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Special Guest: Justin Lee | Talking Across The Divide

Episode description

Justin Lee shares on his new book, Talking Across The Divide.

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Special Message | Break Every Chain

June 23rd, 2019


The recent news of the U.S.'s treatment of migrant children on our southern border cannot be ignored. In this special message, we hear consider the scriptures that speak of God's clear admonition against those who …

Deuteronomy | Rigors and Riches

June 16th, 2019


Through the wilderness, we were dependent on God. But what happens when riches come? Will we forget?

Deuteronomy | Sh'ma Or Die

June 9th, 2019


The most central command, to hear, listen, and obey, is ultimately about one thing, life. And life, in its fullest.

Deuteronomy | Measure For Measure

June 2nd, 2019


Many believe in Karma, the idea that we get what we deserve. A similar concept is found in Deuteronomy called "measure for measure," but with a completely different way of measuring.

Deuteronomy | We Saw No Form

May 26th, 2019


In this message consider idols, things we can see, and a God of the Israelites that gave no form.

Trey Pearson | A Conversation

May 19th, 2019


After years of being in Christian music, and married with children, Trey came out publicly as gay. This song, "Hey Jesus," and conversation follows …

Deuteronomy | Love Does

May 19th, 2019


Chapter 4 includes two verses that are about love, bringing, and inheritance, language that grounds the commandments, not in duty, but in relationship. The force of Deuteronomy's "laws," emerges from the fact that we …

Deuteronomy | Look Back

May 12th, 2019


The first three chapters of Deuteronomy tell a brief and critical history that is critically important for how the Israelites are to move forward into uncertainty, and in creating justice in this world. As we chart a …

Deuteronomy | You Have Stayed Long Enough

May 5th, 2019


Deuteronomy is about storytelling. And storytelling is about moving the story forward. In this talk, we discover that it's time to pass the story along, as the lessons of the past are crucial and critical for the future …

Deuteronomy | Introduction, These Things

April 28th, 2019


In this introduction to Deuteronomy, Pastor Kevin proposes a fundamental shift in perspective and understanding of the "laws" that are written down in the book of Deuteronomy. Rather than merely "divine legislation," …

Easter | New Creation

April 21st, 2019


This day we celebrate and commemorate the most significant event in history. The meaning of this event, however, is far more cosmic and epic than we often realize. To understand that, we've got to go back to, "In the …

Palm Sunday | Hosanna!

April 14th, 2019


The commemoration of Palm Sunday was perhaps a bit of street theatre, reaching back to Israel's history, illuminating the profound symbolism of …

1 John | This Is The Message

April 7th, 2019


In this closing message, Pastors Danielle & Kevin converse about the series, and the various aspects and themes of the previous weeks. In summary, this is the message of 1 John, and why we spent time in this book.

1 John | You Already Know

March 31st, 2019


It's been said that we need to be reminded more than we need to be told. In this message, Pastor Marcus shares and encourages us with that reminder …

Spark.Cast | Conversational Interview with Justin Lee

March 29th, 2019


On March 10, 2019, Spark Church in partnership with four other organizations, hosted a public conversation between Justin Lee and Preston Sprinkle on …

Spark.Cast | Conversational Interview with Preston Sprinkle

March 29th, 2019


On March 10, 2019, Spark Church in partnership with four other organizations, hosted a public conversation between Justin Lee and Preston Sprinkle on …

1 John | Love Drives Out Fear

March 24th, 2019


One of the most pernicious of all human experiences is fear. It is debilitating and terrifying. In this message, we discover how God's perfect love drives fear out.

1 John | True/False Test

March 17th, 2019


False prophets, false teachers, God haters, the antichrist? Who is John so concerned about, and who or what forces of evil in our midst should we be …

Sexuality, Scripture, & the Soul of Christianity | Part 2, Q&R

March 10th, 2019


A public conversation with Justin Lee ( and Preston Sprinkle ( This is part 2, Q&R (question & response).

Sexuality, Scripture, & the Soul of Christianity | Part 1, A Conversation

March 10th, 2019


A public conversation with Justin Lee ( and Preston Sprinkle ( This is part 1, a conversation.

1 John | God Is Love

March 3rd, 2019


What do Christians believe about God? Simple. God is love. Everything else is details.

1 John | Our Hearts

February 24th, 2019


The phrase "when our hearts condemn us" appears in 1 John 3, the sense that we all struggle with self-condemnation, insecurity, and feelings of …

1 John | Love In Action

February 17th, 2019


In this message Pastor Tom provides practical ways to live out the love of God, through awareness, and advocacy.

Austin Channing Brown | 3 of 3: Q&R

February 10th, 2019


PART 3 of 3 | Austin takes questions from the audience on a variety of topics, including church leadership, dating, and raising children who are racially aware.

Austin Channing Brown | 2 of 3: Conversational Lecture

February 10th, 2019


PART 2 of 3 | Austin sits down with three Sparkers to discuss reactions, responses, and further insights into some of the ideas in her book.

Austin Channing Brown | 1 of 3: Why I Wrote "I'm Still Here"

February 10th, 2019


PART 1 of 3 | Austin shares the why behind her book "I'm Still Here."

1 John | In The Light

February 3rd, 2019


In this message, we read a bit more carefully the behavior of Jesus, and take stock of how we ourselves can also walking in that same light.

1 John | Walk As Jesus Walked

January 27th, 2019


Walking is one of the most poignant metaphors for being a disciple of Jesus. In this talk, we unpack the idiom, and are challenged by the images to be more like Jesus.

1 John | The Atoning Sacrifice

January 20th, 2019


The second chapter of 1 John is rich with theological significance, rooted in our story, profound in its message of redemption.

1 John | Koinonia

January 13th, 2019


What does it mean to have a community? What are the ways in which a fellowship can be built and established? No surprise, it has something to do with a common truth, being in light together, and the absence of deceit.

1 John | Sarx

January 6th, 2019


We begin our teaching series on 1 John with the idea that this faith movement is "fleshy."

Numbers | People & Place

December 30th, 2018


Cities of refuge, the ending of our journey through Numbers, summarizes the entire journey of "people" and "place." This is the revolutionary idea, …

Arrival | Light Has Come

December 23rd, 2018


Audio clips from our candlelight service, readings and reflections on light throughout the scriptures.

Arrival | The Way To Find Joy May Be Through Loving Others

December 16th, 2018


The command to love God and love people is much more transformative than mere piety. It radically alters our view of our world, others, and ourselves.

Arrival | Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

December 9th, 2018


The Advent season, a word that means "arriving," is here. How shall we prepare for the coming of Light, and the King?

Numbers | Women Make Vows Q&R

December 2nd, 2018


A follow up Q&R (question & response) time after Pastor Omair's message.

Numbers | Women Make Vows

December 2nd, 2018


Numbers 30, where women make vows is yet another example of "divine accommodation," a strategic way by which God redemptively moves people forward. …

Numbers | So. Many. Sacrifices!

November 25th, 2018


Numbers 28 & 29 is a list of sacrifices at certain times. Far from ancient practice, we too, in the modern world, also sacrifice. Understanding what this is all about actually helps us understand who we are, why we …

Numbers | #StrengthInNumbers

November 18th, 2018


We are at another point in the book of Numbers where there are actually a lot of numbers. Here we discover the power of those numbers in light of slavery, and the responsibility of those numbers in light of succession.

Julie Lythcott-Haims | Q&R

November 11th, 2018


Julie sits down with Pastor Kevin for a conversational interview, Question & Response.

Julie Lythcott-Haims | Raising Adults

November 11th, 2018


Our special guest, Julie Lythcott-Haims gives an impassioned talk on raising Adults.

How Long, O L-RD?

November 4th, 2018


In light of current events, it's appropriate to take time and lament. Another reason our faith is so powerful, for our Bible is full of them.

Numbers | The Red Cow Is Purple

October 28th, 2018


The ceremony of the Red Heifer of Numbers 19 is perplexing and mysterious. Most recognize there's a paradox of clean and unclean switching places. In …

Numbers | No, Smoking

October 21st, 2018


The rebellion of Korach leaves many questions...unanswered. Regardless, we still have a responsibility, to ourselves, to our community, and to our God.

Spark's 6th Sparkiversary Party!

October 14th, 2018


During the teaching time of our Sparkiversary Party, we took some time to simply remember, and honor the work that God has been doing in and through this amazing community. We then invite you to join us in living The …

Numbers | Look, Remember, and Do

October 7th, 2018


In chapter 15 the Israelites are commanded to make "tassels" and put them on the "fringes" of their garments. In this teaching, Pastor Danielle is joined with Rabbi Ari to help explain why.

Numbers | Do Not Despair

September 30th, 2018


(We apologize for the poor audio quality this week, due to technical difficulties).

There are giants in the land. Many of us either deny or despair …

Numbers | Sibling Rivalry

September 23rd, 2018


The story of sibling rivalry is a lesson in how to redeem difficult and challenging relationships with the most difficult people in the world with …

Numbers | Cloudy with a Chance of Fire

September 16th, 2018


Do we want God's blessing, provision, and goodness without God's judgment? We pick up on our series in Numbers that we began a while ago to dive deeper into these questions and lessons from the desert.

