Month: November 2019

Message Slides 12.01.2019

ADVENT 2019 | Wk 1: “Hope”

Elizabeth Wilkes | 12.01.2019

Message recordings available at:






Advent: “arrival”

How do we prepare for an arrival?




Gospel: “good news”

Good news must really be good news for everyone.



Luke 1:26-33 CEB

When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee, to a virgin who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary. When the angel came to her, he said, “Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you!” She was confused by these words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is honoring you. Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and he will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. He will rule over Jacob’s house forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom.”



Matthew 1:19-21 CEB 

Joseph her husband was a righteous man. Because he didn’t want to humiliate her, he decided to call off their engagement quietly. As he was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”



Expectation, reality, hope.


  • Engagement, marriage


  • Unexpected change of plans, confusion, fear


  • “Don’t be afraid”



Luke 2:3-7 CEB

Everyone went to their own cities to be enrolled. Since Joseph belonged to David’s house and family line, he went up from the city of Nazareth in Galilee to David’s city, called Bethlehem, in Judea. He went to be enrolled together with Mary, who was promised to him in marriage and who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for Mary to have her baby. She gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom.



Where can you find hope?

Is there an area of your life where you need hope? 

Do you have expectations that are keeping you from embracing reality? 

The gospel of Jesus tells us we can find hope despite our circumstances. 





12.01.2019 | ADVENT 2019 | Wk 1: “Hope”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.


Breaking Ground

Share a story about a time when you were given an unexpected gift. What was it? Who gave it to you? Why was it so unexpected? 


The Dig

First, take time to define two words: hope & expectations. 

How do you define each of these? Are there any similarities between them? What are the differences between something you hope for & something you expect

Read Matthew 1:18-25.

Reflect on the characters of Mary & Joseph in Jesus’ birth story. 

What do you think were some of the expectations they had for their lives? What were some of their hopes? 

In this time, Mary getting pregnant in this way (out of wedlock) would have been incredibly looked down upon. 

How do you think Mary was impacted by this moment? How do you think it impacted her expectations? 

More so, at this point in the story, Israel had been conquered by Rome for some time. Their expectations for God’s King (Messiah) were that he would arrive as a warrior king to defeat Rome. However, Jesus arrives in a poor, seemingly insignificant, & socially outcast family (child out of wedlock). 

How do you think Jesus’ arrival in this way would have impacted Israel’s expectations for God’s King? 

What does Jesus’ arrival in this way do to Israel’s expectations that He would be a warrior king

What does Jesus’ arrival in this way do to Israel’s expectations that He would build God’s Kingdom by power & might

What does it say about God that He chooses to enter our world through a family like this one? Why do you think He chooses to arrive through this family & situation? 

Finally, reflect on how God’s arrival in this way could be understood in light of hope

How does God’s arrival through a family like this & in this way  give us hope, especially as it breaks our expectations? 

Ultimately, this story reminds us that there is always hope when it comes to God – especially in the areas that seem the most poor, fragile, weak, or hopeless. Those are exactly where this God chooses to show up in the most profound way

Where in your life do you need to hope that God can show up & work? Where are you expectations getting in the way of you having that hope? 

What might it look like to shift from expectations to hope in that area of your life in this Advent season?


Getting Out of the Hole

Take time each week during this Advent season to reflect on how God’s arrival lights up each of the Advent themes (Hope, Peace, Joy, & Love). 

This week, reflect on how God’s arrival in human form redefines how we understand hope. Reflect on something in your life where you have come to feel hopeless (feeling like it will never change) & you have come to believe that God is absent (relationship, family, job, finances, etc.). 

Journal about how this story about hope might change the story you are telling yourself about that situation. What might it look like to find God showing up in this area where you wouldn’t expect Him? How would it change it? 

Share your experience with the group next week! 


Additional Resources*

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent & Christmas (Advent Devotional) 

Surprised by Hope by NT Wright

Matthew for Everyone by NT Wright


Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, December 8: Join us for the next week of our series ADVENT: Where Good News is Actually Good, where we will explore the theme of Peace in the story of Christ’s coming!
* Please see for details.

