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  • Sep 22
    Posted by Dion Todd
    Good Neighbors from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo. Today I want to talk about the importance of being a good neighbor. Ever since Adam and Eve had kids and one killed the other, it has been an ongoing thing, learning to live with one another. Most of the ten commandments are about how we tr...
  • Sep 22
    Posted by Dion Todd
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The Key Master

  • The Key Master

    The Keymaster from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    (Revelation 3:7–8 NKJV) “These things says He who is holy, He who is true, ‘He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”

    I grew up as an outcast, the lowest of the low, the least of the least. My mom left before I turned one, and my older brother Randy quit school to take care of Ken and me while Dad worked. At that time Randy was ten years old, Ken was four, I was one. Mom’s sister reported us to the department of social services and they stepped in and tried take us away from Dad, to adopt us out.

    Well Dad would do anything to keep his three sons, anything. He needed a wife and quick. He had recently begun dating a woman and soon they were married. This woman had married at thirteen and had thirteen children. Three did not make it which left her an even ten, five boys and five girls. Her first husband had died in an asylum. So when she and Dad married, it was thirteen children again, of which I was the youngest, and an unwanted stepchild at that.

    It was a freakish nightmare that would take a book to contain, but here are a couple of highlights. After Dad left for work, she would put my brother Ken and me out in the yard, bring her children and grandchildren in the house, lock the door, and fix them breakfast. The cereal boxes were kept locked in a cabinet with a padlock. The telephone had a padlock on it. Any of us that were old enough to work had to pay her rent. I was the definition of white trailer trash with no more status than the hogs that we raised.

    When I was about six years old, my brother Randy took Ken and me to a revival at a Baptist church and I heard my first sermon on heaven and hell, the rapture, and how we could be saved from the coming hell on earth.

    At the end, they gave an altar call. Many people went forward, and I went with them. I was little, but I wanted to know more about this loving God they talked about, and if there was a rapture, I certainly wanted to be a part of it. For the first time in my life, there was a glimmer of hope.

    I was ready to go right then and there, sold! But the people at the altar turned me away and told me that I was too young to be saved. I was crushed. I still remember that night, going home and thinking that I could not be saved, but that was a turning point in my life.

    I may have been too young in their eyes, but God followed me home that night. I began to pray every night from that day forward in my life. After a few summers passed, a preacher that I had never seen before drove up in our yard one Sunday afternoon and talked with my Dad. He owned a farm about forty-five minutes away and wanted to take me on as his helper. I could live with him and his wife and they would bring me home on the weekends. Surprisingly, Dad said yes.

    So when school got out that summer, I spent the weeks living with the preacher and working in the tobacco fields. It was hard work, we were up by 5AM and were still checking barns at 11PM that night. His wife was the best cook, and I had my own room. I got to go to church and see a glimpse of a real family. Though I was still an outsider or servant, it was a step up for me.

    My family has musicians on both sides. I eventually learned to play the guitar and then changed to bass, mainly because at our first practice, five guitar players showed up and there was no bass player. I began to play music in various bands and we became pretty popular in the area.

    One night while playing music at a party, I had what I can best describe as an out of body experience. Suddenly, I saw myself and the rest of the band on stage from a third party view and I heard these words very clearly in such a loving, caring voice:

    “Is this what you want to do with your life, or do you want what I have for you?”

    It startled me. I had not been to church in years, heard a sermon, or been witnessed to. It just happened right out of the blue. I did not need to think it over because I was so ready for a change. I finished the song, unplugged my bass, put it in the case, and said good night to the band. After I got home and into my bedroom, I closed the door, laid on the floor and repented of everything that I could think of.

    That was a Saturday night. The very next morning, I got up and went to church and was soon baptized. This began a personal revival in my life. I went head over heels into getting to know who it was that spoke to me and to learn everything that I possibly could about Jesus.

    I began to learn about fasting, I prayed a lot, I listened to the Bible 24/7, even while sleeping. I read the Bible cover to cover in different translations. In all of my life, I had never had anyone who cared about me, and now I was totally consumed. Nothing else mattered. My out of control zeal for Jesus turned all of my friends into enemies in record time.

