Loved You Are!

Everyone has a different story.

The big idea. Everyone on the planet is loved by a loving Father.

Some people may never have experienced a love that is honest, real and caring. You may have been abused. You may have been abandoned. You may have had parents who made big mistakes. You may have had religious people say horrible things to you.

Other people feel odd, out of place, anxious and isolated. Many people are searching, seeking for love, identity, and purpose.

Why did Jesus come to earth?

Jesus came to show the Father’s love for mankind. He came to lavish love on the people of this planet and to reveal the love of God the Father. Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” (John 14) This is an incredible statement. The religious people of the day twisted his words. They hated him for what he said and for loving and healing people who were in great need. In the end, they crucified him upon a cross. They had no idea Jesus’ death on a cross was the greatest demonstration of love the planet has ever encountered.

Bottom line: Jesus came to the planet to love openly. He proved his love for you and me by dying on a cross so you and I could experience forgiveness and to have a relationship with a Father… a good, good father. If you have had a bad dad this may be hard to grasp… but it’s true.

We’ve all messed up. We’ve all fallen short. We’ve all missed the mark. We’ve all hurt people, God, and ourselves. As a result, every person senses some degree of regret, guilt, and shame.

Jesus died on the cross to take away our regret, guilt, and shame. He willingly laid His life down for us. He took our place and bore the penalty for our acts of selfishness and sin. That is amazing love.

When we ask the Father to forgive us, because of what Jesus has done for us, He immediately does so. His love is unconditional love.

He forgives us. His forgiveness is not based on anything we have done or could do to gain His favor. He loves us and forgives us just because he has an extravagant love for us.

When we believe Jesus is real and alive and we chose to give our lives to him, by inviting Him into our hearts, we become new creations on the inside. Now, instead of missing the mark, we have someone to help us, guide us and lead us as we navigate life.

The Father loves us… just because… He loves us. 

Someone talked to you, prayed for you, and encouraged you. They may have given you a card to point you to Loved You Are. They revealed the Father’s love in some way. If you’d like to experience more of His love it’s just a prayer away. Prayer is just talking out loud to the Father.

We would encourage you to talk to God the Father. Let him know how you feel, what you are struggling with, and for what you are thankful. He is always there, and He is listening to you.

Believe it or not, he will begin speaking to you and will begin to reveal your purpose and your destiny.

You can begin to talk/pray by saying something like this. 

“Father. Here I am. Today I ask you to show me your love. I ask you to forgive me for all the things I regret. Forgive me for what I have done against you, against myself, and what I have done to others. I thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for sending Jesus to show me your love. Thank you, Jesus, for paying the price for my sin and my selfishness. I believe you are King and Lord. I also believe you have risen from the dead and you are alive today. I ask you, Jesus, to come into my life and to fill me with your Holy Spirit. Now lead me and guide my life. Help me to follow you all of my days. Show me the Father’s love. Thank you.

We’d encourage you to continue to talk to Jesus and to ask Him to reveal the depth of the Father’s love for you. Also, read the Book of John found in the Bible. It is in this book Jesus said, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father.”

If you’d like to tell your story, email Steve@eyesoutward.com

UP Date… Assistance to those in need.

I’ve been on the ground for a few weeks seeing need and assisting families to move into their new locations.

We are helping mainly Trotwood families. Some families have had to relocate as far as West Chester which is an hour away from Trotwood.

It is evident Trotwood folks have jumped quickly to find help and begin to recover. That’s good news! Many apartment residents have had to be in hotels for many days. They are now receiving help.

One family were in a hotel for three-plus weeks before finding a place to live. They slept on the floor for five days until we arrived. Several people have had a great experience and some have found their new housing in less than great apartments/duplexes.

We are partnering with Living City Project, St. Vincent’s and Miami Valley Community Action Partnership.
The last month we have set up a system that works well both for volunteers and the families in need.

Our partners are providing trucks, gas, staff, warehouse space, house-hold items, and furniture. New beds are being provided from several local firms like Morris Home Furniture.

This week we had thirty teens come from Chicago to Dayton to help. They built flat-packed furniture, helped us move people and cleared some locations of debris.

There are so many people in need!
This is a long term situation and we need people to help us help others.
We are in need of funding. Everyone on the Living City Project team is juggling work to provide their personal funds, or the churches we work with are graciously allowing us to be on the ground helping people.

Long term help is much harder to gather than short term clean up crews. To me, it’s an amazing missional opportunity. Sadly, many churches are now trying to get back to church as normal. Several major communities in our area are hurting. They open up as the church serves being the good news. I believe it’s time to shine!

We are assisting three or four families a day. We’ve been running for a little over three weeks. We are ramping up.

There are now many more people on the list to receive their new furniture and basic household items. The bottleneck falls into the category of having not having enough moving crews. It’s evident we are already in need of more volunteers to help. We need more drivers, movers, and more pick-up trucks to transport the items from St. Vincent’s to their homes. This need being met is part of the ramp-up. Please pray we will have fifteen people a day to join teams to serve.

