Week 1



by Sarah Johnston

Sarah and her family have been part of the LifeHouse family for 5 years. She is often found teaching in the Kid Jr room or helping with the Women’s Ministry.

Read Proverbs 3:1-12

What does it mean to trust in the Lord with all your heart? So often, I am quick to say that I trust the Lord for my life, but in reality, I am living day by day trusting in myself. Trusting in the Lord means that instead of relying on my own performance or good works, I put my deepest trust completely in the Lord’s “steadfast love and faithfulness” -- on His unconditional and undeserved grace and love poured out on us through Jesus’ finished work on the Cross. It means that I believe that God’s Word is true, even when it goes against MY own thinking and understanding. It means even when the Lord allows difficulty and suffering in my life, I recognize that He is working through those circumstances, because He loves me as His own precious child.

Trust goes hand in hand with obedience and surrender. When we fully surrender, rely on God’s grace and love and faithfulness, and walk in obedience to His Word, He promises to make our paths straight! What joy and peace come when we stop trying to walk in our own wisdom and understanding and instead fully depend on the Lord, our good and loving Father. When we humbly trust in the Lord and not in ourselves, God promises that we will “find favor and good success” and that it will be “healing to our flesh and refreshment to our bones.” God has never failed us and never will, and we will never regret putting our whole heart’s trust in our Lord and Savior!

Lord, help us to trust in You with our whole hearts! Help us to stop relying on ourselves, but instead humbly acknowledge and depend on You and You alone, our faithful God.



by Tim Gephart

Tim and his family have been part of the LifeHouse family for 4 years. He and his wife Lori are LifeGroup leaders and he also serves with set up and tear down team, as well as in the prayer room.

Read John 6:1-14

Sometimes throughout our Christian life God chooses to test us. We can see this play out in the Old Testament time and time again. I used to wonder, “Why would God test us?” But as my faith grows and my relationship with God deepens and strengthens, this only makes sense. 

God wants us to make sure we are keeping our eyes on Him by trusting in Him and in His ways. We read in John chapter six the miracle of Jesus feeding the five thousand. In verse six of the same chapter we see that Jesus “tested” Philip. At first glance that might not seem fair. “Jesus is God’s Son,” we might say to ourselves. “No one will pass the test,” we might conclude. But if we finish the verse we see that “He already had in mind what He was going to do.” 

You see, Jesus has a better way for us. A better plan. He is in control. He already knows the outcome. So why not put our trust and faith in Him? Our mindset needs to shift. Consider that God isn’t playing games with us. He is simply stretching our faith and our trust because He has better things in store. 

Lord, please increase my faith and my trust in You by making me see that You are in complete control.



by Allan Tapken

Al and his wife Judy have been part of the LifeHouse family for 2 years and they serve our church on Sundays and beyond.

Read Mark 10:17-22

The rich young ruler in these verses can also be found in Matthew 19:16 and in Luke 18:18. He came to Jesus in search of eternal life. Jesus pointed him to just five of the Ten Commandments, all of which he claimed to have kept from his youth. But did he? Jesus said it’s the heart that matters. Hate is murder. Lust is adultery. Do we really believe that he never lied, or that he always honored his father and mother? Jesus knows the heart of everyone. In these verses Jesus says no one is good except God alone. Romans says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” and, “The wages of sin is death.” In Ezekiel God says “The soul that sinneth shall die.” There are two ways to attain eternal life. We can trust that Jesus died in our place for all our sins… or we can just live a perfect sinless life. The latter God says (and we know), is impossible for all but Jesus who, for this very reason, was able to give us eternal life by giving us His perfection and taking our sinfulness. 

Jesus said this young man was missing one thing. Did you notice the commandments he claimed to have kept did not include the very first commandment: Thou shall have no other gods before me? Jesus said, “This you lack, give all that you have and follow me.” He lacked the surrender of his heart to God’s will. This man’s god was his money. So what’s your god, your idol? Is it money, work, sports, bad company, your computer or phone, fancy car, beautiful home? If we trust Christ, if we follow Him, if we put no other gods before Him, then on that last day we will be found lacking nothing. 

Father, help us trust that by giving You our all we will be complete, lacking nothing.



by Sandy Kolbjornsen

Sandy has been part of the LifeHouse family for 6 years. She so faithfully serves our body by making preparations for communion and serving at the hospitality table.

Read Isaiah 26:3-4

As we drove, I was listening to my nine year old granddaughter singing “Dream Small” along with the singer on a Christian radio station, as she often does in her sweet voice. When the song ended, she asked, “Wouldn’t it be better to dream big?” She told me her dreams of being on the National Women’s Soccer League or even coaching that team. She went on to say she’s dreaming of being captain of the soccer team that she plays on now. She assured me that she has been praying about these dreams too. She is well aware of all the hard work that goes into the plans of those dreams. She and her best friend and soccer buddy do 1000 touches to a soccer ball daily, either by touching to practice a defensive move or kicking the ball with her foot. Her friend’s Dad has challenged them to do this to improve their skills. 

We continued to talk about how God can answer our prayers for small dreams and plans in such a way that it can be so much bigger and better than we could have prayed or dreamed. We have to trust Him to answer in His timing, which is hard sometimes. When we are kind and encourage each other (even strangers) it may turn out to be life changing for them or us. 

These two verses are God’s “merciful invitation” for us to walk with Him, trust Him, and find His peace. When we make plans or have dreams , whether they are large or small, He wants us to pray first and always for His guidance. Sometimes we have to hit “rock bottom” before we can come face to face with our sin, not realizing until then that God never leaves us. He is that rock we landed on. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us and pursuing us before we even knew You and please guide us as we put You first in our lives and trust You.



by Olivia Knight

Olivia has been part of the LifeHouse family for 4 years and can often be found loving on and caring for the babies of the church.

