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Consider the Birds

By Bobby Schuller

Much has changed since the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic a year ago. We’ve shifted and shuffled our habits and routines in an effort to slow the spread of the virus, but the unexpected benefit is that these changes have slowed us down too. I read that during the shutdown last spring, sales of bird feeders, birdhouses, and birdseed skyrocketed, and some products saw as much as a 50 percent jump in sales! While many would attribute this to boredom, I believe there’s more to it. Something about observing the carefree manner of birds soothes the human soul, and while the world outside is full of problems, our feathered friends go about their business unhindered by the chaos of society. 

When troubles surround us, it comforts our hearts to consider the birds. 

Jesus knew this, so He invited us to ponder the ways of the sparrows and ravens when teaching us about His protection and provision. Though they are common, His eye is on each fledgling, and He ascribes to it a purpose (Matthew 10:29,30). While birds do not prepare for the future or plan for a “rainy day,” He delights in their diligent routines and lovingly takes care of the things that they can’t (Luke 12:24). This is powerfully illustrated by the mutual benefit we see when we invite them to our midst by feeding them. Without any worry on their part, they are sustained…and we are blessed. 

What our Savior does for each small sparrow, He will do in even greater measure for us. 

Though we plan, plot and scheme, our Heavenly Father invites us to trust Him to supply our needs. His heart of abundance overflows, and He knows that the road to happiness is unencumbered by worldly cares. While He could have chosen anything to teach us how to live unworried and unhurried, He picked birds, because their ways perfectly demonstrate that lightheartedness leads to abundant life. Here are just a few things they teach us:

  • Simplicity. Birds aren’t concerned about the future. They live one day at a time, faithfully building their nests, foraging for food, and flitting joyfully as they go. Especially in these unprecedented times, we do well to heed their example. The state of the world makes it imperative to take it day-by-day, diligently doing the work we’ve been called to, finding delight in the small things, and leaving the rest in God’s hands. 
  • Socialization. Most small birds — especially sparrows — are gregarious and social. They feed in flocks, build their nests in clumps, and live alongside humans, often looking to them for food. Likewise, we need interaction with others, even more so in a season of prolonged uncertainty. Isolation is our enemy, and it’s vital that we keep ourselves consistently connected to the Lord and His people. We are made for relationships, and we must not forsake gathering (even remotely) lest our hearts grow heavy and our souls be drained. 
  • Singing. It goes without saying that birds have a unique song, and who doesn’t love to wake up in the morning to the sound of their joyful chirps? There’s something about the music of our feathered friends that lets us know that all is right in the world. Similarly, though we may not be musicians per se, having a song in our heart lightens our load and reminds us that God is in control. Whether corporate or private, silent or out loud, praise takes our focus off of ourselves and places it on the One who holds our hope. 

Friend, as you embrace the coming year, my prayer is that you’ll consider the birds whenever your load grows heavy and worry creeps into your heart. While you can’t know the future, you can know the Savior who holds it, and that’s more than enough!

God loves you and so do I!

Bobby Schuller


Building God’s Kingdom TOGETHER! 

Nothing is insignificant with Jesus. Whatever is common in the world’s view takes on new value when He breathes life into it. Though there are millions of sparrows roaming the earth — and their size and stature is small — His loving and watchful eye sees each one. He provides for their needs, looks out for their well-being, and cares deeply when just one of them falls from the sky. If our Lord is this invested in the condition of the lowliest bird, how much more does He treasure, bless, and empower us? As those made in His image and saved by His sacrifice, we carry the life-changing, soul-saving love of Jesus wherever we go. Though we often feel as if we have little to offer, He adds His multiplied power to our widow’s mite and uses our willingness to accomplish more than we ever could in our own strength. 

THIS IS THE POWER OF SPARROW PARTNERSHIP

For your monthly gift of just $20 or one-time gift of $240, we’ll welcome you to our Sparrow Partner family by sending you our exclusive Sparrow Partner gift set.  Featuring a charming battery-operated porcelain sparrow night light, an enchanting mug with a bird’s nest on the inside and a cheerful sparrow perched on the flowing words of Psalm 91:4 — “He will shelter you with His wings” — on the outside, and three matching notebooks in which to record thoughts and prayers, this one-of-a-kind offer was designed to remind you of just how much Jesus treasures you. 

Request your gift by calling us today at (866) GET-HOPE (438-4673), or visit here

Nightlight measures 5.25” x 3.875” x 3.5,”  mug holds 13 fl. oz. and is hand wash only, and notebooks measure 8.4″ x 6.1″ x 0.6″ and contain 64 lined pages each. 


Your Prayers are Effective

By Tim McCalmont

I believe in the power and influence of prayer to transform circumstances in our lives! I have seen it happen in my own walk with Christ. In fact, one event that changed my life came nearly nine years ago when I was the pastor of a church in Costa Mesa. Through a variety of people and circumstances, I was put in touch with a mission partnership working with the churches and pastors in Syria, and soon I joined them as part of the Syria Lebanon Partnership Network.

