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RHM July 2015 Newsletter

  • if My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:13–14 WEB)

    July Newsletter - 2015

    Hello there,

    Thank you for reading our devotional and being a part of Refreshing Hope Ministries. This is our monthly update on what has been happening here during the last month and I hope that you will take the time to read it.

    After recent events, I have been spending time in prayer, worship and reflection on where we are in time, what are we doing, why, and what now. Basically asking God what should we be our focus right now. We are working hard for Him, but I feel the world around us growing darker. People are filling with darkness and hate is growing. Churches are burning, pastors are being shot, and new laws go against Christian values. It is a disturbing trend and it is clear that America is no longer a Christian nation. We are moving towards people that teach the Bible being labeled as hate mongers. I am a preacher of hope, but I can see the writing on the wall. After seeking God for a while, I feel that He showed me some things that I want to share with you and I am still seeking and learning every day, so what I understand may change.

    First, every time I pray about it I hear this verse: if My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:13–14). There is hope, and those of us called by His name still have a job to do here, but we cannot be asleep at the wheel. We are to:

    1) Humble ourselves, the opposite of pride and in the Bible, this usually involves fasting.


    2) Pray and seek God’s face, instead of His hand.

    3) Turn from our own wicked ways, repent, and not be so concerned about our neighbor’s wicked ways. Change starts at home and we should live the life we talk about.

    When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight (Isa. 59:19). Who will this be? God works through His people. Get ready church, you are about to be called into action. Our commission has not changed. There will soon be no neutral ground, so choose today whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15). If you are not doing the will of God then by default, you are advancing the kingdom of darkness. This world will continue to depart from God’s word until the return of Jesus.

    Jesus said: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just like I have loved you; that you also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34–35). We must remember to separate sin from the person doing it. God hates sin, but He loves the sinner and wants to save them. We are the light of the world and we are here to show the world the love of God, and when we do so, they will know that we are His disciples. There is never an excuse for a Christian to be mean-spirited.

    No violence, no anger, no lashing out, no mumbling and complaining and yes, if obeying the law of the land becomes a direct conflict with the word of God, then like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we should live ready to die rather than compromise our faith. But remember that when Jesus and His disciples were rejected, James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven but Jesus said, “You don’t know of what kind of spirit you are, for the Son of Man didn’t come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” (Luke 9:55). The day will come when God will draw the line, but right now He wants to save all that He can, and we have to focus on helping Him do that with a positive attitude. His people will be a light shining in the darkness.

    We are not the first to serve in a pagan nation and many parts of the world still live under religious persecution. Oddly enough, places like China, where Christianity is illegal, are on fire for the Lord and it is thriving there. Daniel and his friends were carried away as captives and served Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. Their answer was not violence, but serving at the highest standard possible. They shone above everyone around them and God blessed them with positions of influence. Jesus said that as the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man (Matt. 24:27). It was a very dark time to be alive and every inclination of man was evil (Gen. 6:5). We are not yet at the end, but it may be that you can see it from here. Before the end comes, it will grow much darker than it is, until people begin to faint from terror (Luke 21:26). Even so, come Lord Jesus. To sum it up, it is going exactly by the Book.

    The good news is that God is still in control and the supreme court is not the Supreme Ruler of the universe, but merely a small group of people, on a small continent, on a small rock called Earth, that itself is a speck of dust in the universe that God created. So keep things in perspective. Our Father is smarter than all. He sets up kings, and He takes them down (Dan. 2:21). He also created the stars (Gen. 1:16). Now is a time to press in, to evaluate your priorities, to make sure that God Almighty is a part of your life. It is not a time to walk alone. We are almost there, now let’s make our life count. Let us be the light that is shining into the darkness.


    Online Church News: We now have 1,812 members at refreshinghope.org and have had visitors from 128 countries and 274,889 visits during the month of June. The prayer network has prayed for 141 prayer requests and given 652 replies to them. Our weekly Bible study is now in its twelfth week as we progress through the book of Luke together. Refreshing Hope has some members that are isolated, blind, some are deaf, and some are disabled, some are in the military. There are people from all walks of life in nations around the world participating, making friends and learning about Jesus. It is a good work for the latter days. People are online and we are providing a place of hope for them to come.

    Server Migration: This month we plan to migrate the website over to a stronger server, and that will then allow us to use the old one as a development sandbox. With this in place, we can work on adding new features to the online church like a testimony area and many other feature requests, without breaking the live website that is serving 10,000 visitors a day. 

    New teaching on Fasting: We have had many questions about fasting, so I wrote a guide based on my personal experiences and what I have learned from the Bible. Visit www.refreshinghope.org and click “Teachings” and then “Fasting: A Lost Art” to read it.

