Happy New Year 2020!

Happy New Year!

2019 was a very full year!

We had a year of great challenge, heartbreaking loss, positive encouragement, strategic relational connections, and amazing blessing. We are looking forward to 2020.

Each year I look at my life in the light of what I know I have practiced.
When I first started a few years ago I was surprised I had developed several positive life-practices.

I John 3:18-19 TPT

Beloved children, our love can’t be an abstract theory we only talk about, but a way of life demonstrated through our loving deeds. We know that the truth lives within us because we demonstrate love in action, which will reassure our hearts in his presence.

The demonstration of our our love in action gives us the evidence we are Christ-followers. Faith + Demonstration = a life captivated by the Father’s love.

Our works/practices don’t save us. Our works/ our practices reveal us.

Most probably your practices flow from who you are and from what you value.
If you are like me, and don’t like the fruit of some of your practices you can change your focus. I choose to focus on and practice the positive.

Tip: Write down your own practices. What consistently flows from your life? What bears good fruit? What doesn’t?
Tip: Focus…Push into the good! Let go of the not so good.

Believe for a good harvest.
Mindset shifts are important.
Sow believing.


Galatians 6:5-10 TPT

Every believer is ultimately responsible for his or her own conscience.

For what you plant will be the very thing you harvest. 

The harvest you reap reveals the seed that was planted.

If you plant the good seeds of Spirit-life you will reap the beautiful fruits that grow from the everlasting life of the Spirit. 

And don’t allow yourselves to be weary or disheartened in planting good seeds, for the season of reaping the wonderful harvest you’ve planted is coming! 

Take advantage of every opportunity to be a blessing to others.

I Practice:

  • Slowing Down. Hebrews 4…I know I have a tendency to move too fast.

I slow down by consciously walking slower and by taking the time to pause and reflect. I’m practicing living from faith rest, which means choosing to position myself to Be in His Presence. This time investment helps me to remember I’m always a son first… messenger second. Outflow flows from the inflow. I choose to slow down and slip away on most days.

  •  Being a friendly open-hearted person. I choose to encourage one person every day.

I’ve discovered I usually encourage more than one person during my day.

  • Serving others in love. This is my lifestyle passion and development.

Use your gifts to serve others. Sometimes serving others means getting your hands dirty.

  • Awareness. I was moving from an unaware-mindset toward a being-aware mindset.

I wanted to grow by being self-aware, socially aware, being emotionally intelligent, and being spiritually aware. I’m currently learning to be aware of my environment: where I am, and being aware of who I need to be in a situation.  I mistakenly asked, “What do I need to do in this situation?” The right question, “Who do I need to be in this situation?”

Knowing I am unaware is my first step toward living a life of awareness.

  • Responding to God prompts. Responding to those small intuitive “flutterbys”.  What do I see/hear/feel?

I’m seeking to develop a lifestyle that is open for business. My daily prayer,  “Jesus lead me where You want me to go, and help me to encourage who you want me to encourage.” I want to understand how He moves/leads me toward responding by listening to the Holy Spirit and to people. Listening, really listening, then responding is my practice challenge.

  • Praying for people. Prayer is our connection from heaven to earth.

I pray with my eyes and my heart open. I pray for people in the now moment. When someone says “pray for me” I pray then. I also often, ask “Can I pray for you?” Nine times out or ten people receive prayer when I ask. Prayer is the connection from heaven to their earth. Many times people cry, and/or sense His presence when we pray together.

Practice doesn’t make you perfect, it makes you better.

My prayer for you is that you would grow in your understanding of His great love and grace. I pray you would continue to practice your positive practices.

December Bowen!

We wrapped up Tornado furniture moving with a mega move on December 14th.

Fifty-three families received new couches, tables and chairs, dressers and house goods.


$20,000 was gifted from a few churches to fund the move. We empowered people to help. Our Kelly, EJ and the workers at St. Vincent’s did a great job organizing and loving the people who came to serve. St. Vincent’s people are amazing! They work hard to help people in need. Living City Project was the relief valve for moving furniture from June through December. We helped move four hundred displaced families, most of whom lost everything.

