Harvest Barn Blog: Speakin’ the Truth

The Dispensation of the Spirit

Pastor Bridgette and Kimon Criner of Harvest Barn Church

Pastors Bridgette and Kimon Criner

Did you know that you live in, what God calls, the “dispensation of the Spirit”?

According to II Corinthians 3:8, it is the spiritual ministry of the Holy Spirit to cause men to obtain and be governed by the Holy Spirit. The verse goes on to say that it is attended with much glory. So it’s a glorious and desirable thing to be governed by the Holy Spirit. Verse 9 continues to say how infinitely more abounding in splendor and glory must be the service that makes righteous [the ministry that produces and fosters righteous living and right standing with God]!

It struck me today how hard even believers fight to not be governed by the Holy Spirit. When He starts to point some stuff out or gives a different direction than the one we want, we act like the children of Israel. They told Moses to put a veil over his face. They didn’t want to see God’s glory or hear His direction directly.

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Good God, Bad Devil

Tai Kishefsky and Josie Mosley, Harvest Barn Church

Tai Kishefsky & Josie

Have you ever paid attention to the “traffic” that is going on in your mind? Sometimes the devil shoots so many firey darts at your mind that it’s like a 6-lane expressway each going 90 miles per hour!

Far too often, we allow this to go on much too long before we hold up the stop sign. We should stop the devil quickly by slamming on the brakes and commanding him to stop in the name of JESUS. Satan is a liar. As a matter of fact, he is the father of all lies, according to John 8:44.

This reminds me of  a simple lesson we teach the kids in Sunday school: Good God, bad devil. If what you’re hearing go through your mind is good, then it’s God. Also true is, if what you’re hearing go through your mind is bad, then it’s the devil (the liar).

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A Believer’s Goal

Mae Hilliker, Harvest Barn Church

Mae Hilliker

As born-again Christians, it should be our goal to complete those assignments that God has called, chosen, appointed and anointed us to do. One might ask, “How do we know what we’re called and anointed to do? How do we know God’s will for us?”

To know God’s will is to know God’s Word. He speaks to us through His Word and through other believers by way of prompting by the Holy Spirit. In Romans 12:12, Paul cautions us not to be conformed to this age or this world, but rather to be changed and transformed by the entire renewal of our mind so we can prove for ourselves what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God, even that which is good, acceptable and perfect in God’s sight for us (personally).

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In Whom Are You Placing Trust?

Nancy B. White & Mae Hilliker

Paul wrote, “I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that [Christ] is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to Him,” (2 Timothy 1:12).

The airplane I was traveling home on was enveloped in thick, dense clouds. All of the passengers had become silent as the aircraft bucked and heaved in the dark sky. As we neared the airport, I caught fleeting glimpses of the earth below, but I still felt a long way from home.

I thought about the faith the passengers had placed in the training and skill of the pilot and crew. We had not hesitated to place our lives in their hands.

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The Ultimate Good News

Nancy B. White & Mae Hilliker

“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb,” (Matthew 28:1 NIV).

I love the two Mary’s. They were the first ones to arrive at the tomb, the first ones to hear the angel and the first ones to learn the good news that Jesus had risen from the dead–and to believe it! They were the first to tell others the message that has been repeated around the world for 2,000 years: “Jesus has risen from the dead!”

The Mary’s were the first to be filled with resurrection joy, the first to see the risen Jesus and the first to worship Him. They were the first, but they weren’t the last–because they told the disciples and the disciples told others, and those others told others, until someone told you and someone told me.

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A True Story of Faith

Tai and Joe Kishefsky

Tai and Joe Kishefsky

I just know what my husband will do, even before he does it. It has been 20 years together now, so over time we have become a very good team. I have faith in him. I have no reason to doubt his word. He has proven to be faithful time after time.

I have come to know my God much in the same way. Every time I have prayed in faith, He has shown Himself to be faithful even when the situation seemed impossible. I am learning more and more to confidently rely on Him. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). I want to encourage you with a faith story that I heard…

This is the story of a man who went through a very painful divorce and was raising his two children on his own. This man was believing God with his faith for a good wife and mother for his kids. God put it on his heart to act on his faith. Each night he would prepare dinner for his children and himself. Then, when he set the table by faith, he would set an extra plate, fork and glass for his wife. Then, at the end of the meal he would clear her spot.

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I Lost A Friend Today

Darrel Maniaci

I lost a friend today, unexpectedly. My mind automatically went racing to all the fun times and things said, done and laughed about. I thought about the kind of person they were and if they had loved Jesus. Fortunately for them, they did.

My friend was not perfect. He made mistakes. But, none of that mattered to his friends and family, because you always felt loved. Isn’t that the key to this life? We leave people feeling loved. I did an inventory of how I had treated this person and if they always felt loved by me.

God’s love is just that: Love. It’s not judgment calls and harsh words. It’s just love. It’s love so big He would send His love, His Son, to die and make sure nothing would come between Him and me again.

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His Plan for You

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts,” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

mae-hilliker

Mae Hilliker and Lacsey Zumbaugh

Joseph’s brothers couldn’t know what the final outcome of their actions would be when they sold him into slavery – and Joseph had no idea, while in prison, that one day he would govern over Pharaoh’s household and the entire land of Egypt. God’s favor was always with Joseph.

God’s plan was to get Joseph to Egypt and in a position of authority so when famine covered the land, he could save his father and brothers (Genesis 45:5). What appeared to be disastrous for Joseph, in time, turned out to be a tremendous blessing of a family reunited, reconciled and preserved.

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It’s Time to Reset Our Focus

Tai and Joe Kishefsky

Tai and Joe Kishefsky

God has been so good to me and my family. Time after time He has delivered us from one mess after the other. I’m sure God has done this for you, too–if you think about it.

That’s the trouble. Most of us just get so busy or consumed with the problems that we forget to think about all of the “goodness” He has shown us. We need to “reset” our thinking and purposely focus on the goodness in our lives. Especially as the holidays are approaching, it is good to remember the good things that we DO have. We are not to compare ourselves with other people in the world and what they may have.

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God is Always Listening

“The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry,(Psalm 34:15).

My friend always called me when she had a problem to work through. One morning, she had a particularly complicated problem that took some time to explain. I was listening intently, without interrupting her, in order to get an accurate sense of her concern.

Suddenly, she stopped and asked, “Are you there?”

“Yes,” I answered. “I’m listening.”

Reassured, she continued. Then, we talked until she felt her problem was resolved.

It occurred to me that sometimes we feel as if God is not listening or has forgotten about us. Like my friend, we ask, “Are you there?”

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