Archive for the 'Uncategorized' category

We’ve Moved!

Jun 15 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

You may have noticed that our blog posts ended quite some time ago and this page has been strangely quiet.

Well, we have been working hard on a brand new blog that is finally ready to go!

 

Our Story blog

 

“Our Story” (www.ourstory.global) is a new blog that highlights the “missions side” of Global University. We want to share the amazing things that God is doing through Global University with those who are already a part of our family, as well as to those who want to know a little more about us and the amazing people we work with.We want to show the world how God is using the friends of Global University around the world and how their stories are a part of our story.

Harvest365 will stay open and it’s stories still accessible to the public, but it will no longer be updated with new material. To keep up with us, subscribe to “Our Story” or follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn).

Blessings!

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Stay off the treadmill!

Apr 15 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

by Ron BontragerRonandDorene2012CROP

As a runner I have learned to stay off the treadmill. I love to run outdoors, especially on those cold, crisp mornings of winter. It’s so invigorating! Maybe it’s because I’m actually running for my life just to stay warm, but I think mostly it’s because of the beautiful outdoors. You never know what beauty you’re going to see. Yet for me the treadmill is totally the opposite. It is so monotonous. It feels like I’m not making any progress even though I actually am. It can actually make me want to quit running altogether.

 It occurred to me that’s exactly how it is with other areas of my life. I can easily get on the treadmill of ministry, family, pastoring, or whatever and lose my focus in the process. When that happens, I forget why I’m doing what I’m doing and I no longer see my progress.

 As we begin another year, I have a piece of advice: Stay off the treadmill!

 How can we make sure of this? First, we have to reassess. To reassess means to measure the value of something, to try and determine its actual worth. When I’m on the treadmill, I forget how important the people whom God has put into my life are. The treadmill causes me to underestimate how valuable my ministry is and, most importantly, how important my relationship with God is. The holidays are a gift, given so we can step back from the treadmill of life and reassess our relationships, our gifts and calling, and, most of all, our walk with God. The New Year’s song “Auld Lang Syne” comes from a Scottish poem and means “old times fondly remembered; old friendships tenderly rekindled.” When we reassess, we begin to rekindle the value of the life God has so generously given us.

 Second, we have to repent. The most important part of the reassessing process is telling ourselves the truth about the condition of our lives. If we have fallen into a mindset of drudgery, if we’re on the treadmill and have devalued some of what God has entrusted to us, it’s time to repent. We may need to repent to our family for robbing them of our best effort. We may need to repent to God for treating His gifts casually. The church of Ephesus was on the ministry treadmill. They were still doing all the right things; they were working hard; but they had lost something very precious. They no longer valued God or people the way they once had. Jesus said to them,

I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works. (Revelation 2:2–5 NKJV)

Finally, we have to rest. There is a rest that transcends physical sleep. There is a rest we enter into by faith. This is a deep rest that strengthens the soul for the long journey. Jesus invited people to come unto Him and find rest for their souls. He said His yoke is easy and His burdens are light (Matthew 11:28–30). If life for you has become difficult and heavy, you may be on the treadmill. God promises a heaven-sent rest for your soul. I pray you find it!

 Ron Bontrager is Lead Pastor at Lakeview Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. For more information about Lakeview, please visit www.lakeviewchurch.org

 

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Holy Spirit

Apr 02 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

by David Stoecker

David Profile Picture 2012

 Today I was thinking about the Holy Spirit. I have noticed the huge impact the Holy Spirit has had in my life, and I cannot help but think on it all the time. But today, I was thinking of how blessed we are in this day and age. When Jesus was here, He walked with the disciples. Can you believe actually getting to walk next to Jesus?

Some friends of mine visited the places Jesus walked when the disciples were with Him, and they always talk about how life-changing that experience was.

That sounds amazing—walking beside Jesus. Yet I would argue we now have something even more powerful than Christ walking beside us. Something that is more life-changing than walking the same paths Christ walked, and we do not have to go anywhere to experience it. I am talking about the Holy Spirit and the amazing power we are blessed with. It came when Christ left the earth and has been here ever since.

Jesus told the disciples He had to leave so the Holy Spirit could come:

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16–17, emphasis mine)

This means the Holy Spirit does not just walk beside us in our lives, as Jesus did with the disciples, but lives inside us. The Holy Spirit permeates our body and will guide us in all we do, and He can give us the power to do all God has planned for us in our lives.

Would you be a better basketball player if Michael Jordan coached you, or if he took over your body and played through you? The latter, of course. The same is true with the Holy Spirit. Jesus walked beside and coached, but the Holy Spirit lives inside us and guides!

Jesus speaks highly of the Holy Spirit. In John 16:7–8, He says,

“But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.” (emphasis mine)

 I would say we can make absolutely no excuses when it comes to sin for one reason: Jesus took our ability to make excuses away from us. In John 14:26, He says,

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything that I have said to you.” (emphasis mine)

 We are not only taught by the words of Christ and His disciples, but we also have the Holy Spirit inside us to remind us of what is right. The Holy Spirit is like a moral compass. We will know right from wrong, and we will know our sin is sin before we do it. Christ does not give us a way out. Will we all sin? Of course we will; sadly it is in our nature. But the Holy Spirit will guide us away from doing wrong and toward doing right!

David Stoecker is Substance Abuse Counselor with Alternative Opportunities, Inc. You may reach David at david.stoecker@gmail.com

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The God of the Temple

Mar 18 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

by Steve McMichael

Steve_McMichael_Crop

A recent devotional reading allowed me to revisit the dedication of Solomon’s temple. Those chapters in 1 Kings (as well as 2 Chronicles) recount a monumental event in the history of the Old Testament, but this time my heart took me in a different direction.

The temple’s dedication represented a convergence of significance and success for Solomon. As David’s son, Solomon completed his father’s charge. This day marked the completion of the project that required 183,600 workers and over 50 billion dollars. The nation had united, worked, and succeeded in constructing the most magnificent edifice in Israel’s history. And above all, God honored the effort with His visible presence and confirmed His covenant.

Each of these factors is exhilarating for a leader. In moments like this, one’s heart is revealed through words. Solomon’s words offer a challenge to leaders today. With all of Israel watching, with his father’s charge and dream fulfilled, with herds of animals sacrificed and the labors of so many shining as the backdrop, Solomon prayed:

 “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built.” (1 Kings 8:27)

For all that had been accomplished and all the success this day represented, in his heart, Solomon’s God was still bigger than Solomon’s temple.

While this perspective is theologically sound, it is difficult to remember in times of pressure and even more difficult to hold on to in times of success. Whether we are teaching a class, building a church, launching a ministry, or simply carrying out today’s duties, God must remain far bigger than our tasks. Here is a wonderful tool for balance.

 Sacred and motivational speakers alike challenge us as leaders to dream big. I believe God leads us to bold initiatives. Big dreams stir congregations, create momentum, and honor God. But big dreams require a bigger God. As long as our perspective sees our projects and service as smaller than the God we serve, we are in a great position to succeed and see His glory.

 As I have advanced in ministry, my dreams have grown. This visit to Solomon’s temple reminded me to guard my thinking and keep God, His desires, and His power bigger than the dreams I have in ministry.

 I pray that you are encouraged this week. Partake of motivational quotes, books and sermons. But in all the vision casting and dream building, keep the God of your temple bigger than the temple itself.

Rev. Steve McMichael is a Global University Alumnus from the Berean School of the Bible and the Undergraduate School of Bible and Theology. McMichael currently serves as an International Pastor.

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