HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

Genesis 2:2-3 - And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Rest is so important that God has woven it into the very fabric of creation.  Rest is part of the cycle of life. It is literally in the DNA of everything. We need to rest daily. We need a day of rest weekly, and God even designed the land to need to rest every seven years.

If we want to walk in personal peace and in sound emotional and mental health, then rest must become a regular part of our life cycle.  We were created by God to sleep a third of our lives away each day. He also commands that we stop from normal activity one day a week. God created summer for when things are in full bloom and winter for the land to rest. God created our lives and nature to have a rhythm of being active and then times for quiet and recovery. It is through this that God brings a necessary balance to our lives and to nature.

The Bible tells us that God blessed the day of rest and made it holy. To be made holy means to be sanctified or literally set apart as unique and special and dedicated for the purposes that God designed. The Hebrew word for rest is Sabat. It means to cease and desist from labor. God worked then He rested from all of His work. God put such a high value on rest that He made it part of the Ten Commandments.  While God has blessed our times and seasons of rest the world curses it as unproductive and intrusive. While we talk about vacations and down time few of us actually practice it.

We talk about how we can work 8-10 hours a day. Read at least 10 books a month. Spend time playing with our families. Exercise every morning, binge watch our favorite shows, keep up with the news, teach our children, cook healthy food every day, keep our house clean and updated and work at the local soup kitchen as we pay it forward.

The world does not praise rest it mocks it as unnecessary and people who flow with the rhythm that God created and commands us to follow are deemed lazy and unproductive.  God blesses and even commands us to work hard but He also desires us to rest and enjoy life.

Many people’s idea of a vacation is to fit a years’ worth of adventure into a single week. Most of us come back needing a vacation from our vacation. The truth is we have totally missed the point.  Others of us think that we can fit an entire years’ worth of rest into a one- or two-week vacation. Again, we have completely missed the point.

Even the most-high energy, type A personalities and young and physically fit need times to rest. As a matter of fact, if you fit into that category, you probably have a greater need for rest.

Isaiah 40:30-31 - Even youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, 31 But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] Will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired. Everyone gets tired, weary and loses strength, stamina and focus. The secret to keep going is to rest and wait on the Lord. This is how we gain new strength, renew our energy and refresh our spiritual anointing.

Rest is the secret to staying close to God and rising like an eagle.

Rest is the secret to being able to run and not grow tired and to walk and not grow faint.  We need to understand that rest is a pause. It is not quitting; it is not lazy it is necessary.

~ Someone made this important observation – “All Physical strength is spiritual in cause.”  All true rest starts inside of us. We have not truly rested until we have rested within.

How do you know that you need inner rest – that is actually pretty easy to gage.  All of us have gotten a full night’s sleep but have woken up having not feeling rested in the least.  Our minds and our emotions are still going, we are still thinking, we are still trying to work everything out.  Far too many of us shut down but don’t ever turn off.  Tiredness affects more than just our bodies. If that was all then a simple nap would solve all of our problems.

While a nap will fix many things. It is vital that we learn to rest in the Lord, Spiritually, emotionally and mentally.

Resting in God is a spiritual discipline much like prayer and fasting.  It is not meditation where you empty yourself of everything. You are already on empty. It is where you intentionally fill up Spiritually. It is where we put ourselves in a position to be filled new with all that the Holy Spirit offers.

A car isn’t tired because it ran out of gas, it needs a fill up. There is nothing wrong with the car except it needs an exchange of fuel from another tank into its tank.

When a car is on empty it sputters and spurts. Finally, is shuts down. Jesus said my yoke is easy and my burden is light. I am gentle and humble, learn from me and you will find rest for your souls.  When you can’t physically sleep because you are spiritual drained, exchange your emptiness and hurt for his healing and filling.

When you need inner peace, you don’t just need calm you need the Holy Spirit who is the comforter. He is our peace and the Spirit of peace.

We also need outward physical rest. People used to not be so hurried and hassled. This is a historically new thing in many ways.

Those who live by the new rules wear out, burn out and fizzle out.

I hear people say I would rather go out in flames than just burn out and fade away.  I have news for you those are not the only two options. You don’t have to go out at all.  This is utter foolishness.

Jeremiah 6:16 - This is what the Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’

Many times, we are tired because we are so busy chasing the new.

The old Godly ways are not passe they are a place of rest. So many people respond like Israel did to God’s invitation of rest. – “No, we don’t want it”.  God says when you are at the cross roads and you have a choice stop and choose the old Godly ways. You can’t go wrong, and you will have peace inside and out instead of turmoil and chaos and confusion inside and out.

As we are getting ready to enter the new year, I want to challenge all of us to make sure we make rest, both Spiritually and Physically a part of our normal routines. As we do I believe that we will find ourselves accomplishing what God desires AND living a life of peace.

You are Dearly Loved- Have a very Merry Christmas
Pastor Marvin & Dawn

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

John 1:1-5 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

(NLT) - The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

It is easy when you are watching the way things are in the world to get discouraged. When life is difficult, and you are going through one thing after another it is easy to wonder if the darkness is winning.  It is natural when you are praying for someone, and you do not see a change to wonder if the witness you have been and the Word of God that you have shared is making a difference.