SparkCast | Interview with Andrew Olson

September 15th, 2018


One of our young adult Sparkers discusses his upbringing, journey through education and creative work.

Marie Griffith | Moral Combat, Q&R

September 9th, 2018


The follow-up live public conversation Q&R (Question & Response) time.

Marie Griffith | Moral Combat, How Sex Formed and Fractured American Christianity

September 9th, 2018


From birth control and abortion, to sexual harassment and sex education, R. Marie Griffith's most recent work Moral Combat is a sweeping historical …

The Way Forward | We Are The Way Forward

September 2nd, 2018


Some more direct thoughts on how the Way of Jesus needs to move forward into the future.

The Way Forward | A Cloud Of Witnesses

August 26th, 2018


As we look to the past to help us guide our future, Pastor Danielle shares insights and stories from the lesser known figures of history to inspire us that there is a long tradition of social engagement in our Christian …

The Way Forward | An Infinite Imagination

August 19th, 2018


This short series begins with some thoughts on how the Way of Jesus is moving forward into the future. As an introduction, Pastor Kevin shares some musings on what kind of thinking is required to help us even frame the …

So,... | what?

August 12th, 2018


After the journey of re-inquiring about basic Christian beliefs, so what? What does it matter? What does it mean? And how does it answer the most important questions and inquiries of our existence?

So,... | what Is the Bible?

August 5th, 2018


The most widely distributed book in the world is also widely misunderstood and misused. In this talk, Pastor Tom helps us grasp an understanding of the Bible on its own terms, not on ours.

So,... | what happens when we die? (heaven)

July 29th, 2018


The word "heaven" is seen as a distinctly separate, better, and personally centered location outside of this world. It is popularly understood as …

So,... | what happens when we die? (hell)

July 22nd, 2018


Far from the standard version of hell that is so common in our current cultural context, the Biblical teaching is far more nuanced, visceral, and …

So,... | what does it mean to be saved?

July 15th, 2018


For many, "salvation" is an "event," that happens. While the moment of transformation is absolutely meaningful, the Scriptures seem to teach that …

So,... | what does Jesus' death mean?

July 8th, 2018


There are lots of images and metaphors that we use to describe what actually happened. By revisiting the way the Biblical authors used those metaphors, perhaps we can see with greater depth the upside-down way …

So,... | why did Jesus have to die?

July 1st, 2018


In short, he didn't. Understanding what crucifixion is and was, helps expose the injustices of today, and why they also don't need to happen.

So,... | what is wrong with the world?

June 24th, 2018


Our next teaching attempts to revisit the idea of sin, in light of creation.

So,... | Introduction, & why are we here?

June 17th, 2018


We begin a new teaching series as an inquiry of Christian beliefs.

Why Are You A Christian? | Jason & Pamala

June 10th, 2018


We continue our series in conversations with several pastors and teachers of Spark. Hear Jason's and Pamala's unique stories and struggles in this installment of Why Are You A Christian?

Why Are You A Christian? | Danielle & Marcus

June 3rd, 2018


We continue our series in conversations with several pastors and teachers of Spark. Hear Danielle's and Marcus's unique stories and struggles in this installment of Why Are You A Christian?

Why Are You A Christian? | Tom & Omair

May 27th, 2018


We continue our series in conversations with several pastors and teachers of Spark. Hear Tom's and Omair's unique stories and struggles in this installment of Why Are You A Christian?

Special Guest: Justin Lee | Q&R

May 20th, 2018


Justin Lee fields questions in this follow-up from his talk, Talking Across The Divide

Why Are You A Christian? | Introduction

May 13th, 2018


We begin a new series, Why Are You A Christian? Good Question. Let's dive into how we even begin to understand it before we attempt to answer.

Authors @ Spark

May 6th, 2018


This week, we had the tremendous honor and privilege to hear from two published Sparkers on faith, story telling, and creative work. To find out more visit and

TIOS | The Grand Narrative

April 29th, 2018


This is the final teaching in our series, This Is Our Story. Pastor Danielle shares on the overarching theme, the "Grand Narrative," and how we can find ourselves in this story.

TIOS | Peter

April 22nd, 2018


Pastor Marcus shares some reflections, historically and personally, on living a life like Peter, and how we all have a really powerful calling.

Narkis | Parable of the Good Samaritan

April 21st, 2018


During a tour to Israel, Pastor Danielle was a guest speaker at our home church in Jerusalem, Narkis Street Baptist Church. Here, she shares on the Parable of the Good Samaritan, and dives into Israel's history as …

TIOS | Rebels Just For Kicks

April 15th, 2018


Pastor Tom speaks to the radically rebellious nature of the Jesus movement, that we are to be different, in very transformative ways.

TIOS | Paul

April 8th, 2018


By taking a few snapshots of Paul's life, we get a glimpse into his full agenda, a personal transformation that had profound public influence.


April 1st, 2018


While love is sometimes seen as perhaps the fount from which our faith flows, Pastor Danielle will argue here that it is actually the Resurrection that transforms everything, including how we love.

Special Guest: Diana Butler Bass | Q&R

March 18th, 2018


A Conversation with Dr. Diana Butler Bass, including Q&R from the audience.

Special Guest: Diana Butler Bass | Lazarus

March 18th, 2018


Our special guest, Dr. Diana Butler Bass, shares how the Zacchaeus story illustrates Jesus's radical upending of the patron system of the first-century, causing gratitude to emerge in the heart of Zacchaeus.

TIOS | Jonah

March 4th, 2018


Most popularly known about the story of Jonah is the big fish and the controversy (?) discussion (?) around the "miracle" or "myth" of that event. …

TIOS | Purim Q&A with Rabbi Ari Cartun

February 25th, 2018


This is a very informal follow up conversation between Rabbi Ari and Pastor Danielle on a variety of questions about the book of Esther.

TIOS | Purim

February 25th, 2018


Our friend Rabbi Ari led us through the reading of the Megillah, the scroll of Esther. With song, and wit, we tell the story of hiddenness, irony, …

TIOS | Daniel: Living Amongst Fools

February 18th, 2018


How shall we live when we're in "foreign lands?" How do we maintain faithfulness, in the midst of tempting compromise?

TIOS | Job

February 11th, 2018


Suffering. Justice. Blame. Innocence. These are all challenges and ideas that emerge in this, the most ancient of texts we have in our Bible. Predominant on all of them, however, is wisdom.

TIOS | Like The Nations

February 4th, 2018


There is always a temptation to be like those around you, to be seduced into their way of living. Yet, our story is one where we are to be different, to be a light to the nations, not like them.

TIOS | Place In This World, part 2

January 28th, 2018


This is the recorded conversation from our Communal Meal following service, on finding our place in this world.

TIOS | Place In This World, part 1

January 28th, 2018


Our guest Dr. Cyndi Parker continues our series on Story, and what role the concept of "place" has in our narrative. Far from a simple geographical …

TIOS | What Is Wrong With The World (Judges)

January 21st, 2018


Pastors Kevin & Danielle share in this teaching, some thoughts and insights from the Book of Judges.

TIOS | Let Us Be Strengthened

January 14th, 2018


Joshua's famous cry is to "be strong and courageous." This clarion call is the grounding identity of the Israelites as they enter the "Promised Land." Rather than mere "guts," being strong means to stay connected to the …

TIOS | What's In A Name?

January 7th, 2018


The very name of God is one that refuses to be boxed in. So, if you think you're going to box God in—to define God's name—get ready for a broken neck and a weird, weird disease.

TIOS | Born Again, Again

December 31st, 2017


Distinctly different from a "resolution," being "born again" pulls long historical threads of redemption, liberation, and being made new. We …

Christmas | Light Came Down

December 17th, 2017


In the midst of darkness, Mary sings a song. In the midst of chaos, Mary glorifies the Lord. In the midst of despair, Mary believes. Can we?

TIOS | About Stories

December 10th, 2017


Stories are not just captivating, but they're powerfully convicting. In this message, Sparker Omair shares how stories can expose and confront in a …

TIOS | Homo Covenantus

December 3rd, 2017


The stories of the Bible were not written so that we could become better Christians. They were written because they envisioned a new kind of …

TIOS | Food For Thought

November 26th, 2017


The meal is one of the most significant events in our lives and in the Biblical narrative. The stories we tell and live around those meal are …

TIOS | Noah And The Ark

November 19th, 2017


The next part of our story includes a flood, a destroying of the earth that God created. Okay, so whether it "happened" or not, Pastor Tom addresses the story that this narrative is attempting to convey. What does this …

TIOS | After The Fall

November 12th, 2017


We all fall short. This is neither news or a surprise. It is perhaps the most common experience of humankind. This story, however, tells only a few verses of that fall. The rest of the story is how God is pursuing us …

TIOS | In God's Image

November 5th, 2017


Our story continues with the development of humanity "in God's image." In this talk, we peer into that image, and reclaim our identities as those image bearers.

