Next Live Meeting:
RHM Live & FAAD Chat

Days
:
Hours
:
Minutes
:
Seconds

Bookstore

Recent Blog Entries

  • 3 hours ago
    Posted by Dion Todd
    For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:8 WEBOne night we watched a ...
  • Mon at 8:01 AM
    Posted by Dion Todd
    Yahweh says, 'You shall not go up, nor fight against your brothers! Every man return to his house; for this thing is of me.' So they listened to Yahweh's words, and returned from going against Jeroboam. 2 Chronicles 11:4 WEBWhen Solomon the son of King David passed away, his son Rehoboam became the ...
  • RHM Bible Study, Luke Chapter Thirteen from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo. Transcript: Today we are going to continue our interactive Bible study and we are going to cover Luke Chapter 13. After the meeting today, or sometime this week, please take the matching Quiz that I have prepared on ...
  • December 10
    Posted by Dion Todd
    When the ten heard it, they began to be indignant toward James and John. Jesus summoned them, and said to them, 'You know that they who are recognized as rulers over the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you, but whoever wants ...




RHM Newsletter 30

  • I want to take a few moments and thank you all for being a part of Refreshing Hope Ministries, and to let you know what all has been going on here over the last couple of months. Sylvia and I are doing well and working many things which I will share with you in this news update. While praying about what to write, heard “ninety-nine.” Then this scripture came to mind:

     

    Matthew 18:12–14 (NKJV) — “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”

     

    Even though the man in the parable had ninety-nine sheep left, he would still go after the one that had gone astray. That one sheep was special to Him, just as each of us are. Time and time again in my life, the Lord has sent me after the ones that no one wanted: the broken, the outcast, the lost, those who were driven away. In fact, I grew up as one, so I understand them. 

     

    Years ago when I was laid off from my supervisor’s job, I thought that the Lord was going to promote me and maybe give me a job in a Christian bookstore. That is where I saw myself: in a Christian environment, reading Christian books, and talking with Christian people while listening to Christian music. I envisioned a quiet and meditative environment. So holy…looking back now, I realize that was silly. That is not what Jesus did. He spent His time with the Father, and with the sinners, bringing them back to God. He said that it is not the healthy that need a physician, but the sick, and those are the ones He went after. 

     

    Instead, after my unemployment ran out, the Lord thrust me into the darkest hole-in-the-wall job that I could imagine at a brass polishing plant in a 100-year-old building. It was not just a dark, musty, and dirty workplace, it was spiritually dark as well. We slaved at machines in a 110 degree building covered in brass dust and black buffing compound, death metal blared over the roaring machines. People did drugs openly and shared them with the manager. Everyone there was just hanging on for another week, until a door opened to get out of there. God’s name was mentioned all the time, but only when cussing.  

     

    I had a new house that I was about to lose and I needed the money. It was hard, dangerous work. More than once the machine snatched a huge tub faucet out of my hand and then slammed me in the chest with it, knocking me down. I went into a survival mode and made the best of it. I had prayed a lot about it, and I knew that I was supposed to be there. I just didn’t know why at the time. 

     

    It was the lost sheep. Everyone there was utterly hopeless with very little reason to live. It was skid row. I just worked at my machine, prayed in the Spirit, fasted a lot, and listened the Bible all day. One day when I was working at the machine, I felt something like oil being poured over my head and I spun around thinking someone was pulling a prank on me, but there was no one there. Soon after, things began to change. I was rapidly promoted from the machine, to fork lift driver, to foreman, then to manager. The people and the environment began to change around me. People began to come to church with me. The Bible played over the intercom. Scriptures were posted on the walls and the machines instead pictures of naked women. Cussing was replaced with praying, and in the morning before we started to work, we would all join hands in a circle and pray together. 

     

    God sent me into a dark place after the lost sheep, and He turned that into a Christian environment. Now I thank God that He did not send me to work in a Christian bookstore. He has a pattern of doing this. He kept me in a Southern Rock band long after I was attending Bible college. I played bars every weekend until I led the guitar player to Jesus, then He released me. He loves that one lost sheep. 

