Let There Be Light

Radical healing. Acts of compassion. Offers of mercy. Love. Forgiveness. A savior who will go to the ends of the earth to rescue us, to bring us home.

Jesus came in power to invite us to draw near . . . to dare to believe . . . to go on an adventure that he had written for us from the beginning of time. To give us unprecedented access.

One thing he asks of us . . . and it goes against everything in our human nature . . . that we stop pretending we are doing better than we really are. He comes to be a healer, a restorer, and he asks us to admit our need for healing . . . to ask for it and to be open to it. To receive it. He knows we want to be in control. And we know that we are not. It is when his incredible love for us, and our humble confession of our need meet that his power is unleashed.

As we journey through Luke, consider Jesus’ words and actions and their bearing on your story. Consider your own need for rescue, healing, dignity and forgiveness.

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Threshold: point of entry; beginning; magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a reaction or phenomenon to be manifest.

Discover God where you are, in your surroundings, actively pursuing you in your daily life. How can we discern His voice? Can we trust what He is saying? If He is actively pursuing you, if He is speaking to us and those words can be trusted, what are the next steps on how to act on what he is saying?

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In a world of fast, fuzzy, and false we are all seeking what is real.

A fast pace.

Fuzzy lines of what is OK, or not OK.

Fake news. False truth.

These things leave us empty. And hopefully longing. Longing for answers to the complex questions in life.

Who is God?

Who am I?

Why am I here?

Where is God taking me?

What’s my next move?

Am I clear on who God is? I have to start with Him, you see, before I can be clear on who I am. It is in His life and story that any of our lives and stories begin to make sense.

Many of us have experienced God’s story. Few of us have interpreted it. And even fewer can articulate God’s story in a way that makes sense of our own story.

This eight week series will walk each of us through the steps of knowing why we were made and what we were made for as we explore the life of David.

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Because There's More Going On Here

Ever had the sense that more’s going on around you?

You can’t see it but you can sense it.

Sometimes you wonder if you come up against it.

Well, you are.

There are invisible forces at play in our lives, systems, world, and cosmos that— when rightly understood— make better sense of our reality. As we explore the last section of the Apostle Paul’s letter called Ephesians, we will address matters of spiritual resistance and how God calls us to suit up, stand firm, and . . . pray.

The good news is that, at the cross and empty grave, the battle has been won and we’re more than conquerers. We’re now called to join God in His peace-keeping mission . . .

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Formulas For The Whole Household

A lot goes on under a roof, doesn’t it?

Every family is unique.

Every family is special.

Every family needs help.

With math.

To tackle Paul’s instructions to the households in Ephesus and his radical views on subverting the power structures of his day out of reverence for Christ, we thought we’d dust off LOVE(MATH), introduce some new formulas, and spend 10 weeks exploring how we can thrive in our most important relationships!

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Just when you think He’s not there.

Hagar, Moses, and Jacob.

Every single one of them were in a hard spot. They each had a very thin faith, if at all. Yet God was there every single time, to each one of them, differently.

Beside a spring, from a bush, in a dream.

This is true right now too, can you perceive it?

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Walk This Way

In this series we are going to dive headlong into a stretch of Ephesians that—at first blush—can seem just like a bunch of rules. When in fact, they are very specific ways to love and build our relationships, with God and others. Paul writes that we should “walk” in these ways: “…walk in a manner worthy of the calling…” (4:1); “…walk no longer as the Gentiles do..” (4:17); “…walk in love…” (5:2); “…walk as children of light” (5:8); “…be careful how you walk…as wise” (5:15). We’re going plow through specific ways that Paul encourages us to walk and not walk—again, NOT to compile a list of “do’s and don’ts” but as practical and clear ways to walk in love.

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As we come screeching into the holidays, do you ever wonder if there’s a better way than our bizarre traditions, consumerism and frantic preparations? King David offers a reflection from his own life that can offer us the divine hush we most need right now.

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Sea Change

A profound or notable transformation. Shakespeare was the first to coin it, a word that’s now become a buzzword for companies seeking a radical paradigm shift. Through prayer, this word has come to us as a way that reflects how God is changing us as a people; we are becoming more and more his church. This is the work of the Holy Spirit and we are learning to yield more and more into his ways, echoing the words of Isaiah: Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. (Isaiah 43:18-21) We hunger for such new things in us. We hunger for more of the Spirit’s ways for those we’re among We long for a “change wrought by the sea.”

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Truth: A Love Story

We believe that God calls His Church to be a safe people that can talk about difficult things. Through our Truth: A Love Story series we will explore topics that include anxiety, depression, mental illness, and suicide. These are complex conversations that we hope to approach thoughtfully, scripturally and holistically towards healing and wholeness. If these topics are likely to be triggering for you, however, please use discretion as you consider whether to listen. Above all, we are for a grounded hope to rise as we gather – for those among us who suffer silently, for our next generation, and as we all approach the holiday season. So join us as we step together into the light of God’s Truth, the greatest love story ever lived.

