An Encouraging Word

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1 Corinthians 15:58 English Standard Version (ESV)

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

The definition of steadfast is: very devoted or loyal to a person, belief, or cause; not changing.

We live in a world that is constantly changing. I believe that we as Christians should be the most committed and devoted people on the face of the earth. We should be steadfast when it comes to our relationship with Jesus Christ, in our marriages, and in our callings.

I have seen so many Christians that have bailed out when hard times came or an unexpected tragedy strikes their lives. Paul tells us in the above scriptures to be steadfast and immovable. This is not the time to quit and throw in the towel. This is the time to pray, seek the face of God, and not give an inch to the adversary.

Galatians 6:9   (ESV)

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

 

Jim Turner – Lord’s Gym STORM Chaplain

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Trouble is brewing...somewhere. How do I know? It is a fallen and rebellious world so it comes with the territory. Trouble comes in many forms, sometimes totally unexpected. Bad weather, crime, disease, war....you know the possibilities. So how does one prepare?

It is prudent and practical to physically prepare for some common troubles that may come our way. We can do the simple common sense things like have matches, candles, flashlights and batteries in preparation for the loss of electricity. We can stock up on food...for those times the grocery store may be inaccessible for a myriad of reasons. A battery operated radio can be handy. We can have on hand basic tools. There are all kinds of websites that give practical tips on surviving a crisis...just do a google search.

How does one prepare emotionally and spiritually? The kind of person that people rally around during a crisis is a person with a great moral character and a calm and deep confidence. I believe that this kind of character and steadfastness can only truly come through an abiding friendship with the Lord of lords.

We tend to emulate the character of those we spend time with. It is a worthy goal to seek the awareness of God and the presence of God throughout our day. Time spent in prayer and meditation on the words of Jesus will surely help form the character of Christ in us. Then as we respond each day to the challenges that come our way with dependence on and guidance from Him we move forward in our preparation for bigger trials. We can thank our Father from above that even our moments of weakness are fertile ground for important lessons in our training if we humbly submit to His corrective hand.

In this crazy surreal time that we live, I am choosing to move forward in the pursuit of the character of Christ in my life. I'm seeking to grab hold of the fruit of the Spirit promised to His people...love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

So whether my trouble is a flat tire or something more ominous I'm making spiritual provisions. How about you?

 

Bob Clarke - Director of Ministry Operations

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Get to know The Lord’s Gym!

 

You are invited to an Open House at our Northern Kentucky Lord’s Gym

 

Friday, March 13th from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.

Located at 811 Madison Ave, Covington, KY (The Old Shamrock Gym)

 

You will get to meet some NFL players and prospects.

 

RSVP’s appreciated to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

 

Hope to see you there!

 

Scott Bowers - Executive Director

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This past Saturday was Valentine's Day, the universal day of the year we declare our love for that special someone. Today's blog features a level of love that is based on commitment and sacrifice for those who try to survive day to day on the streets of Cincinnati. Here is an excerpt from last Monday night's team leader.

"All day long, there were doubtful thoughts. “Surely, you’re going to cancel ...it today. What about the Level 1 and Level 2 Snow Emergencies? It’s only one time … we can miss it one time. Nobody will be there, not even the homeless.” But, the undercurrent of fearless faith hurled us towards that South sidewalk of Washington Park at 6:30 p.m., yes, even on this very challenging Monday night.

We pulled up, and at least ten of our guests were waiting on that curb, standing in 4-5” of snow. Once we started setting up, shoveling the sidewalk and getting the worship music cranking, I looked down the streets … and saw people coming from every direction!!!"

You can read all of it by going to STORMing the Homeless with Love Facebook page, and reading Toes Froze...Yet, Breathless! written by Tony Green.

 

Scott Bowers - Executive Director

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1 Peter 4:8 says, "Above all things being fervent in your love among yourselves; for love covereth a multitude of sins."

Many people make mistakes. Some are small and some are huge. When situations or mistakes happen I believe we should remember that no one is without fault and many of us forget what a mess we were in mentally, emotionally and some physically. I'm reminded of what King David said in Psalms 40:2, "He found us in a horrible pit and pulled us out." We should always remember to extend mercy to all others and walk in love.

Your brother in Christ,

Larry Spellman - Chaplain Family Activity Center in Price Hill

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John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." Jesus calls us His "friend". There is no greater love than the love God has for us. Jesus laid down His life for us! In 1 John 4:19, it says, "We love Him because He first loved us." We owe Him our love !! Our love is imperfect and it waivers but His love is steadfast. He is always there for us. He is the greatest example of love. We are to model His love. 1 John 4:11 says, "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." We should daily be sharing the love of God with others. If others see His love in us they will get a glimpse of Him. To some we are the only Jesus they will ever experience. So, let's do our best to let His love shine through us so others can begin to know and experience Him.

