"For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope."
Our new series introduces us to a new way of considering and thinking about faith, spirituality, and The Way of Jesus. Rather than through the lens of doctrinal statements, the Bible begins with what is essentially, "Once upon a time," a phrase that invites us into seeing ourselves in new ways, ultimately valuing meaning, purpose, and the next chapters that we are to write.
2018.04.29 | The Grand Narrative
2018.04.22 | Peter
2018.04.15 | Rebel Just For Kicks
2018.04.08 | Paul
2018.03.04 | Jonah
2018.02.18 | Daniel: Living Amongst Fools
2018.02.11 | Job
2018.02.04 | Like The Nations
2018.01.21 | What Is Wrong With The World (Judges)
2018.01.14 | Let Us Be Strengthened
2018.01.07 | What's In A Name
2017.12.31 | Born Again, Again
2017.12.10 | About Stories
2017.12.03 | Homo Covenantus
2017.11.26 | Food For Thought
2017.11.12 | After The Fall
2017.11.05 | In God's Image
2017.10.29 | This Is Our Story
“People on the edge of the inside are free from its central seductions, but also free to hear its core message in very new and creative ways. ... A person or church on the inside has “learned the rules well enough to know how to ‘break the rules properly,’ which is not really to break them at all, but to find their true purpose: ‘not to abolish the law but to complete it.’” - Richard Rohr
2017.10.22 | On The Edge Of The Inside
Spark participated in The Yale Center for Faith & Culture Preaching Series.
2017.05.14 | Part 4: A Joy That Lasts (Pastor Omair)
2017.05.07 | Part 3: Joy as a Justice Strategy (Pastor Kevin)
2017.04.30 | Part 2: Joy As Necessity (Pastor Mark)
2017.04.23 | Part 1: He Is Not Here, He Is Risen (Pastor Danielle)
In addition to our Sunday messages, occasionally we have produced some additional content exclusive to our podcast feed. See below for a commentary on the political season and a special interview with a local church planter, and closer.
2017.07.24 | Interview with Omair Akhtar
2017.07.23 | Mars Hill Q&R with Pastor Omair Akhtar
2017.07.17 | An Interview with Marcus Randolph
2017.02.14 | How To Close a Church, Part II (with Gary Hale)
2017.02.14 | How To Close a Church, Part I (with Gary Hale)
2017.02.03 | Pixels & Politics
2017.01.15 | Welcome & Invitation
2017.10.08 | Snake Bite, House Arrest, Rejection...The End?
2017.10.01 | The Storm
2017.09.24 | Take Courage
2017.09.17 | The Family That Travels Together
2017.09.10 | When Good Fortune Falls Asleep
2017.09.03 | Radical Welcome
2017.08.27 | Trust & Obey
2017.08.20 | Getting Your Hands Dirty
2017.08.13 | Was Blind So I Could See
2017.07.30 | What A Riot
2017.07.23 | Mars Hill
2017.07.16 | What Are You Going To Do, Are You About That Life
2017.07.09 | A Samaritan, A Eunuch, and a Pharisee
2017.06.25 | Blessed Are The Persecuted
2017.06.18 | Justice for All
2017.06.11 | Gamaliel's Wager
2017.06.04 | Everything In Common
2017.05.21 | Times of Refreshing
2017.04.02 | It's Happening Again
2017.03.26 | Looking Into The Sky?
2017.03.19 | Can I Get A Witness?
2017.03.12 | Who's In? (Part II)
2017.03.05 | Who's In? (Part I)
2017.02.26 | Why Did Anyone Write This Stuff Down?
