Holy Spirit

Epiphany 2: Jesus' Baptism

Aert de Gelder [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Aert de Gelder [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Leah begins 2018 by reflecting on the Traditional Celebration of Epiphany, a celebration that many Jesus-followers in the United States have long forgotten. What might be gained by considering the "appearance" or "manifestation" of Divinity in Jesus afresh, through the stories many Christians in the past around the world have found fruitful to reflect on this time of year? In this second of two teaching on Epiphany, she focuses on the Epiphany story reflected on in the Eastern church, the Baptism of Jesus.

Listen to the teaching below or review Leah's notes here.

Faith Is A Two-Way Thing

"When I was in middle school, I went through confirmation. I had been baptized as a kid in a mainline denominational church. And then around 12 or 13, I was told it was time for confirmation. Along with all the other sixth graders, I took a class. Now I always liked studying, but this was boring. I don’t remember really learning anything about what I’d now call the Christian faith. There was nothing about the Bible. Nothing about the trinity; no Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Nothing about connection to Jesus. Nothing about how to connect with God, but a lot about the history of my particular denomination.

At the end of the class,  we'd all get up in front of the church, wear a nice dress and let the pastor put a bit of oil on each of our heads. It was nothing special for me. I was probably thinking about if we might go out for pizza afterwards, like most of my friends. But there was one girl who wasn’t like the rest of us; Kelly. Something different was happening for her. When she kneeled and the pastor blessed her with oil, she was weeping. She was shaking a bit. She was visibly moved. Something was clearly happening for her and it seemed to be real.  I knew Kelly. I trusted her. I didn’t know what she was feeling but I knew it was something genuine. Further more, I wanted it, but I didn’t understand where it came from."

Have you ever seen others have powerful spiritual experiences, but not felt them yourself? Have you wondered if experiences of the Holy Spirit are for just some people, or might be available to all of us? In this first teaching, Leah explores this question and how we'll be addressing it through the season of Lent, which we're calling "40 Days of Interactive Faith".

Listen to the teaching below or read the notes here. And check out our Daily Guide for ways to participate in this series throughout the week.

Tongues of Fire and Stuff

Tongues of Fire and Stuff

I believe I was a sophomore in college when it happened.  I had only been really following Jesus less than a year at the point when I was invited to attend my first church conference.  The college group I became a part of was loosely affiliated with a Vineyard church, and that church was having a weekend conference.  Attending the church on Sundays, let alone for a whole weekend, made me nervous.  It was so different from the experience I’d had of church growing up that I didn’t know what to do with it. But I trusted the group’s leader, and he told me that this conference was going to be really powerful in terms of people encountering God, so I went.