Thoughts and Musings for Hope Connection Ministries


Discipleship – get it done

Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 HCSB

Realize now that the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary. Be strong, and do it.”
1 Chronicles 28:10 HCSB

I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”John 16:33 HCSB

I am certain that I will see the Lord ’s goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord ; be strong and courageous. Wait for the Lord .Psalms 27:13‭-‬14 HCSB

How much of the Lord do you want? Me? All of Him consuming all of me.

A few years back, I determined to make a difference in our fractured family landscape in the USA. 41% of children born with no marriage. 40% of children with no father in the home. Violence, abortion, abandonment, anger, alcohol and other drugs, and anxiety rule against peace and joy. A better life is available.

This journey is expensive financially, physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. The Spirit of the Living God pours strength, peace, joy, and comfort in all these areas. He is faithful. He will get it done.

This morning, how are you doing on your journey with Him?

My days are spent face to face with situations that read like horror film plots. Media centers on horrific visible events and turns an apathetic eye to the daily storms that kill, maim, injure, and permanently damage thousands by the minute. We live in a terrorist nation, where we are the terrorists against our own sensibility. Our weapons of mass destruction are the mind, the tongue and the hand and they are bent on violence and manipulative control from the White House to your house. No place is safe.

And in all this, those in Jesus are more than conquerors. We are able in Him.

Last year I spent 10 months studying under top psychologists from the Beck Institute in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). CBT is the best of the best psychological techniques to address addictive, violent, anxious, and depressive mental patterns. Great stuff. Limited. But, a good approach.

Every component of CBT can be found in more effective implementation in core Christian discipleship based on principles documented and established thousands of years ago in the Bible. Jesus said, “Make disciples.” He did not say, “Fill the seats on Sunday.” There is a huge difference in outcomes. Solid discipleship builds solid citizens who build solid families who fill solid congregations who build solid communities of right living, joyful living, and peaceful living.

Sensible Biblical disciples do not need legislation to tell them what to do. The have good discretion, sound wisdom principles, and compassionate intent.

Our next steps include building an onsite and online interactive Biblical learning and counseling center for discipleship. The mass of people overwhelms me. We must enable more who will enable more. We must get serious and urgent.

There is not enough time to share the miracle stories of this week. Let me share one. A young man we are training struggles significantly with suicidal thoughts. He came to me and verbally committed His future into the hands of Jesus and asked how he and his girl friend could be discipled. He did not use all the right words. He just asked. We agreed when and where to meet weekly. Discipleship is personal. It is an intentional, personal transference of wisdom. Discipleship helps a person take one step deeper in Christ-Life every day. He smiled, shook my hand firmly and thanked me. He has HOPE. He has a focus on Jesus. He is ready for a better life forward.

Back to you. I get tired. I get weary. I get exhausted. Maybe you do, too? Then I go back to that incredible history of miracle life change, the Bible. Go there. Find courage in Christ. Find hope in the Holy Spirit. Find faith in the Father. Continue your journey in Jesus.

Like David said to Solomon as he passed the torch, “Be strong and of good courage and get it done.”


Disciples Resist Bitterness #4

A tremendous well written lesson for disciples on handling disappointments.  A disciple pushes through these.

Where has disappointment and bitterness stopped you in the past?

Which of the approaches in the article will you apply this week?


The Age of Adventure

The last three years have been marked with many miracle touches of God. Thousands.

The last twenty years with many thousands more.

A man challenged me one day, “I’ve not seen any miracles.”

I answered, “Where have you been?  Have you been regular in attendance?  Have you given yourself to the work of the ministry?  Have you buried yourself in the closet of prayer and fasting?”

He hung his head and walked away.

He missed the miracle healing of the leg of a dear sister, who went from surgery on Friday to back to work on Monday with no residual.  The doctor told her it would take months.

He missed the miracle healing the legs of the woman, who came crippled and in great pain and left with no pain and all swelling gone by the next morning.

He missed the miracle healing of the woman, who slipped in one time and the snap of her spine back into place shocked the entire audience as she crumpled healed under the power of God.

He missed the miracle financial gift that pays for me to stay in ministry besides a small group of people, who have little to give.

He missed the thousands overcome by the presence of God on a regular basis in the streets and farms and churches of Mexico every year.

He missed the opening of cooperative relationships with an ever increasing number of government agencies coming to us for help.

