Welcome to the El Camino Baptist Church blog. We wanted a place where our ministry leaders could share things that God has laid on their hearts. Please feel free to comment and join in the discussion as we share how God is moving through His church.Other places to find us on the web are our website, Youtube, and Facebook. You can also check out Hoss' music blog at hosshughes.com.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Today is my day off. I love days off. It has been a wonderful week, extra busy, but wonderful!

Tomorrow we have our Back 2 School Volunteer Rally. It is going to be a great weekend! Today after I take some missionary friends to the airport, I have a few details to attend to for the training. Then I have the rest of the afternoon and evening free. I can spend it any way I choose. Therein lies the dilemma quietly, gently nagging at my heart.

My husband and I have been praying diligently for our next door neighbors, some family members, and a few specific friends. They do not have a personal relationship with Jesus…yet. We love them dearly and want them to spend eternity with Him. But, how will they know unless someone tells them?(Romans 10:14) We have been praying for them since at least January, and for many of these people, much longer, yet have made no conscious effort to share the life giving gospel with them.

It is so easy to justify our lack of follow through. We are legitimately busy people, serving God in many ways, and still periodically investing in the lives of our growing children and aging parents. Plus, we are thoroughly enjoying this new stage of freedom in our marriage of having grown children. It is so easy to make pleasurable choices with our discretionary time. And that is exactly what we tend to choose.

“Lord, You have placed these people in our lives because You trust us to share Your plan of salvation with them. Please give us Your heart for these precious, perishing people. Burden us with thoughts of what their eternity apart from You will be like. Help us to care more about their eternal destiny than our momentary pleasures. Remove our laziness. Motivate us to take the initiative to get together with them, to enthusiastically invest in their lives in meaningful ways, to purpose to share you directly, clearly, boldly, lovingly…soon. “

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Worship Ministry Season

September for me is the beginning of a new season. The summer events are done and most everyone is back home and settling in for the next nine months. With the start of the new season it always means Choir is back in session. Last season we had a great time of ministry as we shared most Sunday mornings in the Classical service and then at Christmas and Easter. I'm always looking for new people to sing with us and this is your invitation to join us September 1st at 7:00 p.m. on the Backstage of the Worship Center. Choir is a unique group as it allows a variety of people with many different vocal skill levels to come together in singing praise to the Lord and to enjoy great fellowship. I'm looking forward to a wonderful season of singing with the Sanctuary Choir, come join us.

Dick Dillender

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mud Bowl Ministry

Last week we had over 100 kids invovled in our two mud bowls - most of them were ECBC kids and the friends they brought. Why did we get muddy? Well, it's a lot of fun to play in the mud, but more importantly, this event was designed specifically to draw in kids at the start of the school year - both new and old kids - which it did (Praise God)!

The hard work now starts: to get the kids who came to the mud bowls to regularly come to our groups and grow in their walk with God - Please join me in prayer to this end as we continue to reach out into the community around ECBC!


Regret is an appalling waste of energy. You can't build on it; it's only good for wallowing in. - Katherine Mansfield

On Tuesday nights, members of the Believers Living In Truth ABF meet for a time of study and accountaibility. We are currently going through the "Crazy Love" book and DVD series and last night's chapter talked at length about regret. If we were to die tomorrow, what would be our greatest regret in life?

I struggle with this question because I don't believe regret comes from God. I think we regret two things in life:

1) SIN: If we sin, we should of course be repentant and ensure that behavior is not repeated, but we shouldn't be consumed by it. We need the forgiveness that only comes from Christ but then we need to lay the burden of sin at His feet. Guilt is for the unrepentant; freedom is for the forgiven.

2) UNFULFILLED EXPECTATIONS: How often do we wish that we had done something differently to gain a more beneficial outcome for ourselves? But isn't God's plan for our lives perfect? We are growing and maturing as believers as we live our lives...the lives that God has designed for us.

Regret has no place in a Christian's life so cast all your cares upon Him and trust that He has a plan for you.


