vibrant

(adj. pulsating with life)

Our name says it all! Jesus said He came to give us life, and that the life we have would be abundant. We believe this abundant life means embodying the qualities of Godís Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self control. Weíre not perfect, but God is working in us to bring these traits to LIFE!

diverse

(adj. celebrating difference and variety)

In the Bible, God says that one day people from every language, tribe, and nation will worship Him. At Abundant Life, we try to embody that truth today. We celebrate our diversity in age, gender, ethnicity, culture, and belief as we come together to worship our creative God.

church

(n. a body of Christian believers)

At Abundant Life, we have a building, but the building is not our church. Our church consists of the people who gather together to worship God together. It doesnít matter where we meet (in fact, we have celebrated worship several times in parks and community centres)! Whatís important is who is there.

community

(n. a group of people working toward a common goal)

Relationships are important at Abundant Life Church. We celebrate our community by meeting together on Sundays, in one anotherís homes for care groups on a weekly basis, at the building for prayer meetings, and in coffee shops and restaurants to strengthen our friendships. God loves it when people spend time together for His common purpose!

growing

(v. to develop and mature;
to increase)

At Abundant Life, we like to think of growth in an organic sense, like a plant. For a plant to be well established, it needs deep roots. at the same time, it grows up and outward. We want to grow deep roots, being faithful to the teaching of Jesus Christ, and we want to grow outward, to meet, interact, and better our community, that everyone we meet would experience the love that weíve experienced!

love

(n., v. a passionate affection; to have concern for the well-being of others)

At Abundant Life, we love to love. We learn in the Bible that everything was created because of Godís great love, and we now have the ability to share that love, because we received it. itís our desire that everyone in our community (and indeed, the world) would experience what it means to be loved by their creator, and to experience that love through his creation, the church.

Jesus Christ

(n. a first-century Jew from Israel; the Son of God)

Jesus is the reason we are together, the reason we do what we do, and the reason we are who we are. He is the head of the church and cares for the church and for all of humanity. in fact, he loves humanity so much that he died for us, and was raised back to life. We worship Jesus as fully God, who came to earth as a human man and who lives and reigns over everything forever.

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Message Archive

DateSeries / TitleSpeaker 
2015-12-27The Jesus Way: Lesson 49 - Compassion the Jesus Way
Matthew 9:18-26

It´s amazing how often those who follow Jesus forget the kind of Lord we follow. This Jesus is the Compassionate one, and we as his followers cast stones instead. What does the Jesus way look like when we don´t like the other?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-12-20Advent: Jesus came to rule
Luke 2:11

There are numerous places in the Scriptures where Jesus is called " Lord." But we live in a world of freedom and autonomy. How are we, born and bred into this story, supposed to submit to a two-thousand-year-old Jewish Rabbi who claims to be Lord of the universe?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-12-13Advent: Jesus: Revealing the Father
John 1:14-18

In the midst of a world falling apart, the church continues to cry out that God would reveal himself. We tend to forget that God already did! In Jesus, we see the true nature of God revealed. In the body of Christ, us, we see who God is.

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-12-06Advent: Adopted (Sons and Daughters)
John 1:10-13

What gives you meaning? Purpose? When you look at your life, what has it all meant? And how do you know if you´ve done well? This Advent, we are invited to wait for the status we receive in the God who came down: we are sons and daughters of the King!

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-11-29Advent: Jesus Came to Save
Matthew 1:21

We´ve all heard that Jesus came to save us from our sins. And most of us accept that. But why did Jesus have to come to save us from our sins? And did he come to save us from anything else?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-11-22The Jesus Way: Lesson 48 - Joy and the Jesus Way
Matthew 9:14-17

Why does it seem that all of our religious observances seem to require us to be serious and reflective? What was it about the presence of Jesus that subverted even the most basic of religious presuppositions?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-11-15The Jesus Way: Lesson 47 - Sinners and Saints
Matthew 9:9-13

When Jesus calls Matthew, society is astonished! People are flabbergasted that Jesus would choose to associate with someone so universally detested. Yet in the manner and reply of Jesus, we find out that the mission of God is more important than our preconceptions!

