The Ways of the World

Greetings,

Today I am in Las Vegas, Nevada with my grandson Kaden watching me post this blog. Our whole family was here for the past week and we had a wonderful time for Thanksgiving. Being with my family is for sure my happy place. Family is wonderful!

When the early church apostles were dealing with Gentiles coming into a relationship with God in Christ, they were faced with the challenge of how to disciple them. Paul wrote that they were not to act like people in the world. Their instructions were not complicated. They were instructions that were mainly dependent upon the power of the Holy Spirit working in human hearts. Paul concluded that all things were lawful, but not all things were beneficial. It is not a matter of law and abstinence, but a matter of life and being life-giving.

1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.

2 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

Anything we do should be something that causes life to happen for others. It is possible to know God’s love and  go to heaven and not bring the fullness of heaven’s influence into our lives. Whether we like it or not, we have many people coming to Christ from the cultures of the world that do not understand or even know to desire the values of the kingdom of God. They are coming out of a world they have known into a relationship with Jesus Christ. God’s presence in their lives doesn’t mean that God approves of how they are or how they act. God’s presence just confirms His love for them. When God poured out the blessings of Holy Spirit in the life of Cornelius and the other Gentiles in the first century, it didn’t mean that God approved of everything they were doing. It simply meant that God loved them and wanted to be in their lives. God wants us to move into His world, so He can cause us to change in our character, nature, way, power and authority. God loving people and coming into their lives by His mercy is enough to get people to heaven when they die; but is it enough to bring things that are eternal into this earth? Can it change the world of our children and our children’s children?

The kingdom of God is an internal kingdom that is meant to change the world we live in. God told Abraham that in blessing He would bless Him. When we know we are a blessing God will empower us to be a blessing in our world for the sake of others. God told Abraham that in multiplying He would multiply him. This is not adding but multiplying. It is not an adding to our lives, but a giving of greater value to those that are beyond our lives. It is an increase of inheritance. It is an influence of heaven. When we live to be a blessing and to multiply, our descendants will possess the gates of their enemies.

Gates are influencing places. An example of a gate is various forms of media intended to affect the beliefs of people’s hearts. The media, or secular news, doesn’t give us a truth of God’s way. They give us a perspective of man’s way. If we listen to the secular news anywhere in the world we are listening to a worldly view and a testimony of worldly desires. The media often presents that homosexuality, fornication, and adultery are all normal ways of living. It is simply the way people are. To some degree this is true, because as long as we have recorded history, we have stories of people who were homosexuals, fornicators, and adulterers. Some religious people would say this is absolutely true and this is why God destroyed Sodom and Gomora. I propose that was not the reason. This is just one small evidence of a worldly mindset and greed. Which would God prefer, to destroy all the cities of the world or to transform all the people in the cities of the world? Does God want to destroy people because of flaws in their lives? Does He want to destroy them or transform them by a supernatural power of His love? I believe that God wants people to become what they could not be without Him.

If you wrestle with these areas please consider reading my coming blogs. I do not desire in any way to condemn anyone for things that are realities in their lives. I only desire to meet you where you are and find a life-transforming path to the future of your life. God loves us all exactly as we are, but His love is powerful enough to change us all in our ways for the testimony and glory of the fullness of His life.

Blessings,

Ted J. Hanson

We are continuing to provide training and equipping to the generations and to the nations. We appreciate your prayers and your support to make this happen. We have some expenses from the year that we need to tend to before the close of the year. Please consider making a donation to House of Bread Ministry and help us end this year strong and be ready for all that God sets before us in 2019.

Thank you for your prayers and your financial support. With your help the message of New Covenant Life and Grace is reaching the nations.

House of Bread Ministry –

Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

Online Donations can be made above at the column to the right.

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People of the Day

Greetings,

Today I am in Lisbon, Portugal after another great week in Angola, Africa. I am on my way to Nevada to see my family for some days of family connection. I am looking forward to some great days. The people of Angola were very hungry, willing, and teachable. The presence of God was wonderful, and God’s love was evident in all that we did. It was good to see what God is doing.

The Day of the Lord is not just a day to come in the future. The Day of the Lord is for all who choose to embrace a life in Christ. For those who choose not to embrace the Day of the Lord in this life will have to face it when this life is through, but for those who choose Him in this life are given the ability to choose His life in all things. We were once darkness, but now we can become the light of God in Christ. In Christ we are children of the Day and not the night, so we must walk as children of light. We must embrace living as children of the Day and we must let go of the way of the world. The ways of the world are ways of darkness. God does not condemn the darkness, but He brings light to transform it to light. Changing our ways won’t make us children of the light but being children of the light will empower us to change our ways. If we do not let the things of darkness flee from our lives, we are not fully embracing the light.

1 Thessalonians 5:4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

1 John 4:17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

When the Holy Spirit came upon Cornelius and his family, they began to speak in tongues as the anointing of the Holy spirit came upon them. Cornelius was not someone who had been trained in the ways of God. He just simply wanted God; whoever He was and in whatever way He wanted to reveal Himself. Cornelius was not a man of God’s ways, he was a Gentile. He was a man who had lived according to the culture of his day. At that time many Gentiles started speaking in tongues and confess God’s love. God’s presence of love in and upon their lives didn’t mean that God was blessing everything they were doing in their lives. It simply meant that God loved them, and they were invited to be transformed by His love. The apostles met in Jerusalem trying to figure out what to do. They were looking for some rules. There was a need for a change in their ways and that is what the power of God’s grace does. It is not just a moment of transformation, but a way of life in Christ that continually and increasingly transforms the ways of men. The apostles knew that God loved these Gentiles, but they also know that God wanted to change their ways. What should they tell them? How should they act? I don’t know if there needed to be rules, but they thought there had to be some sort of boundaries. It was obvious to them that God had granted those people repentance unto life. They were alive unto God! They knew that God wants people to act godly, to act the way God desires. They knew that law wasn’t the answer. They didn’t want to put the entire torah law system upon them, so they gave them some simple boundaries. They were not to drink blood, a symbolism of seeking the life that is found in the flesh. They were not to be fornicators. They were not to seek relationships that were legitimate and could not produce the life of true covenant. They knew that relationships that don’t come out of covenant lead to dysfunction and death. They were not to worship other gods. The apostles knew that only worshipping God can bring the life-transforming power of God into human lives.

