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October 2017

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

Well September certainly did turn out to be an exciting month. We survived Hurricane Irma and God was faithful to all of us and our families. We are all still getting back to normal.  I want to take a moment to just thank everyone for being so faithful. You all stepped up in many different ways. Thank you to everyone who helped with the shutters and clean up we truly work together as a great team. We missed three services here at Harvest because of the hurricane and the Sunday we came back you all gave so generously that financially we did not miss a beat. 

September was also a month of prayer for our church. Hurricanes have a way of focusing our prayers. It is through the prayers of God’s people that significant things happen in our lives and for the Kingdom of God. God has been moving here at HCC. It is good to set aside two months a year to seek the face of God and we are expecting the second half of this year to be better than the first. Will you join me in continuing to pray for our church and our ministries? As we do, He will respond. I love the verse that says, "eye has not seen nor has the ear heard".  As we pray, our eyes will see and our ears will hear the things that God has prepared for us.

I would also like to take a moment to thank all of you who helped make my trip to Denmark possible. It was truly a God ordained time. God met with us in beautiful ways in our services. Because of you many lives were able to be touched by the hand of God. We have prayed that God would use HCC to reach beyond our community and He is answering that prayer.

 

After the hurricane there is a saying "let’s get back to normal". The truth is that after every storm we are never quite the same. We have survived, we have learned, we have prepared and we are better for the experience. The truth is we now have a new normal because we will never be the same.  The same thought can be applied to when we have been healed. After every storm, after every battle, after every failure and after we have been wounded and God has touched and restored our lives we long to get back to normal. The truth is life will take on a new normal. We will act different, live different and speak different because we have been through something that changed us. We will have a new normal simply because God has touched us and we will never be the same again. I believe that God wants to heal some deep hurts that have never adequately been dealt with or resolved. Many people are carrying deep wounds and scars from their past that are affecting the quality or their life and relationships and the good news is those things do not have to have dominion over them anymore.  He wants to heal areas in your life and he wants to use you to minister healing into the lives of others.  The healing that comes from Jesus is not just limited to dynamic physical healing, it is healing for the complete person.

 

All People have experienced hurt in their lives, this includes Christians. Some pains have been healed completely and some of those hurts rise up to hurt us again when the conditions are just right. They are like Paul’s thorn in the flesh. They are not always a constant source of intense hurt but they can be a constant annoyance.

In the movie series, The Lord of The Rings, the character Frodo gets stabbed by a spiritual sword in a spiritual battle. The wound heals but every once in a while that wound flares up and both the physical and emotional pain are very real.

There are some things that we would like healing from and it is from them we learn to walk and live in God’s grace.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10- And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.  Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.  And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 All of us, at times, carry certain weaknesses, not sin, but tendencies or areas that the enemy attacks us in because they are still tender and vulnerable. I think we believe that at some point every great man or woman of God reaches a point where we are no longer vulnerable and we have become strong in every area. That is just not so. Paul pleaded for these things these thorns to be taken away and they never were. Sometimes these thorns are the answer to our healing.

This month I believe God wants to do a deep healing work at HCC. Remember God’s purpose is to make you stronger in His Grace.

Get ready for great things.

You are dearly Loved- Pastor Marvin and Dawn


September 2017

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
As I sit here in my office on this Monday morning it seems that everyone is buzzing about the eclipse that is going to happen today. By the time you read this it will be two weeks later and I suppose many will have already forgotten it even happened. Although an eclipse happens somewhere in the world in some form about every 18 months, this one has the attention of our country because it is one of the most prominent in recent history. No doubt this will be pretty cool to witness. As I have read the news and the deep ponderings on social media, there are two spiritual extremes in conversation. The first is that some people are expecting Jesus to come back very soon and that this eclipse is a sign. Others at the opposite extreme are passing off this event as no big deal and that “those” people are hyper spiritual and they believe that Jesus will come back some day but just not TODAY. If you are reading this then the reality is either Jesus did not come back yet or, if He did, you are in a panic and deep sadness and you broke into my computer looking for some hope. (So I forgive you).
A few months back the Lord spoke to my heart, He said to me, “Tell my people I AM coming soon.” I was strongly impressed that I was to preach on this and it was not already on my preaching schedule so I needed to make a change. I want to make it clear God is not asking us to jump on some dooms day band wagon because some people see things pointing to Christ’s return and they have read a few “new” books about the signs of the times. The truth is that Christians throughout the centuries have lived with an awareness of the soon return of our Lord Jesus Christ. I remember that we used to sing songs written by the hymn writers. Remember the song “He’s coming soon, I Know He’s coming soon, Jesus is coming soon”? Today people are playing the song “Total Eclipse of the Heart”. Forget about that; how about “Some glad morning when this life is over I’ll fly away.”
Many people are fascinated by signs and dates. The Bible gives many signs that will indicate when the coming of Jesus is near. The Bible is also clear that no one knows the date and time except the Father. Matthew 24:36- “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. For a disciple of Jesus Christ the issue of the rapture is never one of when, but one of readiness. For the Christian the rapture is not a mystery but a certainty.
The day of the Lord is not an ominous day, but a day of hope. Date setters don’t want to be caught off guard, they want the ability to get ready. True Christians don’t need to get ready, they are ready. The issue of the rapture is one of mature relationship. The rapture is the wedding. A Bride takes time to be the bride. Love doesn’t wait until the last second to become committed because they are interested in other things. It doesn’t treat the rapture like an immature person who wakes up at the last possible second to get ready for work and then rushes in half dressed and half asleep. The unprepared see this as a dark day. For the Christian who walks in the light of relationship with God the rapture is not an unknown step it is the next step and they are ready for it. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11- Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. It has always been church doctrine that Jesus is coming back for His church. There have always been those around who do not believe that a pre-tribulation rapture is Biblical and that Jesus will only return at the end of time after the tribulation and judgment. There are those who scoff at the idea that Jesus is even coming back at all. Understand that this is a satanic assault against hope. The promise Jesus gave IS A PROMISE of hope for both the Christian and the non-Christian. The fact that Jesus is coming back gives great hope for the Christian of better things to come. The fact that Jesus has yet to return means that there is still hope for those who will come to Jesus. People have all kinds of ideas that they give as reasons for what seems to be Christ’s delay. Jesus is not delaying His promise--- He is extending the season of hope.
I am looking forward to sharing this message with you this month. I believe that it will fill you with hope and expectation and calm any amount of fear or anxiety that you may have. Let me ask you- are you ready? Are you looking up? I hope so because your redemption is drawing close. Remember, September is our second prayer emphasis for the year. Be sure to pick up a prayer packet and expect great things the rest of this year for HCC. You are dearly Loved Pastor Marvin and Dawn


