It’s been a good two weeks. I’m in Warrington, England with my friends Mike and Jane. They were pastors of a church I helped plant in Scotland. They sold everything and moved to Warrington a few years ago to plant a new generation church called Oasis. Oasis is amazing. I love the energy, the way people are encouraged, and how they reach out to the community. Many of the people who now attend were reached, met Jesus, were then baptized, now are disciples and function as band members, creative arts people, outreach participants or serve in other ways. One of my Bible college professors stated, “If a principal works in any culture it’s God. If the principle doesn’t work in any culture, it’s probably American.”
Serving their city works. Oasis serves the community mainly through acts of kindness. They have served the people of the city from day one. In this culture nothing is free, and there is always a catch. When people receive a small gift, a coke on a hot day, a small bag of treats, or chocolate to celebrate Warrington people are impacted. The simple acts of kindness reaches the heart. They ask questions. Many receive prayer. Some meet Jesus then begin to attend Oasis.
We’ve gone out to the main shopping area in the town center. As we’ve served more than one person asked, “What’s the catch?” We were able to share why, have great conversations, and pray with people.
One day the police came down after seeing us serving on CV monitors. Their response, “Oh, it just Oasis.”
I prayed for a police woman. I simply stated, “I’d like to pray for your protection. Would that be ok?” She replied, “Thanks that would be nice.” We prayed for her. Invited angels to be with her. Declared protection over her. We declared she’d have eyes to see and ears to hear and God’s presence would be near her. We noticed her smile, gratitude and genuine up beat response. “I’m protected now. Thank you.”
One lady who had pain in her back was shocked when her pain level moved from an eight down to a two. Most people we prayed for encountered the love of Jesus through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Several people mentioned they would like to pop in and check Oasis out.
They have a family service at 11am. At 6 pm a new generation service starts. This service is mainly made up of 20’s and 30’s. The style is fun, upbeat and has an amazing house band who lead worship. Last week there was a tangible sense of God’s presence as we worshiped. Since I’ve been here there has been a shift into prophetic encouragement and prayer. People are now stepping into the next phase of outreach. As they pray for people they are receiving insight, knowledge and encouragement for the people they serve. This connection to the Holy Spirit is wonderful to see and experience. Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson wrote a best selling book The Externally Focused Church. My favorite line from the book. “Good deeds, creates good will, which opens hearts to the good news.”
Oasis … They areserving their way into the hearts of people… Tiz working in Warrington, England.
This is what Pattie and I do. We encourage, and in return we are encouraged. If you’d like us to come to your church or support us in prayer of giving. Simply click Invite Steve or Donor Box link.
It’s rewarding to see the potential for missionaries using the film we gift to highlight who they are and what they do. Two short video’s have been completed. We are waiting on completed edit. While in Costa Rica we filmed Thebackwardsmissionaries.com
Our heart is to equip, train and encourage wherever we are located and go. We are practitioners not just theorist. I do more than travel to encourage missionaries; this is just a part of what we are doing. We are learning and growing even at our age.
Worship a key that unlocks our hearts… I was worshiping and felt so small, so young, I asked Jesus, “Why?” Reply, “Because you are eternal.” Yep, much pondering on this statement happened. Stunned… I was worshiping a while ago, and I felt a nudge, a whisper… “Steve, if this was the only thing you did …. would it be enough?”
I sat in silence for some time then replied, “I want you to be enough. I’m so driven. I don’t know. Help me to allow you to be enough.”
I walked away from that moment forever changed.
Worship is our number one way of expressing our heart to Jesus. As we worship He appears. Sue Ranaldi, a worship leader in the UK once said, “Worship is the scene of His appearing.”
Those who worship, touch the Father’s heart
as they glorify Jesus. The Holy Sprit loves to glorify the Son.
As we worship He shows up.
Number two way, is serving others. Both sacrifices are pleasing to HIm. (Hebrews 13)
We sing … more than enough… but really, is He? When I remember this encounter I cease striving. I pause. I reflect. In eternity He will be more than enough… I’m learning to practice making Him so here.
More to follow. I head to the UK Monday for 3 weeks, and yes another video guy is going, thanks to the partnership support I’m receiving. His first out of the country mission. Excited for him.
I’ll be in Warrington, England for a couple of weeks with Mike and Jane McMahon training and encouraging before heading north.
Last thought. Times are a changing: partnership and support come from relationships with ones being sent.This includes churches and individuals. We are grateful for those we know, or we have known, who help us do what we do.
