The Miracle of a Thankful Life

miracle thankful life

The Beginning of a Thankful Life

I’m a fearful person by nature. As a little girl I was afraid to let go of Daddy’s hand to take my first steps. I clung to my mother’s leg the first day of school. My fear is different now then when I was a child. I fear that all I love and hold dear will be taken away or that some debilitating, deadly disease will render me useless to my family and ministry. My fear leads to a spiral of worry and anxiety. I came to recognize that my fear stemmed from my unthankful view of God. You know your own downfalls, the things that plague you day-by-day, sometimes minute-by-minute. Perhaps, like me, you long for a miracle. I have begun to see victory the way Christ wants, like little seeds springing to life. And it’s all preceded by one word…thankfulness.

The Miracle of a Thankful Life

It’s interesting to me that our calendar marks the beginning of the holiday season with Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving precedes our celebration of the miracle of Christmas. I’m learning that miracles are often preceded by thanksgiving. Remember the words of Mary before the miracle of Christ’s birth, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, (Luke 1:46–47)” She thanked her Lord for the privilege to serve her Redeemer. Her spirit of thanksgiving preceded the miraculous birth of the promised Messiah!

“In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6).” The predecessor to the miracle of answered prayer – thankful supplication. “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory… (1 Corinthians 15:57)” The predecessor to the miracle of victory – thanksgiving. Perhaps the greatest miracle of all time is the miracle of Redemption. Hours before He hung on a cross, despised by man and forsaken by His Father, what did our Savior do? “Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it… (1 Corinthians 11:23–24)” Our Savior gave thanks even in His darkest hour. What followed this prayer of thanksgiving changed the world forever – the miracle that defeated sin and death.

If we long for the grace and miracle of victory, we must possess the thankful spirit our Savior exemplified. So often we are impacted by a truth that has the power to truly change us, yet we fail to see any real change. We’re the same as before, maybe even more defeated.

The First Steps of Thankful Life

Brooke, recently learned to walk. Her first steps were awkward and marked by failure. Three months later, it’s more natural. Walking is becoming her way of life. Her fall back mode of transportation. In another year it will be second nature. Our God longs for us to walk with Him naturally. A manner not characterized by defeat, but marked by a full relationship with Him. I believe we must learn the language of thankfulness if we seek the miracle of a natural walk with God. Perhaps it will seem awkward at first, like Brooke’s first steps, but we must pursue it, or we’ll find our selves unchanged upon our confrontation with Truth.

The Challenge of Thankful Life

I’ve taken a challenge to create a list of 1,000 things I’m thankful for. The challenge is not original to me, but I really want to see a change in my view of God. I want to change the way I think of my Savior. Instead of looking through the lens of fear, I want to live looking through the lens of thankfulness expecting God’s miraculous victory. “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living (Psalms 27:13 NASB).” This is the cure to despair and lack of victory. Seeing the goodness of our God and living the miracle of a thankful life.”

Join me and keep me accountable in living the miracle of thanksgiving. Not just this season, but everyday. Through the lens of thanksgiving I believe we can see the miracles God intends us to see and be!

New Church Sign

Sign

Special thanks to the men who came out and helped to install the new church sign (Dave Ater, Dave Dayton, Pastor Josh, and Jeff Musgrave). It looks wonderful. I really think this sign combined with the cross really have upped our curb appeal. The hardest part was making enough extension cord to get the welder out to the street. However we combined our redneck ingenuity and got it done. We had a fun time together installing the sign. There is a slideshow of pictures attached so that you can see a bit of the process. Those of us who worked on it together had a great time.

If you are getting this in your email you will need to follow this link to see the pictures.

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What does it mean to follow Jesus? Part 2 – Faith

faithwhatdoesitmeantofollowjesus

Faith is essential to following Jesus

In Part 1 we established that knowing Jesus is the key to begin able to follow Jesus. Knowing Jesus can only be accomplished through faith. Hebrews 11:6 states, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Taking steps of faith will enable us to grow in our knowledge of Jesus.

This is illustrated very clearly in Mark 10:46-52. Jesus is passing through Jericho on the way to Jerusalem. There was a great crowd following Him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that Jesus was passing he began to cry out, “Jesus, Son of David have mercy on me.” He was basically screaming at the top of his lungs a request for healing while proclaiming that Jesus was the promised Messiah. Though there was a large crowd most of them were not following because they though that Jesus was the Messiah Jesus expressed this when he said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves (John 6:26 ESV).” Though Bartimaeus was physically blind he saw quite a lot spiritually. The people began to tell him to be quiet but nothing could silence his passion. He just cried out louder. Jesus stopped and called the blind man to him. Then Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Blind Bartimaeus immediately responded, “My teacher, let me recover my sight.” Jesus replied, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.”

Jesus makes it very clear that Bartimaeus was healed as a direct result of his faith. He demonstrated this faith by stepping out on what he had never seen but only heard. Bartimaeus believed that Jesus was the promised Messiah. It is what he was screaming out at the top of his lungs. The last part of Mark 10:52 is what we need to understand, “And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.” Blind Bartimaeus could see instantaneously. How exciting that must have been for him. He was freed from a world of darkness by the light of Jesus Christ. So what did he do with his new found sight? He immediately followed Jesus. He had faith in Jesus and the direct result of that faith was for him to follow Jesus.

What is Faith?