2017.02.19 | The Good News Everyday
2017.02.12 | The Good News For Today
2017.02.05 | The Good News Is Not Good Advice
2017.01.29 | The Good News of The Kingdom and the Cross
2017.01.22 | The Good News Is Not About You
2017.01.15 | The Good News Is God News
2017.01.08 | The Bad News About The Good News, part 2
2017.01.01 | The Bad News About The Good News, part 1
Most of us at some point in our lives have experienced a disruption, whether that be a broken relationship, a bad church experience, tragic loss, or even a paradigm shift in your beliefs. In this series, we will look at 5 "H's," Healing, Healthy, Hyped, Habits, and Hope. We will also ask 5 questions that will address those aches. How we answer these questions will be critical to healing our sense of identity and purpose. In accordance with our vision as a church -- to see love realized in all of our relationships -- we hope this series will bring some much needed healing to the pain many of us carry around.
2016.12.18 | Hope: Where Are You Going?
2016.12.11 | Habits: What Commitments Do I Need To Make?
2016.12.04 | Hyped: Why Are You Here?
2016.11.27 | Healthy: What Do You Want?
2016.11.06 | Healing: Where Does It Hurt?
Following Tuesday, November 8, Spark took two Sundays to help our congregation process through this time that is full of conflict and anxiety. We hope to not only "double down" on our core values, but also to extend ourselves as a people who will be safe for all.
2016.11.20 | Living In A Foreign Land
2016.11.13 | Shaken and Doubling Down
This Sunday, we reflect, celebrate, say a lot of "thank you's," and look forward to what is to come. And, to all of our distance listeners, please know how much we love and appreciate YOU also being a part of our family!
2016.10.30 | Spark's 4th Anniversary Service
In churches all across the nation and the world, there exists a dominant theology of God who sits in the clouds, who is "up there," above us, often at a distance, looking down. In Grounded, Dr. Bass shares her journey of rethinking this "elevator" conception of God, and discovering a God with us, here, and now.
2016.10.23 | Grounded
2016.10.23 | Q&A
2016.10.16 | Comfort, Comfort, My People
2016.10.02 | What The...?!
2016.09.25 | Good Words
2016.09.18 | One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other
2016.08.28 | 12
2016.08.21 | Form Follows Function
2016.08.14 | Awkward Silence
2016.08.07 | In The Wilderness (special guest: Rabbi Ari Cartun)
2016.10.09 | Part 4, Evangelicalism & Politics Q&A
2016.10.09 | Part 3, Evangelicalism & Politics
2016.10.09 | Part 2, The History and Future of Evangelicalism Q&A
2016.10.09 | Part 1, The History and Future of Evangelicalism
2016.10.09 | Part A, Aymie Smith shares on the Why Christian Conference
In preparation for our multi faith peace walk next week (September 11), Pastor Danielle shares the commission and challenge of being people of love, reconciliation, and rescue. Joining hands and efforts with people unlike us is hard work, and loving our enemy is not what any of us wants to do. But as followers of Jesus, it is what we are called to do.
2016.09.04 | Practicing Our Preach
Our special guest, Dr. Peter Enns shares his thoughts and reflections from his two most recent books, The Bible Tells Me So... and The Sin of Certainty. The talks also include audience Q&A.
2016.07.31 | The Sin of Certainty
2016.07.31 | The Bible & Divine Violence
Sparkers Stacy and Lauren have just returned from a 5 week trip to Greece, working face-to-face and hand-in-hand with the refugees and aid workers on the front lines. In sharing with us, they give us up close information, dispel the myths that are still so widely promulgated in our media, and connect the core values of the Way of Jesus to the critical work that is being done. (The image to the left says "PHILOXENIA" [φιλοξενια] which is Greek for "Love of the Other.")
2016.07.24 | A Report From Greece
Friends, we've been here before. We'll be here again. And we will always have to be wise in how we deal with politics as one context of living our our faith. So, let us not be afraid, let us not demonize, and let us never clamor for power, but rather lay down our lives in service to the Way of Jesus.
2016.07.17 | Politics and the Way of Jesus
Curt Rhodes has spent over 30 years working with, and on behalf of, marginalized communities and young people across the Middle East, making him uniquely prepared to respond to the current Syrian war and the refugee crisis. In 1988, Questscope was founded with the goal of putting the last, first. From the beginning, Questscope worked closely with local communities, identifying their aspirations and together addressing their greatest needs. As the recipient of the 2014 Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award, Dr. Rhodes was recognized by Tufts University for his demonstrated compassion and tenacity in creating a highly effective and determined organization dedicated to the survival and nurturing of the most vulnerable and disenfranchised.