By the end of my first year of involvement, I was visiting these two countries, and seeing the devastation firsthand had me reeling.  As I sat on the plane in Beirut waiting to leave for home after ten days on the ground, my head and my heart were spinning in a sea of questions. We had visited churches and seen how this war had blown up cities, scrambled lives, and displaced millions of ordinary citizens. My heart was broken as I met and prayed with people whose existence had been turned upside down, almost overnight, with many of them having to leave the country they called home.

As I gathered with pastors and church leaders, I heard from them what they had endured, and we spoke about the challenges ahead, looked for ways we might partner with them as they faced extremist groups (ISIS, Al Nusra, etc.), and started tackling the massive task of rebuilding their communities. Settling into my seat on the airplane and looking out the window, I ran through what I had just seen and asked God in a passionate way, “So what am I supposed to do with all of this?”

As He is always faithful to do, the Lord responded. With great clarity, I heard the words, “Do only what I place before you.” That’s it — seven words that compelled me to move ahead and to remain in prayer as I moved. Over these past seven years, God has connected me with people from all over the world who share the same concerns. Together with many, we have responded by offering relief, building schools for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, showing our support by spending time with them, and even by worshiping with them on trips to their communities. Had you told me this would happen as I sat in my seat on that airplane, I would have thought you were crazy.  

God is very clear that He means business. He is ready to act on our prayers as we demonstrate our commitment to abiding and following Him as loyal disciples into the days ahead. Our country needs our prayers at this time as we face new challenges to bring our nation together and to emerge from a pandemic that has taken many lives. And our ministry needs prayer as we forge our way into the bright future God has for us.

So, let’s do it. Your prayers — our prayers — count.  Thanks be to God!   


Decades of Dedication

My first memories of Hour of Power on television go back to 1979 when Dr. Schuller’s first books were becoming best-sellers. I was determined to visit the church during the Crystal Cathedral’s construction the following year, and I returned for the first service in that beautiful glass sanctuary on Easter Sunday of 1981. I became an Eagle Partner in 1989, and up until the present, this has been an easy decision, just like the one to leave the ministry a legacy gift. Due to the massive electronic audience of the broadcast and how it results in millions of changed lives, supporting the outreach is natural for us. Over the decades, I’ve been privileged to be there in person for dozens of services, and each time, I learn more about the Word (TIME), how to do more (TALENT), and how to give more (TREASURE). This has helped my wife and I in our local church, and the Lord has blessed us financially so that now we can do even more. I love Psalm 24:1, which reminds us that it all belongs to Him, and Proverbs 13:22, which admonishes us to leave an inheritance to our “children’s children,” as in all God’s children. That said, what Pastor Bobby has done over the past eight years by resurrecting this ministry and its long-standing outreach is the sole reason for our legacy gift. While no one thought it could be done, his leadership has enabled the Hour of Power to continue employing media to spread the Good News of salvation and to promote the work of Christ all around the world. What a joy to be a part of it! 

Jay & Ellen Bruner, Legacy Donors 
Plano, Texas 

To learn more about how you can update or create your Will or Living Trust, we invite you to call us at 714-971-4111 or email livinglegacy@hourofpower.org.



Making Much Out of Little

The wonderful thing about God is that He takes the simple gift of willingness, adds His power to it, and makes it into something greater. Even when we feel unprepared or ill-equipped, He meets us where we’re at, multiplies the tiniest seeds we plant, and waters them until they become a tree under which others find shelter and shade. In fact, this is what YOU do for many every day. We’re continually inspired by your faith in the Lord’s good plan and purpose, and your stories compel us to keep going strong. 

Our friend and donor David writes: 

“God touches us in so many ways, yet He has no hands. But when a neighbor needs her groceries carried into the house, my hands become His hands. The Lord walks with us always, yet He has no feet. But when a friend walks to the cemetery to bury a spouse, as I walk side-by-side with that friend, my feet become His feet. God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, yet He has no bank account. But when I help meet the financial needs of a ministry that proclaims God’s unconditional love to a hurting world, my bank account becomes His bank account.”

You see, perfection, training, and formality aren’t required to be a living manifestation of Jesus — all that’s necessary are eyes of compassion that behold a need and hands and feet that rush to meet it. This is the power of Christ in us and the hope of glory we give to others. 

We’re grateful for your willingness to humbly and faithfully build the Lord’s Kingdom with Hour of Power through your gifts. If you haven’t already, we hope you’ll join us this year as a SPARROW PARTNER so we can help millions more people connect with their divine destiny.  


What’s Happening on Hour of Power?

  • Upcoming Sermon Series: This month, Pastor Bobby begins an exciting new series entitled “The World and Culture of the Messiah,” which delves into our blessings as the Bride of Christ. 
  • Special Guests: Last month, we welcomed author and pastor Juan Martinez to the broadcast. If you missed him, be sure to catch up here.
  • Upcoming Guests: This month, we will welcome guest preacher Bayless Conley, guest singer Nita Whitaker, and the Voices of Hope Children’s Choir (virtually) to the broadcast!*

* Programming information is subject to change. 

What’s Happening at Shepherd’s Grove?

  • Our Rooted small group program launched online in January with nearly 25 people participating. 
  • Our missions ministry is focusing on human trafficking this quarter and dedicating resources to combatting the evils of this modern-day slavery.
  • Our student ministries family is continuing to meet on Instagram on both Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights, thus providing a much-needed point of connection for our junior and senior high schoolers.

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