The ocean is the roughest on the surface. The lower down you go, the easier it is to explore and navigate. The same can be true of faith. Faith on the surface gets buffeted by every storm that passes, but the deeper you go, the less the wind and rain can bother you. This week, Pastor Jim encourages us to go deeper than bumper sticker faith by asking for wisdom from God. It is a free gift, and one God delights in giving.
Jesus told parables to communicate truths in a way that some would understand and others would simply see as a nice story. The difference is in the hearer. Pastor Jim challenges us to be the kind of hearers who are looking for the voice of God and the deeper meanings. As easy as it is to enjoy just wading in the pool, life becomes so much richer when we go deeper.
What if you woke up and discovered that all that you thought was real was just an illusion? What if the new reality forces you to change the way you think and move and act? In a way, we live that shift every day as Christ followers. Our common culture teaches one way and Jesus calls us to something completely other. When we disconnect from culture, we can see Jesus' reality and it changes everything.
Even at the beginning of everything, God saw that man should not be alone. We are better when we work, play, eat, dream and love in community with other people. But sometimes building that community can be hard work. Pastor Jim speaks about our need for other people and how God designed us to share life - then introduces a new idea and a new staff member to help figure out how to meet that need.
So Baptism is this weird ritual that Christians have. Why is it important? What is it all about? Why do we do it? Pastor Jim explores the roots of baptism, what it means to us and why it matters to Christ followers today.
What does it mean to live as people of hope? How does hope change our attitude, our perspective? Pastor Jim recounts the story of Judah in exile and God's great promise to give them "a hope and a future" in the midst of hard circumstances and draws parallels to how we can live our lives in 2020 with that same kind of hope.