic - and profligate. It can't not worship, and it pulls anything int...

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The One Thing: Intolerable Prayer

In the coming year, I believe there is one thing that, in all our doings, we should do. Beneath this is the assumption that the gospel is working, from the pulpit, in our groups, and in our conversations. While we can always grow, we are on a good trajectory here. I also assume that our community is on a good trajectory. Again, while we have room to grow, we are on a good ...

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"I'll pray for you."

"How can I pray for you?" This is perhaps THE most important question we can be asking ourselves, as we live our life together. Even if we don't overtly ask the question, if this question is guiding our thoughts, concerns and other questions to each other, we will inevitably be steered by the Spirit to the most important priorities in life. IF, that is, we rightly define ...

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The Blameless Heart

In Christ, the deepest problems have the simplest solutions. Two Sundays ago, we saw that King Asa did not finish well; his prosperity shielded from himself and others the bent of his heart, away from God. God responded by calling him to faith: "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless towa...

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