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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.

5 Inspiring Quotes

5 Quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King...

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

The time is always right to do what is right.”

I have decided to stick to love… Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

Through the STORM

A message from Scott Bowers...

Last Tuesday was a great night to start 2021 for our bus ministry that God uses to help get women off of the streets in Cincinnati.

For two hours Kim (a volunteer) and I parked the bus on Warsaw Ave. and we fed, talked, and prayed with numerous women. Two asked for help to get off of street and Kim sprung into action calling detox and sober living places.

Pray the women follow through please. It’s when they are most vulnerable. Thanks to all of the people who make this ministry happen. I will follow up on this story later in the month.

Stand firm. Scott

A New Beginning

A New Song to the Lord...

Less than a week ago we celebrated the birth of 2021. With great excitement we exited a difficult year for our world. And with great anticipation, and some anxiety we are breaking in the new year. As we take down our Christmas decorations and put away those long stem glasses, let us not forget to reflect, not only on new beginnings for our world, but also our relationship with the Lord. Start it all off with praise and proclamation of His great love.

 

Sing to the Lord a new song!

Sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Sing to the Lord, bless his name;

Proclaim the god news of His salvation from day to day.

Declare His glory among the nations,

His wonders among all peoples.” Psalm 96: 1-3

 

We invited you to do just that by joining us on our mission at Lord’s Gym Ministries. If the Lord is encouraging you to do so, we’d love you to come and see His mighty works and with us, proclaim His wonder to all people! To volunteer with us, visit,http://bit.ly/LGMvolunteering. To give, visit http://bit.ly/LGMdonations.

A look back at ministry in 2020

Ministering during Covid...

Philippians 4: 4-7 is one of my favorite sets of verses. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV). 2020 has brought plenty of events and situations to challenge how we will react.

For us, we must Rejoice! God is in control as we pray how Jesus taught us in Matthew 6 …” thy kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven… Covid-19, isolation, loss of employment, civil unrest, and elections have collectively strained us as individuals, our relationships, and our country. Anxiousness knocks at our door. In some cases, it wants to barge in. However, anxiousness aside, our vision and mission, to see lives transformed by the Spirit of the living God, remains unchanged. We press on by faith and choose to rejoice – by faith.

In fact, how has God used 2020, so far, to bring about life transformation in each of us and his call upon our lives? For us, I believe that God has drawn us closer to Himself and each other from an internal viewpoint. Externally, God has opened more opportunities to collaborate with churches, non-profits, and other organizations whom we might not otherwise have engaged.

While we cannot control the events that impact us, we understand our objective. Hence, that only leaves our reaction that we can control. Let us all rejoice, pray, and experience peace that only God can provide. Stand Firm.

 

Scott Bowers

Executive Director

 

Jesus Heals: Kamya’s Story

Jesus' healing power touched LGM youth this year...

Throughout December, the log will feature stories shared in our special end of year newsletter. Each story about someone who’s been helped by Lord’s Gym Ministries is accompanied by a quick devotional and a challenge that we ask you prayerfully consider.

Kamya, 12, of Price Hill loves coming to the Lord’s Gym Family Activity Center. She’s a regular.

I know she’s safe when she’s there,” said Kamya’s mother Heather. For Kamya it’s more than just a place to “have fun.” The Family Activity Center is a place to grow in knowledge and a place to heal.

This past spring Kamya was caught in the crossfire of a shooting while spending the night at a friend’s house. She was on the second floor when a stray bullet hit her on her side. The bullet traveled through her body and injured her small intestine, spleen, stomach and left kidney.

Lord’s Gym immediately reached out to Heather, offering help and prayer.

When Kamya finally left the hospital she wanted to visit “Mr. Danny and Ms. Lola” at the Family Activity Center right away. She thanked them for praying for her and for their care.

 I like it here because I like get to learn more about Jesus and I get to hear stories about what He did and how He saved people,” Kamya said.

Kamya’s favorite story about Jesus, found in John 9, is how he touched the eyes of the blind man and his eyes “went back to normal.”

