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Testimony From The Core

September 2017

“Wherefore, Henceforth, To Wit!”

~Heidi Klaassen~

Today I am thinking of the complications of day to day relationships and activities that don’t seem spiritual or important in any way.  It reminds me of 2 Corinthians 5:15 & 16 where, in the King James Bible, it reads with the word Henceforth.  I was preparing the Wednesday night lesson and read the passages, and shook my head.  How will this mean anything?  So I relaxed and read it again and again.

2nd Cor. 5: 15 & 16 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them and rose again.  WHEREFORE HENCEORTH know we no man after the flesh; yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

 What?
And then, I get it.

If we only see each other in the physical, we’ll go crazy and get irritated and go home.  But if we see each other as Christ sees us, with spiritual eyes, we see each other as the new creatures all of us are in God who reconciled the world to himself through Christ, and has given US the ministry of reconciliation.

What?
It only gets better from here.

 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  For he has made him to be sin for us who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 

So when you feel that nothing is spiritual, remember:

Wherefore:  As a result

Henceforth: From this time on

To Wit: That is to say 

The words sound silly when said together over and over, kind of like us in our flesh.  But when the Lord sheds the knowledge of his love over them… Well… Wherefore, henceforth, to wit…

 


Testimony From The Core

August 2017

~Heidi Klaassen~

2 Corinthians 2 – 6

It never ceases to amaze me of the privilege we have to be ministers with Christ.  We work together with God himself and his grace is not in vain.

2 Corinthians 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God…6:9 (My favorite hereJ) As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live, as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. 

Chapter 2:13 Paul has no rest in his spirit.   Why? He was looking for Titus but did not find him.  That is really easy to understand.  He had a broken heart.  He had no rest in his spirit.  Nevertheless in verse 14 he writes: Now thanks be to God who ALWAYS causes us to triumph in Christ and makes manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place.  In other words, sweet aromas surround us in every place because of the Knowledge we have of Christ.  How we feel at the time is irrelevant. We are His ambassadors, and he needs laborers regardless of the emotions we are having.  The depth of this truth digs deeper into my spirit each time I say it.  I watch this in my own life and I especially see it at The Core.

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.  I do know that any excellency I might have is not of myself.  I have laughed out loud when I’ve heard what a great cook I am. If you all only knew you would be certain that the Lord has lead me and guided me.  I lean on him for ideas to come or be brought by others.  No, the work at The Core is done by God, I have no doubt.  HOWEVER, he needs bodies to carry out his work, his joy, his visions and the knowledge of His Christ.

In closing, that while on earth we are tabernacles for God, the best is yet to come. 2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, and house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens…Verse 4 …that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Verse 8: We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 

In conclusion, what we do in this life, God keeps record of. My desire is to be well spent.  And so we set our affections on things above, while we occupy as His ministers here below.  It is great to know that he makes aware the aroma of his knowledge by us in every place. I’m yearning and learning to trust him and rest in him and breathe in His Savor.

 



Testimony From The Core

July 2017
“LIBERTY!”
~Heidi Klaassen~

I hope you all celebrated America’s Birthday in one form or another.  The acknowledgement of the birth of our great nation is important in no small sense.  Her youth will fade, but her strength remains.

She has strength because of her basis of Liberty.

Liberty is freedom.  Liberty is not the freedom to do anything or act in any way one pleases.  That is not liberty.  Liberty is given only in Christ.  Sin is bondage, so anything outside of Christ is bondage.  Bondage is slavery, slavery is not freedom.

Galatians 5 is very clear about liberty.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled with the yoke of bondage.

Galatians 5: 19 -21 gives a very clear list of bondages we accept, especially in the name of freedom & free will.

Adultery                      Fornication                Uncleanness               Lasciviousness

Idolatry                       Witchcraft                 Hatred                        Variance

Emulations                 Wrath                         Strife                           Seditions

Heresies                      Enveyings                  Murders                      Drunkenness

Revellings

We are deceived into thinking that love supports people’s “freedoms” in practicing any sexual preference one wants, and that if it makes you happy, you should do it.  Nothing could be farther from the Truth.  Sin is sin and it enslaves us.

As our forefathers fought for our freedom, let us continue the fight for complete freedom in Christ. That we might love our neighbor enough not to condone acts of enslavement.  Moral uprightness still has a voice.  Let us use our voice of freedom and pray for the end to slavery everywhere, remembering that it always starts with us.  Judgement begins at the house of God. We do not have far to go to start pointing fingers. Let us clean our own houses and then let us move on to save our Nation from permanent enslavement.  America is still great.  Here’s to many more birthdays of freedom.

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June 2017

“Stewards of Grace”
Romans 4
~Heidi Klaassen~

 

Many times students from our Fellowship ask, “Heidi, is the tea free today?”

To which I reply, “Nothing is ever free.  Someone always pays for it.  But, I am giving you tea.  It is a gift to you.

It is a GIFT to you.

It is a very hard thing to grasp.  Sure, it’s just a glass of tea, but when we start applying that same thought to luxuries we have such as the roads we drive on, our public school systems or Medicaid, it puts grace in a different perspective.  Someone always pays for the “free” things.  And so, the truth in few words, “nothing is free”.

The grace of God is similar.  Until we understand that it wasn’t free, that the cost of grace was so pricey, so valuable, and so untouchable, we cannot be the best stewards of that grace.

The Bible tells us in Romans Chapter 4 that If Abraham were justified by works, he could glory, but not before God.  For Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.  But to him that works for righteousness, it is not counted as grace, but rather, that he has begun to work off the debt he owes God.

Receive this Godly gift of grace.  Receive good gifts from your loved ones.  Receive, knowing that you are loved enough to be given a gift.  Let’s be good stewards of this gift of grace.

Grace costs our savior everything.  Being a good steward of grace means to partake freely.

Matthew 10:8  Freely you have received, freely give

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May 2017
“And So…”

~Heidi Klaassen~

And so it begins…

The two shall become one flesh.

The joys, the sorrows, the tests that you never dreamed existed, now are your reality.  Hopefully only marital bliss is known, but I think that exists only in infatuation and imaginations.  Otherwise, love is well defined in I Corinthians 13… Love is patient and kind, love does not envy, love does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs…Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trust, always hopes, and always perseveres.  Love never fails…

And so, God loves us.

And so, we are to love others.

And I long for the day when my reality will be that I have succeeded.  I have loved others as I have been loved.

The Great Commandment: To love my neighbor as I love myself.  This is as simple as the sun rising and setting every day.  Glory… my goal is simple, yet complicated.

But, hope once again is the hero as His mercies are new every morning, giving me a place to start over, a chance to love again.  And, this mortality, this corruption will not last forever.  For just as the wedding takes place, the bride and groom leave the ceremony not as two people, but as one; someday, we will be forever changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.  This mortality will put on immortality, this corruption, incorruption… O death where is thy sting? O grave, where is your victory? … Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. I Colossians 15: 52 – 58

Revelation 21:4 & 5 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be no more pain: for the former things are passed away… I will make all things new.

And so it will begin…

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Testimony From The Core
April 2017
“Jesus Loves Weddings”

~Sylvia Rogers~

 

Things have been in a whirlwind at The Core.  Nick and Ali are getting married April 2nd and we are ALL in wedding mode.  Heidi said to us one day that “Jesus loves weddings” and what a beautiful statement that is.

I went to John 2:1-12 to re-read about the water into wine story, it touched my heart that it was actually Jesus’ mother who prompted the miracle to take place.  She told the servants to follow Jesus’ instructions, even after he had told her “No!” (well, maybe he didn’t say no but he questioned her pushing him into it).  Even Jesus listened to his mama when she had her mind set on something and Mary wanted more wine at that wedding.  This is Jesus’ first recorded miracle – at a celebration of marriage.

I believe that  the Father, Son and Holy Spirit want to be included in every area of our lives – especially the moments that we celebrate.  Just like Adam and Eve, we have opportunity to fellowship with God which is exactly where He wants to be, with us in our ups and our downs.   So, let us celebrate the union of these two precious young people, Mr. & Mrs. Nick Barton, and share in the beginning of their story.

And therefore let us, also, open our hearts and allow the Lord access to bring new wine into our lives.  If you are married, the greatest gift that you can offer the Lord is to have a happy marriage, to love and to cherish one another and share your love and light to those around you less fortunate.  As I told Sabrina this month, to live her life like a billboard to God – she and Jeremy have a strong love and it blesses my soul to see people in love – it blesses God too !

LIVE and LOVE OUTLOUD – and Shine for Jesus !!  Jesus Loves Love !!!

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another”
John 13:34-35

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Testimony From The Core
March 2017
Trust Without Borders

~Heidi Klaassen~

I have heard the song Oceans, by Hillsong many times.  One day, I finally heard the bridge which says: “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.  Let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me.  Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.  I really liked the sound of that! Trust without boarders.  I thought, “Yea, that’s what I have!”  I have had a good relationship with the Lord.  I have trusted him in so many areas and sadly I was congratulating myself in doing so.  But each season is new, and the scenery is different as I am walking now.  Lately I have found myself fearful and untrusting.  It has caused much sadness in my life and to those closest to me.  Yet, the Lord leads on and much to my dismay, the lesson is not learned until the teacher is finished teaching…

My heart turns to Abraham in Genesis 12.  God told Abraham to go to a land that he knew not of, and Abraham went.  Abraham followed where God prompted him to go.  And it was in the thick of things when the famine hit and they took a turn towards Egypt, (Because that’s where you go when there’s a famineJ,) that Abraham left off trusting God.  This is the time when Abraham instructed Sarah to tell Pharaoh that she was his sister so his life would be spared.  Sarah being a good wife, did as her husband said, and was taken to Pharaoh’s house because she was “fair to look upon.”

