lifeHOUSES
Jesus has gone to the heavenly dimension to rule. He sends his Holy Spirit to inspire his followers. What do they do from then on? Acts 2:42-47 records what happens next. It’s like this:
  • They meet together for worship at the Temple.
  • They meet in homes to all process the same teaching they are learning.
  • They enjoy food.
  • They build friendships.
  • They pray for each other.
  • Together, they connect with the neighbors.

 

That’s it.
larger gathering to worship and celebrate what God is doing in their lives. Then smaller gatherings throughout the week in individual homes to grow in faith and become extended families on a mission together in their neighborhoods.
Seems simple. It is. We are going to try it out together.
For seven weeks this fall, we will try a little experiment.
LIFEhouse will gather on Sundays for worship and to celebrate what God is doing in our lives.
Then once a week, LIFEhouse will gather in homes…lifeHOUSES
 
What do we do in lifeHOUSES?
  • We meet together with 6-12 people once a week for an hour and a half.
  • We eat snacks and have a time to catch up.
  • Everyone in the lifeHOUSE takes turns answering the same two questions about the teaching for the week.
  • The teaching will come from PD’s book, Reboot: 70 Life Lessons with Dallas Willard. Each week we will read 10 life lessons from the book. A good way to do this is a daily weekday rhythm of reading two lessons a day, M-F, during a quiet time you spend with God. On Sundays, PD will also give a brief summary of the 10 lessons that are for that coming week- Reboot Time.
The two questions are:
  1. What’s the one thing that I sense God is pointing out to me from the reading and reflection I did? (What is God saying to me?)
  2. What am I going to do about what I am perceiving from God? (What am I going to do about it?)
  • After everyone shares, we pray for each other about what we are going to do about what we heard, and we end the time praying one-on-one with other personal prayer matters.
  • Each lifeHOUSE will choose to do one simple thing together to bless the neighbors of the host home’s neighborhood. We have plenty of suggestions that you will find helpful, but you can choose anything that brings God’s blessing and joy to the neighbors.
Is that it??
That’s it. After the seven weeks we will evaluate and figure out where God might want us to go from there.
Who will teach at the lifeHOUSE?
No one. The teaching is already contained in the book and Reboot Time on Sunday. We will process what we are learning together.
Who leads the lifeHOUSE?
Jesus does the leading and discipling through your friends who are there. There will be a host leader who will shepherd the group by facilitating the discussion, keep track of the time, and make sure everyone is prayed for. For the seven week experiment in the fall, the home host will also be the lifeHOUSE shepherd.
Who can be a lifeHOUSE host shepherd?
Anyone who opens their home, attends a one-time training event on Tuesday September 22, 6:30-8 p.m. and meets with PD, along with other host shepherds, a couple other times during the experiment.
How do I(we) become part of a lifeHOUSE?
Everyone is invited to be part of a lifeHOUSE. We are encouraging host shepherds from various geographic areas of the West Valley. We are also encouraging a lifeHOUSE to have at least three generations of age represented.
Initial signups for the lifeHOUSES will take place after one worship service on Sunday, September 27th at 10 a.m. 
After this, host shepherds will invite folks who weren’t able to sign up that day.
We launch the lifeHOUSES, Sunday, October 11. 
It can’t be this simple. What else do I need to know?
Nothing. It is that simple.
If you are interested in being a host shepherd, let PD know, or email him- pastordana@lifehouse.la

 

Jody, Jill, Lynn, Matt

Jody, Jill, Lynn, Matt

The church council has worked with LSS’s Homeless 2 Home program and A Better Living organization to provide housing for four homeless people that have been staying on our church grounds. Now that we have shelter for Jody, Jill, Lynn, and Matt,  we continues to work with them until they are totally self-reliant. If you would like to know more, be involved, or would like to donate money to this homeless ministry, please contact one of the church council members. Before you make a decision, please read the below bible verses. It is hard to find people closer to us that are in need, than the homeless that are leaning against our church doors.

