Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Porch Light

I'll Leave the Light on for you...
For parents who are going through a difficult season with their teenager or young adult - this is a support group for you.
If you feel alone is your struggles and would value from the support and prayer of other parents, then we welcome you to Porch Light. We'll leave the light on for you. Porch Light meets the fourth Sunday evening of the month at 6:30 PM at Hydesville Community Church (in the Living Room of the Hut). For more information call Penny Fregeau, the Director of R.I.S.E. Ministry & Counseling at Hydesville Community Church - (707) 768-3767.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Hyphenated"S" Word

By design, in Women’s Ministries, we take a seasonal rest in the summer from the weekly Bible studies and regularly scheduled programs and events. Healthy rest is a gift from a gracious and compassionate God. The Psalmist reminds us, “Return to your rest, O my soul, for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you (Psalm 116:7). And although rest is an important component of a balanced life, we are never told to be without the hyphenated “s” word… “self-discipline”.

Two summers ago I came face to face with my lack of self-discipline. Up until that time I had considered myself a fairly disciplined individual. There was a sweetness in my daily devotional times. I enjoyed good times of prayer and worship at church. I had a sincere thirst for God’s Word. But it hadn’t occurred to me that my lack of control in the area of eating was a spiritual problem for me. I glossed over verses like Romans 12:1, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”

The truth is that I have struggled with my weight for my entire life. I can remember my second grade Sunday school teacher asking me what my “New Year’s resolution” was and I replied sheepishly that I would like to lose some weight.

Being overweight caused a lack of self-confidence for me. Clothes shopping was always a reminder of how defeated I felt, as very little fit ‘quite right.’ My clothes became darker in color in attempt to hide the pounds. Then one day my husband pointed to the closet and expressed how somber my wardrobe had become. He was right. There was no joy there. I shunned photographs and stayed away from the scales and full length mirrors. But I still didn’t see the spiritual connection.

Then the Holy Spirit started gently pointing out to me that I sometimes missed ministry opportunities because of my lack of self control in eating. How could I dream to address a group on the subject of self-control when I was visibly out of control? The gentle prodding of the Holy Spirit didn’t go away even though I was very good at excuses. Like, genetics, a low metabolism, a sedentary life style and besides all that, I was a good baker, and my family really appreciated all the good desserts I made. The truth is that I really appreciated the desserts I made…and ate. The good intentions of “starting a diet” kept being pushed off to the next week…next month.

And then came that appointed week in late May 2005 when I was preparing a power point presentation for Pastor Mike’s sermon on I Corinthians 9:24-27. I felt a definite UGH! as I read the words, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things…”

Ahhhhh! Self control in all things? The Scriptures pierced my bubble of selective discipline. The truth was that I was disciplined at what I wanted to be disciplined in...

For someone else God’s Spirit may point out another area of life that needs attention – but for me, it was eating. I had to face the truth that eating for me wasn’t just because of hunger. Crunching snack foods at night was comforting when I was nervous or entertainment when I was bored! Ouch! That was hard to admit.

Each day that week when I went back to illustrating that power point presentation I read God’s Word and it kept piercing my heart. Finally, by Friday I said, “that’s it!” I’m going to be disciplined in my eating starting right now because I can’t bear to sit in that pew and hear this message this Sunday without having taken action. By then, I must be committed to this.

That was it. For me, it wasn’t about “dieting” – it was about becoming self-disciplined. And having committed myself before the service allowed me to really accept the words into my heart. When Pastor Mike said, “if your stomach growls, you can tell it “no.” I was floored. That concept had never occurred to me – to tell my stomach , “NO!” A growling stomach to me had always meant permission to eat something! So I did indeed tell my stomach, “no” and one growl at a time and day by day I became more disciplined in what I ate. Several months later I was 40 pounds lighter – but that was only a side benefit. The real lesson was in obedience and taking one step up in self-discipline.

Even though I’ve lost my taste for hamburgers the journey of self-discipline continues and I have to decide every single day how I am going to respond. Have I arrived? Oh, gracious, no. I’m just hoping the next sermon doesn’t have any illustrations about exercise….

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Hydesville Institute of the Bible

Are You Thirsty?

Do you thirst for a deeper understanding of God’s Word? Do you desire to strengthen your training for ministry?

The Hydesville Institute of the Bible is designed to provide Bible instruction, practical ministry training and spiritual mentoring for the purpose of reaching the Eel River Valley and beyond with the Love and Message of Jesus Christ.

Upper level 300 courses begin September 10th with *A Woman’s Heart: God’s Dwelling Place (a Beth Moore DVD study) led by Director of Women’s Ministry & Counseling Penny Fregeau and the Master Plan of Evangelism taught by Pastor Jeff Beltz. There may be another class offering as well at this level.

100 and 200 level courses begin September 16th on Sunday mornings at 8:30 AM. These classes will include: Discovering Church Membership (September 16th & 23rd), Discovering Spiritual Maturity (December 2nd & 9th), Network Spiritual Gifts Class (October 14th, 21st & 28th), a two-part Evangelism Class (February 24th & March 2nd) and a two-part Lay Counseling Seminar (November 4th & 11th).

Hydesville Institute of the Bible: Who Are We?
Hydesville Institute of the Bible was established in response to the growing need to disciple and train ministry workers in the North Coast region of California. Hydesville Community Church, was founded in 1898 and has had an affiliation with the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) since 1963. The Senior Pastor of Hydesville Community Church, Michael Delamarian III, has served the church since 1983. At that time the congregation numbered about 50. Today, over 500 people attend, participate and serve in Hydesville Community Church. An active and growing band of believers, Hydesville Community Church is united in the desire to reach the Eel River Valley and disciple believers to change their world for the cause of Christ.

*Beth Moore study also presented Wednesday mornings at 10 AM beginning September 12th .