Be Their Lighthouse

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
Wandering aimlessly
And God somehow you know that ship is me

‘Cause there’s a lighthouse, in the harbor
Shining faithfully
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.

Meeting Price Hill Youth Where They Are

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 Gym That Ministers to the Heart

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* 🏃🏾‍♂️🏃🏾‍♂️🏃🏾‍♂️🏃🏾‍♂️

 

The Thought Behind The New Look

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.

FOCAS FOUNDER DICK TAYLOR’S HOME-GOING

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 sbowers@focas-us.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

7 TIPS TO REMEMBER YOUR BLESSINGS

Tis the season to be thankful.

“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.” Numbers 6:24

Tis the season to be thankful.

Here are some tips on how to count and remember your many blessings.

    1. Scatter reminders of encouragement around you throughout the day. Simply write your blessings on a post-it note and stick them on your bathroom mirror or around your car dashboard.
    2. Keep a journal. You can be as detailed or brief as you like. Take a notebook and just write down your blessings. Work on this each day. Maybe set aside a few minutes  in the morning or before bed. If you keep a daily planner or calendar, just write something from that day.
    3. Share with your family and friends. When you break bread, take a few moments to tell those around you at least one blessing from that day or your life.
    4. Pray. Be a blessing to God’s heart and let Him know how grateful you are for all He has done for you, is doing and will continue to do.
    5. Take an old glass jar and small strips of paper. Write down your blessings form the day and put them in the jar. See how full the jar gets. At the end of the year, read all your notes.
    6. If you have kids, grab a large sheet of poster or foam board and draw a tree. Cut out a set of 30 or 31 leaves out of colored construction paper (one for each month). Encourage your children to write a blessing each day and put it on the tree.
    7. Remissness. Take some time every once in a while to reflect on your life. Remember all the good things you’ve experienced and look at how far you’ve come.