EGCC – Easter Schedule

Easter Sunday
Friday April 3rd
6:30pm Community Good Friday Service – EGCC Worship Team & Pastor Joe Lampton preaching
Sunday April 5th
8:30am Worship Service – EGCC Worship Team & Pastor Jordan Ickes preaching
               Sunday School for children preschool to 6th grade. Nursery care available
9:30am Breakfast – Free breakfast, plenty available for all who can attend
10:30am Worship Service – EGCC Worship Team & Pastor Jordan Ickes preaching
               Kid’s Church for children Kindergarten to 6th grade.  PeeWee Church for preschoolers. Nursery care available

Christian Pastor Arrested, King to make Spectacle of Him

Acts 12:1-5 

“About that time King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword. After he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. (This was during the festival of Unleavened Bread.) When he had seized him, he put him in prison and handed him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover. While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him.”

This passage could be taken right out of the headlines today. “Christian, detained for being a Christian.” In the news just this week, we are told that President Obama has at the top of his list is the safety of an imprisoned Christian pastor, Saeed Abedini.

Interestingly, what brought the church into fervent prayer was the safety of their friend Peter. They ask God to intercede. And God does! Peter, heavily guarded, is struck by an angel. He wakes up, and is led out of the facility to the door of the home where his church family is praying.

God answered their fervent prayer.

A few general questions to get us thinking:

1) Do we believe that God answers our prayers?

2) Are we fervently praying for the church and the people within it? There are Christians around the world detained for their faith. There are Christians detained, imprisoned in a life of sin, desperately needing a way out.

3) Are we praying like Peter’s friends prayed for him?

4) What have your prayers been about lately? Are they matters of great importance to the wider church and kingdom? Or do they just revolve around you?

Some things to think about this day. Pray fervently for your church this day!

UnFrozen Hearts

Into the darkness, a great light shines!
This Christmas, join us and be warmed by the love of Christ brought to you by a loving church community.

Beyond Sunday “Work”

Have you ever felt guilty about your lack of participation with church functions?

Sometimes its self-inflicted guilt, and other times it comes from church leaders expecting hours of participation in church events and programs.

I recently had a conversation with a good friend who was feeling guilty over his lack of participation in church functions. He is a busy guy in the Fall as a teacher, a coach a farmer, a father and a husband. He does a lot and thinking about adding something to the middle of his week that is church related seems overwhelming and impossible.

So I encouraged him with this, “Your work is very much a part of what it means to be a Christian. God doesn’t expect us to stop working when we become Christians; rather, He transforms our work. As a schoolteacher, you are pouring your life into your students and giving them a loving and patient example to follow. God’s Spirit doesn’t suddenly depart from you once you walk into the school building. They may legislate prayer out of the building but there is no law against the Spirit (Galatians 5). God is with you and you are bringing a loving witness to those students. As a coach, you are mentoring and caring for those young men and women in cross-country. You’ve invested in them and even mentored them in their studies to help them along. As a farmer, you are making food for our families. So, you love kids, mentor and care for them, teach them important discipline to succeed in life and provide food for not only your family but for many others as well. What did Jesus do again? But love kids and feed families?”

The purposes of church programs are to help in discipleship and fellowship. Our gathering together is of critical importance to our witness. But, we must also see that the majority of our weeks are spent in the midst of work or thinking about work. Is there a way that we should work that is Christ-like? I believe there is:

1.     We work like Jesus is our boss

2.     We work that we win the respect of outsiders.

3.     We do good work, and help make the world a better place by what we do.

4.     We work to have something to give to others, especially the family of believers.

Most importantly, as I consider all the various occupations that make up the church, I praise God that Christians are in the workforce.

I’m grateful that we have Christian Bankers who won’t give out ridiculous interest rates that bring more harm than help.

I’m grateful that we have Christian Schoolteachers who care for and love kids in a Christ-like way.

I’m grateful for Accountants who keep books knowing that God is their Chief Auditor.

I’m grateful for Christian Nurses who give endlessly to their patients.

I’m grateful for Christian Homemakers who give of themselves endlessly to their families in the humble work of laundry, dusting, cooking, cleaning, and teaching.

I’m grateful for Christian Doctors who know the true Physician and operate in honesty and integrity.

I’m grateful for Mechanics who are Christians who don’t lie and manipulate people who are ignorant of the vehicles they drive.

I’m grateful for Christian workers, who do humble work. For the factory worker on the line, providing for his or her family and building relationships with non-Christians. I’m grateful for their opportunity to pray with people I may never meet.

The church goes well beyond Sunday into every day of the week with the mission of God’s Kingdom. Our witness in our work is as a herald of God’s Will and offering a loving example of the Kingdom of God brought forth in Jesus. That is, we love the people we work with and the people we serve experience that love as well!

So the short of it is this, do your work in such a way to bring glory and honor to God. If it’s impossible to honor God in your work and do good for the world than you probably need to strongly consider making a change.

Here are my sermon notes from Sunday if you missed it:

Beyond Sunday  -  Good “Work”

“Work” in Scripture

Ecclesiastes 2:24                   Isaiah 56:2                  John 4:34, 6:27

Acts 20:35                             Ephesians 2:10, 4:12,28

Colossians 3:23                      1 Thessalonians 4:11

Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil. Isaiah 56:2

“Good” Work

Whatever you do, work as though for the Lord – Colossians 3:23

Work in an honorable way, it’s part of our witness – 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

You’re created for Good Work – Ephesians 2:10

Your hands are for Good, that we might have something to share – 4:28

Ways forward to find Good work

Faith – Trusting in God that we can do what He calls us to and at the same time meet our family and church’s needs.

