LifePoint Blog

As the Cedars of Lebanon

As the Cedars of Lebanon

“The trees of the Lord are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.” Psalms 104:16 While reading my morning devotional I was reminded of a truth the Lord had shown me many years ago. I remember this truth, because it caught me off guard, and, at first I did not understand why scripture focused so much on the “trees” in Lebanon. Not just any tree though, they are the cedars of Lebanon. The cedar tree is mentioned more than 80 times in the Old Testament. It is known as a symbol of strength, resilience, immortality, and elevation. While we do not look to the cedars of Lebanon for symbolism in our culture, I want to show you how their significance did not end in the Old Testament, rather, like all of the Old covenant were pointing towards the Messiah. Just like the Christian today the cedars owe their planting and roots of righteousness to the Lord. There is no work in the hands of man that can accomplish that which only God is capable of. The cedars do not wait for man to water them or for man to provide the sunlight for their continued growth. They are completely reliant on their creator for every aspect of their survival. They are not delicate, prone to wither, or freeze based on the weather. In storms, and times of drought they do not fret or worry about where the sustenance will come from, rather, they wait patiently on the Lord, their creator. Are you seeing the connection yet? The cedars were a metaphor long before the Messiah would appear in human form to a time when mankind would rely on God’s Holy Spirit for his every need. This week we will look at the aspect of tithes & offerings in...

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Short Creek Dream Center Missions Internship

Short Creek Dream Center Missions Internship

For two months this summer, I had the incredible opportunity to be a missionary and intern at the Short Creek Dream Center, a Christian non-profit organization on the border of Arizona and Utah. It operates out of a polygamist prophet’s old compound that God has turned into a place of healing and redemption. It is in a unique community that has a special mission field most would not imagine being in our “back yard”. To understand why it is an important mission field, I need to share a little history. Short Creek is where the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS) settled when they broke off of the mainstream Mormon religion, wanting to continue practicing things the church reformed away from; the biggest being polygamy. The FLDS religion and their prophet Warren Jeffs are patriarchal, controlling, coercive, manipulative, brainwashing, and abusive to members. This has caused generations of trauma and issues in Short Creek. The prophet of the religion gives all orders and controls all aspects of life. Warren Jeffs demanded complete obedience, called himself God, implemented strict rules, and took drastic measures to discipline for the smallest infraction of them. He separated children from families, sent wives away or traded them to a more “worthy” husband, kicked people out of the religion (and their homes and the town), put people in empty rooms for days, and more. He had complete control of followers with a 100% tithe, tapped homes and phone lines, had closed all schools, and said “fun” was spelled w-o-r-k. He had over 80 wives and encouraged followers to have at least 3 to be holy. Warren was caught and put in jail in 2011 for life for sexual assault of girls, though there were many other illegal acts he committed. He...

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Calamity Dave Strikes Again

Calamity Dave Strikes Again

In 1953 Warner Brothers Pictures released a movie called Calamity Jane. Doris Day stars in this comical story about Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok. No matter what she does, Jane seems to fall into calamity, thus her name. Jane means well, but it didn’t always go as planned. LifePoint is not the setting of a recent calamity but is part of the story. Picture this, Monday, August 10th, it was a soothing 112 degrees outside in San Tan Valley. After a chaotic day of work, LifePoint volunteer & LifeCare coordinator, David Noel, and his daughter set off to grab a pallet of water donated from our Hunt Hwy Walmart and deliver it to Genesis Project in Apache Junction. The pallet of water was secured with plastic wrap and loaded by forklift onto David’s truck. And they were off! Everything seems to be going fine when, on Ironwood, they hit a bump. Literally. They hit a bump and lost half of the load of water all over the road! David quickly pulled over to begin grabbing the now open cases of water from scattering across all of Ironwood! I’m sure San Tan Valley would have appreciated a quick cool down given that we haven’t seen many monsoons this season. However, this was not what David had in mind. Kristie (his daughter) frantically jumped out of the truck to help gather the water that was rolling all over. In an effort to clean up swiftly, she shouted, “Can we just throw these in the backseat?” While holding several broken, leaky, water bottles in her hands. It’s scorching hot; they are scrambling around Ironwood gather up dozens and dozens of water bottles! Cars and trucks were zooming by, some driving over water bottles, sending hot, grimy water flying all over clothing and...

