Wrestling with God

September 28th, 2018 by
Have you ever complained to God, asking why bad things happen to good people?

Have you ever questioned God’s concern for you, your family, or friends who were facing crises which seemed out of control?

Have you found it difficult to trust God when your prayers seem to go unanswered?

This Sunday, I want to look with you at the story of Jacob, the son of Isaac, and the grandson of Abraham, who in Genesis 32 wrestled with God in the face of a life threatening crisis. As the story unfolds, we will learn that:

  1. It is OK to wrestle with God.
  2. But we must also allow God to wrestle with us.
  3. And those who wrestle and prevail will be given a new name and  a new future.

Before you come to worship at 8 or 10 AM Sunday, would you read Genesis 32?

Come as we wrestle together with these life changing questions. And you may just want to invite someone to come with you who is wrestling with God right now!

See you Sunday!

In His Strong Name,

Larry                                                                                                  

The Rev. Dr. Larry Selig

The Enneagram & Spiritual Formation: Reclaiming Our True Identity in Christ

September 27th, 2018 by

Orlando, FL; November 2-3, 2018I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. —Psalm 139:13Young children live freely, moving through the world without shame or pretense. But as we grow older, the impact of sin, trauma, and cultural expectations dim our natural luminescence. When this happens, we develop a “false self” as a way to cope and control how others see us. We exaggerate our gifts and create a caricature of the glory God gave us as image bearers.Parker Palmer says “Our strongest gifts are usually those we are barely aware of possessing. They are a part of our God-given nature, with us from the moment we drew our first breath, and we are no more conscious of having them them than we are of breathing.”

The Enneagram (any-a-gram), is an agent typology that helps us become aware of these gifts by describing nine different character types representative of the different manifestations of God’s character. It is unique from other personality assessments as it illuminates how we uniquely try to make life work apart from God. Knowledge of the Enneagram allows us to excavate the pitfalls of our false self and embrace the beautiful complexity of our True Self in God.Whether you are new to the Enneagram or already know your number, Rachel Blackston and Kourtney Street invite you to attend. They will facilitate this retreat-style conference, crafted so that each participant will leave with a deeper awareness of how God created them, as well as an affection for each of the nine styles. This curriculum fosters self-understanding and enriches the way we relate to others and to God. The workshop will include teaching, group discussion, worship, and silent contemplation. Each participant will complete an online profile in advance.SPEAKERS

Rachel Blackston has a voracious curiosity for how we are uniquely made. Working for the past 15 years as a Career Coach and Mental Health Counselor, she has studied countless temperament and personality assessments. She believes the Enneagram is one of the most comprehensive frameworks available, as it illuminates both our deep goodness as well as our shadow side. The Enneagram explains the “why” behind motivation, core wounds, individual glory, and a plan for growth and repentance for each of the nine types.

Kourtney Street shares Rachel’s love for our uniqueness as image bearers. She has worked with Cru for 21 years, currently serving as the Director of Operations for their national staff conference. She has seen the Enneagram deeply impact her leadership and personal life over the last five years and looks forward to creating a retreat space to share that impact with others.

WORSHIP LEADER

Ross King has been a full-time songwriter, worship leader, performer and producer since 1995. His songs have been recorded by artists such as The Newsboys, Jason Gray, JJ Heller, and North Point community Church.  He has recorded several independent albums selling over 50,000 CD’s and over 100,000 song downloads. Ross lives in Nashville with his wife Staci and their four children. Ross and Staci love the Enneagram and are thrilled to make the trek to Orlando to be with us.

SPECIAL GUESTS

Throughout the weekend there will be opportunities to hear from individuals who have leveraged the Enneagram as a tool for growth and integration. The weekend will also include an expert panel and workshops surrounding areas such as parenting and leadership.

SCHEDULE

New Covenant Anglican Church

Friday –Registration 5:30-6:30

Workshop begins 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Saturday – 8:30-5:00 p.m.

There will be a break for lunch between 11:30-1. Participants will have the option of purchasing a boxed lunch and attending workshops on campus or eating off-site. There are several restaurants within a 5 minute drive of the church.

Cost: $80 per person

$50 for members and attenders of New Covenant Church (use promo code newcovenant on Eventbrite page)

$150 per couple*A limited number of scholarships are available if finances are an issueCost includes workshop materials, snacks and an online Enneagram assessment

 

COME AND DIE – COME AND SEE

September 14th, 2018 by
“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, from The Cost of Discipleship.

What if that is not bad news, but in fact really good news? What if our soul’s destiny depends on it?

