Post Category: Christian Living

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The Enneagram: Time Wasted or Truth Revealed?


The Enneagram is a very popular self-assessment tool in the fields of psychology, business, and even many Christian communities today. The word comes from the Greek words Ennea (Nine) and Grammos (Written symbol). The goal of understanding the Enneagram, or "knowing your number" is to understand yourself better so that you can relate in more healthy ways to yourself, other...

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Fasting : Fall 2018

Starting in September, two incredible opportunities are coming your way for you to engage with the Lord on a deeper level with the Harvest community. First, we are encouraging weekly fasting on Fridays. Second, and in conjunction with Fasting Fridays, we are asking all who call Harvest home to join us on the last Sunday of each month for an evening of celebration and p...

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Transgenderism in Kindergarten: Understanding and Responding to the Sexual Revolution


It is not often thatRocklin, CA garners national attention. Most of the time you hear about it in the context of best places to raise a family, such as this study declaringRoseville#1 andRocklin#7 in all of California. But recent events have causednational news outletsto take notice of one particularRocklincharter school. In case you are unaware of the issue surrounding t...

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5 Things You Need to Know About The Shack


There's no question about it: The Shack is beautiful. From the lush gardens bursting forth flowers and giving way to snowcapped peaks, to the rushing waterfalls and serene forests, your senses are on overload as you watch. Yet underneath all this beauty, an array of subtle (and not-so-subtle) lies are snuck in. There are many, and they are dangerous. The Shack is a "narra...

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Worship Q&A Continued


So many questions, so little time! We had over 30 questions come in on Sunday morning during our services, and of course we couldn’t get to all of them from the front. But, we can provide some brief answers to the ones that didn’t get mentioned, and that’s what we are doing here. The goal is not an exhaustive answer, but helpful, direct, biblical answers. And, we...

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Work: It's what we do


Every Sunday afternoon, as I get ready to drive away from Harvest Bible Chapel, I stop and thank God for the amazing grace and love He showers on us. I think back on the faces of my brothers and sisters in Christ who were lifted up and transformed by our time in worship. I think of the happy faces of little ones running eagerly to HisKids, our children's ministry, where th...

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Walk: Following Jesus together


At Harvest, "walking with Christ" is the process by which you consistently grow as a disciple in community, growing in your love for Jesus and other people. Being a disciple is never a one-person show....

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How to Meditate on God's Word

Medidate Blog

"Meditation" is a popular practice for many people, yet also a confusing one for many Christians. Is it OK to meditate like other people do, seeking to cleanse or empty the mind of all distractions, worries, burdens, etc? Is meditation spoken of in the Bible similar to that, or altogether different?...

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Hijacked: The Secret of Contentment


Philippians 4:13 is so much more than a motivational line for a high school football victory. If anything, Paul's word here has just as much or more to do with God's strength in losing than it does in winning. Nor is this verse a mantra to achieving your dreams but a reminder that even when you don't, God's enough. And that's a way better promise. The apostle Paul wasn't w...

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Don't know how you should vote? Here are 3 things you need to know.


Every presidential election season seems to create a feeling of "When will this be over?" by the time we are all actually voting. We've heard about candidates for years already in some cases, then we hear from their "camps" every day for months and months, then we hear from candidates themselves incessantly down the home stretch. This race feels, to me, to be more polarizi...

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Goodbye Self


When you really read the words of Jesus, he said some outright difficult, even offensive things. Allow me to provide a few examples. "But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mk 10:43-45). "D...

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Celebrate Valentine's Day better than the world.


Tis the season for all things pink or red, all things hearts and chocolate, and all things "Valentine's Day makes me sick".It's the time when love is supposedly in the air and one or both of you are expected to do something original or spend more money than you have to put your love on display. Valentine's Day is upon us, and I have something to tell you: Christian, you n...

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Pastor Scott's New Year's Resolution for YOU


Pastor Scott's New Year's Resolution for You View/Print this as a PDF here! 12 Biblical reasons to be fired up about reading your Bible regularly in 2016: 1. January: I want to revitalize my spiritual life Psalm 19:7- The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. 1 Timothy 4:8-For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it ho...

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What Should You Do With Santa?


As a kid, I grew up enjoying the fun and friendly notion of Santa. One Christmas tradition brought us annually to the mall for a night of dinner, presents, and of course holiday pictures with Santa Claus. As the oldest of four boys, I was the one trying to convince my younger brothers that Santa was not nearly as scary as he looked. On Christmas Eve, I remember getting rea...

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What is Advent and should I celebrate it?


Christmas can tend to be a mixed bag for many of us. It's both the most wonderful and the busiest time of the year. It's time for decorating your house inside and out, buying more presents than you probably want to, and losing all inhibitions regarding calorie counting and baking your brains out with all manner of ginger bread, snowman sugar cookies, and peppermint drinks....

