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Helping People Experience Full and Abundant Living

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    The abundant life cannot exist in a vacuum. It will not flourish all alone. In the words of the Almighty, it’s not good for us to be alone. And yet, our culture places a high value on independence, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, and being a self-made man or woman. It may be lonely at the top, but in our society loneliness and isolation is prevalent from the bottom to the top. But let’s be honest, who really has time for a friend? Friends make demands of your time and of your attention. You have to accommodate them when you’re together. It so often feels more give than take. This week’s conversation explores how friendship can make or break the abundant life.

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    When you’re a child, you think you can do anything. When you’re a young adult, you think you can change the world. But it seems that by the time most people get to their end of life, the most common and the biggest regret is that they never got it done. Jesus promised a full and abundant life. Jeremiah promised that God has a plan for each one of us. And the Gospels remind us that we’re expected to change the world … and that the church has been given the tools, the gifts, and the power to do so. In this week’s conversation, we’ll shatter the myths that are keeping us from reaching our destinies. Living the Abundant Life by Changing the World.

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    There’s an old adage that reminds us to “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” Success in life often means that you have to figure out how to deal with your enemies effectively. When Jesus said, “Love your enemies” he was making a presumption that we would have enemies … people who don’t like us and who actively work against us to thwart our personal success. In this Conversation, we’ll explore how to effectively deal with those obstacles who are getting in the way of your abundant life.

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    Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future. Tick Tock … How many times have you said you were going to ______ when you had more time … after the kids were grown … when you had more money … when your ship comes in? We only have so much time and we seem so busy. And yet, we know people who seem to get so very much done. Every decision about how we spend our day, this hour, this minute, and even this moment has a profound effect on your tomorrow. We’ll talk about how to invest your time wisely in this week’s conversation.

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    Investing your talent to change the community.

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    Civility appears to be a lost art in the U.S. these days. Whether you’re reading social media, listening to talk radio, or watching the evening news, the words, body language, and tone of voice betray a lack of tolerance for others. Likewise, integrity has taken a hit across our culture. It’s difficult to know who to trust, if anyone. And even Christians aren’t given the benefit of the doubt anymore … or maybe that should read, especially Christians aren’t give the benefit of the doubt. Who you say you is being scrutinized by pretty much everyone you meet. This week’s Conversation explores how to present our best testimony, even when we fall short.

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    We’ve all heard the quotes. “Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.” “You only reap what you sow.” “Those who sow generously will reap generously.” All good sayings and undoubtedly, they’re all true. But they’re all about “me.” It’s as if we weigh up what we give by what we’re going to get in return. As if God somehow owes us if we’re generous enough. But let me ask you this … is that what you see in the New Testament? That those who gave generously ended up better off than when they started? Because if you can find an example of that, I’d like you to point it out to me. That’s the question we’ll be wrestling with during our Conversation on Sunday … if God isn’t going to bless us when we give, why bother to give?

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    It’s that time of year. Some might call it a “thin” time, a time when the separation between the spirit realm and the corporeal world is but spider’s thread apart. Once upon a time, we looked at these topics with wry amusement. Only superstitious, unscientific children believed in such nonsense. But that’s not so much the case today. At least two generations have risen up and confessed that not everything has a scientific answer … and there’s too much evidence for hauntings, ghosts, spirits, demons, and angels to dismiss it all. But with the rise of interest and belief comes a rise in dabbling. Is it safe to play with things we don’t understand, or are we taking risks in things that my do more than go bump in the night? This week’s Conversation takes a serious look at what we may be getting into.

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  • 10/14/18--04:55: Super Natural: Miracles
  • The miracle of medicine. The miracle of love. The miracle of life. We call lots of things miracles, but the truth is, we see very few things that most of us are willing to call genuine miracles. And most of the ones we hear about, we’re quick to doubt or to explain away. The Bible seems to be so full of miracles, sometimes you have to wonder if we just don’t have as much faith as people “way back then.” During this week’s Conversation, we’ll explore the reality of miracles then and now and see if we can’t find some “thin places” between the miraculous and the mundane.

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    My favorite Hollywood angel was John Travolta’s portrayal of the Archangel Michael. He was a slovenly angel who cursed, smoked, and regularly proclaimed, “I’m not that kind of angel.” I don’t know what what “real angels look like, but I know that almost every time they show up in scripture that people end up on their faces quivering in terror. I don’t have a favorite demon, though the one on the Underwood Deviled Ham tin is probably the most famous demon of all. The reality is, though, that most people believe in angels and demons in about the same way as they believe in Robin Hood or Merlin. Of course, the biblical authors believed in them, as do most other religions. But is there any “real” evidence to back them up? Demons and Angels – This week’s Conversation on Sunday morning.

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    Is there really a hell? You know, a fiery inferno where souls are tortured for all eternity for their sins? You might not be surprised to learn that the majority of Christians don’t believe in a hell … but apparently there are a lot of non-Christians who aren’t so sure. Perhaps it’s because there’s so much evil in the world that it doesn’t take much imagination to picture a home for all things dark. Is hell a fairy tale story created to scare us into obedience? Or is there something darker behind the thin places? This week, the Conversation will explore these questions as we talk about Hell: Myth or Reality?

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    The world’s most popular radio station is WII FM. That stands for What’s In It For Me? Because we all tune in to that channel more often than we’d care to admit, there’s a danger that we’ll get comfortable, kick off our shoes, and slip into the entitlement t-shirt. On the back of the shirt is the WII FM logo, and on the front is the badge, “Whatever It Is, I Deserve It.” Interestingly enough, Jesus seems to have agreed and when he delivered the Sermon on the Mount, he started it all off by answering the WII FM question for the crowd. It turns out, our happiness hinges on our blessedness.

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