Check your Vision - John Antonuccio

Check your Vision - John Antonuccio

In the Gospel of John there is a profound lesson on faith. The story is found in John 20:24-31. To summarize, Jesus has been crucified and rumor has it that HE has actually risen from the dead. After all, Mary said she saw him and he actually spoke to her. Peter and John checked out the tomb and it was empty with the grave clothes curiously laid aside. Could this really be so? 

Has Jesus risen from the dead? 

The door was locked as the 10 gathered together and it would be safe to say that these guys were nervous, if not downright scared, of what might happen next. Suddenly Jesus is right in front of them! They are delirious with joy as Jesus breathes on them and says receive the Holy Spirit and tells them that- as HE was sent from the Father- now HE is sending them! 

What an experience. How supernatural. However, Thomas was not present when Jesus appeared and here is where things get interesting starting with verse 25: the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 

I am sure after he said this, there was not an intellectual conversation. They were practically coming out of their skin, jumping up and down and telling Thomas what happened. But he will not budge. Now notice this: 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again...

1 week! One whole week of these guys telling Thomas what happened. “Hey T-Diddy, (Thomas also known as Didymus) are you saying that all 10 of us are delusional? Are we in mass hysteria?” Day after day, try as they may to reason with him, he “will not” believe. 
10 excitable Jewish disciples cannot convince him. He must see before he will believe. 
I don’t know about you but that is pretty convicting. In fact what Thomas said doesn’t even require faith- this is sense knowledge faith. Notice that Thomas has made a conscience choice. “Unless I see... I will not believe “. Tommy is limiting what can be, only by what he can see, touch, hear, taste and smell. Our 5 senses. 

Thankfully Jesus has mercy on Tom. John 20 says: Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 

Jesus said, “STOP DOUBTING”- make the choice- stop it! Jesus said to do this! Start doubting your doubts. Why do we always assume the worst? Why do we gravitate to the negative? 

Doubt your doubts! Feed your faith! Don’t speak doubt, speak faith! We CAN control our thoughts and our speech. I am not saying to be in denial. I am saying, “I will CHOOSE to believe!”

2 Corinthians 5:7
For we live by faith, not by sight. 

We have to see it -before we can see it!

Mark 11:24
24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 

When do I believe? After I have it or before I have it? Believe that I HAVE received-When? When I pray. Not when I feel it, not when I see it, not when I can touch, hear, smell. 

Notice John 20 again. 
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 

Hebrews 11:1
 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 
Make the choice. Stop doubting. See it -before you see it. Let the language of faith be on our lips by being thankful and grateful, and worshipful. This torments the devil, and this will keep our spirit strong and in faith. The question is, am I being a Thomas? Sometimes, yes. But I am determined to let faith in Jesus dominate my life, and not my human instincts!

Trust in The Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding (Prov.3:5) 

Kingdom

Kingdom

This story takes place in a distant kingdom not far from here. At a time long ago, just like yesterday. This kingdom was there long before anyone could recall, surely created by the heart and hand of a master builder.

To the West lay an ocean of majestic measures. Blues and greens amid grays and whites teaming with life of unlimited design. Creatures that breathed air, creatures that breathed through the water and creatures that didn’t breathe at all. In this ocean was life so small it was unseen and life so large that even seeing was not believing.

To the East of this kingdom were mountains so high that no bird could fly over their peaks covered with the snow of a thousand winters. Waterfalls and rushing rivers cut deep gorges, flanked by sheer cliffs. It was never known what was on the other sides of those mountains but life was such in the kingdom that nobody cared to look.

To the North lay forests so rich and lush with growth that when a tree was cut to use for building it seemed a sapling would almost instantly take its place. There were stands with trees so colossal that whole families could not surround them hand in hand in hand. Wild game was so plentiful that a royal feast was guaranteed.

To the South was a vast desert dotted with natural springs creating oasis’ of pure cool water for man or beast.

In this kingdom there was a king. The king was of a good heart. He was trained, as all kings are, in the arts, philosophy, languages, manners, religion, and sports. The people loved their king. Many citizens remember when he was born and the happiness it brought throughout the kingdom. They watched their boy prince grow into a fine and handsome young king. He liked nothing better than to make everyone he came in contact with happy, and this he did from the highest of noble to the lowest of peasant. He went out of his way to give his people what he thought they wanted and this endeared him to the people even more. During his time as king, the greatest gift he ever bestowed on the citizens was a prince. This prince was received as a son by all in the kingdom, especially following the death of his mother, the queen, at the time of his birth.

On the morning of the young prince’s 14th birthday he was awakened by the regal sounds of royal horns. He gathered himself as quickly as he could, even forgetting to brush his royal teeth, and rushed to the highest wall of the palace. There before his sleepy eyes, docked at the royal docks were the three fastest sailing ships from his father’s fleet. Each decorated with banners, colors streaming in the wind. He ran as fast as his legs would let him, and arriving at dockside he ran into his father’s open arms. His father, the King, thereby proclaimed that he was setting off across the majestic ocean to find new lands and fortunes. Everyone seemed so proud and happy for the king that the young prince didn’t want to show his feelings of fear. Instantly a wave of loneliness rushed over him as if from the ocean itself. The king left that day with a rousing send off filled with music and laughter and feasting, but the prince felt an uneasiness he had never felt before.

Sadness came in the winter of that year when parts of the king’s fleet washed up on the shores of the Kingdom. The people were crushed with the loss of their king, but grateful to have known him and hopeful for the future. The prince was also crushed with the loss of his father, but he was neither grateful nor hopeful, he was depressed and scared. Once again, he felt that he could not show this for he was now King and he must appear cheerful so that his subjects would be cheerful.

It was not long before things started changing. The father’s advisors, seeing the new King’s youth and inexperience, started using him to advance themselves and their fortunes. The boy king could sense this, but they were, after all, trusted by his father and he didn’t want to cause any unhappiness. The boy king was still a boy, but the songs that he sang, and the dances he dances, and the beauty that was around him started to fade.

The magnificent trees that grew in the forest to the North were being cut to build estates for the privileged on the majestic beaches. The mountains on the East were mined for gold, silver, copper and iron ores. The once crystal rivers and towering waterfalls were now delivering dirt and mud to the ocean and beaches to the West of the kingdom.

To the South, the desert was being used as a dumping ground for all of the excesses and wastes of the people. The king looked at all of the busyness that surrounded him. The smiles on his people didn’t seem as big as before, but they seemed happy, and they had so many more things than before. Even if he was still lonely and burdened, his advisors told him that the people were better off and that he was a great king, greatly loved by all the people. These words relieved the king, but only for a moment. As soon as the royal court left, and even sometimes before, the king would sit engulfed in his thoughts. At royal festivities his heart seemed to be crying louder than the music and merriment that he was drowning in. The boy king searched for someone, anyone that he could unload his burden on, but he didn’t want to put his unhappiness on another’s shoulders. He would simply be a part of the prevailing mood.

One evening, during a party that was too loud and lasting too long for the young king he simply got up from his throne and left the room. Since his advisors and their friends were so engrossed in the partying no one noticed his departure. When he got outside he drew in the fresh, cool air that cleaned the off him like the water of a bath. Strangely, it seemed that being away from the crowd made him feel less alone. He started walking first in the direction he was facing, but then he chose a course that took him straight toward the moon. Hours passed and he walked as if in a trance until he noticed the moon slipping peacefully behind the horizon. He watched the moon and held tight to the discovery that it was a fundamental peace that his soul was crying out for. He cried out to the moon jealous of its quiet calm as its final light disappeared leaving him lost and alone. Standing in the dark he looked around him seeing only the mist filled darkness. He thought of his father on the sea about to perish, and wondered about the last words his heart had uttered. It was then that he heard a most unusual sound.

He turned and ran toward a song that was ringing through the night silence. As he grew closer he was stunned to hear words to a song that had no meaning and no message, yet was more beautiful that any lyrics he had ever heard. When he finally arrived at the source he peered into the window of a cottage he had seen from the path. Inside was a woman of stunning plainness and three identical boys. One of the boys was singing, one was moving in a way that looked like dancing and the third sat at a tiny table writing furiously on a pad of paper. There was so much joy in the room that it seemed as if the light streaming through the window was like a golden welcome mat illuminating the night.

The king realized that he could never get back to the palace that night. Of greater importance was that within this cottage was something unexplainable that he wanted. Without hesitating he shed his royal upbringing and knocked on the door. When there was no response, he knocked again, this time harder than the first. A quiet suddenly filled the air, and he waited. Finally the door opened, and there stood the woman he had seen through the window. She bowed low and bid him come into her home. She was astonished, as you would be, to see the king alone at her front door. The boy king entered the one room cottage with its dirt floor and saw the three boys not much younger than himself standing between him and the fireplace. The warming fire was the only source of light in the room. The room was uncluttered, lacking the extravagance he had grown up with. There were only four chairs for the four inhabitants of the house, so when the mother offered her chair the king knew that someone would have to stand. When he politely declined her offer she gently, but forcefully, as only a mother can do, sat him down without expecting anything back in return. He had not seen a selfless offer like this since before his father’s departure, and warmth filled his soul. That late night and early morning the five, one royal and four common born, sat and shared, laughed, danced, and loved in a way that this young king didn’t know was possible. Late the next morning they awoke in exactly the same spots that they had started in: the boys on the chairs, the mother on the ground. After the morning meal they all set off in the family’s rickety wagon to the palace of the king.

