A flower opens hearts at a Beauty Salon!

Jesus can do what we cannot do!

The Living City Project.Final Stats!
Knock on effect! Churches want to continue to serve their community! We are creating a website to offer tips and resources.
Our hope realized: People did see the church in action as hundreds demonstrated their love in a practical way. Over thirty churches served as well as several other community organizations.

Over twelve hundred people participated on the day. A sense of unity and community engagement was apparent.

#Kindnessnow 2.0
We had a great summit! A small turn out but some powerful sessions. My Pastor friends: Dorrien Hinsey, Jackie Jackson, Mike Scruggs and Jimmy Washington graced our time Thursday night. They discussed KindnessOutreach and how their churches have reached out to their communities.

Lot’s of buzz over the three days and several practical outreach opportunities! Dr. Dorrien Hinsey summed up the night with the thought Kingdom over Culture.

Culture over Kingdom? Kingdom over culture?

Heading out this Saturday for one of the largest outreach events of our year. Six hundred roses going to over twenty Beauty Salons.


A Flower Story. Is there someone here who is having trouble at home?

A couple of weeks ago we took a hundred vases, each filled with five daffodils, to a nursing home and to the small stores located in Trotwood.

We went into a hair salon after receiving an impression someone in the Salon needed prayer for some tough things happening at home.

When we went in we stretched out our hands, “Here’s a vase of flowers to celebrate Easter.” The person who welcomes people lit up and exclaimed “Thank you! This is so nice!” Everyone in the salon was surprised.

I said, “I was driving by and had an impression someone has some tough stuff happening at home and needed prayer.” A young mother immediately raised her hand and said, “It’s me.” 

As we began to pray she started crying. The power of the Holy Spirit touched her life as words of encouragement flowed. It was obvious to everyone Jesus had touched her life. The people in the Salon were startled, yet they were amazed.

A long story shortened.

Everyone in the salon got out of their chairs and walked over and said, “Pray for us.” I talked about Jesus, His grace, His power, and proclaimed His goodness. We then stood in a circle held hands and prayed for the store. I said, “The Word says everywhere we walk we are blessed and we can claim the land. Let’s stomp our feet and bless this store. So we all stomped our feet and I then prayed and blessed the salon and the owner. At the end I received a lot of hugs and thank yous.
What’s the point? There is power in and upon acts of kindness done in Jesus name.

What opened the door? A vase of flowers and simple obedience to an impression. Not everyone may be as extroverted as I am in such moments, but anyone can listen to His voice and  pray a simple prayer.

We are grateful for all our supporters who enable us to do what God has called us to do. We value your prayers and support. Please pray for our family as we press into our new season.

Prayer points:

  • Clarity / Direction / Where to invest time, energy and passion?
  • Car repairs cash for another 100,000 miles.
  • Our three boys and their families.
  • Pattie gets new job. Interviews begin on Tuesday.
  • Ministry doors open / No hindrances.
Eyesoutward

Lost. The love of the Father.

Many people don’t know there is a Father who loves them.

   My friend Matthew and his young daughter went to Target to shop. They were walking around the store when Matthew got distracted. Minutes passed and suddenly he sensed something wasn’t right. Turning around, he couldn’t find his daughter. She was missing from his presence; she wasn’t near his side. His heart was pounding and with deep concern he began to look for her. He ramped up his search by notifying the store manager and other store workers to help him find his daughter. Time went by, one minute became two, and two became ten. To Matthew it felt like an eternity. She was indeed lost.

    As his sense of loss was turning to hopelessness he noticed movement in a clothes rack. This is when he saw her peeking out from where she was hiding. He dropped to his knees and called her by name. She came running into his arms. She had been lost and away from his presence, but now she had been found. She was back in his arms.

When he asked her why she hadn’t come out of hiding when he called her name, she said she was afraid. She was afraid she would be in trouble. She assumed he’d be angry. Matthew embraced her, told her he loved her, he wasn’t angry, and he was just so grateful he found her.

This is really a great picture of God’s love for humanity. People are away from God’s presence. They are hiding, covering themselves up. They are afraid to come into His presence. The reason they are afraid… they believe a lie. A lie which tells them God is not a loving Father. He is an angry Father. Therefore, if they turn toward an angry God, He will give them what they know they deserve… judgement and punishment.

At the core of His being He is love. He offers salvation as a gift to those who turn toward Him. He is always willing to receive those who come to Him at any time. He is not willing any should perish. He takes no delight in the death of those who do not know Him. He offers His relational connection by grace. His grace is found in His Son Jesus.

