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Showing posts from November, 2019

I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS: Who's in charge here?

Icebreaker: Who was in charge at your childhood home? Mom? Dad? Grandma? How are chores divided in your home? Overview: In the movie, The Santa Clause,” actor Tim Allen dons a Santa suit and magically appears at the North Pole. He asks the elves, “Who’s in charge here?” and they reply, “You are!” The new Santa is totally overwhelmed by his expanding responsibilities and waistline. The true measure of leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. – John Maxwell Mary’s betrothed, Joseph, found himself in an extremely difficult situation. After careful consideration, he decided on a plan to quietly break his engagement to Mary and let her deal with the unexpected pregnancy alone. God had a different plan for Joseph. An angel appeared in a dream to tell Joseph he was in charge and what his responsibilities would be concerning his new wife and son. When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him. – Matthew 1:24 ESV Discussi


Only the passage of time can judge how far we have travelled and how well we have followed the Lord in steps of faith. Time goes quickly and slowly simultaneously. We encounter tremendous obstacles along the way such as leaders with moral failings and a mountain of debt and the obstacles seems unsurmountable; yet, we put one step in front of the other placing our faith in God. “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” ― Corrie ten Boom   It takes courage and steadfastness to keep going. We have no choice really. We can’t give up! We will keep going in faith until the battle is truly won and Heaven is our home. An old choral hymn by Carlton Pearson says it well: We've come this far by faith Leaning on the LORD Trusting in His Holy Word He never failed me yet Oh' can't turn around We've come this far by faith . Discussion: What emotions did you feel today as the church building mortgage was burned? So we are alway

HOLY SPIRIT: How's Your Fruit?

Icebreaker: Who is the gentlest person you know? What is the difference between gentleness and weakness? Overview: While working for an international company, a Christian was passed over for a promotion because he lacked the degree required for the position. The position was filled by a qualified candidate from an out-of-state branch of the company. The Christian had to work closely with the new hire but was determined not to like him. The office environment was filled with jealousy and rivalry. Management noticed. When the root is bitterness, imagine what the fruit might be. -- Woodrow Kroll As the months passed, the Christian continued to pursue his education and slowly a relationship developed between him and the new hire. The new hire was not a Christian and had a troubled personal life. The Christian became something of a mentor and spiritual adviser to the younger man. He prayed for him and the Holy Spirit began to work in the lives of both men.  Bu

HOLY SPIRIT: Gifted People

Icebreaker: Who is the most talented person you know? What is the difference between talent and gifting? Overview: A young couple fell in love while attending a Christian college. The young man was studying for the ministry while the young woman worked toward a degree in elementary education. By the time they graduated, they were married and headed to their first pastorate at a small, rural church. They were excited and full of plans for their new congregation. There was only one, small problem – the young woman did not play the piano and could not carry a tune in the proverbial bucket. These were skills expected of a pastor wife and much needed in their small congregation. Start where you are, do anything you can do, and do everything you can do, until you find something you must do! That something is probably your spiritual gift. – Jim George She couldn’t play or sing but she could organize, plan, teach and love people into the Kingdom of God so that is what sh

HOLY SPIRIT: Filled, Baptized and Empowered

Icebreaker: Who is the most powerful person you know? What is the difference between personal power and positional power? Overview: The early church did not let persecution stop them from being filled with joy and power from the Holy Spirit. Sometimes (all the time) God wants the best for us but we have to get out of the way and let it happen. A young woman applied multiple times for a job at a Bible publisher. She finally landed her dream job of marketing a new translation of the Bible. A couple of years passed but a downturn in the economy forced the company to lay-off hundreds of people including the young woman. She was devastated and desperate. She took a part time job at a Christian bookstore, tied on a green apron and started selling the very Bible she had helped design. Where was God? What was His plan for her now? Months later she was hired by an international company to market their broad line of consumer products. What got her the job? Her retail experience a