Sunday, August 21, 2016

If it doesn't work ... It's probably American.

 
It's been a good two weeks. I'm in Warrington, England with my friends Mike and Jane. They were pastors of a church I helped plant in Scotland. They sold everything and moved to Warrington a few years ago to plant a new generation church called Oasis. 

Oasis is amazing. I love the energy, the way people are encouraged, and how they reach out to the community. Many of the people who now attend were reached, met Jesus, were then baptized, now are disciples and function as band members, creative arts people, outreach participants or serve in other ways.

One of my Bible college professors stated, "If a principal works in any culture it's God. If the principle doesn't work in any culture, it's probably American."



Serving their city works.
Oasis serves the community mainly through acts of kindness. They have served the people of the city from day one. In this culture nothing is free, and there is always a catch. When people receive a small gift, a coke on a hot day, a small bag of treats, or chocolate to celebrate Warrington people are impacted. The simple acts of kindness reaches the heart. They ask questions. Many receive prayer. Some meet Jesus then begin to attend Oasis.


We've gone out to the main shopping area in the town center. As we've served more than one person asked, "What's the catch?" We were able to share why, have great conversations, and pray with people. 

One day the police came down after seeing us serving on CV monitors. Their response, "Oh, it just Oasis.

I prayed for a police woman. I simply stated, "I'd like to pray for your protection. Would that be ok?" She replied, "Thanks that would be nice." We prayed for her. Invited angels to be with her. Declared protection over her. We declared she'd have eyes to see and ears to hear and God's presence would be near her.  We noticed her smile, gratitude and genuine up beat response. "I'm protected now. Thank you."

One lady who had pain in her back was shocked when her pain level moved from an eight down to a two. Most people we prayed for encountered the love of Jesus through the  presence of the Holy Spirit.

Several people mentioned they would like to pop in and check Oasis out. 

They have a family service at 11am. At 6 pm a new generation service starts. This service is mainly made up of 20's and 30's. The style is fun, upbeat and has an amazing house band who lead worship. Last week there was a tangible sense of God's presence as we worshiped.

Since I've been here there has been a shift into prophetic encouragement and prayer. People are now stepping into the next phase of outreach. As they pray for people they are receiving insight, knowledge and encouragement for the people they serve. This connection to the Holy Spirit is wonderful to see and experience. 

Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson wrote a best selling book The Externally Focused Church. My favorite line from the book. "Good deeds, creates good will, which opens hearts to the good news." 

Oasis ... They are serving their way into the hearts of people... Tiz working in Warrington, England.


This is what Pattie and I do. We encourage, and in return we are encouraged. If you'd like us to come to your church or support us in prayer of giving. Simply click Invite Steve or Donor Box link.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Is He more than enough? Bowen update.



Hey just wanted to write a brief update…

It’s rewarding to see the potential for missionaries using the film we gift to highlight who they are and what they do. Two short video's have been completed. We are waiting on completed edit. While in Costa Rica we filmed Thebackwardsmissionaries.com


Our heart is to equip, train and encourage wherever we are located and go. We are practitioners not just theorist. I do more than travel to encourage missionaries; this is just a part of what we are doing. We are learning and growing even at our age.

Worship a key that unlocks our hearts...
I was worshiping and felt so small, so young, I asked Jesus, "Why?" Reply, "Because you are eternal." Yep, much pondering on this statement happened.

Stunned...

I was worshiping a while ago, and I felt a nudge, a whisper… “Steve, if this was the only thing you did …. would it be enough?" 

I sat in silence for some time then replied, “I want you to be enough. I’m so driven. I don’t know. Help me to allow you to be enough.” 

I walked away from that moment forever changed. 

Worship is our number one way of expressing our heart to Jesus. As we worship He appears. Sue Ranaldi, a worship leader in the UK once said, "Worship is the scene of His appearing." 

Those who worship, touch the Father's heart 
as they glorify Jesus. The Holy Sprit loves to glorify the Son.
 As we worship He shows up.

 Number two way, is serving others. Both sacrifices are pleasing to HIm. (Hebrews 13)


We sing … more than enough… but really, is He? When I remember this encounter I cease striving. I pause. I reflect. In eternity He will be more than enough… I’m learning to practice making Him so here.

More to follow.
I head to the UK Monday for 3 weeks, and yes another video guy is going, thanks to the partnership support I’m receiving. His first out of the country mission. Excited for him. 


He will be filming Overtoun House and Bob and Melissa Hill. 


I’ll be in Warrington, England for a couple of weeks with Mike and Jane McMahon training and encouraging before heading north.

Last thought. Times are a changing: partnership and support come from relationships with ones being sent.This includes churches and individuals. We are grateful for those we know, or we have known, who help us do what we do.

We are so grateful,

Steve and Pattie
for more
www.eyesoutward.com  


If you'd like to give use donor box at the top side bar of eyesoutward.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

God speaks to us ...Dreams


During an outreach one of our guys helped a lady with her groceries and walked her to her location. When they arrived he simply asked, "How can I pray for you today?" 

She replied, "I had a dream. My father was a pastor, he passed away years ago. In my dream my dad visited me. He stood still silently looking at me. In the dream I asked, "What do you want. He didn't speak. He just kept looking at me. I woke up."
 

She asked, "What do you think the dream meant?" He replied, "What do you think your dad was wanting to say to you?" She replied, "I think he was asking me to get right with Jesus. Can you help me?" 
What a dream, and what a question!

She wanted to be forgiven and to follow Jesus. My friend encouraged her, prayed with her and introduced her to Jesus. He later told me it was the shortest discipleship course he had ever explained.
I find it interesting. God was at work long before we arrived. 

Her dream reveals God's passion and love for people. It also reveals how God never forgets our prayers for our family and our friends. Years had passed; the father had died, now the Holy Spirit was beckoning this daughter to Himself. He used a dream that opened her heart to the good news.

Dreams speak to the heart. Dreams give direction, encouragement, warning, and insight. There are many biblical examples. Daniel, Joseph had amazing dreams that saved nations and changed the hearts of men.


For God does speak—now one way, now another— though no one perceives it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds, he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn them from wrongdoing and keep them from pride, to preserve them from the pit, their lives from perishing by the sword. Job 33:14-18 NIV

I was in Costa Rica last week. For some reason I found myself struggling mentally, and spiritually. I was concerned. I turned inward looking for the reason why. Had I done something wrong? What is this feeling? I felt insecure, troubled and slightly fearful. I wrestled most of the day. Most people would not have known I was struggling. I knew.

That night I had two dreams. The first: A well known prophetic person was walking with me. I had a talk thanking him for his patience with me. He looked at me with a smile and kindness and put his arm around my shoulders as we walked. I wasn't afraid. I felt secure. I was at peace. Confidence claimed my heart. 


The second: The dream was long. I was dropping in on a skateboard. It was fun. When I couldn't find my helmet I was frustrated. The last scene I was up on the ramp thinking I could put my helmet on. It was another persons and It was too small. I was frustrated.

I woke up. I knew the first encouraged me in my walk with the Holy Spirit. He was near me, walking with me, encouraging me.

The second dream encouraged me to put on armor. Fix my helmet firmly upon my head. Only my helmet over my mind would work. My battles were my battles, and the battle was in my mind.


In response I shifted my mindset and my heart set. I literally placed a new helmet upon my head and leaned into the Holy Spirit. I was set free... Two dreams strengthened my heart. The rest of the trip I was more confident and secure.

Dreams encourage the heart. I'm a visual person. I am so glad for the movies I receive as I sleep. 

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


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