At first the guards would not allow the wagon passage into the courtyards of the palace, but when their king rose up and ordered them out of the way, they lowered their weapons and made way for the peasant wagon to enter. Arriving at the living quarters the king quickly called out to his servants to come and care for his guests with baths, fine garments, food and any other need or want that they might have. He then ran and gathered his staff together and ordered them to arrange the biggest feast the kingdom had ever seen. He issued a call to all of his subjects inviting them to share in this occasion.

Immediately the royal huntsmen went in search of the finest meats. The royal bakers baked, the tailors tailored, the entertainers prepared to entertain, the party goers got ready to party. The whole kingdom was set into motion. What was busyness before became a frenzy now. The excitement in the kingdom became unbearable. There were fights on the roads as people tried to get a jump on the others rushing here and there, the shops became battlefields over just the right thing to wear to the king’s feast. Coaches were being cleaned and shoes shined to make the right impression on the king at this awesome occasion. The response was so grand that feast had to be moved from the grandest hall in the palace to the largest square in the kingdom directly next to the docks. The very docks were the king’s father had left on his voyage of exploration. Grandstands had to be erected, tables built. A platform was constructed to seat the king and his royal court. The citizens of the kingdom had truly never seen anything like it, and as the night approached, the excitement grew to a dizzying level. Speculation became wilder since it had never been mentioned why the king had called the feast. Most believed that he was going to announce the selection of a wife, but other more creative and crazy suggestions blew around the kingdom like a tornado fueling the fires of the frenzy.

When the night arrived, emotions had left their confines and were being worn on the outside. If they had had electrical appliances back then they wouldn’t have had to plug them in. People started arriving for the best seats before the sun rose, and they kept coming through the day. The earliest arrivals with the best seats started the festivities on their own with games, songs, and merriment of all varieties. By midday everything and everybody were in place except the king and his guests. The party was in full swing with food and beverage flowing freely when without warning the blare of royal horns announced the arrival of the king. Silence instantly overcame the noise.

All heads spun in the direction of the platform set up for the king’s table. The silence was so great that it seemed as if sound had been banished from the kingdom forever. Without further fanfare the young king, radiating peace, crossed the wooden platform to the place reserved for him alone. Looking out over the assembled throng he slowly lifted his right arm and gestured to the right of the platform. Feeling that this was the moment they had come for everyone unconsciously breathed in at the same time, and held that breathe. From the corner of the platform entered a small, very plain woman looking frightfully uncomfortable in a gown that was obviously grander than her. At that moment more air was sucked into already full lungs. Three identical brothers appeared behind her, and at this sight the rush of air and the accompanying sound coming from the crowd was like that of desert winds racing through the canyons to the sea. The king gestured for the woman and boys to come sit next to him at the head table. As if in shock the woman led the boys to the table. Instantly it was noticed that one of the boys was blind and being guided by his brother. One of the boys carried a large scroll, a quill for writing, and an ink pot. The third brother seemed unaffected by the noise of the crowd and followed the example of the mother.

The odd looking group stopped and stood next to the king looking confused and embarrassed. The king looked at the crowd, he looked as if he was going to make a great pronouncement but simply said, “Thank you. Please be seated.” Instead of the thunderous applause that would normally come at a time such as this there was only the noise of bodies on benches and one lone voice that rang out, “Hey, it’s a party so let’s party!” The crowd yelled its approval and the night of great festivities began.

Hours went by and the merriment seemed that it would go on forever until, without notice, one of the brothers rose from his seat and without speaking walked to where the musicians played. For the first time he lifted his eyes from the ground, he tilted back his head and set free a voice that filled the town square. He sang a sound so filled with love and passion that it stopped the band and the noise of the crowd. The same crowd that had just a moment earlier had been screaming and laughing was now moved to rapture by a song that could not be understood, in a voice that to the ears was like that of a wagon wheel that needed grease. This brother was born deaf and had never heard music or speech, but he heard a song that came from the heaven about that was impossible to lock inside. While the song was streaming from the soul of his brother, the blind brother rose from his seat and without help walked to a clear spot on the platform and started to sway. The swaying soon overtook his body and his legs and feet started move. He moved about the raised platform in a way that looked clumsy and out of control, but from his face radiated a love so dynamic, so living that the partygoers started to feel it. The movement itself was spastic and uncontrolled, but his dance represented every cell of his body, and every cell proclaimed love to each person there that night. Then, just as suddenly as the singing and dancing had started it stopped. The blind brother led by the deaf brother returned to their seats. The subjects of the kingdom stared in awe at what they had just experienced. Silent tears flowed down the faces in the crowd. Just when it seemed people could contain their emotions no longer the third brother, the one with the quill and scroll stood up and handed the paper to the king.

The king read the scroll to himself in the silence of the crowd then walked to the foot of the platform and started to read… “Beloved brethren, even though I am unable to speak and have never studied in a school, God has given me the ability to express myself in words unspoken. The words I write to you come from deep within my soul and appear in picture, prose and poetry. God has chosen me to speak of Him only by the written word and I am honored to be used of God in such a fashion. My brother who cannot hear knows only that the music inside of him is so loud and clear that it cannot stay inside of him. To let the songs of your hearts go unsung is to kill a piece of your heart. To feel the songs of God and sing them brings God from deep inside to a place on the outside where we can meet with Him. My brother who is blind has no idea what he looks like when he dances. He knows only that he is expressing his love for God. He is not there to please anyone but the God who has given him this need of expression. Our word to you is to seek out the gift and thereby honor the giver. When the Almighty God comes to you shout it, move it, write it. Express it, don’t suppress it. Come now receive the peace that obedience brings.”

The king slowly lowered the scroll. He looked at the crowd, then at the brothers and then to heaven itself and said, “Oh Lord in Heaven, I have sinned against you and against these my people. I was more interested in their happiness than their well being. I must admit, you have put a new song in me that was there for me to sing, but since it wasn’t my father’s song I pushed it away. Lord. You have filled me with a joy that begged to be shared, but I didn’t want to appear foolish so I jammed it back inside of me. You have given me words to speak, and they have gone unspoken because of my fear. Lord, please give me the gift of knowing my gift and using it. Help me make you happy and rule with you on the throne beside me.”

Everyone simply stood in silence until once again the king spoke.

“Ladies and Gentlemen of the Kingdom, tonight you have met three remarkable boys. Until the other night I didn’t know them or know of them, but it is time you did. These three common boys are not common at all! They are my father’s sons; they are therefore your princes. This woman was married to my father.” The reaction of the crowd was different than the boy king expected, instead of condemnation they responded with enthusiastic praise.

“After my mother died, my father met a girl not of royal birth, and they fell in love. Soon they were secretly married, but my grandfather disapproved. He built her a simple house outside of the village and proclaimed the marriage annulled. There she was, banished until I came upon them. My father never fell in love again, and it was unknown even to him that he had three sons besides me. From this day forward the ruling of this kingdom will be blessed by the addition of these simple, honest people.”

Like the flames of a windblown fire the love for the new princes consumed the hearts of the people. That is all except for the greedy advisors and their friends. Until the end of his reign the king was faithful to God, and never forgot his promise. He always seemed to have a song in his heart and on his lips. He still made people happy, this time though, it wasn’t because of what he gave them, but because of the joy God had given him that he gave away.

Spoiler Alert!!! Spoiler Alert!!!

Spoiler Alert!!! Spoiler Alert!!!

Church is not just church, or church, or church.
Church to a Christian is the source of pure food, pure water, clean air, shelter and protection. Following the birth of Jesus, a new and unique species was introduced. This species came into existence by way of a baby born of Earthly DNA and Heavenly DNA. Jesus was the first of a unique organism. 

Church is the one place that a Christian finds the life-giving elements needed to not just to “live”, but to thrive. Just as a polar bear lives in snow and ice, it is native to the North Pole and is not found in the South Pole, and penguins need snow and ice to live yet are not found in the North Pole, but in the South Pole, their natural habitats. A Christian’s natural habitat is a community of believers who gather together to share a life in Jesus. NOW because of the Holy Spirit we can live a life in communion with God. To thrive with God though, He has called us to gather with others of our own unique species! We have schools, and other institutions to enrich our minds, we have gyms and activities to enrich our bodies, and we have a gathering spot for our unique species to enrich our souls. 

Church is that place where we shake off the toxic effects that cling to our species from exposure to pollutants from the world we live in, that are around us with and without our knowledge. Give yourself a treat this Sunday greater than chocolate, treat your soul to a special night out. Come hang out in that one special place that aligns you whole self.

Church is NOT just church!

By Chick Rapport

Cultivating the Fruits of the Spirit - by Kahanah Swift

Cultivating the Fruits of the Spirit - by Kahanah Swift

Fruits Of The Spirit Father's House OC Church

The Toddler through Kinder classes at Father’s House OC just finished a long unit on Fruit of the Spirit. It is so fun to hear them sing their song, “Love, joy, peace and patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control... these are the Fruit of the Spirit.” Their little voices singing the words with faith and trust. Plus, I love to hear them singing scripture! 


I have a special privilege. I get to plan the curriculum and see how it effects the little ones. I get to plan for it and watch it take effect! What a joy for me. I can do that Sunday school parent quiz better than most because I know what they were taught. They can usually tell me all about it (thanks to our awesome servant teachers). Although, my 3 year old usually cracks us all up by just giving the church kids answer. 

What was your lesson about at church today? Jesus. 
What was the story about? Jesus.
What did you learn? Jesus


Well, there’s really no arguing with that one but obviously us mom’s want some details and I know that these lessons are all being planted in their hearts’. Now, I’m not sure that all these weeks of lessons, crafts, and games have been enough to solidify these truths in them. They can sing the song and quote the verses but do I see patience pouring out of my 3 year old son? Do I see the gentleness from my 5 year old? I might see very small moments of these in my boys but on a daily basis (like from 2-7pm) there aren’t really Fruit of the Spirit falling off their trees.


