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Passover Seder at the Odyssey Restaurant
Posted on April 6th, 2018

Last Friday night we celebrated our Passover Seder at the Odyssey Restaurant in Granada Hills. The Seder is the traditional meal in which the events of Exodus are commemorated. It celebrates the redemptive power of God. Though we are Christians, we celebrate the Seder for three reasons: firstly, and simply, the Bible tells us to do so (see Leviticus 23). Secondly, Jesus celebrated the Seder. Thirdly, we celebrate it as a time to tell the story of Passover to the children, and teach them of the Lord’s unwavering love for His people.

We had a wonderful time of fellowship, Scriptural remembrance, and honoring what the Lord has done for His people. The children had a blast scouring the room for leaven (which must be removed for Passover), reading from the Haggadah (the story of the Exodus), reciting the ten plagues of Egypt, and bartering for the Afikomen (matza which must be eaten to end the evening).

This family evening was a perfect way to kick off the Feast of Passover celebrations!

Resurrection Sunday Children’s Activities
Posted on April 5th, 2018

 

We continued our Passover Celebration on Sunday at Rayen Resort. The children gathered at a “door” at the entrance to the property, and each of them got to paint the doorposts with hyssop and blood (red food dye). Ben Bradley… (more)

2017 Feast of Tabernacles Campout Weekend at Rayen Resort
Posted on October 19th, 2017

October 6th – 8th, we celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles with our annual Campout Weekend! All of our congregants (and more!) look forward to this weekend of camping festivities every year. It is a special time of family, food, and fun, all with a deep spiritual significance of dwelling together as a community with the heavenly Father.

FRIDAY NIGHT

Campers began arriving early Friday afternoon to start assembling tents. The kids were especially excited about the weekend ahead of them. But it wasn’t just the kids who felt great anticipation! Everyone who arrived came with a smile, which added up to a night of greeting, deep conversations, and a wonderful meal. This sweet time of fellowship flowed into a Shabbat ceremony, in which we gave thanks to the Lord for the previous week and looked ahead for Him to create the next. Gary Hargrave brought a short message that encouraged us to rejoice on this day—to “eat of the fat and drink of the sweet” (Nehemiah 8:10). We ended our formal gathering with a deep time of worship, followed by conversations that lasted long into the evening.

While the adults were celebrating Shabbat, the Joshua Generation children gathered around the kids’ campfire. One of the parents reported:

We had a family atmosphere and the excitement was palpable. We began by blessing Margo Walkoe and expressed our love for her and our gratefulness for all she’s doing as the overseer of the Joshua Generation.  Margo talked about why this weekend is so special. She reminded the children that we are celebrating like the Israelites, all camping together as a family. God led them with His pillars of cloud and fire and provided for their every need. He will dwell with us too! After the teaching, Jenni Mickelson and Cassia Lozinski led the children in a couple of fun songs. Margo said, “Everyone’s heart is so open and each child should look with excitement for God to meet them personally this weekend!” When the group campfire came to a close, the 0-5 year olds gathered to begin a fun, parent-led flashlight walk, and the 6-11 year olds eagerly gathered to begin a large, rowdy game of Sardines!

flashlight walk

Later Friday night, quite a few adults gathered around the fire pit for a question-and-answer session. Gary wanted to follow up on a recent series of messages he brought about Israel and Judaism.

SATURDAY MORNING

After breakfast, we gathered for the annual Wilderness Walk: an interactive, traveling play that tells the story of the Exodus. The experience includes actors dressed as Egyptians and Hebrews, dancing ladies with scarves, and a “red sea” complete with fish hats. Led by a booming-voiced God, a floating pillar of cloud and fire, and, of course, Moses, the audience of Hebrews left Egypt and came into the Promised Land. Every year, as we create this goofy and fun production, we remember the promises God has given to His people, and His dedication to be a Father to them.

Wilderness Walk

SATURDAY AFTERNOON

After a delicious lunch, many children, parents, friends, and grandparents gathered in the schoolyard for games and fun. The younger children enjoyed themselves on several bounce houses, while the main attraction was kickball, played with a very large rubber ball. There was lots of laughter and running after the large bouncing ball, since even the most athletic ones were having trouble catching it. With temperatures in the mid-90s, break time consisted of tossing two full buckets of water balloons at one another. Elsewhere, people were staying cool on the water slide or in the swimming pool.

SATURDAY NIGHT

The gathering Saturday night was the capstone to our weekend. The food was amazing, as usual. The highlight of the evening was the awesome presence of the Lord that was so evident in our worship together. The anointing continued to grow throughout the evening in a time of personal ministry, and through deep impartation to us in a message Gary Hargrave spoke titled, “God’s Compassion to Fulfill His Word Over You”. Later in the evening, we gathered around the fire pit for another question-and-answer session with Gary about our relationship with, and love for, the Jewish people.