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Growing Up

The Bible calls the Church “The Body of Christ.” As in, you know, things like joints, feet, and ear lobes. Every follower of Jesus is a part and this Body can’t grow unless we each play our part. This series is about helping you find your fit, your role, and how you can feel most alive when you do.

CLICK HERE to visit our Growing Up resource page.

CLICK HERE to listen to our LOVE(MATH) podcast, "On Being An Apostle, featuring Aaron Elder."

CLICK HERE to listen to our LOVE(MATH) podcast, "On Being An Evangelist, featuring Joe Ratterman."

CLICK HERE to listen to our LOVE(MATH) podcast, "On Being A Shepherd, featuring Tom Brawner."

CLICK HERE to listen to our LOVE(MATH) podcast, "On Being A Teacher, featuring Brooke Latas."

CLICK HERE to listen to our LOVE(MATH) podcast, "On Being A Prophet, featuring Jay Cull and Lori Roy."

CLICK HERE to listen to our LOVE(MATH) podcast, "Jesus Is The Head, featuring Matt Christenot."

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We Are Most Like God When

It’s in our DNA. Down to our very core. Hardwired. To be like Him. We’re not God, mind you, but our lives reflect His heart. Through simple gestures and radical measures. Through things like: A surprising gift. Forgiving power. Loving regardless. Working with purpose. Speaking life to a man who’s down. All of these moments are what we really live for - when our throats and bones exhale together to form a deep “Yes!” It’s a life that’s infectious, bold, and risky. It’s the greatest adventure this earth can’t possibly contain. We are most like God when we live this way.

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This is a central message in Paul’s letter to the Church in Ephesus. It is also a deep need for us, a fragmented people. We have one baptism, one hope and one faith that unites us.

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Premised upon the YouTube sensation, DudePerfect, this Father’s Day is called “DadPerfect” – where you don’t have to be perfect because your heavenly Father is. And by his spirit, he gives you all that you need.

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A Variegated People

Variegated means “exhibiting different colors; marked by variety, colorful”. What a perfect word to describe what Paul is trying to establish in Ephesians. Back in the day and from the Jewish perspective, there were only two types of people: Jews and Gentiles. And never shall the two meet. There were barriers (literally) and a wall of hostility (literally) that divided the two. And the stakes were huge – like, eternity stakes. The Jews were the people of God. The Gentiles were, quite simply, not (yet). And that drove a line through everything: your bloodline, where you lived, how you cleaned, and what you ate. God tore down those walls, barriers, and biases so that we could be his one, multi-colored and variegated people!

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Here’s a scary thought: inevitably, right now will become a “before” picture for sometime “after”. Know what I mean? Those tight jeans? At some point down the road you will laugh. Your hairstyle will soon become, “So 2018”. I mean, who would’ve ever thought mustaches would make a comeback? Life is full of “before and after” moments. A home before its renovation. A body after the diet. An orphan before family…and after. A child after being rescued from human trafficking. A child before being nourished. A man after being released from his greed. A garden before water. A marriage after counseling. Before the resurrection. And after . . . {This series is part of Heartland's Ephesians Bible Project.}

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Run To Win

We run hard. For the person far from God. For the human trafficked in our city. For the child in foster care. For the food insecure. For the prisoner. For orphans in India. For racial healing and unity in the church. For the person wrecked by loss. For the married couple in crisis and for empty-nesters. For the the hearts of our children, our next generation, and for the singles who long to know they’re home. We run for girls on the run. We run for our great city and beyond. The Bible often uses running as a metaphor for life and so we’ll unpack a passage that will help each of us answer questions like: - Why do I run? - Who am I running for? - How do we run? - What does it mean to win?

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Whatever It Takes

There's a word that has captured us lately: MUST. Because "MUST" speaks of grave import, of necessity, of conviction over preference and purpose over preoccupation. New Year’s resolutions speak of such things: I MUST go to the gym. I MUST pay off my credit card. I MUST _______________. Turns out it's a big word in the Bible too and, when employed, it carries all the weight of heaven. Join us as we explore when Jesus said “MUST” and – most shockingly – with whom. Because if we’re to live our best lives, so MUST we.

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How He Loves

Do you have a friendship with God? Where do you need God’s strength? Do you experience God’s affection? Do you live from His peace? This, actually, is what Christmas offers you and me. It’s not just about the fact that God was born but . . . How He Loves. And this love has the power to change everything . . . How you see the world. How you live from your heart. How you experience God. How you serve others. How you experience peace.

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Ahhh Love.  The very essence of mystery and…math?


In this ten part series, we are going to unpack the A to Z of relationships – from our core need for intimacy, how to be a great friend, how to date, and to how to fight fair.  We’ll talk about the single life, the dating life, the married life and we’ll offer biblical principles that apply right where you live, no matter your stage of life.


And how will we do it?

Math, my friends.  Elementary, God-given mathematics.

Some say that a picture says a thousand words.  We disagree. 

Variables do.


Bring a friend.  Don’t miss a Sunday.  Calculators not required.

Want to delve deeper into the conversation? CLICK HERE to check out the LOVE(MATH) Podcast on Soundcloud, or CLICK HERE to subscribe to it on iTunes.

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FAQ is a series about stuff that you are asking through our churchwide survey.