Thankfully, the Lord is forgiving and tenderhearted towards his people.  God communicated to Pharaoh to give Sarah back to Abraham, and although Pharaoh was upset, he knew well enough to fear Abraham’s God.  Abraham was sent away with treasures from Egypt.  When Abraham feared his circumstances more than he feared God, it caused great pain to those around him.  But God continued to lead Abraham in his journey until the day when God’s test was fully passed with the giving up of Isaac.  I am thankful that the Lord hasn’t given up on me either.  Each of us is on a journey to trust our Heavenly Father without any boarders.  We will fail, but let’s get back on the journey as soon as possible.  Keep on Walking! Thank you Jesus!

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Testimony From The Core

There Are No Rules in Love
February 2017

~Sylvia Rogers~

 

Time rolled over into February as we all kept doing what we do.  The calendar hanging on my wall in the office is covered in hearts – this is the month of love…….

It is not surprising to me that Heidi is busy and asked me to write something this month, it is also not surprising that my inspiration for what to write came from her as well. We were eating lunch together here at the Core last week and without fanfare in the simple course of conversation Heidi said….. “There are no rules in love.”

Since then, I have been thinking about that – she’s right.  There are no rules in “love and war” is what we typically think of but guess what….we can stop at love and leave the rest off.

1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”  Every relationship we have contains love of some fashion.  And every relationship we try to hold onto we pour as much love as we can.

The song “Call My Name” by the Christian band Third Day says….. “The pain inside has erased your hope for love but soon you will find that I’ll give you all that your heart could ever want and so much more, Call My name”.  This is powerful especially for anyone who have suffered trauma or loss – The Lord is ready, willing and very able to supply all of what we need – including love – may we all Call His Name, Jesus, He will answer and His love will cover all of our sin.

Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

1 Corinthians 13: 13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

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Testimony From The Core
January 2017
Pondering

~Heidi Klaassen~

 

It’s a nostalgic time of year.   After the busy, never ending go, go, going, there is the aftermath of quiet. I humbly think of Mary pondering all these things in her heart.

Mary was engaged to marry Joseph which was quickly complicated by her conceiving through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Mary left to visit Elizabeth as the Angel told her that she too was with child.

God didn’t tell Joseph right away about Mary’s Holy conception until a decision had to be made whether or not to stone Mary for an illegitimate child.

God’s plan was revealed to Joseph in a dream and saved Mary from certain death.

Then there was the hardship of traveling 100+ miles to Bethlehem from Nazareth at the end of Mary’s pregnancy…  What was God thinking?

Finally, Mary birthed Jesus in an animal stable with no comforts at all.

However!  That same night, shepherds found Mary and Joseph because they saw a multitude of the Heavenly Host who praised God and said, “Glory to God in the Highest and on earth good will towards men.”

Luke 2: 18 & 19 And all they that heard it wondered at these things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 

Mary knew, best of all that their adventures were far from over.  But, for the moment, there was rest.  She knew that ultimately her heart would be wretched from her in more ways than one.  But, she also knew that this world is the temporal and fleeting visible evidence of greater things beyond anything she could see or imagine.

I too ponder.  I think about what has been and what will be.  The River of our Lives changes with the seasons as well as with the weather.  But, the testimonies of God’s Faithfulness shores us up to Trust our lives to The Lover of our Souls.  No matter if the skies are bleak and gray, or if the forecast is clear blue skies, we know that we are being molded into the likeness of Christ.  We know that God has a plan and that at the end of the day we want nothing more than to be in His perfect will.  Hebrews 2: 10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. So Jesus, I give you my todays that you may lead me into tomorrow, into thy perfect will.  I know that every moment matters, and yet nothing matters except Your Will.  It’s simple, yet complicated.  Take it all dear Lord. Welcome 2017 and let us I ponder our lives for His Glory.  Amen.

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Testimony From The Core
December 2016
Hope Yet Again!

by Heidi Klaassen

 

I have chosen Luke 2: 8-17 as my passage for Christmas 2016. I find great solace in the angels telling the shepherds of the birth of the savior.  For one, they kept sheep, so being clean enough to attend regular temple services probably was very unlikely. They certainly were not upper class.  Yet, the Lord saw fit to tell them first.  He used them to spread the message of the Messiah’s birth.  Isn’t that just like God?  He uses those who really don’t have what it takes to get the job done, at least not like a Roman Soldier with a band of horses and a trumpet.  Yet, the word was spread.

Also, the physical lives of the shepherds wasn’t changed one iota because of the angel’s message.  How was it different?  The Bible does not give any details in this area, but I have been speculating that perhaps nothing changed for these shepherds.  They went home to their families with the same paychecks, eating the same food and sleeping in their same beds.

But!  Something was different!  The message of the angel’s brought them a renewed hope that perhaps had been fading in the light of the National Government’s politics.  And despite the fact that Jesus’ life on earth didn’t change the Roman rule in Israel, it did change everything for those who were and are willing to look past their physical sight.  For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people… a Savior which is Christ the Lord; Emmanuel, God with us.  God is mindful of man and has a plan to reconcile us back to himself for this life and the life to come.  Eternal life is available to all those who believe.  This is my hope.  That what I physically see and experience every day is not all there is.  There is  much more.

So, as the days rush past and you feel out of control, remember.  Remember that hope has come to stay.  Hope for today and all the days ahead and through the ages to come.  Even if nothing changes for you physically, Hope has come to change you spiritually.  Begin with hope renewed for life eternal.

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Testimony From The Core
November 2016

by Heidi Klaassen

Ministry has a lot of different faces.  For me, I really start feeling it at the end of the day when the grocery order has been put away.  The remaining pile of empty boxes that need to be broke down looks way more difficult than it actually is.  And the tiny bit of energy it takes to finish that job seems overwhelming and would be easy to walk away from.   But last week, something happened that really took me by surprise.

School started, and with it the buzz of routine returned to the youth of Medina.  This was a pleasant change from the generally quiet summer.  Howbeit, our Wednesday Fellowship Group was stirred beyond a normal sanity level.  The excitement of being with friends at school seemed to multiply to the rooftop and back again.  The young people caroused and carried on as if it summer had just begun.  Let me say it this way; the hive was stirred.

It’s 7pm and I see no way to wrangle in the chaos.   I assess the noisy situation and begin scheming how to shut it all down so we can just go home.  My mind is moving like a snail through thick sludge and the best I can come up with is to stay with the schedule.  Either God helps us out or He doesn’t.  Either way, we’re in the thick of it.  The impending waves are growing taller and larger.  We push on, and little by little as the memorized Bible verses are said, the room grows quieter.  It is not quiet, but the party noise has subsided.

Finally we open the Bibles to Hebrews 8.  It is too much meat for this crowd, but it is still God’s word and it will not return void.  I picked somebody to start reading and verse by verse, the spirit of the room completely changed.  Everybody in the room wanted to read; everybody in the room was interested in the Bible.  The effort through the chaos was victorious.  The labor it took to push through, as painful as it seemed, was temporary and worthwhile.

As I digest the night’s events, I am reminded the many times Paul felt like he was laboring to bring forth life…until Christ be formed in you Galatians 4:19 (Yes! That sounds familiar.)

I am encouraged by Acts 20:35 “I have showed you all things, how that laboring you ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

And I can’t help but chuckle at I John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

No, we do not see what shall be, but only through a glass dimly.  So we will not give up no matter what face the ministry has for us.

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Testimony From The Core
October 2016
FIGHT!

~Heidi Klaassen~

Ever wonder what it would be like not to argue, debate or fuss about details in our lives?  What about when that tool you lent out came back broken, or didn’t come back at all?  What if the job you paid for didn’t turn out like you hoped.  Or the mechanic didn’t actually fix the problem with your vehicle?  What if the business deal with your family member turned around and became a betrayal instead?  How about your closest friend offending you and worse yet, they didn’t even realize you were hurt?

There are so many instances in our lives when circumstances bring out the fight in us.  After all, we are true red blooded Americans with tenacity, integrity, and hearts of gold.  We have the strength and the wherewithal to fight!  We are not easy to push around, and for heaven’s sake, the Bible certainly tells us to “Fight the good fight!”  1 Timothy 6:12

And we fight well!

Wait.  What fight do we fight?

What’s the rest of the verse?

Oh…Fight the good fight of FAITH!  Lay hold on eternal life, where we are also called and have professed a good profession before many witnesses!

So, it’s all about Faith?… and not the fight?  How does that work?  What would that look like? Aren’t we supposed to separate our daily lives from our Christian lives?  How are we supposed to blend them?

I mean, I paid for the mechanic to fix my transmission, how does faith help me cope with the situation?

This is certainly the question that needs to be asked.  Somehow, faith demands that we interject her into ALL of these situations.  Because that is the fight that needs to be fought.

Our Lord Jesus asked in Luke 18:8 “When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Wow.

Faith IS the fight.

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Testimony From The Core
September 2016

by Heidi Klaassen

Ministry has a lot of different faces.  For me, I really start feeling it at the end of the day when the grocery order has been put away.  The remaining pile of empty boxes that need to be broke down looks way more difficult than it actually is.  And the tiny bit of energy it takes to finish that job seems overwhelming and would be easy to walk away from.   But last week, something happened that really took me by surprise.

 

School started, and with it the buzz of routine returned to the youth of Medina.  This was a pleasant change from the generally quiet summer.  Howbeit, our Wednesday Fellowship Group was stirred beyond a normal sanity level.  The excitement of being with friends at school seemed to multiply to the rooftop and back again.  The young people caroused and carried on as if it summer had just begun.  Let me say it this way; the hive was stirred.

 

It’s 7pm and I see no way to wrangle in the chaos.   I assess the noisy situation and begin scheming how to shut it all down so we can just go home.  My mind is moving like a snail through thick sludge and the best I can come up with is to stay with the schedule.  Either God helps us out or He doesn’t.  Either way, we’re in the thick of it.  The impending waves are growing taller and larger.  We push on, and little by little as the memorized Bible verses are said, the room grows quieter.  It is not quiet, but the party noise has subsided.

