“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28
Welcome to the Lord’s Gym Ministries’ blog. Here you will find updates on the good things God is doing in Cincinnati and the Greater Tir-state area. You’ll also find words of encouragement and learn about how you can have a part in God’s grand plan for our community.
A message inspired by our friend Floyd
Floyd is a big man. At first glance, his presence can be a little intimidating. But once you hear that jovial belly-shaking laugh and see that angel smile, you know He’s a man of God.
Floyd has been coming to the Covington Lord’s Gym for a year now. He’s a regular and a big help at the gym. Floyd loves the gym and encourages everyone there in their walk with the Lord.
According to Floyd, the Lord’s Gym is God’s place. “When I first came in here, I said ‘Wow!’ I could just feel the Spirit. This is the place to be cause this is where God is.” And that’s just where Floyd wants to be — walking with the Lord. His zeal is infectious. Floyd is a living and breathing example of Jesus and He said he wants to be more like Jesus everyday. He’s getting there for sure. And here’s three things we can learn from Floyd’s walk with the Lord.
- Seek and You will find. Floyd a man in his senior years, said he thought he knew it all. Until God. “I found out I didn’t know a thing. God’s been teaching me.” The top thing he’s learned is that when you need for help… ask! “The Lord is always willing to help us. He is the Shepherd Who takes care of His flock.”
- Put your love into action. Floyd said another thing He’s learning is to express “love for your brother and sister, not just with words, but action.
- Tell everybody. Finally, Floyd said the Lord wants him to “tell everybody” about His love. “Jesus’ love is the most important thing.”
What are you waiting for? Seek the Lord, put His love into action and tell everybody about the love of Jesus!
A Message from Chaplain Danny...
From Chaplain Lynn in Price Hill...
From Chaplain Danny...
Leaving the 99; seeking the one...
Meet STORM Chaplain Lynn
Chaplain Lynn, 43, came to the Lord’s Gym came to the Lord’s Gym Ministries several months ago. He is the chaplain of our mobile ministry — STreet OutReach Ministry that serves women trapped in human trafficking.
“The STORM ministry is by far the most exciting part of working for the Lord’s Gym,” Lynn said. “It’s something about ‘literally’ leaving the 99 to go after the ONE and reminding them of their worth, value and how much they’re loved no matter how stuck they feel in the pig’s pen of addiction and prostitution.”
Lynn said he came to Cincinnati with his wife and two daughers to work at Lord’s Gym Ministries because God showed Him how and where he needed to serve. Previously, he was working on a youth ministry in Northwest Florida, with a ministry I worked with in Cincinnati some years ago.
“I didn’t see it before, but I clearly see it now, Jesus started His ministry declaring He was anointed to ‘preach to the poor’ and as He was ending His ministry, He reminded us of the importance of ‘the least of these,’” he said. “If serving them were important to Jesus then serving them should be important to me.”
Lynn said that he accepted Christ at about age 12. After wrestling with the call of God on his life as a teenager, however, he finally “surrendered” to Christ at 19.
He said that Psalm 27 is his go to book of the Bible and “just so I didn’t forget I have it tatted on my left forearm.”
“The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.
One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.
Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!”
Lessons from the TransAm..
This past summer Scott Bowers, 64, of Cincinnati biked across country via the TansAm Bike Trail. He spent three months on the road and covered more than 4K miles! He did it all to raise awareness of youth addiction and how the Youth Resiliency Adventure can end addition. That’s right, END addiction! It’s a all order, but we think, together, we’re up to the task.
One of the things Scott learned on his journey was that addiction is prevalent throughout the U.S. He quickly realized the dire need for programming that assists in the prevention of youth addiction. Such programming will be expanded next year in Cincinnati with your support. Visit YRAdventure.com for details.
Another thing Scott learned is sometimes you must change your perspective. Optics can be deceiving.
“When I crested a hill, I was often greeted with another one in the distance. Too often, looking at the impending incline from a heightened distance, I perceived the oncoming incline as another demanding hill. As I descended, I shifted into a more appropriate gear range to hasten my acceleration so that I could charge of the hill while bleeding off my newfound momentum,” he said.
“You can imagine the smile on my face to find the incline to be just a small grade as my momentum and spinning carried me to its crest. The perceived steep incline ended up being a shallow grade. From above, viewing it from the previous crest, the optics created the illusion of steepness. Once I changed my perspective and got closer, I discovered the truth.”
Scott learned is sometimes you must change your perspective. Optics can be deceiving. This applies to your fight against addiction.
The fight against addiction is tough. As overdoses increase and statistics grow more staggering it seems as if there’s no end in sight. But, there is and we’re going to bring it to an end. Join us for the Youth Resiliency Adventure (YRAdventure.com). #YRAdventure2nAddiction
Join us in October, Substance Abuse Awareness Month, for the Youth Resiliency Adventure event.
Set your distance target and Walk, Run, or Bike throughout the month to help us raise funds for addiction prevention programming targeting at-risk youth and young adults in our community.
According to www.drugabuse.gov, education and outreach are key to helping youth and the general public understand and break free of drug abuse.
