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pastor's blog

 
 
Pastor Loren Hicks has been the senior pastor of Faith Tabernacle Church in West Los Angeles, California, since 2005.
 
For more posts go to http://lorenhicks.com/
 
Publish Date: April 14, 2012  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

Gazelle Intensity

This Winter we have offered Dave Ramesy’s Financial Peace University to our church and community for the first time.  It’s a big commitment to attend 13 Sunday night classes in a row, but it’s been so worth it.  I’m so proud of the 14 students who finished the course!

Last week I asked the students to write down how much debt they paid off in the past 12 weeks and we added up the total.  How much?  $49,863.00!  I was blown away!

In the debt snowball lesson Dave says you have to have “gazelle intensity” in order to get out of debt.  Like a gazelle running for his life from a cheetah, our students caught this vision!

 
 



Publish Date: January 9, 2012  ::  Author: Loren Hicks

Articles on Fasting

January is a great time to fast and pray.  We are starting a new year and the disciplines of fasting and prayer will help us focus our lives on Jesus Christ.  Here are some articles to help you with fasting.
 
Fasting Basics by Jentezen Franklin

The Daniel Fast
 
Prayer, Fasting, and the Course of History - by John Piper

What does the Bible say about Fasting?

 



Publish Date: December 15, 2011  ::  Author: Loren Hicks

Questions to ask before you write your 2012 resolutions...

1. What's the most important decision you need to make this year?
2. What is one thing you could do this year to deepen your relationship with God?
3. What's one thing you could do this year to enrich the spiritual legacy you will leave to your children and grandchildren?
4. What is the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?
5. In what area of your life do you most need change, and what will you do about it?
6. What areas of your life most needs simplifying, and what's one way you could simplify in that area?
7. What habit would you most like to establish this year?
8. Who do you most want to encourage this year?
9. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?
10. What single blessing from God do you want to seek most earnestly this year?
 



Publish Date: October 3, 2011  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

Pastor Loren's parents' home burns

So many people are asking what they can do to help after my parents home burned down last night. The best and easiest thing you could do is to give financially. They lost all of their possessions except the clothes they were wearing. If you would like to send a gift to them directly their address is: Ron Hicks P.O. Box 749 Springtown, TX 76082. If you attend Faith Tabernacle you can give to the church either online or by check and we will send it to them. Thank you for your generosity. We really need your help and your prayers.
 



Publish Date: September 28, 2011  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

How to pray for your wife

  • Pray God would strengthen her relationship with Him
  • Pray she would be a woman of integrity and Godly character
  • Pray she would be passionately in love with Jesus
  • Pray she would have a heart of contentment
  • Pray she would be a woman of prayer
  • Pray she would be a woman of courage
  • Pray she would be a woman of inner beauty
  • Pray she would guard her heart and mind
  • Pray she would not depend on her circumstances for happiness, but only on Christ
  • Pray she would have strength in the midst of her busy schedule
  • Pray she would be renewed daily by the Holy Spirit
  • Pray she would get her identity from Christ and not seek it from the world
  • Pray she would have daily wisdom
  • Pray she would delight in God’s Word
  • Pray she would not become discouraged
  • Pray she would be used greatly by God
  • Pray she would be secure in her God and in her husband
  • Pray her fears and insecurities would be removed
  • Pray God would bless the work of her hands
  • Pray God would bless her with physical health and strength
  • Pray God would bless her with physical, emotional, and spiritual protection
  • Pray God would guide her as she cares for the children
 
 



Publish Date: September 22, 2011  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

No grumbling or arguing

This morning as a family we read Philippians 2:14 - "Do everything without grumbling or arguing." You have to start somewhere, so we made a decision that today is no grumbling or arguing day. No grumbling about traffic, no grumbling about homework, no grumbling about being tired. Help us Lord!
 
