the venture of faith

here is a weekly look into the mind of jo sanders...a late great church leader...

'by faith Abraham went out, not knowing where he was going'...Heb 11:8

a step of faith always involves the acceptance of a calculated risk. it is not blind credulity but calm confidence. the hero's of faith had their portraits hung in God's Hall of Fame (see Hebrews 11) because they were prepared to stake everything on His faithfulness. Had there been no element of risk in their exploits, faith would have been unnecessary.

Abraham ventured all on the faithfulness of God. 'He went out, not knowing where he was going.' faith does not demand to know where it is being led. he prepared to sacrifice Isaac, not knowing why God asked it of him and not knowing how God could redeem His promise. His venturing faith made him father of the faithful.

three young men faced incineration in a fiery furnace for their faithfulness to God. They ventured all on His trustworthiness.'Our God is able to deliver us ... but if not ... we will not worship the golden image.'. (Daniel 3:17-18) Their faith found its reward in companionship with the Son of God in the firey furnace.

j. O. sanders effective faith

outwardness a value

went to a sda church today to speak...the vineyard is a ssda church...we meet on both s days of the was a good time to be in my element...sharing stories and helping them focus outward...we had a good turn out 50 people for the seminar after the service...they are located in a good area and have the potential of touching many people in their city area...

it was to see the ahha's and the connections happen...

the goal is help, train, and equip churches and leaders to become outward focused...outward, noticing the unnoticeable and understanding serving as a lifestyle as the main objective...small projects help people move toward the value of outwardness...the value of outwardness is more important than the project...

a long but fun day...

if you pray for me ask that doors would open for more equipping / coaching sessions with churches and church leaders...'when i run i feel the Lord's pleasure.' eric liddle

dream postscript

told wife dreams...
wife noticed 1st dream is connected to second dream...
1st dream was about my sense of falling short...
2nd dream was about God's interest in my life and His willingness to reveal Himself to me...

conclusion: wife pretty smart...God very good.

spoke to teens last night...

a stunted start but got there in the end...

used mcmanus idea...
shake, break, illuminate with glow sticks at the end...hear his podcasts on itunes

used ps 139

we read sections together...and connected the dots with following points with stories...

He knows who I am...when we realize this it can shake us up abit...
because he knows who I am he knows where i am...

He made who I am... when God made me he broke the mold...our body is merely a picture frame of the real me...our culture puts more value on the frame less value on the picture of the real me inside the frame...

He loves who I am...amazing...because he knows me...and because he made me...he loves who I am...when I realize this i begin to friends, family, and connections begin to notice a change in my life...illuminate

we turned off the lights and we said shake, brake, illuminate... everyone shook their light stick, everyone broke their light stick, and ba boom everyone began to illuminate...we then watched never been unloved by m.w.smith found on sermonspice...

while this was happening our twenties group was helping at a bbq on U.D. campus it was off the chart...over 500 people showed up...campus crusade, navigators, and athletes in action connected with the friend colby got the thing going...good guy, caleb another good guy cooked, encouraged and led our team...good night all in all



dreams are interesting...some are pizza...some are what's been happening during the i had my pipes cleaned by rota rooter yesterday and dreamed my whole house was a shack in a poor area and the whole plumbling system needed replaced...of course as i was poor i didn't have the ability to get it fixed...

then some dreams are from above...last night i dreamed i was in a meeting where worship was very friend marc dupont was there...we were standing side by side...he mentioned...i think i have a word for you...i'm in prophetic mode at the moment...i felt my heart was about to be exposed(see yesterdays blog) as he began to pray i sensed and saw God's holiness i fell to my knees and attempted to allow the floor to swollow me up...the light was so intense it went all over and through my being...i was struck by the pure holiness and fear of the Lord...i remember repeatedly falling to my knees...

this morning woke up and thought about sweetly broken and this verse

you've called me out of death
You've called me into life
And I was under Your wrath
Now through the cross I'm reconciled

Eternal Justice is what we deserve for our waywardness and sinfulness, what we receive through the cross is mercy...penalty for our justice paid by the One who gave his life for us that we might be reconciled to God...this thought is what makes mercy so powerful...the greater the demand for justice...the greater we understand mercy...justice and mercy are both attributes of a Loving God...amazing love...

