Pastors' Notes

Subscribe to the RSS Feed
  • Featured Posts
  • All Posts

Ambitious Rest

Someone in our church recently said she observered an increased attention paid at EVFree to outreach. This concerned her; she felt that behind this increased attention is a pressure to grow in numbers. Fair enough - that tendency and temptation is always there in churches: to want to grow, either in response to other churches' growth (bad), or for our joy in the glory of G...

Keep Reading

Gospel Community

This month we will be emphasizing our "gospel community" and encouraging you to get connected. We began this concept of "gospel community" by launching "Community Groups" over a decade ago. Community Groups are geographically-based: you already "belong" to one, based on where you live. Community Groups include everyone in that area. The goal is three C's: to connect to ot...

Keep Reading

The Center of Change

Personal change is hard. Yet by the Spirit, change is possible, for a Christian. But so often we Christians find change elusive, and the solutions offered by others to be unsatisfying. This is a frustrating, depressing place to be - to hear of "joy inexpressible" (1 Peter 1:8), to hear of others' victories, and find oneself wanting. Part of the problem is our complexity. ...

Keep Reading

Attention!

Alan Jacobs' famous essay "Attending to Technology" begins with this simple point: "Everything begins with attention." A breathtakingly broad and absolute claim, and more true than Jacobs lets on. Paul writes in 2 Cor. 3:18, ". . . beholding the glory of the Lord, [we] are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another." Beholding is seeing with ...

Keep Reading

The Contemplative vs. the Concrete

The pursuit of holiness is tricky. We don't help ourselves when we pit truths against each another that were meant to complement each other. When we isolate one truth, separating it from another, complementary truth, the power of the Word is weakened. Two apparent "poles" that we can separate and pit against each other: contemplating God and "seeing" Him, versus laboring...

Keep Reading

YOU ARE NOT TOTALLY DEPRAVED: How to Recover Positive Self Image

...

Keep Reading

The Right to Not Be Disagreed With

Today's "Pastor's Note" is a guest post, by Fred Larsen, one of our members. Fred wrote the following for no one but himself, for the sole purpose of getting his own thinking straight on this subject. However, he let its existence slip out; I read it; I thought its quality and clarity demanded a wider audience; Fred relented; and now I share it with you. I'm thankful for t...

Keep Reading

Hospitality, Friendship and God

There has been a groundswell of interest in our church lately for connecting with one's neighbors in an authentic, useful way. This groundswell wraps three cords into one rope: the desire to live "outwardly" (you can find our "Outwards Living Plan" here); the desire to talk about God and his gospel in ways that are intelligent to the culture but do not dilute the truth; an...

Keep Reading

A Sandwich for Fear

Every writer in the Bible is Spirit-inspired yet still has a characteristic style. Here is one example of how grasping a writer's style can point you to his intended, rich meaning. Mark characteristically writes in "sandwiches" - two slices of bread, with the meat in the middle. The first "bread" sets up a problem; the "meat" often puts forth some kind of example that pre...

Keep Reading

Sports and Hikes on the Sabbath

Thinking about this past Sunday's sermon, and questions and comments that either I did not anticipate or left on the cutting room floor, about the Sabbath: 1. My kids [play a sport, do this activity, etc.] on Sunday's. I can't change the schedule. What do I do about that? First things first: the important thing is to carve out time with God, to encounter Him, in unhurried...

Keep Reading