Branching Out

The continuing growth and development of Tree of Life Church

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Whatever you are doing this Christmas, have an awesome time.  I am going to have a holiday from posting until the first week in January.  Remember, you don’t stop influencing people just because you are at a party with them.  Be sober minded and gracious whatever you are doing.

Thanks for reading this blog, thanks for the comments – here’s to an awesome Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Grace and peace,

Benjamin

5 Ways to Ensure You Keep Christ in Christmas

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It’s a busy time of year – we know it.  And it shouldn’t be time to ignore our Lord and Saviour!  Here are some simple steps you can take to ensure that you keep Christ in Christmas!

5.  Sit down, have a cup of tea and read Matthew 2 then Luke 1.  Beautiful!

4.  Go to a Christmas service.  Go high church – candles, holly, mulled wine, and all the Scripture reading and carols.

3.  Watch the Nativity.

2.  Buy a CD of Christmas Carols, or use Youtube to find your favourite.

1.  Keep praying and reading your Bible and doing your daily devotional routine, no matter what else is going on.  Not legalism – discipline!

It’s Christmas! (Well, nearly)

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It’s the second of December.  You have just over three weeks to get ready for Christmas.  I’m not talking about presents and cakes and turkeys and mince pies and cranberry sauce.  I’m talking about the fact that Christmas softens people’s hearts.  It’s amazing – the combination of the cold, snow making everything look clean, the idea of Santa giving gifts gratis, and possibly too much Christmas wine – but people are softer right now than they ever are.

People associated Christmas with church still as well.  So this is the single best time to invite people to church!  That is the simple truth.

So think about who you know – friends, family, work colleagues – people who will turn down an invite to “church” will probably accept an invitation to a Carol Service.

So use this season wisely!

Envy – the Carbon Monoxide of the Soul

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Carbon Monoxide is called the “silent killer”.  It has no taste, no smell, no colour.  If inhaled it stops your body bonding with oxygen – it stops you breathing from the inside!

In your thought life, there is another silent killer.  It infects you from the inside out and stops you living the abundant life that God has created for you.  It’s called envy.

James 3.16 tells us that:

For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

Consider that carefully – where there is envy, confusion and every evil thing are.  Envy brings confusion and every evil thing into your life.

The first symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are dizziness, vomiting and confusion.  The confusion isn’t caused by the carbon monoxide, but by the fact that it prevents you getting the oxygen you need.

Envy doesn’t attract every evil thing into your life by itself, but because envy stops you from seeing and grasping how much God loves you, how much you are loved and looked after, and from realizing the riches of your inheritance.

Envious thoughts are essentially negative thoughts about other people’s success.  When someone else gets a new car, new house, new handbag, a new ministry, a new spouse… you want what they have.  You are now immediately heading for a negative thought.  You are thinking about how come they are blessed, how come they have that.  You are taking your eyes away from your blessings, from gratitude and from faith.

Faith and thanksgiving are the oxygen for Christians.  That’s what we need to breathe in our emotions, our thoughts, our life so we can soar, so we can do everything God called us to do.

Envy takes your eyes off the fact that God loves you, that God is for you, that God has a unique plan for you that He is working through with you.

Deal with envy.  It’s a silent killer.  It’s stopped many, many, many people from walking in the abundance God has for you.

4 Things You Should Do Before Today Ends

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4.  Tidy a room in your house

3.  Listen to Pachelbel’s Canon in D while drinking green tea

2.  Tell someone you love them

1.  Go for a walk outdoors

DIG for Sunday the 16th of November…..do not discard the old testament…..Luke 24 v 32

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treeoflifelondon:

Good word!

Originally posted on Heilan Word Ministries:

I know the old testament can be difficult to understand, and I know that it can be hard to reconcile some of what we read with what we read in the new testament.

However, the old testament is as valid as Scripture as the new is (2 Timothy 3 v 16).

The old is full of references to Jesus, indeed it all points towards Jesus.

In Luke 24 we see Jesus appearing to two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24 v 13 to 32).

Jesus spoke to them about Himself by explaining the Scriptures; the Word says by expounding Moses and the prophets (Luke 24 v 27).

This means that Jesus used the Scripture from the old testament (as we know it now) to explain about Himself.

And the disciples were excited about this, saying that their hearts did burn while He was expounding the Scriptures…

View original 216 more words

7 Things You Can Do To Make Church A Better Place this Sunday

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7.  Bring a box of doughnuts and hand them out to people.  Everyone loves doughnuts!

6.  Write out a thank you card to someone you encouraged you at church last week and hand it to them.

5.  Today, read Ephesians 3.14-21 and pray it for the first person in your church who comes to mind as you read it.

4. When you pick up your children from Sunday School, thank the people who gave up their Sunday morning not to worship and hear the Word but to look after and help your children learn about God and free you up to enjoy church.  Better still, give them chocolates.

3. Turn up 30 minutes early.  Find something that needs doing to set up and do it.  Repeat as necessary!

2. Offer to take someone you barely know or don’t know out for lunch after church.

1.  Do something kind and generous to the pastor’s family.  His wife and children.  It will make his day!

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