Whenever light shows up it wins – It always wins!

Darkness cannot stop light it cannot dim it and it cannot quench it.

Wherever light is - darkness flees.  Darkness is the absence of light, so even just a little light renders darkness no longer darkness. There are levels of brightness but there are not levels of darkness. Pitch black is still black, but dim is not darkness it is light. Even just a little light helps you to see.Somebody needs to hear what I am trying to tell you. - - Light always wins over Darkness. Even shades of gray are not levels of darkness they are levels of light.

God is not only LOVE. GOD IS LIGHT. 1 John 1:5 - This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 

God is light. He does not just have light. He is the source of all light in all of its forms, natural and spiritual. The first thing that God did at creation is make physical light. – He spoke into the darkness.

Darkness is not something it is nothing. Into nothing Jesus spoke light. Nothing could be made unless there was first light because there was nothing there. Light – God is the source of everything.

Often, we hear that Satan is the prince of darkness – This means that he is the prince of nothing.

John 1:5 says, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not This doesn’t mean that darkness won’t attempt to overcome the light. Its efforts will always be frustrated and unsuccessful because the light of God always prevails, even in what seems to be the darkest hour or the bleakest situation.

Darkness simply doesn’t have the power or ability to put out God’s light. Since you are a child of the light, this means darkness doesn’t have the ability to put out your light either! First John 5:4 says, “For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.” The word “overcomes” is the Greek word nikos. It means to conquer. It was used to portray athletes who had gained the mastery of the competition and ultimately reigned supreme as champions over the games.

Because the word “overcomes” is the Greek word nikos, it tells us that we are the ultimate champions and describes our superior position as children of God over the world. We are fully armed with everything we need to be super-conquerors in this life!

Understand that anytime light and darkness come together their will be conflict.  Light and darkness can never coexist peacefully because darkness does not like the light and the light will always drive our darkness. Because Darkness does not understand light it is unreceptive to it.

Darkness does not desire a relationship with light.

It will try to appropriate it, absorb it, extinguish it and overcome it but light and darkness can never coexist together. This is where many Christians wind up in trouble. They get in business relationships, romantic relationships, Partnerships and friendships with people who walk in darkness. 1 Corinthians 6:14 - Do not be unequally bound together with unbelievers [do not make mismatched alliances with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership can righteousness have with lawlessness? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness.

Light always attracts light. This is why there is such an attraction to people who are also walking with God. 1 John 1:7 - But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. For those who walk in the light there is always fellowship and when we disagree it is the Blood that cleanses us from sin and heals the relationship.

Darkness simply doesn’t have the power or ability to put out God’s light. Since you are a child of the light, this means darkness doesn’t have the ability to put out your light either!Ephesians 5:8 - For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light

 I believe that this is God’s encouragement to all of us. We need to walk like and walk out who we are. We are Children of Light! Darkness does not, cannot and will not overcome us. We do not generate our own light we simply reflect the light, life and Glory of God. We are light and our life will drive out darkness.

Christian you are an overcomer and a champion. Darkness can’t comprehend you, understand you or overcome you. Go ahead walk like it and live like it in freedom.

This month instead of being overwhelmed with darkness, be overcome with gratefulness. God has been good to us. Give Him thanks for all that He has done.

You are dearly loved!
Pastor Marvin & Dawn

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

James 4:13-14 - Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 

65 million people die each year in the world.  That is 178,000 each day, 7,425 each hour, and 120 each minute.  

In the United States, 2.6 million die each year.  That is 7,123 each day, 297 each hour, and 5 each minute.

Most of those people who died did not wake up thinking that this would be their last day on earth. Some of them were in a medically induced coma and had no idea that they were dying.  They had no idea that they would be involved in a car wreck or have a heart attack or stroke that they would not recover from.

Life is precious and life is fragile. In the grand scheme of things even if we are here for 100 yrs. Our life is like a vapor. People spend a lifetime seeking fame and fortune but no matter how famous you get people still forget who you are in a matter of years. No matter how wealthy you are when you die someone else will get all that you have.

When it comes to spiritual and Godly things, many people live with the philosophy that in Spanish is called – Manana. I will get right with God tomorrow. I will get back to church next week.  One day I will make my peace with God. You have no idea if you are going to make it through today.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (NKJV) - Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (NLT) - Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.

Don’t procrastinate with your spiritual life. Today is the day of Salvation. Friend no one is guaranteed tomorrow.  You could die today, or Jesus could come back before the day is over.  If you aren’t ready for heaven, then I plead with you to get ready today!

Matthew 24:36 - But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.

While there are many people who are boasting about tomorrow there are also many people who are worried about tomorrow.

We are to trust the will of God for tomorrow both with our positive plans and expectations but also with our worries, doubts and fears.

Someone said – Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows it only empties today of its strength.