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URGENT: LifePoint Worship & Congregational Meeting 8.16.20

URGENT: LifePoint Worship & Congregational Meeting 8.16.20

To say that the last 5 months have been challenging would be an understatement. Whether you are now having to handle remote learning for your kids, have adjusted your work schedule, or are just missing the fellowship of the body of Christ on Sunday mornings, this has been such a physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining time. With so much uncertainty in our lives, many of us have turned to the Lord to seek answers, comfort & wisdom on what to do next. Here at LifePoint, we are asking those same questions. In the last 5 months, we have experienced great highs and equally difficult lows. I know there are dozens of questions many of you who call LifePoint home have about what we are doing, decisions we are making, and just the general direction of the church. I have shared through written communication and spoken from the stage, however, at the end of the day, some things are just better discussed in person and covered with worship and prayer to our almighty Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. This Sunday, 8.16.20, we will have a night of prayer and worship from 6-7:30pm, with a time of sharing from the pastors and elders and equally, a time of getting to ask questions and hear in person the response straight from the “horses” mouths. We WILL have child care available with all of the current health precautions in place. It is our strong recommendation that if you call LifePoint home or have concerns that you will take the time to come out this Sunday night and be a part of this ever-growing body that God has placed here. He has done great things through this body in the past and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has even greater...

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Shout for Joy all the Earth

Shout for Joy all the Earth

This week we will continue in our series about corporate worship, (Sunday morning service). Our primary topic will be worship through song. Why is it that no matter where you go in the world, most evangelical, Scripture reading believers open up their meeting times with song? I have been all over the world and it is the same everywhere I have been. Across denominations within the faith and countless differences and objections, they all start with worship through song. This is not random or by chance, it is part of a design that God worked out thousands of years before the formation of the church in Acts. When God made a covenant with His people, through Moses, He set apart instructions for a place that His spirit would dwell. This place would be called the Tabernacle, it was made with the strictest of instruction and every little detail was outlined by god as to how the temple would be constructed. The first thing that you would see as you approach the tabernacle is a fence that is about 7 feet high (2.15m) made of linen hangings hung on pillars. It was a barrier to God’s presence, as illustrated by the pillar of cloud or fire, and the people. It reminds us that there is a barrier between each man, woman, child, and God. Like this fence, it is a man-made barrier and is the result of our sin. There was only one entrance to the inner area. You had to go through the gate to get inside. It was covered by a curtain or screen made of fine linen embroidered in blue, purple, and scarlet. It didn’t matter who you were, if you wanted to get into God’s presence you had to go in through the gate. The rich and...

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Elder Elections

Elder Elections

It is that time of year again where we have 2 elders who have completed their 3-year term and we are looking for nominations for 2 new elders. The role of an elder at LifePoint is a vital responsibility both in the business of the church and the spiritual oversight. An elder is an extension of the pastors to the people of LifePoint, they will visit congregants in the hospital, homes, and workplaces. They are praying over the needs that are submitted and going before the Lord for the direction of the church. They are examples of what can be possible when you submit your heart and life to the Lord. They are by now means perfect, just covered in the blood of Christ and walking humbly with Him. If you know someone in the church who meets these qualifications you can send in your nomination via email to info@lifepointaz.com or fill out a paper form on Sunday and drop it in the silver bins. Below is the list of qualifications for a man to be nominated to the Elder board: Cannot be nominated by self or spouse. Elders must have attended LifePoint for at least 3 years. Elders must be participating members of LifePoint. Must have volunteered in a significant capacity and led or participated in a Small Group for at least 1.5 years, preferably in a leadership or coaching role. Must have capacity, flexibility, and availability to serve in the Elder role. Elders need to carefully read the qualifications laid out in Titus 1, and asses if they are in line with what is required. Peace, Nathan Bentley

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The Work Of The Church

The Work Of The Church

LifePoint, I wanted to give you an update on where LifePoint Church is in regards to finances and our giving to outside ministries. In a time when there is so much uncertainty and our Sunday morning services feel like when I came out here 7 years ago with the sanctuary about a 1/4 full, God has been faithful to ministry. LifePoint’s members have stewarded their finances well in this time, and been faithful to the work of the church and the ongoing ministry here. Thank you doesn’t really begin to convey the emotions we feel here. We know that God is shifting us as His church here at LifePoint and while it is uncomfortable at times, it is GOOD! I have never been more convinced in my walk of faith that this is a unique time for the body of Christ in America to stand against wrath, dissension, anger, malice, and un-forgiveness. At this time last year, I was sending out a letter letting you know the dire situation our finances were in. It is a testimony to what God is doing the strong financial position we are currently in. We are preparing for whatever comes next and know that this trial is making us stronger. We have continued to give to all of our monthly missionaries ministries as well as adding gifts every month to ministries that are in need. Thank you for partnering with us and know that there is a good work being done through the tithes and offerings given here at LifePoint. Peace, Nathan Bentley