August 2017

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
The average tongue weighs only 2.46 ounces. I do not know who first decided to cut that bad boy out and slap it on a scale but there it is 2.46 ounces. It is remarkable how much weight such a muscle can carry relative to its size.
Words are powerful - with them we can develop a friendship or destroy a family. Words have the ability to build up or tear down in an instant. As Christians, we know the Bible tells us that the power of life and death are in the power of the tongue.
Proverbs 21:23- Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles. (NLT) -Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.
In American culture we have become very carless when it comes to understanding the power and influence of our words. We have become increasingly vulgar when we used to understand that words were to be used with proper decorum and respect. The Parents Television Council has documented that the number of expletives on television has doubled in the last decade. One survey that has been tracking profanity in movies has found a 500 % increase in five decades. In 1939 the first swear word was used in Gone with the Wind. Currently, The Wolf of Wall Street holds the record at 798; this movie was three hours long, that is one profanity every 23 seconds.
In the book of Psalms, David prayed a prayer that should be the heart's cry of every Christian. Psalm 19:14- May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. The content of our speech is determined by the condition of our heart. If the movies we watch are a reflection of the heart of our country we need a heart transplant. The Bible says that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. We average about thirty conversations a day and what we say says a great deal about us. Some of our greatest memories come from the positive things that people have said to us. Some of life’s greatest hurts and heartaches have come from the carless, foolish, harmful things people have spoken to or over us. Every one of us has words we wish we could take back. Someone said, “Words people say not only have a shelf life, but they have the ability to shape life”.
The words we speak are a spiritual indicator, showing how much of our soul we have surrendered to God. You would be surprised how many people bristle or argue with this fact. It is no mistake that on the day of Pentecost the first indicator that the Disciples were indeed baptized with the Holy Spirit was that they began to speak differently. This is still true today. If we have allowed our minds to be renewed by the Word of God, our conversation can’t help but reflect what we have learned. When our souls are not in submission to God and if we haven’t surrendered everything to Him, our tongues will be the first to sell us out. When we are hesitant to release our old habits and beliefs, our words will betray us. Our words reveal where we are spiritually in any area of our lives.
The words we speak have consequences and not all of them are immediate. Our words are so powerful, so consequential, so impactful that we will give an accounting of every word we say. Loose lips do indeed sink ships and we must make sure it is not our own. Matthew 12:36- I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. With that in mind the saying “Some people should use glue stick instead of Chapstick” becomes even more meaningful.
Christians, as they mature, should become good with words. In baseball the difference between a great pitcher and a poor pitcher is the delivery; WHAT we say is just as important as HOW we say it. As kids we used to say “say it don’t spray it”. Proverbs 18:20 (NLT) - Wise words satisfy like a good meal, the right words bring satisfaction. If you have ever been around a true disciple of Christ there is always something remarkable about the way they speak. It is thoughtful, insightful, life imparting and Spirit led. Isaiah 50:4-5- “The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens me morning by morning. He awakens my ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God has opened my ear; and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away.
Christians that are living in step with the Holy Spirit will become “learned” and skilled in the way their speech brings life. What we say is a direct reflection of the thoughts, feelings and attitudes of our heart. To change what comes out of our mouths requires a change of what is in our heart. My prayer is that at HCC we will become experts at using our Words for the Glory of God.
You are dearly Loved, - Pastor Marvin & Dawn


July 2017

IHCC Monthly Harvest Seed
You learn a great deal about yourself and other people when the heat is on; pressure situations that demand that you maintain your composure and are at your best when what you are facing takes your breath away. What you do, how you respond and how you carry yourself when the heat is on are important. Heat can be an emergency situation that arises quickly and requires you to make a quality decision to save a life or prevent a tragedy. Heat may be a time when all eyes are on you and everyone is waiting for an answer. Heat can be a trial or an adversity that comes upon you and you have the choice to face it as a champion or curl up in a ball and just accept that fate has dealt you a cruel hand. Heat is three men on base, bottom of the ninth; two outs, two strikes, three balls and you are at bat in the seventh game of the World Series.
Heat is all about pressure. (I can’t get the Glenn Frey song, “The Heat is On” and both the Billy Joel and Freddy Mercury songs “Pressure” out of my head as I write this.)
One of the best “clutch” people of all time was Michael Jordan. Whenever the game was on the line in the last seconds of a game you always knew the ball was coming his way. There was no question and more times than not he made the shot. He didn’t make all of them but he was willing to step up and try and carry the team on his shoulders. It was a pleasure to be able to watch him play. Not everyone is a “clutch” person, but we can learn to be.
The Bible is full of those who “performed” well under pressure. The three Hebrew boys trusted God when the heat literally was on and they were thrown into the fiery furnace. David stepped up when he was face to face with a giant. Daniel refused to bend to the will of man even when he faced a night with lions. The Apostle Paul stood before governors, kings and dignitaries with his life on the line and, instead of defending himself, chose to present the gospel and defend the cause of Christ.
Heat happens when you take a stand for Christ and it is not popular. Heat happens when you or a family member faces a sickness or a tragedy. Heat happens when people lie about you or gossip because they are jealous of your success or promotion. Those who do well under pressure share some of the same valuable traits that help them to stay cool, calm and collected.
Those who do well when the heat is on deal with the truth about their situation. “Clutch” people understand the reality of what they are facing and they refuse to bury their head in the sand. David never denied that he faced a giant and the three Hebrew boys knew they were facing, what seemed to most people, certain death. The reason many people don’t do well under pressure is they are trying to redefine what they are dealing with. When you do this you have moved into the realm of delusional thinking. Champions embrace the truth about their situation and embrace the truth about our God. John 8:32- And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Those who excel under pressure demonstrate gravitas. Gravitas is uncompromising integrity, dignity, propriety and good taste demonstrated in quality behavior and speech. It is remaining calm and collected while everyone around you is losing their head. The Bible calls this meekness. Meekness is not weakness it is power under control. It is strength in subjection to the will and not the emotions. It is choosing to stand even when your legs are shaking. Meekness is the virtue of the victor not the defeated. Gravitas is humility that is confident and bold. Proverbs 24:10- If you faint in the day of adversity your strength is small.
When the heat is on those who stand out are those who are able to keep their focus and refuse to become distracted. There are few pressure positions like stepping to the foul line in a basketball game. It is just you and the net. People who perform well under pressure are able to keep the main thing the main thing. For the foul line shooter, there are always people in the stands behind the basket waving, shouting and shaking things to distract them. Life can be like that and so can the enemy of our souls. Those who excel are able to stay focused on what matters in any given situation. Philippians 3:13-14- Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
These are just a few of the points that we will look at in the coming month. As God is raising us up to be Next Level Disciples one of the areas He is strengthening is our ability to serve, help, respond and give direction under pressure, when the heat is on.
May God abundantly bless you and your family- Pastor Marvin & Dawn