     

    I said all of that to say: the Lord has always used me beyond the walls of the church, and rarely inside of it. My sermons have always been delivered in the workplace, in bar parking lots, wherever I was when His word came down. He pushed me into my own computer business for almost twenty years, then He opened the door into ministry. Holding true to form, it was completely online, and over the Internet using the skills that He taught me along the way. He is still using us today to seek the lost, the broken, the strays, the outcasts. That is what Refreshing Hope Ministries is all about. 

     

    I don’t know what the long term plan is for us, but one thing is consistent: we will be seeking the lost, and doing our best to restore hope to those who have none. The devotionals that the Lord has given me are reaching into prisons, and spiritually dark places. We have inmates writing us and requesting more, and we try and write them back and send them one of our books. I am just so thankful to be on His bus. He can drive it wherever He wants, and at the speed that He wants to. 

     

    Live meetings:

    We are having a fun time with the live meetings twice a week now. It is a completely interactive church service over the Internet utilizing a chat room and a live video feed. We have live praise and worship music, and members can ask questions, or request prayer, and we pray for them in real time during the live stream. People who have no church, are now able to be a part of one right in their homes, and to make other Christian friends. It is becoming a place to belong. 

     

    The disabled can attend church right where they are. We meet on Wednesdays at 7PM EST and Saturday at 4 PM EST. It is not uncommon for us to have people join us from Sweden, South Africa, India, and across the USA all in one church service. It is beyond the church walls. You can join us by clicking “Watch” on the menu of the refreshinghope.org website. We recently made changes to the live streaming and moved to a streaming server right here in South Carolina, so it is much smoother than it used to be. If you had problems participating in the past, please try it again and let us know if it works better for you. We appreciate your feedback.

     

    On Wednesday night, we have started having guest speakers. Right now we have a couple of volunteers. If you are interested in speaking on a Wednesday night, able to record a 15 minute video of your message beforehand, and able to attend the Wednesday night meeting so that you can answer people’s questions about it, then let us know. We welcome the help. 

     

    Here are links to our past meetings:

    The Videos are here (Teaching Only): 

    Videos only: https://vimeo.com/refreshinghope 

    Blog and Video: http://www.refreshinghope.org/blogs?owner_id=1&category=21 

    The Audio is here (Entire service start to finish): http://www.refreshinghope.org/pages/audio-archive

     

    Bible Study:

    We are doing an online, interactive Bible study on Saturday evenings at 4PM EST. Currently, we are going through the book of Luke one chapter at a time. I take the chapter apart verse by verse and provide maps, history and important details. Then you get to take a quiz on the chapter and answer twenty questions on what you learned. It is a fun, interactive way to learn the Bible. The quizzes are on the menu, or you can click this link: http://www.refreshinghope.org/quizzes

     

    Music:

    We have begun to open the live services with praise and worship, as I have been a musician all my life, but mostly played bass guitar. As I began to work on cover songs, the Holy Spirit suddenly began to give me my own songs. I was surprised. They began to come to me like the devotionals, sometimes while just laying in bed. It begins as a seed, and as I write them down, a song comes out of it. I have written over 20 songs over the last four months or so. At first they sounded pretty rough, so I began taking singing lessons to improve and I am trying to get better, and unlearn all the bad habits that a lifetime of playing by ear brings with it. I believe that we should work with God to become the best servant that we can be. 

     

    Some of the members began to ask for a CD of my songs, and as I began trying to record some of them, I met Perry, who is a member of RHM and a great guitar player but lives in Texas while we are in South Carolina. So I set us up a way to share the files, and I record them and send them to him, he plays along with it, records it and sends it back. So now we have kind of a worship team started over the Internet, which appropriately fits an online church. The songs are sounding better. We have had to purchase all sorts of music equipment to keep up with where the Lord seems to be taking us, like in-ear monitors, microphones, and recording software. We are taking it one day at a time and gathering things as we can. 

