Jan 3, 2016
“I Resolve”
I Resolve
"I Resolve"
By: Bob Rives
Nehemiah 1:2-4
     One of our dear brothers was saying just before Christmas that he’d done pretty well in meeting his goals for 2015. He was missing only one, losing weight. Unfortunately, at that late point of the year, about the only way he could meet his weight goal was to cut off both of his legs. That’s not a terribly attractive option.  
     Down through the centuries, new years have been observed in dozens of ways. But it’s been only in fairly recent times that January 1 was the start of the new year. Until shortly before the American Revolution, the new year came on the last of March in England and in the colonies here. January 1 was observed as a feast in honor of the Circumcision of Christ. But almost always, no matter when the new year was observed, it was thought to be a time to plan ahead and look at the past. In fact, the Roman god Janus, for whom the month is named, is pictured as two-faced, looking both forward and back.
     So as you consider 2016, what are your goals? Do you plan changes in your life? Are any of the, spiritual? Are you satisfied with where you’ve been and where you seem to be going? Do you have a sense of urgency that will help you stick with your resolutions? There always will be an obstacle to achieving goals. Vow to lose weight and someone hands you a pecan pie and a jug of egg nog. Hard to turn down. But if the need seems real enough, you’ll prevail just as Jesus did after resolving to get Jerusalem for his date with the cross, even with Samaritans trying to block his path. On Sunday we can think about changes together.
 

[audio mp3="https://www.epcofc.org/hp_wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/05-I-Resolve.mp3"][/audio]

WatchNotesDownloadDateTitle
  • Jan 3, 2016“I Resolve”
    Jan 3, 2016
    “I Resolve”
    I Resolve
    "I Resolve"
    By: Bob Rives
    Nehemiah 1:2-4
         One of our dear brothers was saying just before Christmas that he’d done pretty well in meeting his goals for 2015. He was missing only one, losing weight. Unfortunately, at that late point of the year, about the only way he could meet his weight goal was to cut off both of his legs. That’s not a terribly attractive option.  
         Down through the centuries, new years have been observed in dozens of ways. But it’s been only in fairly recent times that January 1 was the start of the new year. Until shortly before the American Revolution, the new year came on the last of March in England and in the colonies here. January 1 was observed as a feast in honor of the Circumcision of Christ. But almost always, no matter when the new year was observed, it was thought to be a time to plan ahead and look at the past. In fact, the Roman god Janus, for whom the month is named, is pictured as two-faced, looking both forward and back.
         So as you consider 2016, what are your goals? Do you plan changes in your life? Are any of the, spiritual? Are you satisfied with where you’ve been and where you seem to be going? Do you have a sense of urgency that will help you stick with your resolutions? There always will be an obstacle to achieving goals. Vow to lose weight and someone hands you a pecan pie and a jug of egg nog. Hard to turn down. But if the need seems real enough, you’ll prevail just as Jesus did after resolving to get Jerusalem for his date with the cross, even with Samaritans trying to block his path. On Sunday we can think about changes together.
     

    [audio mp3="https://www.epcofc.org/hp_wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/05-I-Resolve.mp3"][/audio]