 

Vicky Gentry - Administrative Assistant

 

 

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From Bob's journal...

 

We should choose to look for the good in others.  There are plenty of experts out there looking for the bad and boldly verbalizing their discovery.

 

When we find good in others we should acknowledge it. Acknowledging the good in others, at the right time, is like appropriately watering a thirsty plant. It will contribute to healthy growth.

 

 

 Bob Clarke - Director of Ministry Operations

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It is fitting to thank the LORD, and to sing praises to your name, O sovereign One! (Psalms 92:1 NET)

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give him thanks! Praise his name! (Psalms 100:4 NET)

We are told that it is fitting to sing praises to our God. We are told to come into His presence with praise. When is the last time you came into His presence with praise? Many times we come into His presence seeking His hand and what He can do for us.  Before we start asking for things, we should come into His presence and give Him praise for who He is and for what He has already done for us.

Do you have people in your life that only come around when they want something? How does that make you feel? Wouldn't it be nice if those people would occasionally let you know how much they love you, appreciate you and thank you for your friendship and what you have already done for them?

Today we are challenged to come into His presence with praise. Let God know how much we love Him, appreciate Him, and value Him. Come into his presence and give him praise for who He is and for what He has done.

Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary! Praise him in the sky, which testifies to his strength! Praise him for his mighty acts! Praise him for his surpassing greatness! Praise him with the blast of the horn! Praise him with the lyre and the harp! Praise him with the tambourine and with dancing! Praise him with stringed instruments and the flute! Praise him with loud cymbals! Praise him with clanging cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD! (Psalms 150:1-6 NET)

 

Jim Turner - Chaplain STORM

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I think there are a few powerful reminders about last night’s Ohio State Buckeyes win over the Oregon Ducks.

 

#1 – Leadership matters! Coach Meyer has taken that team in a short time to a national champion.

 

#2 – Depth of leadership counts, especially in your 3rd string quarterback. The whole team/organization won, but if they did not have a capable guy in the waiting, they would not have won their last 3, and most critical games.

 

#3 – That QB was ready as soon as he was asked to step up and contribute. There were not going to be any second chances.

 

It’s something to think about! Go Bucks.

 

 

Stand firm.

 

Scott Bowers

Executive Director

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This month, especially as we kick off the New Year, we will Praise God for everything – good and bad! Psalm 8 begins and ends with the statement, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” Note the exclamation point, which is used to punctuate the sentence both times. The punctuation makes all of the difference in how we should express this thought. The exclamation means to  suddenly “cry out” or exclaim the statement “vehemently” according to Webster’s New World Dictionary. So, hit the pause button this day and at this moment exclaim to yourself and those around you the majesty of God’s name. Let this thought permeate your soul and meditate on it throughout the day.

 

Stand firm

 

Scott Bowers - Executive Director

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"I will show you what he is like who comes to Me and hears My words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built."  Pause and thank God that He is our Rock!

Thank you for using FOCAS to put into practice your time, talents, and treasures. We look forward to serving with you in 2015 and seeing what God will do.

Blessings!

Scott Bowers - Executive Director

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I ask a question, "Why should we give?" There are three points, I would love to bring out. First, giving is unselfish. When you are giving, you are not thinking about yourself. Next, someone else is involved. Giving has you thinking about someone else that is in need. Last, the reaping principle comes into play. When you give, God's principle of sowing and reaping is activated in your life (Galatians 6:7-10). So when you look at giving, it is an act of God. For God gave unto us eternal life through his Son, Jesus Christ. God loves a cheerful giver! (2 Corinthians 9:7)

Everyone be blessed!

Pastor Rob Dothard - Chaplain Lord's Gym OTR

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"For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel."  Pause and let's reflect on our salvation in Christ Jesus whose birth we celebrate.

 

Thank you! Pray that everyone involved with FOCAS Ministries will keep Jesus Christ the main thing in all we do.

 

Scott Bowers - Executive Director

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It has occurred to me that I cannot give what I don’t have. I don’t have anything that I did not receive.

Perhaps it is in the continual flow of receiving and giving that we experience the best of life. And the better part is in the giving. After all, it is recorded that Jesus said, “it is better to give”.

