“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 From Melissa Reinert, Communications Coordinator
“There’s a ship out, on the ocean
At the mercy of the sea
It’s been tossed about, lost and broken
And God somehow you know that ship is me
‘Cause there’s a lighthouse, in the harbor
Pouring its light out, across the water
For this sinking soul to see
That someone out there still believes in me…”
I’m a big fan of country music. Especially that from the 90s. Garth Brooks is one of the most unique entertainers in the industry. I remember how popular he was when I was a kid. In 2000, the year I graduated high school, he released a song called “Until You Come Back to Me Again.”
The lyrics are powerful and very spiritual. In college when I struggled with various circumstances, I often listened to this song for encouragement.
Today, I still find hope in this song; it’s now two-fold. One the one hand, I’m still that ship, tossed about at the mercy of the sea. The Lord has blessed me with many lighthouses (my family and friends) who have shined such wonderful light in my life.
On the other hand, I’m a lighthouse to those “tossed about, lost and broken, wandering aimlessly. With the Lord’s help and conviction, I’m shining faithfully, pouring light out across dark waters for sinking souls to see. They see that I believe in them. That I care. That, in the Lord, I have a deep love for them.
Today, I want to encourage you to listen to these lyrics and reflect on your own opportunities to to be a lighthouse in the harbor – shining to bring home – lead to Jesus – those sinking souls.
During that reflection, I ask, that you consider shining your light on our friends at Lord’s Gym Ministries. Become a part of this ministry through praying, volunteering or giving. Be a voice that keeps them, as the lyrics continue, “hanging on. A voice “raining down, against the wind.” Life’s circumstances can be like the ocean can be dark, cold and overtaking. Be a lighthouse.
They Know We Care
According to John chapter 4, Jesus left Judea and departed again to Galilee, but He needed to go through Samaria.
What did Jesus have to do there? Meet a Samaritan woman – an outcast adulterer – who would be drawing water in the sixth hour. This is a significant meet and greet, far from just being at the right place at the right time.
Jesus speaks to the woman compassionately and with a gentle firmness. He discusses her life. Her sin. “You are right to say you have no husband. In fact, you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband,” He tells her openly and honestly.
He immediately sees where she is and knows just what to say in order to move her to where she needs to be. He uses her thirst for water to get her to understand what she is truly seeking. Doing so, He reveals her ultimate need for a savior.
With care and truth, Jesus meets this woman exactly where she is and points her towards where He wants her to go. “Go and sin no more,” He says. He freely gives her the opportunity for a transformed life.
This is how we are to approach those who seem all too often unlovable. It’s something Chaplain Danny encountered a few Mondays ago.
“One of the girls who started coming to the Family Activity Center, has a bad attitude and problems with aggressiveness,” Danny said. “We took her out from the center a few weeks ago when. She’s always saying that she is ‘from the hood’ and she feels proud of that.”
This girl is often hard-hearted and difficult.
“But she changed her attitude,” Danny said. “We allowed her to return again to the center, not only her but also her older sister and other friends.”
Last week she told Danny that he was “wierd.”
He asked: “Why? Is my Puerto Rican accent, my shoes, my way of dressing?”
She didn’t answer.
Another week passed and week she told Danny he was weird again. And this time she explained why.
“Because you care.”
In other words she is saying that Danny’s behavior is different from everything that surrounds her. Much like Jesus’ behavior around the female Samaritan outcast. With compassion, concern and mercy, Danny is showing this child just Who Jesus is. And he’s doing this meeting her where she’s at.
“Although her behavior is not the best, she knows that there are people who are willing to help her,” Danny said. “There are people who want to get her out of that mentality of the ‘hood.’”
A Note From Queensgate Chaplain C.J.
This amazing man WON my attention with his testimony from the first day I met him.
Spiritually broken and frustrated with God because life’s disappointments, he joined Queensgate.
Kevin is a 3 time CANCER SURVIVOR, and although he doesn’t completely see it yet, a REAL evangelist! No one is a stranger to him. He has a huge smile, big heart, and he’s gaining his strength back each time he visits.
Today Kevin mentioned he’d only been here 4 days this week – but continued to say that he doesn’t know what he missed more (when he couldn’t come)… his workout or the WORD OF GOD devotional MINISTERING to his heart each visit.
Spirit. INSTANTLY. Quickened… 🏾🏾🏾
*insert SHOUT here* 🏾♂️🏾♂️🏾♂️🏾♂️
Lord's Gym Ministries introduces new logo
The Lord’s Gym Minisitires new logo, a red, white, and black shield was freshened up by a multi-generational design team. It’s meaning is significant as follows:
- It’s a shield. Psalm 28:7 reads: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” (ESV)
- The white contrast text shines forth from darkness.
