Harvest Raleigh Church

Loving God, One Another, & Others

A WEEK OF PRAYER AND FASTING

150 150 Ronny Mannebonia

As we enter a new year, we as a church family must ground ourselves in spiritual disciplines deeply rooted in Scripture. From January 2nd to 8th, we dedicate a week to praying and fasting, an opportunity to abide in Jesus. Building on our experience from last year, let’s view this time as an occasion to deepen our relationship with Christ. Our focus remains steadfast, setting apart this time to grow in our love and affection for Him. This year, let’s continue to abide in Jesus by reading and meditating on the scriptures daily, seeking God’s guidance and wisdom in applying His Word.

Understanding Fasting and Prayer

  1. Fasting:

a)     A Biblical Discipline: Our first day’s reading in the prayer guide, Mark 2:18-20, provides a foundational understanding of fasting. Jesus speaks of fasting in terms of His absence, portraying it as a longing for His presence. It’s a discipline reflecting our deep yearning for Christ and His kingdom, reminding us that our ultimate fulfillment comes from God alone, not earthly sustenance.

b)     Spiritual Renewal and Dependence on God: Fasting is a voluntary act of humility and dependence on God. It’s a physical expression of a spiritual reality – our utter need for God above all else. In denying ourselves physical nourishment, we seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit and His Word. It is not about earning favor with God but about drawing nearer to Him.

  1. Fasting Together as a Church Family: While fasting is often personal, doing so as a church body reflects the unity of the body of Christ. Each member’s participation contributes to our collective spiritual health and mission. Let’s encourage and support one another in this journey, especially within our small groups, and fostering accountability.
  2. Prayer: Prayer is our communing with God – a way to align our will with His, to intercede for one another and our world, and to grow in our understanding of Him. It’s both a privilege and a responsibility that shapes our lives and actions.

Practical Tips for Engaging in Fasting and Praying

  • Setting Intentions: Begin by setting clear intentions for your time of fasting and prayer. What are you seeking God for? Is it guidance, spiritual growth, intercession for specific issues, or something else?
  • Choosing Your Fast: There are various ways to fast – from a complete fast, from morning to evening, or a partial fast, skipping a meal to abstaining from certain foods or activities. Choose what leads you to best focus on God, considering your health and circumstances.
  • Daily Scripture Reflection: Engage deeply with the daily scripture readings, allowing them to speak into your life and guide your prayers. Reflect on how each passage relates to your personal walk and our collective journey as a church.
  • Journaling: Keep a journal during this week to write down your prayers, reflections, and any insights from studying God’s Word. This can be a valuable resource for future reflection and encouragement.
  • Engage with Daily Prayer Points: Each day has specific prayer points, guiding you to pray the Scripture for one another and others.

This week is not an event on our church calendar; it’s a spiritual journey. We open our hearts to God’s transformative work by focusing on prayer and fasting. Let’s approach it with hearts open to transformation and renewal, ready to be shaped by God’s gracious hand.

Blessings,

Pastor Ronny

2024 Bible Reading Plan

150 150 Ronny Mannebonia

Dear Church Family,

Reflecting on our two-year journey through the Bible, several of you have shared the profound impact of God’s Word upon your lives, and discussing it during the accountability time has led to deepened understanding and fellowship. In these scriptures, we find the wisdom for life, the comfort in trial, and the strength for obedience. As Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).


In John 17:3, Jesus defines eternal life: “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” This verse is a powerful reminder that knowing God is the core of our faith and the source of true life. 

As we enter 2024, we embark on a journey through the New Testament with a renewed desire to know God deeply. Our Reading Plan guides us through the New Testament, focusing on a chapter daily, five days a week, along with weekly memory verses. 


2024 Reading Plan:

  • Printable PDF Version: Here are the Reading Plan and Memory Verses documents.
  • YouVersion Bible App: A convenient digital reading option on your phone or tablet. Click Here  
  • ReadingPlan App: iPhone and iPad users can access our 2024 reading plan, including weekly readings and memory verses, on the ReadingPlan app. Find it under Settings | ReadingPlan | Available Plans, Our plan is listed second, titled “Harvest Raleigh.” Please note that while the YouVersion app also offers our weekly readings, it does not include the memory verses like the ReadingPlan app does. Here
  • Daily Calendar Notifications: Subscribe to our 2024 plan for daily notifications. Click Here 
  • Practical Steps to Engage with the Scripture. Click Here 

Let us embrace this year as a time to grow in understanding and love for God as we allow His Word to shape and guide us.

Blessings, 

Pastor Ronny

Practical Steps to Engage with the Scripture

150 150 Ronny Mannebonia

Let’s approach studying God’s Word this new year not as a task but as a treasure, an opportunity to deepen our relationship with God and each other. Here are some practical steps to engaging with the Scripture. 