Blessings,

Ted J. Hanson

Thank you for your prayers and your financial support. With your help the message of New Covenant Life and Grace is reaching the nations.

House of Bread Ministry –

Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

Online Donations can be made above at the column to the right.

We are taking registrations for our 2019 School session – www.christlifetraining.org

 

 

 

 

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Inviting All To The Salvation of Their SOULS

Greetings,

Today I am in Angola, Africa. I arrived on Friday night and have begun some amazing days of training here with some wonderful hungry, willing, and teachable people. We have explored the influence of the internal kingdom of God in the hearts of humanity. We have looked at what it means to study God’s word in light of a personal relationship with God in our hearts. We have been touched by God to empower us to become expressions of His word and not just readers of His Scriptures. Yesterday we even saw supernatural evidence of God’s prophetic word as God proclaimed He was sending rain to germinate the seeds of destiny in Angola, heavy rain began to immediately fall. God is good!

I have been blogging concerning some tough questions in regard to receiving people from the world into the church. The values of the culture of the kingdom of God are not values shared by people in the kingdoms of the world. God doesn’t want us to create an impassable wall that prevents people in the cultures of the world from entering the community of Christ. God wants our gates to be open to people so they can come and be transformed by the culture of the kingdom of heaven. The gates of the city of God are pearl, meaning they are testimonies of God’s love. Those who find Christ within them are people who did not have Christ within them, but they have been transformed by the grace of their Father’s love working within them. This doesn’t mean that we condone the values of the world, but it does mean we cannot condemn those who have not yet discovered the life-giving, life-transforming values of Christ’s internal kingdom. Jesus gave the life of the flesh to grant all flesh entrance to a life of the Spirit of Christ. I believe that Jesus sacrifice upon our cross is enough to grant mercy to all who come to Him and grants them the ability to know God loves them and for them to go to heaven when they die. It is the mercy of Jesus that justifies all to live. Being justified to live also gives us an invitation to reign in life by the power of God’s grace. God’s mercy will get us to heaven, but God’s grace will get heaven into our lives.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

I believe that being saved is not just the ability to go to heaven when we die. I believe that being saved involves the salvation of our souls, not just our spirits. I understand my soul to include my thinking, my reasoning, my emotions, my desires, and my imaginations. It is by these things that I demonstrate the inner secretes of the kingdom of heaven in the outward expressions of my everyday life. The salvation of our souls will transform the authority of our lives. It will empower us to leave an inheritance that will benefit the lives of others. My actions in life will affect the lives of those influenced by me in this world. My actions in life will leave an inheritance for others so they can experience a greater fullness of the life of God in all things.

In 1 Corinthians chapter 6 Paul talked about how homosexuals cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven, but he included with that adulterers, sodomites and in case we think we are innocent, he also included thieves and people who are covetous. He included people who cheat others to take advantage of them in some way. The context that he was talking about before this was that people in the church culture were taking people to court and suing one another. They were acting like other people in the culture of their world. Paul said they would be better off letting their brother take advantage of them and defraud them.

1 Corinthians 6:7 Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? 8 No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

When Paul addressed the subject of homosexuality, he put it in the same context of trying to get a justice by taking one another to court. They were acting like people in the world. If you act like people in the world you cannot have a part in the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven. I don’t believe Paul was talking about going to heaven when we die. I believe he was talking about changing the world for others by heaven’s influence. Paul also wrote that we could be saved as just someone escaping the flames. Each man’s work will be tested. Some will be wood, hay, or straw. Other’s will be gold, silver, or precious stone. Some will be saved but just barely, as those whose entire work in life is burned up like wood, hay, or straw. Others will produce something of great value that can be found by others, such as gold, silver, and precious stones. Perhaps salvation to heaven can be with nothing left as an inheritance in this world, but saving grace empowers others to find the overcoming testimonies of God’s grace. I don’t think this is just barely getting into heaven. I believe it means they didn’t fulfill their full destiny upon the earth.

1 Corinthians 3:11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

I will address this further in my blog next week, but these are surely things to consider when merely being willing to live a life as a believer, yet still hold on to the values of the kingdoms of the world. God’s grace is miraculous! It is His manifest presence in our lives and it is meant to change us and to change our influence in our world for the sake of Christ’s inheritance in the lives of others.

Blessings,

Ted J. Hanson

Thank you for your prayers and your financial support. We need your help to close this year with a good foundation for the next. There are a lot of bills to pay due to travel and sacrifices made for the nations. Please consider a donation to House of Bread Ministry  With your help the message of New Covenant Life and Grace is reaching the nations.

House of Bread Ministry –

Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

Online Donations can be made above at the column to the right.

We are taking registrations for our 2019 School session – www.christlifetraining.org

 

 

 

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What Does God Desire?

Greetings,

Today I am in Spain facilitating a week of prophetic training with hungry students in G42 Leadership Academy in Mijas, Spain. God was good today and life happened in the room and in the hearts of those there. I am looking forward to all that God is going to do here this week.

