Celebrate – Holy Week!

Welcome to holy week everyone, are you looking for ways to worship our Lord and Savior beyond our Sunday morning worship services? You have come to the right place; we have fantastic opportunities this week for you to worship with the family and friends.
 
We are also Celebrating that HE IS RISEN, in fact that is the title of our sermon this coming week “Celebrate Resurrection.” As you can read I’m excited to engage in different types of worship experiences this week. 
 
Thursday April 1st, we get to experience foot washing here at the HFC building at 5:30 pm. In John 13 Jesus set an example for all of us explaining how and why we should wash each other’s feet. If you have never been part of a foot washing service before or maybe you just want to come and see what is that all about, come and join us and I guarantee God will transform your life.
 
Friday April 2nd, we get to experience “Journey to the cross” from 3 pm to 7 pm. This would be an excellent opportunity for you to go through different stations showing you what was Jesus’s journey to the cross. What I love about the journey to the cross is that you can come at your own time, bring whoever you want and you can take as long as you need, there is no rush to finish.
 
Lastly, on Saturday April 3rd at 1 pm, we will go Easter caroling “Yes I said Easter caroling.” Some of our families haven’t been able to physically worship with us on a Sunday morning, so we want to bring worship to them, you are invited to join us and celebrate our risen Lord with them. Let’s worship together this week.
 


Celebrate!

Each Easter we join together to Celebrate that we serve a risen Savior. We Celebrate all that the resurrection of Jesus means to us—victory over sin and death, power to conquer, defeat of the enemy, etc. We Celebrate that Jesus is who he said he is—the Savior of the world who died for the forgiveness of our sins and rose to empower us to live holy with him.
 
This year though, we have even more to Celebrate! We have seen God do some amazing things through this season with Covid. We have seen an outpouring of people generously serving others and caring for the needs of those around them. We have even seen the faithfulness of God in the lives of those who have experienced the loss of a job, relationships, and even loved ones.
 
On Sunday, April 4th we will Celebrate the power of the resurrection once again as we gather for our Easter service at 11:00 am in the building and online. My hope is not only that you will join us but that you will also invite others to hear all the reasons we have to Celebrate today.
 
Truth is, many people around us don’t see a reason to Celebrate. They don’t have hope. They don’t experience love. They don’t know Jesus. Imagine what might happen if each one of us committed to bring one other person along to Celebrate with us. The good news we Celebrate will change lives forever and then we will have even more to Celebrate!
 
In Him,


Prayer is Powerful!

I’ve been studying prayer for the last couple of months now, and am currently part of a 100 days of prayer devotional. I’m learning so much about myself and my relationship with Christ as I dig deeper every day. I found that taking one burden on my heart and praying everyday with consistency, diligence and expectation according to scripture has strengthened my prayers and provided growth. I’m excited and in awe to know that my prayers are heard by my Heavenly Father!

I want to encourage you to spend time in prayer. It is a game changer! Just Begin – start a conversation with Him, and if you don’t have the words – that’s OK too, He knows our hearts and our cries.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. Romans 8:26

Praying for you HFC Family!

Your Sister in Christ,


Guess What My Papa Did!

My kids love hearing stories about when I got in trouble as a kid.  They love to talk to my parents about things I did wrong and the punishment I received for it.  However, their favorite thing is to tell other people about the bad things I did as a kid.  Usually I try to stop them before they get too far into it or I just ignore them and carry on with what I was saying.

Funny thing is that I tend to have the same relationship with my money.  You get to looking at my bank account and you are going to hear some stories about my life.  However, if I really look at it, my money might tell me some things about myself that I really don’t want you to hear.  The question is, what am I going to do when I hear things that I know need to change?

This month we are going through a sermon series called, “Money Talks.”  As we go through I really want you to listen to what your money is saying about you, to you and through you.  However, I also want you to listen to what God is saying about you, to you, and through you.  If what your money is saying and what God is saying is not the same then let’s do something about it.  We can’t afford to ignore what we are hearing.

In Him,
Pastor Tim


Don’t FREEZE

I LOVE cold weather. My mom grew up in Kansas, and I love the Christmas seasons we spent there because I knew we’d have snow. I would wake up early every day to run to the window and see if we had a new blanket of white. I’d hurry to get dressed and rush downstairs to scarf down breakfast so I could get out there and play. I’d stay out until lunch, come in wet and numb, warm up and scarf down lunch just to run back out and play until dinner. When I heard that we were going to actually have some real winter weather here in Houston, and the possibility of snow, I was excited! All those warm memories of Christmas’ past rushed back! I had a foolproof plan: I made sure I had hot chocolate on hand, had all the right snacks, had the heavy blankets and thick socks ready. I settled in, expecting the best winter ever! 

