LESSONS FROM OUR FEATHERED FRIENDS
If you’ve been a friend of Hour of Power for a while, you know that during the first quarter of the year we dive into the Biblical significance and symbolism of birds. It’s a time when we honor our faithful Eagle and Sparrow Partners, and we invite you to be a part of this special group of friends to this ministry.
In Bible times, teachers loved to use imagery of nature to explain the ways of the world. Various birds are mentioned throughout the scripture, with the dove holding the number one spot for frequent mentions. The dove has a vast array of symbols attached to it, most notably peace and love, and its most powerful symbolism is found in the Spirit of God appearing as a dove. The second-most mentioned bird in the Bible is the tiny sparrow, which is a powerful reminder of God’s love for us. In the time of Jesus, sparrows had little worth and were seen as insignificant and common. However, these spry little birds were mentioned by our Savior when He taught about our value to God. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” —Matthew 10:29. In fact, if a lowly bird with little worth receives the care of our Heavenly Father, the love and attention He shows us is much greater.
God gives us strength to keep going.
In light of the significance of our feathered friends in the Bible, Pastor Russ Jacobson recently shared with me a story from The New York Times about a fascinating species of bird. The article featured a special group of feathered friends whose migratory flight takes them 7,000 miles, from Alaska to New Zealand, over a period of eight to ten days — a trip which they make without stopping to eat, drink or rest! No other bird in the world does this, and considering our bird theme for this time of year, I had to look into it further. What I learned was astounding. First of all, the bird’s name is godwit, and immediately I thought that’s an apropos name, since it’s by the
grace of God that they make their harrowing trip without any provisions! Fascinatingly, they also migrate to the same place every year, which is Christchurch in New Zealand! Yep, you read it right the first time. And to top things off, a local church rings its tower bell while the town celebrates the godwits’ arrival.
Upon learning this, my curiosity was piqued, so I looked up the origin of godwit, and there’s several theories. In Old English it means “good creature.” Isaac Casaubon, in 1611, rendered the word in Latin as “Dei ingenium” which translates as God’s wit, but with no suggestions as to why. I’d like to think it’s because, as a noun, “wit” means sharp intelligence. As I mentioned last month, God puts little signs in our lives to draw our attention to something special, almost as if to “cheer us on” in our spiritual journey. I also believe God uses Hour of Power to encourage and inspire people around the world!
His love and His grace will sustain you.
The Bible tells us that not one sparrow will fall to the ground outside our Father’s care. Because He
is with us and He is our strength, we can keep going. We will not fall or falter in His loving presence.
He uses the birds to teach us about His sustaining love and grace and to show us His tender care and protection. Much like the sparrows mentioned in Matthew and the godwits I wrote about above, we are in God’s care, and He sees to it that we complete our journey through all kinds of terrain and weather.
Our Heavenly Father provides everything we need to thrive in His Kingdom, and He uses the commonness of the sparrow to demonstrate how much unique worth, value, and significance we have to Him — and to the world — despite our feelings of inadequacy.
Friend, as you embrace the coming year, my prayer is that you’ll be reminded that God will provide for you. He has His sights set on you, so you can rest in His peace. While you can’t know the future, you can know the Savior who holds it, and that’s more than enough. You are loved beyond measure, and you are an integral part of our Hour of Power family!
God loves you and so do I!
In the spirit of spring, renewal, and introducing new spiritual disciplines, God wants you to focus your mind on His words with your entire being. The more you read the Bible and meditate on
its teachings, the more you will know and understand the love that God has for you. Take for instance Proverbs 4:20-22:
“My son, pay attention (focus your mind) to what I say; turn your ear to my words (be positioned to continually hear it). Do not let them out of your sight (see them continually with your eyes), keep them within your heart (or within your decision-making). For they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.” (I added the words in parenthesis to clarify the meaning.)
The Bible tells us to focus our mind on God’s words, to position our ears to continually hear His words, to not take our eyes off them, and to keep them within our heart — or the Hebrew word is Lev — which means your will or your decision-making. Why does God want us to do this? Because the living words of God are LIFE to those who find them and HEALTH to one’s WHOLE body; WOW!
My friend, focus your mind, ears, eyes, and will on the living words of God, for they are God’s ZOE (abundant God-LIFE) to your spiritual AND physical body. Agree with David, who said, “I REJOICE in following your statues as one rejoices in GREAT riches. I will MEDITATE on your precepts and CONSIDER your ways. I DELIGHT in your decrees; I WILL NOT neglect your word.” —Psalm 119:14- 16. My prayer is that we, the church, would focus our mind, ears, eyes, and will on the life-giving words of God; that we would prize them as David did … more precious than pure gold, sweeter than fresh honey. —Psalm 19:10
God loves you and so do I,
NIGHT OF HEALING MAKES A BIG IMPACT
An introduction by Bobby Schuller: “I like to brag about my wife, Hannah, from time to time. She prefers I didn’t, but I do it anyway! I’m just so proud of her walk with our Lord, and I know she feels the same about me. Many of my sermons over the past two years have some sort of tie-in to the wonderful work she has been doing in the realm of healing others. This all stemmed from some deep prayer and study time that was afforded to us when we were quarantined in 2020. My wife had a dream about being able to heal others through our Savior, Jesus Christ. And since then, we have held four Night of Healing events that have healed many.”