He sent His only Son to illustrate, explain and reveal the love of the Father toward the people who are away from His presence, lost. He is the God of the last chance.

My father in law was a bartender. When my wife was quite young, he left his wife and five children for his wife’s best friend. Pattie’s mom wept for three days and then began the long process of recovery. Time went on and his new wife met Jesus and her life changed. More years went by and then suddenly my father in law was diagnosed with cancer and given weeks to live. His wife threw caution to the wind and began to speak to him about eternal issues, specifically about where he was going to spend eternity. Her urgent appeal made sense to him and he asked her what he needed to do. She told him to get on his knees, to ask God for forgiveness and invite Jesus into his life. He listened intently and responded by moving himself from the bed to the floor. When he got on his knees he prayed for forgiveness and asked Jesus to come into his life. He was a new man when he got back up. A week later he was baptized. A couple of weeks later he passed away into a new eternity.

This is the love of the Father. Pattie’s dad wasn’t condemned for the terrible things he had done. When he turned toward the Father he was forgiven and was welcomed into the arms of His savior.

Jesus asked the woman caught in adultery, “Where are your accusers?” John 8 NLT

There were none; He freely forgave her and told her to go and sin no more. He restored her hope.

On the cross, He breathed His last, saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23: 34, NIV)

In the parable of the prodigal son the father was continually looking, waiting, and longing for the return of his lost son. When his son finally came to his senses he began his journey home, while he was still a long way off, the father saw him approaching and ran toward his son. He embraced him, welcomed him home, threw a party restoring him to all which was his and more.

This is a picture of the heart of the Father. He is continually looking for the people who are away from His presence. He longs for them to come home, to come back into His presence, to stop hiding in fear, and to be fully restored. The love of God removes all fear.

This is the good news! If you have experienced His love I’d encourage you to share your good news with others.

To see more go to www.lovedyouare.org

This is a passage from my book Go. Sow.

Living City Project Wow!

The Living City Project!
A few months back I joined a team of Jesus lovers, city changer dreamers!


We are a motley crew. 

“A motley crew is an informal expression for a roughly organized assembly of individuals of various backgrounds, appearance, and character. Typical examples of motley crews are; pirates, college fraternities, Western posses, rag-tag mercenary bands, freedom fighters, and groups of programmers in high-intensity tech startups.” Wikipedia

I add, Diverse Radical Followers of Jesus!

Our dream: Bring churches, community organizations, businesses, and people together all across the city of Dayton to love our city together… A city-wide Cleanup!

Our hope: People would see the church in action… not just saying we love our community, but demonstrating our love in a practical way by going low, picking up trash, and washing our communities feet.

Some people didn’t believe this could happen. Others were skeptical, yet some believed.


Sponsors jumped on board. Dayton Inspires produced a video which now has over 54,000 views. Momentum kicked in and. over 35 churches joined as well as 20 other community organizations.

Wow! Working together, we did it!

29 host locations
1233 registered volunteers
21,580 lbs (10.79 tons) of tires collected
228,980 lbs (114.49 tons) of bulk wast collected
250,560 lbs (125.28 tons) of total weight collected!

Make Montgomery County Beautiful provided bags, gloves, and trash pickers. They also removed the 125 tons of trash collected on the day!

City cleaning crew. Firefighters Union 136. After Party,

Over 1200 people participated on the day. A sense of unity and community engagement was apparent.

Mayor and Team.

Postscript:
Our team were invited to attend the City Commission Meeting on Monday. We gave our report and received thanks from the Mayor and the Commissioners representing The City of Dayton.

Now people are asking, “What’s next?”

Our crew know the event was God ordained and blessed. We also know Jesus did what we could not do. We understand His Kingdom is an ever-increasing Kingdom which knows no end. He is the one who receives all the glory and honor!

What’s most amazing! No one group, no one person, could take any credit for The Living City Project. It is collaborative in the deepest sense of the word. It’s exciting what God can do when no one person gets the credit!

Dayton Inspires Promo Video Pre Clean Up. 54K views.

sPattie and I are grateful for Phillips Temple, Pastor Jimmy Washington and Upper Room, Pastor Arron for their constant support.

Also, we are grateful for all our supporters who enable us to do what God has called us to do. We value your prayers and support. Please pray for our family as we press into our new season.

Steve and Pattie

The power to be…

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 
1 Cor 4:7NLT


Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you. 2 Tim 1:14 NAS

The greatest treasure: His Presence within us, upon us and with us.

We are who we are. When we are fully who we are in Christ, and secure in whose we are, we shine bright and give God glory. 

