Saturday, July 16, 2016

Hope...Helps.

Hope:


Towards a Psychology of Hope is a great article. (click link for full article.)

"We all know that hope is a good thing, even an essential thing: there is no life without hope, or so the saying goes. Psychologists believe hope might be the most important feeling, state, or emotion we can experience. Hope is a skill you can acquire. It is active—you can cultivate and nourish it. 


It is self-perpetuating—hopeful people tend to be more resilient, more trusting, more open, and more motivated than those less hopeful, so they are likely to receive more from the world, which in turn makes them more hopeful—which is why it’s so important."

How do we gain hope? Some thoughts.


Now
May the God of all hope
Fill you
With all joy and peace 

in believing
So that
You may abound in Hope
By
The power of The Holy Spirit. 

Romans 15:13:NASB

By believing; by praying and receiving. Believe you will abound in hope.
Hope will be poured into your life and your hope will exist in great quantity.
You will be rich in hope, and you will be well supplied with hope.
You will be filled with hope. You will over-flow or teem with hope.
You will have all joy and peace in believing. 

Pray:
God of all hope, fill me with all joy and peace so that I will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit empower me with Hope. Thank you now for filling me.   

Look forward in hope:
Hope is a confident expectation of good things to come.
Hope looks to a future bright. The light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train.


Jer 29:29 NASB 

For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
 

Proverbs 23:18 (NIV)
There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

Hope is future, Faith is now. In hope see ahead, believe now.

Hey 11:1 NASB 

Now faith is the assurance /  confidence / substance of things
hoped for,
(Faith is) the conviction / evidence of things
not seen.


What things?

What are you believing, looking for, hoping for? 
Activate your faith and hope toward what you are believing.  
Develop a positive mindset by reading hopeful articles and the Bible. Fuse belief by offering thanksgiving and gratitude. 

Hope is the seed bed of faith. 

These three remain:
"Faith, Hope and Love...these three but the greatest of these three is love." I Cor 13 

Hold on to hope long enough until hope becomes faith.

Hope is the connector that creates faith and love. Faith and love spring from hope. 

Col 1:5 NIV 
The faith and love that spring from the hope stored up / secure for you in heaven

It's important to speak hope, to speak in faith, to declare, and to believe.

Ps 62:5 NIV  
Yes, my soul, find rest in God, my hope comes from him.

Lamentations 3:24 (NASB)

The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore, I have hope in Him."
 
The biggest question, "Where do we place our hope? Who is our hope?"

Where is your hope, your expectation placed? 

Hope, by definition is a person, or a thing, in which expectations are centered or focused upon. 
Who are you trusting / looking to? People? Places? Things? Jobs? Governments? Leaders?

My wife and I are in transition. We don't know where we are going, nor how provision will come. During this season we often have to shift our mindsets, focus and declare:

"Our hope is found in you Jesus. We declare ___________ is not our Savior. Where we go, or where we stay will not save us, nor provide for us. In You, and You alone is our hope. All of our hope is found in You. Thank you, our future is secure. Thank you for providing for us."

The Reality.
Jesus is our only hope. Hope is embodied in Him. He is the hope of glory.
Our hope is secure and steadfast...

Heb. 6:18-20 NIV 

We who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be strong / encouraged. 

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and steadfast. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus our forerunner has entered on our behalf.

Jesus is the better hope.

Heb 7: 9 NASB
for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. 

Heb 7:22 NASB
so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. 

It's interesting and encouraging...The eye of the Lord is upon those who hope and who hope for something tangible, yet supernatural, His lovingkindness.

Ps 33:18 NASB
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who hope for his Lovingkindness.
 

"Our trials are turned to gold." Keith Green.
Trials do one thing well... if we hold on, we don't give up and we continue... Trials produce a hope that does not disappoint. In hope... we hope.

Rom 5:1-5 NASB

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 

2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.(hope)

3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 


4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 

5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Running with Percy.

There is something to be said about perseverance. Perserverenc enables us to keep on keeping on, to lean forward by faith, and to look into the future in hope. 

Sometimes we need to run with our friend Percy. Running with Percy produces a hope that does not disappoint. It's important to faint not; to not grow weary and never give up.

Trials of life show us what we are made of. Trials reveal our metal. They test our metal.

People of our world need hope. They are lost without hope, and without God in this world. We are the hopeful ones. We have a future and a hope. It is secure. We can draw from heavens hope and give what we have received away.


