St. Peter’s Eastpointe: The Olive Tree – February 16, 2017
Psalm 52:8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. 9 I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.
Message from Pastor Cook
Our family read these verses in the Portals of Prayer this morning, and it got me thinking about olive trees. Olive trees are some of the oldest living things on earth, in fact, there are eight trees in the Garden of Gethsemane that are at least 1,000 years old, and many claim that they date back to the time of Christ!
Chances are, when you look at an olive tree, you will not be struck by its beauty, at least not at first. Olive trees are gnarled and twisted and tend not to be terribly symmetrical. However, when you begin to consider that this tree has survived for centuries in places like the one pictured above, you begin to have a new appreciation for the beauty of the humble olive tree. Its beauty does not lie in its outward appearance, but in its longevity – in its hardiness.
The psalmist says that he is like an olive tree, and in doing so, he invites us to consider ourselves like one too. The harshness of our climate may have twisted us in unusual ways, we may have the battle wounds of life’s trials, and yet we remain. We have not been blown over like lesser trees, but have endured through many toils and fears. This strength does not come from us, but is derived from our rootedness in Christ. It is the steadfast love of God that endures forever and ever that gives our endurance to us. Not only does our Heavenly Father richly and daily provide for our needs, he has also planted us in the olive grove of the Church, so that we might weather the storms of life with other olive trees, in the presence of the godly. Like the long-standing olive tree, God calls upon us to live out our lives patiently relying upon him to supply us with all that we need. As we soak up the nutrients of God’s Word today, we marvel that he can make such a tangled mess into a fruitful and beautiful tree in his everlasting garden!
Church, school and ECC families and friends are invited to attend Family Movie Night at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24. The cost is $5 per person or $20 per family. Each person will receive popcorn, candy and a drink. Bring your lawn chair or blanket and get comfortable as we watch Inside Out (rated PG).
Playing soccer at recess, Kinderfest, and the Christmas program every year. I also entered a “yeah” vs. “yes” battle with Mr. Scherer one year. He asked a question, I responded “yeah,” and he decided to repeat the question until he received the answer he wanted which was “yes.” He won after a solid 2 or 3 minute effort.
What did you learn at St. Peter’s that helps you today?
St. Peter’s is a big reason for me being so dedicated to my faith. Of course, the academic knowledge has been beneficial, but the spiritual guidance helped develop me as a person. I believe this has contributed to my success as a business owner and my ability to handle the challenging aspects of life.
What are you doing now?
I’m nearing the celebration of my fifth wedding anniversary. I own a home in Sterling Heights, and I attend Immanuel Lutheran in Macomb Township. I’ve started two businesses from scratch. I created the Mortgage Beyond Network back in 2013 as an innovative way to help current and future homeowners get the most out of their mortgage. My system helps borrowers plan, shop, and track everything without the pressure to refinance or purchase. That continues to grow and help people. I’m excited for the technology advancements we’ll be pursuing throughout the years moving forward. I also started the Lutheran Business Association. The site was officially launched a few weeks ago, and I’ve been receiving a lot of positive feedback thus far. I sit on the #YoPro’s Steering Committee for the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry and on the advisory board for the Professional Law Enforcement Association Foundation. I have a 3-year-old boxer named Broozer too. He helps keep me sane.
What is the Lutheran Business Association?
The Lutheran Business Association (LBA) is essentially a chamber of commerce for LCMS Lutheran professionals and businesses. As I started growing the Mortgage Beyond Network, I realized a lot of my members were Lutherans. Besides attending St. Peter’s, I attended Lutheran East for a year and obtained my diploma from Lutheran High School Northwest. I earned my business administration degree from Concordia University, Ann Arbor. My clients know how strong my faith is and decided to conduct business with me due to our shared values. This lead me to pursue a way to promote my services to the LCMS community.
Throughout my research, I realized there is not a strong or modern way for Lutheran professionals to connect to one another. I created the LBA to help solve this problem. Through our advanced directory system and networking opportunities, Lutherans can find professionals they can trust. The LBA also serves as a new revenue stream for the churches and schools. One-third of our revenue is donated back to this passionate and dedicated community.
How can St. Peter’s members participate in the LBA?
I would love for the members of St. Peter’s to get involved with the Lutheran Business Association in a variety of ways.
First, use the professionals in our directory. If you need hearing aids or insurance or any other product or service, please search our directory. The goal is to find a reliable professional who shares your faith.
Second, if you are a professional or business owner, obtain a membership. Compared to most directories, chambers, and other networking groups, our pricing is very reasonable with monthly and annual options. Besides your profile, you will receive free or discounted networking and other marketing opportunities throughout the year.
Third, share the news! Follow us on Facebook, tell people about us, and reach out to us if you have questions. The goal of the Lutheran Business Association is to grow and support the LCMS community. We need people involved to make this a reality!
As a member of St. Peter’s, use the following discount code on your LCMS Connect Membership: CougarCode17 – you will obtain your first 3 months free on the monthly membership or 25% off your annual membership.
Thank you for your support! God bless!
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, School and Early Childhood Center