November 2021

Discover Christ's Transforming Love

126 S. Hayes Ave. Emmett, Idaho 83617


Lance Zagaris, Pastor

Pam Hodges, Worship Director

A Word From the Pastor

Psalm 103:8-14 - 8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

Matthew 9:36-38 - 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Dearly Beloved,

I meet monthly during the school year with fellow ABC pastors. We are reading a book by Scot McKnight and Laura Barringer titled, A Church Called TOV: Forming A Goodness Culture. The first part of the book discusses warning signs of a toxic culture and the last part shares how to create a culture of goodness in churches. I am half way through the book. I will share some excerpts with you. The book is written to speak to the charges of abuse (sexual, verbal, financial) in a number of churches and the unjust or toxic responses to criticism many churches or leaders have displayed. A chart on p. 97 shows 7 habits of goodness to nurture and 7 habits of toxicity to resist (see below).

The authors say, “The culture in which we live teaches us how to behave. We learn what is right and wrong, good and bad, by living in a culture that defines these things. We learn our moral intuitions, beliefs, and convictions… in community, in relationship with others. Culture socializes us into what is considered proper behavior. For Christians, this is true in our churches as well as in society at large” (p13). “We are all shaped by our interactions with others, and that shaping becomes the culture in which we are all related, networked, embedded, enmeshed, and systematically connected” (p.14). Each home has a culture, as well as each church and each business and organization.

The authors explain how church culture is formed and maintained. “Pastors and other leaders exercise a primary voice in forming and telling the church’s narrative, acting out the Christian life for others to see, teaching the Christian faith and how it is lived, and articulating policies. They exercise formal authority and power to create and maintain the church’s culture. Ideally, they do this in a good way. The congregation, both individually and corporately, embraces the culture but also begins to reshape the narrative, act out the Christian life for others to see, reteach the Christian faith and rearticulate the policies. Thus, the congregation exercises its own authority and power to shape and maintain the culture” (P 15). This happens over time. “Not only does every church culture have a life of its own but that life is powerful, self-perpetuating, and always changing” (p.15).

Compassion will characterize a church’s culture when the congregation and leaders consistently interact in compassionate ways until a critical mass of compassion tips the balance in the direction of becoming a compassionate culture. When a church’s culture is rooted in compassion, it creates an environment of safety, security, and openness” (p.16).

“Toxicity will take root in a church’s culture when the congregation and leaders interact in toxic and dysfunctional ways, until the balance tips in the direction of toxicity. When a church’s culture becomes toxic, the challenge to resist becomes harder and harder. To resist a toxic culture – especially one that is famous for its ministries, its leaders, its impact – requires courage, hope and perseverance. Never underestimate the power of culture (p. 16-17).

The bad news and the good news about culture can be summed up in the same statement: A rooted culture is almost irresistible. If the reinforcing culture is toxic, it becomes systematically corrupted and corrupts the people within it. Like racism, sexism, political ideologies, and success-at-all costs businesses, a corrupted culture drags everyone down with it. On the other hand, if the reinforcing culture is redemptive, and healing and good (tov), it becomes systematically good – a tov church will instinctively heal, redeem, and restore” (p. 17).

No church has a perfectly “good” culture, but as believers we want to honor the Risen Lord by striving to nurture these good habits from the chart mentioned above (see below) in our lives and relationships!

Shepherding you with Christ’s love,


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Prayer must not come from the roof of the mouth, but from the root of the heart.

Thanksgiving Dinner - Nov. 14th!

Catered by Tom's Cabin Restaurant

Sunday, November 14, 2020 at 6:00 pm

FBC Fellowship Hall


Turkey & Ham

Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Sweet potatoes


Vegetable & Roll

Pumpkin Pie or Best Ever Cake


12 & OVER - $14

Under 12 - $7

(Includes Gratuity)

Please sign up** and pay by Nov. 10th

**Due to seating and Caterer planning, sign-up and advance menu item selection is required. Please see sign-up sheet in back of church or contact the office.


Dear Lord, I'm thankful for the home I knew in early youth,

Where I first heard from Mother's lips the story of Your truth.

I'm thankful for the fellowship with friends who ever hold

Within their hearts you gift of love, as world events unfold.

I'm thankful for Your peace that stills my heart, and light that guides

My course, as chaos rushed by on swiftly changing tides.

But thankful most - for faith that looks beyond a mortal sky

To truth - to Your unchanging truth that cannot ever die!

