How They Love One Another

November 14, 2018

This week, we are inspecting the threads, strands, and fibers that comprised the heart and soul of this together kind of community that Luke described in Acts 2:42-47. Yesterday, we looked at their commitment to obey and live out Scripture. The next practice or discipline that Luke reports about this community is that they were devoted to “fellowship” (Acts 2:42).

Obedience is the Thing

November 13, 2018

This week, we are inspecting the threads, strands, and fibers that comprised the heart and soul of this together kind of community that Luke described in Acts 2:42-47. Yesterday, we focused on what is at the center of this community, the solid core of the strong, thick cord that bound together this community of friends: Jesus Christ.

Jesus at the Center

November 12, 2018

This week, in our worship services and in our group study we looked at the summary of the practices or disciplines that characterized the early church’s life together in Acts 2:42-47. Luke, the author of Acts, pauses for a moment in his story of the birth and expansion of the church to lift the hood and show us the working parts that drove the engine of growth in the early church.

God's Big House

November 10, 2018

This week we have been walking together through various sections of the book of Amos and looking at the reasons why, when a plumb line was placed against the house of Israel, God found the house to be unlevel. We can think of Amos as God’s building inspector, sent to survey the houses and buildings Israel had constructed to see if they were up to code.

Hospitality and Mission

November 9, 2018

In our first reading for today from Amos 5, we get into the thick of why Israel was facing God’s judgment, and we also encounter what, from God’s perspective, was an insufferable paradox. You see, from one angle of vision, Israel appeared to be a very pious and religious nation. They were, if we could update the language a bit, holding regular revivals and religious conferences, they were hosting potlucks for fellowship, and singing loudly and proudly to the latest praise songs.

God's Renovation Project

November 8, 2018

In this week’s First 15’s, we are exploring together one of the main reasons Israel’s house was not plumb against God’s standard of justice and righteousness (Amos 7:7-9): though they had been hospitably welcomed by God, chosen as God’s people and gifted with the land of Canaan, they were not extending that welcome to others.

Welcoming Unexpected Blessings

November 7, 2018

In this week’s First 15’s, we are exploring together one of the main reasons Israel’s house was not plumb against God’s standard of justice and righteousness (Amos 7:7-9): though they had been hospitably welcomed by God, chosen as God’s people and gifted with the land of Canaan, they were not extending that welcome to others.

Welcomed into God's World

November 6, 2018

In this week’s First 15’s, we are exploring together one of the main reasons Israel’s house was not plumb against God’s standard of justice and righteousness (Amos 7:7-9): though they had been hospitably welcomed by God, chosen as God’s people and gifted with the land of Canaan, they were not extending that welcome to others.

Hospitality and Justice

November 5, 2018

This week in our worship services and in our group study, we looked at the symbol of the rope plumb line that the prophet Amos envisioned God using to measure the stability and levelness of the house of Israel (Amos 7:7). The rope plumb line was a metaphor for the justice and righteousness that God expected to find present in God’s people.

Second Chances

November 3, 2018

We have been looking together in our First 15’s this week at Peter’s call to “fish for people” in Luke 5:1-11. Peter’s call from Jesus emerged in the midst of his vocation of fishing. As he pushed beyond the threshold of fear and submitted his gifts, talents, and resources to Christ, he found his vocation blessed and made larger as it was woven into Christ’s mission.

What We Leave Behind

November 2, 2018

Yesterday we looked at Peter’s “Moses-moment” when he pleaded with Jesus, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8). Today, we want to look a little closer at Jesus’ response to Peter, because it reveals what is often at the root of our own second-guessing when we see a need or sense that tug and pull within us of Jesus’ call.

Who Me?

November 1, 2018

In yesterday’s reading from Exodus 3-4, we learned that when Moses was called by God he came up with a long list of excuses for why God had picked the wrong person. Moses’ excuses begin with the direct question to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). At the heart of Moses’ questions is the belief that he is not good enough for the job.

What's In Your Hand?

October 31, 2018

In this week’s First 15’s we are taking a closer look at Peter’s call in Luke 5 by considering several other examples of people who were also called to weave their resources, gifts, and vocations into God’s mission.

God's Call, Our Response

October 30, 2018

In this week’s First 15’s, we are taking a closer look at Peter’s call in Luke 5 by considering several other examples of people who were also called to weave their resources, gifts, and vocations into God’s mission. Yesterday we looked at the calling of Andrew whose simple act of bringing Peter to Jesus opened the door for Peter’s vocation as a fisherman to be blessed and made larger by Christ’s calling.

Becoming an Andrew

October 29, 2018

This week in our worship services and in our group study our theme is “Working Together,” and we are looking at how Jesus used Peter’s vocation as a fisherman (and the rope nets that were his vocational tool) to recast his calling and redirect his future (Luke 5:1-11). In this week’s First 15’s we will be taking another angle on Peter’s call