 



Publish Date: September 19, 2011  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

I am encouraged

  • Baptized two people yesterday.  Both clearly declared that they have become followers of Jesus.
  • An international student attended our service yesterday.  It was their first time to ever be in a church service.
  • A friend who is really struggling in his life has attended services for three weeks in a row.  God is working in his life.
  • Our fall semester of Community groups begins this week.  We have more people signed up than ever before.
  • Our leaders attended our quarterly church transformation meeting on Saturday.  It was powerful!  Our hearts are united and filled with vision.
  • New people are attending FT every week and are getting connected.
  • More volunteers are serving now than ever before.
  • The exterior of our church is being remodeled with new windows and paint.
  • A miracle financial donation is making it possible for us to get a new digital LED church sign.
  • We interviewed a potential youth pastor this past week.  Praying for God’s direction!
  • My wife and kids love me!
  • I’m headed out right now to have breakfast with my wife.
  • That’s all for now, but that’s pretty good for a Monday!
 
 



Publish Date: September 10, 2011  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

10 Minutes Every Morning

Now that school has started back up, we have jumped back into our morning devotions. I love this 10 minutes every morning with my children. I share a short passage of scripture, usually just two or three verses and talk about how it applies to our lives, then I pray over them. I think it just might be the most important 10 minutes of their day. Our kids are bombarded with secular ideas, philosophies, and opinions every day. It’s my job as a father to help them build their lives on a foundation of truth. Do my kids always pay attention? No. Are they sleepy? Yes. Do I have to work to draw them in? Yes. But I believe this consistent form of discipleship will pay off in the long run. In fact, my first ministry is to my family. How can I reach Los Angeles for Christ and lose my family? I’m praying that my kids will follow Christ for their entire lives, and for that to happen I’ve got to invest my time into them.
 



Publish Date: August 18, 2011  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

Questions to ask in prayer

I’ve been thinking lately about questions that hold us accountable, even in prayer. Here’s a short list of potential questions we can ask while praying. • What has God be saying to me about my relationship with him?
• What area of my spiritual life should I pray about?
• Who in my life needs prayer today?
• What non-believer should I pray about today?
• What needs do I have that I should bring before the Lord?
• Have I prayed for my pastor, church, fellow believers?
 



Publish Date: July 20, 2011  ::  Author: Loren Hicks

13 Characteristics that turn boys into men

We live in a time of mass confusion as to what it means to be a man or a woman?  I’ve been concerned for a long time for young adults who are growing up in our society of broken homes, and sometimes lack clear role models.  If the church doesn’t speak clearly to the issue of biblical manhood and womanhood, how will this generation know the characteristics God has given and expects for men and women?  How we define manhood will have major implications on how we view life, how we behave, and how we treat others around us.
 
I am in the middle of a two-part series on biblical manhood and womanhood at FTC.  I thought I would post some additional material on this subject.  Here are some characteristics that I believe turn boys into men.  It’s from a great article by Dr. Albert Mohler (link at the bottom).
 
1. Spiritual maturity sufficient to be a responsible husband and father.
 
2. Personal maturity sufficient to be a responsible husband and father.
 
3. Economic maturity sufficient to hold an adult job and handle money.
 
4. Physical maturity sufficient to work and protect a family.
 
5. Sexual maturity sufficient to marry and fulfill God’s purposes.
 
6. Moral maturity sufficient to lead as example of righteousness.
 
7. Ethical maturity sufficient to make responsible decisions.
 
8. Worldview maturity sufficient to understand what is really important.
 
9. Relational maturity sufficient to understand and respect others.
 
10. Social maturity sufficient to make a contribution to society.
 
11. Verbal maturity sufficient to communicate and articulate as a man.
 
12. Character maturity sufficient to demonstrate courage under fire.
 
13. Biblical maturity sufficient to lead at some level in the church.
 
Credit: Dr. Albert Mohler – http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0001093.cfm
 
 



Publish Date: March 18, 2011  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

7 Ways to Test Prophesy...

I am currently teaching through the Gifts of the Spirit, found in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 in our mid-week Bible study.  Last night our topic was prophesy.  I am struck by how much Paul desired to see the church used by God with the gift of prophesy.  He states that he would like everyone to speak in tongues, but he would rather see them prophesy (1 Cor. 14:5).  I don’t see much prophesy happening these days, at least in the circles I run in. 

