Sunday, February 18, 2018

Journey to Peace

"Our Help for the Hurting"

How we view this walk called life depends on what type of relationship we have with Jesus.  

Everything we do and believe hinges on this one truth,  listen as Pastor Gerald Roesly brings forth this message, Our Help for the Hurting.

Click to listen to: "Our Help for the Hurting"

Friday, January 26, 2018

Greetings from Pastor Kristi Rhodes, Senior Pastor at Hillcrest.

I just LOVE the Church…, God’s Church!  That is every blood washed one is a member of God’s Church!  I just LOVE the church (Hillcrest) where God has specifically called me to pastor!  God is certainly on the MOVE!!  As always, where God is moving—our adversary, the devil will TRY to stop him.  We must be expecting that and be prepared in advance with God to triumph over those schemes.  I am SO thankful that scriptures tell us over and over that GOD WINS!  The schemes of Satan cannot stop the plans of God!  It is of GREAT comfort knowing that we are on the winning side.
God exists in community, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!  He has a whole lot to say about how His family, the church community (every redeemed soul) ought to get along.  He also has much to say on how we should resolve conflict.  Over the years, I have learned a few things.
There are no perfect people and no perfect church.  Every church isn’t for every person.  Relationships are messy and hurt is inevitable even in the very best of relationships.  That is not being pessimistic, just a reality in this fallen world.  That being said, if we want to experience the fullness of the abundant life in the church community that Jesus talked about, then we must learn to address conflict and forgive one other.
One of my devotions is called “I love my church” and has some great points to ponder that I would like to share with you in resolving conflict in the church and other relationships.
  1. Don't email, text or use social media to address conflict.
    • It's so easy when we have a conflict with someone to log on to our computer and fire off an abusive email.  There are several problems with this:
      • Avoiding confrontation is the act of a coward.
      • Typing allows us to say things we would never say in person.
      • Email can easily be misinterpreted, thus causing new conflicts.
  2. Handle conflict quickly
    • Ephesians 4:25-26 tells us not to let the sun go down while we are angry.  If we allow anger to fester, what comes out is never pretty.
  3. Always assume the BEST about the people you service with.
    • Love always assumes the best about someone.
    • If you can't stand the people you serve with, the best thing to do is to ask the Lord, "What is wrong with my own heart?"
  4. Stop expecting people to read your mind.
    • When people unknowingly say something hurtful to you, it's easy to become angry and say to yourself, "Well, they should know that just hurt me!"
    • News flash:  They don't know.  And they won't know unless you look them in the eye, assume they didn't mean to hurt you, and calmly explain why what they said wounded you.
  5. Stop waiting for them to approach you.
    • If you know there is a problem to be solved, stop waiting on "the right time" or for them to come to you.  Read what Jesus said in Matthew 5:23-24.  Maturity is when a person is willing to seize responsibility instead of just waiting on something to happen.
  6. Never, ever go public when you have not even attempted to talk in private.
    • Too often people take their conflicts online when they have never even attempted to handle them privately.

Pain should never stop us from connecting with others in the church.  When conflict comes, we have a decision to make:  Do we sit around and talk about it?  Or, do we address the conflict, forgive one another and get on with life?
God is on the move!!  He has much to accomplish and chooses to use the church to do it.  We, as His Church, MUST represent Him well!  Jesus said, “They will know we are His followers by our LOVE for one another.”  Let us choose LOVE so God’s Spirit can flow freely IN and through us to know Him and make Him known to the world around us. Let’s BE THE CHURCH God has called us to be.
In His service and loving it!

Hillcrest Community Church
5994 18 Mile Road
Cedar Springs MI 49319

Our Vision:
To Know Christ and To Make Him Known

Our Mission:
Inviting everyday people to experience Christ in every way

Friday, June 9, 2017


From Cedar Springs Post May 12, 2017....

Why is this happening?

