Living for the Harvest

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Sunday Sentiments

Posted by Meredith Griffin on August 9, 2009

Wow! That is a fitting description of the service this morning at Harvest Christian Fellowship. We are all grateful for God’s moving among us this morning.

It began with the praise team energetically leading us in song. Their leading quickly morphed into spontaneous singing, worship, and praise that no one wanted to see come to an end. We continued the major thought from last week regarding how we relate to one another, this week dealing specifically with laying aside the old self and putting on the new self (Ephesians 4:22-5:2).

The put the exclamation point at the end of a great service by leading six persons to join the church today, with two of those making the initial decision to give their lives to Christ. That’s why we do what we do…we are celebrating two more into the kingdom of God. It was truly a great day. Thanks to all of the great Harvest volunteers!

Stay blessed.

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Sunday Sentiments

Posted by Meredith Griffin on August 2, 2009

Another glorious first Sunday worship service at Harvest this morning. I want to thank all of our great volunteers who arrived early in order to ensure that everything went well.

Today’s message “What the World Needs Now” dealt with society’s need to experience authentic love, and Church’s unique equipping to fill the need. We defined love as “the consistent demonstration of consideration, concern, and care for another person.”

Ultimately, our challenge as Christians is to get out of the pews and into the lives of other folk. Let’s stop paying lip service to love, and begin to demonstrate it consistently in our homes, on our jobs, and in our communities. Its not a choice…its our calling. Harvest is on board as a community of Christ followers! Love is an action. Who are you going to love this week?

Stay blessed.

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Sunday Sentiments

Posted by Meredith Griffin on November 9, 2008

Praise the Lord for another Sunday at Harvest! It was a great blessing for everyone to see Sis. Lauren return to worship service this morning. She is truly a living miracle, after such a bad car accident. What a way to inspire worship and praise for “this” day that the Lord has made.

We continued our ‘Be Encouraged’ series with a message touting the attributes of ‘A Conqueror’s Attitude’. What a reponse! The sermon ended with many at the altar, and everyone in the sanctuary standing as practical illustrations of what our response should be to the negative whispers of accusation of condemnation that may come our way. Practice the way you intend to play the game!

Can’t wait until next week, to see what the Lord has in store for us in worship of Him. Stay tuned. Don’t forget to do the reading in Genesis for Bible Study on Wednesday. Thanks to Bro. Ibn for standing in this past week. The reports are that he did a great job. I had no doubt.

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Sunday Sentiments

Posted by Meredith Griffin on November 3, 2008

The Lord truly moved during our worship today. First, we broke through what had been an attendance threshhold for us. Praise the Lord! During prayer with the praise team prior to service, we asked the Lord to free them to worship Him without apprehension. Did the Lord ever answer that prayer! These dedicated men and women led us into worship in a way that we haven’t experienced for some time. Their freedom in worship, freed and led us all into the presence of the Lord. Glory!

We were again visited by men and women from a local retirement community. It was great to see these senior saints rise from their wheelchairs with one purpose in mind, to worship and praise the Lord. It was an inspiration to all of those who were younger and more able-bodied. What a testimony to the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. At one point, I realized how blessed we were to have a church that saw every age group well represented, from newborns to seniors. We are truly a church alive.

The message today came from 2 Chronicles 20:1-23, and was titled “How to Handle Overwhelming Odds.” From the life of Jehoshaphat, the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem, we learned:

  1. Don’t let fear lead us in the wrong direction.
  2. Turn to seek the Lord.
  3. Rehearse the Lord’s deeds.
  4. Trust in the power of the Lord.
  5. Watch God work.

The Lord capped our time together by having another family join our fellowship today, and blessing our celebration of the Lord’s Supper. What a super day in Christ. Visitors, both first-time and returning are abundant week after week. All we, as a fellowship, care to do is continue to follow the call of Jesus Christ. Stay blessed. How was your worship experience today?

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Sunday Sentiments

Posted by Meredith Griffin on October 27, 2008

Wow! That is the appropriate exclamation to describe Sunday worship at Harvest. One of the greeters stopped me, in the narthex prior to service, and said that there was an electirc feeling in the air inside the church. Was she ever right! From the time of preparatory prayer, it was clear that this wasn’t going to be a typical worship service.