I fear that we have seen prophesy so misused and abused that we are now tempted to quickly reject any word of prophesy that may come forth.  It seems that we rarely see the gift displayed in a way that is biblical, God-honoring, and encouraging to the body of Christ.  Most of us are wary of those who constantly go around saying, ”Thus Saith the Lord.”  But we need to be reminded that Paul said we should desire spiritual gifts, even the gift of prophesy (1 Cor. 14:1).

In our Bible study I shared 7 ways to test prophesy.  I’m sure there are more, but this will get us started.

1. Is the prophesy scriptural?  Does it line up with the “whole” of scripture?

2. Have you prayed about the prophesy?  What is God saying to you personally?

3. Do you have peace from God about the prophesy?  Make sure your motives are right.  Sometimes we don’t have a peace about something God has spoken to us because we don’t want to do what he is asking of us.  However, if your motives are right, the peace of God can be a great indicator of his will.

4. What is the fruit of the prophesy?  Does the word spoken inspire you towards repentace?  Does it cause you to love God more deeply?  Does it lead you to step out into evangelism?  Does it draw you into a deeper relationship with Christ?

5. Does the person prophesying display the fruit of the Spirit?  Take note of his/her personal life.  Matthew 7:15-21 gives a great caution about false prophets.

6. Does the person prophesying exalt God or themselves?  The proper use of the gifts should always bring glory to God.  They should also cause us to be filled with humility and be honored that God would use us.

7. If a prophesy given predicts future events/situations, do their prophesies come true?  All of them?  This is the ultimate test.

 



Publish Date: March 2, 2011  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

Ways to help a friend's struggling marriage

Here’s more material from my research for last Sunday’s message on “How to affair proof your marriage.”  All of us have had friends or family members who were struggling in their marriages.  Sometimes we are at a loss as to how to help them.  Here are a few tips.

1. Pray for them daily.  Believe that God hears and answers prayer.

2. Be a friend.  They really do need your support and encouragement.  Send them emails and cards.  Call to remind them you are praying.

3. Don’t allow them to unload every detail on you.  If it is a member of the opposite sex, refuse to listen to the details.  You want to protect your marriage and avoid an unnecessary emotional connection.

4. Encourage them to seek out pastoral counseling or professional Christian counseling.

5. Recommend great resources to bless them such as broadcast by Focus on the Family, and good books like “The Five Love Languages.”  Ask your pastor for resources he/she would suggest.

6. Don’t give advice.  You want to help, but your friend really needs advice from a pastor or counselor.

7. Encourage them to keep working on the problems and to not give up.  Frustration makes us want to quit and walk out, but we know God wants to restore them.

8. Help them find a Godly, older couple who have been married for many years to mentor them.

9. Encourage them to faithfully attend church services.  Satan always trys to get us to isolate ourselves when we are discouraged.

10. Recommend the couple attend a Marriage Encounter weekend.  www.agme.org

 



Publish Date: March 1, 2011  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

A strategy for fighting lust...

This week I’m posting bonus material from my research for last Sunday’s message called, “How to affair proof your marriage.  Today I want to include a strategy for fighting lust.  Lust has been defined as the irresponsible pursuit of sexual enjoyment.  A few years back I came across an article by Dr. John Piper with the acrostic “ANTHEM” and a strategy for fighting lust in our lives.  I encourage you to click on the link at the bottom of this post and read Piper’s full article.

A – AVOID as much as is possible and reasonable the sights and situations that arouse unfitting desire.

N – Say NO to every lustful thought within five seconds.  And say it with the authority of Jesus Christ.  “In the name of Jesus, NO!”

T – TURN the mind forcefully toward Christ as a superior satisfaction.