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Three Letter Words

We all know about four letter words, of course. They get all the attention. Words like “then”, “when”, and “that”. But what gets lost in all that sizzle, are the 3 letter words. Ever think about the potency of the 3 letter word? Words like: Why. But. Our. And. These little words are dangerous, high impact, subversive and radical and - in the Bible - they are EVERYWHERE! And if we live these words in our faith, they have the power to change…everything. Join us for a series on the four best three letter words your soul needs.

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Sometimes, people in the Bible seem to not be…or feel…like actual people. It all happened so long ago – before there was Amazon, even. Their lives seemed so…dramatic. More than, some would say, House of Cards. And what God did in their lives feels, well, impossible. So we read the Bible with this disassociated, two dimensional distance of sorts. We say, “That would never happen to me.” Or “God would never do that for me.” Or “That’s because that guy read his Bible every day” (when, um, there was no…”Bible”). But we believe that if we were to actually meet them, hear their stories imaginatively lifted from the Scriptures and offered as living, breathing, risk-taking, wondering, death-defying, self-doubting, sold out, insecure, trusting human beings they’d say to us: “We’re not all that different. You and me.” At the same time, we may also experience God whispering about His unchanging ways: “Neither am I.”

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Lay It Down

There is something required of us if we’re to party well, if we’re to step fully into this life. It’s the idea of MEANINGFUL SURRENDER. For every single one of us, if we want to grow, we have to make meaningful surrenders towards our best life in Jesus. Because there are obstacles, distractions, and counterfeit devotions in every single one of our lives that limit God's access to our hearts and – if we want to join this party – it will require that we LAY IT DOWN and say, “God, even if this thing is good--but it has too much power over me or somehow it’s become a distraction or barrier--I will lay it down, I will make a meaningful surrender to you.” What is your meaningful surrender?

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Party Hard

Partying gets a bad rap. Unless, of course, to you it has a good rap. Regardless, it’s a great word when hitched to the right vision. Jesus describes the Kingdom of God as one big ol’ party and, we must confess, Christians have lost their groove – a people who bring others together, fire up the grill, crank up the spotify, and open up our hearts towards those God has placed us among. He said, ‘Your Kingdom come, your will be done – on earth as it is in heaven’ and so of all the beautiful things this means, chips and salsa becomes a must. Now we’re not talking about a church party. We’re talking where you live, work, study, or play. And we’re not talking about a church doing this, we’re talking about his people – THE CHURCH – learning how to party….hard. Join us.

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Sit With Us: Nobody Eats Alone

The school cafeteria – the first place many of us felt the anxiety of being alone. It’s your first day of school, or you're the new kid at school. You walk in, look around—and head to an empty table to sit. By yourself. The Easter story holds so much good news that our world desperately needs. Like, “He is risen.” Like, “We are forgiven.” Like, “Nobody eats alone!” No matter what you know, believe, understand, where you’ve been or what you’ve done . . . come sit with us.

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Too Important To Stay The Same

You are too important to stay the same. In other words, it’s time to change. Now by change I don’t mean changing into some unrecognizable freak. No. I also don’t mean that someone should force change upon you. No one wants to be a project. That never goes well. By change, I mean becoming who we were always intended to be by our radically loving God.

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AMONG: be in my world

There are many things we can say to God. Things like “Why, God?” Or “How, God!?” Or even “Where were you, God?” But the one honest thing we cannot say to God is “Well, that’s all fine and dandy but God you’re not in my world.” Because Christmas declares that He was. In your world. In the very flesh that you bare on your skin. In the very pain that you carry. With the very needs you have. Experiencing the very emotions of love and sorrow that mark the human race. God with us, Immanuel! The angel declared. He became flesh and dwelt AMONG us, John writes. He was made like us in every way…in how he was tempted and in how he suffered. In every way…God lived among us. AMONG. Just perhaps the most beautiful, world-rocking, powerful and challenging word, what our God has done with us…not living upon us but among, as one who serves, Jesus actually said. And it’s this way of God, Jesus’s very life that we are called to imitate. There are so many around us that say, “You’re not in my world!” Well actually, maybe we could be. To live among…

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Join us in a 40 day prayer practice. We want every person, in YOUR every place to experience all of Jesus. This series and prayer guide will help us pray for the people and places where we live, work, study & play--and for our church, government, and other things on our hearts. Join us in PrayFit!

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Overflow: What Goes In Must Come Out

Maybe life is a bit more straightforward than we like to think. Sure there are great mysteries and some things are complex and nuanced. Of course there’s grace and gray and Don Draper. But then there’s just the straightforward simple. Like say…the concept of “input = output.” What we put in, we get out. What goes in, must come out. Just natural biology, folks. Jesus says as much in Matthew 12:32-35 when he says, “from the overflow of one’s heart, a person speaks.” Interesting, huh? We all overflow something. And that overflow becomes someone else’s inflow. See how that works? And it’s true, isn’t it? At the office? In your home? In road rage? So our overflow depends on our inflow, doesn’t it? Because what goes in, must come out.

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The Real Deal: Is The Bible Really All That?

Series brief here

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