In recognition of his work through Questscope with marginalized youth in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and in the region, Dr. Rhodes was awarded the 2011 Social Entrepreneur of the Year for the Middle East and North Africa by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.
2016.04.24 | Conclusion
2016.04.17 | You Don't Owe God Anything
2016.04.10 | Save The Date
2016.04.03 | Justice = Holiness
2016.03.27 | The Atonement of Easter (not recorded)
2016.03.13 | The Opposite of Life
2016.03.06 | The Sacred & The Profane
2016.02.28 | Omnivore's Conundrum
2016.02.14 | High Voltage
2016.02.07 | Remorse
2016.01.31 | Unintended
2016.01.24 | It Is Well
2016.01.17 | All The Fat Is The Lord's
2016.01.10 | Close (We apologize for poor audio quality through 7:37)
2015.10.04 | The Liberation Of Worship
2015.09.27 | The Shelter of His Love
2015.09.20 | Grace Upon Grace
2015.08.30 | The Golden Calf
2015.08.23 | God's House On Earth
2015.08.16 | All Together Now
2015.08.09 | Come Up To Me and Be There
2015.08.02 | What Are We To Do About The Canaanites (No audio. Download slides.)
2015.07.26 | Book of the Covenant
2015.07.19 | Rescue Continued
2015.07.12 | The Second Exodus
The following messages were special messages over this season with guest speakes, and addressing current events:
2015.07.05 | The Good Earth (Pastor Danielle)
2015.06.28 | Special Message (Jason Primuth)
2015.06.21 | The Love of A Teacher (Pastor Mark Arevalo & Stacy Ishigaki)
2015.06.14 | God is to Israel, as... (Pastor Mark Arevalo)
2015.06.07 | The Brilliant Biblical Development of Governance
2015.05.31 | Open Up My Eyes (Rabbi Ari Cartun)
2015.05.24 | Because God Is With Us
2015.05.17 | Bread & War, Gravity & Glory
2015.05.10 | Stand and See
2015.05.03 | The Miracle of the Sea
2015.04.26 | The Last Plague
2015.04.19 | Creation Unmade
2015.04.12 | To Believe The LORD (God Gave Pharaoh The Finger)
2015.03.22 | Free, Deliver, Redeem, Take
2015.03.15 | How Things Get Worse, Before They Get Better
2015.03.08 | Some Things We Should Know
2015.03.01 | I Object
2015.02.22 | The Name
2015.02.15 | This Strange Sight
2015.02.08 | God Hears
2015.02.01 | Who Do You Think You Are?
2015.01.25 | The Opposite of Tragedy
2015.01.18 | Major Significance of Minor Characters
2015.01.11 | Blessing or Target?
2015.01.04 | Introduction
40% of Americans make New Year's Resolutions. 8% actually keep them. This common cultural activity is illustrative of something deeper about our humanity, a self-centeredness that is reflected, not just in popular psychology books, but also in the ancient work of Ecclesiastes. Through this talk, Pastor Kevin encourages us to not just make resolutions, but rather to also make remembrances, to "take note" of God throughout the entire past year. And as we do, we are exhorted to turn our inward focus upward and outward, toward God and others.
2014.12.28 | Take Note
Immamuel means that God is with us
Not necessarily that we are free from all fuss
It is simply that in darkness we long for a light
To show us some hope, through a long winter's night
So we tell you this story again through the years
To remind us that Christ shines through all our fears
As the Biblical authors thought important to write
So, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all this Great Light!"
2014.12.21 | 'Twas The Night Before Christmas
2014.11.09 | Sunday Morning, Session 5
2014.11.08 | Saturday Night, Session 4
2014.11.08 | Saturday Morning, Session 2
2014.11.07 | Friday Night, Session 1
(Unfortunately, Session 3 did not get recorded. We apologize for the inconvenience.)
