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A little over 90 men from The Grove Community Church in Riverside, Ca were just with us…And man, what a week it was! We LOVE hosting the Hands team! This team is full of amazing men of God with unique skills and a heart to serve the people. From building a military chapel to providing medical attention, to praying for people; this team rocked our local community to the core!

The impact of over 90 fathers, 90 sons, 90 husbands, 90 brothers has on a nation is huge. Belize has sometimes been called the “fatherless nation” so when a group of fathers show up - people notice. It is always such an honor to be able to host these wonderful men. The joy of watching a man use his unique skills and gifts to bless those in need is moving. We believe that this team does way more than just build & repair. We know that these men ignite hope. We see them inspire men to walk in a deeper intimacy with God and to lead their families from His Presence. We have watched them lead with integrity and vision for a brighter future for Punta Gorda. We know they carry miracles. 

In other words, the heart of God was seen clearly within the 90 hearts from Riverside, Ca. We are so grateful for all they do. We are also grateful to get to be a part of what they do and to see them serve and bless! We believe that this is only the beginning of seeing men around the world leading as fathers. Fathers who are determined to bring the children of God into HIS LOVE. This is the power of family!

Thank you Hands Team! See you soon!

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Hi!  My name is Michelle Thornton. My husband Jonathan, our two girls  and I moved to Belize early January!  We are here to help start a school of ministry. Last year I attended Bethel’s school of ministry in Redding California.  One of the things we learned about is the power of declaration. Declaring things that you can’t see yet in the natural as if they are and things you believe to be true but don’t always feel in order to build up your faith. (Romans 4:17b)

Steve Backlund (from Bethel church, Redding, CA) has a whole ministry centered around declarations ( He states that declarations “frame” our future. "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3). Indeed our words influence the spirit realm (which ultimately impacts what we experience in the natural realm).  

Backlund describes declarations as  being like the building material that frame a “house”. When we make declarations we are “framing” our thinking with the truth and with hope. When the words that come out of our mouths are positive, true, filled with hope and are from God’s perspective, our mindsets will begin to shift and our destiny will be realized. 

Start declaring today what you want to see realized in your life and mindset! You can write your own or check out http://Ignitinghope.comto get started. 

Here are some declarations of hope I wrote last year:

How God made me is amazing! I am fearfully and wonderfully made! 

God’s dreams for my life are even bigger than my own! 

I have what it takes to do the will of My Father and fulfill both His and my dreams for my life. 

I prosper in all circumstances. God’s plans for me are full of hope. 

God is with me in the waiting therefore I have hope for right now and for my future! 

Nothing is impossible with God. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. 

My hope in God does not waver but is constant because of who He is! 

 I am a great leader. 

I have hope and it never disappoints! 

Jonathan & Michelle Thorton recently moved to Belize with their two daughters Hannah-Joy and Gabriella. They are serving with us to plant our school of ministry which will be launching this fall.

Jonathan & Michelle Thorton recently moved to Belize with their two daughters Hannah-Joy and Gabriella. They are serving with us to plant our school of ministry which will be launching this fall.

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“Here’s my life motto, the truth I live by:

I will guard my ways for all my days.

I will speak only what is right, guarding what I speak.

Like a watchman guards against an attack of the enemy,

I’ll guard and muzzle my mouth when the wicked are around me.

I will remain silent and will not grumble

Or speak out of my disappointment.”

Psalm 39:1-2

After Jesus died, the people who followed him were in mourning. Some of them hid, some went on with the burial preparations, most scattered. I used to think about this one horrible weekend, his closest friends had to endure. The grief, the despair, the loneliness. It wasn’t until recently when I was reading through the gospels when I came upon the story of the two men who were walking along the path after Jesus rose from the dead. As they walked together they talked about the events of the crucifixion. They probably went over the gory details, reminded each other of the things they heard and saw. Then a stranger comes and walks with them. He asks them what they are discussing and the two men bring the stranger into the heartache of the brutal death of their friend. 

When they were done, the stranger then begins to remind them of what Jesus had said. He said this would happen. He said he would die and come back so he could redeem His people. He told you He was coming back! It’s not till later in the afternoon that the disheartened and grieving men realize that the stranger is Jesus. After this realization, Jesus vanishes, leaving the men to ask themselves; “Why didn’t we recognize him?”

When I read this passage, I thought of David’s words in Psalm 39. “I will remain silent and will not grumble or speak out of my disappointment.” Luke 24 says Jesus says: “You seem in deep discussion about something. What are you talking about, so sad and gloomy?” His beloved disciples, in their hopelessness were engaging in a conversation so rooted in their disappointment and pain that they couldn’t even recognize Jesus. Their words were so powerful that they couldn’t hear the familiarity in his voice or feel the peace of his presence.

