Sunday, August 13, 2017

How to love someone you hate...

We live in a world brimming with rude manners, selfishness, hatred, malice and poor intentions. At some point, we've all been let down, manipulated, bullied, physically hurt or criticized. And when we are backstabbed, heart-broken or betrayed, it’s empowering to hate the people who have hurt us. Often, our first reaction is to strike back or feel bitter. Maybe you’ve even wished someone was dead.

1 John 4:20-21 says, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”

John, one of Jesus’s best friends, makes it clear that you can’t love God and hate God’s people. And guess what? All people are God’s people. If we love God, we have to love others. So how do we love those we hate?

4 Ways to Love Someone You Hate:

1. Put the situation in context.

“Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly” (John 7:24).

Jesus was often judged during His ministry by people who doubted He was the Messiah. In John 7, the Jews claimed Jesus was demon possessed because He healed someone on the Sabbath, a day set aside for rest. Was Jesus possessed by demons? No! But the Jews let appearances, not realities, determine their opinions of Jesus.

We often judge people based on what they’ve done or how they look instead of who they are. Before you judge on looks or actions, remember that every person is created by God. When we put others in the context of being God’s loved creation, it’s a lot more difficult to hate them.

2. Forgive them.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

We love that God has forgiven us, but for some reason, we find it hard to forgive others. But if our sin is forgivable, others’ sin is forgivable! Unforgiveness is a burden that keeps us chained to our past and incapable of reaching our future. When we forgive those we hate, it brings us freedom. Forgiving releases our hearts from carrying around resentment and bitterness. And, it demonstrates to those who have hurt us the ultimate forgiveness Jesus made possible when he died on the cross.

3. Pray for them.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:43-45).

It is impossible to hate someone you’re praying for! Pray for the person who has hurt you, broken your heart or betrayed you, and you will find that as you ask God to move in his or her life your hate will slowly fade.

4. Encourage them.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).

The best way to kill hatred is celebration. When we celebrate the blessings of others, our hatred will eventually turn to love.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Baptismal Service Moved to August 27th

Are you baptized?
We believe that water baptism is a sacrament of the church commanded by Christ and ordained as a means of grace when received through faith. It is a token of our profession of Christian faith and sign of God's gracious ministry toward us. By baptism, He works within us to quicken, strengthen and confirm our faith.
We believe that water baptism is a sacrament of the church, commanded by our Lord and administered to believers. It is a symbol of the new covenant of grace and signifies acceptance of the benefits of the atonement of Jesus Christ. By means of this sacrament, believers declare their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.
This year's Baptism Service will be on August 27th
and held once again at the Vetor's Pond
Carry-in Meal @ 1pm and Baptism @ 2pm

Friday, August 4, 2017

You Need to Pray

Annual Prayer Walk at Allen Elementary
 Wednesday, August 9th

This will be right after the school's open house. 
We will gather in the school lobby.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Jesus Prayer...

...also called the Prayer of the Heart, the Prayer of a Single Thought, or simply The Prayer

Theologically, the Jesus' Prayer is considered to be the response of the Holy Tradition to the lesson taught by the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee, in which the Pharisee demonstrates the improper way to pray by exclaiming: "Thank you Lord that I am not like the Publican", whereas the Publican prays correctly in humility, saying 
"Lord have mercy on me, a sinner" (Luke 18:10-14).

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Now Hiring: Worship Arts and Communications Director

Submit your Resume HERE.

Job Description:
In the Worship area, under the leadership and direction of our Chief of Staff and Senior Pastor, you will give direction to our worship ministry and worship teams (8:30am & 11am services at the Crossroads Campus) – composing 70% of your assigned duties. This includes but is not limited to:
  • leading worship regularly, as well as mentoring and raising up volunteer worship leaders
  • choosing weekly music sets and assisting in the service planning process
  • leading weekly rehearsals – training, growing, and mentoring worship and music teams
  • administrative duties involved in weekly ministry responsibilities
In Communications and IT areas, under the leadership and direction of our Chief of Staff, you will assist in the execution of regular communication functions (composing 20% of your assigned duties) and IT oversight (composing 10% of your assigned duties).  This includes but is not limited to:
  • administration support for printed materials for Sunday services (bulletins and other promo like pre-service slides)
  • assisting in oversight, content creation, and administration support for social media platforms, church app, and other communication functions
  • administering IT accounts for programs, phones, Wi-Fi networks and office computers – troubleshooting when necessary

Friday, June 16, 2017

Men’s health is a family matter.

