Want to see the world through missions?

25 01 2013

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This is Pastor Samson and his family who lead the churches that HOF helped start several years ago. They are 3 congregations with over 800 people attending. We are helping them build a building and I want to invite you along for the trip of a lifetime: to Africa.

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This is a picture looking out over the lake where we will be staying. Here are the details.

When: May 1-9, 2013

Where: Masvingo, Zimbabwe

Costs: around $3500.00 US + or – a few $$$

Food and accommodations: It will be very nice, not like home but very nice. Here is a link to the
place we’ll stay: http://www.normajeanslakeview.com

Is it safe? Absolutely, I’ve brought my own kids.

Who to contact: Polly Harris at HOF church office. Ph: 644-3111 or pharris@hofchurch.com

What to do 1st: Get started on a passport ASAP, we will not book a ticket without one. Start getting
your finances together, praying, believing God, getting free if work is an issue.

Deposit: Your deposit will cover your ticket, $1750.00 US. Let you know the date.

What will we do: We will encourage the local church, attend and speak at the services, leadership
training, children’s ministry, out reaches, etc.. Whatever the gifts of the crew
going allow us to do.

Fun Day: We will do a game park and a game drive on 1 day, cost will be included already.





I Want To Do Something For God

1 03 2012

Just the other night I heard a familiar request,”I want to volunteer my time at the church.” He told me that God had really been moving in a powerful way in his life and he wanted to do something. he was willing to do anything, I mean he was sincere.

The only problem is that it rarely works out long term because it’s a flawed approach to the real work that The Holy Spirit is doing. Let me see if I can explain.

God didn’t design you to just do something, but something specific, something with your gift mix, something He has had planned since the beginning of time.

Just doing something leads to frustration and not seeing the value or meaning in what you do. So often we just stop doing. It doesn’t pass the “Am I making a difference test.”

If you were hired at any of the businesses in our area, your 1st days would be spent in training, in some cases weeks.

We are discovering our gifts and calling for a lifetime of ministry, not looking for a job to do for Jesus. Our goal is to find a good fit for our God-given design. Our gifting is a clue to our purpose.

Go to Spiritual formation this Sunday and let us help equip you for the rest of your life. It happens at 9 am, in the Point at the Activity Center. In 4 weeks you’ll be better equipped to make a difference.

 





WORDS THAT WORK

22 02 2012

Is your life stuck, frozen in time? Do you feel as though nothing is making progress? Like you are in a spiritual winter, or maybe it’s career, relational, or creative?

When I think of winter, it’s as much a part of God’s plan as any other season: spring or summer. It’s as much a part of your life as any other. We just need to remember that it’s a part not the whole thing. Winters come but thankfully they go too.

Check out this part of the Psalms.

He launches his promises earthward-how swift and sure they come! He spreads snow like a white fleece, he scatters frost like ashes, He broadcasts hail like birdseed-who can survive his winter? Then he gives the command and it all melts; he breathes on winter-suddenly it’s spring! He speaks the same way to Jacob, speaks words that work to Israel. (Psalm 147:15-19 MSG)

It’s at His word that everything changes in our lives. His words are ultimately the words that will work for you. Whether you hear them through a song, sermon, or a scripture they will work. Jesus’ disciples knew this because when they saw everyone leaving Jesus after a particularly hard to swallow sermon He asked them if they were leaving too? Their wise reply, “Only you have the words of life.”.

His words contain His life, in fact Jesus is described as the Word incarnate or Gods very words that have come to life. He is the living reality of everything that God wanted to say to you and I. A living sermon of grace and love. He is the live version of the Bible.

What you need today if life seems frozen is to hear a word from Him. So put yourself in the best place to hear.

1. Read your Bible, yes He will speak to you in a way you can understand.

2. Be in church as much as you can because there are those He has chosen and gifted to speak His words.

3. Replace your normal daily distractions of TV, music, background noise with something worshipful. Put on some worship music, buy it through iTunes, check out Pandora you have a lot of options.

Just one word from Him will melt it all and get life moving again. You just need to hear His voice. Get in a position that you might hear. He is speaking but often we aren’t listening. His words are the words of life.

What He speaks will work for you like it has for many. Believe Him and obey and see a new life spring to life.

We use a reading method called S.O.A.P.

S- Scripture: read a portion of the Bible each day. Be systematic or you’ll read in circles. Have a plan. We publish 1 at www.hofchurch.com

O-observation: observe and write down what you see about God, you, man, anything. Observe truths and principles that it contains.

