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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SERVICE TIMES

We would love for you to join us! We offer 2 service times on Sundays. 

9:00AM & 11:00AM 

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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

10/21/2018
Oct 21, 2018

Brandon Leitnaker

 

Have you ever considered that knowing Christ makes you privileged? Listen closely to what I am saying, because I don’t want you to misunderstand or use this information to think of yourself more highly than you should. Here is what I mean. In Mark 13:16-17, Jesus is in the middle of a conversation with His disciples that started with them asking Him a question about His reason for teaching in parables (a story with a purpose). In this conversation though, Jesus speaks of the incredible privilege His disciples got to experience by being in close relationship with Him every day. He says to them, “But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” He was communicating to them that the relationship they had with Him was unique, and not everyone got to experience the blessing that came with having access to God’s presence at all times. This was a grace they had been given, not a grace they deserved. They were not born into privilege but adopted as sons by a compassionate Father who loved them, not because of what they offered Him, but simply because He cared for them deeply.

 

Like the disciples, we too have been adopted into privilege. We were not given this privilege because we somehow earned it, but Christ made it possible through His death, resurrection, and the gift of sending His Holy Spirit. We have a relationship with the King, and not all generations have been given the unique blessing of seeing what we get to see and hearing what we get to hear. What a privileged time we live in, to have access to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit at all times. More so, we get to read and hear the very words of God, to see the evidences of His grace play out in our lives. Sure, life is broken and messy and unheavenly now, and we see a dull reflection of what life can truly be, but still we are given the promise that this isn’t life eternal. The hope of life eternal, where there is no darkness, is just another example of how privileged we truly are. This privilege is not to be flaunted and waved around as a means to devalue anyone who has not experienced this grace yet. However, it can be celebrated and lived out in a way that glorifies God and gives others a glimpse of what a life can look like that has access to the presence of God at all times (Matthew 5:16).

 

 

 

 

Daily Devotions

10/20/2018
Oct 20, 2018

Ross McClure

 

This morning, I went to the gym and did an intense workout. During the workout, I felt as if I was going to pass out. My world was spinning at times, I felt exhausted, and I just was not feeling like myself. After the workout, my trainer came up to me and asked what was wrong with me. I then told her that I felt like I was on the verge of blacking out. The first thing she asked was “Have you ate anything today?” I paused and realized I had missed that vital step in my morning routine. I hadn’t eaten, and that caused me to be mentally and physically exhausted throughout the workout. As I was driving home, I realized this applied to my life in many ways.

 

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry,

and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

John 6:35

 

I realized as I have gone through difficult seasons in the past, I was either: 1) Not feeding myself, or 2) Feeding myself the wrong things. I don’t mean actually consuming food; I am talking about spiritual food. As I would walk through confusion, hurt, and the storms of life, I tried to feed myself with material things, like friendships, romantic relationships, etc. They all have one thing in common: They are worldly, temporary things. I shied away from feeding myself what I truly needed. What I needed to be feeding myself was God’s worship, God’s presence, and God’s Word.

 

I feel like we have all been there, too. When we see the worldly things in front of us, it is a lot easier to feed ourselves with THAT, instead of what we can’t see, which is God. As we make the decision on what we want to feed ourselves with, I truly believe that decision can change the outcome of the season we’re going through. As in my workout, I didn’t do my best and I felt horrible throughout the whole thing, only because I didn’t feed myself. If I would have eaten physical food, the workout would have turned out a lot differently. If we feed ourselves the world, we won’t have lasting peace, love, and contentment for the situations God placed us in. If we feed ourselves with God, He will come through and keep us afloat when we are drowning in the things of life. So if there’s one thing I think we all need to remember, it’s that feeding ourselves with God will ultimately be the best choice we can make while going through tough seasons of life, and will likely change the outcome from defeat to victory.

 

Daily Devotions

10/19/2018
Oct 19, 2018

Stacey Crawford

 

Blessed is the person who keeps on going when times are hard.

After they have come through hard times, this person will receive a crown.

The crown is life itself. The Lord has promised it to those who love him.

James 1:12 NIRV

 

The two weeks leading up to the new building opening were most definitely challenging for us as a staff. We put in a lot of thought, hours, sweat, and tears as we were preparing for opening night. I have to be honest, it was tough and there were a few times I just wanted to give up. In the moment, all I could see was the stress, challenge, and frustration that went into trying to move and open up a new church. It was exhausting!! But even in the middle of it all, I knew the end result, the end goal, seeing it all come to fruition, was going to be worth it. I just had to keep moving forward, looking ahead toward the goal that was sure to bring a lot of joy and a feeling of accomplishment.

 

Have you ever had a time like this? A time when you knew you were going to have to put in the hard work, but knew the end result was going to be worth it? It’s hard sometimes to keep moving forward. We know from our limited human perspective that giving up looks, and may possibly be, easier. But there is so much to be said of those times when we keep pressing on toward the goal. I don’t know about you, but the things I have worked the hardest for, the things where there has been a struggle, have often turned out to be some of my greatest accomplishments and blessings. It’s so easy to give up. It’s so easy to walk away, but man, when you put your all into it and see it to completion, it is incredible. It is nice to be able to take a step back and say, “I persevered. God gave me the strength I needed and look at what He helped me accomplish.” I fear too many times we miss out on incredible experiences, amazing life lessons, and God moments because we give up and don’t persevere in the hard times.

