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RHM April 2016 Newsletter

  • Thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Shouldn’t the shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat. You clothe yourself with the wool. You kill the fatlings, but you don’t feed the sheep. You haven’t strengthened the diseased. You haven’t healed that which was sick. You haven’t bound up that which was broken. You haven’t brought back that which was driven away. You haven’t sought that which was lost, but you have ruled over them with force and with rigor. They were scattered, because there was no shepherd. They became food to all the animals of the field, and were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill. Yes, my sheep were scattered on all the surface of the earth. There was no one who searched or sought.” Ezekiel 34:2-6 WEB

     

    April Newsletter - 2016

    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 thank you for taking time to read it.

    A couple of years ago, when I came into work one morning, this verse was laying in my chair. Sometime before, I had printed out someone’s email containing Ezekiel 34, and pinned it securely on the wall beside my desk. That night, it worked itself out and drifted down to land in my chair. When I touched it, a spark went off inside of me and as I read the verses I felt a bit of what the Lord felt at that moment. It brought me to tears and left me shaken. I knew that it would somehow shape my future.

    The Lord felt that many of His people have been abandoned by the shepherds, so many are wandering lost, and no one seems to care. They are overlooked by the church at large, undesirables, or they just fell through the cracks. Many are disabled, home bound, reclusive, or suffer from “church abuse.” Some are in the military or do not have access to a ministry at all. So they wander alone, and no one seeks to help them. The “misfits.”

    Leave it to God to prepare an outcast to seek the outcast. Here I am, a “Jack of all trades, master of none” with twelve moms and dads. I have spent my life trying to walk with God while working on computer networks, working as a musician, building websites, as a technical director, a sound man, running cameras at a television station, spending time ministering at the healing rooms and in churches. Now it looks like He will put all of that mess together and use it in one ministry that requires a bit of it all.

    Some months after I found this Bible verse in my chair, we suddenly found ourselves out of work when “Peace Be With U” was sold, but this time we had a following from our devotional. I felt that we should continue on and while praying about a ministry name, the words “Refreshing Hope” came to us. I did a quick search for the meaning:

    Refreshing: adjective: serving to refresh or reinvigorate someone. synonyms: invigorating, revitalizing, reviving, restoring, bracing, fortifying, enlivening, inspiriting, stimulating, energizing, exhilarating "a refreshing drink”.

    Hope: noun: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. synonyms: aspiration, desire, wish, expectation, ambition, aim, goal, plan, design.

    To refresh people’s hope. Ezekiel 34 still rang in my mind. We took the steps to create Refreshing Hope Ministries and it has been a bumpy ride, but here we are. He only gives us a step at a time and when we complete that step, the next one comes. One step was our online church at refreshinghope.org.

    Now I believe that He has shown us the next step. He has revealed a way for us to have “live” meetings over the internet, much like a webinar or presentation. We can have live video feeds with praise and worship, multiple speakers, slide shows, ministry time and then record it all for those that cannot attend the meeting, to watch it later.

    I am excited because this can allow us to do so much more than we have been. If you have a device with Internet access, then you can be a part of a live church service right where you are, and from any where in the world. We can invite guest speakers, worship leaders, ministry teams, all they need is a web cam and a mic, which is already built into most computers, tablets, and smart phones today. If you are interested in helping us with any of this, please take a moment to let us know. Sylvia and I can only do so much alone.

    While laying in bed one morning when it was still too early to get up, I had a vision of us using this software and ministering to people. The Lord was giving me pointed words of knowledge for people in the meeting. As I was praying over this, the software that I looked at was too expensive for us yet. Then it turns out that one of our readers living in Asia was an affiliate of the company and could donate it to us for free! Thank God that He does know what we need before we ask Him, and thanks to all of you for your support.

    We are still building, gathering parts, and there is a lot of testing to be done so there will be more to come on this. We are tentatively planning to meet on Sundays at 11 AM Eastern time / 8 AM Pacific time. The service should last about an hour and will flow much like a contemporary church service. Please know that I am a working class pastor, still spend time crawling under houses, and I wear jeans. Don’t come expecting me to be in a robe, or you will be disappointed.

