Homelessness 101 Training

The recent Seattle is Dying documentary on KOMO News 4 has been one of the most watched and discussed news segments in recent history. This story has had both local and natural interest regarding the current state and possible solutions to homelessness. While this documentary explores some of the causes of homelessness such as drug addiction and chronic mental health, it did not go deeper into the core issues that lead to addiction and homelessness. At Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, we believe that addiction and homelessness at their core stem from broken relationships; with God, with others, with themselves and with society itself. People often run out of relationships before they run o

Resurrection Sunday

What happened on Easter? Everything. No event in history touches the significance of this day. When I was a kid, my dad would say to my brothers and I on Easter morning, "He is Risen!" We learned the reply, "He is Risen Indeed!" I always appreciated my dad's zeal on Easter morning, and as I now have my own kids I realize that this is truly the crux of the gospel. Scripture tells an incredible story of Balaam in Numbers 22 - 23. This man was a prophet, hired by Balak, a Moabite, to curse Israel after seeing how they conquered the Amorites. Balaam was traveling with them up a mountain to prepare an alter when his donkey saw an angel and ran into a field in fear. As they resumed travel, the ang

Silent Saturday

The day in between the crucifixion and the resurrection. What was it all about? For the disciples it was the culmination of the journey of following Jesus. For each one of them, at some point Jesus said “come follow me” and they had responded, by saying yes and leaving all they had to follow Him. They had become part of this journey, this movement, that at times seemed so beautiful and powerful and wonderful. They were in awe of all that Jesus was doing, the miracles, and the power. They had seen people healed, demons cast out, food multiplied before their eyes, and just a week earlier a dead man raised back to life. This is an incredible movement of God that they had become part of, and it

Good Friday

Fear is a strong motivator in our culture. There are many of us who live our entire lives under the weight of some fear. In reading the biblical accounts surrounding Good Friday, the theme of fear takes a dominant place in many of the stories. The Chief Priests and officials are afraid of the challenge Jesus poses to all that they hold dear. They fear change, loss of power, cultural upheaval and it drives them to plan and implement the murder of Jesus. Pilate’s fear of the people, of Caesar, and of failure forces a compromise in his soul leading to the death of a man he has declared innocent. The centurion and guards are stunned and immobilized by their fear as they watch the death of the on

Maundy Thursday

He said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me." And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. (See Matt. 26:36-56 and Isaiah 53, for full text) He Found Them Sleeping Knowing you are about to suffer is an awful feeling. Sometimes the anticipation can come close to the experience itself. Here in the garden, Jesus is brought to his knees in prayer, burdened by what awaits him tomorrow. Were these dreadful thoughts familiar? How long had he seen this day coming? This, after

Spy Wednesday

Wednesday. The calm before the storm. With the previous three days filled with drama – Jesus’ triumphal entry, the temple cleansing and controversies – now Wednesday comes in darkness and betrayal. The Church has often called Wednesday of Holy Week “Spy Wednesday,” as the dark plot against Jesus moves along, and not just by enemies on the outside, but now with a traitor on the inside. On this day, every key part comes together in the plot for the greatest sin of all history: the murder of the Son of God. “Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them.” (Mark 14:10) At this point in Mark 14, we shift our attention from the chief priests an

Holy Tuesday

Seeing this, the disciples were amazed and asked, "How did the fig tree wither all at once?" And Jesus answered and said to them, "Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will happen. "And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." Matthew 21:20-22 As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. Being reminded, Peter said to Him, "Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered." Mark 11:20-21 Moments like these seem to create bookends in the Bible for me. Adam and Eve sewed fig lea

Holy Monday

All four Gospel writers tell the story of Jesus cleansing the temple, and all four of them do so from a slightly different literary angle. John’s gospel places the temple cleansing at the beginning of Jesus’s ministry, Matthew and Luke place it unbroken from Palm Sunday, while Matthew is unique in mentioning that Jesus healed the blind and the lame. Finally, Mark, as we will soon see, positions the cleansing between the stories of a cursed fig tree. Each Gospel writer provides a unique literary angle, and each do so for the purpose of making a profound theological statement about Christ and who he is. Let’s look together at Mark’s Gospel. In the Gospel of Mark there are two unique observatio

Palm Sunday

Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Ps 24:7 The Roman soldiers were in place and put on a brave face. The Temple guards were posted in preparation for a solid week of Passover festivities in Jerusalem. It was a security nightmare. A bustling city of 50,000 was busting at the seams with up to 400,000 visitors from all around the known world. What was on the mind of the visitors? Celebration and Anticipation. The Jewish crowds from the countryside poured into the Roman occupied city with news of a king, Jesus. The people having been purifying themselves for their holiday celebration of the Exodus and hearing stories about Jesus wh

Lazarus Saturday

"Jesus said to her, ‘I Am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die…” The truth of this statement is evidenced by what happened next. Jesus and His disciples had traveled to Bethany where His friend Lazarus, got sick, died and has been buried in the tomb four days. We know the story; Jesus stands in front of the tomb and after some convicting conversation with Mary and Martha, Lazarus sisters, He gives the command to remove the stone from the entrance to the tomb. Then He shouts in a loud voice the words of life “Lazarus come forth!” And a resurrected Lazarus comes out from the tomb. Talk about

Joe Castleberry - The Advance 2019

Joe is the president of Northwest University in Kirkland. He was our second keynote speaker from the Advance this year, watch his talk on Making Disciples below!

Scott Dudley - The Advance 2019

Scott Dudley was our first keynote speaker from this years Advance. Scott is the senior pastor at Bellevue Presbyterian Church. Watch the video below to hear his talk on prayer and "seeking first the Kingdom."

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