Archive for the ‘Christian Living’ Category

Identity

by Pastor Brenda ThomasBible for Blog Post

What is the first question you are asked when you check in for a flight, or want to make a large purchase? “May I see your identification?” In our society, you have to have the proper I.D. to get where you want to go or to buy what you want to buy. Isn’t it interesting that the thing we all need to function is also one of the most vulnerable to thieves?

Identity theft is a major problem in our world. According to an Identity Fraud Study released by Javelin Strategy & Research, $16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million U.S. citizens in 2016. That is a staggering amount of money! I am not sharing that information to promote fear, but to encourage vigilance and wisdom when it comes to protecting and keeping our personal information safe and secure. If we have to do that with our natural I.D., shouldn’t we be as vigilant to protect our identity in Christ?

The truth is, thieves try to steal our identities because they want what belongs to us. Sound familiar? The Bible tells us that satan is a thief that comes to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). He constantly tries to keep Believers from discovering their true identity, which is who they are and what they possess in Christ. Satan also loves to hold people bound by their past failures and mistakes.

Our value and worth should not be based on what we do or do not have, or what we have done or what has been done to us. Those things can and do change! Don’t live in your past live in His! As we approach the celebration of Good Friday and Easter Sunday, Galatians 2:20 is a good reminder that not only was Christ crucified, but so was our old sin nature.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (NIV)

Our “old man” was crucified with Jesus. He made us a brand new creation with a completely new identification.

I love this quote by T. L . Osborn, “When I got born again, little I moved out and big Christ moved in!” Wouldn’t you agree it is time to let Christ live big in and through us?

Please take the time to listen to my message titled “Identity, Part 1” on our the video page and watch for more messages in this series. As you do, I believe you will begin to see a clearer picture of your true identity. You are AWESOME, AMAZING and WONDERFUL in Him!

Keeping the Ha-Ha Hallelujahs in the Holidays

by Pastor Brenda Thomas

I love this time of year! Yeah, we are celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, but sometimes the busyness of the season can cause us to lose sight of why and Who we are celebrating! Amidst all the preparation, shopping, cooking and perhaps planning to leave on a trip, our peace and joy gauge can register on “E.”

Recently, the Lord spoke this phrase to my heart, “How to keep the ha-ha hallelujahs in your holidays!” I preached an entire message on this subject at our Church. Hallelujah is a universal word recognized around the world in every language. Of course it means, “Praise the Lord,” but I want to emphasize the first two letters “H-A.” Ha-Ha is a way we express joy or laughter.

Here is a quick list of some ways to keep the Ha-Ha Hallelujahs in your Holidays:

  • Take time to feed your spirit man.
  • Don’t have unrealistic expectations.
  • Fill your home with lots of laughter. (Turn seeming disasters into funny memories.)
  • Pray in the Spirit.
  • Look for ways to be a blessing to others.

This message was full of funny stories and great memories from my childhood such as the time our Christmas tree fell-under-the-power! I also quizzed the congregation on their knowledge of one of my favorite Christmas movies, “Elf.” Do you know this one? According to Buddy, elves eat from these 4 food groups_______? Guess you better listen to this message or watch the movie to find out the answer!

Seriously, I encourage you to take time to listen to this message here. I believe it will bring a smile to your face, joy to your heart and help you keep the “Ha-Ha Hallelujahs” in your holidays.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Angels – Assistance from Heaven

by Pastor Brenda Thomas

Have you noticed the increasing interest in supernatural phenomena? It seems like the devil is trying to draw attention to himself. TV shows and movies highlight paranormal activity; seriously, a “Ghostbuster” movie again! People “ooh” and “awe” over a little demon moving furniture, rattling a window or shutting a door. That is low level devil stuff.

The angels of the Lord shake nations, shut the mouths of lions, open prison doors, destroy enemy armies and win battles! That is just a short list of their credentials!

There is a war raging in the spirit realm. The Kingdom of Darkness and the Kingdom of Light are clashing, but I’ll let you in on a secret. God’s Kingdom, the Kingdom of Light, wins! More are they that are with us!

More what? More angels – heavenly assistance! I recently discovered there are 273 references to angels in the Bible. That is worth paying attention to! Because of misinformation, or flaky teaching, many Christians have tended to shy away from anything to do with angels. I believe it is time for the Church to understand the role and function of angels and put them to work!

As we gain a Biblical understanding of angelic activity, I think you will readily agree that we are living in a time when we can expect an increase of their supernatural help.

“Are not the angels all ministering spirits (servants) sent out in the service [of God for the assistance] of those who are to inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

•    Angels are God’s assistants.
•    He sent them to minister FOR US.
•    One of their purposes is to heed God’s Word spoken through the Believer.

Do you want to learn how to activate the angels of the Lord on your behalf? I encourage you to take the time to listen to this message on the videos page “Angels: Assistance From Heaven, Part 1 – More Are They That Are With Us.”

Please join me as I continue this series on Angels on Sunday Evenings at 6:30 pm from August 21st – September 4th at 24800 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward, CA 94545.

Hearing God

by Pastor Mark Thomas

As I look ahead to this new year, my prayer for you is that you will experience our good Father’s best in every area of your life.

We have just finished a new series entitled “Hearing God.” Life is a never-ending series of choices; What am I going to do with the rest of my life? Where should I go to school? Should I take this job or is there something better on the horizon? Who should I marry?

Can we know whether we are making the right decisions? The answer is yes! God wants to fellowship and communicate with us. That’s two-way communication. Why? Because you can’t really have a relationship with someone unless there is true dialogue. Let me ask you this… How do you get to know a person? By communicating with them, and by that I mean by talking and listening.

