Monthly Archives: February, 2013

Verge 2013 Disciple Making Starts Tomorrow!

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

imagesThe premier disciple making conference called Verge 2013 starts tomorrow from Austin,Texas.

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ are you making disciples for Jesus?

Today is the last day for signing up to receive the free simulcast over your computer. To be part of this conference go to verge network.org/webcast.  The event is simply called Verge 2013: Disciple Making!

As John Wesley reminds us: “The best is yet to come.”  Stay tuned. Brother John

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Hello Heaven-Hey Anybody Interested ???

imagesOn this Ritzville State Basketball weekend-we Jesus’ followers turn our heads upward!  Upward is the word! images Upward is our hope. Isn’t upward the destination we all hope for-like in heaven?  Hello-anybody interested in heaven?

Ritzville high basketball has the opportunity to move upward to the State 2B Championship Game. More importantly-you have the opportunity to move up!  How do we move upward spiritually?  By asking Jesus Christ, our Creator and Champion to move within us?

I am so grateful for the wonderful questions, discussion, and dialogue we have been having about what it means to be a Follower and Not A Fan of Jesus Christ this Lenten season. We continue the theme NOT A FAN this Sunday blessed by the wonderful Holy Spirit. Hello repentance!

The rich young ruler gets in Jesus face and asked what we should. His spiritual arrogance gets in the way yet he asked the question that hopefully we ask God: “Teacher what good thing must I do to get eternal life? (Matt. 19:17).

See you Sunday with Session Three with Jesus and Kyle Idleman-entitled: “What Must I Do?”

Soup and fresh bread for all afterward. Come share with others! Stay tuned.  Brother John

Jesus and the 2013 Oscars-Will He Get His?

imagesToday is the day that the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it!  I greet you in Jesus’ Holy Name!

Yes today is the day the Lord has made but it also is the day Hollywood gives out its highest prize-the Oscar!

Having a boy making his living in Hollywood as a film editor has brought Maureen and I extra close to Hollywood. I joke with Keith and sometimes purposely call him ‘Oscar’.images

In our post modern culture certainly ‘the movies’ are one of the most powerful drivers of our American culture.

So the question I play with today is: “Would Jesus get nominated or receive an Oscar if he was physically walking our turf today?”

To answer this question, I so recall a couple of years ago going to a Lenen worship service here in Ritzville.  After the service I was walking out the church building where the preacher was shaking people’s hands as they exited. I’ll never forget what the person ahead of me-said to the Pastor : “Nice performance, Pastor, nice performance”.  Wow those words were like a powerful right hook punch from one boxer to another.

You see the difference between Jesus Christ and all we others is that we all are guilty of performing. This is the nature of the acting field. It is so easy at certain moments to let our eyes slip off of  Jesus and The Holy Spirit and instead to have the focus on ourselves. No, Jesus was not an actor.  No pretense-just truth. Jesus was and is today God’s absolute truth. Jesus was crystal clear to all who had or have today ears to hear and eyes to see.  He said: ” Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father (John 14:9)

So give God the glory for the talents and spiritual gifts He has given you. Enjoy the Oscars-don’t just get caught up in idol worship. Be yourself-honor God-don’t perform. Blessings and God’s goodness to you all.  Stay tuned.  Brother John

Holy Spirit’s “Not A Fan”Causing Good Response at Trinity!

imagesThe scriptural “Not A Fan” Lenten theme is off and running here at Trinity.  I so appreciate all the responses from people about this scriptural study.  Numerous folks have told me how they appreciate the study. I so appreciate the comments, questions and folks who have said they have issues with some of Kyle Idleman’s teachings. It is spiritually healthy to question,  and disagree because we only grow if we are open to all views about Holy Scripture.

It still is not too late to get into this study. The books and Journals are still available at the resource center.

This Sunday we continue with Session 2 of Not A Fan entitled: “Follow Me.”

