Hope…Run with Percy! …Revisiting.

The light at the end of the tunnel is not an on-coming train!

Hope:

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. 

Hope 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 Hope is so important.”

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

Hope Defined.

Hope is a confident expectation of good things to come.
Hope looks forward to a future bright.

Hope believes the best is yet to come.

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, we see ahead. In faith, we believe for a hopeful future.

Heb. 11:1 NASB 
Now faith is the assurance / confidence / substance of things
hoped for,
(Faith is) the conviction / evidence of things
not seen.


What are the things currently – not seen – you are believing for?

What are you currently hoping for? Refreshment? Emotional stability? Spiritual connection with Holy Spirit? Experiencing the Fathers love, and the Son’s faithfulness? Debt reduction? Marriage Restoration? Wholeness in body, soul and spirit? Healing? Clarity of Mind?

We fuse hope and believing by:

  • offering thanksgiving and cultivating gratitude.
  • dedicating time to slow down.
  • positioning ourselves to read, worship, and to believe.
  • eating properly.
  • exercising.
  • sleeping enough.
  • serving others less fortunate than ourselves.

Tip: Worship is faith set to music. Let faith-filled music play in your home, car and workplace.

Hope is the center word for purpose.
There is no faith without hope, and there is no love without hope.

Hope is the connector. Hope is the seed bed that creates faith and love.

Faith and love spring from hope.
Hold on to hope long enough until your hope becomes Faith.

It’s important to speak hope, to declare your hope, to believe, and to rest in God’s love.

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.”

It’s both interesting and encouraging…The eye of the Lord is upon those who hope, and who hope for something tangible, yet supernatural, His loving-kindness.

Ps 33:18 NASB
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who hope for his Loving-kindness.

The biggest questions, “Where do you and I place our hope? Who is your hope?” A more specific question, “In Whom is your hope, your expectation, placed?” 

Hope, by definition: a person, or a thing, in which expectations are centered or focused upon.

Who are you trusting / looking to? People? Places? Things? Jobs? Governments? Feelings? Circumstances? Leaders?

Pattie and I often have to shift our mindsets, our expectations, our focus, and our declarations:

Our Reality.
Jesus is our only hope. Hope is embodied in Him. He is the hope of glory.
Our hope becomes secure and steadfast as we build our relationship with Him.

“Our hope is only 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 Jesus, our future is secure. Thank you for providing for us, and for guiding us!”

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 (our hope) enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus our forerunner has entered on our behalf.

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. 

“Our trials are turned to gold.” Keith Green.

Trials do one thing well… if we hold on, if we don’t give up, and if we continue… Trials produce a hope that does not disappoint. In hope… we hope.

Romans 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. 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.

Running with perseverance enables us to keep on keeping on, to lean forward in faith, and to look into our future by hope. 

Running with Percy produces a hope that does not disappoint. It’s important we faint not, and do not grow weary.

Never give up! Keep getting up!

Trials of life show us what we are made of. Trials reveal our metal. They test our metal.

We can have joy, peace, and we can abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The connector…Our Faith. Our 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.

He has Eyes of Fire, yet there is mercy found at His Feet.

Last night as we worshiped several spontaneous songs were sung. One song mentioned Jesus having eyes of fire.

I had a dream a few years ago.

In the dream I saw Jesus glorified. I heard a song being sung. He has eyes of fire, yet there is mercy found at His feet.

When I woke up I began to study the Gospels. In every instance, people who fell at Jesus’s feet were either healed, found mercy, or were mentioned for their acts of kindness toward Him.

  • One woman pushed through the crowds just to touch the hem of his clothing. When she touched His clothing she was healed.
  • Four friends were desperate to see their friend healed. They ripped open a roof and lowered their friend to Jesus’s feet. Seeing their faith… their friend was healed.
  • One man threw himself at Jesus’s feet and asked for his daughter to be healed. She was.
  • A crazy man fell at Jesus’s feet. He was delivered, was clothed, and put into his right mind.
  • One woman anointed His feet with fragrance. She is now mentioned in every nation.

He has eyes of fire, yet mercy is found at His feet.
His voice sounds like many waters, yet He often speaks most powerfully in a whisper.
His Spirit is like a flowing river, yet He often touches our lives like the early morning dew or a soft spring rain.
When He walks among us He sees, hears, and knows all things.
He is Holy… yet, He invites us into His presence.

An audience of One.

Often I’ll head into the Big Room, grab my guitar, and worship. Just me, no one looking, no one listening except One. Sometimes new songs bubble up, and sometimes nothing is felt. I know I’m just positioning myself to lean in.

Many times my prayers, my crying out, praying for others, or my heart being exposed are returned to Jesus in song. Sometimes I just play softly saying nothing. Sometimes I sit quietly reading, journaling contemplating. One phrase I’ve found myself singing repeatedly recently … “You are Faithful and True, Your Word speaks of you, This is Who You Are. Who you really are.”

