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Previous Messages from the Pastors

Practicing Forgiveness

Practicing Forgiveness

Written by on July 30, 2017

We are excited to announce our newest small group Journey Program, Practicing Forgiveness,  six Sundays, October 1 – November 5. A free introduction will be offered Sunday, September 24, 1:30 – 3:00PM During his time on earth, Jesus had a central message: love and forgive one another. Life as a human being means enduring some bumps […]

What to Expect the Lord to Do

What to Expect the Lord to Do

Written by on July 24, 2017

The Lord Jesus Christ, in His infinite mercy, desires to save us all with all His will. And He shall use His infinite power to do this. But what exactly does the Lord do? What do we expect Him to do for us? Now, it is hard to believe at first, but the fact of […]

Seeking Salvation

Seeking Salvation

Written by on June 12, 2017

It is good to know that the Son of Man (the power of divine truth) is seeking me out to save me. For, even though I cry out to the Lord for understanding and deliverance, and even though I discover delight in His law, I know that too often I am a lost sheep; too […]

Did you Forget?

Did you Forget?

Written by on May 20, 2017

You forgot something today, thank the Lord! Imagine if everything that occurred within the field of your senses was active in your consciousness! You would quickly go insane. Modern psychology has noticed that everyone develops filters to prevent this overload, and that we each have our own unique set, which in part explains our individuality. […]

Honest Self–Observation

Honest Self–Observation

Written by on May 1, 2017

David had hidden the truth from himself. (See 2 Samuel 12:1-10, 13). He was living a lie. His justification was that Uriah would have been brave and stayed at the front and most likely would have died anyway. And besides, Bathsheba loved him. He had made her queen! But the prophet was brutally honest. Nathan […]

Create: Step Into Providence

Create: Step Into Providence

Written by on April 10, 2017

The Lord leads a person as silently as an imperceptible stream or a favoring current bears a vessel along. from Swedenborg, Divine Providence §186 When the Lord is with you, he leads you and makes provision so that all that happens, whether sad or joyful, may bring you what is good. Swedenborg, Secrets of Heaven […]

Create: Courage

Create: Courage

Written by on March 28, 2017

“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 “Fear is always triggered by creativity, because creativity asks you to enter into realms of an […]

Create: Resistance

Create: Resistance

Written by on March 13, 2017

Before we are created anew, we are in an anxious and restless state. . . . but as soon as the good of love has been implanted, the fighting stops, and rest ensues. Thus we are in peace. —Secrets of Heaven §8893, Emanuel Swedenborg When something beautiful is underway we should expect resistance. When you […]

Create: Curiosity

Create: Curiosity

Written by on February 21, 2017

“Coming to drink” means the affection for the truths [because] it implies thirst, and “thirst” in the Word means appetite and desire, and so the affection for knowing and taking in truth.   —Secrets of Heaven §4017, Emanuel Swedenborg Be curious about how God is working in your life. Be curious about what wants to unfold […]

Create: Beginnings

Create: Beginnings

Written by on February 6, 2017

Every single moment of a person’s life, both of the understanding and of the will, is a new beginning. —Secrets of Heaven 3854:3 Emanuel Swedenborg We have so many opportunities to begin again. Beginning something new can be invigorating. It can also be terrifying. What does scripture teach us about beginnings? There is a lot […]

Small Group: Create: Make Space

Written by on February 3, 2017

CREATE: Make space for restorative practices Six small group sessions that “nurture a conversation about creating habits, thought patterns, and systems that can help you to step into the life you really want.” Each session includes guided meditation and discussion, an experiential exercise, and homework of reading and journaling. The author, Bronwen Henry, writes: What […]

Advent: Action

Advent: Action

Written by on January 19, 2017

Life in Israel had the regular progression of night and day; weeks of labor marked by Sabbaths; seasons that repeated in order; birth, growth, fruitfulness, death. Shepherds lived this experience. It was the fabric of their lives. The Elders impressed the life of shepherding upon the children day by day, night by night, month by […]