Jeremy Riddle - Sweetly Broken
From the album Sweetly Broken

To the cross I look, to the cross I cling
Of its suffering I do drink
Of its work I do sing

For on it my Savior both bruised and crushed
Showed that God is love
And God is just

At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I'm sweetly broken, wholly surrendered

What a priceless gift, undeserved life
Have I been given
Through Christ crucified

You've called me out of death
You've called me into life
And I was under Your wrath
Now through the cross I'm reconciled


In awe of the cross I must confess
How wondrous Your redeeming love and
How great is Your faithfulness

mercy me

yesterday i removed all the carpet from the was like recieving a new gift the floors are all hardwood only some small damage in the corners and a few blimishes that to me adds some character...

I felt like that's what Jesus does in our lives from time to time strips back our lives so we can see what's really there...probably more for our benifit...

today we have pipes backed up and rota rooter is on the way...when i used the plunger it reminded me again of the junk in my pipes...and how i need some cleaning up...prayer, looking at my heart, considering mercy, forgiveness, asking God what He wants, and what is not pleasing to to him...

read some sermons finney and blogs yesterday on mercy...

A first step toward understanding the true depth of God's mercy is understanding the depth of our own neediness. We are utterly without hope short of God's merciful activity on our behalf. By recognizing that we come before God bringing nothing but our own sinfulness, just as the publican in the parable brought nothing when he prayed, "God be merciful to me a sinner (Luke 13:18)", that we get some glimpse of the abundant richness of God's mercy.

....hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption.
Psalm 130:7

The Lord takes pleasure in those....who hope in His mercy.
Psalm 147:11

"I will trust in the mercy of God forever and ever." Ps. 52:8.

faith & love

Faith and love do their best work as a team. Faith works by love Gla5:6 Love believes all things 1Cor 13:7

Paul surprisingly asserts that a person who has faith strong enough to remove mountain after mountain of difficulty but who is loveless is a spiritual nonentity...I may have faith strong enough to move mountains, but if I have not love I am nothing 1Cor 13:2

He cites faith's success and then shows that, devoid of love, in God's sight its success is arrant failure. Faith with out love is a cipher. Miracle working faith can be cold and loveless, but it attains it hightest potency and value when suffused with glowing love, for love is competely trusting.

It is love for God which inspiries faith in Him. We trust only those whom we know and love. The greater our knowledge of God as he has revealed Himself in Christ, the deeper will be our love for Him, and the stronger our faith. Love for God begets an unbounded faith and confidence in His word. It takes his promises at their face value.

Great faith works by great love...

JO Sanders

decks by

small group team adventure

John Ward and I planned an unannounced outreach adventure 'mission possible'

50 leaders showed up for the usual small group connection which includes coffee, a meal, a short teaching and desert...

last night they showed up for the meal and soon discovered something was up...tables were loaded with outreach was fun to see the people look point and presence at the meeting was a give away...

after the meal we explained the the concept, shared some outreach stories, commended them on their participation, and re redefined an outward focused church...

I gave them a hand out see below...and some directions and maps...they divided up into groups of 5, joined another group and headed to the designated strip malls..

when they returned they were very encouraged, one group had a great story from Hooters...the girls were blown away and laughed as the looked through the check out guy asked, 'did my mom send you?' at Pappa Johns pizza the servers were excited and grateful one of the teams walked past the window and viewed excited pats on the group prayed for 4 people who needed mom wept as her wayward son was prayed for...

it was a great night for all the small group leaders...they understood, in a new way, that leaders lead and outreach can be short, encouraging and up do you begin to care? by being out there...

Your mission is to take gift bags to local strip mall stores:

Pack Bag
Grab a few friends
Grab a few bags
Drive to Strip Mall
Walk into store
Find a person working… you may ask for the manager
Smile and say, ‘Hi we are from the Vineyard a pretty good church in Beavercreek…we have a gift for you and the workers, pause for effect…we want to thank you for being part of our community…

Tip: meet in the middle: a few people start at one end and a few people start at the other end meet in the middle
Tip: if it is a large store give 2 bags…
Tip: every person in your group should have a chance to speak

Return to the Vineyard for desert and download…

Steve’s cell xxxxxx

you know you're in a redneck church if...