“I want the Fruit of the Spirit in my life. I want the Fruit of the Spirit shining bright. Jesus take control, let your love overflow. I want the Fruit of the Spirit in my life.” These little ones want to be like the attributes of their song. They want to be loving. They want to show kindness and have patience. They want to shine bright but they aren’t really at the place of maturity to understand the work that goes into cultivating that. It’s a journey...

When you think of the language that goes with “fruit,” there is so much there. There’s a seed, soil, water, sun, thinning, weeding, pruning, producing, and multiplying. I mean we could stay on that for a while but we won’t! This is just a blog post and if I make too long some of you won’t read it all. I know that because that’s me. I wouldn’t read it all if it was too long. 

I, just like you, have a dozen things pulling at my attention at any given moment. Want me to list a few? Laundry...lot’s of it. Meal planning, executing and cleaning. Sunday morning prep for the Babies to the Youth. My bible study homework, our discipleship program at church. Wondering how I’m going to go deeper in my personal relationship with Jesus. Foster family craziness: parent visits, social workers, therapy, dr’s appointments. Parenting. Sports. And oh yeah, plus 5 kids and a husband. 

Kahanah Swift - Father's House OC

Kahanah Swift - Father's House OC


That being said the amazing thing is that all of that (and I all didn’t list here) is what can either help me practice and grow in my fruit production or I can miss the opportunity, just stumbling through. To be honest some times that’s what I end up doing but I can’t expect to be growing if that’s my norm. I can’t just plant some seeds, leave my garden for a few months, and expect to have a bumper crop. It’s the care of the garden of my heart that is going to allow me to use my wonderful chaos for the Lord’s glory. I want my life to become a garden of beneficial, nutritious fruit. I want to love well. I want others to walk in the beautiful garden of my life filled with joy, peace, love and all the others. I want to feel the Father smiling on me and I want to smile like that. All of this requires an intentional turning of my heart the Spirit because I know I’m not close to good enough on my own. In my moments of trial, struggle, and stress is my biggest opportunity to grow in the fruits. When I practice these in my daily life I have roots for fruit to show in my harder times. 

I heard an awesome teaching from Melissa Helser where she talks about realizing that as we grow and tend our hearts gardens we have an opportunity to produce fruit for the generations to come. Others will know us by our fruit. So, time for a fruit check. Well, it’s always time for a fruit check. How is your fruit? Is it a bit sour or is it sweet? Are there weeds choking out your precious rewards from diligence of time spend with him? Are you producing fruit that will last?

To me all of this comes down to this verse that is a bit further down past the fruit verses. Galatians 5:25 “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” That’s my everyday prayer, sometimes every minute, and I pray that for all of us. That in midst of our struggle we can stay in step with Him and produce good fruit to share the good news of the love, life, and purpose that we’ve found in Jesus. As we continually call on Holy Spirit to help us in our shortcomings we will grow deeper roots to grow better fruit.

Deep Connection Prophetic Word by Linda Temple

Deep Connection Prophetic Word by Linda Temple


You look for life and fulfillment in external things, but only I can meet your deep, heart felt need. As you encounter my presence I can and will touch, heal and restore your deep need for connection. As you come to me with a hunger and a thirst for more that is where I fill you with the living water of my spirit. The living waters flow where there is thirst for more. When you are content spiritually drought and unbelief become the result. So I say come to the well of living water. Come taste and see that the Lord is good. Your pain and discouragement has caused you to distance yourself from my presence. But today, come, open your heart to my love, kindness and goodness. Come sit with me so I can soothe your pain and touch your heart with my healing hands and cause you and I to be one again. John 14:1 "Don’t let your heart be troubled. Trust in God and trust also in me.”
The Lord is calling us to press in, to come near to him and desire His presence above all else. To experience and to encounter God in his majesty and glory, we must surrender our natural inclinations because God is Supernatural. The scripture says, “Come taste and see that the Lord is good."
I believe many of us look to others and things to meet the deep need of connection and love only God can meet. The Lord is merciful and gracious to us in all things. He is jealous for our relationship. That being said, He also moves according to the plan he has designed for each of us. The world offers every strategy and opportunity to unload the pain, disappointment us and give us hopelessness. However, we are not of this world. We have been made new in Jesus! Jesus is the way to freedom, the way to healing, the way to deliverance the way to joy, the way to contentment and the way to peace. So let us unload that which entangles us and rise up to the fullness of the Father’s intention and plan!

What is Church? // John Antonuccio

What is Church? // John Antonuccio

John Antonuccio

John Antonuccio

The Father’s House OC.
What I have learned as a Christian in 40+ years? 
That the believing ones are living the future - in the present.
We are spiritually and quite literally from heaven’s viewpoint-“The Body of Christ"
We are “Christ on the earth”. 
We have an inheritance, authority, and a sonship position, to be Jesus wherever we go.
“For in Him we live and move and have our being.’” Acts 17:28
The church is not an organization or denomination, although we categorize it this way.
The actual biblical church is revealed as:
The Bride
The House
The Family
The Body
Of our Lord Jesus.
This means that Jesus is
The Bridegroom
The Foundation and Cornerstone
The Firstborn
The Head
The original purpose for Israel (God’s covenant people) was to be a blessing to the nations and to express Father-God to all, then and now as the new Israel of God (Gal. 6:15-16
FHOC is doing just that
Father’s House OC offers Love-Life-and Purpose. But more than just theory, or theology. In practical, hands on ways. Here you will be a part of the original New Testament plan.
From the “Feeding 5000” food ministry, to allowing expressive Spirit led and filled worship, by allowing the Gifts of The Spirit in manifestation, with the preaching and teaching of the Good News to raise up disciples. All this and more! In a non-judgmental, loving, and accepting atmosphere to grow in and to be united in fellowship with our brothers and sisters. With our being one, together, in Christ.

This is Church. This is Father’s House OC. Welcome.

You are Vital by Havah Felker

You are Vital by Havah Felker

Pastor Tim & Havah Felker - FHOC

Pastor Tim & Havah Felker - FHOC

I absolutely love our church and our church family! So many people from this church have had a major influence in my life! They have helped shape me into the person I am today. I am so thankful for every opportunity and experience I have gained from this. I went from being a 5 year old little girl running around with my bangs in my face and ponytail flopping around, to being the Pastor’s wife-still with a ponytail on most days! I have seen a lot! And our church has experienced a lot of change over the years. Things like name changes; HB Vineyard, Coastview Christian Fellowship, The Father’s house, Fathers House OC. Or location Changes; renting the Seventh Day Adventist, the Argosy building, Pacifica, Gazze, and now Hope Lutheran. I have seen the attendance numbers at the services change, the times of service change, the order of service change, even the staff and the pastors have changed! But one thing has never changed and that is the LOVE of God for our church and His people! 

This year in the Bible study I attend, we are studying 1 & 2 Corinthians and let me tell you-it is GOOD! Omg! It is seriously so good! This is my favorite scripture from last week and I just can’t shake it. 1 Corinthians 12:27 “You are the body of the anointed one and each of you is a unique and vital part of it.” This just really touched my heart as a Christian. Sometimes I don’t feel unique. And sometimes I feel like there are so many of us so I question if I really am vital. And the answer is YES! And so are each of YOU! I was seriously pondering this verse and it is so true. We have added and lost so many people over the years and each person is so special. Sometimes when we are planning, we realize we have a hole and our leadership is brought to the awareness of our true longing for the family that is no longer with us because we KNOW they are the perfect person for the ministry. Not to be a downer but it is true! We are flooded with memories of all the good times with them. Other times we have a newer church family member doing something amazing and we are like WOW God! Thank you! What could we have ever done without them? 

We are all unique and vital. You truly are, even if you don’t feel it! Ask a friend! Sometimes others can see it better than you can. I just want to encourage everyone to be yourself, be the anointed body of Christ! Be who he made you to be! You are unique and vital! Find out what your spiritual gifts are and use them. 1 Corinthians 12:31 “But you should all constantly boil over with passion in seeking to higher gifts” It is so much fun to be a big family working together for the Kingdom of God and sharing this life together. Even through all of the ups and downs, we all have something to offer each other and God. I believe a lot of us have had our foundation tested, even our church at times, but we are built with quality material. Material that doesn’t burn. We only glow brighter! (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)

 By Havah Felker

Thanksgiving is more than you think

Thanksgiving is more than you think

Psalm 100:1-4 (TPT)

Lift up a great shout of joy to the Lord!

Go ahead and do it—everyone, everywhere!

As you serve him, be glad and worship him.

Sing your way into his presence with joy!

And realize what this really means—

We have the privilege of worshiping the Lord, our God.

For he is our Creator and now we belong to him!

We are the people of his pleasure.

You can pass through his open gates with the password of praise.

Come right into his presence with thanksgiving.

Come bring your thank-offering to him

And affectionately bless his beautiful name!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year and I couldn’t be more excited for all the activities that will take place this week with friends and family. There are so many tasks on the to-do list to get ready for it all, and of course lots of prep to ensure that the food is perfection. Somehow I always find myself running to the store last minute to get those missed ingredients and although it can get crazy, it is all part of the fun of preparing for a big feast!  At my house it is always a delicate juggling act having 4 kids, trying to set the house for guests, and preventing our little ones from undoing all the progress!