~Sarah Mizell Morgan

Ping Pong & Pizza!

Thanks to Dave and Pam Hodges for sponsoring Ping Pong and Pizza in November!

It was a great opportunity to fellowship and have some friendly competition while enjoying pizza and salad and dessert.

Some played, some ate, and some enjoyed both pizza and pong!

This is not the first time they have done this and they hope this can be a regular occurrence. Maybe potluck and ping pong ... or the idea of a pinnacle, ping pong, potluck/pizza party!!!

You Don’t Have To Be Amazing


“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)

You’re probably familiar with the lyrics of the well-known hymn “Amazing Grace.” It’s so hopeful to think of God’s grace saving “a wretch like me.” But for years I lived as though the lyrics were actually “God, help me be so amazing that I won’t need grace!”

It was as if I secretly hoped that, if I were “amazing” enough, I could avoid being the broken, messed-up wretch I knew I really was. It wasn’t until I heard a collegiate minister’s teaching on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount that I finally realized I could never be good enough. I could never jump high enough or perform well enough not to need God’s grace.

Turns out, discovering that being amazing won’t save you is actually really good news.

Up until that discovery in my life, I spent a lot of time and energy trying to do the best and be the best. I struggled under the weight of expectation — both internal and external — always striving to perform well. Be amazing! Get those A’s on your report card! Be ahead of the curve! I’m guessing you’ve maybe felt the same pressure.

Whether it’s how we present ourselves on social media platforms, what we want our church community to think about us, or what we do in our everyday interactions with friends and family, a pressure to do more creeps in. Before we know it, we’ve put our hope in being amazing ourselves rather than being amazed by God’s grace that saves us from our wretchedness. As the hymn tells us, His amazing grace accomplishes the impossible: It redeems us from sin, restores us to newness of life and makes us fit for God’s holy presence forever.

How amazing is that?

But even though I know how amazing His grace is, even now I still fight the temptation to be my own savior! When the pressure to perform is overwhelming, we have two options: We can either strive to make things happen on our own, or we can look to God’s strength in our weakness.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul tells us that we can actually boast in our weakness because of the grace of God: “But [God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

God writes stories in such a way that His purposes and His ways can be on display. That’s why our weakness — and our inability to be our own amazing savior — can be God’s opportunity to show Himself strong.

Think about Abraham and Sarah, Moses and Pharaoh, the parting of the Red Sea, the virgin birth, or the death and resurrection of the Savior. It’s always been about God’s story of divine power, extravagant love and merciful rescue — never about the abilities of an individual person.

Friend, the truth is, the pressure to perform and the weaknesses we feel are meant to draw us to His unchanging character, His unchanging power and His unchanging strength! We don’t need to be our own hero; Jesus is more than enough. Let the good news that we can’t bring freedom sink in as we trust the One who can, instead of continuing to strive in our own power.

It is in the very moment we cry “I can’t!” that God meets us. We’re in the exact place we need to be to experience that He is able. It is there that we find an end to our strivings.

Lay down your strivings, friend. His grace is sufficient and more than enough for your every need.

Lord, thank You for Paul’s reminder that nothing — no weakness and no pressure — is too hard for You. Still my striving and help me replace it with wonder at Your power. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

In what areas of your life are you battling the pressure to perform? What’s one way you can “boast in your weakness” today?

© 2021 by Ruth Chou Simons. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Nelson Books and Thomas Nelson Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106

Lance Zagaris

Lance has been in ministry and as a Pastor for approximately 35 years. He has been our Pastor at the Emmett First Baptist Church for 21 years!

Lance grew up going to Catholic church and went to St. Joseph’s grade school in Redding, California. Lance’s sister would say he was a goody-two-shoes”. Lance was the middle child of 6 children. He played golf in High School and 2 years in college on the golf team. He worked for his dad in the Title Company and did other odd jobs throughout his life ranging from roofing, mill worker and an aid with the visually handicapped kids. While he knew about the Lord and about Christ, and believed in Christ and the resurrection, he thought good works was what would get you to heaven and you wouldn’t know if you were going to be with the Lord until judgement day.

At the age of 19, he met and dated a girl from Redding who went to a Baptist church. When he went there with her, he noticed people brought out their Bibles and he learned what he knows today, that it is by God’s grace through faith alone, not by any works of his own that he is saved. After going to church and hearing the invitations, he gave his life to Christ at the age of 19. And even though he had been baptized in the Catholic church via sprinkling, he professed his faith through water baptism at the North Valley Baptist Church in Redding at the age of 20.