This very day many things will flow into my life for my good…all gifts from the One who loves me most. I will have the opportunity to creatively re-gift. All the things that sustain my physical existence…air, water, sunshine…give me moments of life to be given back to God in thoughts and service. The resources I use for self-maintenance, with the right attitude become ways to give back…because if don’t responsibly self maintain…I can become an unnecessary drain on someone else. I can take the gift of time and give a listening ear to someone else. I can take money that's come my way and convert it into numerous options for humanity. Great joy and fun can be found in thinking through and praying about ways to give secretly…which I understand our Father in heaven applauds.

Today is filled with all kinds of re-gifting opportunities.

 

Bob Clarke - Director of Ministry Operations

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I’m reminded of Matthew 26:6-13 the passage that tells about the woman with the alabaster box.  I would like you to ponder these verses during the Christmas season.

Jesus saw that the woman did not give out of her “extras.” She gave from the depths of her faith that God would provide! I conclude by saying, Jesus said, “wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” He sees what we give but, what blesses the Lord is “why” we give!

Merry Christmas!

Larry Spellman – Chaplain Family Activity Center

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When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."    Pause and let's together, thank God for being our light.

 

Thank you for helping to make a difference one life at a time...

 

Scott Bowers - Executive Director

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"For the Lord takes delight in his people..."  Pause and let that sink in as you celebrate the birth of His Son!

 

Thank you for your faithfulness.

 

Scott Bowers - Executive Director

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We are now in a season of giving and exchanging gifts. Giving is an expression of love. God showed and demonstrated His love toward us by giving His only begotten Son even when we didn't earn it or deserve it. This was an act of love and was truly the best gift of all and it is a gift that keeps on giving.

There are numerous ways that we can be givers during this season that may not even require monetary gifts. What if this season we intentionally gave people letters of encouragement, thanks or appreciation? After losing our 19 year old son just 17 weeks ago, I think one of the greatest gifts that someone could give us during this season would be the gift of time, fellowship, and words of encouragement.

Clif Marshall, close friend of ours, who has trained over 250 NFL players, came by our ministry the other day to deliver to my wife and I a Christmas present for our family from he and his wife Stacy. When we opened it we literally were blown away by their gift. It was a beautiful picture frame with 2 of our favorite pictures of our son who passed away with the song Amazing Grace on the bottom half. There was also a card with a nice monetary gift but I have to be honest that the picture frame is exactly what we needed and it is a gift that will keep on giving every time we walk in the door. The money was nice and we do appreciate it, but it is long gone.

There are so many people in your world today that are going through the hardest days of their life and you have the power to show them your love and give them the gift that keeps on giving.

So before you go out and spend all your money on gifts, sit down and think and pray about what the person is going through and what kind of gift they really need that will keep on giving.

Jim Turner - Lord's Gym Street Outreach Chaplain

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Would you like to help a child in Haiti through FOCAS Ministries? I normally will not use our blog spot to promote a giving opportunity; but, today, Dec 2nd, is nationally unique. We are coming out of a month of giving thanks and have entered a month that is traditionally filled with giving gifts and good cheer. No doubt, you are thoughtfully thinking about who you should give to after clearing such hurdles as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Today, there is a national spot light on Giving and it’s reflected in a concept called Giving Tuesday. It is a counter cultural response to Black Friday. Consider the following about GivingTuesday.

  • In 2013, the movement garnered 300 million impressions on Facebook.
  • The #GivingTuesday hashtag reached 2 billion people and was tweeted as much as 700 times/minute, resulting in national and international trending.
  • The average online gift in 2013 was $140.05, a 40% increase over 2012.

Today, December 2, you can prayerfully join the worldwide movement and make your donation at www.focas-us.org to help our children in Haiti.  Thanks for the consideration!

Merry Christmas!!

Scott Bowers - Executive Director

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1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV) tells us, “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

Are we to give thanks only when everything is going our way, when we are happy, when we are healthy? This scripture says “in everything give thanks.” That means in good times and bad. When we are on the mountain top or down in the valley we are to give thanks to our heavenly Father. Giving God thanks while in the valley will lift us up. It takes our focus off our situation and puts it on Him. Focusing on God gives Him permission to work in our situation. By thanking Him we our telling God, “We trust You.” He is then free to move in a mighty way and do His will. He knows what is best for us and will always work on our behalf when we thank Him and put our life in His hands.  Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  Even in the worst of times there is always something to be grateful for. We can be thankful for all God has done for us. He gave us His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus gave up everything so we may live. He became poor so we could be rich. He died so we may live. By his stripes we are healed. We just need to receive and acknowledge all He has done for us. For all this we should give thanks!!!

 

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!!!

Vicky Gentry – Administrative Assistant

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