Sunday, March 13, 2011

Reflection Questions for the End of the Day

So - at the end of the day, gently reflect upon these questions before you go to sleep:

- Has my heart been open to the voice of God today?
- Has my heart been open to the voices of my sisters and brothers today?
- Have I worked with joy or drudgery today?
- Have I waited with grace or impatience today?
- Have I sought the face of Christ in my encounters today?
- Have I seen the blessings of this day?
- How have I affected the quality of this day?
- Is there anyone, including myself, that I need to forgive?
- What do I know (being made in the image of God) but live as if I do not know?

[Adapted from "Seven Sacred Pauses" by Macrina Wiederkehr]

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dazzling Reign - March 6, 2011

Share one of your most memorable experiences (Holy encounter) in life
with us.

Read Matthew 17: 1-9. What catches your attention in this holy reading?

What do you think happened to Jesus up on that mountain?

What does it mean to be transfigured (transformed)?

Read Matthew 3:17 and Matthew 17:5. What do you notice about these two

Why does God tell us to “Listen to what Jesus says” only in the latter
scripture (Matthew 17:5) of the two?

How might listening to Jesus help the disciples, and us, to change?

How long do you think Jesus lived after this life-changing experience?

When Jesus was changed right in front of the disciples eyes, he was
shining like the sun, then Moses and Elijah were there talking. What do
you think went through the disciples' minds?

What did they say and do as this happened?

What would you be thinking if you were there?

After this fascinating event, the disciples were instructed not to tell
anyone about this until after the Son of Man had been raised from death.
Would you follow Jesus’ instructions? If not, who would you tell, and

Read Romans 12:2. Be transformed by the renewing of your minds.
How can Jesus’ words encourage you and I to be open to God’s transforming

When you see something spectacular happen, what goes through your mind?

Challenge: (Post all answers to questions on face book.)
How old would Moses, Elijah, and Jesus be today?

REMINDER: Fat Tuesday celebration on Tuesday, March 8th at Mike and
Cyndi Patterson’s home, 7:00 PM.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Putting Love First - February 27, 2011

Make a list of things that demand your time, your attention, and your

Which item on the list above is most important and which is least

What must you do to seek God’s way and participate in the present and
future reign of God?

How often must you (I) focus on God?

What happens when we focus on ourselves and our needs instead of focusing
on God?

Matthew 6:24
Do we every worry? What causes us to worry? What do we worry about?

Matthew 6:25-34
What happens when we realize God is present in our lives?

Who is God?

How might we attend to God’s presence?

Once we know God and know what God desires, we can what?

What is first and foremost with God?

How can the worries of this world distract us from a relationship with

How do the birds and wildflowers celebrate God?

In church we celebrate that God cares for us. How does this celebrating
bring us closer to God?

Challenge (must have name of person and scripture (book/chapter/verse)
posted on facebook, along with answers to questions above): What lady
waited four score and 4 years to meet Jesus, and how did she honor

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Expanding Our Boundaries - February 20, 2011

What does it mean to be mature?

Do you ever try to “get even” with anybody?
What usually happens when we retaliate?

How can we seek justice without retaliating?

Matthew 5:38-42
Do you go the extra mile? Give examples.
What gives you the power to choose to do more than is required of you?

Do you regularly greet people you don’t know? How?

Who do you usually pray for?

Matthew 5:43-48
Who should we love?
Who should we be sure to pray for?
What prayer might we pray if someone has hurt or offended us?

Leviticus 19:9-18
Which of these commands catches your minds attention?
Why does it catch your attention?

Who is your neighbor?
What is difficult about being a good neighbor?

Bonus Challenge: To win a $20 gift certificate to Texas Roadhouse, you
must be the first partnership team to post all answers to the questions
above on the church’s facebook discussion page (Church of the Good
Sheperd-NB), plus give the correct answer and scripture to the following.

What company has a motto of being a good neighbor? AND
What story does Jesus tell of a person being a good neighbor to someone
outside his circle of friends?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

From the Heart - February 13, 2011

Where does God live in the world today?