2014.12.14 | Trusting the Mystery
2014.12.07 | Peace, Be Still
2014.11.30 | Sleep
2014.11.16 | Good & Tired
2014.11.09 | Special Guest: Mark Yaconelli
2014.11.02 | In the Midst (Joshua Boucher)
2014.10.26 | Faith To Be Found (Melissa Look Braunworth)
2014.10.12 | God's Got This
2014.10.05 | My Yoke Is Easy
2014.09.28 | For Life
2014.09.21 | All In
2014.09.14 | When (You Wish You Weren't) In Rome
2014.09.07 | Little, Yellow, Better
2014.08.31 | Forgiveness
2014.08.24 | Living on the Margins
2014.08.17 | Woe, Whoa, Woah
2014.08.10 | Kingdom Minded, Earthly Good
2014.08.03 | Like a Child
2014.07.20 | Greater & Lesser Q&A
2014.07.06 | It's All Good
2014.06.29 | The God of Ups and Downs
2014.06.22 | When a Leader Hurts
2014.06.15 | Leadership Lessons from Joseph
2014.06.08 | She is More Righteous Than I
2014.06.01 | Double Trouble
2014.05.25 | What's Your Family's Story?
2014.05.18 | A Thing Not To Be Done
On this Mother's Day, we reflect on the feminine side of God as described in the Bible. We are challenged to think of gender, not as two, as reflected in humanity, but as one, as in God. As we do, we are drawn into an understanding that a compassionate God carries each of us deep within God's womb. It is by believing in this that we hear God's heartbeat, become familiar with God's voice, conform our rhythms and patters of behavior to God's ways, and find our identity and security in God's loving compassion.
2014.05.11 | The Womb of God
Pastor Mark Arevalo shares a wild and crazy teaching full of lots of interaction, making the case for Church as an intergenerational experience. We are reminded of how God has created each generation to serve the Church and how we need each other to experience the fullest expression of our faith.
2014.04.13 | Intergenerational Church
Human dysfunction begins when a person feels unloved, and unworthy of love (shame). As a result, the ways in which we function in this world lead us to blame others and game systems in order to protect our hearts and souls. This is poignantly illustrated in the narrative of Genesis 3. But what is also there is God's redemption, speaking deep into our identity, grounding us once again in love and worth. In this message, we are reminded once again of the power of love to transform all human relationships, starting with our own identity.
2014.04.27 | Shame, Blame, Game
The celebration of Palm Sunday was not a happy event, but rather one deeply imbued in the soul's cry for freedom. Just as Passover was being celebrated, commemorating freedom from Egypt, Jesus's entry during this festival evoked a similar cry for freedom, now from under the oppression of Rome. Through a variety of historical events, we see that this is actually a cry that is deeply embedded in soul of humanity. The question for us is simply, How shall we respond? How shall we explain to our children what we did to expand freedom in this world, God's freedom for humanity, and for each of us?
2014.04.13 | Humanity's Cry
2014.04.06 | Encountering God
2014.04.06 | After sermon Genesis Q&A
2014.03.30 | Don't Let Go
2014.03.23 | The Two Sides of Every Story
2014.03.16 | Lift Up Your Feet
2014.03.09 | Surely God Is In This Place
2014.03.02 | The Power of Blessing
2014.02.23 | Pregnant With Possibilities
2014.02.16 | Well, Well, Well...
2014.02.09 | Bound & Determined
2014.01.19 | The Three Visitors
2014.01.12 | Private Parts
2014.01.05 | Welcome, Stranger
2013.12.01 | Covenant vs. Contracts
2013.11.17 | My Father Abraham
2013.11.10 | Tower of Babel
2013.10.27 | Hang It Up
2013.10.06 | Naked Desire
2013.09.29 | Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad
2013.09.22 | Ezer K'negdo
2013.09.15 | Keeping and Bearing (Josh Boucher)
2013.09.08 | Stop. Watch.