 

Finally we open the Bibles to Hebrews 8.  It is too much meat for this crowd, but it is still God’s word and it will not return void.  I picked somebody to start reading and verse by verse, the spirit of the room completely changed.  Everybody in the room wanted to read; everybody in the room was interested in the Bible.  The effort through the chaos was victorious.  The labor it took to push through, as painful as it seemed, was temporary and worthwhile.

 

As I digest the night’s events, I am reminded the many times Paul felt like he was laboring to bring forth life…until Christ be formed in you Galatians 4:19 (Yes! That sounds familiar.)

 

I am encouraged by Acts 20:35 “I have showed you all things, how that laboring you ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

 

And I can’t help but chuckle at I John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

 

No, we do not see what shall be, but only through a glass dimly.  So we will not give up no matter what face the ministry has for us.

 

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Testimony From The Core
August 2016

by Heidi Klaassen

 

This past month I had a precious encounter with a young lady.  Her story was filled with heart ache, ridicule, rejection and hopelessness. As I listened, she told me that the solution to her life was to hug Jesus.  But her mother had told her that very few people actually meet Jesus.  Her mother had explained that sometimes Jesus will reveal himself to someone, but it isn’t very often. Those words caused her much sadness.

I got excited as I carefully told her that her mother didn’t quite understand it all.

So, I began…

Ever since God created the world, he had a plan  to send his Son to earth.  Jesus would walk our earth, breathe our air and understand our situations because he lived them with us.  Jesus was kind and compassionate and very understanding of his Father’s heart, which was to bring people back to himself.  The Religious people did not like Jesus calling God his Father, nor the fact that Jesus would forgive people of their sins.  They plotted to kill Jesus, and they did.  Jesus lay in the tomb, dead, for three days.  But when those three days were up, God raised Jesus from the dead.  He revealed himself to his disciples, and walked and lived among them for 40 days.  Once, he was seen by over 500 hundred people at a one time.  His entire life was a testimony of God’s love for us.  But it doesn’t stop there.  Jesus understood that unless he went to His Father in Heaven, he wouldn’t be able to send “The Comforter” to us.  This is the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit.  When we accept Jesus Christ to be Lord of our lives, the Holy Spirit takes up residency in our lives.  This is Jesus in our hearts.  We need to understand that when you hug a Christian, you are in essence receiving a hug from Jesus Christ.  Christ lives in me, therefore, when we hug, you are hugging Jesus.

And as I hugged my new friend, there was renewed hope washing upon the shores of her enlightened eyes.

To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory!

Colossians 1:27

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Testimony From The Core
July 2016
“What Is It That You Seek?”

by Heidi Klaassen

God tells us the end from the beginning, but we as believers, tend to be unbelieving.

In Genesis 3: 3, Eve quotes God saying, “You shall not eat of it (that tree), neither shall you touch it, lest you die.”  But since the serpent told her that she wouldn’t die, but rather her eyes would be opened and then she’ll be like a god, she ate of the tree.    And unto this day, we think that being like unto a god is a good thing.  In the beginning God said, “You will surely die if you eat of the tree or touch it,” and to this day, we desire the fruit of that tree and convince ourselves that being like unto a god is beneficial.

How far do we fall before we admit our foolishness?

What is it that we seek?  Seeking anything but God’s face is going to keep us away from life.  God breaks his laws down simply to “Love your neighbor.”  We somehow interpret that by putting our work and education first, entertainment and sports next, our retirement and medical as a close third, and then if there is enough left, we give to our neighbor and to God.

And here’s the catch; we continue to seek understanding in foolishness and fall further from God’s face.  We compromise righteousness for tolerance, missing God’s heart completely.  We must never forget that God loves people and only wants us reconciled to him through the shed blood of his precious son Jesus Christ.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and ALL these (other) things shall be added unto you.  Mathew 6:33

 

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Testimony From The Core
June 2016

“Lists”

by Heidi Klaassen

My son Emitt has taught me many lessons throughout the years, usually, unbeknownst to him.  For instance, when he was 4 years old, I was having a particularly difficult time with him.  Everywhere I turned he had either broken something, or lost an item.  A lost comb, a broken tool, dishes crashing on the floor…the list grew throughout the day.  My breaking point came with a rain gauge that I had just screwed to our porch the day before.  I thought I was losing my mind (which I was) because it had disappeared like many other items.  However, as the children and I were leaving for our daily walk, there was the rain gauge smashed on the ground.  My temper flared and it rang in my voice towards Emitt as I “instructed” him that from here on out I was keeping a list of everything that he has broken, and when he has the money, I will collect.  It felt good to conclude the issue and gave me vision.  As I turned to walk down our road, The Holy Spirit cupped me on the back of my head and said, “Would you like me to keep a running tab on you?”

 

My mind raced with my many shortcomings and failures.  Immediately tears came to my eyes as I saw what I owed God.  I knew that I had no choice but to let my list for Emitt go.  I soaked in the moment and hugged my son.

 

I still often catch myself keeping lists on people.  How they failed at this or that, what wasn’t done, what was done, or how I wanted it to be.  However, I am quickly reminded that it will be done to us and we do to others.  I need Mercy and Grace with God, so that is what I must have for others.  Yes, I fail, but God gives Grace in good measure and is faithful to remind me of what He hasn’t held to my account.  Thank You Lord for casting our sin as far as the east is from the west.  We can love like You love us.  Help us to do just that. Amen!

 

Romans 4:8 “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”

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Testimony From The Core
April 2016

“Boxed”

by Heidi Klaassen

I was never so miserable as when I had God all figured out.  It was during that time that I chose to simplify my understanding of God.  It never occurred to me that I was limiting God and putting him in a box.  It was a nice box, and God was content to be limited for me.  I believed with all the confusion the world offers that God was only black and white about how he dealt with people.  That there wasn’t anything I could do to save someone else.  That people chose to be in darkness and my hands were tied. But … I was wrong.

I’ve since been smacked over the head while God lovingly laughed, waiting for me to let Him out of my box.

Brother Bill said it on Sunday, “The real worship starts as we leave the doors of the church.”     As we Re –Present our Lord and Savior to all those we meet: Those who have never heard of a loving Savior; those who have had a bad run in with religion; those who have been in dark chains from abuse and loneliness.   Christ lives in us and so we carry the hope and light this world desperately aches for.  The creator of this universe with its millions of known stars and galaxies also knows each individual hair on our head and the cells in our bodies. He is well able to delegate encounters of hope for us, to set the prisoner free.  God is great.  My prayer is that God’s Will is done in my life, whatever that may be.  God is not tame, but rather the Holy Spirit of God is like the wind and blows where it will.  I want to be a part of whatever that looks like.  So Dear Jesus, not only have your way in my life, but break out of any limits I put on you, known and unknown.  You are God alone.  All praise and Glory are due your name.  Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.  Mathew 5:16

 

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Testimony From The Core
March 2016

by Heidi Klaassen

We recently saw the movie “Risen”, a fictional account from the perspective of Clavius, a Roman Tribune, exhausted by his duties yet sent by Pontius Pilate to find the body of Jesus the Nazarene which was believed to be stolen from the tomb by his radical followers.  It was very interesting to entertain the thoughts from a non-believer and see a story unfold from his point of view.  Not to spoil the movie, but from the title you can gather that Clavius does, in fact, meet the resurrected Christ and must reconcile his mind to what is put before him.  There is a precious scene in the film when Clavius has a private moment with Jesus.

He turns to Christ and says, “I don’t even know what to ask.”

Knowing that the Tribune’s spirit is heavy with the death he has seen daily, in battle mostly by his own hand, Christ says to him, “A day without death.”

Simply spoken and life renewed, this is our Jesus.  The one we pray to, seek answers from, and long for a personal encounter with.  To hear Him say the exact thing we need to hear, in the depths of our soul, that no one else knows about.

As Christians, we share many things on the surface such as the songs we sing, our collective place of worship, our pastor, and the same feast and fellowships.  However, our trials and temptations differ one from another as vastly as the seasons of our lives.  Yet, Jesus’ ministering spirit of life is able to touch each of our individual needs, no matter how big or small with intimate precision that we alone understand.

Just as the character, Clavius, came face to face with the Risen Christ – when we encounter Christ, we are changed.

“For Christ did not come to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. Amen.”  John 3:17

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Testimony From The Core
February 2016

“Redeemed”

by Heidi Klaassen & Sylvia Rogers

His face showed years of hard living, but his eyes sparkled as he said, “This is my story…”

At first, I hardly even knew that I had crossed a line between right and wrong.  I used what was in front of me, and soon took what I wanted regardless of where I found it.  I admit that there were moments when I contemplated the consequences of these wrongful acts, but it was a pleasure shortly lived.

The shadows grew darker and stayed longer.  Intermittingly I caught glimpses of myself.  I thought I might recognize the person in the mirror, but any familiar resemblance became confused with who I thought I was.  I ignored the slight pang in my stomach, the one that tried to call me home.

Long before I was ever charged, I felt guilty. I knew the day would come that justice would be met, and I wasn’t looking forward to it.  My time had come and apprehension filled my days.  The chains that bound me clearly did not represent freedom.  I knew there was a price for peace, and oh, I wish I could pay it.  Sin definitely has repercussions.    The law laid the foundation and my weights were found wanting.

The drudgery of darkness was far greater and heavier than the pleasure of sin.  If only there would be peace… a peaceful sleep and a bright morning with a hopeful end. Oh wretched man that I am…who will deliver me from this body of death? Do I dare hope that there is yet daylight available to my soul?  Will the night end?  God forbid that I bear this.

Do I dare beg forgiveness when clearly none is deserved?  Jesus could you save a wretch like me?  Jesus, are you there?  …I’m so sorry.

…What?  I feel warmth in my soul.  Is the room warmer and sweeter just now?  The gloom is lifting, and I feel love; it has been so long.   Oh God, how can this be?  You show me love while I am yet in darkness.  You deliver me out from the pit.  I see you on the cross.  I know you gave of yourself for me, and you are the ransom for many.   I know Jesus paid a debt he did not owe, and that I owe a debt I cannot pay.  But, oh what peace!  My soul is flooded with life!  I was dead, Jesus died, he rose, and I too am alive in him!  Only the Almighty God himself could work such goodness to mankind. Glory, glory, glory!   I have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus, and him alone!  Redeemed, I say redeemed!

