There comes a point…

tooLate

There comes a point where God removes His protective hand and allows self destruction to take its course.  We think of this in terms of individuals and it is most certainly true.  But it is just as true for a nation… the only nation promised to endure is a remnant of Israel.  Is America at the point where God has permanently removed His hand?  …perhaps.

Does this verse still have an application for America?  …perhaps not.

2 Chronicles 7:14 
14  Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

Need proof?  Watch the news, read facebook, listen to people all around you… wrong is right, right is wrong.

The truth is this… that verse was never intended for America.  It is not about us.  We can learn from it… but it is not a message to us.

God does not have a covenant with the United States of America.  He can and will remove His blessings from a nation that rejects Him.  The proof is in history.  And we are not above God.  We are not in control.  Our nation, our current generations have voted… we do not trust in God… and God is listening.

Even so… Follow Jesus.

Mat. 22:37-39
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

John 15:13
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Mat. 5:44
But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

 

God may give up on a nation, but He won’t give up on you.

2 Peter 3:9 (NLT)
9  The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

No matter what our nation does… you choose to seek Him.

 


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Call on 911

 

We are finishing up this series… Crazy Enough.  Stuttgart Harvest Church is crazy enough to try to do what Jesus asks of us.  It doesn’t stop here though because we are just getting started.

Sunday we looked at serving the community around us.  This we must do.  It is not an option.

Today we are adding to that.  Today we are opening wide our understanding of serving.  Today we reach further.

Our church is called to serve communities beyond our community.  We are called to impact people we don’t even know.  We are called to see individuals and families, living in other towns, connected with Jesus eternally.   

 

Our Call on 911 passage for this week…

Psalm 9:11 (NIV)

11  Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done.

 

For today, as you read nations, think towns and communities within driving distance, maybe 60 to 100 miles, of Stuttgart Harvest Church.   There are many.  

 

We may not be able to impact all of them… but we will be able to impact some of them… but we can’t even impact some of them right now… but we can impact one of them.  I don’t know when.  I don’t know where.  But I do know this, God has called Stuttgart to proclaim freedom through Jesus Christ by starting churches.  And it all starts with one church, somewhere and at some time.  Only God knows the details of when and where and He will let us know when He is ready.  

 

Until that day, until that year arrives… We simply keep preparing to one day start a church.  We must keep praying and asking God to use us. We must keep growing and reaching right here, right now and someday He will send us out.  He will send us out to proclaim God’s praises among other towns, other places. Church planting/starting is serving too.   Wow… it sure is exciting following Jesus!

 

Grow on my dear friends… grow on!

 


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When Community Happens… 911

 

When Community Happens

Our “Call on 911” scripture focus for this week:

Luke 9:11 (NIV)   11  but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.

 

This is what our groups are learning as they follow Jesus.  Our groups are learning how to follow Jesus together.  

 

We are learning how to welcome each other. We are learning how to love each other.

 

Together we are being challenged as we look at God’s Word.  And God’s Word holds us accountable as we continue to grow.  As we look at God’s Word together, we lovingly hold each other accountable to keep growing and keep taking steps with Jesus.

 

We are also learning how to work together to see our hurts healed as the group learns how to care for each other in personal times of sadness, stress and fear.  But we are not just there for bad times because we celebrate together life’s great times too.

 

You see…  The best 911 response to our lives is not a call to the church office.  The best spiritual 911 response to our lives is within our own small groups… your small group.  They are learning how to love you and you are learning how to love them.   

 

If someone attends our worship gathering and fails to stay involved in a small group, they will never experience the love they are meant to experience by being part of a church.  And more importantly, they will never be loving others the way God wants them to love others inside the church if they simply attend a weekend worship gathering each week and leave.  

