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Harvest OPC

This is the blog for the Harvest Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

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    Do you ever sense something is missing in your Christian life?  Could it be that the “something” is Jesus - at least a true vision of who he is and what he about?   David Platt gives a powerful reminder from the gospel of Luke of the real Jesus and his real call to his disciples.  This video will challenge you…..and show you the glory of Jesus and the need for true discipleship in a dramatic way.  

    One caveat -  Platt moves quickly through Jesus' command to “hate” father and mother.  I think Jesus means “hatred” here the way God uses it in Romans 9:13, “Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated”.   These are not words describing God’s emotions but his decision to elect Jacob and to leave Esau in his sin.    Jesus is not commanding his followers to vehemently hate their parents - that would be a very clear violation of the great commandment to “love one another,” even our enemies!   Instead, he is clearly claiming absolute priority and privilege over every other relationship in our life, even our parents.   And, as Platt so vividly explains, Jesus is absolutely worth it!!   

    Watch the video and let me know what you think!  

  • Show all entries from Prayer Meetings

Recent posts from this category

  • Here is a video introduction to New City Fellowship OPC, the new Harvest church plant at 700 Burton St. on the Southeast side of Grand Rapids. Rev. Mika Edmondson is the new church planting pastor and the Sunday morning worship service begins at 10 am.

  • I'm writing from 30,000 ft somewhere over Tennessee on my way back home from a terrific weekend.  Steve VW, Adam V, and I attended Harry Reeder's "Embers to Flame Conference" on Friday and Saturday. We were then invited to observe the Biblical principles of church health "at work" at Briarwood PCA in Birmingham, Alabama.

    Here are three "take-aways" for me from this weekend.

  • Show all entries from Harvest News

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  • Please join us for the Ordination and Installation Service of Mr. Jeff Shamess this Friday evening, Oct. 3rd, at 7 pm. Jeff will be installed as our new Congregational Life Pastor. Refreshments will follow the service.

  • Today is the day I step, with trepidation, into the world of blogging. 

    There have been several compelling reasons, to date, which have made me hesitant to begin this journey:

    1. The Scriptural caution: "when words are many sin is not absent"  (Proverbs 10:19).
    2. "Of the writing of blogs, there is no end" (Eccl 12:12 Dale's Revised Version). There are already a gazillion blogs in existence, and many of them are a very worthwhile read.  
    3. "Do not worry about tomorrow...sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" (Matthew 6:34).  I have talked to enough folks to know that blogging quickly becomes a burden; the pressure to continually come up with something worthwhile for the next post can be intense.  I really don't need more pressure at this moment.  Trying to write two fairly coherent sermons each week has provided sufficient outlet for my editorial energies.

    So what am I doing beginning a blog? 

  • Show all entries from General News

Recent posts from this category

  • The Lord gave me a gift today in an unlikely man.  I was flying back from San Diego, sitting next to a very large man, bald head, mild fu manchu moustache, mid-fifties I suppose.  He was reading a book he had just picked up from an airport kiosk: "Heaven is for Real," which is purported to be a recounting of a young boy's real life experience of heaven.  I didn't think much of it and got busy with my own work... until I noticed he was crying.  A great big man, sitting in the very front row of the airplane, clearly sobbing and wiping his eyes with the back of his huge hand.  

  • A friend just sent me a quote from a new book by Rick Holland entitled Uneclipsing The Son.   This quote is so good I ordered the book!   Enjoy the glorious gospel truth that “Jesus died for us to reconcile us to God!”  (See Romans 5:6-11). 

    Paul says in Romans 5 verse 6, "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly."   Few, it seems, have taken the time for such a consideration.  One church's website records this testimony of a new believer: "Here, I have found pastors who teach gently in the way of Christ....absent of judgment, without condemnation,  good people who share the best of what means the most to them."

  • Has the gospel amazed you yet today?   

    One of the reasons we fail to be astonished anew each day is that the gospel gets flattened, shrunk into easily digestible dimensions – and we lose sight of the sheer glory and magnificence of what God has accomplished for us in Christ Jesus.  