While prepping today and doing all the last minute running around, I have a sense of the Spirit inviting all of us into a deeper understanding of thanksgiving.  Like anything in life, to grow and get better at something we must practice, and thanksgiving is no different. If we desire to be thankful it is simple, start being thankful. Don’t worry about feelings because they will catch up as we declare the blessings of God and begin to practice the act of being thankful. It really doesn’t take much to start softening the heart and walking in an attitude of gratitude.

Take a moment to really think about the blessings that God has brought into your life. The blessings are in the form of the people that you are surrounded with each and every day. Each precious life of a child, brother, sister, cousin, dad, mom, grandparents, friends and more, impact our lives and forever change us. Too many times we are unaware of how blessed we are by the people God has put with us. I admit that in the daily grind of life and trying to keep up with kids, work, and relationships it’s so easy to overlook the multiple blessings that God has so graciously blessed me with.

Today the Spirit invites and reminds us how much Jesus has done and how much grace He has poured out. Thanksgiving is so close to the Holy Spirit’s heart because thanksgiving partners with Him and walks us right into the presence of the Father.  Thanksgiving is not only an attitude it is a Kingdom principle.  It’s not just a holiday on earth it’s a daily part of heaven as angels and saints declare who He is, what He has done and what He will continue to do on earth and in heaven. The perspective of heaven is that thanksgiving equals presence. It is actually the front door to heaven on earth. With simple declarations of thanksgiving you can actually change the atmosphere with your family this year. No need to stand on the table and shout, rather just release thanksgiving in your heart by practicing what heaven does every day; give thanks! Giving thanks is both an action and a position. We speak thanks with our mouth and with how we treat others and this is how we are to share our gratitude to God. Not only do we use words but actions as well. Nothing speaks louder than generosity when it comes to giving thanks. Take a position of thanksgiving during this time of family get togethers, so that the daily activates become thankful expressions. Our position takes place in the heart and having a revelation and understanding that Jesus gave it all will make all the difference in your day. His generosity demonstrated how thankful He is for all of us. The Father and the kingdom of heaven spoke loud and clear as they sent off the Son to invade earth on the greatest rescue mission ever. Believe it or not God gives thanks for you and you’ll find yourself in His presence as you do the same towards Him.

Take time this week to “give” thanks. Be generous, be joyful, be loving and enjoy the blessings of God. Even if the turkey is dry, the kids are going crazy, and your football game got replaced by Home Alone 2, still then practice thanksgiving!

Blessings, Pastor Tim

The Holidays Are Coming

The Holidays Are Coming

The Holidays are coming! The Holidays are coming! Now that November has begun there is a certain excitement and expectation in the air. Schedules are filling up, bellies are longing for “holiday food”, the pumpkin spice latte is out, the weather is slightly changing, people are out buying gifts for the people they love, and memories are about to be made! Oh I love it! As a church it is an exciting time as well, we are celebrating our Saviors miraculous birth!! Not just as a church but everywhere we go. The world is buzzing, some not even knowing the happiness that they feel is for the Savior. I am getting so excited and happy just talking about it! As the events leader for our church I have been praying, brain storming and emailing my teams for months about this upcoming season. How should we celebrate our Saviors birth this year? It’s just so fun and there are so many exciting things we can do as a church body to celebrate! Then, just last week, I came across this paragraph in our book for our small group homework: 

“Most of the goals of the modern church can be accomplished without God. All we need is people, money, and a common objective. Determination can achieve great things. But success is not necessarily a sign that the goal was from God. Little exists in church life to ensure that we are being directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Returning to the ministry of Jesus is the only insurance we have of accomplishing such a goal.” When Heaven Invades Earth- Bill Johnson

Wow, makes you rethink everything right?! Let’s just think about Jesus for a few minutes. What was He like? What did He do with his time? Who did He spend time with? What did He do during the Holidays? 

Well, Jesus loved fun and celebrations! He even did His very 1st public miracle at a wedding. He didn't want the hosts to run out of beverages and be embarrassed! That is so thoughtful of Him and He acted in the present moment of celebration. So this leads me to believe that He had a high value for community and fun. Most of Jesus’s recorded ministry is Him spending time with His disciples and close friends that He met along the way. He was constantly making new friends! He traveled around with them telling stories and always eating together. They all poured their lives into each others forming an eternal family of once strangers. Jesus also spent a lot of time asking His father for advice and listening to the Holy Spirit. He would sneak away from all the excitement to spend time with God and receive a refreshing that can only come from the One true God. Then He would get back out there and spend time with His buddies, the women, children, sick, the healthy, the sinners and the saints. He knew their hearts. He knew they were lost and just trying to find their way in this world. Jesus is so cool! Every person He met, He offered them something special, He looked at them, through the eyes of the creator and not man. He looked for the gold in every person's heart. He saw their true identity and he didn't stay silent! He called it out! What a blessing to be around someone who sees the good in you and vocalizes it! 
I believe our church does a really good job of making sure each and every ministry and event is about doing the ministry of Jesus. We look for the gold in people and call it out. We prayerfully seek the Lord and make decisions with Christ in mind. Everything we do is filled with love, life, and purpose. I want to challenge us this Holiday season to show up with Jesus’s ministry in mind. Before each and every party or event, take a moment before you knock on the door to just ask the Holy Spirit for direction, discernment and encouraging words. Whether you are with the sinners or the saints, bring the ministry of love and Jesus with you! Call out that gold in your family and friends wherever you go! If we all do this, I believe we will accomplish much for the kingdom of God!

Love, Life & Purpose,
Havah Felker
Lover of God and Fun

The Wedding Song - Pastor Tim Felker

The Wedding Song - Pastor Tim Felker

Psalm 45 - The Wedding Song  (The Passion Translation)

His Royal Majesty - King Jesus

v2 You are the most wonderful and winsome of all men. Elegant grace pours out through every word you speak. Truly, God has anointed you, his Favored One for eternity!

v3 Now strap your lightning-sword of judgment upon your side, O Mighty Warrior, so majestic! You are full of beauty and splendor as you go out to war!

v4 In your glory and grandeur go forth in victory! Through your faithfulness and meekness the cause of truth and justice will stand. Awe-inspiring miracles are accomplished by your power, leaving everyone dazed and astonished!...

Her Royal Majesty - His Bridal Church

v9 The daughters of kings, women of honor, are maidens in your courts. And standing beside you, glistening in your pure and golden glory, is the beautiful bride-to-be!  

v10 Now listen, daughter, pay attention, and forget about your past. Put behind you every attachment to the familiar, even those who once were close to you! v11 For your Royal Bridegroom is ravished by your beautiful brightness. Bow in reverence before him, for he is your Lord!

v12 Wedding presents pour in from those of great wealth. The royal friends of the Bridegroom shower you with gifts.

v13 As the princess-bride enters the palace, how glorious she appears within the holy chamber, robed with a wedding dress embroidered with pure gold!

v14 Lovely and stunning she leads the procession with all her bridesmaids as they come before you, her Bridegroom-King.

v15 What a grand, majestic entrance! A joyful, glad procession as they enter the palace gates!

v16 Your many sons will one day be kings, just like their Father. They will sit on royal thrones all around the world.

 

As we start our day we need to remember how our King sees us and how the anticipation builds as we wait for that glorious day when we are united once-and-for-all to the lover of our souls.  It is true that those who put their faith in Jesus are one with Him and because of this oneness we walk in the Spirit as His sons and daughters, but it doesn’t end there.  There is another heavenly event coming that will far surpass our imaginations and wildest dreams. Somehow there is more of God and more from Him to give to His beloved family. There’s going to be a heavenly party of universal magnitude and we are the guest of honor. God couldn’t think any higher of His church for we are His bride-to-be and He is ravished by our beautiful brightness. So taken by the Church that He has not only given us a catalog of blessings now, but He has an amazing future inheritance for us as well.

 

Did you know that wedding presents pour in from those of great wealth and by the royal friends of the Bridegroom showering us with gifts? This does not only happen in the future but it is happening now! In our oneness with Jesus we not only possess the eternal gifts of the Spirit and the gifts of Christ, we are getting showered with gifts from those on earth because of the favor of God as well. Do you ever wonder how that money came in at just the right time? Or how you got a random discount on a bill? Or maybe someone in front of you in line at Starbucks paid for your coffee?  These are gifts because favor and grace rest on your life. It doesn’t stop there either! We receive gifts from the Bridegroom’s friends! The heavenly host of angels that encamp His throne bring gifts to us on the King's behalf. Have you ever seen a prayer answered? Almost to your surprise the thing you petitioned God for has happened! It’s time we join this heavenly bridal shower that God is continuously hosting.  God is a wonderful gift giver and a recruiter of gift givers, and all this gift giving is focused on us.  He couldn’t love us any more or any less.  His love is full and active and we are the bullseye.  The target of His affection is the church and He doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

 

The key to receiving all this is faith.  It’s not by chance and certainly not by luck.  Even striving and sacrifice doesn’t release the gifts of God.  Those things are good and have there place, but not when it comes to God’s gifts. More trust and more faith releases the funds that are already in your account. Let your faith grab a hold of the gifts being showered over us today. Align your heart with the God of miraculous gift giving and receive today's breakthrough.  Is there an area of life you need to trust God with? Is there a place of breakthrough you are seeking? Is there a place of pain and frustration in your life? Use these things to stir up your faith and to release the bountiful blessings heading your way. Remember whose you are and declare your favored position in Christ.  Grab a hold of the unseen blessings that God has promised you and watch them unfold in your daily life.