Pastor Kristi J. Rhodes

Hillcrest Community Church

5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude is more important than facts. It’s more important than the past, education, money, circumstances, failures, successes, or what other people think or say or do. It’s more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It’ll make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we’ll embrace for that day. We cannot change our past or the fact that people will act in a certain way. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude I’m convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.” 
~Charles R. Swindoll
Just a few months ago, our youngest son, Branden, 27, was diagnosed with a very aggressive, rare form of lymphoma requiring aggressive chemotherapy treatment. A mass the size of a softball invaded his chest pressing on vital organs. His wife was due to deliver their second child almost any day when they got the news. Treatment began immediately. The day before he was to be admitted at Butterworth for his first 5 day round of chemo, his wife was admitted at the same hospital resulting in emergency C-section, giving birth to their daughter. A few hours later, Branden went downstairs to begin treatment for cancer.
Since this journey began (early February), Branden has undergone three surgeries,  a collapsed lung, emergency bedside chest tube insertion, a viral infection, a very serious bacterial infection, as well as being separated from his family every three weeks for a week at a time.
I know there are people who are worse off. That’s not my point. Here’s my point. Long before the first diagnosis, Branden has and continues to praise God. He says this is just a miracle waiting to happen. If anyone has the right to ask, “Why is this happening?” he does. However that question has never crossed his mind. Instead, his question is, “How can I bring glory to God through what is happening?”
He knows God has the power to heal him instantaneously, but says, “If God will be glorified more by me going through this journey, then I’m willing to walk through whatever He needs me to for His Glory!” God’s goodness doesn’t change because our circumstances have.  As people visit him in the hospital, they continually share that they went to bless and minister to him, but instead, he blessed and ministered to them. As this journey continues, so does his peace and trust in God. Whatever the outcome, he wins!
One of his favorite verses for strength is Joshua 1:9 (NIV): Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Whatever you’re facing, remember:  Peace is found in the ability to see God’s presence, perceive God’s power, and focus on God’s plan in spite of the obstacles.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Greetings from Pastor Kristi Rhodes, Senior Pastor at Hillcrest.
As we begin a new year with a new adventure and Spiritual assignment, let’s be ready for the journey God has prepared in advance for us to experience!!
“The Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever it wants” (John 3:8).
You can’t go anywhere without the wind.
The Christian life is a lot like flying a kite! I used to love flying kites as a child!! Still do! There are a few basic ingredients needed to do that. First you need a kite, a tail, enough string for as high as you want to fly. A nice day, sunscreen and some cool sunglasses also come in handy. You need lots of room to run and some skills developed through practice. And of course, you need the wind.
All these pieces of equipment are important, but you can’t do anything without the wind. You can try to manufacture the wind by blowing on the kite or running back and forth. But when it comes to flying a kite, wind is essential.
The same is true in the Spirit-led life. Trying to manufacture the Spirit’s leading is useless. Forcing things to happen when God isn’t really behind it is time consuming, frustrating and futile. To really go anywhere, to accomplish God’s purposes, you need the wind of the Spirit empowering you.
Pay attention to when the wind starts to blow.
When flying a kite, we must be ready when the wind starts to blow. In life, it’s important to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. So much has been written on how to do this. They emphasize prayer, meditation, solitude, listening, and immersing yourself in the scriptures. Bottom line, being sensitive to the movement of the Spirit is essential to fully experience the joy-filled, amazing life God intends for his children.
Respond to the wind and adjust accordingly.
Once the wind begins to blow, adjust your position and kite accordingly. Tipping the kite into the breeze, altering your speed, how fast or slow you run, helps you catch the wind. When your equipment, actions, and the wind all work together, it takes you places and the sky is the limit!
In life, it’s not enough to know that the Spirit is leading. Adjustments need to be made. Responding to the Spirit requires some action on your part. So do all you can to feel the presence and leading of the Holy Spirit in your life. And when the wind of the Spirit begins to blow, adjust your priorities, actions, and attitude to conform to His leading and direction. And enjoy the amazing journey! Together, let’s be ready for whatever God wants to do in and through the Hillcrest family this year!!