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 DionRead more at: www.refreshinghope.org