A Prayer to Stay Strong

Jeremiah 26:14- “As for me, I am in your hands—do with me as you think best.” (New Living Translation)
Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Father God today we come with open hearts and hands to be led by your purpose. We pray that we seek your will before that of the world. We ask that you equip us with the mental fortitude to stand against the evils that seek to derail us from the path you so illuminated before us. Father, we know right from wrong, clean from unclean, and are made aware of how to live according to your purpose (Romans 8:28). May we realize our limitations and boast all the more proudly about our weaknesses, for it is your power that enables us to complete our everyday tasks (1 Corinthians 12:9). God there is none like you. Thus, may we close with my grandfather’s favorite epithets, which describes God as the lily of the valley, Jehovah Shalom, which means Lord of Peace. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C.  At his current age of 24, Herbert is the youngest board member on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Leadership Council, where he serves to lessen the costs of tuition for African American students. Moreover, Herbert serves on the PureHope advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.

Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.

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Put Others Before Ourselves

Acts 20:35- “I have been an example of how you can help those in need by working hard. Remember the words of the Lord Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (New Living Translation)

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Many have asked, “what is in it for me?” Many believe that without incentive there are no desirable, worthwhile outcomes. Many believe that we live to gain in order to die comfortably. But wait, “I observed yet another example of something meaningless under the sun.” We live in a selfish world where the majority only look out for themselves (Ecclesiastes 4:7). Thus, let us challenge ourselves to share our resources with others and partake in their joy. Let us challenge the way we think, putting others before ourselves, until someone reminds us that WE HAVE TO EAT TOO. It is this mentality that shares God’s grace and brings hope to the lost. It is this mentality that molds the young generation into leaders and the older generation into advisers. Therefore, be unrelenting and steadfast in your daily life/mission and God will bless you. Amen

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C.  At his current age of 24, Herbert is the youngest board member on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Leadership Council, where he serves to lessen the costs of tuition for African American students. Moreover, Herbert serves on the PureHope advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.

Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.

Embrace How the Designer Changes You

I like to read and share devotionals from the book Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. The devotionals are rooted in scripture and presented in the perspective of Jesus speaking to you. Today’s message reminds us how a closeness with God allows Him to transform us into who He has designed us to be. Sometimes the transformation is a shock to others and even to ourselves as we step into new areas. For me, its been an increasing boldness that was not part of my childhood or early adult personality.  I was a go-with-the-flow, don’t-rock-the-boat kind of person. Now, I’m rocking all sorts of boats and not necessarily by choice or in pleasure. You may have once been shy and soft-spoken and now God is slowly placing you on stages to speak before audiences. You may think, “I can’t do this. It’s uncomfortable.” It will be but changing-peopleHe will grow you into it, and to a point where you can’t imagine yourself being anything less.

As we transform, Satan hopes by feeling uncomfortable in new territory we will retreat—but press forward in Him.

Here’s the devotional:

I DESIGNED YOU to live in union with Me. This union does not negate who you are; it actually makes you more fully yourself. When you try to live independently of Me, you experience emptiness and dissatisfaction. You may gain the world and yet lose everything that really counts. Find fulfillment through living close to Me, yielding to My purposes for you. Though I may lead you along paths that feel alien to you, trust that I know what I am doing. If you follow Me wholeheartedly, you will discover facets of yourself that were previously hidden. I know you intimately—far better than you know yourself. In union with Me, you are complete. In closeness to Me, you are transformed more and more into the one I designed you to be.

Accompanying Scriptures: Mark 8:36, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” Psalm 139:13-16, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my untransformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  2 Corinthians 3:17-18, “Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. “ (New International Version)

Replace Worry with Trust

Good Day, All! Please read this encouraging devotional below from our guest blogger, Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Thank you Herbert, for allowing God to work through you to uplift His people.

Luke 12:29- “Don’t be concerned with what you will eat or drink. Don’t worry about such things.” (New Living Translation)

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

If you remember nothing else remember this: worry is nothing more than a BY-PRODUCT OF FEAR. Worry robs us of sleep. Fear makes us weary. Worry impedes our movement forward. Fear cripples the thought of advancement. Worry blinds us from seeing God’s blessings. Fear denies us from receiving them. Worry is nothing more than a BY-PRODUCT OF FEAR. Fear is cloaked in insecurity, while worry is palpable on our faces. Fear is not from God, for the Lord didn’t give us the spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). Power breaks the chains that constrict our movement. Love administers God’s grace to all as He will never leave us. Self-discipline helps us stay the course despite opposition and ridicule. Why? Because in the end the things of this world can’t dominate our thoughts, for God is aware of our needs. Thus, be calm and courageous and the Lord will be with you. Amen

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C.  At his current age of 24, Herbert is the youngest board member on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Leadership Council, where he serves to lessen the costs of tuition for African American students. Moreover, Herbert serves on the PureHope advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.

Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.

Trust the Journey

 2 Corinthians 11:26-I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from my own people. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not.” (New Living Translation)

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

True or false: a journey is a leap of faith. This is why Hebrews 11:1 (“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen.”) pairs so well with the above Scripture because when we embark on a journey, we are unaware of what circumstances might lie ahead. We travel on faith down a road we thought would be open, but find a detour sign instead. We travel on faith in the sky, as we venture to a new country where friends and family are a 1,000 miles away. We travel on faith when we walk alone in the darkness, due to standing up for what’s right, instead of what’s acceptable. We’ve all traveled on long journeys and have been burned, beaten, and irritated along the way. But remember God is right beside us. For that detour saved us from danger, that flight opened up more opportunities, and walking alone strengthened our spirit. God knows what he’s doing. So stand firm in faith and progress on your journey. Amen

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C.  At his current age of 24, Herbert is the youngest board member on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Leadership Council, where he serves to lessen the costs of tuition for African American students. Moreover, Herbert serves on the PureHope advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.

Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.

Syria: God’s Sovereignty in Chaos

Syrian woman rushes her child from danger.

A Syrian woman rushes her child from danger.

Yesterday we heard from national security expert Hakim Hakim, in our first Voices Against the Grain radio show interview. He effectively responded to the question, “Is God Sovereign in World Chaos?” The topic is timely as the U.S. determines what limited actions it will take to punish the Syrian government for their use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians, and deter an escalated use of future chemical weapons. More than 1,400 people have been killed by use of chemical weapons on civilians, including more than 400 children. Hakim read from Isaiah 45 and Romans 13 to show how God uses civil authorities as “ministers” to put evil and lawlessness in check.  The authorities that exist have been established by God, and those who rebel against them will bring judgment upon themselves. The one in authority is God’s servant, agent of wrath to address wrongdoing. Can good outcomes still be accomplished by God if the civil authority is not a Christian?  In one word: Yes. This is all part of God’s sovereignty.

To this end, Hakim shared this in our conversation:

“God will sometimes allow rebellion and revolts to bring about certain outcomes. This can be perplexing to comprehend for those who believe world peace is the goal and should be the status quo. God’s sovereignty makes sense out of the chaos when you come to understand how God judges corrupt leaders and nations when He is displeased with their actions. As believers, the outcomes will serve God’s purpose and in some way, strengthen those who are called by His Name.”

As the U.S. decides it’s actions toward Syria, we may not like the outcomes that ensue. Most agree that human suffering cannot continue and something must be done. However, our world will not experience true peace until Christ’s return. Until then, Christians will need to learn to trust that “God is in control in spite of the chaos.”

If you missed yesterday’s interview, click here to listen. Thank you Hakim for bringing great substance and understanding to this complex topic. For more on Hakim Hazim, visit his Christian-based consultancy Relevant Now and the blog he co-founded, FreedomSquared.

Shine Your Light

1 Peter 2:15- “It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. “ (New Living Translation)

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Where has the time gone? Where have those with morals and values gone? How is it that our actions are dictated through our emotions, instead of our spirituality? How is it that God is nothing but a remnant or imaginary person to some? When was it cool to speak irreverently of God? When did music change from the smooth style of Marvin Gaye, to the blasphemous lyrics of Kanye West? Why do we feel because we are free, we are able to do whatever we want (1 Peter 2:16)? Who are you? Don’t you know that we are God’s children and were bought at a price (1 Corinthians 6:20)?

Therefore, what are we to do when the candlelight is enveloped in the darkness? Well friends, keep shining your light and watch others flock to your flame. Then, before you know it 1,000 flames will be burning brightly like a city on top of a hill. Amen

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C.  At his current age of 24, Herbert is the youngest board member on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Leadership Council, where he serves to lessen the costs of tuition for African American students. Moreover, Herbert serves on the PureHope advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.

Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.