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“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
Standing Firm

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.

New Experiences

From The Front Lines: A Message From Chaplain Danny...

Chaplain Danny said, at the Family Activity Center, they have continued scheduled activities, knowing that the kids are just a few weeks away from returning to school.

 A return with many uncertainties,  but they are working to be able to attend the closest schools with the “blended option” for the 2020-2021 school year.

“It’s good to see the behavior of these kids when you take them out of their comfort zone,” Danny said. “I think for most of them there is only one sport, Football!! This summer many of them first experienced badminton, tennis, and volleyball. Despite the limitations that the pandemic has brought on we have gave them the experience of new sports and disciplines.”

To join the fun at Lord’s Gym Ministries and see lives tranformed for the Lord, visit, http://bit.ly/LGMvolunteering

To Whom Much is Given…

A Message from Director of Operations Tom Lipsey...

On Sunday July 19, our Men in Balance Bible study guys along with our Kroger Bible study guys joined together to help bring to Cincinnati chef LeQuan Mack from Atlanta to treat our friends in Price Hill to some fantastic cooking and loving from the Gospel.  

Chef LaQuan outdid himself as he and his team produced some delicious shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, bacon and eggs, fruit, muffins, and more.  

Our friends from Price Hill feasted at the banquet table and were reminded of the heavenly banquet we will all partake in some day, provided we know Jesus!  

To that Amanda shared her recovery story and rocked the house with the amazing grace and love of God that covers all sins and gives us passion and purpose for living!  Be sure to follow our Facebook page FOCAS/The Lord’s Gym and see the release of Amanda’s testimony video Wednesday, July 29.

The guys are now ready to make this party in the park a monthly event.  As they say, “to whom much is given much is expected and required”. 

 

To join Lord’s Gym Ministries in the mission to transform lives for the Lord, visit, http://bit.ly/LGMvolunteering

Reaching Out to Our Children; They’re Reaching Back

On the Front Lines: A Message From Chaplain Danny...

We continue to impact young despite the limitations we have faced due to the pandemic situation and increasing cases. If there is something I have found in the community we serve, it is the lack of parental involvement. Especially the role of the father. Many of these children do not have a father figure, but in many others, the father figure is present but at the same time absent to take the time to build the character of their son or daughter.

On another topic, last Monday we started playing tennis, on Wednesdays we are in the swimming pool of the recreation center. Every Thursday we continue with our bike trip. So far this summer we have impacted 25 young with this ministry!

One of the things I like about the bike ministry is that it is developing an attitude of not giving up and going the extra mile. This ministry is changing the mindset around them, a mindset of giving up as soon as things get tough.

To join Lord’s Gym Ministries in the mission to transform lives for the Lord, visit, http://bit.ly/LGMvolunteering.  To give, visit http://bit.ly/LGMdonations.

Outside the Comfort Zone

A message from Communications Coordinator Melissa Reinert...

I can’t swim.

Yes, I’m 38 years old and I never learned. Living in the city with little money and extremely overprotective parents growing up, learning to swim was an opportunity that never crossed my path.

I admit, as I got older, splashing in water wasn’t an activity I was particularly comfortable with. So, I never learned. It never seemed to be an issue until last week. I learned that we were going kayaking for a Lord’s Gym Ministries team building exercise.

“That sounds fun,” I thought. Then I remembered. I can’t swim!

I let our executive director know right away. And, although I was nervous to be on the waters, I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to grow with my team. So, I made it clear that I was still willing to go.

I wasn’t really nervous until the shuttle van ride up to the launch point. I guess it was then I had some quiet time to really think about it. And think about it I did.

“What if we capsize? What if I fall out just trying to climb in (I’m not the most graceful of movers)…” the doubts soared.

Still, I was determined. Not because I’m brave, mind you, but because I was wanting to meet the challenge. This year we’ve been focusing on our culture and part of that has been discussing how we meet challenges that bring us outside our comfort zone.

In ministry, if you aren’t pushed outside of your comfort zone more often than not, I think you might be doing something wrong. Come to think of it, this really applies to all Christians, because our entire life is or should be a ministry.

To calm my fears, I responded by giving them to God. I asked the Lord to be with me – all of us – and keep us safe and allow us to enjoy this exercise. Whenever I feel anxious, I always go to Isaiah 6:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” I just keep repeating over and over, “perfect peace,” and I’m at rest.

Let me tell you, once we launched, I discovered a new happy place. The scenes were breathtaking. The activity, challenging but fun and worthwhile. It was a very wonderful day, probably one of the best I’ve ever had with my team. I loved every bit of it. I’m so glad I went.

And, I’m not sure when I’ll get the time, but I’m planning to learn to swim. It’s another challenge I need to meet outside my comfort zone.

Start A Child Off

A note from Executive Director Scott Bowers...

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

 It was Shawna’s first time out with our biking ministry. We went to Miami Whitewater Park and did the outer loop. She helped with taking photos, enjoyed the nature preserve, and took warmly to the other youth and adults. It was only later did I learn that she has a violent side when she is at school and with a different crowd. I could not reconcile these accounts of the same person. It only reminds me of the importance of creating an environment with people and activities that connects with youth and Jesus. Our biking program does this in large part thanks to your support! This program, on the heels of Covid-19 is only getting better.

 Unfortunately, we had to cancel our 525-mile bike trip to Niagara Falls with City Gospel Mission. So, we set our sights on smaller, yet significant, multiple overnight and shorter self-contained bike trips along the Underground Railroad. It passes through Cincinnati and Milford headed to Canada. Since early May, we started recruiting and training kids to embark on this educational and physically demanding journey as laid out by Adventure Cycling. This is where we can use your help to advance our program.