 

The night the building opened was amazing. We knew going into it what we were trying to accomplish. The ultimate goal for us was to create a space and environment without barriers, a safe place where lives are changed. The goal always before us was God, and drawing people into relationship with Him. The instant worship started, it was almost as if God said to all of us, “Well done.” All of the tears shed, all of the sweat dripped, every tiring and frustrating moment was all worth it. To see our congregation worship Jesus in that space was incredible. In that moment, I was able to just sit back in awe of all God had done. It was a moment I would have missed had I given up.

 

I hope this encourages you to keep pressing on toward the goal. In the moment you feel like giving in and giving up, keep going. Remind yourself that the end result will be worth it. Remind yourself the lessons learned will help you grow. Remind yourself of the hope you have in Jesus. Allow Him to be your strength as you continually press on toward the goal. Don't give up, my friends, but remind yourself daily that one day it will all be worth it. Anything you do for the glory of God is worth the sacrifice.

 

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing:

Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Philippians 3:12-14 NLT

 

Daily Devotions

10/18/2018
Oct 18, 2018

Lori Parrish

 

During one of the pre-service prayer times this summer, Michael played a song I had not heard before, and it really spoke to me. In the song, it says “Great things He has done; Great things He’ll continue to do. You keep your promises.” (Incidentally, I was unable to add this to my Spotify playlist because I found out that Michael and the Tree Band wrote that awesome song!) I had been telling myself this past few months that God didn’t bring me this far to just drop me and leave me here. He had something planned for me. I had been holding onto that, and whole-heartedly believed He would keep His promises to me. I knew there would be something great ahead for me, and although I didn’t doubt that, I still had some “down” moments on the journey.

 

What I hadn’t done for a while, though, was reflect on the first part of that chorus. “Great things He has done.” I felt so convicted by those words. I was so focused on what God was going to do that I didn’t take time to reflect on all He had already done for me. I was so greatly blessed.  Bountifully blessed, yet all I was focused on was what God was going to do for me. I felt so greedy at that moment. I asked God to forgive me for taking His blessings for granted.

 

Don’t get me wrong; when God has answered my prayers for help in the past, I’ve remembered to thank Him. I would often thank Him and move on. What I failed to reflect on was the fact that these were GREAT things. Six years ago, He delivered me from an abusive marriage and gave me the courage to take steps to get out. He then provided a promotion for me around the same time that I was getting divorced, giving me financial resources to maintain my home and support my two teenage children at the time. A year later, He provided a job for me within two days after I was told I was going to be downsized (the first time), as well as a financial provision that would continue to allow me to keep my home intact for my children, and many, many other things. GREAT things.

 

When this season of crisis hit me about a year ago, when my boss was downsized, I began to pray for deliverance from the mess I was left in. While talking to my parents early this year, I remember telling my Dad I felt guilty because I was complaining about and asking to be delivered from a job that God had provided when I had a need. Was I being greedy? How could I ask God to take me OUT of HIS provision that He gave me four years ago? It was a GREAT thing that He provided for me at the time. I remember Dad telling me that just because it was the right thing for me four years ago, it didn’t mean it would always be right, and it didn’t mean that God didn’t have something different for the future. (I’m so thankful for godly parents who help me even as an adult when I’m trying to navigate difficult spiritual and earthly situations!)

 

Great things He has done. He delivered me from darkness once again this April by taking me out of that messy situation. Great things He’ll continue to do. He allowed me to really “find myself” this summer. I found my joy again…my joy that only He can provide. I focused on the things He was leading me to do from a service perspective. At just the right time…the perfect time…He opened the door for me to start a new position with a company that He led me to.

 

There are so very many GREAT things that God has done in our lives. I challenge you this week to take time each day and think of just one of these great things He has done for you personally.  Then, remember to thank Him for the GREAT things He has done and is doing for our church.  So many doors have been opened that seemed like they were sealed shut, yet here we are…embarking on a new building, and a new chapter. Great things He’ll continue to do. He keeps His promises!!

 

“Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth. “ Isaiah 12:5

Daily Devotions

10/17/2018
Oct 17, 2018

Tiffany Fulk

 

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

Matthew 11:28-30 MSG

 

Have you ever been in a hard season where you feel like it is never going to get better? Sometimes you feel like God forgot you, or you just feel stuck. Then thoughts enter into your head…everyone else is out of their dark season and I am still here. What if all these hard seasons or situations are the places God wanted you to be, in to grow you into the person He has called you to be? I know, I know you read this and think to yourself, “Yeah right, there is no way He can use this situation.”  The answer is He can. 

 

I’m not saying God creates all these bad things around you. But sometimes He allows you to go through things so you can learn to hang on to Him for everything. I know life isn't always beautiful, full of butterflies, and smelling like roses. Some days are just really hard, exhausting, and stink. These are the times we have to run to God to help us and cry out to Him literally. The situation can stay the same but we have a different peace through it, or the situation can radically change. The truth is, God is still God even if the situation doesn't change. He is never going to leave you, He isn't going to change, and He is always the same!  

 

I have been through situations in my life where I felt lonely and felt like no one understood what I was going through. I ran to God and asked Him to step in and help me. He would send me friends in those moments to pray for me or encourage me. He would also give me a peace about things that were out of my hands. Some of the situations stayed the same because He still had work to do. Then they radically changed. These situations have caused me to be the person I am today. God has let me be that person who texts someone “I am praying for you” or who checks in. To remind them that, yes, life is really hard, but God is the ONLY one who can fix the situation.  

 

We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.

Romans 15:2 NLT

 

I don’t know what situation you are going through, but stop right now and cry out to God. Spend some time in worship or just talking to Him like you talk to a friend. He is here to listen to you and wants to help you through things.