He missed the personal salvation of one after another in the quiet of the cafe and across the glass at the jail.

He missed the meth addict, who has abandoned drugs and the alcoholic sober for years and both of these helping others.

He missed the baby with the hole in her stomach restored to total health as if nothing ever happened.

He missed. He was busy looking somewhere else when Jesus touched a soul. Don’t follow his path.

2017 is an Age of Adventure.

In just a few days, I will begin releasing short lessons on miracles as a way of daily life.  At Hope Connection in Gainesville, we will include in every service with an offer of miracles.  Miracles are not seen with some heebie jeebie super spiritual seance approach to prayer.  Miracles are seen when God decides and in accordance with His word.

Mark 16:20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

A man after seeing the miracle intervention of God in a service asked me to come into the next service and just start praying for people.  I scolded him.  “We will preach the word.  Faith will rise. Miracles will come.  We will not pray until we have preached the word.”  That evening hundreds filled the outdoor area in which we had services. The presence of God was strong and many saw answers.  Last weekend, a woman came to me after a meeting in a dirt courtyard.  Chickens ran underfoot.  The music team was loud and relentless in a way that distracted faith.  in all the chaos, God touched her.  She left free.  All her burdens were gone and she found me to make sure I knew.

“El peso es levantado”  “The heaviness is lifted”, she declared.

in 2017, I declare the Age of Adventure for Cooke County, Texas.  Miracle presence of God will seem commonplace.

How can that be, Pastor?  How can you be so bold?

Can I hold back any longer?  For three years, I have worked with the Holy Spirit to seed the ground, preach the word of faith, and pray for all.  Now He says, “Go. Release. Do it in Me.” Enough with doubt.  Enough with unbelief.  Enough with religion.

Easy.  Every time we ask in faith, He responds.  I am quite comfortable casting off doubt and unbelief on behalf of the people and entering in to a constant opening to the presence and miracle power of Christ.  I am uncomfortable with allowing the common disbelief of man in the God of Power and Love.  I am uncomfortable allowing religious flesh to strangle the presence of the Holy Spirit.  I am uncomfortable allowing self serving super spiritual Christians to destroy faith with hypocrisy.  I am comfortable bringing light into darkness and joy into despair and hope into depression. I am comfortable with the I Am.

How do I know this is for me?

1 Thessalonians 1:For we know, brothers and sisters[b] loved by God, that he has chosen you,because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.

This is what we will see with increasing common occurrence. And this book will be out guide.

If you want to prepare yourself for this Age of Adventure, take time to listen to each of these 41 lessons on 1 John explaining the love of Christ.  Perfect love casts out fear.  Fear fights faith.


Join me in the Age of Adventure.  Make the drive.  5pm Sundays starting Jan 8th.



Know Yourself

Each of us grow.  God invests gifts in us and we grow in them to bless others.  This quick assessment will help the pastoral leadership team help you grow even more.  We grow as we use who we are and what we have.

Take the asessment at Church Growth and then Email a copy to me.

Right Now Click


Why Let This Year Pass Without Taking Care of Your Family?

What makes Hope Church a different kind of family church? 


Members of the Gainesville community tell me there are 116 churches in the area.  Why do we need another church? Making the right decision for the future of your family is important. Is something missing? You judge.

