Sunday June 23 // Community and Vulnerability

This week our children’s and families pastor, Charlotte Buxton shared about the importance of community, and how that is built by wise vulnerability.

BEGINNER CHALLENGE
part A: Sign up to attend the Big Feed - go enjoy banter, good food, some laughs, a little sharing
part B: Get to know people’s names, those around you at Church, ask them how they’re doing, really, try to move beyond being fine, be a regular, brave a Sunday Lunch out together

INTERMEDIATE CHALLENGE
Make a commitment to Church and a Bay Group during the Term that we are studying Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, be brave and vulnerable

ADVANCED CHALLENGE
Add to all these things, an exploration of Radically Ordinary Hospitality, listen to John Mark Comer’s Sermon on the topic.

Sunday June 16th // Devotional Prayer and Praying in Tongues

This week Chris Domigan shared about the importance of cultivating a strong devotional life, and how the gift of tongues can aid in growing a life connected to Jesus.

The slides for the talk can be viewed here

BEGINNER
Ask for the gift of tongues!

INTERMEDIATE
Take your devotional prayer life to the next level by making it a regular, daily practice! If you pray in tongues, do it daily as part of your routine.

ADVANCED
Read Renovation Of The Heart by Dallas Willard, or Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster

Sunday June 9 // The Holy Spirit, Encouragement and Prophecy

In this sermon we look at the events of Pentecost, and how the Holy Spirit is given to encourage us. Through the Holy Spirit we also have access to the gift of prophecy.

The slides for the talk can be viewed here.

BEGINNER CHALLENGE
Give some encouragement this week! Flick a text, write a message, make someone’s day!

INTERMEDIATE CHALLENGE
Option A – Withdraw to a lonely place… spend some time in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to encourage you. Journal what you sense the Holy Spirit says to you.
Option B – Ask God to give you a prophetic word for someone… share it with them!

ADVANCED CHALLENGE
Option A – read “God Secrets” by Shawn Bolz.
https://www.amazon.com/God-Secrets-Filled-Words-Knowledge-ebook/dp/B07235WS66
Option B – Commit to give a prophetic word once a week for the rest of the term.


Sunday June 2 // Sabbath Rest

We hope you’re finding this series helpful!

The slides from today’s talk can be found here

BEGINNER CHALLENGE
Plan to do something this weekend that gives fills your tank! Be intentional, communicate and plan it. Enjoy doing this activity, and thank God as you engage with it!

INTERMEDIATE CHALLENGE
Explore how you can make Sabbath rest a higher priority, and begin to plan to have a more intentional day that honours the Sabbath framework. What does it look like to stop, rest, delight, and to contemplate? Share with your group, significant others, or close friends what you would like this day to look like.

ADVANCED CHALLENGE
Work through the eight week teaching on Sabbath rest by Bridgetown church. Watch the talk to begin your Sabbath rest, and use it as a catalyst to sharpen your practice of this spiritual discipline.

https://practicingtheway.org/practices/sabbath

Sunday 26 May // Silence and Solitude

Thanks for engaging with this series!

The slides from todays talk can be viewed here

If you’d like to purchase the devotional tool that Sam mentioned in his talk today, it can be found be searching for “emotionally healthy spirituality day by day” and is available at mana bookstores, or through the usual online retailers…

The challenges this week…

BEGINNER CHALLENGE
Try the EHS daily office posted on our Facebook community page. Give it a nudge for a week and see how it feels. As you look to the week, think of when you can find the 7 minutes needed to engage with this practice. As you begin the time of silence be aware that your mind will seize this opportunity to run wild with thoughts, feelings, memories, to do’s, and distractions. That’s okay. Don’t judge yourself, feel bad, give up, or worry. When you notice your mind start to wander, just recenter with a quick prayer, like, “Father…” and come back to your breathing. 
Notice God’s presence all around you, in you. For some people it’s helpful to imagine the Father is sitting in the chair across from you or on a throne. 
Welcome his love, joy, and peace from the Holy Spirit.

INTERMEDIATE CHALLENGE
Bookmark your devotional time with silence, sitting with Jesus. Start with a time that is easily achieved (2 minutes) or add time to that as you feel comfortable.

ADVANCED CHALLENGE #sparksjoy (or for the skeptic)
Listen to the three week teaching series from Bridgetown church on this topic. 
https://practicingtheway.org/practices/silence-solitude 
Engage with the material found in the 6-week practice of growing this discipline in your life that you can view here

Sunday 19 May // Building a deep devotional life with Jesus

Thanks for engaging with this talk… Here are some of the links mentioned in this talk…

The slides from the talk can be view here

Wireless Mobile Device (weapons of mass distraction!)
Links worth a look…

60 Mins Interview re: addictive nature of phones
https://youtu.be/awAMTQZmvPE

“How to break up with your phone” article
https://nyti.ms/2Brus0n

“Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain” article https://nyti.ms/2NnwRgz

“How to break up with your phone” book.
https://www.amazon.com/How-Break-Up-Your-Phone-ebook/dp/B073RM5H36/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3HK9ZY267Q3NR&keywords=how+to+break+up+with+your+phone&qid=1557886392&s=gateway&sprefix=how+to+break+up%2Caps%2C302&sr=8-1

PhoneWallpapers to help change your habits
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2aueyu1m29hygi1/AAAuymvju0uOmE31Qycvm7sva?dl=0

The Spiritual Growth Plan mentioned in the talk can be viewed here

The historical talk about different tools that you can use in your devotional time can be found here and the handout for that talk can be viewed here.

and the challenges for the week…

BEGINNER CHALLENGE
Start (or restart) a practice that engages you with Jesus every day. Make the goal SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound.

Share with your group what you’d like your devotional life to look like.

INTERMEDIATE CHALLENGE
Recall when your devotions were at their best, and commit it to rebooting those practices. Keep in mind your season of life may have changed, but commit to getting back to that level.

Share with your group this commitment.

ADVANCED CHALLENGE
Structure your day so you have morning, lunchtime, and evening devotions. They don’t have to be long, but include the reading of scripture, silence, and prayer throughout them. You may want to include journaling, speaking in tongues, worship, ignatian meditations, reading a good commentary, podcasts, sending prophetic words to people etc to your practices.

Share with your group what this will look like. Do your very best to share with humility, and to do so in such a way that empowers those that are not as developed. Search your heart for any pharisee mentalities!

Sunday 12 May // Finding Life Introduction

Thanks for engaging with this series!

Slides for the talk can be viewed here

Here are this weeks challenges

BEGINNER CHALLENGE 
Choose to be in community for this time. It might be a Bay Group, or gather some people and commit to meet weekly for the purposes of accountability and growth. 
You can inquire about what group might best suit you here. 
https://www.bayvineyardchurch.org/small-groups

INTERMEDIATE CHALLENGE
Listen to this talk by John Mark Comer and reflect on what spoke to you. Share with your group. 
https://bridgetown.church/…/naming-your-sta…/the-three-ways/

ADVANCED CHALLENGE
Read “Sacred Fire: A vision for a deeper human and Christian maturity” by Ronald Rolheiser
https://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Fire-Vision-Chri…/…/B00F8FA5ES