    So here is another, Biblical reminder of what Jesus has done for you – to receive deep into your soul by faith and for your joy!  

  • When I was in Alabama, I heard Harry Reeder addressing the parents of youth in their congregation. His instruction to them was to never take counsel from your fears.

    Isn't it true that we do that so often? As I think back through the past week, I can name numerous times that I did that exact thing.

    But as Christians, we have the freedom to turn to a different counselor, a different advocate. Next time you are in need of counsel, turn to the Great Counselor, and the Word of Truth:

    "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  - Philippians 4:6-7

     

    ...
  • One of my very favorite verses in the Bible is Romans 15:13: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."   Does that describe your life today: full of joy and peace? Abounding in hope?  How do we get that?     

  • Show all entries from Pastoral Encouragement

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  • The Capital Campaign continues as other ideas for raising money is being planned.  We will keep you informed of new developments.  If you would like to contribute to the New City Fellowship, use the handy online tab "contribute" or mail your check made out to Harvest OPC Capital Campaign and we will acknowledge your gift by way of a receipt.  Check out the web page for NCF and their Facebook Page for the latest updates.  See address on our webpage.  Any questions, you may direct them to me on this blog or contact the church and we will return your call.  Thank you!

    Ken Vander Molen

    Campaign Chairman 

  • The Hills.....the runner's worst nightmare.  This is where I wore out fast.  My legs had reached their limit.  My mind was saying keep going but the legs said they need rest.  At this point it was all mind games.  With those large mile markers on the side to inform me of how far one has to go, I decided not to look at how far to the end but break up each mile into sections like run three quarters of a mile and then walk a quarter mile.  Look! There is mile marker 11!  Come on 12 I would say to myself and keep repeating it in my mind.  My mind got confused and I was saying 13 miles for a long time and then what showed up on a turn? #12?!  I miss-counted and had to run that same mile over in my mind.  That almost did me in!  A few more people asked me if I was ok.  My thought was why were these people asking about me?  I decided to take longer drinks and more of them.  The problem was that I stood too long and my legs were tightening all the more.  That was not good.  The next few miles I saw Mrs. Hunter, from church, and she was yelling and was taking pictures and encouraging me onward!  When I saw her, I know that she was in a location that signaled that John Ball Park was just around the corner.  That meant that I only had 2 and 1/2 miles to go.

    John Ball Park, a place with lots of good memories but for the first time, today was not one of them.  You see that the plan was to run this U-Turn and which meant that for a while I would run away from the finish line and not closer to the goal.  This is where the organizers needed to add some distance otherwise it would not be a full 15 miles.  At the first turn into the U-turn, another family from the NCF church plant was holding signs and yelling at me to go and way to go!  I had to stop and chat just for a second.  (Now you know why my time was so long.)  I asked if the Hoven's had any water?  Right away they opened their backpacks and share some refreshing water with me.  It was soo goood!  Onward!  I made the next two turns and a man behind me yelled out in pain.  He pulled something and he went down.  Medical staff were right there to apply first aid and I realized that that could happen to me at any time.  As I continued to run, who was at the other end of the U-turn?  The Hoven family again.  They walked to greet me on the other side too!  My thirst kicked in again and I asked the second time, "Do you have any water?"