  • Interdenominational:  That means your background is accepted. No matter if you grew up Methodist, Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist, or have never been affiliated with any church, you are welcome and wanted at Hope Church. John 3: 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
  • Full Gospel:  Salvation in Jesus applies to your physical health, mental health, spiritual health, and relational health. Jesus came to restore us to connected peace with God, the Creator. All that came with Jesus and the Holy Spirit in the beginning years of the church of Jesus Christ is still available. Nothing goes away until He returns. James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
  • Power Prayer:  When we pray, we expect answers. We do see miracles and physical healing along with spiritual and mental and relational. We do experience a tangible presence of God in services. God shifted His entire being to do good on behalf of those that accept forgiveness in Jesus and join His forever family.  Psalm 84:11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory;No good thing will He withhold from those who walk His path.
  • Balance:  Fellowship with other members and other churches, friendships that are healthy and fun, family with joy and strength,faith in Jesus that is eternal in consequence. We need all four. No one should spend their life at church. No one should spend their life without a church family in which they participate. Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking the coming together of ourselves, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
  • Expression: Dedication to God and His design for life means loving Him and loving others in belief and action. We mean it and we do it. Though we are tiny in number, we have supported Community Transformation Initiative in graduating 105 Cooke County citizens on probation from Life Skills and Parenting,we have hosted hundreds at free community family events from concerts to Easter Egg hunts to cookouts, we have given hundreds of toys and school supplies to kids in Mexico, and we are developing an open Celebrate Recovery so people in pain of grief, loss, abuse, addiction, and other hurts, habits, and hang-ups can live a better life forward. We are an action church. Matthew 22: 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
  • Opportunity:  All are welcome to come. How can you understand unless you come and hear and experience. No matter how many times you have failed to live up to His plan, no matter how long you have lived apart from God’s perfect plan, you are welcome and wanted at Hope Church. God’s eternal offer of joining His family is open to you. Psalm 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
  • Sacrifice: Yes,sacrifice. When you receive the free gift of forgiveness from wrong living and accept the free gift of eternal life in Christ, you are now His. You have surrendered your life for His life. I tis an exchange. In that exchange, He calls you to a higher and better life. He empowers and expects you to grow out of the old and into the new. Faith understands and finds it easy to obey and give of time, talent, and treasure to see the family grow. We are a family. Every member does their part that none would be overburdened. 1 John 2: 3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
  • Solid:  The faith we offer is over 2000 years in the making. God created mankind. Mankind rebels and chooses their own path. The choice separates us from God. Separation from God is a spiritual death that mankind cannot solve. Unresolved, it results in eternal separation from God, Hell. God loves us so much, He sent His Son, Jesus, to live in full obedience and take our punishment for us. Jesus lived,died, rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven, and will come again. If we admit we can’t do it and receive Jesus gift of forgiveness and eternal life, we become members of God’s family forever. He offers full empowerment of His Holy Spirit to equip us to live free from mistaken living (sin) and enter into a life of miracles, signs, and wonders. Obedience means living as a disciple of Christ inside a local church body where you can grow and be mentored (discipled). Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever


Is that what you want for you and your family?  Whether you are a family of one or many, come on Sunday at 11am or Sunday at 5pm and get started. I want to meet you and welcome you into Hope Church. Pastor Phil


Street News – On A Mission

The commission of Christ urges us to take His love to the streets of our community.  This past week in Marietta, Steven and Jackson joined me in praying for individuals and families in Marietta.  Ava and Sonja interceded at the campus while the three of us went door to door.

The plan is simple.  We meet people, tell them about opening the new congregation and offer to pray for them.

Two incidents among many come to mind.

One Hispanic couple opened and asked for prayer for their marital relationship.  It was a moving and powerful moment in the driveway as worked to communicate clearly. They were trimming their yard and stopped to visit with us.  The emotion of the moment brought heaves of emotion to both the couple and to us as we prayed for them.  The Holy Spirit was strong in the street.

At another home, a man broke as he told how his son had committed suicide three years earlier leaving a wif e and grandchildren in distress.  It was more than a suicide preceded by years of pain from an accident, loss of job, and confusion.  The kids have not talked about it, yet.  We prayed for this faithful grandfather, the mother, and the children as he reaches his grandchildren. The next day was followed by many visits to local businesses in Marietta and some special prayer moments along the path.

Please pray with us for a move of the Holy Spirit to create faith, hope, and love in the hearts of many.

People are open for a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit through proclamation of the good news of Jesus, the Christ.

Pray for your involvement in walking alongside.

We don’t “go” on missions.  We are “on a mission” of faith, hope, and love in Jesus.



Humbleness (Gallery)

Omnis enim quicumque invocaverit nomen Domini salvus erit. In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram. Omnes enim peccaverunt et egent gloriam Dei. In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram. Omnis enim quicumque invocaverit nomen Domini salvus erit.


My Utmost (Vimeo Video)

In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram. Propterea sicut per unum hominem in hunc mundum peccatum intravit et per peccatum mors et ita in omnes homines mors pertransiit in quo omnes peccaverunt. Sic enim dilexit Deus mundum ut Filium suum unigenitum daret ut omnis qui credit in eum non pereat sed habeat vitam aeternam.


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In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram. Propterea sicut per unum hominem in hunc mundum peccatum intravit et per peccatum mors et ita in omnes homines mors pertransiit in quo omnes peccaverunt. Sic enim dilexit Deus mundum ut Filium suum unigenitum daret ut omnis qui credit in eum non pereat sed habeat vitam aeternam.