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.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Hello all,

So it's been a few weeks since I've posted. I was feverishly preparing for January 16th and 23rd but now that those are finished, I'm glad to have a chance to sit down and write a little.

I wanted to share with you from my devotional the other day. I was continuing in Isaiah 58 and the first 12 verses discuss fasting. Though I knew the Bible talked plenty about fasting, I never took the time to look up any passages on the subject. I've fasted 3 or 4 times in my life for an extended period of time and I have always come out of that time more focused and in tune with God's will. This is exactly how Isaiah describes it as well. He says that those who fast properly will be strengthened, that they will be a light in darkness, that they will be called Repairer and Restorer.

After reading this, I put myself in the shoes of the unbeliever. From their perspective, fasting is merely self-deprivation. What good can come from that? You are weakening yourself, aren't you? And yet they would be missing the whole point. Fasting isn't about depriving yourself of food (though I think you can fast by abstaining from any manner of things). It's about focusing on the still, small voice of God. It's about blocking the distractions and chaos around us and concentrating on Him.

And believe me, it works.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Spiritual Stirrings in the Midst of Tragedy

This last week Tucson saw a gunman kill 6 people and wound 13 more, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The overarching attitude that many have felt is reminiscent of 9/11 or the day in 1963 when JFK was shot. It caused many to turn to prayer. Please don't take me wrong. But does it take times of stress to cause us to suddenly remember there is a God?

An old military saying is that when the bullets are flying there are no athiests in the foxholes. It amazes me that the only time some people remember God and begin to beseech Him for His help and protection is after the bullets start flying, diaster has already struck, and/or danger looms on the horizon.

It shouldn't take a tragedy to stir spiritual rumblings in our hearts. Daily we should be seeking God in prayer and study of His Word. The Psalmist David had the desire to seek God on a continual basis, even dwell daily in the house of His God. Yes, David sought God when in the midst of trouble. But he also sought him in times of tranquility.

God is always present whether in moments of distress or times of triumph. Let us renew our hearts to see Him, talk to Him, and listen to Him daily in the good times as well as the hard times. Let's not wait until tragedy befalls to remember to turn to Jesus. Then when and if tragedy occurs, we are not overwhelmed by circumstances but consumed by His grace, His protection, and/or His tender loving care.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Together For God's Glory

Getting a new calendar is fun. It is exciting to see the blank pages and know that I have choices as to how to spend those days, hours and minutes. Granted, some things are non-negotiable. But for the most part, I can choose what I will spend my life focusing on. We all can.

God has an incredible plan. He is busy establishing His Kingdom and transforming peoples' lives. He is going to complete His work with or without us. Graciously, lovingly, He offers us opportunities to join Him in His work.

We can join Him by praying (John 14:12-14). By praying we help provide spiritual resources for His Kingdom work.

We can join Him by serving (John 13:12-17). By serving we are the human resources for His Kingdom work.

We can join Him by giving (Luke 6:38). By giving money we can help provide the financial resources for His Kingdom work.

This year at El Camino we were blessed to see nearly 600 people give their lives to Jesus. They are now part of God's Kingdom! Each person at El Camino who prayed or served or gave financially had a part in those souls being saved. By being obedient to God through prayer, service and giving, God was glorified! He was made known to those who didn't know Him. Together we have exalted Him. What an honor and privilege we have to serve our Lord. What a gift to be able to do it together.

Lord, please help us to clearly know, without a doubt, what Your plan is for us here at El Camino this year. May we spend each moment, each ounce of energy and each penny in a way that glorifies You!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


The new year has fast come upon us. As I was flying to visit family over Christmas, I read a book by Chuck Swindoll. In it he had a chapter on "The Value of Integrity." I thought I would share a few thoughts from the book "Arise and Shine" pages 190-191. They are great reminders that all Christians need to be people of integrity, who keep their word to God and their family, as well as a testimony to the world.

Swindoll quotes Ted Engstrom, "Integrity is doing what you said you would do." It is a simple as:

*You told the Lord you would give Him all the glory.
*You promised you would be faithful to your mate.
*You declared that your expenses amounted to a certain figure.
*You promised your son you would play ball this afternoon.
*You assured your roommate you would carry out your end of the load.
*You signed a contract that committed you to specific things.
*You told your neighbor you would bring back the tool you borrowed.
*You swore to tell the truth when you took the stand.
*You stated you would pray or return a phone call or pay your bill or show up at 6:30.

No reason to complicate matters or search for excuses. Doing what you said you would do is simply an issue of integrity. There is no substitute for having the guts to keep your word.