Day 49 WAIT

Today is the 49th day of counting the omer! And tomorrow is Shavuot/Pentecost! It has been an exciting journey, getting ready to see what great things that God has in store for us!

As Jesus prepared the disciples for His departure, He gave them one last command. “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the Gift He promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:4-5 NLT) Notice that this was not a casual statement or simply a request. This was a command. They had a choice, but as far as Jesus was concerned, it was a command. And they all obeyed His command.

Besides the fact that they had to be in Jerusalem through Shavuot, why else would you think that Jesus told them to stay there until they received the Gift? Perhaps verse 8 of the first chapter of Acts gives us the answer. “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

There was a specific reason why Jesus told them to wait, and that was so that they would be empowered to be witnesses. Jesus knew that if they were not filled with the Holy Spirit, they would not have the courage to endure the persecution and death that was coming. They would not be able to remain faithful to Him when they were being thrown to the lions, burned at the stake, starved, beheaded, or persecuted in any other way.

It is the power of the Holy Spirit that provides everything needed to make it through extreme times. It is also the power of the Holy Spirit that enables us to stay true when nothing is challenging us, and life settles into a sweet little normal rhythm. At either end of the spectrum, it is easy to let go of the most precious Person in life, Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. On one end, we are terrified; on the other end, we are lulled to sleep. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit and intimacy with God that we will be able to endure.

There was urgency in the voice of Jesus that day as He spoke for the last time to the disciples. And He would say the very same thing to us with the same urgency in His voice. “Wait until the Father baptizes you with the Holy Spirit.” May we take His words as a command and ask the Father to send His Holy Spirit and fill us over and over again, empowering us to go everywhere and make disciples!

Pastor Ann

May 30, 2020

Boldly seeking; Boldly connecting; Boldly Discipling


Today is the 47th day that we have been counting the omer.

Shavuot was and is the last spring Feast of the Lord. It was one of the three Feasts in which all the Jewish men were required to be in Jerusalem each year. It was a time when God gave gifts to His people.

The first Shavuot, Yehovah gave the gift of His commandments. He wanted them to know how things were done in His Kingdom. He had just asked Israel to be His bride, and they had agreed. So He gave them the wonderful gift of His commandments. He wanted them to be different from all the other nations because they loved Him and belonged to Him. They would demonstrate through their lives the original plan that Yehovah had when He created the world. Unfortunately, before they had been engaged to God for forty days, they turned their backs on Him and began worshiping other gods. However, He continued to provide for them.

On the Shavuot that occurred ten days after Jesus ascended to heaven, God gave another gift. He poured out His Gift upon the disciples, baptizing them with the Holy Spirit.  Now Yehovah had not only told His bride how things were done in His Kingdom, but He had also given His Spirit to them so that they would be able to live according to His character out of a heart of love. No longer would it be difficult to keep His ways. Now their hearts would be soft to Him and they would long to know Him even more.

God has given us His commandments. Jesus boiled them down to two. We are to love the LORD our God with all our hearts, souls, and strength, and we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. In His Kingdom, that is the standard. He baptizes us with His Holy Spirit so that we are continually drawn and empowered to reflect His character. The truth is that we must be intentional on a daily basis, to grow in our intimacy with Him if we are going to be prepared to be His bride. It is one thing to say that we are part of His Kingdom, but it is quiet another thing to be so in love with Him that we want to be in His Presence all the time. The greatest life is promised to those who have that deep love for Him!

What will we choose? Will we struggle and frequently be unsuccessful in keeping Him first in our lives? Will we find ourselves routinely drawn away from Him because our focus is on ourselves? Or will we ask Him and allow Him to baptize us with the Holy Spirit and nurture that relationship so that our hearts are continually yearning to know Him and be in His Presence? May God help us to hunger and thirst after righteousness, for Jesus promised that if we do, then God will fill us with His Holy Spirit.

Pastor Ann

May 28, 2020

Day 46 Nearing Refreshing

Today is the 46th day that we have been counting the omer.

It is almost Shavuot! We are almost there! Just three more days of counting the omer. The next day is Pentecost! I do hope that you can sense the excitement in the air today. And I hope that the excitement continues to build until we reach our goal on the 50th day!

What was the purpose of Yeshua pouring out the Holy Spirit and baptizing the disciples on the day of Pentecost/Shavuot? According to John chapters 14, 15, and 16 the Holy Spirit is to be our Counselor. He is the Spirit of truth and will guide us into all truth. He will only point us to Yeshua and will teach us all things, connecting the pieces together that Yeshua taught. The Holy Spirit prays for us because sometimes we do not know what to pray for. Jesus says in John 16:8-11 (NLT) that the Holy Spirit also comes to “convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in Me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.” All these are essential responsibilities of the Holy Spirit.

But there is something more that Jesus knew would be required. The Holy Spirit could do all those things, but if humans were to be the physical instruments, continuing the mission of Jesus after His departure, those humans were going to need more than just their own abilities and memories of experiences with Yeshua. Memories fade with time and human abilities will not complete the mission. Therefore, Jesus commanded His disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they were “clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49 NIV) The New Living Translation says, “fills you with power from heaven.”