I am continuing to write concerning some of the tough questions presented to the church in this present time. God is working in His church and bringing life to issues that have once been swept under the rug and not dealt with in a spirit of life. As I have already written, if we address things like homosexuality, fornication, adultery and other accepted practices of the world according to what is written in the law, we could come up with some seemingly clear legalistic answers in how we deal with them. But we cannot just deal with issues we have to deal with people. God has never desired to simply fix issues, He desires to love people and to bring them the freedom of life and the freedom of becoming life-givers in their world. God doesn’t just want to get people into heaven when they die, He wants to get heaven into their lives while they live. This is not just a matter of controlling or judging things that seem to be wrong according to God’s word. It is a matter of getting the power of God’s grace into people’s lives that transforms them to be free from the consequences of things that are less than the life that God has for them.

As leaders and believers in Christ we have to realize that the law did not work. It could not accomplish what God wants to accomplish in human lives. What is it that God wanted to do? He has always desired to have an intimate relationship with people who would be flawed without Him in their lives. So, the Old Testament has some Scriptures that seem to be clear in how God deals with homosexuality, adultery, fornication, and other accepted worldly practices. In the law there are what appears to be clear judgments, but are those judgements what God desires? In the New Testament we could say that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality of other things that are accepted realities in the world. I have heard that rationalization, that reasoning, by people in the church. I addressed in an earlier blog that Jesus didn’t talk to the Jews about things that were already addressed in the law. He didn’t come to tell them what to do or how to act, He came to reveal to them who they were meant to be in Christ. Whether we conclude that homosexuality is wrong or not, Jesus never condemned homosexuals. He may make a judgment that homosexuality will not produce the fullness of life that God intends for people to have, but He never came to condemn those who wrestle with those things or even embrace them. He makes a judgment of a flaw, but He doesn’t condemn those to death who struggle with the issues that produce dysfunction or death. He wants to give to each and every one a fullness of life. He wants for each and every one to become givers of life in their world.

We have the example of the woman caught in adultery. Jesus could have condemned her. He was the only one in the room who could have condemned her because He was the only one in the room that was innocent. He did not condemn her, but He also told her to go and sin no more. He did not condone her lifestyle, nor did He condemn her in her present condition. He loved her, but then He expected His love to inspire change in her life. He expected her encounter with God to change her life in some way. I cannot just address this subject in a blog and come up with a clear conclusion. I have to look at this subject from some different perspectives.

Paul addressed the subject in Romans chapter 1 in the context of people bound to the way of the world. People in the world are confused people. They are people rejecting the voice of God in and around them and seeking to justify the desires of their own flesh as the way of life. They attempt to create a god in their own likeness and image and do not embrace a God who will transform them into something different than their own desires seem to mandate. The result is one of being given over to the lusts of their own flesh. This includes men lusting after men, women lusting after women, and other things that are like this.

Romans 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Paul words were given in the context of people living in the way of the world. He didn’t present it as a condemnation to those who live in those ways in the world, but as a challenge to believers to embrace a different way of life that brings hope and life to those bound to the consequences of the way of the world. It includes many things. It includes anything that can gratify personal needs but cannot produce a generational testimony of life to others. Paul did not write these things to those bound to them, but as an inspiration for all to be made free from them. Being free from them doesn’t make you better than those who are bound to them, it just gives you a power of grace to change the world around you for their sake. It gives you an inheritance in God’s kingdom to become a new and living way that can bring freedom to your world. Paul’s words were words to believers, not words to condemn unbelievers. The consequence of the world’s practice was already the condemnation of the world. God desires for them to be made free from them.

The issue is not whether God condemns or condones the ways of the world. The real issue is the way of the kingdom of heaven is powerful enough to free us from the ways of the world and it will affect the world around us for the sake of others. It is a matter of the inheritance of the kingdom of Heaven. God wants to invade our world with heaven’s grace and miraculously change our world for the sake of others. His life will always produce life in a generational and multigenerational way. It will do this both naturally and spiritually for the glory of His name.

Blessings,

Ted J. Hanson

Thank you for your prayers and your financial support. With your help the message of New Covenant Life and Grace is reaching the nations.

House of Bread Ministry –

Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

Online Donations can be made above at the column to the right.

We are taking registrations for our 2019 School session – www.christlifetraining.org

 

 

 

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The Words of Jesus and Paul

Greetings,

I am now on my journey home after a great week in Bulgaria. We had an awesome time with God’s presence and hungry people in Sofia, Blagoevgrad, and Plovdiv. We held a weekend retreat for around 110 young people and the testimony of God’s presence and the willingness to receive all that God was giving out was wonderful. I just landed in SeaTac, so the blog is a little late in coming out, but we are here.

A common thing in the church globally is that we have segments of the church that believe we must only pay attention to the words that Jesus said, because they must be more important than the other Scriptures in the New Testament. They believe that the writing of the gospels, and the words of Jesus, take a greater authority and priority than anything else in the New Testament. So, we reason, Paul must have been confused. He returned to the law. The apostles were confused, they returned to the law. Jesus didn’t want any of that. When we think like that, we begin to twist Scriptures to our own destruction. Scripture is given at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and Holy Spirit is God. God inspired the writings of Paul, James, John, Peter, and Jude.