This is why Hanfield is hosting Life Line Screening, the nation’s leading provider of preventive health screenings on Friday, June 23, 2017. The screenings provided focus on vascular disease, a leading cause of illness, death and disability among men.

Screenings are fast, painless and affordable. Three key tests check for blocked carotid arteries, an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation, and high blood pressure, which are the three leading risk factors for stroke.

Other tests check for abdominal aortic aneurysms and hardening of the arteries in the legs. A bone density screening to assess osteoporosis risk is also offered and is appropriate for both men and women. Many events also offer blood tests, including cholesterol, glucose and c-reactive protein screenings, as well as take-home colon cancer early detection tests.

Screening packages start at $139. Single tests cost around $70.

For more information regarding the screenings or to schedule an appointment, call 1-888-653-6441 or go to or text the word circle to 797979. Pre-registration is required.

Monday, June 5, 2017

If you did not get to see the painting
that was done during service this week,
here is your chance to see it up close!

Friday, May 26, 2017

A boy with a bb gun on his grandfather’s farm and the entire summer before him is the richest man in the world.
I was eight years old. My grandfather bought me a pump-model rifle and one of those milk cartons full of bb’s, and I had endless acres of irrigation ditches to explore, hunting frogs. They’re naturally camouflaged little buggers—all green and brown blotches just the color of muddy water and moss—and they’re smart enough to lie very still until you’re almost upon them. They know if they move they’ll reveal their location (a lesson learned by many a lost frog thanks to the herons that have hunted them since time gone by).
My early successes were minimal. I tried sneaking up, but the little amphibians would remain hidden in the reeds and mossy bays, lying stock-still, and my untrained eyes couldn’t pick them out. The technique involved walking slowly along the banks, intentionally disturbing the frogs but not scaring the bejesus out of them, so that they would dive or hop or swish and catch my eye, and then I could stand still as the heron and wait for them to re-surface and take my shot. 
It was the beginning of a boy’s education in one of the fundamental lessons of life: There is a way things work.
You can’t ignore the oil level in your truck and expect it to run forever. You can’t go out and run a marathon without training. If you try to put a stalk on a whitetail, you’d better be downwind. If that canoe you overloaded turns sideways in the current, you’re all going for a swim. There is a way things work.
I learned a lot of that glorious lesson at Pop’s farm over the years. You can’t forget your gloves when you’re out fixing the fence or you’ll have blisters for a week. You can’t run up to the horses feeding at the trough or they’ll spook (keep repeating that trick and they won’t feel safe around you). The magpie is a smart fellow—a genius compared to a pigeon—and you can’t just stroll out the back porch swinging your rifle or he’ll be gone in a whiff. You’ve got to hide that rifle in your pant leg and act as if you aren’t hunting at all.
There is a way things work.
This is one of the essential lessons in every boy’s life. Every man’s as well.
The brand new thought for most of us is that the very same thing holds true for the spiritual life—there is a way things work.
You can’t walk around with heaps of guilt on your heart and expect to be a joyful person. Confession does wonders for the soul. You can’t just blast out into your day without first dialing into God—not if you want his help. The relationship needs maintenance, like any other. If you move into a new apartment and start having nightmares, maybe you should have cleaned the place out first. There is a way things work.
Jesus acted like this in all his teaching. In fact, his fundamental lesson wasn’t so much about “salvation” but what he called the ways of the Kingdom of God:
Jesus went throughout Galilee teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the Kingdom... (Matthew 4:23).  
Jesus went through all the towns and villages teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the Kingdom… (Matthew 9:35).    
    The Kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his a mustard seed which a man took and planted in his field…like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour...the Kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. He even called his message “the gospel of the kingdom:”
“And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)
Now, just like you have to learn the ways farm-life works, you have to learn the way God’s Kingdom works. Apparently, Jesus was so committed to teaching his followers how things work in the Kingdom of God (there is a way things work), he actually hung around for more than a month after his resurrection so he could make sure they got it right:
After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the Kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3)
That’s a mind-blower—he lingered for forty days simply to finish their instruction in the ways of Kingdom living. He must have thought it was important.
A boy-becoming-a-man—and a man-who-is-still-two-thirds-boy—has a journey to take. Not only must he learn that there is a way things work, he must also learn to adapt himself and his way of living to that fact—from the frog, to the oil, to the job, to the heart of a woman. This is how wisdom enters the soul.
The next frontier is one most men never venture into, to their everlasting regret. It’s learning how things work in the Kingdom of God and learning to adapt themselves and their way of life to accommodate for those realities. That man gets to reap the harvest of the greatest adventures, the greatest victories, and the greatest amount of happiness.
Christianity is not only about a few things like “heaven” and “salvation” and “sin.” It’s a Kingdom we’ve been invited into, an entire realm of wonder and danger and joy unspeakable—if we will commit ourselves to learn its ways.
There's a way things work.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

