living the way
Jesus’ message is nothing if not practical. He never leaves his teaching circling a theological airport or lost in abstraction. His message is always targeted on how we live and choose in this very moment. These audio messages intend to help us live our spirituality where rubber and road meet.
Dave Brisbin | 2.12.17
Why try to understand Jesus’ message from a first century, Hebrew point of view? What will that change? There’s a question I get a lot. The answer is: mostly everything. Whatever we say about Christianity being a relationship rather than a religion, the truth is that Western Christianity has become heavily focused on an intellectual understanding of theology and a rational/literal understanding of scripture, a legal view of our relationship to God, a dualistic view of life—especially the separation of the spiritual and physical, and an emphasis on the afterlife as opposed to life herenow that sharply defines our view of and attitude toward life and spiritual practice.
Dave Brisbin | 2.5.17
Growing up, my church taught me to believe that a savior was coming—someone out there who would change me, save me from myself and my sin. I just had to believe and obey and wait. And that belief ordered the understanding of my faith, dictated day to day choices and attitudes. But reading through Hebrew eyes, Jesus is teaching something quite different…that no one is coming to save us. No one is coming because everyone and everything we’d ever need has always been and is already here. He says the waiting is over, the kingdom is here; he says we won’t find it by looking out there somewhere–it’s within and among. He really couldn’t be any clearer that the salvation, the transforming change we seek is already right here in our midst.
Frank Billman | 7.17.16
We have become so familiar with what we belief about God that we believe we know and understand him—who he is, what he does, how he works…that he is “he” at all. But the moment we define God, create edges that allow us to handle and carry him around, we have changed everything. God won’t fit into any definition or category or theology. God won’t fit into human thought at all, and the more we think on God the less we are open to his presence in our lives. How can we know God as God really is?
Dave Brisbin | 7.03.16
What is the effect of the mindfulness, the presence and awareness of the contemplative way? Living on the edge of inside, neither fully inside or outside, at the threshold, able to see what is really now and not just what we already think we believe, gives us a way of living life that simply can’t be experienced except with gratitude. Gratitude is the reaction, the state of living in the awareness of a gift given to us that we could never give ourselves. It is the sense of awareness in us that creates both a humility and sense of dependency, but also the sense of being cared for that leads to trust.
Dave Brisbin | 6.26.16
In our society, and especially in the midst of a presidential election cycle, it is easy to become completely polarized—to “drink the kool-aid” and go all in with one group or another, one party or another, one religion or another. To become completely imprinted with the tenets, the groupthink of our choosing. From this perch, it is easy to imagine that we have the corner on truth, all the truth, and all others do not, that we are good and others are bad, are less than, need to be persuaded or controlled for their own good, and ours. It is a perch from which personal growth stops as we hunker down to convert the world to what we already know. In this mindset, there is no dialog or conversation, there is no relationship or love that is not conditioned on first meeting our standard of belief.
Dave Brisbin | 5.8.16
On Mother’s Day, we look at the role of mothers and fathers in ancient Hebrew society as illustrated in the language itself. Father in Hebrew means “strong house” and mother means “strong water,” that when understood in context means the “glue that holds the family together.” Strong house and strong water speak to the necessity of both doing and being, of accomplishment and relationship that undergird human life as a whole. We won’t find meaning and purpose without both father and mother in our lives, and we won’t find God either.
dave brisbin | 4.17.16
We continue the thread started in the last message, which summed up the approach of theeffect ministry as working to help each individual find acceptance, get involved, build trust, and live theeffect of God’s love. Now what was that second point, again? Getting involved is really all about participation. Participation in what? Faith? Well, a much better way to put it is that participation is faith and faith is participation.
dave brisbin | 4.10.16
As we near our ninth anniversary as a ministry, seemed time to step back redefine what theeffect was founded to be and what we work to do each day in the minds and hearts of those with whom we connect. Our approach can be summed up as a working to help each individual find acceptance, get involved, build trust, and live theeffect of God’s love.
dave brisbin | 3.20.16
On Palm Sunday, we look again at our expectations and biases and try to pry loose all we think we know of Jesus: from what he looks like to what we believe of his mission and teachings to test whether we, like those greeting Jesus along the streets of Jerusalem would miss the moment of our visitation.
frank billman | 3.13.16
Our recovery pastor, Frank, takes the mic to work through the essentials of a spiritual walk, pulling from Matthew, John, II Corinthians, and even his own dreams to show us the shape of the journey from descent to ascent—the heartbeat of life.