June 2017

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
I remember the night that I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. It was a summer evening in early July at youth camp in the hills of Pennsylvania outside of Pittsburgh. I don’t remember much about what the pastor said, I just know that he spoke on the power of the Holy Spirit and the glorious infilling that is the prerogative of every believer who will seek the face of God. I remember the majority of us attending going to the altar. I remember being prayed over as a group and then someone laid hands on my head and prayed that my life would never be the same from that moment on - it never was. Nothing happened at first, I don’t remember how long I stood there praising God but soon I noticed that I wasn’t speaking in English any more. I felt the warmth of God flood over me and tears began to flow. At some point I looked next to me and many of my friends were having the same experience. We must have been a sight. I was 13 years old crying out to God and He answered from heaven giving me exactly what He said He would if I would ask.
We met at camp that warm July evening for the express purpose of inviting the Holy Spirit to have his way in our lives. This was true for those first disciples. They had no idea what to expect as 120 of them gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem. In many ways I imagine they were a lot like we were that night, minus the basketball hoop over the altar. The disciples were not the most educated of people, they were not wealthy and many of them were in their early twenties or teens. They had faith enough to obey Jesus' instruction to wait in prayer until they received power from on High.
Luke 24:49- Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
Acts 1:8- But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
We need the power of God. The truth is that without the Holy Spirit's power we can do nothing that God has called us to do or live the way the Bible instructs us to live. When Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit He called Him the Helper. Without the help of the Holy Spirit in our lives we are powerless. In Pentecostal churches we love to talk about speaking in tongues and the Gifts of the Spirit, yet none of this is possible without the Helper. Nothing in our life changes until we are willing to admit that we need help. Someone made the observation that we must first recognize our need for something more before God can release something amazing in and through our lives. Self-dependency is the enemy of the supernatural life. God’s desire for us is to live a supernatural life. The word supernatural means above and beyond what is naturally possible. God gives us power that is not within us normally. It describes what happens when we partner with God as we trust Him. There never comes a point in our life where we no longer need God’s help. As a matter of fact the longer we walk with God we realize how true this is and how dependant we really are on Him.
Most churches today celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, which is good and right. But we forget about the real importance of significant events like the day of Pentecost. This is when the church was born. This is when we were given the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is when it became possible for Christians to live, minister and walk in power that is not our own.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:19- The apostle Paul reminds us to “not quench the Holy Spirit”. Quench means to extinguish a fire. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit started a spiritual fire that is still burning in the hearts and lives of disciples all over the world today. On that hot summer day in July, the Holy Spirit lit a fire in my life and in the lives of many of my friends. How would we respond today is God suddenly showed up like a mighty rushing wind and lit a fire in our churches? Would we try to put it out or control it or would we welcome Him with open arms?
At HCC we are a decidedly and unapologetically Pentecostal church. We are not just a part of the Assemblies of God. We are a part of those believers that recognize we can’t do life or ministry without the power of the Holy Spirit and we don’t want to.
The cry of our hearts is "Holy Spirit have your way in us! We want everything that you have promised! Come fill us! Anoint Us! Work through us!" If that is our true hearts cry as a church, I have news for you; just like He did with the early church, He will do with us.
Many blessings this summer- Pastor Marvin & Dawn


May 2017

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
There is nothing like opening the widows and throwing open the doors on a nice cool breezy day. It feels good, drives out the stale air and just makes everything fresh. When Jesus rose from the dead that is exactly what happened in the Spirit around the world. He conquered sin and death, the devil and all of hell. Literally new life was breathed into all of creation and hope was reborn. Days later the wind of the Holy Spirit began to move upon God’s people and the church was born. The disciples were baptized in the Spirit and with fire.
When the windows of Heaven are open nothing seems impossible and fighting the enemy feels like going from victory to victory even when the battle seems intense. God desires for us to flourish.
Psalm 1:1-3- Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
There are seasons that we go through in our lives where it seems like nothing we do goes the way it should. Seasons when our prayers seem like they are hitting the ceiling and that they are not even being heard, let alone answered. There are times when it seems like even trying to do basic things in life and in the Spirit feel very similar to walking through knee deep mud on a rainy day. The Bible calls times like this "Brassy Heavens". When you read Psalms chapter one you realize that none of that is God’s plan for our life. His desire is that we live under an open Heaven, receiving an outpouring of God that will leave us knowing that we are blessed because we are flourishing spiritually and naturally.
I believe that at HCC we have stepped into a new season of an open Heaven. It is important to know that we are under the blessing of God. It is just as important to understand what keeps the Heavens open over us. It is also important to know what an open Heaven looks like as the Holy Spirit moves upon us.
Obedience opens the windows of Heaven and disobedience shuts them. God will never pour out blessing on the disobedient because they have proven that they cannot be trusted with the blessing. In Malachi there is a very familiar part of scripture that speaks of God opening the Heavens on His people. Malachi 3:10-11- Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,”
Says the Lord of hosts
Most people tend to get stuck on the whole tithe thing. The issue here is obedience. The truth is if we are obeying God in the area of our money we are most likely obeying Him in most other areas of our life. The opposite is also true; if we are disobedient in one area of our life chances are we are disobedient in others. 1 Timothy 6:10- For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. When we obey God in any area of our life we invite His blessings into that area. He invites us to try Him and see.
Another way we see the Heavens open is in prayer. Prayer is all about relationship. It is communication. If there is no communication there is not much of a relationship, just feelings and good intentions. Those who know the open Heaven of relationship with God spend time talking and listening to Him. God told the prophet Jeremiah that we would seek Him and find Him when we seek Him with all of our heart. Every relationship is sweeter and fresher when we are able to share our heart with one another. Those with an open heart walk in incredible blessing. We get to know the heart of God and know that when we pray He hears us, will answer us and give us favor in the answered prayer. What closes the lines of communication is when we close our heart and try to keep things hidden. Psalm 66:18- If I regard iniquity in my heart,
The Lord will not hear. An open Heaven comes when we maintain an open heart before God.
Our desire this year is to be a church that is all heart. An all heart church and an all heart person will experience the beauty, ease and blessing that come with an open Heaven. I am looking forward to sharing this message with you this month. There is much more to discover.
May you and your family be blessed this Resurrection season, be sure to invite friends and family with you on Easter Sunday
Pastor Marvin & Dawn


