Who Understands You Best?

Job 36:5- God is mighty, but he does not despise anyone! He is mighty in both power and understanding. (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Understand…Understand the power that God holds within His hands. Understand that hate doesn’t reside in God’s heart, but rather, love and patience. Understand that God listens. For He rather us comprehend the path He set us on, rather then stumble through it. Understand that when people are ignorant to your problems and needs, God sits by to hear the inaudible confessions of our Spirit, which groans on our behalf. Understand that there is more to this life then happiness, in that one of the first fruits is longsuffering. Understand that the signal flare we shot into the sky was a beacon for help, but instead we alerted the enemy. Understand…For the Lord has encapsulated us in His cloak to hide us from those who seek to pillage our spirits. Therefore, when we are uncovered we will stand as warriors, tried and true slaying every impediment and circumstance that seeks to stand in our way. 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.  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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He Has Risen. He Has Risen Indeed.

Matthew 28:6- “He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.” (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

One sentence is a factual statement, while the other is an affirmation of truth. HE HAS RISEN. One sentence is an act that defies the human psyche, while the other speaks to an unrelenting faith contra the world opinions. HE HAS RISEN INDEED. One sentence should bring about tears of joy, while the other aids us in finding a foothold within the bonds of eternity. HE HAS RISEN HE HAS RISEN INDEED. Therefore, may our excitement resemble that of a child on Christmas eve. For the tomb carried no stench, nor were the maggots present to feed on the remains of a body. All that was left were bandages and the notion that God was among us. Hence, walk the streets with confidence and enter your workplace with determination. Love above all else just as Christ loved us. It is then and only then, that HIS name will be magnified with his glory readily seen on all our faces. 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.

Worry No More

James 1:8- “Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Blogger

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Today has afforded me great clarity. Moreover, today is nothing more than a siren to alert all who are fearful of their future lives. For today or tomorrow is not merely a time for relaxation in prep for our upcoming work week, but a time to prepare our minds to reflect on all that God has given us. In 2 Timothy 1:7 it says, “For God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” Therefore, fear shakes throughout the resurgence of power from the supportive words of our elders, friends, and family. Fear quivers throughout the warmth of love, which covers a multitude of sins, and is the reason we know grace. Fear trembles throughout the reading of The Word as it steadies our minds amidst the distractions of the world. Therefore, allow God to be the anchor that grounds your ship. (Thank you Mr. Shipley for your guidance) 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.

Your Testimony Will Free Somebody Else

Your testimony, your healing will free somebody else.

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

On Wednesday’s Voices Against the Grain radio show, we heard a powerful testimony of healing and restoration from sexual trauma and self-hatred shared by our blogger/devotional writer, Ana Martinez. For 22 years, she stuffed feelings of shame and guilt, starting with being molested at age 8, statutory rape at age 13, and raped again at 15. Growing up in her parent’s church and loving the Lord, she then walked away from God and His call upon her life. Today, she is a mom and bold woman of God involved in several ministries and has received freedom by sharing her story with others—so they too can heal. The episode, entitled “Christ: Your True Heart Healer, Soul Lover” conveys how deep, wide and unconditional Jesus Christ’s love for us. He is our special Valentine. No matter how horrific and dark your past or present situation, He LOVES YOU more than you can imagine. He died, rose and lives so you may experience true freedom, joy and peace —not bound by things of this world that enslave.

We were joined by Noel Bouché, president of pureHOPE, a ministry that provides Christian solutions in a sexualized culture. Noel discussed how they provide strategies to equip parents to help their children navigate in this digitized world, where images and messages of sexual immorality are rampant. pureHOPE envisions a world free of exploitation and brokenness. As a new partner with pureHOPE, Voices Against the Grain will join them to fight the proliferation of porn and sex trafficking in our society. To win this fight, Jesus Christ is our HOPE.

Ana Martinez, Chef and Voices Against the Grain Blogger

Ana Martinez, Chef and Voices Against the Grain Blogger

Noel Bouché, President of pureHOPE

Noel Bouché, President of pureHOPE

Immediately following the airing of Wednesday’s show, the calls, emails and text messages poured in from listeners (some in tears) who were positively impacted by the conversation. We could not have planned the perfect formation of elements that has begun the healing and restoration process for many since our discussion. God’s perfect timing unites situations, people and willing hearts to accomplish His purposes. Not a day sooner or later. Right on time.