This Is Our Story (TIOS) | Introduction

October 29th, 2017


Our new series introduces us to a new way of considering and thinking about faith, spirituality, and The Way of Jesus. Rather than through the lens of doctrinal statements, the Bible begins with what is essentially, …

On The Edge Of The Inside

October 22nd, 2017


Following up from our 5th Anniversary Service, Pastor Danielle exhorts Spark to be the kind of church that is committed to inviting people to The Way …

Acts | Snake Bite, House Arrest, Rejection, The End?

October 8th, 2017


The end of the book of Acts leave us hanging a bit. In this message, Omair shares why that might be, and what it calls us to do. This, as with all things in the Bible, was no accident.

Acts | The Storm

October 1st, 2017


Paul faced many storms in his travels, an illustration and metaphor for the challenges we all face as we journey with and for Jesus. In this message, …

Acts | Take Courage

September 24th, 2017


What is your metric of success? That question helps frame your responses to the experiences of your life. In Acts, there are immediate challenges, …

Acts | The Family That Travels Together

September 17th, 2017


Each name and pronoun in our narrative highlights aspects of this early movement. In this study, we'll dig into the name Mnason, and the pronoun "we," and how that informs our practice today.

Acts | When Good Fortune Falls Asleep

September 10th, 2017


The story of Eutychus is a strange narrative in the middle of what appears to be a travelogue. What is this story doing in there? Drawing from Homer's Odyssey, we consider the possibility that Luke is doing something …

Acts | Radical Welcome

September 3rd, 2017


The early church wrestled with the question of who's "in" and who's "out," regarding their engagement with this community. As we discover, this has been a human expression since the beginning of time. The Jesus Way is …

Acts | Trust & Obey

August 27th, 2017


Sparker, Tom Arrington, continues our series with an impassioned encouragement for followers of Jesus to actually trust, and then actually obey.

Acts | Getting Your Hands Dirty

August 20th, 2017


We are not to sit on the sidelines. Indeed, we cannot, because we ARE NOT on the sidelines. Engaging with the realities of our world, both the light and the dark, is simply an embrace of our true selves, our real …

Acts | Was Blind SO I Could See

August 13th, 2017


What are the pathways from terrorism to truth, from fear to faith? A reexamination of Saul's encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus reveals …

Special Guest, Lauren Chan Q&R

August 6th, 2017


The Q&R with Pastor Danielle after Lauren's message.

Special Guest, Lauren Chan

August 6th, 2017


Sparker Lauren Chan reflects on life, and leaving for college. While many are thrilled to be departing from home, this is not something Lauren is …

Acts | What A Riot

July 30th, 2017


Acts 19 finds Paul in Ephesus where he incites a famous riot. It is not, however, by traditional means. This riot, is caused by love.

SparkCast | Interview with Omair Akhtar

July 24th, 2017


A follow-up interview from Omair's talk, "Mars Hill."

Acts | Mars Hill Q&R

July 23rd, 2017


The Q&R session after Omair's talk, "Mars Hill."

Acts | Mars Hill

July 23rd, 2017


The discussion that we see at the Aeropagus, also known as Mars Hill, in Athens highlights two main features of the Jesus movement. First, that …

SparkCast | Interview with Marcus Randolph

July 17th, 2017


A follow-up interview from Marcus's talk "What Are You Going To Do, Are You About That Life?"

Acts | What Are You Going To Do, Are You About That Life?

July 16th, 2017


If we are really going to be the kind of church that Jesus calls us to, then we should really consider if we are truly committed to loving and …

Acts | A Samaritan, A Eunuch, and a Pharisee

July 9th, 2017


Chapters 8 and 9 of Acts introduces us to a series of three people who were confronted with the emerging spread of the Good News. In addition to these stories being about everyone's welcome to this movement, the …

Acts | Blessed Are The Persecuted

June 25th, 2017


The stoning of Stephen in Acts 7 is not a story that simply illustrates the past. It is a model for the present as many Christians today are still facing persecution. We honor Stephen, and pray for the same strength of …

Acts | Justice for All

June 18th, 2017


The disparity between two distinct people groups in the first church in Acts, the Greeks and the Hebrews, created an early challenge for this growing community. How do we care for our diverse community? This lesson is …

Acts | Gamaliel's Wager

June 11th, 2017


Far from an apologetic argument for the validity of the Jesus movement, this passage highlights how an open, progressive, capacious, and welcoming …

Acts | Everything In Common

June 4th, 2017


The story of Ananias and Sapphira lying to the Holy Spirit and being struck dead is one of those complicated, challenging, and perplexing stories in …

Acts | Times Of Refreshing

May 21st, 2017


What does one do when they're in "exile?" And what does "repentance" mean in those times? In a speech by Peter, we are encouraged for moments of breathing, in the midst of struggle, and we hope you find a time of …

#50StatesOfJoy, part 4

May 14th, 2017


In our final talk Omair brings together the past, the present, and the future, in his teaching on a Joy that Lasts.

#50StatesOfJoy, part 3

May 7th, 2017


From from an emotion of happiness, or a delusion from the chaos of the world, through the lens of Mary's Magnificat in Luke 1 we see joy as a …

#50StatesOfJoy, part 2

April 30th, 2017


Through life's various ups and downs, joy sustains, and gets you through. In part two of our series, Pastor Mark shares the songs and scriptures that …

#50StatesOfJoy, part 1

April 23rd, 2017


Following Yale Divinity School's preaching campaign, Pastor Danielle gives talk #1 of our #50StatesOfJoy series where we discover joy to be held even …

Easter | Up From The Grave

April 16th, 2017


The Resurrection, the most central event in our story and history can often be seen as evidence of truth, a better life, or other "escapist" …

Palm Sunday | He Answers Us Still

April 9th, 2017


The hope for revolution comes, on this Palm Sunday, not as we expect. And while we may be disappointed, Jesus does not fail to deliver.

Acts | It's Happening Again

April 2nd, 2017


The event of Pentecost in Acts 2 to many readers is a new movement of the Holy Spirit. However, to those who experienced it, there were all too …

Acts | Looking Into The Sky?

March 26th, 2017


While many see these supernatural events as literal events, there are symbolic and metaphorical meanings that are connected to the greater story. …

Acts | Can I Get A Witness?

March 19th, 2017


Acts 1:8 is considered by some to be the key verse of Acts. The word "witness" is seen by many as characterizing the activity of the disciples, and the "Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the Ends of the Earth" indicates …

Acts | Why Did Anyone Write This Stuff Down?

February 26th, 2017


In this introductory talk, Omair walks us through an overview of the Book of Acts, and how we, the Church, are the continuation of Jesus's life, work, and ministry.

Acts | Who's In? Part 2

March 12th, 2017


This week Pastor Mark continues a theme of inclusion, expanding it to the historical and modern context. God's radical gracious embrace of everyone, …

Acts | Who's In?

March 5th, 2017


In a world that consistently excludes others, this story—the movement of Jesus—is about inclusion. But not because of conformity, but with a full …

Announcement | The Good News Everyday

February 19th, 2017


Four Sparkers share their stories of how the Good News is lived out in their everyday lives.

SparkCast | How To Close A Church, Part 2 (An Interview with Gary Hale)

February 14th, 2017


We hope this interview is sparking conversation, questions, and even visions of an expression of church that is in alignment with the Way of Jesus. This is part two, of a two-part installment.

SparkCast | How To Close A Church, Part 1 (An Interview with Gary Hale)

February 14th, 2017


There are many stories of churches closing their doors. Rarely do you hear one because it was driven by a desire to deeply and passionately follow in …

Announcement | The Good News For Today

February 12th, 2017


In this teaching, Pastors Kevin, Danielle, and Omair reflect upon the real life application of the teachings we've been going through in this Good News, Gospel series.

SparkCast | Pixels and Politics

February 3rd, 2017


Conversation around our recent sermons, in addition to thoughts about our current body politic, and whether or not the Way of Jesus is political. …

Announcement | The Good News Is God News

January 15th, 2017


Have you ever drawn a picture of God? While not physically, we all actually have images of God in our minds. And throughout history, people have been making depictions of God, both concrete and abstract, that …

SparkCast | Welcome and Invitation

January 15th, 2017


In an effort to make Spark Cast even better in 2017, we're adding new content which will be in conversation with all of you, our Spark Family! Send in your thoughts, feedback, questions, recommendations, etc., to

Announcement | The Bad News About The Good News, part 2

January 8th, 2017


We forget that the Good News was forged in the fires of agony. While there's much more than what is presented here, this talk surveys a few of the wars and tragedies that the early Jews and Christians faced throughout …

Announcement | The Bad News About The Good News, Part 1

January 1st, 2017


This podcast begins our series on "the Gospel," the "good news" of Jesus. We start by simply asking the question, What is news? What is the nature of news? And by asking, we discover that news is value neutral; that the …

H5 | Hope, Where Are You Going?

