A Message From Pastor Zac - 2.14.19

His Providence,

I hope and pray your week is going well and that each day is reflecting the goodness and mercy that follow you through it.  The Father loves to show off all He has to offer, and He’s chosen each of you to be a window in which the Kingdom can be observed by this world—may all of His Shine, shine through you this week!

In thinking about Sunday, I wanted to drop a note and say “Thank You” to a church that just wants what the Lord wants.  I can’t tell you how much it means to know that so many of us are praying for His will to be done every time we gather—you’re not just settling for a few songs and a sermon; this is a church that desires the Heart of God.

If you were in first service then you might’ve missed the unpredictable “turn” things took in worship at the 10:30.  There was so much happening at the altar, and it required not only the surrender and obedience of all who came down, but also the patience and intercession of everyone else in the room as several dozen people responded to how the Lord was moving and speaking in their lives. But even after that, following the announcement about Macy’s, it seemed that things shifted in the spirit and we were suddenly drawn back into His glory.  

As it happened, the only message needed was one the Father spoke Himself: a message of His faithfulness, His providence, and His unfailing love.

In the parable of the Ten Virgins, we usually put a lot of emphasis on Christ (the Bridegroom) and the moment He shows up; but interestingly, when Jesus tells the story, His emphasis isn’t on the guy who plays Him, it’s on the one’s who’re waiting for Him—and how they’re waiting—and how they have to prepare and conduct themselves as they wait in order to be there with what’s required of them when the time comes.

I don’t think this parable is only in reference to the ultimate Second Coming.  When I read it, I sense the Lord speaking to me of all the days we spend waiting on Him, and tragically how many of us end-up giving-up before He shows-up. Sunday was a perfect example of how the posture of waiting pays off when something happens out of the ordinary—something we’ve been waiting for.

 And even though it might not have “registered high” on your spiritual Richter scale, I believe it blesses the Lord when we humble ourselves while others receive what they need in the time of His visitation.

A true body of believers will celebrate these moments together as incredible victories belonging to us all, when even one among us has that kind of encounter with the Holy Spirit.  Sunday, I believe many of us experienced something very special, something that happens when we all wait with oil in our lamps.

So may we stay filled and stay blessed as we wait upon the Lord.  And may the days in between these incredible moments of intimacy and proximity be lived out with wisdom, discernment, and intention—with our eyes on Heaven and our hearts already there.

I love you guys and I’m praying for you!
Pastor Zac

A Message from Pastor Zac - 2.9.19

Especially to those of you who came out on Wednesday night, 
I was so incredibly blessed to see so many of our His Providence family at the BCA prayer and worship night.  Wow!  What an awesome time in the Presence of God!

I’ve always called us “a worshipping church,” but so often churches that worship passionately in their own space on their Sunday morning services, never really recreate that atmosphere anywhere else.  Whether it’s about never getting the chance, or never being comfortable enough in any other environment… most Christians aren’t bringing the power of their corporate worship to the places that need it the most: which is pretty much anywhere beyond their church sanctuaries.  And it was that power and purpose of worship that we talked about as we gathered in BCA’s multipurpose room to join our hearts in song to the Lord.

You guys have all heard me rant about the “warfare” of worship, and how it should be our go-to strategy in not only our spiritual battles, but as we face any and all odds that mount against us.  But as we shared that night about Jehoshaphat and the epic story of the Lord telling him to send his worshippers ahead of the army into battle, I was reminded of how this “worship warfare” works.

It’s not because we play some secret chord that suddenly strikes fear into the heart of our enemy, nor is it (to the surprise of many) that we sound so bad our foe runs away covering his ears.  From the safety of my keyboard, I’ve seen people “angry-worship” before; as if it was their song itself that does the fighting… and this can just be painful to watch—I’m sure the Lord is trying to figure it out too.  But worship warfare isn’t actually any of those things.  In fact, battle worship is not different than any other worship in essence and purpose.

We all know the Lord is “enthroned in the praises of His people” (Psalm 22:3), but the connection we often fail to make, is that wherever the Lord is enthroned, He will win—and wherever He wins, we win.

So how do we fight our battles?  We put the Lord where He belongs: on His Throne.  And from that seat of authority, He commands the mighty armies of Heaven to go to war against every principality of darkness that wreaks havoc in this world.