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Testimony From The Core
November 2015
“God Qualifies the Called”

by Heidi Klaassen

I still am in wonder that God has involved me in a food ministry.  Generally, chaos follows me.  Kitchens turn into a hurricane aftermath as I scurry from one project to another.  This is especially true Tuesday mornings as I bring The Core back to life from it’s 3 day weekend. Recently, moving at Mach speed, I brewed a pot of coffee twice.  Meaning, since the decanter was already full, it proceeded to overfill.  The Ninja cook that I am, ever aware of my surroundings, I perked up as I heard the out of place drip, drip, of the coffee running from the decanter, onto the counter, onto the white tile floor.  I burst out laughing thinking of the irony of Heidi Klaassen ministering via a kitchen.

I have come a long way…

Let’s revisit 2006.  Heidi is raising 3 children and is frugal enough where a broccoli, cheese and rice dish I made for supper night #1 believes it could be salvaged for supper night #2.  I tell myself that the reason there were left overs is because I made too much, not that my family didn’t like it.  So I serve it a 3rd time.  Travis lovingly suggests that maybe if we put it in a blender (like soup), it might be edible…  Four year old Tessa, waking up from a nap, comes to supper after hearing the blender.  She is hungry and asks “What’s for supper?”  Papa tells her, Broccoli, Rice and Cheese.  She looks up very bewildered, knowing she barely ate it the first two nights, and cries, “You have GOT to be kidding!”

So, Heidi produces green slop & hurricane disaster laden kitchens.  How could I possibly be of help at The Core?

I Corinthians 1:25: Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 24: For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; 27: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.29: That no flesh should glory in his presence. 31: That according as it is written He that glories, let him glory in the Lord. 

I have no doubt that my flesh is weak.  I have great consolation that in my weakness God is made strong. I know that I am not being sent of my own volition, but rather that he who has called me is faithful.(1 Thessalonians 5:24)  I testify today that God has supplied the people, the funds and the opportunities that come from and to The Core. What is God calling you to that your initial response is, “No way, I am not qualified for that?”  Guess what? God qualifies the called.  Amen.

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Testimony From The Core
October 2015
“Fall On Jesus”

By Heidi Klaassen

Have you ever felt like throwing something?  Well, maybe not recently, but more than likely, you can relate to the feeling.  The Bible says, “Be angry, and sin not.”  WHAT?  It might as well say, “Be hungry, and eat not!”  God is perfect, so he doesn’t know what’s it’s like to walk in my shoes!

Sadly enough, God does know. Hebrews 4:15 …But was at all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

God has been let down.  God’s instructions that he gave clearly and precisely were not followed.  No matter how many times people vowed they loved him, God found his loved ones turning their backs on him.  God understands frustration.  God gets you.

One weapon to overcome sin is to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).  IF we can learn to recognize the patterns of our failures, perhaps we can actually apply God to our situations BEFORE we are crushed.  In my experiences, heated situations long failed before I even knew what happened.    I did have one victory though.  I suppose it was at least 5 years ago, and I was angry.  Perhaps I was being blamed for something going wrong, but whatever it was, I had to get in my vehicle and find a tool or important paper that was not at my house.  About this time, I would normally have turned on a secular music station to see if there wasn’t something that would feed my negative feelings, because, after all, I was being wronged.  Instead, the very small voice of encouragement helped me to turn on the Christian Radio Station.  I turned it on with the notion that, “I would at least give it a try…”  Of course, my angry self-melted into the arms of grace upon hearing God’s word for the moment through Bebo Norman’s voice; “Take my hands, and lift them up, for I have not the strength to praise you near enough, for I am nothing, I am nothing, without you…  Take my voice, and pour it out, and let it sing the songs of mercy I have found, for I have nothing, I have nothing, without You.

Truth Lord.

I experienced a victory that day.  I tested God by falling on him instead of my flesh.  I was ministered to, and my soul was fat and satisfied.  Nice.

Help us Lord to fall upon the Rock instead of the Rock crushing us (Luke 20:18). God uses our everyday situations and everyday feelings to prune us, to mold us, to draw out the dross in our lives that we may become more and more like him.  He loves us.  He cares for us.  God is for us.  We can fall into the arms of grace over and over and over again.  Hebrews 7:26 Says Our High Priest, Jesus Christ, is HARMLESS.  (I Love That!) I do not have to be afraid.  Therefore, be angry, but sin not.  Amen. Ephesians 4:26

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Testimony From The Core
September 2015
“Peace With God”

By Heidi Klaassen

I hope that at some time in your life, you’ve had a dream.  Perhaps it was to be a millionaire or the next runner up of “marrying rich”.  My dream as a 2nd grader was that I was a princess and the fellas were lining up to have my hand in marriage.  Those 8 year old princes knew that bringing me the right horse was a key to their success!

Passing a wishing well on a vacation, I had my dime in hand and my dream ready to send up; pony, bridle, saddle, horse trailer, a place to keep the pony, money to buy food, a barn, a house in the country… I easily realized that a dime in the well was not going to bring my dream to pass.  I needed God.  So I kept my dime, and sent up a prayer instead.  And then I experienced the peace of God.

Heaven came down when Daddy bought me a pony at age 9.  Nevertheless the dreaming continued and I added being an Equestrian Olympian.  Even when I married at 19, that dream was still alive.  So where did running a Christian Coffee House come into the mix?

The peace of God that I felt at the wishing well has become the staying factor in my life.  I don’t ever want to live without it.   Over and over as choices presented themselves, I chose Christ above the dream, and God in his mercy always had a horse in my life.  What a precious Savior.  He truly is harmless as he leads his children, giving them the desires of their heart, which in turn is his heart.   My dream these days is to be filled with the knowledge of his will with all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that I might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; and strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness. Colossians 1:9-11

I believe that God loves dreamers and dreams alike.  With childlike faith, trust that God is the fulfiller of dreams.  Let him lead you to peace through his son Jesus Christ in whom we have redemption through his shed blood.  Romans 5:1 therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

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 Testimony From The Core
August 2015
“Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10”

by Heidi Klaassen 

On the road map of life, where are you?  Do you know exactly where you are at, or in general, are you just still on the map?  It’s easy to get comfortable with our daily existence, while we put one foot in front of the other, but that doesn’t exactly mean that we’re where God wants us.

God’s mercy and grace asks, “Where are you and what are you doing?”

I’ve often found myself in the middle of so much action for the Lord, that God had to leave the scene and get some fresh air.  Just because I’m working for God, does not mean that I am working WITH God.  There is a big difference.

So no matter what your situation today, God has a plan and a job for you.  He knows where you are, and how to get you back on track.  God is a very big God.  He is so big that he doesn’t and He won’t fit into the box you’ve built for him.  However, you fit into His plan.  Check where you are on the map and ask Him where he’d like you.  It takes a lot of energy to be still and listen, but that is the beginning of what it takes

to get to the right location.

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 Testimony From The Core
July 2015
“VIRTUE”

by Heidi Klaassen

This week has been big and busy.  As all of the moments I have experienced finish digesting in my head, I keep rolling over the most meaningful times.  These have been the seemingly small occasions that didn’t take very long to happen.  I’ve called them “Connections”.  In church today it would have looked like a smile I shared with you as we sang “Bless the Lord O My Soul.”  Because as the words were sung over and over, we  saw and felt the times when we experienced God in the same way that the Psalmist did… and the promise from God and the commitment from our spirit saying, “I will Bless the Lord at ALL times, regardless of what I feel like.”

This past week a connection looked like exhaustion after the day at VBS and The Core workers and volunteers are still washing dishes and taking out yet another load of garbage and finding the strength to replace the garbage liner one more time and I holler out, “THIS IS MINISTRY!”  and everybody knows that we are called to be servants, and that probably isn’t very glorious looking this side of heaven.

And lastly, the connections of sharing the passing of our loved ones this past week, which refresh the moments  of the loved ones that passed on in our lives in previous years. I watched many relating to the realness of life and death on earth and life eternal with our Lord.  These are big moments.

It might not be exactly the same thing, but some of the moments when Jesus “connected” with people, the Bible called it VIRTUE. 

Mark 5:30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? 

Luke 6:19 And the whole multitude sought to touch him; for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all. 

Luke 8:46 And Jesus said, somebody hath touched me; for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. 

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 

So often the important things in life don’t take very long, but certainly are easy to miss.  We are called to a life of glory and virtue.  Wow.

In conclusion, 2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that has called us to glory and virtue.  Be filled with grace and virtue!  Amen.

Lots of Love,       ~Heidi~



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Testimony From The Core
June 2015
“The Heart Matters”

by Heidi Klaassen

 

Like the humidity before an impending storm, our hearts are often heavy.   We are walking with the Lord, but tensions in relationships, financial decisions, unanswered questions, fatigue, lack of motivation, tardiness, or feelings of being misunderstood weigh us down and the results are reactions of self-preservation.  We put barriers up around our heart.  It’s easy to be cold and unmovable at these times.  Certainly our heart is not circumcised and sensitive like it once was.  Rather, on good days we go through expected motions, but more often than not we choose to not go through any motions.

What can we do?

In I Samuel 10 we read the anointing of the first King of Israel.  God orchestrated minute details to arrange the meeting of the prophet Samuel and Saul. Whatever heart Saul had when he met Samuel, when the anointing was over and as Saul turned to leave, the verse reads, “God gave him (Saul) another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day.” 

Our first encounters with God bring the biggest positive changes in our lives, such as it was with Saul.  But often the enduring of the walk finds the heart hardened and stoic.  We want another heart, we want to be soft and moldable in the hands of our creator, we want to be full of compassion and on fire for our Lord, but it’s not happening.  How do we get from here to there?

There are three main actions…

  • Fatigue buries us. When we are worn down, we are defeated.  Get rest.

