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Due to government request we have decided to replace Sunday morning service with House Church service that will live stream from the main campus until further notice. We did not feel comfortable going to live stream only. We feel it is important to keep a level of church community during this time. If efforts to do this we have established specific home locations where the service will be live streamed to groups of 10 or less who are gathered together. Our Sunday morning live stream will start at 10:30am. Our service will stream live on our webpage (firstchristianchurchofbristol.org), our church Facebook page, and our church Youtube  “FirstChristianChurchofBristol”

If you would still prefer to stay at home, we encourage you to do so. Our heart is to provide a place to worship for those who are still wanting to be in community. Please select a House Church group leader and call them earlier in the week before attending. This is IMPORTANT as we want to assure their home is not yet full. If it is, please contact another group. Phone numbers will be posted in our closed Facebook group due to privacy reasons. If you are reading this outside the group and need this information, please contact the church at 276-669-2014 so we can help connect you to a house church leader.

Sunday Services will start streaming at 10:30am.

Also, please remember that Wednesday night service will be livestream only. We will not be using our House Church format for our Wednesday night services.
  1. Jesse and Kristen Evans
  2. Mick and Wilma Arnold
  3. Harold and Priscilla Dowell
  4. Nina Jesse (not available March 29th)
  5. Adam Barker (In Bristol)
  6. Scott Peak
  7. Allen Anderson (not available March 22nd)
  8. Ed and Jenny Redmond

A few days ago I actually took a moment to sit on our deck enjoying my morning coffee as I read the scripture verse for the day.  If you donʼt have “The Bible” app I highly recommend it.

As I sat, taking in the moment, I began to notice the chirping of the birds...so many different sounds. There was a conversation going on, from tree to tree.  I felt a gentle morning breeze and could hear its calm sound as it too came from the beautiful green, lush trees.  Then I looked up to see a beautiful blue sky with a few puffy white clouds floating along.  The sun began to send out its rays of light as it warmed the air.  Flowers were blooming , the grass rich and green with weeds peeking through here and there.  Do you have the picture in your mind?

I thought to myself, “that is like God’s voice saying, “Evelyn, itʼs Me!” Wow! For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and in earth, visible and invisible, ......all things have been created by Him. (Colossians 1:16). Yes, yes, it definitely was His voice I was hearing.  With a moment of awe in my heart, my response was, “God, itʼs me” as I began my prayer.  The great thing, I knew He knew it was me because scripture tells me the shepherd knows his sheep, he knows their voice.  He’s my Shepherd so He recognized my voice, He knew it was me.  Wow again! 

How precious it is to be aware of His presence, aware of His creation, feel His love.
So, as I Echo out my message to you Iʼm saying, “itʼs me” via computer land to tell you that you are dear to my heart.  Iʼm blessed and honored you are a part of my life!  Which leads me to say another “wow” what a birthday celebration you gave us.  Thank you, thank you for everything you did for us!
I hope you will have a moment this week when you stop and hear God say to you, “itʼs Me!”

Did you hear me?

Did You Hear Me?

Maybe your mind goes back to hear your parents saying those words to you!!  
There were a few other sentences, especially my momma, would say to me.
"Are you paying attention to me?"
"I told you once, do I need to tell you again?"
"You better not forget what I just told you!"
"And I mean it!"
"Did you hear what I just said?"
Or my most used phrase to the boys, ""You look me in the eyes!"

"Hear me!" How many times in scripture has God spoken to us and we didn't listen or we didn't pay attention. Through the course of life we’ve all found ourselves saying, "If only I had listened." I can't tell you the times I've wished I had listened in many situations.  More importantly the times I wish I would have been much more attentive to the Lord!

Life is short, life is precious, there isn't a second go around, Harken to (listen, hear) His voice. It is a dangerous thing to turn a deaf ear to what the Lord has to say to us

““Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it. Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For those who find me find life and receive favor from the LORD.”
Proverbs 8:32-35 NIV
Christ is Wisdom, and He is Life to all believers. ( Matthew Henry commentary notes)

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27

"Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it." Hebrews 2:1

“This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”
Isaiah 48:17 NIV

It is good to be back with you again, to “echo” my thoughts. Why do I call this Echo’s from Ev?”  It’s simply a reverberation, a reflection or a ringing from my heart to yours. Maybe in some way as I share my heart my thoughts might lift you up, encourage you, or maybe give you a chuckle.
Until next time.....remember, I love you!


