Walk for Life

Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic is one of the outside ministries LIFEhouse supports with our offering benevolence dollars. This non-profit ministry is local and brings such a wonderful service to our local community.

Open Arms offers these professional services at no cost:

  • Medical Grade Urine Pregnancy Testing
  • Ultrasound to Confirm Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Options Information
  • Pregnancy and Parenting Skills Classes
  • Support For Men and Families
  • After-Abortion Support

You can find out more about Open Arms here.

One of their main fundraisers each year is a walk-a-thon to raise funds and awareness in the community. This year the Walk for Life will begin and end at LIFEhouse. The walk will take place from LIFEhouse to the Open Arms offices at 9535 Reseda Boulevard and back.

From their website:

“The Walk for Life is a peaceful, positive event giving people a way to apply their pro-life convictions, raise support and increase awareness in our community.

During the walk,there will be an interactive educational experience to help you understand the situations and emotions our clients are facing and how Open Arms helps them.

For those who are unable to do the walk portion of the event, there will be a gentle fitness class offered.

After the walkers return, we’ll enjoy a burger lunch (available for purchase at the event for $7) and we’ll have lots of fun activities for the kids.”

You are invited to support and participate in this great event!

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Through our offering, we were able to assist one Galilee Primary School with a new roof on one of their school buildings! This is the school we have been helping out for several years with the “Pens for Afrikids” ministry.

Here is an excerpt from a letter from the Director of the School:

Thank you  so very much again for the donation, we were able to do the roof replacement  of ten classroom block. We hope to complete replacement of the remaining roofs once we are able fund raise  for more funds.
The kids are happy that the rain will not be a problem to their learning again.
I’m attaching here photos that you can share with you congregation, please pass them our heartfelt appreciations.
Thank you
God bless
FANUEL
roof one

 

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(This is a blog post about Halloween I have submitted to Life Model Works website)

First, let’s get this one out of the way for parents. Parents, if you grew up in the United States and so did your parents, maybe even your grandparents, then if you celebrate Halloween as the American traditional holiday it was when you or your parents or your grandparents were kids, you’ve got it covered. You can have the traditional down-home American Halloween, even today.

Now, along with that, the focus on how everyone else chooses to celebrate Halloween is going to be whatever is the craziest, most provocative, most extreme stuff out there. What sizzles sells. This is why what the media and social media chooses to cover this Halloween season won’t be you out trick or treating with your cute little Ninja Turtle.

Second, if you are a parent who is a Christian, here is a disclaimer. I am a biblical scholar, as are my colleagues. We can make 10 cases of why Halloween is not helpful, 10 why it is not harmful, and 10 more why it is a great opportunity to spread joy and love your neighbors.

I am also a historian, as are many of my colleagues, and so we have already studied all the varied background information about the “origins” of Halloween and such. I personally don’t find origin stories all that helpful when making decisions about present reality, and I notice that when we do make origin stories a huge deal, we tend to simply grab on to the origin stories that serves our point of view. When we pastor-types hang out together, we can argue all of these points and then see who the loudest, most aggressive person is, as he or she will probably go away thinking they are the Bible Answer Guy/ Origin Historian Extraordinaire. Come to think of it, if that’s the case, then we do have a problem and will need to do some work on self-satisfaction and humility. That’s not good…

Where does that lead us?

I will give my opinion as a Christian/parent/grandparent/pastor. This is profound, so wait for it…wait for it….

Do whatever you want, with common sense. If you don’t want to do anything? Don’t.

Alright, but what is common sense?

According to the latest brain science, God designed us so that the emotional well-being of children has already been wired to a great extent by age one. Parents, whatever you decide about Halloween is not going to “scar them for life.”

Hospitality toward your neighbor is a big deal for Jesus, and an important model for your children to witness. A friend of mine said it this way:

“Halloween is the only day of the year when many of our neighbors come to our homes.  Don’t miss this great opportunity to be at home when they stop by.  Let’s be hospitable!”

I would add, hospitality toward you neighbor might include trick or treating in your own neighborhood, as there are many homes that still have a warm remembrance of the down-home Halloween of days gone by, and your kids will increase the joy level of their evening, some in a significant way.

Appropriate costumes? For your children? Not too dark; not over-sexualized.

Appropriate costumes for neighbor’s kids? That’s their business. But, what do you do if they come to your door as a gory zombie or a sexy nun?

Give them candy without an editorial.

If you are already done trick or treating with your own kid and they see the gory or over-sexualized, at the end of the night, you can have a meaningful conversation about their experiences in general and the topic of costumes might come up. Then go for it.

Personally, as a pastor of a church where we celebrate Holy Communion every Sunday,  whenever I see gory monsters, zombies, and vampires, if these same kids choose to worship with us some day and they are not familiar with Holy Communion, it will be very interesting when I start talking about eating the body of Jesus and drinking his blood…

Oh, well, Happy Halloween! Or not…

 

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.

Monday

Duane and Barbara Cirks

(Porter Ranch)

duane@newproductsgroup.net

Tuesday

Buzz and Donnice Brown

(Woodland Hills)

buzz@bvksearch.com

Wednesday

Mac and Donna McLeod

(Reseda)

macdonna@socal.rr.com

Thursday

 Mike and Debee Jusko

(Winnetka)

jfam4.m@sbcglobal.net

Friday

Bill and Andrea Anz

(Northridge/Granada Hills)

bill.anz@att.net

 

Gerard_van_Honthorst_-_Adoration_of_the_Shepherds_(1622)

When Jesus is born, the light of the world enters into the darkness.

But how do we get his light out into the darkness of our world?

Think of the baby Jesus.

How does an infant get out into the world?

Too young to walk or even crawl.

An infant gets out into the world in only one way.

Carried by others.

So, God, in his wisdom, comes as an infant in order that the only way the light will break through the darkness-

Is to be carried by you.

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

 

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Our pens for afrikids outreach to students in Kenya and Sierra Leone recently sent out 2,000 pens for school children. Here is a thank-you letter from Kenya, from Fanuel Okwaro, Director, and a couple of photos. Loving our neighbors in expanded ways…

Dear Buzz,
We are happy to inform you that pens you send us arrived safely. I picked them from the post office today.
When we distribute them to the kids we shall take photos so that you can share them with your congregation and other donors who participated in collecting the pens
Thank you so very much again Buzz
May Peace ,Love and Joy be with you
FANUEL

Fanuel Okwaro,
The Director,
Galilee Primary School,
P.o Box 70014-00400,
Tom mboya Street,
Nairobi Kenya.
Tel: +254- 0733-612299  or 254-  0720713219
E-mail:  galileepry@yahoo.com

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