 

  • We must stay in the press. Touching the hem of Jesus ‘cloak will bring us renewed life. Luke 8:43-48 (For we are saved by hope!  Romans 8:24)

 

  • And most importantly, surrender your will to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Our desperation can help us realize that our sufficiency is only in Christ (2nd Corinthians 3:5)

 

Somehow, in these acts of worship, spiritual laws (the reverse of logic) take place.  For instance, in giving we receive, and in surrendering there is victory.  Be assured that this is truly the case. The storms are coming, and they will outstay their welcome.  But, when you surrender your heart, the clear, freshness of a new day will come. There is Victory!

Suggested Listening:  Colton Dixon’s Through All of It, and United’s Touch the Sky. 

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Testimony From The Core
June 2015
“The Remodel”

by Heidi Klaassen

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11390300_10153240691120129_4358611650384735920_n 11412343_10153240691155129_6704559247410354949_nThe Core is getting her outside front patio worked on.  Soon we will be choosing outside tables and chairs.   Thank you Big Rock Construction!


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 May 2015

 

CHECK OUT OUR NEW CORE LUNCH MENU!


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Testimony From The Core
April 2015
“Austin Acquire the Fire”

by Heidi Klaassen
Acquire The Fire 2015

Thanks once again to the generosity of the Medina UMC, on March 6th, Travis and I led a group of 25 to our 4th consecutive Acquire the Fire gathering.  Acquire the Fire (ATF) is a Christian gathering geared to catch the attendees on Fire for the Lord Jesus Christ.  This year’s theme was “RESILIENT”.

We arrived at Austin’s North Shore Church a little after 7 pm. Upon entering the sanctuary, what we noticed first was the sweet presence of the Spirit of God which was enveloping the room.   The presence of God appeals to every one of our senses: sound, sight, smell, taste & touch.  It is easy to want more and more of his presence.  It is precious.   Worshipping the Lord was an experience that we only had to yield to.  It wet our appetites for more to come.

Saturday started with worship and soon they brought Doug Cherry on stage.  Doug has been to our church in Medina twice.  One of his fortes is his heart for Godly families.  He teaches parents to be intentional about living for God, and raising up Godly households.

There was a skit which investigated the mind of a 17 year old male who was new to the Christian Faith.

There were two loud, yet wonderfully done Christian Rock Concerts.

The Grand Finale was when the founder, Ron Luce, gave his presentation.  He started by showing the 2008 Big 10 600 Meter race of Heather Dorniden’s inspirational race.  The point Luce made is that long before this race occurred, Heather had decided she was going to finish.  Heather fell in this race, and immediately got up and not only ran to the finish, but came in first.  To make this even more inspirational, Heather is a born again Christian who is resilient in her faith.  She bounced back from impossibility.

Next, Luce shared the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from Daniel Chapter 3, highlighting verses 17 -18: (Paraphrased) God CAN deliver us, but even if he chooses not to, we will not bow down to your image.

These young men were resilient in their faith to stand against all odds.

Lastly, Luce shared the Horatio Spurdeff’s writing of It Is Well With My Soul.  In the depth of sorrow over the loss of his children, he wrote of the Peace beyond all human understanding.  His resilience of steadfastness resounded despite unapproachable loss.

Chastity Luce performed with the acoustic guitar, It Is Well With My Soul, during which time, without prompting, young people flocked to the alter with hands upraised, dedicating their resolve to be Resilient for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mathew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

 

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BOOK MINISTRY
February
 2015

library

The Core has a Book Exchange where Godly, inspiring, educational, and testimonials can be had and exchanged. We have testimonials from  The Voice of the Martyrs as well as My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.  I am looking for help filling some books that I can not keep in stock.  They are Voice in the Wind (1st in the series) by Francine Rivers, and Kisses From Katie, by Katie Davis.  A way you can help is to look in second hand stores for these books, or purchase them second hand.  Thank you!  Heidi K. 589-2956


The Core
Meet ~N~ Greet
Thursday, Nov. 20, ‘14
Heidi Klaassen

The Core has a new internal face. Currently we have begun the 2 step process of becoming our own 501 ©3 Nonprofit Business. The Core was on the verge of closing, so Travis and I said that we would be willing to keep it open. The Medina UMC graciously agreed that we could have it.

The Core is a family of Christian believers who work, play and worship together. We support each other in our walk of faith by prayer and daily edification. The main point of The Core is to have a place to minister to Medina and all that pass through. So many people in our society are walking with broken hearts and open wounds. Our heart is to speak love and truth to those that walk through our doors. God has miraculously given us a place right on Main Street Medina.

We could not function without you and the many volunteers and contributors who give their time and money to The Core. Please help me create the long overdue list of volunteers who have helped develop The Core over the past 6 years. Please do not be offended if I miss your name, only let me know so I can perfect this list.

 
The current board members are:
Heidi Klaassen                                      Sabrina Stroud                                  Vanessa Torres
Yaztiri Luna                                           Maria Guerrero

2014 Summer Help Included:    Tessa Klaassen                                 Troy Klaassen
Jessica Klaassen                                    Ashley Parker                                   Jimmy Parker
Olivia Rogers                                         Cody Baker                                        Kristin Lico
Ethan Lico                                              Shelby Lico                                       Angel Torres
Robert Hartley                                      Justin Hartley

Daily volunteers include:            Julius Mason                                    Debbie Hopkins
Scott Hopkins                                       Kathy Brownell                                Ada Smerek
Lisa Knight                                            Craig Knight                                     Sandra Dabney
Mary Myers                                           Micah                                                 Bill Stegemuller
Leigh Thomas                                       Rick Turner                                      Jane Turner
Nancy Wojnowski                               Chuck Thomas                                  Mike Wojnowski
Donna Jones                                        Jim Jones                                          Tucker Klaassen
Linda Klaassen                                    Kathy Cherry                                    Lew & Diane Taylor
Judy from the RV Resort                  Ruthe Nilson                                    Sandi Prom
Emitt Klaassen                                    Ali Klaassen                                      Jack Binion
Nicki Binion                                        Clovis Barker                                    Mag Barker
Stephanie Taylor                                John “Sparky” Erikson

Special Thanks: go to Travis Klaassen for his vision and physical changes he brings to our buildings and lives. I’d like to thank the Methodist Church as a whole for the opportunity to continue this special ministry that you began. I’d like to thank God Almighty for sending Jesus to save us. Thank you Jesus for letting us be your hands and feet here on earth. And last but not least, thank you Holy Spirit for bonding your church together as a family.

Questions or comments? Please contact Heidi by email: thecoreyouth@hctc.net  or by phone: 830-589-2956

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Testimony From The Core
September 2014
by Heidi Klaassen

 

The Core has been in operation for 5 years now.  The original idea was sparked in a visioning committee as a way to church the unchurched.  The fledgling dream was prayed over, sought out, researched, and by much sweat and blood by individuals, small groups and the church as a whole, The Core opened her doors in October of 2009.

The expectancy of The Core was that of a mission field.  We strategized that the coffee house could be self-sustaining while fulfilling operating hours through volunteers.  We are presently opened 4 days: Tuesday – Friday and have a daily lunch special besides bakery items and a complete selection of coffees, smoothies and ice cream.  Many special events take place including 3 different Bible Studies, community choir practice for Christmas and Easter, Birthdays and showers.

The Core offers a variety of opportunities to volunteer from baking, serving the public, mingling with folks, preparing for the day or closing down, running errands, grocery shopping, placing orders, finding good movies, books, Bible verses, decorating, stocking supplies or organizing.  The list is endless.  We have a place for you whether you are interested in a little or a lot of time.

Likewise, this column was started as a place to share some of the experiences at The Core.  I wrote the first article 6 months after her doors opened as a way of sharing a directly related Core experience.  I had initially thought folks could and would take turns sharing here.

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Testimony From The Core
July 2014

“In the Hands of God”
by Heidi Klaassen

On June 2nd, I watched Emitt, my 16 year old son behold his judge.  Respect and solemnity aged from his eyes and stature.  There was no smile to match his normally easy going and handsome facial expressions.  No, today, I couldn’t read him, and I couldn’t communicate with him.  He was judged and is waiting the sentence.  And I think to myself, “This is what it is like to place our lives in the hands of the Almighty, knowing that what he says is final and complete.  He has all power and we are but dust before him.”

I felt like I held my breath for five minutes before I knew the outcome.   As we walked out of the office, Emitt handed me the keys to our vehicle, and said, “YOU are driving!”

Emitt had taken his driver’s test and had passed.  But the physical demand the judging took on his body daunted him inferior to the task of holding a driver’s license.  He did not take it lightly.  He could not talk, and he could not rejoice over the accomplishment.  This judgment could have gone either way, and he needed some moments before the realization of this goal was celebrated.

Putting our lives in the hands of God feels much the same.  We do not really know what the outcome will be.  Just because God loves us, does not mean our experience with him is going to be a trip to the candy store.  But we do know that our experience with him will grow us into the likeness of his dear Son Jesus Christ.  Hebrews 10: 31 says It is a fearful thing to fall in the hands of the living God.  This verse gives us the feeling that falling into the hands of God is not safe for us.  So rather, let us put our lives into His hands that we can be guided, formed, and molded.  We can be his people for his glory.

There is no telling what God will do for us, or do with us.  But do with us and for us he will.  It is a risk, and it is a challenge.  Experiencing the Lord will leave us holding our breath and wondering what the outcome will be.

Again in Hebrews 10:35-39 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense of reward.  For you have need of patience that after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise.  For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.  Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.  But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but we are of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Please oblige my analogy with Emitt.  Although the spiritual connotation is different than the physical task of becoming a licensed driver, I see many similarities that may help us related to understanding God as our judge.   Trusting God to find us our next job, or relationship, or financial relief, or healing, might seem too much of a risk.   But there is no fulfillment outside of God.  Only God can satisfy us.  I’d like to encourage us to move forward in God’s will, pass or fail. In the end we will only regret those things we have not tried.  Try God’s will.

