Hope…Run with Percy! …Revisiting.

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

Hope:

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. 

Hope 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 Hope is 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

Hope Defined.

Hope is a confident expectation of good things to come.
Hope looks forward to a future bright.

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 a hopeful future.

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


What are the things currently – not seen – you are believing for?

What are you currently hoping for? Refreshment? Emotional stability? Spiritual connection with Holy Spirit? Experiencing the Fathers love, and the Son’s faithfulness? Debt reduction? Marriage Restoration? Wholeness in body, soul and spirit? Healing? Clarity of Mind?

We fuse hope and believing by:

  • offering thanksgiving and cultivating gratitude.
  • dedicating time to slow down.
  • positioning ourselves to read, worship, and to believe.
  • eating properly.
  • exercising.
  • sleeping enough.
  • serving others less fortunate than ourselves.

Tip: Worship is faith set to music. Let faith-filled music play in your home, car and workplace.

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

Hope is the connector. Hope is the seed bed that creates faith and love.

Faith and love spring from hope.
Hold on to hope long enough until your hope becomes Faith.

It’s important to speak hope, to declare your hope, 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.”

It’s both 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.

The biggest questions, “Where do you and I place our hope? Who is your hope?” A more specific question, “In Whom is your hope, your expectation, placed?” 

Hope, by definition: a person, or a thing, in which expectations are centered or focused upon.

Who are you trusting / looking to? People? Places? Things? Jobs? Governments? Feelings? Circumstances? Leaders?

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

Our Reality.
Jesus is our only hope. Hope is embodied in Him. He is the hope of glory.
Our hope becomes secure and steadfast as we build our relationship with Him.

“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, and for guiding us!”

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 (our hope) enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus our forerunner has entered on our behalf.

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. 

“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.

Romans 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. 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.

Running with perseverance enables us to keep on keeping on, to lean forward in faith, and to look into our future by hope. 

Running with Percy produces a hope that does not disappoint. It’s important we faint not, and do not grow weary.

Never give up! Keep getting up!

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

We can have joy, peace, and we can abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The connector…Our Faith. Our 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.

Resistance? Stand Firm.


Have you ever had spiritual resistance as you pressed in to the Father’s heart?

I have. Mainly the resistance is found in my thought life.

The thoughts usually tell me who I am not, where I fail, have failed, or the droning you never measure up. Sometimes the thoughts are regrets because of my stupidity in certain past failed situations. In response, I own the thought. Pray, and ask forgiveness. A lot of the time I say out loud, “Not my thought! Get out of here!

It’s interesting sometimes, my choice of resistance is spiritual ignoring …refusing to acknowledge the enemy or his taunts by shifting my focus. Alexa, play Upper Room Worship Radio.

Dreamland Troubles

I occasionally have troubling dreams. When I wake up I refuse to say out loud anything to describe the dream. I simply begin to meditate on, or pray out loud, Psalms 23.

On Track

Often resistance is an indication we are on track. It’s why Jude tells us to exercise our faith by, “keeping ourselves in the love of God.” Have you noticed resistance comes from people? This is why we need to keep ourselves in the love of God. Some of my greatest failures were when I focused upon the person, instead of focusing upon the love of My Father, giving Him my hurt and offense. Anger never heals wounds.

Keeping ourselves in His love is something we have to do for ourselves. No one, except you, can keep you, in His love. Your Pastor can’t. Your spouse can’t. Your friends can’t. They can encourage, exhort and comfort, but it’s really up to you and your faith to keep yourself in His love.

Resistance strengthens our Spiritual heart, when you have done all… stand.

Jehoshaphat was told to go stand and see …after they heard the promise …after worshipping together. The next day Jehoshaphat consulted with the people… they decided their best response to the Fathers promise was to give Him worship and praise. As they stood fast and worshiped ….focusing upon… the Father and His promise, their enemy was defeated.

Pause for effect….  They didn’t focus upon their situation, nor upon the enemies threats.

Their decision, in response to the Fathers command “to stand and see” was to worship and praise. Their focus helped them shift their mindsets and to renew their faith in His promises. As they worshipped He brought the victory.

Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph; and he said,

“Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel.

You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you.”

Their Response to His Promise.

Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice.”
‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭20:14-19‬ ‭NASB

The Next Day

“They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said,

“Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the LORD your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets (His Word) and succeed.”

When he had consulted with the people,

(I often wonder what they talked about.

Hey, you’ve heard His promise for today’s battle. We are to go stand and see what He is going to do when He defeats our enemy. What should we do in response to this wonderful promise and in response to our God, Whose lovingkindness is new every morning?

The people’s response…Let’s worship and give praise! Hey, let’s also dress for the occasion.

Jehoshaphat’s response… sounds good to me!)

Side note: Good leaders trust and include people in the midst of a battle. He didn’t have to consult with the people. He could have given a directive. Jehoshaphat knew he needed to be inclusive in this major life threatening situation.

he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.

When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed.
‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭20:20-22‬ ‭NASB

Tip: Notice where your focus turns when you are in a battle. If you are like me …you will have to consciously shift your mindset and heart. Shift by worshiping, declaring, reading, journaling, and resting in His presence.

Here is a song I sing most days.

You are Faithful and True,

All of your promises speak of You,

You are Faithful and True… O God.

It’s Who You are,

It’s  Who You are.

Key phrases:

1. Having done all, Stand.

2. Direct worship toward the Father…as you are standing firm, and as you are responding to His nature and to His promises.


Speak / Declare

I also speak out loud as I put on Eph 6 armor and as I stand against.

“Finally, I am strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
I Put on the full armor of God, so that I will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

For my struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore, I take up the full armor of God, so that I will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

I will Stand firm …therefore…

Usually as I close my ‘stand firm’ worship times… I sing the names of my family, my relatives, the people and leaders within my sphere of influence.

Having done all, Stand Firm! His promises are true!

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.

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.