Responding in a 2 Corinthians 9 manner…

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Responding in a 2 Corinthians 9 manner…

Dear HCC Family,
 
In 2nd Corinthians 9, Paul attempts to inspire the Corinthian Christians to a generosity beyond their regular financial faithfulness. The Christians in Jerusalem were hurting and needed money for basic life needs, so Paul asked the church to step up and help. The situation in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean is very similar.
 
So, in this email, you have the opportunity to pray, and perhaps be inspired to donate – but where. I am recommending the Church of God disaster relief program. This fund is managed by our denomination. I know the leaders personally and assure you that what you give will get to those in need. Better yet, it will get to those in need, through local churches attempting to be the social center of God’s kindness. You can donate with confidence through the link below.
 
This Thursday I’m hosting our quarterly leadership navigation. This meeting is for all who serve in an influential capacity at HCC. If you serve as an assistant Sunday School teacher, Usher, Greeter, Food Pantry volunteer, Elder, etc. I consider you an influencer and invite you to the Leadership Navigation.
 
We will do some team building, sharing of important administrative ministry info, and I will cast a vision for this Fall. Thursday 7-8:30pm in the Community Hall at church.
 
Finally, I am so looking forward to meeting your unchurched friends and family this Sunday. Relationships recruit for the Kingdom of God, so please invite someone to National Back to Church Sunday. Each service will be crafted to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God in a simple and straightforward manner.
 
Check out the second of two memory verses for the year:

  • The first was John 3:30 “He must increase, and I must decrease.”
  • The second is Romans 14:17 “The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking. The kingdom of God is living a life of goodness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

It's always 3:30,

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Jesus is speaking...

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Jesus is speaking...

Dear HCC Family,
 
Imagine Jesus saying this to you, “I will think of everything, you, just think of loving me.”
 
What would it be like for you to give all the anxious thinking about life over to God? And you, just think about loving Him. Goodness, that sounds great. Impossible, right? That’s pie in the sky religious stuff. Right?
 
I think it is possible, but not if we don’t work diligently to position ourselves to be transformed more and more into the likeness of Christ. The kind of peace that comes from trusting God to think of everything takes a great deal of soul training. The kind of soul training that we’ve been looking at for almost two years now.
 
I hope you’ve been reading The Good and Beautiful Life, and listening to the preaching on Matthew 5 & 6. For this Sunday, please read Luke 4 to be prepared.
 
Our new cookbook has my honey Sriracha grilled chicken wings, and quiche recipes. You can’t get them anywhere else. If you want them, and 598 others, order a cookbook this Sunday and support the Freedom Seed Initiative. Click here to order.
 
As an outgrowth of the cookbook interest, the Ladies Ministries is hosting a cooking class that will teach you how to make a few fabulous meals to feed 4 people...and all for $8. Crazy, I know. We want you to learn how to save $200-$300 in your grocery budget each month. This is freeing. RSVP here.
 
Apologetics course forming! I’ve invited an Apologist who is trained in defending the Christian faith. Learn things like how to respond to atheism, or when people question the Bible’s reliability, or how can God and evil co-exist. Starts September 20, runs for 8 weeks, and cost $50 for the first family member, and then $25 for the second, a maximum of $75 for a family.
 
Show me the money, and your contact info to RSVP for the course.

Let God think of everything, you just think of loving Him,

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A Texas size flood…What’s a church to do…

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A Texas size flood…What’s a church to do…

Dear HCC Family,

Here are a couple things to do this week in response to the Texas flooding:

1.      Pray for the victims

2.      Pray for the area churches to be recognized as the social center of God’s kindness

“Acts of God,” as they’re called by insurance companies, stir up all kinds of big questions and doubts. Texas flooding, cholera outbreaks, auto accidents, genocide, house fires, cancer, etc. are all physical experiences that provoke spiritual questions. As Christians, we need to have some way of responding to questions like, “Well if God is great, then why did He…”, or “If God is good, then why didn’t He…”.

Starting September 20, and running for eight weeks, HCC will offer a course to help you respond to those big life questions. I have invited an actual “Apologist” from outside the church to teach the course. Apologetics is the area of Christian study that addresses these big questions about God, and life from a biblical perspective.

So, if you’re interested in a serious course on Christian apologetics, then put your money, where your mouth is, so to speak. The course will cost each participant $50 bucks. To RSVP get a check to me, or use the church app. If we have 10 or more, the class will be held.