We can have joy and peace and abound in hope. The connector... in believing.

"My Hope is Built on Nothing Less"
by Edward Mote, 1797-1874
 

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, 

But wholly lean on Jesus' name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand.
 

When darkness veils His lovely face,

I rest on His unchanging grace;

In every high and stormy gale

My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand.
 

His oath, His covenant, and blood

Support me in the whelming flood;

When every earthly prop gives way,

He then is all my Hope and Stay.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand.
 

When He shall come with trumpet sound,

Oh, may I then in Him be found,

Clothed in His righteousness alone,

Faultless to stand before the throne!

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Intention... His Kind Intention



God is kind...His is intentional...
The kind intention of HIs will. Kindness is part of his overarching will for man.


Ephesians 1. NASB
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 
In love
He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace
which 
He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
 
In Him 
we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, 
according to the riches of His grace 
which 
He lavished on us.

In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him Jesus (God was in Christ Redeeming the world to Himself)
with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.

In Him
also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,
 
to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 
In Him
you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 
 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.


He bestowed grace upon us in the Beloved.(Jesus)... and He lavished grace upon us according to His kind intention.

What does bestowed grace and lavished grace look like

 




I think it looks like this.


                   


                     But it really looks like this!  











Kind intention... flows from His grace, from His nature.

The Point:  Kindness is more than a principle. Kindness is an attribute that flows from the very nature and character of God. 

God is Love... God is kind.

Not surprising... The word kind, is a humble word...



Bible dictionaries often define kind... by simple word, like good, gentle, easy, useful and gracious.

Kind Intention...
Kind: being of a good or benevolent nature or disposition; characterized by or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings:a benevolent attitude; desiring to help others; charitable; patient, considerate, or helpful; to be kind to another; mild; gentle; loving; affectionate; having an intention to benefit another
 
Intention: purpose; an aim or plan; a goal to accomplish; what a person intends to do; a moral decision; an attitude to propose to benefit another; a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action, in the present or in the future; an aim that guides ones actions.

British Dialect. loving; affectionate.

Kindness is an action.  
She is a kind person. 
He is a kind man.  
Why? How do you know when a person is kind? There is evidence... There is something  about their character that is reveled by their actions. 
They are defined as being kind by what they do: what they say, and how they act.

God is kind to all...

Ps 145:17 NASB
The LORD is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds.
 

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. (Luke 6:35)

God is Love...

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. (1st Corinthians 13:4)

Kindness draw us out of our stuff and into His light and love.
 
Romans 2:4 NAS
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
   

Hosea is an amazing study of the goodness and kindness of God.
Hosea 2:14-15 NASB
His previous statements of Israels waywardness leads Him to respond in a way that reveals His mercy and kindness.

What am I going to do?
 

“Therefore, behold, 
I will allure her,
Bring her into the wilderness
And speak kindly to her.

Then 
I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the valley of Achor (trouble) as a door of hope.
And she will sing there as in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt."

Joseph, in spite of his difficulties, experiences the Lord's kindness... 

Here is the repeated phrase that followed Joseph...
But the LORD was with Joseph 
and 
extended kindness to him. 

The act of kindness expressed to Joseph, was the blessing of extreme Favor upon Joseph's life... He found favor where ever he went. Pit, Palace, Prison, to Prime Minister.

Kindness, Loving-kindness was the foundation of all David understood and knew about God. 

When he committed unthinkable sin, and was exposed, in the midst of his greatest failure he knew (by experience) God was kind. He humbled himself and prayed asking forgiveness (according) to what he knew about the goodness and kindness of God.
 
Ps 51:1 NASB 
According to your loving-kindness have mercy on me.
Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your loving-kindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.


A lot of people are boasting about many things. Jeremiah discovered what to truly boast about.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 NIV
This is what the Lord says:
Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or 
the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but
let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,(that he knows me)
that I am the Lord, 
who 
exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”declares the Lord.


He exercises, releases the action of His grace and kindness on earth... or in our earth.

Lord's prayer... Your kingdom come, your will be done, on(in us) earth, as it is in heaven.

Kindness is found in our earth, in our being. We have the fruit of the Spirit... Love, joy, peace, kindness... within us.

Kindness is so important...

Proverbs 3
1My son, do not forget my teaching,
            But let your heart keep my commandments;

      2 For length of days and years of life
            And peace they will add to you.



      3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
            Bind them around your neck,
            Write them on the tablet of your heart.
  