 

Low on faith today? No worries! God has provided all the tools to stir it up and has provided a Helper that can find the way even when you can’t.  Open the Word today and read until your heart is touched by the Holy Spirit. Nothing will build your faith like an encounter with the Holy Spirit in the quiet place alone. Just as we need to continually drink water to stay hydrated we need to go to the quiet place to stay spiritually hydrated. I love getting rocked by God at a big conference with hundreds of my brothers and sisters crowding around a stage of the best worship team on earth.  But still, not even that can replace the daily hydrating of the Spirit that transforms even the deepest darkest places. In the quiet place you have no shortage of gifts from the great gift giver.  Even in times of pain, loss and struggle the quiet place with God will reveal the gifts all around you. Stir up your faith and join the bridal shower today!

 

Blessings,

Pastor Tim Felker

Waiting For The Breakthrough by Pastor Tim Felker

Waiting For The Breakthrough by Pastor Tim Felker

Psalm 42:11 – The Passion Translation
So I say to my soul, 
“Don’t be discouraged. Don’t be disturbed. 
For I know my God will break through for me.” 
Then I’ll have plenty of reasons to praise him all over again. 
Yes, living before his face is my saving grace!

In our Sunday services we have been preaching and teaching on breakthrough in the Spirit and partnering with God by praying and fasting weekly to seek what new places He would desire for us to break into. As pastor of Father’s House OC I feel in the Spirit that significant things are taking place behind the scenes in our region of Orange County, in our church and in the lives of the people of FHOC. I so desire to see what God has up His sleeve and believe great things are coming, but I do admit that my patience seems to be running short. This has led me to seek out God for answers and understanding of what He is doing and why does He seem to delay on His plans. 

The funny part about seeking God with a question is that so many times He answers back with a question. This week while fasting I decided I would spend my entire prayer time on not asking but seeking Him, loving Him, and worshiping Him. As I focused solely on loving Him I felt this whisper of a question rise up in my spirit. I couldn’t quite make it out yet but it was there. What was so wonderful about this question is that somehow it answered my question. I felt at peace before I could even interpret what He was saying. As I laid on my office floor worshiping, time ran out and I needed to get my day started, so I jumped up and went on with the activities and errands calling my attention. I was still feeling that amazing peace of Jesus yet I was still searching for the answer to the question on my heart. Why wait God? Why delay? When is the breakthrough?

Another thing God often does with me is speak to me while driving. Not sure why He chooses that time and space so many times because it can be dangerous to get whacked by Holy Spirit while behind the wheel. But none-the-less I heard him speak while driving and He asked me this question, “How do you wait?” What was unusual about this question is that I didn’t have an immediate answer like I normally would, as if I would out smart God so that He would just give me the easy answer I was looking for. I began to ponder this over the next 24 hours and I felt my spirit communing with God and finally having the needed prayer that He desired to answer. You see God wasn’t interested in answering why He waits or why He has set timing to plans He has. My spirit had the right question and God was ready to answer it.

Again while driving I feel my spirit tune into God and I hear these two sentences, “Seek my face” and “Attach your faith to my character”. As this moment I realized how to wait while in the breakthrough process with God. His face is my breakthrough. In the Spirit my breakthrough was already here and started even though the desired results have not yet come. We must walk in breakthrough to receive the breakthrough. His face is my breakthrough. Once I see His face the desired results seem so unimportant and little compared to Him. He is faithful in the waiting and in the breakthrough. Every breakthrough is a double portion of God’s faithfulness. I have a sneaky suspicion that the waiting is more about our hearts connecting to His than it is His will to do the thing we desire. His face always leads to the breakthrough.

Now it’s time to figure out why do I need to attached my faith to His character. Well simply put His character is my promise. You see, if God is good then that is a promise of good things to come from Him. If God is kind that is a promise of kindness toward me is my future. If He is generous that is a promise of gifts from Heaven on their way. I can’t stress how important it is for our faith to be attached to His character—so that in the waiting our eyes are in the right place, His face. What is so beautiful about these principles of waiting is that one fuels the other. As you seek His face you discover His nature and character. This is called encounter. An encounter with God reveals to us who He  is and this changes our walk forever. As you attached your faith to His character you’ll see His face. 

Do you feel out of patiences for your breakthrough? Do you feel as if God is taking too long? Has hopelessness started to set in? If you find yourself feeling like this don’t be despaired. Maybe it’s time to ask yourself, “How do I wait?”

Prophetic Word Over Father's House OC - 09/18/16

Prophetic Word Over Father's House OC - 09/18/16

You are my beloved child. I have given you purpose and position in my Kingdom. You have much to give to this house. My Kingdom presence lives in you. You have walked with me and have been faithful in your tithing and your attendance. Now I am wanting to release a new song, a new awareness and touch of my presence in you. As you open your heart to my touch I will give you understanding and show you your place and purpose at FHOC.

I want to do a new work in your heart and reveal to you what I am calling you into. You have not been sure about how you fit at FHOC, what your place is or what your next step should be. When I brought you to this family, I loved you, touched you and healed and freed you through my spirit and through this body of believers. I brought you to this family for my purposes and that my kingdom would be fulfilled on earth. Now I am asking you to give away what I have given you and what I have deposited in your heart and life. So let my presence open your heart. You have been given favor and new life and now I want you to give it to the next generation to influence, support and provide wisdom. As you do, I will give you more of my life-giving spirit to lead you and fulfill you.

So today, let my presence open your heart to new things, new opportunities that I have designed and want for you. You have blessed me and you have pleasedme. Now I am speaking new words and revelation to you about your purpose.

As you say yes and surrender I will make myself known to you. I will show you my intention, and tell you my thoughts and plans for you.

 

When my servant Moses led my people in the desert he taught them what I required and what I wanted of them. He spoke about how they were to live and how much I loved them and how I wanted them to be free. I gave Moses vision for my people. Moses laid the foundation for a new life with me. However, Joshua was the one to lead the children of Israel into the promise land, the land of plenty, the land of milk and honey. And not just live but take the land for my glory.

 

So it is with you. You have been trained and discipled and now it is time to take the land I have spoken to FHOC to do. I have given vision and now you are to carry out that vision, my heart’s vision. This is my house and you are my people. You are to go forth and bear new fruit. I will not leave you nor abandon you. This is the season of fruit bearing. To accomplish this-What I have deposited and placed in your heartis to now be released and given in my name and for my glory and honor.

 

You have been given gifts and now is the time to give away those gifts, to release the captives, to heal and restore all of those I love. It’s time and the season to step into my water and go to the middle not stay on the sidelines. As you do, I will fill you with new songs of worship and empower you.

When you and I are all in, abundance is released. So today, have courage and step into my purpose for you in this new season of breakthrough.

Father Of Lights

Father Of Lights

(Quotations indicate text used from The Passion Translation Hebrews & James – Translator’s Introduction to James)

The book of James is a powerful book of God’s wisdom and truth that gives us insight to deep wells of life.  “It is believed by most scholars that James is the step-brother of our Lord Jesus and that he did not become a believer until after Jesus died and rose again.  This is amazing to think that the actual step-brother of our Lord and Savior gives us truth to live by.”

Another amazing part of the book of James is that it is considered, along with the book of Galatians, to be the first letters penned by the apostles.  “So when we read James we are reading the earliest insights of the first generation of followers of Jesus.”

To help us get an even bigger understanding of the book of James we can “view it as the New Testament version of Proverbs, for much of his writings speak of God’s heavenly wisdom that can transform us.”  As you read the following scriptures and devotion take your time and let the Holy Spirit speak directly to your heart the word you are needing.  This devotional can be used all week or at one sitting.  Whatever amount of time you have let each word wash over you and gently turn your gaze face to face with the Father of Lights.

(Verses 1-4)

Greetings!  My name is James, and I’m a love-slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ…

My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience all the joy that you can!  For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things.  And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.

(Pause in the Spirit)

Take a moment to think about the difficulties that 2014 brought your way.  There may have been loss, heartbreak, struggle, frustration, battles and the list goes on.  Now lift up every negative effect those difficulties brought and declare with your heart, mind, and voice that God’s Word is more powerful than any difficulty that comes.  If this scripture is true, and I believe that it is, then God has been working behind the scene to stir up joy, power and growth in your life so that in your relationship with Him there is nothing missing or lacking.  Even the struggles in your life can’t escape God’s grace and love.

(Verse 5)

And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and he will give it!  He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but he will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace.  Just make sure you ask empowered by confident faith without doubting that you will receive.

(Pause in the Spirit)

This may be a little harder than the last reflection but lets take just a quick moment to recall our failures in 2014.  I know this sounds cruel to ask yet it will reveal God’s heart if we step into it.  As the disappointment and pain begins to set in, and as you begin to think about the things you wish you could have done differently, let God overwhelm your failures with his generous grace.  Right now God covers every failure.  Waves of his grace are crashing over them to wash you clean to start again.  Give yourself permission to let go of your failures and to receive the endless grace of God.

(Verse 12)

If your faith remains strong, even while surrounded by life’s difficulties, you will continue to experience the untold blessings of God!  True happiness comes as you pass the test with faith, and receive the victorious crown of life promised to every lover of God!

(Pause in the Spirit)

Now grab yourself a pen and paper to right with.  If your heart could share the deep lessons you learned through difficulty and failure in 2014, what would it say?  With that question in mind write down instructions for enduring in faith through the struggles that may come in 2015.  Encourage yourself to fight through, remind yourself of the fruit that comes from enduring in difficulty, and challenge yourself to stay the course.

(Verses 17 &18)

Every gift God freely gives us is good and perfect, streaming down from the Father of Lights, shining from the heavens with no hidden shadow of darkness and is never subject to change.  God was delighted to give us birth by the truth of his infallible Word so that we would fulfill his chosen destiny for us and become the favorite ones out of all his creation!