Another thing came to mind this week while praying for Texas, what if HCC was free from debt? What could we have done to help local churches in the Houston area be the social center of God’s kindness?

If we reach our goal this year of $250K, then we will be on our way to freedom from debt, and free to respond generously. Remember, faithful obedience, leads to freedom, and freedom opens us to inspirational generosity. This is how biblical prosperity works.

Please consider joining the “Freedom 500.” That’s 500 people from HCC that will give $15 above their regular giving each week, to the Freedom Seed Initiative. If this happens, and in addition, all those who can give more than $15 do so, we will meet our goal by year’s end.

Read Matthew 6 to be prepared for the Sunday sermon about, 2 treasures, 2 eyes, and 2 masters.

Take a few moments to catch up with Pastor Steve below...

Just imagine…

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Driving while videoed…

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Driving while videoed…

Dear HCC Family,

This year I celebrate three anniversaries associated with HCC, my 30th year as an Ordained Minister, 25 years at HCC, and 10 years as Lead Pastor. These anniversaries really snuck up on me. Wow, how time flies.

I do regret that my time going forward is likely less than the time already gone. But the time gone was time well spent maturing, building eternal relationships, and being transformed. I don’t even recognize the soul of that young minister from 30 years ago…I’ve been so transformed by the Holy Spirit I’m unrecognizable. Looking forward with passion to a future of nurturing a contrast community at HCC, who love God with all their heart, mind, and body, and are dedicated to changing the world for God’s glory.

As for this Sunday, I can’t wait to wrap up the, “How to change the world…” Read Matthew 5: 13-16 to be primed.

Take a few moments to catch up with Pastor Steve...

Is it 3:30 in your life?

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Bummer…I hate when I do that…

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Bummer…I hate when I do that…

Dear HCC Family,
 
I’m often so caught up in the task part of ministry, that I forget about the people part of ministry. I have neglected to express my gratitude to you who serve as HCC volunteers for way too long. Every pastor is only as effective as their volunteers are. So, if HCC scores one for the Lord, so to speak, it’s not a solo effort, it’s a team effort.
 
I realize that every time someone gives me a compliment about HCC, they really give you, the volunteer, the compliment. But you don’t get to hear it, I do. And that's just unfortunate because I get a lot of compliments about you.
 
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for serving the Lord in the HCC ministry. I know you don’t need to hear this from me, the applause from the Lord that you hear is enough for you. You don’t serve to be applauded by me, but I want to applaud you, not because you demand it, but because you deserve my applause. Can you hear that? I’m clapping for you right now.
 
I know that I can’t do what I do unless you do what you do. I’m only effective if you're effective. We’re in this together, and I’m so sorry that I don’t do this more often. Thank you for all you do.
 
Take a few moments to catch up with Pastor Steve...

It's always 3:30,

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How to change the world…

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How to change the world…

Dear HCC Family,

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, world!

No doubt. So how can it be changed. This Sunday I will start a new series called “How to change the world.” We will take stock of where we are, and look to Jesus for a way toward changing the world.

A real part of changing the world, is change in your world. Have you moved beyond the surface of Sunday spirituality, to deeper spiritual water? So, how does one move beyond Sunday into deeper spiritual water? Get involved in a Life Group Bible study or home group, join a ministry team, and start to do life together. It’s not going to come to you, you’re going to have to go to it.

If you’re interested, just reply to this email or text me at 443-506-9472, and I will help you get beyond Sunday.

Take a fewminutes to catch up with Pastor STeve below...

It’s always 3:30, live like it,

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Obedient as a shadow…

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Obedient as a shadow…

Dear HCC Family,

Part of the HE>i idea is to become the shadow in your relationship with Jesus. Let me explain.

Go with me here…God has been shadowing you all your life. At some point, God confronts you and offers you a new life. You take Him up on the offer, and become a child of God. Ephesians 5:1 (and developmental psychology) tell us that children naturally imitate their parents or siblings – from learning to walk and talk, to our tastes and preferences. So, as a spiritual parallel the development track of a child of God is to imitate the Father, or “Brother” Jesus.

This is what I mean by becoming the shadow. Your goal as a Christian is to imitate (shadow) Jesus. What Jesus does, you do. Where He goes, you follow. What He thinks, you think. How He talks, you talk.

