10 Alive Update

Friends,

Friday June, 17 is the date of our class party at Valley Farm. Invite  someone you think would benefit from being a member of our class. The Cook’s will provide the barbecue. And we will bring a side dish or desert. Robyn will be posting a list of what folks have agreed to bring.

Sunday we continued our series on Moses with a discussion of Exodus chapter five.

Why wouldn’t Pharaoh listen to Moses? Tom said Pharaoh didn’t believe in the God of the Hebrews. Pharaoh believed he was God.We shouldn’t be to quick to judge Pharaoh. We often reject God’s word and go our own way. Like Pharaoh we want to be god of our own lives.

Why weren’t the Hebrews patient? They wanted deliverance but didn’t want to wait. Fran stated she wants to trust God and she does, however, it would be easier if she could see how God was going to work everything out. God doesn’t let us see the future but He has demonstrated His love for us. We can rest in the knowledge He knows what is best for us. We all agreed Carl is a living example of this truth.

Why didn’t Moses trust God? Laurie said it was because things weren’t going as planned. We want to be faithful to His call but sometimes it’s hard. She told of a young mother who lost her newborn baby. She knew God had a purpose in the tragedy but she would rather have left the hospital with her baby. Bill added that God sees the big picture and we don’t. We need to have faith even when the world doesn’t make since.

Next week Exodus 7:1-24.

Consider the following questions:

1) Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart? Did Pharaoh have a choice?

2) Why so many plagues?

3) Why did the first plague involve turning the Nile to blood?

See you Sunday.

John

 

Wednesday Night Recap

Friends,

Before beginning the recap. I wanted to let you know about our next study. July 6 we will begin a study of Peter. Our text will be the Bible so there will be no book to buy. I’m assuming members of a group this advanced owns at least one Bible. If not then for heavens sake it’s high time you bought one.

We will be discussing texts from the gospels as well as Peter’s epistles. Peter was one of our Lord’s best friends. For all his faults, and he had a few; he emerges as the undisputed leader of the church. Peter can teach us a great deal and I know this will be a great study.

Wednesday we discussed chapter eleven of  ‘Surprised by Joy’, ‘Check.’

Lewis makes a discovery about joy – it was not a feeling to be achieved but a reality to be grasped. It was not separate from the world. The world and all that was pleasurable were not in themselves joy,they reflected joy.

Why was Lewis slow to grasp this truth?

Robyn noted that it was because Lewis was selfish. Lewis himself wrote that he rejected Christianity because “…what mattered most of all [to Lewis] was my deep-seated hatred of authority, my monstrous individualism, my lawlessness. No word in my vocabulary expressed deeper hatred than the word Interference.”  Julie added that when we focus on God rather than ourselves we experience joy.

Another factor in Lewis’ inability to find joy was that his early faith was dominated by fear. Connie recalled that as a boy Lewis was afraid that his prayers weren’t good enough.  When he would finish praying he would hear a voice ask “did you mean that?” Lewis would admit that he had not meant it – at least not as he should have – and he would start his prayers again.  Therefore, his early experience with Christianity was steeped in legalism and guilt, hardly the type of faith that would lead to joy.

We were designed by God to be in relationship. Relationship with Christ and each other. Many people spend their lives attempting to fill themselves with what they believe will make them happy – career, family, sex, money, power, etc… However, these things can never replace God. They are idols and we find we need more and more of them to be less and less happy. As one of you correctly noted Christ is the only thing that gives you more joy the more you seek  Him.

We discussed how many popular movies an books unwittingly contain the gospel message. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl and boy gets girl. We all want to be that “girl.”  We long for a hero who would love us so much that he would risk everything to have us. “God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Next week chapter twelve – ‘Guns and Good Company’

Consider the following questions:

1) Why did Lewis (then still an atheist) like to read Chesterton’s (a Christian)  essays?

2) What drew Lewis to Wallie?

3) How can we best witness to others?

See you Wednesday.

John

 

Tuesday Morning Recap

Gentlemen,

Tuesday we discussed Romans 8:29,30

“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and those whom He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified; and those whom He justified, He also glorified.”

Are you becoming more like Jesus?

Dick pointed out that the process of sanctification is controlled by God. Bob agreed that the text suggests that God is the one who is conforming us to the image of His son. We agreed that the bible teaches the absolute sovereignty of God and the free will of man. We further agreed that we won’t fully understand how these two truths work together until we get to heaven.

We next discussed what helps and what hinders us on our journey. Dan L. said that the men’s bible study reminds him of the truth of God’s word and that he is not alone on his journey.

Judson added that becoming conformed to the image of Christ involves recognizing how he has been gifted and then finding opportunities to use that gift to God’s glory. Todd said that he agrees. Todd finds proof of this truth when he hears his daughter sing. All who have heard her agree.