(Pause in the Spirit)

Did you ever think why God is called the Father of Lights?  This name comes from God’s heavenly perspective.  He considers us his heavenly lights and He is our heavenly Father.  We have become His Lights because He was delighted to give- give us life, grace, love, truth, hope, purpose and most importantly His Son.  Right now let it sink in that you are part of God’s favorite ones out of all his creation.  YOU ARE HIS FAVORITE!  You got this standing in God because it is Jesus’ standing in God.  What He deserved was put on you and what you deserved was put on Him.

This is why James can encourage us in verse 9…”The believer who is poor still has reasons to boast, for he has been placed on high.

(Prayer)

Thank you Father of Lights that you love us in all things.  No matter difficulties or failures your love wins all the time.  Today let me walk in the truth of who you are and who you have made me to be.  I bless you Father will thankfulness and praise through faith in Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Prayer Changes Things

Prayer Changes Things

Have you ever wondered why we are called to pray when we want circumstances in life to change? Do we pray simply because that is what the Bible tells us to do? Or, do our words actually have power? On one side it seems prideful to say that we have any power in ourselves to change anything. Are we not merely human? Besides, if God is all powerful and all knowing, then doesn’t He already know what is going to happen? Who are we to change the will of God? Does He needour prayer to make things happen?

On the other hand, we are called children of God and the Holy Spirit resides in us. The same power that raised Jesus from the grave is alive in us. All throughout scripture there are instructions and demonstrations on petitioning prayer. For example in James 5:13-15 and Matthew 7:7-8 there are instructions which seem to indicate the act of our prayer has the power to change circumstances.

When we go to both extremes of thinking regarding the power of prayer we can see error. Prayer is not simply a ritualistic thing to do because that is what we are told to do.  On the other hand, there is no magic formula or recipe to get our three genie wishes. As in many areas of the Christian walk, I believe we need to forge our way down the radical middle.

As I look at this issue in scripture, I see two essential components which create powerful prayer. Prayer that actually changes circumstances in life. These components are:

  1. God’s will
  2. Our faith

GOD’S WILL

The overarching truth in life is that God is in control. Nothing happens apart from His knowledge and will. We always must keep this humility as we approach prayer. The ironic thing is that a proper understanding of this humility is what gives us boldness in prayer.  When we pray in unity with what the Lord’s will is, we are able to stand and boldly request it. We are able to pray from the solid foundation of His will.  Jesus instructed us to pray this way as is described in the famous Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13:

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

   on earth as it is in heaven.

The million dollar question then becomes, “What is the Lord’s will on earth as it is in Heaven?” That is a discussion for another day, but I would encourage you to discover this as you read the Bible.

OUR FAITH

If it were only up to the Lord’s will, then there would be no need for the prayer of petition to make circumstances change on earth. Jesus would not instruct us to pray for God’s kingdom to come and will to be done if our contribution were not important. The amazing nature of God is that He has given us a portion of authority in life. This has been evident since the beginning. He gave Adam and Eve a choice to choose His commandments or to reject them. Today He still gives us the authority to choose Him or to reject Him. Not only do we have authority given by the Lord, but He is expecting us to do something with it. The parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 displays this expectation the Lord has with what He has given us. What does this have to do with prayer? In the Lord’s unsurpassed knowledge He has given us a role to play in the invasion of the Lord’s kingdom on earth. What is our part? Faith. We see this all throughout Jesus’ interaction with people during his time on earth. Here are a few:

  • And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:19)
  • And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.” (Mark 5:34)
  • Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled at him, and turned and said to the crowd that was following Him, “I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.” (Luke 7:9)
  • In addition James 5:13 says, “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.”

 

It amazes me that time and time again Jesus points out the person’s faith as the component which unlocked the power of God to move. We get to become co-laborers with Christ in ushering God’s kingdom and will on earth.  So while there is no formula to have power in prayer, it is apparent to me from scripture that praying the Lord’s will with faith in His goodness and might is what opens the channel through which God’s will is released in our lives.

So what about you? Have you sought the Lord’s will for that circumstance in your life? Has the Spirit revealed it to you? Then it is time to call up your faith and boldly come to the throne to petition the Lord’s will be done on earth.

DEFEATING NEGATIVITY

DEFEATING NEGATIVITY

The Source

Is the opposite of negativity to be positive?  Can being positive defeat negativity?  What if your ability to be positive completely dissipates?  What if your ability completely runs out?  What’s the backup plan?  Imagine this: you are walking in a dense remote jungle full of dangerous living creatures and you happen to stumble upon a pit.  You nearly fall in it but a lucky branch keeps you from falling in.  Then you look down into the vast pit and see your good friend lying at the bottom. She is exhausted and completely depleted of energy from trying to fight her way out of this terrible pit.  Adrenaline and compassion hits your heart at the same time and you desire to get your friend out of this pit.   You take a big breath and yell down to her, “Try to climb up!”  Feeling satisfied with your service you move on as normal and finish your day.  That would be ridiculous!  This is what I see when we tell people stuck in the pit of negativity to just be more positive.  There must be something more!   I do believe that speaking positive words and focusing on positive thoughts can be beneficial, but this is not the solution to defeating negativity.  We must get to the source of the negativity if we want to defeat it completely.  Positivity just scratches at the surface and leaves us depending on ourselves to climb out of the pit.

About two years ago my wife and I decided we were going to foster and hopefully adopt a child from LA County.  We came to this decision after a very difficult pregnancy, losing our baby and my wife almost dying during delivery.  As our hearts recovered from that traumatic event the desire returned for another child to be part of our family. My wife and I felt lead to pursue a foster-to-adopt program.  We did all our foster parent training and interviews and began to foster a beautiful baby girl.   The journey of adding another child to our family had begun.  Let me tell you, the foster-to-adopt program is not easy on the heart and it wasn’t long until I was quite aware of my negativity.  The stress and pressure of new responsibilities of now having three kids used up a large amount of our emotional energy.  Dealing with the social workers, the broken state and county system, and the family of our foster child brought forth the negativity that was harboring within.  About a year into fostering our little girl our foster child agency called us asking if we would be willing to foster a little boy as well.  We had to make a decision within a few hours and our hearts just cried out yes.  A sweet little boy was added to our family.  We now had twice as many kids and two of them were two years old with a variety of issues.  All this brought me beyond my own ability and capacity, and I needed a new level of defeating negativity.  Trust me when I say if it were up to my positive thoughts I would lose everyday to negativity.   Once I recognized this negativity that now was showing itself I knew it was time for an upgrade.   A sure way of knowing if you have hidden negativity is to put yourself in a situation that you are not in control.  It is easy to defeat negativity when everything’s going perfect.  What about when you are in over your head?  At your most difficult moments and seasons you will see how much negativity lives inside.  Thinking positive isn’t very good in times and situations like these.  When stress is high and rest is low how do we get through?  There is good news in all of this.  There is a power greater than negativity and He is here to show you a new way.  With Him all hell can break loose and you won’t be shaken, stressed or fatigued.  There is a place in Him that exists that when a wave of negativity and stress hits your life a tsunami of the opposite force will move against the very thing that seeks to wreak havoc in your mind, heart and relationships.

Your mind, heart and spirit were designed to be a vessel.   2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”  You were created to be filled up and contain things.  God has so much good gifts to pour into you.  How amazing it is that God created us to be vessels of His goodness.  Each of us has empty spaces in our heart for all the good things you need and desire.  Why do you desire love?  You have an empty spot inside that can only be satisfied with love.  Not just any ol’ love but the good unconditional love of our heavenly Father.  Why do you desire friendships?  There is a void inside specifically designed to be filled with the good friendship of Jesus.   Each desire you have came from a void inside that was designed for a specific purpose.  As each void is filled with a good God we begin to know how to give and receive love, how to cultivate lasting relationships, how to relate to each and every person on God’s good green earth.  The enemy of our soul would love nothing more than to get in the way of us being filled with the goodness of God.  He loves to create trouble, frustration and bring negativity into our relationships.  Misunderstandings make him happy and revenge is his council every time.   His goal is to take this vessel, created to hold goodness, and make it a vessel of turmoil.  If he can just get us to allow the negativity to fill the voids of the heart he knows it will sabotage the person’s desires, perspectives and relationships.  Once it has taken root he uses it to blindfold us so that we no longer see the good things happening.  We begin to see every irritating thing about the people around us.  Every interaction in our relationships seems to take twice as much energy as it did before.  We look around to count the blessings and we can’t see anything good.  The source of negativity can always be traced back to demonic influence.  Hell is a place of separation and that is exactly what negativity will do.  Separate us from the very things we need to live abundant lives in Jesus.  How do we get filled with the influence of heaven and defeat this negative force?

You have authority to determine what is allowed into your vessel.  The truth is any negativity we have we allowed it to come in.  Don’t worry, at any time you can tell it to leave and it has to go.  The even greater good news is that if negativity is from hell Jesus has already defeated it.  It doesn’t stand a chance against Him.  It tried its best and fell flat on its face.  Right now tell that negativity to go in the name of Jesus.  Tell it to go back to where it came from and that it is never allowed to come back in this vessel again!   Matthew 18:18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  Now it is time to loose some goodness of heaven in your life.  Let’s invite the goodness of God to take its rightful place in our hearts.  How do you do that?  It all starts with thanksgiving and gratitude to God.  Make a list of everything you are thankful for and let your heart really get to a grateful place.  The list should include everything from the amazing people that God has placed in your life to the possessions you have.  As thanksgiving fills your heart begin to worship Him.  Declare how good He really is, declare how kind He is, declare how strong He is, and declare the testimony of Jesus.  This is how we put on the mind of Christ, by thinking like He does.  Christ is always boasting about the goodness of the Father.  Lets pick up that habit too.  Now ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind again.  To see how He sees you and the circumstances in your life.  Ask the Father what He is up to in your life.  What good thing is the good Father doing in your life right now?  Ask Him and He will reveal to you the good plans.  These are prayers that He will answer and not delay.  Negativity can’t survive when we see the plans God has in store for us.  We can get to a place that we are so full of God’s goodness that there is no room for negativity.  As we are doing these exercises, the swell and momentum of that “tsunami of the opposite force” I talked about earlier is building.  It is getting ready to take out any negativity that would want to take root in this precious vessel of yours.  I hope by now you are starting to feel filled up more with the goodness of God.  I pray that negativity would be broken off your life for good!