Read Psalm 16

I have a friend who all throughout high school would tell me to “just trust.” Generally, the statement was said because she was being funny and wanted me to go along with whatever she had planned. As we’ve grown up, we will say this statement to each other as an encouragement in our walks with God. I’ll be honest. Trusting God doesn’t come easy to me. Mainly because I think I have more control over a situation than I actually do, and obviously God needs my help for whatever I’m praying about. 

Maybe you are someone who has to have evidence to back up your trust in someone; or, maybe trust in others comes easily to you. Wherever you fall on that spectrum, I think trusting God boils down to trusting that He is good. I read Psalm 16 and found that David’s trust in God is evidenced by the fact that he knows God’s heart for his well-being is good. If you take a look at each verse closely, you can pick out something that tells you of God’s goodness for our lives. For example, verse 5 God holds our future, verse 6 God places boundary lines in our life indicating our future, and in Christ our inheritance is beautiful, verse 7 God’s wisdom is our comfort even when the doubt creeps in, verse 9 we have security in God knowing we are in Him, and verse 11 says that through God we have abundant joy and eternal treasures. 

Trusting God is a daily choice. It’s choosing to trust in the character of God. If we take a look back on our lives, we can see His faithfulness in everything. We can choose to just trust. 

Lord, I ask that despite whatever is going on in our lives that we choose to remember that You are good and we trust You.



by David Holliday

Dave and his family have been part of the LifeHouse family for 6 years. He helps out with the Men’s Ministry and doing just about anything on Sunday mornings, from ushering to parking cars and helping with set up and tear down.

Read Psalm 143

Are you wrestling with a problem? Chances are you either are or will be at some point. Reflecting on my life, it’s been a timeline of wrestling. I am prone to wander. I thank the Lord for His agape love that He has for each one of us. I can relate to King David in this passage in so many ways and it’s not just because we share the same name. Many times I wrestle with thinking by my own might I can change a situation. My intelligence and my strength will be what solves the issue. All too often I fall on my face by thinking I can change the outcome on my own. I, like David in Psalm 143, find myself crying out to God for help. In the process of crying out I remember and reflect on all the victories the Lord has given me in the past. 

When I titled this devotional I couldn’t help but think of the movie “Ghostbusters.” It’s a horrible comparison because God is more than just a mere super hero that shows up in our time of distress to rescue us. Also, as you’ve probably noticed, Ghostbusters was a short lived series of movies. God is timeless. In the same ways he rescued King David and so many others in the Bible, He still hears our prayers today and is as real today as He was back then. 

We should not be surprised when troubles come our way. The word of God tells us to count it as a joy when we face trials of many kinds. How do we accomplish this? We find rest and refuge in JESUS. We pray like David does in this passage; we remember God’s faithfulness in the past, and trust by our faith in Him that He will secure our future. 

God, help us to remember to call on You for all things big and small.

Week 2

Sacrifice - Day 1

Love Sacrifices

by Ann Landry

Ann and her husband Davis have been part of the LifeHouse family for 5 years. She is a prayer warrior for our church at all times and is faithfully serving in the Prayer Room on Sundays.

Read Mark 14:3-9

In this passage, God gives us an account of a person pouring their love upon Jesus in sacrifice. Love sacrifices. Sacrifice is defined as “love purposefully giving itself, no matter the cost involved.” It is the giving of something or one’s self for someone or something of greater value. God’s standard for sacrifice is that it has to cost you something. The value of the gift is determined by what it costs the giver. God’s love moved Him to sacrifice His best, His one and only Son. Jesus had poured His love upon Mary and her family. His infinite love for her had produced a love in her for Him. Love mastered Mary and carried her away to costly sacrifice. Her sacrifice proved that she understood that Jesus Himself was the most valuable gift she had ever received, and her relationship and fellowship with Him was her most precious treasure. Her heart obviously overflowed with love and gratitude, and seemed to move her to action thinking, “What can I do to express my love and gratitude to Jesus for all He has done for me?” He was the One worthy of her treasured sacrifice, so she poured upon Jesus a spectacular and costly gift, a jar of perfume that was equivalent to a year’s wages. Though some criticized Mary for what she did, Jesus responded by commending her sacrifice as a good work or a beautiful thing that she had done for Him. He said, “She has done all she could.” She sacrificed, giving her best. What God had afforded Mary to have as a treasure, she gave, teaching us when it comes to sacrifice in worship, He wants us to give our best to Him. He knows what He’s given us, just as He knows if what we give is our best. 

As we think of Jesus and His sacrifice for us, and the value and worth of the Gospel, we would do well to ask ourselves, “What can I do to express my love and gratitude to Jesus?” If I was to bring my “best” in sacrific eto Him, what would I bring? We all have a flask of sacrifice to pour upon Jesus. When God puts the opportunity before you to extend the Kingdom of God through your sacrifice, what will your response be? God is giving us, as He did Mary, an opportunity to show that He is our Treasure. As each of us considers offering God a sacrifice worthy of Him, what might you offer Jesus as your best? 

O Lord, for the glory of Your name and in Jesus’ name, we ask You to grant us the same compelling love of Mary, and to stir us to do our best in offering a pleasing sacrifice, worthy of You. Amen

Sacrifice - Day 2

Choose Brotherly Love

by Rachel Pett

Rachel and her family have been part of the LifeHouse family for 2 years and she loves serving with children in TeamKID.