H – HOLD the promise and the pleasure of Christ firmly in your mind until it pushes the other images out.  “Fix your eyes on Jesus”  (Hebrews 3:1)

E – ENJOY a superior satisfaction.  Cultivate the capacities for pleasure in Christ.  One reason lust reigns in so many is that Christ has so little appeal.

M – MOVE into a useful activity away from idleness and other vulnerable behaviors.  Lust grows fast in the garden of leisure.

 



Publish Date: February 28, 2011  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

10 signs you may be headed toward adultery...

Yesterday I shared a message with our church called “How to affair proof your marriage.”  This week I’ll be posting more material on this subject from my research.  Here are 10 signs you could be headed toward adultery.

1. You share private matters with a person of the opposite sex before sharing them with your spouse.

2. You spend large amounts of time with this person.

3. You find more delight in being with this person than with your spouse.

4. You think this person understands you better than your spouse.

5. You are unwilling to hear the warnings of others and stubbornly maintaining this relationship.

6. You feel youthful or “high” around this person.

7. You develop romantic feelings for this person that you try to transfer to your spouse.

8. You are defensive when you try to keep from admitting you are into something wrong.  Instead, you accuse others of attacking you when they are really trying to warn you.

9. You look for opportunities to be with this person, away from the scrutiny of others.

10. You find reasons to avoid the wise counsel of friend.

Source: “Why Some Christians Commit Adultery” by John Sanford (Victory House, 1989).

 
 



Publish Date: February 24, 2011  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

Best advice to young pastors about communication...

I recently came across an interview with Andy Stanley, Pastor of North Point Church in Atlanta.  I love his response to the question, "If you had to give one word to young pastors about communication, what would you tell them?"

His answer: "Show up every Sunday morning with a burden that is so heavy that you feel like you will die if you don't deliver it. And pray for that. Because if you don't have that, then you just have information. The people will put up with all kinds of a lack of excellence if there is an intensity and a burden that has to be delivered. And many times I have looked at my notes and thought, "Yeah, this might be helpful, but God, what's the thing I can't wait until Sunday morning to deliver? And I honestly can't wait for Sunday morning. The other thing I always tell pastors, "If you preach from your weaknesses, you will never run out of sermon material."

 
 



Publish Date: February 17, 2011  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

Preachers I'm currently listening to...

I am sometimes asked by people in our congregation, what I do to stay healthy and growing in my relationship with Christ.  I’ve learned that most of us struggle in one way or the other with spiritual disciples, and I am no exception.  Personally, I am a morning person and I like spending time with God when the house is quiet, but that’s just me.

There is no substitute for personal time in God’s Word and in prayer, but in addition to that, there are great resources available to us.  I think we should be ferocious in our approach and ask God to give us a great appetite for the things of the Spirit.  Faith building books, magazine articles, blogs, tweets, and podcasts can all be tools for spiritual growth and learning. 

One of the things that helps me the most is listening to sermons.  As a pastor not only do I like to preach sermons, I like to listen to them as well.  Listening to sermons is one of the ways I feed my soul.  I thought that today I would post a list of pastors that I am currently listening to (in no particular order).  Perhaps you can be blessed by these preachers as well.

 



Publish Date: February 15, 2011  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

Weekend Reflection...

I love being the pastor of this church!  I’m still processing what God did this past weekend.  It was a blessing to serve on a panel for our young adults event as they asked questions about love, dating, marriage, and sex.  In this setting I believe God spoke words of encouragement and direction to several people.  I’m so proud of the young adults at FTC!  God is honoring their committment and faithfulness.  Reni Paunova is doing an outstanding job leading this ministry!

On Saturday we hosted a one-day couples retreat in Malibu.  20 couples joined us for a day of teaching, reconnecting with their spouses, food, and fellowship.  Some of the topics we covered were: God’s power for your marriage, How to get your mate to listen, The five love languages, How to restore romance in your marriage, and How to stay married and not kill anybody!”  In the evening we had a wonderful banquet and Pastors Larry and Jean Chapman were our guest speakers.  They spoke out of nearly 46 years of marriage with honesty and transparency. 