In the writing of Jesus, Jesus said He came to His own and His own did not receive Him. In John chapter 17, He voiced to His Father that He did not pray for the world, but only for those the Father gave Him. He came to the lost sheep of Israel. He came to the Jews, people of the law. But because He was in the neighborhood, people who were not part of the law/temple system were pressing in to receive what He had. A sick woman came to Him and wanted healing, but she was a Gentile and not a Jew. Jesus said, woman healing is the children’s bread. In other words, healing belongs to God’s people and you are not a Jew. She said; Lord, even the dogs get the crumbs. Then Jesus gave her healing. She was saying, even those who don’t know God get the blessings of God because of what He gives. Jesus had a plan to reach all people. As a man He came to His own, through the door of the Jewish people. His ultimate plan was to go to all nations. When Jesus spoke, He didn’t say much in regard to many things that are addressed in the law. The people that Jesus came to understood the law very well. They knew what was wrong and what was right. They had many generations of knowing and attempting to practice the law. They knew what the law said about marriage. They knew what the law said about homosexuality. They knew what the law said about unfaithfulness. They knew what the law said about being abusive towards your wife. But Jesus didn’t teach hardly anything about marriage. He didn’t teach hardly anything about not being masters and slaves. He mentioned being masters and slaves, but the people of the law already knew that God’s people couldn’t be masters or slaves of one another without a way to freedom. They could be in a service of masters and slaves, but a year of Jubilee would return everything back to it original owners. In the law, even bondage ended in freedom. There are many judgements, statutes, and commandments in the law. The people of Israel knew what to do. They knew how to act. Jesus didn’t come to tell them what to do or how to act. He came to tell them who they were. He didn’t need to mention what they already knew. He made an emphasis that what they knew was really a matter of love. If they knew who God was and who they were as children of God, they would be transformed in their hearts and minds and act accordingly. There is a right and there is a wrong, but merely knowing right and wrong doesn’t make one a giver of life. Being a giver of life will always empower one to choose to do what is right.

So, the people that Jesus came to understood the law very well. They knew what was wrong and what was right. But God wanted to also include the Gentiles in His plan. In Genesis Chapter 49, Israel told his sons, come let me tell you what will befall you in the last days. Israel, the man, was old and about to die. He laid his hands upon his sons and he prophesied over them. Peace will come and the true law-giver (Jesus) will come from Judah and Ashur will behold royal dainties. Jesus was born into the tribe of Judah, thus the true law-giver came from the tribe of Jesus. When Jesus was a baby, and they brought Him into the temple to be circumcised, there was an old widow woman named Anna, she was from the tribe of Asher. The tribe of Ashur was complete in holding baby Jesus in the hands of Anna. This was the last day of the tribe of Ashur, when Anna beheld the royal dainty, the royal baby Jesus. Benjamin was given a word. He was the son born of Rebecca as she was dying in his birth. She wanted to name him son of my sorrow, but Jacob, who should have been called Israel, said, no his name is Benjamin, son of the right hand. From that day on Jacob went by the name of Israel, thus Benjamin only knew him as Israel. The day Israel blessed Benjamin he said he would be a ravenous wolf, but then he would plunder the spoil. Saul of Tarsus was a Pharisee of Pharisees that persecuted the church. He was a Benjamite. He was a ravenous wolf to the church. The last day of Saul was the first day of Paul the apostle and he was no longer a ravenous wolf. He was born again and now a new creation in Christ for the purpose of Christ in all things. Now he would plunder the spoil and bring the Gentiles into the church. The tribe of Benjamin would be a testimony to the grafting in of the Gentiles to the Israel of God. So, in Paul’s mission, he was writing to people who had no understanding of the law. He didn’t write to put them under the law, but to teach them principles, patterns, and values that were in the law. He talked about things that Jesus didn’t talk about, because Jesus didn’t need to talk about them when addressing the people of the law. The people Jesus talked to understood them. Paul was talking to people who had no understanding of the principles, patterns, and values that are in the law. I was a Gentile. I wasn’t raised in a culture of a Hebrew knowing the commandments, judgments and statutes of the law. But really those things are very simple. They were about living to be givers. They were a shadow of living to have the character of God, but they were to be done in the character of God’s love. So, we have to look at the words of Jesus and the words of Paul and recognize that they are both presenting the words of God. They are both valid Scripture and all Scripture is profitable for our way of life, to keep us in the path of life, to draw Christ out of us and to aid us in a right relationship with God and man. These things are given so that each of us can be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16, 17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The words of Paul are very seldom the opinion of Paul. They are words of God talking through Paul to people who did not have an understanding of Scripture. I consider the writings of Paul as important as the words of Jesus. Not to put me under the law, but to show me what the shadow of the law looks like. What does it look like when I change? What character do I have? When we talk about how we deal with homosexually and other difficult issues like that, we have to consider the writings of Jesus and the writings of Paul. We don’t return to the law and measure anyone by the flesh so that we can judge them by the law and kill them in some way. We have to find the secrets of God that bring transformation to people’s lives. This is a big subject to address, but I have answered the question of why Jesus didn’t talk about certain things? The people He was talking to already knew them. Why did it seem that Paul talked about things that Jesus didn’t talk about? Because Paul’s writings were to people who had no understanding of what to do or how to act. To understand the words of God to us in our lives we must have an understanding of His character, nature, way, power and authority of God. When we know what God is like we are willing to hear His voice in a way that changes us. If not, we hear His words in a way that we expect Him to become like us.

Blessings,

Ted J. Hanson

Thank you for your prayers and your financial support. With your help the message of New Covenant Life and Grace is reaching the nations.

House of Bread Ministry –

Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

Online Donations can be made above at the column to the right.

 

We are taking registrations for our 2019 School session – www.christlifetraining.org

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A Culture of Discipleship

Greetings,

Today I am in Bulgaria after a week with RIM leaders in Spain and another weekend in Portugal in the Lisbon area. Had a great time in it all. God was with us at the RIM gathering and the prophetic presence of the Holy Spirit was powerful in Lisbon. I was blessed with a new connection in Portugal as well.

