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In Need of a Little TLC

The day was as clear to me as yesterday—the day we walked onto the property at what would eventually become Scottsdale Bible Cactus Campus. The first thing I noticed was the chain link fence around the run-down buildings, the homeless man living in the bathroom, and all the overgrown vegetation. It was, as they say, a place that only a mother could love and in much need of “TLC.” However, when you looked deeper, you could picture a once-thriving community where, perhaps, lives were turned around, couples were married, people found purpose in their lives, and even a church potluck was enjoyed. Sadly, those days were long gone and now the property was destined for repurpose as a fast-food restaurant. I wondered how this could have happened after only 30 years.

My thoughts about the property took me to my own Christian journey of about 30 years. Had a place where once there was an abundant life of purpose been overgrown by the cares of the world? Was the age of my building starting to show signs of decay, slowing me down from the commitment that was placed in my life? Maybe you can identify with this journey. Maybe you’ve lost the joy you once found at church. Perhaps what you once thought was real or bringing you happiness has become stale, overgrown, or tired. If you’re a Christian, maybe it’s been years since you were instrumental in seeing someone else come to know the Lord. Whether you are a regular church person or not, you may identify with me and find yourself in need of some TLC.

The great news is that there is someone who sees deeper into your life and stands ready to give you some TLC. I am reminded of the Apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 1:6 that say, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Jesus is not finished with us yet. He looks beyond our staleness and sees the life that was once there, and is anxious to complete His good work. Our Creator is always looking to give you the TLC you need. Whether you’ve never set foot in a church or you occupy a seat each week, isn’t it great to know someone has a plan for your life? Perhaps that tired building I saw is a metaphor for our hearts, and our lives are all in the need of a little TLC.

As a new church campus five years ago, we allowed God to both physically and spiritually do His pruning, His repainting, His remodeling of our buildings and our hearts to restore the original beauty He had planned from the beginning. We began to see our surrounding community as Christ sees them—the hurting, the marginalized and the broken. Our hearts began to be burdened for what burdens Christ.

Won’t you join us on this journey to find the meaning and purpose we long for, to renew the hope we once had, or to perhaps find lasting hope for the first time in Jesus? Over the next few weeks, our pastor will be leading us on a journey about where we find out our identity. Our culture tells us it’s found in our image, our past or our ideas of success, but as we focus on those things, we can get run down, stale and seem to have lives that only a mother could love. God is still in the TLC business and He’s looking to restore you, to give you your true identity back, and to use you to rescue someone else who’s in need of a little TLC.