Message Slides 11.24.2019

GOD, PART 1 | Wk 11: “The God Who Dwells Pt. 2”

Pastor Mike Overstreet | 11.24.2019

Message recordings available at:






Temple Creation in the Ancient World

  1. Space created for the divine presence to reside in
  2. Garden planted out in front
  3. Space filled with abundance & holy artifacts
  4. Divine Presence would dwell in the Temple
  5. Priests would work alongside the divine presence to care for the Temple

In Genesis – Creation is understood as God’s Temple space. 



Tabernacle in the Wilderness

  • Mishkan – abode, dwelling space
  • Design, construction, installment covers 11 chapters of Exodus



Revelation 21:3-4 (NIV)

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”



Revelation 22:2b (NIV)

On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.



The Mosaic of the Exodus

  1. God hears the cries of His people & liberates them
  2. God gives the Israelites His personal name & covenants with them
  3. God leads, provides, & forgives His People
  4. God dwells in a Tabernacle / Temple space amongst His People – a pocket of Eden




Gospel of Mark – begins with Jesus’ baptism → testing → disciples → Kingdom announcement → healings – reenacting the Exodus Story.

Gospel of Matthew – Jesus goes up on a mountain to teach his disciples a new way of living in the world → reenacting Moses coming down from Mount Sinai with the Law.

The Lord’s Prayer is an Exodus prayer.

Jesus reorients God’s Temple dwelling space around himself.

When Jesus dies on the cross → the veil separating us from the Holy of Holies rips in two.

WE, as followers of Jesus, become the new Temple & dwelling space of God



1 Corinthians 3:16 (NIV)

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?



11.24.2019 | GOD, PART 1 | Wk 11: “The God Who Dwells Pt. 2”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.


Breaking Ground

What is your favorite part about going home (to where you were raised)? What do you feel when you go home?


The Dig

Read Genesis 2:8-17

Read Revelation 21:1-4

Read Revelation 22:1-5

This is the beginning & end of the biblical story. In many ways, the entire biblical story revolves around the loss of Eden & our return to Eden

What imagery stands out to you the most from these passages? Is there any aspect of the beginning or end of the biblical story that hits home the most? 

How does this imagery at the beginning & end of the biblical story impact how you read it or understand it the rest of it? 

Next, take time reflecting on the fact that the ultimate purposes of God in the Bible is to dwell in Creation & amongst human beings once again

What does this teach us about who God is? 

How does this impact how you think about God – His character, purposes, goals, & desires? 

Throughout the biblical story, we find a progression of God dwelling more & more within creation. For example…

  • He appears to Moses through a burning bush (one tiny spot);
  • Then He appears in front of the Israelites in the desert;
  • Then He dwells in the Tabernacle / Temple, but with a veil separating His presence from the Israelites
  • Then Jesus claims to be the living Tabernacle – God’s presence in human form amongst us;
  • And, finally, Paul tells us that we, as Jesus’ disciples & through the indwelling of God’s Spirit, have become God’s dwelling space & tabernacle on earth.

How do you respond to this progression? What does it teach us about God & what God is doing? 

What does it mean for us to be the space where God dwells on earth as a pocket of Eden / Temple space? 

How does this change how you view your physical body & how you treat it?

How does this change how you see how you live in the world – your work, actions, character, etc? 

How does this impact how you think about your relationships with others? 

Is there a space in your life where you feel you are not living up to this Eden / Temple calling in the world?

What does it look like to grow in our capacity for being the place where God dwells?


Getting Out of the Hole

This week, take time & space to sit with the end of our series. Reflect on the topics we’ve covered: God being with us in suffering; God giving us His personal name; God calling us to do His work; God liberating us; God leading us; God providing for us; God covenanting with us; God forgiving us; God dwelling with us.

Reflect on which of these topics you need to dive into the most in this coming Advent season & which you think you could grow in understanding over the next few weeks. Take time this week to journal your thoughts.

Share your experience with the group next week! 



Additional Resources*

Jesus and the Victory of God by NT Wright

The New Testament and the People of God by NT Wright


Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, December 1: Join us for the first week of our Advent series Advent: When Good News is Actually Good.
* Please see for details.

