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.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

With a Grateful Heart

Candy and I would like to express our thanks and appreciation for all of the cards and gifts we have received during this Christmas Season. You as a church family have blessed us during this season and throughout the year. It is a joy to serve with all of you and we pray for God's continued blessings on all of us as we enter this new year of service.

Dick and Candy Dillender

Hoss' Music Blog

Hello all,

I'm on vacation this week (going to Disneyland for New Year's Eve...cool huh?) but I thought I would drop a line about my new blog. It's at http://www.hossmusic.blogspot.com. I started writing praise and worship songs a couple of years ago with the purpose of adding them to our Contemporary worship service music line-up and have been going ever since. I hope you enjoy and have a Happy New Year everybody.


Thursday, December 23, 2010


Today I had the most amazing day! For nearly 4 hours I got to tell children the Christmas story and why Jesus actually came. I got to tell them what He did for them by dying on the cross. I was just lying in bed trying to sleep, but their great questions, attentiveness to the Truth, and innocent comments are keeping me awake. Today truly was one of the very best days of my life! I can't imagine Christmas feeling more meaningful. What Jesus did for us truly was amazing!

Incredible Needs

This Christmas at church we provided gifts for at least 10 families who needed to spend their money on basic needs, not extras. Tonight my husband and I ran to a tree lot across town that was giving away 900 trees to people in need. We got there 2 hours after they started giving them away, and they were out. The reality that there were that many people without a tree 3 days before Christmas didn’t feel real to me, but why would people take a tree if they already had one?

A car full of people, really full, pulled up as I was walking back to our truck. They asked me where the trees were. I explained that they were all gone. The little boy mushed in the back seat said, “That’s ok, right mom? We don’t need a tree to celebrate Christmas, right!?” She smiled and said, “That’s right son! Merry Christmas!” And they drove off, all smiles. Then a man in a fairly nice truck wearing a dress shirt drove up and asked me the same question. I gave the same answer. He stared past me for a moment, thinking, and then sadly said, “Oh. Ok.” And drove off.

In our economy there are so many people who are not even able to meet their basic daily living needs, let alone anything extra. Times are hard. My Bible dictionary defines needs as 'Something I must have. The basic human needs are food, clothing, shelter, love, and spiritual salvation.'

Let’s help meet people’s physical needs and at the same time help meet their spiritual needs. Let’s work together to glorify God in this economy. What are your ideas in this area? I bet they're great!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

O Holy Night

My very favorite Christmas carol is O Holy Night. In fact, I love it so much I count it as one of my favorite songs of all time. There is something about it that brings me into a spirit of worship every time I hear it, no matter where I am and even no matter what time of year it is. I was looking at the lyrics for it this morning and, though most people are very familiar with verses 1 & 3, it was something from verse 2 that struck me.

The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger.

A few weeks ago in staff prayer we were talking about what makes Christianity different from world religions. One of the things we came up with was that God came to earth in human form. In most religions, gods sit high above the people, ruling them from afar. But God took on a flawed and imperfect physical body to save the world...one that was susceptible to pain and suffering...one that would feel the beatings, feel the thorns in His head and the nails in His hands and feet.

And it all began with the babe in the manger.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. - Vaclav Havel

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. - Hebrews 11:1

I do not know Mr. Havel's spiritual stance but I do find his comment very parallel to Hebrews 11:1. As Christians we are able to truly hope. Not because our lives are perfectly happy and we get everything we desire, but because we know that God is in control. We may go through times of struggle, we may experience loss, but we never have to face a world controlled by chance and chaos. We hope because God is holding everything in the palm of His hand.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Matthew 21 & Psalm 8

So Katie and I were reading Matthew 21 this morning when we came upon verse 16 where Jesus asks the chief priests if they have never read "From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth Your praise." I got really excited because I knew where that was found in the Old Testament. Usually I don't even know what book it is from when Jesus points back to OT Scripture without looking at the margin references. But I have been going through the book of Psalms and writing a song for each Psalm and I recognized that verse from Psalm 8.

I began writing this blogpost thinking that I would just share that fun little coincidence (God seems to love doing that from time to time to spark us). But then I remembered what Sunday is. During our services our Young People's Choir is going to be sharing their Christmas musical. Hmmm...children will be calling forth God's praise....where have I heard that before?


Thursday, December 2, 2010

God answers Prayers

I have been thinking about El Camino this last week. We have prayed Romans 12:1-2 for the church all year long. I asked myself - How has the church been transformed? Firmly believing that God answers prayer, I looked for ways in which we have been changed for the better, more like Jesus. I asked several different groups if they had noticed any change or transformation in the church. It is interesting the answers I have received. People have noticed that God is at work in our lives both individually and collectively as a church. We have seen a number of individuals taking personal interest in sharing the gospel. We have seen a shift of attitudes. We have seen God at work at El Camino. We know that we are not perfect but it is encouraging to know that we are progressing for the better.

I have prayed Romans 12:1-2 for myself as well. I have noticed that God has been working in my heart and soul. I have seen Him give me great peace and calmness. I have seen Him strengthen my resolve to follow Him. I have seen God at work in my life as well.

As the new year begins to approach, ask yourself - What has God done in me this year? Praise Him for that. Then ask yourself - What has God done at El Camino this year? Praise Him for what He has done. Share your observations of the way God has worked in you and in the church with others. I think this will encourage each of us as we see and hear that God still answers prayer.

The Value of People

Monday I went to the grocery store. My cashier was an attractive young man in his mid twenties named Stephen. The customer he was ringing up was about 4 feet tall and she looked just like the trolls in The Three Billy Goats Gruff storybook. She was hunched over and it looked like she hadn’t shaved her chin whiskers in a week. She even sounded like I imagined a troll sounded.

Stephen would scan an item, she’d gruffly snap, “How much is that?” Each time he kindly answered, and she either snapped, “I don’t want it. Put it back!” or with resignation in her voice say, “OK. I’ll take it.” I watched his face as this went on item after item. There wasn’t even a hint of irritation or frustration in his face, eyes or voice. At least ten minutes later he assisted her with her payment card and offered her help taking her groceries out. Then he turned and greeted me with a smile. I told him he was wonderful with her. He smiled into my eyes and said, “For those 10 minutes, she was the most important person in the world. She deserves excellent attention and care. It was my pleasure to offer her the best service I could.” I was taken aback. I was expecting him to say something about how he had learned to be patient with difficult customers or something along those lines. Turns out he didn’t need my encouragement. His joy was in serving.

The next day was a busy one for me at work, packed with meetings and decisions and details. I was struggling emotionally with an issue I didn’t know how to resolve. I went into Pastor Ron's office for guidance. He turned away from his computer, leaned forward toward me with a smile on his face, and listened with the same kind, patient, loving, ‘you are the most important person in the world to me’ look on his face even though I know I interrupted his important work and that he had at least a dozen very pressing things he needed to attend to. But at that moment, his joy was in serving me.

Wednesday in my quiet time with God, I had a lot on my heart. I needed God’s guidance. I needed His reassurance. I needed Him to take care of things I just didn’t know how to handle. As I sat there, I pictured Stephen and Pastor Ron’s faces and smiles. I pictured God turning in His throne to lean towards me and listen to me and guide me and offer comfort. At that moment I felt I was the most important person in the world to Him.

God used these two men to show me that I need to value people more, and to show me how much He values me. Pastor Ron keeps saying, “Ministry is relationship.” This troll thinks she is finally starting to get it!