Dave Brisbin 2.13.22
The reality we believe is the reality we endure. What we believe about reality becomes our experience of it and shapes our lives so profoundly that we don’t see reality as it is—only what survives the filter of our worldview. Because this is true, every responsible philosophy and religion on earth teaches some form of non-attachment, stepping aside from entrenched beliefs to make us free enough to see and accept what really is. There is no peace until we do.

Jesus said, don’t judge or you will be judged, and the way you judge, your standard of measure, will be measured to you. Don’t judge, narrowly understood as condemning or at least condescending others, is deeply embedded in our cultural psyche, and yet, on more levels than we’re even aware, our entire world is built on judgment. But isn’t that necessary? Don’t we have to make judgments about people and situations in order to know who we can trust, how to choose alternatives?

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We need to make a distinction here between judging and discerning. Judgment is a conclusion we reach based on internalized standards—the reality we believe. Discernment is a conclusion we reach based on real-time experience—recognizing reality as it is. We can judge long-distance; don’t need to be close to see what is acceptable to our belief system. But discernment requires a dive into relationship to experience a person as trustworthy or a situation acceptable.

Jesus’ saying sounds punitive: if we do wrong by judging, then someone, ultimately God, will wrong us back. Nothing could be farther from reality. Judgment separates; discernment connects. Judging breaks life into small pieces in conflict with each other, making love conditional and bringing into existence the world we must endure. No one does this to us. Nor God. We do it to ourselves. If the way we judge is not tempered with willingness to risk the intimacy of discernment, we will always live in the broken pieces of the reality we believe…and never see the oneness of what really is.

 

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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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