Then the power went out. And then it didn’t come back on. And it was COLD. With my autoimmune diseases, it makes it hard to regulate my temperature. I thought, “It’s all good. I’ve got this! Let me turn on my fireplace, no problem. I’ll be warm soon and this will still be a fun experience.” I was all cozy and was enjoying sitting looking out the front windows at the snow falling. “See, I got this!”

Then the gas alarm went off. I had to turn off the fireplace and air out the living room. I thought, “Well, that’s okay, I’ve still got this! I’ll just gather lots of blankets and stay cozy on the couch!” 

But it was still cold. REALLY cold. I thought, “I think I got this, I just need to give it more time to heat up under the blankets”.

And it seemed to be getting COLDER. I added more blankets, and another sweatshirt. And then extra socks. And a thicker scarf. “I got this? Maybe?”

How am I feeling EVEN COLDER?! The longer I went without heat, the colder I felt. “Um, maybe I don’t ‘got this’?” 

I remember clearly the moment I realized, “I DON’T ‘got this’. I need help!” The trouble was, the roads were dangerous and I wasn’t sure I could get out, or anyone could get in. Then a whisper of fear kicked in. “You don’t have this.” FREEZE. And there isn’t anyone to help.” I was experiencing ‘the freeze’ in a whole other way. I felt frozen, not sure what to do! Do I venture out? FREEZE. Do I ask someone to venture out to me to look at the gas fireplace? FREEZE. Do I risk turning on the fireplace again? FREEZE. Do I just hunker down and hope for the best? FREEZE. I found myself frozen in uncertainty, hearing that whisper “You’re all alone.” Thankfully I knew I wasn’t and shut the voice of fear out immediately. I knew God was with me, and my dad was just a phone call away, not to mention friendly neighbors on both sides, and friends who live nearby. I asked God and my dad for wisdom, we made a plan and I got to a safe warm place. 

Have you ever had that FREEZE moment? Have you gone from a mountain top high to a valley low? FREEZE. What do I do now? FREEZE. Do I ask for help, or hunker down and wait it out? FREEZE. To think you’ve got a rock solid plan and then something shifts and it all falls apart quickly can stop a person in their tracks, frozen, hearing the voice of fear. What I thought I wanted, what I thought would be a good and fun experience, was in reality really hard, not so fun, and resulted in a huge stressful mess. One I don’t really want to repeat ever again. Sound familiar? So often we think we know what is best, that our plan is foolproof. We think we know what we want, how it will play out, and we get excited! Only to find ourselves in the middle of something really hard, not so fun, and resulting in a huge stressful mess. God is so good to us. Even when we find ourselves in a mess (that we likely created) He is right there! Whether mountain top high or valley low, or somewhere inbetween, He is right there. And He is not having a FREEZE moment. Shut out the voice of fear, and listen to the voice of Truth! I am so thankful for a God Who doesn’t freeze up when I need Him. He is in control and ready to act, already knowing the outcome and how it will all play out. Shut out the voice of fear, and listen to the voice of Truth! Lean into the promises He gives us in Scripture. Go to Him in prayer, and ask for His help. He knows just what to do. 

Many Blessings,
Pastor Sarah


I’m Tired!

What a week that was, huh?  Not only are many of us physically tired from getting everything back to normal, but we are also mentally tired from the stress of being without power, being without water, trying to find a plumber, and trying to find money to pay the plumber.  Now this week the tired continues because on top of still fixing up what broke last week we have to get back to our normal work routines too.

I am encouraged today by 2 Corinthians 13:11, “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”

When we are tired it is easy for us to retreat and isolate from others but this is the time when we need each other most.  The God of love and peace is here with all of us so let’s encourage one another, let’s remind each other that God is here, and let’s share his love and peace with each other.

“Pastor, I’m too tired to share love and peace today.”  That’s fine.  Then you need to let the rest of the church share love and peace with you, to remind you that God is still here, to encourage you through this season.

Let’s all strive for full restoration, not only of our homes, but also of our world.  Let’s strive to restore those who are feeling tired.  Let’s strive to restore those who are feeling hopeless.  Let’s strive to restore those who are living in the consequences of sin.  Let’s restore God’s kingdom here on earth so that the gospel—the good news about Jesus Christ—might change us all.

If you need financial assistance click the link below to Benevolence Request Form.  There are funds available to help you.  You are not alone.  Be encouraged today.

In Him,

Pastor Tim.



What do disciples do?

No matter what you have from God you can share it with someone else.

No matter how long you have been connected to God you can help someone else get connected to him too.

No matter how you serve the Lord you can lead others to serve the Lord.