Jesus touched me,” Kamya said. “He helped me overcome my fears. Jesus heals.”

Devotional – Scripture: Luke 2:1-7

The greatest of gifts, is offered to mankind simply swaddled in cloths lying in a manger. A humble beginning to an extraordinary life – a life that did not end with death on this earth, but resurrection power. In His death He saved us from sin and in His resurrection He brought us eternal life. It all began with Jesus coming as a little child.

 In Jesus’ time children, according to Christianity.com, were considered to be of little value to the wider life of the community. In Greece and Rome, it was an accepted practice to abandon unwanted children along the roadsides to die.

 The Bible is explicit, however, when it comes to children. They are declared a blessing from God. Jesus, as an adult, had a real heart for young ones. According to Matthew 19:13, little children were brought to Jesus so that He could put His hands on them and pray.

 In Luke 9:46-47, the disciples were grumbling over which of them would be the greatest.

Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside Him. He said to His disciples, “Whoever welcomes this little child in My name welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me welcomes the One who sent Me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”

 In a previous story in Matthew, chapter 18, Jesus explains that greatest in the kingdom of heaven is like a little child. Think about a child. They love unconditionally and they believe faithfully. These are things we all need to practice as adults. Jesus says: “… whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

 He goes on to say, in verse 5: “Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.” Matthew 18:3-5.

 Your Challenge

At the Family Activity Center (FAC) in Price Hill you can serve at-risk youth and their parents. Visit www.LordsGymMinistries.org to learn how you can provide encouragement to these children to become involved in healthy activities that promote positive life skills at school and at home, while nurturing their relationship with God if they so choose.

Finding Purpose at Lord’s Gym in Covington

Hanging with Tree at LGM...

Throughout December, the log will feature stories shared in our special end of year newsletter. Each story about someone who’s been helped by Lord’s Gym Ministries is accompanied by a quick devotional and a challenge that we ask you prayerfully consider.

Even in the midst of madness, Tracey or “Tree” would come to the Covington Lord’s Gym for prayer and to help others.

He was on drugs, but he’s always had a good heart,” said Covington Chaplain James.

Tree, who stands at 6’6, recently made a commitment to himself and God to stay clean.

I love coming to the gym,” he said. “The Bible here is put on a street level, you can understand it. I’ve gained a solid understanding of the Word while here.”

Tree has also been living out the word. For several years, he’s been volunteering at the gym, helping to feed and clothe others in need.

Devotional – Scripture: Luke 2:8-20

According to Randy Alcorn, author of “Shepherd Status,” at the time of Christ’s birth, “shepherds stood on the bottom rung of the Palestinian social ladder… The same status as tax collectors and dung sweepers.”

Shepherding was once a noble occupation, however, during the time of the Patriarchs. The wealthy sons of Isaac and Jacob, for example, tended flocks, as revealed in Genesis 30:29; 37:10.

When the Israelites came to Egypt, they discovered a different way of life. Egyptians were agriculturalists, Alcorn explains. “As farmers, they despised shepherding because sheep and goats meant death to crops. Battles between farmers and shepherds are as old as they are fierce.” 

Egyptians considered sheep worthless, their art and historical records portray shepherds negatively.

In the course of 400 years, living among the Egyptians the Israelites’ attitude toward shepherding was prejudiced. “Shepherding became a menial vocation for the laboring class,” Acorn says. “These men could not fulfill judicial offices or be admitted in court as witnesses.” Some shepherds of course earned their poor reputations, while others fell victim to stereotyping. Self-righteous religious leaders labeled shepherds as “sinners.”

Yet, these lowly souls were the first to hear the Good News of Jesus’ birth. God didn’t choose the supreme religious leaders or the elite class to be the first to know of the Savior’s birth. Instead, He announced the coming of His Son to the simple shepherds. Again, this was a bold move. Makes you think.

Who are the “shepherds” of our time? What about those with little social status but all the judgment – addicts, drug dealers, prisoners? Yeah, those “sinners” we don’t associate with.

