Dec 1, 2013

When Relationships Collide

If you have not been to Sunday School lately you are missing out on some great sessions on all levels.  The Sunday school has been restructured somewhat, we now have two adult classes studying/using the curriculum Bible Studies for Life. The division is College to 49 (Rob Phillips) and Retirement to Eternity (Greg Davis). Starting back in September the six week study was based in the book of James. The general theme was "Pressure Points". We realize that pressure is everywhere you go.  Coaches, business leaders, teenagers, couples even doctors are prescribing medication more and more these days to help stressed out people cope with the pressure of just living.

Like Solomon wrote, "There nothing new under the sun", with that in mind being under pressure is nothing new.  James was writing to the 1st century church who was encountering great and intense pressure. Persecution dispersed the new church so do we live our faith in our heads or live it our in our lives? There was the pressure to compromise when temptation arose or shrink back in times of trial. Then there was the pressure to tank into prejudicial preference when new people came into the church. What about the pressure of controlling the tongue (gossip/rumors/etc.)? Have you ever gave in to the pressure of having your own way? How about getting even when mistreated? James encouraged the believers to allow these pressures to drive them deeper in their relationship with Jesus. Pressure can be a positive thing that leads one to experience the prescence and power of God.

The general theme for the second half of the quarter was "When Relationships Collide".  Conflict is everywhere around us and it touches every life that is born into this world. From something as simple as two members of the congregation wanting to sit in the same church pew or something as devastating as a broken marriage.  We learn that the Bible does not shy away from difficult issues, which includes conflict. When you read scripture one is confronted with the good, the bad, and the ugly in people's lives.  We identify very easily with many of these people in scripture because the bible often serves as a mirror of our own lives in conflict.

Running from conflict is not the answer but learning how to deal with it in a healthy, God honoring way is the thing to do.  God wants to work his will in the middle of our conflicts, so don't fret.  If you allow Him to work in our lives He will show us the sources and the solutions to our conflicts. 

We will be finishing up this quarter, with a special focus session, "Thank you, Lord" based in Psalm 100:1-5.

The next quarter theme is, "Experiencing New Life in Christ" Romans 1:1 - 8:27 that will be for seven weeks and the second half of the quarter promises to be thought provoking. As I stated earlier the Bible does not shrink back or shy away from difficult issues (Is every life sacred? Does God really exists? What about those who have never heard about Jesus? Is the Bible trustworthy? If God is good, why is there suffering?)

So let me encourage you to come on out to Sunday School and join us in one of the discussion groups. For further information see our webpage <> or our Face Book page.

In Christ,

Twitter: dragoncoach1

May 12, 2013

Going through the Psalms

Going through the Book of Psalms has proven to be quite the trip.  Our plan in Sunday School was to start in book one and proceed to the end book by book.  But when you endeavor to follow the leading of the Spirit your plans and calendar more often than not, will soon get reformatted.

In Book One, Psalm 1, the theme and mood of the Psalms is laid out plain and simple, "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night"(Psalm 1: 1-2).  The verses that follow lay out the benefits of being connected to the Lord contrasted with the life of those who are not connected.

As I started to read more and more of the Psalms, I started to noticed that the writers are/were people who experienced just about every emotion and situation, that all people go through sometime or another.

I use a series of verse memorization CD's and each one dwells on a different theme by setting verses to be memorize to music.  One of the themes of the CD's was "Overcoming Stress" so I listened to all the songs that were based in the Psalms:

Salvation of the Righteous (Ps. 37:25,29)
We Give Thanks (Ps. 75:1, 97:12)
You Will Answer Me (Ps. 32:7, 86:7)
He Stilled The Storm (Ps. 107:29-32)
In The Night Watches (Ps. 63:6, 46:1, 4:8)
In My Distress (Ps. 4:1, 18:6, 31:7)

So our discussion was on the topic of stresses in our lives. But, we ended up exploring the benefits and blessings of the stresses God allows to come into our lives (not the route I planned) and how the  Psalmist's dealt with these difficult spans in their lives. In the new covenant passage the writer pens these words:
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.  The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 
(Philippians 4:4-7)

Have a wonderful stressful day!



Yours in Christ,