Humility – Good work is often humble work. Nursing, teaching, gardening, farming, factory jobs…all have a degree of humility to them. Humility makes us good workers, not seeking our own selfish gain.

Doing away with Greed/Idols – When will enough be enough for us? What work could we do if we didn’t need to achieve a certain status?

Steps towards Good Work for EGCC

1.     Budget, how much do you really need?

2.     Work, we have to do it. No question in that regard. Perhaps you’re not doing what you want, or you’re doing what you love. The purpose of work is not though, whether we like it or not, it’s about seeking first God’s kingdom and righteousness.

3.     God seems more concerned with our integrity and witness than he does our job titles. What is my job doing to others and creation? Is your current job a contradiction of the gospel?

4.     Ask God for guidance in work. Take time to consider God’s will, your passion, how they match and how God would provide for you through it.

What We’re Here For: Preaching the Resurrection

Preaching the resurrection is the thing we do every Sunday more or less, is it not? The entire Christian life is a direct result of the resurrection of Christ. All of our work as pastors focuses on teaching people to live in the resurrection reality. All grief management, discipleship encouragement, judgment warning and instruction in righteousness grows directly from the fact that Jesus Christ has inaugurated the New Age in the midst of the Old Age.

One of the entailments of the resurrection of Christ is that if it is true (and it is) then Reality is profoundly different than we have been lead to believe. For one thing, philosophical pluralism, the mantra, the dogma, the unquestioned canon of contemporary western intuition is simply not true. And thinking that it is true turns out to be a stupefying mental error, one from which grows an enormous epistemological labyrinth that keeps smart people walking in moral circles indefinitely. There simply are not multiple Ultimate Truths. Nor are there multiple paths to the same Ultimate Truth. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Nobody comes to God except through Me.” Ultimate Truth is a Person, not an abstract concept. He is God. This means that the universe is the Personal expression of the Personal Creator, the result of His Word (Heb.11:3).


Secondly, the resurrection of Christ means that evil or sin is a deeper reality than energy or physics in the universe. Our world preaches the dogma that the universe is essentially “Matter, Motion, Time, and Chance” as Francis Schaeffer famously said. But if Jesus Christ is resurrected, that means that his excruciating and inhumane death accomplished what He said it was supposed to accomplish—the defeat of sin and death. That means that sin is a deeper reality and a more powerful thing than inanimate energy in the same way that cancer is more central to a human than clothing.

If you’re going to live the Christian life you have to live it on Jesus’ terms. That means you have to think about everything like Jesus, like God in the flesh does. And you have to decide to do this. There’s no other way. You can’t serve God and the Enlightenment, God and World Religions, God and Naturalism, God and Pluralism, God and Nationalism, God and Spiritism, God and Sex, God and Power, God and Money. It’s The Lord Christ or nothing. This is not an arbitrary decree from an insecure and co-dependent Deity. It is a fact. The universe only runs one way because it is the product of only One God, the Triune God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. “But there are many ways of understanding reality, many truths” says the urbane and fashionably skeptical pluralist. “Who’s to say which is right?” The answer is: “How do you know that there are many truths?” The fact is that we only retreat to the “there are many truths” defense when there’s something we want to do that we’re pretty sure God would disapprove of, like wholesale sex, killing unborn people, or unbridled greed.


Duck-Rabbit_illusionThe famous Duck-Rabbit illustration pops up in all of these discussions. The picture looks like a duck, but then when you look at it with different “eyes” it looks like a rabbit. If you tell people ahead of time that you’re going to show them a picture of a duck, that’s what they “see.” And everybody knows that “seeing is believing,” which means “seeing is knowing” right? So then, you “know” it’s a duck. Yet, if somebody tells you that “many scholars believe” it’s a rabbit, you begin to wonder of you should change your mind about it being a duck. Endless “conversations” (the polite pluralistic euphemism for arguments) ensue.

But what if the Artist of the Duck/Rabbit picture steps on the scene and says, “It’s a duck.” Now we have a decision to make about reality. It is a decision of what to know, meaning what to believe is factually true about this issue. Our decision is not whether to believe/know that the picture is a duck or a rabbit, it is a decision to base our knowing on something other than our autonomous seeing and thinking. In other words, we face not simply a decision about ontology (whether the thing is a duck or a rabbit), but epistemology (how we know what the thing is). Do we “take the Artist’s word for it”? Or do we insist that our “seeing” is “knowing” and that therefore we are for all intents and purposes the ultimate interpreters and thus the creators in a certain sense of the picture? If we assume that we may decide whether it is a duck or a rabbit regardless of what the Artist says about it, then does that mean that the thing really is both a duck and a rabbit? Really? The Law of Non-Contradiction is non-existent? Do we really live that way in daily life? If we try to live this way, it is the beginning of insanity.


When Jesus of Nazareth rode into Jerusalem on that donkey colt at Passover in AD 30, he was presenting Himself as the Messiah, the center of reality, God in the flesh. The people wanted to believe He was their idea of Messiah, but He isn’t. He was purposely letting them think what they wanted to think, to interpret Him as they wished, according to their idea of Messiah. In a way, He was letting them think one thing about him when in fact there was a deeper and more profound reality. Only after the resurrection and only to a relative minority of the population (though a large group over a few weeks of time) did he reveal the Truth. But once that Truth was revealed it changed the view of everybody about everything.
Preaching the resurrection is preaching the gospel. It is the most stunning, astounding, life-transforming reality imaginable.


Just a Thought,

Pastor Rick