 To minimize an extended adult support team, address C19 concerns,  and  increase higher  expectations for self-responsibility and support from the youth, we are equipping each of our vintage bikes to carry key camping  supplies: panniers/racks,  individual tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, mess kit, food, water, and limited personal items. Riding 40 to 60 miles a day, each youth will be responsible for their personal care and comfort with adult supervision. The cost to outfit each bike and participate in four weekend excursions is $874.38. I am looking to equip 15 bikes and riders. 

 Would you prayerfully consider equipping one bike and youth’s camping accommodations for a summer of education, adventure, and spiritual growth? Other equipping options include $473.19 for half, $218.60 for a quarter or other amount. You can directly impact the life of a youth by expanding their world and life experiences. Thank you in advance for your prayerful consideration.

To give, visit http://bit.ly/LGMdonations. Be sure to write: “Appeal Letter Reply”

 Stand Firm,                            

Scott Bowers

God is still God

A message from Communications Coordinator Melissa Reinert...

To say we live in trying times is probably the most understated comment one can make in the year 2020. The world is a scary place right now.

 Not only are we fighting the pandemic Covid-19, we’re struggling with an even deadlier virus – racism. The civil unrest we see unfold on in our communities is frightening. The violence is disturbing. The hatred is heartbreaking.

 I, like many of us have been feeling deeply discouraged. But as I was sitting in the Lord’s Gym Ministries office at Queensgate this morning I found encouragement.

 Our Queensgate Chaplain C.J. was praying over the men in our gym. He was telling God, that He is still God, giving our friends, and myself, reassurance. I pray that this righteous fact is fully understood by all hearts and minds while we navigate these rough waters.

 C.J’s prayer is a beautiful reminder of what Hebrews 13:8 says: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”

 As challenges come, as the world decays, as times change, this is the ultimate promise we hold to. God is still God. He is in control. Just trust.

Service in ministry ‘makes Jesus smile’

Partnerships...

Partnerships in ministry grows faith and builds relationships. Just ask those local churches who are working with us at Lord’s Gym Ministires.

Passion Community Church Lead Pastor Andy Ziegenfuss says: “Serving makes us come face to face with areas of growth in our own lives as well as reach people who may not have a support structure.”

Passion Community Church has been working with Lord’s Gym in Price Hill to provide and help distribute 100s of meals during COVID-19.

“This partnership helps us to be cautious against unintentional discrimination and myopic vision when it comes to our city and the people God loves,” he said. “God truly loves all people.”

Brian Taylor, pastor at Bethel Cincinnati Church, says serving with Lord’s Gym is a great way to connect.

Bethel has conducted outreach in the park.

“Lord’s Gym has allowed us to see that church goes beyond the walls of our building,” he said. “Most importantly we’re making Jesus happy; when we’re serving together, He’s smiling.”

 To join Lord’s Gym Ministries in the mission to transform lives for the Lord, visit, http://bit.ly/LGMvolunteering

‘You Are My Family’

A message from Chaplain Brandon...

We were excited to open the Family Activity Center on June 2 and so were our friends. The Friday before opening, our outreach team hit the streets, sharing the love and goodness of God when we saw our friend Tonya. Upon telling her the good news of reopening the FAC she said, “I’ve missed you all so much, you all are family to me”.  The weight of those words struck me deeply, as I reflected on the countless stories I’ve heard over the years of broken family relationships and how often I hear our friends refer to us as family.  

The first dilemma mankind faced was loneliness; in this perfect garden, before sin, when man enjoyed a relationship with God unhindered by any distraction, offense, and pain, God said, “it’s not good for man to be alone”  Gen 2:18.  God answered this problem with family and still does.

Understanding this energizes us to be intentional in creating a safe place where people can belong, be known, valued, and loved. It is in this atmosphere that we invite our friends into the family of God. It is not just a message we teach it is a lifestyle we live.

 Now you are no longer strangers to God and foreigners to heaven, but you are members of God’s very own family, citizens of God’s country, and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian”
Ephesians 2:19

‘I can do it.’

A message from Chaplain Brandon...

“I just keep telling myself, I can do it”! – Markieta, 13 years old

I really fell in love with biking two years ago when I began to train for the Tour de Falls trip. It was a 525-mile trip from Cincinnati to Niagara Falls with Lord’s Gym, City Gospel Mission and a group of youth from the communities we serve. What I really enjoy about getting youth involved in long-distant cycling is how it creates teachable moments that translate into relatable life skills such as goal setting, mental fortitude and reward for hard work.

It was the first youth bike outing of 2020 and the kids were excited to get on the bike trail. As we ate pizza, we shared a devotion with the youth and went over safety guidelines. One of the girls asked, “how in the world did you ride your bike from Cincinnati to Niagara Falls?”

Scott Bowers shared the importance of mental fortitude, tackling challenges you face on the road with a can-do mindset so that you finish strong.  About 10 miles in on our 11-mile ride I look over to Markieta and ask, “How are you doing? she replied, “I just keep telling myself, I can do it”.  She finished strong and the youth felt proud of meeting the challenge, best of all they had a great time doing it!

When I think of the challenges young people are facing today as well as the added challenges the youth we serve face, it’s moments like these that make me aware of how the Lord is shaping and preparing our youth for future success.

Proverbs 23:7 “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

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