Seek to Set Heaven Rejoicing

We now have over 108 hearts on the board, signifying decisions made to follow Jesus Christ. Scripture shares that the heavens rejoice when one person comes to faith. The heavens have had that opportunity to rejoice over the poeple who have choosen to follow Jesus as you have shared the gospel with them. I ask God to give me opportunities to share my faith. Others have joined me in praying the same thing. Even though we may not always recognize those divine appointment when they occur, we can rejoice when we grab them and run with the gospel. Even when those appointments may be hard and draining, we still need to seek them out and rejoice when God gives them. Let us be like the Apostle Paul, "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation; to the Jew first and also to the Greek."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Praise God For Your Trials

Every day the El Camino staff meets at 11:30 a.m. to have a time of prayer for each other and for our church. I lead the prayer time on Thursday mornings and yesterday we did one of my favorite things to pray...giving praise to God for the things we are struggling with in our lives.

I say it's one of my favorites but it's also the hardest. Most days when we open it up for prayer requests or praises, everyone is quick to participate. But every time I lead this kind of prayer, it's always a little more difficult for those present to open up, including myself. It's very easy for us all to pray for trials in our life or to praise God for our blessings, but shouldn't it be just as easy to praise Him for our trials too? Everything that comes from God is good and perfect and, therefore, praiseworthy. Think about the trials that you've experienced in your life. Once you get through them, don't you always see what God's plan was? How He was testing you? Changing you? Molding you into a better likeness of Himself?

We don't find out a lot about ourselves when we are feeling blessed and life is going swell. But when God tests and tries us, we are given the opportunity to prove our faith, our love and our trust in Him. Praise Him! Praise Him! Praise Him!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Recognizing Servants

True servants don't need recognition. They serve because they feel the call to serve and their joy comes from helping others. However, it is also an encouragment when others recognize the sacrifice of service and give thanks. Last week I mentioned that we should all go up to a deaconess and give them a word of thanks for their service. How about making giving others a word of encouragement a habit of life? It develops a spirit of appreciation and the skill of building up others. This week I have on my mind a group of men who get very little public recognition. They call themselves the "Weed and Seed" group. This is a group of men who spend time each week caring for plants, picking up trash, cleaning and maintaining the property, and trying to develop a family friendly atmosphere on the campus that God has entrusted to El Camino Baptist Church. You don't know who they are? Ask people like Jim Stark, Steve Smith, and Jerry Rosser who some of these guys are so that you can personally thank them for their diligent work which is regularly volunteered.

Friday, August 13, 2010

School Supplies

Buying school supplies each year is a rite of passage. We trade our flip flops and swim suits for yellow pencils with orange erasers and reams of notebook paper. A box of pencils for $.09 and a 24 pack of Crayola crayons for a quarter just can’t be beat! I no longer have children in school, but I stock up our children’s ministries cupboards with enough supplies to last us throughout the year. I saved us over $400 this year. Shopping sales is so rewarding!

On this particular day, I approached the school supply aisle and it was packed. There was no way I was getting my shopping cart in there, and I’d be lucky if I could fit. As I surveyed my options, a thought struck my mind. If 75% of the school children who attend our Good News Clubs are unchurched and don’t know Jesus, then I bet 75% of the children crammed into that school supply aisle don’t either.

Looking at those beautiful, precious children with huge smiles on their faces, excitedly loading up their arms and carts with new school supplies, broke my heart. They are so happy right now, but will they be for eternity? Do they know Jesus died to pay for their sins so they could live forever with Him in Heaven? How many of them will have an opportunity to hear the Good News before it is too late?

At El Camino we sponsor Good News Clubs in neighboring public schools. We go in on Wednesday afternoons from about 1:00-2:30 and teach a club similar to Sunday School. The children are little sponges and they respond so readily to God’s Truth and the Gospel of Salvation. We have a tremendous mission field literally in our front yard. We are fasting and praying that God will lead hearts to join us on this mission field, ripe for the harvesting.

Will you join us in prayer and possibly by serving on a three person ministry team? School starts next week and clubs start early next month. The harvest is plentiful! I guarantee that this is even more rewarding than saving $400, and it is an investment that will last for eternity!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Exciting things happening at El Camino

So my main purpose in putting together this blog was to give a chance for our Ministry Leadership Team to share their heart and give an outlet to tell the people of El Camino the exciting things that are happening within our church.

Let me just tell you all that God is moving right now and it is fun to see.

A lot of new things are happening in the next 2 months. Our After School program gets started next week with its new full week schedule. September 11th we have our Leadership Summit. September 18th we have the Beth Moore Simulcast. Dick and I are in the midst of planning a Praise In The Park event (an outdoor worship night at Udall) for early October plus we have our All-Church Work Day on Oct. 23rd.