High School Senior Recognition Sunday

June 4th is a day of celebrating our graduating high school students. If you would like to be recognized that day, please visit this link and fill out the form.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

From teens... For teens...

Graduation Day is nearing.  These are some thoughts for our graduates and for those just entering their teens years.

In his book Thoughts for Young Men, J.C. Ryle wrote, "Youth is the seed-time of full age, the molding season in the little space of human life, the turning-point in the history of man's mind."  In other words, what each of us will become later in life largely depends on what we become now.  Are we taking that seriously?

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, the apostle Paul writes, "Run in such a way as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.  They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever." (NIV).

We are convinced that the teen years are the primary time God has given us for "strict training."  Are you thinking, "Strict training?  You've got to be kidding!" Stick with me. 

Proverbs 20:29 says, "The glory of young men is their strength."  Did you catch that?  At no time are we better positioned to decide who we will become.  Our strength - sharp minds, energetic bodies, and flexible schedules - is our glory.  We are not likely to have this same set of strengths ever again.  By choosing to use our teen years for strict training, we can choose to set direction, develop character, and build momentum for an amazing future.

But what happens when we fail to use our teen years for strict training?  What does a belly flop in real life look like?   Unfortunately, it's not too difficult to find out.

A growing movement of young people is rebelling against low expectations of today's culture by choosing to "do hard things" for the glory of God.

Let's combat the idea of adolescence as a vacation from responsibility and redefine it as a launching pad of life.

You can also check out:

Sunday, May 14, 2017

If you are a mother, we're thankful for you. If you miss your mother or miss your children, we're praying for you. If you ache to be a mother, we're hoping with you. If you are a woman who nurtures others as a friend, aunt, neighbor, grandmother, or in any other role, we're grateful for you. Whether Mother's Day is a joy for you or something you dread, we want to see you; we're with you. Thank you for being just exactly who you are.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Attention Junior and Senior High Teens and their Families:
Find out more about Fairmount Teen Camp at
Check out their camp event pages on FB -
JrHi ( ) and
SrHi ( )

FairmountCamp2017 from Level 13 Church on Vimeo.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Hanfield is pleased to welcome Rev. Jeff Brady as our new Student Ministries Director. Jeff and his wife, Heather, have been married for 11 years. They have a married daughter, Kaitlyn (Trenton) Horn and a 10-year-old son, Jakob. Jeff has been a youth pastor for nearly 11 years and earned his Master of Divinity from Wesley Seminary and was ordained in 2016 in The Wesleyan Church. In his spare time, Jeff loves reading, spending time with his family, and playing PS4 with Jakob. 

Heather is a Doctor of Nursing Practice and Professor in the School of Nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University. She mentors young women and leads a small group for some of her nursing students. Her favorite place to hang out is a quiet night at home unless a trip to the beach is possible. 

Jakob is a fifth grader currently attending Justice Thurgood Marshall Intermediate School and loves Minecraft, hanging out with Papa, and learning to fish with Mama.

They are very excited to join the Hanfield family, and we are excited to see him use his gifts and calling with our youth. Be sure and say, “Hello!". Jeff will be getting settled in the office, but loves getting together for coffee and conversation, as he puts it, “as we go all-in together".

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Thursday, April 13 at 6:00pm
at the Crossroads Campus

(RSVP through the church office)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Taking our prayer to the streets...

We will gather on the north side of the Grant County Courthouse
at 6pm on Sunday, April 9th.  Our plan is to walk through the 
downtown area to pray for our community.

Club 56 and GAP Kids will ride the church bus from the 
Crossroads Campus.  The iLuminate Youth will walk as a
group from the BORN Campus.  Everyone is welcome!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Open Communion

The Passion Passion from Hanfield UMC on Vimeo.

