I have a story to tell! It's a story about how Jesus shows up in unexpected ways, at unexpected times, and does unexpected things ... It's a story about how Jesus leveled my expectations of him as I watched him work in my body, and in all the folks around me. He taught me how to ground all I know of healing solidly in truth. My story is one of healing, cellular and soulular, beautifully in process and full of hope. Friends, Jesus still works miracles. Jesus heals, and he is my healer. I can't wait to share with you what's he's been doing in my life lately. I sure hope I see you Sunday! ~ Heather
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
~ Luke 4:18-19
What Luke (and Isaiah) said? That's exactly what Jesus did. That was his mission statement. Jesus healed blind people, and raised dead people, and set free those who were oppressed by demons. He met people right where they were and called down healing over them ... over and over again (at least 40 times in the gospels). In scene after scene, we see Jesus touching people and loving them and proclaiming healing over them. Friends, healing is the stuff Jesus did! And as followers of Jesus, we also are called to be healers and to do "the Jesus stuff." Let's talk about that. Let's get inspired by the healing stories among us to step into the healing life of a Jesus-loving, hand-laying, prayer-proclaiming, trust-and-obeying believer! See you Sunday!
I have a confession to make. For at least half of my life, I really didn’t understand why we “went to church.” I had no vision for anything other than simply trying to please God. Consequently, church for me was … boring. Church struck me as a place where my family was obligated to act happier and holier than we actually were. Can you relate?
What I wish I had understood earlier in my life is that the Christian call to be part of a church community is actually an invitation into a powerfully meaningful life. We all know community is essential. But do we know why? The simple truth is that the Church is God’s plan "A" for bringing healing and restoration to our lives and to our world. So join us Sunday as we dive into what it means to be "Free to be the Church!"
On Sunday, we learned from Paul and the Galatians about all the things we are free from as followers of Jesus. “Freedom from” a crucial step in our spiritual journey, but eventually we have to move on to focusing on “freedom to,” which is all about creating. This is where we get to focus on God’s preferred future. Freedom TO is about going through the right doors at the right time for the right reasons. This Sunday, we focus on the "freedom to" life, and learn from Jesus himself just how life-giving spiritual freedom can be.
Egypt. Babylon. Exile. These are the terms of captivity that show up over and over again in the story of God. Why? Because God's people spend a lot of time stumbling in the dark of captivity, unable to embrace a "freedom to" life. This Sunday, we'll talk about how to gain "freedom from" so we can live the better half of the good news about Jesus. And it IS great news! Christ longs to fill our emptiness with his Holy Spirit, who brings with him the freedom we long for. Let's continue on this road to freedom, friends. I'll see you Sunday! (now you get to say, "Sounds great! Let's go!")
We know the invitation to follow Jesus is an invitation into freedom, but too often we put the emphasis on things we are free FROM. We are free FROM guilt, sin, shame ... all the bad things. Of course, it's good to let go of things that have not worked for us, but we do the greatest disservice to Christianity when we make it only a list of things we have to stop doing in order to go with God when the Christian walk offers so much more than just "freedom from." Our faith is very much a freedom TO enterprise. We do the greatest disservice to Christianity when we make it a list of things we have to stop doing in order to go with God. Paul tells us that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. That's an invitation to explore possibilities.
So let's do that this month! Let's take a few weeks to talk about the things we are free from and how that frees us up to creatively explore all we have been set free TO. Let's look together at what freedom looks like for us especially in this season, and just imagine what God can do! Can't wait to get started!
Our message this Sunday will speak to the heart of our mission: "In a broken world, we help people become whole through Jesus."
This Sunday well finish our series on Ezra with a word on the need for discernment and the discipline of waiting on the Lord. Because like a pendulum, the world seems to swing from one extreme to another. We desperately need to develop real discernment. Amidst a fast-paced and distracted culture, discernment requires a willingness to wait on the Lord. For most of us, waiting on the Lord sounds passive, and ... boring. However, what if waiting is our best opportunity to bring our most authentic selves before God? What if it also opens the door for us to participate in God’s solutions to the world’s problems? What if God’s ways are worth the wait? Join us Sunday and we'll explore those questions and so much more.
How often do you feel overwhelmed by the chaos in our world? It's easy to find ourselves living in the tension between order and chaos, healing and brokenness. We want to do something to make it right, don't we? Not only in the world, but our worlds. What if the only thing that will bring order out of chaos is God's presence? What if the only thing we can do is lean in and join God where he is already working? That's what we find in Ezra 7 & 8. Join us this Sunday and to discover your own unique thirst for God's presence, a presence that brings healing into our lives and the lives of those around us.
Been to the movies lately? Or streamed one? A really good one? Ones of those stories that tug at your heartstrings? One of those stories that bring tears to your eyes? One of those stories that stirs your soul? Have you ever wondered why it impacts us that way? Why can we watch that kind of story over and over again? Get the answer this Sunday as we look at chapters 5 and 6 of Ezra. What? Ezra? Really? You have got to be kidding, right? Nope, that’s what we will discover.