    Online Church News: www.refreshinghope.org We have grown to 3,212 members and 12,943 friendships. We have had 138 prayer requests and sent 562 replies to them. A big thanks to our ministry team.

    New things Added:

    Bible Quizzes and Trivia: We now have Bible Quizzes live on the website. You can read a short Bible study on a chapter and then take a Quiz on what you learned. It is a fun way to learn about the word of God. We are working on a point system that will eventually put a star beside your name.

    Questions and Answers: We have added a new section with questions and answers. You can ask questions and others can answer them. This also will be home to our “Frequently Asked Questions” and you can find answers there for the most common ones. We hope to build this over time so feel free to ask.

    If you are in need of prayer, be sure to send in your needs to our prayer network. We and our prayer team will be honored to lift you up!

    Thank you so much for sticking with us, and for all who have supported us throughout the month with prayer, encouragement and financial resources. Thank you also for all of the wonderful cards, emails, and notes that that we received! Our prayer wall is covered with them. It was so encouraging to hear from you and we were blessed by every one of them. You are a true blessing to us and we appreciate you.

    I pray that the Lord richly blesses you this month. May He guide your every step and fan the flames within us both. May the Lord lead us all into everything that He has for us as we follow Him one step at a time, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

    Pastor Dion


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32 comments
  • 2
Kealtis "Key" Austin
Kealtis "Key" Austin Pastor Todd and Mrs. Sylvia, I've been so truly blessed just reading the daily devotional.  I can only imagine what more I'll get when I began to participate or become a more active member.  I pray that everything that you two touch is a blessing and comes out the way God planned for it to.  I thank God for you everyday, and every time I read the devitional.  May God continue to bless and prosper you both, In Jesus Name.
April 27, 2016
  • 2
Molly Miller
Molly Miller All praises for leading me to RHM, and leading me to be a Prayer Partner...  Lord, use me!!!! I want to do Your Will and be pleasing to You!    
April 27, 2016
  • 2
Roseanne Braverman
Roseanne Braverman Wonderful news!  God continues to bless your ministry.  Thank you for heeding His call. 
April 27, 2016
  • 2
Suzanne Russell
Suzanne Russell I am amazed and so thankful that you are doing so well!  You help me and my friends almost daily!  I put your messages on my FB page and I never know who it touches unless they click like.  But I have heard from many people that I never expected to read such a thing and that blesses me even more!  God is so good and I'm thankful that He is using you to reach so many. God bless! Suzanne
April 27, 2016
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Margaret Ricaud
Margaret Ricaud I wanted to share with you, Refreshing Hope. The description for this site has been exactly what it is named to me. I do not miss a day of reading it. Has been a continual refreshment, hope, encouraging. Now to hear a weekly service for the sheep in and wandering or do not have a body to sit in, is The Love of our Father coming to His children. I am so thankful for your heart, you hear our Father's Heart when you sit with Him in His word. Your whole life of sharing had been very encouraging, I can't imagine the joy now going to come from this. Thank you for sharing and great for your heart that hears, obeys, and loves our Father, May our Redeemer The LORD JESUS CHRIST be Lifted High.
April 27, 2016
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Carol Pady
Carol Pady Refreshing Hope Ministries has been such a huge blessing to me. I have met so many wonderful people here and I have been amazingly blessed with leading the Spiritually Single Group and our Fast and Pray Friday Event. I am so pleased to hear that God is bringing this ministry increase. I am going to be praying for many to attend these church services. This ministry is a true representation of Jesus's flock. We are a diverse group of believers. Exactly what Jesus and God had in mind. We are from all parts of the world, all ethnicities, all walks of life, all blended into one beautiful bouquet of flowers. This is God's church and we are His people!
April 27, 2016
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Dion Todd
Dion Todd That is worded very well. I like that:  "Exactly what Jesus and God had in mind. We are from all parts of the world, all ethnicities, all walks of life, all blended into one beautiful bouquet of flowers. This is God's church and we are His people!"  