Read Hebrews 13:1-8

Where I grew up in Maryland, there was a popular bumper sticker that encouraged us to “Choose Civility.” It made me laugh because I thought to myself, is civility really the best we can do? Well, Paul believed we should do much more. In his opening statement in Hebrews 13, he begins with, “Let brotherly love continue.” Here and throughout the Bible, brotherly love means far more than “civility” could ever measure up to. Brotherly love is the type of affection that involves a strong, warm and personal attachment to another person, and not necessarily a family member. And that is the foundation of the rest of Paul’s letter. From brotherly love, all else flows. As a sacrifice to God, we do the hard and sometimes uncomfortable things in life. Paul gives us a few examples of areas in our lives to demonstrate this. 

Being hospitable towards strangers is not always easy with the differing of opinions, but it’s no easier today than it was in Paul’s time. And, more importantly, God asks us to. How can we claim to be followers of Christ and not show love toward others? Extending “hospitality” to strangers and those who are imprisoned can merely be expressed through encouragement, prayer or kindness. Showing brotherly love in our marriages seems like a simple task, but how often in the course of our day do we (intentionally or unintentionally) squelch the heart of our spouse with our words or actions? Additionally, being content with what we have allows us to not begrudge what others have, but rather focus on displaying love and not envy towards them. True contentedness comes from knowing God has us tightly in His hands and that He will supply all of our needs. With this assuredness, we are free to “Choose Brotherly Love” rather than just choosing to be civil. 

God, we ask You to reveal to us all the opportunities in our day where we can show brotherly love to others.

Sacrifice - Day 3

Do Not worry

by Henry Rozanski

Henry has been part of the LifeHouse family for 5 years and he helps lead our Discovery class for those who are just beginning to walk with the Lord or want to grow in their faith.

Read Matthew 6:19-29

When I finished school I had a plan to work hard to obtain all the promises available to me living in the greatest nation on earth. Many years later I discovered that material and secular pursuits could not satisfy the void that existed in my spiritual life. It’s only when I returned to regular church attendance and Bible study that I felt God calling me to tithe on a regular basis. I also realized that I had a distinct fear and distrust of “giving up” 10 percent of my income due to all the financial obligations I had assumed over time. Later, I realized that the way I used wealth was an indication of the condition of my “heart.” By putting money first in my life, it had assumed a kind of Idolatry. My false priorities were actually a type of greed that Jesus said could infect my entire life with superficial earthly values. 

It was only after several Bible studies and meditations on what Jesus said about trusting Him with all my needs that I realized that if I put God first, my material needs will be managed by Him. He is greater than my fears and trusting in Him will sustain me. When I call on God as my “Father,” worry is unreasonable. He is everywhere, knows everything, is all powerful, and His heavenly rewards are limitless. Therefore, I demonstrate my faith by seeking Him and trusting Him in all things. 

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your unlimited grace and generosity. Give me the wisdom and discernment to spend my time and resources wisely to further Your Kingdom. I know I am never far from Your powerful love and care. Amen.

Sacrifice - Day 4

Why sacrifice?

by Jeff Sareyka

Jeff and his family have been part of the LifeHouse family for 5 years. He serves as an Elder, as well as the LifeGroup Coordinator.

Read Romans 11:33-12:2

This summer, my family and I vacationed in Florida along the Gulf Coast. One of my sons wanted to look for seashells. Now, for me, seashell hunting would fall way down the list of things to do at the beach. I obliged and joined him in searching for shells. I will admit, we found some beautiful large shells. But what amazed me more was just how beautiful the small shells are as well. We were more in awe of the colors, design and uniqueness that was found in the smaller shells. Our focus on the big shells turned into appreciating the smaller things. 

In Romans 12:1 and 2, we are told that we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable. We are also instructed to not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of our mind. But why? What gives us the desire and passion to surrender ourselves and present our bodies as living sacrifices, surrendering all for a life that God calls us to? Similar to the small seashells, the verses that precede these verses pack a powerful punch and uniqueness that explains why we are to make such a sacrifice. Romans 11:33-35 are beautiful and worshipful praise of the God we serve. Take a minute to read them. 

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom that God provides. Once we get a glimpse of God and the fact that all things are from Him, through Him and to Him and how powerful He is, our eyes and heart should want to do nothing but be a sacrifice that’s holy and acceptable. And THIS is our spiritual worship. Don’t neglect the small things. In this case, those small things represent the worship that brings us closer to the Creator of all things, including cool little seashells. 

Heavenly Father, how awesome are Your ways and how amazing is the depths of Your wisdom! Give us the desire to strive for holiness and the desire to present our bodies as a living sacrifice for the One all things are for, through, and to. Amen.

Sacrifice - Day 5

His will. not mine.

by Kira Krell

Kira and her family have been part of the LifeHouse family for almost 2 years. She enjoys serving the church body by making meals for those in need.

Read Colossians 1:9-14

Last year we made the decision to homeschool both of our children. This decision has not been easy. I had felt God leading me to homeschool for quite some time, without acting upon it. I made excuses like: It is too much work. They won’t learn anything. The kids won’t like it. 

I did not listen to the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit and continued doing it “my way”. It did not end well. Their last year in public school was filled with difficult situations, situations that I did not anticipate. After many tears and hardship, I finally surrendered everything, myself and my children to the One who created us and knows what is best for us. 

We have now successfully completed our first year of teaching at the “Krell Academy” and we had such a positive experience. I did not expect the many blessings along the way, such as spending more quality time with my kids and learning new and exciting things, to name just a few. I thank God for His guidance throughout this process. 

God chose to include this prayer in Colossians 1 as an example for us: 

“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way.” 

Lord, let Your will be done even if it means that my will is not done.

Sacrifice - Day 6&7

living worthy of the gospel

by Jarvis Brennan

Jarvis has been part of the LifeHouse family for 5 years. He serves all over - working with LSM, hanging out with the 4 and 5 year olds, ushering, and helping with the audio visual team.