    That was many years ago and I still work to make stubborn areas of my life submit to His will daily. But out of thirteen children, God set me apart that year and began wooing me. When I finally came to the Lord, it was with open arms and wholeheartedly. I still wrestle with baggage, and He still faithfully corrects my course as it is needed, but I am so thankful that was there for me.

    Here are some things that I have learned along the way:

    1) You do not need anyone’s approval or acceptance on this earth. God is able to raise you up outside of their circle. Seek a relationship with Him and the doors that you need will open when the time comes. He is the Key Master, and He will open doors for you that no man can shut.

    2) No one can stop your destiny, except you. As long as you will continue to follow God and keep putting one foot in front of the other one, you will overcome all obstacles.

    3) Never give up! This life is not over until you are dead and in the grave. When you fall, get back up and take another step. When you stop getting up, your journey stalls. While I breathe, there is hope.

    4) It is always you that walks away from Him. God will never leave you, never forsake you, but will never imprison you against your will. You are free to leave His house just as the prodigal son left His father’s house, if that is your will.

    5) God is never mad at you. You can perform the most grievous of sins and break all ten commandments, but when you turn back to Him, He will welcome you back with wide open arms.

    6) God is always right in what He says and does. There were so many times when I wanted something to happen a certain way, and it did not. Most every time, the way that it happened was better. When it did not happen, it was for my own good and may have led me away from Him.

    7) God never says, “I told you so.” He will wash you as white as snow, just as if it never happened and never bring your past up again. He will remove your sins from you. It is satan that constantly brings up your past, the accuser of the brethren, not God.

    8) It is never too late to get started, but the sooner the better. Just like a wise investment plan, the earlier that you begin, the more fruit that it can bear. Invest your time, money, talents and resources in the kingdom of God, and it will have a long term return that cannot be measured.

    9) This is our time. We were brought into this world for such a time as this. Let us make our lives count for Jesus. No fear, no turning back, no breaking down, we will hold it together and press forward, following Him one day at a time. Though hell breaks loose around us, we will stay the course and see this through to the very end.

    (Revelation 3:7–8 NKJV) “These things says He who is holy, He who is true, ‘He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”


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16 comments
  • 2
Dion Todd
Dion Todd This is the message today from the live service.
July 24, 2016
  • 4
Cathy Webb
Cathy Webb

Thank you, Pastor Dion, for sharing your life testimony AND for sharing the lessons you've learned through your experiences. It's affirming to see so many of the lessons the Lord has taught me in my life experiences repeated. We love and serve an awesome God! I'm so awed by the intricate plan He works out for our salvation and so thankful for Jesus who sacrificed His life to make eternity possible!

July 24, 2016
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Agreed, Cathy, He is awesome!

July 26, 2016
  • 3
Janet Marsh-Lord
Janet Marsh-Lord

Thank you Pastor Dion. This has helped me a lot.  My trials and tribulations are nothing compared to what you have gone through and survived. Thank you for your honesty and faith. It gives us hope to carry on. 

July 24, 2016
  • 4
Deng Tembreza
Deng Tembreza

How we are all so blessed and loved by OUR lord god.  I too was not born with a silver spoon.  I could remember it very well how we are in our good old days.  We did survive though.  Inspite of everything, GOD gives us a joyfull and blessed life.

The door has always been open for us and it was never shut down.  For us and our kids and our grandchildren.  Thank You so much MY LORD GOD.

This is a very beautiful Sunday Sermon from you.  Each of us having our past but we are all blessed with our LORD GOD to be a witness on how good and faithful our GOD is. 

July 24, 2016
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Amen, Deng!

July 26, 2016
  • 3
Mike Parker
Mike Parker

Thank you for your great message today. Your words are very encouraging.

