Estes Echo

Scriptures to Ponder for the Back to School Season

It’s that time of year again. Summer has come and gone for those of us who attend or work in public school. As the new school year begins, anxiety brews on each side of the teacher’s desk. Here are just a few reminders to help get your school year off to a great start.

These reminders can aid both student and teacher alike from kindergarten through the collegiate level.

S – “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”- Isiah 41:10

C – “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”- Psalm 27:14

H – “Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.”- Psalm 33:20

O – “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”- John 1:14

O – “Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!” –Psalm 106:3

L – “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”- Romans 5:8

Take some time this week to encourage both the young people and the educators who are returning to the classroom. Encourage them to be emboldened as Godly people and to continue to be a light in a world of darkness.

-Steven Marise

Estes Echo

Wow, What a Week!

Vacation Bible School 2015 at Estes was a tremendous week! VBS experienced record crowds every night, averaging over 460.

Have you ever wanted to look inside a beehive to see all the activity but were afraid to? With a stroll down the hall of the preschool area and a peep though the door, you would have witnessed many, many busy little “bees”, eager little boys and girls, and lots and lots of dedicated adults. Think about managing 9 in the nursery, 20 two year olds, and 27 three and four year olds every night!

10 registrars, 28 tribe leaders, 139 tribe members, multiple song leaders, 76 creative learning center workers, 28 preschool teachers, 8 cookie ladies, many cookie bakers, 6000 cookies, 3 coke men, 60 gallons of coke, 11 gallons of milk, 3 crafters, 4 auditorium teachers, 1 bell ringer (and one wannabe), 1 education director and 6 assistants, an adult class averaging 64, and 56 folks wandering around, all working for the same cause. Yes, it’s a long and tiring week, but a fun filled week that many, young and old alike, will remember as we saw the Giants of Genesis come to life.

A huge congratulations is due to all who participated in every way and a big thank you to Jason for his fearless leadership!

It is amazing that 1852 souls came through our doors throughout the four nights, all learning more about God and His creation. If you weren’t involved, we missed you; if you were involved, we thank you!

It is not too early to get your name on the list for Vacation Bible School 2016. The spots will go quickly, so don’t get left out. Be a Booster!

–the elders

Estes Echo

Estes Echo

When the Road is Rough

We woke early on Saturday morning. We were working in the yard by 6 a.m. The call came about three hours later. Linda sent one of the girls to get me. I immediately knew something was wrong. The news was tragic, and I now had to pass that news on to my mom. The subtle, soothing chorus of the calm summer morning was quickly replaced with the wailing of a mother in mourning. The smooth road had just become very rough and would likely remain that way for several days and weeks ahead. How does one bring stability during the turbulence of life?

One strategy can be to lean on others. Others can be a source of strength and encouragement. Just as Mary and Martha were comforted by fellow Jews when Lazarus died, we too can be comforted by our fellow Christians in difficult times (John 11:18-20). The scriptures tell us, “Two are better than one…if either of them falls down, one can help the other up…A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Eccl. 4:9-12)

A second approach to getting through tough times is to let the great Comforter, comfort. Paul tells those at Corinth, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Isaiah (66:12-13) provides further insight by indicating that God cares for His people as a mother cares and comforts her children. God is the father of all compassion and all comfort. He comforts us in our troubles as a mother comforts her child (Luke 13:34). He is there to lift us and to help us heal. He, in turn, expects us to extend that same comfort and encouragement to those that are facing similar challenges. He comforts us so that we might in turn comfort others.

Lastly, we need to place our understanding of what is happening in a much larger context. God has a plan for each of us and for all of humanity. Things that happen on this earth are within that context. The purpose of that plan is for us to call on him. If we do, He will listen. If we seek Him, we will find Him. This is the context in which we should try to place our understanding (Jeremiah 29:10-13).

Job was a rich man who lost everything. After debating with God and his friends as to why this happened, Job concluded, “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know” (Job 42:2-3).

Job recognized that his wrestling, his questioning, and his debating were futile. He realized that he lacked understanding even if he knew the answers. It is simply impossible for us to understand God’s plan. However, we do know that even in the valleys of life God continues to mold our hearts and minds, especially if we are seeking him.

When the road is rough and the way seems dim, our God knows and indeed He cares!