- The skyline represents our urban call.
- The red represents that we are covered by the blood of Christ.
- The addition of the word “Ministries” acknowledges that we are more than a gym.
- The slant represents where we are currently called to serve and distinguishes us from any other “Lord’s Gym” or possible “Lord’s Gym Ministries” operating in other parts of the country.
From Guest Blogger Melissa Reinert, Lord's Gym Ministries Communications Coordinator
One of my favorite quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is: “Our lives begin to end the day we becom silent about things that matter.”
It’s a powerful and frightening statement.
When we become “silent” the most valuable things we have such as equality and humanity suffer deeply. We see this throughout history.
Today, on this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, let’s take it a step further. I believe King’s statement goes beyond the realms of this world.
As a child of God, I think he’s making two points here. No. 1, he’s saying that social injustice does indeed kill and destroy, not just our physical lives, but our emotional, mental and spiritual existence. It doesn’t just harm those who are targeted by injustice for race, religion, addiction, way of life, etc. – it kills the soul of those who are partaking in the injustice, whether proudly supporting it loudly or regrettably accepting it silently.
No. 2, and even more importantly, I believe, that King is saying something spiritual. You see, we are meant to tell others about this great Lord Who came to save the world with truth and love. Jesus says this Himself in Matthew 28: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
God’s love and grace offered through His Son Jesus is by far the thing that matters the most.
What happens if we stop talking about what Jesus has done for us? What happens if we sharing with people what Jesus has done for them?
You have the cure. So, share it. Tell everyone about Jesus. Keep reading about Him in your Bible and studies. Keep discussing Him among your Christian and non-Christian friends. Keep talking to Him.
Never become silent when it comes to the things that matter; never be silent about Jesus.
– Melissa Reinert
In 2020, we welcome a new chairperson, Yolanda Carter.
Yolanda, 50, of Union, has served on the Lord’s Gym Ministries Board for a year. She has volunteered with the organization for 17 years.
Since introduced to Lord’s Gym Ministries, Yolanda has felt compelled by the heart the organization has for communities in need.
“The leadership and staff that are really living into being the arms, heart and legs for Jesus to those who don’t know Him or those who have accepted Him and are now on the path to living out their faith in their daily lives.”
Yolanda said the work “we do literally saves lives in this life and the next.” She said it never ceases to amaze her to watch the Lord “work His magic all across the Tri-state area.”
According to Yolanda, being board chair, means you are to be a resource, to unlock the potential of others, and grow the network of people and organizations helping to bring Lord’s Gym Ministries vision and mission to life.
As chairwoman, she wants to:
- Learn. “I want to grow closer to those we serve to understand their needs.”
- Share. “I want to work with partner organizations and individuals to share our vision and mission to bring them along on our journey and grow our outreach.”
- Grow. “I also want to support our staff in growing our leadership capabilities as our ministry grows to help ensure we are all equipped to fulfill what God has called us to do in this community and beyond.”
Yolanda’s top tree goals as board chair are:
Ensuring we fulfill Lord’s Gym Ministries’ mission: GO to people in need in Greater Cincinnati neighborhoods, creating safe places, demonstrating God’s love in practical ways by declaring the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit, developing disciples for Christ and encouraging self-responsibility.
Helping to create a sustainable financial model that support’s our mission today and in the future.
Building the ability to be fluid and flexible to God’s will.
This chair appointment marks the first time a woman has officially taken the helm. Yolanda, however, doesn’t consider herself to actually be the first woman taking the lead.
“I have a firm conviction that Ann Taylor worked hand in hand with (her husband) Dick to shape and bring this ministry to life,” Yolanda said. “She was an amazing leader with a heart for those in need and an inspiration for me. I hope to be able to continue her legacy…leadership is comes in many forms all of which require a servants heart, a love of people and a powerful prayer life and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit when leading for God.”
FOCAS Founder Dick Taylor
Our good friend, brother in the Lord, and founder of FOCAS, was called home by God on Jan. 2. Read his obituary here: http://bit.ly/DickTaylor.
The funeral service will be 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, at Montgomery Assembly of God Church in Blue Ash. Viewing is from 4-6.p.m. It is our hope and prayer that you will be able to come to celebrate Dick’s home-going. Please forward this to others as appropriate.
Please, pray for the family as they mourn their loss.