Now this isn't meant as another avenue of advertising events...we already have enough of those (bulletins, slides, e-mail, Facebook/Twitter, etc.). What I want to do is encourage you to be excited!!! Be excited that we can come together as a church!!! Be excited that we can use these events as ways to reach others for Christ!!! Be excited that God is using the people and ministries of El Camino for His Glory!!!



I am starting a new sermon series this week entitled "Called to Serve." Prayerfully it will challenge all of us to become better servants. As an example of service, I would like to call attention to Deanna House and all the ladies who help at memorial services. This last week many of them spent 3 days at the church preparing and serving these families during their time of grief. These women have had such wonderful attitudes and expended such effort. Thank you ladies for your service. I also want to thank all the deaconesses for their behind the scenes efforts! Hey let's start something! Why don't we each go up to one of our deaconesses and personally thank them for all that they do?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Genuine Love

Love is having the other person’s best interest at heart. Based on that definition, it sounds easy to love. Just do what’s best for the other person. But wait. What if what’s best for the other person puts you in a lesser light in their eyes? Do you still do what’s best for them, even at the risk that they might think less of you afterward? Even if it means it might injure your relationship with the person?

How many times do I opt for silence over speaking the truth in love, simply because I don’t want the other person to be upset with me? I can justify it and say, “I’m not the Holy Spirit. God will show them.” When in reality if I truly loved them more than I loved myself, I’d have their best interest at heart and not my own, and speak up.

Over the past six years I have watched and experienced the depths of this type of love, God’s love, through our Senior Pastor. He isn’t just a sound Bible teacher, he is a true shepherd. He cares about every aspect of our lives. He rejoices when someone in our body rejoices. He grieves when one of us grieves. He is encouraging and challenging. And he says the hard things when they need to be said for our good.

When Jesus lived on earth, many people in his country raised sheep. The sheep slept in a pen with only one opening, with no gate. At night the shepherd would lie in the opening to keep the sheep safe. The sheep were safe because their shepherd stood between them and any lurking danger. And he dealt with that danger head on if it got too close.

I’ve seen our pastor do this time and time again when we fail to see the danger we’re in. He gets between us and sin, and calls it sin to bring it to the light, because when sin is revealed for what it is, it loses its power in our lives. When we see it, we can deal with it. And conquering sin is in our best interest. It doesn’t feel immediately good to be on the receiving end of having light shone on sin, but the final product is a right relationship with God and others, and there is nothing better in life.

I want to love that sacrificially. I want to care more about others than my own comfort. I want to shepherd my little piece of God’s flock with equal care. Lord, please increase my love for others. Make me more like You!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Have Fun Praising God

So the Contemporary praise team has it's practice on Monday nights and we are learning a new song together, Lincoln Brewster's "Salvation Is Here". While we all knew the melody, there's a very big difference between that and being able to play it cohesively as a group of different instruments and voices. It's a really upbeat song with lots of drums, bass and distorted guitar and those songs can be somewhat difficult to get the timing down right. But once we started playing, we kind of forgot about a lot of the technical stuff and just had a great time praising God as a group of believers.

IT'S FUN TO GIVE GOD PRAISE!!!!!!! We felt blessed to be able to do that as a close-knit team and I hope that on Sunday morning, people are able to join us in the exuberance of doing exactly what we were created to do...give God glory!!


Things Reserved for God Alone

In my devotion today I'm reading the book by Matt Redman entitled "Face Down". In the chapter today he talks about things we do and say that could or should be reserved for the worship of God only. Our word awesome is so over used today when in reality the only one that is truly worthy of our awe is God.


Dick Dillender

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Truth or Error

NKJ 1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

We are commanded to test the spirits to see if they are of God. How do we recognize the spirit of truth from the spirit of error? The first thing I do is to evaluate it in light of God's Word. God never contradicts Himself. Therefore, if what is said is not consistent with God's Word, it is not true but is the spirit of error.

What are some other things you do to know truth from error?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Youth Ministries - More than games?

I always have to laugh a little when I'm out buying supplies for our weekly youth group meetings and my list includes items like pantyhose, squirt-guns, pool noodles, and water balloons. Hearing a list like that might give the impressions that all we do in Youth Minsitries is play games and have fun.

In reality, while a big part of working with youth involves games and fun, these things are only tools to be used to reach individual students with the truth of God's Word. The games are mearly a vehicle we use to draw in students so that we have the opportunity to invest in their lives in a meaningful way. In actual practice, fun and games play only a small part of the overall goings on in youth work.

What do you think?