Today we helped three families.
There were five families on the list, however, we didn’t have pickup trucks to take two families their beds. They may receive the beds tomorrow or next week. It depends on how full our truck will be tomorrow.

Two single moms were from the Westbrooke area. One of the hardest-hit areas. Over 400 children were displaced.

I was very glad the two of us had a great woman with us today to listen and to offer support to the single parent moms we served.

Yup! Two of us loaded and unloaded a filled to the top large box truck. One couch took 30 minutes to get inside of an apartment up two flights of stairs! We had to unscrew the banister rail. Note to self…bring power screwdriver!

Here is a happy and safe Phillips Family we helped last week.

Here is a news video about the Chicago teens who came to help.
https://www.facebook.com/CourtneyOnTV/videos/461076434481218/

Steve

Hope…Run with Percy.

The light at the end of the tunnel is not an on-coming train!

Hope:

The last few weeks I’ve been battling.

Circumstances, death of a love one, stress from destructive Tornadoes, tiredness in my relief efforts, a sense of failure from disappointing life investment outcomes…

My bounce isn’t as high as it used to be. I’ve had to lean forward into Hope. I’m shifting my mindset yet again and running with Percy.


Towards a Psychology of Hope is a great article. (click link for full article.)


“We all know that hope is a good thing, even an essential thing: there is no life without hope, or so the saying goes. Psychologists believe hope might be the most important feeling, state, or emotion we can experience. Hope is a skill you can acquire. It is active—you can cultivate and nourish it. 

It is self-perpetuating—hopeful people tend to be more resilient, more trusting, more open, and more motivated than those less hopeful, so they are likely to receive more from the world, which in turn makes them more hopeful—which is why it’s so important.”

Now
May the God of all hope
Fill you
With all joy and peace 

in believing
So that
You may abound in Hope
By
The power of The Holy Spirit. 

Romans 15:13:NASB

I’m re-applying my life verse.

Steve Believe you will abound in hope.
Hope will be poured into my life and my hope will exist in great quantity.
I will be rich in hope, and I will be well supplied with hope.

You will be filled with hope. You will over-flow or teem with hope.
You will have all joy and peace in believing. 

Pray:
God of all hope, fill me with all joy and peace so that I will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit empower me with Hope. Thank you now for filling me.   

Look forward in hope:

Hope Defined.

Hope is a confident expectation of good things to come.
Hope looks to a future bright. The light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train.
Hope believes the best is yet to come.

Jer 29:29 NASB 

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
 

Proverbs 23:18 (NIV)
There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

Hope is future, Faith is now. In hope we see ahead, in faith we believe for our hopeful future now.

Hey 11:1 NASB 
Now faith is the assurance / confidence / substance of things
hoped for,
(Faith is) the conviction / evidence of things
not seen.


What things not seen?


Questions?

What are you and I believing, looking for, hoping for? Refreshment? Motional stability? Spiritual connection with Holy Spirit, the Fathers love and the Sons faithfulness?

We can activate our faith and hope toward whom we are believing.  

We develop a positive mindset by reading hopeful articles and the Bible. We fuse hope and believing by offering thanksgiving and cultivating gratitude. Spending time slowing down to rest. Positioning ourselves to worship and believe.

Hope is the center word for purpose.
There is no faith without hope and no love without hope.

Hope is the seed bed of faith and love.

These three remain:
“Faith, Hope and Love…these three but the greatest of these three is love.” I Cor 13 

Hold on to hope long enough until hope becomes faith.

Hope is the connector and the seed bed that creates faith and love. Faith and love spring from hope. 

Col 1:5 NIV 
The faith and love that spring from the hope stored up / secure for you in heaven

It’s important to speak hope, to declare, to believe and to rest in God’s love.

Ps 62:5 NIV  

Yes, my soul, find rest in God, my hope comes from him.

Lamentations 3:24 (NASB)
The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore, I have hope in Him.”
 
The biggest question, “Where do you and I place our hope? Who is our hope?”

Where is your hope, your expectation placed? 

Jesus!

Hope, by definition is a person, or a thing, in which expectations are centered or focused upon. 
Who are you trusting / looking to? People? Places? Things? Jobs? Governments? Leaders? Feelings? Circumstances?

Pattie and I often have to shift our mindsets, our focus and our declarations:

Our hope is only found in you Jesus. We declare ___________ is not our Savior. Where we go, or where we stay will not save us, nor provide for us. In You, and You alone is our hope. All of our hope is found in You. Thank you Jesus, our future is secure. Thank you for providing for us, guiding us!”

The Reality.
Jesus is our only hope. Hope is embodied in Him. He is the hope of glory.
Our hope is secure and steadfast…

Heb. 6:18-20 NIV 
We who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be strong / encouraged. 