–C. J. Vires

Estes Echo

What Must I Do to be Saved? Well, It Depends …

What is the biblical response to one who asks, “What must I do to be saved?” The answer depends on who’s asking and where he/she is in relation to the Lord.

A complete unbeliever must first believe in God (Acts 14:15; 17:23-27) and the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30-31). Without this initial step of faith, one can go no further in the salvation process. And before believing is even possible, the truth of God’s word must be communicated, understood and accepted (Acts 2:37; 8:12a; 16:32; 17:23-34). Once the divine message has been received and trusting faith has been generated (Rom. 10:17), what must the one now believing do to be saved?

A believer must repent, i.e. turn away from sin (Acts 2:38a; 3:19; 17:30; 26:20). Without repentance, salvation is not available (Luke 13:3, 5; 24:47; 2 Pet. 3:9). When a believing one turns from darkness to light, what must this penitent believer do to be saved?

Upon the profession of faith (1 Tim. 6:12), a penitent believer must be baptized (immersed in water) for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:1-5, 17-18). Unless one is born of water and the spirit, entrance into God’s kingdom is prohibited (John 3:5, 22-23). Seeing that salvation is “in Christ” (2 Tim. 2:10) and baptism places one “into Christ” (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27), baptism is therefore necessary for salvation (Mark 16:15-16; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). After baptism, what must the penitent baptized believer do to be saved?

A penitent baptized believer must continue in the faith (Acts 2:42; 11:23; 14:22). This involves learning, growing, obeying, and serving as an active member of the Lord’s church (Rom. 12:1-18; 1 Cor. 12:12-27; 2 Pet. 1:2-11; etc.).

What must I do to be saved? Well, who’s asking? An unbeliever must believe. A believer must repent. A penitent believer must be baptized. And a baptized penitent believer must continue living a life of faithfulness according to biblical directives. God himself is faithful and does his part as each of us humbly complies.

–Kevin L. Moore

Estes Echo

Ignorance of the Bible

When we look around at our world today, there is a terrible ignorance of the Bible. As our society seems to be getting more secular, we should find that the general knowledge of the Bible will be getting worse. Once upon a time, knowing the Bible was considered to be an important part of a person’s education. If you didn’t know the Bible, you simply could not claim to be an educated person. Times have changed quite a bit.

Many Christians have a knowledge of the Bible that may be lacking. They may know what they believe, but not why they believe it. They may be something like the country preacher who was being interviewed for a preaching position. The elders asked the young man what his favorite parable was. He replied, “The parable of the Good Samaritan.” They asked if he would mind explaining it to them. With a beaming smile he answered:

Once there was this man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. And he fell among the thorns. And the thorns sprung up and choked him. And as he went on, he didn’t have any money and he met the queen of Shiva. She gave him a thousand talents of gold and a thousand changes of raiment. Then he got onto a chariot and drove furiously. When he was driving under a big juniper tree, his hair caught on the limb of that tree and he hung there many days. And the ravens brought him food to eat and water to drink. And he ate 5,000 loaves of bread and 2 fishes.

One night, as he was hanging there asleep, his wife Delilah came along and cut off his hair. And he dropped and fell on a stony ground. But, he got up and went on and it began to rain for 40 days and 40 nights. So, he hid himself in a cave and lived on locusts and honey.

Then he went on and met a servant who said, ‘come, let’s have a supper together.’ But, he made an excuse saying, ‘no I won’t, I married a wife and I can’t go.’ And the servant went out to the high ways and hedges and compelled him to come in.

After supper, he went down to Jericho. And when he got there, he looked up and saw that old queen Jezebel sitting down, high up on that window. She laughed at him and he said, ‘throw her down out there.’ And they threw her down. And then he said throw her down again. And they threw her down 70 times 7.

And of the fragments that remained, they picked up 12 baskets full, besides women and children. And they said, ‘blessed are the peace makers. Now who’s wife do you think she will be in that judgment day?’

If this were a real story, we could be certain that our poor, confused preacher wouldn’t have gotten the job. It is just as unlikely that with such a gross misunderstanding of Scripture he would have been able to do much good in a congregation anyway. But an understanding of the Bible is not just the sole concern of elders, deacons, and ministers. It is the concern of every Christian.

