THE SECOND MILE:  Let Trust Take You To a Whole New Level

Two thousand years ago, God himself showed up here as a man. In one of His first messages, given on a mountain in northern Israel, he laid out a blueprint – a plan for how things were supposed to be in our relational world. It’s the only thing that ends wars; it’s the only thing that makes marriages liveable; it’s the only thing that makes a work environment bearable – and it’s the healthiest way to live – physically, relationally, spiritually and emotionally. That message was a blueprint, an outline – a plea for peace. Peace within, peace with others, and peace with God. We now call it the Sermon on the Mount – which doesn’t describe the intensity and breathtaking beauty of what Jesus calls us to. The larger picture is captured by the Hebrew word, Shalom – or the Aramaic equivalent – Salam.
People who dragged themselves into the first years of the 21st century with the horror of 9-11, global warming and mass shootings read this and say, You’ve GOT to be kidding! So people have done all kinds of things with this teaching – from trying to legislate it – to dismissing it to a future time. I believe it is simply the life that the Spirit of God is pushing, pulling, urging and pleading toward. It’s not really about performance – or attainment; it’s the life that people who are filled with the Spirit of Jesus will be drawn toward. It’s the life that Jesus, alone, lived out perfectly. Though it seems to make no sense – it makes perfect sense! And anyone who wants the shalom of God – who longs for true peace has to pay attention. In fact, Jesus said that to not use this truth as a foundation will result in the collapse of everything we build – no matter how impressive it is.

Sunday September 29. 2019
2 Services @ 9:30 + 11:15 AM
Speaker: Ken Davis
WE KNOW… THEY DIDN’T
Thousands of curious people crowded onto a primitive hillside 2000 years ago to hear the message of someone who was clearly a prophet – and had the power of God on His life. Before He spoke, they watched as He healed people who were blind, lame, bent over with arthritis, deaf, demon-possessed and disfigured by leprosy. They saw stuff they’d never seen in their lives. What would He say? They didn’t know who He was – or even why He’d come their way. Some suspected that He could be the Anointed King the Jewish Scriptures foretold – but time would tell.
We now know who He was! 2000 years after His coming – and 2000 years of His influence, it’s hard for us to distinguish how drastically He changed everything. Those who follow Him in 2019 now know that He was the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed King – and that He was the Son of God – and God the Son. We know that even though humankind did their worst by Him – nailing Him to a cross and humiliating Him publicly, He rose from the dead and gave His best for us. We know that! So…why is it that we shy away from His teachings – and make excuses for not following them?

Sunday October 6. 2019
2 Services @ 9:30 + 11:15 AM
Speaker: Ken Davis
THE WAY THINGS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE
The word that best describes what God wants for this planet, for our relationship with Him, with each other, and with ourselves – is shalom.  Shalom is what happens when we love God with all we are – and love others as we love ourselves. It goes deeper than just peace and brings us to a place of wholeness, of happiness – of relational intelligence – and into the way things are SUPPOSED to be the way things were CREATED to be. And when people begin to live that way, the peace, the shalom, the wholeness spreads to the places and people around them. The problem is – we have lived so long in a kingdom of darkness, shame, anxiety, selfishness and fear – that it’s all we know. And we live in a world system that tries to fix the problem with more money, more stuff, more pride and more selfishness. Our Vision for The Olive Branch is to be people who represent the Olive Branch God extends to us because of Jesus—who then extend that same Olive Branch to others, offering reconciliation, hope, love, and practical help in the messiness of daily life.

*We want this message of reconciliation to pass from our hearts to others

*We want this message of grace and hope to reach a new generation so that it can get passed on to the world that is now growing up

*We want the places where this message is given to be multiplied so it will reach everyone

*We want this message of grace, truth, hope and reconciliation to be passed out in practical ways that make sense of the goodness, generosity and love of Jesus, the One we love and serve

*We want this message to reveal itself in the One Anothers so we are all drawn into the kind of loving community where no one stands alone

*We want this amazing message to pass through all the relational and ethnic corridors and multiply peace to every ethnic group represented in Markham

*We want everyone to learn the kind of trust that will take them to a whole new level in how they live out this shalom, this love – making them Good News wherever they are.