Read Colossians 1:9-14

As Christians, our lives should reflect what and who we believe in. Often, a Christian may see another Christian living their life in a way that doesn’t reflect what they claim to believe in. You may think to yourself, “That’s not how a Christian should act!” You could also be nervous that, a nonbeliever could encounter this person not living their faith according to the Gospel, which could turn them away from Christ. But, instead of focusing on the faults of others, this gives us the opportunity to look at ourselves and how we’re living to glorify Christ, because, it is our job to live our lives according to the gospel. So, nonbelievers may see how a true Christ Follower really lives their life. 

In Philippians 1:27-30, Paul is writing to the Philippian church, charging them to, “Let the manner of your life be worthy of the gospel of Christ.” The way we live our lives should reflect and glorify Christ. When we live in a manner worthy of the gospel, we will be different but this different is what can draw people to Jesus. Christians should be the light that shines through the darkness in all we do. Paul then goes on to state that living for Christ is not always going to be easy. He explains that, in living for Christ may come suffering. But, God uses suffering to glorify Himself through us. The way we live is our biggest example to non-believers around us. Therefore we need to make sure that how we live our lives is reflecting Christ. 

God, we come to You for the strength and courage to live a life that is worthy of Your gospel no matter what. We pray that our belief will cause us to suffer for You just like You did for us on the cross.

Week 3

Surrender - Day 1

by Ken Reese

Ken and his family have been part of the LifeHouse family for 5 years. He serves in TeamKID and on the set up and tear down team.

Read Acts 2:42-47

When it comes to reading God’s Word, most times we read the passages as mere stories or like a history book. The truths that are there changed the lives of those who lived them and can do the same for us. Acts 2:42-47 is no exception. In fact this passage is one that cuts us to our very human core. Our human nature is to achieve/succeed in life, and not settle. We are programmed to compete and conquer. We tend to accumulate items that we hold dear to us in our striving for our achievements (cars, houses, boats, entertainment systems, etc), because we deserve them for our hard work. 

Here in this passage we have God’s people selling their possessions to give to those in need and working as a team to achieve God’s goal (not their own). We can have such an impact as a church if we can surrender our individual desires and devote ourselves to God’s plan as a unified body. Christ set the ultimate example for us by not living for Himself. Even He surrendered to God’s will and plan. God has a specific mission for each and every one of us. It requires us to be in full subjection to Him and His will, so we stay on course. What do you need to surrender, so that your history book can be as fulfilling as those we read about? 

God help me to see the specific plan You have for me and help me to stay on course.

Surrender - Day 2

An Invitation to Surrender to "More"

by Johanna Cannelongo

Johanna and her family have been part of LifeHouse for almost 4 years. She, along with her husband Brian, serves in LSM with our teens.

Read Luke 5: 1-11

“Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.” (George Mueller) 

It can be so much safer to stay on the shores but are you missing the “more” in life? Peter was invited to surrender in faith to the only One who truly fills us up. Because, miraculous filling does not happen in the shallow safe waters. He was called out to the deep to let down his empty nets and to catch his miracles. It looked impossible. He had been fishing all night with no results. He had nothing. But our God uses our empty nets to show His glory. When we feel desolate, that’s when we are asked to surrender and that’s when we are invited to walk out where our eyes can’t see. When we have nothing left to give or offer, that’s when Jesus enters in. Peter was at the end of himself when he bravely answered an invitation. That moment was life changing. He allowed Jesus’ words to be louder than human reasoning. He got to see a miracle!! He was blown away, humbled, undone, and blessed with absolute abundance. That is what happens when you are face to face with God’s glory in the deep shores of dependence on His strength alone. God’s incredible and unbelievable blessings follow and fill us up only after an act of great trust and surrender in the God who can do the impossible. 

Four years ago my family and I were graciously invited out to the “deep” to run to a baby girl in China who had a very broken heart. It was logical to let fear win. Her medical needs were scary and we felt unequipped. However, in God’s gracious mercy, He gave us the faith to surrender and say a brave, “yes.” It was only after that step of forward faith into the deep that God would remove all our fears and begin to overflow us with His abundance. To imagine the miracles our family would have missed had the comfort of “shore-life” won! He filled our nets with 4 overflowing years of hope, joy, miracles, hugs, kisses and abounding love. Jesus took our precious daughter home to Heaven at 6 years old to fully heal her heart. Our hearts are temporarily broken until Heaven but we are eternally blessed and forever changed by our beautiful warrior-daughter, our forever treasure in Heaven, because we were invited to surrender to the deep and to experience “more” of His glory. I’m so grateful. 

Jesus, forgive our lack of trust in You and give us the faith to surrender when You invite us out to the deep waters so we do not miss Your abundant miracles! Please show us Your glory!

Surrender - Day 3

Crazy love

by Jesse Blanton

Jesse and his family have been part of the LifeHouse family for 5 years. Jesse is an elder at LifeHouse, helps lead our Men’s Ministry and leads a LifeGroup along with his wife, Erin.

Read 2 Corinthians 5:13-15

I remember witnessing to a neighbor of mine, Bruce. After becoming friends with Bruce, I shared the Gospel with him and invited him out to some community focused church functions. He was always interested about why I was so “into church” and we had repeated conversations about God. One day, Bruce shared with me that he received a voicemail from me that was a little odd. I guess I had accidentally dialed his number and he got to hear what I was listening to on my way to work that morning. I typically play sermons while I’m driving in the car and that morning I guess God wanted Bruce to hear it too! Well, needless to say, Bruce always thought I was a little crazy being so into God and this experience just reinforced his perception! 