Faith in our culture has come to be almost synonymous with religion. This however is not the biblical definition. Faith is defined here in two parallel almost identical phrases, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1 ESV).” Faith is more than a longing that something will come to pass. It is so real that this hope brings absolute assurance. It is believing in God against what the world or our experience tells us. The second phrase takes this truth and adds to it action. Conviction is the outward manifestation of the of this assurance. Faith is more than a concept it requires action. James said, “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead (James 2:17 ESV).” Faith is not faith unless it is active. Active faith is described as a walking, “For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV)” Walking by faith is following Jesus.

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, (Colossians 2:6 ESV)” Our walk is to be characterized by faith. The difference is a person only get saved once. Salvation involves one decision of faith, but walking involves reiterated steps. Following Jesus is simply walking in His steps. “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; (Psalm 37:23 ESV)” Following Jesus is choosing to walk by faith.

I’d love to hear what you think about faith. Please comment below with questions or testimony about how you are learning to follow Jesus through faith.

What does it mean to Follow Jesus? – Part 1

knowwhatdoesitmeantofollowjesus

Our mission at Harvest:

is to win and disciple followers of Jesus Christ and to teach them to impact the world through our community, Castle Rock. I believe that God has given us the ability as a church to accomplish this mission. But, before we can start the process of winning, discipling, teaching, and impacting our community, we must become followers of Jesus. The powerful work of the church begins with who we choose follow.

What does it mean to follow Jesus?

I am going to take the next few weeks to pursue answering this question. I have to admit that I don’t have the complete answer to this question yet. Let me explain. Our ability to follow Jesus is a direct outgrowth of our knowledge of Him. An unbeliever can’t follow Jesus because he or she doesn’t know Him. Paul said, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12 ESV).” He is contrasting our knowledge of Jesus here on earth and our knowledge of Him when we see Him in heaven. We will never know Jesus here on earth like we will in heaven.

Though we don’t have this compete knowledge, we do have the privilege of pursuing Him in a personal relationship. Through this relationship our knowledge of him will grow. 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit (ESV).” We are given the ability to follow Christ as we get to know him through His Word. Paul was amazed with this concept and he wrote, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ … that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death (Philippians 3:8,10 ESV).” The key to following Jesus is knowing Jesus. So I will end with this question. How well do you know Jesus?

If you are reading this and don’t know Jesus. I have good news for you. The Bible was written so that you can know Him. Click here for a link to page on our site that will tell you how you can know for sure that you have a relationship with Christ. If this is something that interests you feel free to send me an email. I would love to help you answer your questions from God’s Word. “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13 ESV).”

Feel free to share your ideas about what it means to follow Jesus in the comments below.

Castle Rock Through My Eyes Photo Contest

Living in Castle Rock, we have a rare and privileged front-row seat to view some of God’s most beautiful creations. Castle Rock Through My Eyes is your opportunity to capture the brilliance of nature around you and connect with other Castle Rockians.

Harvest Baptist Church is proud to host this unique photo contest featuring Castle Rock as seen by you. Just snap a great photo, send it to us and you could win free coffee courtesy of our local coffee shop, Lost Coffee. Deadline for photo submission is November 29.

Click here for instructions and rules for entering the contest.

New Song for November


At Harvest we have been learning a new song each month. This is the new song for November. The lyrics reveal the wonder of our Holy God in contrast with our frail humanity. I hope that this will remind our church to be, “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,” (Ephesians 5:19)

Lyrics:
We are a moment, You are forever
Lord of the Ages, God before time
We are a vapor, You are eternal
Love everlasting, reigning on high

Chorus:
Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain
Highest praises, honor and glory
Be unto Your name, be unto Your name

We are the broken, You are the healer
Jesus, Redeemer, mighty to save
You are the love song we’ll sing forever
Bowing before You, blessing Your name

Click here if the video above is not working.

Remember 9-11 with us on September 15th

We invite you September 15th at 6:00pm to join us for a special event to remember September 11, 2001. We have a special guest speaker Steve Scheibner with us to share, In My Seat, a short documentary telling of his story. He went to bed September 10, 2001, with his bags packed and ready to go. He was scheduled to be the pilot on American Airlines Flight 11 the next day. When he woke in the morning, however, a rare last-minute substitution meant someone else would pilot that plane, the first plane that hit the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Steve knows first hand what it means to have someone die in his place, not once, but twice.

His powerful and moving testimony of God’s provision will stimulate you to examine your own life in light of eternity. Steve’s message entitled “Are You a Someday Saint or a Borrowed Time Believer?” will motivate you to a life of purpose and help you to recognize your need for the Savior.

We hope to see you for this exciting event. Below is a short preview from Steve Scheibner.
if the video does not work on your computer try using the following link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESBUKx17lYg

The Chase now at 6:00pm

Due to the many requests to move the time of “The Chase” back we have decided to move the time to 6:00pm. This should make it a bit easier for people to make it after work. Please make a note of this and spread the word by liking this blog post on facebook via the link below.

Check out details about The Chase by clicking here.

The Chase Canceled

Castle Rock ChaseDue to the low temperatures and moisture forecasted for this evenings ride as well as the rain/snow/sleet that we have been getting we are going to cancel yet again. Hopefully soon we will get nice weather so that we can do the ride.

Pastor Josh

Church Tonight Canceled

Due to the low visibility and blizzard warnings we are going to cancel all of this evenings scheduled events.