April 2017

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
There is nothing like opening the widows and throwing open the doors on a nice cool breezy day. It feels good, drives out the stale air and just makes everything fresh. When Jesus rose from the dead that is exactly what happened in the Spirit around the world. He conquered sin and death, the devil and all of hell. Literally new life was breathed into all of creation and hope was reborn. Days later the wind of the Holy Spirit began to move upon God’s people and the church was born. The disciples were baptized in the Spirit and with fire.
When the windows of Heaven are open nothing seems impossible and fighting the enemy feels like going from victory to victory even when the battle seems intense. God desires for us to flourish.
Psalm 1:1-3- Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
There are seasons that we go through in our lives where it seems like nothing we do goes the way it should. Seasons when our prayers seem like they are hitting the ceiling and that they are not even being heard, let alone answered. There are times when it seems like even trying to do basic things in life and in the Spirit feel very similar to walking through knee deep mud on a rainy day. The Bible calls times like this "Brassy Heavens". When you read Psalms chapter one you realize that none of that is God’s plan for our life. His desire is that we live under an open Heaven, receiving an outpouring of God that will leave us knowing that we are blessed because we are flourishing spiritually and naturally.
I believe that at HCC we have stepped into a new season of an open Heaven. It is important to know that we are under the blessing of God. It is just as important to understand what keeps the Heavens open over us. It is also important to know what an open Heaven looks like as the Holy Spirit moves upon us.
Obedience opens the windows of Heaven and disobedience shuts them. God will never pour out blessing on the disobedient because they have proven that they cannot be trusted with the blessing. In Malachi there is a very familiar part of scripture that speaks of God opening the Heavens on His people. Malachi 3:10-11- Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,”
Says the Lord of hosts
Most people tend to get stuck on the whole tithe thing. The issue here is obedience. The truth is if we are obeying God in the area of our money we are most likely obeying Him in most other areas of our life. The opposite is also true; if we are disobedient in one area of our life chances are we are disobedient in others. 1 Timothy 6:10- For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. When we obey God in any area of our life we invite His blessings into that area. He invites us to try Him and see.
Another way we see the Heavens open is in prayer. Prayer is all about relationship. It is communication. If there is no communication there is not much of a relationship, just feelings and good intentions. Those who know the open Heaven of relationship with God spend time talking and listening to Him. God told the prophet Jeremiah that we would seek Him and find Him when we seek Him with all of our heart. Every relationship is sweeter and fresher when we are able to share our heart with one another. Those with an open heart walk in incredible blessing. We get to know the heart of God and know that when we pray He hears us, will answer us and give us favor in the answered prayer. What closes the lines of communication is when we close our heart and try to keep things hidden. Psalm 66:18- If I regard iniquity in my heart,
The Lord will not hear. An open Heaven comes when we maintain an open heart before God.
Our desire this year is to be a church that is all heart. An all heart church and an all heart person will experience the beauty, ease and blessing that come with an open Heaven. I am looking forward to sharing this message with you this month. There is much more to discover.
May you and your family be blessed this Resurrection season, be sure to invite friends and family with you on Easter Sunday
Pastor Marvin & Dawn


March 2017

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
When I was first learning to cook I had to learn the basics. It doesn’t get any more basic than boiling water. This isn’t cooking 101 this is more like cooking for dummies. You learn that the water will boil faster if you put the lid on the pot and allow all the heat and energy to concentrate. The dynamic changes as soon as you add something to the water say…potatoes. If you leave the lid on tight the starch in the water will cause the pot to boil over. By raising the lid you allow the processes to actually settle down and become more effective.
In our walk with God and in our personal life it is important that we employ the principle of “Raising the Lid”. The lid is whatever prevents us from doing, having or being all that God has called us to be. Lifting the lid is taking every restraining influence off of our life that would keep us from going whole heartedly and all out for God.
Luke 1:37- “For with God nothing will be impossible.” If we leave the lid where it is in our life we will always be bumping against that ceiling and never be able to rise above it. However, raising the lid isn’t all up to us; the verse says, "WITH God". It isn’t something we can do all by ourselves, it is something we accomplish in cooperation with God. Before we go any further I want you to allow the Holy Spirit to help you answer this; what limitations have you placed on yourself or God in your life?
All of us face limitations and impossibilities in our life. Some are there by our own doing and some by our capacity to dream or think big or small as the case may be. Satan puts limitations in our life and frankly so does life itself. All of us bump into a ceiling at some point and in some area and realize that there are things that are impossible in our own strength. We can accept these limitations or we can push past them in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Luke 18:27- But He (Jesus) said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God”.
To raise the lid we must refuse to let what we are afraid of to limit us. If we want to raise the lid we must be willing to give God everything that is precious to us. This includes, but is not limited to, our families, our time, our money, our hurts and even our insecurities. Whatever we are unwilling to surrender to God will limit us. For many there is a limit on what we are willing to do in obedience and a limit to what we are willing to sacrifice. The possibilities in our life are unlimited when we choose to obey God in everything.
We lift the lid when we choose to continue to grow and learn. The lid can be the skills, temperament and abilities that we need to learn and grow in order to make us more effective in our jobs, families and ministries that God has placed in our care. We must refuse to allow our attitude to be a lid in our relationships. It is amazing what can happen when certain areas of our lives are adjusted.
To raise the lid we must refuse to allow the opinion of others to limit us. The Bible reminds us that the fear of man is a snare. Many people are trapped and limited because they are worried about what people will think. To move up and go beyond, we must silence the other voices that vie for our attention and focus on what God has to say about us and our situation. God’s strength will help us push past the noise and into His best for us.
To raise the lid we must increase the level of our faith. Limitations and impossibilities are in direct proportion to our trust in God. The apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith or Raise the Lid. His response was that you don’t need much to do that, just faith the size of a mustard seed would enable us to move mountains. Then He said in order for it to happen that you must actually speak to the mountain. We raise the lid when we begin to walk in our Authority as a Child of God. Many of the limitations we face are simply our lack of knowledge about who we are in Christ and about our lack of action that is within our authority.
As you have read this, the level of your expectation is probably rising. God has been lifting the lid in our church. Thank you for stepping up by faith to lead and do ministry. Thank you for lifting the lid on your giving. Thank you for lifting the lid on your praying. Thank you for stepping up to do work around the building without even being asked. It is raising the lid on our effectiveness. God is doing a great work here. We are better together.
May the Lord truly bless you and your family,
Pastor Marvin & Dawn


February 2017

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
1 Corinthians 13:8a- Love Never Fails
I was driving in the car the other day and as I was flipping through the radio I ran across a new song called “Love Triangle”. It has a nice little guitar grove that caught my attention and the lady singing had a unique sound to her voice. Within a minute I found myself tearing up. You see this song was about a little girl whose life had been affected by the divorce of her mom and dad and now she was stuck between her love for the both of them and their love for her. Here are the words to the chorus.
Some mommas and daddies
Are loving in a straight line
Take forever to heart
And take a long sweet ride
But some mommas and daddies
Let their heart strings tear and tangle
And some of us get stuck
In a love triangle
And some mommas and daddies
Ran outta love in ninety-four
And some mommas and daddies
Don’t even talk no more
And some mommas and daddies
Let their heart strings tear and tangle
And some of us get stuck in a love triangle
Ok take a moment to dry your eyes and remove the lump from your throat. Stories like this are all too common; we live them and know them well. Very few families in America are not impacted in some way by divorce. Some of us know the pain of divorce first hand and some of us were those children who felt the many emotions that go along with a broken home; Loving both parents and knowing the good and bad about both. The awkwardness of watching our parents develop a relationship with someone that is not our blood; Learning to live with new brothers or sisters that are a part of the package of a blended family.
The idea of marriage is from God it is a powerful symbol of so many things. When we were growing up it was explained that there were three people in every marriage that would make it work. We were shown the ultimate love triangle. At the Top was God the Father and at each corner on the base of the triangle are the husband on the left and the wife on the right. It was explained that as long as the Husband and Wife had a connected relationship with the father and they had a connected relationship with each other there would always be a stable family relationship.
What we also need to talk about is what must fill the inside of the triangle. In church we talk about enlarging our circle of love to include other people. The body of Christ must welcome and include as many people as possible. Inside the triangle of love is family and things that keep family together. An empty house is no home. An empty love triangle no matter how connected never knows the true joy of a full relationship. There are also things that never belong inside the triangle of love. If you invert a triangle it forms a shield. One of the jobs of the Church of Jesus Christ is to help preserve the sanctity of marriage and to equip people to be able to thrive in their marriage. It is the trinity of Honesty, Kindness and Safety that form the foundation of the integrity of love
Love based marriages endure and work through the toughest issues and challenging times without giving up. When marriages crumble, couples often claim that it was due to irreconcilable differences. Love is a reconciler. When love is the foundation all the other components of a marriage relationship stand securely. Resilient marriages are built on honesty, respect, commitment, forgiveness and endurance. Love stirs up these things so that they grow, mature and excel within us.
Ephesians 4:15- But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
It is important that we don’t lose the significance of something in that verse- Love helps us to grow up in all things and helps us to grow like Christ. God designed that most of our growing up take place within the context of love.
This month we are going to spend some time getting to the heart of our marriages and relationships. I look forward to growing together for the glory of God.
You are loved. Pastor Marvin & Dawn