Over the years, if you’re intentional about this, you will incrementally decrease, and He will incrementally increase. This is the transformation we seek, to become as obedient as Christ’s shadow.

Take a few minutes to catch up with Pastor Steve...

Yes, it’s always 3:30,

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Two critical things for the HCC family…

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Two critical things for the HCC family…

Dear HCC Family,

1. You don’t want to miss our next Equip for Life Session May 6th at 9am in Pre-K Park. One of our Elders, Bryan Hyre, will be sharing essential information about end of life issues such as wills, advance directives, powers of attorney, appointing a health care agent, etc. Bryan is an estate attorney of the highest quality. No business will be solicited. We just want to get you, your friends and family the best information possible. On that note, make this a strategic invitation. Invite an un-churched friend or family member to come. It’s a great way to connect them indirectly to God, by connecting them to God’s people at HCC.

2. I’m begging you to please attend a special called meeting I’m having for all Covenant Partners and supporters of HCC. I recently discovered that a local pastor in our denomination, of a church similar in size to HCC, just went through a freedom initiative like we are. They had property just like us and were confronted with all the same issues we are. It is a miracle story, one I’m hopeful we also will have. So, please do everything possible to come out on May 11th at 7pm in the Sanctuary to hear the story of Life Source Church, as told by Pastor Mike McDermott. It will only be an hour and a half at most. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Click the video/graphic link below and take a few moments to catch up with me...

It’s always 3:30,

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Breathing the Breath…

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Breathing the Breath…

Dear HCC Family,
 
You might think that the air in your lungs is what keeps you alive…you would be mistaken, according to God. God, as we learned last Sunday, understands life as breathing the Breath of Life into the lungs of our souls, and living by that Breath. The “Breath,” of course is the Holy Spirit.
 
Last Sunday I talked about the creation of the original people of God in Genesis 1 & 2. This Sunday I will cover the death of the original people of God due to getting the “Breath” knocked out of them by sin, and the recreation, or resurrection of the new people of God described in Acts 2.
 
Stoked about Sunday!!!!!
 
Hope you’re getting ready for our annual Dash for Dignity this Saturday. Check out this link if you're late to the party.
 
Next community Equip for Life Session is May 6th and the subject is end of life planning, such as wills, powers of attorney, advance directives, appointing a health care agent, etc. Bring an unchurched friend or family member to indirectly introduce them to the kingdom of God. Check out this link for more information.
 
Click the video/graphic link below and take a few moments to catch up with me...

Bring someone to church Sunday.
 
It’s always 3:30,

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Don’t flinch…Do it right now…

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Don’t flinch…Do it right now…

Dear HCC Family,
 
Come on, invite an unchurched friend or family member to church this weekend. An indirect way to expose them to the Gospel is at the Easter Egg Scramble if they have elementary school age kids or grandkids. A direct way to expose them to the Gospel is at Easter Sunday service, 9 or 11am. I will be presenting the Gospel of Easter in a crystal clear way. Don’t flinch…Do it right now…Come on, invite an unchurched friend or family member to church this weekend.
 
On Good Friday the service starts at 7pm, and there will be nursery for kids 3 and under, plus the parents' room will be open with a live feed of the service.
 
On Sunday at the 9 & 11am services, our new youth pastor will be hosting a unique Easter service for middle and high school kids. Make sure your kids get exposed to the good news this Sunday at the ZU in the Z Lounge.
 
Click the video/graphic link below and take a few moments to catch up with me...

Come on, get out there and invite someone.
 
It’s always 3:30,

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So, who's the Dude on the donkey?!!?

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So, who's the Dude on the donkey?!!?

Hey HCC Family,
 
Yep, if I was living in Jerusalem at the time of Christ’s triumphant entry into the city, I would have likely asked the question in the subject line. I think lots of people though, are still asking the question today – “Who is this Jesus?”
 
You’ve got the answer, but if you’re like most Christians, you can’t really explain it very well. So, don’t…let me do the explaining.
 
According to the example of Jesus Himself in John 2, the art of evangelism is simply to invite someone to “…come and see.” You don’t need to know theology, explain the Trinity, or unravel the mysteries of the end times…you just need to invite someone you care about to come and see, by coming with you to church.
 
Palm Sunday and Easter weekend are one of the best seasons of the year to invite someone to church.

See the schedule for this Easter Season below.
 
Click the video/graphic link below and take a few moments to catch up with me...

Invite someone to come and see for themselves,

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