LCC is now The Tree. Why The Name Change?

MESSAGES

Teaching at the Tree is communicated in a practical, easy to understand way that is relevant to your everyday life. It’s not religious jargon, just the truth of God’s word presented in a loving and challenging way.

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8:30, 10:00, 11:30AM 

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GROUP LIFE AT THE TREE

If you desire to grow in your relationship with Jesus and connect relationally with people who desire the same purposed living, a Connect Group is the ideal environment.

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Daily Devotions

07/15/2018
Jul 15, 2018

Angie Smith

 

But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever

comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists

and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6 AMPLIFIED

 

Recently, I went through a testing of my faith…I was listening to the radio and the song “Walking on Water” by NEEDTOBREATHE came on. I was singing along and I sang the chorus…”though I falter, You got me walking on water.” God spoke to my spirit and asked, “Why do I have you walking on water?” I responded with “to test my faith.” I heard God say, “I’m going to test your faith.”

 

Fast forward to a month later. I went to the doctor for an appointment. I mentioned a lump I’d found that worried me. The doctor examined me and confirmed my fear…a lump. She wrote an order for further testing but there wasn’t an available appointment until two weeks later. Don’t they understand the urgency of the matter? I can’t wait two whole weeks to find out.

 

Guess what? I did wait two long weeks because God had a plan. The waiting was an opportunity for God to “test” my faith. In this time of testing, who would I say that God is…in my words, in my faith, how I responded? Would I please Him and make Him proud of me or would I disappoint Him by failing the test?

 

The day after my appointment, fear knocked on the door and I opened it. Boy, was that a big mistake! Have you heard that song “Fear is a Liar”? Well, it certainly is! His forecast for my life was so gloomy and dark. He had me bound up in so much fear I could hardly breathe, eat, or think. All day long, he poured out his lies to me, and they overwhelmed my mind. I was completely and totally consumed with FEAR.  My whole life flashed before me, and I had it ending before I even had a test. That’s the power of fear.

 

Later that day God spoke to me and said, “You can choose FEAR or FAITH in this situation.” I knew I had a choice to make. I knew what I had to do. I had to choose FAITH!  It was time for this girl to fight! Time for the sword…the Word of God, which is TRUTH. I had to speak truth to the lies and take every thought captive as it entered my mind.  

 

I can happily say I only gave way to fear that one day. For the next two weeks (prior to my test), I held on tightly to my faith. I had to purposely choose faith day after day. It felt so good to go back out on the playground (like a kid with no worries), knowing that my Father was going about my business and I didn’t need to worry. He’s got this because He’s got me! No matter what the outcome of that test, I trust Him with my whole life. I know that He loves me and has a good plan for my life. He’s a good, good Father!

 

I’m grateful for that test. I feel stronger in my faith because of it. I felt my Father smiling upon me because I chose faith. It pleased Him. As Hebrews 11:6 says “…without faith, it is impossible to please God.”    

 

Whatever test you’re going through right now, rest in this truth. God is for you. He’s not against you. You may feel like He’s against you. Don’t listen to the voice of fear…choose faith. Speak faith and fight the battle with God’s Word. It’s a powerful weapon.

 

PS, I know you’re anxious to know the outcome of my test. It was negative. God knew the outcome the whole time. He just wanted to see how I would respond to this test!

Daily Devotions

07/14/2018
Jul 14, 2018

Katie Iser

 

All throughout the Bible, we are reminded of the paths laid before us...good and bad, right and wrong. But what does this look like in everyday life when we commit to following Jesus? Let me tell you how I think about it. In Ohio, road construction is just a common part of the scenery. Jokingly, it has been included as one the seasons instead of spring or summer. Whenever our normal driving paths are interrupted by detours or delayed travel times, we become disgruntled with the process of making our experience better because of the momentary inconvenience. We cram pack our days so full that working in the extra time for travel can be stressful, causing us to be late, not being able to park where we usually park, construction debris damages our vehicle, etc.

 

This is a great illustration of the way God works in our lives. We also go through “seasons” of life that aren’t titled winter, spring, summer, or fall. Rather, they are a description of the scenery from the path we are on. When the path is rough and needing attention, we get frustrated with the process of reconstructing a better path. It’s the same path, just with Him it can be made new. And like road construction around here, where the same road will need to be worked on again, so will our paths. Think about how nice and smooth a newly-paved road feels. It doesn’t get that way without attention and hard work. If you are seeking God and feel like the path you are on is hard, laborious, and you missed the detour, just keep in mind what is promised:

 

He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Psalm 23:3

 

All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness,

for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Psalm 25:10

 

He will teach you along the way if you keep seeking:

 

Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation.

Psalm 25:4-5

 

Grab your Bible and choose to seek His path for you. It will make for a much smoother ride.

 

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Psalm 119:105

 

 

Daily Devotions

07/13/2018
Jul 13, 2018

Danielle Disbennett

 

I am sitting here as I write this, unable to breathe out of my nose. I have a nasty sinus infection and I am feeling pretty miserable. The funny thing is that I keep telling myself, “I can’t wait until I can breathe through my nose again.” I take for granted every day the ability to breathe through my nose, but as soon as that ability is taken away, I feel like I can’t function normally. It is difficult to eat and drink, it is hard to sleep, and it makes me feel like my head is going to explode from all the pressure. I think this same thing can happen to us as we walk with Christ through life. When God does something special in our lives, we are excited and thankful in the moment, but then life goes on and we forget. Or if things are going good in our lives, we start to take our eyes off of Jesus and become independent. In those seasons of life, we need to constantly have grateful hearts and praise him for that season of joy.

