Monthly Archives: January 2008

Okay, so I finally saw 300…

300

I finally completed my journey into manhood last night and watched the movie “300”. I enjoyed the graphic novel approach to the visual look of the film. It gave it a fresh perspective and allowed you to suspend disbelief the way you need to to get into a movie like this. Overall, it was a good movie, lots of blood, but heck look at the title graphic. And anytime you throw a LOTR guy in there, I have this strange loyalty that kicks in (for sake of full disclosure, I’m listening to the Return of the King soundtrack right now). Right at the beginning though, something jumped out at me. The way Leonidas, and apparently every Spartan warrior, is trained as a lethal killing machine. As a boy he is taught to fight and battle and not show fear or be intimidated no matter what. He becomes a warrior who earns his stripes by killing a massive wolf in the snow while in his underwear. He is portrayed as a warrior who feels no emotion, the perfect soldier, the perfect Spartan. Now, later in the movie we see he is passionate about his wife (I always dig movies that show married couples can be passionately in love, often it’s just people who aren’t married who really love each other and marriage is portrayed as where relationships go to die, not true!!), loves his son and loves his people (he becomes the Spartan king). Really the whole lead up to his initiation as a warrior doesn’t couple with the Leonidas we see later; he becomes a warrior surely, but he loves and cares for those around him too, a little out of character from what we’re told Spartans are trained to become.

Anyway, while watching this whole scene of a young Leonidas and the wolf, coupled with the narration explaining his lack of fear and emotion, only focused on killing led me to think of David of the bible. Here’s a guy who took down lions and bears. He then went on to single handedly battle a giant who had been striking fear into the entire army of Israel. Then of course went on to become one of the greatest kings in history….The point is, he loved the Lord. He sang songs, played instruments, danced! He wrote poetry and cared for people. And within the heart of this artist and compassionate guy was someone who could bare-handedly kill lions, bears and giants. That’s hardcore. He wasn’t raised in a culture of pain and hardship. He’s a man’s man who loved the Lord with all his heart, yet when the battle came he faced it. There’s a hero to look to…

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Latest Ephesus Update

Hello all!
Let me again start by saying thank you for all of your prayers and support as we grow closer to the launch of Ephesus Church in Uptown Charlotte. This past weekend Adam and the team did an incredible job of leading Grace Covenant in worship with an Ephesus flair. I appreciate Adam’s heart as he truly leads worship, it’s going to be good stuff every week at Ephesus. Also, there was again a great response in support of Ephesus and the vision to reach into Charlotte. Many of you are getting this email for the first time as a part of that. Currently, I am in Christiansburg, VA for a few days away working on my sermon planning. I’m excited about what God is directing as I prepare for the first few months of Ephesus. It has been a great time away for me to breath a little bit and get focused on what’s ahead.

Just for everyone’s information, we are in the final stages of approval from our denomination for a new church. Today and tomorrow are the last meetings for our approval and everything is on track. Also, our lease must also be approved through the denomination and that is happening today. Just in time for our first meeting in the building this Sunday!

Schedule of events going forward:
Planning and prep:
Feb. 3rd 3-5pm –First walkthrough in the building for team. We will spend time working through the space as well as hard core prayer over everything in the building. The goal is to be done by 5pm so everyone can enjoy the Super Bowl. We will not have childcare available for this meeting

Feb 10th 5-7pm-Begin set up and teardown run-through’s in the building. I would ask everyone involved be at this meeting so we can organize and plan for how we will efficiently accomplish our set up and tear down each week. Right now we will not have childcare available for this meeting, but it may be able to be arranged.

Feb 17th 5-7pm-Continue set up and teardown rehearsals. We will also strategize the stART Gathering. Right now we will not have childcare available for this meeting, but it may be able to be arranged.

Feb 24th 7-10pm- stART Art and Music Gathering. This is our welcoming event to the community. I would ask everyone able to attend. Please make the effort to be a part of this. There is something to be said to having a “critical mass” of people at events like these that make others feel like “something is happenin.” We would also just like to be welcoming to all that are seeing what Ephesus is all about. Remember our vision is to be open to people of all backgrounds and styles. Children are welcome at stART but there will not be childcare.

