Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February 18: Ash Wednesday, the First Day of Lent

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the 40 days of Lent.  Though Ash Wednesday & Lent are not observed so much by evangelical Christians there is much we could learn from its observance.  There are disagreements as to when the Lenten season officially ends.  But for our purposes I encourage you to consider entering a fast from now through Saturday, April 4 (the eve of Easter Day, April 5).

Jesus gives some instruction about fasting:  “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as they hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting.  Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret” (Matthew 6:16-18).

Fasting can involve just about anything we are willing to sacrifice for a period of time.  The most important point is that we are willing to sacrifice for the purpose of focusing on something far greater.  May these following days be days of focusing on who JESUS is & on what He accomplish through His redemptive work by offering Himself up on a cross.


May we prepare for this Easter season as if it truly is one of the most important events in the history of all the world.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

"Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."

It is written, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of GOD.” –JESUS

How does this truth fulfill, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven?”  It is important that we come to the realization that we were primarily created by GOD to focus all of our life on Him . . . to seek an authentic personal love relationship with Him. 


We must stop worshipping the stuff of this world rather than GOD Our Creator.  He made each of us for Himself . . . for His purposes.  Therefore, we are primarily spiritual beings.  Life does not consist of an accumulation of worldly stuff.  In heaven there are no social classes or concern for material things.  May it be so here . . . on earth . . . now!  

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sight Ministry 2015 Spring Semester Small Group Information

If you are interested in getting involved or if you know someone who might be interested please reply or call me and we can talk about the details.  Please pass this information forward to everyone you know.  You never know how this important information may end up in the hands of someone who needs to know it exists.

Any individual who personally experiences attractions to others of the same gender and wants to be involved in this area of Sight Ministry must first make an initial appointment with me.  

The following is a brief description of our current small groups – Groups begin Tuesday, February 3:

·         Family & Friends:  This group is open to anyone who has a family member or friend who has a loved one who is attracted to the same gender.

·         Women’s Group:  This group is open only to women who have attractions to the same gender and who have graduated from Lifetime Guarantee.

·         Lifetime Guarantee:  This group is open to anyone who has attractions to the same gender.  The group and study is a pre-requisite for continuing participation in Sight Ministry. Book:  “Lifetime Guarantee,” by Bill Gillham.  Book description:  If you are exhausted in your efforts to fix your gay issues or to fix other problems in your life this may be a great group experience for you.  It’s not your “problems” that need to be fixed—it’s your life!  The good news is that GOD doesn’t ask you to live your life for Christ, but to let Him live His life through you.  We will help you understand how you have programmed your brain with earthly techniques for satisfying your needs for love and self-esteem and help you to discover the ultimate solution through the exchanged life!  Someone has said, “Your problem is that you don’t really know what your problem is.  What you think is your problem is merely a symptom of your real problem.”  Come and discover what your problem really is and the Ultimate Solution!

·         WivesAt this time we do not have a leader for this group.  This group is open to anyone whose husband is experiencing attractions to the same gender.  Topics addressed will include first steps on the journey, grieving the losses, dealing with anger, disclosure, safe relationships, setting limits, admitting fears, understanding the struggle, trusting wisely, and next steps on the journey.

·         4Streams:  This group is open only to men who have attractions to the same gender and who have graduated from Lifetime Guarantee.

For more information or to schedule an appointment contact Richard Holloman:  615-509-0782 – richard@thesightministry.orgwww.thesightministry.org.   

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tangible Ways To Help Participants of Sight Ministry

You may have been wondering how you could become a partner and a friend of Sight Ministry and how you could show your love and support for the individuals involved and what we purpose to accomplish.

