Saturday, April 30, 2011

Humble Yourself

In this story, Ashley has a dream to become a famous singer. She decides to travel with a Christian singing group and she thought this might be her chance to be discovered. At first, she enjoyed watching people come to God - but soon became disenchanted and began grumbling and complaining about the conditions and situation. At a restaurant, they met a bum and invited him for dinner. As they discussed knowing God, Ashley realized that she had been wrong to judge others and to complain about her situation.

The scripture reading is also about being humble and doing things for others rather than for yourself. Furthermore, it says to do everything without grumbling.

I find that this is very hard to do - and I think it's getting harder and harder in today's age of instant gratification. If we want to know something - it's as simple as typing in a question on Google. If we want to buy something - it can be found somewhere online! My college friend Jessica is going to quit teaching and try day care instead - she is discouraged by the children she has to work with. Only a handful are respectful and obedient - the rest are constantly talking and moving and doing what they want to do. But what can we do to change our children? Part of it is TV and video games - they only do something for snippets of time rather then sitting and learning to play a game.

I also find I complain about one aspect of work - but I have a good job that provides -

I think everyone can use the reminder time to time to do things for others and to work without grumbling - but at the same time, easier said then done!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Gift of Dance

I think this story is typical of all of us. We do the best that we can but there are times when we feel that we weren't good enough, could have done better or failed. We think that we didn't do our best or didn't do well enough to accomplish what we wanted to. We didn't all start life the way Isabelle started life, but each one of us has our own personal challenges we need to overcome and/or change. But we forget that when we have done the best that we can, we need to leave the situation in God's hands. We don't know what other people are looking for when we have to put ourselves out front. Isabelle may not have danced as she wanted to, but she must have danced good enough for the school. Maybe they weren't just looking at her dancing skills, but at her personality and attitude, too!! Isabelle wanted to dance for a living, but she also loved to dance. God wants us to be happy and enjoy life.

The bible reading for this week is about David. Even though Saul tried to kill David, David showed mercy to Saul's grandson, Mephibasheth and he ate at David's table like one of David's sons. If David can be generous and forgiving to someone who doesn't deserve it, how much more can and will God be generous to us.

Is there anything else in the bible verse that relates to this week's reading?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

When Life Changed in an Instant

Psalm 116 says "I love the Lord for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live". The writer of this Psalm is unknown, but the footnotes in my bible say, "this writer's love for the Lord had grown because he had experienced answers to his prayers".

If you wonder if God answers prayers, I would suggest that you write down all your prayers along with the date and leave a space to write God's answer. Then review your list often to see how God has answered your prayers.

Michelle's faith and determination helped in her healing process.

Read Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8. We need to pray, do what we can do and leave the rest up to God.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Letting Go

In the reading for this week a mother struggles over fearing for her children's safety. She doesn't like that she can't let the fear go. One day her son is severely hurt and she realizes that his safety is out of her control. It is interesting that it took a crisis to actually alleviate her fears and trust that God is in control. Because she had that trust, her son was saved. In the bible verse it also discusses a man's complete faith in Jesus and because of that faith Jesus provided for the man.

I have a couple questions for you:

1. Do you think that if the woman didn't have the trust in God her son wouldn't have been saved?

2. How can you relate this week's reading to the struggles we have been having with the authenticity of the stories in this book?

3. Are there things going on in your life now that you realize you need to let go of and give God control?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Buckle Up!

I am going to summarize Genesis 27. Rebekah had two sons and they were fraternal twins. Before they were born, God told Rebekah that the older son would serve the younger son. Esau was born first and Jacob was born second. When their father, Isaac was old, he was going to give the blessing to his oldest child, which was a part of their tradition and culture as long as the father felt that the oldest should get the blessing. The father could give another son the blessing if he felt that son was more deserving of it. Through the blessing the son became the leader of the family. Anyway, when Rebekah heard that Isaas was going to bless Esau, she took matters into her own hands and had Jacob pretend that he was Esau and deceived Isaac so that Isaac gave the blessing to Jacob rather than to Esau. Esau got so mad that he said he was going to kill Jacob and Jacob had to flee. The consequences of Rebekah's interference were that she never saw Jacob again, Esau became the founder of an enemy nation, and Jacob was exiled from his family for years. The irony of this all is that Jacob would have gotten the birthright as God had proclaimed that Jacob would before he was born. If Rebekah and Jacob would have waited for God and let God work things His way things would have turned out much differently for them. I don't think it's appropriate to use deceit to get what we want. My questions to you are: (1) Why did they use this scriptue for the reading this week? (2) How does Proverbs 23.22 relate to this week's reading? (3) Why is Colossians 3:21 another good reading for this week? (4) Is there anything different that Andy's mom could have done? (5) Why do you think Rebekah and Jacob did what they did? (6) Why do you think Andy's mom treated Jared the way that she did? (7) Should she have treated him differently and why? (Enough questions for everyone to answer at least one!!!)