We are so grateful,
Steve and Pattie for more www.eyesoutward.com
If you’d like to give use donor box at the top side bar of eyesoutward.
Towards a Psychology of Hope is a great article. (click link for full article.) “We all know that hope is a good thing, even an essential thing: there is no life without hope, or so the saying goes. Psychologists believe hope might be the most important feeling, state, or emotion we can experience. Hope is a skill you can acquire. It is active—you can cultivate and nourish it.
It is self-perpetuating—hopeful people tend to be more resilient, more trusting, more open, and more motivated than those less hopeful, so they are likely to receive more from the world, which in turn makes them more hopeful—which is why it’s so important.” How do we gain hope? Some thoughts.
Now May the God of all hope Fill you With all joy and peace in believing So that You may abound in Hope By The power of The Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13:NASB
By believing; by praying and receiving.Believe you will abound in hope. Hope will be poured into your life and your hope willexistingreatquantity. You will be rich in hope, and you will be well supplied with hope.
You will befilled with hope. You will over-flow orteem with hope.
You will have all joy and peace in believing.
Pray: God of all hope, fill me with all joy and peace so that I will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit empower me with Hope. Thank you now for filling me.
Look forward in hope:
Hope is a confident expectation of good things to come. Hope looks to a future bright. The light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train. Jer 29:29 NASB For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
Proverbs 23:18 (NIV) There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Hope is future, Faith is now. In hope see ahead, believe now.
Hey 11:1 NASB Now faith is the assurance / confidence / substance of things hoped for, (Faith is) the conviction / evidence of things not seen. What things? What are you believing, looking for, hoping for? Activate your faith and hope toward what you are believing. Develop a positive mindset by reading hopeful articles and the Bible. Fuse belief by offering thanksgiving and gratitude.
Hope is the seed bed of faith. These three remain: “Faith, Hope and Love…these three but the greatest of these three is love.” I Cor 13
Hold on to hope long enough until hope becomes faith.
Hope is the connector that creates faith and love. Faith and love spring from hope.
Col 1:5 NIV The faith and love that spring from the hope stored up / secure for you in heaven
It’s important to speak hope, to speak in faith, to declare, and to believe. Ps 62:5 NIV Yes, my soul, find rest in God, my hope comes from him.
Lamentations 3:24 (NASB) The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore, I have hope in Him.” The biggest question, “Where do we place our hope? Who is our hope?”
Where is your hope, your expectation placed?
Hope, by definition is a person, or a thing, in which expectations are centered or focused upon. Who are you trusting / looking to? People? Places? Things? Jobs? Governments? Leaders? My wife and I are in transition. We don’t know where we are going, nor how provision will come. During this season we often have to shift our mindsets, focus and declare:
“Our hope is found in you Jesus. We declare ___________ is not our Savior. Where we go, or where we stay will not save us, nor provide for us. In You, and You alone is our hope. All of our hope is found in You. Thank you, our future is secure. Thank you for providing for us.“
The Reality. Jesus is our only hope. Hope is embodied in Him. He is the hope of glory. Our hope is secure and steadfast…
Heb. 6:18-20 NIV We who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be strong / encouraged.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and steadfast. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus our forerunner has entered on our behalf.
Jesus is the better hope.
Heb 7: 9 NASB for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
Heb 7:22 NASB so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. It’s interesting and encouraging…The eye of the Lord is upon those who hope and who hope for something tangible, yet supernatural, His lovingkindness.
Ps 33:18 NASB Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who hope for his Lovingkindness.
“Our trials are turned to gold.”Keith Green.
Trials do one thing well… if we hold on, we don’t give up and we continue… Trials produce a hope that does not disappoint. In hope… we hope.
Rom 5:1-5 NASB Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.(hope) 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.
4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Running with Percy. There is something to be said about perseverance.Perserverenc enables us to keep on keeping on, tolean forward by faith, and tolook into the future in hope.
Sometimes we need to run with our friend Percy. Running with Percy produces a hope that does not disappoint. It’s important to faint not; to not grow weary and never give up.
Trials of life show us what we are made of. Trials reveal our metal. They test our metal.
People of our world need hope. They are lost without hope, and without God in this world. We are the hopeful ones. We have a future and a hope. It is secure. We can draw from heavens hope and give what we have received away.
We can have joy and peace and abound in hope. The connector… in believing. “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less” by Edward Mote, 1797-1874
My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.
His oath, His covenant, and blood Support me in the whelming flood; When every earthly prop gives way, He then is all my Hope and Stay. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.
When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh, may I then in Him be found, Clothed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne! On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.