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Jesus taught about "forgiveness" on several occasions, and almost every time the teaching was accompanied by a story. As we've mentioned over several weeks, Jesus uses parables to help us understand that we don't understand as well as we think we do -- and this is especially true when it comes to forgiveness! Join Brian and Jon for the last episode…
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If the parable of the four soils can be applied to sanctification as well as salvation, how do we become good soil? How do we cultivate a heart that listens and understands and receives truth in a way that produces a harvest of 30x, 60x, or even 100x? Join Brian and Jon for a practical and honest conversation about both cultivating our own hearts a…
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Why did Jesus tell so many stories? What was the point of using parables that often left His audience more confused than before? What does Jesus want us to learn from these stories about Himself, about us, and about the Kingdom of God? Join Brian and Jon for an encouraging, humbling, and helpful conversation on the parables of Jesus.…
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We finish this series on the names of God with one of the more hopeful and more confusing of His identities -- Healer. Jehovah Rapha can and will restore us from sickness, injury, mental and emotional calamity, and even death...and yet not always when or how we want Him to. How can we know God as Healer in a way that cultivates connection and hope …
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"The good shepherd" may be one of the most well-known names for God, but despite its familiarity we don't always know how to engage with Him in that capacity. What does it really mean for me to be a sheep and Him to be my shepherd? Join Brian and Jon for a rich, surprising, and deeply practical conversation on learning how to truly BE sheep.…
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Saying that God is our "helper" just doesn't quite capture the significance of knowing Him as "Ezer." Jehovah Ezer is the one who rescues, who saves, who is strong and comes through when no one and nothing else can. Do you know Him that way? And how does knowing God as "ezer" change the way we interact with Him? Join Brian and Jon for a helpful and…
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Peace may be one of the things we ask for most often from God...both for ourselves and for those around us in pain or distress. And in most cases, when we ask God for peace, we ask Him to remove or resolve difficult circumstances. But what if God means something more when He offers us peace? Come join Brooke & Jon Ackerman as they offer some practi…
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God wants us to know Him as provider. He IS the provider! And at the same time, there are moments in life when we question the way that God provides. We'd like Him to just give us what we want when we want, but thankfully, our God is always after more than we could ask for or imagine. So how can we learn to walk with God when He's not providing as …
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This might be the most difficult and the most culturally loaded of the names of God that we'll discuss in these 9 weeks. Jehovah Shaphet. God is Judge. The judgement (or the judgementalism) of God is one of the most polarizing aspects of faith in our world both in and outside of the church. Each one of us has a different internal reaction to the co…
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When God introduces Himself with a name, it's an invitation to know Him more personally. But what do we do with the name "Kanna," the name that means God is jealous? What is God jealous of? Better stated, what is God jealous FOR? Once again, we find ourselves in a place of needing to unlearn things about God so that we can connect with Him as He tr…
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The names of God are powerful, not only because they show us what He's capable of but also because they show us who He is. When God introduces Himself with a name, it's an invitation to know Him more personally. But sometimes that means we need to do some unlearning first. So join Brian and Jon as we look at the Scottish poet, George MacDonald's, t…
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When God answers prayers, it sometimes creates more worry than excitement. It only took the Israelites 6 weeks to start thinking that slavery in Egypt was preferable to freedom in the wilderness. They suddenly found themselves face to face with a much bigger and more real God than they had ever personally experienced. What happens when God starts a…
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Reaching the next generation is entirely dependent upon how we see the next generation. We need a clear understanding of what they need and - just as important - what they already have to offer. When Jesus said to make disciples, that includes kids. And God's desire to work through people includes working through kids. It's a "both-and" conversatio…
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To commemorate the 100th episode of the Faith Forward podcast, we asked you to share the stories of what God has been doing in your life. THANK YOU to those who sent in video, audio, or email in celebration of God's faithfulness. And THANK YOU for your commitment to growing closer to Him day by day! We hope you enjoy these stories!…