Matthew 6:27-34 - Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  “Therefore, do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

What is the answer to worry? – Seek God today. Today is the present and it is a present – a gift from God. He cares for you and will provide for you today and tomorrow.  Some people are prone to worry. God commands us not to.  How do you change that?

Psalm 118:24 - This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. You defeat worry by choosing to enjoy the day that you are in.  This isn’t something you can WILL yourself to do if you are prone to worry.  That is why you must choose to rejoice in the Lord. If you WILL rejoice, in the Lord, you will quickly find yourself enjoying the day.

No one is promised tomorrow except those who have been promised Eternal life.

1 John 5:13 - I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

John 11:25 - Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

I preach that last verse at almost every funeral.  The truth is that even if we die… we will live.

One of the great realizations of the Christian life is knowing that even when you die, you get to live. In many ways the title of this message is only true for those who Don’t know Christ as their savior -They are not promised tomorrow. For those of us who DO know Christ as our Lord and Savior we ARE promised not just tomorrow but all of eternity.

I pray that this will bring you great peace, joy, hope and expectation. 

Know that you are dearly Loved,

Pastor Marvin & Dawn.

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

Revelation 2:10 - Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

'Forewarned is forearmed', means that if one knows about a problem or situation in advance, one will be able to deal with it when one needs to. Don't put it off or you may have to pay for it. 

Proverbs 22:3 - A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.

prudent • \PROO-dunt\ • adjective. 1: marked by wisdom or judiciousness 2: shrewd in the management of practical affairs 3: cautious, discreet 4: thrifty, frugal acting with or showing care and thought for the future.

While many today live by the motto—"throw caution to the wind.”   God calls those who are His to live thoughtfully, insightfully and prudently. It is important to live life looking far enough ahead that you can avoid mistakes, traps, hazards and real danger. As both a car and motorcycle driver it is important to look ahead by several car lengths and to make sure I am seeing everything going on around me. Many times, this has made the difference in life or death or at least an accident. Because I was driving prudently and not recklessly or just “enjoying” the ride and not paying attention I was able to see danger and make the adjustments I needed to and avoid it.

Many people today are just living their life with no thought for the future or with no awareness of what is going on around them. I believe in living in the moment, but we are not living FOR the moment; we are living FOR the Lord. God has clearly stated that He has a hope and a future for us. This means that we should live today with an eye on tomorrow, knowing that what we do today will impact our tomorrow.

God loves us so much that if we will listen, to His Spirit, He will forewarn and prepare you for things to come. When Paul Revere made his famous ride through the night to warn that the British or the “Red Coats” were coming it enabled the colonists to arm themselves and to position themselves to resist. God prepares us before hand for encounters with the enemy. He tells us to “Resist the Devil standing steadfast in the Faith.”  Then He arms us with the Armor of God and tells us how to use it. – Forewarned is Forearmed.

Remember when God was going to pour out His judgement on the earth, He warned Noah. Because of this Noah had enough time to prepare for what was coming. He did exactly what God told Him to do, and he built the ark.

This will surprise many people. Just because God warns you about something does not mean that He is necessarily giving you what you need to avoid going through the situation but rather, to give you what you need precisely because you are going to go through the situation.

There are somethings that it is prudent to avoid and other things that require prudence to prepare. For over 100 years Noah prudently prepared for the flood. When it came, he was ready, and he saved mankind and his own family.

Sometimes the preparation lasts longer than the actual trial. Boxers train months for a 12 - round fight. Football players practice all week for a 60 min. Game.

When God spoke to the church in Smyrna, who was already suffering persecution, He was forewarning them so that they would be prepared by knowing that some of them were going to be put into prison and tried. Rather than letting them be caught by surprise, Christ wanted them to know in advance. He prepared them for what the future held.

When Jesus predicted how He would die, Peter rebuked him, and Jesus said to Peter “Get behind me Satan.”

When Agabus prophesied what would happen to Paul he wept and begged him not to go. Paul had to instruct them that he was ready (Prepared- mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) to go to prison and even die for the name of the Lord Jesus.

Sometimes God’s plan for our lives involves testing and trials.

No one wants to go through them and no one who really cares about people wants them to go through things. Peter meant well, so did Paul’s friends. The Bible warns the last days church that some will go to prison and some even die for their faith.

Jesus tells the end-times church to be faithful until the END and He will give them the crown of life.

Anyone can be faithful when things are good. It is when you are actually tried that what you believe is put to the test.  You will have to answer the question is this really what I believe or will you just cast aside your faith for the sake of convenience, comfort and safety.

1 Peter 1:6-9 - In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

Here me now and let me say it loud for the people in the back – Satan will try the genuineness of your faith. Faith is not simply a declaration of what you believe. It is not sitting in church and, every once in a while, dropping a twenty in the offering plate, so you feel good about yourself.

Faith is believing in God, becoming obedient to His Word, it is desiring to please God with all that you are and in every area of your life. It is living for Him no matter what the cost or the criticism. It is loving God with all of your heart with all of your soul and all of your mind and with all of your strength.

Trials and testing real show what we believe. Is Jesus still the Lord and authority of our life when we go through trouble or do, we take the reigns back when we don’t like where following Him leads us.