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Joel Marcus in his commentary on the gospel passage for Sunday provocatively asks,

“But why should one accept the dreadful burden of the cross? Why should one want to follow Jesus, (cf.8:34b) if discipleship means entry into a living death?”

 

This week I began reading a book my sister has been asking me to read, Imagine Heaven, by John Burke, Pastor of Gateway Church in Austin, TX. I have found it, well, enticing. Here are some of my highlighted clips.

John Burke’s main motive in writing this book is – “to help you imagine heaven so you will see how wise it is to live for it, plan for it, and make sure you’re prepared for a safe arrival some day.

One NDE (Near Death Experience) person related an encounter with Jesus where Jesus asked him what he had done with his life? When he asked how was I to know what to do with my life, Jesus said, “I told you by the life I lived. I told you by the death I died. And, if you keep your eyes on me you will see more.”

Later the same person says, “How we spend our time on earth, the kind of relationships we build, is vastly, infinitely more important than we can know.”

“I’ve become convinced that God loves each of us like no other, and that most people are just like I was – they just don’t realize how great life with God can be: starting in this life, but even more so in the life to come.”

How you think about heaven affects everything in life – how you prioritize love, how willing you are to sacrifice for the long-term, how you view suffering, what you fear or don’t fear. I’m convinced we can’t even begin – but we should try – to picture how magnificent, how spectacular, how much fun heaven will be – how much of what we love about this life and more awaits us in eternity.”

What if we became people who have a vision for the ultimate life to come? What if it’s true that this life is merely a tiny taste on the tip of our tongues of the feast of life yet to come? What if heaven is going to be better than your wildest dreams? And what if how you live really does matter for the life to come question?”

Joel Marcus responds to his question:

 

“… against the disturbing and counterintuitive exhortation in 8:34 to embrace death, he now sets the assertion, emphasized by repetition, that those who suffer death “for me and the good news” will paradoxically find life (8:35).”

 

So, what if?

What if Jesus’ invitation to come to him, really is filled with far more than we imagine?

Drawing near in worship, in serving, through the spiritual disciplines, through dying.

What if this is where we gather the talents for the day of our arrival?

What if we could see this? Just a glimpse of His Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven? And then live into it.

Sunday I plan to say a word about spiritual blindness.

Come and see.

                                                                             

Even

September 7th, 2018 by
Hanging pictures is best done by a team of two.  One person shifts the wire on the back of the picture to the left or right until it finds a magical (mythical) midpoint where the picture will hang evenly.

But the second person is also essential. They have to stand back and from a distance that can take in the whole picture and the things around it, declare whether or not the picture is, in fact, even.

These jobs seem like magic to me.

Its hard to know how much of an adjustment is necessary for role one to succeed. A little to the left. Back a bit the other way. No, that’s too much. Almost. The opportunity to correct and overcorrect when sliding the wire along the nail is a blind challenge.

The second role involves less intense labor, but can only work if you have clear, level vision. A crooked head, an unobservant eye, impatience with person number one makes this job difficult as well.

 

Why is the search for a level, equal, even place so often pursued along a winding road?

 

In the mirror, in the minivan, in the marketplace, in the meeting room, it seems difficult to find an even keel. We hear ourselves saying, “It’s not that crooked when you tilt your head a little.”

 

Even when I can delegate or compensate for my picture-hanging deficiencies, the other uneven parts of life require attention.

 

The readings this week invite us, surprise us, with the issues of =.

 

Isaiah catalogs the distribution of judgment and blessing, James presses us to experience the temptations of favoritism, and Jesus shocks us with blunt language to a mother seeking help for her child.

 

= is elusive.

 

But, our prophets and apostles don’t merely describe, and Jesus doesn’t merely surprise. There is a path toward even, and it goes past several well-worn pit-stops along the way.

 

See you Sunday,

 

Christopher+

 

 
 
 
 

COMING UP

We are beginning a Ten-Talent Journey. On Sundays and in small groups, we are taking a journey towards God in the next several months. We invite you to join us along the way, and to do so with expectation. You can join us in the Asylum on Sunday at 9am, or join another group meeting throughout the week over the next five weeks.

 

Sunday at 9am- Nancy Ross is leading a three week study on faith from the life of Job in the Parish Hall. It begins this Sunday

 

With your Bulletin- Pick up a Storm Ready Card. This card invites you to: 1. Prepare for a Storm before it arrives. 2. Sign up if you need help preparing for a storm. 3. Serve on a team to help others prepare.