March 2nd 6pm- First Ephesus service. This will be considered a “mock service” as we work through any kinks that may arise, but it will be a public service as well. We want to have our teams in place and ready to go. Our children’s ministry will also be functioning at this service. Please invite anyone you may know to this service as we seek to become a vibrant part of the Charlotte community. We will be producing quality flyers to use as invitations to promote our launch as well. I don’t anticipate us doing a mass mailing so word of mouth, grassroots advertising is our plan and that is going to take all of you helping with that!

March 23rd 6pm- Official launch of Ephesus.

Several other happenings that do not yet have a specific date

stART Street Teams: Leading up to stART we will be sending out street teams to the strategic neighborhoods and businesses around Uptown. We need outgoing folks to help with this. Please let me or Adam (adamwilsonsv@gmail.com) know if you want to help with this. We will be going out several times before stART happens.

Prayer at Grace Covenant: Pastor Farrell and the leadership at Grace would like to pray over the entire group of people going out to launch Ephesus. This includes folks specifically working in different areas and also those that are just going be a part of the church, so we’ll have a huge group on stage! It will happen on a Sunday morning in either late February or early March. I will send out more specific details soon.

God is moving and bringing together many different kinds of people from all over Charlotte. He is also releasing the resources we need to see this happen well. I would ask that you continue to pray for Ephesus, there is still much left to do, and my heart continues to be drawn to ask God for those strategic relationships around the urban center of Charlotte. I would ask you to do the same. As always, if you have any questions please let me know at ben@ephesuschurch.tv and remember our website is ephesuschurch.tv <http://ephesuschurch.tv/>  and on Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/&gt; at Ephesus Church Charlotte <http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15650700002&gt; .

See you this Sunday at 219 S Brevard Street, Charlotte, NC 28202!!!

Ben Eige
Lead Pastor
Ephesus Church, Uptown Charlotte

Getting the Word out and Lead Team

Just returned from two days of planning and prayer for Ephesus with most of the Lead Team. It was a real good time of hanging out and talking through everything. You could really see everyone get on the same page moving forward and see how all the different components will come together to make one church impacting Charlotte. Cool stuff

Tomorrow Adam Wilson  and the Ephesus Worship Team are leading at Grace, and I’ll be sharing our new promo video and a little about what Ephesus is about and where we can still plug people in either physically or as a resource (ie money…). If you’re around hope you can make it. Keep an eye out for the new video right here!

Rational Thought

Today I was reading John chapter 6. Currently, I’m digging through the book of John one chapter at a time just discovering the nuances of John’s descriptions of the life of Jesus. John really digs into the divinity of Jesus, and in this reveals challenging stories and words from Jesus. It’s quite interesting to see many walk AWAY from Jesus, even those that are called “disciples” by John. There is no shortage of miracles, and explanations of those miracles being used not as ends to themselves, but as indicators of Jesus’ divinity, which is really important to the end of the story….Even in the midst of watching these miracles performed Jesus’ words turned people away. Beginning in v. 51 Jesus begins to talk about how we must eat of his flesh and drink of his blood. For folks like me who grew up within the Christian tradition, I think we can have a tendency to gloss over these passages, but if we take them at face value, they’re crazy! Eat flesh & drink blood! That’s crazy at best, something much more sinister at worst. At least if taken out of context, and devoid of the rest of the story. The story that ends at the cross and resurrection. In v. 66, John says many of his disciples walked away. Not just the rabble looking for a free handout of bread and fish, his disciples. Granted, these weren’t the 12, but the fact that they’re called disciples means these were, up to that point, true followers that walked away. Where I think the breakdown happened was their attempt to wholly line up rational thinking with what Jesus was saying. Understandably, rational thought helps us survive everyday. When I make the rational decision to wait at a red light so I don’t get mowed down by a dump truck no one argues. But when following a person like Jesus, rationality breaks down. Immediately before this event in John 6, Jesus walked out on the Sea of Galilee and hopped in the boat with these same disciples, and then, they immediately arrived on the other side at their destination. Rational? Right before that, Jesus fed 5000 people with a couple of pieces of bread and some fish that had been hauled up the mountain in some boys satchel, that I have a feeling did not include one of those nice ice packs to keep everything fresh….Rational thought is out the window at that point, what the disciple did have was the reality that was truly staring them right in the face. A man telling them that unless they ate his flesh and drank his blood they would always hunger. Many walked away, but Peter in all of his great humanly wisdom says this, ” Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Those are the most rational words I know…