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.

 

Saved by God’s Grace: Meet Shelly and Kevin

All are welcome...

Shelly and her husband Kevin got caught up in addiction and ended up homeless.

 

“I wanted to die,” she said. “I couldn’t see a way out.”

 

Now she sees the Light and it’s Jesus.

 

“I felt no one cared,” she said. “Then, I found Lord’s Gym. We were welcomed in. We were loved. This is my home and my family. They connected us to resources, helped us get clean, gave us food and clothes and are helping us get our life back together.”

 

Now Shelly and her husband are volunteering at the Lord’s Gym Family Activity Center in Price Hill. Shelly was also recently baptized there.

 

“This place is amazing,” said Kevin. “It’s really given us a sense of purpose. We’re volunteering and doing something to help them help the community. It’s a great feeling.”

 

Shelly said one of her other favorite things to do at the gym is to study the Bible.

 

“The Word got through to me here,” she said. “I’m closer to God than I’ve ever been. The Lord Gym is a great blessing. God brought us here. This is the Lord’s home. It was a part of His plan. I don’t deserve this but it’s all God’s grace.”

 

To experience life transformation firsthand, volunteer. Visit http://bit.ly/LGMvolunteering. If you are being lead to support Lord’s Gym Ministries, visit http://bit.ly/LGMdonations.

A Fun Testimony

A Quick, but Solid Reminder from Chaplain Danny...

That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.” 1 Kings 8:60

Last week one of the boys at the Price Hill Family Activity asked: “Who would win between God and Zeus?”

Before I could answer, another kid stood up and said: “The only one that is the real… God!” 

The boy replied, “That’s true!”

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

Learning the Scriptures at the Family Activity Center

Training children in the way...

…and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:15

One of the initiatives that we have begun at the Price Hill Family Activity Center is that at snack time or every time a child or teen want a snack, they must tell us the “password” of the day, a short verse from the Bible that we say to them every day. So, these kids are repeating that same verse three and four times a day! Then we explain what that verse means and some of them have remembered the verse of the day.

 

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

A Friday on the Bus

Through the STORM...

Sherry and Tonya joined Brandon on the STORM Bus for the first time several Fridays ago for an “eye opening experience.”

About Sherry and Tonya

Sherry is a licensed therapist with Addiction Services Council and Tonya works with First Step Home.

“I love working with women,” Sherry said of her job and why she boarded the bus. “I work with men too, but my passion is serving women. They have so many needs and so much going on with them. They feel defeated, don’t have anyone left or any sense of hope. I want them to know they are not alone.”

Sherry has worked at Addiction Services Council for six years and has more than 20 years in the recovery field.

Tonya, a mother of three, has a business degree, but ended up working in recovery after she saw a need at her kids’ school.

“Seventy-percent of the children in our district were on the free or reduced lunch program,” she said. “So many needed so much, they had no shoes, no jacket, the basics. That’s hard to see and I wanted to do something about it, more than just meet the needs, but get to the root of the problem. I learned that most come parents were hooked on either meth or heroin.”

She stared working at First Step in March and is “now part of the solution.”

On the bus

It was a busy Friday on the bus. Several women were met with hugs and prayed over. One, received assistance to get into treatment. Another, Sherry and Tonya saw drift into the despair of addiction.

Sara (name changed) boarded the bus with a hard heart and was physically overwhelmed by lack of sleep. She also had been drinking.

“It’s not easy to see,” Tonya said.

Still, they opened their eyes and their hearts. Both Tonya and Sherry spoke kindly to Sara, doing their best convince her to get the help she so needs and deserves. Sara was adamant. She wasn’t ready.

They sat with her for 20 minutes, offering comfort and friendship, until Sara once again left for the streets.

Reflections

“This was so eye opening,” Sherry said. “You really see what they’re going through. You have to also meet these women where they are, recovery takes a while. It’s all about baby steps. Any movement forward is a celebration and sometimes you have to start again. It’s a process.”

Tonya said that addiction is a vicious cycle.

“It’s not just about detox and getting clean and getting a job,” she said. “These women have to be taught how to do life.”

And so that is the mission for Sherry and Tonya. It’s the mission of the bus and it all starts with a hug and a prayer – knowing someone cares about you even when you can’t care for yourself.

 

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

Watch the Community Awareness Event NOW

Experience how the hope of the Gospel doesn't disappoint...

Scott here.
In case you missed our Lord’s Gym Ministries Community Awareness LIVE Virtual event, here is a link for you to watch it at a more convenient time: www.LordsGymMinistries.org.
Also, while we mention that viewers can invest via the donate button in the upper right corner of www.LordsGymMinistries.org, and TEXT “Register” to 513-540-4005, viewers can still mail in a personal check made payable to:
FOCAS
PO Box 5099
Cincinnati, OH 45205
Thank you for viewing and sharing it with your friends, family, and church. Consider sending me an email or text (513-300-0285) to let me know what you think of our 30 minute presentation of the impact God is having through the ministry – especially in light of Covid-19. Stand firm.

A life saved

A Message from Chaplain James in Covington...

One of the outreach workers at the Welcome House found Wayne on the streets a couple weeks ago.  He was fresh out of jail, and someone had stolen his bag that had his greyhound ticket to get back to Louisville in it. Not knowing where else to turn, they dropped him off at the gym.

We were able to love on him, get him some clothes, food, and begin to minister to our new brother.  One of our volunteers from our local church even agreed to drive him back to his family in Louisville so he could briefly reconnect and get some important documents for him to begin working. That same volunteer (Joe) brought him back to Covington and even took him to the DMV to get his ID the following week.  

Wayne then began attending Bible studies and decided to fully surrender his life to Christ. We were blessed to be able to baptize him!  

Finally, he is starting his new job through the JobCenter and has been supplied with boots and bus passes to get him started.  We will likely be able to facilitate him entering the sober living house across the street from the gym, as well as pick him up for church weekly.  

God is good!

Look what you can WIN

YRA Adult Prizes...

Did you know that there are prizes for both youth and adults who cover the farthest distance in the categories of walking, running and biking during October’s Youth Resiliency Adventure?

 

Here’s a peek at what adults (over age 18) have a chance to win.

  • The adult who walks the greatest distance wins a pair of JBL Harmon Bluetooth Earbuds.
  • The adult who runs the greatest distance wins a Garmin Vivio Smart HR.
  • The adult who bikes the greatest distance wins a Fuji Candy Apple Red Finest Bike.

Join the Youth Resiliency Adventure; and, make moves to make a difference during National Substance Abuse Prevention Month! Visit www.YRAdventure.com to register now.

The Youth Resiliency Adventure month-long virtual athletic event for youth and adults to either Walk, Run, or Bike a personal distance goal during the month of October. 

The Youth Resiliency Adventure, promoted on social media with the hashtag, #YRAdventure2nAddiction, was created to raise funds to prevent youth addiction, increase awareness of youth addiction, and encourage healthy physical, emotional, and spiritual growth.