Who Jesus is… is revealed to us through spending time in His Presence, reading who He is in the Bible, and by the revelation of the Holy Spirit.

Mike Bickel in his book Passion for Jesus wrote, “It takes God to know God.” So I often pray: “Open my eyes to see you, open my ears to hear you, open my mind to perceive you, open my heart to believe you, and open my spirit to receive you.”

Who is Jesus? He is revealed to us by what He does in our lives.
He is our salvation.
He is our redemption.
He is our healing.
He is our provision.
He is our forgiving.
He is our protection.
He is our wisdom.
He is our comfort.
He is our power.  
He is our mercy.
He is our grace.

Most likely all the above began to happen when you first fell at His feet asking for forgiveness and mercy.

He is also the holder together of all things.
He is Jesus, Risen King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This is He is who He is, and so much more.

“This is eternal life, that they may know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3)

Through Jesus we have access to the Father’s heart.

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NASB

R.C. Sproul expresses the thought this way:

“The moment Jesus died, the instant the just one died for the unjust, the veil in the temple was torn. The presence of God became accessible to us. We now have access to His grace (*which brings peace) but even more, we have access to Him. (*His presence) Now we can feel welcome in the very presence of a Holy God.” The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul *my note

This is the good news.. we have access.

My friend Stephen Bell states, “The really good news is that the Father now has access to us!” This truth is most amazing.

His sacrifice for our sins brings peace between the Father and who we are. It’s settled.
His resurrection to Life ensures our confident access into the presence of our loving Father.

To fear and yet to be unafraid is an interesting experience.

R. C. Sproul sums it up:

“But when we come, we must remember two things: (1) who He is; and (2) who we are. For the Christian the holy war is over; the peace has been established. Access to the Father is ours. But we still must tremble before our God. He is still holy.” The Holiness of God, R.C. Sproul

Years ago I heard a whisper as I worshiped, “If this was the only thing you did, would it be enough?” My honest answer… “I don’t know. I’m so driven, I strive so much. I have so many insecurities.”

I do know I want to be a worshiper whom the Father seeks. Jesus made it possible. He extends mercy toward me as I fall at His feet.

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.

Thanksgiving Bowen News!

Wow! Thanksgiving Outreach! We touched over 200 families this year! 

Phillips Temple pulled out the stops and gathered more dinners this year than the last two years! The teams sorted and packed and delivered. We partnered with Wingate Apartments and with Westbrooke Elementary School. The apartment management supplied apartment addresses and notified people we were showing up. The teams headed out served, loved and prayed for the residents.

Upper Room also gathered together and headed out touching many families in low-income housing. They knocked on doors offering a surprise gift… a full Thanksgiving dinner! They prayed for several families. The feedback has been amazing!

We are wrapping up Tornado moving with a mega move on December 14th.

It’s been a long season of moving and praying for the people displaced. We’ve moved over 300 families! I’ve been in over one hundred homes, prayed for a lot of families, and lifted tons of furniture. The good news…
The families were encouraged and I lost weight!


 It will take many years before everyone returns to normal living. There are scars are left on the land and upon the people affected.
We are recovering.


The principal of the school where the F4 touched down said, “Our kids are stressed out. We are seeing their emotions surface. We are coping.

Some of the kids act out, others withdraw, and all have a reminder of their night of terror every time they drive through the neighborhood. The emotional trauma will take time to overcome. Please pray for all the kids and their families.

The 2019 Christmas With a Cause outreach theme will be Neighbor 2 Neighbor: Giving Hope for Christmas. 

Hope Church will partner with Gateway Cathedral in Trotwood.
Gateway Cathedral sits in the Westbrook Village neighborhood, which was in the direct path of the Memorial Day Tornadoes. The Gate served as the distribution hub for the community in the weeks following the storm.

The goal this year is to raise resources, which will be distributed among 40 families devastated by the Memorial Day Tornadoes to help them celebrate Christmas with their families.

Hope, along with the City of Trotwood, Trotwood School District and St. Vincent de Paul have identified 40 families from the Trotwood community impacted by the tornadoes. They will be helped by this CWAC campaign.

Living City Project is partnering in a small way with Hope Church, Thrivent, and The Gate to provide Trotwood families resources they can use for the Christmas season and beyond. Thrivent is partnering with Tipp City Schools to collect toys and gifts for the kids affected by the Tornados. Living City Project will then collect, help sort and deliver the gifts to the families at the celebration at The Gate.

Check out the promo.

Amazing, yet mixed emotional time with Pattie’s family.

We celebrated Pattie’s mom Elsie’s life at our family reunion in Mobile AL. We planted a tree in her honor and memory. It was very moving to have five generations gathered. I’ve never experienced such a gathering. We told stories, laughed, cried, talked, hugged and had a meal together. The tree is planted on the land where Elsie lived for many years. Having everyone there was a precious moment for all of us. 

Thanks for standing with us and praying for us.

If you’d like to give for year end giving we’d appreciate it very much.

Steve and Pattie.