The following are a few simple things you can do but are suggestions that would be HUGE for us:

  1. Truly pray about giving financially on a monthly basis.  I believe if you pray specifically about this the LORD will clearly show you His will.  Then simply walk in obedience to what you hear whether that means to give or not.  Even minimum monthly contributions are extremely significant. 
  1. Write a note of encouragement and support to the participants of Sight Ministry and I will publish it in the monthly newsletter.  This can be done totally anonymously, first name only, or your full name.  We need to know there are others “out there” who support our choice to follow JESUS rather than embrace a gay identity.
  1. PLEASE . . . get our information into the hands of your church leadership and take initiative to set up a meeting between them and myself.  We really need many more churches to partner with us.  Partnering is a two-way street:  (1) We have much to offer local church leaders and members; (2) It would be awesome if more churches helped us financially (My church is the only church supporting us monthly.  There are two other churches who give to us once or twice a year); (3) if your church does any kind of mission’s fair or outreach fair we would love to set up our information exhibit; (4) I would love to have opportunity to speak at your church, share my testimony, conduct a workshop, and train leadership; (5) We desire to build a network of “safe” churches to partner with us and to refer individuals to.  I’d love the opportunity to share what it means to be a “safe church.”
  1. Become a part of a new “Email Prayer Line.”  I would be interested in building an email group that is dedicated to praying for specific needs concerning Sight Ministry and participants within our ministry.  If you are willing to serve in this prayer group please email me:  richard@thesightministry.org.  

Sight Ministry exists to provoke the Church to “stimulate [believers] to love and good deeds” and . . . . ”To preach the gospel to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives & recovery of sight to the blind” (Luke 4:18).

Friday, January 16, 2015

Transparent Thoughts

We need your support more than ever before!  I’m not simply referring to financial need, though that truly is a greater need than ever.  For 2014 we were more than $3,700 short of our budget needs.  Payroll for the second half of December was not met until after the New Year.  This has not happened in the entire history of our ministry (2000).  

The board of directors has taken notice and believes the LORD is trying to get our attention.  I’m not certain what that means, but we ask you to continue to pray about what the LORD would have you do in the area of finances for Sight Ministry.  Our faith in the LORD’s provision has not wavered.  In these past 14 years I have not missed one single meal due to lack of financial provision.  You should know before I would let myself miss a meal I would invite myself to your house for dinner.  My heart is deeply moved by those of you who give regularly to this ministry and I truly thank GOD for each of you.

An equally important reason why we need your support more than ever is because those of us who personally deal with attractions to the same gender feel more and more ostracized.  We feel more alienated by the pressures of the environment in which we live each day.  We feel more alone than ever before.

Most of us involved in Sight Ministry have surrounded ourselves with our own personal support base through our small group ministry and, even more importantly, through the local church that we are connected to.  However, due to the almost unanimous acceptance of society toward embracing a gay identity we feel that we are total outsiders looked down upon buy our culture.  The pressure is mounting for us to follow the norms of our culture or risk complete alienation and rejection.  Sometimes it becomes nearly unbearable and leaves us feeling alone and rejected. 
                                                                                                  
This is magnified, more than you can realize, as the Church and Christian community seems more and more disinterested in being tangibly involved in the redemptive process that Sight Ministry, and other ministries like ours, is committed to.  The silence and lack of support from the overwhelming majority of churches and Christians is extremely disheartening.

During our group meetings I often look around the table at the faces of the 20-25 people involved.  I often begin to weep as I think about their stories and how they have been deeply wounded by their experiences with the Church.  I think about their commitment to follow JESUS rather than to succumb to the pressures of society or to their almost unbearable needs for intimacy with someone of the same sex.  In my opinion these people are real heroes of the faith.  I often need to repent of my anger toward the hurtful silence and neglect from the faith community.

We need you!  We need the Church and other followers of JESUS to stand with us, to walk with us, to love us unconditionally where we are.  We need you to support us in tangible ways . . . please do not forget us in 2015!  We need you!

[If you would be able and willing to give financially to Sight Ministry please make your checks out to SIGHT MINISTRY & mail to:  Sight Ministry, PO Box 140808, Nashville, TN  37214.  Check out our website:  www.thesightministry.org.  If you need assistance in any way please feel free to email me at:  richard@thesightministry.org.  Feel free to call me at 615-509-0782.  I am the only one who will answer that number and all calls are strictly confidential].

