RHM October 2016 Newsletter
RHM October 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.
Two Octobers ago, we began Refreshing Hope Ministries from our kitchen table with the secondhand equipment from eBay in the picture below. The Lord has been with us and has faithfully provided for each need that arises. Not that long ago, we were standing in the unemployment line wondering what tomorrow held, but I never saw this coming. I thought that we would retire in our computer business. As Chevy Chase once said, “I would not have been more surprised if I woke up and my face was sewn to the carpet.” Yet looking around, I can that we were prepared for such a time as this.
Refreshing Hope Ministries appeared in the July issue of Guideposts magazine, and I have been invited to speak at their National Conference this year on “Church in the Digital Age.” None of this was planned, but God opens doors that no man can shut and we are excited to follow Him wherever He leads us.
The beginning of Refreshing Hope Ministries sitting on our kitchen table.
As many of you know, when I was young and starting out with the Lord, I was completely consumed with eschatology, the study of end time events. It was a passion. I had my walls covered with charts, timelines, and scriptures. I studied the Bible many hours every day. Eventually, the Lord told me in a gentle way to “Not be so concerned about the end of the book, but go back to the beginning and take another look.” In other words, let it go, so I did and I put it out of my mind.
Over the last month, some twenty years later, I feel like He is speaking to me about the end times, and at first I was unsure why. So I pushed it off and tried to put together another teaching, but when praying, all I could hear is “Birth Pains.” That reminded me of Matthew 24:8:
“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines, plagues, and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are the beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:7–8 WEB).
Also I suddenly felt that I should fast, so I began a week-long fast, from Sunday to Sunday. Thinking that I had a word from Him to go on, I began planning a two-part series based on Matthew, chapter 24. Now I was already very familiar with the study of the end times, so I thought that I could just freshen up a bit and put together a message.
I began to pray, study, research and dig into the Bible and church history around ten hours a day. I watched about twenty hours of sermons by various well-known preachers in the afternoons, and listened to Matthew chapters 24-25 on repeat all night.
Finally, I felt ready to put my message together, but when I did, it became difficult. It was like building a house of cards that kept falling down. Like any preacher, I could put something together that sounded great, but deeper research would then pull the rug out from under it. I prayed some more.
By Saturday, I not only failed to complete my message, but the Lord had wrecked my understanding of the end times from one end to the other. Almost everything that I had been taught was wrong, and the things that He has shown me go against all popular teachings on the subject today. It began as a little speck in a verse that I began to pick at, and like a string, as I pulled on it, the whole thing began to unravel. Now I just sit here and say, “Could it be so obvious? How could we have missed that?”
The religious teachers alive when Jesus came, knew the scriptures well, and were waiting on the Messiah to come, but yet they missed the coming of Jesus. Somehow, they misinterpreted the prophecies concerning His coming. Could we do that again? Have we done that again?
Over the next couple of months, I will be working on a series of messages about the end time events and what I have learned, called “What Time Is It?”
New Videos Available:
We completed our video series on “Faith, Hope and Love” during the live meetings on Sunday and they are now on the website, as well as the introduction to “What Time Is It?” Click here to watch them:
* Faith, Hope, and Love Part 1: Faith
* Faith, Hope, and Love Part 2: Hope
* Faith, Hope, and Love Part 3: Love
* What Time is it: Part 1: Introduction
Online Church News: www.refreshinghope.org - We have grown to 3,521 members and 15,918 friendships. We have had 127 prayer requests and sent 358 replies to them. A big thanks to our ministry team, who faithfully visit the prayer page and lift up the needs of our members.
The Refreshing Hope live meetings are happening each Sunday morning at 11 AM Eastern Time. The attendance usually runs between 30 to 50 people. For those that cannot attend, the messages are recorded and placed on the website at refreshinghope.org. Click “Watch” on the menu. Many thanks to all those who have been participating in the live meetings. It has been an experience and the whole group, praying together for each other, is great.
We have created a mailing list for the live meetings to keep you updated on what is going on. You can sign up here if you are interested:
Group and Member News:
For those who knew her, Janet Clary, one of our beloved members and the leader of our Haven of Hope group passed away recently. We all mourn her loss and ask that you please keep her husband and family in your prayers.
The Healthful Living group’s monthly focus event is “Peace in Troubled Times”. Because one of the reasons for the event is the strife happening from the upcoming election, it has been extended to November 9th, to cover the election date. We encourage all to join in to pray for peace and His will in our nation.
The Spiritually Single group continues to host a “Fast & Pray Friday” each week. If you have loved ones who are not yet believers, we encourage you to join. Also, you are all welcome to join in the fun at the Creation Photographers group, as they share God’s beauty and creativity with a weekly fun theme!
New Audio Books Available from Guideposts:
Guideposts now has audio books available for download so that you can listen to positive encouragement on the go. The voice work was done by one of our own RHM members, Dennis Hubbell, from JIOS radio. There are many books to choose from. Visit Refreshing Hope and click Guideposts on the menu.
If you are in need of prayer, we are here for you! Just click on the Prayer link on the website menu (you will need to be logged in). Also, if you are interested in joining our prayer team, please do contact us.
Each day, we are so blessed and grateful because of the amazing people that God has placed in our lives. Thank you so much for being part of Refreshing Hope Ministries.
Pastor DionRead more at: www.refreshinghope.org