Speak about going from fan to follower. A big thank you to those who joined me in going to Benton City UMC last weekend for leading another Great Witness Weekend. Even though I was only at the GWW Friday night, I could tell by the response of the Benton City people that God was doing something awesome in that church!

Share your soup and bread with others after worship this Sunday! Stay tuned. Brother John

Not A Fan Kicks Off Lent at Trinity UMC-Tomorrow!

To all within the Trinity Family its D-Day so to speak-time for a Holy Spirit invasion-Lent 2013!images

Thanks to the Worship Team and Spiritual Leaders of Trinity-we go where we haven’t gone before in worship.

Worship is meant to be relational and transformational-so this year worship will feature an intriguing theme-NOT A FAN!

Beginning tomorrow through worship and small group discussion we will mediate on the question: Are You a Fan or Follower of Jesus Christ. Kyle Idleman author of the book Not a Fan will through a movie help us discover how we understand our spirituality. Can I ask you? Are you religious or spiritual?  Is the spiritual realm really something you think is relevant? Do we look at the spiritual first from our point of view or God’s view?

Following worship we will have our soup and bread fellowship following worship. Maureen, Byron, and Gregg ad Sandy Fitch are away at a Great Witness Weekend event at Benton City!

Fresh bread is in my bread machine to share with your soup tomorrow!  Blessings to you!  Pastor John

Holy Spirit Blesses GWW at Benton City UMC-Praise God!

IMG_3546I’m just back from another Wesleyan Covenant’s Great Witness Weekend! An awesome Holy Spirit time!

It began last night with forty people present. Five from Trinity UMC Ritzville, four from St. John UMC,  two from Silverdale UMC and one from Fowler UMC traveled to Benton City as the sending team. This time the receiving church was Benton City UMC, in the Seven Rivers District. The Great Witness Weekend’s purpose is for followers of Jesus Christ to train other believers in how to tell their story of faith in Christ. It involves worship, four short keynote addresses, time in small groups, and fellowship meals. The receiving Church put up the sending team members overnight in Benton City UMC homes.

IMG_3555Frank Watson, from St. John was the keynote speaker. Pastor Ed Hamshar, from Benton City then determined how the Benton City people would break into small groups, led by facilitators from the sending team. As clergy I was privileged to sit in on one of the five small groups. As the discussion within each small group is strictly confidential, I can say that the group I was part of had profound sharing take place amongst its members!

After closing worship last night the sending team all were parceled out to their overnight homes. It was an extra time for sweet fellowship and prayer.

I returned back to Ritzville today, so to be able to help lead a special Lenten theme Sunday at Trinity Ritzville.

The GWW event continues on today and ends tomorrow with worship at Benton City.  How inspiring it is to hear other people tell of what Jesus Christ means to them and how blessed we all are!  O how great you are O Holy Spirit!

The model is built on the idea that once a receiving church experiences a Great Witness Weekend then they become a sending team which goes out to another church which has not experienced a GWW.

For more information on a Great Witness Weekend, you can either contact the Wesleyan Covenant Connection web site or contact myself.  Wow-how awesome God really is!  What a joy it was to experience part of this Great Witness weekend!  Stay tuned.  Brother John

Bite Into God’s Truth-It’s Not Shallow!

imagesOn this Saint Valentine’s Day possibly you will have a special meal with a loved one or dear friend.

What we bite into throughout our lives (or what bites us) really has everything to do with our physical or spiritual health.

Anyone like chocolate? As the son of a military US Army Chaplain I so recall an event as a young boy. It was Christmas in Berlin Germany. Some German people who attended the base chapel gave my folks a large box of chocolates. So of course we the kids got into the chocolates. My four other siblings and I noted that many of the chocolates were filled with a sweet liquid. The box of chocolates lasted three or four days with my mom’s rationing. Much to my parents surprise the liquid within these shallow chocolates was liqueur. No wonder we kids began to favor those type of chocolates!