     

    Server status:

    Over the last few months, the main RHM web server that hosts the website, the devotionals, and the live meetings, began hard freezing randomly with no reason. We changed the memory, swapped the drives, reapplied thermal paste to all the heat sinks, everything that we could think of, but it kept randomly freezing without leaving a trace as to why. I am thinking that it was the mainboard. So we scrapped some parts together and built another one to replace it. Someone sent us a donation to help, and we managed to buy a couple of solid state hard drives for it. Right now, it seems to be working better, faster, and this one is not freezing. 

     

     

    The thing is, all of our servers and spare parts are from around 2006 to 2008, so about 9 to 11 years old now. In computer years, they are all obsolete. We like to keep a spare server around in case one fails, so we can just swap the hard drives and get back online as soon as possible, without having several days of downtime while we wait for parts to ship. 

     

    This means that when we do go to upgrade to a newer generation of servers, that we have to buy at least 2 of them, and commercial servers that are built to run 24/7 are expensive. The ones that we are using now sold new for around $12,000 each, but the Lord pretty much gave us a stack of them! To get anything decent, we are talking about $5,000 each. That is well beyond our means at the moment, so we are limping along with what we have until the Lord makes a way for us to do better. 

     

    Our ISP recently upgraded the Internet in our area and we now have a 300 / 20mbs connection, with the possibility of getting fiberoptic here. They are currently looking into it. Please remember that in prayer. If we could get fiber here it would vastly improve our live streaming events as well as sending the thousands of emails that go out every day. Everything would be faster. 

     

    We have set up an RHM network monitor at pingdom: http://stats.pingdom.com/ry4mdk5x7pg0  You can visit our monitor page and see whether the RHM servers are up or down at any time if you are having problems connecting to us. 

     

    Problems:  

    This year has been one of the most expensive that we have ever had. Our bathrooms started overflowing, so we called a septic tank service to look at it. Roots had grown through the field line and stopped it up. It was a Christian company, they had: “By His amazing grace” on their estimates and their t-shirts and they told us about Jesus. We decided that it would be good to do business with a Christian company, so we gave them the job of putting in a new field line for us. 

     

    When they backed in with a dump truck full of rock, they backed over the septic tank and caved it in. Then they pulled their truck out, asked for their check, and said they would call us tomorrow about fixing the lid. And we never heard from them again. So for the next two weeks, we had an open septic tank in the front yard, and the nice Christians that told us about Jesus would not take our calls, or return them. You can believe me that your actions tell me a lot more about your faith, than your mouth. We got another company to come and fix the septic tank, and by the end, we had spent about $3,000 dollars in our front yard. Then the compressor on our refrigerator died. Here is a photo:

    Books: 

    We have just released a new book called: “Forty Days of Fasting”. It is a book about fasting, but also a day-by-day journal from my own life while on a forty-day fast. I share some things in this book that I have never shared anywhere else. It also contains most of what I know about fasting, what the Bible teaches about it, and what I have discovered be experience in my own life, as well as the trials and struggles that you will face during a long fast. The paperback is on Amazon now and the Kindle should be within a couple of days:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/1977573223

     

    We are almost finished with another book: Forty Days of Love. This is forty-day devotional that focuses on the unchangeable love of God for us. 

     

    Visitors:

    We have had a few visitors over the last couple of months. Sylvia’s Mom and Stepdad came to see us. They live in California and have never touched the Atlantic ocean, so we took them to Myrtle Beach. It was a stormy, rainy day, that turned the umbrellas inside out, but we did not let that stop us. Here is a picture:

     

     

    Also we had a couple of our members from RHM stop by to see us while they were traveling on vacation, Linda, Chuck, and their dog Benji. It was fun catching up and meeting them in person. 

     

    Thank you:

    I just want to say thank you so much for those that take a moment out of their day to encourage us, send us a card, and those that support us. We could not do any of this without you. I know that God has great things in store for RHM and we so appreciate each of you that have stood by us through the hard times. If you are in need of prayer, we are here for you! I have long wanted to be available to those that consider us their pastors, but when you have tens of thousands of readers, you can’t really give out your cell phone number to everyone. Its just not smart. So I have came up with a compromise and included my cell phone number at the bottom of the donation receipts. If you need to talk to me, give me a ring. If you are a supporter of RHM and you don’t have my number, just send me an email and ask for it. 