I was noticing when I was writing this that the Word “Reign” that is used for the rulership of a king is the same spelling used for the reigns that are used to steer a horse. Testing will determine whether we will continue to allow Jesus to reign over our life or if we will take the REIGNS in to our own hands and reign over and make the choices for ourselves.

Today we spend more time telling people how to get out of stressful times how to avoid pressure situations instead of preparing them for them. For many Christians times of trials and tribulations catch them by surprise. Jesus told the last days church what to expect so they can be spiritually, mentally and emotionally prepared for the experience. He wants us to be ready for it and able to endure it,

I believe that God is warning the Church of today of what is coming. His divine warnings are intended to prepare us for the challenges and hardships that are coming. He is making sure that our faith is genuine, that we are strong in the Lord and in His mighty power – that we have prepared ourselves spiritually, mentally and emotionally to endure until the end.

You may ask - the end of what? Well either the end of the trial, faithful until he returns in the rapture or faithful until death. Either way He desires us to be prepared to be faithful until the end,

May you and your family be blessed. Remember that you are Loved.

Pastor Marvin & Dawn

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Every one of us have had bad days. Every one of us goes through seasons that are difficult and hard. Sometimes they feel like they will not end.  All of us go through life’s ups and downs.

There are other times that are like the others. You know something is unusual about what you are going through.

There is a sinisterness about what is happening that you cannot put your finger on. You know that this is not like it was before and it seems like something is orchestrating the circumstances in a way that is not just making your life hard but is determined to either change you, ruin you or kill you.

In the past you didn’t necessarily like the difficult but you knew that life is not easy and so you were able to roll with the punches.

But this is different there is a spiritual component to it. Sometimes it feels so subtle yet so intense you can’t ignore it, but something keeps whispering in your ear that you are just imagining things.

The truth is you are not imaging things you are under a spiritual attack.

These attacks can come when you are at the top of your life, and everything is going ok.  Job had it all when Satan went after everything.  Job had success in finances, business, family and health and Satan went after all of it.

A spiritual attack can come when you are at the bottom and working your way up, Joseph had been sold into slavery. Finally, he is working for his master, running the house having favor and Potiphar’s wife puts the moves on him. He refuses to give into her advances, and she gets angry and lies about him and he winds up in prison.  – Satan has no problem kicking you when you are down. The Bible says that we are to be alert and self-controlled because we are not ignorant of the Devils schemes.

I want to mention that word self-controlled -- You see God gives us understanding, skills and information and then it is up to us to implement His strategies against the enemy’s schemes. With the power of God to help us and our willingness to live a self-controlled life we can overcome every attack of the enemy.

Spiritual warfare is more common than we think or than we like to acknowledge. We are made to think that demonic attack or oppression is a wild and crazy thing that happens. The reality is that it is something that will happen with regular occurrence in our lives.

This month we are going to look at a few specific signs that you are under a spiritual attack. I want to look at two those right here.

You know you are under attack when you feel physical fatigue and unexplainable tiredness.

After Elijah’s great victory with fire coming down from heaven Elijah was physically and emotionally exhausted because he came under attack by Ahab and Jezebel.

There are times we just feel drained we have no motivation and no energy. Our get up and go got up and left and we don’t know if it’s ever coming back.

I cannot emphasis enough how real this kind of thing can be.  This is a kind of tired that is deep. You have heard of bone tired. This is soul weary.  You are not in sin. You have been faithful. You have done what God has asked. You have even seen some cool things and you think you would be on top of the world. But you are tired.

God’s answer was to feed Elijah and have him sleep.

1 Kings 19:5-8 - Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So, he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” So he arose and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.

Do you realize that sometimes the most spiritual act of self-control that can do when you are under attack is to eat well and get a lot of sleep.?  God still had a long way for Elijah to go. He had a great deal for Him to do.  Elijah was so tired that he couldn’t go on. He was so tired that he just laid down under a tree in the middle of nowhere.  He was so tired nowhere, was good. Your nowhere is somewhere to God!  He will make you comfortable enough there in nowhere, so He can get you rest and filled again.  You just have to do what He says. Satan will try to wear you down so that even your greatest victories feel like a defeat or not even worth the effort. Satan counter attacks after our greatest victories so we do not get to enjoy the fruits and the thrill of victory.  Sometimes we get weary. But God will bring refreshing, we just need to take the time to rest and eat.

You know you are under spiritual attack when you begin to question God’s goodness. You know you are under attack when you begin to question the God you have trusted. When you start getting angry and even believe that God is letting you down.  Satan is whispering in your ear that God is a liar.

How can you ever heal if the one who is supposed to be good let this happen to me? Satan will tell you that the good God is not really all that good and all that holy and all that caring. If that is true, then He really is not all that powerful.

If Satan can cause us to doubt the character of God, then everything else that God does is meaningless.

Our trust stems from the goodness of God. When Satan tells us things that contradict the character of God, we need to discipline ourselves to remember what we know about God.

Psalm 27:13-14 - I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. 14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!

