Dave Brisbin 6.23.24
When we were kids, my sister did a paint-by-number of Da Vinci’s Last Supper. You know, where the image is preprinted as numbered areas you fill in with the matching-numbered paint. It looked ok squinting at it from across the room, but imagine the difference between painting by numbers and the original master, creating and mixing his own paints and working from the depths of his experience as a human.

Jesus is trying to take us from painting by numbers to true spiritual expression. The Pharisees of his day had created a numbered approach to God, matching behavior to legal codes that, squinting from a distance, looked like righteousness…but Jesus knew better. The gospels show him systematically dismantling that system, but every generation, left to its own devices, goes Pharisee, devolves to a paint-by-number mentality because it feels controllable. Risk-free behavior and reward. Jesus is practically shouting to all of us that our behavior has nothing to do with God’s love.

read more

Nothing we do or don’t do can change what God is—oneness, love itself. But our behavior has everything to do with whether we will experience the oneness of God’s love. It’s inside out, like the artist’s way. Creative expression can’t be numbered. It flows from the whole of the artist’s being onto the canvas. It’s undefended, unhindered, vulnerably transparent, or it won’t connect with others. Not now, certainly not centuries later. You can’t obey your way to a masterpiece. You allow its flow. How many of us risk that permission?

When Jesus says the road to destruction is broad and the road to life is narrow and few find it, we imagine he’s talking about heaven and hell. But do we really think God created most of us for eternal torment? Is that the God Jesus says is good news? Critically, his context, Hebrew context, is always here and now. Few people are willing to risk the unknowns of the artist’s way of vulnerable transparency to find an experience of oneness, God’s love and good news, in their lives right herenow.

The road less traveled may seem risky—why it’s most often not taken. But it makes all the difference.

Click here for video recording of full message.

Latest News

Upcoming events, announcements, ministry updates, blogs.

Message Archive

Watch us live online, watch and listen to archived messages and gatherings.

Personal Stories

Stories from people who’ve experienced the effect of theeffect in their lives.

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.



You have Successfully Subscribed!

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.


Effect in Action

You have Successfully Subscribed!

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.

Our Sunday gathering starts at 10AM and includes worship with one of the best worship bands in the area. We also have online discussion and study groups on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 6:30P PST. See our interactive 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.


Join Us

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This