“Ecumenically, the term ‘open communion’ … means that all of the baptized are welcome to receive,” This distinguishes our invitation from some other Christian denominations that may require additional rites before one is welcome to the table.
“United Methodists do not practice ‘wide open communion,' We are instructed to use the invitation as it appears in our ritual to make clear whom Christ does invite to his table. It is those who ‘love him, earnestly repent of their sin, and seek to be at peace with one another.’ While we serve all who present themselves, not questioning their integrity in response to the invitation, these are actual conditions.”

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Revival Thoughts

I get so fired up about what would happen here if the Spirit were to work in extraordinary power among us. The signs of revival would be obvious. We would experience a raging hunger to hear and obey God’s Word; overwhelming awe of God and a desire to glorify him; true sorrow for sins and a commitment to get things right with God and each other. We would see lost people coming to Christ for salvation.

Genuine revival is a sovereign work of God. We can’t demand it, manufacture it, or schedule it. But we can prepare for it. Preparation begins with a commitment to pray for revival; with a sense of desperation; with a hunger for more of God. We will pray like this: “O Lord, give us revival. And start with me.” It’s no coincidence that the Acts 2 revival in Jerusalem was preceded by ten days of concerted, intense prayer” “Send your promised Spirit.”

The question is this: will you commit to pray?

Leonard Ravenhiil was correct when he wrote:

“No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.”

Pray! Don’t delay! This is urgent. This is the need of the hour. We need revival. Pray now!

Friday, March 24, 2017


The first church was a worshipping church:

“They devoted themselves to … the breaking of bread (Lord’s Supper) and the prayers (the daily three times of formal prayer) . 43 And awe (holy, reverent fear/respect) came upon every soul.”

In times of revival, we forget about ourselves because God is THE center. We’re consumed with our encounter with the living God through faith in our Savior Jesus Christ. There is a vivid illustration of this God-entranced worship in Revelation 4. We’re given a portal into the throne room of God. There, in the presence of Almighty God himself, the elders and angels around the throne can’t help themselves. They fall down before him. They cry out “holy, holy, holy Lord.”

Such worship makes no sense to a cold heart. But it makes perfect sense to a revived heart. The Holy Spirit makes us sensitive to and grateful for our mighty salvation in Jesus Christ. We respond to the mercy and grace of God to us.

A revived heart wants to bring glory to God - in every part of life. This is reflected at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. Their mission statement reads:

“We exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.”

When the Holy Spirit is poured out in extraordinary measure, he makes God so huge in our minds and hearts that we want our whole lives to bring praise to him. We respond like the psalm writer:

“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. 3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!” - Psalm 34:1-3

In times of revival, we become 24/7 worshippers (see, for example, Romans 12:1-2). We live to bring glory to Jesus. It’s not so much about singing as it is about showing God’s majesty at home and work and everywhere through our joyful, faith-filled delight in and surrender to. We obey for the glory of the God who has saved us and kept us and loves us in his Son. A revived Christian believes his purpose is to be an all-out, in all things, all-the-time, “glorifier” of God.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Holy Spirit revival creates a raging hunger for the Word of God. These believers in Acts 2 “were devoted to the apostles’ teaching.” - v. 42. Every day, the apostles taught in the temple courts and in homes. And every day, the new Christians showed up to feast on the Word.

Revived Christians have an insatiable appetite for God’s voice. They have an experience similar to Jeremiah’s:

“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart …” - Jeremiah 15:16

I was a college student when I first turned to Jesus as my Savior and God. And my new Christian friends insisted that I go to church with them. The pastor’s name was William Still. He was a phenomenon in Scotland. Beginning in the 1940’s his preaching drew large crowds even when other churches were empty. I believe it was a revival that latest for decades. When I heard him explain and apply the Bible, I was gripped by God. It was a devastating experience. I wanted more and more and more. I started reading the Bible AND Bible commentaries. I couldn’t get enough of the Word. And I wasn’t alone - there was a whole church full of people with the same hunger.

There was a mighty revival when the Jews returned from exile in Babylon and the clearest sign was their hunger to heart the Bible:

“And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel. 2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. 3 And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.” - Nehemiah 8:1-3

Churches in revival cry out, “Bring the Book!” They demand more Bible teaching. But that’s not all they do. When you’re in revival, you will love the Word, believe the Word, and OBEY the Word.

