Spark Notes (1/14)

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On January 14, 2018, Jen Sandbulte started of the first IGNITE series of 2018 called Purpose: Setting Goals with Jesus. 

Have you ever asked yourself "Why am I here? Have you ever made a new years resolution? Have you ever felt like you were wasting your life? Have you ever wondered what your purpose is? 

Pur-pose (noun) - the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. 
 (verb) - Have as one's intention or objective.

So, what does the Bible say about purpose? Why did God create us? What is our purpose? 

In Genesis 1 - God existed in perfect love and unity before he even created time. 
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." - Genesis 1:1-2

Even King David asked in Psalm 8:3-4, finding out that He cares for us.
"When I consider your heavens, the work of you fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?"

God didn't need us, though. Acts 17:24-25 says, "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else."

God is love - love demonstrated by pouring out on others. That went against the norms .

Revelation 4:11 shoes that God created us for his pleasure.
"The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."

We are created for his pleasure. How does this change what is most important in your life? Can someone give you pleasure if you never spend time with them or if you never talk to them? Our minds say that is God, but do our actions say that too?

What is it?
The Bible presents fasting as something that is good, profitable, and beneficial. The book of Acts records believers fasting before they made important decisions.
"While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off." - Acts 13:2
"Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust." - Acts 14:23

Fasting and prayer are often linked together
Like, Anna in Luke 2:37-38, "She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and prayer. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem."
In Luke 5:33-35, the disciples were questioned for not fasting - "They said to him, "John's disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking." Jesus answered, "Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast."

Too often, the focus of fasting is on the lack of food. Instead, the purpose of fasting should be to take your eyes off the things of this world to focus completely on God. Fasting is a way to demonstrated to God, and to ourselves, that we are serious about our relationship with Him. Fasting helps us gain a new perspective and a renewed reliance upon God.

Although fasting in scripture is almost always a fasting from food, there are other ways to fast. Anything given up temporarily in order to focus all our attention on God can be considered a fast.

Fasting should be limited to a set time, especially when fasting from food. Extended periods of time without eating can be harmful to the body. Fasting is not intended to punish the flesh, but to redirect attention to God. fasting should not be considered a "dieting method" either. The purpose of a biblical fast is not to lose weight, but rather to gain deeper fellowship with God. Anyone can fast, but some may not be able to fast from food (diabetics, for example). Everyone can temporarily give up something in order to draw closer to God.

By taking our eyes off of the things of this world, we can more successfully turn our attention to Christ. Fasting is not a way to get God to do what we want. Fasting changes us, not God. Fasting is not a way to appear more spiritual than others. Fasting is to be done in a spirit of humility and a joyful attitude. Mathew 6:16-18 declares, "When you fast, do on look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you."

Jesus fasted! In Matthew 3, we read that he is baptized, then in Matthew 4, He fasted immediately. He fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. This was when he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. But Jesus was able to resist the continuous temptations. Jesus used the word of God, not his own strength to defeat temptations. This demonstrates how fasting can strengthen spiritually when we use it to draw closer to God. In Matthew 4:17, it shows how Jesus was then ready to embrace the purpose to which he was called, "From the time on, Jesus began to preach, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.'"

If the Son of God did not rely on flesh to live in obedience to God, then we can't either.

We invite you to do a seven day fast with us. We will also be corporately fasting as a ministry on Wednesdays going forward.

If you would like to watch the full service, click here.


Matt's Testimony

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This is a testimony shared by Matt DeJager.

One of the testimonies I can share is about 2 years ago right before Easter we had a service upstairs at HOME
and I kept praying Lord pierce our heart of the pain you went through on the cross. Just kept repeating that prayer
to understand what Easter was all about. The next morning I woke up had a lot of pain in my hand and I was running
a fever. I went to the doctor and he told me I needed to go to Sioux City to see a specialist and to get rid of the swelling.
Then I was checked into a hospital room. I had to have my hand tied to an IV pole hanging up in the air to get the
swelling to come down and they pumped me full of drugs. The next day was Easter. So I woke up Easter morning with
my hand raised in the air being tied to a iv pole all night and realized that God heard my cry and my prayer. The small
amount of pain that I went through is nothing in comparison to the pain he went through on the cross. The Lord did heal
me of my swelling and he did hear my cry. I love the way he shows up and he loves to show us that he is always 
listening to our prayers so I would say keep praying, keep asking because the Lord does answer prayer!


Greg's Testimony

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This is a testimony shared by Greg Schut.

My wife and I took our family of 5 to HOME to receive prophetic last week. A
ll I can say is WOW!! The things that Holy Spirit was highlighting over us and especially my children
was so awesome! It was one of those moments that all you can say is “that was truly the Lord’s voice
because only He could know this stuff!”  As a family we all felt to inspired to continue to grow in
the calling over us as well as a strengthening to stand firm in the midst of some of the storms we
are currently in. Thank you Lord and thank you HOME team!


