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Helping People Live for God

Our vision is more than just a statement… it’s a calling. It’s an exciting calling, full of hope and promise. He has called us to be a living church. The calling isn’t about a service or a building… it’s about a group of people seeking life in God and fellowship with one another. There is nothing greater than serving God! We are committed to helping people discover the joy that only comes from knowing God personally.
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Staff Blog

Praying with power

by Jon Ward on Aug 25, 2015

I recently heard a pastor say, “general prayers do not move God to a specific action.” When I heard this statement it really convicted me and my prayer life. So many times when I pray I am guilty of praying general prayers. I know I have been guilty of praying this prayer before “Lord help me today, keep me safe today, give me wisdom today and help those who need your help.”

While that prayer is good, what it does not do is challenge and activate our faith. As Christians we have a big God that wants to give his children good gifts as it says in Matthew 7:11. So if we have a big God who wants to give us good gifts then it is our job to ask specifically for what we need. We have a big God who wants to give us what we need so now when we pray we can realize that our prayers have power. Now we can pray with power and know that when we ask God for something in our prayer God wants to respond. So as we move into this fall lets remember that we should pray and ask for specific request. As your kids go back to school pray each day for a specific part of their day or as you go to work begin to pray for a certain co-worker or meeting and watch as God begins to help you in specific situations.

The Quiet Place

by Natalie Salinas on Jul 28, 2015

Summer is flying by and we are all doing our preparations to begin this busy season called “Fall.” As life may be picking up pace, let’s remember how even more important it is to meet God in our quiet place. It’s so easy for us to get into habits of only seeking God at church or in a public worship setting. But just as we need one-on-one time with our spouses and children, most importantly we need that time with God. My days are drastically different when I spend that quiet time with my Creator. My prayer is that “The Quiet Place” would be a place where God meets you right where you are – no matter what you are going through. One of my favorite verses is Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” So with that said, I hope you will find that time to spend with God in this place of rest and encouragement for your soul.

Sowing and Reaping

by Derek Guynes on Jun 30, 2015

“…The truest measure of what leaders deeply believe is how they spend their time.”
“The Leadership Challenge”, James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap.
Galatians 6:7 (AMP)

Does what you say you believe line up with your “time expenditure report”?
If you logged a week’s worth of activity, could a person tell what you really believe?

Because that is the truth.
We are what we repeatedly do. Not just what we repeatedly say.

We reap what and where we sow.

Celebrate Often

by Elisha Garcia on Jun 17, 2015

I recently heard a pastor say, “Sacrifice without celebration is unsustainable”. This hit pretty close to home. I’ve always been one who drives things, people, myself pretty hard. There’s always been something internal that feels like “we can all celebrate when it’s done. When we arrive.”

There’s nothing wrong with people who are driven. There’s nothing wrong with those who work hard and sacrifice to get where they want to go. The problem lies in never being able to stop and celebrate the successes, big and small, along the way. People need to be reminded why they’re sacrificing; what all the hard work is about. If all we ever do in our families, businesses, ministries etc. is wait until we have “arrived” to celebrate, the people who have pushed and sacrificed along the way will be spent and can even be resentful when you do eventually “arrive”.

Just this past weekend a group of our LC’ers put together a time to celebrate and thank the staff of LC. I can’t tell you how life giving this was. Both for the pastors and the family of LC. It was beneficial. Healthy. It helped to refocus both hearts and minds. I know for me personally it helped to remind me that we don’t labor in vain, and it’s not the work, but rather the people which are most important.

If you’re anything like me the work can become the focus and we forget to celebrate all God is doing in us, through us, for us. This week find things to celebrate and see how it gives life to the people and environments around you!

Laodicea, USA

by Preston Horn on Jun 03, 2015

In this world that loves DIY, embraces self-empowerment, and encourages uniquity, we can get lost in thinking we’ve got it under control. But we can often get it so wrong. Sometimes we need to be reminded of the letter written to the Church in Laodicea in Revelation 3:17:

You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.

Don’t be deceived. Instead, listen to what Colossians 2:6-8 says:

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.

