It’s Faith Promise Commitment Sunday!

I am so excited to see how God is going to challenge you to give to support the work of His kingdom through our Faith Promise ministries. If Faith Promise is new to you, check out hfcog.org/faithpromise. Let me quickly explain here…
 
We encourage all those who are members of the church to give a 10% tithe of their income to help support the work of God through HFC. However, we also want to support about a dozen ministries over and above what we give with the church. Each January we pray through what God might want us to commit to give by faith to him. These funds might come to you in unexpected ways throughout the year, or they might be intentionally set aside to give. Either way, your commitment is a step of faith to give over and above what you are already giving with the church.
 
Last year we had the highest annual commitment that we have had in years at $40,000, and praise the Lord, we exceeded that goal in actual giving to Faith Promise! God was so faithful to provide and you were so faithful to give.
 
This week especially, I want to invite you to prayerfully consider what you and your family might commit to give. Maybe this is the year that you increase your commitment, or commit to give through Faith Promise for the very first time. On Sunday, there will be a Faith Promise Commitment Card on your chair in the sanctuary. During the worship service, we will have a time where you can fill out that card and turn it in; we also have an online form HERE.  Let’s pray together about how we can financially support the work of the kingdom locally, nationally and internationally through our Faith Promise giving!
 
Love you HFC!
Pastor Tim


Let’s Chat!

I love Sundays. For so many different reasons. I love being at the church building early and slowly hearing the buzz as people arrive and begin to visit. And the laughter! You can hear it from the lobby all the way down the hallway. I love hearing little feet coming from the lobby and the big smile and tight hugs. I love worshipping with the body and the tiny taste of heaven we get. It is just a really special day in my week full of connection and joy and family.
 
But the thing I love the most is hanging out with our kids! Right now we have several opportunities in our Power Church programming which has allowed me to be in the classroom 3 of 4 Sundays. Our kids are really cool people. I just need you to know that. They have so many big dreams and plans. They have a great sense of humor and always keep me laughing. I’m able to hear about their world, and help them to find opportunities to speak truth and hope to their circle. Just yesterday, the 4th and 5th grade students discussed ways to show others God’s hope even in the middle of really hard circumstances like a parent losing a job, a loved one passing, or a health crisis. These students have all been through at least one of these and we had a great conversation. If you’re not plugged into our HFC Kids ministry, you are missing some really awesome experiences!
 
Did you know we have a student who is feeling the early call of ministry? Right now he says he wants to be a missionary to California and he regularly invites his whole class to kids ministry and special events. He sees the need for a Savior and he wants to tell the world. (Starting in Cali because “they need Jesus over there”.)
 
Did you know we have a student who loves music and tech and wants to be a movie producer? He has some amazing skills and is regularly serving on the worship tech team! He has a vision for what graphic design could look like and how worship slides could help set the mood for a service, and how to cut video clips together to make a compelling music video.
 
Did you know we have a student who has a HUGE servant heart? They regularly help set up and clean up without being asked and are a huge helper in the classroom! They gravitate toward the younger kids, and gently show them how to do things, always patient and kind.
 
Our 1st-5th grade students are developing their world view, discovering God in their everyday lives, and learning how to apply what they learn at kids club. We get the amazing privilege to partner with families in the spiritual formation of their children and empowering parents in family discipleship. And it’s FUN! No matter what your background or skillset is, we have a place for you! We have a need for lead and assistant teachers, Sundays and Wednesdays, at a variety of times. We have teachers who are nurses, salesmen, food industry, corporate and non profit roles, business owners, and so much more. Even if ‘kids’ are not your thing, there are ways that you can support our HFC Kids ministry. I’d really love to tell you more about how you can get involved at any level – email me HERE and let’s set up a time to chat!
 