 Your Challenge

Lord’s Gym Ministries has a mission to serve those lowly lost souls. We operate the Lord’s Gym at various times during the week at three locations, Covington, Queensgate and Price Hill. The gym is a weight-lifting, work out, and long-term discipleship program designed to teach at-risk men principles to avoid destructive lifestyles while nurturing their relationship with God. Come. Meet these men. Offer them hope by sharing Jesus with them.

 

A New Woman in Christ

Amanda's story...

Throughout December, the blog will feature stories shared in our special end of year newsletter. Each story about someone who’s been helped by Lord’s Gym Ministries is accompanied by a quick devotional and a challenge that we ask you prayerfully consider.

A woman, trapped in human trafficking and living on the streets of Price Hill passed by the Lord’s Gym STreet OutReach Ministry (STORM) bus heaving with tears. It was a cool January day and she had on a thin shirt. She was done. What little she did own, had just been stolen. No hope. No place to go.

Amanda, a volunteer immediately jumped off the bus and made her way to the woman. Amanda wrapped her arms around the woman. The sting of the cool breeze subsided as the woman rested in Amanda’s arms. Amanda understood. It wasn’t that long ago she had received the warmth of love that changed her life.

At age 7 Amanda recognized deep “hunger pangs for love.” She felt alone. Her dad was an abusive alcoholic. Her mom was addicted to gambling. Amanda was sexually abused by four different people from the ages of 5 to 14. At age 22, she took her first pain pill “From then on I continued using whatever opiates I could find.,” she said. “I was on suboxone for eight months and also had went to a methadone clinic for four years and ultimately used heroin for three years.”

Life continued to be hard and Amanda found herself sliding on a downward slope. She was arrested twice. She began stealing from her parents and started selling her body for money and drugs. Just before she hit the bottom, she found encouragement and love at Lord’s Gym.

At Lord’s Gym, I was encouraged and loved. In those early days of recovery and that meant everything,” Amanda said.

Recovery has been a “painfully beautiful journey. Finally, that big hole of emptiness I had felt since age 7, was filled with Jesus Christ,” she said.

Today Amanda is working in recovery and volunteers with STORM, going out on the bus.

I chose to volunteer because I want to help women get free from the bondage of addiction and give back what was given to me, love and encouragement,” she said. “My favorite part about going out is loving the ladies right where they’re at, like Jesus does.”

Devotional – Scripture: Luke 1:26-38

The news Gabriel brought to Mary was surprising. She was just a young woman in a time where women were not considered to be of high importance. How could she take on such a role?

To really put yourself in Mary’s sandels, take a moment to travel back to her time. According to www.bbc.co.uk, Jewish women in first century Palestine had “very limited legal and economic rights.”

In this society, women were the lowest in their household. Yet, God chose to bring the good news of Jesus’ coming first to a woman. It was

unexpected. And it was done in great love and power.

Centuries later, in America – the land of the free – women are considered to be equal among their male counterparts. Still, there are struggles. Some women deal with mistreatment by turning to drugs and living on the streets. Some even fall victim to human trafficking – their bodies sold for another’s profit.

They may seem to be the lowest of the low. But just as the Lord loved women in the times before Jesus’ birth, He loves these women even more dearly.

 A Challenge

Follow Gabriel’s lead this Christmas season, bless these women with the good news of Jesus. After all, they are indeed the one’s for whom Christ came. Learn more at www.LordsGymMinistries.org.

It Was a Blessed Thanksgiving in Price Hill

A note from Tom Lipsey...

When I pulled up to the Family Activity Center in Price Hill (FAC) on Thanksgiving morning we (the Lord’s Gym Ministries) had already cooperated with Union Savings bank to give out hundreds of thanksgiving precooked meals for families in need.

Already the attitude of gratitude was in the air!

As God says in I Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus!

Upon pulling up our volunteer friends from the streets were raring to go in feeding folks.  When I opened the door they immediately began to turn our facility into a nice restaurant ready to treat folks to a great meal in a great environment.