There are times we need to have the self-control to remember what we believe and then wait for the character of God to show up. Wait on God.   David said I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. The land of the living is now, not when we are dead and go to heaven. God will allow us to see His goodness in our lifetime. Don’t sit there tapping your fingers in impatience –

look at the Devil and say “I am waiting on God…. just you wait.”

2 Timothy 1:12 - For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless, I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

We can trust God with our everything. Many times, the most spiritual thing we can do is wait and trust in the goodness of God. When we do, we resist all of Satan’s lies. Do you realize that waiting patiently on God is one of the ways to make Satan flee? Just because Satan gets impatient doesn’t mean we should get impatient with God. Resist by being patient and watch as God brings victory and Satan flees.

There is so much more to this. Remember He who the Son sets free is free indeed.

You are loved. Have a Great July
Pastor Marvin & Dawn

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

Proverbs 4:26-27 - Ponder the path of your feet and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.

Psalm 119:105-106 - Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. I have sworn and confirmed That I will keep Your righteous judgments.

Feet matter to God! We know that because the Bible has a great deal to say about feet.  You can tell a lot about a person by the way they care for their feet and by the shoes that they wear.

In most cities and in most businesses, people make sure that their shoes are both comfortable, practical and shined. In Florida flip- flops and sandals are appropriate foot wear for church and fine dining. In the military, foot care is taught as one of the most important duties of a soldier.

Some people have small feet, others have long flippers that arrive a full five seconds before the rest of the person. Most teenagers have a period of awkward adjustment while they grow into their feet.  All of us know some people who have feet, that have to put it mildly, a not so pleasant fragrance and have the ability to clear a room. If your feet hurt, your whole-body hurts. If your feet are cold, you are cold all over. If your feet are dirty, you can’t feel clean until your wash your feet.

Feet represent the whole body - Whether you know it or not, your feet represent all of you. After all, wherever your feet go, the rest of you must follow.  The Bible promises that if we trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding and in all our ways that we acknowledge Him and seek His will He will direct our paths. When God directs our paths, we are able to stay in His ways and in HIS will. When we do this, we will be stable, safe and secure in everything.

The truth is that very few people really walk the narrow road that God has laid out. They do wind up turning to the left and to the right and get off track.

Matthew 7:13-14 - “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Many people have their eyes set on the broad way. It is no coincidence that one of the centers of entertainment in America is called Broadway.  The NLT calls it the highway to hell.

Listen, the broad-way is easy anyone can do it.  The Lord’s way is narrow and difficult to travel. It requires effort, skill and attention; but it leads to life. The mantra of the world is - follow your heart, follow your dreams. Jeremiah 17:9 - “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? There is probably no worse advice that we could give somebody than to follow your heart. 

We are not called by God to follow our heart we are called to follow Jesus. We are not called in the Bible to be the best version of ourselves. We are called to die to ourselves and to follow Jesus.

Feet are a vital part of the Great Commission.

Isaiah 52:7 - How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation,
Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

Most people would not describe feet as beautiful. When your feet are on the mountains you are on top of the world. You are declaring good news, good things and salvation.  The mountains were where the high places were. They are where the idols were, where people place false hope. Someone has to go to the false places that people trust in and declare it is our God who reigns.

The first word of the Great Commission is GO. We are to GO into all the world and preach the Gospel. What world --- our world.  Not everyone is called to go to the entire world but into the known world. Your world.

It is your feet that carry you to places. They are what God gave you and me to have mobility.

Romans 10:14-15 - How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

I love the saying that you have to put feet to your faith. You do. How do you do that –GO!

Someone needs to hear this. Satan is under your feet. Romans 16:20 - And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. Satan can’t get anything over on you if you understand that He is under you.  When you and I came under attack we need to remember that Satan is under our feet. 

When you have an enemy under your feet you have the strategic advantage, you have the leverage and in battle you are to keep kicking until the enemy stops moving.

Luke 10:19 (AMP) - Listen carefully: I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you.

You and I need to understand the power and authority that Jesus has given us as His disciples.

Never forget — the only place that rightfully belongs to the devil is the small space of ground right under your feet!

I believe that the summer ahead of us is a summer of victory! Each year we take time to have some R&R during the summer but each year we have watched as God does great things as our church continues to advance. Get ready for what God is going to do. Keep praying, believing and moving your feet!

Know that you are Loved, Pastor Marvin & Dawn

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

Luke 12:6-8 - “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows.

I think one of the greatest moments in the life of any Christian is the deep realization of how incredibly they are loved by God as an individual and a person. God not only SO loved the world…. God loves you and me. We are valuable to Him and He knows us so well that He even knows the numbers of the hairs on our head.  He knows us that well and cares that deeply.

Everyone is wounded or has been wounded in some way or another.  No one goes through life unscathed. No one. All of us have been hurt in some form or fashion.   Many Christians have come to Christ. They are saved; They have even been baptized in the Holy Spirit, but they still suffer from an orphan’s heart.

