Hope… the connection to faith and love.

I’ve been kicking up my study of Faith. I’m leaning into His love by stimulating my hope.

Jesus once stated,”When the son of man returns will He find faith upon the earth?” Luke 18:8

I think the above statement is connected to another statement,“The love of many will grow cold.”  Matthew 24:12

I believe the key to keeping faith and love flowing is to actively nurture our hope.

Hope is our connection which stimulates our faith and empowers our love.

Hope is the confident expectation of good to come.

Hope is our anchor.


“…we have strong encouragement to hold firmly to the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and reliable (steadfast) and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us. Hebrews 6:18-20 NASB



How do we renew/maintain/kickup our hope?
       Here are a few tips.

  • Read great books that stimulate faith. I’m currently re-reading Effective Faith by J.O. Sanders of OMF. It’s a classic. I’m taking notes and researching new definitions of Veracity, Repose, Validity of God’s character, promises, and action.
  • Practice gratitude and thankfulness. This practice energizes our hope. Practice by giving thanks often.
  • Serve others who are less fortunate than yourself. See video.
  • Set aside time for prayer, worship, and to rest in His presence.
  • Turn off the news.
  • Remind yourself of His truth. Words, principles, and encouragements He has spoken to you. Grab a journal and pen. Write short thoughts about His truth that He encouraged you to believe. Example:
    • His promise of salvation is more powerful than my performance. I am saved by grace and grace alone.
    • The Father has lavished His love upon me through His Son.
    • I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
    • Nothing can separate me from His love.
    • My future will be greater than my past. Keep writing to stir up your memory. Now read out loud what you have written.

Here is a short video about helping the less served in our community. Click link below.

https://www.facebook.com/696266595/videos/10158011280641596/

Fear and Faith by J.O. Sanders.

When I sense a need to increase my faith I read J.O. Sanders Effective Faith.
(His great little book is out of print. I did copy a few chapters of his book to have a reminder of the importance of exercising our faith.)
This is a new season. Exercising our faith is imperative. Below is an excerpt from his book.

Fear and faith are spiritual incompatibles.

So much so that one can survive only at the expense of the other.

When faith in God enters the list, fear is routed. The presence of fear is unmistakable evidence of the absence of faith.

Between them, there is no such thing as peaceful coexistence.

Fear is acutely infectious.

It was craven fear that inspired the ten spies to present their adverse report on the promised land. ‘We saw the giants’ … We were as grasshoppers, and the people wept that night.’ 

It was robust faith which enabled Caleb and Joshua to table the challenging minority report, “Let us go up at once and possess it … we are well able to overcome … the Lord will bring us into this land … neither fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us… the Lord is with us, fear them not.’ 

Their faith measured the opposing forces, not by their grasshopper strength, but by the omnipotence of their God.

Faith too is infectious.

It was in faith that Amram and Jochebed hid Moses for three months, ‘and they were not afraid of the kings’ commandment.’ 

Their supernatural faith overcame their natural fear.

The faith of his parents was communicated to Moses by precept and example.

Small wonder that it banished his fear.

‘By faith, Moses forsook Egypt not fearing the wrath of the king.’ ( Hebrews 11″23, 27)

Moses, in-turn, endeavored to teach Israel the dominance of faith over fear.

Unfortunately, ‘The word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.  (Hebrews 4:2,1)

This is the only permissible fear.

Pinpoints of Light… Worship Is!

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Many years ago while living in Scotland, I heard a well known pastor speak about how he developed his personal time with Jesus. He consistently worshiped and prayed. Out of his overflow he wrote several notable songs which were sung all over the world.

When he moved to pastor his new church he often walked around his big room(his church worship center area) to worship and pray. One day he sensed a dark area in one portion of the room. It was a space that just didn’t feel right nor good.

He heard the Lord whisper, “Just keep worshiping.” So he continued to go into the room and worship, one day he noticed the dark space was gone and the sense of heaviness had lifted. He asked the Lord what happened to the presence he felt? He sensed this reply, “Darkness cannot exist in the Light.”

He had not addressed the darkness or the sense heaviness directly, He just kept worshiping and one day it left.

Here’s what he discovered.

God is light, and as we worship, the God of Light enters our space and darkness flees.

He noted, “We don’t always have to address the darkness, we just need to be the worshipers the Father seeks. As we worship Light comes and darkness flees. We don’t worship with the intent of removing the darkness, we simply worship focusing upon Jesus and the Father takes care of the rest. True worship is always for God, and for God alone.

He also shared that he believed that as we worship alone or together, we create pinpoints of light that reach up to Heaven. As we touch the Father’s heart Light / Presence appears.. He noted, “Worship can change the atmosphere in a church, or over a town, or a city as heaven touches earth. I agree.

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Pattie and I are very cautious about singing songs as warfare directed toward the enemy. He wants attention. Remember, he was the worship leader. He wants attention anyway he can receive it.

We believe who we focus upon as we worship is important. As Jesus is lifted up, and as we focus upon Him to honor Him, and to glorify Him His presence fills our hearts and our space.

Simply stated…Light dispels darkness.

Have you ever experienced going into a kitchen at night and switching on the light and seen the roaches scurry away?

Sue Rinaldi is a brilliant worship leader from England. She travels around the world leading worship in churches and conferences. She once stated, “Worship is the scene of His appearing.