April 27, 2016
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Chris Dibbern
Chris Dibbern Who needs robes? My hope is to find you in rags, feasting on honey-glazed locust. :-) God bless! Stay working-class.
April 27, 2016
  • 2
Kevin Cosse
Kevin Cosse Keep on keeping on, pastor Dion.  I share, with your agreeed upon permission, your posts elsewhere online and such.  I've done so even as from In Touch.  What an amazing stroy, a True and 'now' story of God knowing His plans to give us hope, and a future.  Stay strong, brother.  God is working His plan, and yes, He knows the beginning and the end.  And rest assured, His 'end' is not an ending, but His forever existence.
April 27, 2016
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Janet Clary
Janet Clary Pastor Dion,  thanks ever so much for the wonderful newsletter!!!   The ministry keeps me alcohol/drug free each day and night.  Y'all have given em so much and I am forever greatful for the love you send.  Please let all of us know what we can do to help you get the ministry Live going!!  Hugs and Love, Janet
April 27, 2016
  • 2
Nicole Summers
Nicole Summers Thank you Pastor Dion for sharing the newsletter and giving the word! And no I won't be disappointed by you wearing Jeans
April 27, 2016
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David and Dianna Wyles
David and Dianna Wyles Wonderful news on the live sermons! Thank you so much for always heading his call! You and Sylvia truly are a bright bright beacon for God's lost sheep! I have never had a place that felt like I belonged until I found RHM. I too am forever greatful :) May you always be blessed! 
April 27, 2016
  • 3
Julie Magill
Julie Magill I am so thankful for all of you at RHM.. I try not to miss a day. All of you have been so incouraging, loving, I have struggled  with so many things. I have been so blessed by all with your prayers and friendship. You have all given me new hope. I thank you. God sent you to me and I am loving it... You have made a difference in my life. this ministry is Blessed By God.. 
April 27, 2016
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Dion Todd
Dion Todd Thank you Julie!
April 27, 2016
  • 3
Cheryl Hebert
Cheryl Hebertedited: April 27, 2016 Keep doing what you do!  I reshare your email to my FB everyday!!!  You are reaching many by your obedience, Bro Dion.  May God continue to provide and give you the needed wisdom and strength to keep on keeping on! I'm not on the website often, but do come and check things out from time to time. The live stream is awesome. I do attend a regular church but could possibly catch your sermon in between our service!   God bless you!!!        
April 27, 2016
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Conchita Bowman
Conchita Bowman I'm so excited for you and Sylvia!  We have an awesome God and may he continue to bless you all with great and wonderful success.  Thank you all for all that you do.  May God continue to heap the wonderful blessing up on you all.
April 27, 2016
  • 3
Doris Timmins-Swinford
Doris Timmins-Swinford It is so exciting to see how the Lord is leading and guiding and supplying for this service! He has opened the doors wide open and I will continue to pray He abundantly bless this service and all that are involved. I really love your messages because they are from the Bible and they are true- I always check what is being taught :-) Thank you 
April 27, 2016
  • 3
Linda Martin
Linda Martin It is truly amazing the journey you and Sylvia has traveled. I have saved every devotion since I have been reading them, I just looked and they are dated back to March 1, 2014. God has definately put you both on a wonderful journey that I truly believe he has used you both to speak to me in my trials and tribulations. May God continue to bless you on this and the many more future endeavors! Love you both!
April 27, 2016
  • 3
Scott Riegelmann
Scott Riegelmannedited: April 27, 2016 Wow pastor I thank God for this ministry daily for all the reasons you described I grew up in church in a really abusive childhood my father used to beat me with God so i wanted nothing to do with him for years Until one year I came to the absolute end of myself And at that moment I knew i needed Jesus to be able to keep going and a few yrs later I found this ministry online and its everything I need and more really its like the devotionals speak directly to my heart and what is going on in my life, Im a terrible writer I dropped out of school after the tenth grade and took two full time dish washing jobs to pay my rent and at 18 I enlisted in the US Navy  anyways Im off the subject but I thank God you dont wear a robe to preach in I love the down to earth man of God that you are, thanks again for following his teachings and then teaching us thanku  sincerely Scott Riegelmann your friend and brother in Christ. After reading all the comments everyone said about this ministry has brought me to complete tears of joy Thank you everyone for being here