The only way to be truly brave and courageous is to rely entirely on the Rock. Boom.

Finding Rest

by Jon Ward on May 18, 2015

My favorite sport to play is disc golf. If you’re unfamiliar with the sport, disc golf is just like ball golf, but it is played with frisbees or discs. I enjoy playing it so much because it gets me out walking in nature and most all of the courses are FREE. But the fact that it is free is not the only reason why I love disc golf. The reason I love to play disc golf is because it provides me an hour and a half to turn my phone off. Anytime that I go play I turn my phone on “do not disturb” or off altogether. The reason I think I love turning my phone off is that it gives me time to think for myself, relax, and just enjoy the moment.

We live in such a loud and constant society nowadays. Texts, emails, Facebook, Twitter, phone calls; the list is endless of people all vying for our attention. Before we know it, the constant “go-go-go” mentality of life sweeps us off our feet and we are caught in a whirlpool doing the same things over and over. If we’re not careful we get so caught up in the constant hassle of life that we fail to take a moment to rest and find peace. And very rarely do people take time to let their soul find peace and rest. Jesus, I believe, understood the effect that life can have on our soul when he said these words:

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Mark 8:36

What good is it for us to answer all of the phone calls, texts, and to be constantly running around and yet forfeit our soul? Our lives get so busy and overrun by things that don’t really matter. We are constantly on the go. In this day and age there is always another task to be done or a place to go.

The reason I love turning my phone off during disc golf is that it gives me and my soul time to recharge and rest. It’s my time to pray, think, and dream. No distractions. Everything else in that moment can wait that hour and a half for me to finish playing disc golf.

So today, maybe take a moment and spend time giving your soul rest. Whether it’s stopping and taking some personal time, listening to a song without doing anything else, or maybe turning off your phone. Unplug and be refreshed in the knowledge that God is faithful to meet you right where you’re at and he will renew and refresh your soul today.

Show Me

by Ana Horn on May 06, 2015

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22

Preston and I recently learned that our THIRD daughter is on the way! We are so happy with our little family and feel so grateful to the Lord for trusting us to be our girls’ parents. And with Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, I have been reflecting deeply on what it means for me to be a good mom. More importantly, am I teaching my girls about Christ and raising them to know and trust in Him?

My oldest is in a fun stage right now and is soaking up so much. One thing I love about her is that when she’s asking me a million questions each day, a lot of times she follows one up with, “Show me.” “Mom, can we draw our family? Show me how.” “Mom, is this how I fly the kite right? Show me.” “Mom, is this how I write my letters? Show me again how to draw the E.” Show me, show me, show me.

And it just clicked, as simple as it is, that my kids are watching me. All the time. They see how I respond, how I celebrate or tear down, how I give or withhold, how involved or distant I am. They see all of it, and my life is shaping and setting a standard that they’ll live by forever. And no one is asking me to be perfect or flawless or to make every right decision at every juncture in the road. However, my mistakes and errors are opportunities to keep shaping that standard that they’ll one day live by. I am showing them everyday not just how to live but what it means to know and trust in God. And if I live by the Lord’s greatest and simplest command, to love Him with all my heart, all my mind, and all my strength then I don’t have to tell my kids how to live for God, they’ll just see it. If I want them to learn that, then I have to SHOW them.

Not just our kids, but all people in general, watch us. They see us. So remember, some times you don’t need to have all the right words to tell people about God or how to live for him; just SHOW them.

Don’t stop believing on the Journey

by Truston Baba on Apr 29, 2015

One of my favorite songs is “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. Maybe it’s because it’s about a small town girl (Rachel) who was living in a lonely world or because it’s about a city boy (me) who was born and raised in south Detroit. Maybe it’s the guitar riffs, or the wish that I could hit those crazy high notes!

But as unbelievable as it sounds, over the last few months the last verse of that song has really been ministering to me. Totally weird, right? It’s just that in this season, as we have been pushing to get into the building, I’ve had to keep telling myself: “Don’t stop believing! Hold on to the feeling!” When we were first called to plant Living Church, the feeling, the calling, the excitement was so strong. Fast forward a few years and that initial feeling, that excitement has worn off a bit. So as we walk into this next season we have been having to “hold on to the feeling.” We need to remember who God is. We need to remember that what He calls us to He will bring us through.