Message Slides 11.17.2019

GOD, PART 1 | Wk 10: “The God Who Dwells”

Pastor Mike Overstreet | 11.17.2019

Message recordings available at:






Exodus 25:1-9 (NIV)

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give. These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.

“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.



Tabernacle in the Wilderness

  • Mishkan – abode, dwelling space
  • Design, construction, installment covers 11 chapters of Exodus



Tabernacle Painting



Text Text (3)



Tabernacle Outline



The Ark of the Covenant

  1. The Ten Commandments – covenant relationship
  2. Golden Urn of Manna – memory of God’s provision

Aaron’s Rod / Staff – symbol of God’s liberation



11.17.2019 | GOD, PART 1 | Wk 10: “The God Who Dwells”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.


Breaking Ground

What is your home setup like? What are the most important things in it? What interesting things can people learn about you from what’s in your home? 


The Dig

Read Exodus 25:1-9.

Begin by discussing the idea that the Tabernacle, the place where God dwelled directly, was set up at the center of the Israelite camp. 

First, what are some of the physical artifacts/places that you center or shape your life / schedule around? If you are stumped, consider:

  • Home / Office / Work / Church
  • Specific Restaurants / Places
  • Outdoors
  • Specific Rooms or Objects – TV, exercise equipment, room of your house, arts & music, etc. 

Why do these places play such an important role in your life? 

What does that importance say about who you are & what you consider important when it comes to how you live your life? 

With that in mind, reflect on what it would have meant to reorganize all of the Israelite community around God’s dwelling space in the center. 

How would this have impacted the Israelites as a people? 

What lessons would this physical setup teach them about who they are & why they exist as a people? 

Lastly, reflect on what was in the Tabernacle:

  • The Altar – place of sacrifices for reconciling broken relationships & remembering/celebrating past stories.
  • The Lavar – basin for ritually washing & purifying the priests before entering into God’s Presence.
  • The Bread of Presence – a symbol of God’s Presence & Israel being offered totally to God as His People.
  • The Lampstand – a symbol of God being light in the world, where ever He resides. 
  • The Altar of Incense – a symbol of Israel’s prayers & worship being received by God as pleasing aromas.
  • The Ark of the Covenant – containing the covenant (relationship between God & Israel), manna (symbol of God’s provision in the wilderness ), & Aaron’s staff (symbol of Israel’s liberation from Egypt). 

Each is in the Tabernacle because it teaches us about who God is & what God wants to see done in the world. 

Which stands out to you the most? Why? 

Which seems the oddest to you? Why? 

Close by reflecting on one final question before next week. What might it mean that God’s final action of the Exodus is to dwell with His People? Why do you think God waits until the end to do this? (We will be exploring this more deeply next week). 


Getting Out of the Hole

This week, take time & space to sit with our God who dwells amongst us. Take 5 minutes each morning to meditate & just sit with God’s Presence. 

  • Get quiet & close your eyes
  • Acknowledge God’s Presence in the space with you
  • Breathe slowly – in through your nose, out through your mouth
  • Each time you breathe out – say a word that reminds you of God (a name for God, characteristic, etc.) 
  • Try to spend 5 minutes returning to His Presence each time your mind wanders. 

Take time this week to journal about anything that comes up.

Share your experience with the group next week! 


Additional Resources*

Simply Jesus by NT Wright

Surprised by Hope by NT Wright


Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, November 24: Join us for the last week of our series GOD PT. 1, where we will be looking at the second half of “The God Who Dwells.”
* Please see for details.

Message Slides 11.10.2019

GOD, PART 1 | Wk 9: “The God Who Relents”

Mike Overstreet | 11.10.2019

Message recordings available at:






Exodus 32:1-6 (NIV)

When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”

Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.



Statements About the Golden Calf:

“Make us a God who will go before us…” —> a new god to guide them in the wilderness.

“These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt” vs. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt.” 



Exodus 32:11-14 (NIV)

But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’” Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.



Exodus 33:12-17 (NIV)

Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”

The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”



Lessons from the God Who Relents:

  1. God’s character & how He wants to be known is defined by His faithful & eternal commitment to forgiveness, grace, & mercy.
  2. God seeks to heal our world by breaking the cycle of vengeance, revenge, & retaliation by rejecting them entirely

God goes about healing our world through us – a transformed people who choose to relent by being dedicated fully to living out His new cycle of forgiveness, grace, & mercy.




