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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