Upcoming Events


Enneagram Retreat

02/24/2018, 9:00 AM

Find your Enneagram Type

Lori recommends that everyone take the assessment and come with their Type information to work with. Here are two ways you can take the assessment:

1) Wagner Enneagram Personality Style Scales - WEPSS is a standardized, reliable, and valid Enneagram inventory. This online inventory provides results and interpretation; the cost is $10.

2) The EnneaApp - The EnneaApp allows you to take an inventory that will help you find your Ennea-type. This inventory is FREE.

On Saturday Feb 24th @ FCC, we are hosting a Half-day Retreat using the Enneagram. We will meet from 9am-12pm in the Adult Center. Coffee, fruit, and homemade muffins will be provided. Childcare is available with registration. Everyone is welcome!

Our Instrustor, Lori Carlson, teaches the Enneagram and it’s applications in industry, church, and parachurch settings.



About the Enneagram

​The Enneagram is a powerful tool that provides a dynamic, compassionate guide for living your life and interacting with others. The Enneagram helps you gain wisdom to navigate different emotional styles and to understand your feelings and responses to other people. Understanding why you respond, or why others respond, as they do, doesn’t solve the problem, but it gives you the knowledge and tools you need to begin the path toward resolution.

The Enneagram helps us to see ourselves at a deeper, more objective level and can be of invaluable assistance on our paths to self knowledge. Each personality has natural strengths and weaknesses. Learn how to recognize and use yours.

Click here to sign up:
docs.google.com/forms/u/1/d/e/1FAIpQLSd3moWtL7HpNOyqwMcdOStRVvwGMc1jE_n3jA5UYbIHiGR4OQ/viewform?usp=send_form


Day of Service

02/24/2017, 9:00 AM

Join us to serve the unmet needs in our schools and communities on the Day of Service on Feb 24. Bagels and coffee will be provided at each site at 9am, and a light lunch will also be served at the Laurel Elementary School site at 11:30am. Sites fill up fast and have limited spaces, so register today for the site that most interests you. All ages are welcome.

Sign up here.


Mission Friends Lunch

02/25/2018, 10:12 PM

Mission Friends lunch will happen on Feb 25th after the 11am Service. Come join and hear about the different mission updates!


Connection Group Week 5 Discussion Questions

02/18/2018, 5:01 PM

Week 5 video (Re-watch)

Redeeming My Time

Last week we looked at how God has uniquely "wired" us so that we have individual strengths and weaknesses. We become vulnerable to temptation when we are dissatisfied with our lives. The deeper our dissatisfaction, the deeper our vulnerability, because we were made for soul satisfaction. You cannot live without it. If we do not find soul satisfaction in God, we will look for it somewhere else, but we will look for it.
The Me I want to Be, by John Ortberg Ch. 12

1. Temptation lures us in individually using our very own personality type! What is tempting to me is often not tempting to you. John Ortberg calls these temptations our "signature sins." Think of what might be your "signature sin." (Looking at the weakness in your personality type can help you.)

When John Ortberg was talking about doing Batting Practice with the SF Giants what do you think his "signature sin" might be? Why? How did his strengths and weaknesses show up?

2. We say "don't go to the grocery store when you are hungry"…when our soul is dissatisfied sin looks more tempting…Given what you know about your own personality, where does your soul get dissatisfied and what is an easy sin for you to fall into?

3. Sin takes us out of the flow of the Spirit. Sin usually starts very close to where your passions are. It takes you off your passion by just a few degrees to get you going slowly in the opposite direction that God designed you for. How have you seen this work in the lives of others or in yourself?

4. "The first sign of incompetence is our inability to perceive incompetence" reports John Ortberg of a study done a few years ago. He says that he was unable to perceive his incompetence in batting. How do we each have an inability to have an objective, accurate, reality-based view of ourselves in relation to sin?

5. Read Hebrews 12:1-3

Why do we need to "throw off sin"? How do you specifically do that?

Isn't it interesting that in a race you are always really racing against your own best time. How does this relate to your unique personality in relation to your "signature sins."