11.10.2019 | GOD, PART 1 | Wk 9: “The God Who Relents”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.


Breaking Ground

Share about a time when you got really mad over something that, later on, you realized wasn’t that important to you (try to think of a funny example!). 


The Dig

Read Exodus 32:1-6.

Reflect on some of the key elements of Israel’s request in this story. 

First, reflect on why they want Aaron to make them an idol. 

Why do you think the Israelites decide that they need to ask Aaron to make them these idols or new gods after all that God has done for them in the Exodus Story so far? 

How do you respond to the idea that they turn to this after just 40 days of being away from Moses? 

Do you find it hard to follow God when you can’t see Him physically or directly in a situation? 

How do you respond when you feel like God has been absent for too long? What do you turn to for comfort? 

Second, reflect on the fact that the Israelites take God’s own statement (“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt…”) & apply it to this concrete, physical representation of a god in front of them

Why do you think they try to transfer this statement about God to this new idol? 

What does this say about how the Israelites view what God is doing for them now & what He has done for them in the past? 

Share about a time when God helped you & then, over time, you began to apply credit for what happened to something or someone else (or yourself). Why do you think it is so easy to do that? 

Read Exodus 33:12-17.

How do you respond to the idea that God relents or turns away from judgment when it comes to dealing with people? Does this match the image of God you’ve held in your life? 

How about the fact that God actually goes further & promises to be present with His People despite of what they’ve done? 

What does it mean to you that God chooses to be defined by grace, forgiveness, & mercy

How do you think that should impact us, as Christians, when it comes to how we handle wrongs & hurts? 

Where in your life right now do you need to lean into mercy over judgment? 


Getting Out of the Hole

Take time this week to reflect on where you need to practice relenting (i.e. forgiveness, grace, & mercy). 

Slow down & reflect on anyone that you feel heightened negative emotions towards – someone that just makes you feel anger or resentment quickly. Write down what situation made you feel this way recently & reflect on why

Finally, reflect on what it might mean to release that resentment & forgive. What might it do for your emotional, spiritual, & mental health? How might it help you & that other person? 

Share your findings with your group next week. 


Additional Resources*

The Moral Vision of the New Testament by Richard Hays

The Toughest People to Love by Chuck DeGroat


Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, November 10: Join us for the next week of our series GOD PT. 1, where we will be looking at “The God Who Relents.”
* Please see for details.



11.03.2019 | GOD, PART 1 | Wk 8: “The God Who Covenants”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.


Breaking Ground

Do you have a friendship that has been around for a while? What’s your longest running friendship? 

Was it ever threatened over something that later seemed insignificant? What was it and how did you get through it? 


The Dig

Read Exodus 19:1-5

Begin by discussing the idea of WHEN God decides to give Israel the “Ten Words”, or commandments. 

In your own words, what does it mean that God frees his people BEFORE he gives them instructions for living? 

What about you, specifically? What has God freed you from? What has he done in your life? 

Spend some time in gratitude, sharing stories of what God has done in your life. 

Read Deuteronomy 32:9-11

On Sunday, Sam used the imagery of God coaxing us out in order to care for us. 

What strikes you about this passage? What stands out to you and why? 

In general, why do you think we tend to hide from God? 

How easy (or difficult) is it for you to think of God loving us as absolutely and tenderly, as a parent? Is your image of God one of faithful love, care, and kindness, or is it something else? 

How are some ways that people hide from God? 

What are some of the ways in which YOU hide from God, either in the past or currently? 

What would it take for you to come out of hiding?

What might you be missing out on?  


Getting Out of the Hole

Our belief and understanding of who God is—and who WE are in relation to Him—drives so much of who we are and what we do. This week, get honest with yourself about your beliefs and understanding about God. Is there something there that might need to change? If so, bring that to a trusted friend or spiritual advisor. 

Additional Resources*

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson


Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, November 10: Join us for the next week of our series GOD PT. 1, where we will be looking at “The God Who Relents.”
* Please see for details.