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-11-08The Jesus Way: Lesson 46 - Since Jesus has authority on Earth to heal, He has authority to forgive
Matthew 9:1-8

Jesus has authority over nature, over demons, over sickness, and over sin. As Lord and Saviour, His authority is at one with God´s authority. What then are the lessons for discipleship?

Pastor Roger HellandPlay
2015-11-01The Jesus Way: Lesson 45 - Demons, Empire, and the Evils of Halloween
Matthew 8:28-34

Christians have often held that Halloween is evil. But what makes it evil is perhaps different than traditionally held.

Greg FrenchPlay
2015-10-25The Jesus Way: Lesson 44 - Calming the Storm
Matthew 8:23-27

In the middle of a storm, Jesus is sleeping in the bottom of the boat. How could the disciples be expected to be courageous? The storm was present, and Jesus seemed not to be. Yet he chides them for their lack of faith! What does real faith mean in the face of the storm?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-10-18The Jesus Way: Lesson 43 - I´d love to follow, but...
Matthew 8:18-22

The excuses we can come up with are amazing, aren´t they? We seem able to conjure all sorts of meetings, responsibilities, and rationale for refusing to jump in with both feet when it comes to discipleship. Is it true that Jesus really asks ALL from us? Perhaps we´re misinterpreting. Could it be, rather, that we just don´t understand how much is at stake?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-10-11The Jesus Way: Lesson 42 - Everyone?
Matthew 8:1-17

According to the scriptural record, Jesus did a lot of healings. He didn´t heal everyone, but he healed a lot. What is so special then about these three, the Leper, the Centurion, and the Mother-in-Law, that we hear about them specifically? Could it be that they´re linked in some way?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-10-04The Jesus Way: Lesson 41 - A Life of Jesus´ Teaching
Matthew 7:24-29

The Sermon on the Mount is a serious piece of literature, a heady and demanding sermon from our Lord. Yet instead of being lenient, Jesus insists that we follow all of his commands. We need, he says, to hear what he says, and act like them, and in so doing, we will live the life he has designed for us. But how?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-09-27The Jesus Way: Lesson 40 - In or Out?
Matthew 7:21-23

The words of Jesus seem dangerous and difficult. Have we been making entrance to the kingdom too difficult or too easy? Much of our language would have people believe that life as a citizen of the kingdom is relatively painless, yet Christ calls us to life that seems costly. What are we to do?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-09-20The Jesus Way: Lesson 39 - Prophets and Fruit
Matthew 7:15-20

We don´t really think about many people being prophets these days, but if we stop to look and listen, we´ll see thousands who claim to be speaking on God´s behalf. Some of us even do the same! Jesus calls us to be discerning, but how can we be discerning when it´s almost impossible for us to even recognize the difference between good and bad fruit these days?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-09-13The Jesus Way: Lesson 38 - Two Roads, Two Gates, and the Jesus Way
Matthew 7:13-14

One of the most unpopular claims of Christianity is the exclusivity of the way of Jesus. The idea that there is only one way to live which will truly lead to life is one that flies in the face of most claims of civilized societies. Yet here in the text we encounter an exclusive Jesus. What are we to do with Jesus´ claims, and how are we to make them relevant to the world around us when they seem so condemnatory?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-09-06Servantship
1 Timothy 4:4-7

What will a good servant of Jesus do in these later times which contain demonic teachings and silly myths? Point these things out, and train yourself for godliness.

Pastor Roger HellandPlay
2015-08-30The Jesus Way: Lesson 37 - The Golden Rule
Matthew 7:12

The so-called Golden Rule is nearly universally known. Why then does Jesus feel the need to reiterate something that everyone seems to know? Could it be that there´s some emphasis, some difference, that makes this saying something more than a nice platitude in the mouth of Jesus?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-08-23The Jesus Way: Lesson 36 - Our Generous God
Matthew 7:7-11

Jesus seems to audaciously claim in this passage that God is good enough to give us what we ask for! Why then does it seem that whenever we ask for things, we´re let down? Is Jesus wrong about the Father, or have we missed the point entirely?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-08-16The Jesus Way: Lesson 35 - God´s Grace and Our Judgment
Matthew 7:1-6

Logs, slivers, pearls, and swine. Jesus certainly has an earthy way of describing life in the kingdom. Judgment is not allowed to be abstract in the teaching of Jesus. Instead, he challenges the church of today to see the true harm we do in judging, and the joy of stepping into Christ´s economy of judging and blessing!

