RHM Newsletter 29 - 04 / 2017
Thank you for reading our devotional and being a part of Refreshing Hope Ministries. This is an update on what has been happening here during the last couple of months and I thank you for taking time to read it. The last couple of months have been more of Jesus, and less of me. We are working towards being more flexible for the Spirit here and less scripted, in all areas, so newsletters will come when we have something to say, and not necessarily at the first of the month.
To Restore Hope: While praying about the focus of this ministry, that is what comes to me. I feel that we are put here to restore hope to those that may have lost it. Those that are beginning to falter, to help them hold on for another day. That is what originally came to us when we began this ministry. We prayed together over a name and “Refreshing Hope” came to us, and if there is one thing people need today, it is a refreshed hope in the Lord. Yes, He is still there.
An anointed word spoken in season changes everything. The anointing is what it is all about. It is like reverb on dry vocals, it adds depth and power to what would be bland. It carries with it the very power of God. The word of the Lord will always accomplish what it was meant to do (Isaiah 55:11) and the yoke is destroyed because of the anointing (Isaiah 10:27).
That is what we work for here: to bring you an anointed word, in the right season. To refresh your hope when you need it most. To encourage you to hold on for another day until God comes through, or back.
Jesus stood up in the temple and read from from the scroll of Isaiah: Luke 4:18–19 (NKJV) — 18 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
At Refreshing Hope, we seek the poor, the brokenhearted, the captives, the spiritually blind, and the oppressed. Those that lay outside of the church walls. That is who Jesus went after. Jesus said in Matthew 9:12 — “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.”
Refreshing Hope started with a daily devotional, then a prayer network, then added an online church website, then live meetings over the Internet, with the goal of reaching those that no one else is seeking. So many were connected to us, but not to each other. We want to network them together and to the Lord.
When the Lord first put me into ministry, Ezekiel chapter 34 kept coming to me. A month before, I could not tell you what it said. Then suddenly after becoming a pastor, it was everywhere. People emailed it to me… I printed one of the emails out and thumb tacked to the wall beside me to think about later. The next morning when I came into work, it had come loose and was laying in my chair, like it was my assignment for the day. This kept happening. Especially this section:
Ezekiel 34:1–6 (NKJV) — 1 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.”
The Holy Spirit impressed on me that this is what I am called to do: to seek those that the church overall does not want, the broken, the lost, the weak, the sick. Those that have suffered church abuse and have been driven away. Many of them will never set foot back in church, but we will go after them and they will encounter Jesus right where they are, and it wasn’t my idea. It was His from the beginning. He has called me to be a different kind of shepherd, a broken one.
RHM is having live interactive church meetings over the Internet twice a week, Sunday mornings at 11AM EST, and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 PM EST. We have recently moved from a traditional format of a lengthy message to something with a more interactive and flexible feel, that includes worship, prayer, and perhaps a short message, throughout the service. We believe this type of service better fits the strengths of this ministry and leaves more room for the Holy Spirit to work. Just go to the website and click “Watch” to join us and we can pray for you in real time, and you can fellowship with others right where you are. We have started including praise and worship during the meetings and the Lord began giving me original songs. It is an exciting time. I am no singer, but Amos was no prophet (Amos 7:14) - He was just a man that God told to go, and he went. That is all that I am, a man under authority. He says: “Do this, and I do it” (Matthew 8:9).
Something New: Something that we feel that the Lord has put on our heart over the last year, and it seems way out there financially, but if He is in it, then He will bring it to pass, is this: A Pop-up Church, which is essentially a mobile church that can be set up in different locations. We already have an online church where everyone meets, and we can live stream from anywhere that we have a decent Internet connection. What if we could visit areas of the country and hold live meetings, and broadcast live from there as well. We could meet many of you, anoint people, lay hands on them, baptize them, pray for them - possibly even visit people in their homes or in the hospital. It will depend entirely on God. Our current vehicles are a 1997 truck with 240k miles and an 2002 car with 170k, so we won’t be doing all that much traveling until He changes it. One day, we would like to have either an RV, or a truck and a small camper for traveling. If He wants it to happen, He is more than able to supply our needs. We will update you on this if it develops further.
