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Pastor Chris

Intentionally Loving Relationships

April 29, 2020

A cherished mentor of mine impressed this saying on me during my formative college years.

“Life change happens in the context of intentionally loving relationships.”

This short saying became a motto for my life and ministry and I’m so thankful it has. It is evident God has wired us for relationships and for community, which is also the means for our transformation and development.

How do we grow? The easy answer is through the influence of others. It’s hard to recall 5 specific sermons, class lectures or videos that most impacted our life. But it’s easier to recall 5 specific people who made a positive impact on you.

How did they shape you? And why did you allow them that opportunity over the hundreds or thousands of other possible people buying for your time? I’m convinced we don’t care about how much someone knows until we know how much they care. It is their “intention” that harnesses our “interest.” The most interesting people in the world, in my opinion, are the ones who are most interested in you. I would rather spend time with someone that cared about me than with someone who was incredibly interesting but only cared about themselves. Imagine a teenage guy meeting their favorite basketball star after a big game and the basketball star asked questions about the young player’s basketball training, shooting and dribbling skills. That would mean more to the teenage guy than if the basketball star gloated of his own accomplishments.

What vision for ourselves, for our life and our world has another person created for you? An even greater question and relationship we can align ourselves with is this… What vision for ourselves, our life and our world has God invited you into? Your greatest opportunity for positive life change is within your relationship with God, who intentionally reaches out to you and cares for you.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:7

My final challenge to our youth and our church is this… Be interesting and loving. What will make you interesting and loving is your intentional interest in others and in God. Watch out world! We have some interesting people here cooking up something special.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Chris

Humility

April 22, 2020

Jesus said in Luke 18:14, “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Humility is a central character trait for followers of Jesus. But how do Christians develop it?

Humility is often misunderstood as self-degradation where someone might say, “Oh, I’m not good enough for that…” when actually they are. “Stop being so humble,” we typically respond. This is because people who are actually lacking humility are the ones who think (or presume) they are too good for certain things or they are people who pretend they are something greater than they really are.

I think C.S. Lewis says it best, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” Those with humility are those who naturally place other’s needs higher than their own. This is backwards thinking according to the ways of our world where we are taught to push our way to the front.

This devo was inspired by Dallas Willard, one of my favorite authors/teachers/theologians, who wrote in his book Renewing the Christian Mind: Essays, Interviews, and Talks…

I have a three-step plan for humility:
1. Never pretend.
2. Never presume.
3. Never push.”

Grace and peace,
Pastor Chris Tansey

Pastor Chris’ Farewell

A Message from your Youth Pastor Chris Tansey

Thursday, April 16, 2020

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I pray this message finds you well. This is heartbreaking for me as I wish there was a better way for me to transition and that this could be done in person. I have moved my resignation to April 30 for personal, family and professional reasons. This is certainly unprecedented times.

La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church has been my home church since 1998 when I was 10 years old. I grew up in the youth ministry of La Casa where my youth pastor inspired me to pursue my dream job. He encouraged my pursuits of a Christian higher education at Azusa Pacific University where I double majored in Youth Ministries and Biblical Studies. I then received a full-ride scholarship to pursue my Masters of Divinity at APU and was offered an opportunity of a lifetime to join the staff of LCDC in May 2014 and soon after ordained at LCDC in February 2015. It has been a blessing to serve the youth and families of LCDC for the past six years. We have grown SOOO much together. Sunday mornings, Wednesday nights, Confirmation classes, winter retreats, lock-ins, capture the flag, Confirmation Camp, Summer Trips, VBX and other special activities we’ve shared together. I will miss and cherish it all. There are few people in the world that get the opportunities I’ve had, and I feel very blessed because of it. I’ve witnessed the Holy Spirit fall upon our youth ministry and transform lives during passionate youth-led worship. I’ve supported hundreds of teens in becoming fully devoted followers of Jesus. I’ve had the opportunity to baptize youth and adults, officiate marriages, visit dozens of youth in hospitals and unfortunately help preside over a funeral for an LCDC youth. The relationships I’ve developed I will cherish most. One on one conversations and prayers at church or at camps, whether at Starbucks or Dutch Bros, In & Out or Five Guys, Nektar Juice Bar or Wow Wow’s Lemonade, Cold Stone or Rita Water Ice, SomeBurros or Chipotle, helping teens one on one grow in the Christian faith has been such a privilege.

Please stay in touch. I would love to hear updates on your life, colleges you attend, careers you’re exploring, receive wedding invitations and baby announcements (which will come many, many years from now), and whatever else you want to let me know. My personal email is christansey63@gmail.com and I would love to hear from you!

I invite you to explore our online picture and video archives for all the fun memories and special moments we have shared growing in our faith in God. High quality images can be found here on our SmugMug Account.

I also invite you to tune in as a family, this Friday night (April 17) on lacasalive.com for our Youth Livestream event starting at 5:50pm until 6:30pm. The video I created, “Into the Unknown” is a blessing I’d like to share with you and your family.

The next two weeks I will be providing support for LCDC to make a smooth transition. I am fully supportive and confident in our youth leadership team moving forward. We have incredible leaders and parents on board to ensure the success of our youth ministry. Suzan Scudder will serve as the Interim Youth Director as of May 1, 2020 and I will be praying for her and all our leaders.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Chris, Catherine, Callie and Clara Tansey

Jesus Valued Solitude

April 15, 2020

“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16

Solitude, the practice of purposefully abstaining from interaction with other human beings and denying ourselves companionship, was an important practice for Jesus. Today, we call this social distancing.

We might go to the desert, the wilderness, anywhere away from the urban crowds. Within our own homes, we retreat to our own private quarters, walk around the block, lounge alone in the backyard, unplugged and away from distractions. Nature alone can contribute to our spiritual well-being. However, it is solitude that frees us. We become free from the “normal” day-to-day human interactions and patterns of our world that are set against God. Solitude creates space for the integration of our thoughts, feelings and actions into God’s proper order.

Solitude is an opportunity to disconnect in order to connect with God.

May you discover a valuable connection you have available during this time of social distancing.

Pastor Chris Tansey

Social Exile

April 8, 2020

A little over a week ago, Pastor Jeff referred to our current situation as a “social exile.An exile is where people are removed from the comforts of their home and taken to a faraway land. We certainly are not forcibly removed from our homes, but we are restricted from each other and the comforts of our daily routines of work, school and social recreation.

The Bible Project produced an incredible animated video that makes the biblical understanding of exile easy to understand.

Centuries of investing, building and developing Israel’s kingdom came crashing down during one event, the Babylonian exile. This was God’s nation. Nothing was “supposed” to come against it, although Israel’s prophets offered countless warnings that continued disobedience and unfaithfulness would raise God’s defense system.

It needs to be said, the Covid-19 outbreak is not directly related to any particular sin for any particular people group, but rather is allowed to occur in our world separated from God where other terrible things occur. As poetically stated in Genesis 1, humanity was exiled from the Garden of Eden for their disobedience. Jesus now graciously paves the way for us back into relationship with God and is working towards ALL creation to be restored to its intended order.

No matter what kind of exile we find ourselves in, there is always hope, which God made clear through his prophets. What God asked of Israel then and asks of us now can be found within their words…

Jeremiah 29:10-14
10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

However long this “social exile” may be, let us call upon the LORD and seek God with all of our hearts. And let us thank God for his mercy and graciousness to us all.

Pastor Chris Tansey