In cooperation with a local faith-based community organization, Love Irvine, and SHEPHERD’SGROVE, Night of Healing has been changing people’s lives since early last year. Curtis Drever, who leads the Missions and Outreach programs at SHEPHERD’SGROVE, said, “Hannah came to me and mentioned, ‘This healing has been on my heart for a long time.’ She asked if we could bring local churches together for a healing event. From that conversation, Night of Healing was born.” The inaugural event was held in February, 2022, and it drew between 125 to 175 people and continues to grow.
The Bible tells us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He is doing miracles today just as He did in the Bible. Not only is He still healing people, but He has commissioned and empowered us to partner with Him in ministering healing to others. During Night of Healing, one woman said her emotional pain was lifted and she felt happier. Another woman was in constant arthritic pain for 15 years and said she experienced 85 percent healing and believes total healing will occur in time. Another testimony was from a woman who was crying all the way to the event because of chronic pain and achiness. She didn’t have any feeling in her hand on the way to the event, but was able to wave at the end.
Night of Healing begins with worship music and singing to prepare people’s hearts for healing. Hannah gives a message and then invites attendees to be healed with group prayer or individual prayer by a team of pastors.
Friend, now is the time to receive the gift of healing. Whether you or someone you know needs physical, mental, emotional or spiritual healing, we invite you to join us for the next Night of Healing!
For more information, go online to sgp.church/night-of-healing or call (714) 971-4001.
At Hour of Power, we love hearing from our friends! Whether the comments are short or long, we treasure them all. As we focus on the fact that each and every one of us is unique and significant in God’s eyes, so are the shortest comments we receive — for they are long in meaning!
“Many thanks for the inspirational sermons.” —Evelyn, New Jersey
“I enjoyed your visit to Jerusalem. Thank you. I love the history.” —John, New Hampshire
We also enjoy how Hour of Power is making a positive impact in people’s lives around the globe, such as Charles in Hong Kong. He writes:
“I just want to thank you for the sermon: ‘How to discover your next calling.’ Pastor Bobby Schuller said, and he acknowledged that it is not from the Bible, if we try and lose, God might give us another million to try again! I don’t know if God will say that, but it feels like the message is from God to me. I have failed many times and could have died, but God allows me to live and everyday is like a million to me. Thank GOD and thanks for your ministry.”
MAKE AN IMPACT WITH SPARROW PARTNERSHIP
If the Lord is tugging at your heart to support this ministry that you have grown to love, you can join our SPARROW PARTNER family! Amplify your impact by supporting us with a pledge that enables us to plan, grow, and expand! For a monthly donation of just $20 or a one-time gift of $240, we’ll send you the specially-designed and hand-painted SPARROW BELL CHIME in honor of our 2023 Sparrow Partners. This perfectly-crafted Sparrow Bell Chime plays a gentle sound when met with soft breezes. Made of elegant and sturdy ceramic, this bell chime is embossed with a floral design and a peaceful sparrow perched on top — complete with a rope hanger for easy placement. I hope this Sparrow Bell Chime reminds you of God’s love and the unique song you bring to the world every time it chimes!
To join us as a Sparrow Partner, use the enclosed response slip, 5 call 866-GET-HOPE (438-4673), or go online to hourofpower.org/sparrows.
THE INDESCRIBABLE IMPACT OF LEGACY GIFTS
Spring is here! When we hear birds chirping and witness gardens blooming, we sense new beginnings and change. Speaking of change, did you know that leaving a legacy is a world-changing act? When you choose to invest a portion of your estate in growing the Kingdom of God, the things you worked hard to build in your lifetime continue to change people’s eternal destinies after you’ve gone to be with Jesus.
In fact, if you’re enjoying the ministry of Hour of Power today, it’s because faithful friends in generations past chose to bless us with a legacy gift. Through shifting seasons, we’ve been empowered to carry on because members of our viewing family have honored us with a bequest. Knowing that, there are no words to convey how important these special offerings are as we embrace a BOLD FUTURE.
If God has been tugging on your heart to share the Gospel with future generations through an estate gift to Hour of Power, we encourage you to do the following:
• Pray — ask the Lord to give you wisdom and clarity.
• Learn More — go to hourofpower.org/legacy to explore your options.
• Reach Out — call us at 714-971-4111 or email email@example.com and let us guide you through the process.
May the Lord bless you for your faithfulness. We’re grateful for your life, your devotion to Jesus, and your dedication to the ongoing work of this ministry!