In their head they know that they are a child of God, but internally, they don’t feel like they are family, and they find it difficult to safely relate to God as their Father. Somehow they still feel rejected by others because they reject certain things about themselves.

I believe God desires to heal some deep wounds to fix broken hearts, and to release you into the realization that He is your Father.

Psalm 147:3 - He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

One of the names of the Holy Spirit is Counselor. One who heals the physical needs – is a Physician. God is the Great Physician, God knew in His infinite wisdom that we would also need inner healing, that is why He is a Wonderful Counselor. Wonderful describes who HE is but it also describes how we feel after we have encountered our supernatural Counselor. It is possible to be changed and saved but not yet healed.

A key step to healing is admitting, accepting and recognizing that we are damaged and broken. When we are able to admit how our hurts have affected our lives and our decisions it gives us a starting point to allow God to work in us.  Part of the process of healing is realizing that our wounds do not describe us or identify who we are. You and I are Children of God.  We are not what was done to us or what we did to ourselves.

There are some things that only a Father can heal. It is in family that we find our true Identity.

When the prodigal son came home. He was defeated, ruined, embarrassed, humiliated and poor. He was the guy who thought he could take on the world, and the world beat him down.  He was the guy who failed so badly that he was stealing food from the pigs.

When he came home the Father embraced him and affirmed him instead of embarrassing him. Only a Father can treat you as a son or a daughter. That is what God wants to do for you.

Romans 8:14-15 - 14 For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “Abba! Father!”

Abba is the Hebrew way of saying Dad.

It is the more familiar form of father. Abba is a term of affection. It is not the cuttsie way of saying daddy like a little girl. Abba can be used by both men and women – not just boys or girls. People who have a deep appreciation for the love, provision, acceptance and care they have received from a father use “Abba.” Some people have tried to trivialize this term as saying, “Daddy God”. That has always struck a nerve of immaturity in me. Abba is an intimate honorable way of saying father. Abba is something that is used by adult children that find their identity in God.

Only our Father can turn our wounds into weapons and our hurts into helps. Only our Father can help us to realize that His grace is made perfect in our weakness, and that when we are weak, then we are strong.

Romans 8:28 (AMP) - And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

Things that were meant to hurt us and that have caused us pain will eventually be used for some good purpose.  All things work together for our good.

We really can’t say that we have been healed until we see how God can take our brokenness and make it a tool in our lives. Instead of us being under the thumb of our pain it becomes something that we put to work in our lives.

Nothing that we have experienced – nothing that we have been through – is wasted in Jesus. He makes all things work for Good.

Scars are a testimony of healing. Tender scars are a reminder that we are still healing, and a work in progress.

God desires for you to move from broken and woundedness to healing today.

I look forward to hearing all about the healing God is accomplishing in each of our lives.

Know that you are loved. 

Pastor Marvin & Dawn

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

Most Christians are familiar with the idea of Baptism. Some Christians sprinkle the heads of infants when they are born.

The Biblical model of Baptism is a choice that someone who is of full age and understanding makes when they are fully immersed in water as they make a decision to follow Christ as their Lord and Savior. This baptism can be done by any Christian to another.  It is a part of the Great Commission, and we are to do it in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

This is the Baptism that is understood by most Bible believing Christians.

John the Baptist introduced us to this basic obedience when He baptized Jesus. As we go into the water it is a sign of dying to our old life of sin and our old ways. Coming out of the water is a symbol of rising out of the grave and living our new life in Christ.  The old has gone. The new has come.

There are two types of Baptisms mentioned in the Bible.

There is baptism in water, and Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

In Pentecostal circles we understand both to a point.  The Second one, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, we understand as a filling with Power that results in Speaking in other tongues and seeing signs and wonders following our ministry for Jesus.

It is so much more than that.

There are two words in the Greek that give us the words Baptism, and both have entirely different meanings.

The first is the word-

Bapto – which means to wash or dip, it is a quick in and out. This is the idea behind being baptized in water. It is a baptism unto repentance. It makes us clean and free from sin.

Romans 6:4 - Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Baptizo – means to be submerged for a significant amount of time until what has been submerged becomes something entirely different than it was.

A very, very long time ago, a Greek poet and physician named Nicander, wrote a recipe for making pickles. This Greek writer used both words that can be understood as baptism, and in the context, we are able to see the two different meanings. Nicander said that in making pickles, one must bapto the vegetable (dip it) into boiling water, and then baptizo the vegetable (baptize it) in a vinegar solution. 

We all know that dipping a cucumber in water doesn’t do much to change it; that action will rinse off some of the outside dirt and give you a pretty clean cucumber to munch on, but it won’t change the cucumber into a something else. Baptizing a cucumber, however, produces permanent change to the vegetable. Out of these two words, baptizo is the word we find in the Bible, and it’s the one that’s meaningful for us.

Submerging a cucumber in vinegar (baptizing a cucumber) results in a permanent change in the vegetable. It no longer looks the same, tastes the same, or smells the same as a cucumber. In fact, it’s identified by an entirely different name. It’s now a pickle! And pickles are used for entirely different meals than cucumbers.

