Loved You Are!

Everyone has a different story.

The big idea. Everyone on the planet is loved by a loving Father.

Some people may never have experienced a love that is honest, real and caring. You may have been abused. You may have been abandoned. You may have had parents who made big mistakes. You may have had religious people say horrible things to you.

Other people feel odd, out of place, anxious and isolated. Many people are searching, seeking for love, identity, and purpose.

Why did Jesus come to earth?

Jesus came to show the Father’s love for mankind. He came to lavish love on the people of this planet and to reveal the love of God the Father. Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” (John 14) This is an incredible statement. The religious people of the day twisted his words. They hated him for what he said and for loving and healing people who were in great need. In the end, they crucified him upon a cross. They had no idea Jesus’ death on a cross was the greatest demonstration of love the planet has ever encountered.

Bottom line: Jesus came to the planet to love openly. He proved his love for you and me by dying on a cross so you and I could experience forgiveness and to have a relationship with a Father… a good, good father. If you have had a bad dad this may be hard to grasp… but it’s true.

We’ve all messed up. We’ve all fallen short. We’ve all missed the mark. We’ve all hurt people, God, and ourselves. As a result, every person senses some degree of regret, guilt, and shame.

Jesus died on the cross to take away our regret, guilt, and shame. He willingly laid His life down for us. He took our place and bore the penalty for our acts of selfishness and sin. That is amazing love.

When we ask the Father to forgive us, because of what Jesus has done for us, He immediately does so. His love is unconditional love.

He forgives us. His forgiveness is not based on anything we have done or could do to gain His favor. He loves us and forgives us just because he has an extravagant love for us.

When we believe Jesus is real and alive and we chose to give our lives to him, by inviting Him into our hearts, we become new creations on the inside. Now, instead of missing the mark, we have someone to help us, guide us and lead us as we navigate life.

The Father loves us… just because… He loves us. 

Someone talked to you, prayed for you, and encouraged you. They may have given you a card to point you to Loved You Are. They revealed the Father’s love in some way. If you’d like to experience more of His love it’s just a prayer away. Prayer is just talking out loud to the Father.

We would encourage you to talk to God the Father. Let him know how you feel, what you are struggling with, and for what you are thankful. He is always there, and He is listening to you.

Believe it or not, he will begin speaking to you and will begin to reveal your purpose and your destiny.

You can begin to talk/pray by saying something like this. 

“Father. Here I am. Today I ask you to show me your love. I ask you to forgive me for all the things I regret. Forgive me for what I have done against you, against myself, and what I have done to others. I thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for sending Jesus to show me your love. Thank you, Jesus, for paying the price for my sin and my selfishness. I believe you are King and Lord. I also believe you have risen from the dead and you are alive today. I ask you, Jesus, to come into my life and to fill me with your Holy Spirit. Now lead me and guide my life. Help me to follow you all of my days. Show me the Father’s love. Thank you.

We’d encourage you to continue to talk to Jesus and to ask Him to reveal the depth of the Father’s love for you. Also, read the Book of John found in the Bible. It is in this book Jesus said, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father.”

If you’d like to tell your story, email Steve@eyesoutward.com

UP Date… Assistance to those in need.

I’ve been on the ground for a few weeks seeing need and assisting families to move into their new locations.

We are helping mainly Trotwood families. Some families have had to relocate as far as West Chester which is an hour away from Trotwood.

It is evident Trotwood folks have jumped quickly to find help and begin to recover. That’s good news! Many apartment residents have had to be in hotels for many days. They are now receiving help.

One family were in a hotel for three-plus weeks before finding a place to live. They slept on the floor for five days until we arrived. Several people have had a great experience and some have found their new housing in less than great apartments/duplexes.

We are partnering with Living City Project, St. Vincent’s and Miami Valley Community Action Partnership.
The last month we have set up a system that works well both for volunteers and the families in need.

Our partners are providing trucks, gas, staff, warehouse space, house-hold items, and furniture. New beds are being provided from several local firms like Morris Home Furniture.

This week we had thirty teens come from Chicago to Dayton to help. They built flat-packed furniture, helped us move people and cleared some locations of debris.

There are so many people in need!
This is a long term situation and we need people to help us help others.
We are in need of funding. Everyone on the Living City Project team is juggling work to provide their personal funds, or the churches we work with are graciously allowing us to be on the ground helping people.

Long term help is much harder to gather than short term clean up crews. To me, it’s an amazing missional opportunity. Sadly, many churches are now trying to get back to church as normal. Several major communities in our area are hurting. They open up as the church serves being the good news. I believe it’s time to shine!

We are assisting three or four families a day. We’ve been running for a little over three weeks. We are ramping up.