Lance attended college at University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) for 1 year until his dad was fired from his job as a Manager of a Title Company. At that time his girlfriend also ended their relationship. They packed their bags and moved back home to Redding. Redding only had a Jr. College, so Lance was unsure what he was going to do. He had no plans, was living at home because they had just moved back to Redding. Bible school, or ministry was not on his radar. The church he was attending, North Valley Baptist, started a college group led by pastor Roger Martin. Roger suggested Lance attend a Bible School. As he read the Bible, it started coming alive for him, so he decided to go to give Bible School a try. He loved it! He started learning a lot and having opportunities to serve through the college group and the Bible Institute. He attended the Bible Institute for 3 years. The college group consisted of approximately 50-70 people. Roger asked Lance and 2 others if they would be willing to serve as interns and Lance accepted. Through the internship, Lance taught Sunday School, led small groups, would do some teaching or team teaching, and do visitation. He was also part of a Gospel Team of 10-12 people, and they would sing, give testimony, serve as camp counselors and do some preaching. After about a year to a year and a half, Lance felt the Lord was leading him to ministry. Roger, along with friends Steve Canavan and Steve and Dan Johnson, who were very involved in the college ministry, were very influential and encouraged Lance to go into ministry.

After Bible School was over, which was unaccredited, Roger moved to pastor a church in Sacramento. With Roger’s encouragement, Lance finished his business degree and went to Seminary at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. This is where he met the love of his life, Jolene. Lance was near the beginning of his 2nd year in Seminary. Jolene had taught for 2 years in Wallowa, Oregon when her job ended due to budget cuts. Her Pastor encouraged her to go to Seminary to help grow in her walk with the Lord. And she might just meet someone while there. They met and the following summer, July of 83, they were married! Now, thirty-Eight years, 2 children and 4 grandsons later, Jolene has been one of 3 most influential people in Lance’s walk with the Lord. Lance explained that Jolene is great to talk with and get feedback and he is inspired by her ministry, praying and faithful walk with the Lord. She also is great with hospitality which they enjoy together. In addition to Jolene, Roger Martin and Steve Canavan were encouraging and influential in Lance’s walk with the Lord. Steve told Lance that he felt he not only had a heart for God, but for people.

A life experience that Lance remembers drawing him closer to the Lord was when his girlfriend broke off their relationship and began dating someone else. This helped Lance to realize that he was putting that relationship before the Lord. He felt the Lord was speaking to him and saying, “you need to put Me first!” Lance was humbled and decided to go forward in public dedication. God used the breakup and Lance’s choice to dedicate his life to the Lord, to redirect his life.

As Pastor for 21 years with FBC, Lance described many memories, as well as changes and accomplishments the church has had over the years. Things such as seeing people saved and baptized and the changed lives of some of the congregation… Jerry, Doneta, Kenny, and Gideon, just to name a few.

Lance talked about his mission trip to Rwanda around 2010. After he and Jolene sponsored 2 students through Africa New Life Ministries, Jim Steiner invited area Pastors to go on the mission and Lance took advantage of the opportunity. The mission was primarily to focus on the women in Rwanda. They served food to the street kids, led worship and devotions. Lance had the opportunity to lead a devotion with a translator’s help. They were able to go to the homes of the children they sponsored and deliver food and supplies and meet them. One Saturday he had the opportunity to preach to approximately 400-500 children. The teams provided support and training in planting and tending to crops and contributed to the purchase of equipment. There was even a surgeon who taught surgical procedures. Lance appreciated the interaction with the teams as well. Wildlife and no fencing, as well as depending on the weather for water, were some challenges that had be overcome to raise crops in Rwanda. Lance contributed what was left over from the money raised for the trip (approx. $500) to help with a project for getting water to the crops. Lance explained that it was powerful and humbling to see the number of children who were homeless/street kids and how they scavenge a dump. But it was also amazing to see how joyful they were, regardless of their situation.

As far as accomplishments and changes at FBC over the years, there have been many:

Lance remembers Erma Forrest’s need for the church leaders and family to show love, acceptance and compassion when she found out her daughter, whom as a child was adopted by an aunt and Uncle, was murdered. This was a great time of need for her but since she had never told anyone about this daughter, having it all come out through the murder was very difficult. She feared what people would think, if she would still be able to serve on the diaconate, or even continue attending FBC. Lance was able to pull together some of the leaders and key people for a prayer group with Erma prior to her going back to east to the funeral.

