Living Stone – March 2010

Shirley Gottschalk – March  2010   Tree of Life Living Stone

Shirley Gottschalk has a heart to serve.  Her smile and warm welcome  are a breath of fresh air to those who encounter  her each Sunday morning.  Shirley lives out her faith;  with her family, with her co-workers and with her friends.  She is married to Gordon and they have three children and  one grand baby.

 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
   I Peter 2:4,5









It’s All Because of Jesus

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Today Chase has been bee-bopping around the house singing, “What’s love got to do with it?” And although he doesn’t know any more of the lyrics to the song, he puts quite a bit of heart into that one line. But as Tina Turner goes on to explain, “What’s love but a second hand emotion?”

But that is not how the Word describes love. In I Corinthians 13, verses 4-8, Paul tells us that:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

We are also told by John that:

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. (I John 4:16)

Well, it’s pretty easy for me to accept that God is patient, kind, does not envy, nor boast. He is not proud, neither rude, nor self-seeking and most certainly not easily angered. He keeps no records of wrongs. (YEAH!) God does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hope, and always perseveres. God never fails us! (YIPPEEE!)

But John also tells us:

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (I John 7 -8)

Okay, so if I love God, I should be love. Which means I should be patient, kind. I should not envy, nor boast. I should not be proud, or rude, or self-seeking, nor easily angered. (OUCH!) I should keep no records of wrongs, (oh this is hard). I should not delight in evil, but rejoice with the truth. (However much the truth may hurt sometimes). I should always protect, always trust, always hope and always persevere. I should never fail!


I don’t know about you … but I have a long way to go. The good news is, God is with me and helping me to become more like Himself. I don’t have to try to work through this process on my own!

Thank You Jesus!

Father, thank You that Your Word tells us that love is so much more than a second hand emotion. That love is life … life in You! Help me Father to live out the life You have given me through Your love.

I love You Jesus.
In Your Name Pray,

God Bless You!


The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!

I am weak … But He Is Strong

One of the first verses I learned when I gave my life to Jesus was,  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13).  At the time, I had no idea the power behind this verse, or any of the verses in scripture, truthfully.  But I liked the way it sounded, I liked the idea of being able to do all things … whatever all things entailed?  In my world it would mean fun adventures.   Little did I know the all things that God would have for me to do. 

The latest began on the morning of March 10th.  At about 6:30 am my cell phone rang.  My cell phone doesn’t ring at 6:30 am, so I knew something out of the norm was up.  It was one of my friend’s from church, one of my girls from my Sunday night group.  Her nineteen year old daughter had been the victim of a hit and run accident the night before, she was in intensive care with severe injuries, would I pray for her?

Of course I would. 

But as I talked to her that morning, I felt I should go to the hospital and be with her.  Hospitals are not in my comfort zone.  Injuries, pain, blood … are not things that I do well with.  I faint when I get a shot.  Always have ….

But I went to the hospital.  I went into Chelsey’s room. And I prayed for the beautiful young girl who was so broken inside.  And I could not stop praying for Chelsey.  When I went to sleep she was on my mind.  When I woke up in the night she was on my mind.  When I woke up in the morning, she was on my mind. All through my days… a constant prayer was going up for Chelsey.

On Friday I went back to the hospital.  And once again, I watched this beautiful young lady fighting for her life and I prayed, prayed that God would heal her head and return her to her family.

On Sunday morning, I went to church, thinking that I’d run up and see Chelsey after services.  I was met with the news that Chelsey’s head injuries were too great.  There was no brain activity.  I felt such an intense feeling of loss: loss of such a sweet young life.  Loss for a mother who was losing her first born child.  And back to the hospital I went.  Sitting with my friend, just being there for her, being there for her family.   

I sat with my friend while she went through the process of organ donation.  I was standing in the hallway with her, when Chelsey’s body gave up the fight.  I sat with her at the funeral parlor and helped her prepare the services to say goodbye to her daughter.

On Wednesday I watched as Chelsey’s friends and family came to say good bye at her viewing.  On Thursday, I helped celebrate Chelsey’s life with her funeral service.  It was a special time … an opportunity to share the hope of Jesus with many grieving loved ones. 

When everyone was gone that day, I realized how weak I felt … but that through God’s strength, I had experienced another of God’s all things.
Thank you Jesus for allowing me the privilege of serving you, in all things.  That through you, we do have hope and a future.  That this world is just a blink of an eye, compared to the eternity that we will spend with you.  Thank you Lord Jesus for bringing your peace into Chelsey’s life.  Father, I pray for your comfort for Kris and her family as they grieve the loss of this beautiful young lady.

I love you Jesus.
   In Your Name I Pray,

God’s Blessings Upon You!

The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!

Napkin Notes

I just finished packing Carson’s lunch for school. In it, I added a note onto his napkin. It says: Carson, I love you! Have a great day! Love, Mommy.

I have been writing notes, five days a week, to Carson for eight years now. I started with the very first lunch box I packed him, in Kindergarten. I wanted him to know, in the middle of his first day away from home, that I was thinking about him, that I loved him and that I cared about how his day was going. And even though Carson hasn’t called me mommy for years, I still sign the notes that way. I will always be Carson’s mommy.

Carson is a very secure little boy. He doesn’t have to wonder if his mom loves him. He knows he is my child and I want him to enjoy his life.

I was reading a note from God last night, I found it in His Word. He said, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:5) And then it goes on to say: “Yet to all who receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12)

And to take it one step farther, just to be sure I got it, I read, For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor power, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38,39)

Okay, I think that covers just about everything. God loves me. He loved me first. If I believe and receive Jesus into my life, I become a child of God and NOTHING after that can ever separate me from God’s love.

I am secure in his love, knowing I am his child and he wants me to enjoy my life.

Father, thank You for the book of notes you left me, that I can continue to return to time and again to nurture the seed of love that you’ve planted in me. Thank you for giving me words of affirmation to encourage me and to bless me in my day to day walk. And Lord Jesus, thank you for giving me Carson. Please guide me on how to be the best mommy I can be for him.

I Love You Jesus.
In Your Name I Pray,

God Bless You!


 It’s All Because of Jesus!

Living Stone – February 2010 – Terry Clark

Terry Clark is a true man of God in word and deed.  Don’t let his quiet spirit fool you, he is a powerhouse for the Lord.  Terry is in charge of the Ushers at The Tree.  He makes sure  everyone has a seat and that everyone is counted, each and every week.  Terry also makes sure that we have communion each month, a chance to partake of the Lord’s Supper.  Thank you Terry for your heart to serve!



 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
   I Peter 2:4,5









It’s All Because of Jesus!

Habitat for Humanity

On Saturday, February 27, 2010, eleven of us from The Tree spent 4 hours helping out Habitat for Humanity in Naples. 

Thank you for sharing your time and talents!

Here are some pictures from our day. 

It’s All Because of Jesus!