July 24, 2016
  • 4
Linda Martin
Linda Martin

In the last week I have gotten ahead of God and have become inpatient in trying to figure out what God wants from me in my life and in this new move. It has been emotional to say the least. Today, I felt strongly to attend a new church for I believe it is important to have a home church with this move. My husband was tired from the drive in coming in from spending the week with my children and grandchildren on vacation so he decided to get a days rest. I still felt I needed to visit this church I had already planned to attend. I was so emotional in leaving once again my family with the thoughts of I wouldn't be going back "home" with them. I visited a church demonination (Church of the Nazarene) I had grew up in where my dad had been a pastor and since retired. I really don't know why I felt so strongly to visit as I had been attending a Methodist Church for a number of years, but today as I entered the church I felt so welcomed. When the message was given I knew immediately I was exactly where I needed to be. So now we come to this message from Pastor Todd and once again, it coincided with the message this morning. I have struggled for the last couple of weeks trying to understand even though I know sometimes it is not my place right now to understand God's plan for me. I truly believe God reminds me, 'one step at a time' and to 'let him be God'. So I thank you sincerely for this message, even it didn't speak to anyone else, it truly spoke to me.

God Bless!

 

July 24, 2016
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Praise God! If the message was for no one more than one person, I believe that is still a blessing to be able to bring it. I am glad that He is leading you to a local church there, Linda :)!

July 26, 2016
  • 4
Renee Mattison
Renee Mattison

Wonder testimony, Pastor Dion, of how God pursues us.  He pursued me for six years before I gave my life to him in 1978. I was afraid of giving up all control of my life to Him.  Sometimes over the years I have tried to take back that control and failed miserably, and He took this prodigal back.  He is my hope and my joy.  I am one of 11 children, grew up in a "religious" family but was so lost and empty because I never had a personal relationship with the Jesus I knew about.  I still struggle also, but "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded, that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day!"  Praise God for what He is able to do when we totally surrender!

July 24, 2016
  • 4
Gail Sellu
Gail Selluedited: July 24, 2016

Amen, thank you for loving me Lord, I Love you Lord! Pastor Dion, your testimony is an inspiration of hope and fairh!  Everytime I hear bits and pieces of how you've overcome, it  inspires me too not give up,, and know God loves me and is there for me. Thank you for sharing! 

July 24, 2016
  • 3
Lissy Verghese
Lissy Verghese

Thank you, dear Pastor, for the inspiring personal testimony and the beautiful message!

July 25, 2016
  • 2
Gayle Knutt
Gayle Knutt

My heart mourns for you ,the hurt that you had in your life....but rejoices with you how Jesus watched over you even as a little boy....how He pursued you and never let you go...Such a strong reminder that He is that close to all of us every moment of every day.....we just have to acknowledge Him and He will forever lead us through whatever hardships we have..What great love, care and peace He wants to give us.

July 28, 2016
  • 1
Darlene Blackmon
Darlene Blackmon

Thank you for your sharing your testimony which I found inspiring and the things you learned in your ministry journey. I look forward to watching your services and  the messages you share through this ministry. God put you in the right place to be.

BBless you, Sylvia, and all the teamwork involved to help make God's word spread to everyone!

Hallelujah!

August 4, 2016
  • 1
Janet  Sorensen
Janet Sorensen

I haven't been as faithful watching the videos and certainly understand you might not want to invest that time and just want to focus on the live service. But I really hope you can find a way to do it that is cheaper and easier. I know there are plenty of other places to watch Christian videos but your messages are so good and heartfelt. And lots of folks need church after hours. Maybe we need to start sharing them on social media and get the word out! 

August 5, 2016
  • 1
Cheryl Hepler
Cheryl Hepler

Thank you.  Your life story & beginning to now story in Jesus.  

Did you ever cry thru listening to messages, or reading the Word or when a son like Oceans where feet...?  I do more then usual.  It is as He is speaking & my heart is caught up.  Loved ministeries I was in & any where His word was spoken on or abou or Worship too.  Body has had three surgeries & did a second walk around blocks to see this is going to take awhile.  Lost an inch in height & weight thr IBS.  So I am thinking age for I have nothing else to point at.

This shall pass too.

Blessings to you both!

 

August 11, 2016