January 2017

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
Vision is important in the life of every Church. The Bible says that "where there is no vision the people perish and cast off restraint." This means that without a clear and compelling vision from God we lose focus, get restless and things slowly begin to unravel. At HCC our vision is summed up in five words;
CONNECT * GROW * EQUIP * SERVE * GO.
As we began our journey last year, to walk out and live this vision, we have witnessed God’s blessing on our Church. Each year we add a Vision theme to focus our direction in the New Year. As I was praying and thinking about 2017 God reminded me of the importance of the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7b (NLT) - The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
The heart of a person matters to God and so does the heart of a church. I am absolutely convinced that God wants to work through this church to achieve His Kingdom purposes. To do this He is looking for us to be “ALL HEART”. It will surprise you the number of times “all your heart” is mentioned in the Word of God. Those who do things with all their heart are “all in”; they do not do things half-heartedly. Let’s look at what an “ALL HEART” church looks like.
An “ALL Heart” church loves God and people.
Mark 12:30-31- You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” An “All Heart” church has a true and passionate love for God. People who love God obey Him as the ruler of their lives and therefore obey His commands out of relationship rather than duty. To love God is to know Him. Our Mission at HCC is “To Know God and to make Him Known.”
If we know and love God we will truly love and care for people. The Great Commission is the heartbeat of any God loving church. This is why we will continue to reach out to those who need Christ in our community and this is why we will continue to put an emphasis on supporting missionaries around the world. HCC exists to reach people who are far from the Lord, to connect them with other Christ-followers in the Church family and develop disciples who serve God with all of their heart. The motive of love causes us to reach out, train and lovingly connect others into the family of God.
An “ALL Heart” church is one that seeks God.
Jeremiah 29:11-13- For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. The church that seeks God is a church that prays. If the Great Commission is the heartbeat of the church then prayer is the life blood. God listens to and blesses a praying church. Those who seek God with all their heart have an intensity to know God, hear from God and then enjoy the hope, prosperity, safety and future God has laid out for them. We will be this kind of church. God says you will seek me and find me. This is a great promise. As we seek God we will hear His voice, we will see Him move and He will reveal His glory to us.
An “All Heart” church is consistently growing in faith.
Proverbs 3:5-6- Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. A.W. Tozer has a great quote. “God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible. What a pity that we plan to do only the things that we can do by ourselves.”
God is calling us to minister His healing; win souls, disciple more people and help set people free at a level we have yet believed is possible. We are called to have faith in God. As we trust God with all our heart we will dare to believe Him for things that in the natural look improbable but in faith they become reality. A God given vision takes faith to see it come to be. A God given vision is always bigger than we are and even bigger than we should naturally dare to believe but it will never be bigger than what our God is able to do through us.
An “All Heart” church understands the importance of maintaining a pure heart. A church with a heart for God understands the vital importance of heart health. Proverbs 4:23- Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.


 

december 2016

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

For the last week or so I have had a few lines of a Christmas song running through my head. Maybe you know this little ditty by Johnny Mathis:

"Haul out the holly

Put up the tree before my spirit falls again

Fill up the stocking

I may be rushing things but deck the halls again now

 For we need a little Christmas right this very minute

Candles in the window, carols at the spinet

Yes, we need a little Christmas right this very minute

Hasn't snowed a single flurry, but Santa dear we're in a hurry

 For we need a little music, need a little laughter

Need a little singing ringing through the rafter

And we need a little snappy, happy ever after

Need a little Christmas now"

 When Jesus entered the world it was a time of incredible turmoil; life was hard for most people alive at that time. The world was in desperate need of a Savior and at just the right moment in HIStory Jesus was born. We needed Christmas! In the most unlikely of ways to human reasoning God sent His Son as a baby to bring peace. We know that this was prophesied but it is still amazing none the less. In the midst of great trouble and trials, enters the peaceful presence of a little baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and laying in a manger.

 Our world is a lot like that today. We have just had one of the most contentious political seasons in the history of our nation. Tensions are high, friendships have been challenged and many people are dealing with sickness, financial decisions and honestly people are tired. We need some Christmas. We need to be reminded of the Joy and Peace that our Savior brings to our life and to the world. If we are not careful we will count on the Christmas season to be a numbing panacea for all our woes. It is not the season that sustains us but the very reason for our hope during every season- Jesus Christ, who is our Joy, Hope and Strength. 

 Someone said in a devotional I read, “If our expectations for Christmas are gifts and time with family, we have set our expectations too low. Those are enjoyable and things we are thankful for, but Christmas is the celebration of the coming of Christ and His redemption of mankind.” What Christ brings into our lives is so much deeper.

 It was in the midst of un-peace that Jesus was born to bring us peace. It is the same for us today. It is only when we see what a lack of true peace looks like that we understand the incredible heart assuring, securing peace of God that passes understanding.  Two verses stick out to me this Christmas season that remind me of Christ’s powerful intention over everything from death to our everyday living.

 Isaiah 9:6- For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given;And the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

 Colossians 3:15- And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful

 So many of us work tirelessly to produce the right “atmosphere” of Christmas that we are disappointed when things don’t “feel” like Christmas. We all long for peace on earth and peace in our hearts. Heaven on earth will not happen because we put up the right decorations and play the happy music. True peace happens when Christ enters our world and reigns as the Prince of Peace. That’s what Jesus did when He was laid in manger and that is what Jesus does when He enters our heart as Savior and Lord.

 I wonder if when it “feels” less like Christmas that it might be the most like Christmas. When there is pain, when life is uncomfortable and nothing seems normal or familiar we are closer to experiencing the true purpose and Spirit of Christmas than we know.  Jesus was born to conquer sin and death, to heal our suffering and dis-eases. Jesus said-

 John 14:27-  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

 From all of us at HCC have a very Merry and Peaceful Christmas Season

-- Pastor Marvin & Dawn

November 2016

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

One of the first things we teach our children is a little prayer that starts off “God is Great, God is Good”.  It is a simple little prayer that was designed to teach a child the importance of prayer but also to instill some basic and powerful truths about the character of God.  So often we reflect on the greatness of our God that; He is all powerful, all knowing and always present. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.  Somehow as we grow up, life gets more complicated and things don’t turn out quite the way we planned, we lose sight of the truth that God is good.