Fear Not

As we enter into 2016 it seems there is one thing prominent in our world . . . FEAR. To name a few: • Fear of getting sick • Fear of finances/not having enough money • Fear of weather • Fear of political issues • Fear of crime/violence • Fear of aging • Fear of losing our freedom • Fear of the unknown • Fear of pain • Fear of disappointment • Fear of rejection • Fear of loneliness • Fear of death • Fear of failure A pretty grim list of very realistic fears. We’ve just had Christmas and heard the account of Jesus’ birth: the shepherds were in the fields, doing their job, keeping watch over their flock when an angel appeared and said, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11 NKJV) Because God loved this world so much, and He knew there would be fears on every hand, He sent the message that we weren’t to be afraid because of the great gi of His Son. One who would wrap His loving arms around us during times of our greatest fears, one who would encourage us, one who would bring calm, one who would love us like an earthly father who holds his child tightly when fear has come. Romans 8:15 says, “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, Abba Father.” (NKJV) I face fear. I believe we all do. I feel certain the message from Luke is still the same for 2016 . . . “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy. . . .” And in Romans, we find the instruction Paul gave to those in Rome, the beloved of God, “cry out, Abba, Father.” During this new year, whenever you face fear, cry out, Abba Father, and speak the words the Psalmist cried, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust You.” A favorite song from this year, “Fear not tomorrow, God is already there.” > E v’s E c h o

The Longer I Serve Him

I've (we've) had some experiences of late I will most definitely not put in the easy column of life. Lest I weary you with too many stories, I will go back to December when Pastor had surgery to remove the tumor from around his sciatic nerve. At the very same time, our dear Iler Walden was in intensive care, very ill. As I went to visit Pastor, I would also go see Iler. Seeing her sweet expressions of love and trust in the Lord was encouragement I can’t describe. It so happened, during the same stretch of time, our dear Laura Anderson was also in the hospital. I would go visit with her, and the smile on her face and the sweetness of her spirit made me so ashamed. My attitude during difficulty wasn’t always with a smile. I’ve watched Iler and Laura, both with terrible physical problems, and I knew without a doubt that during the years of their lives Jesus had become sweeter and sweeter. Both ladies (and those two are exactly that, ladies) very countenance told me the longer they served Him the sweeter He had grown. Let me come to more recent days. Our dear Ralph Branson . . . his mind may have declined, but start talking about Jesus and His face lit up. Jesus had become dearer to him with each day—he never stopped loving or trusting Jesus. Now I come to this week. I go to help at my in-law’s house. It’s time to bless the food at the meal. I  ask Beth,  my mother-in-law, if she would like to pray. The words that came from a sometimes confused mind had no confusion as to the sweetness of Jesus to her. Before leaving their house, we went to the living room to sit by the piano and sing precious songs of hope and encouragement. We had a beautiful trio going. Mom and dad Peak had not lost their song. Jesus had become sweeter. Each of these I’ve mentioned are not youngsters anymore but I can tell you I had not one doubt of how sweet Jesus was to them. They each told me so . . . not always in words but, oh, I heard them loud and clear saying,  “The Longer I Serve Him the Sweeter He Grows.” How is it in your life? Does Jesus become sweeter to you? Do you find yourself singing, “‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus" with more fervor? Take a moment to stop and think how sweet Jesus is to you. Is He growing sweeter the longer you serve him? 

Does Anybody Care


I think I could safely say that question has probably come from everyone’s mouth or mind at one time or other in their lifetime. Sad to say, the truth be known, the words “I care” may be spoken to us in stormy circumstances of our lives but are not truthfully lived out. Disappointing, but true. Peter wrote to the Jewish believers who were struggling in the midst of persecution. He encouraged them to conduct themselves in such a way that their character and conduct would be above reproach as they represented Christ. Peter left them with a message they could count on: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for HE CARES FOR YOU (I Peter 5:5b-7 NKJV, emphasis mine). Tuck that message deep in your heart! It will be with you everywhere you go.


Under His Wings

I know you would be disappointed if I didn’t use some reference to a song in my Echo, therefore, here ‘tis . . .

Under His wings, Under His wings, who from His love can sever,
Under His wings, my soul shall abide, safely abide forever.

I’ve been listening to this old hymn repeatedly this week. Each time my heart is stirred and it has made me ask myself some questions.

What does it look like “under His wings?” In my mind’s eye it would first look safe, and it would look inviting, snuggly, warm, comfortable, calming, a good place to go when I needed that environment.

Why would I want to go “under His wings?” Because there would be loving refuge, protection, help, comfort, someone to hold me close during troubled times, or perhaps for healing, and safety from the storms of life.

Have I been there? Oh yes, many times.

Under His wings I am safely abiding, Though the night deepens and tempests are wild, Still I can trust Him; I know He will keep me, He has redeemed me, and I am His child.

Under His wings, what a refuge in sorrow! How the heart yearningly turns to His rest! Often when earth has no balm for my healing, There I find comfort, and there I am blessed.

nder His wings, oh, what precious enjoyment! There will I hide till life’s trials are o’er; Sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me, Resting in Jesus, I’m safe evermore.

Ps. 91:4 – He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and protector.

As Jesus spoke to Jerusalem in Matthew 23:37, He said, “How often I wanted to gather your children to- gether, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.”  What a sad, sad verse.

There is a place of refuge to go . . . don’t be too proud, don’t refuse that place thinking you can take care of yourself. If you are at a place in life where this is what you need, then go the Jesus and tell Him you need Him to open His wings and let you in. When you do, you will be singing with great assurance, resting in Jesus, I’m safe evermore. 

