First Free Blog

Pressing On! 2014 Women’s Retreat

Posted onJanuary 6, 2014 | by: Jane Schaible | 0 comments

Coming together as a body of women doesn’t happen every day. I don’t know about you, but I long for those lingering moments when I am with my sisters in Christ. Times when I can pray with them, talk with them, read God’s Word with them, hear God’s Word with them, and sing His praises with them. There’s just something about it. Knowing the loveliness of sisterhood in Christ is...unexplainable....Keep Reading

Have a Very "Mary" Christmas

Posted onDecember 17, 2013 | by: Josh Black | 0 comments

But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42) Black Friday marked the beginning of the Christmas season for many. And during this season the world cries out, “Have a very Martha Christmas; be busy and stressed!”...Keep Reading

Harrased, Helpless, and Hassled?

Posted onDecember 13, 2013 | by: Jane Schaible | 0 comments

As the holidays approach, I am remembering how "harassed" and "helpless" I tend to feel during this time of year. With all the shopping, errands, cooking, baking, thinking, planning, making, creating, wrapping, and searching, my insides will churn, my heart will feel tight, and, at 31, I’m probably two shakes away from keeling over in total exhaustion when I get in holiday mode!...Keep Reading

Memorization: An Interview with Michal Rector

Posted onNovember 27, 2013 | by: Jane Schaible | 0 comments

Michal Rector is a young mom who attends Tuesday Connection Bible Study. Here she shares how memorizing God’s Word has impacted her life this semester. What have you been memorizing this semester? The book of Philippians. So far I have chapters 1-3 memorized and I am currently working on chapter 4. What have been motivations for you to begin and continue this endeavor (practical motivations, spiritual, heart needs, struggles, etc)?...Keep Reading

Mothers, Show Them What To Pray

Posted onNovember 22, 2013 | by: Jane Schaible | 0 comments

In his sermon this past Sunday, Pastor Josh mentioned the importance of teaching our children to pray. This can be hard for me, though God grows my passion for prayer more and more. With my own daughter, I often tend to ask her to pray and when she demonstrates insecurity about it, I confess I often brush her insecurity aside and say, “Just talk to him! About anything!” I easily forget how I have been in the same place, and have had to learn--and still have more yet to learn--to pray and dialogue with the Lord....Keep Reading

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