Proverbs 19:17 “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”

James 2:14-17 “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

IMG_3390
We will have another hike on Saturday, November 22, at 8 a.m. in the Santa Monica Mountains. We will meet at the top of Reseda Blvd. (southern end) at the parking lot at the very top. Then we hike for 3 miles roundtrip in the rolling hills and meadow above the valley. Beautiful views and quiet…
The trail is Fire road #30 and is a wide dirt trail with not too much of an elevation gain. When we finish, PD will lead a brief time of Bible and reflection in a tiny “chapel in the brush.”
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We are excited to host our 4th annual Trunk or Treat this year! Halloween falls on a Friday and we want to make it an extra special event and are praying for our community to show up and have a safe and fun Halloween with us. Please help us with bags of candy. Watch for a collection bin in the lobby.  Each donated bag makes a huge difference when everyone starts running out of candy during the event.
Thank you,
Trish Dallas
Would you like to talk about Jesus, your walk with Him, a decision you want to run by someone, what’s going on in your life, or just simply take some time to chat? Well, come on over to the church office on Tuesdays from 12-2 p.m.

 

You can always set up an appointment to talk, but I am going to try out some “office hours,” a block of time each week to invite you to just drop in.

 

So, starting this Tuesday, September 9, 12-2 p.m., coffee or tea is brewing and I would be glad to see you. No appointment necessary.

 

See y’all then!

 

Pastor Dana

Blackberry Banner

A new course for all members of LIFEhouse Church and their friends and neighbors begins next month. We will be studying the topic of “God The Holy Spirit.” This eight week series comes out of the Blackberry Bush Course. The teaching format is 50% presentation/ 50% discussion. Every session has eating dinner together, presentation (mainly video), and discussion, all in table groups hosted by a table leader.

This course is designed for seasoned Christians to grow in their faith and for others to explore the invitation by God to be connected to his community, both Christian and non-Christian. The emphasis is on:

  • Authentic Relationships
  • Meaningful Conversations
  • Changed Lives

Here is what the evening looks like:

6-6:30 Dinner

6:30-8 Teaching and Discussion

The teaching and discussion revolve around three 10 minute presentation.

This course is free.

There is a freewill offering for the meal.

Free childcare is also available.

“God The Holy Spirit” will start up on Thursday, September 11, 6-8 PM. We meet for seven Thursday Evenings. There is also a Holy Spirit Retreat on Saturday, October 25th@LIFEhouse.

To register online or for more information, just e-mail Pastor Dana@ dana@lifehouse.la. We will also be taking signups on Sunday mornings, beginning August 17.

Important Note:

This course is like a circular bus route with lots of stops. As a student, you can get on the bus at any time, ride as long as you like, and get off the bus at any time. Each session is “stand alone” and requires no previous experience.

 

 

IMG_2910On June 3rd, we had a great time at the end of the year BBQ hosted@ LIFEhouse for the Magnolia Science Academy 1 High School Championship BB team. The team includes 8 seniors who will be attending either CSUN, UCLA, or College of the Canyons. Way to go Warriors!

 


Jesus says, “Bear much fruit.”

What does it mean to be fruitful?

John 15:8 speaks of “bearing much fruit.”

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

People can see we are following Jesus because they see the results of what we are doing. But, what is it that we are doing? What is “fruit?”

“Fruit” is:

  1. Bringing joy
  2. Helping out
  3. Connecting

Bringing joy to people where they are at, helping out people who are having problems, and connecting people, who are receptive, to Jesus and his followers.
Your fruit then, is measured by the joy you start in others lives, the help you give, and the invitations you make for someone else to connect with and follow Jesus, too.

We bear fruit best when it is within the context of living life with the people who are already part of our extended family. Who do you “do life” with? This could be called your,

“Who?”

We bear fruit best when we have a shared mission together. Your mission could be called your,

“What?”