There are now many more people on the list to receive their new furniture and basic household items. The bottleneck falls into the category of having not having enough moving crews. It’s evident we are already in need of more volunteers to help. We need more drivers, movers, and more pick-up trucks to transport the items from St. Vincent’s to their homes. This need being met is part of the ramp-up. Please pray we will have fifteen people a day to join teams to serve.

Today we helped three families.
There were five families on the list, however, we didn’t have pickup trucks to take two families their beds. They may receive the beds tomorrow or next week. It depends on how full our truck will be tomorrow.

Two single moms were from the Westbrooke area. One of the hardest-hit areas. Over 400 children were displaced.

I was very glad the two of us had a great woman with us today to listen and to offer support to the single parent moms we served.

Yup! Two of us loaded and unloaded a filled to the top large box truck. One couch took 30 minutes to get inside of an apartment up two flights of stairs! We had to unscrew the banister rail. Note to self…bring power screwdriver!

Here is a happy and safe Phillips Family we helped last week.

Here is a news video about the Chicago teens who came to help.
https://www.facebook.com/CourtneyOnTV/videos/461076434481218/

Steve

Slow Down Or Die!

google Zoom Out—Zoom In

A few years ago I wrote Google and asked if I could use the phrase Zoom Out—Zoom In to write a short book. Nope was the answer.

Zooming Out helps us see the whole picture. Zooming In helps us see part of the picture.

Good leaders Zoom Out. They see the big picture. They see, understand, and appreciate the key players who are creating the many aspects of the whole picture.

Sometimes people and teams are so Zoomed In they can’t see nor appreciate the whole picture.

If you work in an organization most likely you are most concerned / focused upon the growth and progress of your area. You may need to Zoom Out to understand you and your team are a part of the whole. 

Starry Starry Night

I was on a team of teams a few years ago. We were silo-ed. Everyone was concerned about their area and were very focused. We were attempting to encourage all the teams to care about our environment / atmosphere and to embrace our responsibility to help create a friendly open hearted experience for our guests. We needed everyone’s buy in.

I created an illustration.

I showed a blue pixel of a famous picture on a big screen. I spoke about being Zoomed In and the importance of being zoomed in, but not being so zoomed in we miss seeing the big picture. In order to see and understand the big picture we needed to Zoom Out. Zooming out helps us to see the whole enchilada and together, as a whole group, can create the space / atmosphere / environment we needed to create. The questions then followed. What do we want to create? How do we create the vibe, atmosphere, environment? What is our role?

Here is the pixel: Zoomed In

Here is the picture: Zoomed Out

starry-night-art-plain

Knowing / discerning when we need to Zoom Out or to Zoom In is very important. Sometimes we are so close / Zoomed In to a situation we need to slow down to create space where we can Zoom Out.

Taking the time, creating space to Zoom Out allows us to have a birds eye view to assess a problem, a direction, or an opportunity. Then, after our assessment, we can Zoom In to deal with what needs dealing with, or to create what we need to create.

If you are under pressure in your personal life and relationships you may want to push pause, Zoom Out in order to see and understand your situation from a different point of view.

Tip: It helps to put on your Spock logic persona and to take off your emotional persona.

Questions to ask:

  • Where can I go to find space to Zoom Out and reflect?
  • What’s going on within my environments?(White board)
  • Where do I need to focus Zoom In in each environment? (family, work, friends, potential opportunities)
  • How am I doing with my relationships at home, church and beyond?
  • Be determined to create margin in your schedule for what’s most important.
  • Is this something Jesus wants me to continue to invest my energy and focus?

Remember:

Most people have great strengths.
Sometimes our strengths are our weaknesses.

Runners learn to pace themselves, maybe we should too?

slow_down_or_die

Coach Susan Paul: “Typically runners add 30 seconds per mile to their goal race pace to as much as 2 minutes per mile. How much you choose to slow down is up to you, but remember the longer the run, the slower the pace should be on most days.
Keep in mind it’s often hard to hit the perfect pace for every run.
Your training paces will also vary based on the weather conditions or the terrain. Maybe you’ve had poor sleep or have been stressed at work. This will affect how you pace yourself!”
The Runner’s World Editors Mar 4, 2019

Take a moment and think through the above allegory.

  • How long will it be before you are finished with this series, or project, etc? Think realistically. Create margin in your plan.
  • Remember, you are not perfect. Give yourself permission for mid-course corrections. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
  • Remember you are an atmosphere architect. Creating takes time.
  • Don’t stop your training paces. What are your basic practices? Time with Jesus, reading, journal, exercising, family nights, date nights with your spouse, eating well and sleeping. Adjust your time accordingly.
  • Take a break. Do something fun and totally different.
  • You have the power to pace yourself in your terrain.

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