Why does the writer admonish us to fix our eyes on Jesus? How does your "signature sin" cause you to take your eyes off of Jesus?

6. God offers us forgiveness. But sometimes we have difficulty accepting forgiveness. Why does it matter if we receive forgiveness? What can happen to your soul if you carry around a burden for which you have not been forgiven?

7. Read James 4:7-10

List the active works that James gives us to use when we have sinned. How can these works show up in your actions today?

8. Read 1 Corinthians 10:13

How does God relate to our temptations?

God knows your struggle, and when you fully do too, there can be real progress in your life!

How does this scripture give you hope?

Prayer idea

Romans 3:23 says "for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God"…but goes on to say "and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that can by Jesus Christ." Ask God for: the redemption of each member your group by name, claiming that this gift is there for them when they sin in their own unique way, and ask God to show them more about who He created them to be.

Important information:

The Enneagram is a powerful tool that provides a dynamic, compassionate guide for living your life and interacting with others. The Enneagram helps you gain wisdom to navigate different emotional styles and to understand our feelings and responses to other people. Understanding why you respond, or why others respond, as they do, doesn't solve the problem but it gives you the knowledge and tools you need to begin the path toward resolution.

The Enneagram helps us to see ourselves at a deeper, more objective level and can be of invaluable assistance on our path to self knowledge. Each personality has natural strengths and weaknesses, learn how to recognize and use yours.

Saturday Feb. 24th @ FCC we are hosting a Half day Retreat using the Enneagram. Our Instrustor Lori Carlson teaches the Enneagram and it's applications in Industry, church and parachurch settings. She recommends that everyone take the assessment and come with their Type information to work with.

There are 2 recommended Inventory options:
The Wagner Enneagram Personality Style Scales
WEPSS is a standardized, reliable, and valid Enneagram inventory. You can find at WEPSS.com. This is an online inventory that provides results and interpretation for you to begin your journey with. The cost is $10.

The EnneaApp
This App allows you to take an inventory that will help you find your Ennea-type. This inventory is free once you install the App.

We believe that this Retreat will be an investment in you! Childcare will be provided with reservation. Everyone is welcome.

If you can, take some time in your group to install the EnneaApp and take this simple inventory.


Connection Group Week 4 Discussion Questions

02/3/2018, 11:50 AM

Week 4 video

We become vulnerable to temptation when we are dissatisfied with our lives. The deeper our dissatisfaction, the deeper our vulnerability, because you were made for soul satisfaction. You cannot live without it. If we do not find soul satisfaction in God, we will look for it somewhere else, but we will look for it.
The Me I Want to Be, ch. 12

1. Have you ever considered the lack of self-awareness to be dangerous? John Ortberg says, "We often don't give serious thought to our character and purity and heart, in light of the way God would view those things -we have great self-deception and self-justification."

Why are self-deception and self-justification so concerning? Is it easier to see this deception in your own life, or in others' lives? How can you increase your self-awareness?

2. Our souls are meant to be satisfied by God; that's his design. Why is it important for us to keep watch over the condition of our souls? When you are experiencing soul dissatisfaction, what does that look like for you personally? What most helps you in keeping your soul connected to God-desiring him and resistant to temptation?

2. Ortberg says that the pattern of our sin is related to the pattern of our gifts.

In The Me I Want to Be, John discusses Michael Mangis' list of nine common personality types and their corresponding sin patterns. Take a few minutes to read through this information on the next several pages and assess your personality type.