I have been writing about some complicated issues. There are certainly a lot of opinions on the complicated issues that people from the world bring into the church on their journey to faith. No one has to change for God to love them, but because they are loved God desires to change them by His power. God doesn’t just want us to be loved. He wants us to become like Him – to become givers of life even as He is a giver of life to all.

So, let’s say a couple comes into the church and they have been living together, but they are not married. I have some clear understanding of marriage and what covenant should be. Do I put this couple under the standards of my understanding of marriage in order for them to be a part of the community? As I have been presenting, the standard of life around them in an atmosphere of love will inspire them to desire to change, but law without life will surely kill them and drive them away. In an atmosphere of love and life, this couple that is living together, at some point will likely feel a conviction to make a higher level of commitment to one another. It may take a while to get there, but in the process of change God views them as His children and He loves them. If they were to die they may believe in Jesus to a degree that they will go to heaven, but they are not yet a perfect example of what a heavenly marriage on earth should look like. But after a process of time, they can come to faith and they will desire to go to another level of glory. I believe we always create environments that help people move forward. We don’t push them away. We don’t create an atmosphere that would reject them or condemn them.  We create an environment that will help them, draw them to faith, and see them grow in their relationship with God and the character of His name. When it comes to helping them take a step into something that is death, we don’t condone or help that happen. If they had a relationship with someone out of marriage and it fell apart, they should not enter into another relationship in the same way. They should not just live with someone new. If I have a relationship with them, I have a responsibility to have a private conversation with them as individuals that I love so they don’t make the same mistake that they made before. I should desire to help them, so they don’t leave another life damaged or see their own life damaged further. Because of love, I should pursue a private conversation with them concerning what a marriage is and how important foundations are for the future. This is called discipleship. I may have a relationship with one and not the other and therefore my voice can only be heard by one of them. It is different for everyone. It is meant to reach individual in the place that they are in order to help them walk into the future. It is based upon a personal relationship with them and a measure of responsibility given to you for their sake in life. It is not a Bible class. It is not an implementation of law. It is a personal relationship with people that helps them grow in their relationship with God. They are not only going to heaven when they die, but they need to learn to bring heaven’s influence into their daily lives.

When helping people in their relationship with God, we know the word of God is true. We could say, the word or God is clear, it says this.The word of God is clear, but understanding it is not. We could go into any Christian community and find many different opinions or definitions for the same word. They would probably all base their convictions on some revelation from God at some point in their lives. Revelation is always in part and when we get a fuller understanding of who God is we receive a fuller revelation concerning what He says. I have changed my views on many things over the years. I used to use Scriptures against certain things that I found later were actually for what I was against. I know people who have used Scriptures to prove how the gifts of the Spirit are not for today. Then they had an experience of a submersion in God’s Spirit and began to exercise spiritual gifts. When they read their Bible again, they discovered that the verses they used against the relevance of the gifts of the Spirit proved to be the very verses that were for it. This kind of thing happens all the time. This has happened many times in my life. When we see something we suddenly see it everywhere. We only know in part, not in full. We could find a verse that says we cannot be Christ’s disciple unless we hate our father and mother. Does God want us to hate our fathers and mothers? In the entirety of God’s word, we see that the word and will of God is that we love them more than anyone. God is not telling us to hate our fathers and mothers, He is simply trying to explain how essential, how loving, and how awesome God is in our lives. God is talking to us about loving Him, not hating our parents. Loving God is more essential than loving our parents and we cannot truly honor our parents if we aren’t honoring God first.

So, when dealing with issues with people we have to remember we are dealing with people, not numbers. Each person has a name. Each person has a character. They are a one and only, thus they must be reached and helped in a significant and unique way. We don’t deal with two people exactly the same. There is no method for dealing with people. The principles, patterns, and values of God are true, but they must be applied in a way that each person can hear God’s voice in their own hearts and come to faith. Two people may come living together and God knows that it is just a matter of time for it to change. Something in each of these people is life-giving and not life-taking. There may be another situation where two people are together, but their relationship is not life-giving. One individual may have a character and action that is taking, taking, taking and God may want to intervene for the sake of life. So, it may be God’s will for what looks like a relationship to fail. Sometimes God might even use a leader of a person to say something or do something that might encourage the failure of what looks like a true relationship. But I don’t know what that is, God does. We need to hear God in our relationship with others and in our process of discipleship as the community of God.

Blessings,

 

Ted J. Hanson

Thank you for your prayers and your financial support. With your help the message of New Covenant Life and Grace is reaching the nations.

House of Bread Ministry –

Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

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The Internal Change

Greetings,

Today I have arrived in Mijas, Spain for a RIM gathering with good friends. I had a great weekend in Portugal with great people who were hungry for God’s presence and word. The journey is beginning for a few locations to come.

I have been writing about what we do with people who come to the church from the world. What do we expect of them? We must first create an environment where all people are welcome, and all people belong. All people have been reconciled, because God has reconciled them already even as sinners. This is how God sees them. They have to come to the throne of grace to receive the mercy of reconciliation, but that is between them and God. As a community of God’s life and love, we must create an environment where that can happen. We are loved because of God’s mercy, but we are also being changed by the power of His grace. Therefore, we must also be a community of Christ that demonstrates lives that are being changed by God’s grace. We must create an environment where we overcome every wicked thing and they overcome too. This happens because God changes the desires of our hearts. As the psalmist David wrote, when we commit our way to God, He gives us desires in our hearts.

Psalms 37:3, 4 Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.