2013.09.01 | In Our Image
2013.08.18 | Let's Get Our Hands Dirty
2013.08.11 | Over The Chaos
2013.08.04 | Let There Be
2013.07.28 | What Story Are You Living?
Drawing from their personal experience, Marcus and Kendra share stories from their coaching and their philosophy of sports. Through their teaching, we discover how sports is a beautiful illustration of God's commission to all of us to influence the world.
2014.02.02 | Kendra and Marcus Randolph, God and Sports
Spark Learning Seminar: Dr. Daniel B. Wallace
January 26, 2014
Dr. Wallace taught on the transmission and development of the New Testament, and addressed issues and concerns regarding its reliability in light of our manuscript evidence. He also shared some of the most up-to-date findings from CSNTM's (Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts) research.
January 5, 2014, we gave Spark a brief update on the finances, staff, vision, hopes, dreams, and philosophy of Spark. Thank you to all of our Spark participants, here in Palo Alto, and around the world, for your support and partnership in this ministry. We hope this update not only strengthens our relationship, but inspires us all as we move into 2014.
2014.01.05 | Spark in 2014, Update
When God Came Down
December 29, 2013
From Genesis all the way through to Jesus, God has been telling a story of coming down here to earth, to enter into the chaos and dysfunction of life, in new times, new places, new cultures, and in new ways. In the convergence of the season of Christmas, the New Year, and Spark's second year, we ask again, what would happen if God came down, again?! The video of the message overlays the audio with the video background presentation.
On December 15, Kokua (Facebook page) shared a special Christmas concert sing-a-long. In the midst of the beautiful music, Pastor Kevin offered a short devotional on the birth of this child, and why the question, "What child is this?" is still so important.
2013.12.15 | What Child Is This?
In pursuit of our value for Reconciliation, we continue to seek out various ways to practice what we preach, whether through racial reconciliation, interfaith reconciliation, or simply reconciliation between neighbors and family members.
Many Sparkers have expressed a desire to understand modern Jewish practice and experience a Shabbat service, so Congregation Etz Chayim graciously invited us to their Friday evening, Shabbat Service on December 13. In preparation, Rabbi Ari visited Spark Church to teach us a few prayers and songs, allowing us not just to spectate but to participate during our visit. In addition, Pastor Danielle shares insights on how to have interfaith dialogue.
2013.12.08 | Rabbi Ari on Shabbat
Through personal experiences in the Navy, our guest speaker and Spark member, Chris Lockett, shares stories that illuminate spiritual lessons that we all experience in life. There are perspectives that need to be challenged. There are questions that need to be asked. And in the end, there is a God that helps us to see with new eyes, hear and listen with new ears, and perceive with new hearts.
2013.10.13 | A Sea/See Story
This famous quote from the iconic film, The Princess Bride, is quite appropriate to our current cultural context. Much of the conversation around faith, religion, church, the Bible, and current events often involves a myriad of definitions which makes it difficult to understand one another. Some utilize these words in coarse rhetoric causing even further barriers to faith. This has left many people confused and hindered from further conversation. For those of us who believe in the goodness of life that comes from following Jesus, this makes spiritual conversations with friends, family, and co-workers difficult.
In this series we will explore the richness and significance of these words and their meanings, and discover fresh ways of talking about them in our world. It is our hope and prayer that over these next seven weeks, we will have a greater understanding of what we're talking about when we talk about these words, and as always, we are hoping this series sparks conversation. We also hope that these talks will spark greater understanding, and greater interest in the faith journey as we pursue meanings that resonate with the human spirit.
