October 25, 2020

10:15am I Facebook Live

Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble

Question of the Week

How are you practicing humility?

The Big Idea: Humility is a necessary practice in our walk with Jesus. Humility is also necessary for properly expressing the character of the Kingdom

Take Away: Developing humility, like all the other disciplines we are discussing takes practice. Unlike others, it may feel impossible to know when you have achieved it. Humility is best understood as the consistent correct understanding of our relationship to God, ourselves and others.

 

How does this fit into our culture Belong Become Believe?:

A huge part of humility is being able to receive from others, that includes being welcomed and belonging. Likewise humility makes room for others. Humility also aids in our posture as learners, helping position us for godly formation. Last, humility unpins our confessions that open the door to believing.

Relevant Verses:

Colossians 3:12-17

Proverbs 11:2

Romans 12: 1-8

Philippians 2

Resources:

Humility and Hearing God go together

Just for fun

Illustration/personal connection:

Winston Churchill was once asked, “Doesn’t it thrill you to know that every time you make a speech, the hall is packed to overflowing?”

 

“It’s quite flattering,” replied Winston, “But whenever I feel that way, I always remember that if instead of making a political speech I was being hanged, the crowd would be twice as big.”  Context


October 18, 2020

10:15am I Facebook Live

Practicing Obedience

Intro:

 

Question of the Week

How are you cultivating the discipline of obedience in your life?

The Big Idea: Faith and obedience are inseparable. Christian Formation is about following Jesus and Putting Jesus’ Words into practice

Take Away: What does it mean to obey? Cultivating a practice of obedience is accomplished only by faith.

 

How does this fit into our culture Belong Become Believe?:

Our obedience opens the door for us to welcome others as well as accept the invitation to belong. Likewise it forms us as practice it and leads us, at times, to believe what would otherwise be hidden from us.

Relevant Verses:

1 Samuel 15:22 : 22 Then Samuel said, “Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as he does in obedience? Certainly, obedience is better than sacrifice; paying attention is better than the fat of rams.

 

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” Love and obedience are intertwined

Resources:

“Only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes.”― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship


October 11, 2020

10:15am I Facebook Live

Cultivating Diversity

Intro: We’ve been asking the question this week, how do we cultivate diversity? One major way is to listen to voices not like us. Voices from people of different backgrounds, who are of a different color or orientation, who have different life experiences. We will all do this on Sunday when we hear a message from LaTasha Morrison of Be the Bridge but I want to encourage you to engage with the resources below and make a regular practice of listening to and engaging with people who may challenge you, may even make you uncomfortable, but are worth recognizing as part of the same Body of Christ we are all part of. Grace and peace y’all.

 

Question of the Week

How are you cultivating diversity in your life?

The Big Idea: There is no room for nationalism, exceptionalism, racism in God’s Kingdom.

Take Away: Cultivating diversity takes humility, courage, intention, willingness to be uncomfortable, and a willingness to risk.

 

How does this fit into our culture Belong Become Believe?:

Being a community that cultivates diversity is an essential act of hospitality which opens the door to belonging. Being part of a diverse community is an essential part of our formation into the likeness of Christ and our witness as participants in God’s Kingdom. Experiencing God at work in people and groups different from us is a powerful testimony strengthening our faith.

Relevant Verses:

"After these things I looked, and here was an enormous crowd that no one could count, made up of persons from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb dressed in long white robes, and with palm branches in their hands. 10 They were shouting out in a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels stood there in a circle around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they threw themselves down with their faces to the ground before the throne and worshiped God..." Revelation 7:9-11

“Many nations will join themselves to the Lord on the day of salvation, and they will also be my people. Indeed, I will settle in the midst of you all. Then you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sent me to you." Zechariah 2:11

"For this is what the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have appointed you to be a light for the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began to rejoice and praise the word of the Lord, and all who had been appointed for eternal life believed. 49 So the word of the Lord was spreading through the entire region. 50 But the Jews incited the God-fearing women of high social standing and the prominent men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and threw them out of their region. 51 So after they shook the dust off their feet in protest against them, they went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit."   Acts 13:47-52

Resources:

Brene Brown interviews the Rev. Michael Curry

For kids and their families:


October 4, 2020

10:15am I Facebook Live

 

Developing a Heart of Compassion

 

Question of the Week

How are you cultivating gratitude in this season?

The Big Idea: Compassion is cultivated by an ever deepening understanding of who God is, who we are and how that defines how we are to relate to others.

Take Away: Practicing compassion is an essential part of our apprenticeship to Jesus.

 

How does this fit into our culture Belong Become Believe?:

Compassion is a tangible expression of love. This includes showing hospitality and choosing to enter into the suffering of others. This enables a true sense of belonging. Practicing compassion is a major component of formation (becoming). Receiving compassion helps us to encounter, experience and place our faith (believing) in the Good News.

Relevant Verses:

Romans 12:9 - 16 Love must be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another with mutual love, showing eagerness in honoring one another. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be enthusiastic in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints, pursue hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly. Do not be conceited.

 

Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he delivers those who are discouraged.”

 

Matthew 9:35 - 38 Then Jesus went throughout all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were bewildered and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest-ready fields.”

Luke 10:25 Now an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you understand it?” 27 The expert answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” 28 Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live. 29 But the expert, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him up, and went off, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, but when he saw the injured man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too a Levite, when he came up to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan who was traveling came to where the injured man was, and when he saw him, he felt compassion for him. 34 He went up to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring olive oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever else you spend, I will repay you when I come back this way.’ 36 Which of these three do you think became a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 The expert in religious law said, “The one who showed mercy to him.” So Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”

Resources:

Wise words from Elie Wiesel

Simple steps for developing Compassion 

How do mercy, empathy and compassion differ? How do they relate?

For kids and their families:

“What are we providing for our parents and mentors to equip and encourage them in discipling our kids?”

 

How do we best encourage and grow compassionate kids?

 

First, we must acknowledge that our children are always watching and listening, even if that doesn’t seem to be the case!  What are our adult responses when we see a person who is homeless, possibly passed out on the biking trail as we venture out on a Saturday morning?  How do we react when we see someone experiencing the struggles of physical disabilities?  

 

* Together, pray for more compassion...for eyes to see like Jesus.
* Enjoy this read aloud of Kindness is my Superpower
* Start a family practice of grieving with those who grieve.  

* Get a stack of cards that are ready to send when a need arises, and let the kids have an active role in coloring/stamping/putting it in the mailbox.

* Pick a charity that gives you hope to which you might donate each year in memory of those who pass on. 

* Let your kids help cook and deliver a meal to someone who is sick or hurting.  

* Volunteer with a local rEcess to build relationships with families experiencing disability. 
* Take your kids along to drop off needed donations at 7hills Day Center.  * Model appropriate kindness and a smile to the neighbors sitting at the picnic tables. 
* Give a listen to Kindness is a Muscle


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