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.
The light at the end of the tunnel is not an on-coming train!
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.
SteveBelieve you will abound in hope. Hope will be poured into my life and my hope willexistingreatquantity. I will be rich in hope, and I will be well supplied with hope.
You will befilled with hope. You will over-flow orteem 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 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?
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 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?
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. Perseveranceenables us to keep on keeping on, tolean forward by faith, and tolook 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.
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… thepower to Be… comes before doing. Pause and think about this for a moment. When He, the Holy Spirit comes upon you, Hewill 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 beHis 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 beingenables 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 ourfoundation 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 whoseHe was. Before any public ministry, Jesus knew whoseHe 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.
Christmas is fast approaching. I love this time of year, winter, snow, lights, and family. We will be heading to Birmingham to be with Pattie’s family. We call ourselves the Gisbo’s on Christmas Vacation.
Guidance and where we are heading. We traveled to Pensacola a while back. We were testing doors and seeking to find our path on this adventure. While we were in Pensacola it became very clear we had to return to Ohio. We knew we had a few loose ends to take care of before we could fully step into what God has for us. My sister was one of the take care of’s. My sister who has lived with us for three and a half years moved out this month into her own place. We are so glad she is taken care of and her future is now secure. We are still finding our way forward. We are investing in a couple local churches and a non-profit in the area. Pattie is still working at a school in the area. In January I’ll be speaking in a couple of conferences and in the new year leading a couple of teams outside the USA.
Encounters… I’ve been thinking about Encounters…those special moments in time when the Holy Spirit makes His tangible presence known.
In Luke, Jesus is about to breathe his last breath. Just before He declares,”It’s finished!”, the sixty by thirty, four inch thick veil in the temple is rent from top to bottom. The renting of the veil signified the finished work of the cross. What
Jesus did for us now gives us confident access to the Father. What’s more amazing… Henow, because of what Jesus did for us, …has access to us. Ephesians 2:13;18 NIV
But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Eph 3:11;12 NASBthe eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. (See Hebrews 6,8,9,10)
His Presence Saved Me. Years ago when I was a troubled teenager. I went into the chapel at St. Joseph’s to talk to God. My parents were divorcing. I was broken. As I was talking to God, suddenly His Presence came into the room. I remember I left the room in a hurry.
Years later, I was messed up. I had overdosed the night before. I was driving back to Pensacola when suddenly Jesus began to speak to my heart. He said, “Steve, this is your last chance.” I knew if I prayed and asked for help I was going to have to leave my past and press into following Jesus. I prayed, “God help me!” When the words left my mouth, suddenly His presence filled my car. I knew at-that-moment everything was going to be ok.
Recent Encounters. Throughout the years I’ve had more that a few suddenly’s. A few months ago a friend and I were in Virginia. We were walking up a staircase to go into a meeting when we both felt the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. We suddenly encountered His Presence. We paused and stopped for a moment in the stairwell and looked at each other in amazement. The awareness of His presence and the sense of His love for us was wonderful. We walked to the top of the stairs. When we opened the door, the door ahead had a simple handwritten sign that said … Encounter Joy!
The meeting was beyond awesome! A lady who had been in a wheelchair for years walked out of her wheelchair! Last reports she is doing well and the doctors are dumbfounded.
Yet, my heart wondered about the staircase encounter. I wondered what would have happened if we had chosen to stop, pause, listen, and receive? I wondered what would have happened if we had laid aside our hurried agenda? I wondered what would have happened if we had slowed down and sat on the steps to be with Him and had taken some more time to linger in His presence? I wondered.
Communion was Communion. A week or so ago I was meeting with a leadership team. We talked for a while, then dove into the whiteboard. Arron Simmons, who was leading, suddenly stopped writing and said, “We are getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s wait a few minutes before we dive into our work for today. Let’s pause, listen to some worship and take communion together.”
As we were taking communion suddenly His tangible presence touched all of us at the same time. We were filled with awe and wonder. We did press pause. We put the planning meeting on hold. We lingered in His presence. His presence did increase and we were all very encouraged.
Our work flowed and we accomplished what we came to accomplish. I later thought, “The moments of worship and receiving was the most important part of the meeting.”
I also wondered, “What would have happened if we had laid aside our work for another day, and had taken full advantage of our advantage?”
These two recent encounters with His presence made me want to create space in my life. When I notice His presence I want to intentionally pause. I want to learn to seize those moments in time. I want to slow down and enjoy His suddenly’s, His access to my heart. Thanks again for your friendship and partnership.
Steve and Pattie People have asked how we are making it. Pattie is working and we have a few gifts that come in to help cover living expenses. We are amazed at His faithful people who care for us.