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Testimony From The Core
June 2014

by Heidi Klaassen

Recently, we, as a church were invited to sponsor children in poverty stricken environments. Sponsored children are given nutritious meals, taught to read and write, as well as taught about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the disciplines of singing, prayer, and etiquette. Sponsored children are offered medical help, and taught personal hygiene which saves lives on the most basic levels. Most often the sponsored children are not orphans but rather their parents are not able to bring home enough income. For instance, in India, the average monthly income in a project area is equivalent to $22 per month here in America. You can imagine how thankful the families must be to get help and education. The children’s situations are vastly different, yet vastly the same. I was very blessed to know of the many lives that were helped from The Compassion Presentation this past Sunday. Thank you!

As you know, the more we live, the more overwhelming it can be to know of the horrors that many lives face throughout the world. We help someone, yet there seemingly are 5 more lives that need help. Where does it end? What can we do?

It is somewhat a relief to know that Jesus himself said, “The poor you will always have with you.” No matter how much we give, there will always be more work to be done. So then, why help?

One thing I know for sure is that God is interested in moving our hearts. He wants us flexible, mobile, and listening to him. God has a compassionate heart and it only makes sense that he wants us to have a compassionate heart as well. God certainly does speak to us through many venues. Be glad that your heart is smitten. Be glad that you want to help out is someway. Be glad that God surely will lead you into His good pleasure whatever that may be for you. Be glad that God moved your heart; it surely is a heart that is like His.

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Testimony From The Core
April 2014

by Heidi Klaassen

The Core Group had a fun filled March.

We started out with our big youth gathering, Acquire the Fire and ended the month with a Sheet Rock Party at the home of Jeremy and Sabrina Stroud’s.    The Core Group, along with the Men’s Group bonded well through blood, sweat and laughter.  The activities have created momentum, fulfillment and a sense of adventure.   The end result is that our group desires to pass these traits on and “do it again!”  What is around the next corner?

The Bible tells us in Ephesians 2:10 that we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.

All we have to do is walk. Isn’t that great!  I can do that.  The Core Group can do that.  The men’s group can do that.  Thank you Jesus!

April promises softball/baseball after church (all are welcome to participate, barbeque, and/or be a spectator.)

April 6th after church we will head to Adrenaline Paintball for the afternoon.

April’s movies include God’s Not Dead (Shown at Rio 16 near Loop 1604)

April also will bring us NOAH starring Russell Crowe (Showing in Kerrville).  We will be looking at the Biblical account of Noah and compare notes with Hollywood.

Besides these “extra” events, we continue to pray for a van to haul our “Family” around.

We meet each Wednesday evening at 6:00 – 8:30 for fellowship, food, Bible Study, and prayer.

All are welcome to attend!  Call or email me, Heidi for information: 830-589-2956  or thecoreyouth@hctc.net

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Testimony From The Core
March 2014

by Heidi Klaassen

It doesn’t take a whole lot of living before you realize that people will let you down.  You will let yourself down.  People who you love the most, and who love you the most, will let you down.  The church as a whole can let you down.  And I will let you down.

I hope that you have never been in a situation where you’ve been let down, but more than likely, you have.  Hopefully it didn’t last long.

Regardless of the situation that may have torn you to pieces, I urge you to step back and ask, “Did God let me down?”

Circumstances generally make it hard for us to pin point the source of the problem.  Our emotions camouflage the spiritual battles that rage around us.  The relationships we have with coworkers, peers, siblings, spouses, and our closest friends confuse God’s intricate task of delicately changing us into his likeness with tough situations we would rather do without.

During the hardest and darkest times of my life, I can confidently proclaim, that God has never failed me.

My God has been faithful to supply all my needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

He has been faithful and just to forgive me of all my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9

According as his divine power has given me all I need for life and Godliness through the knowledge of him that has called us to glory and virtue. I Peter 1:3

God has spoken the truth in love that I may grow up into him in all things. Ephesians 4:15

And I am confident of this very thing that he who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

With that being said, I can continue to evangelize those around me.  Although there is a great responsibility in growing people in Christ, the burden ultimately does not fall on my shoulders.   Christ will be defrauded for my sake.  (I Cor. 6:7) He was defrauded before, and he isn’t afraid to do it again.  The battle has already been won.  Christ is the Victor.

And besides this, giving all diligence, I will add to my faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

For if these things be in me and abound they will make it so that I am neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But he that lacks these things is blind, and cannot see afar off and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

Let us therefore make our calling and election sure; for if we do these things, we shall never fall.  II Peter 1:4-10

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Testimony From The Core
Nov. 2013

“Kerrville Triathlon ”

by Heidi Klaassen

Race day is finally here.  Excitement is everywhere.  Team Klaassen is receiving great encouragement from our support team lead by The Other Klaassen’s, David and Kathy Brownell, and Angel Torres.  I am blown away by their love for us that got them out of bed on a Saturday morning before 5:45 a.m.

The crowd of 400+ people is gathered on the banks of the Guadalupe River where final announcements are made.  Men under 34, all wearing white swim caps, are the first to enter the water leg of the race, a 500 Meter swim.  This is Emitt’s group, our 15 year old son.  Emitt is in good form, but like all of us, it’s his first race.  We don’t know what to expect.  Emitt is not vying for position, but he is ready.  I am proud at that moment.  I wipe away tears and watch in awe as we all count backwards from 10 to send them off…2…1..Go!  I watch Emitt as long as I can until the white capped swimmers become churning water and Travis’ red capped group of 35 – 44 year olds are treading water waiting for their gun.  It’s electric.

I saw Ali’s group of pink capped 34 and under ladies leave, and then I sneak in the front of my line.  I am no longer a level headed 41 year old mother.   The cold water does not faze me. I am at the front and am not playing it safe.  The crowd sends us off.  SWIM! I concentrate on breathing, and thankful that my goggles are not leaking. The first left turn was too far and that is the short end of the rectangle we are swimming.  MANY people pass me.  I have great respect for them as I cannot go any faster.   I am ready to make my second left hand turn, but am shocked to find out that I am only half way to the second turn.  I am glad this is the sprint distance.  I am kicking, stretching, pulling, and breathing.  It is a long ways.

Paul compares our Christian walk to a race.  He says in Philippians 3:13b -14 forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Our Christian race is also an endurance race.

This race is neither for the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but for those who endure.  We must run with patience the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1) for we may get kicked in the face while “swimming,” or suck in water through our noses.  These are setbacks, but we must not turn back.   For we also have a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, cheering for us as we press on.  We do not want to let them down any more than we would let Jesus down who endured the cross, despising the shame, and now is set at the right hand of the throne of God.

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Testimony From The Core
Oct. 2013

“ Stir Us Up”

by Heidi Klaassen

I have taken for granted the many things I have stored in my memory.  I certainly do not remember the same events my children remember.  Words and phrases that not so long ago came easily, do not pull up at all.  I have learned revelations, and then I have forgotten about them.  I have learned great songs, and then they get put on the shelf.  I have had visions and ideas and most of them have come to fruition, but alas they are like a vapor in the wind when it is said and done.  I am grateful that Peter tells us to “Stir up our pure minds by way of remembrance.” 2 Peter 3:1.  To remember is something we must work on.

We can’t possibly practice everything that we have learned over the years, nor sing or recite great words on a daily basis.  But those great things are still with us.  They have helped form who we are and why we push to stay the course.  They are with us now and forever.  Those moments, those visions have set us on a path.   We stay on this path through good times and hard times until we wonder why we are trudging on the dusty path of servant hood.  I need to remember that God truly leads us and that he will continue to lead us.

I remember when the idea of having a coffee house in Medina was voiced as a way to bring in folks who wouldn’t normally go to church for one reason or another.  After great effort and a lot of time, we have a first class eating, resting, and/or meeting area.   You all supported and backed this project up from the beginning.  You still are the factor that keeps the doors to The Core open.  Thank you.

Many people have come through the doors of The Core.  What they find varies greatly.  Some are greatly touched simply by the idea that the church has an outreach such as we have.  Others have been put off as our product was less than adequate.  And others have found solace in the food and atmosphere that we have set forth.

A great thing has been formed in our midst.  The familiarity of The Core and the problems that come with functioning in general, often cloud my sight to the great vision that is ever before us with The Core.

I implore you to help us continue this work with your thoughts and prayers.  We have a box for donations, but I am asking that you would consider putting your comments and suggestions in there as your donation.  I want to encourage you to help us as we continue to manage this great feat with newness and vitality.

Reflecting on our beginnings is vital to our purpose.  My determined prayer is to rest in what the Lord has done.  My motivation is praying for continued miracles.  My hope is that The Core will become the ministering tool that God purposes it to be.  Our desire is to press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, wherever, and however that may take place in each of our lives. This is why we choose a path of servant hood.  This is why we walk the dusty miles, and bear a load that might not be necessary in a carnal task.  This is the love of the brethren; that the love of God be shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

Pray that lives that are hurting can be healed  That the drawing of the Holy Spirit would be powerful to all those who seek the truth.

In the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and a follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  Mathew 16:24-26 

We continue to have a place on main street Medina that is open to all who will enter.  There are new things taking place here that are good. There are things that need to be changed.  Certainly there are people that need the hope of Christ. There is a way to have it all, but you might get dusty in the process.  Grace us with your presence and give us a prayer as you walk in the door.  Drop a comment and suggestion in the box.  Help us attain to the vision that God has for us.  Let our pure minds be stirred up with zeal for the Lord and his house.  Amen!

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Testimony From The Core
Sept. 2013

“ What are You Building?”

by Heidi Klaassen

I have been chewing on Travis’ sermon from two weeks ago concerning our Foundation in Christ.  To recap what he shared; there is only one foundation in this world and that is Jesus Christ.  Anything else that we build upon is sinking sand.  It will cause us problems our entire life to say the very least.

So, if you are not building on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ at this point, now would be a good time to start over and get your foundation correct.

Let us presume that we are all building on the Lord Jesus Christ.  The question that I’ve been chewing on is, “What am I building my house with?”

