The Life Center: Ten Years and Growing - Part One

TLC: Ten Years & Growing – Part Four

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As TLC celebrates our 10 year anniversary, what does the future hold? Where are we going? The key Dave and Cathy talked about Sunday was that we go forward in love. We intend to love, live, and serve Jesus and others. We seek to serve all and welcome all into God’s kingdom. There are practical areas that were mentioned:

So…

What Do We Need

  • Ministry Owners
  • Marriage Mentors
  • Life Groups

Who’s Going To Help?

 

After this the Lord (Jesus) appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Luke 10:1-2

Devotional by: Daniel C. Krull

The Life Center: Ten Years and Growing - Part One

TLC: Ten Years & Growing – Part Three

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Why do we do what we do? Both Dave and Cathy shared why they planted and continue to shepherd TLC. For Cathy it was because she had lived in such darkness but saw the light of Jesus. The only hope for people lost in sin’s prison is Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can change lives. That’s why the goal of TLC is to build a person’s identity in Jesus Christ and His kingdom. When you listen to Cathy her passion to set people free is inspiring.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”…So if the Son (Jesus) sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:12,36

Dave shared that when he was younger position and control were attractive. That may be why he joined the Air Force. Dave wished for people who could mentor him. Then he met Jesus personally when he was 35 (Jesus is the greatest mentor of all). This gave Dave the stability he had been seeking in life. So now Dave is motivated to mentor people. This is key to his way of carrying out the TLC mission of Building Believers and Serving Seekers.

Now that we know why Dave and Cathy pastor TLC we can understand why this is a key Bible passage for them:

1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who will also share in the glory to be revealed:Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. 1 Peter 5:1-5

Devotional by: Daniel C. Krull

The Life Center: Ten Years and Growing - Part One

TLC: Ten Years & Growing – Part Two

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This week we’re discussing TLC’s 10th anniversary as a church. Did you know that a church is not the building that a church meets in. A church is people. TLC as a church is you and me, the people who attend TLC. Wherever we are, church is in session!

ter building the base, the foundation, of TLC in years 1-4 we now come to year 5 which brought a new location and great blessing. It also brought an increase in the harvest of people. The young and tender tree is maturing and bearing fruit.

The roots depict that TLC is drawing energy from it’s source – Jesus Christ. Cathy described years 5-10 in a single word – JOY. TLC is enjoying God’s abundance and blessing. This past year Romans 15:13 was painted on the front wall of our sanctuary:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In year 7 God’s blessing miraculously brought TLC to a larger building in order to accommodate the growing church. We truly do overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. We also overflow whenever all the people gather in the sanctuary so plans have been developed to grow larger. TLC is experiencing a baby explosion! It’s exciting to see a church filled with people of all ages.

Dave and Cathy desire to allow people the freedom to be who they are and to build their identity in Jesus Christ and His kingdom. They want to build disciples of Jesus Christ. Remember the mission of TLC: Building Believers and Serving Seekers

A key Bible passage for Dave and Cathy as pastors of TLC is 1 Peter 5:1-4

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

They take these Bible verses to heart in shepherding TLC. Dave and Cathy receive no salary from the church. These shepherds care for and watch over us out of love. They are examples to all of us. Imagine the crown of glory God has in store for them!

Devotional by: Daniel C. Krull

The Life Center: Ten Years and Growing - Part One

TLC: Ten Years & Growing

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On Sunday we celebrated the 10th anniversary of The Life Center. We listened as Dave and Cathy Pence, the founding pastors, gave an overview of the last 10 years and discussed: who are we? What do we do? Where are we going?

Cathy said that she was and is called to set the captives free. She is a beautiful example of a captive set free by the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Looking back with tears of joy in her eyes Cathy recalled how God supplied what was needed during the early years at TLC. The logo above was developed to depict a young and tender tree (TLC) surrounded by a large strong tree (God). The specific word of God to her was Leviticus 19:23-25 which says:

23 “‘When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden. For three years you are to consider it forbidden; it must not be eaten. 24 In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. 25 But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the Lord your God.

