Sunday, April 29, 2012

Life Notes: Would You Remind Me

WOULD YOU REMIND ME?     2 PETER 1:12-2     4/15/2012

Worship:  Connect with God through songs, prayers, and creative arts.  Invite the Holy Spirit to move and minister in your group!  Be open to God’s leading and presence!  Enjoy this time with God and one another.

Word:             On Sunday we heard Peter teach about remembering, about his spiritual experience with God, and about the power in the message of the prophets.  Today in Life Group we are going to apply these things to our lives.  Listen carefully to what your brothers and sister have to share.  Respond as God leads you!

1.         Have you ever forgotten something important and then remembered it at the last   minute?

2.         Read 2 Peter 1:12-13. 

A.        Do you remember any of the special things you learned as a baby Christian?           What were they?

B.        What “old things” do you think God would like to remind you of today?

C.        Are you “standing firm” in the “truth you have been taught?”  Are there things      you know, and once did, that your don’t do as well as you did before? 
            What changed?

D.        If you are a parent, teacher, leader, mentor, or friend… 
            What should you be reminding people of?

3.         Read 2 Peter 1:16-19.  Peter had an amazing experience on the “Mt. of Transfiguration.”  Peter says that, “Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets.”

A.        Have you had supernatural experiences with God.  Are there any you feel led to share.  Often times, these experiences are special and holy.  Only share what God leads you to share.  Don’t share to brag, or to boast.  Share only to give your brothers and sisters “greater confidence” in trusting the revealed truth of the scriptures.

4.         Read verse 19 again.  Do you have a plan for reading the scriptures.  How does Peter describe the words of scripture?  Who will the scriptures lead us to?

5.         Read 2 Peter 2:20-21.  God used people to write the scriptures.  Who was really speaking, and how did the humans get the message?

Thought:  If you have never read the New Testament, I would begin with Matthew and continue through Revelations.  Set a goal of one, two, or three chapters a day.  Use a modern translation you can understand.  Enjoy the parts you understand.  Do not worry about the parts you do not understand.  Talk to your Mentor or Life Group about what you are learning, and what you do not understand.  If you would like to dig deeper, or get some help with tricky passages, give me a call.  There are great free online resources.  We can help you find the good stuff.                     Blessings, PPP

Witness:          1 Peter 3:15 (MSG)
15 Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ,
your Master.  Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you're living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.




Friday, April 27, 2012

Upward: Bread, Eggs, Creme, Sugar, Coffee, and Chocolate - Pastor Paul

When I was a small boy I had the privilege of going to my Great-Grandparents house.  I can remember Mema [bedstemor in the Danish] doing things to spoil me and make it special.  We would sit in front of the large picture window and she would tell me stories of the little bird that lived in the large Cyprus tree.  She would open the candy dish, the one I was forbidden to touch, and take out chocolate treats.  And she would invite me into the magical place known as her breakfast nook.

In this nook amazing things happened for me.  Mema would cut up little squares of white bread into what she called the "bita horses."  Then she would soft boil an egg to perfection.  We would crack off the top of the egg as it sat in it's special little cup.  Then we would dip the "bita horses" into the egg and it would taste amazing.  I was only a small boy but Mema saw nothing wrong with sharing her coffee.  We would begin with an ancient cup and saucer, one I knew I was lucky to touch.  In would go the lumps of sugar and the creme.  Real creme, and real sugar.  This was long before flavored creamers and Splenda.  Last but not least was the coffee.  And the magic was complete. 

Somehow Mema was able to take ordinary things and make them extra-ordinary.  The commonplace became amazing in her hands.  Mema gave me an experience that I remember fifty years later.  I can still taste the coffee, sugar, creme, chocolate, eggs, and toast. 

For most of us the Bible, prayer, meals shared, worship, and fellowship are everyday things.  They are a normal part of our life.  We have done them for so long that we would not really know how not to do them.  But that is not true for everyone.  Many people in our world live without the hope of Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the support of the Holy Spirit.  When God invites these people into our breakfast nook He gives us a special opportunity.  

We can give them an egg and a cup of coffee, or we can set the table before them with all the love God has given us.  We can introduce them to the "bita horses" and the finest china.  We can open the forbidden bowl and share our stash of chocolate.  When God brings His wandering children into our Celebration, Life Groups, or OIKOS we are being given the glorious opportunity to help someone look UPWARD and see the true Father of the family.  May God show us how to take everything He has given us and share it in the most excellent way possible.  May God use us to help His wandering children make a God sized memory that will still be with them a half a century from now!
In Jesus name, Amen.