      4 So you will find favor and good repute
            In the sight of God and man.


The Point:
As believers we should be reflections of the kindness and grace He has bestowed, and lavished upon us.  

How?
By practicing being kind and doing acts of intentional kindness; by having kind attitudes and speaking kind words.  

We need to have intentionality. 
 
His kind intention is for His world.  

We can join His intention by being intentional to reach the people He loves within our sphere of influence.


Saturday, July 02, 2016

July Bowen News.

Bowen News






We've had a good summer so far. We visited our son and his wife Vanessa. She has been in the news with Make America Native Again. You may have seen her. 

 











We kept our grandkids for a week. M began to crawl. I called him Scooter. We then went home to Dayton for two days and headed to Alabama to be with Pattie's family. 

We went to Pensacola for a Liberty Network International leaders conference last week. It is an annual conference for all Liberty Network pastors, some missionaries. We graduated from Liberty Bible College and we were sent ones from the church. It was good seeing so many people we knew from our distant past... reconnecting, talking, and laughing.

The conference was in the building where it all started, which in itself was prophetic. Charles Simpson spoke the first night. He talked about remember to take the bones of heritage into the future.

The bones of Liberty’s 50 year heritage: (My take gleaned over the 3 days. No order of importance, one without the other leads to dry bones.)
  • Prayer / Presence /Worship
  • Relationships / Community
  • Pioneering
  • The Holy Spirit
  • God’s Word / Bible College
  • Community / World Outreach / Missional
We decided we'd be intentionally open to pray for people. We prayed for a lot of people during the week We met the couple we sent out from Inverness, Scotland. They are two of the leaders of Adopt A Child International. What began as a small vision, now is huge. They have been extremely successful raising funds for hundreds, if not thousands of children. They encouraged us, affirmed us, and let us know their prophetic send off has carried them through the years. It was fun seeing and hearing about their fruitfulness. 

Pattie also stepped up and prayed for a Russian couple who have ministry in Siberia. They wept and laughed as she prayed for the couple. I was amazed at her accuracy and flow. A couple of days later. We found out they were at the Turkish airport when it was bombed. Escaping, they prayed for many people leading several to Jesus. Pattie had prayed for their safety. We were stunned. 





We attended Liberty Church on Sunday. They are now in several locations in Pensacola and beyond. They are launching a downtown location this September. You can feel the energy. Their story is amazing.

Decisions: 
We also met with the Globe International guys Doug Gehman, and Ohioan, Scott Brown. We are having a conversation about becoming sent ones as a part of Globe. Great guys and gals who have been around the block a few times. Smart. Focused. As a part of Globe we will need to continue to raise our support, take a class, and attend an orientation in September. We were with Globe as missionaries and church planters in Scotland for 18 years. Our conversations have been positive and encouraging. We also, believe we have something to offer the team if we join.

Globe encourages people to have a sending / supporting church. We are grateful for Dayton Vineyard Church for sending and supporting us during this time of transition.

Traveling:
July.
 
I’ll be back in town early July. Pattie is staying in Bham for a while. We have a few loose ends to keep us busy.

Pattie will have to start her teaching job in August, unless a suddenly happens in the area of support. Our ideal dream would be supported enough for her to travel with me. The last two ventures out, it was obvious I needed her. She has a lot to offer and speaks into what we are doing.

I am heading to see Adam Vaughn at the end July for a few days. E. J. Waltemire is also traveling with me on his first ever plane, and first ever mission venture. He will be filming the Vaughn family.

 

August.




In August I’ll be heading to England to help train, and join an outreach into the city of Warrington located just below Manchester. Oasis Church, then up to Scotland for a week before heading back.
 



When we are in the Ohio area we are hoping to help equip and serve.
 

Thanks for your support and prayer. We don't take it lightly. We are grateful. You are sacrificing to invest into our lives. Much appreciated.
We are using social media, Facebook etc. to let people participate and partner in our adventure. Our web site.is being updated.

We are pressing into, "Experiencing the faith rest life." Heb 4 Passion Translation


Steve and Pattie


If you'd like to support us use Donor Box.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Take a selfie

What is God Space? It is a space that we create by faith. It’s an atmosphere or an environment where God’s goodness, power, presence, love, and kindness can touch another human being...


Take a selfie. What do you see? Who do you see?

It's interesting that God chooses to reveal His nature through imperfect people. He always will, and He always has. He chose messengers to embody and to reveal His message. 