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Happy Reformation Day! What!?

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Some little known but very important facts you need to know about October 31st...

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Fall, Halloween, and a Biblical Perspective

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How should Christians respond to Halloween? Do we engage or abstain... or is there really only one answer?...

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What does a godly man look like?


Everywhere you turn, there are sermons being preached about what a man is. These sermons are not just being preached in church. They are being preached through every outlet imaginable - magazines, websites, TV shows, movies, music, shops and malls. I say "sermons" intentionally because that's exactly what they are - messages from...

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What is man that you are mindful of him?

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?...

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Are you talking to yourself?

As we bring our series, Rest: Summer in the Psalms, to a close this weekend, I’m reminded of so many of the truths that came out of our study. Were I to rank them all, the one that stands out most prominent to me in my life is my need to talk to myself more than I listen to myself. ...

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Living For Jesus = Living For Joy

The men’s Bible Study I lead on Thursday mornings has been going through the book of John ever since we started about 9 months ago. It has been a very fruitful time together, with everything you can expect from a good men’s Bible Study in the morning… coffee, scones or cinnamon rolls, open Bibles, some banter and meandering, and a sincere desire to understand the Wor...

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The Joy of Seeing People Grow in Small Groups

I love my small group. And I’m not just saying that because I’m the pastor and I’m supposed to say that. Sure, I have the weeks where I barely get everything together in time to have small group in the first place. But within minutes of group starting, I’m overwhelmed. Not by the stress of another activity on the schedule but by the sheer blessing of redemptive rel...

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What Makes Harvest Small Groups Different?

In the early church, it used to be a lot simpler. You'd meet in the temple courts for corporate worship and house to house for small groups (Acts 2:46). Two ministries done with excellence that fueled their mission-minded emphasis as they scattered into their spheres of influence to proclaim the excellencies of him who called them out of darkness and into his marvelous lig...

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How should we respond to the SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage?

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the ...

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Believing the Love of God for You

"God loves you" is a statement many of us have heard many times, whether in church or in books. The love of God has at certain times in my life following Christ made a profound impact on me but at different times it has also meant very little to me. I'm reading a book called Communion with God by a Puritan Pastor named John Owen, who lived in the mid 17th Century. In chapt...

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Gentle and Respectful Apologetics

1 Peter 3:15 says, "But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." This verse is the hub for almost every conversation I've ever heard on the subject of apologetics, or in other words, defending the Christian faith. The context...

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The How and Why of Prayer, Recap part 2

After Jesus gives us the how of prayer by giving a model, or template, on mature prayer to aim for, he turns his attention to some of the "why" of prayer. To be sure, no single passage, book, or sermon says all there is to say about prayer, so I won't pretend that this says it all. But it would help us if we press in to what Jesus presses upon our hearts. Why should we pra...

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Don’t Let Your Life Speak Louder than God’s Word


As we see our lives play out, we spend much of our time trying to make sense of what we watch unfold. But wouldn't you agree that your perspective on the interpretation of your life is limited? Despite our limited understanding, we still tend to poorly interpret our circumstances and come to believe that God is not good or that somehow God is not for us. What's happening t...

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Learning to Rejoice in the Gospel

What do you find yourself rejoicing in these days? A good dinner? A nice glass of wine? Perhaps a beautiful sunset, waves crashing on the beach, a glorious view of Lake Tahoe, or a baby being born. What are the sorts of things that make your heart full of joy, full of awe or inspiration? Those are things you rejoice in. We all rejoice in things; I would even argue we rejo...

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My Wife is My Best Friend

Tomorrow is my 8 year wedding anniversary to the love of my life, Noelle Marie Ritter. It's hard to believe that 8 years ago we began a family of two. These days, with a family of 3 and so much attention going to our awesome son Colton, it's all too easy to spend less time cultivating a great marriage. I am a man tremendously blessed to have a wife who is also my best frie...

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What To Do With Your Feelings

I have at many times in my life following Jesus been frustrated by my feelings. It is sadly not an unusual thing to go a few days doing very well, and then for no apparent reason the next day is hard, unmotivated, and just lame. I've slogged through many days hoping to become more chipper merely as time passes, but to no avail. I try praying and even get very honest with G...

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7 Marks of Grace Giving

When you look at 2 Cor 8:1-7, the word grace appears 4 times in 7 verses. Grace is so connected to the context of giving that all acts of generosity should be viewed as an extension of God's grace from you to others. Paul had spent several years organizing an offering among the Gentile churches for the poor saints in Jerusalem because the church was populated by pilgrims, ...

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