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He is Worthy

He is Worthy

This Sunday marks the beginning of the month of August. For us Arizonans, it typically has meant children back in school, hotter, humid weather, and long prayers for, Oct./Nov., to come quickly. This Sunday will mark a new sermon series that will last for the 5 months in August, where we will be discussing the importance and separate distinctions of Sunday morning corporate worship compared to all other forms of worship. Much of Paul’s letters to the churches revolve around how they are conducting corporate worship and his concern’s regarding their understanding of how special that time is. There are really five main elements to the time of corporate worship. Those are: 1. Songs of Worship 2. Tithes & offerings 3. The Preaching of God’s Word 4. Communion 5. The invitation Each of the above elements is acts of worship unto the Lord. When we take any one part of the service and ignore it or feel it does not apply to us, we miss out on the full blessing of that time. So often, we look and say I’m just here for the message, or the songs, or to take communion but check out during the other portions of the service. All of the elements of the service work together to bring our hearts and minds back to what really matters in life and in our decisions for the week. As a pastor, whom the Lord has set apart for the work of ministry, it is a heavy responsibility to conduct these services every week and lay before the Lord all the planning and thoughts we have for the service because if His Spirit is not there, none of it will matter. It is at the core of who we are as the leadership of LifePoint church that our...

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Belize Van Testimony

Belize Van Testimony

While the world is devastated by COVID-19, Pastor Kenny Welch, in Belize, was hosting a small event in his home. It is not uncommon for Pastor Kenny and his wife, Una, to host events at their home. Una’s mission and heart rest with the youth in their community. She has been mentoring and working closely with several teenage girls. On June 24, 2020, while hosting 7 teenage girls from the community, Pastor Kenny’s church van was set ablaze.  Pastor Kenny said, “All we could do was to stand and watch the van burn as we waited for it to be extinguished. The flames from the van spread and destroyed all the lawn chairs and other seating that we had in front of the house. There were also minor electrical damages to power wires that ran outside the house. Because the house is concrete, thankfully it didn’t suffer much damage apart from the black debris that stuck to the walls and was carried inside the house by the wind.” This act of arson hurt the community deeply. It’s not a simple church van. The van was utilized by the entire community! The Gales Point Church is the only light shining in a very small, dark corner of their world.  The arson was a clear signal to Pastor Kenny that his hosting events, teaching the youth, and preaching the Gospel are not welcomed by some. Several of the community members tried to speak out about the event but Pastor Kenny insisted on continuing to show God’s love and mercy by staying and serving where God has called him.  First things first, how can Pastor Kenny afford to replace the van? David and Angela Noel, our resident Belize traveling missionaries began a Go-Fund-Me account to help gain some traction on the $13,000 price tag. LifePoint and Living Streams, both financially support Pastor Kenny, had already begun talks about how to best support the purchase of the van. Within 4 days the van fund was...

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V.B.S. To-Go

V.B.S. To-Go

We had 140 kids participate in our first-ever V.B.S. To-Go! With the current conditions, we are faced with in our country we had to improvise and come up with a plan for children to refocus their thinking towards God without the possibility of physical interaction. It was a fun week of creative characters that kept young people’s attention while participating in the typical lessons, crafts, snacks, and fun you would expect from a traditional V.B.S. event. All displayed on LifePoint Church’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Parents picked up their bags to-go at the beginning of the week, full of all the items needed to complete their kids an exciting week. There was interaction/participation through the internet involving the crafts and memory verses. We were able to see pictures and videos of the kids and their creative pieces. We had our typical Missions Drive which brought in over 200 items for Hope Women’s Center. Not bad for being in the middle of social distancing. We would have much rather been with the kids directly, interacting, hearing the ear-piercing screams at game time, and putting band-aids on boo-boos, but despite the issues at hand we were all able to have a fun time and grow in our relationship with God…even that weird mustached Mission Guy! If your family missed out, you can still go to our pages and watch all the videos. You won’t have the craft or snack, but every video reflects on the Bible and is fun to watch…and you’ll understand the weird mustache guy comment. So on behalf of Toucan Tom, Betsy Belle, Crafty Cathy & Jackie, Look-Out Larry & the weird mustache guy, God bless until next year! Mike Shamburg

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