Estes Echo

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Estes Echo

What Are You Getting Out of Worship? (Part 1)

When you assemble with the saints for corporate worship, what are you getting out of it? Do you find the atmosphere less than inspiring? Is the preaching dull and boring? Is the song service lacking in enthusiasm? Are the prayers dry? Has communion become predictable and routine? Does the weekly collection make you feel like the church is trying to get something out of you? Is observable spirituality deficient in the people around you?

Perhaps you would get more out of worship if the atmosphere were different. What if the surroundings were more appealing, the preaching was more dynamic and interesting, the music was livelier, the prayers were more stirring, communion was spruced up, and there was less pressure to contribute?

Maybe you would receive greater satisfaction if the scheduling of services was more convenient, the seating was more comfortable, and your felt needs were being met. Are you longing for a better worship experience?

“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God …” (Acts 16:25a). Who helped set the mood for these guys? Who was responsible for getting them in a worshipful frame of mind? Who provided an atmosphere conducive to an uplifting experience? Who made their comfort and convenience top priority? Who directed their attention to spiritual things, ensuring they got the most out of worship?

These servants of Christ had been unfairly treated, falsely accused and arrested, severely beaten, locked in a dungeon and fastened in stocks amongst a bunch of criminals (Act 16:20-25). Yet somehow they managed to offer praise to the heavenly Father. How is this possible? There were no worship leaders, praise teams, choirs, or orchestras. There were no special lighting effects, motivational videos, air-conditioning, padded seating, or free coffee. Neither convenience nor comfort was afforded them. How on earth were they able to engage in meaningful worship under such unfavorable conditions?!

Apparently Paul and Silas had something deep within themselves that was not dependent on (neither bolstered nor hampered by) externals. Irrespective of their dismal circumstances and gloomy surroundings, they demonstrated an inner conviction with an unyielding commitment to and focus on God. Worship was not done for them. Worship was not done to them. They assumed personal responsibility. They took initiative. Their experience was void of complaints or excuses. They set their minds on things above and dutifully expressed their heartfelt devotion. Are you longing for a better worship experience?

–Kevin L. Moore

Estes Echo

Gospel Meeting with Keith Parker

Sunday @ 9:30 a.m.     Do you want to be great?
Sunday @ 10:30 a.m.   Will you not revive us again?
Sunday @ noon   Potluck lunch
Sunday @ 1:00 p.m.   Will God run?
Monday @ 7:00 p.m.   Why has all this happened to us?
Tuesday @ 7:00 p.m.   What must I do to be saved?
Wednesday @ 7:00 p.m.   Why do you wait?

All adult Bible classes will meet together Sunday morning.

Estes Echo

Clone the Shepherd!

In 1997, when Dolly the Sheep was cloned, Newsweek’s Kenneth L. Woodward famously asked “Today the Sheep…tomorrow the Shepherd?” This title of the news magazine’s article was the start of a flurry of moral, philosophical, and religious debate over the ethics of human cloning. Whether or not scientists achieve this ability or governments allow the practice, perhaps Christians could place a more important metaphorical focus on the question posed by the Newsweek writer all those years ago.

Yes, we should “clone the Shepherd!”

Too many times we are cloned from other sheep or those in the world. We want to LOOK like everybody else, DRESS like everybody else, SPEND like everybody else, BE like everybody else. When others change, we change. We do everything we can to fit in with the Smiths and keep up with the Joneses. We are simply cloning ourselves after sheep.

There are examples of those in the Bible who had a choice between being cloned after the sheep or the Shepherd. In 1 Sam. 15 Saul had a choice to make. He could utterly destroy the Amalekites as the Lord instructed (vs. 3), or spare the best as the people desired (vs. 21). We know his choice (vss. 9, 24). He was cloned after the sheep. We also know the result (26).

The rulers in Jn. 12:42 faced much the same decision. They heard the word of the Shepherd proclaimed and believed it. But would they be cloned after Him? At the present they were cloned after the Pharisees. They decided to stay as they were, “for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (vs. 43).

It is time to clone the Shepherd! The apostles were His clones. In Acts 5 they are being persecuted for following Him, but in vs. 29 they boldly say, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Oh, for more people with that attitude today!

