Is There More To Life Than This?

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Jesus made an audacious claim about what His followers could expect taking a step towards a journey with Him: "I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of." John 10:10.

Seems to good to be true. Almost like something you would see on a motivational poster but not real life or those scam ads that pop up on your news feed. But the secret to finding this dream life is that it isn't a passive thing. When you read the stories about Jesus He constantly challenges His listeners to action. This is because living the dream life is about getting aligned with the ultimate plan that God has for you and start walking the journey down the path that is set for you.

Too often we are out of sync with what God intended for us and we need a re-alignment to get ourselves back in sync with our life purpose and when we are living our life purpose that is when we can start to learn to love our lives, live in our passions, and see get in the rhythm of abundance that God wants for us. "For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10

So the million dollar question is this: 
How do I start to walk this dream life? How do I get in sync with God's rhythm and purpose in my life? There is no one size fits all in walking this life and discovering God's plan for you BUT knowing where to start doesn't need to be complicated and you don't need to walk this journey alone. Here are some super easy and exciting opportunities to take your next step and do it with people who will support you and cheer you on:

  • NEXT event: Our NEXT event is happening this Sunday right after the service and Childcare and Food is provided. If you are not sure where to start and what next steps are available, we have our NEXT event this coming Sunday. At a NEXT event you will experience what Gateway is all about, our vision & mission, and all the different ways you can CONNECT with us, GROW in meaningful community towards a fulfilled life and faith, and SERVE by discovering your gifts, talents, and purpose to impact others, our city, and the world.

  • Alpha: Maybe you still have questions about Jesus, Faith, and Life and you would love a place to explore those questions in a safe, inviting, and exciting environment while getting to meet some new people. Alpha starts on Sept 17th at 630pm (supper provided) at Gateway. Sign up today or come to the NEXT event to learn more and meet one of the leaders. 

  • Baptism: Maybe have started your journey, made a decision to follow Jesus and you are looking for a simple and practical way to take it to the next level. Baptism is a great way to take action and go public with your faith. This is an amazing experience and one of the main steps that Jesus commanded us in following Him. Sign up for Baptism and discover what it is all about.

  • Online Bible Study: We will be doing a weekly Facebook Live bible study on Learning to Love Your Life (A Study through the book of 1 John). The first session will be tomorrow (Thursday) at 8pm at fb.com/gatewayedmonton.

Have You Ever Felt Alone?

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Have you ever felt alone? When I ask the question, I know it resonates with you because it resonates with me. I am confident that every one of us can think of a time that we have felt alone, isolated, and possibly discouraged. Maybe you felt that last week or something you feel on an ongoing basis. Though solitude is good for the soul, isolation is not.

We have this ingrained desire for meaningful connection and relationships. because it was built into us. God, Himself is relational in his own nature. This is one of the beautiful realities of the mysteries of God existing as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is this perfect harmony and community in this relationship that we call the three-in-one. This same identity for community was imprinted on us as the human race. In Genesis 2:18 God utters these words, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.". 

This is the first time in the creation story that God says something isn't good. Every other time, He stops, looks, and it says that "God saw that is was good". You see, in God's perfect plan we were never meant to walk this journey of life alone but connection, relationships, and community were intrinsic parts of creation and our existence. 

The Remedy To Isolation Is Connection!
There is this curious verse in the book of Hebrews that says, "not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing." (Hebrews 10:25) It almost seems shoehorned in the rest of the chapter. Like this blip or a rabbit trail that the author of Hebrews throws in there to make a disjointed point. It is placed in a chapter that starts with the truth about the cross, Jesus' sacrifice, and what is all means for us (Heb 10:1-18) and is written in the second section titled 'Call To Persevere In Faith' (Heb 10:19-39). It is no mistake that this verse is here and truly isn't a blip, afterthought, or rabbit trail but is a key ingredient to both walking out this faith journey and persevering through life. And what is this key? Community. 

I encourage you to read the whole chapter in its fullness but even if we take some of the few verses surrounding it, you get a fuller picture: "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another. (Heb 10:23-35)

Now, let me be honest for a second. What I am not saying is that the moment you join a group that all your life problems will fade away but what I believe this passage is reminding us is that life can be hard and journeying it with others helps us not only persevere but cling to the hope that brings real freedom, success, and victory along the way. 

I Want That Kind Of Community!
When I asked the original question I was sure it resonated with you but I also suspect that the idea of this remedy of meaninful community also resonates with you. But you are also wondering where to start. Taking a step towards community can be scary. Let us take the guessing game out of it all and help make the whole process as simple and enjoyable as possible. We believe that life is better when you can walk it with other people. Here are three simple ways you can start towards getting connected and journey life with others:

1. NEXT EVENTS
Our NEXT EVENTS are the main place where you can find out how to get more connected and take a NEXT STEP and get connected, meet some new people, and engage meaninful community. This could be the first step towards walking life with others and grow deeper in your faith.