A Disciple is - A fully devoted, committed, obedient follower of Jesus Christ.

Today we have many people who identify themselves as a Christian, but not as a disciple.

I believe the reason for this is that if they have been baptized, they have only been baptized into the baptism of repentance.  This is good, but they have not been fully immersed in the Holy Spirit.  They have not been pickled.

The two baptisms are necessary for every believer and follower of Christ.

The first Baptism is what makes us clean. It is the second baptism. The Baptizo – That truly changes us. It is a baptism of transformation. When a cucumber is placed in the pickling brine it is still just a cucumber in a pickling solution. Over time as the cucumber is fully immersed in the brine the cucumber changes because it soon becomes saturated with the pickling solution, and what was once on the outside is now fully on the inside, and everything about the cucumber is changed.

It no longer looks like a cucumber, tastes like a cucumber or smells like a cucumber. It is an entirely new thing - it is a pickle.

It is one thing for us to be IN the Spirit. It is a totally different thing when we allow the Holy Spirit INSIDE of us - so much so that we are totally transformed.

The reason so many Christians look and sound more like the world instead of more like Jesus is they are content to get the Holy Spirit on them, but they have yet to let the Holy Spirit to so saturate their life that they are something completely new.

Do you consider yourself a disciple or do you just identify with Christianity?  This is an important question in our day and a vital distinction to make. We live in a time where people believe that they can self-identify with whatever they want. Just because you identify as something doesn’t make it so.  All sorts of people have used false identities for ages for all sorts of reasons.

Jesus called us to make disciples. We are to call people to repentance, but also to a life of change. We are to make pickles and the Holy Spirit is the solution.

Know that you are loved. – Pastor Marvin & Dawn

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

I was talking to someone the other day and they were telling me how they wonder sometimes about certain people’s walk with the Lord. They told me that they know these people love Jesus and have given their life to the Lord, but they have not seen any perceptible growth in their lives for decades.  I thought that was pretty insightful because it was not judgmental in anyway.

Hebrews 5:12-14 - (AMP) – For though by this time you ought to be teachers [because of the time you have had to learn these truths], you actually need someone to teach you again the elementary principles of God’s word [from the beginning], and you have come to be continually in need of milk, not solid food. 13 For everyone who lives on milk is [doctrinally inexperienced and] unskilled in the word of righteousness since he is a spiritual infant. 14 But solid food is for the [spiritually] mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between what is morally good and what is evil.

Our theme for the year is Deeper, Higher, Wider, Further.

Maturity covers a lot of ground, There is Spiritual Maturity, there is Emotional Maturity, Relational Maturity and then there is walking in wisdom.

No one really holds a child at fault when a two- year- old has a fit when someone takes a toy or gets unreasonable when they need a nap.  We realize that they are discovering and figuring life out.  Children need the guidance of adults to help figure out well…. everything about life.

If a twenty-two-- year -old throws a fit when they do not get their way everyone cringes and loses respect because they know they should act more mature.

When a fifty-two- year -old loses their temper when someone doesn’t do what they want or because they are having a bad day, we know they have a major problem.

Spiritual maturity isn’t about age.

We all know somebody who is wise beyond their years.  We also know people that look put together on the outside, but as we get to know them, we are trying to figure out how they get out of bed in the morning and tie their own shoes.

Those who are mature set an example for those who are not.  They do so in the way they speak, in the way they act, in the way that they love, in spirit or in their attitude, in their faith and trust in God and in their moral purity.

As we grow and go deeper in our walk with God it will be reflected in our maturity.

Hebrews 6:1a (AMP) - Therefore let us get past the elementary stage in the teachings about the Christ, advancing on to maturity and perfection and spiritual completeness,

Colossians 1:28 (AMP) - We proclaim Him, warning and instructing everyone in all wisdom [that is, with comprehensive insight into the word and purposes of God], so that we may present every person complete in Christ [mature, fully trained, and perfect in Him—the Anointed].

An evidence of someone who is Spiritually Mature is that they live a disciplined life. The spiritually immature are not consistent in the disciplines that make you spiritually mature.  Not everyone can hit home runs in the world series, but everyone can be a homerun Christian.

The difference in athletes who excel and those who don’t are their commitment to the fundamentals and to practicing and perfecting the things that keep them at the top of their game.

Those who are mature in Christ stay spiritually fit and in shape.  They spend time in the Word, and they spend time with the Father.

1 Corinthians 9:27 - But [like a boxer] I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached [the gospel] to others, I myself will not somehow be disqualified [as unfit for service].

It is easy to spot mature believers by the disciple they show in their lives.  Disciplined people rarely have to be disciplined by others.

It is easy to spot someone who is familiar with God by the kind of prayers that they pray and the way that they pray.

Those who are mature are not timid about coming to God with needs. They are so filled with love for people that they are eager to take them to the answer for everything. Hebrews tells us that we are to come boldly before the throne of grace so that we can find mercy and help in our time of need.

Mature believers go before the Father with an expectation of a little child, never losing the thrill of seeing God do something in people’s lives.

