Monthly Archives: June, 2013

What’s Missing in the Church?

imagesJuly 15th is an important date for you. What’s happening?  It’s the date hopefully you will have decided to join others at a major prayer conference here at Trinity in Ritzville.

This prayer conference is sponsored by The Wind of the Spirit Ministries and The Wesleyan Covenant Connection.

Jesus Christ is very clear about what His Holy Bride (the Church) should be about. Jesus goes into the temple of his day and sees a “Walmart” taking place. To Jesus something crucial was missing.  Maybe it’s what’s  really missing in your spiritual walk with God in Jesus Christ. What’s the missing ingredient in many people’s lives today?  It’s a spiritually healthy “Prayer Life”. Prayer is not about words and length as much as it is about a believing heart relationship with God. Jesus says “It is written”, he said , “My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers (Matthew 21:13).”

Oh friends prayer is the soil out of which everything great  from God comes imagesfrom. Discover at this conference a spiritual power and presence that will jumpstart and revive your spiritual life.

The prayer conference begins at 10:30 am at Trinity UMC and goes til 3pm. There is no cost and the time will include free lunch and breaks.  The purpose of this prayer conference is simply to exalt God in Jesus Christ and seek God’s face and will. No church politics will be part of this conference!

Come discover the different forms to prayer, so that you will be able to use these forms long after this prayer conference is over! Hope to see you at this quarterly prayer conference on July 15th. Stay tuned to this blog!

Pastor John Hunsberger

The Fisherman Shows Us How to Fish

Hello from our home in Long Beach, Washington.IMG_3714

This week of R & R God has showed himself in so many ways.  How you ask: 1.)  reading of two books-one a dud and the other a gem; 2.) Catching trout at nearby Black Lake; 3.) doing all kinds of home maintenance jobs with Maureen; 4.) Just relaxing and hearing God’s still voice with no phone calls; 5.) viewing an Osprey and Bald Eagle in a an aerial dog-fight; and 6.)wonderful love walks on the beach with Maureen.

Jesus and fishing are synonymous. The Master teaches us so much about people through fishing.

Have a super Sunday. Our boy from Portland will join me today here at the beach with his motorcycle, where tomorrow we will ride to Seattle to visit my mother and see a Mariners baseball game.

Sunday our Lay Leader Byron Fitch will be sharing God’s Word.  Will be back in my office bright and early Monday morning!  Jesus is Lord. Go fishing!

IMG_3715Allow the Master to show you how to fish! Stay tuned! Brother John

Conference Over-Time to Power Up!

Greetings to you this Sunday night June 16th.IMG_0225

The 140 Conference of the Pacific Northwest United Methodist Church is history.

All kinds of spiritual highs and lows took place.

I returned to Ritzville this afternoon and now am packed up to take some time off with Maureen.

Question.  Does anyone know what the photo is in the upper right corner?

It’s an electrical charging station for electric cars. There it is right in the  parking lot of where the convention was held.

So, let’s us plug into the Holy Spirit who is here with us! Realize that all the wisdom, guidance, discernment, and protection you will need this week is available.  The Lord is so available if we will just stop, surrender and daily ask Him into our lives.

I will report more about the wonderful spiritual insights the Holy Spirit gave me while at annual conference after this week off with Maureen!

May the spiritual recharge you receive from connecting with the Holy Spirit bless you big time this week!    Stay tuned!  Pastor John

Wineskins Changing at Annual Conference!

IMG_0214After the first full day of Annual Conference many things to celebrate and question. Wenatchee is a beautiful community. Decided to walk a little over a mile this morning to the convention site and photographed this mural on one of the local businesses-a native Colville Indian. The theme of this two and a half day conference is: Disciple is a Verb. Great thought. I so agree. Conference is handing out free red shirts. On the front is the word-Rethink Church and on the back is this.IMG_0219 More about this later!

These are just a few of the proposed changes that will affect us: the proposal that all six district offices be consolidated into two positions which will be at  conference headquarters in Des Moines just outside Seattle for a 23,97 percent decrease in administrative costs; a 3.36 percent decrease in the overall conference budget for 2014 which means less apportionments for local churches; and  that lay speaking emphasis be enlarged to instead be Lay Servant Ministries. Jesus in Mark 2:22 says:” And no one pours new wine into old wineskins otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No they pour new wine into new wineskins.” On friends the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ never changes; but the outside wrapper holding the Gospel will change. Yes the structures of God’s people change. The hope is that the new wineskins holding the Gospel will with the Holy Spirit cause revival in people’s lives. Back to the message on the backs of these red shirts! What I respectfully ask here is the question who is it that really changes lives!  The impression one could get from this shirt message is that is we humans called the church are the change agents.  Yet another interpretation is that no-it’s not us who spend many hours changing others. It’s the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus had it right when he said: “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.(John 12:32).” Is it just human effort that changes people? Blessings to you all-stay tuned. Pastor John

Missions Fund Raiser and Now Wenatchee!

IMG_3707Hope you’ve all had an awesome day with Christ! A number of us from TrinityIMG_3704 along with those from Four Square had a missions fund raiser at noon at the Lind Wheat Field Station. Special thanks to Maureen for organizing all the volunteers. Trinity helpers included: Maureen, Anita, Dorothy, Harry  Byron-Sandra, Gaynel and myself. Great time serving 190 farmers a super lunch. The funds we receive from this will be split between Stay’in Alive Youth and Trinity Missions Ministry.