You Know You're in a Redneck Church if... the finance committee refuses
to provide funds for the purchase of a chandelier because none of the
members knows how to play one.

You Know You're in a Redneck Church if... people ask, when they learn
that Jesus fed the 5000, whether the two fish were bass or catfish, and
what bait was used to catch 'em.

You Know You're in a Redneck Church if... when the pastor says, "I'd
like to ask Bubba to help take up the offering," and five guys and two
women stand up.

You Know You're in a Redneck Church if... opening day of deer season is
recognized as an official church holiday.

You Know You're in a Redneck Church if... a member of the church
requests to be buried in his 4-wheel- drive truck because "It ain't never
been in a hole it couldn't get out of"

You Know You're in a Redneck Church if... in a congregation of 500
members, there are only seven last names in the church directory.

You Know You're in a Redneck Church if... people think "rapture" is
what you get when you lift something too heavy.

You Know You're in a Redneck Church if... the choir robes were donated
by (and embroidered with the logo from) Billy Bob's Barbecue.

You Know You're in a Redneck Church if... the collection plates are
really hubcaps from a 56 Chevy.

You Know You're in a Redneck Church if... instead of a bell; you are
called to service by a duck call.

You Know You're in a Redneck Church if... the communion wine is
Boone's Farms "Tickled Pink".

You Know You're in a Redneck Church if... "Thou shall not covet"
applies to huntin' dogs, too.


been listening to some good pod casts...chasing the light series by mcmanus was especially good...a retake on his book seizing your divine moment...i also listen to seacoast...nyjourney...nelson has planted a church in ny which has grown to over 1000 in just a few years using servant evangelism as the primary outreach spins new yorkers...they are stunned, then stop and of the outreach ideas that has worked well is breakfast on the go from granola bars, to eggs to donuts...each summer season they host epic adventures a week of outreach...teams mainly of young people arrive for training and serving...they touch 1000's each summer...and hundreds of thousands each year...

click link journey church on side bar to check out what they do...

great shots

I'd like to invite you to and see the picture gallery of the Easter Egg Hunt. on daytonvineyard on link side bar.


doing the right thing wrong

went downtown to do the yearly trek to the post office to bring some needed tax relief to the people doing last minute filing...

arrived loaded with 6 barrels of water bottles and hundreds of tax relief stamp booklets...when we arrive i noted things were different this year...protesters for 'say no to unfair tax' were there in force.

i approached the police and asked what was up...he commented they are here to protest and hand out pamphlets...

duly noted we moved down away from the protesters to give space between our groups...light turned red we gave away stamps and bottles of water to grateful people lining up in their cars to hand in their tax forms...comments like...are you guys the vineyard? thanks...who are you guys?...vineyard drivers you guys really do do the stuff you talk about...

principle...light turns red we hand out water and stamps...light turns green we stop...police were grateful that we honored their request...

after about an hour and a half of successful outreach...the protesters moved in mass to our instead of smiling open people...people seeing the huge 'say no to unfair tax' signs now rolled up windows and looked straight ahead...sooo we nixed the outreach gathered up the remaining stamps and headed out...

i went up to the group and asked where the leader was...a guy asked why?...good question...i mentioned that whenever there is more then one community group doing good things it might be nice to notice and to engage in some conversation before taking over another groups spot...he asked 'what would you have us do?' ...i replied, 'that whenever there is more then one community group doing good things it might be nice to notice and to engage in some conversation before taking over another groups spot' and just like i'm talking to you it would have been nice for someone to talk to our group...he then asked a similar question...i mentioned that saturday we pulled off a huge easter egg hunt and had some ruffled feathers and took note of what to do better next year...and commented it might be good in the future to notice other community groups...

point:ever attempted to do something right and good and yet do it wrong...doing the right thing the wrong way?...

the protesters were doing something right...but it came across wrong...looking how we are perceived by others is important...

how many church groups attempt to do the right thing the wrong way? i makes me pause, ponder and think...hopefully i can learn to do the right thing the right way...