April 27, 2016
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Dion Todd
Dion Todd Thank you Scott, we do have a wonderful family here and the Lord has plans for us. 
April 28, 2016
  • 3
Cheryl Hepler
Cheryl Hepleredited: April 27, 2016 Wow!!  Love Ezekiel!  Prophesy is not to be taken lightly.  God is speaking and the description is soo on target.  It is true.  Each stament describe of different Christians & what is going on with them is sad at the hands of a Shepard.  Blessings to all outcasts!  Help the Shepards to wake up before it is too late.  My husband & I use to say of us & others we look like trees wondering around from a former church we all went to that we look like "trees wondering around not knowing where to put our roots down & stay put & continue to grow".  What a blessing the two of you are in the Lord's sight!!  Blessings to the work into the future.
April 27, 2016
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Nai nai Pele-Titi
Nai nai Pele-Titi Thank you for the Great News and  message Pastor Dion and our worship family.  Will be up early, as it is 7am  on our side, joining and worshipping with you and all this coming Sunday.  This will be even better as we will have time before going to our Sunday services which starts at 930am(pacific time).  
April 27, 2016
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Dion Todd
Dion Todd It is not this coming Sunday as we are still getting everything together and working out the details. We will keep you informed on the progress and hopefully it will all come together soon! 
April 28, 2016
  • 2
Mark Duell
Mark Duell Amen. Looking forward to worshipping together as one big family.
April 28, 2016
  • 1
Dion Todd
Dion Todd Thank you Mark. I am excited to see what the Lord will bring out of this. 
April 28, 2016
  • 2
Celestina Ndunda
Celestina Ndunda May our Good Lord also bless you and keep you, fill you with The Holy Spirit to reach out to the World through His word. May your cup overflow and spill over to those who are around you In Jesus Name. Amen Thank you so much for the daily encouraging word and uplifting messages.
April 28, 2016
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Tracy Carroll
Tracy Carroll BRAVO!!!!  What a BLESSING RHM has been for me!!  I've been home-bound for almost 2 years now and the thought of attending church online just brings SO much joy to my heart and soul!!!  Pastor Dion, you've been through A LOT and it has all been for the greater good.  You have touched , helped, and blessed so many with your hard work and devotion in spreading the Word and you've done a fabulous job!!!  God bless you & Sylvia to the fullest!!!  
April 28, 2016
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Dion Todd
Dion Todd We will work to bring church to you Tracy, right where you are. May you be blessed in every way, in Jesus name.
April 28, 2016
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Tomica Duncan
Tomica Duncanedited: April 28, 2016 I am so grateful for this site..I dont attend church but I'm a firm believer in my lord..and im happy that I have a place to come to learn more about my father..I just pray that he continue to guide me down his great path. And continue to bless you and your wife with this wonderful site and life as a whole..in the mighty name of jesus 
April 28, 2016
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Petra Santiago
Petra Santiago It has been a blessing for me every message received every day it give me strength to continue . Thank you. Blessings
April 28, 2016
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Allie Ponzo
Allie Ponzo Dear Pastor Todd,   I always love hearing how God is working in your life and always compels me to be closer to Him because that is the only way to experience what you have. If we don't draw close we can't hear what He is telling us. This ministry is a super blessing to so many!!! On a lighter note, I would not expect to see you in a robe preaching! haha.  
April 29, 2016
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<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member I will be so happy to help y'all in any way I can. This is awesome. I had been thinking about a radio ministry, to teach or preach or share God's Word, this is awesome. Love y'all so much. 
April 30, 2016- Edit- Delete