December 18th, 2016


Optimism and pessimism are both forms of distorted reality. The Biblical story offers neither. It does not play with our emotions. Rather, it stars darkness right in the face, and says, "You exist, but you will not be …

H5 | Habits, What Commitments Do I Need To Make?

December 11th, 2016


Identity and purpose are shaped, not so much by what we achieve, but rather by the commitments we make. What if we could change our esteem, and our …

Advent | Week 3

December 11th, 2016


A few reflections on this week of Advent, with an urgent call by Questscope for emergency aid as they are on the front lines of the Syrian refugee crisis.

H5 | Hyped, Why Are You Here?

December 4th, 2016


Where there is no vision... It is possible that the reason why many of us feel that we are disheveled, uncontrolled, or that we are simply running …

Advent | Week 2

December 4th, 2016


A few reflections on this week of Advent.

H5 | Healthy, What Do You Want?

November 27th, 2016


As we resume our H5 series on seeking wholeness from the wisdom traditions, this week, we ask, What Do You Want?

Advent | Week 1

November 27th, 2016


A few reflections on this week of Advent.

Living In A Foreign Land

November 20th, 2016


Pastor Mark shares his reflections on the story of Daniel and his friends in a foreign land, relevant to how many of us feel in this current …

Shaken & Doubling Down

November 13th, 2016


In the wake of the US election news, many in our community are now living with some significant questions about this world, our nation, our faith community, and our place within it all. In an effort to provide a safe …

H5 | Healing, Where Does It Hurt?

November 6th, 2016


Our first installment of a 5 part series on what it means to be whole. We will journey through a few piercing questions that help get at the root of …

Spark's 4th Anniversary

October 30th, 2016


This Sunday, we reflect, celebrate, say a lot of "thank you's," and look forward to what is to come. AND, to all of our distance listeners, please know how much we love and appreciate YOU also being a part of our family!

Dr. Diana Butler Bass | Grounded

October 23rd, 2016


In churches all across the nation and the world, there exists a dominant theology of God who sits in the clouds, who is "up there," above us, often …

In The Wilderness | Comfort, Comfort, My People

October 16th, 2016


If you feel as if the current state of affairs is like the wilderness, then perhaps, like many of us, you need a voice, calling in the wilderness, to prepare the way for the Lord.

Dr. Randall Balmer D | Evangelicalism & Politics Q&A

October 9th, 2016


A Q&A session with Dr. Balmer after Evangelicalism & Politics talk.

Dr. Randall Balmer C | Evangelicalism & Politics

October 13th, 2016


In part 2, Dr. Balmer highlights the rise of the Religious Right, and surveys the involvement and role of Evangelicals in politics.

Dr. Randall Balmer B | The History and Future of Evangelicalism Q&A

October 9th, 2016


A Q&A session with Dr. Balmer after The History and Future of Evangelicalism talk.

Dr. Randall Balmer A | The History and Future of Evangelicalism

October 9th, 2016


In part 1, Dr. Balmer gives us a quick survey of the major developments of Evangelicalism from the 17th century through today.

Aymie Smith | Why Christian Conference, 2016

October 9th, 2016


Sparker Aymie Smith shares on her experience at the Why Christian Conference, 2016.

In The Wilderness | What The...?!

October 2nd, 2016


The "test for the unfaithful wife" in Numbers 5 is a perplexing, but revealing passage about the history of gender in societies, even to today. In …

In The Wilderness | Good Words

September 25th, 2016


The Aaronic Benediction (Good Words) of Numbers 6 comes in the middle of the desert, to bless us with God's face, presence, grace, and peace. In a …

In The Wilderness | One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

September 18th, 2016


What is this Nazirite (not Nazarite) vow? What significance does it have? More importantly, what does it communicate about the person taking the vow, …

Practicing Our Preach

September 4th, 2016


In preparation for our multi faith peace walk next week (September 11), Pastor Danielle shares the commission and challenge of being people of love, …

In The Wildernes | 12

August 28th, 2016


So, why 12 tribes? What significance could this have on the broad scope and grand narrative of the biblical story? Perhaps the meaning is of cosmic …

In The Wilderness | Form Follows Function

August 21st, 2016


The arrangement of the tribes of Israel around the Tabernacle is a form. In this message, Pastor Mark shares the function that the form is attempting to communicate.

In The Wilderness | Awkward Silence

August 14th, 2016


... If you've ever had a moment of awkward silence, you've probably been waiting for someone to speak into that silence, to fill that void. What does the book of Numbers fill the awkward silence with? Counting. Yes, …

In The Wilderness | Ari Cartun

August 7th, 2016


Our friend and guest, Ari Cartun, shared an introduction to the book of Numbers, which in Hebrew is the word "in the wilderness." This session also included Q&A with Pastor Danielle at the end of the message.

Peter Enns | The Sin of Certainty

July 31st, 2016


Dr. Peter Enns shares reflections from his book, The Sin of Certainty. Q&A at the end of the message.

Peter Enns | The Bible & Divine Violence

July 31st, 2016


Dr. Peter Enns shares reflections from his book, The Bible Tells Me So… Q&A at the end of the message.

A Report From Greece

July 24th, 2016


Sparkers Stacy and Lauren have just returned from a 5 week trip to Greece, working face-to-face and hand-in-hand with the refugees and aid workers on the front lines. In sharing with us, they give us up close …

Politics and The Way of Jesus

July 17th, 2016


Friends, we've been here before. We'll be here again. And we will always have to be wise in how we deal with politics as one context of living our …

Beatitudes | Like The Prophets

July 10th, 2016


As our nation has been wrought with the tragedies, tensions, and emotions of race and law enforcement yet again, our hearts grieve with those …

Beatitudes | "Persecuted"

July 3rd, 2016


There are two possible definitions of the word "persecute" in the Greek. In this message, the blessing/happiness comes to those who are not "persecuted," but rather "pursued." Why are we being pursued? Because of …

Beatitudes | Pure In Heart

June 19th, 2016


Pure in heart requires confession, personally and communally for the sins we have done, and the goodness that has been left undone. Acknowledging and disclosing these sins free us, liberate us, and purify us.

Beatitudes | Peacemakers

June 26th, 2016


Peace is not simply the absence of war or conflict. It is the presence of wholeness. Peacemaking, therefore, is not the avoidance of conflict, it is …

Beatitudes | Mercy, Mercy

June 12th, 2016


Timely in the midst of the news in Orlando and here locally at Stanford, this message is hard; extending mercy to those who have done evil in this …

Beatitudes | What Makes You Hungry?

June 5th, 2016


Installment #4 of our series peers deep into what hungering and thirsting for righteousness means in the grand scope of the entire Biblical narrative.

Beatitudes | Happy Are The Meek

May 29th, 2016


In a world of "might makes right" and the "strong survive," perhaps there is no more subversive message than "happy are the meek." In this third installment, we look into the Psalms, and the word "anav" to discover good …

Beatitudes | Cry, Baby, Cry

May 22nd, 2016


While many dismiss mourning for joy, the beatitudes call us to remember that mourning is the characteristic of the kingdom. We ought not be surprised …

Beatitudes | #blessed

May 15th, 2016


So, what the heck is a beatitude anyway? What does it mean to be "blessed?" In this opening message we discover the vision Jesus has of the Kingdom.

The Bible, The Church, and Sexual Identity 4 (How Would Jesus Love)

May 8th, 2016


In conclusion, we need to address what it means to love, in the way of Jesus, regardless of what we believe.

The Bible, The Church, and Sexual Identity 3 (Storytime)

May 8th, 2016


Perhaps the most important aspect of this topic are the stories of real life people who have wrestled with this issue. In this portion, three Sparker share their journeys and perspectives, giving us further insight and …

The Bible, The Church, and Sexual Identity 2 (To Interpret Is To Be Human)

May 8th, 2016


In this segment, we delve deep into the subject of "hermeneutics," the art and science of interpretation. Understanding that we all do this, all the time, in virtually every area of life is a really important foundation …

The Bible, The Church, and Sexual Identity 1 (The Talk Before The Talk)

May 8th, 2016


In this opening talk, we have "the talk before the talk," a variety of things that need to be said before we say anything about "the issue."

Curt Rhodes, Part II

May 1st, 2016


Dr. Curt Rhodes of Questscope continues the discussion with some Q&A from our congregation.

Curt Rhodes, Part I

May 1st, 2016


Dr. Curt Rhodes of Questscope shares intimate and powerful stories of his work in Jordan and Syria, on the ground, and in close relationship with …

Leviticus | You Don't Owe God Anything

April 17th, 2016


In the year of Jubilee all debts are forgiven, and all prisoners go free. Not only is this an expression of justice, but it is a way of living that liberates us from the shackles of debt. Whatever dues you may think you …

Leviticus | Conclusion

April 24th, 2016


As we conclude Leviticus, let us not forget our story. Even laws, commands, and rituals, according to the writers of the Bible, are not segregated from the historical narrative. So, if you ever find yourself in a …

Palm Sunday | The Victory Parade That Wasn't

March 20th, 2016


The people who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem, did so with hope and expectation. Yet, those expectations may have caused them to miss what God was actually doing. Let us not do the same. You can't see what God is doing …

Leviticus | Justice = Holiness

April 3rd, 2016


All ancient cultures had religious rituals and practices. All ancient cultures also had laws. Only in Israel, however, do the two come together. …

Leviticus | Save The Date

April 10th, 2016


Leviticus 23 gives us the festival calendar by which we mark seasons and celebrations. Not only is this a way to keep time, it is also a way to awaken ourselves to God's presence in the celebration.

