February Love Month.

We are having some fun at the Upper Room Worship Center! I love being with this crew they are creative, encouraging, outofthebox thinkers and love people. It’s been fun resting and learning as we are launching into our new adventure.
This month is Love month we are encouraging people to use one of the calendars below to practice kindness. Actually that’s the only way people see and experience kindness. Action. Doing. Stepping out. Loving people. Being kind.
Why not join us, practice for a month and see what happens to the world around you. Use the Calendar or be creative and develop or practice your own thoughts. 
We also have  serve and love boards in the foyer of the church. People can pick up a card to serve or go to the kindness board where people can pick up a heart and love someone in the community. 
It’s all fun and very missional.
 Here is brief Update also some thoughts on purpose.

Is He more than enough? Bowen update.

Hey just wanted to write a brief update…

It’s rewarding to see the potential for missionaries using the film we gift to highlight who they are and what they do. Two short video’s have been completed. We are waiting on completed edit. While in Costa Rica we filmed Thebackwardsmissionaries.com

Our heart is to equip, train and encourage wherever we are located and go. We are practitioners not just theorist. I do more than travel to encourage missionaries; this is just a part of what we are doing. We are learning and growing even at our age.

Worship a key that unlocks our hearts…
I was worshiping and felt so small, so young, I asked Jesus, “Why?” Reply, “Because you are eternal.” Yep, much pondering on this statement happened.

Stunned…

I was worshiping a while ago, and I felt a nudge, a whisper… “Steve, if this was the only thing you did …. would it be enough?” 

I sat in silence for some time then replied, “I want you to be enough. I’m so driven. I don’t know. Help me to allow you to be enough.” 

I walked away from that moment forever changed. 

Worship is our number one way of expressing our heart to Jesus. As we worship He appears. Sue Ranaldi, a worship leader in the UK once said, “Worship is the scene of His appearing.” 

Those who worship, touch the Father’s heart 
as they glorify Jesus. The Holy Sprit loves to glorify the Son.
 As we worship He shows up.

 Number two way, is serving others. Both sacrifices are pleasing to HIm. (Hebrews 13)


We sing … more than enough… but really, is He? When I remember this encounter I cease striving. I pause. I reflect. In eternity He will be more than enough… I’m learning to practice making Him so here.

More to follow.
I head to the UK Monday for 3 weeks, and yes another video guy is going, thanks to the partnership support I’m receiving. His first out of the country mission. Excited for him. 

He will be filming Overtoun House and Bob and Melissa Hill. 

I’ll be in Warrington, England for a couple of weeks with Mike and Jane McMahon training and encouraging before heading north.

Last thought. Times are a changing: partnership and support come from relationships with ones being sent.This includes churches and individuals. We are grateful for those we know, or we have known, who help us do what we do.

We are so grateful,

Steve and Pattie
for more
www.eyesoutward.com  

If you’d like to give use donor box at the top side bar of eyesoutward.

The power of Kindness.

Serve others, good deeds a lifestyle value.

The focused power of God’s love expressed through our acts of kindness often opens hearts to the good news. Our good deeds reflect God’s love for an individual and for our community in a tangible way. 

Good deeds, create good will, that opens hearts to the good news. 
Rusaw, Swanson The Externally Focused Church


Jesus went about doing good. His nature was reflected by His action. 

I can never imagine Jesus as someone who was continually angry or grumpy or had a fixed scowl upon His face. Nor can I see Him as being self promoting or self seeking. These attitudes are against the very nature and character of God.
 

I understand Jesus is a generous person who has an infectious sense of humor. It is certainly clear people wanted to be around Jesus. He reflected a life which was characterized by grace, peace, kindness, love, joy and spiritual power. 

He was the most friendly open-hearted person on the planet! His life was attractive. He was known as a friend of sinners.

Believers are also called to reflect God’s nature toward others. We are called to be friendly open-hearted people.

We live this out through our attitudes and our actions, by being generous people who are rich in good deeds. 

Believers are servants who are committed to serve others just as Jesus served. 
John stated,
“Whoever claims to live in him, must walk as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:6, NIV

Evangelism is more than developing a certain method,
it’s more about developing spiritual sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.

Reaching others is about seeking to know what He is doing, and what He wants to do in the life of the person we are talking to. 
 

We had planned an outreach for our Dayton Supernatural School of Ministry students and made some simple bags filled with granola bars, peanuts, peanut butter crackers, Cracker Jacks, breath mints. The bags were a bridge to help us connect with the people we about to encounter.


When the students returned. Most had amazing stories. 

At the end of our time together Pattie and I grabbed a couple of friends and headed to Olive Garden for a late lunch. We took two gift bags to give to the waitress at the end of our meal. 

We arrived and began to talk to the waitress and ordered. During the time I leaned into the Holy Spirit expecting to receive a prophetic encouragement for the waitress. Nothing. No sense of anything to say. I continued to wait, observe and look for a sign or a prompt. Nothing. I remember thinking, “This is a supernatural school outreach. I’m supposed to be able to hear, see, or receive a God prompt for people. I‘m leading and I’m receiving nada, zero, nothing.

