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August 12, 2008

Comments

Michelle Stephens

I wanted to add one more comment. I have grown from the ground up at Harvest. When I came in I was exactly what Eddie kept saying on Monday night, "broke, busted, and disgusted". The really terrible thing is I didn't even know it! That's how deceiving the enemy can be. When I stepped into Harvest for the first time, I knew there was something different and I dove in, and someone who helped "push" me in was, in fact, Pastor Bobby. He is a leader who's every heart's desire is to see us crave the deep, very deep, things of God. However, he also has the largest pastoral heart you can find. He cares so much for the flock, he will indeed, create "boundaries", so the flock can feel safe, and experience the deeper things of the Spirit in a way in which they will be received from your newest Christian to the one who has walked for years. I encourage all those pondering, "Why the meeting?, Why this?" Why that?", and know, you are under the care of a pastor (as well as the leaders who surround him) who is OBEDIENT! That is the most important thing. God has given him a charge and a vision: Harvest. He must be obedient to the "bus ride" God has given him to drive. The really cool part, is every now and then, we make a pit stop and pick up someone like Eddie. It's not bad to question these things, ponder them, and dissect, that's human nature! But, when you ponder, seek the Lord about it. He'll reveal it all to you, if not right away, certainly in time.

One last note to PB- thanks for all you've done in my life, and in many lives to come. I'm excited about the "bus" I'm on, and can't wait to see the even greater works from the Lord in store for Harvest.

Michelle Stephens

Hey all you bloggers out there! Just for clarities sake (and since I have received many phone calls! Smile), the comment posted concerning Eddie Garza from Michele is NOT Michelle Stephens. Thanks and blessings!

Bobby

Thanks Chelsea....very kind of you. The desire in your heart is the beginning. I have no doubt the Lord is working in you a 'shepherd heart'.

Michele, I am not sure I know who you are yet. All I can say is that we do try to shepherd the flock as those who will give an account. The Apostle Paul himself "limited" the Spirit, so to speak, with the Corinthian believers who were having a 'free for all' with the Spiritual gifts. He called for order and consideration of those who may not understand what was happening. I challenge you to read I Corinthians 12 through 14 in this light. I take these things seriously, not lightly, as does the rest of our pastors and leaders, and it is unfortunate you have failed to see this. I hope you will look deeper.

I would love to talk to you more if you wish. I believe you will find Harvest to be a safe place, open the the Spirit, grounded in the Word of God, hopefully, seeking to always move in a spirit of love and grace.

Hope to talk with you soon...

Pastor Bobby

Chelsey Sexton

In watching everything unfold afterward from this, I have realized that I totally do not have a pastoral calling. It just seems like it'd be one heck of a job to deal with everyone's different opinions all the time. You do an awesome job, and truly have a God-given grace to do what you do. I don't know how to gain that quality or whatever, but hopefully I can at least work towards that. Learning how to be all things to all people and whatnot. Anyway, I commend you for sure.

Terri Barham

I was born for this stuff. I would rather see meeting that need some pastoring afterwards rather than no powerful spirit movings at all. Prov. 14:4 says "Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much increase comes by the strength of an ox. meaning, no pain, no gain. I know that some of these experiences can be positive for some and negative for others, depending on their perspective, upbringing, and temperment. I have been to a few meetings that I did not like at all but decided to not be critical, as some were receiving. I just probably would not go back. Others, I have truly felt the real deal. I have known Eddie personally and ministered with him for over 8 years. He is everything you would expect
a Godly man to be in the natural. When the Lord comes on him (the anointing) he is different, but still a man of God. The intense power that he ministers under is hard to function under and unless you have experienced that, you would not understand. He may seem to be strange but it's God, I can asure you. Can he ever have flesh show thru?, sure. God could just
touch us without anyone but many times, He chooses to use a willing vessel and unfortunately, we are not perfect yet. I have made plenty of mistakes but my heart was always been to bless the people as I know Eddie's is. He is giving his life for what he is passionate about. It's not for the money. or the fame. To carry an anointing like this, you take a lot of persecution, mostly from the church. I think communication is the key to helping Eddie understand what you expected and I'm not sure that happened. Let's learn from our mistakes and move on.

Michele

Pastor Bobby,

I have to say that I am very confused about this. Your reaction to the Monday night meeting has me very perplexed. I was under the impression that we are supposed to be open to receiving whatever manifestation of the Spirit that God empowers a man of God with. It sounds as if you are discounting the power of the Spirit when you say that you and the leaders of the church "laid out the ground rules" before Eddie spoke on Monday night. It is almost like you are putting limitations on the Spirit. Sort of like "The moving of the Spirit is ok as long as no one is offended." Well, personally, I am offended that you feel like the Spirit should be limited. I don't know what to think. I am seriously re-thinking my affiliation with Harvest. This has me so torn that I don't know what to do. I am praying about this, and believing that the Lord will give me the direction to proceed in His will. I am also praying for you and the body at Harvest that Eddie's message, no matter how theatrical, will be received. Eddie was a true blessing to me, and I am sure he was to others as well.

