Dave Brisbin 2.7.21
A man calls to ask how he can know God’s love is real and not just a thought in his head that he made up or would like to believe. He’s asking the central question without which life remains very scary. I remember asking the same thing about prayer. Was I just talking to myself? How could I know if my prayer was real? By outcomes? By feelings? Maddeningly, Jesus doesn’t tell us. Always comforting but never comfortable, Jesus never gives us the intellectual certainty of a direct answer. He’s not being coy. He knows even if he gave us the “right” answer, it would still just be another thought in our heads. If we think it, we can unthink it and would never know if it was real. Eastern teachers, whether middle or far Eastern, know this about spiritual matters: that the answers we crave can’t be transferred. They must be personally experienced to have the conviction of reality.

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Far Eastern teachers have used koans for millennia to show the inadequacy of rational thought. These paradoxical and unresolvable little stories or questions make no rational sense and are meant to muddle the mind and create the “great doubt” that can lead to sudden intuitive leaps. Jesus teaches in exactly the same way, and when you analyze the conversations preserved for us in the gospels, you see one overarching theme: motion. Even when just asked where he is going, Jesus says: come and see–move with me and you will know beyond mere understanding. God’s spirit is ruha in Aramaic and means breath, wind, spirit all at the same time. It’s all about motion; three things defined by motion, that don’t exist without motion. Jesus is telling us that God’s love is a moving target, and the only way we can know if it’s real and not just a thought in our heads, is to move with it. It will be in the motion of love through us to another that we will become convinced that God and God’s love is as real as real gets.
 

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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.

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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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