2013.07.14 | Christian & Church
2013.07.07 | Spirit
2013.06.30 | Saved
2013.06.23 | Gospel
2013.06.16 | Religion
2013.06.09 | Faith
2013.06.02 | Introduction & Bible
Faith & Technology
April 7, 2013
Part 1 address three main questions. Why this seminar? What is technology? What are the effects of technology? Presenter: Pastor Kevin Neuner
Part 2 addresses where technology comes from and offers a theological perspective. Presenter: Chris Lockett, SRI International
In this series, we are encouraged to consider again the influences our current culture has on our conceptions of Jesus being careful to not worship a Jesus that we have "created in our own image." We will take a historical look at Jesus's life, and consider the cultural context of Jesus through the themes of purpose and meaning, symbolism such as water and "kingdom," events like the resurrection, and much more.
2013.05.26 | Who Do You Say He Is?
2013.05.19 | How Much More?
2013.05.12 | Where Is The Kingdom? (Guest: Betty Ann Boeving)
2013.05.05 | Who's In Charge Here?
2013.04.21 | Who Do You Follow?
2013.04.14 | What Is Your Greatest Temptation?
2013.03.31 | Why Do You Look For The Living Among The Dead?
2013.03.24 | How's The Water?
2013.03.17 | Who's Your Daddy?
2013.03.10 | Who Do You Say I Am?
March 3, 2013
Since our opening 19 weeks ago, we have striven to communicate the importance of our core values. In concluding this teaching series, Pastor Kevin shares the stories that encapsulate these values, and illustrate the importance of values alongside beliefs. Through "4 acts" (similar to "This American Life"), we are inspired and challenged by these stories to put the way of Jesus into action.
February 24, 2013
Faith is deeply emotional and spiritual. But faith is also intellectual, and historical. The claim that Jesus was raised from the dead brings the two together in which the richness of our faith meets the historical work of evidence and verification. In this teaching, Pastor Kevin shares the central claim of the Christian faith, and then provides four main evidences that support the historical, physical, real resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
February 17, 2013
The concept and idea around resurrection did not have its beginning in Christianity. Through a historical survey, Pastor Danielle shares insights into the Jewish concept and expectation of resurrection and how it impacts the understanding of Jesus' resurrection in the first-century. This context helps us understand both how the resurrection of Jesus could have been understood, and why it was so radical and unexpected at the same time.
February 10, 2013
Sharing a bit of the recent adoption story in the Parish-Neuner household, Pastor Kevin begins the core value of Resurrection by talking about the temptations that emerge in each of us when deception, evil, disappointment, etc., happen as a result of "living between the trees." Yet, resurrection says that we are saved and forgiven as we forgive. Resurrection says we do not have to acquiesce to the "slices of hell" we sometimes experience. Resurrection says that there is hope, love, redemption, and restoration, and it can transform any death into new life. Resurrection says we have the power, opportunity, and commission to reverse the pain and suffering in this world.
February 3, 2013
Guest speaker, Pastor Sarai Crain shares on how we are all privileged to be used of God to bring rescue to the world. However, we must be guarded from misusing or abusing that privilege. Sarai shares practical ways to help us become fully the instruments of rescue God desires.
January 20, 2013
Pastor Mark Arevalo, speaks on God's work of rescue through the Biblical stories, and in our lives. In this teaching we discover that God has begun the work of rescue in our lives, and that work is an ongoing process, and it's progressive. That hope is a privilege and to share with the world around us as we are both agents and recipients of this rescue in the world. So, let's all "share our rope," giving to others hope that God has given to us.
January 13, 2013
All of us recognize that life is not the way it is suppose to be. That's why we work for justice and compassion; that's why we strive for patience, and kindness; that's why we yearn for freedom and peace; and in many ways, that's why we follow a calling and vocation. The challenge is that we live between Genesis and Revelation. Put other way, we live "between the trees." And as we reach out to grab hold of the life that God has for us, there is a third tree -- the cross -- that life and death of Jesus that empowers us to live life to its fullest. It is our prayer that we would not only reach out for that tree, but that we would embrace it, and allow the tree of the life of Jesus to transform us.