We would also appreciate hearing from you if you’d like to share any found memories of Dick. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are a few tributes:
“Dick was a remarkable man of God. I worked with Anne years back in Over-the-Rhine at the Lord’s Pantry. Both Dick and Anne and their ministry lives made a lasting impression on me and all those God touches through me now.” – Amy Colleen Kapp
“Dick Taylor was always a source of encouragement to us both personally and in ministry. I don’t remember a conversation with him that he didn’t smile or offer a word of encouragement.” – The Hembree Crew
“Dick and Anne Taylor are beloved friends and ministers of the Derstines and the Christian Retreat church family. They had a mobile home here on campus (in Florida) for years as ‘winter residents.’ Their love for God and people was undeniable and they were always a pleasure to be around. I was blessed to accompany Dick to Haiti on a crusade and also ministered at the gym in Cincinnati a few times. Thanks Dick for your generous support of Christian Retreat and our international mission outreaches. You will never be forgotten and we will catch up with you in heaven. – Pastor Phil Derstine
“We loved Dick and Anne so much and so valued their amazing example and ministry to the body of Christ. I remember hearing testimonies of the ministry in Haiti, serving sandwiches with the Lord’s Pantry, doing open-air ministry-services in the old Washington Park and Christmas caroling in the bars in Over-the Rhine in ’89 and ’90. When we walked through the doors, jukeboxes and TVs were turned off, and respect and attention was shown to Dick and Anne. They earned the respect of everyone they met!! So happy they’ve been reunited in glory with their Savior.” – Jamie Cook
We thank you for taking time to follow this ministry. We thank you for your support of our staff and our friends. We really can’t say it enough. As the new year approaches, we hope that you’ll continue investing in opportunities that save lives, both on earth and for heaven. We hope that in turn, you will be blessed in every area of your life. Please, be sure to keep up with us by reading our blog or subscribing to our bi-monthly email or our newsletters. We leave you with this blessing from Numbers 6:24-26.
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”
Thank you joining us on this advent journey. The final part of the four-week series, “Who Jesus Came For,” is about you. Again, at the end of this blog post, there will be a challenge for you to share God’s love.
Scripture: Matthew2:21 and 23.
Throughout this series, we’ve learned that the King of Kings came to earth as a little child for those in the greatest of need… the oppressed (women), the downtrodden (shepherds) and the least (children). He came for all of us.
Matthew 1:21, says: “And she shall bring forth a son and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for he shall save His people from their sins.”
We all make mistakes and have done wrong. We all need Jesus.
This month, we’ve challenged you to share God’s love by taking part in the many volunteer and giving opportunities available through Lord’s Gym Ministires – STORM (helping women on the street); The Lord’s Gym (for men in all walks of life); and the Family Activity Center (for children and their families). Visit Get Involved or http://bit.ly/FOCASgiving, to learn more.
This week, the week of the holy birth, we want you to take time to think about you.
Ponder this statement: “Jesus came for me.” Say it out loud: “Jesus came for me.”
If you had been the only one in need, He still would have came. Jesus makes this perfectly clear when teaching in Luke chapter 15. He tells the crowd: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
“And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’”
He continued, telling the crowed, that it is the same “in heaven over one sinner who repents.”
He shared another parable too about a woman who lost a coin, turned her house upside down for that coin and rejoiced when it was found.
You see, you either are lost or you were once lost. God turned His kingdom upside down to find you. Jesus, His Son, the King of Kings; came to earth as a little child. He grew up serving those in need through healing, teaching, and loving. Then, He died. Taking on your sin, He died on the cross, so that you could be made blameless. Most importantly, He arose from the dead – fully defeating sin and death – just so that you might live forever in heaven.
This is your challenge this week. Take a break from the festivities to think over the reason for the season. Have you accepted His greatest of gifts? If you haven’t and you want to, simply pray to God: “Heavenly Father, please forgive me of all my sins. Thank you so much for Jesus. I am a sinner. I need Jesus. I accept Him as my Lord and Savior. Amen.”
If you have already prayed this prayer, rejoice!. Rejoice in God’s great gift to you. Simply love Him in return by building your relationship with Him and telling others about His love.
Thank you for reading our blog. Welcome to our advent series, “Who Jesus Came For.” Part three is about children and their importance to the kingdom of heave. Note: Jesus came into this world as a little child. Again, at the end of this blog post, there will be a challenge for you to share God’s love.
Scripture: Luke 2:1-7
“So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:6-7
At last, the greatest of gifts, is offered to mankind. Jesus. 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. The disciples, however, rebuked them. Jesus responded without hesitation: “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
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, “Whoeverwelcomes 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.”
What a concept Jesus is sharing. The least… the smallest… the weakest.. is actually the greatest. That’s what Jesus entire ministry was about. Here He is, the King of Kings and He came to Earth borne in a stable and lived a life of servant hood.
In a previous story in Matthew, chapter 18, Jesus explains that greatest in the kingdom of heaven is like a little child.
“Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3.
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.
So, here’s your challenge…
At Lord’s Gym Ministries we have the Family Activity Center (FAC) in Price Hill where you can serve at-risk youth and their parents. can serve at-risk youth, and their parents. At the FAC, 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.