Has God’s love ever made you seem “out of your mind” to someone? Do you live your life in a way that it would seem this way? Verse 14 of Corinthians 5 tells us that Christ’s love compels us. The Greek word here for compel is “Sunechei” (derived from Sun and Echo) and means to control, to seize or hold together. It’s often used in conjunction with arresting a prisoner or an illness taking over someone. Have you experienced God’s love in a way that takes over your life? It’s a love that seizes, controls and may make you look a bit crazy to people who don’t understand what God’s love is all about! 

Lord Jesus, I pray that Your love takes over me, surrounds me and fills me. Help me be a blessing to others today and share Your love with them.

Surrender - Day 4

A New View

by Raymond Cormier

Ray and his wife Shar have been part of the LifeHouse family for a year and a half. You’ll often find them on the greeter team welcoming you as you enter the doors.

Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2

When I was being raised in a single family home (my father died when I was eleven) my mother instructed me in a way to survive in the natural world. If I lived according to the standards of this world then everything would be alright. When I came into adulthood and tried to walk a straight and narrow path according to the standards of the world system, I began to realize that something is wrong with the standards of success in this world and that something is wrong with me. I thank God that HE began to awaken me from the fallen state of the world. 

The world preaches lies that will not fulfill or satisfy. Our Lord came into this world in the flesh and the world did not recognize or honor Him. Through grace and mercy we now have the ability to surrender our lives to our Heavenly Father. We can be fulfilled and satisfied, because that which was missing, has now been made found. His surrendered life that HE lived in obedience to the Father has given the world hope for today and forevermore. Today is the day of salvation; all we have to do is believe and trust. 

Father, I ask You to continue to wrestle away my will, so that Your perfect will is done. Help us surrender ourselves completely to You. Glory!

Surrender - Day 5

with god all things are possible

by Jill Leonard

Jill and her family have been part of LifeHouse for 3 years and she loves serving in TeamKID.

Read Mark 10:23-30

Today many people consider themselves “good” if they have lived a moral life and have not committed any horrendous sins. Some believe that all they need to do is a little more “good” and this will earn salvation. Such was the thinking of the rich young ruler found in Mark 10:17-22. Surrendering his physical security and trusting in Jesus was too great a risk to take. The rich young ruler’s wealth brought him sorrow instead of joy. 

Jesus used the encounter with the rich young ruler to teach his disciples about the poverty of riches and the riches of poverty. In Mark 10: 23-30, Jesus spoke to His disciples and said, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God.” Jesus went on to say, ... ”How difficult it is for anyone to enter the Kingdom of God.” Astonished and confused, His disciples asked, “Then who can be saved?” Here is the good news that is proclaimed by Jesus. Salvation is impossible with man, rich or poor, but with God, and only with God, all things are possible. Earthly riches cannot buy spiritual riches. Earthly riches, when clung to, make you spiritually poor. You can never lose what you have surrendered to Christ. God has promised eternal riches to those who surrender all to follow Him. What do these eternal riches look like? In our scripture reading for today, we are promised a Heavenly Family, a home in the Promised Kingdom, and Eternal Life. What a blessed promise! Those who store up their treasure in Heaven understand the truth expressed by the missionary and martyr, Jim Elliot: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” 

Dear God, please help us to be willing to surrender all to You, knowing with You all things are possible.

Surrender - Day 6 & 7

Not a choice

by Kennedi Phoebus

Kennedi has been part of the LifeHouse family for 6 years. She welcomes visitors at our New Here tent, helps out with the student ministry, and also serves with the Audio Visual team.

Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2

I am an extreme over-thinker which results in me being very indecisive. I am so terrible at making decisions that my family and friends often get frustrated with me over my inability to make the call on simple things like where we should eat, which top looks better on them, or which movie we should watch. I’m the kind of person that prefers clear direction. 

One of my favorite things about the Bible is that God is very clear on what steps to take and what our mission should be. If you’ve attended church for awhile you’ve probably heard of The Great Commission. It’s on the back of our baptism shirts, it’s a verse often mentioned in our services, and it correlates with our core values here at LifeHouse. The Great Commission is the charge Jesus commissioned His disciples with when He left earth and ascended to His throne in Heaven. God didn’t need the disciples and He certainly doesn’t need us, yet he chooses to let us be a part of His mission. God has called each and everyone of us to “go and make disciples of all nations.” 

Once we accept Jesus and begin to follow Him our job is to then go and reach the lost. Although the message of the Great Commission is clear, it’s not easy. I can think of many times someone has shut me down when I’ve shared the Gospel or invited them to church. Rejection never feels good but immediately following God’s charge to us in verse 19, He reminds us how much He loves us in verse 20 by promising, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” One of the biggest struggles for a believer is realizing that salvation is just the beginning of our journey with God. He calls us to SO much more than salvation. He calls us to a life of “making disciples!” That is clear direction. 

I would challenge you to think of who you can have an impact on by sharing this great news. Who is someone in your life who needs Jesus? 

God, I ask that You would reveal someone in my life that needs to be rescued from this sinful world. I pray that You give me boldness and courage to be the light and lead in a way that people would see Your goodness in and through me. I pray for us as a church family, that we would be motivated to go and make disciples! Amen

Week 4

Faithfulness - Day 1

Written for me

by Debbie Faulkner

Debbie and her husband Steve have been part of the LifeHouse family for over 2 years. Debbie is a Baby(Mover) whisperer, helps with the women’s ministry and leads a LifeGroup with Steve.