A-Application: Ask how you can apply this truth to your life today. This is key, like bath soap, no matter how good it’s useless if not applied.

P-Prayer: now you are ready to ask God. Ask Him to help you apply to your life what you just read. He loves answering this prayer. Enjoy the spring because it’s coming.





So, the fast is over. Now what?

1 02 2012

So now that the fast is over, now what? Do we just go back to life like it used to be? I hope not. You see the purpose of a fast is for us to disconnect from the world IN ORDER to reconnect with the Lord. I hope and pray that this time of fasting has been a rich spiritual time of building your faith as it has mine. I love the increased clarity of purpose and vision, along with the grace to say “no” to the flesh. The truth is that it really doesn’t have to stop. Let’s look at a few things from our fast:

1. If we were more awakened spiritually then what does that say about our “normal” life?

-Maybe some of these changes should be permanent. You can live on a higher spiritual plane and you could make some life altering changes for your future.

-Ask, what could I change that would radically change my walk with the Lord?

2. What did you realize that you had a grace to fast and where did you struggle?

– Those areas you found the grace to disconnect from was God’s way of telling you that He’s willing to help you and you are on the right track.

-Those areas may be the ones that God is dealing with you about making some permanent changes.

– The areas where you struggled often mean that there was no grace and so the idea to fast that thing came from some other source than God. Maybe it was your own idea or those of friends.

– Use this to fine tune your listening and discerning the voice of the Lord in your life. Its good to know the voice you hear is His, yours, or the another’s. You can and must know His voice.

3. Walk in the light of what you have seen and heard from your time of fasting and prayer.

– your feelings may not be the same but what God has spoken to you is just as real now as it was then.

– Now you have gained valuable experience in knowing how to get alone and apart to hear God. This is priceless in your walk on the journey God has called you to travel.

4. Be open to new opportunities.

-God’s will doesn’t fall out of the sky into your life.

-God opens doors and you have to walk through them by faith.

– A keen spiritual life is absolutely essential. You can miss an opportunity if you allow yourself to fall back into a dull spiritual state. Watch for the open doors.





Fasting Questions

20 01 2012


1.  Is it too late to start? No, it’s never too late to start. 


2. Why should we be lead to fast and not just go on our own without GOD’s ok, HIS anointing, HIS covering, or even HIS blessing? You want God’s leading because He knows much better what you need than you do, and you will need His grace which comes when you do His will. 


3. Why is fasting important 
as a church? It humbles us and demonstrates our dependence on the Lord. The church is the hope of the world and a lifeless, listless church will not 



4. I’m separated.  Should I fast for God to change my wife’s heart?No, not really.  What you want is for God to change you. God already wants your marriage to work, often we can’t see what He’s doing because we are so connected by the world. Ultimately, your spouse has a free will like you and the Jesus she sees in you will enable God to work in her life. 



5. How does fasting fit in with other spiritual practices?It should compliment and enhance every other spiritual discipline because you are saying ‘no’ to the flesh in order to say ‘yes’ to the Lord. Prayer should be sweeter and devotions more meaningful and the Bible more alive.  



6. How does God generally speak to you while you are fasting?In as many varied ways as He normally will: His Word, revelation, dreams, visions, others, prayer, etc. Be open to God and to hear.  You may find Him in ways heretofore missed. 



7. Should fasting be limited to January?No, it’s generally a good practice to schedule fast times periodically during your year. A good 1 day or 3 day fast can really reorder our lives. Most don’t have the discipline to go it alone though. 



8. How do I fast and look as good as Kent? Work as hard as Kent. 



9. When fasting, are you suppose to keep it a secret or can you openly speak about it to people? Always talk about spiritual things with those who can relate. Worldly people won’t grasp spiritual concepts like fasting because their tHeir hearts haven’t been renewed. 

10. Is it ok to do a 7 day fast?


11. Can you fast different things each day?Anything is fair game, though I’ve never heard of this being done by anyone. Usually it’s good to focus on denying yourself that thing in life that you run to for comfort instead of Jesus. It’s definitely a fringe idea. 



12. Should you be praying for one specific thing during a fast?  Or can it be for several things? Both, the 1 thing being your relationship to Jesus being alive and effective and for those areas of needs you are believing Him for. 