We don’t worship to gain God’s favor, or so we will have power encounters with people, or to defeat our enemies. We worship Him only… simply because we want to know what it is to love God from our hearts and  to receive more of His love.  Our personal worship time is our time investment we are choosing to make toward Him. As a by product, we are refreshed as we receive His love and grace as we experience His presence as He leans toward us.

Over the years I have sought to go there, to sit on the stage, to walk around the chairs, to worship, pray and to receive. Being there, in the big room, reminds me of the greatness of God and reminds me of the people who come and worship with us.

Often I sing new songs directed toward His heart. Sometimes they include appeals for mercy, grace, greater healing. Usually at the end of my time I ask for His presence to be manifest in our worship space on weekends and in my heart.

City Wide Worship Brings Heaven To Earth.

What Caleb Ingram Declare and others in the Dayton area have accomplished for our community in worship has done much more than we realize. Worship has literally circled our community. Thousands of believers have worshiped together.declare

What Sean Feucht Let Us Worship is accomplishing much more than we realize. Heaven is touching earth. Sometimes I ask people to pray let heaven come to this earth. I ask them to put their hand on their heart and say… This earth. Worship is the scene of His appearing.

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Pinpoints of Light… Worship Is!

Why not position yourself to go there  ­­to your place, wherever your place is? Go with a hunger and thirst for more, spend time in worship, and rest in His Presence. It’s what is most important.

Why I Turkey…

2013 was a big year for serving the community. When I was with the Dayton Vineyard we touched hundreds of families at Thanksgiving.
It’s a great example of how any church can serve, love, and care for their community at Thanksgiving.

Why I Turkey…

I often ask the question, How can you know and see need unless you position yourself to venture out into your community? The answer, you can’t.

How do you learn to serve? By serving.
How do you learn to love? By loving.
How do you learn to care? By going and seeing with your heart.
How do you learn to pray? By praying.

What we do is not rocket science by any means, it’s just faith that works through love.

Going, seeing, serving, and praying for others is really the only way to receive a personal ah-ha moment. Going, serving, and loving often is the catalyst that sparks a greater commitment toward personal outward involvement, lifestyle change, and thankful gratitude.

Someone asked me: How do you serve the less served week in and week out, it must affect you?

I answer, Jesus said the poor you will have with you always, so I understand whatever I do in a small way, or in a great way, is good enough. I can’t possibly meet every person’s need, but I can stop for the one and pray.

Going out into our community also helps keep me grounded, humbled, and personally grateful for all I have received… like the ability to pay my bills, to have heat, to have running water, to have clothing, to have a family that is somewhat normal, and to have great relationships.

It’s why I Turkey.

Church gives away 500 Thanksgiving dinners

Volunteers surprise families with meal deliveries.

By Mark Gokavi, Staff Writer 12:05 AM Sunday, November 20, 2011
BEAVERCREEK — About 500 families got a knock on the door Saturday morning and received a free Thanksgiving dinner.

The Vineyard Church of Dayton and Beavercreek packed and delivered that many meals to families in Fairborn, Xenia, Huber Heights and Centerville as part of their “Turkeys Giving Away Turkeys” initiative.

Organizer Steve Bowen said hundreds of volunteers put together packages including a frozen turkey, corn, green beans, yams, cranberry sauce, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, rolls and more.

“To see the look on somebody’s face when you show up with a complete dinner and they didn’t know where their food was going to come from, it’s hard to believe,” said Scott Sliver, one of the pastors at The Vineyard.

The Vineyard also delivers regular groceries to families in need in Huber Heights, Fairborn, and Dayton which is a program they help other groups with each month.

“The face of the poor is changing around town,” Sliver said. “It’s really hit the middle class pretty hard.”

We had a blast serving those in need by giving away the 550 turkey dinners.

The people who served were surprised, encouraged and in some cases moved to tears. God space was created by the simple act of kindness. People were able to show care to the person served: by having a listening ear, which often led to giving loving hugs, and significant prayer.

How your church can to participate:

Join together as a family, friends, or a small group to fill up the IKEA bag (we used boxes for several years) located at the exits around the building with items listed below.

Turkey Dinner List.
2 Cans Corn
2 Cans Green Beans
1 Large Can Yams
1 Can Cranberry Sauce
1 Box Au Gratin Potatoes
1 Box Brownies
2 Boxes Mac and Cheese
1 Dinner Bag Rolls
1 Box Stuffing Mix
1 FROZEN Turkey!
Optional:
1 Pie
Fresh Veggies
Roasting Pan
Fun Stuff!

Important Instructions:
If you are going on the outreach…Please leave your dinner in your car then come into our main room for instructions.

Not going on the outreach, and you only want to participate by donating a turkey
dinner …Please drop the dinner off at 9am.

Impact:
  • One mom and daughter had just moved in the day before. They were going out to sell some households so that they could purchase needed items for their Thanksgiving day dinner. They were more than surprised when they received the dinner offered for free.
  • One of our team members was so moved by what he saw in one apartment that he ran back to the truck to pick up a boxed dinner for a lady who only had ice cubes in her fridge. He then spent time caring for her, listening to her story, and praying for her needs.
  • Another family who served had just delivered their turkey and went back to the truck to grab a dinner for another person in need. When they arrived they realized there were no more dinners, so they went to Kroger and purchased a full dinner for a grateful family.
  • Several families who served were not aware of people in such need within their very community. They were surprised, glad they could help, yet at the same time upset by what they saw. They also came away from the experience more personally grateful and thankful.