December 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

A shout will come up from the stump of Jesse;

from his roots a BRANCH will bear fruit.

The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him –

the Spirit of wisdom and o understanding,

the Spirit of counsel and of power,

the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD –

and He will delight in the fear of the LORD.

Isaiah 11:1-3a

Dearly Beloved,

When a tree has been cut down in the orchard, we often grieve over what is missing. We grieve over the benefits the tree used to provide… shade from the hot sun and delicious fruit to enjoy in season, and if we can the fruit, far beyond the harvest. When we realize that all we have left is a stump, it can be disheartening. Will it ever grow and reproduce again? And if it does, how long will it take? What will we do in the meantime? What will we do as we wait?

What matters is not what has been lost, but what remains… and what will grow from what remains… and what will be impacted from the life and growth of what remains! During Isaiah’s ministry, he often prophesied of the LORD’s future judgment on the nation of Israel because of their idolatry and rebellion against the LORD. But even amidst the prophecy of judgment, he would predict future blessing and hope. Israel had grown from a small, vulnerable nation into a prosperous and powerful nation because of the LORD’s hand of blessing on them as they worshipped and served him in obedience. Isaiah’s judgement is perceiving Israel as a once fruitful and productive fruit tree in the orchard of God’s world. But they would be severely cut back to just a stump because of their disobedience. How discouraging to fall back so far from the heights of where you once were!! In Isaiah 11, the LORD gives his grieving nation hope for a brighter future. And that hope lies in what remains, not in what they have lost! Initially, the stump does not look like much. The stump does not appear to be able to produce anything of significance. But the LORD says that a shoot will come from the stump of Jesse, referring to the Davidic line of kings, from his roots a Branch will grow and bear fruit! The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him in wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge, and fear of the LORD! This is a prophecy of the coming of the future Messiah! The LORD is able to take what appears to be lifeless and insignificant and produce miraculous worldwide significance and fruit! The Spirit of the LORD rested on Jesus Christ in fulfillment of this prophecy!

As we continue through the COVID-19 pandemic (over 18 months now) and the various conflicts and divisions within our country, it’s easy, if we are not careful and wise, to focus on what we have lost and the heights of where we used to be as a local church. I believe God is calling us to focus on what we still have in Christ. God is able to take what remains and stir up greater life and growth and fruitfulness for the future for Emmett First Baptist. We need to keep the eyes of our faith on Jesus Christ and the hope that the LORD has given to us in and through Him! Like Christ, we need to delight in the fear of the Lord and ask the Holy Spirit Who is in us to activate His wisdom and counsel and power in our lives!

Merry Christmas! Shepherding you in Christ’s love,


Message from Pastor Lance & Jolene

Dear Church Family,

Jolene and I are grateful to the Lord for your thoughtful card and generous gift for Pastor's Appreciation!! We were able to use it on our trip to the Portland-Vancouver area to visit family and friends! We felt like your gifts to us is similar to the Philippians gifts to Paul:

"They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God" (Phil. 4:18)! We love you!

Lance and Jolene

Kenny Keene Shares His Testimony

Kenny was asked to share his testimony of how he came to Christ at the Abundant Life Fellowship on November 10.

Kenny shared how the Lord has worked in his life for the last 4-5 years to save him through Christ and help him to take his relationship with Christ to a greater devotion.

FBC Honors Our Veterans!

During Sunday service on November 14th, we paid tribute to our veterans. Elijah Weers played the National Anthem on his saxophone, the congregation pledged allegiance to the American flag as well as the Christian flag and the Bible, and each of the veterans in our congregation was given a metal inscribed with "Armor of God Ephesians 6:13-17". Watch it online via the Sunday, Nov. 14 YouTube posted on the FBC website, FBC Facebook page, and the FBC YouTube Channel.

FBC Thanksgiving Dinner!

On November 14th the FBC Thanksgiving Dinner was catered by Tom's Cabin Restaurant. Approximately 67 meals were served with about 8 of those being take out meals. It was great to fellowship, watch a couple of inspiring videos and enjoy a delicious meal!

