September 2012

Freedom Results in Service

I read this devotional today and thought it was worth sharing.

It begins with:

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13

I love how we are to use our freedom to serve others.  The word freedom today typically means a freedom of choice.  It’s all about us and our wants.  Here, Galatians says to USE our freedom to serve others…humbly in love.  Whoa!  There’s an idea.  Most think of serving others as an obligation or as something we are forced or even paid to do.  Just let the words “serve one another humbly in love” sink in for a sec.  Think about the ways you serve today…who you serve today.  Do you do it humbly in love?  If the answer is no, then the next question is, do you know the freedom that only comes from Christ? (Freedom in Christ)

Here’s the full devotional:  Wisdom Hunters for September 19, 2012 …I highly recommend reading it!

Praise Report

Thinking on things of the past can often be a bad thing, but tonight it was a very good thing.  Downstairs in Rock City (our children’s church room) our church board met for our monthly meeting.  A huge part of the meeting was dedicated to a praise report.  This is always my favorite part of board meetings.

Ministry can be stressful at times.  There are always lots of decisions to make and they are all important.  The pressure to do the right thing is high.  The best quote of the night came from Stacey.  She thanked the board for being patient with us when we make mistakes.  Ha!  Of course we make mistakes.  We’ve never done this before.  But the truly amazing thing is to see a list of things that happened over the last month that couldn’t have happened without God’s hand on Echo Church.  The best of all on the list is the nineteen people who accepted God’s gift of forgiveness!  It just makes it all worth it!

Here’s the complete list:
We have grown 100 in attendance from the summer months.
192 people saved YTD.
Hot Springs VBS.
We went from 31 volunteers in the children’s department to 64 volunteers.
Canoe trip.
Amanda Nitcher has returned to lead worship at Hot Springs Campus.
Tithe has increased 44% since we started the 90 Day Tithe Challenge.
28 people were baptized this year in Pleasant Hill.
5 Have signed up to be baptized in Hot Springs.
We have gone to two services in Pleasant Hill.
Friends Day
Started building out the offices but have put no money into it.
We are continuing to support Bible translation in the Central Eurasia area.
Received a basketball goal, a beautiful couch and a school bus as donations.


A Look Back

Curiosity got the better of me this morning.  I was looking at a group page  on facebook for members of our church.  I scrolled to the bottom and hit “view older posts”.  I kept hitting that button hoping to get to the first post.  Quitting crossed my mind  numerous times because it was taking much longer than expected.  I zoomed into the past year skimming as I went.

I slowed down a bit when I got to last November.  There were a lot of posts about work days and pictures of the progress on our current building on 7 Hwy. in Pleasant Hill.  Those were fun to look at.  Sandy posting what the dinner for the night would be, pictures of car lifts being removed and people just plain excited about what God was doing.

It probably took me 45 minutes to get to the beginning of the thred.  Forty-five minutes I really enjoyed.  Funny, the reason I was on the group page today was because I was trying to think of as many new people as I could to add to the current group.  I came up with 17 friends to add.  If I remember right, Stacey started the group on November 27th with 17 friends.

The beginning was full of comments on everyones excitement for the possibility of starting a new church.  The future of Echo Church was uncertain.  Actually, the church didn’t even have a name at that point.  Everyone rejoiced when the Yagers signed the papers on their new building for their business.  It meant we would have a place to meet from the beginning!

Wow, from meeting in homes to meeting in a 10,000 square foot building. Meeting with 17 people to now meeting with over 300!  God is still on the move!  Looking back has helped me see just how far we’ve come.  I can’t say it enough…”Thank you God for using me!!!”.