The internal change in our hearts and minds is up to God and it is a miracle of God in our lives for each of us to become expressions of Him. We don’t just want to be a community that accepts everyone exactly as they are, and no one needs to change. No one has to change to be loved, but because they are loved God gives the power for change in their lives. God doesn’t just want us to be loved. He wants us to become like Him. He wants us to become givers of life.

Let’s say that a couple comes into the church and they have been living together, but they are not married. What should we expect of them? Let’s say they have no children, or they do have children. I have some clear understanding of what marriage should be and what that covenant should look like. In raising my own children, my wife and I gave them clear values and we set good foundations for life in marriage. My own sons and daughter walked those paths to find covenant partners for the covenant of marriage. They were blessed to have a path set before them that showed them the way that they could walk in, but people coming from the world don’t know what that is. They have no concept of the values of covenant. They have naturally observed failures around them. They are not trying to make mistakes, they simply don’t know the path to walk in. Some of them may be living together and they understand some things that are godly, that even married Christians don’t know. They may have discovered some things of God without realizing it. The way of the world is, we are not sure where this is going to go so we are going to leave the end open in case it fails. God has a better way. His ways are, I have put you together, no weapon formed against you shall prosper, until death do you part. That doesn’t mean, exist, just get by, or be miserable. It means, flourish, figure it out, grow in relationship in love with one another.I can’t take a couple that has been living together and give it to them through some law of marriage. I can treat them as though they are in a covenant. I know God wants them to make a higher level of covenant. So, I am going to teach on marriage to the whole church community in a covenant way. I’m going to talk about my own marriage, how God joined my wife and I together in covenant. I am going to share testimonies, like, I will never say to my wife, if God is willing I will still be with you in five years.I plan to be with her for five years or even fifty years. Now, if that changes because one of us dies, my attitude is still going to be permanence until that day. I am going to share those values and that testimony. I am going to talk about what are the ingredients of a covenant marriage. I am going to share how commitments are a revelation of love. And when we say, here I am, I love you, I pick you, it empowers us to have faith towards one another and to do things for one another. It empowers us to respond to one another and appreciate what one another has. It envisions us to want to give to one another and live for one another. To celebrate how different we are but how wonderful we are together. To testify how we freely love each other, not because either of us are right, but because we were each born to be loved. We are going to talk about our purpose together – about our children and our children’s children. We are going to talk about our family’s destiny. Now, if that is my way of life in the church and as the church every day, this couple that is living together, at some point they will likely feel a conviction and will want to make a greater commitment. They may come and say; Pastor, we have been thinking about getting married with an official wedding. God has been talking to us. We believe that although we have been living together and it is though we are married, we have been leaving an open end as though there is a possibility of failure. We want to make this official. We want to get married in the sight of God. We want to confess that God is in our relationship.Now, that gives them a foundation of faith. Law alone cannot change them but hearing God in their hearts will testify of the law that has truly been fulfilled in Christ. I believe this is a true environment for love, life, and change in and as the church. It is a journey, not merely a goal or destination. It is unique to the path of each one.

Food For Thought,

 

Ted J. Hanson

Thank you for your prayers and your financial support. With your help the message of New Covenant Life and Grace is reaching the nations.

House of Bread Ministry –

Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

Online Donations can be made above at the column to the right.

 

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God Gives Us His Desires

Greetings,

Today I am writing from kind of the middle of nowhere. I am out on a hunt and have managed to find a phone connection to be sure to blog to all you wonderful folks. No success in the hunting field yet, but hoping to find my groceries later today.

When I first came to Jesus more than 45 years ago I had an issue that I battled with. It was an issue in my heart and it caused me to do things that were not right. Human beings were not telling me to stop my behavior, but I knew I needed a miracle change. The Holy Spirit started convicting me. I knew that what I was doing was not good. This is a healthy environment to have, where Holy Spirit convicts and not humans condemning. Holy Spirit doesn’t condemn, He convicts. That is His job, not ours. During that time, I heard a testimony from a pastor, He said, I used to smoke a lot, and I knew that God wanted me to quit. Now, I don’t think if you smoke you will go to hell. If hell smells smoky you might smell like hell, I don’t know. It has been proven that smoking tobacco can cause cancer. So, smoking could send you to heaven quicker if you are a believer. It is not an eternal damnation, it just might be a shortcut to heaven. But, If God tells you to do or not do something, listening to His voice is more important than reasoning whether something is heathy or not, or even wright or wrong. This pastor said, I used to smoke, and God told me to quit. So, I quit, but then I would start again. I would cry, O Jesus, forgive me. I am smoking again, and I don’t want to do this. He said, he would go a little while and do the same thing again. He said this went on for many years. One day he smoked, and he cried, God I am sorry I don’t want to do this anymore please forgive me. Holy Spirit said to him, liar! You do want to do this. That is why you do it. He said, You’re right God. I love smoking! I would make smoking sandwiches if I could. I would smoke all day long if I could. I want to smoke! I desire to smoke, but God, I know You don’t want me to do this. Would you change my desire? Change my heart, God. When I heard his testimony, I went before God with my problem that night and I confessed my sin. I said, God I love doing this! I would make sandwiches out of it if I could! But I know You don’t want me to do this. Please don’t tell me what to do. I need you to go deeper. I need You to give me the desires of my heart. Give me desire to not do this. Change my heart God! That was more than forty-four years ago. I was addicted to this problem and not one time in forty-four years have I had a problem in that area, because that night God changed my heart. It was a miracle! That night my heart grew, and God put a desire in me to not desire to repeat my error of sin. This is not a method. It is a place of relationship. If you make it a method, you will miss the point. God wants our hearts and He is willing to give us new hearts when we ask.