    Thank you so much for sticking with us, and for all who have supported us throughout the month with prayer, encouragement and financial resources. We could not do it without you. We are learning as we go and mistakes happen. When we fall, we just try and get back up and do it better next time. I pray that the Lord richly blesses you and that you are covered with His presence as you read these words, in the name of Jesus. May He guide your every step and fan the flames within you. May the Lord lead us all into everything that He has for us as we follow Him, one step at a time.

    Pastor Dion


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26 comments
  • 0
Julie Schneider
Julie Schneider
July 9, 2015
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Cynthia  Kurpiewski
Cynthia Kurpiewski I read your news letter and I want to thank you for writing it. I have had a lot of anger toward someone for not getting my grandsons out of a burning trailer but after reading what you wrote I know I have to let it go that it's holding me back on my walk! Thank you pastor you always have the words to keep me moving forward! 
July 9, 2015
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Carol Policastro
Carol Policastro I have spoken to many people, believers and non-believers, and many indeed feel the end is approaching.  We will continue to pray for the church, each other and the non-believers.  Thank you Pastor for this very powerful message.  God bless!
July 9, 2015
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Dione Baker
Dione Baker AMEN Pastor! This scripture has been repetitive for me all week long. From my home church Pastor to prophets from all over the world to you! Clearly God wants us to humble ourselves and repent and pray more! May HIS message ring loud and clear through our nation and beyond!!! Holy Spirit bring Your refining Fire and Jesus remind us of who we are and Who we belong to!!! 
July 9, 2015
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Kay Rushin
Kay Rushin I agree the world seems worst, maybe because we are in the "information era." We can't worry about all that, we need to keep our eyes focus on God. The bible is our manual, so it is not  hard to tell people what thus says the Lord. I didn't write it, I just need to follow. Matthew 24:36, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. This tells me- it is none of my business. I need to love people, honor him, and spread the Gospel. Thank you for keeping us Focus on him. Yes Pray and pray some more, yet I see know where in the bible how we can stop the fulfillment of his word. Really focus on why Jesus hung on the cross for you and I....Honor his sacrifice.  Love, forgive, spread his message of hope and everlasting life with him.
July 9, 2015
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Chris Dibbern
Chris Dibbern "if My people, who are called by My name" - for me this calls to mind the destruction of Sodom. "Then he said, "Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?" And He said, "I will not destroy it on account of the ten." Because of this, I believe the Lord will spare the US--that there is hope for us, yet--because, while we may not be 100% Christian, maybe not even 50%, maybe no more than 10% of us talk with the Lord regularly, and listen and fast per Isaiah 58:6, it is still where we righteous through faith live. And the whole world knows it. They see (or believe they see) that Obama is an under-appreciated blessing. We've failed to capitalize on our good samaritan president, evangelically. "Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God, and respect the king." (1 Peter 2:17) Not to mention Proverbs 21:1. I also believe that, beyond seeing "our nation" from the purely human perspective, the Lord has other perspectives. As a popular song I like goes, "you are the God of this city, the king of these people." This means, if we and ours, in our city, serve, and humble ourselves, and seek his face, maybe the whole nation will suffer, but our city will be spared. I saw this in Iowa City, during the last big recession. Our city, full of thousands of unrighteous, is also filled with many evangelicals like myself. We had a flood in the river that runs through the middle of our town at the start of the recession, and it resulted in huge sums of money being poured into our local economy at the right places (construction workers and other lowly jobs). W e hardly felt the recession. On a side note, it was also wonderful to see many professors, doctors, lawyers--those whose hands are soft--all coming together to fill sandbags and pass them along big lines. Remember also why Sodom suffered the fate it did: " Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. She was proud and committed detestable sins, so I wiped her out, as you have seen." ~ Ezekiel 16:49-50. Give America a report card, based on those verses. :-) One final side note that may not be popular among some. Why on earth do some Bible translations render the word "sodomite" as homosexual, in light of how God defined Sodomy? It just doesn't seem right. I don't care to debate whether gay marriage is inherently sinful (that's a can of worms, and thank God Almighty that no one's salvation depends on having their mind opened [Luke 24:45] on 100% of the Bible), but minimally, it seems Satanic to neglect Ezekiel 16:49-50 and shift focus to "those other sinners." That's my biggest long-term fear for the future of this country. Everyone--conservatives, liberals, Christians, atheists--is pointing a finger at "those other sinners." Thank God "[He]  will not destroy it on account of the ten." :-) Be the ten, and then you and yours don't have to worry.
July 9, 2015
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Patty Martin
Patty Martin Thank you, Pastor Dion and Sylvia, for all you do through this ministry.  I am so blessed to be a part of RHM's teachings, Bible study, groups, and fellowship with other members.  May God continue to bless you as you have blessed others.
July 9, 2015
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Patty Martin
Patty Martin God bless you, Cynthia.  I cannot even imagine the pain and suffering you have gone through in losing your grandsons.  May God wrap His loving arms around you and heal your heart.  You are in my prayers.
