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This week we ask the question, “Why would God forgive us?” God wants to restore us and all of creation, and His forgiveness is the bridge to that unity.

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This week Bob and Bev ask the question, "What is humanity that God would love us?" Bob explains how God wanted to create a being that would choose to love Him back, and yet the nature of love is that it is totally free. God loves humanity unconditionally and God desires us to receive and return His love. 

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Bob Arnold is joined by friend and Meadow teacher Bev Gorman as they discuss some of the big questions this holiday season. "Where does God come from?" is one of the greatest theological questions of all time. Ultimately God is beyond our concept of space and time - He is without beginning and without end. We invite you to join us this Christmas season, to let your notion of God expand, and to hold together that while God took on the form of a human being in Jesus, God is also eternal and has existed forever. 

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Bob concludes our series on the Great Sadness by speaking truth to one of the major contemporary cultural heresies called  "Prosperity Theology."  At it's essence Prosperity Theology promises health, wealth, and wisdom - the idea that you'll have everything you need as you journey towards upward mobility. But the prosperity that the Gospel offers is not financial but spiritual, and often this comes through great suffering. Nowhere in the Gospel does Jesus guarantee financial prosperity. People's notion of God tends to fall apart when they encounter great pain and suffering, due to our distorted notion from the prosperity gospel. Bob illuminates how following Christ is more often a path of descent than ascent, and reminds us that Jesus himself was willing to go there. Will you join him?

 

 

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This week we're joined by our good friend Amanda Ferree (previously Amanda Martin). Amanda's life took an unexpected turn a few years ago when she discovered that her second son Miles had cystic fibrosis. Amanda opens up about how it has affected her faith, marriage, day-to-day life, and more. Amanda's committed involvement to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and her courageous spirit to give Mile's a normal life show how the great sadness can transform us into greater depths and deeper love.

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This week we're joined by Sister Robin Stratton, a dear friend and spiritual guide to many of us in the Meadow community. When Sister Robin was 45 she learned her brother had a very intense form of cancer. She flew to New Mexico and spent his final months with him, physically caring for him and lovingly embracing his end-of-life together. Sister Robin talks of the moments proceeding his passing, "The veil was so thin...part of me had gone with him into the Kingdom of God. And I knew there would never be a moment we would be seperated again." 

 

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“My ears had heard of you but now I see you with my eyes” - Job. Scott’s concluding week on the Porch takes us on a journey of his time with the Northumbria Community in England. Scott experienced a healing workshop on grief that opened up new doors for his processing the loss of Peggy. Scott’s story is multifaceted and reminds us that the Great Sadness impacts every aspect of our life: our identity, our job, our family relationships, etc. Scott talks about the hardship and importance of letting go and releasing, reminding us that at some point, one can being to move from mourning to dancing.

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This week Scott shares about Peggy's passing, and how the grief intensified the following two years after her death. Scott recently took an unexpected pilgrimage along Saint Cuthbert's Way through the Scottish and English country side. He ended up in Northumbria, a Christian community whose Celtic Daily Prayer Scott had been using for some time. Christ has been transforming this season of loss as Scott embraces that through his great pain he is coming to a place of greater intimacy with God.

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Bob's longtime friend Scott Buresh joins us to share about his wife's journey with cancer. Scott and Peggy were married for nearly 30 years when they discovered she had glioblastoma. Their remaining ten months together were incredibly difficulty, but Peggy's spirit was strong and joyful. This is part 1 of 3.

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Bob shares about how he coped with the pain of losing his beloved daughter Marcie. Bob reminds us that when we are going through great tragedy and sadness to remember 3 main things: God is with you (He is your Father), learn to live in the present moment, and learn to enter into the sadness. Teresa of Avila once said that "all suffering is God's suffering," and that we can find hope in a God who has taken on the likeness of a human and compassionately suffered alongside mankind. 

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