I Corinthians 3:10b, 12 & 13 But let every man take heed how he builds upon that foundation.  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 

All of us have seen a fire of some sort.  A campfire is contained.  It is enjoyable to sit around a campfire watching the blazes gnaw the wood or coals that are given to feed the fire.  This atmosphere is conducive for flowing conversation, laughter, and continuity that spills over into story after story.  A campfire is pleasant. (Cont. Pg. 4)

On the contrary, all is done to stop a building on fire or to contain a wildfire.

Hungry flames devour structures and trees and everything in its path until somehow the fire is put out, or there is nothing left to feed the monster.  The outcome is devastating, leaving ashes and mourning behind.

It is easy to see that wood, hay and stubble will not endure a fire of any kind.  If our structure in Christ is going to stand the day of the Lord, we will need more than wood, hay, and stubble in our lives.   Colossians 3:17 says to do everything as unto the Lord.  Again in Ecclesiastes 9:10 it says that whatsoever thy hand finds to do, do it mightily to the Lord.  So whether we are interacting with others all day or working by ourselves, our time is accounted for and is the Lords.

We choose to build on Christ, yet He builds the house: Psalm 127: For unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it. 

May we seek after building material that is gold, silver, and precious stones, that the master builder may fashion and form us into his likeness. Truly Jesus is the finish carpenter that we desire in our lives.  He is the Corner stone as well as the capstone.  Have your way with us Father God.

Philippians 3: 13b-14 Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 

Philippians 3:8 yes, doubtless, I count all things but loss for the Excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him.

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Testimony From The Core
Aug.. 2013
vanessa Torres

“ Hello, my name is Vanessa Torres”

I have always dreamed about helping people.  This past March when I went to Acquire the Fire in San Antonio, I was introduced to the Honor Academy.  It is a one year commitment where people my age passionately pursue God.  I wanted that opportunity in my life.  I applied and was accepted.  I was so excited.

As the last months of school took place, doubt entered my heart and mind.  I started feeling scared and unsure if I should go to the Honor Academy. A week after my graduation I went to a church camp at Cripple Creek here in Medina. I’m never going to forget it. One morning at camp we climbed up Mount Mariah. Everyone worshiped and praised God there.  I looked up at the sky and asked, “God, I really don’t know what my next step in life is. I know I felt like you were telling me to go the Honor Academy but time has put doubt in my heart.  If you are here and you’re listening to me, please show me a sign.”

A marvelous wind stirred toward me and I could feel God saying to me that everything will be okay.  I honestly couldn’t believe it.  I was so amazed and overwhelmed that I started crying, not because I was sad, but because now I knew.   I remembered the memory verse from Jeremiah 29:11; For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord.  They are plans to give you a future and a hope.  I smiled.

The week that camp was over I was at Heidi Klaassen’s house.  I told her what had happened but that I still was not a 100 % sure if God wanted me to go to the Honor Academy.  To my surprise, Miss Heidi reassured me by saying, “Yes you do know what God wants you to do!”

I nodded my head and smiled really big.  Yes, I did know where God wants me to go.

Miss Heidi suggested going to the Extreme Camp in Lindale, Texas which takes place at the Honor Academy Campus.  That way I could get confirmation in my spirit when I physically spent a week at the College Campus. I signed up to go.  During one of our sessions at the camp, the speaker told us that there are scholarships available for the Honor Academy.  I followed up on that announcement and got an interview with the director of the Academy.  Amazingly they gave me a $2000 scholarship!  When I came back from camp I shared with you all (the church) about the direction the Lord was leading my heart, and in one service alone you gave me over $600.  My mother has put away money as well, and so I am very close to making the first payment which is due August 16th upon my arrival.   God is leading me as well as providing for me.  These two factors have already changed my life forever.  I am excited to watch the unfolding of my future as I passionately pursue my Savior and my God.

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Testimony From The Core
July 2013

“Glory”

by Travis & Heidi Klaassen

Here is a new take on a very familiar verse.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

The context of Chapter 3 is leveling the playing field between the Jews and the Romans in concern to getting right with God.  Paul is telling us that we are all in the same boat, not one of us can measure up to God on our own terms.  Paul goes so far as to say, “If God knew we couldn’t attain to his righteousness, and blames us anyway, why would we be judged as sinners for that?”  (Romans 3:7)

That we all have sinned is the easy part.  But what is the glory of God that we come short of?  We are made in the very image of God, but there is no sin in God.  So we cannot have the glory of God in and of ourselves, but we have the POTENTIAL to have God’s glory because God intended it that way.

One clever plan of the enemy is to get us to think that we cannot EVER measure up.  We really need to ask ourselves, “What are we measuring ourselves up to?”  2 Peter 1:4 tells us that we are called to glory and virtue…that we may escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.  My own personal experience says that most people are trying to reach the world’s idea of perfect (external manifestations). That was the enemy’s ploy from the beginning, to get us away from God’s idea of perfect, His Glory (which starts with internal manifestations).

What a truly beautiful picture that by being reconciled back to God through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, we can be the Glory of God here on the earth.  Sure, our earthly bodies are not what they will be when we see Jesus face to face, but the new creature on the inside that has been regenerated through Christ is the earthly manifestation of what will be in our new bodies.

This is not hard to understand in the example of a sour attitude, a depressed persona, a greedy intent, or selfish ambition.  When a person becomes abandoned to the Lord Jesus Christ, the glory of God is revealed in that person through the Godliness that the new man begins to live in and therefore becomes.  The sour attitude becomes a thankful spirit.  The Depressed person exhibits hopefulness.  The greedy intent turns into selfless giving.  And the selfish ambition only asks, “What is thy will oh God?”

From ashes to beauty, the indwelling presence of the Lord Jesus Christ manifests himself through us.  We are the glory of God. That is our potential.  It is not far out of reach, only so far as abandoning ourselves to Christ, and Christ alone. Mathew 5:16 Let your let so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. 

I Peter 1:3 & 8 According to his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue… For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

God did not create earth in all its’ fullness to send us to hell, but rather to display his glory.  That together with him, we may reign with him, to the glory and praise of God the Father, Amen. 

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Testimony From The Core
March 2013

by Heidi Klaassen

Our lives consist of moments that mark time.  Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, a memorable summer stay at a lake, an ocean beach front, or mountain resort, push and pull us through the lows that everyday life usually consists of.

The time in between is a spiritual place of the unknown that becomes a battle ground of our faith.  Here, hope and despair rage war to see where your allegiances lie.  The time in between is where choices are made based on who is winning the battle one that given day or moment.  Will we trust God to lead us through and be our victor, our captain, our Lord of Hosts?

* Driver’s Permit T Driver’s License
* Teen Years I Adulthood
* Getting Engaged M Getting Married
* A Pregnancy E The Birth
   
* Pre-Prom I Post-Prom
* Pre-Acquire The Fire N Post-Acquire The Fire
*    
* A Sickness B The Healing
* Living E Dying
* Christ Prophesied T Christ Born
* Christ’s Youth W Christ’s Ministry
* Christ’s Ministry E Christ’s Death
* Christ’s Death E Christ’s Resurrection
* Christ’s Imminent Return N Christ’s Return

 

 

While the battle is raging, no matter what is going on in the physical realm, it is vital to exercise quietness in our spirits, for the battle is the Lord’s.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

“I am the Lord and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:5

 “When you have done all, stand, and see the salvation of your God.” 2 Chronicles 20

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Testimony From The Core
Feb. 2013

by Heidi Klaassen

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you all for your fellowship in the gospel and  your contributions both large and small that  bring encouragement of every sort to my heart.  I am confident of this very thing that He who has begun a good work in us will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

I am thankful that ye have approved The Core, and Acquire the Fire as things that are excellent.  Your support has given us confidence and freedom to concentrate on the details of the daily workings of such projects.  Of this alone my heart is overwhelmed with Thanksgiving and appreciation.  As I think on those saints who make sure the Core runs smoothly, I am ever more in fear to write your names down as I will miss something you do, or neglect to mention someone.   Everything done is very important. Each detail ministers to people in Medina who mostly do not attend church regularly. This is really a ministering tool that has been used, and will continue to be used.  I am very grateful to be a part of this.

If you have ever helped support the Core, heaven is thankful.

And this I pray that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of  righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.  (Taken from Philippians 1.) 

New Core Lunch Menu                        Acquire The Fire 2013

Tues: Sloppy Joes and Potato Salad     God’s Relentless Pursuit of our hearts.

Wed: King Ranch Chicken                    We have 45 floor tickets: 33 of which are spoken for.

Thurs: Taco Table                              You have given in excess of $2,400.00

Friday: Fajitas & Fixin’s                      Tickets, Hotels & Transportation will be covered.

All that leaves is FOOD!  THANK YOU!

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Testimony From The Core
Jan. 2013

“What Has God Done for Us?”

by Heidi Klaassen

What has God done for us?  In 2011 He has continued to protect our ever daring Klaassen riders from harm with horses.  He has helped us work together on music projects and home improvement projects including moving a barn!  We have taken trips together both to the beach at South Padre Island and to Oregon.  We cook together and now all five of us are learning Tae Kwon Do as a family.  This has been the best year yet!

The family is growing and changing.  Therefore, when I hear God speak of perfecting love, I want to hear more.  We as a family fiercely love each other, but too often we are rough around the edgesJ  The words of God’s love written in 1st John 4 are as familiar as the Nativity Story.

Vs. 10: Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.  No man hath seen God at any time. Vs. 20: If we say that we love God, but hate our brother, we are liars.  He that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?  Vs.10b If we love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Vs. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has to us.  God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect. 

No doubt, 2012 will put every hope we have to the test.  How those tests will look I can only guess.  But I am assured that God will be perfecting love in us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world. (1 John 5: 17)

Enjoy this celebration of the Christ Child come to earth.  Wrap your arms around the truth that he came for you.  Embrace your tomorrows with a certainly that God loves you, and therefore we can learn to love one another.  If God, the maker of all heaven and earth can love us, surely we can love each other.