Words cannot adequately convey what I feel in my spirit. In simplest words, I have a spirit of gratitude and humility that such a big God chooses to involve us in His greater plan. Thank you Lord. We love you.

Satan hoped that Ana would remain silent, ashamed and bound by her past. But God’s plan was already at work. In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.” As referenced in Jeremiah 29:11, which furthermore says, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,” “plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

As Ana says, “No matter your situation, your story, know that GOD can restore you. HE can heal you. HE is our Redeemer. He has a bigger plan for your life greater than you know. He will turn around the darkest things in your life and make them beautiful.”

Just like Ana, sharing your story, your healing will help somebody else.

Listen to the show here. 

From Boys to Men

1 Timothy 5:2 -“Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.” (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Blogger

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Blogger

Monogamy: 1 man and 1 woman. Love, as if we were staring into the eyes of our mothers. These are all words synonymous with respect. Strumpet (promiscuous woman)… Multiple women… Disregard, as if we were shopping for new clothes. These are words synonymous with immorality. Matter of fact, can you hear him, “for our great enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Thus, we are the gazelles unaware of our predator lurking in the brush. The lion is hungry and we are his meal. Is this not the same process with men? For we also lurk in the shadows seeking one whom we will conquer, forgetting the person we sullied in the conquest. Therefore, may we change the tide of objectification and seek to see women not as accessories, but as companions. It is only then will young boys grow into godly and caring men. 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.

Words from Above: Decrease Self, Increase Christ

Matthew 5:16- “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Guest Blogger

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Guest Blogger

First, thank you to Ms. Hayes for providing me with words of wisdom that have resonated deep within my soul. For too many of us need to “decrease ourselves and increase Him.” In fact, we need “more of God’s words and less of ours.” Too many times our opinions cloud our judgments. Too many times our words are riddled with discrepancies that lead us to confusion. Our VOICES are HEARD more LOUDLY than HIS. Why does this happen? Well, we are told that we hold our own futures, that we are the masters of our own fates. If this stands true, why does one bad circumstance lead us to a cataclysmic realization of our own weaknesses? Why must God silence our voice before we can hear his whisper? Thus, may we hold our tongue and speak the truth. May we configure our mind around God’s Word and purse our lips from foolish speech, for God needs to be exalted, not us. 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.

On Solid Rock I Stand

Herbert G. Bowen, Jr., Voices Against the Grain Guest Blogger

Herbert G. Bowen, Jr., Voices Against the Grain Guest Blogger

Psalm 28:1- “I pray to you, O LORD, my rock. Do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you are silent, I might as well give up and die.”  (New Living Translation)

Shhh, be quiet, so we might hear the whisper of God’s voice. Now we sit in silence, waiting and cogitating our lives within the still of the darkness. Our thoughts are now projected into tangible representations before us. We grasp, but cannot touch. We stare, but cannot see. Thus, how can these representations be tangible?

Well, they’re held within the caverns of our hearts and are made real by the mere thoughts of our minds:

A desire to help others is met with swindlers and smooth talkers at our doorstep.

A desire to employ others is met with impediments and capital losses threatening to steal our businesses.

A desire to stay moral and clean is met with solidarity and loneliness.

Every desire started off with good intent, but ended up in failure and discontent. The solution is prayer, which is the direct link to God, our Rock and our Fortress. 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.

No More Excuses

Job 31:19-“Whenever I saw the homeless without clothes and the needy with nothing to wear…” (New Living Translation)

Herbert G. Bowen, Jr., Voices Against the Grain Guest Blogger

Herbert G. Bowen, Jr., Voices Against the Grain Guest Blogger

How would you fill in the rest of the scripture? For the next step doesn’t require words, but action. We’ve all passed, talked to, or listened to a homeless person. We’ve all had unique experiences in giving or grumbling at someone in need. “Alcohol, drugs, and laziness are the causes of their downfalls, for they use the Lord’s name to incite pity from the working masses.”

This general statement has blanketed a whole group of people, to whom we know nothing about. So why assume? Has God not blessed you in some sort of fashion? Does the “thank you” of a man resting in a sleeping bag not bring tears to your eyes? Some have resources, some don’t, but we all should have compassion. Their lives, like ours, are going through a transition that only God can fix. Hence, open your eyes and hearts to be the tool God can use to provide hope for those who need help to climb out of the trenches. Go Forth. 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.

