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Posts from June 2010

Awesome Stuff We Didn't Expect

"When you did awesome things that we did not look for..." Isaiah 64:3

Looking back over the past 20 years is pretty amazing! God has truly done some awesome stuff that I didn't expect. Oh, I had hopes and dreams but my faith was probably shy of the mustard seed required to move mountains. Despite my limited faith He chose to do "awesome things" that I didn't expect. Aren't you Glad He's like that?

Harvest started in a small living room, moved to an old abandoned pizza place, relocated to an arts center, shuffled to an empty beauty college, and then transplanted to a beautiful 2 acre church campus in American Canyon. God had His hands leading us the entire time. It was only by His grace that we were able to purchase property and even more of His grace that has enabled us to grow into it. He has done 'awesome things' and I know that He will continue to do 'awesome things' in the years to come.

If we're not careful we take for granted the blessings that are poured out on our lives and ministry. Every step along the way it is God who moves and directs our path though. If we are ever tempted to think it's our tremendous leadership abilities or talent that have gotten us to where we are today then we are in BIG trouble. We are just the tools in the hands of the carpenter.

As I'm preparing to move into a new ministry role I'm finding myself a little nervous. I've been quite comfortable here in familiar surroundings. Everywhere I look there is evidence of God's grace and blessings. All of a sudden, God has called me to leave the familiar and head off into the unknown again, and I am desperate for Him to move and do "awesome things" like He has done in the past. I've always believed that nervous is a good thing in ministry, within reason. Nervous, to me, is acknowledging that apart from Christ I'm in way over my head.

In Isaiah 64, the prophet is calling out to God and asking Him to "Do it again". In Isaiah 64:1-3 the prophet says, do it again Lord "to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence". We should also praise God for the "awesome things" he has done and ask Him to do it again so that everyone will "tremble" at His presence! The world around us needs to know that God blesses His people.

Take some time to reflect on all that God has done for you, then call on Him to continue doing those things.

Have a great week!

Pastor Mike

Circle Of Friends

As most of you know, Kathy and I will be leaving Harvest soon and moving to a new pastorate. This decision was made after tons of prayer and a peace that we are following God's will. Each and every day now I am in reminiscent mode. Thinking about all the wonderful times we have had here over the past 20 years with some very special people. As I shared with our church, saying yes to God is the easy part, saying goodbye to friends and family is the difficult part. I am excited to see what God is going to do in the years to come, both in our lives and at Harvest.

We enjoyed a concert by Point Of Grace at the Solano County Fair this week. The music was awesome of course and it was especially great spending time with the precious 'circle of friends' that God has blessed us with here at Harvest. My favorite song of the evening was "Circle Of Friends". Great lyrics! Made me cry a little.

In a circle of friends
We have one father
In a circle of frineds
We share this prayer
That we'll gather together
No matter how the highway bends
I will not lose this circle of friends

Among the nations, tribes and tongues
We have sisters and brothers
And when we meet in heaven
We will recognize each other
With joy so deep
And love so sweet
Oh, we'll celebrate these friends
And a life that never ends

Father's Day 2010

I'm looking forward to a great Father's Day with Kathy and the girls. We've got a big day planned. Starting with church is the best part of the day. Today, I'm preaching for 5 minutes and I get to sit with my family and listen to four of our preacher/associate pastors each preach 5 minutes each on the traits of our Heavenly Father.

Here's a video I ran across today that I thought was very touching. Motivation to reach men with the glorious gospel of Christ before the enemy rips their homes apart. Assurance that we are never beyond the outstretched hand of God. (If you can't see video CLICK THROUGH)

Perturbations Of Love

I'll admit it...I had to look up 'perturbations'. It means anxieties. So...Did you know that word already? Be honest!

I'm working on a message about broken hearts and this excerpt from C.S. Lewis really struck me. If you've ever been hurt the temptation is to never again expose yourself to anyone, to hold back and never really love. The whole paragraph is beautifully crafted but I particularly like the last sentence... "The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is hell".

There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell. (From The Four Loves, as found in The Inspirational Writings of C.S. Lewis, 278-279.)

One of my flaws of late has been keeping a wall up and protecting my heart. Not good! I'm working on loving and letting God protect my heart. We are responsible to love God with everything! That's the greatest commandment and the risk is minimal since 'we love Him because He first loved us'. The second commandment is to 'love our neighbor' and there's where the risk comes is. We are responsible to love others, we are not responsible for how they handle that love.

Just some thoughts...

Going Mobile

I'm mobile today. Waiting at Starbucks in downtown San Francisco while Alyssa takes the CBEST test. Bible, Moleskine, iPhone with Logos App, and I'm good to go.

Technology can be wonderful! I love a good leather bound Bible and a real life notepad to write in but the Logos App on the iPhone allows me to access my entire library anywhere and anytime.

Looking forward to a great service at Harvest this Sunday.

Going Mobile