1.     Pray Before and After Reading: Start and end your reading with prayer. Ask God for understanding and guidance as you read, and thank Him for the insights you gain.

2.     Familiarize with the Plan: Start by thoroughly understanding the structure of the 2024 reading plan. Know the sequence of books and chapters and how the plan integrates with the calendar year.

3.     Set a Daily Routine: Consistency is key. Whether it’s early morning, during a lunch break, or before bed, find a time that works and stick to it.

4.     Small Groups: Reading and discussing the daily passages with your small groups fosters community and accountability.

5.     Journal Your Thoughts and Reflections: Keep a journal to write down your thoughts, questions, and insights as you read. This practice can help you process and apply what you’ve read to your life.

6.     Use Resources: Utilize study Bibles, commentaries, and Bible study guides. Several excellent free online resources are available to help understand God’s Word. These resources offer a range of tools, from Bible translations and commentaries to study guides and devotionals. I have listed a few notable ones below.

7.     Meditate on Scripture: Spend time meditating on a particular verse or passage. Reflect on its meaning and relevance to your life.

8.     Apply the Word: Actively seek ways to apply what you’ve read in your daily life. This could involve changing a habit, making a decision, or offering kindness and help to others.

9.     Memorize Scripture: Choose key verses to memorize. This practice helps you internalize God’s Word and recall it in times of need.

10.  Share Insights with Others: Share what you learn with family and friends. Discussing Scripture with others can open new avenues of understanding and encouragement.

Blessings, 

Pastor Ronny

Refugee Hope Partner Christmas Dinner

150 150 Ronny Mannebonia

Dear Church Family,

I’m constantly inspired by our church’s compassion and commitment to those in need. This Christmas, we have a Loving Others opportunity to extend Christ’s love to refugees in our city, many of whom are not yet familiar with the story of Christ or the true meaning of Christmas.

Why Refugees? Our recent interactions with refugee families in our neighborhood have deeply moved me. These families, hailing from places like Burma, El Salvador, Sudan, Congo, and Vietnam, have faced unimaginable challenges. Jesus calls us to love our neighbors, and these refugees are our neighbors in the truest sense, as all of them live within a five-minute driving distance from the Harvest Building.

About Refugee Hope Partners: Refugee Hope Partners, serving the Raleigh community for over a decade, embodies the gospel’s call to love our neighbors, regardless of where they come from. Our collaboration with them extends beyond this event, as several of our members actively participate in weekly homework help sessions and directly support refugees in various ways.

Christmas Dinner with Refugee Hope Partners: On December 9th, from 6 PM to 9 PM, we are excited to partner with Refugee Hope Partners to host a Christmas dinner at their Welcome Center. This isn’t just a meal; it’s a starting point for relationships that can transform lives – both theirs and ours.

This year marks our sixth occasion engaging with refugee families. Our focus is on reaching out to those who have newly arrived and are yet to find a church family. This includes believers seeking discipleship and others who are yet to hear the message of Christ. This dinner is an open invitation to all – to sit at the same table, share stories, and truly listen. 

How You Can Serve:
Currently, there is a significant need for volunteers to minister to children. Additionally, you can also contribute to this event by helping with setup and cleanup, donating essentials like paper plates, and welcoming refugees to share in a meal and conversation. Each act of service is a profound way to embody the gospel we cherish.

 A Call to Go Beyond:

While sharing a meal is a wonderful start, I encourage you or your small groups to consider deepening your commitment by ‘adopting’ a refugee family. This involves being actively involved in their lives, helping them in times of need, showing Christ’s love through practical means, and earning their trust to share the gospel.

As we celebrate the birth of Christ, who came to us as a Stranger in a manger, let us open our hearts to those who are strangers among us. This Christmas, let us celebrate His birth and live out His love in tangible ways. Should you have any questions or wish to learn more about how you can be involved, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Blessings,

Pastor Ronny

“Seeing Operation Christmas Child Boxes While on Mission Trips”

150 150 Charles Su

Last year, while with Harvest Turks and Caicos equipping some of their ministry teams, we learned that they receive Operation Christmas Child boxes and get to distribute them to kids on the Island! Though TCI is considered a destination tourist spot for many people, it has many impoverished kids and struggling families. During our three trips there, we have ministered in these communities. Years ago in West Africa, one of our teams learned that Operation Christmas Child boxes were delivered to the village! It is a joy to know that OCC boxes, filled by some church, somewhere, end up in places where we send teams, furthering the ministry of the gospel! Below is a picture of our haul being sent off this year! Way to be generous, Harvest! A special shout out to the Dillon’s for delivering the boxes this year!