A Voice in the Wind

Nicole’s Note: Here at “Voices Against the Grain,” we are committed to uplifting the voices of those who are boldly advancing God’s Kingdom in a world whose actions contradict this pursuit. This past February, I was privileged to meet Herbert Bowen, Jr., whose blog post follows below (thank you Shannon Howey for coordinating the conference at which we met).  He is an exemplary young man who has held firmly to Jesus Christ since age 5. At his present age of 23, his relationship with Jesus Christ has helped him overcome many temptations and kept him on the path of “waiting for sex until marriage.” I am proud of him and pleased to share his post for your reading.  He is a great example for our young people of what’s possible with God. Stay tuned, as he’ll have more blog posts to share and will be a featured guest on the  “Voices Against the Grain” radio show this fall. Please read and continue to encourage this young man in his walk with Christ. GO Herbert, and Keep God First!

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Since age 5, I have always been in the church, as my name means “illustrious, intelligent warrior, a soldier in God’s army.” I stood as a member of Upper Merion Baptist Church in my hometown of King of Prussia, Pa., until the age of 18 whereupon I went to college. Even then I rarely missed a Sunday service. My grandmother Abigail taught me from a young age to remember that “only what you do for Christ shall last.” This concept stuck with me as I progressed and matured in my life, as it wasn’t until high school that I saw the constant bombardment of sexual temptation, drugs, and an absolute disregard for morality.

Many of my “so-called” friends deserted me en route to follow their own inhibitions. I understand that the world seeks fulfillment over restraint, I understand the pressure to appease rather than to flee temptation, I understand. For in my younger days I felt the bitter cold of loneliness and the torment of ridicule, due to the fact that I refused to follow the standards of this world. The taunts and abandonment of being called “gay,” due to my then and present virginity at the age of 23, or the lack of warmth when trying to kindle a relationship with someone, was to say the least, discomforting. Therefore, I know the Christian life is paved with trials and tribulations. As even now I undergo persecution. Because in the world we live in, the candlelight is enveloped in the darkness.

However, the more I grew I saw the woebegone periods of my life brighten, as God transformed the ridicule to respect and the slander to being held in high regard. In 1 Peter 1:6, it says, “so be truly glad for there is a wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.” Furthermore, the realization said best by my Pastor Loran Livingston, is this “Earth is nothing, but a cheap motel room because you don’t furnish the motel room with pictures, a Tempurpedic bed, and so on. All in all, it doesn’t make sense, so let’s look forward to everlasting joy and building our homes in heaven.” Hence, it’s my opinion that this life is meant to spread the Gospel, not seeking our own personal happiness and gain. Because real investments have eternal returns, so we must lay out a long-term investment plan in order to build a strong spiritual future. Because those who are ill-prepared will look back and wonder where they took the wrong step, as they now toil and struggle to recoup the spiritual currency needed to make ends meet.

Moreover, I am enamored with 1 Timothy 4:14-16, especially v. 16, “Watch your life and doctrine closely.  Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” Persevere.

Persevere in meditation in God’s word every day and every night. The answer to not only hear God, but to be confident in what you’re doing is right. Next, pray without ceasing. We are not strong enough by ourselves. Prayer is our direct link to God. Contrary to popular belief we are not talking to air. He is the reason for the clothes on our backs and shoes on our feet. The reason why you and I are fortunate enough to live in America, where we can go to school every day, congregate in a church, and have friends of different backgrounds without the persecution and fear suffered in other countries.

I have woken up to see what God has done in my life. Because time is of the essence, so I encourage others to seek out a friend, classmate, or enemy, whoever may listen, so they might have opportunity to hear the Good News and duplicate the process, to which has made them secure. And before you know it there shall be many (not seeking their own profit, but the profit of many) (1 Corinthians 10:33) who will offer up their bodies holy and pleasing as a living sacrifice to God.

So may God bless you, you called to be one of the few,

Looking to fulfill his purpose resembling not the hare, but the tortoise,

For to seek Christ is to gain, never turning our back because he bore our pain.

Praise be to God, our Lord, our strength, and our redeemer. 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 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 23, 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.