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, April 27, 2012

Announcements for April 27


A dear friend of mine from my teaching days is critically ill. It was totally unexpected. She was a very healthy, fit lady. When I got the text, I was heartbroken. As far as I know, she has yet to accept Christ as her Savior.

I spent that entire morning, my day off, asking God, (beseeching, begging), to spare her life and draw her and her family into a personal relationship with Himself. I am heartbroken at the prospect that she might live eternally apart from God.

In my times with God since then, I have done a lot of thinking about how I spend my time. The fact that I could've and should've invested more in my friendship with her, influencing her for Christ, hit me hard.

Psalm 119:37 says, "Turn my eyes away from worthless things." I live a pretty good life. My leisure activities include watching movies, reading, gardening, cycling, and shopping thrift stores. I wouldn't consider them necessarily 'worthless'. But are they 'worthwhile'?

When I think about my friend recovering in ICU, I wonder if the movie I watched or the shopping I did was more important than making time for her, or making time for the other friends God has placed in my life who also don't have a personal relationship with Him yet.

There is nothing wrong with watching TV or gardening. Agreed. I am entitled to rest, recreation, and fun. I work hard. But when I don't make time for what really matters, when people God has entrusted into my care don't know Him, I think I need to reevaluate some of my choices, and use my time more wisely.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


It has been an interesting week.  Sunday morning was busy with services and the business meeting.  Sunday evening, I broke a tooth.  It didn't hurt.  The dentist had an opening on Monday when I called.  He was able to put a temporary crown on it.  On Tuesday, I received an unexpected doctor's bill.  On Thursday, Shar will be having surgery on her left eye.  And that is just part of all that is going on.  From an external perspective, the bottom dropped out and we have been hit from all sides.

However, in the midst of it all, I have felt no anxiety or stress.  The peace of God has filled my heart.  Why?  I have choosen to believe that God works everything out for good (Rom 8:28).  He is in control.  I can't change the circumstnaces, but I can trust His timing and control over them.  Regardless of what happens, God loves me and desires nothing but my best.  Therefore, all that has happened is for my best and I choose to trust Him in that.  As a result, His peace has filled me. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Arny's Message

It is amazing how God works everything out for good (Rom 8:28). I watched Sunday's sermon from home because it is not a "pretty picture" to listen to a pastor blow his nose 20 times during a sermon. Arny so gracious stepped in and gave a wonderful sermon relating to the 12 spies - all leaders in Israel. Ten focused on the negative and two focused on the opportunity God had given. This is just what we all needed to hear.

I want to be like Joshua and Caleb. I want to focus on the God who is bigger than any problem I face rather than like the ten who focused on the problems being bigger than God could handle. Throughout life and ministry, we all face problems, issues, and circumstances. I can either be anxious and preoccupied because of the trouble or I can be calm in the midst of the storm knowing that God will deal with it. Attitude is a choice. I choose to believe that God is bigger, greater, mightier than anything I ever face.

Yes, there will be difficulties and obstacles to accomplishing God's purpose. But I choose to be an optimist - God will deliver. God will provide. The things that happen in life and ministry are merely opportunities for me to trust Him. I choose not to be dissuaded by the pessimists even if they are more in number or recognized as leaders. I choose to press forward trusting God, even if none go with me.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Hope of Resurrection

This week we had a member of El Camino go to be with the Lord. While under hospice care, he entered eternity at the same time the congregation was celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. What a great time to go be with Jesus!

We celebrate that Jerry is with the Lord and that he will rise again at the Lord's coming. While we grieve our loss, we rejoice in heavens gain. It is a special time in heaven when believers go home. Psalm 116:5 says, "Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints."

We have the comfort and assurance from Christ's own resurrection that Jerry will experience this as well. It is the hope of all who believe in Jesus.

I Wanna Be Like David

Our Ministry Leadership Team was asked to give our testimony on Easter Sunday about how knowing the Resurrected Savior has changed our lives. God showed each one of us exactly what He wanted us to share. We pray that He was glorified!

At the continental breakfast afterward, a beautiful lady came up to me and said, "We are so blessed to have you here." Compliments are extremely difficult for me to take, plus I was still numb from speaking in front of a group of people. It terrifies me. I responded with a gentle, "Thank you." She then reminded me that it is through the prayers of God's people here at El Camino that any of my efforts turn out to be successful. And she is so right! "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." Philippians 2:13

This morning in my quiet time, I was reading in 1 Chronicles 14:10-17, about David defeating the Philistines right after God had established him as king over Israel. It spoke strongly to me about having a humble, God-honoring, thankful heart.

14:10a David inquired of the Lord
14:10c God answered David
14:11a David did as God commanded
14:11b David rightly credited God with the success

My response to this precious lady should have been that anything that is accomplished in Children's Ministries is because God blesses us with success. I know that full well, but I obviously don't praise God enough or that would've been my immediate response, because "Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks."

Lord God, I know that You are Sovereign. I know that every success we have and all that we accomplish for You is due to You. Please help the immediate response of my heart to be that of thankfulness and praise to You!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Resurrection

This Sunday the Church celebrates the Resurrection. We identify the event as Easter. The world has corrupted the meaning of this most glorious celebration by making it a day for children to search for decorated eggs, eat candy, and hear about the Easter bunny. However, this totally changes the focus of the real meaning of Easter.

On Sunday morning following the crucifixion, Jesus rose from the dead. He left the tomb victorious over sin and death. He proved, gave evidence, that He is God and that He paid the penalty for all our sins.

If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then Christians are to be the most pitied people in the world. This is exactly what the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15. But we are not stupid, deceived, or deluded. We have a living hope. Jesus is alive. Jesus is God. And because He is raised from the dead, I know that my sins are forgiven.

I rejoice that we can celebrate the resurrection in confidence that Jesus is alive and that one day we will live with Him as well.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


We are house hunting. We are looking for a home with guest facilities to meet my mother-in-law's needs. So we are updating our current home and searching for a different one.

House hunting is fun after all these years. Our needs are different since our four boys are all grown up. We are looking for different features in a home than we needed last time. There are so many houses to choose from, and so many things to consider.

All this house hunting and fixing-up has me distracted. I fight at work to be focused and productive. During my quiet time with God each morning my mind has been wandering to thoughts about houses. And my relationship with my husband is stressed since my mind is preoccupied.

This morning in my quiet time, I read Revelation 2:12,13. "Yet you remained true to My Name. You did not renounce your faith in Me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city-where Satan lives."

I want to remain true to my God, even when I get busy with the affairs of this world. I want my time alone with God to be rich and full, and to consider Him in every decision I make and in everything I do all day long. I want to want what He wants. I want to serve Him, my family, my coworkers, and all the people God brings my way, with love and faithfulness. I want a house to be a provision from God, not a distraction pulling me away from what God has called me to do and to be.

Lord, thank You for refocusing me on what is important, what really matters. Lead us to the house that You have for us. Please protect us from making any decision that will hinder us from doing what You have called us to do, and that will not bring You glory.