Lance explained that it has been great to see what we have been able to do with the worship ministry, going to a more contemporary style of worship and having the projector, screen, speakers, etc. Pam & Dave Hodges, Travis Morgan and Kris Waller have been instrumental in leading us in worshiping the Lord.

The neat things that were done with the youth over the years, with some great youth leaders. The Halleluiah Hop and other fun activities like Going Underground, church camps, the National Youth Conference at Estes Park – good music & speakers and where Lydia, met Thiago; the Seattle trip - Mariners Game, Wild Waves and the Jesus of Nazareth Passion Play and where one student, Eric Radford, gave his life to the Lord.

The arson & rebuild – it was challenging dealing with loss and grief. The community support of both churches was amazing, notes and checks sent from former members who were also affected by it. Being able to go into the church when it was down to studs, writing the prayers and scriptures on the walls to bring hope and healing.

Working with each of the secretaries over the years, the different small groups, serving with the ministerial group, GCMA, and celebrating the 125th anniversary!

Lance concluded: “And there may be things going on that I am not aware of”.

When asked about the next 5 years, Lance responded that he hopes we can grow personally in our own faith, grow numerically and in people’s lives. To see people fall in love with Jesus and maintain that love for Christ. “If people do that, who know what can happen.”

One of many verses that have been influential to Lance is 1 Timothy 1:12-17:

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Lance explained that these verses have always meant a lot to him explaining “God’s grace and mercy has allowed me to be in a place where I can serve Him. I pray God’s mercy and patience can be seen in my life as an example for those who believe.”

Thank you, Lance, for your ministry to FBC. It is apparent that you do have a heart for the sheep you shepherd and a genuine love of the Lord you serve.

Working for God does not pay much, but His retirement plan is out of this world.

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Ministry!

National Collection Week is Nov. 15–22, 2021

Operation Christmas Child gift-filled shoeboxes go to some of the most difficult to reach places on earth. That includes areas that are hostile to the Gospel, places where whole people groups are yet unreached, and hundreds of remote Pacific islands. Shoeboxes are used by local churches to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in all kinds of environments, from densely populated inner cities to deserts and jungles—even in places where the Name of Jesus has never been heard.

FBC will be participating again in support of Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child (OCC)!

Supplies (boxes, labels, wrapping paper) are available at the church. We will have a packing party here at the church on November 21st. But don’t wait! Start planning, Start Packing!

You could even have your own packing party!

You can also Build a shoebox online! More information on building an online shoebox can be found at https://build-a-shoebox.samaritanspurse.org/view/93450ba9-50dd-4f95-94ab-97807c47489c. Please let Lance or Kathy know if you do the online box so we can track how many boxes are sent from our church.

In an effort to make things easier for all, we have order forms at the church for items you may want to include in your shoeboxes from The Shoe that Grows and Bear’s Knight Out Toy Store. Order now to ensure availability. Bear’s Knight Out items will be on display at the church.

Once you have your box packed and labeled, drop it off at the church – be sure to label it and include your information and $9 donation (labels/envelopes available at the church).

Happy Packing!

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Apple Crisp

This is apple pie's less-fussy but just-as-tasty little sister.

Recipe by Oxmoor House October 2013Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

  • Topping:
  • 1 ½ ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup)

    ⅓ cup granulated sugar

  • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • Filling:
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 cups peeled Fuji apple slices (about 3 1/4 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Cooking spray


Step 1 - Preheat oven to 375°.

Step 2 - To prepare topping, weigh or lightly spoon 5 ounces flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk; stir in oats. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until crumbly. Cover and chill 20 minutes.

Step 3 - To prepare filling, combine 1/4 cup sugar and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add apple, and drizzle with lemon juice; toss well. Spoon apple mixture into an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle topping over filling.

Step 4 - Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is crisp. Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving.


Cooking Light Lighten Up, America!

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

261 calories; fat 9.2g; saturated fat 5.6g; mono fat 2.4g; poly fat 0.5g; protein 1.6g; carbohydrates 45.8g; fiber 2.1g; cholesterol 23mg; iron 0.7mg; sodium 124mg; calcium 19mg.


How to Get to Heaven?

A teacher asked the children in her Sunday School class, "If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would I get into heaven?"

"NO!" the children all answered.

"If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would I get into heaven?"

Again, the answer was "NO!"

"Well," she continued, "then how can I get to heaven?"

In the back of the room, a five-year-old boy shouted out, "You gotta be dead!"