January 6, 2013
Pastors Danielle & Kevin share a bit on the vision for Spark. Our core values are ultimately centered around living as Jesus lived, and walking as he walked. In concordance with slowing down and avoiding the seductions of "bigness," Spark is about caring for the people of the church more than about the size of the church. We also want to recognize our place in Silicon Valley as a "land between" cultures, and to dream about physical space in downtown Palo Alto that leverages our resources 6 days a week. We will continue to be a place that welcomes all people and all questions, and pursues education, learning, and discussion. Spark will also be shaped by the gifts, talents, and passions of those who join with us on this journey. We will continue to seek God, his guidance and wisdom, and pray that more people will come and be a part of this vision.
December 16, 2012
Pastor Kevin teaches that while it is popularly said that "Jesus is the reason for the season," there is a deeper truth to this statement than we perhaps realize. Matthew clearly states, "for he will save his people from their sins." Embracing this reality helps us accept the complexities of this season, the joy and the sorrow, the celebrations and the sadness. And, living the way of Jesus empowers us to respond redemptively to those dark and dysfunctional areas of our lives. May this Christmas season be celebrated truly in the way of Jesus, in ways that save us, and the world around us, from our sins.
December 9, 2012
Special guest Rabbi Ari Cartun of Etz Chayim synagogue shares a few personal and theological reflections on why Etz Chayim rents its facility to Spark Church. This message is our first installment for our "Reconciliation" value as we learn how to love, respect, and be reconciled to each other in the midst of history, differences, and distinctions we may have.
(00:00 - 08:15 of the audio is an introduction by Pastor Danielle and a presentation of a thank you gift Spark presented to Etz Chayim. We had technical difficulties and apologize for the poor audio quality from 00:00-8:47.)
December 2, 2012
Pastor Kevin teaches that you have been created in the image and likeness of God, one of the greatest truths taught in the Bible. That you have been marred, scarred, and broken is also true. What we don't always realize is that we all live out of the view we have of God, the perspective we have of this "image." In this talk, we will journey through the implications of this truth, and be inspired to heal the image and reputation that we have of God, of ourselves, and of others.
November 25, 2012
Pastor Danielle teaches that how we understand and speak about God greatly matters. Our views about God influence how we live, and it impacts the world around us. In this message we discover anew a God who is consistently loving and just; that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We will also be challenged to not let ignorance prevail in understanding the God of the Bible.
Science, Scripture, and the Soul
November 11, 2012
In this talk, Kenny shares with us his thoughts and musings on how to think about science and the Scriptures. Here is one possible way to engage in this discussion with a high reverence for both.
Prone To Wonder
November 11, 2012
In this talk, Pastor Kevin briefly briefly shares about a few key figures in the debate, and offers a framework and ethic for engaging in discussion. The first step is learning how to listen to each other. Second, be captivated by the wonder and awe of this universe that is revealed through scientific investigation and Scriptural reverence.
Download the .mp3
November 4, 2012
Pastor Danielle teaches on the Parable of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10. While often understood as a parable that helps us perform "acts of kindness," we discover through history, culture, and context that the teaching is far deeper, richer, and more radical than only "good deeds." People who we often consider "the other," are actually "our brothers," and we are called, as disciples of Jesus, to love even them.
October 28, 2012
Pastor Kevin teaches on the "greatest" commandment found in Matthew 22 (also in Mark 12). This "mega" commandment, when practiced, radically changes how we see everything. To love God and to love our neighbor is not just one of the commandments, or even just the first. It is the very lens through which we view all the other commandments. And as we adhere to this radical commandment, it can change us, heal us, transform us.
October 21, 2012
Pastor Danielle teaches on the "Parable of Lost Things" from Luke 15. In this teaching, we discover that God lavishes unqualified acceptance on everyone, even those who have experienced unqualified rejection. For many, this kind of grace is not just amazing, it is unbelievable. Yet, it is the prodigal love of God taught by Jesus in this parable.