Here’s an article published in the Dayton Daily News.

TORNADO RECOVERY
Dec 17, 2019
By Sarah Franks, Staff Writer

When the last piece of furniture was moved on Saturday, Living City Project had helped over 400 families displaced by the Memorial Day tornadoes into their new homes.

LCP has activated over 12,000 volunteers since the tornadoes tore through the Miami Valley on May 27. The organization serves on the Miami Valley Long Term Recovery Board and, like other Dayton-based and national organizations, has been instrumental in organizing cleanups, helping distribute furniture to hundreds of families and simply making sure tornado victims are not forgotten as 2019 comes to a close.

“What really spoke out to me is they haven’t stopped living,” said Joel Burton, LCP team leader. “They’re going to continue to live, continue to try and pursue normalcy and joy as much as then can. To see them getting ready to decorate that tree tonight is good. That’s more hope than we expect to see. There are neighborhoods right now that aren’t putting up Christmas lights.”

“If today meant anything, it’s a reminder that the community still remembers those that have been impacted,” said Caleb Ingram, LCP executive director. “There was an inventory backup, and we thought we might not get this out till January or February. But we reached out to a number of churches primarily. Some churches donated $20,000 collectively so that we could get this delivery out before Christmas. I think it’s just a reminder to every individual that we’ve gone to over the last six months, that we know that they’re there. We remember that they’re there, and we love them.”

St. Vincent de Paul Dayton has acted as a home base for many of the tornado recovery operations. 

“St. Vincent de Paul has also put in funds of their own to make this happen,” Ingram said. “Even the churches that donated, the donations went to St. Vincent so they could bulk order these couches. So the amount of money is a fraction of what it would cost if we went to the store and bought a couch. So funds came in and they would order 100 couches at a time.”

As people impacted by the tornadoes navigate the holiday season under difficult circumstances, Ingram asks them to know that organizations like LCP are not going to quit.

“There’s still more to do, still more to give,” Burton said. “We’re nowhere near done. Every moment like this carries us into the next.”


Hope Church partnered with Gateway Cathedral in Trotwood and gave away thirty $600 gift cards.

Gateway Cathedral sits in the Westbrook Village neighborhood, was in the direct path of the Memorial Day Tornadoes. The Gate served as the distribution hub for the community in the weeks following the storm.

Living City Project had a small yet essential connection. We performed a serving role with Christmas With A Cause. Thrivent, in Tipp City, raised hundreds of presents from the Tipp City School System to provide for the kids of thirty families who attended the evening. The guests knew there was a meal but did not know every child would receive a bag of presents. They also did not know that they would receive a gift card for $600 provided by the Hope Church.

When the meal was over, the Director for the event asked the families if they had a white envelope. Then she asked for others who did not have one to raise their hands. After the envelopes were distributed, she asked the families to open the gift together after a count down. 3… 2… 1… Open!

A sound of wonder began to erupt until the venue was filled with people shouting, crying, jumping up and down, waving their hands, and laughing. I had never been in such an atmosphere filled with so much love and gratitude.

As people walked down the hallway to leave, they received their presents for their children. They overflowed with thanks, and many told us their stories of what they thought was a lost Christmas, now turned into comfort and joy.

Mexico Kids Receive Shoes.

Around one hundred kids gathered to receive new shoes. Upper Room families gave to help the kids in a poor area of Piedras Negras. They need a roof and heaters. Hopefully this summer we will take a team to help build.

I spoke at the Upper Room this past Sunday.
The wonder of Christmas how to keep faith, love and hope alive.
You can watch here.
Phillips Temple is raising Twin Bed Sets for the ladies at the YWCA.
We will be delivering the Twin Sets on December 24. We are excited we have a donation of 100 throw blankets already donated.
We are Re-fired not retired.

Back story.
Three years ago, we were looking at moving to Pensacola. We were 95% ready to move. We didn’t have peace, so we talked and prayed. Pattie wanted to finish her time at Prass Elementary School and retire at 65. It has been a good plan.