On Sunday Larry and Jean shared in our service the miraculous story of God bringing Larry back from the dead.  It’s truly a modern day miracle.  If you missed it, please listen to the message on our website.  The sermon will be uploaded today.  The highlight of the day was three people giving their lives to Christ in the service!  The church was filled with faith and with people!  We are at 90% capacity in our auditorium.  Pray with us for God’s direction as we move forward to reach more people for Christ.

Did I mention that I love being the pastor of this church?

 



Publish Date: February 9, 2011  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

Highways and hedges...

One of the challenges pastors face is simply getting out of the office.  The list of calls, emails, administrative duties, and meetings sometimes seem endless.  I’ve learned I must be purposeful about evangelism.  I can’t sit back and wait for God to give me “divine appointments.”  That does happen occassionally, but my calling is to reach lost people for Christ.  I’m reminded that Jesus came to “seek” and save those who are lost.

This morning I came across a quote by Jonathan Edwards.  Edwards was a preacher God used mightly in the first Great Awakening in America.  He was also the President of Princeton.  Years ago I visited his grave in New Jersey.  I love this quote by Edwards:

Preach abroad.  It is the cooping yourselves up in rooms that has dampened the work of God, which never was and never will be carried out to any purpose without going into the highways and hedges and compelling men and women to come in.”

I’m finding that a prayer God always seems to answer is: “Lord, lead me to someone today that I can share Christ with.”  It’s not always easy.  Yes, I do struggle with it.  But I know it’s what God is calling us to do and it’s worth it!

By the way, if you are interested in missions and evangelism, you should check out the free app on the iphone, Droid, and Blackberry called “missionsbox.”

 



Publish Date: February 8, 2011  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

Overwhelm them with love

Last Sunday we gave out around 50 bags of groceries to our community as they came to our church in need of help.  In fact, we ran out of prepared bags of food.  This is not uncommon.  The need is great and our capacity to serve is growing too.
 
We want to minister to the physical needs of our community, as Jesus did, evidenced by the healings and the feeding of the 5,000.  We know God cares for the “whole” person.  We are also concerned about the spiritual needs of our city, which is why we exist as a church.  Every weekend God brings people in all kinds of spiritual conditions to our courtyard.  They come seeking something to meet their physical hunger, but every single person that walks through the gate also has a spiritual hunger that Christ wants to fill.

As I prayed this week about those we serve, I sensed God saying to me, “Overwhelm them with love.”  We want those who come to experience love, friendship, and acceptance from our congregation, like they have never experienced before.  We want them to leave thinking, “I just came for groceries, but I received so much more!

 

 



Publish Date: January 13, 2011  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

It's a New Year

As we start this New Year, many of us are making changes and setting priorities.  It’s a chance for a fresh start.  As a follower of Christ, I’m sure that you are also looking at your spiritual priorities and your walk with Christ.  I’m writing because I want to suggest a “spiritual discipline” that I believe will make a huge difference in your relationship with Christ this year.  My suggestion?  Make a commitment to join us at our Mid-week Service on Thursday nights. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 



Publish Date: January 6, 2011  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

Daniel Fast starts this Sunday

After last Sunday's challenge to begin this New Year off with prayer and fasting, there is a lot of excitment right now about taking this new venture of faith.  We thought it would be good to post some information here about fasting, since we are getting a lot of questions.

Fasting in the Bible is always about food, the restriction and/or absence of food.  It is also about prayer and seeking the God for a specific purpose.  You might think about also fasting those things that occupy a lot of your time, or control you in some way, such as: watching television, the Internet, Facebook, shopping, or certain hobbies.

Practically all the "spiritual giants" of the Bible fasted.  It's also true of great men and women throughout church history.  Fasting denys ourself of those things that we deem necessary (primarily food) and devotes ourself completely to God.  Fasting creates a spiritual "alertness."  Our spiritual eyes are opened and our ears are open to the voice of God.  Fasting demonstrates a level of faith and seriousness to God that He will reward.