It’s the same with our relationship with God. He talks – we listen; we talk – He listens. He wants to talk to us, and He wants us to listen and talk to Him. God is speaking – the question is “Are we listening?”

The primary way God leads His people is through His Word. His voice is distinct and recognizable! I believe that this is one of the biggest questions Christians ask: “How can I hear from God?”

During this series we find the answers in God’s Word. Watch or listen to this series right here on our website and together we will unpack this very important subject of “Hearing God.”

 

Do You Need a Jump-start?

by Pastor Brenda Thomas

Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of your car battery being dead? It is never a good sign when you turn on your ignition and only hear that “grrrrrr” sound! Doesn’t it usually happen when you have to be at work or have a really important appointment?

There are different reasons for a dead battery. Sometimes it simply has nothing left to give and has to be replaced. But the most common cause of a dead battery is because we did something that drained it. Many cars today have automatic lights that go off on their own. However, way back when we actually had to manually turn them off it was easy to forget and the result was a DRAINED BATTERY!

If a battery gets drained what has to happen? It needs a re-charge or a jump-start. I will not go into a full explanation, but of course that requires jumper cables being properly connected to a charged battery in a running car.

Has your spiritual battery ever been drained? We just came through the holiday season, which can often leave us feeling as though we need a re-charge! Everywhere we look, we are confronted with adds and offers to help us jump-start our bodies and minds for the New Year. I am all for anything that helps, but the best way to jump-start the New Year is to do it God’s way!

I recently preached a message at our church which is the Featured Message on my website. In it I emphasize three ways that can give our spirit man a jump-start.

  1. Stay connected.
  2. Stay full of the Holy Ghost.
  3. Get under the anointing.

May you go into this New Year filled to overflowing with God’s goodness, peace and strength!

It Shall Come to Pass

by Pastor Brenda Thomas

Recently, I was ministering at my brother-in-law and sister’s church in Washington. One day while waiting on the Lord, I kept hearing this phrase, “It shall come to pass.” As I was pondering that statement my eyes rested on a large 1828 Noah Webster’s Dictionary on the shelf in my brother-in-law’s study. This is an amazing dictionary! Many of the definitions contain scripture references to where that word is used in the Bible! Isn’t that awesome? Would to God our young people were still learning the meaning of words from that dictionary!

What I discovered about the word “shall” was really great. “Shall implies a promise or a command.” A good example would be, “I shall pay you $100.00 on Friday.” In addition, this is the best part, when used this way, “THE FORCE OF [THE] PROMISE [IS] IN THE PERSON UTTERING [IT]!” I think you can see where I went with that!

We have all had the unfortunate experience of someone promising us to do something and then, for whatever reason, it never materialized. Even people with the best intentions may not always be able to fulfill their promises simply because they are humans, and humans are not perfect. We forget, we over extend ourselves, we change our minds, or we encounter circumstances beyond our control, etc. The list could go on and on!

But, when we are standing on a promise from God or His Word, we can be assured that there is a force behind His promises that will always bring them to pass! This verse is a good reminder, “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19 NASB) God cannot lie. If He spoke it in His Word, or spoke a word to your heart then you can take it to the bank, because it will be just as He has told you!

I have a question for you: What has God spoken to your heart regarding your family, your health, your career, or your ministry? Too often the passage of time makes us think that they are not going to come to pass. Since when is God limited by a device called a clock? Tick tock, tick tock doesn’t make Him nervous, anxious or disappointed!

I believe as you listen to the entire message “It Shall Come To Pass” from October 15th, you will be encouraged to keep your expectation activated. If you have let some dreams or visions go because they didn’t happen as soon as you expected, then pick them back up! It is never over until it is over! Our Father is willing and able. IT SHALL COME TO PASS!

Real Summer Fun!

by Pastor Brenda Thomas

Many equate summer time with kids out of school, days off from work, trips to visit family, vacationing at your favorite spot, walks on the beach, picnics in the park… the list of summer activities could go on and on! Summer is supposed to be fun, right? It is great to enjoy nice weather and spending time with family and friends. I personally loved the special “Grammy Time” I had these past few weeks with all three of my sweet granddaughters!

But I want to highlight some “Fun” events that take “Fun” to a new level. Fun that is out of this world! There is no greater joy than extending your hand to touch a life with the love of Jesus. I am so proud of our Church family at HBCC for participating in three major Outreaches this Summer.

In July, over fifty people from our Church joined hundreds of other Christians participating in San Francisco City Impact. What a blessing to minister to those living in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. Countless numbers of lives were touched with the love of God through prayer, receiving free food, hair cuts, manicures and pedicures, medical attention, games for the children and even grooming for their pets! What a joy to see God’s love in action! Now that is fun!

CITY IMPACT BLOG

We just finished two more outreaches this month. Our church always has a booth at the Zucchini Festival in Hayward, CA. This year we continued to let our light shine in our community and had the opportunity to pray the Salvation Prayer with 144 people. There is no entertainment or activity that compares to the joy of leading someone to Jesus; what fun!

Last weekend, we held our annual “Operation Outreach.” This event includes games and crafts for the children, a free hot dog lunch for all attending, bags of groceries for each adult and, the highlight of the day, every child gets a backpack filled with school supplies! Close to 200 backpacks were given out, 150 bags of groceries were distributed, and 145 adults and children received Jesus into their hearts! It is hard to describe the smiles and grateful hearts, but as they say, “A picture is worth a 1,000 words!” Some of the event was captured in the pictures below.

BLOG 2015 GAMES

BLOG 2015 BACKPACKS

Pastor Mark and I want to say a big thank you to all who made these outreaches possible! So many of you participated through your prayers, finances and giving of your time. May you never forget the impact your actions had on the lives touched, and may your heart be ever filled and flooded with His joy and goodness!

You are loved,

Pastor Brenda