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In this final episode on developing "transformational community," we're looking at how to grow it...and be grown in it. It can only happen over time, and only as each member commits to growing from the inside-out - becoming more vulnerable and transparent. It's challenging and disruptive, but the rewards are beyond imagining.…
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In this second episode on developing "transformational community," we're tackling the potential traps that arise as we engage others in deeper levels of relationship. Whether it's fearing to risk, struggling with authenticity, lacking discernment, or not trusting God's heart, there are a variety of ways the enemy can foster disruption and division …
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The Biblical call to be "in community" is not a geographic or demographic statement. Rather, it's a life of being deeply known by others - and knowing them. It's sacrificially engaging in the lives of others - and letting them sacrifice for you. It's hard to find that kind of community and harder still to maintain it, but it's essential to our spir…
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One of the primary - and most powerful - ways we will ever know God, love others, and experience the Kingdom is through the discovery, development, and deployment of our spiritual giftings. So how do we do that? Join Lee and Jon for a passionate and practical discussion on uncovering the gifts God has placed in us and beginning to practice them in …
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When it comes to the challenge of loving others, the challenge often has less to do with our knowledge and more to do with our preferences, our authenticity, and our willingness to obey. The good news is there's hope! And some practical suggestions to get at the heart behind the struggles. So join Brian and Jon as they share practical ways to invit…
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We need to live like EVERYONE is worthy of serving and loving. But what does that actually mean in our day-to-day? And what gets in our way...sometimes without even realizing it? As we kick off 2024, join Brian and Jon as they share stories and suggestions for loving others that can bring real transformation in the world around us.…
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Sustaining a life with God is...hard. Sustaining growth, connection, closeness is hard. It requires intentionality. It requires a plan. And a successful plan will involve more than just more activity. As we conclude this series on Something Greater, join Brian and Jon for some helpful steps in cultivating a life with God that helps us to experience…
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There's a difference between living life for God and following God God's way. What would it look like to allow God to reorder our life - to put Himself at the center - to be the sole object of our focus - to be the recipient of our first and best - to lead us willingly into divine appointments? Join Lee Towns and Jon Ackerman as they offer practica…
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What's your internal reaction to "confession" or "repentance"? Does it feel like a beautiful invitation to come closer to God? Or does some combination of fear, shame, condemnation, and reluctance feel closer to the mark? What if our definition of those words is preventing us from experiencing something wonderful with the God who created those word…
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"There is always a fresh start with God." Forgiveness and restoration are at the heart of God's desire for His people. And the path to experiencing forgiveness and restoration invariably leads through conviction and repentance. And while those words may feel intimidating, they don't need to be a source of fear or indifference. So, join Brian and Jo…
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Does it ever seem like you've done the thing you were "supposed" to do, and then life gets harder rather than easier? Does it seem like the attacks and the doubt pile on when you're worn out rather than when you're fresh? If so, you're not alone! Join Brian and Jon for a helpful look at how to resist the schemes of the enemy...especially when we're…
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If we're truly going to be part of "Something Greater," there will come a time when our selfishness must be confronted. More accurately, we'll need to have our eyes opened to areas of selfishness we've never noticed...and come to terms with the effect that selfishness has had on the people around us. So come join Brian and Jon as they share stories…
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To experience something greater in the world around us, we first need to experience it within us...at a heart level. The enemy's mockery attempts to undermine the work we've engaged in with God, but the enemy's ultimate target for sabotage is not the work itself, but the heart of the workers. How do you handle the enemy's attacks? Listen in as Jon …
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There is more to a life with God than any single one of us has yet experienced. And that is a wildly exciting -- and often terrifying -- prospect. Terrifying because of what it may require of us to release. Wildly exciting because of how much more God is offering than we realize. So pull up a chair and join Jon and Pastor Lee as they share stories …
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God is inviting you to participate in something greater...something that can only be accomplished if you partner with Him AND a group of like-hearted allies. Along the way, however, there will be distractions and detours -- and we need to learn to recognize them, as well as what God is up to in the midst of them. How do we do that? Join Brian and J…