Leviticus | The Opposite of Life

April 2nd, 2016


What is "leprosy" in the Bible? Contrary to popular understanding, it is not the modern disease known as "Hansen's disease." Rather, there is a …

Leviticus | The Sacred and The Profane

March 6th, 2016


Leviticus 12 is odd. Different time frames for purification after birth, and then the woman is considered "unclean." So, what is this really all about? How can we make sense of this for the spaces we have today?

Leviticus | Omnivore's Conundrum

February 28th, 2016


Leviticus 11 begins the purity laws, and we start with our food, what we can and cannot eat. Here we begin to turn towards a rising conscience in …

Sally Lieber | The Boats Are Coming

February 28th, 2016


Special guest, former Assemblywoman Sally Lieber ( shares her experiences in Lesvos, Greece working with incoming refugees, and exhorts us all to consider how we may respond when we see that the …

Leviticus | High Voltage

February 14th, 2016


Leviticus is in many ways a call for each of us to recognize the power and sanctity of the holy, that there is something distinctly different from …

Leviticus | Remorse

February 7th, 2016


There is a series of conditions in Leviticus 5 that give hint of a major development in the history of human reconciliation. Rather than mere ritual recompense, this passage seems to indicate that feeling sorry, having …

Leviticus | Unintended

January 31st, 2016


Our actions, all of them, have unintended consequences. In this week's teaching we embrace the ethic of recognizing that life is unintended consequences, and how forgiveness and atonement can redeem even unintended sins.

Leviticus | All The Fat Is The Lord's

January 17th, 2016


In the midst of hundreds if not thousands of deities clamoring for our attention and appeasement, this system of sacrifice comes in to declare clarity, responsibility, and an identity that the very best of life is …

Leviticus | It Is Well

January 24th, 2016


The "well-being" offering is about giving thanks. It is also a constant reminder of the gratitude we are to have, to journal our blessings, and live …

Leviticus | Close

January 10th, 2016


Welcome to Leviticus. Many themes will emerge, sacrifice, holiness, ritual, purity, etc. But what is all of this really fundamentally about? Some …

Year One

January 3rd, 2016


What does the turning of the calendar year mean? How did we end up marking our years? Our seasons? In this talk, we will look at the human tendency …

Hopes & Fears | A Story For Us

December 27th, 2015


Few carols or traditions of the Christmas season capture the full weight of the story of Jesus's birth. In the midst of our sacred and pagan rituals, …

Hopes & Fears | Light

December 20th, 2015


A brief devotional thought on light, in this Christmas season.

Hopes & Fears | Post-It Expectations and Opportunities

December 13th, 2015


Good things. Bad things. Stuff happens in our lives. Seeing each event, however, as an opportunity for God to be at work could radically change our …

Hopes & Fears | Desire and the Roots of Violence

December 6th, 2015


Drawing on the work of philosopher and social anthropologist from Stanford, René Girard, this talk attempts to dig deep into the fundamental roots of …

Hopes & Fears | Introduction & The Problem of Evil

November 29th, 2015


This Christmas season, we are faced with the beauty and celebration of Christmas juxtaposed to with the darkness and sadness of recent tragic events. From the hymn, "O Little Town Of Bethlehem," the lyric, "The hopes …

Special Guest Omair Akhtar | Some Thoughts On The Attacks

November 15th, 2015


Omair is a Sparker who has studied deeply. In this message he illustrates the power of understanding the full scope of Scripture in light of the …

Living Out Of Abundance

November 22nd, 2015


There are two ways to live into this world. One is out of scarcity, a perspective of lacking. The other is out of abundance. Jesus has called us to live out of love, not out of fear, and that is especially true and …

Incarnation | From I To Other

November 1st, 2015


So after several weeks of discussing the incarnation, what does this mean for us? How do we live "incarnationally?" One answer to that question is found in Philippians 2, and the idea of "humility." Through valuing …

Incarnation | From Then To Now

October 25th, 2015


"Some glad morning, when this life is o'er, I'll fly away." This beloved hymn, while beautiful, fun, and traditional, speaks of a focus on the gospel …

Incarnation | From Out to In

October 18th, 2015


Really, what makes things better is not a response, a reason, a theology to the chaos of our world. What makes things better is someone connecting …

Incarnation | From Up to Down

October 11th, 2015


What is the incarnation? Why is it significant? What did it mean to the early followers of Jesus? And how is it important for our lives today? These, …

Exodus | The Liberation of Worship

October 4th, 2015


At the end of our Exodus series, we come to the instructions for the building of the Tabernacle, a place of worship. It is as if we have bookended the story of Exodus, as it began with, "Let my people go so that they …

Exodus | The Shelter of His Love

September 27th, 2015


This day we commemorate the feast of Sukkot. Known as the "Feast of Tabernacles" or the "Feast of Booths," this festival commissions us to build "shelters," to remind us of our time wandering in the desert. And as we …

Exodus | Grace Upon Grace

September 20th, 2015


The giving of the second set of tablets at Mt. Sinai exemplifies God's amazing grace, even in the midst of Israel's adultery. Shall we become …


September 13th, 2015


Join Spark in raising $10,000 to help in the Syrian refugee crisis. Visit for more information, links, and resources. This is love. This is Rescue. This is Spark Church!

Special Guest, Rabbi Amy Eilberg

September 6th, 2015


The work of peacemaking is challenging and complex. It requires much of us, but it is worth our effort. Rabbi and author of "From Enemy To Friend," Amy Eilberg shares her journey towards the cause of peacemaking in this …

Exodus | Golden Calf

August 30th, 2015


In this message, Pastor Mark uses the story of the Golden Calf to illustrate how all of us use power, wealth, theology, and other "idols" to make …

Exodus | God's House On Earth

August 23rd, 2015


What the tabernacle is to space, so the Sabbath is to time. And to enter into the construction of the Tabernacle, to embrace the beautiful symbology …

Exodus | All Together Now

August 16th, 2015


As we get to the building of the tabernacle, we learn that while the focus is on the details and instructions of the tabernacle, the real building is in the people.

Exodus | Come Up To Me And Be There

August 9th, 2015


In a Christian culture where the quality and expectations of your "time spent with God" is often scrutinized, by self or by others, this passage …

Exodus | Book of the Covenant

July 26th, 2015


Some passages are difficult to read. They are a mix of things we appreciate, and things we abhor. How do we read these difficult passages with our …

Exodus | Rescue Continued

July 19th, 2015


Following up from last week, we dig deeper into what it means to see the "Ten Commandments," as part of a rescue plan, rather than a list of moral …

Exodus | The Second Exodus

July 12th, 2015


As we get to what is popularly known as the "Ten Commandments," we are going to first pause and see upon what are these sayings built upon. Rather …

Good Earth

July 5th, 2015


This teaching's passage is the same passage studied by the 9 church members of The Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina before they …

Special Message by Jason Primuth

June 28th, 2015


Spark advisory board member, father, husband, and entrepreneur shares from his heart the lessons he has learned about what the stories in the Bible mean for him everyday. "Trusting in God is not the same thing as …

The Love Of A Teacher

June 20th, 2015


Pastor Mark & Stacy share together the beautiful and wonderful power of "hesed," the lovingkindness of God.

God is to Israel as...

June 13th, 2015


Through the book of Hosea, we see that this prophet’s life is not just a lesson, but a picture of a God who is in pursuit of us as a loving parent. And with a quiet roar of love, God is calling us back home.