Read 2 Timothy 4:1-8

I am so blessed to be a member of a church that preaches the Bible chapter by chapter and verse by verse! I know that this is vital in keeping a church “healthy.” Expository preaching keeps me accountable and focused on biblical truth. As I read this charge for Timothy given by Paul toward the end of his ministry, I am well aware it was written for me as well. There is no double spacing in my Bible to fill in my own bits and pieces doctrine! As I stand firm in my belief of biblical truth I’m able to witness and minister to women with passion and love by God’s grace that has been given to me, simply by telling them the Word of God and standing firm in my faith. I think nuts and bolts, not flowers and perfume. Truth is what brings us freedom, and it’s a fail proof formula! The truth is either rejected or accepted. I’m the mouthpiece, but the Holy Spirit does the work. 

As I read verse 7, I think of my dad. He’s 87 and fully aware that he is winding down day by day. I ponder his life and how he has fought the fight, remaining faithful to God’s Word and promises. He is bold in his walk even though there have been many hard times, never questioning his relationship with Jesus. He is finishing the race and has kept the faith. 

A crown of righteousness, the final reward. I read this and see the beauty in God’s Word and will for my life. 

Heavenly Father, I want a to fight the good fight. I desire to finish the race. Help me to be ready, sober minded and willing. Yes, this was written for me.

Faithfulness - day 2

rise to the challenge

by Wendy Henke

Wendy and her family have been part of LifeHouse for 5 years. You’ll often find her greeting or serving behind the hospitality table.

Read Hebrews 11

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it, the people of old received their commendation.” Hebrews 11, often called the Faith Hall of Fame, highlights heroes who “were made strong out of weakness.” Commended are Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the people who “crossed the Red Sea as on dry land,” those “encircling Jericho for seven days” until its walls fell, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and prophets who endured persecution. When faced with indescribable fear and insurmountable obstacles, God empowered them, individually and collectively, to boldly “RISE” to the challenge. 

Take a moment to prayerfully reflect on the Godly heroes in your life…ponder their example, their influence. Let God reveal to you those whom you may not have realized, like a prostitute-turned-pillar-of-faith Rahab, who positively impacted your faith. At every turn, including our turn now at LifeHouse Church, the Lord continues to wondrously weave men, women, and children together – transforming weakness into strength – all for His Glory and our good. 

Father God, thank You! Because You are faithful, we can be faithful, like the heroes before us, to boldly RISE to the challenges before us.

faithfulness - day 3

pressing on

by Benjamin Hankin

Ben and his family have been part of the LifeHouse family for 2 and a half years. He serves with set up and tear down, teaches in the KidJR room, and leads a LifeGroup with his wife Wendy.

Read Philippians 3:12-14

One of my favorite pastimes is hiking in the mountains. There are few things as rewarding as journeying higher and higher over tough terrain to reach the breathtaking views found at the mountain’s peak. Hiking is hard work, but worth it. Hiking requires you to look forward at every step; looking back while taking a step leads to injury, stumbling or even a fall. 

Our journey with Jesus is much like a hiking journey; each step we take brings us closer to taking hold of the abundant life Jesus bought for us on the cross. Some steps are easy, and some steps are treacherous, but every step moves us forward. Sometimes, like Paul encourages the believers in Phillipi, we need to “forget what is behind us” and keep “straining” toward what is ahead, remembering that our prize is a life filled with God’s goodness, grace and mercy. Just like perseverance during a hiking journey leads to breathtaking views and rest, we know that pressing on in this journey will lead to not only a blessed and abundant life, but ultimately to the priceless prize of living life forever with Him. And if we do look back, let it be so we can testify of the incredible faithfulness and long-suffering of our God who works everything in our lives together for our good and His glory. 

Father, help us to look only to the past so we may be reminded that Your faithfulness to us extends ahead of us as well.

faithfulness - day 4

the parable of the unjust steward

by Ralph Freeman

Ralph and his family have been part of the LifeHouse family for 3 and a half years. He serves by working with set up and tear down, ushering, and helping out with the Men’s Ministry.

Read Luke 16:1-13

After reading this parable it draws you to ask the question, “How am I doing as a steward of what God has given me?” At times I don’t think I’m doing a pretty good job. The parable of the unjust steward can be difficult to understand what Christ is conveying here. How is it that an unfaithful steward, about to lose position, gains praise from his employer when he ends his career by stealing more from him? To better understand what Christ is saying in this parable, we need to understand the context of the previous three. 

The Parable of the Unjust Steward is the fourth story given in a series that begins in Luke 15. 

  • The first story is the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:3-7) 
  • The second story is the Parable of the Lost Coin (Luke 15:8-10) 
  • The third story is the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) 

This is a story about an unrighteous servant. To God each of us are stewards of God’s creation and the blessings God gives to us. When God created the world, He gave us dominion over it. A steward is a good description of our role here on earth. A steward does not own the things he manages. In the same way God gives us our lives to manage, but our lives and everything that we have belong to God. 

With the blessings God has granted to each of us come a varying amount of ability. We each have different talents to use and God expects us to use those abilities well. One of the major duties God has given to Christians is the spreading of the Gospel. 

The unjust steward didn’t want to work for a living; he was too lazy to put forth that much effort. We too have been warned that we don’t have much time left for our stewardship. The Pharisees and scribes true problem was that they were too caught up in their current lives and they had lost the proper perspective. They lost sight of the spiritual goal and made a priority of living in the physical. We have to make a choice regarding who we will serve. 

What will you do with the life God is allowing you to manage? 

Father, reveal to me the areas in my life that You have allowed me to be a steward of that I may not be managing well.

faithfulness - day 5

pulled close

by Kristy Kreidler

Kristy and her family have part of the LifeHouse family for 4 years. She helps out in different ways with the children’s ministry and leads a LifeGroup alongside her husband Jason.