     

    If you need prayer, just click on the Prayer link on the website menu (you will need to be logged in). Here also is the direct link: http://www.refreshinghope.org/pages/prayer. For our prayer warriors, if you are interested in joining our prayer team, please do contact us.

     

    Many thanks to each of you for being part of Refreshing Hope Ministries. We pray for each of you daily, and are very grateful for the group that God has put here.

     

    Pastor Dion


Tip: You must be logged into the website to leave comments.

 

Social Sharing

26 comments
  • 3
Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown

Thank you Pastor Dion and Sylvia for the newsletter, it is such a blessing to be part of this ministry!! I love the daily devotionals, the 2 worship services and new Bible study. Most of all I love all the members here who encourage each other! So glad God placed me here and I pray that His will be done with RHM :) Thank you and I appreciate all the hard work you both do to keep things going!!

October 12
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

We are both blessed to know you, Lynn <3!

October 17
  • 3
Perry Robertson
Perry Robertson

Awesome newsletter, I am so blessed just to be on the bus, It is an honor and privilege to support the praise and worship of RHM, its also cool to have a mentor and friend to work with on original musical material, I thank you Dion and Sylvia for all of your support for Karen and I, we have also met some very awesome people here at RHM. I believe God has big plans for RHM, God willing we will be around for the Bus for many years to come. Much Love to You and Sylvia and all of our RHM family. Perry and Karen Robertson

October 12
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Amen, Perry, love that you and Karen are part of our family here <3!

October 17
  • 2
Barbara Neahring
Barbara Neahring

Wonderful ministry!  Thank you for your news letter.  You are a blessing to our family.  

October 13
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Thank you so much, Barbara <3!

October 17
  • 2
Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Thank You, Pastor and Sylvia, for all 
You do!

October 13
  • 3
Diane Symborski✝
Diane Symborski✝edited: October 13

Pastor, thank you for the news letter and I pray that we can keep RHM together. I feel too if everyone who has a paypal account can give just a lttle a week, month or a larger amount a year. I beleve that it would all as up and help you and Sylvia be able to do what you need. Plus you have bills too just like everyone does on here and if one can only give a small amount those s,all amounts add up. Pastor is not going to yell out what you gave. I sure he is a humble man and would be thankful for what ever you could do. I mean after all this is chruch and I come to services so I have my own feelings and a husband who pays attention to how things are going on here for me. Why? Because he's the only one who works in our home and we have things too that happen. It's been so dry here that our brick on the house has large gaps and they got worse this year. My husband said that it a big job to get fixed but he'll get bids for the job. Heworks hard for his money and he had 3 doctors that are taking care of me and trust me he loves me and is doing everything to get me well too. That's why I know he's always got his ears open to make sure I am in a safe place and being treated the way he feels one in a church should be treated. In my heart I think Pastor and Sylvia, seen a side of Bob with out meeting him. I think they know he's been in the ring fighting a 7 year battle with me. I love him and I worry about my husband and daughter too. I hate that they have to see someone they love so much be so ill. When I say that I am ill this is not a lie my husband would never pay 3 goctors to get the help he can for me. Plus I know he wants me to feel safe in my church and know that my feelings won't get hurt because of all I go through. He knows I love RHM and he knows when and what he'll do when he can and he's helped on my past so I know I have a Pastor and a chruch that we can count on if we need to talk to a Pastor. I feel that at this point that Pastor Dion and Sylvia is the only Pastor and wife I can trust in my life right now. Hey things happen people move on and feel safe else where I've found that here. I give Father all the praise and glory for helping me find a place I feel safe. Amen!  I love you Pastor and my Sylvia who's always so sweet. I think she knows more about ow ill and my tough my battle is Pastor you know too but women can really feel the feelings of others. I might be wrong but that's what my one doctor told me and he even said I have it. Talked to him today becaus I am not doing well. He knows my heart is dealing with Shirley but he also knows I need to care for me because I have many battles and illnesses. God Bless you both. I love you both very much. <3 Lets not forget to reach i our pockets and give a little when you can. Thank You!! Love You All My Brothers and Sister's On RHM. ***hugs***<3 If I have any typo's Lynn Brown typed this for me. LOL heehee! Love You, Lynn!  Pastor, I think that I would feel safe if I had a number if I needed to ak if Bob was at work and something happens. This is my last weekend with Shirley we live 2 hours away and I talked to her tonight she was sleeping all day and wanted to go. She didn't even want to talk. Like my doctor ralked to me today he said your taking this really bad. I said she was tje friend that I told my life too and she told hers to me. We are so very close that I feel like she taking me with her.. I am so broken and ill. Blessing to all. <3 

