First Free Blog

Recommended Resources for Family Worship

Posted onNovember 21, 2013 | by: Josh Black | 0 comments

Parents, in my sermon last Sunday I mentioned a number of resources for using in family worship. I have benefited from these resources and would recommend that you start here if you’d like help with this important time with your family....Keep Reading

Why Should I Attend a Members Meeting?

Posted onNovember 13, 2013 | by: Josh Black | 0 comments

The answer to this question is largely bound up in our understanding of authority. In the EFCA, we are “Congregationalists.” What does that mean? That means that we believe the congregation is the highest governing authority under Christ for the local church. The congregation--not a bishop, not a group of elders, not a pastor--is the highest court of appeals in matters of doctrine, discipline, disputes, distributing resources, and determining who the leaders and members are in the church. So the reason we attend members meetings, in the first instance, is theological, not merely practical....Keep Reading

Memorization: Picturing the Word

Posted onNovember 3, 2013 | by: Jane Schaible | 0 comments

Memorizing God’s Word is a discipline that can easily become a source of pride and an act of duty. To fight this tendency, memorization must be accompanied by meditation. One way this can practically play out is listed in the Women’s Ministry memorization booklets on Philippians....Keep Reading

Book Review: The Next Story

Posted onOctober 25, 2013 | by: Lindsey Ayres | 0 comments

Earlier this year, a story ran about a father who put his family on the “1986 Technology Plan.” He, his wife and two small children only use technology if they could have acquired it in 1986. So, they have a telephone, cassette tapes, videos and a television, but no cell phones, DVDs, cable TV, or internet-capable computer. His motivations were simply to “reunite the family,” certainly a worthy goal. But his actions also highlight many people’s confusion with how to function in a technology-obsessed culture in the here and now. Even those who see technology’s negative effects on themselves and their families and think this man’s project noble would probably have a hard time agreeing it’s really practically possible. So how should we respond to technology and its increasing negative effects?...Keep Reading

Memorization: Laying Down Our [In]Security

Posted onOctober 18, 2013 | by: Jane Schaible | 0 comments

I glanced over as slyly, as secretly, and as nonchalantly as I could to the woman sitting next to me. She had an array of Bible study tools out before her. Propped side by side upon the “dash” of the train window was her Bible, her reading book, her Bible study book, her snack, her drink…she was ready....Keep Reading

Memorization: Laying Down Our Rebel Hearts

Posted onOctober 9, 2013 | by: Jane Schaible | 0 comments

“Great is the Lord, and bmmmbsflk mumble jumble...” I heard my daughter say, as we were working on her memory verse for Awana. “Sweetie, I can’t hear you. You need to speak up and speak clearly.” My insides were churning with rising anger while I attempted to keep the tone of my voice patient and kind. I had stated this verse to her dozens of times. I knew she knew it; I could hear her mumbling it, for goodness sake! ...Keep Reading

Never the Same - An Introduction to Steve Richardson

Posted onOctober 4, 2013 | by: Curt Romig | 0 comments

The Sawi were headhunters and cannibals when a young couple named Don and Carol Richardson arrived in their village carrying their seven-month-old boy Steve--and a message that would change the tribe forever. The year was 1962, and Steve--and later, three more children--spent their youth among the Sawi, learning the language and embracing the culture in ways that would shape the rest of their lives....Keep Reading

There Have Been Bad/Good Days Before, Part 2

Posted onOctober 1, 2013 | by: Lindsey Ayres | 0 comments

In the first part of this post, I discussed one extreme response Christians can have to the cultural forgetfulness we see around us: cluelessly submit without examining the implications of how we think and remember. Our corrective to this is to be active rememberers of God’s stories, how he has worked in the lives of men in history....Keep Reading

The Power of a Simple Question

Posted onSeptember 24, 2013 | by: Curt Romig | 0 comments

A simple question can change everything. Last week, five guys from my small group got together for a 6:30 breakfast. We arrived downtown before the sun was up, ready to enjoy great fellowship over some Eggs Benedict. None of us were expecting an evangelism opportunity....Keep Reading