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Ministry!

National Collection Week was Nov. 15–22, 2021. Our church contributed 38 shoeboxes to this ministry for 2020! This does not include any that may have been submitted online by anyone from our church. The Gem County Community contributed 569! We enjoyed soup and finger foods while getting our boxes ready to send off!

Thank you to all who put boxes together and brought food for the party! Thank you to Gerry Knight who contributed back 25% of items bought from her store display.

More OCC information and some great personal stories can be found on there website: https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/

Jesus, help me to love the way that you love; think the way that you think and believe the way that you believe!

What is Christmas?

Is it just a day at the end of the year?

A holiday filled merry good cheer?

A season for presents - both taking and giving?

A time to indulge in the pleasure of living?

Are we lost in a meaningless, much-muddled haze?

Have we closed our eyes to God and His love?

And turned our eyes from the Bright Star above"?

Oh, Father in Heaven, renew and restore,

The real, true meaning of Christmas once more,

So we can feel in our hearts again,

That "peace on Earth, Good Will to men"

Is still a promise that man can claim,

If he be seeks it, in Thy holy name.

~Helen Stiener Rice

Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering (RMMO)

The Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering (RMMO) originated in the mid-1930s, when American Baptist congregations received a Communion Fellowship Offering on the first Sunday of each month to support retired ministers, missionaries, their widowed spouses and elderly clergy within their churches. In 1977, American Baptist Churches USA launched RMMO to continue this appreciation of God’s service.

FBC will be taking offerings throughout December. To make a contribution, please designate RMMO or your check or donation envelope. Envelopes are also available in the church pews.

Big picture

Advent Conspiracy

Advent Conspiracy is a movement designed to help us all slow down and experience a Christmas worth remembering.


At Christmas we celebrate Christ’s birth. Our worship ought to be from our hearts, creative, and full of energy!


Consider buying one less gift this Christmas. Use the money you would have spent on that gift and give it to First Baptist Church. We will use it to support Pastor Ryan Keen and his family (pictured above). Funds will help with medical and unforeseen expenses (see attached for their story). Our last Sunday to collect for Advent Conspiracy is Dec. 26.


We know what you’re thinking. “Wait, didn’t they just say I should spend less, and yet here they are telling me to give more? What gives?” The most powerful, memorable gift you can give to someone else is yourself, and nobody modeled this more than Jesus. So, what does this look like for you? Maybe it’s tickets to a ball game or the theatre. The point is simple: When it comes to spending time with those you love, it’s all about quality, not quantity.


When we show our love to a family member, neighbor, or friend by spending a little less on gifts, we free up our resources to love as Jesus loved. This is the conspiracy three churches began a few years ago and has since grown to an international movement where thousands of churches have raised millions of dollars to love others in life-changing ways!

Designate in the memo portion of your check- Advent Conspiracy

Ryan Keen is an associate pastor of Children’s Ministry at Summit Church in Boise. Rachel is a nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital. Ryan has heart surgery Dec. 8 in Salt Lake City Utah. Their 17-month-old daughter Hazel was diagnosed with bone cancer in her left pelvis Nov. 26. Hazel will undergo 17 rounds of chemo (each round is 2 weeks with alternating therapies) and 6 weeks of radiation. Every other round of chemo she’ll be admitted inpatient for 2–3-days with the first treatment and 5-6 days outpatient treatment with the second treatment. She’ll have 1 week off each month (9+ regimen). Rachel recently returned to work as a nurse after maternity leave, giving birth to Eli this summer.

Patty Chapman - Waiting &Trusting On The Lord

Patty Chapman has been a member of FBC since 1987. She came to know the Lord when she was approximately 25 years old. She was living in Pendleton at the time, had friends who witnessed to her and subsequently accepted the Lord and was baptized. However, Patty explained that when she was a kid, while walking home from the swimming pool one day, Margaret Hope asked if her and her brothers if they wanted to go to Vacation Bible School (VBS). When they said yes, Margaret went to their house with them and asked their mom’s permission. Patty thinks their mom was “tickled pink to get rid of them” and allowed them to attend. They continued to go to church, and Sunday School until Patty became a teen and thought there was more fun to be had than going to church. But the “mustard” seed had been planted.

