The Gospel Primer


Starting the week of April 1

Eight weeks


Teens and up

A group of close friends whether it is a current small group or Bible study group, or you may invite some friends to join you in a new community for the next eight weeks. There are no size limitations, though 4-12 range is a good place to start. A good number to accommodate meeting in a home, apartment, or quiet restaurant, as you will come together once a week for simple meal and community building. Long time Christians, new Christians, and those who are interested in exploring faith. 


The Gospel Primer Journal is the guide. These will be available Easter Sunday.

There will be a sermon connecting with what we did that week on the following Sunday.


Suggested $15 for the book. If that is an issue, give less. We want no one left out.


20-30 minutes a day for eight weeks

Eating with friends once a week

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Why Not Join a lifeHOUSE today?

lifeHOUSES are an extended family of friends on mission together. lifeHOUSE groups bring people together beyond Sunday morning, for spiritual growth, fellowship, and reaching out in the community. lifeHOUSES meet during the week in host homes throughout the West Valley. If you are interested in participating in a lifeHOUSE, email the host for schedule and location.


Duane and Barbara Cirks

(Porter Ranch)



Buzz and Donnice Brown

(Woodland Hills)



Mac and Donna McLeod




 Mike and Debee Jusko




Bill and Andrea Anz

(Northridge/Granada Hills)



God Time

Monday, January 25


Spend five minutes focusing on a couple of things you appreciate and thank God for them.


Mark 12:28 (MEV)

One of the scribes came and heard them reasoning together. Perceiving that Jesus had answered them well, he asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”


Not everyone is against Jesus

With all the negativity toward Jesus by the Jewish establishment recorded in the Bible, you would think that Jesus is universally opposed. But, this is not true. Not all of the Jewish leaders rejected the teachings of Jesus. This became such an issue that we hear phrases like this, “Yet many of the rulers also believed in Him. But because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they be put out of the synagogue.” (John 12:42)

Obviously, some of Jesus’ fellow Jews are persuaded by his message and all the earliest Christians are Jewish. They think of Jesus as fulfilling the law and the prophets.


What is one reason you can think of why a Jewish person today might not try to explore Christianity? What is one counter-thought concerning that reason?

Tuesday, January 26


Spend five minutes focusing on a couple of things you appreciate and thank God for them.


Deuteronomy 6:4-6

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God. The Lord is one! And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be in your heart.


Our thinking comes out of our experience

When Jesus replies to the request for the greatest commandment, he quotes Deuteronomy 6:4-6, but adds, “…with all your mind.” We can’t read his mind, but we can establish reasons why he may have said it this way.

Out of all the parts of who we are, our thinking is the filter for how we respond. If we don’t think deeply and explore from other perspectives we are left with our default mode which is,  “I am the center of the universe, and therefore I must be right.” Perhaps Jesus is getting at the core of so many problems in our lives by stressing the mind.


Think about a time when you were absolutely sure about something that you later found out was absolutely wrong. What did you do as a result?

Wednesday, January 27


Spend five minutes focusing on a couple of things you appreciate and thank God for them.


Leviticus 19:18

You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.


Your neighbor is anyone

This directive from Leviticus is a huge step in the history of humankind. Revenge is one of the driving forces of all human history. Yet, over 3,000 years ago, a small band of people were directed not to get even within their tribe. Not to bear a grudge.

Then Jesus comes along and blows this huge step out of the water.

He speaks of neighbor in a different way in the story of the Good Samaritan. Your neighbor is anyone, even your worst enemy.

Work for the good of my enemy? Who could do that? No one, that’s why Jesus does it through us.


When you feel like striking back at someone this week, either by reacting or thinking negatively about them, pause ten seconds and visualize Jesus on the cross. Imagine his lips whispering these words, “Father forgive them…”

Thursday, January 28


Spend five minutes focusing on a couple of things you appreciate and thank God for them.


Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things.


Voluntary joy-led activity is the life of Jesus

There is a lot of confusion over the other part of the phrase, “love your neighbor as yourself.” What does it mean to love myself? When we think of “love” as “working for the good of within the range of my influence,” that helps. I am working for the good of my life so I may be of service to others in stronger, healthier ways. I am glad to do it.

If I do not have compassion and am not glad to be working for someone else’s good, then I am serving for other reasons. I may want to look good before others. I may feel an obligation. I may think God will reward me. But, service that is not voluntary and joy-led is going to diminish me in the long run. It will wear me out and lose it’s potency.


What is one thing you are doing in your life right now that does not bring you joy, but you do it out of a sense of obligation and/or duty? Can you gain a different perspective that could bring joy? Or can you stop doing it? Work through this.

Friday, January 29


Spend five minutes focusing on a couple of things you appreciate and thank God for them.


Amos 5:21-24

I hate, I despise your festivals,

and I am not pleased by your solemn assemblies.

Though you offer Me burnt offerings or your grain offerings,

I will not accept them,

nor will I regard the offerings of your fattened animals.

Take away from Me the noise of your songs;

I will not listen to the melody of your harps.

But let justice roll down like water,

and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.


Right action is more important than ritual action

Because Jesus set us free, we can be grateful to live our lives as a thank offering to him. It is our worship day to day. We want to follow him and are glad to do it.

The primary way we follow is not going through the motions of Sunday worship, giving offering, Bible study, being in a small group, any of those things. The primary way we love God and neighbor is through the way we live in relationship to others.


The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. (David Foster Wallace)

Today with every mundane task you do, imagine Jesus is right next to you watching. How does that make things different?

lifeHOUSESWe have one worship service for the entire community this Sunday at 10 a.m. We will be signing up to be part of a lifeHOUSE, our neighborhood based communities of spiritual growth and blessing. More information concerning lifeHOUSES is here.

We have lifeHOUSES for every weeknight:

Monday lifeHOUSE: Duane and Barbara Cirks

Tuesday lifeHOUSE: Buzz and Donnice Brown

Wednesday lifeHOUSE: Art and Jan Cuadra

Wednesday lifeHOUSE: Mac and Donna McLeod

Thursday lifeHOUSE: Mike and Debee Jusko

Thursday lifeHOUSE: Deb Elias

Friday lifeHOUSE: Bill and Andrea Anz

Join us this Sunday!


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