Lu Daoming welcomes you on a journey of friendship and hope. Together, let's learn new ideas: how to live with real meaning and joy.
STRENGTHENING THE CENTRE
November 2, 2015Posted by on
We’re blessed to be a circle of friends who have many very diverse backgrounds, in many ways: socially, culturally, religious background (or lack of it). We’ve experienced life in different ways, we see things in different ways. Over the years we’ve learned that nobody does this “disciple” thing perfectly except for Jesus – and so we’re all united in learning from Him. We’re learning to love each other and care for each other regardless of our differences.
Sometimes it’s a really good idea to “strengthen the centre,” to re-iterate once again the things that we hold in common – the points of view, the life experience, the understandings we share about 神 and Jesus and what He’s doing. We want for everyone among us to be able to say it in distinct, concise ways that give us vocabulary to talk with each other – and in words that make sense to people who are new to all this.
So in this series we’ll explore some of the basics about “conversion,” about what it means to “respond” to 神’s Good News. We’ll talk about words we use often – in a way that might be new for many of us, who are newer to us. On the other hand, some of our exploring may bring new insights to those who’ve been with us for a long time, too.
“Strengthening the Centre”: Repent! (November 1, 2015) One of the more startling things 神 does with humans: He calls us to “repent,” to “change sides,” to “change direction.” Why does He do that? What does that look like? What does that mean to my life every day?
“Strengthening the Centre”: The “Good Confession”: Jesus is Lord! (November 8, 2015) Have you ever noticed the night sky, how the stars show in patterns? We call them “constellations,” and getting to know them can help you understand where you are. The factors that go into becoming a follower of Jesus Christ are something like a “conversion constellation” – some of us experience them in a linear, step-by-step way – others of us experience them at different times in our lives. The point is to learn the constellation, and “say the same thing” as God says about it. The Good Confession isn’t about us and our sins – it’s about who Jesus Christ really is. Not just about who He is to us, but about who He is to the whole creation – and this is very moving. You can download a short PDF of our PowerPoint presentation here. This will really help you understand some of the references, especially in the early part of the lecture.
“Strengthening the Centre”: Believe”: I Dare You to Move! (November 15, 2015) In this session we go further into “the conversion constellation.” What does it mean, “to believe”? For many people, to believe is a feeling – and a connection built on feelings lasts about as long as the feelings last. For many others, to believe is to learn a lot of ideas, and be committed to the ideas – but the Bible rarely talks about believing in that way in a positive manner – it’s sterile. “OK, so where do we go to learn about “faith,” about “believing,” as part of our conversion constellation?” Go to the stories of people who believed God! What did it mean for God to call them to believe? This one is different, so hold on to your hat and enjoy. You can download a short PDF of our PowerPoint presentation here.
Go here for an excellent song by the group called Switchfoot: “Dare you to Move!”
“Strengthening the Centre”: Be baptized!”: Come Through the Water! (November 22, 2015) Another star in the “conversion constellation”: what does baptism in water really mean? Why are so many people in such disagreement about it? Why does God even care about it? We’re discovering that baptism in water links us to the most important great stories of the Bible: creation, the Flood, crossing the Reed Sea, crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land, even Jesus’ own baptism. With all the different opinions and practices about it in our time, a simple question: what did Jesus’ own followers say about it? What did the earliest followers of Jesus do with it? Baptism in water, “in Jesus’ name,” is a power experience. It’s your entry, your link to all God’s faithfulness of the past – and the future – and the present time. It’s your entry into everything He promises us in Christ, all the people who are “in Christ,” into His movement of the Good News. This is a very exciting discovery! Find the audio here, and find the Powerpoint here.
“Strengthening the Centre: Welcome, Holy Spirit!” (November 29, 2015) This is “the promise” of Acts 2.38-39, it’s God’s way of bringing us all into what He’s been doing with us from the very beginning. In this one, we’ll explore the Biblical roots of “the promise.” What are its connections to the “conversion constellation”? what does it mean for us now? how did things about the Spirit get so confusing? and how do we “finish what we’ve started” re receiving the Spirit? Find the audio here and a brief PDF of our Powerpoint here. Not mentioned in the session: we also have a whole course on interacting with the Spirit called “On the Front Lines“ – go here for a brief description of it.
“Strengthening the Centre: The One Another Way” (December 6, 2015) This is our last session in the series. Click here for the audio, and here for the Powerpoint. We’re exploring the “conversion constellation”: what 神 is doing, and what He wants of us – and why – as we move from “darkness to light,” “lost to saved,” “dead to new life,” etc. Today: 神 has always been reaching out to all humanity. He’s always been “making community!” He’s always had (or has been creating) a whole community of people, through whom He can bless everyone – those who know Him and those who don’t. So – in being “converted,” what does it mean to be part of the “church”? We’re moving into the ancient uses of words like “church,” which are quite different from what we’re accustomed to thinking. We’re going into the big picture of what 神 is doing, where we fit in it together – and what that has to do with our lives. Enjoy!