Exodus | The Brilliant Biblical Development of Governance

June 6th, 2015


The Jethro Principle of Exodus 18 is often about delegation, and time management. However, upon closer inspection, juxtaposed to the governing systems of Egypt and Mesopotamia, we see something significant take place …

Exodus | Open Up My Eyes

May 31st, 2015


The attack of the Amalekites on the Israelites in the desert poses some challenges for the reader. Why would God allow this? Yet, there are other …

Exodus | Because God Is With Us

May 24th, 2015


We all complain. Do we all complain about not having water and dying in the desert? Those seem like legitimate complaints. So, why is this episode looked down upon as a low point in Israelite history. Perhaps because …

Exodus | Bread & War, Gravity & Glory

May 16th, 2015


So, what is it? Literally, that manna is "What is it?" In Exodus 16, we do not get a name for this flaky white substance. What we do get is the understanding that it is "bread" from heaven. What we will discover is that …

Exodus | Stand and See

May 10th, 2015


The song that is sung after the parting of the Sea of Reeds is perplexing. But there is a clue, and a connection found in the description of Miriam's song at the end. They both resonate with similar themes and together …

Exodus | The Miracle Of The Sea

May 3rd, 2015


The true miracle at sea is not the parting of the waters, but rather, the birth of a nation. The Exodus imagery, throughout its narrative, is telling a story of Israel is being born again. And this kind of new birth is, …

Exodus | The Last Plague

April 26th, 2015


The death of the first born son. In the words of a child, "unfair." What is going on in this last plague, the culmination of the ten? In this …

Exodus | Creation Unmade

April 19th, 2015


The plagues of Exodus are seen as miracles, judgment, and as a denouncement of the gods of Egypt, including Pharaoh. In addition, the plagues are telling the deeper story that began in Genesis. While Pharaoh's hardness …

Exodus | To Believe The LORD (God Gave Pharaoh The Finger)

April 12th, 2015


As we enter the section of Exodus that introduces the plagues, we are challenged with the idea that these are not actually "miracles" that necessarily prove God's power. No doubt miracles occur. But these plagues are …

Easter | What God Has Joined Together

April 5th, 2015


The Resurrection of Jesus, the most significant event in Christianity, and the most important event in history is about more than the supernatural …

Palm Sunday | Defying Expectations

March 29th, 2015


We all have expectations. What we think, hope, and presuppose will meet our predictions. But the expectations the people had of Jesus on this day, Palm Sunday, the day we celebrate Jesus's entry into Jerusalem, left …

Exodus | Free, Deliver, Redeem, Take

March 22nd, 2015


All of us have had the "wind knocked out of us," through tragedy, disappointment, or failure. All of us have desired to stand before God and cry out, "Why?!" Not only do the Scriptures permit this, but it is encouraged. …

Exodus | How Things Get Worse Before They Get Better

March 15th, 2015


In chapter 5, we get a glimpse into the actions and behaviors of Pharaoh. Through this study, we see not only that Pharaoh was a bad leader, but how he exemplifies a human tendency that lives within us all. Our …

Exodus | Some Things We Should Know

March 8th, 2015


The enigmatic passage of Exodus 4, with Zipporah and the flint stone immediately causes questions to emerge. Unfortunately, there's a lot we don't …

Exodus | I Object

March 1st, 2015


In the midst of Moses's call, there is Moses's objections. How God responds shows us how irrelevant our objections are to the purposes and plans that God has for us. Setting aside those insecurities, which is often a …

Exodus | The Name

February 22nd, 2015


"I will be who I will be." This is the declaration of God to Moses's inquiry, "Who shall I say sent me?" Much has been written and considered regarding the Divine Name. In this message, we try to consider what this …

Exodus | This Strange Sight

February 15th, 2015


The iconic image of the "burning bush" in Exodus 3 invokes a host of imaginative hollywood graphics. Yet, the story is much more than divine …

Exodus | God Hears

February 8th, 2015


The Israelites, in their bondage, cry out. What is amazing about this passage in Exodus 2, is that for every outcry of suffering, God responds with hearing, remembering, seeing, and knowing. We all need a God like this, …

Exodus | Who Do You Think You Are

February 1st, 2015


Moses is a Hebrew, adopted into an Egyptian household. Yet, these do not formulate the most important aspect of his identity. The text, through the …

Exodus | The Opposite of Tragedy

January 25th, 2015


Chapter 2 of Exodus introduces us to the dramatic unfolding of hints, clues, and allusions to coming events. Perhaps the most tragic is Pharaoh's …

Exodus | Major Significance of Minor Characters

January 18th, 2015


Seldom do we pay attention to the seemingly insignificant details of the Biblical narrative. Yet, we should. There would not be a Moses story without …

Exodus | Blessing or Target

January 11th, 2015


Much of our Christian theology formulaically equates obedience with blessing. While many take solace in this, the opening story of Exodus shows a …

Exodus | Introduction

January 4th, 2015


Welcome to our series on Exodus. While filled with amazing and fantastical features, it is possible to miss the greater story, of which we are invited to participate. Through good study, history, and a recognition that …

Take Note

December 28th, 2014


40% of Americans make New Year's Resolutions. 8% of those that do actually keep them. This common cultural activity is illustrative of something …

'Twas The Night Before Christams (Spark Edition)

December 21st, 2014


Live reading of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas (Spark Edition)" set to the music of Michael W. Smith's Overture/O Come All Ye Faithful, 1989.

Rest | Peace, Be Still

December 7th, 2014


Jesus calming of the storm in Mark 4 is reminiscent of the story of Jonah. Through both of these stories we see the presence of God in the midst of storms. Let us together hear the words of Jesus, "Peace, be still," …

Rest | Trusting The Mystery

December 14th, 2014


Mystery is commonly thought of as a "problem" to be solved. Biblical mystery, however, is about awe, wonder, and amazement. Through the stories we …

Rest | Sleep

November 30th, 2014


In addition to a few reminders of what this series is about, in this teaching we take a look at what role sleep has played in the Biblical narrative. …

Rest | Beats, Rhymes, and Rest

November 23rd, 2014


Pastor Mark Arevalo takes us on a musical journey to illustrate the many ways in which we discover God. If we pause, reflect, consider, and listen …

Rest | Good & Tired

November 16th, 2014


Too often we think of rest as "self-care." In this message, Pastor Danielle exhorts us to think bigger. Not that self-care is unimportant, but that rest comes through exhaustive work. In other words, it is possible to …

Healing Our Image of God and Ourselves, Session 1

November 7th, 2014


Session 1 of Spark's Spiritual Retreat with Mark Yaconelli, Healing Our Image of God and Ourselves

Healing Our Image of God and Ourselves, Session 2

November 7th, 2014


Session 2 of Spark's Spiritual Retreat with Mark Yaconelli, Healing Our Image of God and Ourselves

Healing Our Image of God and Ourselves, Session 4

November 8th, 2014


Session 4 of Spark's Spiritual Retreat with Mark Yaconelli, Healing Our Image of God and Ourselves

Healing Our Image of God and Ourselves, Session 5

November 9th, 2014


Session 5 of Spark's Spiritual Retreat with Mark Yaconelli, Healing Our Image of God and Ourselves

Guest Speaker, Mark Yaconelli

November 9th, 2014


This evening, our special guest, Mark Yaconelli, shares stories that illustrate and illuminate how the greatest commandment in Mark 12 lives and …

Rest | In The Midst

November 2nd, 2014


Pastoral intern, Josh Boucher, walks us through some very practical points of finding and discovering rest, in the midst of very busy lives which are not attuned to rest. Referencing CS Lewis, we discover that simply …

Rest | Faith TBF (To Be Found)

October 26th, 2014


Spark member, Melissa (Look) Braunworth, recently lost her 27 year old brother, Bryant, to cancer. In this teaching, we have the privilege of hearing …

Rest | God's Got This

October 12th, 2014


When Jesus declares, "if anyone is thirsty they should come to me and drink," he is set against the backdrop of a main Jewish festival, Sukkot …

Special Announcement: Mark Yaconelli Spiritual Retreat

October 5th, 2014


We invite all of our podcast listeners to join us for what will prove to be a transformative event in your life's journey; a spiritual retreat with author and speaker, Mark Yaconelli. In this special announcement, hear …

Rest | My Yoke Is Easy

October 5th, 2014


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in …

Jesus Ethics | All In

September 21st, 2014


This Jesus way is not "part-time," or "part-life." It is the call and challenge of Jesus to not simply give a segment of my life to this movement, but rather all of my life to it. And through this "all in" attitude and …

Jesus Ethics | For Life

September 28th, 2014


The summation of all the ethics of Jesus, perhaps could be stated in two words, "for life." Drawing on John 10:10, and a variety of cultural nuances, …

Jesus Ethics | When (You Wish You Weren't) In Rome

September 14th, 2014


The Jesus movement emerges on the scene with a significant backdrop, the Roman Empire. In the midst of this powerful and authoritative presence, the …

Jesus Ethics | Little, Yellow, Better

September 7th, 2014


Insignificant. Mediocre. Small. Little. These are not words that usually cause inspiration or empowerment. Yet, this "mustard seed faith," is what Jesus seems to be advocating in Matthew 13. Not only will we be …

Jesus Ethics | Forgiveness

August 31st, 2014


In this teaching, we discover two main truths that can help inspire us to embrace one of the most difficult ethics that exist, forgiveness. The first …

Jesus Ethics | Living on the Margins

August 24th, 2014


Not only does the Kingdom movement of Jesus invite all to enter, especially the marginalized, but we see this ethic exemplified in the very life of Jesus, as he too was one who came marginalized. Why is this ethic …

Jesus Ethics | Woe, Whoa, Woah

August 17th, 2014


Jesus's harshest teachings are directed at the religious, the hypocrites who turn beautiful teachings and traditions into heavy burdens. If you've …

Jesus Ethics | Kingdom Minded, Earthly Good

August 10th, 2014


The "kingdom of God" is often spoken of in terms of the afterlife, or what happens when you die. Digging deeper, we discover that the "Kingdom of God" is actually about here and now, the very presence and closeness of …

Jesus Ethics | Like A Child

August 3rd, 2014


There are two possible interpretations of Jesus's welcoming of children in Matthew 18, both are profound and important for followers of Jesus. The …

Jesus Ethics | Scandalous Grace

July 27th, 2014


Jesus's use of parables is a powerful way of sharing multiple layers of meaning in one story. In Matthew 20, we find the parable of the workers in …

Jesus Ethics | Greater & Lesser, Q&A

July 20th, 2014


The short question and answer time at the end of this week's message.