 Types of fast:

  • Fasting without food and water.  It's not advisable to fast without water.  Jesus and Moses did this, both for 40 days, but you and I aren't Jesus or Moses :)
  • Fast without food, but you drink water and/or juices
  • Partial fast (such as the Daniel fast) where you eat only fruits and vegetables and drink water.  You are fasting meat, sugar, bread, caffiene, and all processed foods.

We would like to encourage you to consider joining us on the Daniel Fast.  Several of us from the church will begin a 21 day partial fast begining this Sunday, January 9th.  You can do it!

 Some guidelines to consider:

  • Decide why you are fasting.  You must fast with a purpose.  What 1 -3 things are you going to focus your prayers on.
  • Making a plan for the spiritual side of fasting is just as important as a plan for the physical side.  Fasting without prayer is only dieting.  It may be beneficial for your body, but not so much for you spirit.
  • Think about including Bible reading, meditating on Scripture, scripture memorization, praise and worship music, journaling, reading faith building books, etc.

If you are going on the Daniel fast (partial fast) begin tapering off meat, coffee, and sweets a few days before the fast begins.

  • Expect that it will be difficult, especially at the beginning.  Focus on the reward.

Some websites that you can check out on fasting:

Disclaimer:  Fasting is something that you should talk with your doctor about, especially if you have any physical issues.

 
 



Publish Date: January 5, 2011  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

Week of Prayer

I pray you are having an incredible first week of the New Year!   Let me share with you a few things coming up at Faith Tabernacle Church.

·         Week of Prayer – We are having prayer meeting each night this week from 7pm – 8pm.  It’s been great so far.  I encourage you to make the effort to join us.  What could be better than starting the New Year off in prayer, seeking God’s blessing and direction?

·         New Sermon Series – This Sunday I will begin a new sermon series based on the 10 Commandments.  I’ve had it on my heart to share this series for two years.  I’m excited about sharing these 10 powerful truths with the you.  God’s truth never gets old and I think we’ll all be amazed at how relevant they are to our lives in 2011.  Plan on being with us this Sunday as we launch this new series. 
·         Men’s Night – This Sunday evening, the men will be getting together to watch basketball.  It’s the UCLA/USC game!  Guys, you should have received an email from me with all the details.  If not, send me a note and I’ll send you the info. 

·         Thursday Night Teaching – In 2011, I’ll be teaching on the Holy Spirit for the entire year.  Next Thursday, January 13th will be our first teaching.  I’m starting with the “Gifts of the Spirit.”  I encourage you to be with us on Thursday nights for the Word and Prayer.  We also offer ministry to kids and teens.  Thursday night ministry is from 7:15pm – 8:30pm. 

·         Community Groups – Next week is the 2011 launch of our Community Groups (small group Bible studies).  We offer groups for men, women, young adults, and married couples.  We’ll offer more information this Sunday. 

·         Leader’s Training – On Saturday, January 15th we are offering a day of ministry training for all leaders and volunteers here at the church.  The training will be from 10am – 3pm and includes lunch.  There is no cost for the day.  Nursery will be provided (ages 0 – 3).  We would love to see all of our ministry partners in  attendance.  We want to make sure we are ready and prepared for ministry this year! 

·         Starting Point – I’m so excited about this new ministry that will be launched on Sunday, January 23rd.  Starting Point is a 10 week honest discussion about Jesus and Christianity.  It’s perfect for seekers, new believers, and those returning to church.  Starting Point will meet on Sunday’s from 9am – 10am.  Registration is this Sunday.

·         Ladies Prayer & Tea – Ladies mark your calendar for this annual event to be held on Saturday, January 29th!  

·         Annual Membership Meeting – This annual meeting will be held on Sunday afternoon, January 30th  at 5pm.  All of our members are requested to attend. 
Bonus announcement!  We will be having a one-day couples retreat on Saturday, February, 12th in Malibu.  In the evening Ray and Judy Rachels (former SoCal Dist. Supt. Will be our banquet speakers!) 