Many Blessings, 
Pastor Sarah


Choose Your Own Ending

I didn’t like reading as a kid but I did like the Choose Your Own Adventure books. However, curiosity would always get the best of me. Instead of just choosing where to go next I would actually read both options and then decide with way to go. Wouldn’t it be awesome if life worked like that?
 
The reality is that we can’t read ahead but we can make choices now that will lead to a fruitful ending according to the promises of God’s word. This month we are going to look at our relationships, finances, mental health and purpose, and we are going to examine how we can make choices now that will ensure that we end in the blessing and favor of God.
 
This is a great opportunity to invite others to worship or to share the YouTube and Facebook links to the sermons. Everyone wants their lives to go well but most people feel like life isn’t going well. We have the answer. We have Jesus. We have the way, the truth and the life, so let’s share Jesus and the good news about him to those around us. Love you church!
 
In Him,
Pastor Tim
 
 


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!
 
I hope you were able to remember, or visit, family and friends. As we start this brand new year filled with excitement for all the different opportunities, events and more things to come, sometimes it is good to look back and admire how God worked in every situation of our lives.
 
Just in last month alone, we had Christmas Family Worship Night, Oh Boy Family Event, Christmas parties for kids, youths and adults, a mini Lock-in, Bane Angel Tree, and Christ Birthday Offering. We got connected with Jersey Village High School’s men/women of honor club, had the annual ladies brunch, and other community activities. Faith promise was fulfilled and even exceeded, and so much more than I can’t fit in this letter.
 
I am pretty sure God did some amazing things in your life as well, and he will continue to do great things for you, your congregation and those around you. Let’s start this year with Jesus as our end goal so that we can stay focused on Him. We will probably have difficult times but when Jesus is the center of our lives, our attitude, our emotions, and our perception of things will be different because we trust in Him, the One that can turn any situation into good.
 
Church, as we start this year let focus our attention on Jesus. You are not alone, the HFC Fam is praying for you and your family. Prepare your heart for what is to come. Thank you for never giving up even when things do not go your way, Let’s show the world our God is bigger than any situation.
 
With love,
Pastor David


Can I Ask You To Do One Thing For Me This Week?

This past week you have probably had opportunities to see family, friends and others at Christmas gatherings. In those times I would also imagine that people began to share some of the good and bad that was happening in their lives. Then, after the pleasantries we all went back home to our regularly scheduled lives. (Here is where I finally ask my question.)
 
Could you simply follow up with one of the people you talked to this past week?
 
“But what would I say?”
“Won’t it be weird?”
“What if they openly don’t believe in God?”
 
Try this in whatever form you feel most comfortable in communicating—text, call or in person:
 
“It was great to see. I just wanted you to know that I’m praying for you. Keep me posted on
how things are going.”
“We should connect more often. Would you like to get together for coffee sometime?”
“How are things going with _____ ?”
 
Opportunities just like these are where relational discipleship begins. You can do this! It is simply a matter of caring enough about others to follow up. You don’t have to solve their problems. Just listen well and share what God has done in your life. I’m so glad we are doing this together!
 
In Him,
Pastor Tim


I Choose Joy

This weekend was really fun! We had the Oh Boy! Family Event Saturday and there was lots of laughter and fun. It filled my ‘cup’ and brought me and those who attended joy! Then Sunday we had prayer, community groups, free coffee with Naomi, worship… many opportunities to visit and chat with friends and families. I was in the beginning of the worship service and each song focused on joy! Joy has kind of become my life word, so that time of worship just filled me up! I went with the kids when we dismissed and we had a blast in the 4th and 5th grade classroom. Again, so much laughter. I love spending time with our kids. They are so cool and always bring a smile to my face. The sermon was all about joy as well. Then I had a nice lunch with my parents, and we headed to my house to bake my grandma’s famous Christmas cookies.  Safe to say this weekend filled my heart with joy!!
 