We stayed in the Dayton Area. We did not know we would connect with some amazing people or be working with great churches Phillips Temple and Upper Room. Nor did I know I would have a part to play with Living City Project. Looking back, we can see Jesus is always faithful and true to lead us into the plans and spaces He had for us. We are so grateful!

Your prayers and support are more than appreciated!
We’d value any year-end giving you’d give.

Steve and Pattie

Thanksgiving Bowen News!

Wow! Thanksgiving Outreach! We touched over 200 families this year! 

Phillips Temple pulled out the stops and gathered more dinners this year than the last two years! The teams sorted and packed and delivered. We partnered with Wingate Apartments and with Westbrooke Elementary School. The apartment management supplied apartment addresses and notified people we were showing up. The teams headed out served, loved and prayed for the residents.

Upper Room also gathered together and headed out touching many families in low-income housing. They knocked on doors offering a surprise gift… a full Thanksgiving dinner! They prayed for several families. The feedback has been amazing!

We are wrapping up Tornado moving with a mega move on December 14th.

It’s been a long season of moving and praying for the people displaced. We’ve moved over 300 families! I’ve been in over one hundred homes, prayed for a lot of families, and lifted tons of furniture. The good news…
The families were encouraged and I lost weight!


 It will take many years before everyone returns to normal living. There are scars are left on the land and upon the people affected.
We are recovering.


The principal of the school where the F4 touched down said, “Our kids are stressed out. We are seeing their emotions surface. We are coping.

Some of the kids act out, others withdraw, and all have a reminder of their night of terror every time they drive through the neighborhood. The emotional trauma will take time to overcome. Please pray for all the kids and their families.

The 2019 Christmas With a Cause outreach theme will be Neighbor 2 Neighbor: Giving Hope for Christmas. 

Hope Church will partner with Gateway Cathedral in Trotwood.
Gateway Cathedral sits in the Westbrook Village neighborhood, which was in the direct path of the Memorial Day Tornadoes. The Gate served as the distribution hub for the community in the weeks following the storm.

The goal this year is to raise resources, which will be distributed among 40 families devastated by the Memorial Day Tornadoes to help them celebrate Christmas with their families.

Hope, along with the City of Trotwood, Trotwood School District and St. Vincent de Paul have identified 40 families from the Trotwood community impacted by the tornadoes. They will be helped by this CWAC campaign.

Living City Project is partnering in a small way with Hope Church, Thrivent, and The Gate to provide Trotwood families resources they can use for the Christmas season and beyond. Thrivent is partnering with Tipp City Schools to collect toys and gifts for the kids affected by the Tornados. Living City Project will then collect, help sort and deliver the gifts to the families at the celebration at The Gate.

Check out the promo.

Amazing, yet mixed emotional time with Pattie’s family.

We celebrated Pattie’s mom Elsie’s life at our family reunion in Mobile AL. We planted a tree in her honor and memory. It was very moving to have five generations gathered. I’ve never experienced such a gathering. We told stories, laughed, cried, talked, hugged and had a meal together. The tree is planted on the land where Elsie lived for many years. Having everyone there was a precious moment for all of us. 

Thanks for standing with us and praying for us.

If you’d like to give for year end giving we’d appreciate it very much.

Steve and Pattie.

Christmas Kindness Planning!

Yes, I know it’s Thanksgiving season! Christmas planning needs to be happening now before launching on December 1st.

Every year many churches plan who they will be serving.

Some churches throw huge parties, other create warm shopping experiences for families, some adopt a family, others give to missions and create spaces for those in need in a specific community.

Every year we create a Kindness Calendar.

Simple, yet impactul! Especially for the individuals and families who participate.

A variant of the Calendar is to develop an Advent Calendar for the twelve days of Christmas. Children can learn to be otherly by practicing one fun act of kindness over the 12 days. Don’t forget to use chocolate as an award!

Here is a sample of this years calendar.