 

For too many years churches in the U.S.A. have defined being part of a church as attending Sunday morning.   Because of that, we have churches full on Sunday and people empty all week long.  Empty because they were never meant to live the Christian life alone.  You can’t live any of the church’s “one anothers” by yourself.  Empty because a worship gathering is not a church.  Empty because relationships don’t sprout and grow while sitting in a big room in long rows.  Empty because we don’t know the other people sitting in the big worship room.  Empty because no one knows us.  Empty because we have the wrong idea about church.  

 

A church is not a building.  A church is not a meeting.  A church is the people… not people simply attending but people in relationship.

 

Join us. Get in a group at the next opportunity.  Don’t journey alone, it is not God’s plan for you.

 

If you are interested in taking that super important step… contact Donny for information.

Donny on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/donnyawhite?fref=ts

Donny by email: donny@stuttgartharvestchurch.com

 


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Crazy Enough… 911 again

 

We are all about helping others find their way to God through Jesus.  We are all about seeing fathers rest in the shelter of God’s wings.  We are all about seeing families resting in a relationship with God Himself.

We must never stop.  We must never become content with where we are.  We must never look back on what God has done for us and through us and say, “That is good for now.  I have done my part.”

No.  May we never stop until we see the last hurting person within 200 miles of us connected eternally with Jesus.  May we never stop.

God doesn’t intend for us to stop.  Let’s keep loving.  Let’s keep being friends with those around us.  Let’s keep inviting them.  Let’s keep asking God, “What is next?  Where do you want us to go?  We are here… send us.”

Let’s see this 911 verse as a reality for every willing soul in Arkansas.

Psalm 91:1 (NIV) He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

 

Let’s roll out… we have some work to do!

Woo Hoo!!!

 


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That’s Not Cool

Dear H,

It is not cool to cry in Starbucks.

It’s not cool to let a tear roll down your cheek… so keep tears in… near your eyelids.  Let them hang out there right on the edge of your eyes.  Just don’t let them fall, don’t let them roll.

It is not cool to cry in Starbucks.

Tears for failure.

Tears for the past.

Tears for today.

Tears for now.

It’s not cool to cry in Starbucks.  Don’t let anyone know.

The mixture of sad and happy is so strange and confusing.

Good things mixed with bad things.

Memories fighting dreams.

Dreams fighting reality.

It’s not cool to cry in Starbucks.

Second chances come late sometimes.

Second chances take time sometimes.

Stepping up to the starting line once again… seems late to start over… sometimes seems too late.

Wondering… is there still time to run the race again?

It is not cool to cry in Starbucks.

Where has the time gone?

I can’t afford to stay here any longer because I have a life to run, a race to live.

Thus far the sun has risen over 17-thousand times since God breathed life into my lungs.  I have seen some of them.

I am going to see more of them from now on.  I will pause and see more, do less and be more.

It’s not cool to cry in Starbucks.  Maybe no one notices.  Keep them high.  Don’t let them fall.  Let them hang out on the cusp and slowly retreat back inside because it’s not cool to cry in Starbucks.

Sincerely,

H

 

P.S.

Those tears are  precious to your Savior.  In fact, He saves them.  I’m not sure why but He does and they are.

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”  Psalm 56:8


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Crazy Enough… 911

Our 911 verse for the day… but first…

It seems that Jesus looked around, wherever he was, and loved the hurting people around him.  He accepted them as His creation.  He didn’t love their sin.  He didn’t love all of their choices but He loved them.

Jesus not only accepted the people around him, he reached out and touched them.  He took his hands, the hands that would be nailed to the cross, and patted backs, gave greetings and offered hugs.  Jesus accepted them and as a caring friend, physically touched many.

Here is a 911 snapshot of Jesus.

 

John 9:11 (NIV)  He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”

Jesus…Helping the spiritually blind see.

Now for us today: Everywhere we go here… Everywhere we go to work, shop, play, workout, get fuel, pay bills… everywhere we go today… accept the people around you and love them.

Now for us as a church… everywhere our church is one day sent to start another church… we will accept the people God places around us.  We will love them.  And our goal is to see many, many, many people touched by God himself!

 

 


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