Lisa Hassett

Hmmm. I think that Monday night was great! I believe that it is good for us to experience other things in Christian life. Whether your experience was good or you found that the Evangelistic style was not your cup of tea, at least you had the experience. I myself believe that the Holy Spirit truly works through Eddie. I have found over the past year a respect for God's work through him. I think the Holy Spirit moves so intensely in Eddie that his touch is mistaken for pushing. I find that this is his style and he does this with a pure heart. I don't know what else you could do to prepare people for such events as Monday. You had him speak about it on Sunday, he preached on Monday, Greg did a great job this Sunday explaining things. I love that we are able to give input and all input is respected and listened to. What more could you ask for? No matter what your view, God was most definitely in the house!

Lonnie Ferguson

I regret missing this service, (due to prior commitment)but it seems that the Holy Spirit stirred things up a bit. I have had many years of interdenominational ministry, and have found that I should "try" the spirit to see if it is real. Jesus said that he had many sheep that were not of this fold, maybe they look different or act different, but they are still His sheep.It is diversity that makes a body function properly. So let the hand do its work and the foot his, and the "job" will be completed. We are all called to the Harvest.

bobbylepinay

Thanks for the kind words, Freddie.......can I record you saying that so I can play it on my Ipod everyday when I wake up???

Just kidding.....:)

I just talked with Eddie on the phone and he was very gracious and sorry about some of the things that happened, as he read some of the comments. They were not intended. He was thankful for the opportunity given him as well and said he would be praying for us.

Time to move on....!!

Freddie

Hey Guys, In all this lets not overlook one very special manifestation of the REAL gift that is manisfest. Thats Pastor Bobby, a real true supernatural manifestation of the office of Pastor. We often take for granted that spiritual manifestation in our presence because we become so accustomed to it. Not every church body can boast of having a REAL Pastor that operates in such a gift and office as PB. Blessings my Friend.

bobbylepinay

Hey guys,

I appreciate all the honest comments. One of our Core Values at Harvest is 'Relational Integrity' and that is what we are walking out this week: Hacking this stuff out, trying to separate the wheat from the chaff, so we can move ahead and keep the "yick factor" from ever marking our church.

We want to walk in truth in a spirit of grace, where our people are well protected and not confused, which unfortunately, Monday night did for some.....and rightfully so. That should never be and for that I am truly sorry.

After a week of letting the actual 'fruit' show, the word that has settled in my mind is "MIXTURE".

Many people, as some commented, were deeply touched by God. I celebrate that. But I will not excuse the other; ie, the pushing, the theatrics, the things I and our leaders very clearly stated NOT to do ahead of time. We were clear about being respectful, asking permission to lay hands on people, doing it gently, as to only let the Holy Spirit receive the glory, giving no room for the accusation of coercion.

It was a special meeting (a Monday night) and we knew it would be deeper than Sunday night and far deeper than Sunday morning, which as you all know, we are strategic about and very intentional in meeting people where they are and bringing them deeper.

Though we did our best to keep that stuff out of Monday night by meeting with Eddie ahead of time, once the meeting got started, one of our Pastors who had been in the meeting beforehand leaned over to me and said, "I guess he didn't hear us." I had a choice as to stop the meeting or trust God to work, in spite, then clean up the mess from the "mixture" afterward. (ie, the pushing, blowing, theatrics in speaking...etc)...while at the same time, celebrating the truly God stuff, which no doubt happened.

Just so you know, our mission is "Helping spiritual seekers become Spirit empowered servants of Jesus Christ." We are fully committed to do whatever it takes to produce that quality of a disciple, and as per this past Monday, as hard as we try, sometimes things get by. Thanks for your understanding and prayer. We want to keep "yick" out....., that which is truly of God in!

Pastor Bobby Lepinay

PS Please pray for this weekend. We had over 500 in our services last Sunday and it is obvious God is drawing people in like crazy. Pray for the soil of people's hearts to be soft and receptive to the Word and to the Holy Spirit. See you then! pb

Maleesa Redish

I have to say, the last time Eddie came I was blown away. I am all for GOD showing off, bring it on! Seeing deliverances, demons cast out, people healed, etc. does bother me it excites me. I was so excited about Monday night because I knew that so many of us would be coming full of expectation and that God would honor that.

With that being said, I was somewhat uncomfortable by what went on this time Eddie came. I sat through the message eager to recieve, but often caught myself being so distracted by all of the "theatrics" that I couldn't concentrate on what God was trying to say.

Though I was a bit put off by the way the message was presented I tried to stay open minded and once the ministry began I felt the spirit strongly. I saw God moving and I saw people recieving, I myself was recieving and it was wonderful, until I was pushed. I guess that doesn't bother some people but I figure...if God really thinks I need to "go down" to fully recieve HE'LL knock me down (like he did last time Eddie came). I don't think the Lord would want his people to feel bullied or violated by his presence and that is exaclty how I felt. I came completely open and vunerable to the Lord, ready to fall on my face if that is what HE persuaded, but he didn't and I felt like the man who had been sent by him took it upon himslef to PUSH me very aggressively.