One of my favorite parts about defeating negativity is helping others.  This is key to our own journey in the negativity battle.  Every time I get filled up again by God I love to go on with my day searching for those stuck in the bottom of the pit.  My simple approach is to compliment, encourage and bless.   Release the goodness poured in and it will continue to flow.  This is how we upgrade the plumbing of goodness in our lives.  To beat negativity at its source we must learn to stand on something greater than negativity itself.  Just see what happens when you stand on His word about who you are.  When you lean into His heart to get filled up and declare His goodness no matter the circumstance negativity has no chance in hell.  What a wonderful vessel of goodness you are, now let it spill over to those around.

Author: Pastor Tim Felker

NEW BLOG SERIES: DEFEATING NEGATIVITY

NEW BLOG SERIES: DEFEATING NEGATIVITY

Episode One  – “The Drought”

As I sit here in the presence of God listening to worship, the Father is refreshing my soul and spirit.  There was a day and time when frustration and negativity consumed a lot of my thinking and most of my feelings.  Many times I walked into a room and began to create a negative environment by casting judgment, hurling insults, and wearing dissatisfaction on my face.  I’m so thankful for the work God has done and is doing in my life.  I never dreamed of refreshing waters like this on a daily basis.  Now  I find myself walking into a room and desiring to lift up the people in it.  I can’t help but see the beauty in people now.  This didn’t happen overnight for me.  I was saved at the age of 17 and had a radical conversion. From orphan to Son, bully to crying baby, wounded to healed.  In a moment God changed everything with this statement, “Son, I love you.”  Instantly love poured into places that were dry my entire life.  My new life in Jesus changed so many things yet at times I still felt negative to the core.  I was like an orphan who finally received adoption (Ephesians 1:5) after years of waiting and wishing, but once it happened I would not believe my adoption to be true.   I am realizing now that negativity is simply the warning signs of drought.  Wherever there is a drought from the Father’s love in any area of life, negativity is always ready to step right in.  It takes time to saturate the dry places especially if you don’t realize they are dry.  Right now California is experiencing a drought season that is quite alarming.  The waters of huge lakes throughout the state have dropped twenty, fifty, even a hundred feet in only a few short years.  Negativity so easily creeps in like a drought.  One dry season turns into many and it seems like “out of nowhere” we are dry.   The longer we go without the love of the Father touching us the drier and more negative we become.

It is interesting that on the other side of the country there has been a record-breaking winter with crazy amounts of snow and rain.  Without knowing it, our life can look just like the situation in the United States.  We may be getting drenched in one area yet in another area of our life we see drought.  For some of us, we have never seen water in certain areas of our heart, and deserts have formed.  We try to focus on the areas being maintained with an average amount of rainfall and hope one day the desert will be watered.  Meanwhile the drought keeps nagging and sabotaging way beyond its borders.

The effects of drought can look and sound like this.  Where faith once existed to move mountains, there is now such a low expectation of God’s move in your life that you struggle to get to church on Sunday morning.  Where love used to pour out overflowing to others, it has now dried up and everyone seems to be taking and increasing your deficit.  In this place, any giving out becomes frustrating at best and resentment for others begins to set in.  You once cheered people into their dreams, now no one can please you with the high standards that circle around in your mind.  When you see a dreamer you know it is only a matter of time until they are crushed like you.  Even your loved ones are not safe.  They slowly become an irritant taking up your time.  Then the guilt of harming those relationships and causing disconnection starts to eat away at your heart.  To top it off, here comes a negative thought about how God is not doing anything and your anger turns toward Him.  You frequently find yourself saying, “I just need a break!” Yet somehow no matter how much time you seem to capture, the negativity bounces back strong.

Why do we  experience drought in our lives?  Is God withholding the rains of His love so that we  dry up?   Maybe our negative thoughts are right about God?  No way!  The God I know would never hold hostage the love and refreshing we need.  He didn’t withhold His Son so why would He withhold anything we need?  Romans 8:31-32 in the NLT says it best, “31 So what should we say about this? If God is for us, no one can defeat us. 32 He did not spare his own Son but gave him for us all. So with Jesus, God will surely give us all things.”  With powerful scriptures like this, why does it seem that drought is winning in so many Christian lives?  The answer to this epidemic is the Father’s love getting to the dry places.  All the way down into the deep dark hidden places.  A few years back I had a dream that impacted me to the core.  I can still to this day picture every detail and all the events that took place.  In this dream I was on a beach with a handful of people and I was their leader.  On this beach was an old broken down bridge with missing pieces and a fire pit just to the right of bridge.  The large pieces of this bridge were scattered all around the beach.  Then the voice of the Lord came to me saying, “put all pieces of the bridge back together and I will do a miracle and heal the bridge.”  I called the people together and we began to gather the pieces of the bridge and place them where they belonged.  It was exciting and filled with purpose.  In a short time we were putting on what we thought was the last piece.  We stood back and looked at our finished bridge and waited for the miracle.  As we waited longer and longer we realized the miracle wasn’t going to happen.  I was so confused because I knew it was the Lord who promised to heal the bridge.  Then His wonderful voice came again, “I said you must put ALL the pieces of the bridge back together.”  I answered back, “Lord, where will I find the missing pieces?”  His reply shocked me, “They are buried in the fire pit.”  I jumped into that dirty, ash filled pit and began to dig and dig.  I finally hit something solid and pulled up a beautiful antique lamp that mounted on the side of the bridge.  With a joyful declare I cried out, “there’s more pieces in the pit!”  At the moment I  woke up knowing I just received a revelation from God.  As I played the dream over in my head I began to understand what that pit was.  The pit was my pain.  It was all the dark and dry places the Father wanted to get at.  He wanted to water the depths of my heart so that I would never again feel the effects of drought.

Take a moment to picture this with me.  Wouldn’t it be an amazing thing if we could pick up California and hold it under the record-breaking rains in other parts of the country?  It wouldn’t take long to hydrate this state with the amount of rain and snow coming down on the East Coast.  If we could saturate California for a few weeks it would begin to fill and penetrate the depths of the soil.  The first  few days the water would run off and only the surface would get wet.  But as the watering continued,  rivers and lakes would fill up and the soil would drink up the water.  The mountains would turn white with beautiful powder and a surplus of water would be stored for the coming seasons.  It would be so wonderful to see this instant transformation.

Unlike California, we can pick up any area of our life and hold it under the deluge of His love.    The rain of God’s love is a constant downpour!  Your entire life can be held in His constant downpour, and drought can be a thing of the past.  Negativity would become a distant memory.   Areas in your life where you have taken drastic measures  to reserve water would be released for the pouring out for others to drink.  There would be more than enough.  All the ill effects of the drought would be reversed in your life.  It would be so wonderful to see this instant transformation.  This can happen today if you are willing.  It can happen now!  The deluge is here and the Spirit of God has the biggest watering can you have ever seen…and it is aimed at you.  One of the most amazing things about God is that He is always just one small step away.  With one step from any position in life we can step into the waters.  There is no backtracking to a better time or place.  There is no need to strive for that time you were close to Him before; He is already in front of you.  Step into the rain.  If you feel lost and you cannot seem to find the rain, don’t fret.  Don’t try to  be good or more spiritual or better behaved to get back in connection  with Him.  Maybe if you were separated from Him that would work but  He  hasn’t gone anywhere.  Rather, find the pit and you will find the rain.  God is at the driest places knocking at your door.

When I say a life without drought and negativity I am not talking about a life that is free from trouble, trials, heartbreak, pain, and loss.  Life does have difficulties woven throughout and there is no avoiding it at times.  I’m talking about staying connected to the Father in such a way that we have a constant revelation that we are in the rain whether we are in good times or bad times, whether we are feeling up or down, sinning or holy, joyful or mourning, at the grocery store or at church, having dinner with the family or quiet before God in the secret place.  If He is constant than I can go through anything because my lifeline doesn’t depend on my efforts.  My watering doesn’t depend on my efforts.  It all depends on Him and He has found it pleasing to send a downpour.  It’s a gift to be received not a mandate to be achieved.  My mood can change or the world could come crashing down, yet the knowledge and revelation of my standing in Him doesn’t have to change.  Faith is the receiving of this grace filled rain but I pray that you also feel the drenching of God.  I hope you have an experience with the Father that sends you sinking in oceans of His love with no life raft in sight.  This kind of encounter with God will take your faith to wide open spaces.

Are you in a drought?  Wherever you are right now, stop and take a moment to imagine that you are standing under the flood rains of your Papa’s love.  Don’t leave that place.  Soak it up like a sponge until you overflow; until the drought is history!  Don’t worry that this won’t last, for your Father is doing a lasting work in you.  It’s the very reason you are reading this.  His desire for you has brought you to this moment.  Your drought is over and gone and you never have to be dry again.  If you find the negativity warning signs creeping back in simply take a step under the constant shower of love.  Remember His love is on all the time.  It never stops, it never ceases and it’s directed at you.