Two notes here. We are just a short while away from beginning the Lenten Series NOT A FAN, on Sunday February 17th.  Wow this is an amazing adventure into God’s truth!  If you haven’t all ready picked up these Lenten materials they are available at the resource center in the social hall. Secondly, I want to call your attention to something we all need to sink our teeth and hearts into. Dr. Dale Tackett, creator of the Truth Project has created a new website and I so encourage you to check out: info @ deltackett.com

imagesSo happy St. Valentine’s Day! Let us bite into Christ and receive His Truth into our lives, for he reminds us:”Who ever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:54).” God’s truth is anything but shallow!

Stay tuned.   Brother John

With All God’s Beauty-Why All the Hurt?

Three days before NOT A FAN Lenten theme begins. Wow!

Haven’t we had moments when we just were overwhelmed with joy and happiness?  A birthday, graduation, wedding, or birth of a child. Yet with all the awesome beauty of God in life-there is also hurt.images

We all are curious creatures. With all the ups and downs of life the most asked question is the “Why” question. Haven’t we all been there?  I find it very interesting that with extreme joy or hurt-the majority of people’s first words out of their mouth are: “Oh my God.”

With all our degrees, computers, and human intelligence the question still is before us: ” With all of God’s beauty-why All the hurt”. What your answer?  I believe that the NOT A FAN lenten study will help us all to be able to biblically answer this question.

God’s word to Isaiah gives us a clue here : “As the heavens are higher than the imagesearth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (55:9).”

Consider this. Maybe after we have tried living our way…maybe we need to try living God’s way?  Jesus is clear about what it means to follow him.

Stay tuned.  The NOT A FAN study is going to be used by God to bring all kinds of wonderful spiritual discoveries to each of us.  Stay tuned!  Brother John

Eternity Starts This Side of Death-Praise God!

Our Trinity theme-NOT A FAN begins in five days! Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent 2013 begins this Wednesday!

The NOT A FAN Lenten theme challenges us to realize Jesus’ first words in his ministry, coming out of temptation in the desert: “Repent, for the Kingdom of imagesHeaven is near.” (Matthew 4:17).

Where is heaven? What is heaven?  When do we begin experiencing the eternity of heaven?  Some say heaven is what comes to one after one dies. No, dear friend the Bible clearly teaches that heaven’s eternity begins when one first believes and begins to follow Jesus Christ!

So let us praise God that this earth is not our true home. Death is not something to fear! The GOOD NEWS of the Gospel is not some far off pie in the sky scam.  Eternity is what begins this side of death as we choose to be a committed follower of the One who is our life-none other than Jesus Christ! The NOT A FAN special this Sunday is going to be so awesome!  Stay tuned! Brother John Hunsberger

If We Want More-Why Do We Settle for Less?

imagesLet’s let it all hang out here.  If we desire more why do you and I settle for less?

Yes life is wonderful-yet let’s be honest. What is it that really satisfies?  Hey remember the band The Rolling Stones? Their song of the sixties: “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” is as pointed today as it was when it first came out. What a prophetic song describing our plight today.

imagesCommercials bombard us over the airways, and the internet blasts out the words, buy more, buy more.  What a strange  irony. In  a day when so many are drowning in credit card debt-we buy more but in certain ways we really have less. Less peace, less assurance, less trust in our fellow citizen, less purpose, less meaning. What’s the answer?

Come this Sunday to worship. This Sunday we will begin a six week series on the timely theme: NOT A FAN.  Come discover what Jesus meant when he said:”What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet lose his soul”? Oh friends all the fulfillment God’s created you and I to desire is available. It’s available through our journey in the Holy Spirit as we decide to be followers of Christ. What’s you ask so special about Christ?  Wow-everything!  He’s the way, the truth and life.

Six days until  NOT A FAN!  Pick up a book and journal and sign up to be in our of our many small group discussions.  Stay tuned!