For the 1st time in well over 10 years, I walked out of Harvest torn. I felt and saw God moving all the over the place but left with a heavy spirit and an icky feeling it has taken me days to work through. I guess I had a hard time getting the meat off the bone because it was tough.

Fawn

One of the things I have come to value most at Harvest is the sense of security that comes in knowing that Pastor Bobby is vigilent in his watch care over us.

Styles and preferences vary, but I love knowing that PB can be trusted to look beyond those things to the important stuff -seeing where God is moving & exposing us to other aspects of His character.

Freddie Thronson

I want to clarify my earlier comment. From one sheep to another, I dont agree with the over agressive methodology of "pushing" and such, and the gift of God does not have to be presented in such a way. The gift of God is always wraped in love and does not offend the true seeker of God. What I was really trying to say is part of growing in Christ is to recognize and distinguish between the gift and the human element. We are blessed to have a true Pastor that looks intently over the sheep, PB (Pastor Bobby) did a great job going talking to Eddie. Any ministry Gift (Evangelist, Prophet, Teacher, Apostle) Always, always, always, should honor and respect the Over Shepard of the body in which they are "guest". The ultimate responsibility rest on Pastor Bobby's shoulders as one who will give an account for us. That sheppards rod is for sheep and others alike.

Freddie Thronson

Being a "glory junky" I am comfortable in any environment where God is on display. Eddie is certainly differant, but thats the beauty. God works through "humans" with our quarks and funny ways. Often we get our eyes on the vessel and miss the gift. If we just remember that The Perfect Holy Spirit is working through in-perfect human vessels, we want get hung up on wether one "pushes" or "blows" or what ever, Im wanting whatever God wants to give, regardless of the way in which it is delivered. Remember Jesus said we would judge the tree by the fruit, not the fruit by the tree. I guess to expect Eddie to change his ways of ministering (which is part of his individual personality) would be like asking me to act like Eddie when Im more of a reserved layed back personality.
Main thing People were touched, blessed, delivered, saved.

Jim Vitale

I am very new in my walk with Jesus. I have seen a lot of things over the years and last night was one of the things I will never forget. Call it what you want messy, beautiful, scary, or wonderful but Eddie knew me (with some assistance from the Holy Spirit), yep that’s right I said it and before last night I am sure I would never say anything like that.

He looked at my family and myself and knew us…

When I looked up and noticed the young kids going up with out a thought I was amazed. They were brave to do that and they didn’t even know they were being brave. They just walked up like they knew that it was what they should do.

Like I said I am new to all of this. I have always hung around the edges of it. I guess I have been carried by my wife all of this time. Now I know its time for me to carry my family in the right direction and be a pillar for them. I am very happy that Harvest is a church that has an open mind and let us all explore other ways of seeing things.

Jim,

Chelsey Sexton

Very well put. Totally not our normal style, but that's ok once in a while. Different styles help you to learn about different aspects of God. I was nervous too, wondering how people were taking things...but like you said, enough good came from it that it's worth it even if a few people were offended. Think about it, Jesus did all that stuff right out in public. Casting out deamons, Healing people, etc etc. Surely there were people around that were like "huh???" but if there's good fruit from it, that's what matters.

Jim MatherJIm

We have this TREASURE in earthen vessels. The light of Christ blows out jars of clay anyday

Alexandra Barham

I thought last night was beyond wonderful... and I kinda think its funny that you are sooo very careful to NOT offend people in any way. (which is good I guess)BUT sometimes I think we need to be offended and pushed out of our comfort zones...or we will never grow as as individual or as a body. If we always stay where it is comfortable, then we "get use to God" and the act of christian-hood. Sometimes he stretches us so that we may reach new heights....with him...how will we ever grow in our relationship with Jesus, if we dont see everyside of him he has to offer? I just think its funny how people get so offened when God shows off in a way they are not use to...
HOWEVER....I HATE being "pushed" when people are praying for me...and I think eddie did a pretty good job of toning things down (trust me). and yes his style is WAY different...but its kinda fun to have something different every-once-in-a-while =]
Church, its good to switch things up a bit...and I am proud of you for stepping out of your comfort level...and I thank you for doing so b/c I got blessed in the process.
So personally...I was quite pleased with the way things went last night...I know I was touched...and I have talked to other that were as well. I have had very good feedback from people. so, I think you did a good thing, however...as much as I love eddie and his family, I am glad Harvest isn't like that every week. =]

Josh Encinias

Well that answered the questions I wasn't comfortable asking.

I've never been to a service like last night's. It felt against the grain of my comfortability. But, I prayed and MOVED when the Lord was calling. Movement in the moment - right when it was needed.

Seeing the very people I look up to at Harvest open their hearts and minds up to a good-holy SHAKING reset the alignment in my perception of them. The those at the top and bottom of a todem pole have to make themselves available to the rumblings of God's spirit. Otherwise their standing is just a position, not a CALLING.

Thank you for being truthful about your apprehension and not allowing just any blow-hard to sweep through our doors.

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