Gather a group of friends together for a movie night and you will usually find someone pulling for an action film. Action movies have been blockbuster hits for decades. Superheroes are the latest attraction. Who doesn’t want to marvel at the earth’s mightiest heroes joining forces to take on threats too big for any one hero to tackle? Some would say there is a lot more to superhero movies than the explosive encounters between good and evil. The story plots usually include a major threat to our existence as we know it. One film critic has said that during troubled times – economic upheavals, rising crime rates, and other circumstances that tend to keep people on edge – it is nice to think or believe that there is somebody out there who could protect us from all that. If we were to step back and look at how the New Testament portrays how Jesus lived when he walked the earth, we would see a man of action. In fact, wherever he went, he sent waves and ripples through communities with his presence, his teachings and miracles. You would often hear how ‘all the people were amazed’ at who they encountered and what they saw. The book of Mark in the Bible is known for its focus on what Jesus did… some have called it an action-packed docudrama of a man – the son of God – who emerges as the Kingly Messiah. Join us as we travel through this book together.
There is a lot of talk and focus on mental health issues these days, with advertisements and company sponsorships encouraging people to speak up and seek the help they need. We are hearing more stories of deep struggles as people are coming forward to share their experiences. This is backed up by statistics saying that one in five Canadians will suffer with mental health issues in their lifetime. Being a person of faith does not exempt us from the conversation. And it does not exempt us from facing deep challenges in our own lives. What it can do is drive us to the bible to see what God says about things – things like our inner self, our thoughts and emotions. This month we will look to God’s word for comfort and solutions to some of life’s most challenging questions.
Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl chronicled his experiences as an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate during World War II, describing how he survived emotionally and spiritually by identifying a purpose in life to feel positively about, and then immersively imagining that outcome. His book, Man’s Search for Meaning, is on a list of the ten most influential books in the United States. At the time of his death in 1997, the book had sold over 10 million copies and had been translated into 24 languages. What happens when life has a purpose? We’ll complete our series RESOLVE with a discussion on making a change in your life that will renew your passion for living.
Can you imagine if something you had said at one time lived on for centuries after you were gone? John Donne lived in the 1500’s. He was a poet, a cleric and a lawyer, best known for a phrase that we still hear today. “No man is an Island, entire of itself.” It is part of a sermon he gave to illustrate that no one can thrive completely on their own. As human beings, we are wired for relationship. What if the solution to living your life purposefully and with meaning in 2018 involved resolving to live in community with others? For a church to thrive, it must be made up of people who make time to be in relationship with each other. What does this mean? We’ll talk about that in the second part of our series called RESOLVE.
Coaches are in high demand – every famous athlete, every famous performer, every leader in training, at some point, has a coach. Coaches help you to pinpoint your strengths, overcome your weaknesses, decide what’s important in your life, and even how to make a change.
What if the solution to living your life purposefully and with meaning in 2018 depended on three things that many Life coaches might overlook? What if it meant knowing what those things are, and doing them with intention and resolve? That’s what our new series RESOLVED is about. To start, think about what occupies most of your day, your time, or your thoughts. Everyone places value and worth on something. What would change if God had that kind of attention in your life?
We’ll look at what changes when you put God First.
What’s part of your Christmas tradition? In the Philippines, a giant lantern festival is held on the Saturday before Christmas Eve. The competition is fierce as everyone pitches in to build the most elaborate lantern. In Venezuela, on Christmas eve, people head to church on roller skates. This unique tradition is so popular that roads across the city are closed to cars so people can skate to church in safety. Christmas remains a novelty in countries like Japan, however some quirky traditions are emerging, like feasting on Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas day. In Toronto, the annual Cavalcade of Lights marks the official start to the holiday season. A Christmas Tree in Nathan Phillips Square – and the whole Square – light up, usually accompanied by spectacular fireworks. You may have your own family traditions handed down over generations, or want to start your own. Whatever your tradition, we welcome you to join us for the weeks leading up to Christmas. We will take an often-quoted verse from the book of Isaiah and dig deeper into the meaning of the names of God listed there. What’s in a name? More than you could have ever imagined. Take this Christmas journey with us.