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ester, Daniel, Jesus, the Disciples, Martin Luther King, William Wilberforce, John Wesley, John G. Lake, Billy Graham, Mother Teresa, and people like you and me embody the message. 

Amazing is this grace. Awesome is the responsibility. Joyful is the privilege. 

We are stewards, entrusted ones, and great is His investment in us. He invests His love and grace into us in order to flow through us.

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Notice, He didn't say we would do witnessing, but we would be...and be His witnesses.


A witness: a person who has seen, heard, or experienced something: to have personal or direct cognizance of a fact, a situation, an event or a person.


A witness is one who attests, authenticates, testifies (to), vouches (for), one who certifies as true. A witness is one who sees, declares what they have seen, heard and experienced.

The Disciples were experiential witnesses

When is the last time you had an experiential connection to Whom you believe?


1John 1:1-3 
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touchedthis we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 

The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard,  
so that you also may have fellowship with us. 

And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 

We write this to make our joy complete. 

Jesus reflected the Fathers love. 

He was the Light, the Revealer. The disciples walked with Jesus for three years; at the end they still didn't understand. They saw and heard what Jesus said and did. They saw His compassion, His anger, His love, His friendship, His power, and were soon to see His agony, then His glory. 

Bottom line if we really see, behold, and experience Jesus, we see, behold and experience the Father's love.


 Scenario:
Last discourse with the disciples. A last meal. Last words of encouragement. Last action before the cross... Washing the disciples feet. Last command... Love well.

He states, "If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”
Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, 
Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am?  
                                  Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!                                                              
Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. 
                        Or at least believe because of the works you have seen me do.“                                                        John 14:7-9 (NLT)

Jesus came to reveal the Father. 
All He was and all He did revealed, reflected and pointed to the nature and character of the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit. See Jesus, you see the Father.

They, (the words and works of Jesus) were written to encourage people to believe Jesus was the Son of God and pointed toward the nature of a loving Father.
Jesus reflected the Father because He was with the Father. He only did what the Father asked Him to do. He only did what He saw the Father doing. Jesus reflected His love for His Father in His final act on earth by going to the cross. See the cross, you see the love the Father has for the world. You also receive a glimpse of Jesus's great love for His Father. He loved His Father so much that He gave it all. This is amazing love!

Jesus often went to a garden in the Mount of Olives to talk to His Father .  

It was His custom... He went to the Mt. of Olives... He would leave crowds, slip away, spend time alone in His Father's Presence. 

Pattie Bowen Bible Journal
 
In the same way our life disciplines / habits / customs are stepping stones that move us forward toward knowing the Father's heart.

Good habits build a bridge to help us move from where we are, toward where we want to go.

The importance of Being
The messenger is the message. We reflect who we are, and who we have been with. This is why it is so important to spend time in the Fathers presence and learn to be. As we experienced Him, we then become His witness.

When we serve someone we reveal the love and care of our Father. 
When we pray for someone we reveal the love and care of our Father. 
When we encourage someone we reveal the love and the care of our Father. 
We in a very real way reveal the Father's nature. 

Our good deeds reflect the Father's love.

For a couple of years I prayed daily. "Jesus, you reveal the Love of the Father, please reveal the love of the Father to my heart." I also prayed, "Father,  no one can come to Jesus unless you draw them. Father please draw me closer to Jesus."

I was expecting an encounter that would come upon me and give direct revelation of the love of the Father. I thought the revelation would come during my worship time, or my prayer time or at a special meeting. 


Over time I realized as I was praying for people, I was seeing the love of the Father reflected through what He revealed and what He gave to the people I was praying for. 

Recently, I've had several people stop me and thank me for praying for them. One lady told me I prayed for her over a year ago and she has had no pain or issues since. Amazing!

I marvel, "Wow! Father I see your nature. I see your love. You loved her so much that you met her need abundantly beyond all we could ask or think! You are truly a loving Father."

God's love for me was revealed not by some mysterious experience, (I'm all in for those) but by her need being met through an answered prayer... through me. He reveals His love as I serve someone, or when I stop for the one. Sometimes He reveals His love as I encourage someone with prophetic insight or by giving a gift to someone.

Here's the deal. God almost always reveals His love and grace toward people... through us, His imperfect people. This is both amazing and most humbling.

The message is the messenger. The messenger is the message. If you are in doubt, take a selfie.