Saints Alive - Week 3

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Project: Bible - Week 3: Nov. 8/9
Dr. Wesley Avram
Saints’ Gift #2: Imitation     

We learn to live by watching others. Your handwriting probably still looks like the person whose penmanship you first copied, and it’s usually pretty easy to match kids with one of their parents, just by watching mannerisms. When the apostle Paul wrote to his new Christians, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11.1) he presented to us the first gift of the saints. In this session, we’ll explore how these holy men and women become nearer proxies for Jesus, available for us to imitate.


Saints Alive - Week 2

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Project: Bible - Week 2: Oct. 11/12
Dr. Wesley Avram
Saints’ Gift #1: Inspiration                                                       

Who inspires you? You and I both know the brilliant feeling of being caught up in the glory of someone else’s excellence. The saints offer us that frisson of inspiration through the excellence of their lived Christian lives. The contagious holiness in them makes their way into our souls. This is true, both of formally-designated saints and of everyday people near us. Saints inspire us, and this session will help us see how.

Saints Alive - Week 1

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Due to technical difficulties we do not have a recording from this class.

Change That Lasts: Beyond New Year’s Failures

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Project: Bible - Week 6: Oct. 11/12
Dr. Wesley Avram
Change That Lasts: Beyond New Year’s Failures (Psalm 71.5-8; Philippians 1.3-6)

We’ve all done it. Enthusiastic about a new change, we game up for a New Year’s resolution and start well, but by mid-Feb we’re back to old ways. How can we build habits that last? People who help people change habits for a living try to simplify the change to three steps: Cue, Routine, Reward. People who change habits in faith listen to those experts and then pray always. Enduring change is a constant partnership with God. This week we’ll close the series with the secrets to transformation that lasts.

We Change the World

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Project: Bible - Week 5: Oct. 4/5
Dr. Allen Hilton
We Change the World: The Habit of Transforming Communities (Matthew 28.16-20)

Thinking that things will always be as they are, that good change can’t happen in the world – that pessimism is a habit of thought. And so is thinking, “With God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19.26) When we look at the world around us, we hope for better, and God calls us through those hopes – and through our grief for it. This week, we’ll look at how individuals and churches can develop a habit of world-changing.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

We Change Together

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Project: Bible - Week 4: Sept. 27/28
Dr. Allen Hilton
We Change Together: The Habit of Community in Transformation (Romans 12:3-8)

Have you ever started a new habit with a friend? People who study transformation emphasize the need for a supportive community. The Bible presupposes community (the authors’ culture is not nearly as individualistic as ours) and builds it at the same time (selfishness is not a new human trait!). This week we’ll ask why Paul’s transformation passage in Romans moves straight from “be transformed” to a strong meditation on community.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

One Change at a Time

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Project: Bible - Week 3: Sept. 20/21
Dr. Wesley Avram
One Change at a Time (Romans 12:9-12)

Maybe you’re like me: when I get inspired, I want to change everything at once. I schedule my day from 5 AM to 11 PM with self-improvement in fifteen ways…and it never works. In his excellent book, The Power of Habit, Charles DuHigg cites brain scientists (yes, those guys again!) and suggests taking on one habit at a time. The four verses of Romans 12.9-12 list EIGHT changes. Wisdom says let’s do one at a time. How will you and God land on the next thing to change?

“Researchers have found that when people start exercising habitually, they often start eating more healthily, they also tend to use their credit cards less, they’re less likely to procrastinate at work. Creating just one new habit can spark changes that touch every part of how we live.” Charles DuHigg “Change One Habit to Change Everything”


Our Habits as God’s Workshop

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Project: Bible - Week 2: Sept. 13/14
Dr. Wesley Avram
Our Habits as God’s Workshop (Colossians 3:1-3, 12-17; Galatians 4:19)

When brain scientists study human change, they shine a big spotlight on habits. In a fast, instant society, we want our change done in minutes. But the Colorado River didn’t carve the Canyon in minutes. Real Change takes time! This week, we’ll ask how that science and the Bible’s wisdom on transformation can join one another in our lives.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” (Will Durant summarizing Aristotle)

Why Transformation?

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Week 1 - Sept. 6/7
Dr. Allen Hilton
Why Transformation?  (Romans 12:1-2)

What is it about God and about us that makes change so important? And how is Christian transformation different than the change motif that makes self-help books bestsellers? This week we will ask about “sanctification”: a ten-dollar theological term that features God’s character as change-maker and the divine plan for our development in Christ.

“God loves you the way you are, and God loves you too much to leave you just the way you are.” (Max Lucado, Anne LaMott, et al.)