EBC Adult Sunday School: Tough Questions Christians Face

During the Summer our Adults and teens are using a video series from Ligonier Ministries during the Sunday School hour. Each lesson can be streamed for free on Ligonier’s website. This may be helpful if anyone has missed half of a message or just wants to go back and hear it again.

We just viewed the first half of “If God is Sovereign, How can man be free” on Sunday and will finish it this coming Lord’s Day.

Testing Faith to Prove it is Genuine

Those at Edgewood heard a sermon on Abraham’s faith and the order of trial and testing.  These testings increased in their difficulty and intensity.  However, for years,  God had been proving Abraham’s faith was of Him and genuine.

I received this email today and thought it was a good reminder that God’s still works to prove our faith genuine.

Special Message From Joni

Joni and Ken together, reflecting

You have always been so faithful to pray for Ken and me – especially for my health. But today I bring before you a new concern. I have breast cancer. Ken and I have been assured by our doctors that there are many new treatments for breast cancer, and we are very hopeful for a successful surgery and a full recovery.

You have heard me often say that our afflictions come from the hand of our all-wise and sovereign God, and although cancer is something new, I am content to receive from God whatever He deems fit for me – even if it is from His left hand (better from His left hand, than no hand at all, right?!). Yes, it’s alarming, but rest assured that Ken and I are utterly convinced that God is going to use this to stretch our faith, brighten our hope, and strengthen our witness to others…

Especially at Joni and Friends. We’ve always prized the ministry God has given Joni and Friends to people facing a variety of disabilities; everything from autism to Alzheimer’s, from spina bifida to spinal cord injury. For years I have hoped that my quadriplegia might encourage people struggling with cancer… now I have a chance to truly empathize and journey alongside, affirming that God’s grace is always sufficient for whatever the disease or disability.

I will be undergoing tests the rest of this week, after which, I will have surgery on the afternoon of Monday, June 28th. Please pray that the upcoming tests, surgery and subsequent treatment will be successful (thankfully, my quadriplegia has no bearing on either the surgery or the treatment; I’m like any other woman with breast cancer — I simply want to focus my energies on getting better).

Of course, I believe that God can and does heal and I covet your prayers to that end. Most of all, please pray that God will pour out grace-upon-grace on Ken and me. We’ll be posting regular updates on “Joni’s Corner” here on our website – also posted here you will find an article called “Don’t Waste Your Cancer” by John Piper and David Powlison, both of whom are cancer survivors. I can’t begin to describe how encouraged I’ve been just reading their insights – I’m sure you’ll say the same after you read it. We join you in resting in the assurance of Psalm 62:5-6, “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”

Yours in His sovereign care,

Joni's  Signature

Joni Eareckson Tada

Seeking the Peace or Welfare of the City

We have been studying Jonah on Sunday evenings at Edgewood.  This past Sunday we look at verse 5 of chapter 4 and drew from Jeremiah 29.  The point was to examine our hearts to see if we are moved with compassion for our city and community.   If so, are we  seeking to benefit the welfare of it.  We do this by doing the ordinary things that are necessary to life (having a house, working, eating, etc.), but doing them to the glory of God.

The application of this needs to be carefully done.  Peace and welfare can be general, in the sense of for the greater good (ie giving a cup of cold water in the name of Christ), but our ultimate goal must be redemption.  In our compassion and love for the lost, this sometimes means we must resist the practice of the world and go against the flow.   For instance, we work for the welfare of the city when we stand against things like abortion and abuse.   Engaging the world does not always mean coming alongside the world and its practices.  Kevin DeYoung gives an interesting application for seeking the welfare of the city in his examination of casinos and gambling.

The slot-machine is not a toy, or as it is so often dubbed, a bit of harmless entertainment.  It is a learning machine intent on finding your weakness and exploiting it.  Casinos exist to take your money.  They make no product.  They do not create wealth.  They do not contribute to the public good.  They hurt communities, hurt families, and by design try to hurt people by making them into coin-dropping addicts. Christians interested in seeking the shalom of their cities should do what they can to oppose the proliferation of casinos, lotteries, and the rest of the gaming industry. They could start by not showing up.