Paul makes it clear after whom he is cloned. In Gal. 1:10 he says, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Notice that Paul admits at one point in his life he was cloned after men (“if I STILL pleased men”). But in Acts 9 the Shepherd comes into Paul’s life, and he becomes a changed man. In 1 Cor. 11:1 we see the cloning of Paul to be like the Shepherd when he says, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”

Can we speak like Paul to others? Are we imitating the Savior to that degree? Have we cloned the sheep or the Shepherd? Clone the Shepherd!

–adapted from Bulletin Fodder, Valley Station Church of Christ

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Haiti Newsletter

If you have not already checked out the Estes Haiti page, please take a minute to read about the work Estes supports in Haiti and ways you can get involved. You can set up automatic monthly payments to sponsor a child to go to school and to receive two hot meals a day at the Nutrition Center. You can also contribute to Roberta Edwards’ salary or simply mark your donation to be used for the area of greatest need. The work that Roberta does in Haiti makes a difference to so many people, including a large number of children. Your support is necessary to help these good works continue. If you have any questions about sponsorship, making a donation to one of the programs, or you would like more information for your home congregation, send an email to haitimissions@esteschurch.com

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You can also catch up on some of the things happening in Haiti and updates from the Son Light Children’s Home by viewing the latest newsletter here.

Finally, if you would like to hear the latest report from the Estes Mission Team that travelled to Haiti in March, you can listen to Jesse Robertson’s report of that work below.

Christmas Gifts for Haiti

In 1998, Roberta started the children’s home when she took in two orphaned boys to live with her.  It has grown over the years and she now has 22 children.   When asked, Roberta strongly proclaims that she does not have an orphanage.
“Our home is a place of love, security and spiritual growth.  We work together to maintain, manage and protect our home.  The older children look out for the younger children.  Everyone has chores and by the time a young person leaves our home, we hope that he/she has life skills and core values necessary to be a successful, productive Christian in today’s world.  We participate in family Bible studies twice a day.  In the mornings we read a chapter in the book of Proverbs and then everyone has to discuss a verse or verses that are particularly important to them.  The evening Bible studies are led by the young men in our home and vary in topic and variety.
The children are home schooled using a popular curriculum from the states.  The children are then tutored in French and Spanish languages.  When a child leaves here, they are exposed to four languages.  Not all children go to college but we do try to help those that want to to go to trade school.
The older children take turns managing the nutrition center for several months at a time.  We have one daughter that does the purchasing of fresh food weekly while another child actually divides and provides necessary items for the cooking in the nutrition center daily.
The children work together to manage our tilapia farm, chicken project where we provide eggs for small business owners and  a needed protein source for the children’s home and the nutrition center.  We have just begun a rabbit project that after 1 year has finally begun to show some promise.  Our rabbits have produced 22 babies in the last three weeks.  We hope to fill yet another protein source for the children’s home and nutrition center.”
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This Christmas you can help support Roberta’s work in Haiti where, among other things, she manages the Children’s Home and the Nutrition Center.  At the Nutrition Center children are fed hot meals everyday when many children in Haiti may only eat a couple of times a week if they are lucky.  These children that come to the nutrition center are also sponsored through the Education Program so they can go to school as well.  Roberta’s work is so important.  You can be a part of this work by choosing from the gifts below.  When you give one of these gifts, you can honor a friend or loved one for Christmas.  They will receive a card detailing the gift you have given in their name.  All you need to do is to include this information when you complete your purchase.  This year, give a gift that matters and will make a difference to a child in need.

$25 – One pair of tennis shoes for a child in the children’s home

$25 – School books for one child      

$25- Eggs for the children’s home for one month                 

$50 – 5 days of milk for all the children at the children’s home                                       

$50 – One 50lb. bag of beans for the nutrition center

$50 – 5 Bibles

$50- 5 Laying hens for the egg selling project

 

When you click below you will be able to complete your purchase.  Include in the notes the specific gift you are choosing, your name/address and the honoree’s name/address.  If you’d like to have the card sent directly to you so that you can present it as a gift, just specify that as well.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email – haitimissions@esteschurch.com or call the Estes Church at 731-989-7990.