Patty has been married to her husband, Steve, for 49 years. They have a daughter, Traci and a son Jeff and a daughter in law, TaCole, with 3 grandsons. Patty took her kids to church, and they went to youth groups and church camps. She now brings her grandsons to church encouraging them to be involved.

Patty is a talented, friendly individual who has demonstrated effective leadership and organizational skills. She has been part of the Church Choir, served as Secretary for approximately one year, served on the Board of Trustees, The Board of Education, served on the restoration committee, and worked with the youth extensively. She has been active with the youth nearly from the time she became a member. She, along with Robin Humphries, encouraged youth and attended youth outings and events, attended church camps and was instrumental in multiple youth programs and performances… Christmas and Easter as well as a big hit with the Hallelujah Hop. And of course, with each of these events, there was always food involved.

The Hallelujah Hop was performed by the youth 3 consecutive years and brought such a large audience from the congregation and the community that they had to perform it the 2nd and 3rd year at larger venues of the High School and Jr. High. (I recall this program really touched me when a friend of my son’s, Tonya Taylor, as a teenager, gave a touching testimony.)

Another memorable youth event coordinated by Patty and Robin was Go Underground. This was intended to represent the missionaries and Christians who must “go underground” with the gospel to avoid persecution. The kids acted as the persecuted Christians and a few adult men were the secret police with their super soaker guns. The missionaries had to go from place to place and collect bracelets while hiding from the secret police. Another popular program was Youth Sunday where the youth did the entire service.

Through all of Patty’s experiences while working with the youth, she had come to realize that it will never go perfectly as planned…. You’re going to have something happen no matter what. She told of a Christmas program where 2 little boys who were going to be soldiers ended up getting Chickenpox. She “made” Pastor Lance and Jim Humphries fill in for them. Since the costumes would not fit Lance and Jim, they improvised and made costumes out of construction paper and duct tape. Lance and Jim were instructed not to move to much or their costumes would tear. They looked realistic and even resulted in compliments.

Another incident was when Amy Castle, cast as Mary in a Christmas program, kept asking Patty, “where are you getting baby Jesus?”; which was generally a doll Lydia would always let them use. During the performance, Amy came out walking kind of funny but didn’t have baby Jesus. Patty was concerned until Amy pulled baby Jesus out from under her skirt.

In addition to making costumes, many of the artistic or crafty creations around the church have been inspired or created by Patty and/or Robin. Driven by her desire for everyone to know the Lord & feel the way she feels. She has a heart for the youth and has always tried to reach out to kids. She wants the church to be a place where they feel loved, protected and wanted. Her mom used to say she “never grew up”. Patty believes you get more blessings from working with the youth than they do.

As with most of us, Patty has had struggles and challenges along the way and has seen the Lord working in those situations and witnessed the answer to prayer.

Patty’s husband Steve has fought a long battle with kidney disease. Needing a transplant, one person after another had offered to help and were tested but none matched. Until finally, Steve’s brother, who was an alcoholic and heavy smoker offered to help. Before being tested to see if he could be a valid donor his brother had to quit drinking and smoking for 6 months. He did so and stayed sober after! And, he couldn’t have been a more perfect match! The surgery was life saving for both of them.

After a visit to Missouri to see family Patty found out she had a sister. At the age of 16, her mom had given birth to a baby. Due to the stigma back then and already controversial family background with her grandmother having had 5 kids but never married, it was decided that the baby would be raised by an aunt and Uncle who did not have children. Her sister, Ruthie, was 3 years old at the time and always knew Erma was her birth mother. The family would go back to Missouri to visit, but Patty and her brothers always thought Ruthie was just one of their cousins. One day, when Patty was in 9th grade, they were visiting, and all the kids were down swimming at their grandma’s house. Ruthie said, “your mother is my mother”. Since they always joked around and told stories, Patty didn’t think much of it. One night at the dinner table, Patty’s brother told their mom what Ruthie had said and Erma burst into tears and ran from the table. Their dad told them never to bring it up again!