Jim said that all the events in our life can be used by God if we acknowledge God as Lord of our lives.

Grady stated that we know we are on the right path if we are growing in our love of God and love of others.

Next week Romans 8:31. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?”

Consider the following questions:

1) Why does it sometimes feel God has abandoned us?

2) How can we be sure He never abandons us?

3) How can we live lives that reflect that God is”for us?”

See you Tuesday.

John

 

10 Alive Recap

Friends,

Yesterday we continued our series on Moses with a discussion of Exodus chapter three.

Why did God wait so long to rescue His people? The children of Israel had been in bondage for more than four hundred years. Many of us have been in or are currently in “bondage.” Why doesn’t God deliver us?

Tom suggested that God may leave us in a situation until we learn what He would have us to learn. Chris added that during times of struggle we learn to depend on God rather than ourselves.

Annie said that sometimes the difficulties we face are due to our own bad decisions and not God’s will. God uses all our circumstances and decisions to accomplish His will for our lives — to conform us to the image of His Son.

Why was Moses reluctant to do what God asked? Julie wondered if it was because he was comfortable with his life. He had found a new country with a new wife and family. He was building a new life and was reluctant to change. Laurie felt that Moses was likely afraid. It appeared that God was asking him to do the impossible. The Egyptians would be hostile and the Israelites would be reluctant to follow.

What keeps us from listening to God’s call? Like Moses we resent what it will cost both in time and energy. We are comfortable with life as we know it. In addition we are afraid. We might fail or look
foolish. We tell God “send someone else.”

However, when we answer the call we experience His blessing and touch the lives of others. Sam shared how members of his childhood church had a positive influence on him. Sam added that the amazing thing is that they didn’t realize how much they blessed him.

So what is God calling you to do? Isn’t it time you answered the call?

Next week we discuss Exodus 5:1-23. Consider the following questions:

1) Why doesn’t Pharaoh listen to Moses?

2) Why are the Israelites so quick to turn on Moses? Why can’t they be patient?

3) Why does Moses question God? Have you ever felt like Moses?

See you Sunday.

John

 

Wednesday Night Recap

 

Friends,

Last night we discussed chapter ten of ‘Surprised by Joy’ – Fortune’s Smile

The first thing we discussed was Lewis’ attitude toward cars.

Sonny quoted from p. 157  “The truest and most horrible claim made for modern transport is that it ‘annihilates space.'” Lewis loved to take walks, especially with a close friend. Cars take us to a destination more quickly but we lose the glory of the journey. The promise of technology is that it will make life easier and sometimes it does,  however, if we are not careful technology can rob us of something – quiet time with family and friends.

 

Grady said that modern conveniences like cell phones, play stations and computers have made it more difficult for people to communicate on a personal level. Robyn agreed and added that she insists her family eat their evening meal together. Cell phones and computers are not invited. Carroll remembered doing the wash with her sister as children. They didn’t use a washing machine, therefore, it took longer but she has fond memories of the time spent with her sister.

We also discussed one of the ‘worst’ things Lewis ever did. He took communion when he was not a believer. Lewis only realized the extent of his sin after he became a believer. We talked about why communion is so significant and why we should take it seriously. Tom said that communion is significant because we remember what our sin cost Christ.  Sarah added that when she comes to the communion table she feels relief.  She knows she is accepted and everything will be OK.  Fran added that the act of taking communion makes her feel connected to others. She understands she is not alone.

Next week chapter eleven – Check

Consider the following questions:

1) Lewis has a new realization about Joy. Up to this point he thought what he wanted was a state of mind. What does he now realize about Joy?

2) What is the main reason Lewis had rejected Christianity?

3) What does Lewis mean when he says his imagination was baptized before the rest of him?

See you Wednesday night.

John

 

Tuesday Morning Recap

Tuesday we discussed one of the greatest verses in Scripture – Romans 8:28

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

If we took this verse seriously what would change about our lives?

Chris said we would no longer worry about the future. God is working all our circumstances for good. Aubie added that  this is true if we love God and are seeking His will in our lives. 

Sam stated that the verse does not promise that all our circumstances will be good but that God works everything for good.Terry shared that a friend had lost his young son. Terry’s friend was having a hard time finding the good in that terrible loss. Terry said his friend was a believer but that for the friend Scripture had lost it’s meaning. We agreed that there are times when our suffering seems greater than God’s love. But we concluded that at those times we know we are better off than those who have no hope. And that in time our faith returns.

Joe R. reminded us that the worst thing that could happen to us would be to lead lives of fame and prosperity but die without knowing the Lord. He wondered how many rich and famous people would, at the end of their lives, like to go back in time and start over and live more modest and Godly lives.