Personality Types: Their Strengths and Weaknesses*


Reformer

Strengths o Lives with an internal standard of what is good, noble, and beautiful

o Calls others to live better lives

Weaknesses o Can be arrogant when unredeemed

o Has high standards that can lead to a secret, inner sense of inadequacy

Example The prophet Amos, who carried a plumbline to show Israel the standard God expected of society


Server

Strengths o Lives out love in action

o Has a natural other-centeredness that makes people feel cared for

Weaknesses o Can use "giving" to manipulate others

o Sometimes mistakes servanthood with fear or low esteem

Example Martha, who was busy serving while her sister Mary sat at Jesus' feet


Achiever

Strengths o Has a strong desire to grow

o Has the ability to accomplish things and add value in the lives and world around them

Weaknesses o Has the temptation to be preoccupied with one's own success

o Sometimes uses other people to receive applause or approval

Example Solomon, who sought achievement in education, finance, culture, statecraft, and the arts



Artist

Strengths o Loves beauty and goodness

o Brings imagination to life, love, and faith

Weaknesses o Finds that the need to be different can become an end in itself

o Can be tempted to give in to impulses and live an undisciplined life

Example King David, who had strong gifts as a poet, dancer, and composer of many psalms


Thinker

Strengths o Is a discoverer, inventor, and lover of logic

o Holds a passion for truth -even when it is costly

Weaknesses o Having conviction of being right can lead to arrogance

o Can be tempted to withdraw from relationships and love

Example Paul, who loved to study, reason, explore, and teach


Loyalist

Strengths o Is faithful and dependable when the chips are down

o Loves to be part of a great team

Weaknesses o Is prone to skepticism or cynicism

o When threatened, can be pushed into isolation by fear

Example Elisha, who became Elijah's steadfast companion and protégé


Enthusiast

Strengths o Has high capacity for joy and emotional expression

o Has enthusiasm that is contagious

Weaknesses o Can have a need to be the center of attention

o Has a need to avoid pain that can lead to escape or addiction

Example The apostle Peter, who was the first one to leap out of the boat -even if it meant sinking


Commander

Strengths o Has a passion for justice and a desire to champion a great cause

o Has charisma to lead that inspires others

Weaknesses o Has a need for power that can cause others to feel used

o Sometimes relies on fear and intimidation to get one's own way

Example Nehemiah, who was moved to action -rallying followers and defying opponents -when he heard Jerusalem was in ruins


Peacemaker

Strengths o Has a natural ability to listen well and give wise counsel

o Has an easy-going, low-maintenance relational style

Weaknesses o Has a tendency to smooth things over and avoid conflict

o Is passive

Example Abraham, who was a peacemaker with his wife, his nephew Lot, and foreign leaders -even attempting to mediate between God and Sodom and Gomorrah


3. As a group, identify how you have seen each of these personality styles manifested in God and His story. Share concrete examples that you have seen in the Bible of God acting as Reformer, Server, Achiever…etc.

4. Do you see yourself as one personality type, or a combination of two or three? Identify a strength that you have or that you see in someone else.


5. Any strength taken to an extreme can become a weakness.

Do you agree with the weaknesses connected to your personality type(s)?

6. God desires us to discover who He has uniquely created us to be and to live fully into His good image that is in us. He knows that your strength can also turn toward your weakness if we are unaware. How might that happen? You can answer personally or hypothetically.

Prayer idea

John Ortberg says "If you believe in God, you have already begun to pray - to enter into a dialogue with him - because believing in God means believing he is always present, always listening to what you say. To come to believe is to begin to pray, because of the constancy of God's presence."

Pray for the belief that you already have to grow in a specific way. You might want to ask God to help you through your specific strengths and
weaknesses.

Next week we want to introduce you to The Enneagram, another tool, for understanding who you are and how you can best grow toward understanding God's design of YOU. We will also be offering a Saturday 1/2 day Retreat taught by Lori Carlson on February 24th at FCC at 9am. This Retreat will help you further understand and live forward into becoming God's best version of YOU!


Financial Peace University

01/28/2018, 10:30 AM

We all need a plan for our money. Financial Peace University (FPU) is that plan! It teaches God's ways of handling money. Through video teaching, class discussions and interactive small group activities, FPU presents biblical, practical steps to get from where you are to where you've dreamed you could be. This plan will show you how to get rid of debt, manage your money, spend and save wisely, and much more! Go to the Finance Peace University website for a synopsis of the course.