Sunday October 13. 2019
2 Services @ 9:30 + 11:15 AM
Speaker: Ken Davis
DO YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY?
It would be safe to say most of the people in our world are engaged in a lifelong quest for happiness. For some, happiness is seen simply as survival – because that’s what life has boiled down to. But for those of us in the west, happiness would be right up there as one of the major things we’re looking for. Sometimes happiness is seen as simply removing the things that are currently making us unhappy. Sometimes happiness is seen as achieving the next big item on our “list” of things we need to do before we die (i.e., the bucket list). The problem is the elusiveness of happiness – and everyone selling a service or a thing that promises happiness. What we sometimes don’t realize is that those who are telling us that their stuff, their thing, their service will make us happy – have a conflict of interests. If we bite – they make money!
It sometimes comes as a surprise to people in the Jesus tradition – that God hardwired us for happiness. That He wants us to be happy! That’s what’s so surprising about Jesus opening to this message; it’s about happiness or blessedness – but the how doesn’t seem to fit with the what. The source of happiness is not stuff or position or pleasure. To boil it down, it’s shalom. Peace. And for our purposes today, there are two things we need to pursue to find it; gratitude – and the natural expression of gratitude; generosity.

Sunday October 20. 2019
2 Services @ 9:30 + 11:15 AM
Speaker: Ken Davis
HAPPINESS IS SOMETHING YOU PLANT!
(So is Regret…)
One of the strangest things in the world is people who spend their lives investing in chaos, and expect peace; or people who spend their lives contaminating things, and expect purity; or people who spend their lives sabotaging their health – and expect to be healthy at the age of 50.  Happiness – like purity, like peace, like health doesn’t just spring up from the ground or pop out of a closet one day and surprise people. You have to invest in it. Jesus tells us how.

Sunday October 27. 2019
2 Services @ 9:30 + 11:15 AM
Speaker: Ken Davis
THE SECOND MILE BLESSING
(Part 1)
So, think about it. If an expert on happiness, the good life, how to have an excellent future were to give a talk, what would he or she say? Most of the people in North America, I’m guessing, think it would have something to do with prosperity, health, peace of mind, relational intelligence – and staying away from short-cuts that lead to regret. And that all makes sense. What we don’t suspect is what Jesus says – and what…and who He blesses: the poor in spirit, the people who mourn, the people who long to be good, fair people – who are shy about asserting themselves. The question we have is – how does this fit with what REALLY goes on in our world?

Sunday November 6. 2019
2 Services @ 9:30 + 11:15 AM
Speaker: Ken Davis
THE SECOND MILE BLESSING
(Part 2)
The second part of Jesus’ list gets us right down in the nitty gritty of moving this world toward a better place. It’s easy to want to just move into protective mode so we can live a happy, safe life and enjoy what we’ve worked so hard to achieve with our lives. Based on what Jesus says, that’s first mile living – not second mile living. That’s copying what everyone else in our world does. In some ways, it’s a self-centered life – a life that’s about ME and MINE? Is that even possible? According to Jesus’ clear teaching – it may be doable, but it doesn’t lead to the safety and happiness it promises.

Sunday November 6. 2019
2 Services
@ 9:30 + 11:15 AM
Speaker: Ken Davis
YOUR GREATEST GIFT TO THE WORLD
It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? That God wants all of creation to be happy.  Not in the up and down, based on circumstances – how much money I made, how many upgrades and experiences I had stuff – but based on the inner deep stream that flows beneath the surface of every person. What’s even more shocking is God’s plan to use us, His people, as part of his plan to draw in, redeem, and bless all of creation. And all we need to do is be who we are salt –  people who quietly and silently and secretly flavor and preserve – and light – people who give credibility and clarity to the message of Jesus by the way they respect God by how they give clarity to His goodness and love – by the kindness they show.

Sunday November 17. 2019
2 Services
@ 9:30 + 11:15 AM
TOB Youth Pastor > Blair Malfara

 

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