Sep 28, 2016

Lifetree Cafe - 4 October - The President's Faith

Trailer.Presidents Faith from Lifetree on Vimeo.

How should a person’s faith influence his or her politics, especially when that person holds the highest office in our country? Join us to talk about that during “The President’s Faith” next week at Lifetree Cafe, Tuesday the 4th of October, 600PM, at Hacienda del Lago Restaurant, 14155 E Via Ranch del Lago, Vail AZ 85641. Please note that we will meet a half hour earlier this week due to early closing of the del Lago facility for reseeding of the golf course.   Also please note that this is "bring a friend night".

Sep 26, 2016

Adult Sunday School - 2 October

Please join us after worship on Sunday at 1015 where will discuss Romans Chapter 3. We will examine how we are all sinners before God, God's faithfulness to all of us, and how Law and God's Grace work together so we can diagnose sin and ask for forgiveness. Discussion questions will be posted here on Wednesday the 28th.

Sep 25, 2016

Devotion for 25 September

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin for today.  Today we resume the sermon series on “Foundations, back to the basics of faith”.  Our discussion theme today is on baptism as a foundational part of our faith.

NT Reading: Acts 2:37-39 (English Standard Version)
36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
Devotion: Metanoia
In our text, Peter is telling the Jews that they have rejected the true Messiah and what they need to do is repent and be baptized. It is said that repentance starts first with a change of heart and mind and then a change of conduct. The translation for “repentance” from the Greek “Metanoia” literally means a change of outlook from “meta” [meaning “after” or “beyond”] and “noeo” [meaning “reconsider”]. Peter is telling the Jews they should change their outlook and accept and embrace Jesus as their Savior. In fact, as we know, the whole life of a Christian is one of continual repentance. As sinners, we all will continue to sin even after we are baptized. In a life of repentance, the Christian keeps learning to forsake sin, amend his sinful life, and seek forgiveness in worship and prayer. God is merciful, and His love endures forever.

We pray: Lord thank you for forgiveness and your gift of eternal life. Amen

Sep 24, 2016

Adult Sunday School - 25 September - Romans 2

Please come join us after worship as the Adult Sunday School Class tackles Romans 2. We will talk about being judgmental and also the nature of being hypocritical. If you would like a discussion set of questions in advance click here:  Discussion Questions See you there!

Sep 21, 2016

Lifetree Cafe - 27 September - Hurt by Church

Hurt By Church Trailer from Lifetree on Vimeo.
For some, church is a place of rejuvenation and inspiration. For others, it’s a source of pain and grief. Why? Discuss it with us during “Hurt by Church” next week at Lifetree Café, Tuesday the 27th of Sept, 600PM, at Hacienda del Lago Restaurant, 14155 E Via Ranch del Lago, Vail AZ 85641. Please note that this week and next week we meet a half hour earlier due to early closing of the del Lago facility for re-seeding the golf course. 

Sep 19, 2016

Back to the Basics of Belief Part 3: The Healing: God's Message of Grace

Today we have a guest preacher from the University of Arizona.  Reverend Joshua Palmer leads the LCMS Campus Ministry.  Today Pastor Palmer will preach on the 10 Lepers from Luke 17.  After Jesus healed them, only one returned.  How much like the 10 lepers we are in that we never think about all the blessings that God gives us.  But He gives us the greatest blessing in His Son, Jesus, who loves us even when we are unthankful.

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Sep 18, 2016

Devotion for 18 September

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin for today.  Some of the content of the devotion comes from the LSB notes on pp 1752.
Gospel Reading: Luke 17:11-19 (English Standard Version)
11 On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance 13 and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” 14 When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16 and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”
Devotion: The Unworthy Give Thanks
Our sermon today provided some history on leprosy in the bible and some analogies to sin were offered up. God’s restorative power to forgive our sins is a wonderfully great comparison to healing people with a presumptively fatal disease. For our devotion today, I’d like to point out the last phrase in our text: “your faith has made you well”. What is being said is that Jesus had the power to restore and the Samaritan’s faith made him obedient which resulted in his healing. Jesus is commending this man’s faith and his thankfulness. Friends, the message is that the nine focused on the healing and the Samaritan focused on the healer. Daily, God’s mercy extends to the unworthy including you and me. Let us ever be thankful for such an amazing and generous God.

We pray: Lord we thank You for Your forgiveness. Amen

Sep 14, 2016

Lifetree Cafe - 20 September - Confronting Bullies

Bullying Trailer from Lifetree on Vimeo.
Join us to talk about techniques and strategies for coping with the people who pick on you. Don’t miss “Confronting Bullies” this week at Lifetree Café, Tuesday the 20th of September, 630PM, at Hacienda del Lago Restaurant, 14155 E Via Ranch del Lago, Vail AZ 85641.

Sep 12, 2016

Back to the Basics of Belief Part 2: The Word: God's Word

Jesus gives us words in His teaching and He is the Word made flesh. Thus, it is vital that we hear and practice His words. In this message we talk about the nature and character of Jesus’ words – how they are perfect – and how they call us both to faith and to action.

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Sep 11, 2016

Devotion for 11 September

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin for today.  We are continuing a sermon series on the teaching of the scriptures comprising a foundation of our faith. Today’s Epistle and Gospel texts focus on the nature and character of Jesus’ words.
Epistle Reading: 2 Timothy 3: 16-17 (English Standard Version)
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 7:26 (English Standard Version)
And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
Devotion: Our “User’s” Manual
The “breathed out by God” in our epistle text is an allusion of creation. So that, as God created life, he also directed the creation of the Scriptures. The reference to “man of God” likely describes a pastor or perhaps a called servant of the Word. A very good analogy here was talked about in our sermon today, where we imagined how the bible is our “users’ manual”. Referring to our manual and following the directions will keep us on the straight and narrow. Some of us have quite the collection of user’s manuals at home because some of the new technology “must haves” require a lot of care and feeding. I think this is a pretty good analogy to the care and feeding we sinners require. With regard to following instructions, our Gospel text has Jesus wrapping up His sermon on the mount when He talks about building a house on the sand.  in those days, the audience would have gotten the message because flash floods were an issue in Palestine. Also in using the “foolish” remark he is echoing several instances in Proverbs and Psalms where literally “fools” are those who leave God out of their lives. [Please see Ps 14:1, 53:1, Prov 12:15-16; 14:33] His sermon conclusion, then, about both hearing and doing the word, offers up a secure future for the wise disciple who not only hears His words but also follows direction.
We pray: Lord help us be obedient to your word. Amen