King Josiah was a godly young man who tried to bring Israel back to God. He destroyed pagan worship sites. But he had a huge obstacle to overcome: he had never read the Bible. He was mostly guessing at what the Lord wanted. Then, Hilkiah - the high priest - found a scroll of the Bible buried in a storage room in the temple. It was read to King Josiah. And it sparked a revival in the land:

“Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 And the king went up to the house of the Lord, with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the Levites, all the people both great and small. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. 31 And the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. 32 Then he made all who were present in Jerusalem and in Benjamin join in it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33 And Josiah took away all the abominations from all the territory that belonged to the people of Israel and made all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God. All his days they did not turn away from following the Lord, the God of their fathers. 1 Josiah kept a Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem. And they slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2 He appointed the priests to their offices and encouraged them in the service of the house of the Lord.” - 2 Chronicles 34:29-35:2

Will you pray for an outpouring of the Spirit that results in a hunger to hear God’s voice in the Bible and a demand for more Bible teaching along with a commitment to obey whatever it teaches?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Revival Thoughts

Revival is not necessary. What is necessary is the ordinary, invisible, steady, work of the Holy Spirit and the Gospel. The ordinary work of the Holy Spirit is to keep us in faith, following Jesus, growing in grace. This is good and normal most of the time. It will get you all the way home (Romans 8:28-30).

Revival is not necessary, but it is very, greatly, deeply, desirable. When the Holy Spirt visits a church in extraordinary power, he sets the church ablaze and it leads many to Jesus and salvation and new loves. And most of all it glorifies God.

On June 20, 1630, during a church service at the Kirk o’ Shots in central Scotland, a revival broke out. The church was meeting outdoors for their annual celebration of the Lord’s Supper. The crowd was large - drawn from all over the area by the Holy Spirit.

In 1669, Robert Fleming wrote about it:

“There was so convincing an appearance of God, and down-pouring of the Spirit. . . that near 500 had at that time a discernible change wrought on them, of whom most proved lively Christians afterward … many of the most eminent Christians in that country, could date either their conversion, or some remarkable confirmation in their case from that day.”

When I read about that outpouring, I want it. I want to see it here, now. Don’t you?

Every day, at 9:00 am., a notification pops up on all my devices. It says, “Revival Generation.” It’s a reminder to stop what I’m doing and to take a moment to ask the Lord to make us a revival generation - and to start with me. Would you consider adding this to your daily prayers? “Lord, please make us a revival generation - and start with me.”

Friday, March 17, 2017


By church I’m talking about people not buildings. These first Christians were “devoted to (intense & constant commitment to - see 1:14; 2:46) … the fellowship” - verse 42.

In seasons of revival we “re-commit” to each other. We …

Look forward to meeting together - verses 44, 46.

Sacrifice to take care of each other - verses 44-45.

Open our homes for worship together - verse 46.

This sort of devotion to the church is modeled for us in Philippians 1:

“God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more …” - Philippians 1:8-9

It is the Holy Spirit who gives us a deep yearning, affection, and love for each other. In seasons of revival, that commitment to the fellowship is renewed and intensified. Church takes on a new important and priority in our lives.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss is something of a revival expert. She said this:

“Revival is something like the roof coming off and the walls coming down. When the roof comes off, people get right with God. That's the vertical dimension. Then, the walls come down—the horizontal dimension—as people make things right with others … some of the fruit of revival can be seen in forgiveness, clearing of consciences, reconciliation, and restitution.”

Forty-five years ago, there was a revival in the churches of Saskatchewan. Thousands were converted. Thousands more who were already saved, got things right with God. The pastor of the church where the revival began was Bill McLeod. He explains this horizontal dimension in the story of Gordon, one of the men in the church:

“During the revival on Sunday morning in our church, he came to the front, stood by the communion table and laid his heart on the table. He said, “You know, people, for three years I've been sitting in the back pew. The reason I sit in the back pew is because I don't like some of you people. I used to sit there and shoot arrows of hatred at the backs of your heads. God has dealt with me and I want your forgiveness. I want to be right with God.”

We’ll know we’re in revival when we have that kind of deeper love for our fellowship.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Hearing God's Call

As we come to Him, we can have confidence to pray that He will come to us.  David heard God's call to seek His face and made it a lifelong pursuit.  In Psalm 27 David says,

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to seek Him in His temple.
(v. 4)

As David sought God's face, he grew in confident hope that God would bring His transforming goodness into the predicaments in which David and his people lived.  That is why he called for a persistent kind of prayer that would not let go of God's promised goodness:

Wait on the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
(v. 14)

David sought God's face, which led him to seek God's kingdom in full-hearted hope.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


What happens when the Holy Spirit shows up in extraordinary power at church? The answer is found in Acts 2. This was a church in revival.

