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Dave Brisbin | 10.21.18
In one of our studies last week, someone asks the age old question—maybe first question we humans have asked about ourselves and life: how can I believe or trust there’s a God or any higher power that cares about me and my well being when there is so much evil all around? The oldest book in the Bible is focused on this question. An entire branch of philosophy focuses on this question. Polytheism and atheism are answers to this question because if you have many gods, some good and some bad or no god, problem solved. But for those who believe in one God, all good and all powerful, and yet evil exists—pick any two but you can’t logically have all three. Even Satan doesn’t get God off the hook. If God can’t stop Satan, he’s not all powerful, and if he won’t, not all good. Is there a way to understand God that maintains what theists believe about one God and yet never shrinks from the realities of daily life? 

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If there was such a rational answer, we would have had it long ago, so any “answer” won’t exist in the form we’re expecting, but as we consider a quote from a second century church father, the lyrics of a popular song, the stories of the separation and reconciliation of two sets of biblical characters, and the dysfunctional marriage of one prophet, a way through begins to emerge. We can’t know God until we know why he won’t make us love him, that love is only love if it is freely chosen. And we won’t see God’s face until we allow ourselves to fall deeply into the risk of the pain of loving as he loves—by setting our beloved perfectly free to choose whether to love us back, to choose the “evil” that is actually the proof that such perfect love really exists.

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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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