a sozo testimony  E-mail
Ailie Baumann | 19 December 2018
I used to be a Christian who loved Jesus passionately, read my Bible, prayed, did the Christian things until one day I read a statement that was simple but intensely intimate. This statement hit my heart like a huge meteor crashing into the earth's ground. Here it is

"Jesus is the kindest person I know." - Graham Cooke

In that moment my heart faced Jesus and with heartfelt desire cried out " I don't know that about you. I need to experience you, Jesus, as the kindest person." I was undone because I realized that I loved a God I didn't really know intimately. Did I know him, yes. Did I hear and see Him, yes. Did we have a relationship, yes but not a Love Affair. My heart began to ache for a Love Affair with the Lover of my Soul. It would take roughly 18 months to 2 years for this love affair to become a courtship.
I am not going to go into the details of what had to occur in that time because I believe it will detract from my purpose which is to entice you into a reality of His passionate love for you.  I knew what God had to say about Himself and me in the Bible but I didn't really know what He thought about me. Its one thing to be well-versed in the Bible which is powerful and important but its a completely higher dynamic and power in experiencing God and His love for you. It is nothing that I have ever experienced before. It  is gentle, tender, strong, secure, passionate love. When you encounter love, you are changed forever.

healing and relationship  E-mail
Claudia Kotzen | 19 December 2018
And by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:4-5)

This is a short and sweet blog on healing and relationship. Because by His stripes we are
healed. The veil was torn. And relationship opened up. I don't have answers or 'keys' when
it comes to healing, but what I do know is that God is all about relationship. And He is so
much bigger. I read Misty Edward's Facebook status the other day and took a deep breath,
just soaking in her vulnerability:

the hardest thing you'll ever do  E-mail
Lisa Flaum | 19 December 2018
In our journey as a community, we wanted to come against performance and striving to be righteous. So we ran into the notion that we are perfectly perfect.

Completely made righteous perfect. Perfection.

Declaring that over ourselves and everything we do. No space for darkness. But does it leave room for our mess. For dead bunnies and illnesses that don’t get healed? For lies and deception, cravings and brokenness? Wounds to the heart? Loss?

i do love the community of believers  E-mail
Grant Flaum | 19 December 2018

Sunday morning gatherings are such a highlight for so many of us. I recently came across this Facebook post by Kris Vallotton, a Bethel leader and great influence at Central Parks. Here he is articulating some of what he loves about local church:

our faithful God – the one who makes all things new  E-mail
Antoinette McDonald | 19 December 2018
God is amazing. This week I was thinking about the fact that my inferior mindsets don’t change the truth about who He is.

This all dawned on me while I was looking at my son – thinking about his birth – thinking about what a miracle that was. I felt God with us every step of that (mostly excruciatingly painful) process. I acknowledged him, cried out to him, worshipped him through that labor, and I was grateful that I had Him to hold onto. It got me thinking: Everyday, I see God in my little guy. And it leaves me wondering and in awe. But there are millions who don’t see God – gosh, there are even times when I lose perspective and struggle to see Him. But, that lack of faith does not nullify his faithfulness (Romans 3:3). This makes me love Him more. Like that old song goes, “There is none like you – I search the world for all eternity long to find that there is none like you”.  

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