The profoundness of these three little words can be masked by their simplicity. Say this out loud- GOD IS GOOD.  How did you feel saying that?  Did you believe it? If you did, it filled you with hope and maybe even made you smile.  If you don’t believe that you had a hard time saying it out loud and probably had a few reasons in your mind that caused you to hesitate or stop.  I want to say it again. GOD IS GOOD.  From the very beginning Satan has tried to cause people to doubt the goodness of God. He doesn’t mind if you believe in God's greatness or power but if he can get us to doubt God’s goodness then we will never fully take God at His Word.  In the book of Hosea it is prophesied that in the last days there would be a fresh revelation of the Goodness of God. Hosea 3:5- But afterward the people will return and devote themselves to the Lord their God and to David’s descendant, their King. In the last days, they will tremble in awe of the Lord and of his goodness. Can you remember the last time the goodness of God left you standing in awe?

Believing in that God is good is one of the pillars of our faith. It is essential to all that we believe. It is this truth that fills us with hope and confidence, it helps us understand His love. Psalm 100:4-5- Enter His gates with thanksgiving;  go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good, His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues to each generation. Love is God’s active goodness. His goodness is expressed through kindness, grace, patience, gentleness and mercy. God does not just possess goodness, HE IS GOOD and the source of all goodness.
James 1:17- Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 

One of the reasons we get confused about God’s goodness is we try to measure it by the experiences we have had with people. I have met many nice people who, when you get to know them, really are not all that nifty. Proverbs 20:6- Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?   That is one of those verses in the Bible that makes you sit back and think “No kidding, ain’t that the truth”.  There is no perfect person but we do serve a perfect God. God is perfect in all of His ways; He is altogether pure, lovely, beautiful, and full of Glory, righteousness and truth. If God is not good then there can be no distinction between kindness and cruelty, compassion and justice; heaven can be hell and hell can be heaven.

God does not cease to be good because something bad happens to us or someone else. God is who He is. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Some people, including some Christians, find themselves in a place of uncertainty when they have no answer for a problem or a tragedy and they change their view of God and assign to Him character traits that are not Biblical. We must be careful of desiring answers so badly during times of hardship or tragedy that we sacrifice the truth about who God is on the altar of human reasoning.  As Christians we have a hope that those without the Lord have. Our hope is the assurance that no matter what happens, God will work things for our good because HE is good. Romans 8:28- And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

One of the great truths of our hope is that Goodness always overcomes evil. Good doesn’t just win; Good overcomes, it is the way we win. Romans 12:21- Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. God overcame sin and death with selfless sacrifice. The way we defeat evil in the world around us, the bad attitudes, lies and the works of wickedness we see, is with the goodness of God. Here is great news, God’s supply of goodness has no end, goodness is the Fruit of the Spirit.   As we abide in God, His goodness will not only flow to us, but through us to change the world.

My prayer is that you will overflow with praise and thanksgiving as you have a fresh revelation of the Goodness of God.

Have a great month and a Very Happy Thanksgiving.

Pastor Marvin & Dawn

october 2016

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

There is a war raging around us. It is not a war of guns, bombs and bullets.  The results of this war are actually far more devastating and greater in scope than any land war between tribes and nations could ever be. As God was speaking to the prophet Zechariah He gave him a vision of the reality of Satan’s relentless assault against us. Zechariah 3:1- Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. It is almost hard to imagine the pure and unmitigated gall of Satan. Here he is standing before God verbally and intentionally tearing down one of God’s children to His face.  Satan’s express purpose is to kill, steal and destroy. Our battles in life are not financial, they are not military and they are not political, they are spiritual.  The battle does manifest itself in all of these arenas and God’s desire is to teach us how to be victorious.

Spiritual Warfare is a subject that usually get’s one of two responses out of Christians. The first is one of complete and utter ambivalence or disinterest. The second is a hyper approach that finds demons under every bookshelf and in every tube of toothpaste. Mature Christians recognize that we are involved in a struggle of life and death but know we serve a God who protects us, watches over us and has given us the great responsibility to watch, pray and engage the enemy by leading people to the freedom that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Books have been written about this epic battle. In the next few moments I want to share with you some brief truths about Spiritual Warfare that will help bring things into perspective.

The Enemy is Real  Satan is a real foe. His armies of demons are at work in the world today. We see his influence in every area of life; entertainment, poverty, man’s inhumanity to man, the list could be much more extensive but you get the idea. 1 Peter 5:8-9- Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.

The Bible is not a book about the devil   The Bible is a revelation of God to man. We need to be careful not to give the devil more attention than the Bible does.  Satan is not God’s equal; he started out as God’s creation. Our battle is not a struggle against a foe that is as formidable as our God. NO SIR, Our God is bigger, Stronger, Greater and Holy there is no comparison!

Distractions keep us from the real purpose of Satan’s attack   Every magician uses sleight of hand to keep us looking away from the trick he is doing. I call this, "hocus pocus lose your focus."  During WW 2, as General Eisenhower was planning D-Day, he had General George Patton building a pretend Army of plywood cutouts and balloons that made the Germans believe that this is where the main thrust of the allies' attack would come from. All the while we were amassing the greatest invasion force ever assembled in the history of the world several hundred miles away. When we went ashore, we faced resistance but we could not be stopped because of the deception.  Satan will keep us busy with things that don’t matter.  Even in this election season, Christians are divided over political issues. We must refuse to be distracted by political double talk on both sides. The issues we must focus on are the spiritual ones; abortion, homosexuality, good stewardship of finances. The Bible says righteousness exalts a nation but sin is reproach to any people. If Satan can cause us to live in way that brings the judgment of God he achieves his goals without having to work as hard. We must be smarter than his distractions.

Prayer is not part of the Battle it is where we wage the battle  The victory that overcomes the world is our faith. It is important that we learn the lesson the disciples did.  They tried to cast out some demons and nothing happened.  Jesus reminded them the importance of prayer and fasting. Prayer is where we receive the strength, strategies and peace to effectively fight, resist and overcome.

We already have the victory   We do not fight FOR our victory but from a place OF victory. You see the battle is not ours it is the Lord’s. They say that history is written by the victors. Well that is true. THE BOOK has already been written. HIS-story declares that God not only wins but that HE has already won. The Bible is a finished work. We are on His side or better yet HE is on ours.

The battle being waged is a fierce one. As Christians we do not sit on the sidelines. Life is intense, souls hang in the balance, many are those we are pulling to safety and freedom.  It is a pleasure to serve side by side with you as we see Satan defeated.

Know you are dearly Loved- Pastor Marvin & Dawn

sEPTEMBER 2016

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

God is looking for loyal committed people that He can show Himself strong to. 2 Chronicles 16:9a- For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.