Download the .mp3
What Jews & Christians Can Learn From One Another's Texts
Having taught Christian students for the past 20 years at Jerusalem University College, Rabbi Moshe is uniquely equipped to present on the development of Jewish thought in the first-century and how it informs Jesus's teachings. In this seminar, Rabbi Moshe covers a few rabbinic teachings as examples, and concludes with a study on the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
(This seminar was given at Spark Church, September 23, 2012)
Setting The Stage
Every event held dear to our faith is bound by time and space. The doctrines of creation, redemption, incarnation, and salvation, were birthed through events that took place at specific times and places. So too, Jesus's life and ministry was rooted in the culture, and context of first-century Israel. The more we understand his world, the more we understand Jesus himself.
(This seminar was given at Spark Church, September 23, 2012)
God in High Fidelity
When we view God through the lens of "Old Testament" vs. "New Testament," we perceive a disjointed and changing god. But that's not the God of the whole Bible. God is unchanging, His grace, love, mercy is found on every page of the Scriptures, and our faith and life journey can be radically transformed by understanding and seeing this God in high fidelity.
(This message was given at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, Mountain View, CA on Sunday, May 6, 2012 at the 8:30am Service.)
How To Study The Bible: Reading God's Word and Loving It!
Using history, context, culture, and language, we see that the Bible is so much more than "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth." It's so much bigger than a mere book of morality. It's a grand story, a brilliant and beautiful journey through life's most meaningful moments. And ultimately, it's a story about God in and through each of those moments. Join Pastor Danielle as she gives a brief overview of how to Study God's Word for greater understanding and transformation.
(This talk was given at the Foundation Experiment Bible Study, August, 2011)
Why I Love The Church
Is the Church imperfect? Yes. Are there dysfunctions in the Church? Yes. But those are the very characteristics that make the Church a place of healing, of hope, of redemption, and of welcome, because that means all of us belong. The scandal of the church is not its brokenness, but rather its false appearance of perfection. Understanding that the Church is a community, not a commodity inspires us to take our imperfections, connect them with others, and let God's Spirit dwell amongst us.
(This message was given at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, Mountain View, CA, March 20-21, 2010. The Living Stones of ALCF from the 8:30am Sunday Service are named @ 32:24; 4:30pm Saturday Service are named @ 43:03; 7:00pm Saturday Service are named @ 50:26; 11:00am Sunday Service are named @ 56:21)
Gotta Love It - Lesson From The Desert
Psalm 23 set in the context and culture of Israel.
(This message was given at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, Mountain View, CA, February, 2010.)
Words Create Worlds
"Legacy of Faith" weekends are services in which the generations of faith are brought together in worship. Here is the sermon from Legacy of Faith, 2009. In this service we are taught about the power of our words to create, and are challenged and inspired to steward our words well.
(This message was given at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, Mountain View, CA, August, 2009.
Legacy of Faith: Discipleship
"Legacy of Faith" weekends are services in which the generations of faith are brought together in worship. Here is the sermon from Legacy of Faith, 2008, full of interactive and engaging elements designed to minister to the entire family. In this service we discover the great legacy of Jesus as we follow Him, and as others follow us. This legacy is called discipleship, and it challenges and inspires us to truly follow the way of Jesus.
(This message was given at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, Mountain View, CA, August 3, 2008.)
This epic story of the Bible has a beginning long before all of us. And in that beginning, we see a God who has ordered this world out of chaos, and has partnered with ADAM--humanity--for the continual creation of this world. While we often speak into others' lives in a way that brings chaos, may we steward our creative responsibility well, to instead speak into chaos to create order and beauty.
(This message was given at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, Mountain View, CA on Saturday, March 1, 2008)
Sh'ma or Die
Religion has a reputation of being a bunch of burdensome rules and regulations that prevent us from experiencing the very best of life. After all, who wants a bunch of "thou shalt not's"? In this message, we discover, that the Bible speaks of a God who is begging us to choose the very best kind of life possible. And that life is found in obedience to his teachings, also known as "commandments." We all truly only have two options; "sh'ma," which means to listen, to obey, and to follow through, or "die," which means the very life that God intended us to live, dies. Now, choose life.
(This message was given at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, Mountain View, CA, July 15, 2007.)