New Books: I have gone back through most of my devotionals over the past year, updated them, clarified things, proofed them, added prayers, fun facts, and adjusted the Bible scriptures and translation used in them. Thanks for your patience while I have done this. I know that some of the stories have been repetitive while I worked on it. Now I am done and we have enough content ready to release ten new forty day devotionals. We will be rolling them out over the next year. The first will probably be: “Forty Days of Love” which will be a forty day devotional on the different aspects of God’s love for us.
RHM T-Shirt Store: I wore one of our RHM shirts that Sylvia designed for me during one of our live meetings, and several of the people there asked how they could get one. So… being that Sylvia already had experience designing shirts for PBWU, we decided to put some shirts together for RHM and launch a web store where you can buy ministry shirts, coffee mugs and maybe some other things. We are only doing this as a service to you and really make no profit off of it. In fact, it will probably cost us money to keep it up there, but hopefully the sales will make us break even and it will add to our sense of community and being a part of something. Here are some notes about that:
* The shirts are fairly pricey to me (around $20) because they are print on demand. Meaning that you order one, they print just that one and then ship it to you. That is just the way it is. We cannot buy in bulk and are not willing to turn our home into a warehouse.
* Be sure that you actually want one before you before you order it… If you return a non-defective item, then it is shipped back to us, the money is taken from our account, and we take a 100% loss on the item. A few times of that and it will probably end the web store experience. I would say get them while it is there…
* There is currently only the RHM Cross design in various style options at the store, because it takes quite a bit of time to create images for every style and color option. If it looks like there is interest, we will work on adding more!
With all of that said, here is the link to the new RHM Web Store:
Audio and Video Recordings: RHM has its own Vimeo channel with all of our video teachings on it in one place. Now we also have audio recordings of the live meetings available. These are automated recordings of the entire service and are converted to small mp3 files. The quality is not that high, but they are small enough to stream on any internet connection. This was added by request and is good for those that get an encouraging word during the ministry time and want to go back and listen to it again later, or to catch up on the service while on the road or working. You can also find all of these under the “Multimedia” menu on the site:
The Videos are here (Teaching Only):
Videos only: https://vimeo.com/refreshinghope
Blog and Video: http://www.refreshinghope.org/blogs?owner_id=1&category=21
The Audio is here (Entire service start to finish):
Online Church News: www.refreshinghope.org - We have grown to 3,681 members and 17,080 friendships. We have had 117 prayer requests and sent 629 replies to them. A big thanks to our ministry team, who faithfully visit the prayer page and lift up the needs of our members.
Group and Member News:
We have started four new groups since the last newsletter, which we encourage you to check out: “Fun with Electronics” (a tech group), “Make a Joyful Noise” (a music group), “Overcomers: Addiction Support Group (encouragement and support for all types addictions), and “Broken Families” (support for those alienated from family members). You can find all of the groups by using the Groups link at the site menu, or at the link here: http://www.refreshinghope.org/groups.
We have also recently started up the Wednesday FAAD (Fight Against Anxiety & Depression) chats again. They start at 7:30pm EST, immediately following the RHM Live mid-week service at 7pm EST. One of our FAAD members, Jim Jarrell has been providing video teachings to kick them off, followed by questions, discussion and fellowship! Additionally, each week the Creation Photographers group brings a fun new theme for us to focus our eyes on God’s beauty, and the Spiritually Single group focuses on our pre-believer loved ones with “Fast & Pray Friday”. We invite you to have a look!
For those who are not aware, we have also added some new folks to our member bloggers list: http://www.refreshinghope.org/pages/bloggers, and our member authors: http://www.refreshinghope.org/pages/memberauthors. These are RHM members who contribute with their articles, or have published books. We encourage you to take a look and encourage them with your feedback!
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). Here also is the direct link: http://www.refreshinghope.org/pages/prayer. For our prayer warriors, if you are interested in joining our prayer team, please do contact us.
Many thanks to each of you for being part of Refreshing Hope Ministries. We pray for each of you daily, and are grateful for your encouragement, prayers and support!
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