RHM May 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
May Newsletter - 2016
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.
Refreshing: adjective: serving to refresh or reinvigorate someone.
Hope: noun: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
God has placed Refreshing Hope Ministries here for such a time as this and we are not an accident or wandering about with no purpose. Not that long ago, I found myself herded into the ministry and part of my job became writing a daily devotional. We call it “The Daily Word of Hope.”
Soon it grew to several thousand readers and we received hundreds of emails back each day. As we prayed for people and got to know them better, the Lord showed us that many of them were walking alone in life. Some were disabled, some had been hurt by the church, some were in the military, others were home bound or reclusive. Many sent us emails explaining that the devotional had given them the hope to continue and pulled them through some dark times in their life.
Once a man wrote us that he had lost his wife, his job, his home, and on a particularly low day, he was about to commit suicide, then he heard the sound of an email coming in. He stopped to read it in case that it was from his wife, who had left him. It was our devotional, and he did not even remember how that he got signed up for it. He read it and felt like God was speaking to him through the words, and He put off suicide for another day. The next day, another email came in, and he felt that it was written to him. He later told me “It is like you have a microphone in my house.” As the days went by, hope began to build inside of him and one day he wrote me explaining all that he had went through. He was drawn to God daily, had now found a job, and was working to put his life and marriage back together. He thanked me profusely, but it wasn’t me doing it.
God reached this man who was lost and hurting, right where he was and refreshed his hope. I realized that this was much bigger than us and as time passed, we saw this happen again and again. It turns out that Refreshing Hope was God’s idea. We are just employees, and He is only just getting started. Jesus never owned a house, He ate with the sinners and the tax collectors right where they were, in their house.
In the last newsletter I mentioned that I believed the Lord had given us the next step for this ministry: live, interactive, church meetings over the Internet. We have been working towards making this happen and it has been a challenge, or more like a battle. You don't know what you don't know until you are confronted with doing it.
First, we are using my small prayer room, and the audio sounded weird, harsh, with random screeching / feedback when recording. Solved that with a better / closer head set microphone and a dedicated EQ. Then we needed a decent camera, so we got a used Canon GL2 off of Ebay. We then found that being that I am in the room alone, we needed a way to pan / zoom the camera from across the room rather than getting up during the video repeatedly to adjust it if I move, so we had to get a motorized head with remote for the wall mounted camera. Fixed that.
After testing, saw that the white wall behind me would make you snow blind and seemed to glow, so we resolved that by getting a long black curtain to line the wall with. That worked well, but found the lighting in the room caused my skin to look like a zombie, a yellowish but glowing green, like I had radiation poisoning. So we resolved that by installing proper photo lighting in the room.
After that, I realized that I needed to actually see what was going on in the service and in the live chat to be able to interact, so we needed a video monitor in front of me. We adapted a Chromebook to a television and placed that in front of my keyboard. I also needed to see what I actually looked like on camera being that I was the camera man as well, and whether my head was even in the video and not cut off, so we had to install a computer monitor and linked that to the camera.
There have been so many other problems that we have solved along the way. You have to be creative when you are home brewing an internet broadcast studio. It has been one step at a time, and we often do not see the next step until we have completed the last one, but we are now very close.
Currently we are waiting on a new sub woofer to come, the one that I have is a 32 year old Peavey and it rattles on the low notes. (It just arrived today as I was writing this!) Right now there are cables strung everywhere as we have been testing something, and then ended up doing something else. So now I plan to strip all the equipment out of the room, rewire everything the way that it should be, and we should be ready to start live meetings. Thank you everyone for supporting us and allowing us to continue on with what we feel that the Lord is calling us to do. It has cost about double of what we planned because you don’t know what you don’t know.
Here are a couple of pictures of our current progress:
When is this happening: We plan to do a couple of live meetings on Tuesday nights to test what we will be facing, and then launch our first Sunday meeting on Father’s Day. Yes, it will be a busy day for many, but what could be better than a day set aside to honor our Father in heaven. So with that said, here is the schedule that we plan:
* Live test: 06.07.2016 at 7 PM EST (Tuesday Evening).
* Live test: 06.14.2016 at 7 PM EST (Tuesday Evening).
* Launch Day: Father’s Day 06.19.2016 at 11 AM EST (Sunday Morning).
Please join us in the live testing and provide feedback for us so that we can tweak things that are needed. We should be able to support 500 participants.
How does this work: It will work much like a regular church service except over the Internet, we will sing a couple of worship songs together, hear a message, pray for the sick and needy, share testimonies and more. Our goal is to try and give hope to those that need it, right where they are.
We will create an event at refreshinghope.org and post it in the announcements area on the front page of the site. There will be a link provided there and people on the site to help if needed, like ushers. Just click the link, enter your name, and you will join the live meeting. A computer would probably work best, but tablets and phones are supported. A set of head phones would allow you to hear the speaking better. A web cam and head phones are needed if you would like to share a testimony, etc.
We want to bring hope to people that do not have a church, right where they are. If you can join us, then please do. If you cannot, then please pray that the Lord will guide us. Consider supporting us monthly in tithes and offerings, and thank you so much for those that do for we could not do any of this without your support.
If you would like to help in some way, please let us know. We could use people on the welcome team, the prayer team, the praise team, as well as help promoting Refreshing Hope in general and getting the word out. Many details to work out, but we are excited to be here and be a small part of what God is doing today.
Online Church News: www.refreshinghope.org We have grown to 3,264 members and 13,326 friendships. We have had 97 prayer requests and sent 354 replies to them. A big thanks to our ministry team.
Audio Books: The Guideposts booklets have now been recorded to audio by our friend Dennis Hubbell of JIOS Radio. Just click the Guideposts link on the website, choose any of the books and there will be a link to listen to them as well as download as a PDF file.
Questions and Answers: We have added more questions and answers to the site, including questions like “Burial or Cremation?”, “Letting Go” and “Science verses Christianity.”
New Groups: We have a three new groups that have been started recently: “Through My Eyes” is a journaling group, there to share God’s beautiful work that we see each day. “God’s Children Prayer Group” is here to lift up the needs of the children in the world. “Ladies in Distress” is a fun women’s group, to support each other through life’s daily challenges. All three of these groups are private, which means all are welcome (though obviously “Ladies in Distress” is just for women), but posts will only be seen by group members. We invite you to visit these and all of the other wonderful groups at RHM!
New Fitness Challenge: For those who would like to ramp up your exercise for the summer, we are hosting “Jumping Into June” Fitness Challenge, which you can find in the Events area!
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, and give us a fresh vision as we follow Him one step at a time, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.
Pastor DionRead more at: www.refreshinghope.org