Pastor Bud's Blog

Stretching and Challenging Our Faith

I'm really excited about a new series beginning Sunday that I've been planning and praying about for a while.  The title is: "Stretching and Challenging Our Faith."  We are called to live by faith -- and we try to do it -- but more commonly we live by sight.  In other words, we may claim that we have faith, but when the money runs low we don't trust that God has our backs, will bless our strong efforts, and will provide.  Instead of living fully by faith, we worry.  Or we claim faith, but then there's a bad diagnosis.  The diagnosis becomes all we can see and we worry.  Or we claim faith, but then there's a struggle in a relationship and we demand our own way instead of pausing by faith to make sure God is glorified in how we handle the tension.  We worry that we're losing a spouse or a friend or even a business relationship, and once again faith gives way to worry.  We claim we have faith... but then we fall short as we realize that we often actually live by sight.  In this sermon series, God is challenging you and me. God is calling us to a deeper faith than we have ever had before.

It's so easy to live by the status quo every day.  It's so easy to be reactive and simply follow our instinctive responses to events.  But it requires courageous faith to face all the unknowns of life and to do it in a way that honors God and that reflects the character of Jesus Christ.  So often we miss the power and strength that comes from a courageous and bold faith that glorifies God.  "Without faith," the author of the book of Hebrews writes, "it's impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."  Clearly our consistent faith in God is important!  

Here's hoping you can join us for this sermon series... because I truly believe our lives would be transformed if we really applied faith in God to our daily life and living!

You are loved,
Pastor Bud

Harlem Township Days Community Church Service

Harlem Road Church Family,

This Sunday we will be taking our morning worship service out into the community! Join us at Harlem Township Community Park at 10:30am on Sunday morning, August 16th, for a community-wide church service.  Our Community Park is located just two country blocks east of the church, directly across from the Harlem Township Fire Department at 3883 South State Route 605, Galena, Ohio 43021.  A pancake breakfast will begin at 9am and our outdoor worship service will begin at 10:30am.  Look for the white tent.  I will be preaching and our own Tami Knight will be leading hymns and old-time gospel songs as well as providing special music. This will be a great opportunity to share the joy and hope we have as God's people and to be warm and welcoming to our community neighbors. (After the church service, Arnett Howard & Friends will be putting on a concert if you want to stay for lunch and some good music!)

A huge thanks to Diana Robertson for her direct involvement in organizing the Harlem Township Days festival and for allowing us to have an opportunity to reach out into our community in this special way!

Your entire family will love the fair-like activities that will be going on at the Harlem Township Days festival throughout the weekend. Saturday morning will kick off the festivities with a parade honoring our local seniors.  Then there will be vendors of all sorts, fun games and rides and a bounce house for the kids, antique tractors, a car show, a quilt show, a flower show, a tractor pull, pie and ice cream booths, fair food, a vintage baseball game, and live entertainment.  

Remember, the pancake breakfast begins at 9am on Sunday morning and our worship service begins at 10:30am.  We'll be taking a special moment during the service to bless and pray for all the kids, teachers, and school administrators as they begin a new school year!  What a great opportunity to BE THE CHURCH in the community!  See you there!

Pastor Bud    

Holy Week

As we approach Good Friday, I want to give you a meaningful opportunity to contemplate, reflect, and still yourself before the dawn and celebration of Easter Morning.  I believe that the celebration of Easter Morning has its fullest meaning only when we understand the depth of what Jesus did for us on the cross and in the tomb.

Matthew 27 tells us that Jesus was put on the cross in the morning and that he was there until he died at around 3pm. From noon to 3pm, darkness fell upon the land and during these hours Jesus asked, "My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?"  During these hours, Jesus was taking the sins of the world -- and your sins and my sins -- upon his own shoulders.  And darkness covered the land as God the Father turned away.  I think it is fitting that we consider these hours and contemplate what they mean to us.

This Friday, from noon until 8pm, our Chapel will be open to any who want to come and sit in reverence and stillness for a while.  You are welcome to come and go at your convenience during these hours.  I encourage you to bring your Bible, read and reflect on Matthew 26-28, and take time to pray.  You can stay seated or kneel.  And when you are ready, the elements of Holy Communion will be sitting on the altar for you.  Please serve yourself and remember that it was on Good Friday that the body of Christ was broken for you and that the blood of Christ was shed for you.  

This is an opportunity to have an intimate moment with God.  I hope you'll take time out of your day to come to HRC's Chapel and be in revent communion with the Lord on this holy day of the year.  The celebration of Easter Morning will be most meaningful when you stop on Friday to remember the sacrifice Jesus made for you.  I also remind you to be in prayer for those who are entering into Holy Week while grieving the loss of a loved one.  May they be filled with hope and peace in the promise of eternal life through Christ, our Lord.

Holy Week Blessings,
Pastor Bud

About Us

Harlem Road Church is a healthy, growing, spiritually vital, risk-taking faith community where Christian disciples make and equip Christian disciples in partnership with the Holy Spirit. Our mission is to glorify Jesus Christ as we reach out to all people as children of God. We nurture our relationships and our faith through worship, education, instruction, and fellowship.

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5520 Harlem Road
Galena, OH 43021

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