Whew!  Looks like a busy month!  Be sure to check the bulletin and the church website for updates and announcement for all of our ministries, as I can’t get it all in one email J

 

 

 
 



Publish Date: December 14, 2010  ::  Author: Pastor Loren Hicks

Essential Jesus

Join us this Sunday as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  It’s Christmas Sunday!  It will be a musical celebration as we enjoy the Mark Twain Middle School Hand Bell Ringers and the FTC Christmas Celebration Singers.  I’ll be sharing a special message on the divinity of Jesus.  Following the service, join us in the community room for Christmas cookies, hot cocoa, and apple cider.  Service begins at 10:30am.  We encourage you to invite family and friends!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 



Publish Date: November 25, 2010  ::  Author: Loren Hicks

Thanksgiving

We wanted to take a moment to say "Happy Thanksgiving!"  Today we are reflecting on our blessings and it's hard to know where to start.  There is an old song that says "count your many blessings, name them one by one."  That's going to take a while!

 

 

 

In our list of things to thank God for, we are grateful for you!  It's a joy to have you a part of Faith Tabernacle Church.  You have been a blessing to our family!  Thank you for your faithfulness and for your commitment to the ministry of our church.  Your support is greatly appreciated!

 

 

 

It's hard to believe that in just a few days, on December 4th, Linda and I will be celebrating our 5th anniversary as the pastors of Faith Tabernacle Church.  God has been so faithful over the past five years.  Praise God for the souls saved and lives changed over these years.  Our future is bright and we wouldn't want to be anywhere else.  We are thankful for the opportunity to serve you and our city.  We have a long-term vision for ministry here in West Los Angeles.

 

 

 

We hope to see you this Sunday at 10:30am.  This Sunday I'll be preaching on "Cultivating a thankful heart."  If you still have family with you on Sunday, bring them with you!

 

 

 

As you enjoy your family, turkey, the parade, and football, be sure to take some time to "Give thanks to the Lord for he is good."  Psalms 106:1

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

Pastor Loren and Linda Hicks 
 



Publish Date: October 28, 2010  ::  Author: Loren Hicks

Autumn is Here

We are honored to have Rich and Coni Guerra with us this Sunday.  Rich is the Assemblies of God District Superintendent for our Southern California District.  Rich currently oversees 450 A/G churches.  More importantly, he is a man of God and a man with a message.  I’m confident that he will bring a message to challenge and encourage us to live for Christ!

 

 

Following the service we will host our annual fall festival.  It all kicks off immediately after the service and will go until about 3:30pm.  Together we’ll enjoy a chili cook-off (mild, hot, meat, and vegetarian; something for everyone).  The kids will enjoy a jump house, games, crafts, face painting, balloon animals, and more.  We are hosting this event for our church and for our community.  It’s our desire to provide a safe environment that is an alternative to Halloween activities.

 

 

This is a great weekend to invite family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors to attend church with you!   Invite them to join you for the service and then for all the festivities that follow! 

 

 

Here are a few things you need to know:

 

·         You should arrive early for church.  We are believing for a great crowd.  You’ll want to park and grab a seat.

 

·         Everyone should park in the parking garage across the street from the church on Purdue Ave.  Parking is free.

 

·         There will be no parking in the driveway or behind the church this Sunday.

 

·         All the games for the kids will be on the courtyard.  The gate will be locked for safety.

 

·         The church driveway will be set up with tables, chairs and umbrellas for the chili cook-off.

 

·         After the service is over, you’ll want to exit the building out the front doors and head over to the driveway for lunch.

 

·         We are inviting our “food pantry guests” to join us for lunch and the festivities.  So, if you see someone you don’t know, invite them to join us!

