Dave Brisbin 1.30.22
What is the goal of the spiritual life? After all, if you’re going to spend the time and energy to engage spiritual formation, don’t you want to be really clear on the goal? After counting off peace, love, joy, salvation, redemption—all of which would be really good to have, it’s clarifying to see how Jesus answers: if we follow his Way of living and loving life, we will know the truth and the truth will make us free. Freedom. Surprising? Not when you consider that freedom is both the cause and effect of perfect love.

How do you know something is free, that you are free from it? Unless you’re a scuba diver, air is still free. And until I called your attention to it, you were as unaware of your breathing as of your hair growing. Contrast that with food, of which we think about constantly. Something is free when we don’t have to think about it, plan, work, save, pay, fight, or worry over it. The things from which we are most free are the things we worry about the least. But even if something is free, does that mean we’ll automatically stop worrying?

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Jesus tells us God’s perfect love is free as an objective fact. We don’t need to worry. But how many of us are still trying to perform for it, earn it, worrying over whether it really does extend to us? We must be free enough from feelings of unworthiness to be able to take first steps toward an experience of perfect acceptance. Cause. Then once experienced, perfect love casts out fear, makes us more and more free from the fear of unworthiness as the truth of our acceptance sets in. Effect. For Jesus, truth is not information, but a person—a God who is life and love…freedom itself. Experiencing God is the experience of freedom. Freedom is the experience of worrylessness, which is why Jesus is always telling us not to worry as the first step to freedom. Look at the birds and the flowers. Worry over what you eat and wear just as much as they do. If we can worry less over small things, we can experience the worrylessness of ultimate things. And if we seek the worrylessness of kingdom first, all else is added. What’s left for worry?
 

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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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