Got back to Ritzville, traded my motorcycle for a loaded truck all packed with used books and my clothes for this Annual Conference here in Wenatchee. This conference involves 1000 people from all United Methodist Churches, in Washington, Northern Idaho, and British Vancouver. Dropped off  my books at the used book store here at the  convention center, and then the super joy of meeting other IMG_0213pastors and friends from other churches for dinner. People  that Byron and I ate with included people from British Columbia Vancouver, Woodinville, Fowler, Silverdale,  and Benton City. Lousy food at this Red Lion but sweet fellowship. Stay tuned! Love you all. Gayle is preaching in my place while I am here at conference!   Pastor John

Identity Theft: Jesus Style-Will It Happen at Annual Conference?

imagesIt’s one thing to misplace your wallet or purse; yet to have valuables stolen  by identity theft is really heart breaking. images

One of our sons has had some one steal his identity, raiding his bank accounts! Faith shaking! This graphic is  from a popular film that’s just come out from Hollywood entitled: “Identity Theft.”

Ever since the Roman emperor Constantine legalized followers of Jesus Christ; identity theft with Jesus has been attempted. The “conservatives” have tried to claim Jesus Christ without social justice. The progressives or “liberals” have tried to cast Jesus over the years as primarily being about “social justice” and without John Wesley’s concern for “scriptural holiness”.  Within the Pacific Northwest and Western Jurisdiction there even is a popular faction that denies Jesus’ Atonement.

No one steals Jesus for who He is! Jesus Christ, the word of God made flesh is the “I Am Who I Am”, the one who is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is unchanging as God Himself is!  People may try to cast Jesus in a certain role, trendy theology, or passing cultural fad but Jesus who is truth stands for Himself. As Jesus said to Pilate:  ” In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me (John 18:37).”images

In the case of our boy-he’s lost thousands of dollars.

In the case of the Annual Conference  meeting this week in Wenatchee, identity theft can be attempted  by presenting Jesus without requiring personal repentance for sin, a Jesus captured by those who leave out a sincere interest in serious discipleship and evangelism within the conference.

Jesus Christ stands for himself and as the scriptures say:” everyone on the side of truth who listens to me.”

Beginning this Friday June 14 I will be writing daily blogs on the doings of this Annual Conference. Stay tuned!  Hang onto your true identity in Christ. Christ will hang onto His!  Brother John

Update Your View of Jesus-Unlearn What you Think!

Ever seen a crucifix?  Haven’t we all seen a Roman Catholic Christian crucifix?

IMG_3670I was recently in a former Catholic started hospital named Sacred Heart in Spokane, Washington. Coming out of an elevator on my way to visit two patients, my eyes fell upon this crucifix? Amazing. Why?  Because this crucifix is an updated view of who Jesus is.

It used to be and still is in many Roman Catholic worship settings that you would see  a different crucifix. The crucifix many of us grew up seeing was: where Jesus has his head down signifying his death and where his nail pierced hands were drooping signifying his death

Yet this crucifix is far different. Note these differences: 1. His head is up signifying that even though he died he has been raised from the dead ; 2. His arms are outstretched up  instead of drooping down, signifying he’s alive, ascended to God Almighty; and 3.  He is with us today in the person called The Holy Spirit.

To unlearn church means that we upgrade our present understanding. Learning is not static, just staying put; it’s meant to be continuous.  Like Jesus may we grow: “in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and people (Luke 2:52).”

See you in worship tomorrow where our  theme as we begin summer is: “Water your Faith in Jesus.”  Pastor John and Maureen

Unlearning Church A Great Read

Educators tell us that the two biggest influences in your life are: the people you meet and the books you read!

imagesI call to your attention a book by Pastor Michael Slaughter entitled: Unlearning Church. This gem comes in two editions: 2002, 2008.

Slaughter challenges one to realize that there can be a big difference between civic or cultural Christian faith and authentic biblical faith.

The book is full of practical observations noting the difference between Pastors that follow the cultural view of religion and churches that are led by The Holy Spirit. Included within each chapter are hands on spiritual skills. Each chapter ends with Slaughter lifting up a certain churches which have unlearned Church and are really relating the authentic Christ centered faith to their people. Slaughter includes at each chapter’s end- Pastors who have unlearned church and comment on the changes they have made in leading people to faith in Jesus Christ.

A very helpful book to any follower of Jesus Christ who wants to be authentic, spiritually creative and effective.

Allow Trouble to Lead You Back to the Cross

imagesTrouble, trouble who’s got trouble?  Is trouble relative?  In other words what is trouble to one is nothing like real trouble to another!  Is the coffee maker not working like it usually does real trouble? Well compared to say the people in Oklahoma City and other parts of that state who have been devastated by a number of tornadoes this week-the first trouble is nothing in comparison.

It’s easy to be a follower of Jesus Christ when life is going great!  Yet what happens when suddenly life goes south? Hello suffering. Is suffering part of what Jesus has told us to expect in this life?IMG_0048

This Sunday-June 2 we celebrate Holy Communion with the theme: “Allow Trouble to Lead you Back to the Cross.”

Following worship we will offer the Jesus Love Feast. This is a time of fellowship where for $5 you can order either a turkey, beef, or veggie burger, with chips, a drink and other salads to partake in-all for $5. This feast time is not about the food, but it’s about taking time to fellowship and visit with people we usually don’t mix with during the week!

See ya in worship!-Blessing to you-Pastor John and Maureen!