Read a partial version of Pastor Duane's 2013 Annual Report. He will announce his complete report at the January 24 meeting. ...Keep Reading
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It‘s true we often suffer some great disappointments, some expectations or plans we might have not always materialized. We may even feel like God’s left us hanging and that an illness or injury has taken him away from us. But remember, He is faithful. And the real upside of this is if we remain faithful we will live eternally with Him someday. ...
Love isn’t just for Valentines Day -- it’s what gets me up everyday. Love isn’t just for that one special someone -- it’s for everyone. The chance to care for and encourage those around me is an honor. Measure all things in your life by the “Rule of Love”. What would God have you do? What does love require? What breaks your heart, and what one thing can you do to help?...
Truth be told, I am not an elite athlete. When I was in kindergarten, I flunked “skip” (not sure how my self-esteem survived that report card, but that is another story). While early on, I was too uncoordinated to skip, I did play baseball, soccer, real football, and basketball when I was growing up. However, I was never endowed with the physical gifts to become what I call an elite athlete. What I do know though, is that God equipped me with the gifts to enjoy those sports and become the best athlete I could ever be....
There are many differences between God, as the Bible describes Him, and the Force of Star Wars but there’s a line from Han Solo in the new movie that sums it up. One of the new characters talks about how he’s going to do something that seems impossible and Han asks him how. The young man says, “I’ll use the Force,” and runs off. Han yells after him, “That’s not how the Force works, kid!” That’s not how a personal, caring God works either....
The plans of man will always fail, but the plan of God has already won its battle. If Christians are to actually make an impact in the world then they must collectively turn to the truths found in scripture alone. They must become engulfed in the transformative power of God through His word provided in the bible......
Earlier this week I was reading a convicting article by Jason Todd in Christianity Today called â€œThe Socially Acceptable Sin.â€ To summarize, the author talked about something that is a bit close to home than many of us care to admit ï¿½" gluttony. Thoughts of overeating are typically what come to mind. Gluttony encompasses much more than food for it is simpl...Keep Reading
The third gospel begins with the story of a barren woman. When you take a moment to think about that, itâ€™s pretty shocking. Two thousand years ago a man named Luke wrote down an eyewitness account about a man named Jesus and then gave it to a man named Theophilus. A story about a man, from a man, to a man â€" Itâ€™s surprising that such a narrative would ...Keep Reading
The Ebenezer stone was a monument to Godâ€™s help, Godâ€™s faithfulness, and Godâ€™s eternal covenant. It was a reminder of what mattersâ€¦what matters to God and what matters to us. In this new series of messages, Pastor Duane will ask the question, â€œWhat are our stones of remembrance?â€...Keep Reading
One of my favorite parts of Christmas is decorating the Christmas tree. The day after Thanksgiving, Sheri and I pull out all the ornaments and cover every possible spot on our nine foot, 1,000 twinkly-light, fake Christmas tree (yes, we succumbed to the Arizona malaise that precludes using a real tree cut down in Bend, Oregon in early August). ...Keep Reading
I wanted to share some great ideas I've found over the years for helping children (and everyone else)to stay focused on Jesus. The ideas below are from a great book, â€œ101 ways to have a Christian Christmas.â€ If you prefer to watch videos, the DVD "Buck Denver asks... Why do we call it Christmas?" is full of great facts about customs and the real Christmas de...Keep Reading
You find them in varying styles in all kinds of places throughout the world during the Christmas season. There were more than three dozen of them displayed in Evangelical Covenant Church offices this year. The nativity ï¿½" or crÃ¨che ï¿½" depicts the story of the birth of Jesus....Keep Reading
Every year it happens, an event so devastating, so sudden, so all-consuming that families, communities and entire nations are knocked down, torn apart or blown away. Many of us have seen the news the past two weeks and seen the destruction of central Philippines by what meteorologists are calling a "super typhoon" and one of the "strongest storms ever." It's estimated that...Keep Reading
Here we are, the week before Thanksgiving. I am certain that many of you are making last minutes plans with family or friends; ironing out the details of who is bringing what for the big meal. As we enter this wonderfully busy season we remember the countless number of things that we have to be thankful for....Keep Reading
The extra cars parked in front of the house could have been there for any reason. A gathering of friends to watch Monday Night Football. A Pampered Chef party. A Neighbor Watch meeting. Maybe even a Bible study. There are lots of houses in this valley of 3 million people and more cars than houses. So many cars that to the eye they become invisible moving pieces again...Keep Reading