You can read the whole article here.

Walking in Obedience to God

Last night at our Wednesday prayer time we were challenged that the number one test of our salvation is our obedience to God’s Word.  “If we love Him we will keep His commandments.”  Keeping commandments does not make one a Christian, but one who is a Christian, who is in a loving relationship with God, will obey the commandments.  Peter Jeffery’s book “Walk Worthy” gives a brief test of obedience.  Some mentioned that they did not get all the scripture references, so I wanted to put them down here.

A Test:

Have you obeyed the Lord concerning

  • other Christians (Galatians 6:10)
  • regular worship and fellowship (Hebrews 10:25)
  • Bible Study (2 Timothey 2:15)
  • Baptism (Acts 2:38)
  • Your Pastor (Hebrews 13:17)

How is it possible that a Christian can unreservedly accept the Bible as the infallible, inspired Word of God, and yet still disobey its commandments?  It is because he has lost the reality of the presence of the God of the Word.  Correct beliefs are not enough to ensure obedience, but a right relationship to God will.  Given that, you too will acknowledge that the commandments of the Lord are not grievous.

Swine Flu and Church Greetings

The swine flu may change even how we do things within the church.  The Indy Star has made this recommendation upon the request of Indiana’s Health Commissioner Judith Monroe:

“I recommend starting today that Indiana stop shaking hands,” she said. “Maybe we should bow to one another or bump elbows.”

I am calling for the elbow bumping begin at EBC!

And now that church softball is here, maybe we should consider chest bumping instead of high fives!  It should no longer be considered proud and show boating, but rather considerate and health conscientious.

Sermon Series: The Life of David

This coming Lord’s Day we will be completing our series on the Life of David.  In the morning we will be looking at David and Saul: A Lesson in Authority, and in the evening we will be looking at David and Bathsheba: A Lesson in Sin and Repentance.  I believe the final message, David and Bathsheba, is my favorite in this series and I hope you will all find it to be one of the most evangelistic and hopeful in the series.   Even in this dark time in the life of this “man after God’s own heart” we find Christ shining brightly.  I wanted to give the body at Edgewood a heads up on this with the thought that they may be able to try and invite others to come hear of Christ as seen in the life of David.

2009 EBC Youth Retreat


Today we head off for the 39th Annual EBC Winter Youth Retreat!  This year’s speaker is a friendfrom college and seminary, Steve Burchett.    Many who read this blog either are at Edgewood or used to attend this youth retreat and know how God has used in in our lives and the lives of our friends.  Please pray for Steve as he preaches God’s Word to our teenagers.  Here is how his church has been praying for him:

 “Father, we know that you have given Steve a certain amount of natural ability in speaking, but if that is all that he has when he preaches to those teens in Indiana, he will fail miserably. He needs your presence; he needs your Spirit to accompany him and come powerfully behind the truth that he proclaims.” Amen.

An Inquiry Into Festive Snacks and Sandwiches

One of the deep questions asked at Edgewood during this time of year is, “What exactly are “festive” snacks and sandwiches?”  For years we have been asked to bring them to Christmas fellowship gatherings, and have done our best to prepare them.  However, is it possible we have been misled in our practice throughout the decades of festive celebrations?  For many years I have mistakenly believed festive snacks to simply be pink meat sandwiches with the crust removed.  After much study it is time to clear up this error.  What exactly are “festive” snacks?

Upon selecting our first site in our Google search upon the subject, the blog Thimble (what more authoritative, festive snack voice could there be!) apparently and enthusiastically suggests a dish called Tapanade which seems to us to be a delightful resemblance of canned cat food upon first impression.  However, there is more, if one wants to properly prepare a “festive” food, one must wear the proper apron…

Upon furthur seeking, we found a result that may be a bit less daunting to some:  simply decorate a bowl of chips and dip by setting a few red and green 7Up bottles next to it. As always, we will be looking forward to the Sunday festive fellowship time!