And He always wins.

Some of us aren’t confident in the power of our praise, because we’re not confident in our praise.  But this isn’t about being a great singer or instrumentalist, it’s about knowing where the Lord belongs, and putting Him there in your heart, mind, and soul.

Saints, I don’t care if you have the musical prowess of a tone-deaf middle-school kid with a lisp and broken recorder that can barely toot Hot Cross Buns…

...when you go to war you’ve got every winged beast, golden chariot, and sword-wielding warrior angel fighting behind you for the one Kingdom that will last forever—And you can be sure of this: He always wins. 

So worshippers, be encouraged.
I love you and I can’t wait to do it again Sunday!
- Pastor Zac

A message from pastor zac - 2.1.19

“The Lord roars from Zion and utters His voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth tremble.  But the Lord is a refuge for His people and a stronghold to the sons of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain.  So Jerusalem will be holy, and strangers will pass through it no more.”

The last chapter of Joel prophecies a sharp contrast of the judgment a world without the Father’s favor receives, against the incredible blessing His people find under His covering.

His Providence, I want to draw your attention today to these 16th and 17th verses because I believe the Lord wants to remind us that while His voice and anger are only raised against a world that rejects the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus, His Church is exposed to this chastisement for a great purpose.  We aren’t the recipients of the mighty rebuke, but we are most certainly meant to be 3rd party witnesses to it—

“Then we will know that He is the Lord our God”

Most of us have had conversations with folks who can’t wrap their minds around all the terrible things that are happening in the world today...and some of you struggle with this yourselves.  And yeah, its difficult for our earthly logic to reconcile His grace and love with everything we see in the world around us; but reading here, we find that watching the fallout and aftermath of sin is meant to draw us closer to the Shelter we have from those things.

But it’s this last line that I think is so cool:

“...Strangers will pass through it no more.”

Why?  Not because all the ‘strangers’ have been blotted off the face of the earth... but rather because the indwelling of the Lord among all those who desire to know Him, has, in and of itself, removed the ‘stranger-ness’ from the land of the living. 

Great, so Zac, what does this mean for me?
Well it means that the parts of our lives that feel “strange,” or far from our relationship with God, aren’t really “strange to Him.  You see, His desire to dwell among us is based on the blood-covering of Jesus Christ, but it is most definitely not in ignorance to our proneness to wander or in denial of the “less-than-sanctified” pieces of our lives.

Let this be an encouragement that the Lord is working in the far-off prodigal parts of your heart, mind, and soul.  Because no matter how far you’ve wandered, or what you’ve done in that place, you’re never far from the Father’s heart, and you certainly aren’t strange to your Creator.

I love you guys, and I can’t wait to see you Sunday!

Pastor Zac

A Message from Pastor Zac - 1.25.19

His Providence,

Hey everybody, I’m praying for you guys this week; that the Lord would continue to prepare our hearts for constant regeneration, our minds for continued transformation, and our lives for His return. I just wanted to drop you a quick reminder to be praying for our girls this weekend. As Ashley said a few weeks ago, the registration filled up almost as soon as we made it available, which tells me two things:

1).  Our ladies have been super blessed by this over the past few years and know they’ll be blessed and refreshed again.

2).  There is a hunger stirring in the hearts of the Daughters of God; a desire for even ‘more’ of the Lord than we’ve tasted and seen.

If you’ve been in the loop for this year’s retreat, then you know that within the last 48 hours it took a pretty serious monkey-wrench to the gut.  On Wednesday we found out that because of the gas line issue in Newport, the hotel that has been booked since last October, had to cancel our reservations.

Of all the weekends…

After hours of talking with every hotel on this corner of the continent and turning up empty-handed every time...we found out that an old friend of ours recently acquired and renovated a hotel on the harbor in New Bedford—a hotel who’s conference room was built into a historic building that just so happens to be the very first oil-refinery in the world.  And now THAT’s where our daughters, mothers, and wives are meeting with the Lord this weekend.

Of all the places…

Anyone who’s been walking with the Lord for a while will agree that when our plans blow-up, it’s usually because the Lord is about to show-up, and that’s what I’m believing for our girls this weekend.