by the way we gave water to most of the grateful protesters...hopefully in a right way...



it's a beautiful day

I woke with U2's it's a beautiful day in my head...

wow...what do you do when an easter egg hunt is published as starting at 11am some people come at 10am believe it or not some show up at 1pm...

the minions line up around the huge area pressing against the barrier...crowds growing impatient...people still coming...drifting in...etc...for the sake of safety and sanity we blew the 'go get the eggs' at 25 past and running the 15,000 eggs were gobbled up in approx 3min and 40 seconds...amazing to see...

all went according to plan...hotdogs cooked...prizes given...snowcones made and tons of popcorn eaten...rock walls climbed, giant slides slid, bouncy castles bounced, faces painted, and helium balloons given, park cleaned up...everyone in general had a good day...

hundreds of people kids and a few dogs...many amazing smiling, tired but fulfilled vineyard volunteers.

one happy, smiling, shining lady, 'our church attempted to do this on the property of the church...i'm glad you chose to do this away from the church out into the community...i think this is how it is supposed to be...churches reaching out, being a go to church rather than a come to church.' I agree...i think she is was a beautiful day.

"Beautiful Day"

The heart is a bloom
Shoots up through the stony ground
There's no room
No space to rent in this town

You're out of luck
And the reason that you had to care
The traffic is stuck
And you're not moving anywhere

You thought you'd found a friend
To take you out of this place
Someone you could lend a hand
In return for grace

It's a beautiful day
Sky falls, you feel like
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away

You're on the road
But you've got no destination
You're in the mud
In the maze of her imagination

You love this town
Even if that doesn't ring true
You've been all over
And it's been all over you

It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
It's a beautiful day

Touch me
Take me to that other place
Teach me
I know I'm not a hopeless case

See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light
And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out

It was a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
Beautiful day

Touch me
Take me to that other place
Reach me
I know I'm not a hopeless case

What you don't have you don't need it now
What you don't know you can feel it somehow
What you don't have you don't need it now
Don't need it now
Was a beautiful day

chipping away

don't know if it's known but we are a pretty good church...i ordered helium the other day, the guy on the phone said, 'you're that pretty good church up in indian ripple rd...i said, 'yep, we're not a perfect church' he commented, 'it's better to be forgiven than perfect' i said.'yep that's why we're pretty good...we are forgiven by the Perfect one.'

we also are working on and a blog

below is a post from the blog

pretty good churches...chip away...

how often are pastors under pressure to be all have all we envision in place...the reality... a pretty good church chips away...small steps help keep the church moving toward a future vision...looking to the not yet, but embracing the now of the not yet... or vision...Vision...those who dream of what could be will create what could be laurie beth jones

we move forward one step at a time, sometimes it seems like two steps back and one step forward...working toward vision takes time, patience and faith...often a pretty good mindset helps us keep focus...patient and plodding on...knowing what we envision will come to pass...

one speaker mentioned how every church make it...plodding on, one day at a time, learning not to drift through life on a river of routine but to have an active faith... our situation:a new paint job on the building...done...a children's area / ministry excitingly emerging...done... how? by keeping the end in mind and walking with small steps that create small but large changes... a new outreach adventure touching single parents... in process...

a pretty good church remembers we are all in process...the danger comes when we lose sight of the end...when we lose sight of the steps that need to happen for the not yet to become a reality we can become frustrated and enter into unbelief...

fact: a pretty good church...chips away in a positive, hope-filled mindset which over time produces the mission that keeps us on vision...think:the mission of Jesus was the vision...on mission=on vision...that's pretty a pretty good church we are committed to the chip away.

gearing up

long busy day leading up to a long busy weekend...most of the leaders will be living at the vineyard from today to sunday and then an outreach on monday...keeping the reason...many people being exposed to the mercy and grace of God and hearing and experiencing the good the main reason...focusing on the reason brings synergy and encouragement to walk in love and guard the ole heart attitude...we are expecting a lot of thing our parking lot should have enough gravel to be able to park on the lot...

what do you get

What do you get when you mix 15,000 Easter Eggs, over 100 volunteers, clowns, huge blow up bouncy castles, 1500 hotdogs, drinks, face painting, helium balloons and many, many kidz and parents…A Giant Community Easter Egg Hunt that's what...happening this Saturday at Delco Park 11am…