 

I fall into both of these categories. I become easily distracted by my circumstances and my emotions, and that is when I forget all the amazing things God has done for me. In seasons when everything seems to be going well, I can lose focus, and my relationship with God suffers. This is what satan wants. He wants us to become distracted and he wants us to lose focus on God, so he can pull us into sin. There is a song I have had on repeat the last few weeks that has really helped me to fall into worship and to focus on all the amazing things God has done for me, and that He is so good.

 

Cory Asbury: Endless Alleluia

 

In the morning when I rise to meet You
In the morning when I lift my eyes
You're the only One I wanna cling to
You're the first thought on my mind

 

Let our voices rise
All creation cries
Singing out an endless alleluia
From this moment on
Join with Heaven's song
Singing out an endless alleluia!

 

In the moments where You go unnoticed
In the ordinary day to day
Countless miracles of life around us
Point like arrows to Your name

 

Let our voices rise
All creation cries
Singing out an endless alleluia
From this moment on
Join with Heaven's song
Singing out an endless alleluia!

 

Only a moment to live this life
Like shooting stars burning up the night
Till Heaven's opened and we arrive
In Your presence, Lord
In Your presence, Lord

 

Let our voices rise
All creation cries
Singing out an endless alleluia
From this moment on
Join with Heaven's song
Singing out an endless alleluia!

 

There's nothing better
There's nothing better
There's nothing better
Than this right now now
There's nothing better
There's nothing better
There's nothing better
Than this right now, now

 

Spend time today worshipping and praising Him for all that He has done and for all that He is going to do. Let’s not fall into satan’s trap of self-reliance and distraction. Let’s keep our focus on our heavenly Father this week, and let’s not take anything for granted, even breathing.

 

Therefore, let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us

offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

Hebrews 12: 28-29 ESV

 

 

Daily Devotions

07/12/2018
Jul 12, 2018

Mary Johnson

 

As a mother of four kids, I unfortunately witness many injuries during day to day activities. I'm very thankful most of the injuries are small and easily handled. But there are lots of cuts and bruises that need my attention. Years ago, our five-year-old son, Lincoln, bumped his shin extremely hard against our mini trampoline. If that's the worst accident that happens on that mini trampoline it will be a miracle! He came running upstairs crying like crazy. He had already developed a huge "goose-egg" on his shin and it was quickly bruising. When I first looked at it, I thought he may have broken a bone in his leg, but after touching around it, we realized he had just bruised it which was causing swelling. While icing his leg, I talked to Lincoln about how his shin would hurt for a few days but would feel better before too long. He wasn't too sure about that, but when he woke up the next day, the swelling had already gone down. We watched his leg heal over the next week or so, and one day he said, "Mom, look at my leg!"  I looked and asked him what he meant. He said, "It's gone! The goose-egg and the scab are gone and my leg is healed!"  It was a neat process for both of us to watch.  

 

I've had the opportunity, beyond my son's leg, to witness the miracle of healing. I've witnessed physical healing, as well as mental, emotional, and spiritual healing. Sometimes the healing occurs immediately. Other times, healing is a process. No matter what, healing of any kind is beautiful and life changing. The fact that God can take something broken and shattered, and restore it, is a hope-giving message. We know God doesn't always choose to heal, and sometimes the healing process takes time when He does, but He is always able.  

 

Not only is God able to heal, He is able to use us in the process of someone else's healing. We have no idea what kind of affect our love and friendship can have in the lives of other people. Showing people love can be the catalyst to introducing them into a relationship with God, which can lead to their healing. Praying with a friend and giving them a simple hug can be the start to emotional healing, the result of taking time to love others. Continuing to pray for people God brings to our minds can stir the heart of God and may contribute to healing in people. We really just don't know all that can happen when we humble ourselves and obey God in what He is calling us to do.  

 

I'm thankful that God heals. I'm also thankful that He still uses broken people like me. Sometimes healing seems out of reach, but we serve a God who is able to do all things. Again, that doesn't mean He will heal all things, but He is able. Let's continue to ask God for restoration in our lives, and also be willing to be used when He asks us.     

 

 

 

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.

And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith.

1 John 5:4

 

Daily Devotions

07/11/2018
Jul 11, 2018

Skip Lloyd

 

One of the constant qualities God teaches us through His Word is to develop the character trait of humility. The Bible continually teaches us NOT to be arrogant or prideful. We teach children from the beginning of their lives to share, be kind, and help one another. But do we continue this trait into adulthood? I love the story John Ortberg shares in his book entitled, “When the Game is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box.”

 

Robert Roberts writes about a 4th grade class in which the teacher introduced a game called The Balloon Stomp. A balloon was tied to every child's ankle, and the object of the game was to pop everybody else's balloon while protecting your own. The last person with an intact balloon would win the game. The concept was if I win, then you lose.

 

The 9-year-olds entered into the spirit of things vigorously. When the battle was over in a matter of seconds, only one balloon was still inflated. And, of course, its owner was the most disliked kid in the room.

 

A second class came later that day and was asked to play the same game—only this time the class was filled with developmentally disabled children. The Balloon Stomp proceeded quite differently. When the instructions were given, it seemed the only idea they grasped was that the balloons were supposed to be popped. But instead of fighting each other off, the children got the idea that they were supposed to help one another pop balloons. They formed a kind of balloon-stomp co-op.

 

One little girl knelt down and held her balloon carefully in place—like the holder for a field goal kicker—while a little boy stomped it flat and then knelt down and held his balloon still for her to stomp.

 

On and on it went, all the children helping one another in the great stomp. When the very last balloon was popped, everybody cheered—and everybody won.

 

The question you have to ask is this: "Who got the game right, and who got the game wrong?"

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Philippians 2:5-8

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