Living Stone – November 2010

 Melissa Parsons – November  2010 – Tree of Life Living Stone

Melissa Parsons is a true living stone. She loves nothing better than to be smack dab in the middle of a project for Jesus!  Melissa works in the food bank, as well as at the Information Desk.  Melissa started the Fleece Blanket Servolution Project which has given blankets to so many!  When she’s not at The Tree, Melissa works at NCH in the HR Department.  And when she’s not at either place, she’s helping out with Scout Troop 255.  Melissa’s life revolves around serving others … a true living stone!



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

Thanksgiving Baskets

The Tree of Life Church donated 50 Baskets of Thanksgiving dinner food and 50 turkeys to friends and family of church members for Thanksgiving Dinner.  We ended up giving out 53 baskets of food and 57 turkeys.  It was a great partnership between Harry Chapin, and the members of The Tree of Life Church. 

An Attitude Of The Heart

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
    – Philippians 4:6,7

This is the time of year that we take a moment and think about what we are thankful for. At our dinner on Thursday, some of us will share our individual thoughts of gratitude. We’ll be thankful for our families, and our friends and the kids are always thankful for their pets. But as I was lying in bed this morning pondering this holiday of thanks, I realized that these things are simply blessings, the real source of thankfulness should be to the Provider. That was how the holiday originally started. A day to give thanks to the Lord.

It all started back in the early 1600’s. A group of Pilgrims had left England because of religious persecution. They traveled to Holland and lived with the Dutch for several years. But when their children started speaking Dutch and becoming attached to the Dutch way of life, the English felt their morals were being threatened and decided to head to America.

On September 6, 1620, 110 Pilgrims set sail for the new world on a ship called, The Mayflower. The trip across the ocean took 65 days and many folks became sick and one even died during the voyage. They settled in Plymouth, but by this time, winter had already invaded New England, and their living conditions were sparse, to say the least. The Pilgrims did the best they could that first winter, but out of the original 110 who had set sail in September, less than 50 survived. Life was looking pretty bleak, but they didn’t lose faith.

Then in March, the weather started to clear up and the Pilgrims met a fellow that changed their lives. An Indian by the name of Squanto walked into their camp. He spoke English, he had traveled to England with other sailors and learned their language. He taught the Pilgrims how to survive in this new land. As a result of those lessons, their harvest that fall was plentiful. And they had a huge celebration to give thanks to God for the provision that He had shown them.

Thanksgiving isn’t just a day to stuff ourselves with turkey or to try to get the best shopping deals.

Thanksgiving is an attitude of the heart and one that we should live out all year round.

Father, You are so faithful. Those early Pilgrims simply wanted to live in peace in a place where they could worship you. And the journey that they endured to do that was truly amazing. And yet, in the midst of their challenges, you provided just what they needed. Father, forgive me when I fuss about my little discomforts, help me to have the fortitude to endure whatever comes my way. And Lord Jesus, thank you for all the blessings you have provided for me and that I can live my life in peace, worshipping you.

I Love You Jesus.
In Your name I pray,

God’s Blessings Upon You!


The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass…
   it’s about learning to dance in the rain!


Youth Group Fleece Blanket Servolution

On Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, the Youth Group gave up their Wednesday night group to make fleece blankets as a Servolution Project for the residents of Goodlette Arms Apartment. Young and old joined forces for this worthy cause.  About 100 blankets were tied that night!

Life Is Messy

Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; But much increase comes by the strength of an ox.
Proverbs 14:4

This past week, I went to Dallas, to a Leadership Conference.  It was a wonderful trip.  I was dropped off at the airport, caught my first flight and connecting flight with no problems or delays, was picked up by the hotel shuttle and taken to a wonderfully relaxing hotel room, with all the amenities.  They served dinner and breakfast, free of charge.  The shuttle whisked me back and forth to the conference and at the conference I was fed spiritual food that hit the spot. 

I was hanging out in my hotel room that last evening thinking how cozy it was there, how few (no) responsibilities I had and how easy it was to read my Bible and spend time with God.  How close I felt to God those three days … all by myself.

The trip home was just as easy, relaxing.  I got to spend time with a good friend over breakfast and then back to the airport and again, peaceful flights.

As I picked up my luggage, I called Bobby to let him know I as ready for him to pick me up, as he was waiting in the cell phone lot for me.

I grabbed my bag and headed outside.  And I waited and waited and waited.  And no Bobby.  When the traffic finally died down, I saw Bobby’s truck down the way a bit.  Wondering why he’d stopped there, I headed towards him.  As I got closer, I saw him talking to a policeman.  The guy wasn’t very friendly to me and motioned me into the truck. 

I got in and asked what was going on.  I was met with that cold silence of someone very agitated.  Finally, Bobby shared with me that Chase had left his seatbelt to look for me in the crowd of people and a policeman on a Segway saw him out of his seat and pulled Bobby over and was considering giving him a ticket.  Bobby was not happy, to say the least.

He was annoyed at Chase, annoyed at the policeman and apparently annoyed at me. 

Nice welcome home. 

I was about to comment on the warm welcome I was receiving … then thought better of it.  I kept my mouth shut.  When the police officer returned and let Bobby off without a ticket, we pulled away.  I chatted quietly with Chase most of the way home.  When I got home, I asked what was for dinner.  Left over spaghetti seemed to be my answer.  Again, I was about to comment on the lack of dinner preparation, after all, I had been gone for four days, but instead, I warmed up a bowl of spaghetti and ate it quietly.

I was sitting on the couch while one football game was blaring over the radio, another one on the TV.  Ummmm … this is peaceful I thought.  And was about to make a comment how many football games could someone really concentrate on at one time, but I kept my mouth shut.

You see, while I was in Dallas, I realized that no matter how peaceful or how spiritual I could be when I was all by myself, my strength comes from the family that he has given me.  And sometimes that family is messy.  Sometimes Chase and Carson fight.  Sometimes Bobby and I fight.  Sometimes Zeke and Jack fight.  But working through the challenges is where my faith grows.

And when the day is done, and we all settle down for the night … there is no other place I’d rather be than home sweet home with my family!

Father, thank you for the most amazing time of recharging.  Thank you for messages of truth and deliverers of those messages.  Thank you for allowing me the time away to refresh my spirit.  And Lord Jesus, thank you for giving me such a special family who I love so much.  And thank you for teaching me how to keep my mouth shut. 

I love you Jesus!
   In Your Name I Pray,

God’s Blessings Upon You!


The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!


October Living Stone – Gwen Adams

Gwen Adams ROCKS!  Gwen loves Jesus and it shows in all she does.  Most every Sunday you can find Gwen at the Coffee Counter serving coffee and donuts with a smile. Gwen loves sharing her gift of hospitality with all!  Gwen also has a  flair for decorating, so whenever a special event occurs at The Tree, Gwen is the one behind the scenes  making everything beautiful. 

When she’s not at The Tree, Gwen is with her other passion, animals, at the veterinary clinic where she works.  She and her husband, Matt, are the proud parents of three special dogs!

Gwen … we appreciate and love 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

Harvest Fest – October 31, 2010

We celebrated the Harvest here at The Tree on Sunday, October 31, 2010.  A great time was had by all.  Between 400 -500 people were in attendance.  There were games, music, food and tons of fun!  Thank you to all the volunteers who made this day a reality and blessed so many special children and their families!