Advent: Preparation

Advent: Preparation

Written by on December 31, 2016

The Gospels tell us about two people who were getting ready for the change that they were convinced was about to happen. Simeon had led a life of devotion to family, tribe and church. As much as any ordinary citizen could, he lived the righteous life. Yet he suffered. He could never achieve the perfect […]

Advent: Contemplation

Advent: Contemplation

Written by on December 22, 2016

Among every rank of society in Palestine, from the poorest to the richest, from the least privileged to the most, there were people who negatively affected by the government and the church in smaller and larger ways. Maybe a man on the way up the ladder was legally cheated by a competitor. Maybe a newly rich […]

Advent: Pre-Contemplation

Advent: Pre-Contemplation

Written by on December 5, 2016

In the days of the Roman Empire in Palestine, when Herod was the designated Hebrew King, and Pontius Pilate the Roman Procurator, the vast majority of local people were focussed on eeking out an existence. Many were angling to rise in wealth or power. Some were on the verge of living a comfortable life by […]

Grateful Feast!

Grateful Feast!

Written by on November 14, 2016

Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. About 5,000 men […]

Mindful Communication Challenge: Listening

Mindful Communication Challenge: Listening

Written by on October 3, 2016

“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear!” – Jesus Christ “I have heard angels discover a person’s life simply by listening.” – Emanuel Swedenborg “Being heard is so close to be loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.” – David Augsburger “Listening is among the most generous ways to give.” – […]

Is it Useful? Mindful Communication Challenge #4

Is it Useful? Mindful Communication Challenge #4

Written by on September 12, 2016

Having considered speaking the truth (wisdom) and kindness (love), we next focus on usefulness, which contains both love and wisdom. “Useful endeavor is the container of love and wisdom.” So asking “Is it useful?” can help us speak in a way that is timely, and also contributes to healing and growth. Register to be part […]

Is It Kind? Mindful Communication Challenge #3

Is It Kind? Mindful Communication Challenge #3

Written by on September 9, 2016

Discovering the validity of our thoughts, (asking, “Is it true?”), helps lay the groundwork for speaking authentically. But “truth” can’t act alone. Asking, “Is it kind?” requires us to pay attention the the intention and feeling beneath our words. In this way we can more easily tap into love.   Register to be part of […]

Is It True? Mindful Communication Challenge #2

Is It True? Mindful Communication Challenge #2

Written by on August 29, 2016

Consider this: if a thought lacks the gentle quality of love, it probably isn’t true. This takes us into the heart of our Journey together to a more mindful communication. Register to be part of a small group that will meet 5 Sunday afternoons October 2 through November 1. There will be a special event on Sunday, […]

Am I Listening? Mindful Communication Challenge #1

Am I Listening? Mindful Communication Challenge #1

Written by on August 22, 2016

Open hearted listening lies at the heart of all great relationships. So begins our Journey together to a more mindful communication. Register to be part of a small group that will meet 5 Sunday afternoons October 2 through November 1. There will be a special event on Sunday, September 25 to initiate the journey. Send us […]

Journey Small Group

Journey Small Group

Written by on July 11, 2016

New program begins Sunday, September 25 at 1 PM! Is it true? Kind? Useful? Sometimes it’s hard to know how to share ourselves authentically. The Mindful Communication Challenge offers structure to help us improve how we connect with each other. Paying attention to how our words, tone, and actions affect others, and asking ourselves “Is […]

Practice Peace #7: Resting

Practice Peace #7: Resting

Written by on June 20, 2016

When we have gone through these six practices – we have woken up to the presence of goodness, we have looked at areas we can change and made those changes, and we have let genuine love take highest priority in our lives – we finally experience peace. Even when we are active and engaged in […]

Practice Peace #6: Loving

Practice Peace #6: Loving

Written by on June 6, 2016

At this sixth state, when love takes the lead, we are fully human, fully alive, fully awake. This is the week of the most action. All the aspects of our life–our food, work, sleep, affection, music, the company of other people–take on a new meaning and enjoyment because we approach situations with clear understanding and […]