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-08-09The Jesus Way: Lesson 34 - What me, worry?
Matthew 6:25-34

Don´t worry? Jesus might as well tell us not to breathe. It seems that Jesus doesn´t have much compassion for our mortgage payments, car payments, grocery, electric, gas, and water bills! Has he seen our property taxes? How are we supposed to follow such a radical teaching?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-07-26The Jesus Way: Lesson 33 - Jesus at the Centre
Matthew 6:22-24Jesus loves to use common language, and it´s sometimes difficult to cut through the millennia of cultural baggage and interpretation. What does Jesus mean by all this talk of light and eyes, about serving two masters? And how can we possibly apply these things in our 21st century context?
Pastor Mike SwalmRecording Issue
2015-07-19The Jesus Way: Lesson 32 - Kingdom Treasure
Matthew 6:19-21There´s something very satisfying about treasure. You can hold it. You can spend it. You can hoard it if you like. But when Jesus talks about heavenly treasure, he talks about things that are not holdable, spendable, or hoardable. What then are we to do, building up treasure in heaven?
Pastor Mike SwalmRecording Issue
2015-07-12The Jesus Way: Lesson 31 - Fasting
Matthew 6:16-18

Jesus clearly tells his disciples that they will be fasting, but that they need to fast a certain way. What do Jesus´ words mean for a culture in which fasting has become an archaic practice? What does it mean to fast, and why does Jesus just assume that we will be fasting? What could this look like for us?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-07-05The Jesus Way: Lesson 30 - The Lord´s Prayer
Matthew 6:9-13

In our day and age it´s easy to completely lose touch with the meaningfulness of the Lord´s prayer. Phrases like, "hallowed be thy name" and "forgive us our trespasses" come rolling off the tongue without a thought. Instead of blindly reciting the words as if they themselves have power, this Sunday we´ll look at the prayer and explore what it means to pray this way and more importantly what it means to live this prayer as children of our Father who is in heaven.

Pastor Nikayla ReizePlay
2015-06-28The Jesus Way: Lesson 29 - Prayer
Matthew 6:5-8

It´s sometimes easy to forget that when we pray, it´s not for us, and it´s not for anyone else. It´s supposed to be talking to our Heavenly Father, but often we pray to make ourselves sound important or smart or spiritual. What would happen if we scaled back the rhetoric and allowed ourselves to just speak to our Father, and be spoken to in return?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-06-21The Jesus Way: Lesson 28 - Why we do what we do
Matthew 6:1-4

Our church is full of people who love to serve, who love to give their all for Jesus. Yet it´s so easy to forget why we do what we do, and to fall into the trap of looking for human affirmation in order to continue serving. How do we learn to do what we do solely for God´s glory?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-06-14The Jesus Way: Lesson 27 - Your Enemies, Your Friends, and the Jesus Way
Matthew 5:43-48

Few of us have truly faced persecution for our faith in North America, but it doesn´t take us long to identify our enemies. The way we treat our enemies is supposed to be different, according to Jesus, from the way other people treat their enemies. How can we have appropriated this teaching so poorly?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-06-07The Jesus Way: Lesson 26 - Retaliation
Matthew 5:38-42

Everyone knows the sayings: Turn the other cheek, Go the extra mile. But doesn´t doing these things just turn us into door mats? Would Jesus have his followers helpless and hopeless, subject to the whims of hostile forces? Or is he perhaps calling us to a radical new way of showing the world what it means to truly follow?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-05-31Sabbath
Isaiah 1:10-17, Isaiah 58, Deuteronomy 5:12-15, Matt. 12:1-14

Is Sabbath just about taking a day off? That would be rest from activity, and a type of rest only available to a small percentage of the world. Is it a rest from the secular? A time to enter God´s holy rest? What about the part of commandment that says the slaves, children, and foreigners must be given rest? Perhaps it´s a rest from oppression. Today we will explore some key Sabbath texts to see what it´s all about.