You know someone’s maturity by the way that they speak.

1 Corinthians 13:11 – (AMP) When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.

This is one of my favorite verses.

Here is a basic fact of life itself and a basic fact of life in the Spirit - The mature and the immature do not speak the same because they do not think the same or do life the same.

It is clear where you are in your walk with God by how you speak.

What is in our heart will be on our lips. You can only act and talk for so long until your lips will reveal what is really inside. Maturity and immaturity will always come out of us.

Mature people keep their word. Their yes is yes, and their no is no.  The mature have learned to speak well. Their words are pure, truthful, honorable, tactful and most of the time insightful.

The mature understand that it is both what we say and how we say it that makes a difference.

Words matter, foul language, off color jokes even cutting sarcasm are things that the mature don’t just avoid it is not a part of their character.

I believe people when they say I could not help it I just had to say it. I’ve been there we all have. The difference is that the mature allow God to strengthen them and redeem the words so that what they say has value instead of being worthless and destructive.

Immature people regret a lot of what they say. The mature don’t.

Proverbs 20:11 (NLT) - Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right. Even Children are known by the way that they act.

I have found this new thing happening, where immature people have gotten in the habit of not doing the right things and when it is pointed out or corrected, they say – “don’t you judge me”. 

Listen if we can tell, even when a child is young, which ones are not real swift, which ones are undisciplined and those who are a little slow on the learning scale, we will certainly notice it in adults.

Mature people get up, show up, put up, shut up (Don’t whine & complain), Speak up (When people need to hear), man up and glorify God in what it is they are doing.

As I talk with people one of the topics of conversation that I am finding more frequent is the lack of maturity in our culture. While it is certainly noticeable in our society in many ways this same trend has not escaped the church.  It is interesting that the Apostle Paul had to address this same thing in His day. He was speaking to men and women that should have been filled with wisdom. They should be the leaders and teachers of their day, but they were still needing to be feed spiritual milk and cookies. Everyone loves milk and cookies. The mature understand that they are meant to be desert and not the main course.

I believe in our year of going Deeper, Higher, Wider and Further that God is challenging us to go deeper in maturity. Let’s dive in together.

Remember you are loved.

Pastor Marvin & Dawn

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

John 15:8 - By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Psalm 92:12-14 - The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing,

It is important that we differentiate between producing fruit and bearing fruit.  You see, God calls us to bear fruit not to produce fruit.

Producing – The  result of our effort, work and artificial stimulation.

Bearing – The result of relationship and abiding in the vine.

Producing happens unnaturally and bearing happens naturally simply because we are abiding in the vine. Fruit is the outward evidence of an internal relationship.  Fruit bearing is not about techniques, amounts and effort…

The yield of the harvest is all about yielding to His influence and allowing His life to flow through ours.  The Bible says that out of our very belly, or the core of our being, would flow rivers of living water.  God is looking for this kind of breakthrough understanding in our lives.  It transforms everything.

The goal of our growth process as Christians is to bear fruit.

God is not as interested in what we do for Him as He is in our lives bearing spiritual fruit. Matthew 3:8 - Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance.
Colossians 1:10 (AMP) - that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord [displaying admirable character, moral courage, and personal integrity], to [fully] please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing in the knowledge of God [with deeper faith, clearer insight and fervent love for His precepts];
A true Christian will live in a way naturally that bears fruit worthy of the repentance and the salvation they have received.

Fruit is our moral character, deeds and actions, our behavior, courage and a deep faith that grows with our knowledge of God. It is not just about the work we do but how we go about doing everything we do. For a long time, the church has put such an emphasis on doing and production that it wore people out. Now the pendulum has swung in the other direction and we tell people that a lack of fruit in their life is not a big deal. Just say you are a Christian - but there is no evidence of spiritual growth or fruit.

God expects fruit bearing.  Just as any good parent expects their children to grow up and be moral, loving, caring people who actually do something worth-while with their life. This is not undue pressure it is the result of being a grown-up person and growing up should be a natural progression especially for a Christian who is abiding in Christ and for those filled with the Holy Spirit.

The secret to fruit bearing is to understand how the kingdom of God works.  We spend a great deal of time talking about ‘Mustard Seed’ faith.  All we need is the faith the size of a mustard seed.

Sometimes we spend so much time on the size of the seed that we miss the entire point being- the POTENTIAL in the seed.

The mustard seed is a small seed but out of it comes one of the largest yields.  Small faith is the starting point, but that seed is going to grow into greater faith. While that seed is small it produces not just a bush but a tree. That tree produces more fruit and more seed and out of that seed comes more trees and more fruit and more seed.

The beauty of remaining and abiding in Christ is that our life and the lives of those we touch and reach with the gospel naturally have a perpetual harvest. Out of our abiding in Christ comes a constant, consistent flow of life and blessing. We don’t have to force it, produce it or “make it happen”.  Fruit is the natural output of a life found in Christ.

God is doing a special work here at HCC.  I am excited at what He will do in us and through us throughout the rest of the year.

You are Loved.
Pastor Marvin and Dawn