We live in a culture that continually tells us to pursue a higher standard of living in order to improve our quality of life. But "standard of living" and "quality of life" aren't the same thing. One has to do with the stuff we accumulate. The other is about the peace we experience regardless of our circumstances.
What if your pursuit of a standard of living is undermining your quality of life?
Our lives are busy and fast-paced. The lack of margin increases our stress and shortens our tempers. It can distract us from the most important things in our lives . . . and our relationships suffer. It can even affect our relationship with God because there's a connection between our willingness to create margin and our faith.
Life is better with breathing room.
Sometimes your running is over, but if you’re really honest, you’re still mad. We meet Jonah at the end of the story, and he’s angry. Angry at God, angry at life. You can run away from God, but as we’ll see, for some strange reason, God doesn’t run away from runaways.
So what does God do with runaways? Especially stubborn ones who have adopted a lifestyle that completely dishonours him? He loves them. So many people who run from God think God is mad at them. God may be angry at the running, but he loves runners.
You can try to escape God, but your escapism actually provides no escape. We meet Jonah as Jonah meets a sovereign God who traps him. Trying to escape God is futile, but we try anyway, don’t we?
At some level, all of us are running from something. Your past. The future. Your job. Your family. God. There are 1000 reasons to want to escape. Any idea what you’re running from? And why?
Once upon a time, Jesus stood against the injustice of the Roman empire and the hypocrisy of religious leaders. He changed the course of human history. What will our Once upon a time… story be?
What if our faith was characterized by fearlessness, humility, confidence in Jesus, and love of others? Imagine how that would change the world around us.
We see daily news reports about violence and terrorism. The world can feel like a dangerous place. Surrounded by uncertainty, it's difficult not to be afraid. But Jesus offers us another option.
Our culture celebrates autonomy. Not needing to go to any more meetings. Not needing to answer the phone. Having enough money and enough health that you can do exactly what you want to do, when you want to do it. But what if your fulfillment is not found in isolation, but actually playing a part in something greater than yourself? What if there were a multitude of people waiting, hoping that you would play your part?
70% of people admit to being disengaged at work. That includes people who got their dream job, only to discover it was hardly a dream. Why is work so frustrating? And how can you spend your time and energy in ways that are far more fulfilling? God has something fairly radical to say about work that could completely change your attitude and your satisfaction.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what you should really be doing with your life. Other times the trajectory of your life can be clear but it doesn’t have the meaning you hoped for. What were you put on this earth to do? What if discovering more of who God made you to be, can help you discover more of His purposes for you?
So you probably think the angst you feel in life some days will get better if you were more gifted, or you had money or fame. Most people find just the opposite—the more you have, the less fulfilled you feel. Why is that? Why is it that some of the most gifted people are the most miserable. And where does your dis-satisfaction come from?
When you have a mess to address, first options aren’t usually the best options. First options often make messes messier. In this message, Andy explores an approach that can take the -er out of your messy situations.
Jesus told us to love our neighbors as ourselves. But that’s easier said than done. What are the limits of our responsibility to others? The answer may surprise you.
A common misperception is that the Christian life is all about avoiding messes and staying out of trouble. But following Jesus isn’t about avoiding something; it’s about becoming something.
I know a mess when I see one because I am a mess. When we acknowledge our messes, we're a baby step away from acknowledging God. Your mess has the potential to bring God near you.
Whether we’re religious or not, we’ve all been in, are in, or are only one decision away from a mess. But there’s a powerful connection between your messes and your relationship with God.
Every week you spend time with people who don’t know Jesus, and opportunities to have a conversation come up. How exactly do you have a good conversation with someone about your faith? How do you start and what do you even say? Jesus gives us a few examples of conversations he had with people on the journey to faith. Let’s look at his example of how to have a truth and grace filled conversation about faith.
In a culture where people are spiritually curious, they are looking for people who are willing to have open and honest conversations. At the same time, it can be difficult to understand someone’s journey to Jesus. When does God show up in someone’s life? How do we play a role in that? How do we trust God to show up? How do they trust us as a safe person to help them on their journey?
If you’ve ever met a Christian, you know that we aren’t always good at talking about what we believe. If you are a Christian, you may have experienced how talking about your relationship with Jesus can feel weird, scary, or just make you feel incompetent. What if you could change that? We’ll see how Jesus and early Christians had spiritual conversations in a culture where it was taboo, and how sharing your faith is easier than you think.
Maybe it started when we were kids, but most often find ourselves wanting just a little more. For most of us, that’s also true of money. The problem is more is it has no end point. If you don’t make your money serve God, you’ll make money god.
People who were not like Jesus liked Jesus, and he liked them back. Since the church is the body of Christ, people should be drawn to Jesus followers. Even if they don’t agree with the message of the church, they should like the church. So, why isn’t that true?
What do you do when people hurt you? Sometimes it seems impossible to forgive. Revenge is about what you want from someone. Forgiveness is about what you want for them-and ultimately for you. Few people show us how to practice forgiveness better than King David.