June Living Stone – Renee DeLong

Renee DeLong  –  June  2011 – Tree of Life Living Stone

Renee DeLong leads our Praise Team and she has a heart to worship The Lord!   She has been married to Pastor Andrew for 29 years and they have four children, Jillian, Justin, Ashley and Drew whom  Renee homeschooled.  When she’s not on her piano you can find Renee happily puttering in her kitchen as cooking is one of her favorite pastimes!   Thank you Renee for your heart to serve  Jesus!

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

Father’s Day At The Tree

On June 19, 2011, The Tree of Life of Life Church celebrated Fathers!  Pastor Andrew’s message focused on One Father and he used a story from Babe Ruth’s life.  How Babe Ruth started out life as a delinquent, but then a caring monk took him under his wing and was a good role model for him and he went on to become the most famous baseball player of all times.  But, even though Babe Ruth had scored the most home runs of any baseball player, he also had the most strike outs.  We will have failures on the road to success!

Many gifts were given away, along with Baby Ruth candy bars and then everyone enjoyed hot dogs and apple pie after the service while checking out the car show.  A great time was had by all!

We had a blood drive and 13 people donated enough blood to save 36 lives.  Thank you all who donated the gift of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Still Scared?

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:2,3

Its rainy season in SW Florida and along with the daily showers comes the thunder and lightning.  Yesterday, Jack Jack was especially freaked out.  He came bolting out of our bedroom when Bobby opened the door and I heard Bobby say to him, “You still scared?”  And the answer was YES!  Yes, Jack Jack is totally freaked out in the storms.  He shivers and shakes and cries until the storm stops.

Now, Jack has never been hurt during a storm, in fact, for the last two years, he’s been totally babied and comforted.  We wrap him up in blankets, hold him  and love on him, but each time that thunder cracks, he acts like he’s been hit.  Nothing bad has ever happened to him, he’s always been comforted, yet when the storms come, he freaks.

I used to be a lot like Jack Jack.  I was fine during the sunny days of life, but as soon as the storm hit, I freaked.  And I quivered and cried and made my life worse than it really was.

But then I let God into my life.  I surrendered my fears and my failures to him and when a storm came, God would comfort me and hold me and let me know that he was with me.  And I stopped being afraid.

Are you like Jack Jack?  Do you let the storms of life freak you out?

God wants to bring comfort to you in the midst of your storm.  Will you let him?

Father, thank you for healing me, from the inside out.  I know that the peace that I have comes from you.  Thank you for bringing me comfort.  Thank you for your love that never ends.  And thank you for never letting go of me … even when I felt like I was drowning.

I love you Jesus!
In your name I pray,
Amen

God’s Blessings Upon You!

Love,
Joyce

The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!
http://www.alifedecision.org

 

Laundry Love – Servolution Project

On Saturday,  June 19, several members of The Tree of Life church blessed the customers of a local laudromat by paying for their laundry to be washed and dried.  Popping quarters into the machines was a simple way to share God’s love.  Yes!  $100 was donated to bless the community.  Thank you all who donated funds and or participated in this simple act of kindness.

Summer Splash Bash

On Saturday, June 11, 2011, The Tree of Life hosted a swim party at the Golden Gate Swimming Pool.  Aboout 100 people were in attendance.   There was a baptism and seven people publically declared their committment to Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  Jerry Stevens spun some tunes.  Everyone brought their favorite food and a great time was had by all!

Church Work Day

Twenty-five to thirty members of The Tree gathered on Saturday, June 4, 2011, to do some clean up projects.  It was a full day of painting, replacing lights, replacing chair covers, cleaning and landscaping.  In spite of the heat and the hard work, a good time was had by all.  It is truly amazing the blessing we receive when we come together to serve Jesus.  Thank you to all who participated!

Painting Nails At The Nursing Home

On the third Saturday of each month, members of The Tree of Life Church go to Manor Care at Lely Palms to paint fingernails and play cards with the residents.  It is always such a blessing!  Sharing God’s Love Through Simple Acts of Kindness!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Give-Away – Servolution Project

On Saturday,  May 28, 2011, several members of The Tree of Life Church met at Cambier Park to give water to the weary.  This is a hands on way to share the love of Jesus to others.  He is the Living Water … those who drink from him will never thirst!  We got rained out, but not before we gave away about a hundred bottles of water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judas or Peter?

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, 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 8:37-39

It’s interesting, the night before Jesus was crucified, both Judas and Peter betrayed him.  Judas sold him out to the chief priests for 30 pieces of silver.  Peter denied knowing him three different times, and left him alone in his time of need.  When they realized what they had done, they were both remorseful.  Judas couldn’t handle his guilt, he took his own life.  But Peter, after some quiet time and a special conversation with his risen Savior, became a key leader of the church in Jerusalem.  In one of his messages, 3000 people were added to the church.  Peter spent many years preaching the Gospel.  Many came to know Jesus because of his faith, and in the end, he was crucified, just as Jesus had been, except Peter asked to be hung upside down, he didn’t feel worthy of being crucified the same as his Savior.

Both of these men walked with Jesus, spent time with him, but in the end … one let his offense destroy him, the other used it for God’s glory.

For many years, I let my past destroy my future.  I didn’t think I could ever forgive myself for the things that I had done.  I was believing a lie.  I was like Judas, I was spiritually dead.  And I wanted to take my own life.  But then I spent some quiet time with Jesus, I let him heal my heart and my hurts and I received his forgiveness.  And my life’s not been the same since.  It’s turned into this amazing adventure, with God allowing me to use my past to help others move forward to their future.

There are so many opportunities for us to allow our past to destroy our future.  We all have made mistakes.  But we don’t have to live in the guilt and shame of what once was, this is not God’s plan for us.  He gave us his son, so that we could receive forgiveness of all our sins, and live our lives, full and fulfilled.

So, how do you handle your mistakes?    Are you like Judas, do you feel like a failure and thus become one?  Or are you like Peter; do you use your mistakes as a stepping stone to your future?

Father, thank you for showing me this lesson in how to fail forward.  I don’t want to be like Judas. I don’t want to let guilt and shame destroy me. I want to receive the forgiveness that you give to me freely and move forward in my life, to glorify you!  Thank you Jesus for loving me first.  For dying for me.  For giving me life eternal with you.  And for allowing me to have so much fun, in the here and now, sharing your love with others.

I love you Jesus.
In your name I pray,
Amen

God’s Blessing Upon You!
Love,
Joyce

The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!
http://www.alifedecision.org

Mobile Food Give-Away

On Thursday, May 19, 2011, The Tree of Life Church partnered with Harry Chapin Mobile Food Pantry to give away thousands of pounds of food.  Many were blessed, both by the giving and the receiving of this event.  Thank you to all the volunteers who made this day happen!