So, the way Jesus designed it, within any congregation, you have smaller communities of people (The “Who’s”) sharing life together and bringing joy and help in specific settings where they live and spend their time.

Your setting will be the neighborhood you live in and/ or the networks of people you connect with. The network can be a workplace, school, your kid’s little league, etc.

Examples:

Neighborhood
In Capernaum, Jesus joined the extended family (“oikos,” in Greek) of Peter, Andrew, James, and John. They even lived in the same family compound.

Network
When Matthew met Jesus in Capernaum and chose to follow him, he immediately had Jesus and the other disciples meet his fellow tax collectors at his home.

So, Christians grow best at bearing fruit when they are living life within an extended family, and intentionally sharing a mission together.

If you want to grow best as a follower of Jesus this starts with two questions:

1. Whose your “Who?”
2. What’s your “What?”

Now, how does a typical church function?

Not like this.

The typical church functions in another way. There are four stages in increasing opportunities for fruitfulness, and we will see that most congregations stop after stage two.

Stage One
Someone else does mission and ministry and members support it with prayers and donations. They are not directly involved.

Example: Supporting missionaries

At this stage we start thinking beyond ourselves.

Stage Two
Church leaders (and sometimes in cooperation with other churches) plan projects of ministry and mission and invite members to get involved in the projects.

Example: spiritual retreat movements like Cursillo

At this stage we think beyond ourselves and personally get involved, on occasion. This is good stuff, but almost all churches stop their fruit-bearing opportunities here.

Other congregations will begin to form into communities of people on mission together locally moving into,

Stage Three
Church leaders invite members and others to join them in doing mission and ministry outside the congregation on a regular basis. The congregations provides support.

Example: Group from church that works at a local public school providing tutoring and mentoring.

At this stage we are personally involved in an ongoing opportunity to bear fruit and grow in our faith right where we live. For this to become a way of life we move to,

Stage Four
Members themselves who have been trained in leadership, join together in their neighborhoods and/or networks to do mission and ministry, working out of their own resources.

They have a “who” and they have a “what.” This is the primary model of Jesus and the early church.

Example: House Church type group with a mission to reach out to neighborhood teens.

So you see, all four stages are going on all the time in fruitful congregations. In order for Christians to grow in their fruitfulness, stage one is a start, stage two is learning to get “hands-on” experience, stage three is experiencing this “missional” lifestyle under the congregation’s leadership and support, and stage four is the tipping point, exponentially expanding the reach of the Lord in people coming to faith and in the needs of the city being met.

Stage four is the church Jesus envisioned. He knew you don’t just start there, and so he trained his disciples to move through these stages and eventually lead the movement into neighborhoods and networks. His training followed a similar pattern to the four stages of mission and ministry.

Stage One: I Do/ You Watch
Jesus brought healing, cast out demons, and proclaimed the Kingdom of God while living with his disciples and they watched what he was doing.

Stage Two: I Do/ You Help

Jesus would have the disciples watch what he was doing and invite them to participate behind the scenes like when he had them figure out how to get food to feed the crowds.

Stage Three: You Do/ I Help

The disciples are sent out to bring healing, cast out demons, and proclaim the Kingdom. Jesus gives them evaluation and insight when they return.

Stage Four: You Do

Jesus ascends to heaven, the Holy Spirit fills the disciples, and they begin recruiting others to invest in and disciple, doing the same things as Jesus did with them. The influence of the church grows exponentially.

This is the system Jesus designed to transform the world. If it’s good enough for Jesus…

 

Confirmation Sunday

October 27

10 a.m.

These young people will publicly affirm their faith in Jesus at worship this Sunday:

Connor Aguirre

Katelyn Bauer

Jenna Brown

Erik Godin

Samantha Kidd

Steven Michaelsen

Ashleigh Risdall

Abbey Rogers

Kalei Sorensen

Kennedi Sorensen

This is a key milestone in the lives of Lutheran Christians. Plan on attending, and invite your friends to this special commemoration of the growth in faith of young people in your faith family.