Read Joshua 3:5-17

Faith is a complete trust or confidence in someone or something. As a stay at home mom of five small children, I’m faced with challenging situations on a regular basis. When crossing a busy street or making our way through a crowded store, the safety and well-being of my children depends on how well they follow my directions to stay close and listen for my voice. In order to prepare them for these types of situations, I lovingly pull them close and do my best to be sure they are hearing every word. I get down on their level, look them in the eye, explain myself clearly, and confirm that they understand. If they don’t, we continue to go over the situation with much care and love because after all, their lives depend on it. To keep themselves out of danger, they need to trust me. They need to have faith in me. 

Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.” In today’s passage, Joshua was leading the Israelites into the land that God had promised them. Even though God had made His promise to the Israelites, they still needed to cross the river and face enemies on the other side before settling in the Promised Land. Joshua, knowing that the Israelites needed increased faith, pulled them in to him and reiterated the words of the Lord. As I read Joshua 3:9, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God”, I envision a similar situation to the one I described above with my children. Out of love, Joshua called them close, looked many of them in the eye and directed them to listen carefully to the words of the Lord. He knew that hearing the Word of Christ would increase their faith and allow them to move forward in complete trust and confidence in the Lord. 

When you find yourself in a situation where you require or desire more faith, dig into God’s Word and allow Him to wrap His arm around you and pull you close. He has promised that hearing His words will increase our faith in Him. 

Lord, help us to turn to Your Word when we need our faith to be increased, knowing that Your promises are true.

faithfulness - day 6 & 7

faithfully and obediently serving

by Antonio Borja

Antonio has been part of the LifeHouse family for 4 years and he loves to serve in TeamKID.

Read Daniel 6

“The king said to him, ‘May your God, whom you serve so FAITHFULLY, rescue you.’” (Daniel 6:16b) Daniel was a faithful servant. There was a law made that any men who prayed to anyone other than the king in the next 30 days would be thrown into the lions’ den. Even still, Daniel remained faithful to the Lord and prayed to Him. As a result of this faithfulness, God rescued Daniel from the lions’ den. Afterwards, the king would acknowledge God as the Lord. 

Daniel was also obedient to God AND the king. “‘My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in His sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.’” (Daniel 6:22) Daniel was also found FAITHFUL to the king. This is why the king made plans for promoting him. “He was FAITHFUL, ALWAYS responsible, and COMPLETELY trustworthy.” (Daniel 6:4b) All in all, Daniel was a faithful and obedient servant, which resulted in rescue from his disaster, as well as God’s will being done. If we take Daniel’s example, we too can be rescued during our disasters, according to the will of God. 

God, we ask You to reveal to us the areas where we need to be more faithful and obedient, and to help us in those areas.

Week 5

Commitment - Day 1

hand to the plow

by Malcolm Van Atta III

Malcolm and his family have been part of the LifeHouse family for 4 years. Malcolm serves in TeamKID, with the Student Ministry, and in the Prayer Room.

Read Nehemiah 2:11-20

A farmer puts his hand to the plow in a dry and dusty field of untilled soil. He sees through the light of the blue hour that a few of his farm hands are already on the land. His summer crop is laying in ruin. Inspecting his fence and gates he sees that they are broken down again. Sabotage, caused by someone that only wants to see him ruined. There is a lot of work to be done. He turns to his men and says “LET US RISE UP AND BUILD”! 

At the proper time, Nehemiah says, “The city of Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem. That we may no longer suffer derision.” God had given Nehemiah the vision to rebuild the Holy City and he acted in obedience. When you act in obedience, it is often not the easiest path (See Matt 7:13-14). When we are on God’s plan for our lives we will meet “Active Opposition.” When opposition and hostility rise against us, people in our lives are prone to grow discouraged for us (think of Job’s friends) and they may advise the suspension of our work. It is at this time we must remember our faith looks to God alone and triumphantly holds on. We will have trials, we will meet those who jeer and despise us , but remember they are not on the narrow way. They sit idle on the wide path far out of reach. They cannot destroy you. Because if you are in Christ, you belong to God and He cares for you! We remember the promise delivered to Nehemiah, “The God of heaven will make us prosper”. With this promise ringing in our ears, we, with courage, put our hand to the plow and begin the work knowing that we will hit some rocks along the way. 

Lord give us the courage to do Your will in OBEDIENCE, knowing that You are with us, and that it is YOU that will make us prosper. In Jesus Name!

Commitment - Day 2

Trusting obedience

by Zach Pancake

Zach has been part of the LifeHouse family from the beginning days of LifeHouse Church and now helps out with the Student Ministry.

Read Genesis 7:1-5

Genesis 7:1-5 gives us one of the prime examples of obedience encountered in the Bible: the story of Noah and the flood. From the beginning of the story, Noah is the one person in the world that has been faithfully serving God. The population of the world was growing and along with it, evil was spreading. However, Noah stayed true to God and trusted that He would provide and take care of his family. Because of his repeated obedience God chose Noah and his family to carry on his promise. Verse one demonstrates God’s pleasure found in Noah as He commands them into the ark with the reminder, “..for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation.” After this confirmation of His promise, we see God give the responsibility of taking pairs of animals to Noah, whom He trusts. God gave us a clear picture example that when we are faithful, God allows us to take part in His plan. 

After all that God had commended Noah for and commanded him to do, verse five sums up why Noah was chosen for the task. “And Noah did all that God commanded him.” This simple verse displays how simple our obedience to God can and should be. When we are called, we must answer quickly and correctly. We must do what God commands without hesitation and without questioning our all powerful God of His reasons. Noah had no concept of what the ark would do or how exactly every minuscule piece would fit together, however, he followed God and the ark saved his family as well as the animals from the biggest disaster this world has ever seen. 

