LifePoint Blog

A Time for Change

A Time for Change

We are currently living a once in mankind’s existence event…not lifetime, century or millennia, but a time that has not been seen by any other generation in history. I would have to imagine that God is doing something mighty and does not intend for us to just, “get through” this and get back to normal. No, I believe He is up to something very big and as always intends to use His church to lead the charge and the change. Of course, that means the change would have to start with us. It would have to start with His sons and daughters laying down their own pride, traditions, and idols and saying, “Whatever your will Oh Lord, make it so in my life.” For a long time the church has not quite looked like the church we see depicted in scripture, we have mainly attributed that to us being more modern people and we have use of greater resources. However, whenever you see a new people group in our current world catch fire for Jesus, the church looks just like those first churches in the New Testament, people sharing resources, meeting in each other’s homes, uncle to contain their joy. This has made me stop, and begin to research why and how we moved away from a model where each believer has a responsibility to evangelize, use their gifts and host people in their homes for the instruction and knowledge fo Christ. This, of course, has volumes written about it over the course of time, but the general theme that seems to be expressed is an idea of comfortability and familiarity replacing suffering and awkwardness. Then, of course, you get into the financial gain that was placed on just doing all the work for the people and you begin to...

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An Update from our Elder Board Chairman

An Update from our Elder Board Chairman

I’ve had the honor of serving on the Board of Elders at LifePoint now for over 4 years. Over that time, I’ve served with many mighty men of God that I have learned a great deal from and who have lived their life with honor and humility before God. There is not a single exception to this among all the Elders I have served with. I am humbled to see men of God step up to the call that God has placed on their lives, serve their church and community with their time, and help lead the church with the wisdom from God Almighty.   I wanted to inform you that Keith Bray, who has served on the Elder board for a year and a half, has decided to step down as Elder at this time for personal reasons. Keith has been an integral part of the Elder board and has provided wisdom to many circumstances and has demonstrated compassion to numerous people at LifePoint and the community. Keith has a servant’s heart and truly cares about his neighbor.   Keith leaves the Elder Board on excellent terms and will continue to be an important part of the LifePoint community. If you see Keith or want to reach out to him, please thank him for his service to LifePoint!   As a Board of Elders, we are committed to seeking God first for LifePoint and our community. If any of us can serve you or pray for you in a specific way, please feel free to reach out. I would also ask for continued prayer for all Pastors and leadership at LifePoint as we navigate changing circumstances. Pray for wisdom and for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our community that will result in many coming to know the...

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Worried...

Worried…

“I’m worried. Or am I concerned? Are those the same thing or are they different? In the last few months, I have had thoughts bouncing all over the place. It seems as if these thoughts have no direction either.I’m sure many of you are in the same spot, trying to make sense of what is currently going on in our world. We are trying to grab information to help put us at ease through this time but it’s hard to trust the things we are hearing. I reached a point where I got fed up. So I turned the news off and turned the gospel of Matthew on. I got to the sermon on the mount and Jesus began to speak about worrying. He told me to look at birds and flowers. Is he just trying to distract me for a second? What is His intent in telling me to look at some birds and flowers when my personal world and the entire world around me are turned upside down? Join me this Sunday as we take a dive into bird watching and the smelling of roses in Matthew chapter 6 to see just what Jesus means when he says ‘stop worrying’.” Pastor Blake

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Set Apart

Set Apart

If we’re saved by faith, why do we still feel like we need to work so hard to prove ourselves worthy? There is clearly a misunderstanding about Christianity surrounding the idea of how salvation is earned. The idea of having to follow the rules and to be good enough or to appear holy enough is an inherently human idea. It just makes sense that if there are rules to be followed then we have to follow the rules to make the rule-maker happy with us! The idea of grace by faith really isn’t that complicated but it tends to be something that confuses people whether they’re believers or not. God is all about order and rules! The challenge is that people get wrapped up in the rules and can’t see past them in order to see the intent behind the rules. Nowhere in the Bible does it state that we have to follow a checklist and be a good person to please God and be accepted by him. At the end of Galatians chapter two, it clearly states, “if righteousness could be gained through the law then Christ died for nothing!” In chapter three, Paul then admonishes the Galatian Christians for being led by Judaizers into questioning what they know to be true in exchange for a legalistic way of living to please God. Paul sets them right by reminding them that they didn’t come to a knowledge of God or an indwelling of the Holy Spirit through the law. The law was established so, as finite humans, we’d understand God’s standards. He told us not to touch the hot stove because he knows what’s good for us. But because God loves us, he made a way through Christ. The challenge is that we tend to turn faith into religion...

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What Comes Next

What Comes Next

At the time I am writing this letter it has been 1 month that those of us in Arizona have been in some form of isolation or quarantine. We have not gone out and visited with friends, greeted them with a hug, bumped shoulders or shook hands. Every person we see when we do venture out is a possible threat to carrying a hidden disease that we fear could destroy everything we value and love. For many, there has been great stress and anxiety about what we will do when we are given the go-ahead to return to some form of normal life. From everything we know and have seen, the virus will not be eradicated, and we will be back to work, shopping and gathering together before a vaccine is in place. So…what comes next? What will the world look like when we are set free to once again roam the earth, and I’m not just talking about a localized event, this is a worldwide, rich and poor, lowly and powerful sick and well alike will all have to wrestle with this question. As I have grappled with that question this week and followed the events unfolding across the world, I could not help but think about what life was like for those who followed Jesus so closely for three years. After that dreadful event of the crucifixion and the body was laid in the tomb, I cannot imagine the questions and fear swirling around in the minds of those who loved Jesus most. Now what? How are we supposed to go out into public and pretend like our lives haven’t been completely upended and now shattered with the death of our Lord, our Friend, our Savior? Honestly, this all feels somewhat similar to Noah and his family walking...