When we are in difficultly situations and our circumstance start to weigh down on us, we need to be mindful of our words. Like David, we need to be like watchmen over our mouths. It is better to be silent, than to speak a single word that is rooted in disappointment or hopelessness. When we grumble, or complain, or find ourselves always talking about our circumstances being too big, we run the risk of missing Jesus and what He is doing.

I urge you to guard your mouth. Are you speaking life or death into your life? Are you telling mountains to move, or are you building yourself a shack of complaints on the side? Your words are powerful. Invite the Holy Spirit into your vocabulary, into your conversations, into your facebook posts. Are your words and thoughts rooted in disappointment? Or are they rooted in the Hope of Jesus, our living hope? And sometimes you need to be ok with being quiet, allowing this verse from Psalm 39 to become a hopeful prayer:

“Lord, listen to all my tender cries.

 Read my every tear like liquid words that plead for your help.

 I feel alone at all times, like a stranger to you, 

passing through this life just like all those before me. 

Don’t let me die without restoring Joy and Gladness to my soul. 

May your frown over my failure become a Smile over my success.”

The Worth of Our Words

The Worth of Our Words

One thing that God has been highlighting to us here in Belize is the spoken word. A theme that keeps coming up in our bible readings and discussions is the words we speak. God, our father, created the universe with the spoken word. Jesus, His son, brought healing and life, again through the spoken word. We have been noticing throughout scripture how God really emphasizes the impact of our words. Over the next couple of weeks we are going to take time out on the blog to really dive into what the scriptures say about our words. Do they matter? Where do they come from? How do the things we say impact our life and the lives of those around us? Let’s get started.

We are going to start this week with a very familiar Passage in Matthew 12. You have heard it, read it, it’s famous. Only good trees bear good fruit. Often this passage is taught to us and the focus of the fruit of our lives is our actions or attitudes.  Verse 33 in TPT says:

“You must determine if a tree is good or rotten. You can recognize good trees by their delicious fruit. But if you find rotten fruit, you can be certain that the tree is rotten. The fruit defines the tree.”

The fruit defines the tree. Again, the fruit discussed here is often taught as our actions, etc. After reading this passage again recently Verses 34 - 37 stuck out.

But you who are known as the Pharisees are rotten to the core! You’ve been poisoned by the nature of a venomous snake. How can your words be good and trustworthy if you are rotten within? For what has been stored up in your hearts will be heard in the overflow of your words!  “When virtue is stored within, the hearts of good and upright people will produce good fruit. But when evil is hidden within, those who are evil will produce evil fruit.  You can be sure of this: when the day of judgment comes, everyone will be held accountable for every careless word he has spoken. Your very words will be used as evidence against you, and your words will declare you either innocent or guilty.

How can your words be good and trustworthy if you are rotten within? What has been stored up in our hearts will be heard in the overflow of our words! Wow! The fruit that Jesus is talking about in this passage is the words of our mouth. Proverbs talks constantly about guarding our hearts, it is the spring that everything flows out of. How often do you find yourself if hopeless situation after hopeless situation? Relationship after relationship that ends up in hurt and confusion? Are you often finding yourself feeling overwhelmed, burdened, tired, hurt, bitter, betrayed? The list can go on and on… The answer to these issues will not be provided by asking “who’s to blame?” Or “What has been done to me?” The question we need to ask ourselves is “What am I saying?” What are my words speaking in this situation?”

We can look at Jesus as our example, always. Jesus was betrayed, slandered, criticized, tempted, etc. All before he was beaten, bruised, and crucified for our sins. Despite all the outside hurt and pain, He remained rooted in joy, hope, and the love of His father. The fruit of His words reflected kingdom principles of forgiveness, hope, and healing. In following Jesus’ example, no matter the words of criticism from your co-workers, your illness, or betrayal. Our hearts can and should remain pure of bitterness or discouragement. Our words, the fruit of our lives, should always be rooted in Him, in His goodness.

Activation: Think of one situation in your life that feels hopeless or frustrating. Now, think about anytime you have spoken about this situation in the last week or two weeks. What are your words rooted in? Jealousy? Bitterness? Discouragement? Ask yourself if your words are bringing life to your circumstance or if they are feeding the rot. Then spend some time asking for forgiveness for what you have held onto, and offering forgiveness to others who have hurt you. Then Ask God what he is saying over your circumstance. Challenge yourself to stop yourself from speaking the same old narrative over your life and begin to speak a new one, the one God is speaking over you! Pay attention, and you will start to notice your perspective change, and the fruit of your life begin to multiply!