After Patty’s dad passed away, her mom went and stayed a few days with Ruthie. One day, Erma called Patty and was crying so hard all Patty could get out of it was “Ruthie”. Patty’s sister-in-law’s name was RuthAnn and Patty thought her mom was talking about her. When Patty asked how Bud, her brother, was doing, her mom responded “No, my Ruthie! What am I gonna do?” Patty tried to calm her, saying, “you just need to tell the truth”. The more they talked, the worse it got so Patty called Lance. He came and talked with Erma. He convinced her to meet at the church with close friends and tell what happened. On the way to church Erma said to Patty “You know they’re going to kick me out. And when they do, you better go with me!” When they met with the group, they were all so loving and supportive. Dorothy Pearce and Donna Church both had adopted their children and expressed how grateful they were for it.

As time went on, the real story on how Ruthie died came out. She had been murdered. She was 45 years old. Her husband had a girlfriend and they had shot Ruthie. Erma and Patty went to the funeral and Erma was a wreck. She didn’t know anybody at first until Patty spotted a cousin who was a stepsister to Ruthie. She informed them that the aunt and Uncle had saved Erma a seat. The seat was between them, and they held her hand during the entire service.

That is when her mom really felt forgiveness. It was one month to the day of Ruthie’s death, that Erma died.

Patty shared that it was good that her mom was able to face her demons. She told her mom, “The Lord was using this tragedy to work in your life”. Patty was reconnected with her cousins, and they still stay in touch.

Patty’s parents never went to church when she was young, other than maybe to watch her and her brothers in a Christmas program. However, after she graduated, her dad was transferred to La Grande, OR., then later moved back to Emmett and started going to church at FBC. Patty remembers while in choir, sitting by Francis Granger, she would pray her parents would come forward. One Sunday as the last song was sung, they did. Patty was so pleased, overwhelmed and crying she just sat down. Francis told her to get up and go stand by them! After that, her dad was always reading the Bible and doing these little quizzes that were in the newsletter at the time. He would often call her at work letting her know he had done his quiz and asking if she had done hers. A couple of months later, her dad had open heart surgery and passed away from complications. He was 56 years old. Patty’s younger brother, Bud, accepted Jesus at the hospital when her dad was dying.

Patty’s mom, Erma Forrest, passed 20 years ago on Patty and Steve’s wedding anniversary. Patty got a call that her mom was in the hospital, and she should come quick. Patty called Lance, and although he had a guest speaker at church that day, he left and came to the hospital. They were going to transport her mom to Boise. Steve was not feeling well due to needing a kidney transplant, so he went home. Things went downhill quickly after he left, and her mom passed. Patty described that although she felt sorrow, she did not feel afraid because she knew where her mom was going to be. Some people don’t see the blessing of loss. The Lord gave Patty comfort and knowing where her mom was and that she was free from the pains of this world. Merne, Mae, Pat and Vi, stepped in and were like 2nd moms to her.

Patty believes that you grow from every situation… the devil may whisper and try to bring you down but if you listen and trust in the Lord, you don’t have to worry. It is what he has planned. Sometimes you try to help Him but He doesn’t need your help.

With Patty’s long history with FBC, she has seen many changes. She shared that the most significant to her was when her mom and dad and grandsons were baptized. In addition, when Merne Howard passed away. Patty shared a story of Merne’s sister Anita, who could come across as a little stern and not always pleased with the youth, asked her son, Jeff, to pull weeds for her. Patty expressed to Jeff to do exactly as told, don’t be lazy, etc. Patty was a nervous wreck! What if he did it wrong? What if he made Anita mad? When she went to pick Jeff up, he and Anita were laughing, drinking lemonade, she had taken him to Roe Ann’s for lunch and she just loved Jeff!