The Beyond the Veil dance ministry, and the worship team set the atmosphere of worship from the beginning. We noticed again, a good number of first-time and returning visitors.

The word preached by Pastor Doris was phenomenal. She told us that “The System Works”, using James 1:1-6 as her text. We learned how ridiculous it is to attempt to live this life with Christ according to our own wisdom and system, when God’s system is proven. His system calls us to have joy in the midst of trying times, know that trials work towards our maturity, and that our faith must be without doubt. We ended by “walking” in faith, and at the altar in a corporate prayer for increased faith. Wow! As one young woman came forward during the invitation extended, the praise to God was enormous.

If you haven’t joined us for a Sunday worship service at Harvest Christian Fellowship yet, and are in the area, I invite and encourage you to do so. You won’t be disappointed. How was worship in your house of worship Sunday morning?

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Praying for the Wrong Things?

Posted by Meredith Griffin on June 23, 2008

I want to thank Michael Spencer for his post at Jesus Shaped Spirituality on Pray at the Pump. As I read Michael’s post, I thought that it corresponded to this past Sunday’s message in some ways. Using Paul’s defense before king Agrippa, we discussed the disparity between Paul’s wish that all who hear his voice become as he is (a Christian), but without chains, and our contemporary wishes to have our own needs, wants, desires, hopes, dreams, and aspirations met by God. The central point of Sunday’s message was our need to have our hopes transformed from inward-focused and selfish, to other/closure-focused. We ought to desire opportunities to share our witness of God’s grace toward us.

Paul, knowing the hardship that awaited him in Jerusalem (Agabus prophesied these things to Paul at Caesarea), did not hesitate to place the cause of Christ above his own comfort. How different a time we live in. For those who are interested, the article that touched off this dialogue on Michael’s blog and this one can be found at The Hilltop Online.

For those who won’t take the time to the original article, in essence a local activist in Maryland received a call from God to organize persons to pray for the lowering of gas prices at the pumps. A local radio station picked up the idea, and its host had the following response as quoted from the article,

“We had Rocky on our show a couple of times in April,” said Ethan Youker, executive producer and co-host of “The Buckethead Show,” which airs on WXTB 98 Rock in Tampa, Fl.
“Mostly to have fun with the whole concept of praying at the pump,” he said. Youker admitted the show’s hosts did not believe prayer would work in response to rising gas prices.

“We just thought it would be good radio, and it was,” Youker said.”

What are we praying for most often? Either individually or collectively, what are our prayer requests? Do our prayers betray what is in our hearts? How often are we praying for the opportunity to express the love of Christ to a friend, neighbor, family member, or stranger? Is our wish the same as Paul’s, or are we using God as some sort of cosmic Santa Claus? What do you think?

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Lessons from a Pit Bull

Posted by Meredith Griffin on June 17, 2008

TashaThis past Sunday I shared an illustrative message, taken from the previous week’s events in the life of my family. During the previous week, we adopted an American Pit Bull Terrier from our local SPCA. It was amazing to view the reactions from friends, family, and strangers about this new addition to our household. All of the reactions were based upon general knowledge (right or wrong) of the breed, and the general appearance of the dog. No one took the time to actually see or know “Tasha”.

As I experienced the reactions of others during the week, I was reminded of the apostle Paul’s words to the Corintian church in his second letter to them. He informed them that we have been given a ministry of reconciliation, as though God were making an appeal through us to the world. This ministry requires that we no longer view anyone according to the flesh, but that we understand that if anyone is in Christ they are a new creation. Gone are the things of the past–the old person and nature.

How often, I wondered, do we treat people we don’t know, or with pasts that we have heard about like American Pit Bull Terriers. Rather than moving forward with the ministry that God has charged us with, we instead avoid them, opting to approach those we deem more “acceptable” to God and the church.

“Tasha” the Pit Bull Terrier, is a welcome new addition to our household. We endure the looks and comments that we receive because we have adopted her. We are more than willing to do this because we know what we rescued her from. As Christians, are we willing to go and rescue those that we and others would consider “Pit Bull Terriers” from the fate that awaits them? The choice is ours. What do you think?

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