Just the other day in my devotional time I reread the story of Naaman. He was a military leader, a hero, the liberator of his people. He was respected among kings. Theologians believe it was an arrow from his bow that killed king Ahab that lead to their revolution. He had done great things, but Naaman had a problem; he had leprosy, a disease that would lead to a painful and humiliating death. There is so much to the story that I can’t tell it all, but you can read it in 2 Kings 5. Anyway, he talks with a prophet and the prophet tells him to go dunk himself in a dirty river in the land of his enemy. So he had to humble himself to receive what he needed. (That will preach!) So he went and dunked himself seven times and when he came up from the seventh dunk, he was healed.

You’re probably thinking, “what does this have to do with don’t stop believing?” Well here it is: what if Naaman would have given up after the sixth dunk? He wouldn’t have received what God had promised. What if he would have come up out of the water the sixth time and said “this is stupid, I’m sick of waiting, this is taking too long, why is it so hard” and quit? I bet while Naaman was standing in that dirty water, he started humming that Journey song in his head. He had to “hold on to the feeling” he had to tell himself “don’t stop believing.” So he dunked himself one more time and he received what God had promised.
God has reminded me over the last few months that sometimes we have to humble ourselves and just hold on to His promise because we may only be one simple dunk away from the miraculous. So no matter what you’re going through don’t stop believing just take another dunk.

God Is On Your Side

by Dan Hunter on Apr 01, 2015

No matter what life deals you, always remember that God is on your side. When you have God on your side, there is no need to fear. He tips the balance of the scales. In other words, stack up everything you can think of on the other side; debt, trouble, sickness, conflict, depression, addiction, brokenness, pain, uncertainty, evil, stress, hopelessness, disease, bills, past, bankruptcy, sin, etc. Stack it all up. Then realize no matter how long the list and how overwhelming it might be, God is on your side. The psalmist in God’s Word understood this and wrote about it in his unique way.

Psalm 46:1-3
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. “Selah”

Whatever you find yourself or your family going through today, know that God is with you. He sees you. He knows where you are. He is your refuge and strength. He is an ever-present help in trouble. If you need Him, call on Him.

Remember: You plus God is ALWAYS the majority!

Tags: Encouragement, Faith, Family, God, Hope, Life, No Fear, prayer, Refuge, Strength, Trouble

The Mystery

by Derek Guynes on Mar 06, 2015

1 Timothy 3:16 says, “Here is the great mystery of our religion: Christ came as a human. The Spirit proved that he pleased God, and he was seen by angels. Christ was preached to the nations. People in this world put their faith in him, and he was taken up to glory.”

Do we ever really think—like, deeply, seriously think—about this great mystery?

I would like to encourage you to read each sentence in this verse and pause at the end of each one. Meditate on it. Ask God to open your eyes to His power. Don’t move on until you have given a good pause at each statement.

“Christ (God, the Word who created everything [John 1]) came as a human.”

“The Spirit (God, the third person of the Trinity, who teaches us and points us to Jesus) proved that he pleased God (by his obedience in his humanity), and he was seen by angels.”

“Christ was preached to the nations (as the promised Messiah, sent from God to redeem humanity from sin).”

“People in this world put their faith in him, and he was taken up to glory.”

Chances are, if you prayerfully went through this little exercise, you are coming to the realization that this Christian faith is a really big—and kind of mysterious—deal. This should fill you with a sense of awe. It probably fills you with a lot of questions. The most important of those questions are answered in the Bible.

Maybe it would be good to spend a few hours or a few days to just read your Bible. Turn off your phone, your computer, your TV. Read one of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) a few times. Let it amaze you. Ask God questions. Read some more. Pray. Worship God and acknowledge that your life is really just a part of His story. This is His universe. We are His creation. Not the other way around.

Our lives should be marked by a sense of wonder at the greatness of our God. Don’t get too busy, don’t try to be so practical that you lose sight of the great mystery of Jesus Christ.