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Posts by Rich Lanning

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Pastor's Briefing: Preparing the Heart for Christmas

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"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:14 Traditionally, the season of Advent has been observed as a season to prepare ourselves for the coming of Emmanuel, God with us. It can be viewed as a time to ponder anew the meaning of God visiting our planet in the flesh. Advent allows us to celebrate the pivotal and decisive ...

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Pastor's Briefing: When Does Life Begin?

Earlier this month I read a very important article titled, I Asked Thousands of Biologists When Life Begins. The Answer Wasn't Popular, by researcher Steve Jacobs, who has a Phd from the University of Chicago. Jacobs surveyed professors in biology departments from over 1000 institutions around the world. He wanted to learn their answer to the question of When does human li...

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Pastor Briefing: Semper Reformanda

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With Reformation Sunday coming at the end of the month, I thought it timely to discuss a valuable principle from church history......

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Pastor Briefing: Perspective from the Paralytic

Recently, I was thinking about the paralytic described in Mark's gospel and how Jesus' interaction with the paralytic illustrates the priority of our spiritual needs. The paralytic was the man made famous when he was lowered through the rooftop of a crowded home into the presence of Jesus (Mark 2:1-12). The paralytic's friends had faith that Jesus could heal him. Hence, I ...

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Pastor Briefing: Joshua Harris’ Announcement

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How do we respond to Joshua Harris's announcement that he is getting divorced from both his wife and Christian faith? ...

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Pastor Briefing: The EPC General Assembly

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This year, the EPC General Assembly (GA) met in Denver, CO at the Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church. The GA is an annual gathering of ministers and ruling elders representing the 600 local churches across the country that make up the EPC. It is a time of ministry workshops, keynote addresses, worship services, commissioning of new missionaries, denominational reports, stand...

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Pastor Briefing: Time in Red River Gorge

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It has become an annual event for me to take some time off during the last full week of May leading up to Memorial Day weekend for a little rest and renewal. Over the last couple of years, my family and I have trekked down to the beautiful Red River Gorge, Kentucky for camping and hiking. This year we camped at the Koomer Ridge Campground, which is part of the Daniel Boon...

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Pastor Briefing: The Basics Conference, May 2019

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It is Monday, May 6 and I am with Michael Lyons and Isaac Gould. We are taking part in the Basics Pastors' Conference in Chagrin Falls, OH (near Cleveland) at Parkside Church hosted by pastor and author, Alistair Begg . The conference runs through Wednesday, May 8. The keynote speakers include Alistair Begg, Rico Tice, and Andy Gemmill. I would guess there are around 1000 ...

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The Importance of the Resurrection

And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is in vain. ~Romans 15:14 It hasn't happened recently, but there have been occasions in my life when I have asked myself, "How do I really know that Christianity is true? How do I know that when I die, I won't wake up to some very different reality than the one described in the Bible?" W...

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Pastor Briefing: Presbytery

Presbytery Mtg S. Charleston church, 2-19, Harvey, Rich

Three times a year the Presbytery of the Midwest meets over two days to conduct training, business, and worship. Our Presbytery includes more than 50 EPC churches located in Indiana, Michigan, and the western half of Ohio. Local EPC churches are expected to send their ministers (officially referred to as teaching elders) and ruling elders, as representatives. Our presbyter...

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The 40 Day Prayer Covenant

For the greater part of my life, I have struggled to cultivate a disciplined private prayer life. One of the reasons I am a genuine cheerleader for the Prayer Covenant is it has been the tool that God has most used to genuinely improve my commitment to personal and intercessory prayer in recent years....

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Update on ECC’s Staff Transitions

Over the years, God has blessed this church with strong leaders and a great staff. I personally and looking forward to seeing what He has in store for us....

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God’s Grace and Parenting

As a parent, how do I tap into God’s grace and connect my children to Him?...

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Transitions

By now, you have learned of Isaac Gould’s (ECC’s Director of Youth and Family Ministries) new call to serve as Pastor of Riverside Presbyterian Church in Sartelle, MN. This means that ECC will not be losing one, but two of our valued staff members....

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The Purpose of ECC, part 4: Serving the World

This is the fourth and final part of a brief statement approved by the ECC Session to help further clarify what we mean by the ECC Purpose Statement. Our purpose statement reminds us that our primary God given calling is to be faithful followers of Jesus....

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The Purpose of ECC, part 3: Loving One Another

Our purpose statement also provides a process for how we intend to grow and live as followers of Jesus. We follow Jesus faithfully by loving God, loving one another, and serving the world. Hence our purpose statement, what we are trying to accomplish, is also our process for getting there....

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The Purpose of ECC, part 2: Loving God

Here is the second part of a brief statement approved by the ECC Session to help further clarify what we mean by the ECC Purpose Statement. The purpose statement is designed to remind us what it is that God requires of us as followers of Jesus....

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The Purpose of ECC, part 1: Following Jesus

There is research that shows that the most effective churches doing ministry today are those that have a clear sense of purpose. With that in view, the Session has continued to think about what our church’s purpose statement means and how it can be used to bring clarity and focus to the ministries of ECC....

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Summer in the Burbs

Having lived in a suburb most of my life, I can both identify and enjoy the over-the-top depiction of middle-class suburban life. Unlike the movie depiction however, there are many people who can live in their suburban homes and even after 30 years, never really get to know those who live on the same street....

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Thoughts from the Book of Daniel

“How do we live faithful and effective lives in an increasingly secular world?”...

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The Forty Day Prayer Covenant Follow-up

Pastor BriefingMay 6, 2015 By now, most of you have completed your 40 Day Prayer commitments. I, personally, felt very good about the 40 Day Prayer Covenant preaching series. Based on your feedback, I believe there has been more prayer among our congregation than ever before. I hope that you have experienced personal renewal through it. I know I have! I would encourage y...

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I Love Jesus but I Don’t Need the Church

If one takes a log out of a fire and throws it in the middle of a driveway, it will soon sputter and fizzle out. But if that log is cast into a hot fire with other logs, it will catch fire and burn brightly. Too many Christians are like a log trying hard to burn on its own in the middle of a driveway....

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The 40 Day Prayer Covenant

"...the ten lines of the prayer covenant comprise the critical contours of our Christian discipleship. They summarize what it means to follow Jesus."...

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Pastor Briefing

Pastor Briefing “Looking Forward to What God Has in Store for Us”...

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