We all want to win. After all, winning is better than not winning. In a game a win is defined, but life is not a game. And winning in the most important areas of our lives isn’t always clear. So, how do we win?
Christmas 2020 has been a year that no one expected, and you may be asking, can God still move in times like these? We believe God is going to do something amazing this Christmas as you look for hope in the unexpected, and start some new Christmas traditions.
Are you in need of hope in a time of hopelessness? What happens in your waiting, when you've been waiting for what feels like forever? Does worry or depression creep in? Does anxiousness overwhelm? Maybe even darkness appears in your life. In those moments of worry, anxiousness, or darkness, what can you do? Who can you turn to?
How do you wait? 🌿Are you anxious when waiting? Do you get frustrated when you have to wait? Or maybe you're a patient person?
You’ve held out for hope this year. The hope of lifted restrictions, perhaps the hope of a vaccine, the hope of a healthy diagnosis, or just hope for some good news in your life. You know what it means to wait for hope. Maybe you are still waiting. The accounts of Christmas are a picture of humanity holding out hope. The hope of something more, something better.
Our founders, Toni and Carey Nieuwhof, shared lessons on life, leadership, and ministry they have learned over the past 25 years. A conversation on the highlights and insights from the early days of launching Connexus until today, plus a look ahead to the future as we continue to create a church that unchurched people love.
So you’re attracted to the drama in other people’s lives but resist it in your own. Agreed. It’s so much easier to see the drama than it is to be the drama.
It’s also infinitely more disappointing and perhaps unfaithful. Moses knew that first hand. When God called him, he listed five reasons he wanted to stay out of the story. Five reasons he wanted out. He finally relented, and we’re still talking about it thousands of years later. Lesson: God could use someone else, but what if you get to do it?
You probably have a picture of what God should be doing...the way the story should go. Except it never seems to turn out that way. As a result, a lot of people conclude God isn’t real, or that God isn’t all powerful or all loving. Is it possible to know how to have faith when it feels like God is losing?
But what if, in the very moment you thought God was losing, he’s winning? And what if that’s true in your life too? You think God is losing...but he’s winning.
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From the time you were young, you probably tried to avoid failure. Everyone does. But what if failure is exactly the thing you need to prepare you for what’s ahead? So many people think God is absent in failure, but as Joseph learned when he met failure after failure, God is far more present than you think. Which means there’s hope for you and for me.
Every great movie, novel and story features twists, turns, disappointments and failures, which is largely what makes the story gripping. You love it when you don’t know what will happen next. Here’s the strange part: you’re attracted to that kind of drama in other people’s lives, but you resist it in your own.
Instead, you long for predictability and stability. You might even wonder if the presence of setbacks and failure in your life is a sign that God has left you. What if nothing could be further from the truth?
What does it look like to live freely? What does spiritual freedom even look like? Why do I know I should live one way, but consistently find myself struggling to make a change? A relationship with God isn’t just about getting to an eternal destination, but it’s about transformation. As you aspire to leave your old roads, paths, and patterns behind and start new patterns that point to Jesus, where do you find the strength you need to make a change in your life? How do you live in freedom? What if God has a way to strengthen you to choose what’s best? This week we are talking about the role of the Holy Spirit in our transformation.
Is there an easy way to master your emotions? When you find yourself in a 'situation' is your first response to respond emotionally or rationally? Think about these for a moment ... What is your response when your boss asks you to work overtime, again, yet they haven't even thanked you for the last time you stayed longer? When you find yourself late for the family photos because your spouse needed to change their outfit one last time to make everything 'perfect', what boils up inside of you? Emotions. The good and the not so great - we all have them. Let's dig into how to control your emotions together.
What does it mean to follow Jesus? Is it just about obeying rules and being a good person? Is it becoming the best version of yourself? Is the Christian life only about heaven and hell or is there more to it than that? What is the whole point of life on earth for those who choose Jesus? We’ll be sharing God’s ultimate goal for your life and what the road to finding it looks like.
Your desire to blame is an attempt to cover your shame. And there’s a lot of shame circulating these days. Most people believe you can’t be fully known and fully loved, so they hide and try to make themselves look better so people won’t judge them. Jesus comes along with a message of radical acceptance that turned the ancient world—and this world—upside down.
When Adam and Eve sinned, the accusations flew, and no one took responsibility. Not only did the blame start, so did the shame. For the first time, Adam and Eve realized they were naked. And they were ashamed. That sounds like a lot of relationships. Mercifully, God clothed them, and later, Jesus clothed all of us with his grace and a call into a new way of life.
Why is life so hard? That’s a great question, and while the answer doesn’t take the pain away, it’s much easier to understand when you realize that your story, like every story, has a beginning, middle and end. Knowing where you are in your story makes it much easier to understand, accept, trust and even thrive.
Do you ever feel like who you really are was stolen? Like something’s missing? You know your life isn’t exactly the way it’s supposed to be. And neither are you. You have amazing intentions, but you struggle to fulfill them. You fall in love, but mess up the relationship. You get your dream job and it turns into a nightmare. You've met your goal, but there's still a gnawing emptiness. You keep trying, but it never quite works out. What’s going on? A journey into the Garden of Eden explains more than you think.
What would it take for you to be FOR your friends, family and neighbours in this weird season? So much of what we do and how we do it has changed, including the people we interact with. But what if there were ways we could be FOR the people in our lives and cities like never before? What if, we stepped into the corner of those around us in tangible, helpful, and potentially life-changing ways?
Do you ever have those moments where you say something and immediately want to take it back? Or you hear your little one repeat something you've said and wish they hadn't? We've all been there.
You struggle with control and expectations in certain relationships. We all do. Have you felt that in your marriage or with your significant other? Do you often want to micro-manage the choices your kids are making? Does it seem like things are spinning out of control at home with everything that’s going on? Should you “let go” of something you care so deeply about? Family relationships can be hard, but what God has to say about your relationships can make all the difference. This week we explored how the teachings of scripture point us to a greater purpose in our families than we might see in the moment.
Want to know how to stop worrying and start living? We all face moments when we feel powerless. How should we respond when hardships, calamities, and insults come our way? Our world often tells us that these types of situations are to be avoided or eased at all costs. That we should try to control or escape. But is that the best option?
We will be looking at what scripture has to say about the moments when we feel like things are out of our control.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS https://wp.me/a7n2nP-8ew
How do the people around you experience your need for control? Control is really about having power, and how we use that power is important. Who do you have power over? How do you use that power to make a difference in the lives of those around you? Control doesn’t inspire people the way influence does. Control makes temporary progress, but it rarely makes a lasting difference.
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Was Jesus really all that Christians believe him to be? What if Jesus was just a "good guy" doing good things? Was he a prophet or the saviour of the world? What is Jesus really all about? In this message with pastor Mark Clark, we will explore how understanding who Jesus is changes everything.
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Where is God when we suffer? Perhaps one of the greatest questions of our modern human existence. If God really exists, then why do bad things still happen? If God is so good and loving, then why does He let evil take place? Isn't He supposed to be a "good" God? Let’s dive in as we discuss the role that evil and suffering have in our understanding of what is “good”.
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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS https://wp.me/a7n2nP-86J
A long-standing difference can be seen in the number of debates, papers, essays, and discussions had on the opposing ideas of evolution and creation. How can we know what is true? What do these ideas teach us about God in the midst of their differences? Maybe these two ideas can both lead us to uncover more about who God is and what He desires for us.