What if Christianity suddenly were run like a business and gross ignorance of God’s Word were a fireable offense? How many Christians would keep their jobs more than a month? More than a week? Not as many as claim to be faithful believers. We have gotten used to living in a Christian nation, being part of a Christian society, and having Christian friends. But times have changed. We are now in a post-Christian society. And that means knowing God’s Word is more important than ever – not just to defend and promote the gospel, but also to help others understand it, and correct them when they misunderstand it.

Misunderstanding the Bible can lead to disastrous consequences. Some think that they can work their way to heaven. Others think that baptism is not important. Still others think you can make a profession of faith, secure your place in eternity, then go and live however you want. I dread what eternity holds for those who believe these things. The Bible makes it clear that Christ secured the offer of salvation for all of us at the cross. Through baptism we can access the power and forgiveness freely offered through his sacrifice. The question is not just do we know what the Bible says, but are we going to accept it as truth and put it into practice in our lives?

Posted by Dewayne Bryant in Bible, “Culture and Christian Living”
Borrowed with permission from his blog, Looking at All Things Biblically
December 10, 2014

Estes Echo

Peace in World of Tumult

According to a recent NBC News report, at least 10,000 ISIS militants have been killed in the last 9 months after the efforts of a coalition of countries came together to combat this international force. On Tuesday, a man shot in the Boston area had been watched closely by the FBI who considered him to be a terrorist threat. We hear reports of this sort weekly, if not daily. These events and the reports about them can certainly cause feelings of unrest, anxiety, and uncertainty. While, as Christians, we remain in this world of worry and apprehension, we are commanded not to be of this world. This commandment is easy to forget with so much chaos and evil swirling around us. Fortunately, God’s word is filled with reminders of how and why we can find peace in a not so peaceful world. These reminders are filled with wisdom from above. James 3:17-18 describes the nature of this wisdom: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”

While we might not be able to make peace in the whole world, we can at least strive to make and find it in our own homes and church family. On one occasion, Jesus tells John about the role of peace between brethren when he said, “Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another” (Mark 9:50). This passage echoes the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount when he tells his followers to be the “salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13) and “light of the world” (Matt. 5:14). Christ’s followers are to reflect the appearance and flavor of Him in their lives, and we should never forget that he is known, among many other names, as the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).

In John chapter 14, Jesus frequently reminds his disciples that loving him means keeping his commandments (vv. 15 and 21-22). He tells them that “I will not leave you as orphans” (vs. 18) and that the Holy Father will send a “Helper, the Holy Spirit” (v. 26) to help them (and us) remember the words of their master when he is gone from them physically. Jesus tells them “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (v. 27). So peace for us in the not so peaceful world that we live in is through the Word of God, the comfort of the Holy Spirit. We can gain access to it by keeping the commandments found in the Word of God and the reminders of it through his Spirit.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice! Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the Peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:4-7)


Estes Echo

ethanMeet Ethan Schulte, the 2015 summer youth intern at Estes!

Ethan will be starting his third year as a Bible major at Freed-Hardeman University this Fall semester. He wants to put his degree to work when he graduates by being a youth minister for a congregation in the brotherhood.

Ethan is from Brookport, Illinois, just across the Ohio River from Paducah, Kentucky. While working for Estes, Ethan wants to build his skills by promoting spiritual growth for the youth of Estes and himself through fellowship, devotionals, service projects, and God’s help.

Let’s make Ethan feel welcome as he works with our youth this summer!

Estes Echo


Our faith is precious and should be considered, nurtured, and cherished.

Wear it every day: “But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8

Know its source: “…my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:4-5

Use it for unity: “For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.” Hebrews 4:2

Know its power: “But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:39

Realize what it is: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Use it for understanding: “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.” Hebrews 11:3

Know it has rewards: “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

Estes Echo

Sunday, May 17

Friends, family, and former members – we’d love to see you! Come home to Estes this weekend.


9:30 am – All adult Bible classes meet in the auditorium
TOPIC – Returning the People; Ezra 1-3

10:30 am – Worship
TOPIC – Rebuilding the Temple; Ezra 4-5


1:00 pm – Worship
TOPIC – Restoring the Nation; Ezra 6-10
(no 5:00 pm worship service)