Jesus Ethics | Greater & Lesser

July 20th, 2014


Jesus's teaching on "greater and lesser" commandments is a brilliant framework for shifting our thinking and believing in multiple ways. First, it …

Jesus Ethics | Turn, Let, Go

July 13th, 2014


We begin our Jesus Ethics series with the phrase, "Do not resist an evil person." In this teaching Jesus's well known phrases of "turn the other cheek," and "go the extra mile" mean something far different than the …

Genesis | When A Leader Hurts

June 22nd, 2014


[This is a re-recording of the live message] The dramatic unfolding of Joseph's encounter with his brothers exposes the hurts and pains of Joseph as …

Genesis | The God of Ups and Downs

June 29th, 2014


As Israel is now heading down to Egypt as a result of the famine, God gives him this promise: "I will be with you." As "going down" in the Bible …

Genesis | It's All Good

July 6th, 2014


As we come the close of our Genesis series, we have to ask the question, "How do we end the story?" Even in the midst of the dynamic ups and downs of Joseph's life, he decides to sum it all by saying, "God intended it …

Genesis | She Is More Righteous Than I

June 8th, 2014


The Judah and Tamar story of Genesis 38 interrupts our Joseph narrative, and for good reason. It points out a contrast of righteousness that will be thematic throughout the rest of the Bible. However, we need a little …

Genesis | Leadership Lessons from Joseph

June 15th, 2014


Our understanding of Joseph as a dreamer and interpreter of dreams is not the only lesson that is being conveyed through the Biblical narrative. Joseph is also a leader, though not one in the conventional sense. Without …

Genesis | Double Trouble

June 1st, 2014


We come to chapter 37, the beginning of the Joseph story, which does not start off really well. If this story were to take place today, we would …

Genesis | What's Your Family's Story

May 25th, 2014


Why does the Bible tell so much of the complicated, sordid, and frankly embarrassing elements of dysfunctional family life? Well, perhaps it is because the Biblical view of family and story are really important to …

Genesis | A Thing Not To Be Done

May 18th, 2014


If we're going to do a Genesis series, we can't skip over the "tricky bits," as in Chapter 34 and the "ravishing of Dinah." In this message, Pastor Danielle explains why this story is in the Bible and how it is …

Path In The Weeds

May 4th, 2014


Special guest musician Tyson Motsenbocker shares a special song, "Path in the Weeds." Visit for more on his music.

Shame, Blame, Game

April 27th, 2014


Human dysfunction begins when a person feels unloved, and unworthy of love (shame). As a result, the ways in which we function in this world lead us …

The Womb of God

May 11th, 2014


On this Mother's Day, we reflect on the feminine side of God as described in the Bible. We are challenged to think of gender, not as two, as reflected in humanity, but as one, as in God. As we do, we are drawn into an …

Intergenerational Church

May 4th, 2014


Pastor Mark Arevalo shares a wild and crazy teaching full of lots of interaction, making the case for Church as an intergenerational experience. We …

Palm Sunday | Humanity's Cry

April 13th, 2014


The celebration of Palm Sunday was not a happy event, but rather one deeply imbued in the soul's cry for freedom. Just as Passover was being …

Genesis | Q&A

April 6th, 2014


This audio clip includes the introduction before the sermon, "Encountering God," and then a brief Q&A after the sermon.

Genesis | Encountering God

April 6th, 2014


When Jacob encounters Esau, he says that seeing his brother is like "seeing the face of God," the same language used when Jacob wrestled with God. This story teaches us to not simply look for God in moments that seem …

Genesis | Don't Let Go

March 30th, 2014


Spark's ethic of wrestling is grounded in Genesis 32, the account of Jacob wrestling with both God and humankind on his way to meet Esau. This story …

Genesis | The Two Sides of Every Story

March 23rd, 2014


As we look at this next chapter in the Jacob drama with Laban, chapter 31, we begin to unfold additional layers and complexities that are often …

Genesis | Lift Up Your Feet

March 16th, 2014


Have you ever been "stuck in a moment, and you can't get out of it?" The characters in our Biblical stories most definitely have. In this talk we are encouraged and challenged to "lift up our feet," and move on. There …

Genesis | Surely God Is In This Place

March 9th, 2014


The story of "Jacob's ladder," in Genesis 28 awakens us to the Divine reality that is always around us, yet we are so frequently unaware. Here we discover that God is found in the everyday, mundane, and routine areas of …

Genesis | The Power of Blessing

March 2nd, 2014


From Genesis 27 we study the blessing of Isaac to his sons, Jacob and Esau. We learn that even in spite of the deceitfulness of Jacob and the …

Core Values | Love: God's Love For Us

October 21st, 2012


Pastor Danielle teaches on the "Parable of Lost Things" from Luke 15. In this teaching, we discover that God lavishes unqualified acceptance on everyone, even those who have experienced unqualified rejection. For many, …

Core Values | Love: Love Changes Everything

October 28th, 2012


Pastor Kevin teaches on the "greatest" commandment found in Matthew 22 (also in Mark 12). This "mega" commandment, when practiced, radically changes how we see everything. To love God and to love our neighbor is not …

Core Values | Love: The Other Is My Brother

November 4th, 2012


Pastor Danielle teaches on the Parable of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10. While often understood as a parable that helps us perform "acts of …

Core Values | Reputation: Healing The Image

December 2nd, 2012


Pastor Kevin teaches that you have been created in the image and likeness of God, one of the greatest truths taught in the Bible. That you have been marred, scarred, and broken is also true. What we don't always realize …

Core Values | Reputation: The Reputation of God

November 25th, 2012


Pastor Danielle teaches that how we understand and speak about God greatly matters. Our views about God influence how we live, and it impacts the world around us. In this message we discover anew a God who is …

Core Values | Reputation: Healing The Image

December 2nd, 2012


Pastor Kevin teaches that you have been created in the image and likeness of God, one of the greatest truths taught in the Bible. That you have been marred, scarred, and broken is also true. What we don't always realize …

Core Values | Reconciliation: Why Etz Chayim Rents to a Church

December 9th, 2012


Special guest Rabbi Ari Cartun of Etz Chayim synagogue shares a few personal and theological reflections on why Etz Chayim rents its facility to …

The Reason For The Season

December 16th, 2012


Pastor Kevin teaches that while it is popularly said that "Jesus is the reason for the season," there is a deeper truth to this statement than we …

Spark Vision Night

January 6th, 2013


Pastors Danielle & Kevin share a bit on the vision for Spark. Our core values are ultimately centered around living as Jesus lived, and walking …

Core Values | Reconciliation : Reaching for the Trees

January 13th, 2013


All of us recognize that life is not the way it is suppose to be. That's why we work for justice and compassion; that's why we strive for patience, and kindness; that's why we yearn for freedom and peace; and in many …

Core Values | Rescue: Share Your Rope

January 20th, 2013


Guest speaker Pastor Mark Arevalo, speaks on God's work of rescue through the Biblical stories, and in our lives. In this teaching we discover that God has begun the work of rescue in our lives, and that work is an …

Core Values | Rescue: Let God Rescue You

January 27th, 2013


Guest speaker, Pastor Dave Peterson from MPPC continues our series on Spark's core value of "Rescue." Sharing from his heart and experience, Dave exhorts us all to receive God's personal, physical, spiritual, and …

Core Values | Rescue: Instruments of Rescue

February 3rd, 2013


Guest speaker, Pastor Sarai Crain shares on how we are all privileged to be used of God to bring rescue to the world. However, we must be guarded from misusing or abusing that privilege. Sarai shares practical ways to …

Core Values | Resurrection: Resurrection Says...

February 10th, 2013


Sharing a bit of the recent adoption story in the Parish-Neuner household, Pastor Kevin begins the core value of Resurrection by talking about the …

Core Values | Resurrection: Resurrection in Second Temple Judaism

February 17th, 2013


The concept and idea around resurrection did not have its beginning in Christianity. Through a historical survey, Pastor Danielle shares insights into the Jewish concept and expectation of resurrection and how it …

Core Values | Resurrection: History & Faith

February 24th, 2013


Faith is deeply emotional and spiritual. But faith is also intellectual, and historical. The claim that Jesus was raised from the dead brings the two together in which the richness of our faith meets the historical work …

The Stories of Values

March 3rd, 2013


Since our opening 19 weeks ago, we have striven to communicate the importance of our core values. In concluding this teaching series, Pastor Kevin …

Jesus | Who Do You Say I Am?

