This week I will be taking a little break in preparation for Easter. So this Sunday, I am excited to announce pastor Josh Kwasny will be our guest preacher. Josh and our family go way back to his days as the youth director at Redeemer (PCA) in Winston-Salem when Lindsay and I attended Wake Forest University. Originally from the Chicago area, Josh has been a pastor, speaker, and mentor for over the past 15 years. Josh married his high school sweetheart 20 years ago, has three girls and two boys and currently lives in Columbus, NC.
Here’s what we have going on this Easter Season:
- Palm Sunday: April 9th
- No Midweek@Harbor
- Maundy Thursday Service: April 13th at 6:30 pm
- Lake Norman Sonrise Service: April 16th at 6:45 am at Bellingham Park, Mooresville NC
- Easter Service: April 16th at 9:30 am, no Sunday school that Sunday
Quick: when did the American Revolution end? Most people assume it started in 1776 (though it actually started about a year before the Declaration of Independence). If you guessed 1783, you’d be right! At least historically speaking. But according to John Adams, one of the nation’s founders, he believed the war was won way before 1783:
“[The] radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution”
In that sense, the war was won before it was ever even fought.
We are about to start a new sermon series on the Book of Exodus. It is a book full of plagues, thunder, smoke, walls of water, earth quakes and works of power. It tells the story of God’s relentless pursuit of the rescue of His people, fulfilling the promises he made to Abraham four hundred years earlier. It roots God’s law and instructions on the worship of God in the context of this great rescue plan unfurled. Yet, as we walk through the story, we will begin to realize that the real battle taking place is on the battlefield of the heart. Like the John Adam’s quote above, God is chasing His covenant people with His grace to change their principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections concerning God and life. It is the same hunt God has begun in us and won’t stop until our hearts are His.
Part of our focus this coming year at Harbor Church is encouraging prayer throughout our church family. In order to do kick off this renewed focus, we are going to be holding a 24 Hour Day of Prayer from Friday, Feb 3rd through Saturday, Feb 4th. Our prayer focus during that time will be for the spiritual needs of the people around us. Here are a few ways you can be involved:
Listen: Pastor Michael is preaching three sermons in January on prayer
Complete: Fill out one or more yellow prayer cards and return by Jan 22nd (instructions on the card) – You can email your requests as well.
Sign up: Put your name or your family’s name down for a devoted hour or more to pray for those listed on the cards (yellow sign up sheet located in the lobby)
Attend: Come to the conclusion of our 24 hour day of prayer at Harbor from 5-6pm on Saturday, Feb 4th.
Pray: Pray for the Day of Prayer, that God would use it to make us a people marked by prayer
Sorry folks! We want to make sure you all are safe during this latest bout of snow and ice. We may be apart, but please take Sunday as a day to worship with your family.
This past Sunday, we decided to do something a bit unusual. A bunch of us went out to a local shopping center (we asked permission first, don’t worry) and sang Christmas hymns as people were walking around and shopping. We didn’t ask anything from anybody (though we did hand out candy!). The reactions were interesting:
Some people were at various levels of amusement / interest. I saw someone filming us as we sang “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”. Drivers might give a little wave as they drove by.
Some people tried not to make any eye contact whatsoever. And that makes some sense. Most people are a little skeptical about anyone outside a store: they must be selling something, and whatever they are selling, I don’t want it.
Some people assumed we were collecting donations. There were some very sweet folks who came to us with wads of cash in hand, ready to give to whatever cause we happen to be singing for. As they approached, somebody from our group usually responded with, “Nope, we’re not taking anything, we are just here to bless you.” What followed was an expression of shocked-yet-pleasantly-surprised.
And as I am watching these reactions, I couldn’t help but think this was like a little microcosm of most people’s reaction to the Gospel. Here is Jesus: singing his song of love, no strings attached, pure unmerited favor. Some people are slightly amused, but go back to their lives. Others assume there must be some sort of catch and try not to make eye contact. Still others come genuinely grateful, money and good works in hand, ready to pay Jesus back. Only they find there’s nothing to buy back, just a gift we could never afford, bought with blood for you and for me.
There was one other person who we met along our little caroling adventure. One lady was so excited and thankful she wanted to join us in singing. So we gave her a caroling book and she joined the chorus. And isn’t that what Jesus wants? For us to know His love, shown on the cross, to have our sins washed away, so that we would join the chorus of His praises through all eternity.
Thank you Harbor church family for participating in this year’s Mooresville Christian Mission Angel Tree! We were able to provide some pretty neat stuff for 20 underprivileged kids this Christmas in our own local community. The above picture is a snapshot of all that we sent this past Friday.
A little plastic baby Jesus rests woodenly beside shrouded faceless parents, crepe paper ‘hay’, a donkey, and an A-frame open ‘stable’ that would do little to keep out the rain. This is your run-of-the-mill nativity scene you will probably see hundreds of times during the Christmas season. It’s quaint, maybe a bit little tacky, but wholly unremarkable. Unfortunately, because many people assume Jesus is just like His ‘images’: wooden, hokey, and unremarkable. A passing fad of by-gone era, or fun for now, but to be put away in the attic for next year. Truly this misses the true identity of Jesus as the powerful creator of all things, one robed in light come to rescue his people from their sin. In this Christmas series, “Pulling Back the Curtain on Christmas,” we are going to be walking through the Christmas story in the Gospels and comparing them to passages in the Book of Revelation to help us see the grandeur, the power, the wonder, (even the terror), and the hope that the Christmas story points to. Please join us in worship every Sunday from 9:30-10:45am, Nov 27th-Dec 25th as God’s Word opens our eyes to the awesomeness of Jesus and His coming!
Nov 27th: Baby Jesus: What Child is this? (Lk 1:26-37, Mt 13:53-56, Rev 1:9-20)
Dec 4: Christmas Songs: Singing the Lamb’s Song (Lk 2:8-20, Rev 5:1-14)
Dec 11: Christmas and Family (Lk 1:34-45, Lk 2:1-7, Rev 7:1-12)
Dec 18: Christmas and Conflict: (Mt 2:8-18, Rev 12:1-17)
Dec 24: Christmas Eve Service: Joy to the World (John 1:1-14, Rev 21:1-7) — 7pm-8pm
Dec 25: Second Christmas (Rev 22:12-21) — 11am-12pm
This week we have the privilege of welcoming back Pastor Sid Druen from Reformed University Fellowship – Davidson to preach for us this Sunday morning (10/23). Sid will be preaching on Gen 13:1-18: “Faith Is a Verb That Moves towards Someone”. Pastor Michael will be out of town for a family gathering this weekend.
Here’s a quick bio of Sid.