Youth.gov, says that prevention strategies targeting the root of the problem are essential to curb drug use and help people lead healthier lives.
Early intervention helps prevent substance abuse and reduce the negative consequences of addiction before they occur. Together we can end addiction.
Here’s how to join the Youth Resiliency Adventure in four easy steps:
- Decide to walk, run, or bike. Choose your distance.
- Register at YRAdventure.com.
- Ask about your friends and family to join you by either registering or sponsoring you with a flat fee or a set amount per mile you walk, run, or bike.
- Share your progress and promote YRAdventure on social media. Be sure to use #YRAdventure2nAddiction.
Party in the Park in Price Hill
It was just another Sunday in Price Hill. Or was it?
People in the community were walking around in the summer heat. Many of them hungry, not only for food, but spiritual wholeness. They got a taste of both at Lord’s Gym Ministries (LGM) Party in the Park at Olden Park, just up the street from the Family Activity Center.
At 3:45 p.m. LGM staff and volunteers started setting up for the gourmet brunch by LeQuan “Chef Affischall” Mack, of Atlanta. On the menu: Fish and grits, brioche French toast with walnut topping, southern hash, eggs and chicken sausage and bacon (that could melt in your mouth!).
This is the second year that Chef Affischall has served our friends at LGM. With 9 years of culinary experience, the Chicago native works at Rock Steady in Atlanta, known for serving Afro-Caribbean cuisine “with style and grace.”
Chef Affischall said he learned about LGM from Tom Lipsey (LGM director of ministry partner development) and the Kroger Bible Study Men’s Group. Once he heard about the mission, he knew he had to help.
“I do this because I enjoy the fellowship and outreach with the gentlemen who are seriously putting forth an effort to impact the impoverished communities in Cincinnati,” he said. “It warms my heart and gives me great gratification to give back in ways I only dreamed of when I was younger.”
Chef Affischall’s sentiment is shared by the many volunteers who lined up to serve the meal to LGM’s friends Sunday.
Dick, with the Men in Balance group has been helping at the Part in the Park events throughout the summer.
“It’s fun,” he said. “The events have been a success too. You really get to see firsthand the impact our service has on the ministry and the friends they serve. Helping here is rewarding. Once you see what’s going on here, it’s not a hard ask of yourself.”
Mark, who is apart of the Tuesday Morning Men’s Bible Study said once he saw what LGM was doing in Price Hill he was “drawn in.”
“How many times does Jesus tell us… get more involved,” Mark said. “So many of us live in nice areas and go to nice churches. We write our ‘feel good’ check or go on that one-time mission trip. Or, we might spend Thanksgiving serving at a shelter. Those are good things. Anybody can do those things though. But here, you’re really involved.”
Mark said those living in Price Hill are trapped the devastation of poverty and they need help.
“The only way out for them is to meet Jesus,” he said. “And that’s what Lord’s Gym is doing, introducing them to Jesus.”
Daryl is a first-time volunteer. He just learned about LGM this past Friday. His first impression: “I’m involved with a lot of different organizations, but his one is quite different,” he said. “This one is really touching the people… the staff and volunteers are becoming friends with those they are serving. That’s so impactful.”
Two are better than one...
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
It is very biblical to be in community. Man’s first dilemma was loneliness. In Genesis chapter two, The Lord says: “It is not good that man should be alone.”
So, the Lord created a mate for him. We are meant to be a TEAM (Together wE Accomplish More), especially as believers.
Look to the sky for further proof. When you see geese, they are always flying in a “V.” That “V” stands for victory, and they reach victory together. The reason they’re flying in a group, according to scientific studies, it conserves energy; it’s easier to keep track of each other; they can go further together; they cheer each other on; they share responsibilities.
Friends are so valuable. They bring joy, help us grow and keep us accountable so we will do and be better for each other and ourselves… they help us in our walk with the Lord too. Proverbs 27:17 says: “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”
God designed us to be a part of a body. 1 Corinthians 12:27: “Now you are the body of Christ…”
Fellowship with your friends as often as you can.
Worship and workouts...
Surrounded by donated nonperishable donations and gym equipment a group of women lift up their hands and sing praises to the Lord. Suddenly, the Lord’s Gym in Covington has transformed into a beautiful place of worship, and you can feel that God is on the move. The band on the TV screen might as well be there performing live – the Spirit is certainly living here amongst the women.
The Lord’s Gym in Covington is open every day from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. just for women to worship and workout. On Wednesdays, they hold the women’s Celebrate Recovery program. Emily, a volunteer, works with the women at the gym, organizes workout sessions and Bible studies.
“It’s really a wonderful place to be,” she said. “I’m so lucky to be here.”
Rhonda, 54, said she loves that the gym has opened hours and programs to women.
“I really like it,” she said. “You get to visit with the ladies and worship and exercise. The gym, for me, helps take away loneliness. I’m disabled and I can’t work, so I have a lot of free time, it’s good for me to spend that time here with people who care.”
Jordon, 26, said that the Lord knew what He was doing when He led Lord’s Gym Ministries to open hours for women.
“God knew that I needed all the fellowship I can get,” she said. “I’m so grateful for the Lord’s Gym – beyond what words can describe.”