God help me to have the immediate and trusting obedience that I see in Noah.

commitment - Day 3

far more abundantly

by Brandy Miller

Brandy has been part of the LifeHouse family for 6 years. She helps out with Student Ministry, plays on the Worship Team, and leads LifeGroup with her husband, Joel.

Read Ephesians 3:14-21

Growing up my mom always gave me a hard time about “overthinking” things. As it turns out, it was something I took after her in. I used to think to myself, “Is that really something you can do? Overthink?” When looking at a situation, I would play through all the possible scenarios and make a mental list (that sometimes ended up on paper) of all the pros and cons each way… even if I had no control over the outcome. I still have a tendency to do this sometimes but the overthinking is usually interrupted by the Spirit’s reminder that God is sovereign and I am not. God is all-knowing and I am not. God sees the whole picture and I do not. 

When we look at the last verses in this passage we see that God is “able to do FAR MORE ABUNDANTLY than all that we ask or think.” God doesn’t need us to sit down and come up with grand ideas to serve Him or spread His Name or to tell Him all the possible outcomes. He desires for us to look to Him knowing that His plan and power are greater than anything we can dream up. He desires for us to seek Him in prayer, walk in obedience to His leading, and give Him all the glory as His plan unfolds. 

God, we look to You to do more than we can ever ask or think and we commit to obeying as You lead.

Commitment - Day 4

love through obedience

by Owen Smith

Owen and his family have been part of the LifeHouse family for 2 years and he serves with the tear down team on Sundays.

Read John 15:7-11

Once I was blind, but now I see. Obedience to Christ has helped me come to terms that without Him, I cannot survive. I can do nothing without His blesing. To do otherwise is wasting time and setting myself back from receiving and depending upon Him for bigger and greater things. 

When David says, “I was glad when they say unto me let us go into the house of the Lord,” he means denying one’s self to obey His word is the best choice, everything else comes after. 

John 15:7 says, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” 

Let us seek to obey His Word. A starting point is to pray for God’s will to be done and that He’ll allow His Word to be the anchor that holds our heart. Trust His transition, that His grace is enough for us to make that sacrifice, to surrender to Him daily, even though it’s not an easy task for us. 

But God is faithful to stand by us, and we are by far, better off fully obeying His Word. 

We do not deserve His goodness, but nevertheless He came to give life and hope to as many as whom will fully obey His Word. 

Jesus Himself said, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” 

John 15:8-9   Once I was blind, but now I see. 

Father, help us come to terms with obeying Your Word, even when it’s difficult to trust You. In Jesus name.

commitment - day 5

treasured possession

by Sarah Price

Read Psalm 135:1-7

Sarah and her family have been part of the LifeHouse family for 5 years. She sings on the Worship Team and helps out in TeamKID.

What is your most treasured possession? If you had to evacuate your home in a moment’s notice, only having time to grab a couple of things, what would they be? Photo albums? Heirloom jewelry? An old, marked-up Bible? Did you know that God refers to you as His treasured possession? 

In this passage, the word “praise” is used 5 times in the first 3 verses. Why should we praise God? We are to praise Him for He is good! He has chosen us to be His treasured possession! God, who created the universe, who is Lord over all creation, treasures us. This is a difficult concept for me to grasp, how this inconceivably big God actually knows who I am. And not only does He know who I am, He loves me. He treasures me. He sent His Son to die for me! I did not become a believer until I was a junior in college. Up until that point, I called myself a Christian, yet nothing in my life reflected that except for going to church on Sundays. I can only imagine what God protected me from during those years, and I just cringe at the thought of how I lived my life. But God had other plans for me. He saved me and chose me to be His treasured possession! This is reason to praise Him and to celebrate! 

Dear Lord, You are so big and I am so small! Thank You for loving me when I did not love You; thank You for saving me and making me Your treasured possession!

commitment - day 6 & 7

let everything that has breath

by Nancy Lashey

Nancy and her husband Dave are Pastor Mark’s parents and have been part of the LifeHouse family for years from afar. They have been part of our local body for over a year now and serve in many different areas like the Hospitality Table, or in the Prayer Room to name a couple.

Psalm 150

I have said “Praise the Lord” many times; when finding a parking place in the presence of a car load of people, to surrendering a painful situation when it is just Him and me, in the dark, when it is not easy. There are times when I have forgotten and remember later, “Why didn’t I give praise the instant that happened?...God, You did that, thank you!“ 

However, the longer I walk with God the better I am at recognizing His hand, His orchestration, and His engineering of big and little situations. I have learned that things are not what they seem and to wait. His presence is His sanctuary. The church, the car, your house, your heart...if He is there, that is His sanctuary. Do you see Him outside when you are walking, at the beach, in the sunrise, or sunset? Elohim, is our Creator of all things! At times, I forget to look up, but I remember all He has done. I remember, “He is, He was, and He is to come.” Remember and praise Him because, “He can!” When I praise, He draws nearer to me and I to Him. His powerful sunrise reminds me of the RISEn Son, Jesus. Speak praise, sing praise, with instruments, with percussion; praise and dance. Dance for Him. Reach up in your worship, whether you are in prayer alone in your prayer closet, or singing of His glory in worship service. He is worthy of PRAISE. Let Him know you need Him, desire Him, and trust Him. As long as you have breath, praise; even when it is hard, even when it is dark praise. RISE & PRAISE! 

Oh Lord, we praise You! Praise You for Your mighty deeds, You are Great. We praise You with instruments, harps, tambourines and dance, strings and pipe. We praise You with loud clashing cymbals. Let everything that has breath PRAISE!! Let us praise You on earth as long as we have breath. We love and trust You, Lord! Praise You for Jesus and The Holy Spirit. Amen