The first four years were building the base of TLC. Much of that time was spent encouraging and building the people that made up TLC (many of whom are now leaders at TLC). This effort of building is one of the two key phrases in the TLC mission statement: “Building Believers”. I love this because the goal is not to build buildings but to build believers, to continually build believers who have asked Jesus Christ to be their leader and forgiver to become stronger and healthier in body, soul, and spirit.

The other key phrase of the TLC mission statement is “Serving Seekers”. The mission of TLC is to be a group of Jesus followers who welcome, love, and serve anyone seeking to know God, anyone seeking to be right with God.

Building Believers and Serving Seekers may sound familiar. These concepts are contained in Jesus’ Great Commission to His followers and Jesus’ Great Commandment:

Jesus came to them (His disciples) and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go (literally ‘while you are going’) and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39

Listen to Sunday’s audio > The Life Center: Ten Years & Growing – Part One

Devotional by: Daniel C. Krull

Communion: The Lord’s Supper – Part Two

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Growing up you probably experienced the “kids table”. At family gatherings the adults sat at the “big table” and the kids sat separately at the “kids table.” The concept was to separate which quite honestly was to everyone’s benefit. As long as we kids weren’t too loud we could have more fun fooling around and eating only what we wanted to. If our parents put food on our plates it was easier to feed the yukky items to the dog. God’s plan has always been to bring His whole family sit and celebrate together. God desires to invite people in, not to separate people from His “big table”. From Genesis 1 to Revelation 22 God’s story is Him preparing a table and inviting people to come in and enjoy His provision and friendship.

God’s original plan in Genesis 1 – God created the beautiful and bountiful Garden of Eden, placed man in it, and went on walks with him.

God released people from slavery – the Israelites walked out of slavery in Egypt, through the miraculously parted waters of the Red Sea, and into a desert wasteland. God provided fresh ~bread (manna) in the morning and water from a rock.

God walked with man again – God in the flesh, Jesus Christ, fed thousands of physically hungry people and offered them spiritual food. For his close friends He inaugurated communion, the Lord’s Supper.

God’s final plan in Revelation (at least what He has shown us) – a new heaven and earth with Him at the center providing everything we need including a banqueting table.

God’s loves to invite people to sit and celebrate with Him. He’s still doing this today.

Devotional by: Daniel C. Krull

Communion: The Lord’s Supper – Part One

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Jan leaned over and whispered to me in church that we weren’t allowed to take communion there anymore. We had moved to a new city a few months earlier. We visited different churches in our new city and decided not to attend the local Lutheran Missouri Synod church. Now we were back in the church we had grown up in since birth and Jan’s mother had whispered to Jan that we couldn’t take communion because we had been excommunicated. That means we were no longer members with no “rights” of membership – I guess this included taking communion.

There are lots of incorrect teachings about communion (The Lord’s Supper), probably as many different teachings as there are religious groups. The Lutheran’s have their own teachings about who can (members of the Lutheran church) and who can’t take communion (everybody else). On Sunday we continued the series Twisted Truths with a message called “From Temple to Table”. We looked at why we take communion and talked about untwisting unbiblical thoughts about communion.

Communion focuses us on the here and now. Communion is an invitation to come together now as fellow believers in Jesus. We remember Jesus’ victory over sin, death and the devil so we can celebrate together as God’s family. So much focus of churches is in the future kingdom of God – heaven. But Jesus talked about the kingdom of heaven like this:

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matthew 3:2

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3

“Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” Matthew 13:52

Jesus’ desire is that people live in the kingdom of God now (and in the future heaven). Why? Because Jesus want a personal relationship with each person. We’ll take a quick tour through history this week to see this. Let’s go to the last book of the Bible to hear Jesus’ heart cry:

20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:20

Jesus wants each person to open every door of their life and heart and allow Jesus in to have join His family which means sitting at the table as a family member.

Devotional by: Daniel C. Krull

Revelation: Part Five

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As we wrap up our look back at Sunday’s message providing an overview of the book of Revelation, it’s important to remember that all the plagues and terrible events described have a purpose – to lead people to repentance and a right relationship with God.