So this is a call to join me in prayer and intercession for the women of HPC; that they will each sense the covering of the Father, the healing of Jesus, and the intimacy of the Holy Spirit.  

Let’s believe together for fresh fire to ignite the lamps of those who’s oil is refined by the ‘Original’ Refiner.

Can’t wait to hear your stories, girls!  See you Sunday!

Pastor Zac

A Message from Pastor Zac - 1.18.19

Good Morning Saints!

I pray your season is full of the Glory of God, and that you’re receiving personal revelation as the Holy Spirit empowers His Word within you this week.

Can I just say, “Wow Holly!...just WOW!” You totally blew it up on Sunday.  What a powerful message on faithfulness in waiting...something our church really needs to take to heart in 2019.  And nothing blesses me more than seeing construction paper masking taped to people I love in front of several hundred other people I love.  It was like a personal party for me right there on the front row.

Just wanted to drop a quick line reminding us that HPC small groups are kicking back into gear over the next several weeks and if you haven’t been participating in ministry outside of Sunday mornings, this might be the best way to make it happen.  Over the last week or two, Ashley and I have had so many conversations with folks, both in our church family, and from others as well, who’ve been committed to meeting with same dozen-or-so people for quite a few years! Sometimes even after leaving churches and going through other significant life changes, these groups are the constant and stable faith force in our lives—which is something the Lord prescribes for every believer.

The atmosphere fostered in these environments creates intimacy, vulnerability, and accountability, all of which are crucial for Christians to be real Christians.

If you remember a few weeks ago I was talking about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and mentioned how, most often, in Scripture people received His power in groups...and even today, while people may have the actual experience in their private prayer time, it’s most likely because they are plugged into a Spirit-filled fellowship thats supporting them in their pursuit.

Well the point there was that the only thing the Lord loves more than using a “me,” is using an “us.”  And if for no other reason than that, I would encourage not only our attendance in a small group, but our wholehearted humble submission to the Body of Christ in that setting as well.

I’ve talked to so many believers who live on their own private spiritual island because they can’t seem to agree or get-along with anyone else.  There can only be one of two reasons for this:

Either you’re right and walking perpetually in the Spirit and everyone else you know and go to church with is totally whacked out in their standards, convictions, and expectations of you as a believer (which is obviously almost always the case).
 Ooooooor, you’re allowing some bitterness or past wound to give legal right to some bitter spirit that wants you isolated from real fellowship, out of fear that you may actually have to deal with whatever pride issue you’ve been feeding (this is very VERY rare, of course; but every once in a sliver of a while, it might just possibly have something to do with it.)

But either way, whether you’re the “messiah” or just the “mess,” there’s a small group at HPC that needs you, wants you, and is praying for you and what God wants to do in your life. 

So next time you’re in prayer, ask the Lord to speak to you when you hear about these groups over the next few weeks, and make an effort to find out where in the Body, your body, fits.

Love you guys, and I’m praying for our faithfulness in fellowship!
Pastor Zac

A Message from Pastor Zac - 1.11.19

His Providence,

Hey everybody, I’m praying for you and all the Father has for you this week; especially those of you who have joined me in this sense of seeing 2019 as a year when its more important than ever before that the power of God be wielded with skill, diligence, and passion.

Saints, I believe there is a mighty call on the Bride of Christ to rise up in these last days, and as that Bride, the Church is undergoing a sort of “boot camp” in order to be prepared to answer this call.  Usually when I think of “Bridal Bootcamp” for the Church, or “prepping for the last days,” my mind goes to some underground bunker somewhere filled with non-perishables and a bunch of civilians learning combat to lead a resistance against the New World Order. And while I’m sure thats happening on the set of a Zombie Apocalypse movie somewhere, I’m not certain that’s what the Lord wants from us, anymore than He wanted the military campaign His followers tried to create for Him when He came the first time.

It would seem that the Lord is still just as concerned about what He’s always been concerned about:  our hearts.

In Proverbs 6 Solomon writes to his son, “...Have you been snared with the words of your mouth (?)... Do this then my son, and deliver yourself... Go humble yourself...” “Zac, that doesn’t sound like it belongs on the wall of a military bunker... aren’t there other scriptures that might better ‘rally the troops’ to fight for freedom or something?” But this is the kind of freedom we’re fighting for this year.

