Over the past few weeks, we’ve been diving into the topic of relationships, looking at what makes them work, and often what causes hardships and heart breaks. We’ve been asking you to submit your questions so that we can try to answer as many as we can in the closing session of our series. So join us for a time of conversation that we hope will be informative, enlightening and maybe even entertaining.
What do teachers, journalists, and parents have in common? They ask questions that help people to think through a situation, or deliver the desired response. God knows how to ask probing questions, but his tend to transform an ordinary situation into something extraordinary. Like the time God asked Moses what he had in his hand. It turned out to be a stick. Or the time Jesus asked his disciples what food they had. It turned out to be a boy’s meager lunch. In both situations, God took what was offered and did the miraculous – he turned the stick into a mighty rod that delivered thousands of people from an oppressive ruler, and took a few pieces of bread and fish and fed thousands of hungry people. As we enter a new year, that is a good question to ask ourselves: What do we have, or better yet, what have we been given, in terms of talents, resources and abilities, that can be turned into something extraordinary? The key, as we saw, is that we need to offer it first. What does that really mean? Join us as we start our series on Stewardship. And prepare for an ordinary year to be turned into something extraordinary.
What is it about Christmas that evokes so much interest? Even for those who are not religious, it’s hard not to get into a bit of a festive mood. The lights, the food, the decorations, the gathering of families, friends, and colleagues, all come together to make it a special time of year. This celebrative atmosphere comes from the religious origins of Christmas. It is told that 2,000 years ago God Himself sent His son into the world as a baby to be with us and then to save us. In the words of a famous Christmas Carol, “Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the Newborn King!” So on this Christmas Eve, we are going to gather to sing Christmas carols, read the Christmas story from the Bible, and enjoy some good coffee and cookies. Even if you are not particularity religious, we welcome you to join us this Christmas Eve from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in downtown Toronto at Innis Town Hall. Hope to see you there!
Have you ever looked back at the circumstances in your life and realized that things were not happening by chance? That there was actually a hidden meaning behind each twist and turn and fork in the road? That every decision you had to make, right or wrong, and every trial and triumph, seemed to be leading you in a direction toward a higher purpose? Sometimes you only see that later in life after much reflection. Other times, you have moments of clarity when you connect the dots of your life and have a sense of satisfaction – that it was not in vain. Our heroines in the book of Ruth experience that kind of epiphany – a moment when you suddenly feel that you understand or become conscious of something that has eternal value. We end our 4-part series in the book of Ruth by looking at the final chapter that puts everything in perspective. Join us for the conclusion of our Christmas series.
Compassion is an understanding of the emotional state of another; it is often combined with a desire to alleviate or reduce the suffering of another or to show a special kindness to those who suffer. Scientific studies suggest that there are physical benefits to practicing compassion. It seems that people who practice it produce 100 per cent more DHEA, which is a hormone that counteracts the aging process, and 23 per cent less cortisol – the ‘stress’ hormone. If you were to think about one word that would characterize the ministry of Jesus while he was on this earth, you might say that Jesus was compassion in the flesh. It’s the emotion and behaviour most often attributed to him. He healed out of compassion; taught out of compassion; preached out of compassion. Why is it important for us to follow this example? Join us as we continue our series on the unshakable life.
The Unshakable Life is empowered by the Spirit resulting in fruitfulness and giftings
Are you a student, or remember being one? How did you keep your energy level up while cramming for exams? Some say they chew on ice; others try energy drinks or coffee, or they drink plenty of water that keeps them going to the washroom which helps them stay awake. Whether you’re a student, a new parent up all night caring for a crying baby, or a sports enthusiast preparing to run a marathon, we look for ways to preserve our energy or keep going against all odds. Sometimes, though, our batteries just run out. There is a source of power in our lives that has little to do with what we might feed our body, but starts with how we nourish our soul. And the results are worth exploring. We’ll talk about a life empowered by the Holy Spirit – what that means and what we can expect. Join us for our continuing series on the Unshakable Life.