Practice Peace #5: Speaking

Practice Peace #5: Speaking

Written by on May 30, 2016

Once we have been lit up by love and faith, the light from our inner “sun and moon” brings a new phase. This fifth day is a time when we start to really live. This state involves a wonderful blend of being both confident and humble. When we are willing to see God in everything, […]

Practice Peace #4: Navigating

Practice Peace #4: Navigating

Written by on May 23, 2016

A new stage comes when we start to experience the benefits of living a better way. We become lit up about the new way of living, and our love leads us forward. When we are eager to do something and have faith in its positive effects, navigating our way through life becomes easier and more […]

Practice Peace #3: Cultivating

Practice Peace #3: Cultivating

Written by on May 16, 2016

Once we have acknowledged God’s presence in our lives (awakening), and begun to see that there is a higher way (distinguishing), we are ready to take action (cultivating). These practices lead us toward creating a life that continues to be a blessing to others. The small seeds with these actions will go on to bear […]

Practice Peace #2: Distinguish

Practice Peace #2: Distinguish

Written by on May 9, 2016

This week is an opportunity to mentally separate what is “above” from what is “below” (using the imagery from the Bible’s book Genesis, chapter 1). You might think of the “waters above” as your conscience, and the “waters below” as your day-to-day thoughts. This way you learn to distinguish between what really matters and what doesn’t; […]

Practice Peace #1: Awaken

Practice Peace #1: Awaken

Written by on April 25, 2016

This week: Notice the areas of darkness in your life as well as the areas of light. Remember that wherever you see real goodness, you will find God’s presence. Consider putting a reminder near a main light switch in your home with the question: “Where is the goodness.” Taken from The Seven Practices of Peace, by […]

Rise Above It – “And still I rise.”

Rise Above It – “And still I rise.”

Written by on April 11, 2016

“And still I rise.” – Maya Angelou The reality, consistently taught in the Sacred Scriptures of all the world’s great religions, is that we are all being led perfectly at every moment, and that when we give up our selfish desires, God immediately flows in with love, wisdom and power. God wills to give us […]

Rise Above It – Cleanse the Inside

Rise Above It – Cleanse the Inside

Written by on April 4, 2016

Covetous desires are deep and driving; they torment us and rule us. We may feel as though we can never be happy unless these desires are satisfied. The strange irony is, however, that such desires can never be satisfied. Their very nature is to want more and more, and to continue wanting….In recognizing and overcoming […]

Rise Above It – Tell the Truth

Rise Above It – Tell the Truth

Written by on March 28, 2016

“Telling the truth” without defending ourselves or blaming others….[is a] kind of honesty that rises above the argument of whether it is better to “vent our emotions” or “suppress or anger.” It begins, as do all the commandments, with honest self-examination. It begins by being true to ourselves – that is, by being scrupulously honest […]

Rise Above It – Give Credit

Rise Above It – Give Credit

Written by on March 21, 2016

“There are indeed rewards along the way for all who strive to keep the commandments….These rewards include the inner freedom of having a clear conscience, the peace that comes from keeping promises, and the self-respect we experience then we live honorably and with integrity….People with health pride measure themselves not by how far they rise […]

Rise Above It – Honor Marriage

Rise Above It – Honor Marriage

Written by on March 14, 2016

All religions teach that marriage is a sacred and holy covenant. In its ideal form it is the most intimate, fulfilling, and ennobling of all human relationships. It is within the marriage bond that two human beings have the opportunity to practice what is taught in all religions – to treat one another with respect, […]

Rise Above It – Be A Life Giver

Rise Above It – Be A Life Giver

Written by on March 7, 2016

As soon as we identify and remove hatred and contempt, “love for the neighbor” rushes in with healing wings….People sometimes feel that they “have a right” to be angry. They speak about “righteous indignation,” “heavenly zeal,” and “justifiable anger” – but these terms may often be used to rationalize self-righteousness and false interpretations of other […]

Rise Above It – Spiritual Inheritance

Rise Above It – Spiritual Inheritance

Written by on February 15, 2016

As we enter more deeply into an understanding of the commandment “Honor your father and your mother,” we begin to realize how wondrously God has been leading us and protecting us all along.From the moment of our birth our heavenly Father has operated secretly and in wonderful ways to distract us from our negativity, to […]