    Off again to the sounds of cheers.  Go Army Strong!  Go Army!  Way to Go Army guy!  I felt I was back in the Army in 1973.  Felt good!  Now the road was flat and I picked up the pace.  "One more mile to go!", someone yelled.  O good, number 15 must be very close now!  I ran even faster for what I thought was an eternity.  And then I saw that big blue mile marker #14!  What?  Who yelled one mile to go?  Now I was really dragging and was walking and running off and on.  Just one more marker to go and then I was done with this.  There were more people now on both sides and I could hear more people shouting their cheers to keep going.  The tall buildings that looked so far away was now in front of me.  There is #15.  I can do this!  No!, no!, no!, why are all the runners in front of me still running past the sign of #15 mile marker?  WE need to stop.  Then it hit me.  Everyone calls this a 15 mile run.  What I did not know is that if one does the math, 25K works out to be 15 and 1/2 miles.  I have a half mile to go yet.  Then Mr. Hunter, a fellow elder and one who completed the 25K already saw I was struggling.  He came through the barriers and started running with me to talk me through this last stretch.  Everyone was yelling, Go Army! Way to go!  I saw my wife, my two daughters, and a few more people from church to get me across the finish line.  Thank you Lynne!  And then, the race was finished!  The organizers tell you to keep going after you cross the finish line because others are coming up behind you.  No worry there.  5,500+ had already gone before me but this was a race to finish for me.  My muscles all tightened up on me and I spent the next few hours walking like Frankenstein.  I picked up my medal for finishing and wanted my wife to drive me home right away.  I spent the next 1/2 hour in the tub soaking in epson salt and hot water while doing leg stretches.  For Sunday and now Monday has been a day of recouping and that is what is happening.  I feel much stronger this evening as I just came from two hours of Physical Therapy and a mile walk at the Grandville Mall.

    Today I sent in my notice to Harvest OPC that I have retiring from running and have done so leaving on my own terms with a personal best (only time) for running the 2014 River Bank Run.   Time?  Who cares.

    This is my last entry to my blog.  Thank you for reading and your interest in the Capital Campaign for the New City Fellowship Church.  Gifts may still be given by using this website and watch for more activities at NCF as our prayer is that God will use this new church plant for his work and glory.

    ...
  • First, I want to thank all of you for your support and prayers as I have completed the task and goal of running 15 miles for NEW CITY FELLOWSHIP last Saturday.  I really would not have done this if it was not for your encouragement and prayers and I felt it all along the race.  God is good!

    Second, remind me never to do anything like this again.  PLEASE stop me!

    Third, the campaign is not over!  We are going to announce plans to start PHASE 2.  More details to follow.

    Fourth, the money raised through PHASE 1 was just the amount that God wanted us to raise!  I give God all the thanks and for all the strength given to me to get to this point.

    Fifth, I have been asked so many times, what was it like.  So, let me explain what happened Saturday.

    ...
  • Sunday in church I felt the inside of my leg feel a little sore.  After talking with my PT guy on Monday, he said it was my hamstring and it was hurting because I ran Saturday with shorts and it was a bit cold.  He suggested I get some compression pants to insulate the knee area and keep it warm.  I went to Dick's and they are $80.  I think I will pass!  If I was going to continue to run, maybe.  Not me!  I hang up the shoes on the 11th of May!  Maybe if I would dye my long underwear black, that might work.

    10 days to race time.

    Ken Van the running man.

  • After 10 days and two weeks of physical therapy, I am on the road again!  Today I ran 4 miles and with very little pain.  Jeff Carter at Apogee Physical Therapy has done a fantastic job to get me over the ITB Syndrome and he will continue to work on me three times a week for two hours each time.  I have a business meeting at the Mall of America next weekend.  However, I will take my running shoes with me and keep going.  The excitement is beginning to build as instructions on how I am to pick up my running number (#4509) and where to meet and when was sent to me by email this week.  I hope to update the total for the Capital Campaign next week.  There has been some contributions that have come in this past week and they have yet to be posted on the website.  Please pray that the ITB does not come back (it can) and that my new catch up running plan gets me back to where I should be strength wise.  Thank you all!

    174.54 miles run since December 1

    Ken Van the running man.

  • Show all entries from Capital Campaign

This Sunday

9:30 AM - Morning Service

11:15 AM - Sunday School

5:30 PM - Evening Service

Notable Events

Jun
24

Chattanooga Mission Trip
June 24 thru July 1

Jul
24-28

Vacation Bible School
6:00-8:30pm

Aug
14-18

OPC Family Camp
@ Lincoln Lake Camp