Israel & Judaism Q&A

At the kids’ campfire, the Joshua Generation was entertained by a group of traveling Yiddish bards and thespians (in reality, sleep-deprived teenagers from our congregation). Together, they gave a hilarious production of the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness, complete with funny hairdos and out-of-tune songs. The kids loved the show! After the actors left the dusty stage, the kids sang campfire songs and told stories while making s’mores and receiving tabernacles gifts. It was a wonderful evening of fellowship and fun for the kiddos!

SUNDAY MORNING

While most of the campers attended service at the church, the Joshua Generation children and their parents had a special worship service at the Rayen Resort.  Jenni Mickelson led the children in songs and worship in the Spirit. Ben Bradley brought a short teaching to the children, explaining how they can spend their whole day worshiping the Lord and including Him as they brush their teeth or play with friends! Ben said one of the ways we learn to worship and love the Lord is by loving one another, and by loving our family. The children joined in a time of showing their love for the Lord by laying hands on their parents and grandparents, and blessing them with God’s love.

Ben Teaching Children

Jonathan Mickelson also brought a short teaching on how the Lord taught the Israelites to trust Him in the wilderness. Each day, they had to trust Him to bring them new manna. The message set the stage for the annual Manna Hunt! Following clues that led the children from one area to the next, they found bags of “manna” that the Lord had left for them (Cheerios and gummy candy!). The last stop in the hunt showed what happened if the Israelites didn’t trust the Lord to take care of them: the manna included some real, live creepy-crawly mealworms. Yuck! The kids decided the chickens at the school farm would enjoy this final bag of manna, and wrapped up the hunt by feeding the chickens a special treat.

After a delicious lunch together, campers pitched in to help clean up the property. Thank you, Lord, for a fun family weekend together. We look forward to this new year in God’s presence!
 

Church of the Living Word and Iglesia de Dios – First Anniversary Celebration
Posted on April 12th, 2017

It’s been one year since Church of the Living Word began sharing our facility with the congregation of Iglesia de Dios. To celebrate this important milestone, both congregations joined together for a wonderful combined Sunday morning service.

We opened the service by welcoming both congregations, voicing that our hearts are being joined together in oneness, and announcing that our service was being shared via the Internet with churches and families in Mexico, Brazil, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala!

Musicians, singers, and worship leaders from both congregations worked together to lead everyone into a dynamic time of worship. Sharing many songs familiar to both congregations, we flowed back and forth between English and Spanish, interspersed with intense times of worshiping in the Spirit. Whatever our language, we were united by a common drive to worship the Lord.

After the worship, Pastor Omar Pinto brought a dynamic message, laying a vision for the coming Holy Week, and calling on everyone to reflect not only on Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, but more importantly on the fact that He is our risen Lord! His purpose is to be close to us, and to bring His Kingdom on the earth.

Following Pastor Omar’s message, Gary Hargrave conveyed a prophetic vision of what God is doing by joining our two congregations together. Just as Christ sent forth the seventy two by two and shook the spirit realm, God will use the oneness between our two congregations to bring the lordship of Christ to this community. As we continue to be given to oneness in Christ, the Gospel of the Kingdom will spread from our neighborhood to Central and South America; and those nations will, in turn, help release North America into God’s Kingdom.

We closed the service by taking Communion together. After the service, we shared a time of food and fellowship, feasting on amazing tacos and tamales provided by Iglesia de Dios!

We Believe in Sanctification – Audio
Posted on February 3rd, 2017


1/15/2017 Sunday AM, North Hills, CA
Matt Walkoe
42:39 minutes

Tabernacles Campout Weekend – October 2016
Posted on October 23rd, 2016

This weekend we celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles with our annual campout at the Rayen Resort.

Friday Night

worshipThe family came together Friday night for a sweet time of worship, fellowship, and wonderful food. The children were blessed and communion was served. In honor of the one-year anniversary of Marilyn Hargrave’s transition from life to life, a short video with excerpts of her memorials was played. Becky Seboldt and Rick & Lorena Holbrook also shared memories of Marilyn and conveyed her heart for the Living Word.

Meanwhile, the children in the Joshua Generation program got a special treat as they gathered around the campfire. Margo Walkoe and Ben Bradley explained how God comes to dwell with each of us at Tabernacles; we can believe it as easily as we believe that we will have a birthday each year! They prayed and invited the Lord into their hearts to dwell with them. Ben talked about the Tabernacle in the wilderness, and the kids were excited to answer his questions about how it was built and how God led them with the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire. The younger children then went on a flashlight walk around the property with Jonathan Mickelson and the older children played a rousing game of sardines, a fun twist on hide and seek that has become a tradition at our Joshua Generation campout weekends.