No matter where you are as a disciple you can become a disciple maker.

 

Wouldn’t it be great to have a place to learn how to do this?  Wouldn’t it be great to have people you could learn with?

This summer two trainings will be offered for you to learn how to disciple others in a practical way.  Sign up today at:  https://www.hfcog.org/community-groups

One group will meet in person on Sunday afternoons and the other group will meet online on Wednesday evenings.  If you have never done this training or are interested in doing it again either group will work for you. 

Sign up today!

 

In Him,

Pastor Tim.



The Heart of Worship

Worship is and has become an important part of my life, it’s not just something that I do every now and then, but is a lifestyle. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 34:1 because it says “I will praise the Lord at all time”, whether you are feeling down, sad, happy we have to praise him at all times. 

Songs don’t just have beautiful sounds, have you stopped to meditate on what are you actually singing? For example: “God, I’m on my knees again. God, I’m begging please again, I need You. Oh, I need You. Walking down these desert roads. Water for my thirsty soul, I need You. Oh, I need You.” Is a song that we sing on Sundays but it is more than just a song, it is saying how much we are in need of Jesus. 

God wants to be authentic and to worship him with all of our hearts. Sometimes life is hard and we feel we are not good enough to praise him when we sin or make a mistake. Crowder wrote a song that helps us trust God when we are in trouble times. “So lay down your burdens. Lay down your shame. All who are broken. Lift up your face. Oh wanderer come home. You’re not too far. So lay down your hurt. Lay down your heart. Come as you are”

Songs help us praise God even at times when we can no longer keep going. Songs are so much more than good sounds or a good rhythm. Songs can help us praise God through their lyrics. Would you bring more than a song or will you bring your heart to God? You don’t need to wait until Sunday morning to worship; you can do it right now.

Pastor David



You Could Catch A Monkey

A monkey sees a coconut with a small hole in it and becomes curious.  He smells fruit inside and is eager to get it.  Sliding his hand in the hole he grabs onto the fruit and tries to pull his hand out but it won’t fit.  His hand is too large to come out of the small hole while holding onto the fruit.  The monkey begins to struggle and panic because he is stuck as long as he holds onto the fruit.  If he would just let go he would easily be able to slide his hand out and be free.

When Jesus came and called people to follow him he was giving them a chance at freedom.  People like Peter, Andrew, James and John let go of what they had in order to live in the freedom of following Jesus.  Others, like the rich young ruler, stayed stuck in the trap because they wouldn’t let go.

As we begin 2021 we are focusing on our mission to make disciples.  You may have already realized that being a disciple maker means letting go of what YOU have a hold of—your self-image, priorities, leisure, and time—but what if those things are actually keeping you from the freedom that you can have in following Jesus?  What if the abundant life we so desire will be in reach as soon as we let go of what is in our hands?

We are disciple makers.  Jesus died for us to be saved and to lead others to salvation.  His resurrection empowers us to accomplish everything he calls us to, but it does not allow us to hold on to old things.  Let’s all let go together so that we can fully grab hold of the mission Jesus died for us to carry out.

Love you family,
Pastor Tim


Dream BIG!

Last week, Pastor Tim asked us to dream a little. I just love that I was asked to dream! But here is the thing, I was born and raised in Houston, Texas – anything “a little” is hard for me to do… So, I’ve been dreaming BIG!

One BIG dream is unfolding with my new position in ministry here at HFC, as your Connections Director. In just the first few weeks of January, I’ve have the opportunity to talk with a few people and start building relationships. In these conversations and new friendships, I’m able to help “connect” people that may not have been connected. I’m so excited that we are making time for one another because there is so much more than what we “see” on a Sunday or briefly on a Wednesday.

Everyone has a story, and a dream! Cindi & Shelby Sims dreamed of a new home.. Well, just this past Monday, they moved into their new apartment! Trusting in God to make a way and moving in the hearts of numerous people, it was possible. Time, resources, and items to make their new place a home were given by some from HFC, and some not from HFC. This is what I love about community…is that we come together to help when we can, with what we can! It takes saying “yes” to what God puts on your heart to make someone’s dream come true and be a blessing. Cindi & Shelby are so thankful and appreciative of everyone’s help, kindness and generosity.

I’m excited to continue to dream BIG. I’m excited to make the next phone call and I’m excited to receive calls to see who will be on the other end. I look forward to seeing how we can help and what connections can be made. Maybe you have a special skill or hidden talent that you’d like to share – I’m all ears and would love to know and get you connected to someone that may need just that!

You can give me a call or send me a text at 713.202.1395 or email me at: naomi@hfcog.org. I’m here for you!

Your Sister In Christ,

Naomi



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