This event began 4 years ago when I first arrived in Dayton...we booked a smaller park Indian Riffle and were overwhelmed by the numbers of people who showed up so we moved to Delco Park…even bigger crowds...last March Easter was early...windy, rainy all the way up to the day of the event...I thought about canceling and had a dream where I saw cars lining up and yelled to a coworker Don’t Cancel! We had a good time…

The weather should be great for this years hunt….

mercy me 2

“Grace is what God gives us when we don't deserve it and mercy is when God doesn't give us what we do deserve”

John Wesley taught that people must be Christians in both word and deed, which were to express the love of God. He believed that Christians must grow in God's grace, which first prepares us for belief, then accepts us when we respond to God in faith, and sustains us as we do good works and participate in God's mission.

'And, First, with regard to works of mercy. "Take heed,"that you do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: Otherwise you have no reward of your Father which is in heaven."

-- Although this only is named, yet is every work of charity included, every thing which we give, or speak, or do, whereby our neighbour may be profited; whereby another man may receive any advantage, either in his body or soul. The feeding the hungry, the clothing the naked, the entertaining or assisting the stranger, the visiting those that are sick or in prison, the comforting the afflicted, the instructing the ignorant, the reproving the wicked, the exhorting and encouraging the well-doer; and if there be any other work of mercy, it is equally included in this direction.'

“Heaven have mercy on us all - Presbyterians and Pagans alike - for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending”
Herman Melville

“Teach me to feel another's woe,To hide the fault I see,That mercy I to others show,That mercy show to me.”
Alexander Pope

“The quality of mercy is not strained; It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed- It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.”
William Shakespeare

“I would lose my way again, be led hopelessly astray again, just so I can pray again...For the mercy in you.”
Sabian Depeche Mode

“The very contradictions in my life are in some ways signs of God's mercy to me.”
Thomas Merton


A mothers plead for mercy...

A mother once approached Napoleon seeking a pardon for her son. The emperor replied that the young man had committed a certain offense twice and justice demanded death.

But I don't ask for justice, the mother explained. I plead for mercy.

But your son does not deserve mercy, Napoleon replied.

Sir, the woman cried, it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy is all I ask for.

Well, then, the emperor said, I will have mercy. And he spared the woman's son.

anybody deserving justice? anybody received / recieving mercy?

I'm glad I'm still breathing!

I'd value some thoughts, stories concering mercy.

mercy me

what's mercy look like? any comments?
i'm doing a study anythoughts?

mercy is falling, is falling, is falling
mercy it falls like a sweet spring rain
mercy is falling is falling all over me

mercy is falling, is falling, is falling
mercy it falls like a sweet spring rain
mercy it falling its falling all over me

hey o i'v recieve your mercy
hey o i'v recieve your grace
hey o i will dance for ever more

faith and promise

he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief Romans 4:20

A promise is an assurance given by one person to another that he will or will not do a certain thing. the validity of the promise depends[ends on the character and resources of the one who makes it, even as the value of a bank-note depends on the reputation and resources of the bank on which it is drawn.
A promise of God in His Word is an undertaking given by God. His character is there fore involved in His promises...Faith is the power which grabs God's promise based on His sure character. Faith is the power which turns promise into preformance. Our faith is full persuaded that what God has promised, He is able to perform.
Romans 4:12.

j.o. sanders

duh like the monkeys

ever had a day when you knew you were doing too much? that's me...worked hard on moving things...washing bus...sweeping...sitting too long etc...soo it is ice on the ole back...i'm into my 12th day of IDD which stretches your back to relieve the nerve in the is working...Sunday I felt totally normal...but today...i'm wondering if common sense is supposed to be part of the healing well as one step forward two backward...

on a side note we are excitement junkies...last week Wed wow over 800 people showed up we fed over 600...ministry off the chart...Friday members meeting fed hundreds and had a great vibe move forward...Sat a great outreach...Sunday new believers class...Great message by Doug ending with 30+ baptisms...

leaders were tired on Tuesday...we wondered why??? duh?