Here is an exercise to get you started in receiving this downpour.  Find the quietest place available and get comfortable.   I like to start with worship to get my mind to slow down and be in the present moment.  Begin to thank God for everything that you are grateful for.  Keep thanking Him and go deeper with each and every item that He has so graciously given you.  Do this until you feel the thanksgiving in your heart.  Thankfulness does something special in the heart.  It will begin to help you see all the amazing details of the people that you love the most and beyond.  Thank God  for who they are and He has made the very details of their personality.   You will begin to see what a blessing they really are.  Nine times out of ten that drops me right into the heart of my Father as I thank Him for my wife and kids.  In this loving place I want you to say this mantra that I borrowed from Graham Cooke, “He loves me, because He loves, because He loves, because He loves me, because He loves me.”  Don’t stop saying it until your heart catches up with want you are declaring.  This mantra helps me connect with God and has gotten me through some really tough times.  It’s easy to lose sight of who you are when difficulty clouds your vision.  There is something special that happens when we realize He loves us just because that is who He is.  Anytime I need centering I put this mantra on repeat in my heart.  Once you feel your heart responding to His presence take a few minutes to relax.  Rest.  Soak it up.  Drink it up.  Let it go even deeper.  His presence will begin to touch even the child inside of you.  Peace will overtake all stress and you find yourself abiding in Him.  You may fall asleep and that is just fine.  Tears may come streaming down and that is good too.  When I get to this place I feel really safe in His arms.  In this safe place I ask Him to show me the dry places He would like to water.  I ask Him to show me the treasure that lies hidden under the ashes.  When He has revealed His will simply invite Him to have His way.  That’s it!  You have begun the journey to a life of the constant downpouring love of your Father.

Let’s look at another scripture to help drive this even deeper.  In Matthew chapter 28 Jesus tells His disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Did you know that baptism means to submerge fully until saturated?  Jesus literally commanded His disciples to end the drought in all nations.  WOW! There is no way for use to even fully understand how we have benefitted from that commandment and the work of the first disciples.  We wouldn’t know the good news of the gospel if it weren’t for their incredible obedience and sacrifice.  What compelled them to take on such a bold mission to the nations.  Even more mind blowing is that work has been passed down to us for this generation.  What did Jesus want us to understand?

As I read this scripture I can’t help but wonder what did the disciples observe Jesus do on a daily basis?  Jesus’ words sound very intentional about the next generation of Christ followers having access to all He taught them and observing the commands he revealed during His ministry on earth.  The word “observe” in this passage means to continue.  I believe Jesus was empowering them to continue what He did on earth.  What character and patterns did they see Jesus do as they followed Him all over the country?  Did you ever think about how many sermons the disciples heard from Jesus compared to the amount of meals He had with them around a table?  Clearly the times spent at meals greatly outweighed the times of formal teaching He gave them.  When Jesus says, “teach them to observe all that I have commanded you”, I believe the disciples were reflecting upon those meal times of fellowship.  They were remembering the laughter along the walks to the next town, the friendship formed by nights around a fire, the deep connection through ministering together, all the special moments, all the incredible miracles, and especially the one on one times with Him.  This is the continued commandment that Jesus was talking about.  Jesus wanted the disciples to pass down the abiding life with Him that they had and continued to have through the Spirit of God.  The disciple’s perspective of the great commission was an invading of everyday lives of everyday people and connecting them to the ever present God-friend.  This is what drove them to give their lives for their Lord.  He was real and present in every moment.  The ups and downs, victories and defeats, no matter what His love showered on them.  This wasn’t your average religious commission, rather it was an invitation to open the doors of the heart and let this God-friend permanently move in.

I love that “all authority” has been given to submerge people in the deep waters of relationship with a kind and loving Father.  This is the true heart of the gospel and negativity doesn’t stand a chance once our hearts have seen and heard.  Just as darkness cannot overtake light; drought cannot overtake the seas of His love.  Let’s just listen to the last part of Jesus’ statement in Matthew 28:20.  Did you hear Jesus’ words by any chance?  In case you didn’t here it is again, “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  When Jesus says “behold” this is the equivalent of Him gently getting our attention by taking our face and turning it to His to make sure we see His eyes.  Behold wasn’t just some proper grammar to start a good sentence.  Behold means to pay very close attention to what I’m about to say.  It’s of the utmost importance.  Jesus was saying, “Listen up my son.  Listen here my sweet daughter.  I am with you always.  I’ll never ever, ever, ever, leave you.”  Negativity can never co-exist in this kind of love.  He is constant.  He is always with us.  His love is constant and always with us.  Don’t you see what this means?  You and God are in this thing for the long haul.  You are joined with Him no matter what.  When you gave your life to Jesus Christ, His life and your life became forever one.  No longer does negativity have the authority to have it’s way in your life.  There is a much greater force than negativity; it’s the love that comes from the lover of our souls.  Every room in your heart that may be storing negativity can now be filled up with Him.  You are His lighthouse!  Shining from the fullness of His delight.  You are a no force to be reckoned with.  You are nothing short of a soaking-wet, drought killing, negativity defeating, favored child of the most generous Father in the universe.  This is who you are; enjoy it!

 

Cover Artwork: Jessi Stafford / Editors: Jessica Gomez & Heather Capristo

Women in Church Leadership

Women in Church Leadership

To some this issue may seem strange to be discussing in church.  If you haven’t grown up in a traditional church setting, then you probably don’t even know this is a discussion in the church. To some of you however, even questioning this concept seems heretical. People with this argument usually accuse one of ignoring, or watering down scripture in order to conform to our culture. What they seem to fail to recognize is the culture bias they are reading into scripture.  The traditionalist view in the church has held that the Bible clearly teaches that women should not teach or have authority over men. This after all, was the cultural norm in the USA until recent history. It wasn’t until 1980 that there were equal numbers of men and women enrolled in college. The culture out of which this traditionalist view came out of was one which supported the interpretation that women shouldn’t be leading. So to then accuse current teachers of conforming scripture to culture is not a very honest argument, because it assumes one has no cultural bias and the other does.

  So how do we decide which position is correct? This is where we really need to do a thorough and honest study of scripture and determine what is really being taught.  This Sunday, we will be diving into a couple passages of scripture to determine what is being taught. One of these passages is 1 Timothy 2:12,

“I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”

We will go into depth this Sunday to find out what the Apostle Paul was addressing here.  Here are just a few things about the word authenteo, translated here as “authority”.

  • Paul uses a different word for authority (exousia) over 20 times in his writings in the Bible. This passage in 1 Tim. 2:12 is the only place in the entire Bible where this word is used. Why did Paul choose this word instead of the other one he typically used to say authority?
  • Since this word isn’t used in the Bible, we can look to other Greek literature from the same time period and see how they used the word. Here is the way this word is used: “The recipients of this action are abused, unloved, harmed, coerced, brutalized, destroyed, disrespected/dishonored, killed and arrested.”

The correct interpretation of this word really changes how we read this text.  Is Paul laying down a mandate for all mankind, that women should never teach men?  Or is he correcting a situation in the Ephesian church where a woman was domineering and abusing men in her teaching?

Join us this Sunday as we dive into this a bit and find out what is being said in God’s Word.

The Story of the Felkers - Father's House OC Leaders

The Story of the Felkers - Father's House OC Leaders

Pastor Tim Felker came to The Father’s House, formerly known as Coastview Christian Fellowship, when he was 17 years old. Without knowing anything about church, Jesus, or salvation he was invited to a Sunday morning service by a friend. That Sunday morning, Tim’s life was forever changed. Tim often refers to that day as the day he fell in love with Jesus with the simple yet overwhelming message of “Son I love you” that he received from God during service.  That morning he not only encountered Jesus for the first time, but he was welcomed into the community of the church body which set his life on a path never before imagined. He was saved and on a journey that would one day lead him to Pastor the same church in which he was saved.

Tim quickly went from the life of a troubled teen to the life of a servant and disciple. He jumped right into participation and service in the youth ministry. He learned to play guitar and began leading worship for the youth services. His anointing was beginning to rise and he was eventually asked to take over the youth ministry. This is where he began building his future church.

Tim cultivated a leadership team and poured his life and soul into the leaders and youth alike. The group began to thrive and they were lead to go deeper into their call and relationship with the father as Tim is so passionate about. He lead the group with passion, conviction, and of course, a lot of fun. He created multiple programs, events, and areas where people could be themselves and experience the love of Jesus. After years of overseeing the youth ministry as youth pastor, it was time to step into a new season. Tim was asked to be the Assistant Pastor of The Fathers House.

Tim was mentored and trained by the founding Pastor, Dale Temple. He was able to deepen and develop his leadership and call while overseeing many areas of ministry including worship and the church leadership team. He was challenged, encouraged, and went through much personal growth during this season but his passion for Jesus and his people shined through. He was ready for what God had next, Senior Pastor of The Father’s House.

In January of 2014, Tim was called to take the Senior Pastor position at The Father’s House. He, along side of Matt Swift, would take the reins of the very church body he was saved in 20 years before. Tim has since then lead the church with great love and passion for Gods people. He is full of heart and vision. He is a gifted creator and his ministry is often intertwined with the creative side of God. He has a heart for the Prophetic ministry and has helped cultivate the prophetic atmosphere at The Father’s House. He is always looking for what God is doing now and is always passionate about bringing it to the church.

Tim and his wife Havah live in Huntington Beach with their 4 children. There is no shortage of excitement at the Felker household with 2 children of their own (Kirah 10 & Zeke 8) and two foster children (LaNiya 3 & Daniel 3), which they hope to be adopting in 2016.