Here’s to another of year!
With Hope In Christ,  The Klaassen’s

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Testimony From The Core
Dec. 2012

“Seperation:Reconciliation”

by Heidi Klaassen

It has been this way for a very long time.

Since the war in heaven when part of God’s inner circle turned on him, God had a new plan.  He would start over.

Creating the world through his Son, Jesus brought joy to our Father God.  When the tapestry was blank, he had a vision.  The creative juices were flowing.  They were in the groove.

Separating the light from the darkness took the longest; an entire day for one event.  What exactly happened when he established night and day, I don’t know, but it set God’s blood flowing with renewal and nothing could stop him.

On the second day he again started the day by separation.  This time it was the waters from below and the waters above.  He called it heaven.

My heart is pounding as I’m watching this unfold in my heart and mind right now.  The angels are thronged about with their eyes glued on the show.  One says to the other, “I wonder what is going to happen today?  This is amazing!”

Day 3: God really had it all together now. He separated the Land from the Seas, and then he grew a garden.  Just like that, in one day God set the standard for green thumbs forever after.  I’m smiling.  I’m in awe.

The mystery of the next event tells me that God is always doing something bigger than I know.  When the story is old, and I “think” I know it inside and out, I am reminded to look closer, or sometimes don’t look so close, back away.  So, after the greatest garden that had ever grown was finished, then, God separated, (yet again), the sun to rule the day, and the moon to rule the night.  So although there was night and day on the first day of creation, it wasn’t until day four that the Sun was spoken into existence.  Don’t you want to know exactly how that took place?  Complicate it or talk it away, my point is that God separates things and brings other things together.  It is a pattern

Day 5 brought the sea creatures and the birds. Boring, right? 

And day 6 brought all the land creatures, including Adam.  Talk about getting warmed up at the beginning of the week, and really capitalizing on momentum!  I wish I could watch it sometime.  Maybe Disney will do a decent job when they put out C.S. Lewis’ The Magician’s Nephew in movie form.  In that book, Asland, (Jesus) sings the song of creation. Sing it yet again, let my heart be warmed with life anew.  Sing your song over me too.

This is where I really want to get at; God made Adam perfect.  There wasn’t a flaw in his design.  He did a really good job.  God is really good at what he does, no kidding.  In fact, no one does it better than him.  But, we need to know that he NEVER DOES THE SAME THING TWICE.  So, when the enemy gets his way, which he seems to do a lot, and more and more lately, God does what he does best: Separates and then he renews, recreates, reconciles, and/or rejuvenates.  You’ve watched it, although you may not have recognized it for what it is.  You may have felt it, but more than likely you were sleeping through it.  However, I hope that you are looking for it, and expecting it.  Guess what?  He’s coming again to do yet another new thing.  This coming celebration of Advent can help prepare our heart and mind for the next big event.  The first coming of Jesus Christ was humble and lowly, but he came.  The last return of our great God and King is going to happen with more of a shout and a bang.  God’s promises are “Yes” and “Amen”, so it will happen.

When you wonder what God is up to, please give a thought to God’s king size bed. It is not what any of us would have had in mind.  What about our own lives?  What kind of things is he separating in us so that he can make us new?  My experience is that the separating procedure is painful proceedings.

It’s not sugar coated in any way.  Please don’t fight these proceedings, but rather let God do the work he needs to do in order to renew, recreate, reconcile, or rejuvenate us to him and to one another.  I can still visualize the angels watching God work in our lives, saying, “Oh, look what he’s doing now.  I hope Heidi lets him have his way with her.  It will be much simpler.”  What is he working on in your life?  Rest in the fact that he IS working in your life, and thank him.  Then, thank him again.

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Testimony From The Core
Nov. 2012

“Hope”

by Heidi Klaassen

Do you remember the last time you were really inspired?  How about this past summer watching the Olympics?  Was that too long ago?  How about the last good movie you watched or, more to the point, the recent political scene?   In this case, hope starts from a place that is less than ideal.  I think we all can relate to that.  Why do you start a diet?  We diet because we either aren’t what we want to be, or our health is in such a place that we are under doctors’ orders for a desperate change.  The end result is that we must believe a change is actually possible, we must believe somewhere in our being that there is hope, or we would completely give up.

The Gospel of John tells a story where there is an amazing setting for hope.  Jesus finds a lame man at the pool of Bethesda who has been waiting for a miracle.  The Bible says, “…for an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water; whosoever then first, after the troubling of the water stepped in, was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.”  John 5:4 

So this man waited.  Jesus saw the man lying there, and “…knew he had been in that case A LONG TIME.”  Then Jesus asked an obvious question that in our polite society we would never ask, “Do you want to be made whole?”

The man answered saying, “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”

Our lame man had been trying, and hadn’t given up, for a VERY long time.

Then Jesus said unto him, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.”

Immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked.

His hopes and dreams came true.  Our man had been lame for thirty eight years, and still he clung to a wisp of smoke that perhaps there might still be hope, there might still be a chance that when the water was stirred, just maybe, he’d make it to the water first.

Our hopes and dreams sustain us.  Roman 8:24 says we are saved by hope; but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man sees why does he hope for that?  But if we hope for that which we do not see, then we will with patience wait for it. 

Nothing is more inspiring than someone with a dream.  Do you want to be motivated?  Watch someone with a dream go after their goals.  Watch, as they with patience daily endure the grind that is the path to achievement.

Now, let’s apply this to an even a greater spectrum: Eternity.  I Corinthians 15:19 For if in this life only we have hope in Christ, then we are of all men most miserable.

But, Romans 5 Says, “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation works patience, and patience experience, and experience, hope; and hope makes not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

Success in the spiritual may not be evident on a piece of paper.  It is impossible for us to see all that is going on beneath the surface.  But we prayerfully ask for the knowledge of God’s will, and that he will give us eyes to see beyond the natural, to the glorious hope and coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.  How long have you been waiting?  Hope, hope and hope again.

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Testimony From The Core
March 2012

by Heidi Klaassen

I am writing this article the day before our Acquire the Fire youth event. Last year’s momentum is carrying our family in preparation. We are excited! The expectation of being around several thousand youth who are grouped in one location to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ is huge. The music will be loud and praising the Lord will be a contagious act that those new to such venues will easily gravitate to. This kind of peer pressure is a blessing to behold.

There is something bigger than what you see on the surface that makes me go the extra mile for this event. Mankind has been separated from God by sin. To be alienated from our creator is a burden that gets heavier and heavier to bear. Most people do not know where the problem is, but they search for a cure on a daily basis. Since we’ve looked in the wrong places, we’ve taken a lot of wrong roads. This makes our burdens heavier still. So we bear an existence we were never meant to know.

Acquire the Fire is structured to show youth the life they were meant to live. Through testimonies, drama, and sermons especially geared for their age group, burdens from sin are recognized as what they are: unwanted and unneeded luggage. Unknown prayers are prayed around the clock throughout the weekend, and the Holy Spirit is able to draw the hearts of those in
attendance. The goodness of God leads us to repentance. (Romans 2:4) Breaking points come at different times, but come they do. It is an amazing thing to experience the reconciliation of fallen humanity with God Almighty.

One young man in particular stands out in my mind as one who understands what it is like to be forgiven. The heaviness of guilt, pain, and remorse, can override any and all happiness that should accompany youth. To be young, yet aged in spirit beyond any hope you know, is dark. Where my friend was on Friday is not where he remained Saturday night. My friend asked the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive him that weekend. And the Lord Jesus Christ forgave him of everything. The burdens this young man carried were not his own anymore. He was free in the freedom of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a place we can dwell. My being rejoices with heaven of the memory. As we played basketball Sunday after the event, high “5’s” were exchanged in celebration and we would exclaim, “FORGIVEN!” It just doesn’t get any better than that. We want more.

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Testimony From The Core
Feb. 2012

“Choose a Friend”

by Heidi Klaassen

There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, and his name is Jesus Christ. This man Christ Jesus knows all about me and still loves me. That is a miracle and it is a constant. The really neat thing in this relationship is that Jesus doesn’t go away; he never is the one to leave. Though I will offend him, he forgives. Though I often drift away with my desires, he welcomes me with open arms. Though my words are not full of compassion and mercy, he bears listening to me. When I am weary to the bone, he carries me. When I am misunderstood, he reminds me that he has been through that too; there is nothing untouched by Him.

Hebrews 7:25 & 26, “Wherefore (Christ) is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them. For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.”

I especially like the fact that Christ is Harmless. When I think about my favorite people, they are those who I am not afraid of. I appreciate that Jesus Christ is a harmless friend. He will not hurt me. I can stay close to that thought for a long time, and be safe and secure from all alarm. Harmless is a place I want to stay. It reminds me of lounging in a chair with an easy reading book devouring page after page. I feel myself sitting in the sun without getting sunburn. Harmless is cool spring water on a hot day. Harmless requires nothing from me for the moment. That is where I want to be.

As our “Best Friend Forever,” Christ is our “Go Between.” He is our mediator between God and Man. Without our “High Priest” we cannot be safe with God. But because it is all about who you know, and not what you know, you can be assured that you want to touch the hem of this man’s garment and never let go. Life can be a desperate place. There is someone who has been there, and is qualified to stand in my place before the Father God. Jesus wants to do the talking for me. That sounds safe to me.

Isaiah 53:4, 10-12, “For Surely he has born our grief and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, and he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11.) He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Because he has poured out his sin unto death; he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

What a friend we have in Jesus; All our sins and grieves to bear; what a privilege to carry; Everything to God in prayer… And I’ll cherish the old rugged cross; till my trophies at last I’ll lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross; and exchange them someday for a crown;

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus; than to trust and obey.

Leaning, leaning on Jesus; Safe and secure from all alarms; Leaning, leaning on Jesus, I am leaning on the everlasting arms.

Oh what needs we often forfeit; oh, what needless pain we bear! All because we do not carry; everything to God in prayer!

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