Pastor Nikayla ReizePlay
2015-05-24The Jesus Way: Lesson 25 - Truth
Matthew 5:33-37

For years, Christians have taken this passage to largely pertain to swearing oaths in court. While that may be partially applicable, what do Jesus´ words have to do with the larger aspect of Christian life? Is it possible that what Jesus commands could have implications for every area of life?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-05-17The Jesus Way: Lesson 24 - One in Christ
Matthew 5:31-32

The rate of divorce in our society seems to have plateaued, though it still remains alarmingly high. When Jesus addresses divorce, he does so not as we do, seeking for exceptions and loopholes, but instead addressing the true heart behind the desire for divorce. Jesus speaks less of loopholes and more of the pain that can drive us apart, and amazingly, he offers us hope in the midst of that pain!

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-05-10The Jesus Way: Lesson 23 - True Love
Matthew 5:27-30

In this passage, Jesus continues to take well-known laws and dig to the heart of the matter. Instead of simply reiterating the teaching on divorce, Jesus takes things to the next level, encouraging some serious surgery to avoid sin! When was the last time we took sin this seriously? Or grace?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-05-03The Jesus Way: Lesson 22 - Anger and Peace
Matthew 5:21-26

Jesus makes seemingly impossible demands on disciples, or so it would seem. But what if, looking deeper, we discover that instead of impossible demands, Jesus is inviting us into a new way of life where anger doesn´t rule and killing isn´t the norm? What if we´re being invited into joy?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-04-19The Jesus Way: Lesson 21 - Fulfillment
Matthew 5:17-20

Isn´t it strange that Jesus can say that he didn´t come to undermine the Law and Prophets and then seem to do exactly that? What are we as Christians supposed to do with the Old Testament in the age of Jesus? Are we supposed to just chuck it out, as many are in the habit of doing, or are we supposed to follow the law to the letter? And where does Jesus fit in?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-04-12The Jesus Way: Lesson 20 - Salt and Light
Matthew 5:10-12

We´ve all asked whether one person can truly make a difference. And it´s a legitimate question. After all, when Jesus said that we were the salt of the earth and the light of the world, he was talking with the disciples, who would end up changing the world with their message. Was Jesus really including us in that glorious scheme, or are we simply bystanders who get to witness the world changing without really having any part of it?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-04-05The Jesus Way: Lesson 19 - The Reward
Matthew 5:10-12

He is Risen! We who are left look forward to our resurrection, but this morning, let´s think about what the cost of the resurrection was, and how we can learn to live in the resurrection life that Jesus offers, a life that may be difficult, but that contains GREAT reward!

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-03-29The Jesus Way: Lesson 18 - Prince of Peace
Matthew 5:9

The crowds worshiped Jesus as he rode to them. They shouted praise. They waved palm branches and called Jesus "the Blessed." They knew he was ushering in some new thing, but they had no idea what that new thing truly was. Two thousand years later, do we have any better idea of what Jesus was truly bringing? Do we understand what it means to follow this "Prince of Peace?"

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-03-22The Jesus Way: Lesson 17 - Purity
Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart? Are any of us really pure in heart? Isn´t Jesus setting us up for failure by talking about purity of heart? How can anyone truly claim to be pure? Or could it be true that Jesus has a deeper call to us? Perhaps this idea of purity we have is a little too me-focused, and perhaps God has a bit more to say!