 

·         We need a few more volunteer to cook chili for Sunday.  If you can help with that send me an email at loren@wlafaith.org

 

·         We need more volunteers to supervise the games and to chaperone the kids.  If you can help with that send Pastor Linda an email at linda@wlafaith.org

 

·         Pray with us and let’s believe God for a great day.  And don’t forget to invite, invite, and invite!

 

 

God is doing great things at FTC.  You are a vital part of what God is doing!  I appreciate you

 

 

Loren Hicks

 

Lead Pastor

 

 
 



Publish Date: October 14, 2010  ::  Author: Loren Hicks

Water Baptism

I wanted to let you know that our next water baptism ceremony will be held on Sunday, November 7th at the end of the morning service.  I will be teaching a class on water baptism on Thursday night, November 4th at 7:15pm.  This class is required for water baptism here at FTC.

 

 

If you, or anyone you know, are ready to follow Christ in the obedience of water baptism, please let me know.
 
 
 



Publish Date: September 23, 2010  ::  Author: Loren Hicks

Online Christian Bookstore

At the church we often have people ask us if we could recommend a good book on a particular subject. 
 
We would like to introduce to you the new FTC online Christian bookstore!  It is powered by Amazon and we have listed over 600 books, movies, and CD’s that we believe would be a blessing to you. 
 
And, your purchase will be a blessing to the church, since up to 15% of your purchase will be given to the ministries of our church! 
 
We have posted a link on the church’s website.  You can also copy and paste this link in your browser.  http://astore.amazon.com/wlafaithorg-20

 

 
 



Publish Date: September 9, 2010  ::  Author: Loren Hicks

New Thursday Night Format

Tonight is the launch of a new format for our Thursday evening ministry.  At 7:15pm everyone (adults, youth, and children) will meet in the auditorium for a time of worship led by Pastor Ed and his team. 
 
After worship, the teens will be dismissed for ministry upstairs with Pastor Ed.  Boys and girls will be dismissed to the courtyard classes for a new ministry called “Thursday Night Bible Clubs” led by Pastor Linda. 
 
Adults will have the option to stay in the auditorium for prayer meeting, or to go into the Community Room with Pastor Loren for a time of teaching. 
 
Tonight Pastor Loren begins a series on “How to study the Bible.”  We encourage you to come and bring your whole family for Thursday night ministry!

 

 
 



Publish Date: August 30, 2010  ::  Author: Loren Hicks

First Sunday

Join us on Sunday, September 5th at 6pm for our first “First Sunday” service.  This is the launch of a once-a-month Sunday night service that focuses on growing “deeper” in our faith and walk with God. 
 
We are excited that Pastor Mike Hinojosa, who served as our senior pastor from 1994 – 2005 will be our guest speaker. 
 
Following the service we’ll enjoy coffee, tea, desserts, and great fellowship.

 

 
 



Publish Date: August 23, 2010  ::  Author: Loren Hicks

Making Decisions

As a pastor I often talk with people who are in the midst of making important decisions in their lives.  While I can share scripture, wisdom, advice, and prayer, I can’t tell them what to do.  I know full well what it’s like to make difficult decision.  My wife and I could tell some stories…we have had our share of decisions to make.

I recently heard a message by Pastor Rod Loy of North Little Rock Assembly.  In the message he shared this grid for making decisions.  As I listened to the message, it was so good I began taking notes for myself.  I thought I share them with you as well.

  • Every “good” opportunity is not from God.  Some of them are, but some of them are a distraction from our mission and purpose.
  • It is often difficult to know which opportunities are from God.
  • Is this something that already God has been putting in my spirit?
  • In order to do this will I have to neglect something that I feel is a God-ordained priority?
  • Does this in anyway violate my moral compass?
  • What do the people who have my best interest at heart say?
  • Do I feel the need to “sell” this to the people close to me?  Or do they see the potential?
  • How much time have I spent thinking and praying about this before I give an answer?  Often times the worse decisions are the quick decisions.
  • Is this a once in a lifetime opportunity?  There really is no such thing.  God brings endless opportunities.
  • What positions me to make a bigger difference for the kingdom of God? 
 



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