We all have a treasure within us. Gifts, talents, abilities, thoughts, personalities, emotions and skill sets have all been entrusted to us. All of us are different. No two people are alike. You are uniquely you, wonderfully created.


My wife is a triplet. Even though the sisters look similar. They are very different. Each has different personalities, emotional makeup and talents. They are each beautifully unique. 

What you have within you is a treasure. This treasure within you is so valuable it needs to be guarded, protected. The gifts, talents, and abilities are treasures that are entrusted to your care, are given to you for the sake of others. We receive so that we can give what we have received.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Prov 4:23 NIV

Acts 1:8 states when the Holy Spirit comes upon you He will give you the power to Be…pause for effect… His witnesses. Notice what comes first… the power to Be… comes before doing.

Pause and think about this for a moment. When He, the Holy Spirit comes upon you, He will empower you to Be. 

His power upon you gives you the ability to be fully who you were created to Be… uniquely you.

When His empowerment comes upon you, and when you begin to allow the treasure within to flow out to others, you cannot help but be His witness. 
Steve Bowen

Be not do…

Note: Peter didn’t say we would “do witnessing” but we would be His witnesses. 

Being fully you, empowered, with all your gifts talents and abilities 
confidently flowing is when you are a most powerful witness.


As believers, we have access to the power of the Holy Spirit. The impartation of His supernatural power within you, upon you, and with you changes everything. His power enables us to be the very witnesses He created us to be.

In my book Go. Sow. I ask…How much power to do we need?

“How much power do we need? I’m all for more power of the Spirit and pray most days to be empowered. However, I have been around long enough to know I have to be willing to begin to take risks now, in this present time, in order to enter into the power of the Holy Spirit. I’ve learned I often have to be faithful in the small tasks and the small steps before the greater is realized. Beginning in the natural often helps me to move toward releasing the supernatural.  

The true power of being enables heaven to bring to our earth(our lives) the power we need to reach out to people of our earth—our sphere of influence. 


His power often flows from me when I’m out in the community, face great need, and sense my lack. It is the very awareness of my lack that propels me, in that moment, to reach out for more of His power, in order to meet a need. If I feel weak and small, I still step out in my weakness and smallness. I still serve, and I still pray. Often I sense no feeling of noticeable power when I pray for people yet, amazing things happen. 

One lady recently came up to our group and said, “When Steve prayed for me, I received not one job, but two jobs. I was so grateful that he took the time, and listened to me, and prayed for me. I just wanted to thank you all for being out here caring and serving us.” 

I wanted to say, “Woman, I who am speaking to you am he.” 

Bowen, Steve (2014-04-23). Go. Sow. A simple practical guide into the arena of outreach. (pp. 178-179).  . Kindle Edition.

Note she stated, “I was so grateful that he took the time, and listened to me and prayed for me.” 

What she noticed was not my power, but my being. Who I am. His love for her was expressed through my actions, and by my attitude. I had no physical sense of power. No awareness of, Boy I’m bringing it today!  I simply released the treasure I knew was within me by faith, and Her need was wonderfully met.

Step into being who you are.

Often I have to step into who I am… in order to be

 I have to remember whose I am, and who I am, then act accordingly.

At my core I know I am wired as an encourager. So, in order to be the encourager I am, I have to stir up the gift that has been entrusted to me and step into being the encourager I am. Sometimes, I literally declare as I step out of my car, or walk into a meeting, “I now step into my gift, and into my calling as an encourager.” 

When I remember who I am, I can then be who I am.
 It’s all about knowing and being.

The stepping into principle happens when I consciously step into being a husband, a friend, a worker, or a leader

Our identity is our foundation for all things. Our identity flows from His Presence.
Such we are, sons and daughters.

1 John 3:1 NASB See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are

This is who we are, sons and daughters. We are adopted, heirs, given full rights as sons and daughters.

We are loved by Him. When we treasure the treasure within us we discover a whole new level of security. We are called to be. Knowing whose we are and who we are… brings security into our calling. 

We receive, we give.

Jesus knew whose He was. Before any public ministry, Jesus knew whose He was. He was the Beloved Son in Whom the Father was well pleased.

It’s also interesting, Jesus had a custom. He often slipped away to the Mt. of Olives to be… in the Presence of His Father. Life flowed from the overflow. He didn’t meet with the Father for the overflow. He met with the Father simply to be…His Son, to enjoy His relationship with the Father. Everything flowed from His sense of being the Father‘s Son.

He lived out of His empowered Being. He was secure. He was humble. He was loving. 

John 13:3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 

Jesus modeled the principle. We follow. When the Holy Spirit comes upon us, lives within us and is with us, He empowers us to Be.