When you serve God you are always in miracle territory. For many Christians miracles are a rarity that happen only occasionally throughout their lifetime; for God miracles are a daily occurrence. The Christian who walks with God miracle territory is familiar territory not just an infrequent adventure.  Miracles are needed when natural means will never work.  All of us face times in life when we need a miracle and we will certainly minister to people who need a miracle. God has called us to be people who walk in the supernatural. God has a plan so significant for our church and so significant for your life that it will require supernatural intervention from the hand of God.

 In 2 Kings chapter four we are told of a widow who was out of money, out of options and was in desperate need of a touch from God. She came to the prophet, Elisha, who helped her discover that she had some oil in the house. She gathered as many containers as she could, went into her home shut the door and with the little oil she had began to fill all the empty containers.  She then was able to take that oil and sell it, pay off her bills and comfortably live off of the rest.  I believe this story sets a wonderful example of how we can begin to live in the miraculous in our individual lives and to see the miraculous happen in the life of HCC.

 Know where to go when you do not know what to do. Where we place our expectation determines whether we receive a miracle. The major battles of life are spiritual, so there must be a spiritual resource if there is going to be a turn around. Psalm 121:1- I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.  We need to stop looking for supernatural solutions in worldly places.

To live in miracle territory we- Need to find out what is in our house.
 2 Kings 4:2- So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” Have you noticed that when we have a need we focus on what we do not have? When we do, we miss the possibilities in what we already have. We need to stop looking at what we do not have and see what is already there no matter how insignificant it seems. The seed for the miracle is already in the house. God’s solution starts with what you have. 2 Cor. 9:10-  Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.  Elisha did not point out what she was lacking, he pointed out what she had. We need a renewed vision of what we DO have. Jesus looks at things differently. When God created the world He did so out of nothing. Jesus creates miracles out of that which is already there. He took water and turned it into wine. He took the lunch of loaves and fishes and turned it to a meal for the masses. He took the little oil this lady had and multiplied it to meet and exceed her need.

God specializes in using the ordinary to do the extraordinary. He will use seemingly insignificant things, situations and people to do significant things. He uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. The miracle will always be in proportion to our faith. The oil only stopped when she ran out of containers. The miracle ceased when there was no longer a need for a miracle.  Do you know why many churches stop growing? They stop looking for empty vessels to fill. The more you are spilled the more you are filled. God calls us to be a river not a reservoir. John 7:38-  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will Flow Rivers of living water.”  Remember, miracles indicate that there are still needs and challenges that require God’s help, power, provision and blessing.

Church - Get ready church we have been seeking God for His supernatural presence and His supernatural work. Miracles are becoming a common thing for us. That means we will always be facing challenges and needs. As we do, we will see God’s overwhelming power at work among us.

 It is a pleasure to serve side by side with you at such a time as this. Thank you for your faithfulness to prayer, serving and giving here at HCC. You are greatly loved and appreciated.

 Pastor Marvin & Dawn.

 

August 2016

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

Have you ever started a project only to realize five months later that you still hadn’t gotten around to completing it? All of us have watched a friend get excited about a diet or a new life goal; they start out with great gusto only to get distracted and four or five weeks (or days) in they get bored and then drop it altogether. How many of us have started books and now we look around at  piles of great reads or information just waiting for our attention?

Being a finisher is important. Anyone can start something but not everyone has the stick-to-it-ness to see things through.  One of the things that set Jesus apart from everyone else was that He was and is a finisher. Have you ever thought about the times that finisher was a word used to describe Jesus.  Hebrews 12:2- looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Notice Jesus didn’t sit down until the work at hand was complete. John 19:30-  So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit  "It is finished" are three of the most powerful words in the entire Bible.

There is nothing like coming to the end of a project and standing back and being able to admire a job well done. When we get to the end of our life our goal is to leave everything, as they say in football, "on the field". Philippians 2:17- But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. The apostle Paul squeezed every part of living that he could out of his life. He was confident that he had been obedient and did everything God had planned for him. 2 Timothy 4:7-8- I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. Paul was a finisher.

Over the last couple years there have been many ministers and people that have loved and served God that have fallen in some fashion. For true Christians this is not a cause for finger pointing or gossip, it is a cause of tremendous sadness. There are many people that have started out with great intentions for God but somewhere along the way the cares of life and the desire for success sent them off course. The good news is Jesus isn’t finished yet. As a matter of fact whenever we sin and loose our way if we return to Jesus our best days are ahead. The reason we know this is that Jesus is a finisher. Philippians 1:6- being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ

Part of being a finisher is making sure that we take care of our spiritual life in a way that ensures we are able to go the distance. It is possible to spend so much time demonstrating the life of Christ to others that something happens to us along the way.  1 Cor. 9:24-27- Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air 7 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. Being a finisher takes discipline, endurance and determination. It is a willingness to pay the price to finish.

In carpentry there is something called finish work. The finish is the part you see and it brings out all the details that make something unique. The finish will only bring out and enhance what is already there. As a matter of fact finish work will enhance all the imperfections.  Finish work also adds the little touches. That is what Christ is doing in us every day.  There is finishing and then there is finishing well. Have you ever watched a marathon runner split the tape and just collapse to the ground? They finished the race but it sure wasn’t pretty. Then there is the one who trained well and disciplined themselves, they split the tape and still have the energy to enjoy the win.  When Jesus is working on our life He is working on all the details that give us the strength to finish and the polish to make us look good while we do it.

God is doing a special work here at Harvest this summer. That is not surprising, it is what we have been praying for. We are still in the race and we are on pace to win. In order to do so we must be committed to finish the work that God has for us. It is a pleasure serving on the same team with you- Pastor Marvin & Dawn

JULY 2016

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

If you have been around Christians for any amount of time you have probably discovered that we can be wordy people.  We like to talk, communicate and interact with others. All of us have a story that we can tell and all of us have a story that is being written as we live our lives. Stories are written with words. Hebrews 121b-13a let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith… Over and over again in the Word of God we see Jesus referred to as the “Author”, Our story is His story. Without getting into rabbit trails and without trying to be cleaver, I want to get to the point. Author’s, out of necessity, use words. If our life is to belong to Jesus then we are to be People of the Word. Whose word, you might ask? God’s Word. Everything starts and ends with The Word. For the Christian, how we live must start and end with the Word of God.

I want to ask you if you do that. Do you live your life according to the Word of God? Can you imagine if every Bible believing and scripture confessing disciple of Jesus Christ actually based how they lived and every decision they made on what the Word of God says and nothing else? We have a conviction that we have articulated in the Assemblies of God that is a part of our Foundations of Faith, it says this: “The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct”. In easy to understand terms, we believe that the Word of God is entirely correct, has been spoken by God, that it reveals His will for our life and as such it is His Word that is THE WORD on everything we do.

Here is a revelation for you: everything that was created was done so by the WORD of God. John 1:1-3 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. We were created to be People of the Word because we are made by the Word of God. Anytime we do not live by the Word we are actually going against the way we are not just designed but created. See the Word is in our DNA. The Bible actually says that we cannot live without the Word of God. Matthew 4:4 “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

If you and I are to truly live effective, fruitful, obedient and productive lives we must put a high priority on being People of the Word.  Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Proverbs 7:2-3 Keep my commands and live, and my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart.