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Easter Service Update

Easter Service Update

Happy Good Friday LifePoint Family, No doubt you’ve seen what’s going on around our decisions to have in-person services this Sunday in celebration of Easter. As always, I want to be very transparent with you: the other pastors and I are feeling the weight of this situation in a way that we could never expect or could have anticipated. When we began discussing the option of holding services on Sunday our hearts were (and still are) heavy for the mental anguish right now in the congregation and greater community. Our goal was to develop a plan to come together within the guidelines set up through the government to help ease the pain in the hearts of our neighbors by meeting to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Things have gotten to a point that we never intended; we are again feeling the weight of the community but in a different way. The fear surrounding the pandemic is expected and we have heard the voices of our community. The Body of Christ is to be the salt of the Earth and a beacon of light in our world and communities. During this time, the greatest thing we could do for our community is to show them we hear them, and we love them. I could not be prouder to be the Pastor of LifePoint Church and I am unbelievably humbled at the love that has come from within our church. We love you and thank you! I realize that this is going to be a disappointment for many, but the service this Easter will be live-stream only at 9:45am. With the overwhelming attention that we received from the news coverage, there is no way we could possibly conduct a service in a responsible and law-abiding manner. It pains my...

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This Is Church

This Is Church

I wanted to take a moment and fill everyone in with what has been happening here at the church over the last 3 weeks with the new COVID-19 guidelines for the state of AZ and specifically for LifePoint as we have been deemed an “essential” business. As I am sure you are aware we have suspended all meetings here on the campus including small groups, special interest groups, and the Jewish church also voluntarily stopped meeting. The only people here at the church now are pastors and occasionally some staff members, and on the other side of the building, WonderWise continues to operate on a much smaller scale, only occupying one room. My time with the Lord for the last few weeks has been two-fold: 1. To determine what is the best course of action to ensure the health and safety of our most at risk congregants while also honoring the call too, “not neglect meeting together…” Hebrews 10:25. 2. To know what it was God was calling us to do specifically. Not only as LifePoint but what is he calling Christians in America to do during this time? We have been doing what I believe was a good start to being the church in this new era we are living in, which has been to disseminate much-needed food, medical supplies, and toiletries to those who need them. Also, with the help of the Walker Butte school district, we have a lunch program where cars drive through our parking lot and pick up sack lunches for their children, we have given more than 200 lunches per day. We also have a tent set up offering drive-thru prayer and have been taken up on it several times. All of the above is wonderful and of course has been in conjunction with...

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Be the church

Be the church

Community. The church, in the US and all over the world, has always a key part of communities. It may not seem evident today, but the Body of Christ (His church), played a crucial role in the development of the U.S hospital system. If we look again at the Book of Acts, we see the development of a community of Christians in chapter 2, we see the early church band together in homes and not publicly in all instances. But let’s look at another example of how we can and should live in community as believers: Romans 12:4-5. “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ, we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to the other.” (NIV) The end of verse 5 makes a powerful statement that not only are we one body, but we belong to one another. In the Koine Greek (the language in which the NT is written), the words used here are μελος (melos) and αλληλον (allelon), meaning members together or in other words, we are in this together! We must band together as a community of believers to care for and love one another and our neighbors. Read through Romans 12, Colossians 3:13-14, and Acts 2 then as a family work through these simple questions: What is one way you are living as the Body of Christ today? How are you bearing up with each other and forgiving others? What are three things you can do in the next week to serve the other members of the Body of Christ at LifePoint? We are praying for each and every one of you during this time; we love you and miss you and can’t wait to...

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The Roaring Lion

The Roaring Lion

I have said multiple times now, how incredible it is that God has us in the book of Daniel and how the chapters we are studying have lined up with current world events. This week we will be looking at Daniel 6, one of the most famous stories in all of scripture…Daniel & the Lion’s Den. The setting of the story is a very familiar one for most, but do you know this story will change your life when you fully comprehend it. Beyond the spectacle, beyond the tradition, & beyond the man lies a truth our creator was wanting to convey to us. C.S. Lewis once said, “you will never tame the lions in your life unless you let God be the untamed lion in your life.” Just like the fire Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego had to endure to meet the Lion of Judah, Daniel met Him in the den of lions. Once again we see this principle that we will see Jesus in the midst of the struggle. We are all currently in the middle of a struggle. A struggle to make sense of what is going on around us, to not allow fear to overtake us, and to trust God with our own health and well-being. I implore you to read Daniel 6 this week and see the trap that was laid before him, how he did not hide his faith nor change his ways. He boldly continued to worship God in the face ion certain death. I firmly believe we are seeing a work of the Lord happening in our nation and the world that will become more evident through the coming seasons. Now is the time to dedicate yourselves to prayer and the reading of scripture. Let your generosity increase and not diminish. As it...

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Coming together in this time of need

Coming together in this time of need

Dearest LifePoint Family, We put a call out to all of our congregants for any excessive stock you may have had in your home a couple of weeks ago and your response was incredible. We as Pastors and Staff would like to thank you for your generosity. Over the last two weeks, we have been able to provide much-needed items to our congregants and community. From the elderly to single moms with multiple children, we were and are continuously able to provide for them. Being able to see the gratefulness in these people’s eyes first hand has really touched my heart. You, my brothers and sisters, are a true blessing for these families. 1 Peter 4: 8-11 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen. As we continue to maneuver through these next few weeks, we will continue to keep you up to date on any items that are needed. Please keep in mind two questions you could ask yourself today. Am I in need, or how can I help those who need it? If you are in need or know someone who is, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We have groceries, paper products, hygiene items, some medications, diapers, and wipes. If you are struggling with depression...

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