As we were preparing to bake the cookies, we heard a horrible crash from the other room. The cat had somehow knocked over the tree (I know most cats usually do this – but Cleo never has in the 10 years I’ve had her). As I rounded the corner I saw shattered glass everywhere. Thankfully the cat was ok. As I  began to put pieces together, I started to see what was broken. A few were not all that important – filler type pieces that held no particular value. But then I saw three that my sister had given me over the years. These were hand made, special sentimental value, and really meaningful to me. One she had signed and dated, a beautiful tall red angel that was a bell. One was a neat Santa with a swirled frosted glass beard that she had found on her travels somewhere. And one was a  Dakota Hiawatha angel that she had given me after she learned I really loved the legend/book as a child. These three were especially meaningful to me as there were many Christmases we were not together, and I didn’t know where she was. I would put them on the tree and pray that she was safe wherever she was. It helped me to feel close to her those Christmases. 
 
I of course burst into tears as I initially processed the loss of these ornaments, and then sucked it up and began cleaning. Thankfully my dad was there to help move all the heavy furniture and help get all the teeny tiny pieces vacuumed up. As we cleaned, my mind kept mulling over all those years, all the tears, all the prayers that had gone up on my sister’s behalf.  My heart was heavy and the tears just kept flowing. Then suddenly JOY unexplained washed over me! Because the realization hit me – those prayers have been answered! These objects that meant so much aren’t even needed anymore because – praise God – my sister is not only back in my life – she’s saved, she’s safe, and she’s healthy! What answers to years of prayer! What a reason to rejoice and be filled with joy! While I will miss those ornaments, I have the memories of when she gave them to me, and even better – I have her both in this life as my sister and in heaven as a Christian sister thanks to our salvation in Christ.
 
I encourage you to Choose Joy – If you haven’t heard the sermon yet, I encourage you to listen to it and process the questions. If you are saved, I challenge you to Choose Joy and be an example and a light to those around you. If you are not saved, and are looking for hope and joy this season, I encourage not to give up, to seek help from friends and family, and to join us at HFC – the door is open and the invitation stands. Come as you are, and come meet  the family; we’ve got a seat for you. And we can help you find and Choose Joy!
 
Many Blessings,
Pastor Sarah


This is the Week!

We look forward to celebrating the birth of our Savior with you and the rest of HFC over the next couple weeks. This is the best week for you to invite others to be a part of all that God is doing so that we can share the good news of Jesus Christ together. Be sure to invite friends,
coworkers, neighbors and family members to the following:
 
“Oh Boy!” Family Christmas Event this Saturday, December 17 from 1-3p
This is a come and go self-guided experience through several stations where you will build, decorate,
eat and play all as a family. Register today at hfcog.org/kids .
 
Worship this Sunday, December 18 at 11a
Before you go out of town to connect with others we will talk about how Jesus can change our
reality especially when our lives aren’t where we expected.
 
Christmas Family Worship Night on Friday, December 23 at 6p
Lots of singing and a powerful presentation of the gospel followed by a wonderful time to
hangout with hot chocolate and all the fun toppings you could think of!
 
Christmas Worship on Sunday, December 25 at 11a
Perfectly scheduled between time with the kids in the morning and dinner with the extended family that afternoon.
We will receive communion together as we remember why Jesus was born.
 
And there are so many ways to invite others! You can hand out an invite card that you received from the building, you can message someone an invite video from YouTube, or you can connect them with our HFC Facebook page. I’ll also send you a Christmas week invite video in the next
couple days that you can share with everyone. Here are the links. Just click on the link and then under the video just click “Share.”


This Week’s Questions

How are you doing with this week’s questions from the sermon on Sunday?  Really, how are you doing with them? 

