June 27, 2014: Take Off Your Shoes

June 27, 2014

 Dear Church Family,

Most people think you are sane if you talk to God but when He talks to you – some think you're crazy. God spoke to those in Biblical times and He is still speaking today.

What He says to us, however, is sometimes a different matter…

Last Sunday God talked to us as a family about the summer months. June 21 – Sept 23. He simply said: “ Walk Barefoot” throughout the next three months.

O.K. – I hear you! If you were not with us on Sunday, you might be asking: WHAT?

Whenever you read a scripture and take it out of the overall context, you set yourself up for misinterpretations. The same is true for when you hear Him speak – No, you don't need to donate your shoes and sandals to a good cause because He was using spiritual terminology. (1 Cor. 2:13)

We concluded the series: ‘God Is' on Sunday by focusing on the theme: ‘God Is Holy.' And Exodus 3:5 was intended to speak a direct word to all those present.

This verse has to do with Moses – when he was approaching a burning bush. God speaks and says: “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Holy Ground is found wherever you plant your feet – and realize it is ‘set apart' for God's work.

Holy Ground can be found at a Church service on any given day because that building has been ‘set apart' for His purposes. Like Moses, you can discover Holy Ground in a remote area or even in a park where someone is getting married. It is Holy Ground because Holy Matrimony takes place. – God's presence makes any ground Holy!

THIS SUMMER God wants the Koinonia Church family to walk ‘Barefoot.' Remembering the places you frequent are to be ‘set apart' for His work. When this happens you stand on Holy Ground!
Lev. 20:26 “You are to be holy to me because I the LORD, am holy and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.”

Three suggestions for the summer months:

1. Whenever you slip off your shoes – wherever you may be – verbally declare that place belongs to God.
2. When you go to your place of employment – walk into a shopping center, visit a mall or a coffee shop, declare it as Holy Ground and pause to quietly pray for Gods rule to be established there.
3. Look for opportunities to serve people you meet. Everyone has needs and you might be the one God uses to meet them.

Summer is a time to relax but not to regress. IF we follow God's directives for this summer – The pursuit of holiness will be experienced in very real ways. The ramifications could be staggering.


July 15, 2014: Summer & New Offices

Church Family,

As I began my summer vacation last week, I left with a heart full of expectation for what God has for us in the second half of 2014. In my last note to you, I encouraged you to “keep your shoes off” this summer because God is going to be doing some holy things and we don't want to miss it. Donna and I are seeking to do just that, and are expecting that God is going to meet us in powerful ways.

Today, I am writing to update you on what is happening with our plans for office space. As you may recall, in December of last year, I wrote to let you know about plans to purchase the old FAST building in downtown Hanford. At that point, we were in the midst of purchasing the property and it appeared that all signs pointed to “Go!”

However, as we engaged in the inspections process during escrow, we discovered that the costs associated with renovating that particular building for our purposes were going to take us beyond our budget. And so, with very heavy hearts, we exited the purchase.

However, we still believed that God was calling us to establish a presence in downtown Hanford and so we continued to keep our eyes open and our prayers directed to heaven. I am happy to announce to you today that we believe God has answered our prayer.

Earlier this month, we closed on 111 W. 7th Street. The building was formerly Artisans Custom Framing and is located across the street from El Tarasco restaurant. Here is the rundown:

Approximately 5,000 square feet and in very good condition.
Centrally located downtown.
Includes seven parking spaces behind the building.
Economical to refurbish for our purposes!
We are currently in the process of identifying specific costs for converting this space into offices. We also would very much like to establish a space designed for public use. Currently, we are investigating the possibility of opening a small coffee shop at the front of the building. The space would be open for business during the day and then double as a meeting area for Koinonia in the evening.

In the coming weeks, we will be updating you more specifically about the costs of the project. We are still planning on being able to save $100,000 to $200,000 by refurbishing a downtown space versus building a new building on campus. Currently, we have been able to purchase the building with cash from our savings. We would very much like to finance the project with cash as well, but will need the help and support of our church family to do so. As soon as I know more, we will update you on more specifics. Of course, if you would like to give towards this project at any time, simply indicate on your offering envelope or check “office project.”

Through all of this I have been reminded that summer is not a time just to take a break, but to keep moving forward! Of course, the key is to move forward in His strength, and not ours. His ways are always better. When we take off our shoes and let Him do the work, we see that He has known best all along.

Serving Him Together,