It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that the Kingdom of God will be expanded on earth. Nothing else will do. It is not by charisma or eloquent speech or powerful personalities that the Kingdom will be expanded. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit!

Are we ready for a fresh outpouring, a fresh baptism with the Holy Spirit? May it be so today!

Pastor Ann

May 27, 2020


Today is the 44th day that we have been counting the omer.

Have you ever been walking down a trail and suddenly the trail splits? Maybe you were not expecting it. You try to see around the next corners to determine which way to go. There are no signs posted, and you do not want to get lost. Neither direction, as far as you can see, gives you a hint about which one you should take. I have been there, and despite the beauty and tranquility of the trails, a question always arises in my mind about which way I should take.

I think that is something like what the children of Israel came to in Deuteronomy 11. And as Moses laid it out for them that day, they had a choice to either follow God and receive the blessing or follow other gods and receive the curses. “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse – the blessing, if you listen to the commands of Yehovah your God that I am giving you today; and the curse, if you don’t listen to the commands of Yehovah your God, but turn aside from the way I am ordering you today and follow other gods that you have not known.” (Deuteronomy 11:26-28)

In the verses above, notice that Moses told them that he was setting a decision before them “today”. Every day, continually, we have decisions to make regarding our relationship with God. Each day and throughout every part of the day, we have the opportunity and responsibility to make choices that impact our relationship with the King of kings.

Today I am wanting us to look at a higher choice than simply choosing a blessing or a curse. I want us to see that God gives us the choice to come up even closer to Him than when we first believed. Which trail brings us toward that goal? I will tell you that the trail is the one called “Holiness”. Intentionally choosing to seek the Lord daily, listen intently, and follow His ways radically, brings us to another split in the trail. There, we have the opportunity to commit ourselves totally to Him and ask that Yeshua, Jesus, baptize us with the Holy Spirit even as He baptized His disciples on the day of Pentecost almost 2000 years ago. It is certainly not the easiest trail to walk on. It will bring us to places where we must build an altar and give God things that hinder us. As we walk with Him, He shows us things or areas of our lives that we never saw before, things that cause Him pain. It requires a dedication in the strongest terms possible. However, the rewards are the highest, for it brings the greatest intimacy with the Holy One of Israel!

Are you ready to choose the trail of Holiness?

Pastor Ann

May 25, 2020


Today is the 43rd day that we have been counting the omer.

I’m reminded today of an account we find in Acts 19:2-6 (CJB). Paul has just arrived in Ephesus and met with a few disciples. “He asked them ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you came to trust.’ ‘No,’ they said to him, ‘we have never even heard that there is such a thing as the Holy Spirit.’ ‘In that case,’ he said, ‘into what were you baptized?’ ‘The baptism of John,’ they answered. Paul said, ‘John practiced a baptism in connection with turning from sin to God; but he told the people to put their trust in the one who would come after him, that is, Yeshua’. On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Yeshua; and when Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them; so that they began speaking in languages and prophesying.”

These folks were followers of the teachings of God and were conducting themselves in a righteous manner. They were keeping the commandments and had turned away from their sins against God. Now Paul entered the picture and discovered that although they were really good people and were trusting in God, they had never heard that the Messiah Yeshua had come. He asked them a huge question, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you came to trust?” Another translation (KJV) wrote it this way, “Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?

I think this is the question that God wants us to ask ourselves today. Jesus told His disciples to stay put in Jerusalem until they were baptized with the Holy Spirit so that they would be empowered to do the will of the Father. So many times, we find ourselves spiritually anemic, not having the power or maybe even the desire to accomplish what Jesus commanded us to do. Sometimes we make excuses for ourselves saying that it is not our personality to do or say certain things about our relationship with God. And certainly, God gave each one of us our personalities so that we are able to reach individuals that no one else would ever be able to impact. But if we take that to the extreme and allow it to be the door behind which we hide, then we must examine ourselves to see if we really have been changed inside. Probably none of us will ever be a second Billy Graham, D.L. Moody, Billy Sunday, or any of the other great preachers of the past. However, that does not relieve us of the responsibility to be intimately involved in our Lord’s command – “Go and make disciples.” But we must know that it is not through our own power or ability that the expansion of His Kingdom is accomplished. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit! That is why it is so critical for us to completely surrender ourselves to God and ask Him to come cleanse us and fill us with His Holy Spirit! There really is no other way to do the work except through His power!!

As we expectantly look forward to Shavuot (Pentecost), I hope that the thing that has steadfastly stuck in your mind throughout these weeks of counting is that you want to have such a relationship with our God that you are excitedly carrying out His commands and looking forward to His soon-coming. I hope that your intimacy with God has blossomed into a beautiful reflection of Him. Ultimately, this is only possible through the infilling of the Holy Spirit in our lives!

Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?

Pastor Ann

May 24, 2020