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

ADVENT: "Reclaiming Christmas" -- Day 25

Advent:  Day 25:  “Christmas Eve:  Excitement . . . Anticipation . . . Joy!”

Scripture:  Revelation 21:1-7 – Focus verse:  “And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of GOD is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and GOD Himself will be among them” (Revelation 21:3).

It is appropriate that we end our Advent devotionals on this last day of Advent with this passage of scripture.  This is the ultimate purpose for the Christmas story.  GOD created us because He desires to have fellowship with us . . . He desires that we glorify His name because we find no greater joy than the love and fellowship He offers. 

JESUS paid the ultimate price so that we might enter into the “new heaven and the new earth . . . the Holy City of GOD” (vv. 1-2)!  And there we will experience the consummation of the wedding vows between GOD & His Bride (those of us in Christ) and we will be “made ready as a bride adorned for her husband” (v. 2).  I love this imagery!

This is the meaning of Christmas . . . GOD’s Christmas gifts to those who believe:
·        “Behold, the tabernacle of GOD is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and GOD Himself will be among them” (v.3).
·        “And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (v. 4).
·        “There will no longer be any death” (v. 4).
·        “There will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain” (v. 4).
·        “He is making all things new” (v. 5).
·        “It is done” (v. 6)!
·        “He will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost” (v. 6).
·        “He who overcomes will inherit these things” (v. 7).
·        “I will be his GOD and he will be my Son” (v. 7).

How can you not but weep . . . shout . . . dance . . . laugh uncontrollably . . . worship wildly (there will not be any worship in His presence that lulls one to sleep)! 

We miss Christmas because we have not grasped the depth of the darkness of our total depravity!  We miss Christmas because we do not comprehend the truth that GOD, the Creator of the heavens and the universe, has “tabernacled” among us . . . He is present in all His glory . . . and He has made all things new in our lives!  Christmas is GOD’s redemptive plan being initiated on earth so that He will become our GOD and we will become His son (children).


MERRY CHRISTMAS – Oh, may we celebrate it with wild abandon as never before!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

ADVENT: Reclaiming Christmas -- Day 24

Advent:  Day 24:  "Christmas Moves us to Share GOD's Glory"

Scripture:  Isaiah 6

The context of this scripture is clearly the death of King Uzziah and Isaiah’s prophesy of the coming destruction of Israel at the hands of the Assyrians (722 B.C.) and the political maneuvering of the Syrians, and Jeremiah’s prophesy and the eventual Babylonian deportation of Judah prophesied by Jeremiah (586 B.C.).

As you read the brief contextual description below think about our current situation in this world, in our nation, and in the community around us:
 
GOD was calling Isaiah to prophesy loudly to the people to call them to repent from their wickedness.  Isaiah saw the glory of GOD Himself (vv. 1-4).  In the presence of holy GOD Isaiah saw his own depravity (v. 5).  The LORD heard his cry and took away his iniquity (vv. 6-7).  At this point Isaiah could not remain silent (v. 8).

The people were deaf and blind to GOD’s truth (vv. 9-10).  There would be devastation, desolation, and judgment (v. 11-12).  In the midst of this judgment there would be a faithful few, a remnant who would remain . . . “a stump whose holy seed is its stump” (v. 13).

It is important that we see the wickedness of our lives and the evil within the lives of everyone around us and the resulting confusion, despair, and suffering.  A very important part of the Christmas season is that the LORD has found favor upon those of us who are followers of JESUS.  Rather than hoarding GOD’s love and GOD’s grace for ourselves, it is imperative that we answer GOD’s call, just as Isaiah did. 

Part of the joy of Christmas is to share the Good News of Christmas with those around us.  A major way for us to do that is to focus on the real message of Christmas and submit to HOLY SPIRIT’s stirring within our soul with the glory of GOD.  As we are overwhelmed by GOD’s glory we will rise up and answer GOD’s call with gladness . . . “Here am I.  Send me!”

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Richard