Patty remembers being on the Pastoral selection committee. The day Lance was here to interview, Tacole’s grandmother passed away. They had asked for a pastor to pray and the one who was supposed to go couldn’t’ make it. Lance went and prayed with TaCole’s mother and brought her to the Lord.

Patty shared that on the night of the fire she had thought about going down to the church to sort out some new VBS material she had just gotten in but decided not to go.

Patty remembers the first Sunday after the fire, that we were back in our restored church, she was not used to the new oven and was cooking a taco ring and set the fire alarm off. They found out then that there was no vent fan. The fire dept. came and found Patty on the counter in the kitchen waving a towel at the fire alarm to try to get it to stop!

While the arson was difficult, Patty stated that COVID has been more devastating than anything.

When asked what message she would want to share in this article, she said:

“Realize you can never fall so low or far away that God can’t reach you.”

A special verse to Patty is Isaiah 40:31:

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, ...”

Thank you, Patty, for your time, your stories, your dedication and love for others, the church and the Lord!

Hearing with Your Heart

by Greg Laurie

"Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls." ~James 1:21

In our time of instant information and 10-second sound bites, it’s challenging to slow down and apply the words of Psalm 46:10 to our lives: “Be still, and know that I am God” (NKJV). So many of us tend to run around in our self-made circles of activity instead of wisely and calmly sitting at His feet.

We need to be ready to hear what God has to say. In Matthew 13, in the parable of the sower, Jesus described four reactions to the truth of God’s Word. First there is the hard heart, which the seed on the roadside represented. The hard heart doesn’t understand and receive the Word, and therefore doesn’t produce any fruit.

Next there is the shallow heart, which parallels the seed that fell on ground filled with rocks. This describes those who are very emotional but have no depth in their lives. Thus, they bear no fruit.

Thirdly, there is the crowded heart, represented by the seed that goes into the soil imbedded with weeds. This speaks of those who receive the Word initially, but they lack repentance and permit sin to choke out the Word of God

Lastly, there is the fruitful heart that receives the Word and allows it to bring forth fruit.

You determine what kind of soil your heart will be. You determine whether you will have a hard heart, a shallow heart, a crowded heart, or a fruitful heart. You determine how the Word of God will affect your life. It’s up to you.

James tells us, “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (1:21 NKJV).

The Word of God can’t work in our lives unless we receive it the right way. That’s because it’s possible to hear with our ears but not with our hearts.

Best Green Bean Casserole

Original recipe yields 6 servings


  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans green beans, drained
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (6 ounce) can French fried onions
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


Step 1 - Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Step 2 - Place green beans and soup in a large microwave-safe bowl. Mix well and heat in the microwave on HIGH until warm (3 to 5 minutes). Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese and heat mixture for another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer green bean mixture to a casserole dish and sprinkle with French fried onions and remaining cheese.

Step 3 - Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until the cheese melts and the onions just begin to brown.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:

322 calories; protein 6.6g; carbohydrates 20.2g; fat 23.2g; cholesterol 19.8mg; sodium 1068.3mg.

Full Nutrition


Write It Down

An 80-year-old couple was worried because they kept forgetting things all the time. The doctor assured them there was nothing seriously wrong except old age, and suggested they carry a notebook and write things down so they wouldn't forget.

Several days later, the old man got up to go to the kitchen. His wife said, "Dear, get me a bowl of ice cream while you're up." "Okay," he said. "...and put some chocolate syrup on it and a few cherries, too," she added. "You'd better write all this down." "I won't forget!" he said.

Twenty minutes later he came back into the room and handed his wife a plate of scrambled eggs and bacon. She glared at him. "Now, I told you to write it down! I knew you'd forget." "What did I forget?" he asked. She replied, "My toast!"

- Author Unknown, but enjoyed when told by Dave Hodges one Sunday -