13. Is the basic idea of fasting giving something up that would show God how bad you want his answer to prayers?  So to what end do you keep the fast? It begins with reading His word and realizing the He wants to bless you more than you want to be blessed.  Fasting doesn’t change Him, it changes us. God is not withholding anything, our current faith is not appropriating His promises into our lives. We change, we see differently, He never changes. 



14. What do you do if you fail in the middle of a fast?You do what you would do if you fall in any other area. You get back up. Grace provides another chance. 



15. Fasting at work with a free cafeteria. After missing several days, I was asked by several lost people why I wasn’t eating. How should I respond? Since they asked then I would tell them what you are doing. I’d do it in a way that used language they could understand. Obviously they are watching you, they see something, that’s good. This is the open door you’ve been waiting for God to open so you can share your story of faith. 



16. How difficult should a fast be for someone? How difficult is fasting for you in general?  If its tough, then it’s just tough. Fasting is one of those things that you get better at for a variety of reasons. You learn what works, a rhythm of living that works while you fast. You learn how to replace what you are fasting with something that will feed your spirit man so you get strengthened in spirit while the body suffers. Remember, God is looking at your heart not your performance. Make a start, you’ll get better. 



17.  What’s the best fast? Juice, water, or smoothies? Obviously that depends on you and your lifestyle.  If you have to keep doing really physical work then you’ll need to adjust your fast to that. I find a combo of all those work: juice in the morning, water thru the day, and smoothies in the evening. Mix it up, don’t get legalistic, you can’t fail a fast. You can either fast in faith or not. Success is not determined by whether you keep to the fast but is your faith being awakened. 

E.








Prepare to be tempted

16 01 2012

 

 During your time of fasting and prayer, I can assure you that you will be tempted.  The enemy will always try to distract you from a godly activity. Jesus was tempted 3 times in 3 areas of life and so you should be prepared as well. 

3 Areas of Temptation

1.  Tell the stones to turn into bread 

The 1st area of temptation will be to find life in something else besides the word of God. You’ll be tempted to tell something: work, marriage, church, hobbies, etc to feed you, but it can’t. You’ll only find life in hearing from God himself. 

2. If you are God then prove it by doing something for me. 

That’s not the way things work in the Kingdom. Actually God doesn’t have anything to prove to us. He is God and He alreadty knows it. It is us who bear the burden to believe. Faith is our currency in the kingdom of God. Our faith in Him moves us. Our work is to believe, and conversely our sin is unbelief. In this temptation, the enemy actually used scripture in he wrong way.  Be careful that you let the Bible speak to you and not try to make it say something you want to hear. 

3.  If you will, you can have a shortcut to everything you want. 

Jesus wisely quoted the scripture that only God was to be worshipped and no one else.  One area that temptation may come is in the way of a shortcut to fulfillment. Satan dangles temporal things if you just compromise your values, your beliefs, your character.  It never works out in the long run. There are no shortcuts to right living and being blessed. 

 

Jesus answered every temptation with the scripture. It’s so important to spend time allowing the Words of God to bring life, health, and direction to our lives. Then, in the moment when we really need something real to answer the temptations we face, we can pass the test. 





What God wants from you

11 01 2012

Alright, most of you know by now that each January we at HOF take part in an AWAKE21 time of fasting and prayer.  The purpose is to awaken in us the passion, the power and the desire to follow Jesus for our lives.  It has been a highlight of our church life as a renewed sense of mission and purpose always results. 
I also know that most people secretly moan, some not so secretly, when the topic of fasting is brought up. I believe that’s because it’s is misunderstood. So I want to share with you a few thoughts the Lord has shown me that makes fasting an opportunity for joy.  Let me start with this verse:

“This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. (Isaiah 58:6, 7 MSG)

  • Notice that fasting is more about doing than giving up something. 
  • Think replace instead of giving up. 
  • What could you do to replace whatever it is God is speaking to you about fasting?
  • God wants to do something big: break chains, free people, cancel things, but that means we’ve got to do something as well. 
  • If your normal life were producing the results God wanted then you wouldn’t even be reading this right now, would you?
  • God says that when He sees YOU DO, then He’ll do in response to your faith. Fasting as is everything in the kingdom is done by faith.  You need to hear from God else you’ll just start in the flesh and wilt in 3 days. Same old you, same old life. 
  • Our faith prompts us to action, actions which God can bless. He can’t bless idleness. 
  • Read your Bible during a meal time, play with your kids instead of watching TV, help your spouse instead of doing a hobbie.