Since that day I have adopted a value that has become a way of life for me. I don’t want God to tell me what to do. I want Him to give me the right desires in my heart. I don’t want Him to be Lord of my ‘what to’ in life. I want Him to be Lord of my ‘want to’. I am good at doing what I want to do and when God changes my desires things become real in my life.

We have to lead people into desires and not laws. We are human beings and we are good at doing what we want to do. We are terrible at doing what we are told. Why? We are not dogs, horses, donkeys or any other beast. We are not meant to be slaves, robots, or some object of bondage. If we are put into slavery we will rebel at some point. Why? We are human beings. We were created in the likeness and image of a passionate and creative God. Our Father is both passionate and creative. We are sons and daughters of God. We should be the most passionate, the most creative, the most passion filled creations anywhere. But we need God’s desires.

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

We must lead people into the place where they allow God to give them His desires. We lose our lives, but we don’t really lose them. When we lay our lives down down, we actually find them. In Christ we can pick our lives up. God changes our hearts and He writes His desires upon our hearts and minds. Life is the victory over every sin. It is way to victory over every bondage.

We are called to lead people into the place of desire. For me it was a testimony where the Holy Spirit convicted me and a miracle of God happened in me. No one did it for me, Christ in me is the hope of glory. Those people who just came to the church community, their only hope is Christ in them. They don’t need less desires, they need more desires that are life-giving desires. We give God our hearts and we set an example where anyone can by led by the desires of God put within them.

Blessings,

Ted J. Hanson

Thank you for your prayers and your financial support. With your help the message of New Covenant Life and Grace is reaching the nations.

House of Bread Ministry –

Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

Online Donations can be made above at the column to the right.

 

We are taking registrations for our 2019 School session – www.christlifetraining.org

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A Community of Testimonies

Greetings,

Yesterday was a great day at Everyone’s Church in Mt. Vernaon, Washington. Bonnie and were honored to participate in Pastor Brice’s ordination and Pastor Tim’s licensing to ministry. It was a blessing to minister in worship, the word, and in ministry. Thanks to all who came with hungry hearts and loving lives.

I have been addressing the subject of how we deal with people who come from cultures of the world and don’t act like believers. When people come from the world into the church, they don’t believe the Bible. How can they believe the Bible? It is not their book. The Bible is a testimony of God’s ways for those who believe. The cultures that they come from have little or no understanding of the ways of God as they are revealed in the Bible. If we immediately push the Bible upon them, we will push them right out of the church – right out of the community of God. They will only receive the values of God when they know the true value of His ways. They must desire them in order to willingly receive them. How do we get them to value the ways of God as they are revealed in the Bible?

Those who have grown in their relationship with God are the Bible to those who do not know yet. They are the letter or the book that others can see. The community of God should be filled with people who are new, old, and in between. Those who experience God in their lives are a valid part of the community for the sake of those who have yet to discover the need to become strong in God’s word and strong in His presence.  A healthy, growing community of life needs visible evidence of the internal change that comes through an overcoming relationship with God in Christ.  Those who can testify are those who know their sins are forgiven and they have a Father who loves them. They have begun to experience His word and His Spirit in their hearts. They are overcoming things of dysfunction and death by a testimony of God’s Spirit and word working within them. We need more encouraging, inspiring testimonies than we do the preaching of law. I am not saying that we don’t preach the word. I am just saying that when we preach the word we must not preach it in an Old Covenant way. The letter of the word kills, but the Spirit gives life.

What is an example of a testimony? Things like: I am so blessed to be a part of this family. I started coming here a year ago. I didn’t know anything when I came. All I knew is that it felt really good here. No one judged me. No one measured me by what I wasn’t. You guys might not know this, but I had some things in my life that weren’t really right. When I got my pay check, I would go and gamble and lose my money. It was not only affecting my life, but also the life of my family. I started watching everyone around me and I saw how much freedom they were finding in God. I felt God’s presence in my heart and He told me my love was in the wrong place. He told me that I was actually going to gambling as a comfort and a hope. I felt the touch of God and I started crying. I felt overwhelmed by His love in my heart. I have to tell you folks today, God is real. Since this happen in my heart, I found out that God talks about this kind of stuff in His word. But I am so glad He doesn’t just talk to us in His word, He talks to us in our hearts. I’m just feeling free! I am feeling the freedom! God changed my heart! I’ve got such a hunger for God now. I can’t stop reading His word. I want to know his heart more and more, because His was bring such freedom! That testimony is more powerful than merely preaching that the word of God says you must not gamble.

We need to create environments of welcome and overcoming. I think sometimes we think if we don’t make the church perfectly clean before God we are in trouble. Now people in the world would say, I am not sure about God. He just wants to control everything and take away every freedom I have.The truth is, God doesn’t want to take away anyone’s freedom. But there are freedoms that people have that are not really freedoms. Alcoholism is not really a freedom, but something that puts you in bondage. Being critical is not a freedom, but something that puts you in bondage. A lifestyle of not being able to make commitments and using people to satisfy some need of your flesh is not really a freedom, but a means of creating bondage for you and for others. In the thinking of the world, people think these are my rights, this is my life. These are my freedoms. It is my life I can do what I want.The truth in what they say is that everyone should be able to do what they want. That is truth, but the problem is we want the wrong things. All people want the wrong things at times. King David said that if you don’t depend upon your own way, but acknowledge God in your heart, God will put new desires in your heart.

Psalms 37:3-4 Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.

I am more than forty-five years old in Christ. My heart is bigger today than it was forty-five years ago. It is bigger than it was ten years ago, five years ago, or even one year ago. I have learned that God doesn’t expect me to love Him beyond all of my heart, but all of my heart becomes a bigger measure every year. When I first came to Jesus forty-five years ago my love for God was pretty small. It was huge for me, but pretty small in the big picture of things. I love Him more today. I have been able to walk through some things I could not have walked through when I first came to Him. I have been betrayed by friends. I have been betrayed by spiritual children and I actually came through those things loving God and others more and not less. It was a miracle given to me by God in my heart because I allowed Him to give me His desires.

