Pastors' Notes

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Post-Election Reflection

We have just spent the last few months or days sorting through claims and counterclaims, of the worth of this or that candidate or referendum. We're tried to be wise and discerning, to make the right voting decisions for our country. It would seem then that we can rest, but today the real important work begins for us, as Christians. The last chapter of Hosea points the way...

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Designed to Need Your Gifts

I recently had a conversation with Josh Hix about the gifts that God gives each one of us, from 1 Corinthians 12. All references below come from that chapter. I appreciated and was encouraged by his thoughts, and asked him to write them for a Pastor's Note. Here they are: It is the Spirit of God who "apportions [spiritual gifts] to each one individually as he wills" (v11)...

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Always Reforming: Divorce and Halloween

Two events in the life of our church passed by this week, that are deeply connected, though not at all on the surface: the introduction of a "white paper" by our elders, on our changed understanding of the Bible's teaching on divorce and remarriage, and Halloween. Divorce and Halloween? Yes, when we consider what Christians were experiencing on October 31st, 500 years ago...

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Schaeffer on the Spirit

Francis Schaefer on Life in the Spirit: "Teaching about the Holy Spirit and His indwelling must never be solely a theological concept. Having the proper conceptthat we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit when we are savedwe must press on, so that the Spirit's indwelling can bring forth results in our lives. If we want tongues of fire, our first step is not only to stand by, co...

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Humbled for Good

King Nebuchadnezzar - a fascinating figure in Scripture. Conqueror of the Jews, God utilizes him unwittingly as their caretaker. Perhaps for this reason, God takes a special interest in him. This is no more vivid than in Daniel 4. Others have made hay of Nebuchadnezzar's psyche: he is what we would call today a narcissist. Absorbed with himself, this self-consumption only...

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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...

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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...

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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. ...

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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 ...

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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...

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