March 10th, 2013


This is the first question we will be asking through our Jesus series. In this talk, Pastor Kevin encourages us to consider the influences our …

Jesus | Who's Your Daddy?

March 17th, 2013


Pastor Danielle takes a historical look at the beginnings of Jesus' life, and asks a series of questions on our identity. These questions are core and central to our existence, and we discover profound answers through …

Jesus | How's The Water?

March 24th, 2013


Pastor Danielle surveys the image and meaning of water in the ancient Jewish world. Through understanding the diverse meanings of the waters, we see …

Jesus | Why Do You Look For The Living Among The Dead?

March 31st, 2013


Happy Easter! On this celebration Sunday, Pastor Kevin teaches through this perplexing and profound question asked by the angels of the women at the …

Jesus | What Is Your Greatest Temptation?

April 14th, 2013


When we think of temptation, we often first think of sin -- things like money, sex, or indulgences. But the temptations of Jesus are about food, …

Jesus | Who Do You Follow?

April 21st, 2013


We all follow someone. The question is not whether we follow, but who and how do we follow? In this message, Pastor Danielle encourages us to follow …

Jesus | Who's In Charge Here?

May 5th, 2013


"If you build the Kingdom, people will look for the King!" While the "Kingdom of Heaven" is often thought of as referring to life after death, Pastor Danielle illuminates the historical and textual context of this …

Jesus | Where Is The Kingdom?

May 12th, 2013


Special guest Betty Ann Boeving, founder and executive director of the Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition, shares the story of her journey into the work of justice, fighting human slavery. Betty Ann challenges us all, …

Jesus | How Much More?

May 19th, 2013


Pastor Danielle reminds us to ground ourselves in the Jewish context and culture to understand much of the teachings of Jesus. As we do, we discover …

Jesus | Who Do You Say He Is?

May 26th, 2013


In this message, Pastor Kevin charts through Jewish and Greco-Roman first century worlds, considering how Jesus has met and transformed the ancient peoples' expectations in real life. While many of us are challenged to …

Genesis | Pregnant With Possibilities

February 23rd, 2014


In this message we peer into a the symbolism behind Rebekah's pregnancy with Jacob and Esau. As two nations "jostled" inside Rebekah (a preview of …

Genesis | Well, Well, Well

February 16th, 2014


Continuing our Genesis series, this teaching looks at the story of Abraham, sending his servant to seek out a wife for his son Isaac. Given that this story takes place between the death of Sarah and the death of …

Genesis | Bound & Determined

February 9th, 2014


As we continue our series in Genesis, we come to the story of Abraham heeding the request of God to sacrifice his son, Isaac. More appropriately known as the "binding of Isaac," (in Hebrew, the Akedah), we learn that …

God & Sports | Marcus & Kendra Randolph

February 2nd, 2014


Drawing from their personal experience, Marcus and Kendra share stories from their coaching and their philosophy of sports. Through their teaching, …

You Keep Using That Word, "Bible"

June 2nd, 2013


This famous quote from the iconic film, The Princess Bride, is quite appropriate to our current cultural context. Much of the conversation around …

You Keep Using That Word, "Faith"

June 9th, 2013


This famous quote from the iconic film, The Princess Bride, is quite appropriate to our current cultural context. Much of the conversation around …

You Keep Using That Word, "Religion"

June 16th, 2013


This famous quote from the iconic film, The Princess Bride, is quite appropriate to our current cultural context. Much of the conversation around …

You Keep Using That Word, "Gospel"

June 23rd, 2013


This famous quote from the iconic film, The Princess Bride, is quite appropriate to our current cultural context. Much of the conversation around …

You Keep Using That Word, "Saved"

June 30th, 2013


This famous quote from the iconic film, The Princess Bride, is quite appropriate to our current cultural context. Much of the conversation around …

You Keep Using That Word, "Spirit"

July 7th, 2013


This famous quote from the iconic film, The Princess Bride, is quite appropriate to our current cultural context. Much of the conversation around …

You Keep Using That Word, "Christian" & "Church"

July 14th, 2013


This famous quote from the iconic film, The Princess Bride, is quite appropriate to our current cultural context. Much of the conversation around …

Genesis | What Story Are You Living

July 28th, 2013


Welcome to our series of teachings from the book of Genesis. We begin by comparing the creation narrative found in chapter 1 with Enuma Elish, an ancient Babylonian creation myth. Through our study, we discover why the …

Genesis | Let There Be

August 4th, 2013


The second teaching in our Genesis series on the power of God, creating this entire world by speaking it into existence. Through this lesson, we discover the power of our own words, as created in the image of the …

Genesis | Over the Chaos

August 11th, 2013


The third teaching in our Genesis series on the Spirit/Wind/Breath of God hovering over the waters. Whatever chaos you may be experiencing, be comforted to know that God is hovering over your chaos, incubating out of it …

Genesis | Let's Get Our Hands Dirty

August 18th, 2013


Our fourth teaching in our Genesis series exhorts us to understand what it means to take care for and serve this beautiful creation. In the …

Dave Peterson on Nicodemus

August 25th, 2013


Our friend and special guest pastor, Dave Peterson, shares on the person of Nicodemus from the Gospel of John.

Genesis | In Our Image

September 1st, 2013


A continuation of our Genesis series, understanding what it means to be humans, created in God's image and likeness.

Genesis | Stop. Watch.

September 8th, 2013


From our Genesis series, this is a talk on the idea and concept of "Sabbath," a day of rest. Not only is it about managing our time, but it is also about understanding our true, central, and most secure sense of …

Genesis | Keeping & Bearing

September 15th, 2013


Our intern, Josh, gave a message on Cain and Abel, and drew comparisons and parallels to the parable of the Two Lost Sons in the Gospel of Luke. In it, we are reminded of our commission and responsibility to keep and …

Genesis | Ezer Knegdo

September 22nd, 2013


The term "suitable helper" has had multiple interpretations throughout Christian history. In this talk, the next in our Genesis series, Pastors …

Genesis | Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad

September 29th, 2013


What in the world is that darn tree doing there? In this teaching from our Genesis series, we learn that perhaps it is teaching us that there are …

Genesis | Naked Desire

October 6th, 2013


The word for "naked," used for Adam and Eve, and the word for "crafty," used for the serpent is, in the Hebrew, the same word! What could this …

Guest, Chris Lockett | A Sea/See Story

October 13th, 2013


Our special guest and member of Spark, Chris Lockett, shares a story from his time in the Navy, illuminating lessons of spiritual perspective and perception. In it, Chris exhorts us to ask good questions of what we …

Genesis | Hang It Up

October 27th, 2013


A continuation of our Genesis series taking a new look at the rainbow and flood of Noah from Genesis 7-9. Here we discover that this term "rainbow," is actually a munitions term. What is God "hanging" in the sky? His …

Genesis | Tower of Babel

November 10th, 2013


A continuation of our Genesis series, gleaning lessons from Genesis 11. In this teach, we wrestle with the question, "What are we building?"

Genesis | My Father Abraham

November 17th, 2013


A continuation of our Genesis series as we look at the calling of Abraham from Genesis 12. We discover through this lineage that we are not only connected to this history through progeny, we are also connected by …

Genesis | Covenant vs. Contracts

December 1st, 2013


As we continue through our series in Genesis we now engage with the idea of "covenant," comparing and contrasting this with a "contract." …

Rabbi Ari on Shabbat, and Pastor Danielle on Reconciliation

December 8th, 2013


In pursuit of our value for Reconciliation, we continue to seek out various ways to practice what we preach, whether through racial reconciliation, interfaith reconciliation, or simply reconciliation between neighbors …

What Child Is This?

December 15th, 2013


During our special Christmas concert sing-a-long with Kokua, Pastor Kevin offered a short devotional on the birth of this child, and why the question, "What child is this?" is still so important.

Spark in 2014: Update

January 5th, 2014


Pastors Danielle and Kevin and the Advisory Board gave Spark a brief update on the finances, staff, vision, hopes, dreams, and philosophy of Spark. Thank you to all of our Spark participants, here in Palo Alto, and …

Genesis | Welcome, Stranger

January 5th, 2014


A continuation of our Genesis series, looking at the story of Abraham and Hagar. Through this message we discover that there are strangers all around …

When God Comes Down

December 29th, 2013


From Genesis all the way through to Jesus, God has been telling a story of coming down here to earth, to enter into the chaos and dysfunction of …

Genesis | Private Parts

January 12th, 2014


A continuation of our Genesis series from chapter 17 on the covenant of circumcision. What does this odd practice have to do with this overarching story of Genesis? And really, why circumcision? Understanding the …

Genesis | The Three Visitors

January 19th, 2014


This talk is a continuation of our Genesis series from chapter 18 on the Three Visitors and juxtaposed with the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in chapter 19. May we extend our hand of hospitality to those around us, …

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