New Year's Prayer

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Join us in prayer as we begin the new year! 
Father, You are Holy. You call us to be holy. You created us in Your image. Yet, so often our hearts wander. Our speech does not glorify You. Our actions do not honor You. Self prevails. In this New Year, clothe us with humility. Take away our desire to be right and our stubbornness to demand our own way. Submit our will to Yours. As we open the pages of Scripture, tender our hearts so that it will penetrate even to the marrow of our bones.

Father, in this world of tolerance and compromise, give us hearts that seek Your Truth above all else. Saturate us with Your Spirit of knowledge and revelation so that as we digest Your Truth, we not only understand it but are also equipped to live it. Guard our hearts from the lies of this world and keep our eyes fixed on You, for You alone are the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Father, we surrender our thoughts — especially our feelings and our emotions — to You, You who are Faithful and True. Where fear and anxiety loom, help us fully trust in You and Your goodness, no matter the circumstances. Your Word says that You don’t give a Spirit of fear but rather Your perfect love drives out fear. Lead us to walk in the freedom of that love. Your Word promises that when we pray, anxiety will flee and peace will prevail. We purpose in our hearts to pray more faithfully and consistently so we can walk confidently in Your peace.

Father, Your Word says You created us in Christ Jesus to do good works for Your Kingdom. You knit specific gifts and talents into us to do that work. And Your Word promises that when You begin a work in us, You will carry it on to completion until the day we step into eternity with You. Thank You, Father! We desire to walk in Your good and perfect plan, Lord. To serve Your people. To walk boldly in the call You have on our lives. So, as we seek to walk with You, help us to trust in You with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. Help us acknowledge You in all our ways so that in our obedience, we can clearly hear, "This is the way, My child, walk in it." 
Father, we love You and thank You that our names are engraved in the palm of Your hand. You love us unconditionally and nothing can ever separate us from Your love. May we know more than ever before how wide and high and deep and long is Your love. And as we live out that love, may our lives be a living testimony of You. We ask this in the powerful and mighty name of Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who will do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ever ask or imagine. Amen.
This prayer was written by Wendy Blight from Proverbs 31.


Evan's Testimony

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This is a testimony shared by HOME staff member, Evan Kraayenbrink.

2 Corinthians 12:10 "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

The struggle. That is what I call the last two years. I contracted a brain infection in August of 2015. The strength I have is in the Lord. The Lord uses my weakness for His glory. I am able to be all things for all people in my work here reaching out with His hands to touch their lives for Him. The infection has left me with a lot of headaches and muscles spasms. I do physical therapy and doctor visits. It gets very easy to relate to the crowd that comes on Wednesday for the food pantry. I praise God that He can use me in this way. God has been at work in and through me. I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made! 

Lyle's Testimony

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This is a testimony shared by Lyle Schut:

I’m so grateful for the worship sets at HOME.  I walked into the Friday 6 am set a few weeks ago feeling weighed down and anxious due to the pressures of the world coming against me.  Jon was singing a familiar song and then broke into singing a spontaneous song.  The words he song seemed to pierce my heart and break the despair and anxiety right off of me.  I came in to the prayer room so discouraged but left so filled with hope.  Thanks Jon for following the Spirit and singing what was on your heart!

Spark Notes (12/17)

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Teach Us To Pray: Week Seven

Greg Schut wrapped up the Lord's prayer series teaching on the last line of the Lord's prayer, focusing on the glory of the Lord. 

The kingdom, the power, and the glory. The Kingdom is the King's domain. The power - He is all power. There is no match for Him. He is the All-Powerful One. The glory - His is the glory. 

But how do we describe glory? In the world's eyes, the glory means fame and fortune. Greg brought up the definition of glory - very great praise, honor, admiration, adoring praise or worshipful thanksgiving, a state of great splendor and magnificence. That's God! He is the definition of glory. 

Greg talked about the book The Blood and the Glory by Billye Brim. The author talks about the glory in Genesis, saying the Lord crowned us with glory. It's more than crowns of gold - crowns of glory! Greg shared a picture he saw that reminded him of Acts 2 when the people had tongues of fire on their head in the shape of a crown. These people waited on the Lord for days and then when the Lord comes, he crowns them with glory. 

Bill Johnson calls the glory of the Lord the manifestation of the Lord's presence. The glory and manifestation of the Lord's presence can be seen in tangible ways. In 1906, the Azusa street revival began. People gathered asking for the Lord's presence. His presence makes everything right - healing, chains broken, breakthrough, release, etc. It is a foretaste of what is to come in Heaven. As the people on Azusa street continued to seek the Lord's presence, hundreds of thousands of people were saved and healed. There are testimonies of the manifestation of the Lord's presence, one of them being a glory cloud. 

In John 17:24, Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world."

Jesus has a desire, that we would see his glory.

Then back to John 17:22, the Verse of the Week, "I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one." The glory that the Father gave Jesus is given to us. That glory doesn't mean that we should be famous, honored, and praised. It should be that when we see His glory, we just desire to be with him. We become less and He becomes everything. That is revival. It is about Jesus being lifted high. 

1 Corinthians 3:7-18 (NLT) says, "The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life?  If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God!  In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way.  So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever! Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold.  We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away.  But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ.  Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand. But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image."

When we go to that place to be with Him, we become one with Him in His glory. 

If you would like to watch the full service, click here.
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