July 9, 2015
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Janet Marsh-Lord
Janet Marsh-Lord Thank you for your Ministry. I am finding it very helpful to me. The world has become a frightening place but it is comforting to know that God is still in charge.My the Lord continue to protect and bless you.
July 9, 2015
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Dion Todd
Dion Todd Someone has to stand in the gap for the nation (Ezek. 22:30). And that is our job...
July 9, 2015
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Kay Rushin
Kay Rushin Yes Ma'am, The Church is a building, God does not live there, He lives in the heart's of his people.
July 9, 2015
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Colleen Paquet
Colleen Paquet This daily ministry helps to strengthen my faith in Jesus Christ and his teachings. Thank you; today's post was just what I needed to hear.
July 9, 2015
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Jeanne Hill
Jeanne Hill Amen, Pastor Todd. Thank you for your perspective and as always, your encouragement.
July 9, 2015
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Deborah Alexander
Deborah Alexander Amen, Praise God for  RHM and may He continue to use you Pastor Todd and your wife to be a Blessing to us
July 10, 2015
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Andrew Velez
Andrew Velez Thank you guys ! AMEN .. Your words and my thoughts on the subject of the state of this nation and the world appear to be very much in tune . On a  different note  however I am a bit envious(though not supposed to be lol) that I can't get lost in prayer like you guys . keep plugging away I guess . God bless you both 
July 10, 2015
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Carol Policastro
Carol Policastro Keep plugging and remember - it is your personal relationship with Christ that matters.  I have conversations with Him all day long, and make my prayers known to Him constantly.  We all pray differently, so you don't have to compare yourself to others or be like others.  God knows your heart and will give you what you let Him.  
July 10, 2015
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Julie Schneider
Julie Schneider This prayer is from Michelle Medlock Adams Father God, I first pray for our president and all who are in authority over us. I ask, Lord, that You would speak to their hearts so that they might lead our nation into righteousness and restoration. I pray that You would grant our leaders with supernatural wisdom so that they will make the right decisions in every situation and follow after You in all things. I also pray a hedge of protection over our nation, its leaders, and the men and women in uniform who serve in our great military. I ask that You keep us in the palm of Your hand, Lord, watching over us and covering us no matter what. Help us not to walk in fear, Lord, but to remember that You have given us a spirit of power, love and a calm and well-balanced mind. And, Father, I praise You for the freedoms that we enjoy in this country, and I ask that You would continue to shine upon the land of the free, and the home of the brave. In the Mighty Name of Your Son Jesus, Amen.  
July 10, 2015
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Karen Pasquinelli
Karen Pasquinelli Father God, I pray that the USA will once again become "One Nation Under God" as it once was, in Jesus Precious Name I pray..AMEN!!!
July 10, 2015
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Allie Ponzo
Allie Ponzo That was a wonderful newsletter!  Scary and true what is happening to our nation and comforting to know we are together in this even with distance. I pray that I would be bold in my faith and God would continue to use me in peoples lives.
July 10, 2015
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Allie Ponzo
Allie Ponzo Amen to that Carol.
July 10, 2015
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Allie Ponzo
Allie Ponzo I'm reading everyone's comments and so blessed to be part of this ministry. Thank you Dion and Sylvia!!!
July 10, 2015
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Kay Rushin
Kay Rushin Andrew, one of  the most beautiful and simple is the Our Father's Prayer, then I talk to him like he is my best friend, I am sure if you just sit still and let what is in your heart flow, he is rejoicing! Matt 6:7  “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
July 10, 2015
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<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member AMEN 
July 10, 2015- Edit- Delete
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Andrew Velez
Andrew Velez Thank you Carol..and makes sense . My soon to be wife tells me constantly let go and still I can't . I do pray most of the day everyday and even question my prayers . I am assuming it's a personal issue . I want the holy spirit to wash over me and come into my heart and my mind....it hasn't happened yet 
July 10, 2015
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Carol Policastro
Carol Policastro It might just happen when you least expect it.  Many years ago I had the feeling that Pastor Dion speaks about.  A warm blanket feeling like it is covering you.  I was praying for a sick pet and asking God's mercy.  The warm sensation engulfed me and I could hear children playing down the street, but the sounds were very soft.  Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, the pet passed and I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Upon reflection, it was the Spirit filling me with hope and strength for what I was about to face.  That was about 17 years ago, and the Spirit continues to be with me.  Of course, I still have much room for improvement.  I still try to shake the feeling of not being worthy....but we all know that the price has been paid and I am redeemed.  You may also notice things that you have been praying about coming to pass.  At those times, don't forget to give thanks to the Lord.  That is something that I am working on constantly.  God bless!
July 11, 2015
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Lissy Verghese
Lissy Verghese Amazing work!
July 19, 2015