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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Your Typical Friday

The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.
Psalm 29:11

Fridays are usually pretty normal in my world.  I have a ladies group in the morning, I eat lunch and then in the afternoon I make sure everything is ready for church on Sunday.  I always enjoy Fridays, not because they are the end of my work week, but because I get to spend time with my ladies in group and because it’s always a challenge for me to make sure I am prepared for the weekend.  I enjoy a good challenge.  Well, this past Friday I got one, in such an amazingly different manner that I must share with you.

On Friday afternoon, a good friend was renewing her wedding vows, and I was standing up with her.  It was going to be a special service, I love her family as my own, and it’s always a blessing to celebrate a marriage that survives the trials of life.  We had new dresses; new shoes, new toes (pedicures) and we were going to get new hair, for her big day!   So about 2:30, we headed over to a friend’s salon, for fun hairdos and some girl time before the ceremony.  And we were having fun, for a bit, and then the day did a complete turnaround.

Melissa was getting her hair done by Phelicia and I was reading a magazine when the door opened and a man stumbled in.  He wasn’t feeling well, he was having difficulty breathing and one of the ladies asked us to call 911.  Someone made the phone call and I went to get a wet cloth for his head.  As I bent over him, I started praying for him, I could see that he was in terrible distress.

He was struggling quite a bit in his chair, I thought he might actually fall out of it and hurt himself on the tile floor, so I asked him if he wanted to lie down.  He agreed and I got him onto the floor and a pillow, but that position wasn’t comfortable for him either, he kept raising himself up, trying to breathe.  He ended up sitting up, propped up by my body, as we waited for the paramedics to arrive.

I don’t know how long we sat there, it seemed an eternity, but I’m sure it was only a few minutes.  I was trying to find out his name, but he couldn’t talk any longer, all we knew about him was that he was 57 years old and had been sick.  I did the only thing I knew to do; I prayed and prayed and prayed.  I couldn’t stop praying.  I called upon Jesus to heal him, to help him breathe, to bring comfort and peace to his body.  Phelicia knelt in front of him praying and Melissa called 911 back, pleading with them to please hurry, things were not going well with this man.

I would love to tell you that the man stopped struggling with his breathing, sat up and all was well.  I would love to share a miracle of healing with you today.  But that did not happen.  As I sat holding him, his body shuddered and then was still.  I couldn’t see his face, but I knew he was gone. 

The paramedics arrived, they took him out of my arms and they tried to necessitate him.  But he was gone.

We sat in stunned silence after they left, trying to figure out what had just happened.  There had been no warning, one minute we were laughing and joking and the next, everything changed.

We pulled ourselves together, Phelicia finished our hair and back to the church we went, to a beautiful ceremony of love. 

It’s odd … how God brought that man into our path.  He had been trying to get to the hospital, pulled his truck into the plaza where we were and walked past two doors to come into the salon.  I don’t think it was a coincidence we were there.

I don’t know anything about this man, but I know he died with the name of Jesus in his ears and love around him.  I am praying we made a difference, in the end. 

I have just one question for you, if today is your last day on earth, are you ready to meet God? 

Father, thank you for allowing me the privilege to be a part of this man’s life; I pray that he died with your name on his lips.  Father, I pray that I have the opportunity to be a witness to his family, that you bring them comfort and peace during this time of grief.  Jesus, thank you for giving me the strength to do your will in this man’s life.  There was nothing comfortable about what happened, yet your peace was so heavy during the time of crisis.  Thank you for giving us the ability to bless this man in his time of need, to send him out of this world in such a loving peaceful manner, as wild as that seemed, in the midst of the craziness of the moment.  And please help me to be open and available for whomever you bring into my path Lord. 

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

God’s Blessings upon You!

Love,
Joyce

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones
But Words Can Kill My Spirit.
The Lies That Get Stuck Inside.
Now Available!
http://www.sticksandstones.cc

Living Stone for May – Betty Clark

 

Betty Clark  –  May  2011 – Tree of Life Living Stone

Betty Clark is a true Living Stone.  She loves Jesus and she loves people.  Betty is the original prayer warrior.  She spends hours in intercessory prayer for The Tree of Life, it’s    members, our country and those in authority.  Betty loves to pray!  She is also the wife of our elder, Terry, and helps with the offering, communion and greeting.  Betty Clark, you Rock!

 
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