We fight to free our lives from the bondage of bitterness and sin that seek to blot out the real freedom Christ already died for; we fight to free our lives not from the oppression of some political movement, but rather from the persuasion of self-righteousness and the callousness it inflicts upon the heart.

I love how Solomon says, “Deliver yourself!”

Have you ever had a kid that constantly wants you to do something for them, and finally you’re like, “Do It Yourself!!!”  (I’ve never had that, personally, but I understand if you have...)

So many of our prayers are riddled with pleas for deliverance, and sometimes I think Jesus is next to the Father with a laser-pointer pointing at a flannel-graph with a picture of the cross, and He’s like,

“Nailed It...—now deliver yourself.” 

Not because He doesn’t love us... but because He wants us walking in the fullness of power in 2019, and until we get a hold of what we’ve truly been given through that cross, we won’t live in the reality of deliverance.

In this particular case of Solomon and his son (As is often the case with us) it was his son’s mouth that got him in trouble, and the ‘treatment’ for deliverance, was humility (as is always the case with us).

While self-righteousness will maintain a defense against our brothers and our neighbors, humility will lead us back to them, delivering ourselves—from ourselves—back to the reconciliation we should have in Him.

Humility and Reconciliation are just two of the “non-perishables” that should line the shelves of our spiritual bunker; and prayer and worship, the combat we must be dedicated to skill ourselves in.  The resistance we fight is against perhaps the most dangerous threat to the Kingdom we serve: our very own pride.

Church, lets wage war against our sinful nature in 2019.

And may we ever be ready to surrender any hurt, haggle, or hang-up that might stand between us and the battle ahead.  Because we’re on the winning team, and you’re not gonna wanna miss this victory.

Stay Blessed,
Pastor Zac

A Message from Pastor Zac - 1.4.19

Happy New Year Beloved!
I hope and pray that this first week of 2019 is already marked by the grace and peace of Jesus, our Living Hope.

And now, a quick note on New Year’s Resolutions:
Did you know that less than 25% of people keep their resolutions for longer than 30 days?  Or that only around 8% actually follow through with them completely?
You and I both know some incredibly resolved people who live well-ordered lives (they’re the ones I’m usually jealous of), and yet even the most determined seem to struggle with hanging on to these ‘resolution’ thingy’s—which by the way seem to have been invented for the sole purpose of keeping us humble.

Why? I have this theory that resolutions break so easily because they’re usually produced in a broken part of us.

Think about it:  We engineer our resolutions based on what we’ve been doing ‘wrong’ and need to do ‘right;’ often assisted by the expectations of others or the influence of culture.  Whether it has to do with your weight and body image, your budget and debt, or the making or breaking of personal habits that we think will somehow finally make us the better person we know we can be—because we read it in a magazine while standing in the check-out line at Target; they all trace back to our brokenness—and our desire to not be broken anymore.

Saints, you’re not broken anymore.

But when we believe we are, we’ll try to discipline and flesh ourselves out of that “perceived” brokenness, only to find that even our very best efforts are futile.  Why? Because they’re OUR best efforts.

The real truth about resolutions is that only one Resolution ever mattered.  It happened a long time ago when the Father put His foot down and said in a voice that rattled the Gates of Hell: “THAT’S IT!!!, I refuse to let their sin separate them from me anymore!”

And because the Father’s resolution couldn’t be broken, His heart had to be instead.
And to this day, His is still the only Resolution that matters, and its the only One we’re judged by.  Now I’m not telling you to just rip that legal sheet off you’re refrigerator and set it on fire; but I am telling you not to waste one more day thinking that you’re maintenance of that list will somehow improve you the way the world thinks you need improving.  Sure we can develop good habits, and work to break bad ones; we can be conscious of what we eat and how we spend; but at the end of the day—and at the end of 365 of them—what will matter is whether or not we’re surrendered to the truth of who we are in Christ: the One who took on brokenness so we could take it off.

His Providence, I see what the Lord is doing in each of you and its perfect, and its amazing, and its beautiful!

So let 2019 be a year of demonstration—a year that shows the world our wholeness is not a matter of unbroken resolutions, but rather a matter of the unbreakability of the Father’s Word. I love you guys, and I’m looking forward to another year with you; I really think its gonna be the best one we’ve ever had.

Pastor Zac