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If we want to participate in "something greater" in God's Kingdom, it's going to require a greater life of prayer and a greater willingness to risk. And neither of those things may look like what we imagine. Join Brian and Jon for an open and honest conversation on the ways that God invites us to be part of the "more" than we could ask for or imagi…
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What ignites your heart? What ache for the Kingdom has God placed in you? And what is He inviting you into that you CANNOT accomplish alone? As we begin a new series on the book of Nehemiah, join Brian and Jon as they share honest stories and practical steps on how to discover the desires God has placed in you...and how to avoid some traps along th…
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"Love each other as I have loved you," (John 15:12). What if Jesus is offering us a far greater gift than we've realized or experienced? We often conclude that "community" is a convenience, not a necessity. That loving others is more about acts of service than "knowing and being fully known." What if there's more? Join Brian and Jon for a sincere, …
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No longer slaves, but now sons and daughters of a good Father. And not just sons and daughters, but heirs -- with full access to an incredible inheritance. Knowing that truth is important. But LIVING in that reality is where true transformation takes place. Where do you find yourself today? And what would it look like to experience more of who God …
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It's our last episode before summer break, and as we wrap up the Heartbeat series, we return to everyone's favorite topic - pain and suffering. But this time, the question is how to see the hardships of life in a redemptive and eternal way. That does NOT mean minimizing or ignoring or comparing to others. It DOES mean learning to ask God to show us…
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In this combo episode, we look at the practical ways we can share a message of grace and repentance with others -- while also making sure we're truly experiencing that same freedom ourselves. Sound like a lot to cover in one episode? You bet! So join Brian and Jon as they share from the heart about God's heartbeat for you and your neighbors.…
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You can live in your Father's house and still not know His heart. Last week we looked at the younger son; this week we examine the heart of the older son. They both have lived with their father and both have been blind to who He truly is and what He truly wants from them. Join Brian and Jon as we examine the ways in which our heart mirrors the hear…
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You can live in your Father's house and still not know His heart. Jesus tells a story of a father with two sons -- two sons who have lived with their father but have been blind to who He is. Join Brian and Jon for a practical and honest look at how each of us has more in common with the "prodigal" than we realize...and how we can see more of the Fa…
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When it comes to using your giftings and stepping into your purpose, are you more comfortable doing things "for God" or "with God"? Just as important, are you willing to do things "with God" in both your areas of strength AND weakness? Unsure? Listen in as Mike Haynes and Jon share stories and helpful suggestions on how to make this life-changing s…
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Do you feel like you have an answer to the age-old question, "What's my purpose?" God's miraculous act of redemption gives you a "why" for your life -- a "why" that not only shapes you but also affects others. And that "why" can often feel difficult to uncover, and harder still to live out. So pull up a chair and join Brian and Jon for a conversati…
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God wants everyone to be redeemed - AND - God wants everyone to live from the reality of their redemption. Whether you decided to say "yes" to Jesus today or you've been walking with Him for decades, God still has more to show you about what it means to be His...to be Loved...and to be Accepted. Join Brian and Jon for a helpful conversation on disc…
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On Palm Sunday, we celebrate Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Every person cheering that day for Jesus had expectations for what His entrance would mean: perhaps as conqueror or prophet or healer. But Jesus was something greater still. He was King. What if we, too, have misunderstood what Jesus' entry into our life really means? Join Brian an…
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We asked Dr. Patti Broderick to extend the conversation on recovery from painful experiences - particularly those hurts experienced within the church. What can the path to restoration look like? What are some unhelpful ways to deal with the hurt? And how do we engage (or re-engage) with the body of Christ as we heal? Join Patti, Brian, and Jon for …
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You have an enemy. Do you live like it? God commands us to resist our enemy and to be aware of his schemes, but if we're being honest, we don't always feel like we know HOW to do those things. So, join Brian and Jon for a practical, how-to conversation on the reality our spiritual enemy and the tools that help us to stand firm against him.…
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