Wilderness Walk

wildernessSaturday morning after breakfast, families began the annual Wilderness Walk, a play where the Joshua Generation children depict the Israelites’ trek in the wilderness. The children led all the campers out of Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, met God at Mount Sinai, and entered victoriously into Canaan.

After leaving Egypt (the school amphitheater), the Israelites passed through the Red Sea (a wall of children in blue ponchos, armed with spray bottles) as the Egyptian army (some teenagers in costume on scooters) were held at bay by the pillars of fire and cloud (a prop depicting both pillars held between two people in white robes). On their way to Mount Sinai, the marchers stopped to pet some livestock: ten baby goats from the barn at Centers of Learning.

At Mount Sinai (a jungle gym covered in gray tarps), Moses received commandments from God, and God invited the children to come up into His presence and live with Him. God even shared a few riddles!

The next forty years were condensed into a few minutes as the crowd marched to the border of Canaan (the kiosk area in the front of the school). There they heard a short history of the Israelite wanderings and of their joyful entrance into the land of Canaan. The group worshiped God together for His faithfulness, then were dismissed to go to the Promised Land (the Rayen Resort) for lunch!

Saturday Field Day

fielddayAfter lunch, the Tabernacles Field Day kicked off with the sound of laughter, as multi-generational teams gathered at Centers of Learning field to compete in the annual relay races. Each team member performed an exciting task, from running to hula hooping to wheel barrowing across the field and back. After the victor rounded the last yellow cone balancing a water balloon on her head, teams threw the remaining water balloons high into the air…with one balloon splashing right on top of a lucky youngster’s head!

Next up, team members filled up empty buckets with water that they shot out of squirt guns. In the 87-degree October heat, it was no question what to do with the full buckets at the end of the match: lovingly dump them on family and friends, of course!

After two hours of fun, competitive play, the teams faced one last task: to hug each member on their team and the opposing teams, wrapping up the afternoon festivities in a spirit of love, joy, and oneness. After the games, the children joined their friends and parents in the giant bounce houses and water slide, while others enjoyed a swim in the pool.

Saturday Evening

playSaturday night while Joshua Generation and young adults were involved in a Tabernacles play, worship, and gift giving, the adults gathered around the fire pit. Sam Brown led us into a deep sense of oneness as we sang, “Be it Done Unto Me, Lord.” Jeremiah Gruenberg spoke a Word about a new perspective on the Israelites’ experiences in the wilderness. We should cry out for the kind of positive wilderness experience that frees us from every other influence except the Father and His provision.

The children’s Tabernacles play was a special treat for the Joshua Generation. Each child was given a bag full of treasures that they used to build a tabernacle for God. Once the tabernacle was finished, God came and dwelt with them. He told the children that there is a key that will enable them to be with Him anywhere. The key is worship and each child was given a friendship bracelet with a key attached to remind them of this special night.

Sunday Morning

childrenschurchSunday morning, while the adults were at the church, the Joshua Generation had their own sweet service. Jonathan Mickelson led them in a short time of worship which ended with everyone singing “Living Fire” with all their hearts. After worship, Ben Bradley brought a heartfelt message which was followed by a special call to have the children give a blessing back to their parents. This was a moving experience for everyone.

The assembled children then listened to the story of how the Lord provided the Israelites with manna. This set the stage for an entertaining Tabernacles morning event: the Manna Hunt! As the kids moved from clue to clue they collected bags of “manna”, which, to their delight, contained sweet wafers they could eat. At the last hiding place, they found “yesterday’s manna” which had real worms in it! This provided a fun excuse to visit the chicken coop where all the children were able to feed the worms to the chickens.
After a final yummy lunch together, the cleanup process began. Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful family time together! We keep these experiences with us as we move forward.

Pentecost — From Disciples To Living Epistles
Posted on June 17th, 2016

 

Last Sunday we were blessed to have Dani and Debbie Oliveira, pastors of Hale O Nā Kāula Church, in our service. Debbie helped lead us in worship and Dani ministered a Word. Here is a video of that Word. The… (more)

We Connect with the School of Prophets in Brazil — Fri. PM & Sat. AM
Posted on February 6th, 2016

The annual School of Prophets conference in Mount Zion, Niteroi, Brazil began yesterday, and we are staying connected with our sister church! Friday evening and Saturday morning we gathered in Cafe LA to hear the blogs from the services and send our support through prayer. We expressed our faith for this time through prophecy, prayer, worship, waiting on the Lord together, and reading Scriptures. We stand in oneness with those at the conference and send our love and faith. We’ll see you tonight at 6 PM for more time together in worship!