Before we go further, let's read Acts 2:41-47.

Our passage begins where Peter’s sermon ends. He preached to a large and hostile crowd of Jews. 40 days earlier, they had condemned Jesus to death for claiming to be their God, Savior, and Messiah. But Peter stood and preached with boldness: Jesus. Crucified, risen, exalted. God. And then something completely unexpected happened. They were "cut to the heart." Peter pointed them to salvation in Jesus and 3000 men trusted in Jesus as their God and Savior. And were immediately baptized.

It was an extraordinary outpouring of the Spirit that opened their hearts to Jesus. Nothing else can explain the immediate transformation of their thinking about Jesus. That’s revival. Unbelievers come to Jesus - they see him as he is: Savior and God. Also, in times of revival the believing church returns to Jesus as our first love. That’s why the ministry here is all about Jesus! Jesus first, Jesus last, Jesus always. This was Paul's heart when he preached:

“I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” - 1 Cor. 2:3

The Great Awakening was a revival that shook Colonial America. In the 1730s, God used the “Jesus-only” preaching of George Whitefield to bring new life into the churches of New England. Christianity had become “routinized.” Most people assumed they were OK with God by virtue of their birth into church culture, but they lived careless, godless, lives. God drew great crowds to hear Whitefield. He preached with such laser beam focus on Christ - the need to turn from sins in order to cling to Christ alone - that the people were shaken out of their sleepy false assurance and awakened to the absolute necessity of Holy Spirit rebirth and salvation in Jesus alone. Tens of thousands turned to Christ.

Here is an excerpt from the conclusion of one of Whitefield's sermons. I've adapted it slightly for use here:

“O that you would seek the Lord to be your righteousness! You will be the children of God, if you believe in Jesus. Did you never read of the eunuch belonging to the queen of Candace? He believed. The Lord was his righteousness. He was baptized. When you also believe, you shall be saved. Christ Jesus is the same now as he was yesterday, and will wash you in his own blood. Go home then, turn the words of the text into a prayer, and entreat the Lord to be your righteousness. Even so, come Lord Jesus, come quickly, into all our souls! Amen, Lord Jesus, Amen and Amen!” George Whitefield, adapted from the sermon The Lord Our Righteousness.

In seasons of genuine revival even the most godless people turn to Jesus. They trust, love, cherish, worship, and obey him - as their precious Lord, Leader, and Loving Friend.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Co-working with God

As you pray and display God's kindness
in practical ways, watch for God-given
opportunities to share His love.
They can come up suddenly with
such perfect timing that it's hard
not to believe that you are
co-working with God.

Simplicity and sincerity:
Following God's Lead

Instead of dreading evangelism as something
that will make you a bother or a bore,
you will find yourself following God's lead
with timely authenticity and 
heartfelt sincerity.

Confidence to be His story-teller

Because you've been praying along with
God's Word and heart, don't be surprised
to find that ideas to creatively convey
God's love occur to you.

As you pray God's story, you will find
confidence to tell your own story to
communicate the Gospel in fresh,
relevant ways.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Seeking God for the City Makes a Shift

This devotional 40-day season has two parts.

During the first 11 days we've been seeking God's face - claiming Zechariah 1:3, "Return to me... that I may return to you."  It is today that a shift happens and the devotions will nudge us to seek God's kingdom.

I hope that you have found God in face-to-face nearness over the past 11 days.  As you turn your attention toward him, his love will examine you - lifting and changing you.

To seek God's face means that we are coming to God.  To seek God's kingdom means we are callling for God to come to us.  We want his presence moving in our homes, neighborhoods and throughout the entire city.  We may not be able to do either without doing both.

We pray with this in mind over the balance of our 40-day devotional: "Not all times are equal.  Sometimes God make it possible for an entire people to make a u-turn back toward him."

Thursday, March 9, 2017

As we do the seeking,
we will find God's way of serving.

As you envision God's best intentions for
particular people with your prayers, you will
be seeking them along with God.  They may
or may not know you are praying for them, but
as you pray, look for God to open practical ways
for you to serve the very people you have been
praying for with simple acts of kindness.