October 13
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Love you and praying for you and Shirley, Diane <3!

October 17
  • 1
Diane Symborski✝
Diane Symborski✝

Thank You, Sylvia. <3 I love you and thank you. I pray blessing shower you and your husband with what ever it may be that you both need. In Jesus, name. Amen <3

October 17
  • 2
David &amp; Dianna Earlywine
David & Dianna Earlywine

Thank you for your ministry....God loves you all and so do my wife and I. Amen 

October 13
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Thank you very much, David & Dianna <3!

October 17
  • 2
Kathy Banfield
Kathy Banfield

Thank you so much for all the hard work and dedication that goes into RHM.I really look forward to your daily devotions!

October 13
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

We are blessed by your part in this family, Kathy, enjoy your daily comments <3!

October 17
  • 2
Brenda F
Brenda F

Thank you for the newsletter and for all you do Pastor Dion and Sylvia! I have shared many of your devotions with my family and friends. I continue to ask for prayers for my son who struggles with depression and alcoholism and believe that God is directing his steps just as He has done for you. God's blessings on you and Sylvia as well as the entire RHM congregation!

October 13
  • 1
Dion Todd
Dion Todd

Prayed for your son Brenda!

October 14
  • 2
Pranoti  Kumar
Pranoti Kumar

Thank you Pastor n Sylvia.....am really blessed with your daily devotions and look forward to your Bible Study evey week.

May our Good Lord bless you for all you are doing for the extension of his coming kingdom! 

October 13
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Thank you very much, Pranoti, we appreciate you :)!

October 17
  • 1
Cathy Webb
Cathy Webb

Pastor Dion, 

In today's Oswald Chambers devotional, he describes Moses' early recognition of the call of God and his subsequent removal to the wilderness for 40 years to learn to walk in the Lord's will. The illustration reminded me of your testimony. I'm so thankful for your journey and your willingness to answer God's call to the broken and lost isolated from the mainstream. Oswald uses a phrase, "rendered radiant by a personal relationship with the Lord." This describes you so clearly. God is blessing this work He's called you to at RHM--despite problems and challenges. God's calling members to step up and participate and be blessed. Thank you and Sylvia for your faithfulness.

October 13
  • 1
Dion Todd
Dion Todd

Thank you Cathy!

October 14
  • 1
Rose Sicilia
Rose Sicilia

I Thank God that He has brought you to us. Through all the trials even though not understanding Here we all are. A lot of people who had no church now have one with you and Sylvia and RHM. God's purpose in your life has saved many. I am one of them. May God continue to Bless and protect us all love Rose Sicilia ty 

October 13
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Thank you so much, Rose <3!

October 17
  • 1
Chris Motley
Chris Motley

I am so happy to be here at RHM and being a part of this. So sorry I can't be more active. And by the way just the other day , I was singing to myself the song about the 99 , not sure the name , but it's about going after the ONE , The lost one-s who need us to help them find Jesus, Amen Thank you Pastor Dion and Sylvia

October 13
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

No worries, Chris, we are always happy to see you whenever you are able :)!

October 17
  • 1
Lissy Verghese
Lissy Verghese

Thank you dear Pastor, for everything you are doing for us! :) May God shower His blessings on everything you undertake! :) Thank you once again, for being our pastor! :)

 

October 18
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Great to hear from you, Lissy :)!

October 18