Also, we forget about the warfare that always happens when we move forward, the emotional deposits made for every and all meetings, and the disappointments that seem to always muddy the water...sometimes it is good to regroup, celebrate the success, and ponder...

in my mind's eye

listened to an old song or two dc talk in my mind's eye song has a great theme:

[In my mind, I can see Your face
As Your love pours down in a shower of grace
Some people tell me that You're just a dream
My faith is the evidence of things unseen]

In my mind's eye, in my mind's eye
In my mind's eye, in my mind

You know what I'm going through
I know this is true
'Cause You stood in my shoes
Desire's inside of me
But it's hard to believe
In what you cannot see

Can you catch the wind?
See a breeze?
Its presence is revealed by
The leaves on a tree
An image of my faith in the unseen

In my mind's eye
I see Your face
You smile as you show me grace
In my mind's eye
You take my hand
We walk through foreign lands
The foreign lands of life

In my mind's eye, in my mind's eye
In my mind's eye, in my mind

In my mind I'm where I belong
As I rest in your arms
And like a child I hold on to you
In my moment of truth, yes I do

We can ride the storm
Endure the pain
You comfort me in my hurricane
And I'll never be alone again

(repeat chorus 2x)

In my mind's eye, in my mind's eye
In my mind's eye, in my mind

In my mind I can see Your face
Love pours down in a shower of grace
Life is a gift that You choose to give
I believe we eternally live
Faith is the evidence of things unseen
People tell me that You're just a dream
But they don't know You the way that I do
You're the one I live to pursue

Can you catch the wind?
[Can you see God, have you ever seen Him?
I've never seen the wind
I seen the effects of the wind
But I've never seen the wind]
Can you see the breeze?
[There's a mystery to it]

(repeat chorus)

In my mind's eye, in my mind's eye
[I see You there again]
In my mind's eye, in my mind's eye
[I know You'll meet me there my Friend]
In my mind's eye, in my mind's eye
[I know You're there, I can touch You there]
In my mind's eye, in my mind's eye
[I want You there, I need You there, I see You there, I know You care]
[And I believe, and I believe, and I believe]

I believe
steve out

the new do

just had a new haircut...i shaved my head almost bald...'if you don't have it why not flaunt it'...other line 'getting ready for the easter egg hunt in a couple of weeks now i'm an egg head'...

we have 15,000 easter eggs, pizes, rock wall, bouncy castles, 1500 hotdogs, face painting, candy, clowns and over 100 volunteers ready for the big's like staging a battle, gathering materials, getting forms signed by the city, putting ads in the papers etc...we are expecting large crowds lots of kids and a few dogs...

should be a great time...

baptizing 30 people today...also our new belivers class is wrapping up next week...great to see them finish a 13 week commitment...hopefully, finding God, finding a friend, and finding a job will spill over into their they have established reading the bible, prayer and hanging out with believers.

1st saturday

great time today touching lots of people...a good number of people showed up so we were able to do all the active kindness outreaches we planned...the nursing home recived daffs to help brighten up their lady we have been developing a relationship with was very appreciative of the flower and prayer...she is the necklace lady her walls are decorated with hundreds of necklaces...we had over 500 daffs so there were some left over we placed some in our cafe and later i took the rest to another seniors home...i rang the bell...mary carefully came to the door and said, "who are you?" with a smile i mention i had some daffs for all the people she smiled and opened the door...i mentioned i was a pastor with the vineyard she said she had been a few times and then looked at the flowers great to see a big smile and the twinkle in her eyes...

Scott led a team to a strip mall and we did the give em the bag outreach for 50 ice cream place the lady was very grateful, she had had a bag week...scott then led the team back for made the ladies day and came out an hugged one of our first time outreach people...

another team washed windshields at at filling station...lots of smiles big thanks and puzzled looks...full service stations went out with the you know your children if you have them don't even know full service stations existed...

tonight is Baptism class with over 30 people being baptized tomorrow...huge...event...

one of the staff members had a dream a couple of weeks ago...i was in the dream and invited her to the ocean to see Jesus clearer...she went to the ocean and saw the brightness of His appearing...she told me the dream...I asked, have you been baptized nope was the answer...she is being baptized on dream...good result.