Connection Group Week 3 Discussion Questions

01/28/2018, 12:00 AM

Week 3 Video

Discussion Questions:

1. To change the way we think, we must start by learning to monitor our thoughts. Two people in the same situation can have very different experiences, based on their ways of thinking (e.g., one may see something as a problem, the other may see it as an opportunity). Consider your thought life. Do you tend to be a “glass half-full” or “glass half-empty” kind of thinker? Explain you answer.

2. As we learn to monitor our thoughts, we must next set our mind—decide what we will think about. John Ortberg says that to “think great thoughts” is to have thoughts that incline us toward things such as confidence, love, and joy—things that move us toward God. Using the continuum below, assess your propensity to regularly think great thoughts:

Rarely --- | --- | --- | --- All The Time

How can you increase your habit of great-thought-thinking?

3. (Optional) To equip us to think great thoughts, we need to provide ourselves life-giving fuel. One highly effective tool in our thought life is God’s Word. God loves us whether or not we read the Bible, but he has given us the gift of Scripture to help us flourish. Without feeling guilty about your response, how often do you read your Bible? What factors contribute to your answer? What’s a practical, concrete action you can take to feed your mind with Scripture more regularly?

4. (Optional) Freedom can mean different things to different people. What freedom do you personally treasure (e.g., to come and go as you please, no laws against practicing Christianity), and why?

What freedom do you have when it comes to your mind and thoughts?

There’s a spiritual battle being waged by the Evil One against you and your thoughts. What control do you have in this battle? What is the danger—to you and those around you—if you choose to not monitor your thought life?

Group Bible Exploration

1. Read together the following Scriptures:

So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel [as his wife], but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. Genesis 29:20

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:44 – 46

What kind of desire did Jacob, the man, and the merchant all have?

Have you ever experienced this kind of desire—or dream—for something or someone? Use single words (like excitement or fear) to tell the group what kind of feelings you had when you were in pursuit of your desire or dream.

Have you ever considered where your desire came from? Can you connect it to your passions or gifts?

2. Think back over your thought life from the past several days. What was the pattern of your thoughts in general (e.g., positive, discouraged, worried)? Did you find yourself consciously aware of the kinds of thoughts you entertained?

Read together 2 Corinthians 10:5: We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Is it a common practice for you to take your thoughts captive to God, as the Bible tells us to do? What makes that hard—or easy—for you to do?

3. You’ve heard the phrase “garbage in, garbage out.” When you consider your thoughts, were there times this week that you allowed “garbage in” or consciously entertained thoughts you knew you shouldn’t? Share a brief example.

Look up and read Psalm 139 in its entirety, if time permits. Otherwise, read together these summary verses:

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me…. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be…. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. (vv. 1, 16b, 23)

If God already knows the psalmist’s thoughts, why does he ask God to test them?

What is the benefit in bringing our “offensive ways” (see v. 24) to our awareness and to God’s? What role might forgiveness play in allowing us to flourish?

4. In The Me I Want to Be, Ortberg writes:

When we tell people they ought to do something, we can take that “ought” in two ways — the ought of obligation and the ought of opportunity. The first kind is our duty. You ought to pay your taxes. You ought to keep your dog on a leash. You ought to take your drivers’ test. The second kind gives us life. You ought to take a break. You ought to see the world. You ought to taste this cake. The “ought” of Jesus’ message is mainly an ought of opportunity. When we become aware of this, we feel guilty because our desire for God does not run deep enough — but we cannot make ourselves desire God more by telling ourselves that we should. God is so gracious and patient, wanting us to want him, that he is willing to work with this kind of honesty. That is why we are invited to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” Taste is an experimental word. It is an invitation from a confident chef. You don’t have to commit to eating the whole thing; just try a sample — taste. If you don’t like it, you can skip the rest. But the chef is convinced that if he can get you to take one bite, you are going to want the whole enchilada.

Do you sometimes struggle with wanting to desire God? If so, how do you picture God and his demeanor toward you in that struggle?

In Closing

Pray together as you end this session. Ask God to help each group member to be willing to look deeply at their desires and thought life and to allow him to fully search their hearts. Pray for wisdom in seeing where God is leading each person to turn their desires toward him - how he specifically wants them to set their minds on him and his ways.