Our next NEXT event is on September 16th right after the service. This is not simply a information session but a place to experience what we are talking about. There will be food, fun, and easy ways for you to decide how you want to take a next step. Click here to find out more and sign up. 

2. Community Night & Alpha
We have two mid-week events starting up this fall that will be held at the church. These are both great opportunities to meet new people, make meaningful connections in a relaxed environment, and grow deeper in your faith. If you are looking for a simple step to start, this may just be it. 

Learn more about Alpha and our Community Nights. Both these groups will be highlighted at our NEXT EVENT including getting to meet their leaders and others who will join them this season.

3. Loads Of Groups/Events/Seminars To Choose From
We have quite a few other groups, events, and communities that you can check out. Our full list of groups and events can be found here. If we can help you in this journey, answer any questions, help make a first contact, or whatever, don't hesitate to reach out. You can email me at drake@gateway.ac or text at 5877720493.

Could Such A Small Thing Really Make Such A Big Difference?

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One of the most powerful acts that Jesus ever did was a simple act of service. This act changed the state of reality in the disciple's lives and, in turn, impacted the rest of the world!

"Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him." (John 13:3-5)

Notice the contrast between Jesus knowing He had complete authority and command over everything and his act of servitude. The Bible calls Jesus the King over the creation and this King chooses to serve! What an impactful image we get and it was so impactful that some of the disciples almost couldn't handle it (John 13:5-10)! Why this is a contrast isn't because it is outside of Jesus' nature but something that was unheard of in the culture the disciples were used to. Kings did not serve. 

This action on its own, I am sure, would have impacted the lives of the disciples but Jesus also gives them a command: "Do as I have done to you. " (John 13:15). The disciples left that experience different--marked by the simple yet profound act from Jesus. Combined with the experience of seeing Jesus die, resurrect, and ascend helped set the tone for this movement Jesus started in these men. 

A Simple Thing Can Really Make Such A Difference
Maybe you are asking the question "What can I really do?" Let me encourage you that it is in the simplest things and small acts of kindness that the hand of God and the Spirit of Jesus is found! Ask God where He can use you... where you already are. Let Him lead you to the situations and circumstances that the love of Jesus can be shown in the big and the small. Maybe your small act of kindness could be the world change in someone's life.

Where To Start?
Maybe you are wondering where you can start. What opportunities can I get on board with to make an impact in someone's life? What if you had the opportunity to impact someone's life and it cost you nothing (other than a little bit of your time)?

If you are looking for a great opportunity to serve others and be a part of something that will see a huge impact in the lives of people, consider joining our Fall Kick-Off team. This is a great one time opportunity to serve people in a simple way while also having a huge impact. 

Check out some of the different teams that are available and sign up today.

What If One Small Action Could Change Someone's Life?

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Jesus speaks one of the simplest yet most powerful words in the life of the disciples he called that would change their reality forever: "Follow Me!" (Matt 4:19; John 1:43). I am sure many of you have heard these stories before but maybe what you don't realize is that many of the disciples were introduced to Jesus through someone else (including Peter). 

Peter's brother Andrew is introduced to Jesus through John the Baptist and the first thing he does is tell his brother Peter: (John 1:41-41) Not only this but Peter, while he is fishing, hears a message delivered by Jesus to a crowd of onlookers and shortly after is witness to Jesus' miracle of the catch of fish! It is at this point that Jesus says "Follow me and I will make you a fisher of men" and Peter leaves his nets and follows Jesus. (Luke 5:1-11) Shortly after Philip meets Jesus and through his interaction, his life is changed and immediately tells Nathanael where he experiences Jesus in a supernatural way and as well is changed forever! (John 1:43-51).

A Simple Action Changed The Lives Of So Many
This simple action was an invitation to meet Jesus. So many people's lives were changed when they met Jesus and couldn't help but share it with everyone! "You need to meet this amazing person named Jesus!"
What is amazing is we still have the same power in this simple action. What would happen if your simple invitation could change the life of someone you know? 

Fall-Kick Off is coming up quick and we are making it extremely easy to help empower you to change the life of someone you know with one simple action of an invitation. To help you with this we are asking every person to prayerfully consider who God is calling them to bring to Fall Kick-Off. All you need to do is invite them and let God do the rest!

Two Ways You Can Invite
1. There will be an invite on every seat on August 12th. Make sure to grab at least one invite (or even better, three). Even if you don't have someone in mind, keep that invite with you and let God show you who you could tell and you will have the invite to give that will have all the information needed. 

2. Share on social media the website www.fallkickoff.ca and spread the word about this event. The basic details are already up (including the service and the party afterward). As we get closer to the day more and more stuff will get updated on that site. 

Remember, your small action could change the life of someone! So, the question is: Who Are You Saving A Seat For?