Many Thanks

                                      MANY THANKS

I would like to “echo” the words of Paul in Philippians 1:3 . . . “I thank my
God upon every remembrance of you.”
Pastor and I remember with much thanks the very special Birthday
Party you gave us. The ice creams were WONDERFUL, all
the cards were BEAUTIFUL, and the fellowship of nearly 60 folks
was SWEET (ice cream and cake…ha!). You made turning 66 not
so bad after all. We both give thanks to the Lord for the blessings
of those years.

I would like to add a thank you to EVERYONE who worked tirelessly
for a successful VBS. Many days before, a team of people
decorated the sanctuary and Bethany Hall for the theme of a spy
agency for our Agency D-3 Bible School. The D-3 stands for Discover,
Decide, Defend—the Bible verse was I Peter 3:15 :
Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: be ready always
to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason
of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
I will not even begin to name names but off the top of my head
we had 30+ workers. Pastor and I honor and appreciate each one
for everything that was done to make VBS a success.
I would be amiss to leave out giving thanks to the Lord. I Thessalonians
5:18 tells us, “In everything give thanks for this is the
will of God.” At the top of the list would be God sending His son
Jesus to save us from our sins; the list could go on from there—
too lengthy for me to even begin.

Therefore, sometime soon after reading this Echo, get a pen and
paper and list the many things that come to your mind for which
you can give thanks with a grateful heart . . . give thanks to the
Holy One.

What Fragrance Are You?
Spring has been so beautiful; the colors stunning as the red buds stood in all their glory along with the Bradford pears.  Then the grass started coming out of the winter season showing new shades of bright beautiful green, which, unfortunately required the mowing to begin.  Along with the change of the season came beautiful fragrances drifting through the air. 
I know freshly mowed grass and all the new blooms creates misery for those who deal with allergies, and, I’m sorry for that but I must admit I love the accompanying smells.  I’m not good with names of flowers for the season so I had to do some research.  Some with beautiful spring/summer fragrance are lilac, hyacinth, sweet alyssum, wisteria, sweet peas, lily-of-the valley, gardenia, roses, four o’clock’s, peonies, some tulips, magnolia, and  jonquils just to name a few.  I can almost smell some of them now.  Can you?
Did you know there is a fragrance, or an aroma that comes from our life?  It can be a pleasant aroma, or it can be one that stinks.  To stink sounds rather harsh but Isaiah 1:13-23 talks about ways of living that are a stench in the nostrils of God - lives once pure, once faithful, once just and righteous but no longer such bring no pleasure to God.  How sad, but, in this same portion of scripture the Lord says that no matter how deep the stain of your sins he can remove it and make it as clean as freshly fallen snow.
Let me go back to the beautiful fragrance – that which is pleasing to our Lord…II Corinthians 2:15 & 16:   For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.  To the one we are the aroma of death to death, and to the other the aroma of life to life. 
If we are God’s children, saved by grace, we are a sweet aroma to Him.  We no longer have the aroma of death, we have a fragrance that brings joy to the heart of God.  Jesus’ life was a fragrant aroma to the Father.  If we walk as Jesus, do our best to follow His ways then our life can have that fragrance.  It is our aroma of praise to God, and, as we go into our world we take with us the sweet aroma of God everywhere we go.
Ephesians 5:2 Jesus said, “And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

But Not Forsaken

Okay, I know, not a very bright, cheerful way to Echo a message to you but, stay with me.
I’ll ask you a question and even though we are not face-to-face I’m fairly certain the answer you would give. Have you ever been, or felt, forsaken?
If you haven’t had that experience, consider yourself highly blessed. I
would echo to you, oh yes, I’ve both been and felt forsaken. Actually
rather recently, and it’s a terrible feeling.
Forsaken—to leave or to abandon. . . .
As I was pondering (you may notice I use that word often—I ponder
a lot!), my mind went to a piece of a scripture, “Persecuted, but not forsaken.”
Ponder, ponder . . . but, my circumstance hasn’t changed. I quickly went to find my Bible, and began reading 2 Corinthians 7:7-9:
        “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence
        of the power may be of God and not of us. We are
        hard pressed on every side yet not crushed, we are perplexed
        but not in despair, persecuted but NOT FORSAKEN,
        struck down but not destroyed.”
When feeling forsaken, every emotion in these two verses is there;
hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted, struck down. NOT FORSAKEN?
Feels like forsaken to me. ONLY because of the life and death of Jesus,
on my/our behalf, can it be true—no other way.
Therefore, that chapter goes on:
        “Do not lose heart because what is ahead for us is a far more
        exceeding weight of glory; the things which are seen (being
        or feeling forsaken) are temporary, but the things which are
        not seen are eternal.”
As Paul encouraged the Corinthians, I encourage all of us . . . Do Not
Lose Heart. There is ONE and ONLY ONE who has promised He would
never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5b).
        “Now may the Lord God of peace who brought up our Lord
        Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep,
        through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete
        in every good work to do His will, working in you what is
        well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be
        glory forever and ever. Amen (Hebrews 13: 20 & 21).
His peace makes us complete, NOT FORSAKEN.
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