Loving God with all your heart is loving God with all your heart today. When you commit your way to God with all your heart that you have today you find that your heart is even bigger tomorrow because of His grace working in you. God gives you desires. He doesn’t just give you what you want. He gives you desires that are something you want. You are good at doing what you want. I have raised three children and I have four grandchildren. Children generally want candy every day, but if we give them all the candy they want they will become tremendously hyper. We would have huge dental bills, or they won’t have any teeth. We can implement a law that says,you shall not have candy. That boundary can work to a certain measure, but it by itself is merely a law that will control them. It would be better if they had a different desire where they want healthy food. This takes a process of parenting to bring them to that place. It is through a love relationship with a dad and mom that they can grow in maturity and in life-giving desires. The community of God should be the same. Everyone must grow in maturity, but the means in which we do this is essential to life or death.

Blessings,

Ted J. Hanson

Thank you for your prayers and your financial support. With your help the message of New Covenant Life and Grace is reaching the nations.

House of Bread Ministry –

Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

Online Donations can be made above at the column to the right.

 

We are taking registrations for our 2019 School session – www.christlifetraining.org

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He Visits Our Iniquities

Ted J. Hanson

Greetings,

I have been in Wichita, Kansas for the past several days. We had a great time together and yesterday God was good in our gathering together. I spoke of the different levels of life in our relationship with Christ. I believe some significant things happened in the Spirit and I believe that this is a new season of liberty for the church in Wichita and for the church as a whole.

We are living in a time when the ways of the world are manifesting cultures that are contrary to the ways of God. Is sin getting darker or is true righteousness shining in the hearts and minds of men? True righteousness is not the disciplined external actions of the flesh, but an internal connection with God in our hearts. God wants us to be real. He doesn’t want to control our actions or allow us to hide behind some superficial rule of life, as was the law. The law never changed the hearts and minds of men, it only revealed that something supernatural needed to happen within the heart of man.

Iniquity, transgression, and sin are three different things. Iniquity is not sin. The wage of iniquity is not death. The consequence, or wage, of iniquity is transgression in our hearts. Iniquity makes us vulnerable to transgress in our hearts from the true life that is in Christ. The consequence of transgression is a disconnection from true life that is found in God. We know the word says that “the wages of sin is death”. Let me say that in modern English. If you live a life of sin, disconnection from God, a disconnection from the One who is life, the consequence is you are going to die. You die because you are not planted in life. No God in heaven kills you. The absence of God in your life is what kills you. There is no God in heaven that is looking to dam sinners – to kill sinners. This was never the case, not even in the Old Testament. God never looked to kill people. He would often expose what was killing them. He might say, “that house is on fire don’t go in that house.” If you go in the house that is on fire you can’t blame God for judging you, when you get burnt. He told you the house was on fire. He warned you, you just didn’t listen. What is it that causes people to be disconnected, to sin? There are areas in our hearts that harbor weaknesses, or weak areas called iniquities. It is not sin, it is the possibility of sin. I believe that iniquities are like a gift. These are areas in us that need to find God. We depend upon God because we are weak there. I believe that God allows us to have those weaknesses, so we can find Him. So, we can find who He is.

God gives life. He doesn’t need anything from us, but we have weak areas in us that tend to believe that life is in some other place. When we allow God to come into that area, we find out He is a transformer. He the weak areas within our hearts by the power of His grace. This is His manifest presence within. It could be a weak area of getting angry easily. We can be tempted in the area of being angry. We can be tempted in an area of addiction. We are weak in an area of our hearts and we could fall for the temptation of being unfaithful. We could fall for the temptation of being critical. I believe we are each born with iniquities. This is not sin, but weaknesses. The world has those and says, this is how I am. I have had those all my life since I was born. If we apply law, it doesn’t really change it. It merely restrains it. It is like sweeping a problem under a rug. It is like discipling a child and they can be obedient on the surface to sit down, but inside they are standing up. It could be an action where we do what someone says, but in our hearts, we hate them or despise them in some way. That is a controlled person. God is not interested in controlling anyone. He is interested in changing everyone. Not because He is displeased with who they are, but because He knows He has so much more for them.

When you find God in a weak area in your life you become empowered to help others find God in that place too. Then you take on a little of the nature of God. He doesn’t need anything. He gives life, breath, and all things. If I have to depend upon Him in an area I have an internal flaw, it is there that I can find His presence to be transformed. His presence in the weak areas of my life empowers my desires to change. Now my desire changes and I am not weak there anymore. I know it is not because of disciple of the flesh, but a miracle of His love. Discipline of the flesh is only as strong as you can strengthen a physical muscle. But love is an eternal fire. Love will empower you to give every last breath, whether you are strong or weak.

We have been given these weak areas, so we can know the power of God’s love and we can overcome by the power of His love at work in our lives. This is true in our lives, our communities, and our churches. We have to have an environment where anyone is welcome, and everyone is welcome, because everyone belongs. But we must also create and maintain an environment that testifies of amazing things happening by the power of God’s grace. It is not just some theological truth, but a poetic experience of life in Christ.

Blessings,

Ted J. Hanson

Thank you for your prayers and your financial support. With your help the message of New Covenant Life and Grace is reaching the nations.

House of Bread Ministry –

Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA  98225

Online Donations can be made above at the column to the right.

 

We are taking registrations for our 2019 School session – www.christlifetraining.org

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