If Jesus lived with you, ate breakfast with you, rode to school or work with you, was your best friend all day long, and came home with you at night to study, relax and sleep, would you have to change anything you say or do, or do you live as if he is with you all the time? What might you have to change?

What does it mean to you to be loyal to someone?

Matthew 5:27-30
What does Jesus tell us about our thoughts and our actions?

When you speak is it more important to be polite and friendly, or to say exactly what you mean?

Matthew 5:33-37
What does Jesus tell you about what you say?
What does this scripture say to you about being honest?

What can you tell me about being angry?

Do you think God ever gets angry?

Matthew 5:21-26
What does Jesus say in this scripture about never being angry?

Is it possible for good people to do bad things?

Deuteronomy 30:15-20
What choices do we have to make according to God in this reading?

What is really fun and exciting when you worship the Lord your God?

Find the scripture (chapter and verse) which states:
“I seek you with all of my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.”
Hint: It comes out of the longest chapter in the Bible.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Restoring Beauty - February 6, 2011

Restoring Beauty

Take a moment to think about Thanksgiving dinner, homemade Christmas
cookies, Grandma’s cooking, something that someone has added special
flavor to, that you have tasted. What is one thing that you get really,
really, really hungry for?

What is something that you think God gets really hungry for? Why?

Do you know anyone who seems to think like God, or like God would want
them to think? What do you notice, or feel, or think when you are around

Matthew 13:44
God loves a joyful giver, which seems to be a challenge at times. What
is something that is really hard to give up, even for God or your best

Read Matthew 5:13-16

Draw a big circle on a sheet of paper. Think of words that others have
used to describe you and write those words outside the circle on the
paper. Write the words that you would use to describe yourself inside
the circle (at least 5 inner and 5 outer positive descriptions).
Place salt and light outside the circle. Reflect together, on ways in
which descriptions can either limit us or free us in terms of what we can
do and be.

God describes us as salt. Remember that salt was used to both preserve
food and to add flavor to food. How might you not only preserve life but
add flavor to life, especially for those around you?

Isaiah 58:2, 6-10
What does this passage say about you living as “light in the world”?
What is one thing that you can do to let your light shine?

Win a gift certificate by being the first one to find the Scripture where
God used 300 men because they lapped up water with their tongue like a
dog. (Answer on facebook, blog, or email.)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Vision Beautiful - for January 30, 2011

First, think about these questions:

• If you had to take a friend to the most holy place you ever saw or visited or felt, where would this most holy place be?

• What is one thing in life that people chase after which is supposed to bring great happiness?

Read Matthew 5:1-12

Now, think about these questions:

• Which one of these blessings seems to be the most challenging?

• Why is it so challenging or what is so challenging about it?

• What surprises you about this teaching from Jesus?

• For whom are these words good news?

• For whom might these words be frightening?

• Once we commit to depending on Him, or being humble, or merciful, or making peace, or by wanting to obey God, etc....He blesses us with great happiness. What seems to bring you great happiness?

Now, read Micah 6:1-8

A few more questions:

• What does God require of us?

• Who has been an example for you of doing these things?

• What super hero has the qualities God wants us to exhibit in life?

• What weakness does this super hero have?

• What is one thing that people should do to make this world a better place for those who live here?

Look into your partner's heart. What quality has God placed there that makes life more exciting, enjoyable, and beautiful?

Extra Reading: Ecclesiastes 3:9-14

Just for fun (and a prize), the clue for a specific day and time we'll meet at McDonalds for further conversation can be found in Esther 5:12. Call or email Mike or Pastor Susan if you have any questions. Remember, we post this guide on Sunday (Jan. 23), so don't wait to begin reading.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Called Together!!

This week we are reading from the gospel of Matthew - Matthew 4:12-23. This is the beginning of Jesus' active ministry, seemingly triggered by the arrest of John the Baptist. Jesus moved to Capernaum, and began to preach. He also called together some fishermen, and invited them to follow him, and begin to "fish for people."

Simon (later to be known as Peter), Andrew, James, and John were invited to follow Jesus, learn God's ways, and share with others the good news of God's love. It seems to be a call to be together - and in ministry.

In what ways are we called to be together?
What are we called to do?
Are we living into those calls?

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