Bob said that he has grown spiritually during good times. He believes that God works through good experiences, like The Discipleship Bible study. Bob explained the Bible study has been a powerful experience for him.

Next week Romans 8:29.

Ask yourself if you are being conformed to the likeness of Christ. If not then why not and if so then what is helping you on your journey?

See you Tuesday.

John

 

10 Alive Recap

Friends,

Today we began a new series on Moses. Over the next few weeks we will be discussing how God used the events in Moses life, both good and bad, to prepare Moses to do God’s will. We will also explore how God used the people who knew Moses to encourage, support and teach him. We will discover that, like Moses, God has a purpose for our lives and he is using the events and people in our lives to prepare us for service.

Our text for today’s lesson was Exodus 2:1-10.

We first talked about how the woman in Moses life influenced him. Fran pointed out that God used Moses birth mother to teach him his Jewish heritage. His mother’s teaching filled Moses with compassion for his people.

God gave Moses the prestige he would later need by having him raised by his adopted mother – Pharaoh’s daughter. Laurie noted that in many ways Moses was a man from two worlds who belonged to neither. He was likely a lonely man who often doubted himself.

Julie asked at what point Moses was sure of God’s purpose for Moses life. Bill wondered if Moses ever was entirely sure. Bill reminded us that at times Moses was confident at others insecure. Rather like we are. It’s a good thing God is so patient with us.

We discussed how Satan can make us doubt our abilities and God’s plan for our lives. Bonnie shared an experience that caused her to doubt herself. Paul said that we will always have moments of doubt and we will make mistakes but God wants us moving forward and relying on Him. The biggest mistake we can make is allowing Satan to keep us on the sideline.

Next week Exodus chapter three. Consider the following questions:

1) Why did God wait so long to deliver His people?

2) Why is Moses reluctant to do what God asks? Have there been times you resisted God? What happened?

3) What is the thing that most often keeps us from doing what God asks us to do?

See you Sunday.

John

 

Wednesday Night Recap

Friends,

Wednesday we discussed chapter nine – The Great Knock

We talked about why knock ( Lewis’ tutor ) was such a great influence on Lewis. Connie said that Knock, unlike Lewis’ father, listened to Lewis. Robyn added that Knock treated Lewis like an adult.

Judy said Knock taught Lewis how to think. Knock showed Lewis the importance of being able to support opinion with facts. Without Knock Lewis does not develop the type of mind that is able to compose books like ‘The Screwtape Letters’ or ‘The Great Divorce.’

We next addressed those who had be influences in our lives. Shena talked about her sister. Shena’s sister taught Shena how to raise children and be a more compassionate person. Fran talked about her grandmother. Fran’s grandmother taught Fran the importance of faith and family. Tom talked about his mother who showed him the power of love.

All these individuals were influential because they loved before they taught and they taught as much by example as by their words.

Ginger said that she trys to surround herself with the important people in her life. She draws power from them.

God uses people in our lives to prepare us. Three things are true of every Christian. First, you are royalty – a child of the king. Second, you have been given a gift. This is what you do well. The thing that when you exercise it it brings you pleasure – even if no one notices what you’ve done. Third, God provides opportunities for you to use your talent.

Next week chapter ten – Fortunes Smile

Consider the following questions:

1) Describe Lewis’ attitude towards cars, military service, and books. What do they tell us about Lewis?

2) What does Lewis describe as ‘one of the worst acts’ of his life?

See you Wednesday.

John

 

Tuesday Morning Recap

Gentlemen,

Tuesday we discussed Romans 8:26,27

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

Alleyne writes “I’ve learned that prayer isn’t always words. At times my spirit simply agonizes over a situation. I begin to be deeply touched by the infirmities of others and myself. Weakness cries out deep within me. Weakness cries out to strength. Then He takes over and prays His heart through me. He brings me to the point of being able to say truthfully and totally, albeit in holy fear, ‘Nevertheless, Lord, not my will but Thine be done.”

If we took this teaching seriously what would change in our lives?

Todd said that knowing God is on our side and interceding for us should make us confident about the future no matter what the future holds.

Joe advised that if we applied this teaching there would be little room for worrying. God will provide.

Bob stated that this teaching should make us more loving. Since God is interceding for us we are free to look after the needs of others.

Sam said that God works in mysterious ways. He told of blessing that has come through a tragedy in the life of his neighbor. In times of trial you can really experience God.

Good class. Next week Romans 8:28. You won’t want to miss next weeks lesson.

See you Tuesday.

John

 

10 Alive at Carl and Jan’s

 

Friends,

This Sunday we took our class on the road to Carl and Jan’s. We enjoyed a time of fellowship and prayer. It was an inspiration to all who attended. Thanks to Bill and Annie for organizing the trip. Here are some pictures Bill took. What an amazing group!

See you Sunday.

John