Pentecost opens the door to the era of the Church and along with it the coming of the Spirit. But who is the Holy Spirit? How does he work in the world - and, what does it mean for you and me to walk in the new way of the Spirit today? In this episode we look at Paul's letter to the Ephesians and see how he views living in the Spirit around the themes of: security, revelation, dwelling, strengthening, living and infilling.
We all need courage - but where does it come from? Are we left to ourselves to discover it or is there a source, a place we can go to in order to find it? In this session I build on an earlier talk given at our Hope Online Service (you can view these on our Facebook page @hopechurchnottingham or our You Tube channel) to talk about how God's compassion leads to comfort that releases courage. I trust you find it helpful.
After David leaves his friend Jonathan he has to face his fears alone. His journey takes him to places where he encounters betrayal under the hand of a man called Doeg - Saul's chief shepherd, who listens into a conversation between David and the High Priest. Information is power in certain hands; but David is now holding the sword of Goliath - here's a story of how our past victories can equip us for our future battles.
David is given more space in the OT than any other character and this should tell us something about the importance of this person. Not only this, but we also have great insight into his strengths and weaknesses which is an area from where we can learn the most. Over next few episodes we will jump into David's life and look at it from the perspective of the Psalms asking how and why he wrote as he did. We will then take some of those lessons and ask how we can apply them to our own life. This introduction sets the tone for what will follow as we understand David as a man being sought out because of someone else's jealousy.
What we search for reveals something of who we are…
Each year Google produces a video looking into some of the trends in what people searched for in the last 12 months. It’s become a tradition at Hope that at the start of each year we watch the video together and talk about its contents. This is my reflection for the past year. The theme was Heroes - I hope you enjoy it!
There are many ways to enter the Christmas story, approaches we can take to draw value from its message: from considering prophecy to looking at history to embracing the characters which bring it to life. Christmas is the great story of inclusion - that God came in human flesh is at the heart of this mystery. To know that we belong is the message it carries and the Gospel writers go to great lengths to show how true this is. If ever there was a message of hope for the world - it's found here, in the birth of the Christ Child.
What do you do when you are feeling troubled? Where do you turn when your heart is not a ease? These are real questions which we all face. In this session I look at the words of Jesus: 'Do not let your heart be troubled,' and with a combination of both historical context and practical application take a look at three responses we can make to help manage our troubles by - guarding, gauging and giving our heart.
The Bible is an amazing but not always easy book - or library of books and there are several ways you can approach it. In this episode we look at the Bible as a story - a meta narrative, or big story into which our own stories can find meaning, purpose and perspective. Looking at the Scriptures, we will see the Holy Book as containing a story that resonates, illuminates, translates, and elevates - as its compelling message speaks to greatness and what it means to be truly human from the perspective of the divine.
Our words have power to build up or tear down. They carry authority to change relationships, families, teams, churches and communities for better or worse. Proverbs 18:21 says, 'The tongue has the power of life and death...' So how we speak and what we say really does matter. If we want to flourish in life then we need to learn how to speak well - how to talk in a way that honors other people and situations. We need both honesty and humility if we are to live and speak with integrity and so in the this session we will look at the power of words from the perspective of: creation, consideration, compassion, consistency and confession.
When life is robbed of joy it usually means we are void of peace, hope and personal contentment. Joy is an indicator of tranquility; a measure of how we are navigating the world. When life throws us off course through suffering, doubt, fear, an existential or faith crisis, we usually discover we are losing our joy. When we search for joy and can't find it - maybe we are looking in the wrong places. In this episode we look at what joy is - where it comes from and how, rather than being a nice tag on to a charmed life, it is actually an essential part of being human.