Deciding to be a Person of the Word is a choice to live by faith. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. As Christians our whole purpose is to live a life full of faith, obedient and pleasing to God. It is not possible to live a life of faith that is pleasing to God without us knowing and walking in the Word of God.  James 1:21 (AMP)  So get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls.

Colossians 3:16- Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom,

We all know Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Did you ever stop to think what the substance of our faith is?  It is the Word. The Word of God is the seed or the substance of our faith. The only way we live a life of dynamic faith, the only way we live a faith filled and faithful life is to be filled with the substance and seed of the Word of God.

There must be an urgency to know and apply God’s Word to our life. You see Jesus is obligated only to His word. God’s love is unconditional but the promises of His word are very conditional. His promise is this; if we obey His Word we will have the promises of His Word. Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name. Here is what that means; He has laid His reputation and glory on the line; all the promises of His Word are backed by the honor of His Name.  If God has staked everything He is on His Word then so can we. Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

This summer God is challenging us to be People of the Word. Can you imagine what your life, what our church, what our town would look like if we are truly People of the Word?

Be blessed and encouraged-Pastor Marvin &Dawn


JUNE 2016

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed 

People are collectors. We hold onto a lot of things.  Some people like baseball cards, some collect tools others just have stuff they can’t let go of. Our houses are full of things we decided for one reason or another to tuck away with the reasoning that we may need it another day. It is amazing the things we have stashed inside our homes. It is revealing how much we have spiritually refused to release from our lives.

One of the things people seem to be collecting in our day is offenses. People are taking offense at everything. Matthew 24:10-12- And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.  Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  Offense is one of the signs of the End Times. This offense is happening on many levels.

First of all people are increasingly offended at the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  As our culture moves further and further from the truth of God and His Word it should not surprise us that His way, plans and standard of right and wrong clash with those around us. Jesus purposefully places the Gospel in people’s paths so it will “trip them up” and grab their attention. 1 Peter 2:7-8-   Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.”They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. Jesus knows that this Gospel that trips people up is the only thing that will save their life.

The second way offense comes is when we refuse to let go of the things people have done and said about us. An offense is a hurt or a wrong, a crime or an oversight or a slight that has been intentionally or unintentionally done to us. Offense is one of the tools Satan uses to keep us trapped in our life. Luke 17:1- Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come. Did you catch that? Offense is a part of life you cannot avoid it. But you and I must choose if we are going to eat the poison that comes with offense. The word "offense" in the Greek is the word "skandalon"- it means trap stick or the part of a trap that holds the bait and when taken slams the trap shut thus imprisoning the taker. You see, Satan knows that hurting offended people are his prisoner. When we hold on to offense, hurt moves to anger and from there is produces all kinds of wicked fruit; resentment, fear, strife, jealousy, bitterness, Unforgiveness and hatred are just a few.

One offended person can hurt many. Someone said: "Hurt people, hurt people, wounded people, wound people, broken people, break people, bound people bind people, damaged people, damage people." This is why Jesus anoints us to serve people. WHOLE people are able to HELP people through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Satan uses offense to divide and conquer. America is great because we are the United States; families thrive because the  two become one, the Holy Spirit moved mightily in the lives of the disciples because they were in the Upper Room in one accord.  If we are hurting and offended with one another we won’t work in cooperation with one another and much is lost. As Christians we must not fall prey to the trap that is laid out there for us.

Allow me to ask you a few questions. Are you holding onto a hurt? Is there a grudge you have been nursing and refuse to release? Is there someone or a group of someone’s that you have said you would never forgive?  If so you are caught in the trap of offense. Today you can be free of all bitterness, shame, guilt and anger if you will spit out the bait. How do you do that?  First of all take your hurt to Jesus and ask for healing. Second, forgive those who have hurt you. Of course they don’t deserve it, neither did we when Christ forgave us on the cross. Third, allow God to renew His love for others in your life. For a while now things have been all about you and your pain. Now it is about helping others be free and whole.

May you and your family have a truly delightful summer. Take time to rest and refresh but remember to stay faithful to the house of God and the work of the kingdom. We have a great deal going on during the next few months. Camps, Prayer Stations, Leadership meetings, Connect Groups and even a movie night. Let’s make sure we stay connected, win souls to Christ and grow as a church in maturity and in number.

Your are loved, Pastor Marvin & Dawn

 

 

 

May 2016

HCC Monthly Harvest Seed

 Matthew 20:26-28- Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.  And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

 

Most people I know want to make sure that their life makes a difference. We live in a world that is driven by the idea of greatness. We are reminded that we have a destiny and that we are to leave our mark and make an impression. Everyone is clamoring for power, position, prominence and possessions. This sense of success has crept into the modern church like a cancer. Thinking like this does not share or embrace the reason that Jesus came. As Christians we want our life to matter and to count for something but the motive is so important. Jesus did not come to be served but to be a servant and to give His life to that cause. 

 

Greatness in the Kingdom of God is obtained only through service. In order to go up we must be willing to go down. At HCC one of our six main purposes is Servanthood. “We believe that every Disciple is a minister. Each Christian is equipped with certain gifts and talents that are meant to be shared with the local church and the world. To be great in God’s Kingdom we are to be a servant of all. We are to humble ourselves in ministry by selflessly sharing and giving our life in strategic service.” God determines our greatness in terms of how many people we serve not how many people serve us.

 

Jesus was into towels not titles. Right before He went to the cross Jesus set the example of servanthood by washing the disciple’s feet. John 13:13-16- You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. Jesus' attitude was that there was nothing that was beneath Him to do. Having a servant’s heart is all about the heart of the servant.  Servanthood requires the death of pride and the presence of humility. It is the heart to do your best even with those that people consider the least. Washing of feet was a job for the lowest servant. Remember streets back then were like an open sewer for animal and human waste.  Feet were dirty. Today we serve people if it is convenient and doesn’t require much from us. We choose where we attend church based on what it does for us rather than an opportunity to serve the body of Christ and the world. Service means getting into the nitty gritty with people. Feet are personal and sensitive. To help someone clean up requires us to be discreet, careful, gentle and thorough.  A servant does not have the luxury of choosing what they will do.  They GET to serve. Nothing is beneath them.

 

One of the most interesting things about serving is the timing. Jesus washed all of the disciple’s feet; even Judas who He knew was going to betray Him only hours after the lesson on servanthood. Judas committed the ultimate act of betrayal with clean feet.  True greatness serves those who we know will never appreciate our sacrifice.

 

Today everyone is looking for a trophy and recognition that they are doing something worthwhile. A servant isn’t doing what they do for recognition or a pat on the back. A servant does what is expected to the best of their abilities because that is what is expected of a servant. Luke 17:9-10- Does he (The Master) thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not!
 

So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”

Be assured those who are faithful servants will get more than a trophy in Heaven. They will receive a crown of Righteousness.

May we all at HCC Descend into Greatness by becoming a servant of all. God’s richest blessings for you this month.

Pastor Marvin & Dawn