Kindness: God's love on display

Discover the joy of demonstrating God's love
in practical, tangible ways.  Don't be afraid to
show kindness to those you don't know.  Team
up with others to give back to those that you've
been lifting up in prayer.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Think of Peter—God built His church on Peter. But long before he was "Peter," he was "Simon."
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said to Simon, And I tell you that you are Peter, which means rock, and upon this rock I will build my church." Christ gave Peter a new identity that pointed to his calling. Just like Peter, who you are in Christ must come first. God cares so much more about who you are than what you do. 
Before you walk into this busy Easter season, remind yourself who you are in Christ. From that stable foundation, you'll be able to do exactly what He has asked you to do to reach more people for Christ. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

For those far from God

Intentional prayer for neighbors, friends or co-workers
will set you to "seeking" or watching attentively, for
people who are distant or alienated from God.
In Jesus' words, they are "lost" to God.

Beyond known needs:
Pray your way into their story.

We are accustomed to forming our prayers
around needs or requests.  People don't always know
what they really need and therefore may not request prayer.
That's why we pray for our neighbors and neighborhoods
even before we have been asked to do so.

Pray with Scripture

As you learn to pray with Scripture, you will be
praying your way into the great story that God is
unfolding in families, businesses, neighborhoods,
peoples and cities.  God will fulfill all that He has
promised.  That's why we can pray in hope for others.
The daily topics in "Seek God for the City 2017"
will give you ways to envision what great things
God desires to do in our city.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

As we do the seeking,
Christ will do the saving.

Jesus said that His mission was "to seek and to save"
people who were lost to God (Luke 19:10).  The risen Christ
is pursuing the same mission today.  He is calling you
to collaborate with Him in that mission right where you live.
Simply put: As we do the seeking by prayer and service,
Christ will do the saving by the power of the Gospel.
Jesus calls His followers to become His co-workers
in His mission.  He gives every believer a way to join
with Him in seeking people by prayer, serving them
by demonstrating His kindness, and introducing them
to Himself so that they too, will experience His saving love.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Moving beyond our Prayer Vigil:
On Prayer Mission with God.

God is calling us to join Him in what we could call "Prayer
Mission".  Of course, prayer meetings and vigils will always
be important, but God is calling us to pray beyond the boundaries
of our homes and churches.  He wants us to pray our way into
lives of people that he is working to redeem.

As you pursue Prayer Mission with God, prayer becomes
more than a technique to add God's blessing to your own
life and affairs.  You will begin to experience prayer as God's
way of inviting you to join Him as He works in other people's lives.

*Pick up your copy of "Seek God for the City 2017" at the Welcome Center or the church office.

Friday, February 24, 2017

As we come to Him - seeking His face,
He comes to us - bringing His kingdom.

This coming Wednesday is the first day for our devotional book,
"Seek God for the City 2017".
It is all about prayers of Biblical hope. It has daily readings from March 1 to April 9.
Free books are available at the Welcome Center and through the church office.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sunday night options for the whole family begin on March 5! 
"At The Movies" is a class being offered where the homework 
is watching movies. Then we will dig deep into topics 
through discussion. You can sign up at the Welcome Center 
and then we'll plan on seeing you "At The Movies"!

Other options on Sunday nights include:
GAP Kids
iLuminate Youth
Membership Class

Preview: At The Movies from Hanfield UMC on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Fundraising Dinner for Pastor Piyal

The Visionary Adult Bible Fellowship is sponsoring a fundraiser for Pastor Piyal Mondal.

East of Chicago Pizza
111 East 1st Street
Warren, Indiana 

Tuesday, February 21
5pm to 8pm

He is from India with a church reaching over 50,000 congregants and is supported by our church. One dollar of every all-you-can-eat buffet dinner and all donations will go towards supporting the ministry in India. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

What are we doing with the Millennial Generation?

Jordan Kilgren has taken the lead by starting a class for her generation.  
It meets in Room 104 (next to the Prayer Room on the Crossroad's Campus).
If you would like to check it out, they hold their
Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF)
each Sunday at 9:45am.  

THIS WEEK: Pastor Tim, our Senior Pastor, joins
the class to talk about our church ministries and millennials.
This isn't just a speech.  This is a forum and there will be a survey
to get feedback from everyone in attendance.  
Come get your voice heard!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Hanfield Challenge

"Will you recommend fasting or abstinence, both by precept and example?"
This was the question asked of Pastor Tim and all ordained Methodist ministers
at their ordination.  As Lent approaches at the start of next month,
we have provided some options to consider in taking
Click HERE to see them and read some
frequently asked questions on fasting.