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and steadfast. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus our forerunner has entered on our behalf.

Jesus is the better hope.

Heb 7: 9 NASB
for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. 

Heb 7:22 NASB
so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. 

It’s interesting and encouraging…The eye of the Lord is upon those who hope and who hope for something tangible, yet supernatural, His loving-kindness.

Ps 33:18 NASB
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who hope for his Loving-kindness.
 

“Our trials are turned to gold.” Keith Green.

Trials do one thing well… if we hold on, if we don’t give up and if we continue… Trials produce a hope that does not disappoint. In hope… we hope.

Rom 5:1-5 NASB
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 

2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.(hope)

3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 

4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 

5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Running with Percy.


There is something to be said about perseverance. Perseverance enables us to keep on keeping on, to lean forward by faith, and to look into the future in hope. 

Sometimes we need to run with our friend Percy. Running with Percy produces a hope that does not disappoint. It’s important to faint not; to not grow weary and never give up.

Trials of life show us what we are made of. Trials reveal our metal. They test our metal.

We are the hopeful ones. We have a future and a hope. It is secure. We can draw from heavens hope and give what we have received away.

We can have joy and peace and abound in hope. The connector… in believing.

“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”

by Edward Mote, 1797-1874
 

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
 

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
 

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Slow Down Or Die!

google Zoom Out—Zoom In

A few years ago I wrote Google and asked if I could use the phrase Zoom Out—Zoom In to write a short book. Nope was the answer.

Zooming Out helps us see the whole picture. Zooming In helps us see part of the picture.

Good leaders Zoom Out. They see the big picture. They see, understand, and appreciate the key players who are creating the many aspects of the whole picture.

Sometimes people and teams are so Zoomed In they can’t see nor appreciate the whole picture.

If you work in an organization most likely you are most concerned / focused upon the growth and progress of your area. You may need to Zoom Out to understand you and your team are a part of the whole. 

Starry Starry Night

I was on a team of teams a few years ago. We were silo-ed. Everyone was concerned about their area and were very focused. We were attempting to encourage all the teams to care about our environment / atmosphere and to embrace our responsibility to help create a friendly open hearted experience for our guests. We needed everyone’s buy in.

I created an illustration.

I showed a blue pixel of a famous picture on a big screen. I spoke about being Zoomed In and the importance of being zoomed in, but not being so zoomed in we miss seeing the big picture. In order to see and understand the big picture we needed to Zoom Out. Zooming out helps us to see the whole enchilada and together, as a whole group, can create the space / atmosphere / environment we needed to create. The questions then followed. What do we want to create? How do we create the vibe, atmosphere, environment? What is our role?

Here is the pixel: Zoomed In

Here is the picture: Zoomed Out

starry-night-art-plain

Knowing / discerning when we need to Zoom Out or to Zoom In is very important. Sometimes we are so close / Zoomed In to a situation we need to slow down to create space where we can Zoom Out.

Taking the time, creating space to Zoom Out allows us to have a birds eye view to assess a problem, a direction, or an opportunity. Then, after our assessment, we can Zoom In to deal with what needs dealing with, or to create what we need to create.

If you are under pressure in your personal life and relationships you may want to push pause, Zoom Out in order to see and understand your situation from a different point of view.

Tip: It helps to put on your Spock logic persona and to take off your emotional persona.

Questions to ask:

  • Where can I go to find space to Zoom Out and reflect?
  • What’s going on within my environments?(White board)
  • Where do I need to focus Zoom In in each environment? (family, work, friends, potential opportunities)
  • How am I doing with my relationships at home, church and beyond?
  • Be determined to create margin in your schedule for what’s most important.
  • Is this something Jesus wants me to continue to invest my energy and focus?

Remember:

Most people have great strengths.
Sometimes our strengths are our weaknesses.

Runners learn to pace themselves, maybe we should too?

slow_down_or_die

Coach Susan Paul: “Typically runners add 30 seconds per mile to their goal race pace to as much as 2 minutes per mile. How much you choose to slow down is up to you, but remember the longer the run, the slower the pace should be on most days.
Keep in mind it’s often hard to hit the perfect pace for every run.
Your training paces will also vary based on the weather conditions or the terrain. Maybe you’ve had poor sleep or have been stressed at work. This will affect how you pace yourself!”
The Runner’s World Editors Mar 4, 2019

Take a moment and think through the above allegory.

  • How long will it be before you are finished with this series, or project, etc? Think realistically. Create margin in your plan.
  • Remember, you are not perfect. Give yourself permission for mid-course corrections. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
  • Remember you are an atmosphere architect. Creating takes time.
  • Don’t stop your training paces. What are your basic practices? Time with Jesus, reading, journal, exercising, family nights, date nights with your spouse, eating well and sleeping. Adjust your time accordingly.
  • Take a break. Do something fun and totally different.
  • You have the power to pace yourself in your terrain.