It hit me how much pride our friends take in our place. With meticulous attention to detail they cleaned, disinfected, and set up the place for families to feel the touch of God’s love through food and belonging.

The next to arrive were our volunteers from Northern Cincinnati who have a heart for the poor.  A mom and her recently graduated from college daughters came in and immediately began to add a woman’s touch to the serving system, as well as bringing with them some delicious home cooked thanksgiving dishes.

We decided to have our friends seated and treat them like they were at a nice restaurant. Then the food began to arrive from City Gospel Mission – turkey, dressing, pie, sides.

Then another round of volunteers from Northern Cincinnati arrived with a heart to bless our less fortunate friends. They too brought some delicious thanksgivings sides to share with our friends. It was a meal for the ages.

At noon we began to let the line forming at the door enter our beautiful thanksgiving restaurant at the FAC!

There was the smell of good food, some great worship music playing in the back ground, and fantastic waiters and waitresses ready to serve and receive our friends. Folks were all smiles. A prayer of thanksgiving was offered and the food began to flow to the tables.

If I heard thank you once I heard it scores more times! It was beautiful!! Gratitude is contagious and it is God’s will for all of us!

When all was said and done probably 100 folks were served and satisfied and 15 volunteers all returned to their families satisfied and satiated with God’s love. Greatness in God’s Kingdom always includes becoming a servant to others in the manner that Jesus was/is a servant King to us. What a great kick off this has been to a terrific holiday season in trying times!

To join Lord’s Gym Ministries in the mission to transform lives for the Lord, volunteer by visiting http://bit.ly/LGMvolunteering or give at https://bit.ly/376zcqm.

How to Praise God

Praise Starters...

Tis the season to be thankful. What should we be most grateful for? The love of the Lord. There’s just nothing better. So, how do we express our love to the Lord. We can praise Him; we can live our life for Him and show others His love.

Today, let’s focus on praising Him. Here are five scripture-based sentences to serve as praise starters.

I praise You God because: “You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship You.” Nehemiah 9:6

I praise You Lord because “who is like You Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and Your faithfulness surrounds You.” Psalm 89:8

I praise You God because “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in them.” 1 John 4:16

I praise You Lord because “my salvation and my honor depend on You, oh God. You are my mighty Rock and my Refuge.” Psalm 62:7

God, I praise You for “You are the God Who performs miracles; You display Your power among all the peoples.” Psalm 77:14

So, We Need a Little Christmas

A Note From Melissa Reinert, Communications Coordinator...

This year has been tough. So tough it has many deeply longing for the joyful holiday season. So much so, that many have already decked the halls and even wrapped some presents. I admit, my home is decorated in and out and I’ve been jamming to Christmas tunes since Oct. 31.

I wanted to surround myself with a few things – decorations and music – that bring a little extra joy. I have so many fond memories of holiday seasons passed and truly, this is my favorite time of the year.

There’s even scientific studies that say people who decorate earlier are happier. And it has indeed boosted my spirits this year.

I also enjoy this time of year because I love to reflect on the giving of the greatest gift of all time – God’s one and only Son Jesus. It’s not about the sparkling tree or pretty paper or silk ribbons. Christmas is about Christ. It’s about His entering into this world, the life He lived, His sacrificial death and most importantly his glorious resurrection. There is no greater hope.

As I was driving home last night listening to my Christmas jams, I couldn’t help but think of how so many of us need a little Christmas right this very minute. And then it hit me, shouldn’t this be how we are all year long? Not the holiday preparations… but the preparation of our hearts.

Jesus is our Saviour all year long. Why aren’t we reflecting on this every single moment? We get so busy with the hustle bustle we sometimes forget to make Him the center of our lives. We get so bogged down with the turmoil happening in the world, we push aside the fact that God so loved the world He sent Jesus to save it.

If you need a little Christmas, go ahead decorate. But, remember you need the one for Whom the holiday season is really about – the Christ, if you’re going to have true joy that lasts.

 

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