Rise Above It – The Sabbath

Rise Above It – The Sabbath

Written by on February 9, 2016

The commandment about remembering the Sabbath day is given to remind us to focus on what is internal and eternal. It is given so that at least one day a week we may lift our eyes above the things of the earth and reflect on the things of heaven….The Sabbath, then, is a day of […]

Rise Above It – The Name of God

Rise Above It – The Name of God

Written by on February 1, 2016

“‘Calling on the name of God’ is not a magic formula. There is no magic in the mere recitation of a holy name apart from a genuine understanding of what the name represents. The ‘name of God’ represents the qualities of the Living God – the God who is always with us, pressing to be […]

Rise Above It – One True God

Rise Above It – One True God

Written by on January 11, 2016

“A friend of ours was once asked, ‘Do you believe in God?’ He answered, ‘No, I don’t believe in God. I know God!’ His response reminds us that there is probably no single concept or idea in the whole world that is more important to us than our concept of God. It is not sufficient […]

Rise Above It: The Ways

Rise Above It: The Ways

Written by on January 4, 2016

“People tend to believe that their chosen path is the ‘one right way’ or ‘the only true religion.’ It would probably be more accurate for people to say that the particular religion or spiritual path that have chosen in the right one for them….This is perhaps why there are many religions – each with its […]

Peaceful

Peaceful

Written by on December 21, 2015

“And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,[h] to give […]

Joyful

Joyful

Written by on December 14, 2015

It is said “Joy comes in the morning” after a night of weeping (Psalm 30). The contrasts we experience reveal to us the quality of source of our experience. Our brains soon forget the scent of the candle as we sit in our living room. Our spirit soon forgets the reality of joy when immersed […]

Hopeful

Hopeful

Written by on December 1, 2015

  Being hopeful means anticipating happiness. It does not mean being happy all the time. It does not mean being happy in this moment. Indeed, passing through anxiety, even to despair, is necessary for our minds to experience happiness. As most people have experienced, there is an exquisite sense of joy after the sadness has […]

Give Thanks!

Give Thanks!

Written by on November 23, 2015

Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. About 5,000 men […]

Love Thy Neighbor

Love Thy Neighbor

Written by on November 16, 2015

In a conversation about responding to terrorists, I suggested that an evil person is to be dealt with by loving them. One response was: “Non-violence only really works with a moral people.” There are several pieces to this. First, I am thinking that Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. would disagree. Second, I hope that, if it […]

Living Gratefully This Week

Living Gratefully This Week

Written by on November 9, 2015

“It is a law of divine providence that we should not sense or feel anything of the working of divine providence, but that we should still know about it and acknowledge it.” – Divine Providence §175 This means that God wants be to be uncertain all the time. If I knew what was going to […]

Living Gratefully This Week

Living Gratefully This Week

Written by on November 2, 2015

We are gifted with inspiration. Literally, it is wonderful that we “breathe in.” There is such a strong sense of living when we breathe in. It is an experience of being in control of our life. Indeed, when we exert ourselves, and we have to breathe hard, deep, and fast, it is because we so […]

Living Gratefully This Week

Living Gratefully This Week

Written by on October 26, 2015

The gift of love is fascinating because it is simple, comprehensive, and universal all in one sentence. It is all love. Love is everywhere. Love forms its own body. “Love is the source of all happiness, which is so immense that not a bit of it can be put into words or grasped in any […]

Living Gratefully This Week

Living Gratefully This Week

Written by on October 19, 2015

Social lunches and dinners are customary everywhere. They are planned for various reasons. For many people they serve to build friendship or promote family togetherness; they serve for enjoyment, for fundraising, and for showing gratitude….[During] feasts of goodwill, the conversations entail goodwill and its forms of joy and happiness. The spiritual atmosphere that prevails during […]

Living Gratefully This Week

Living Gratefully This Week

Written by on October 12, 2015

Jesus said: “Do not be anxious for your soul, what you are going to eat or what you are going to drink, nor for your body, what you are going to put on. Why be anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they do not toil, nor do they spin. […]

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