  • Dec 27, 2015“Chosen” – Speaker: John Langley
    Dec 27, 2015
    “Chosen” – Speaker: John Langley
    Series: (All)
    "Chosen"
    By: John Langley
    Romans 1:1-7
    Do you feel you are a part of something special? If Jesus is your Lord, truly, you are part of that “something special”! When you decided to follow Jesus, you gave Him the opportunity to touch, not only your life, but also the lives of others.
    Paul felt this way when he wrote to the church in Rome. He felt chosen for a special job. He says he was called to be an apostle. Not called to a position, but to a destiny, a direction. His being an apostle brought him joy, pain, expectation, even disappointment at times. But, he never looked back at his calling and said it wasn’t worth it. Rather, he would say,
    “…I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord for who’s sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in Him….”
    Philippians 3:8
    We can feel the same way Paul did if we identify ourselves with our Roman brothers in Romans 1:7, he says that the Roman Christians were sanctified, or “set apart”; made saints. They were chosen by God to do His will. As Paul sees his participation in Christ as the greatest thing he could ever do, I hope that you and I can see ourselves in the same way. I hope that you and I realize that we have been chosen to bring the Gospel (the Good News) into the lives of our friends, neighbors and acquaintances. No matter what the future holds, you have been called to be a driving force for the sake of Jesus Christ. May you find meaning and direction in your life lived for Jesus!
  • Dec 20, 2015“More than Faithful” – Speaker: Devin Schadegg
    Dec 20, 2015
    “More than Faithful” – Speaker: Devin Schadegg
    Series: Christmas
    12.20.2015
    "More than Faithful"
    By: Devin Schadegg
    Genesis 12 1-3
    Christmas is a season marked with anticipation for those of us inside of the church and even those outside of it. However, the nation of Israel understood expectation and waiting in a much deeper way than waiting on presents. At the time of Jesus’ birth, it had been hundreds of years since God had sent a prophet, an oracle, or even a judgment. As we discover in the first chapter of Luke, all of that is about to change. The story of Zechariah and Elizabeth—the parents of John the Baptist—teaches us that when God is silent, it doesn’t mean he is still. He reverses the fortune of a barren woman, He ends years of silence, and He sends His Son into the world. The Christmas story since the beginning has been about a God who is relentless and always on the move.
  • Dec 13, 2015“Start Your Journey” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Dec 13, 2015
    “Start Your Journey” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Series: (All)
     12.13.20145
    "Start Your Journey"
    By: Patrick Barber
    Romans 6:1-11
    There's a Chinese proverb that says, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."  We know from experience that it's the first step that's almost always the hardest.  That's because before we take the first step, we have to commit, and before we commit, we have to decide if we even want to. Sometimes that takes a lot of time, thought, and prayer.  We make decisions every day that don't carry that much weight, but we are all called to make a decision that we shouldn't take lightly; namely, whether we will follow Jesus or not. We all have to count the cost and decide if we'd rather place our faith in ourselves or in the risen Christ.  And once we make that decision, we still have to take the first step on a journey that will last the rest of our lives.  If you haven't yet decided to follow Jesus, I hope you will make your decision today and start your journey with Him.
  • Dec 6, 2015“Remembering” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Dec 6, 2015
    “Remembering” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Series: (All)
    12.5.2015
    "Remembering"
    By: Patrick Barber
    Scripture: Revelation 22:1-5
    There are only twenty-six days left in the year. In a few weeks we'll be opening presents. A few days later we'll be making New Year's resolutions. Life marches on. Until it doesn't. For many, this holiday season is their favorite time of the year. It gives us a chance to pause and remember our countless blessings, eat good food, spend time with loved ones, and celebrate the closing of a year full of all sorts of memories. This is easier for some than for others, because for some, the thing they'll remember most about this year is the loss of someone beloved. Paul teaches us in Romans 12:15 to "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep." Today we'll probably do some of both as we remember--together--those who've gone on before us. May God's unending peace and comfort be upon us this day as we worship him and encourage one another.
  • Nov 29, 2015“Thanks…Giving” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Nov 29, 2015
    “Thanks…Giving” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Series: (All)
    11.29.2015
    "Thanks...Giving"
    By: Patrick Barber
    Micah 6:6-8
    Love. Forgiveness. Health. Family. Friends. Jesus. Abundant provisions. Eternal life with God. These are, in no particular order, some of the things for which I'm most thankful. My family of five had a great day Thursday as we shared a meal of turkey and dressing and a few extra goodies. We watched the parade and later some football. We thanked God for our abundance and wondered out loud what He in His wisdom has in mind for us. I imagine that many of us spent Thanksgiving doing some of those same things. And then a day of darkness and gnashing of teeth came -- Black Friday!!! And the world all too quickly switched gears and moved from giving thanks to getting as much as we can as quickly as we can as cheaply as we can. It's not that trying to get a good deal is wrong; the problem is that we so quickly replace giving thanks with consumerism and greed. Our thankfulness should never lead to self-centeredness. Our thanks should lead to giving.
  • Nov 22, 2015Untitled Sermon – Speaker: Dave Hawley
    Nov 22, 2015
    Untitled Sermon – Speaker: Dave Hawley
    Series: (All)
  • Nov 15, 2015Untitled Sermon: Speaker – Patrick Barber
    Nov 15, 2015
    Untitled Sermon: Speaker – Patrick Barber
    Series: (All)
  • Nov 8, 2015“No Other Foundation” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Nov 8, 2015
    “No Other Foundation” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Series: (All)
     11.8.2015
    "No Other Foudation"
    By: Patrick Barber
    1 Peter 2:9-12
    As we talk about a Christian worldview this morning, I wanted to first share with you a quote from a book written a quarter century ago by Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willimon called Resident Aliens. Early in chapter 5 they write, "From a Christian point of view, the world needs the church, not to help the world run more smoothly or to make the world a better and safer place for Christians to live. Rather, the world needs the church because, without the church, the world does not know who it is. The only way for the world to know that it is being redeemed is for the church to point to the Redeemer by being a redeemed people. The way for the world to know that it needs redeeming, that it is broken and fallen, is for the church to enable the world to strike hard against something which is an alternative to what the world offers." The need hasn't changed, and neither has the answer.
  • Nov 1, 2015“Listening for God” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Nov 1, 2015
    “Listening for God” – Speaker: Patrick Barber
    Series: (All)
    11.1.2015
    "Listening for God"
    By: Patrick Barber
    Scripture: Proverbs 3:1-6
    Two weeks ago, I preached about questions we all ask. How? When?  Where? What? Why? And most importantly, Who? That final question is always most important, because the answer to it becomes the key by which we decipher everything else in our life. Now, I know that life isn’t as simple as putting a bumper sticker on our car that proclaims: Jesus is the Answer! But even so, Jesus and the God he reveals to us is the ultimate answer to our biggest and most critical questions. This morning, we begin a series of lessons called “Listening for God,” and as we work through these questions that shape how we see ourselves and our place in this world, I want us all to be praying daily that God will soften our hearts and make ready our ears for his truth which can completely upend our lives.