Dave Brisbin 2.20.22
Does anyone ever really change another person? Fix them? Lord knows we try. And though we can persuade, manipulate, even force people to do what we think they should, that’s compliance or obedience, but not change. We can help people: support them, talk to them, change circumstances, create the best environment for change, but any one of us changes only at the moment we’re ready. And no one can make us ready.

All we can really give each other is support and information. Support can be material or emotional; information is conceptual. As good as those can be, the most important things in life are non-transferable because they are experiential. No one can give us the ability to play guitar, speak a language, ride a bike, trust, love, change, because no one can give us the experience of hours of immersion and relationship. We don’t change or fix others, and Jesus never said he did either. Instead of I heal you or I forgive you, he says your faith has made you whole, your sins are forgiven. Jesus recognizes when change has taken place, but knows he can only show the door, open the door, lead the horse to water. The rest is up to each of us.

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When Jesus tells us not to judge, that the way we judge is the way we will be judged ourselves, is his poetic way of saying we need to grow our awareness past the sum of information that has been transferred to us—what we think we know that limits our perception of reality. To practice discernment instead, judgment based on lived experience, is to immerse in relationship with people and life that changes the way we see and judge. To take the beam out of our own eye before trying to take the speck out of another’s eye, is to turn the process of discernment inward and change the only person on earth we can possibly change. Ourselves.

When we take the beam out of our own eye, live the change we want to see in others, we create the best chance for others to change…just as God “changes” us. Not directly, but with the absolute acceptance of perfect love that silently draws us—the moment we’re ready to be drawn.

 

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Everyone is recovering from something… Admitting this is the first step in spiritual life, because any unfinished business in our lives–trauma, unforgiveness, fear-based perceptions–fosters compulsive behavior and keeps us from connecting spiritually and emotionally.

Since we’re all recovering, we accept everyone right as they are—no expiration dates or deadlines. We don’t tell anyone what to believe or do. We present points of view that we hope will engage seekers in their own journey; help them unlearn limiting perceptions, beliefs, and compulsions; give opportunities to get involved in community, building the trust we all need to find real identity, meaning, and purpose. In other words, to engage the transforming Way of living life that Jesus called Kingdom…non-religiously understood from a first century Hebrew point of view.

 

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Embedded in the fun and laughter of each of our gatherings and events is the connection and accountability as well as the structure, discipline, and opportunity for service that authentic community is all about. We help create programs for physical support, emotional recovery, and spiritual formation that can meet any person’s needs. Such programs work at two levels: first to address a person’s physical and emotional stability—clinical, financial, relational,professional—anything that distracts from working on the second level: true spiritual formation centered around the contemplative way of life defined by an original Hebrew understanding of the message of Jesus.

Rather than telling people what to believe or think, we model and encourage engagement in a personal and communal spiritual journey that allows people to experience their own worthiness of connection and acceptance, to find the freedom from underlying fears that brings real meaning and purpose into focus.

 

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Seeing ourselves as a learning and recovery community that worships together, the focus isn’t on Sunday morning alone, but on every day of the week as we gather for worship, healing and support workshops, studies, 12 step meetings, counseling and mentoring sessions, referral services, and social events. We maintain a food pantry for those needing more support, a recovery worship gathering, and child care for those with little ones.

Our Sunday gathering starts at 10AM and our Recovery gathering on Tuesdays at 7PM. Both gatherings include worship with one of the best worship bands in the area. See our monthly calendar and our Facebook page to stay in touch with what is happening each week. You can also sign up on our elist for email enews updates.

 

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