Pulse Podcast 008: What is the Gospel?

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Here we go, with episode 8! Neil and Bill examine some ideas and definitions of the gospel — a critical component of our Revitalize initiative. The goal here isn’t to arrive at a single, definitive statement. It’s to help us make sure that we’re thinking about the gospel in compatible terms.

New! Preview version!

See below for a preview of the podcast. We’d love it if you shared this at your church gathering, or small group where time is precious. It’s an invitation to the larger, ~20min session.

Prayer Calendar: Wordless Prayer

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LDCat

Dave Acree is our Prayer and Spiritual Life Catalyst. This is a welcome to the monthly Prayer Calendar which we publish to promote prayer throughout the EFCC family. If you would like to receive the Prayer Calendar by e-mail, you can sign up for it on this page, or you can see the latest copy here.


Who’s got your back? All of us need someone watching out for us, whatever our life circumstances. It is good to know there is someone paying attention, ready to step in and help when we are unable to handle what life is throwing at us. Sometimes friends, family, work or schoolmates, or others step up to fill that role. When it comes to prayer, they pray for us, but there are times when that is not enough.

That’s when “wordless prayer” comes into play.

Perhaps you have been involved in group prayer when an “unspoken request” is thrown into the mix. That’s when an individual asks for prayer for someone but can’t name the person or tell the specifics of the need. Perhaps they don’t have permission to ask or are afraid that stating the need might cross the line into gossip. So knowing that God knows, even though we do not, we pray a generic prayer without specific words. That’s not what we are talking about.

Have you noticed all the groaning going on in Romans 8? First, all of creation groans waiting for that time when it will be liberated from its decay and returned to the glory God intends it to have (v. 22). Then, we Christians groan waiting for God to bring us into the fullness of our salvation and to redeem these frail broken bodies of ours (v. 23). Neither we nor the creation can hardly wait!

The third groaning (vs. 26-27) is where the wordless prayer takes place. This happens when we are so overwhelmed that we are struck dumb. There are no words. We don’t know what to say, what to pray, what to ask for. We are not even sure at times what to expect from God.

That’s when the Holy Spirit intercedes for us through wordless groans. What’s that? I don’t know but when we can’t, the Holy Spirit can, and takes up our prayer challenge and does it better than we could ever hope to do. He knows God’s will and prays towards that end on our behalf.

So, when it comes to prayer, who’s got your back? The Holy Spirit does. There is a strange unexplainable comfort in that.

Pulse Podcast 007: An Update from Asia

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In this episode, we chat with Mel, the EFCCM’s Asia Area Director. I think we’ve laughed at least once every episode, but this one may have made us laugh the hardest.

To subscribe to Mel’s newsletter, or connect with missionaries, get in touch with him directly: melvinsayer@yahoo.com

Prayer Calendar: Unselfish Prayer

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LDCat

Dave Acree is our Prayer and Spiritual Life Catalyst. This is a welcome to the monthly Prayer Calendar which we publish to promote prayer throughout the EFCC family. If you would like to receive the Prayer Calendar by e-mail, you can sign up for it on this page, or you can see the latest copy here.


If you took note of all your prayers in a given week and analyzed them, what would your prayer life look like? Would your praying be more God-focused, other-focused or self-focused?

Few of us want to be characterized as selfish, about anything. Think about it. “Selfish” is different from “self-focused.” The difference is in degree. If we are mostly focused on ourselves with little thought for others, we move towards selfishness.

With that in mind, what about your praying? Might you be a selfish pray-er? Are your prayers almost always focused on your own needs with little thought for God or others?

Let’s be clear, a call for unselfish prayer is not a call for selfless prayer. We are to bring our needs and requests to the Lord. Also, let’s be cautious about setting up a hierarchy of priorities; something like God first, others second, and me last. Realities of life and circumstances will often reveal the shortcomings of such a system.

I am calling all of us to unselfish prayer.

Here is what I mean. Two words sharing the letter “f” make up the word “selfish.” I am suggesting that we move away from a focus on “self” to a focus on “fish.” Remember what Jesus said to Peter and Andrew in Matthew 4:19. “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people.” (NLT) I am calling us to go fishing with our prayers, to pray people to Jesus.

Ask God to place some people on your heart. They can be neighbours, friends, family, anybody. Wait until you sense that God is pointing them out to you.

Begin to pray for them. Ask God to be present in their lives and to reveal himself to them. Never give up on them. Keep praying, expecting God to work in his timing.

Care for them. Love them; become involved in their lives where possible. Treat them as people you love not projects to be saved.

Share with them. Live Jesus before them and be ready to speak the Gospel when it’s time.

I currently have ten people that I pray for and involve myself in their lives. What about you? Any yet? As you would say in the children’s card game, “Go fish!”

 

Pulse Podcast 006: An Update from Europe

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In this episode of the Pulse, we get a chance to talk to Daryl Porter, the EFCCM’s Europe Area Director. He shares some of the highlights and his perspectives of what’s happening in Europe, and some of the things to look forward to.

If you would like to sign up for Daryl’s e-mail list, e-mail him directly.

And if you would like to see the opportunities we have to serve internationally, visit this page.