For me, I’ve been thinking about them, but I’ve not reached out to process them with anyone or filled out a connect card.  I was thinking if I’m not doing this, is anyone?  And why not?  I think I know the answer to that – it’s hard.  It’s hard to ask for help.  It’s hard to be transparent.  And it is super hard to be vulnerable.  Well, here I am picking my “hard” to let you in on my thoughts and pray that you get something out of this…

  1. What causes me the most anxiety? 

That’s a hard one to answer.  Really it is more of how do I pick one thing and then is that the “one thing” that really causes the most anxiety?  To be honest this question causes anxiety.  I can be all over the place when it comes to anxiety… riding in the car with Mr. Dingle, Charles staying out late, flying on an airplane, being in a crowd of people, the thought of moving (away from my parents), public speaking, and crazy as it sounds – washing my hair.  See all over the place!  What I know about my anxiety is that it relates to control – I’m not in control of the majority of things I listed.  If I was to say that not being in control is what causes me the most anxiety that makes sense. (Hey, thanks for letting me work that out…)

  1.  Do you want to trust Jesus to handle that situation better than you?

Well, now that I realize lack of control causes me the most anxiety… Of course, I want to trust Jesus to handle this better than me – obviously, I’m not doing well in my own strength and I know He would be much better.    

  1.  How am I going to submit to God’s Holy Spirit?

And now here we are at question #3… how am I going to submit to God’s Holy Spirit in trusting that Jesus can handle my control issues better than me?  I’m going to have to stay in constant communication with Him!  I’m going to have to lay it all down at His feet every single time, in every situation, and trust that He will take care of me.  Pray.  Pray.  Pray.  Pray.  And pray some more!  Praise God – tomorrow is Fast and Pray!

We meet at 7pm for prayer in the sanctuary – come pray with us or let us know how we can pray for you.    

Lastly, I want to share these scriptures that I meditate on when I feel anxious:

2 Timothy 1:7:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and self-discipline.
 

Philippians 4:4-9:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be apparent to all. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me, put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Your Sister In Christ, 

Naomi



Too Busy For Jesus?

Isn’t it ironic that the season we have to celebrate the coming of our Savior is also the season in which we barely have time to celebrate because of all the stuff we have to do. Truth be told, if can feel like the church actually adds to the busyness and distract us from a real focus on Jesus.
 
But what if these opportunities for busyness are actually opportunities for discipleship, opportunities to build relationships, and opportunities to share what God is doing in your life? What if discipleship doesn’t have to be something extra that you add to your schedule but something that happens as you invite others into your schedule?
 
In this newsletter you are going to see a ton of opportunities to connect with the church but when you invite others to go with you, they now become opportunities for life transformation. Maybe you want to be part of this but you don’t know where to start. Just reach out to me or any of the staff and we would love to help you explore this avenue of growth.
 
You aren’t too busy for Jesus or his mission. Who will you invite to come along with you?
In Him,
Pastor Tim


Still Giving Thanks

Monday morning I left for a week of vacation. I am going to visit some family in Kansas for Thanksgiving. While planning over the last few weeks, the plan has had to change some.  Instead of renting a house with a kitchen where we can cook together, we’ll likely be eating fast food leftovers that don’t need a microwave. I was getting very frustrated that the plan wasn’t looking like the traditional Thanksgiving meal I was hoping it would. I was disappointed that we wouldn’t get to decorate the table and make cookies and…  I was focused on me.
 
This trip isn’t about me. It’s about visiting family I haven’t seen in a year or more. It’s about some great quality time with my parents. It’s about rest in the midst of weekly busyness of life. It’s about spending time with a family member who lives alone and gets few visitors. It’s about slowing down, and being still. It’s about giving thanks!
 
Often in the middle of the busy holidays, we get caught up in all things ‘us’ – we forget to see others, their needs, their pain, their joy! We forget to see God and all He is doing, even in the middle of the busy, crazy days. This Thanksgiving is going to look a little different. And that’s ok. I can still give thanks. 
 
Join me in looking for “God Sightings” this week as you prepare to celebrate, no matter what this Thursday might look like for you – even if it look’s a little different – Still Give Thanks!
 
Many Blessings,
Pastor Sarah


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