At the end of our meal we told the waitress we had a gift for her and her team. We gave her our gift bags and thanked her for being such a pleasant, joyful person. When she received the bags suddenly she began to become visibly excited, thanked us, went around the table and hugged each of us and exclaimed, “This is the nicest thing I have ever experienced!” I questioned, “Really this is the nicest thing you have ever experienced?” She exclaimed, “Yes! Here at work. Yes! This is the nicest thing.” 

She then turned and quickly to give gifts to all of the people working on her shift. She returned and said, “The prep chef says, “Thank you so much for the granola bar!” 

I was stunned. I pondered what just transpired. I asked Jesus, “What just happened? I was ready to pray for healing, or to receive a word of encouragement and I received nothing. What are you doing?” 

In an instant I heard, “Im showing you the power of kindness in action.” 

We tipped big; thanked the waitress and headed home. 

Lesson learned. There is power in an act of kindness. Small things done with great love can change our world. Tip: Practice kindness in action.

Begin from where you are with what you have.

    Question: How much power do we need before we go?
    I’m all for more power of the Spirit and believe me, I pray almost every day to be empowered. However, I have been around long enough to know I have to be willing to begin to take steps of risk, steps of faith 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 things, and take small steps, before the greater is realized.
   

   Beginning in the natural often helps us to move toward releasing the supernatural. It’s bringing heaven to earth, as we reach out to people of our earth—our sphere of influence. 

    The power often comes when I’m living life, facing great need, and I sense my lack. It is in the very awareness of my lack, that propels me to reach out for more of His power. However, my lack of power does not keep me from reaching out and encouraging the people in sphere of influence.
    

     If I feel weak and small, I still push through my weakness and smallness. I still serve, I still love, and I still pray and declare.
    

     Sometimes I feel / I sense no 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 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.” I remember praying with no fire-works, no great surge of assurance…I simply prayed.


    What was the power? Yes, there was an answered prayer. She received two jobs not one. However, this was not the only act of power she noticed. 


     “I was so grateful he took the time, and listened, and prayed for me.” The power, she defined was taking time, listening and praying. What did she notice? The power of love and care in action.
     Her excitement and her gratefulness encouraged me to keep on loving, keep going, keep serving, and to keep praying.
    

     Whether I’m aware of His power or not, good stuff still really does happen.

    The truth, as in most spiritual exercises, reaching others for Jesus begins as a spiritual discipline. A passion for outreach is often developed through our consistent practice. As we practice, outward focused-ness becomes a lifestyle.


    I often say, “You cannot begin to care, unless you first become aware. How do you become aware? By being out there.” 


    Study the great revivalists and healers of the past and present. Many began to serve, go, pray, heal, and reach people long before they had it all together or had received a greater measure of the Holy Spirit.


    Some of our hero’s of faith saw hundreds healed and hundreds come to Jesus long before their power encounter. Yes, the power, and their experience with the Holy Spirit propelled them further ahead, and yes, more people were brought near to the Kingdom, but they, just like everyone else,
had to begin from where they were with what they had, as they leaned in for more. 

Everyone, has to decide to begin with what they have, from where they are.

 
    Bethel Church, in Redding, California is an example of a great church which has consistently served and actively loved their community over many years. Their city is changing, and they are leading many people to Jesus. Why?     
     They are passionately in love with Jesus and seek to honor His Presence as a lifestyle. 

     They encourage people to release what they have received into the lives of the people of their community, in their sphere of influence. 

     They have been actively going, serving, praying and loving the people of their community for many, many years. They, like everyone else, had to decide to begin to go from where they were, with what they had.

The early disciples traveled with Jesus for three years before the Holy Spirit fell upon them.
    Before the day of Pentecost, they were involved in healing the sick, casting out demons, and preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God effectively. Well, sometimes not so effectively.
    

     When the Spirit’s power came, they reached more and more people, and undoubtedly had greater success. Jesus knew this would happen and this is the reason He told the disciples to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit. However, the waiting for power did not nullify what they had experienced before their empowering. They began from where they were with what they had.

    We exist first and foremost to love Jesus, and to know and experience the presence of the Father’s love. We then learn to love what He loves. He has love for His world.
    We exist for His pleasure, for His Kingdom, and for the people of our world.
    As we are getting it together, we need to realize for whom we are getting it together—the people who are away from God’s presence. This is the will of the Father.
    
    The Church exists to reach our world.
    It exists to be a place where people can be added and discipled. The Church is where new believers learn to love and worship Jesus and where they learn to use their gifts to serve others. It’s where they can become conscious of His divine purpose. It’s where they receive power as they join others to reach out to their world.
    The Church exists to be a blessing to the Father, and to be a source of His love and power for His world. 

Excerpt from Go. Sow.