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-03-15The Jesus Way: Lesson 16 - Mercy
Matthew 5:7

We live in a world that is not typically very merciful. From school-yard bullying to corporate discrimination and social media shaming, we are an awfully judgmental lot. Christians can sometimes be the chief offenders of the judgment game. How are we, in the face of this kind of world, to lead lives dedicated to mercy? What will happen to us? Will we become doormats, or worse, lose the distinctive beliefs that make us who we are? Or, is it possible that we will start to look a lot more like this Jesus we claim to follow?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-03-08The Jesus Way: Lesson 15 - Righteousness
Matthew 5:6

Ever been really hungry? How about thirsty? Ever noticed how true hunger and thirst give you single-minded focus? Why does this have trouble translating into the hunger and thirst for righteousness? What would it look like if we were single-mindedly focused on the pursuit of righteousness?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-02-22Citizens of an Upside-Down Kingdom: BE STILL
Luke 20:26, Zechariah 2:13, Psalm 46:10, Mark 4:35-41

One thing we have no shortage of these days is noise. From the TV to the iPad to the constant ads on the radio - silence is truly a rare and precious commodity. The psalms tell us to "be still", Jesus constantly retreats to pray and yet we often strain to fill the silence and busy ourselves with menial tasks. Perhaps as we head towards Easter we could set out to meet with God in the silence. Adding "seek God" to our to-do list just doesn´t work - we can´t upload God´s voice. Everything in our culture is fast and readily available so instead of being disappointed when we can´t reach God with speed dial, let´s slow down, be still, and seek to listen more.

Pastor Nikayla ReizePlay
2015-02-15Citizens of an Upside-Down Kingdom: OUR Father
John 17, Ephesians 4:1-6, Mattew 5:5-14

What does it mean to be made in the image of God? Looking at Jesus´ prayer in John 17 we will look at Christian unity as an expression of God´s image. When Jesus taught us to pray he began with a very powerful word: "our". Let´s explore the importance of being more community focused in our faith.

Pastor Nikayla ReizePlay
2015-02-08Citizens of an Upside-Down Kingdom: Calling all Dreamers!
Eph. 4:26, Mark 3, James 1:19-20, John 2:15

Have you ever been frustrated at or hurt by your church? What did you do about that? Today we will talk about how God can use righteous anger. Instead of quietly leaving to find a better church, perhaps it´s time to allow our frustrations to motivate us to be the change we want to see. It is after-all, hot OR cold water that Jesus prefers over lukewarm. It´s time we stop seeing lukewarm passivity as a spiritual virtue and begin to allow the spirit to fill us with holy indignation towards that which grieves God´s heart.

Pastor Nikayla ReizePlay
2015-02-01Citizens of an Upside-Down Kingdom: Am I Ready Yet?
Ephesians 4

This month we are going to address four misconceptions about church. Firstly, we will look at what keeps us from being active in our faith - the fear that we have nothing valuable to offer, no "church" skills, or worse, no "call". Let us not get stuck waiting for a "sign" or waiting to be made "good enough" to be used by God. We are, after all, citizens of an Upside Down Kingdom. What the world perceives as lowly and unimportant, God uses for His great purpose.

Pastor Nikayla ReizePlay
2015-01-25The Jesus Way: Lesson 14 - Blessed are the Meek
Matthew 5:5

The Meek? How is it that the meek will inherit anything? With that attitude, shouldn´t we expect them to be at the end of the line, giving their spots to those of us with the will to achieve? Yet Jesus seems to have something different in mind...

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-01-18The Jesus Way: Lesson 13 - The Way it Is
Matthew 5:4

Dissatisfaction drives much of what it means to be a 21st Century North American. We´re never happy with what we have, where we are, or who we are. But what if we change our perspective? What if dissatisfaction is actually a virtue when it is properly understood?

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-01-11The Jesus Way: Lesson 12 - the Poor in Spirit
Matthew 5:1-3

As we begin to study the Sermon on the Mount, it´s important to remember that this Sermon is intended to be shorthand for life in the Kingdom. Jesus is not giving us impossible commands but a concise statement on the nature of his kingship. And he starts with the poor. It may be wise for us to do the same.

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay
2015-01-04The Jesus Way: Lesson 11 - Following the Jesus Way
Matthew 4:18-25

It´s easy to look at passages like Matthew 4 and think that Jesus is fine with different levels of "followership" - from the nominal follower to the extreme disciple. But nothing about this passage indicates Jesus´ pleasure with the state of things. Rather, we are charged to identify ourselves in this story and ask which followers we are called to be.

Pastor Mike SwalmPlay