One reason for pain and suffering is to wake people up before it’s too late to respond to God’s love. My morning reading plan was Psalm 107 today:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those He redeemed from the hand of the foe, those He gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.

Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress.

Three more paragraphs describe situations people get themselves into followed by this: Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress.

Wednesday evening at Life Group I shared my salvation experience. I had an intense sense of emptiness and darkness (nothingness) deep within me. These verses from Psalm 107 hit home with me. I was a prisoner in spiritual darkness until…

10 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains…13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. 14 He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. 15 Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind, 16 for He breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.

I give thanks today for God’s unfailing love and wonderful deeds for me! I give thanks to the Lord because He is good to me and His love to me endures forever! So this redeemed man will the story of how God saved me in my distress when I cried out to Him in my trouble. That’s why I am a secret agent for Jesus Christ seeking to blow my cover every chance I get.

Devotional by: Daniel C. Krull

Revelation: Part Four

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Jesus is the witness to God’s will on earth. In verse 1 we read that “God gave Him (Jesus Christ) to show His servants the events…” Jesus received from God a revelation then sent an angel to John. This revelation God gave Jesus is all about Jesus! Jesus is “the faithful witness” of verse 5.

People have been interested in prophecy and end times for a long time. After Jesus’ resurrection from the dead His disciples were very interested in this:

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:6-8

We would do well to follow Jesus’ instructions to His disciple (we are disciples too, right?) that it is far more important to receive power from the Holy Spirit to be witness than trying to figure out the times or dates of prophecy.

We are witnesses TO Jesus = we proclaim Jesus before people with our words

We are witnesses OF Jesus = we embody Jesus before people with our lives

Many times being a witness OF Jesus by our lifestyle (in a good way – kind, merciful, loving, etc.) gives us the opportunity to be a witness TO Jesus (telling people that it’s Jesus who changed us to be kind, merciful, loving, etc.).

We have the privilege to be a faithful witness like Jesus was and is. God’s plan is to use you and me by the power of the Holy Spirit to be His witnesses to our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers, actually everyone we come into contact with.

Devotional by: Daniel C. Krull

Revelation: Part Three

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The Bible is a fascinating book. No matter how many times I read it there is something new. Neil brought to light something that I had never seen before. It’s in Revelation 1:1-6

This is a revelation from (or of) Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants the events that must soon (or suddenly or quickly) take place. He sent an angel to present this revelation to His servant John, who faithfully reported everything he saw. This is his report of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.

This letter is from John to the seven churches in the province of Asia.

Grace and peace to you from the One who is, who always was, and who is still to come; from the sevenfold Spirit before his throne; and from Jesus Christ. He is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world.

All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

Jesus is the witness to God’s will on earth. In verse 1 we read that “God gave Him (Jesus Christ) to show His servants the events…” Jesus received from God a revelation then sent an angel to John. This revelation God gave Jesus is all about Jesus! Jesus is “the faithful witness” of verse 5.

Jesus is a faithful witness of things to come. Jesus is also a faithful witness to what happened to Him – “the first to rise from the dead.”

When we talk about how bad the world is, the evil that’s in it, the trouble we have, remember this: Jesus is now “the ruler of all the kings of the world”. When Jesus rose from the dead, He became King Jesus of heaven AND EARTH. Matthew 28: 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations (or peoples), baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Colossians 2: For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority… He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Devotional by: Daniel C. Krull

Revelation: Part Two

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Since the theme of the book of Revelation is Jesus, let’s see what this book says about Jesus.

The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. (1:1)

Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.(1:5a)

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father (1:5b-6a)

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (1:8)

dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. (1:13-16)

“Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. (1:17b-18)

These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. (2:1)

These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. (2:8)

These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. (2:12)

These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. (2:18)

These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits[b] of God and the seven stars. (3:1)

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. (3:7)

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. (3:14)

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits[a] of God sent out into all the earth. (5:6)

11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”

13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”

Devotional by: Daniel C. Krull