Sep 20 2010

Tenth Avenue North - Interview

 

Mike and Ruben of Tenth Avenue North are our special guests this morning sharing their hearts and music from their new album "The Light Meets the Dark" If you missed the interview, including live performances of their songs "Healing Begins" and "Times", click the links below the picture.

 

Mike does his Shrek impersonations

Mike shares the story behind "Healing Begins"

Mike & Ruben perform "Healing Begins"

Mike talks about how the song "Hold My Heart" ministered to Matt Hammitt of Sanctus Real

One of Mike's alter egos requests the song "Times"

Mike & Ruben perform "Times"

Sep 17 2010

Out Live Your Life - Persecution: Prepare for It; Resist It (Chapter 8)

*Chapters posted will be made available on the Lisa & Eric page for one week.  To purchase Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado, click here. All author royalties from the book will go towards building water wells in Uganda*

Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado

 

Chapter 8

Persecution: Prepare for It; Resist It

The priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them.

—Acts 4:1

To hear Max's take on this chapter, Click Here

 

 

 

You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it. Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

(2 Timothy 3:11–12 nlt)

 

Father, you warn us that persecution is coming. Not to alarm us but to prepare us for what’s ahead—that we might endure and persevere. That these hard experiences would glorify you and benefit us. For that to happen, Lord, I need a reorientation of perspective and a change of focus. Help me see the world through your eyes by focusing on your son, remembering what he accomplished on the cross despite the persecution heaped on him. Whatever persecution I might suffer, Lord, let it bring you honor—and use it to help other followers of Jesus who will face their own persecution. In Christ’s name I pray, amen.

Questions for Discussion

1.   How do you feel when you hear stories about heroic martyrs such as Necati or stories about horrible persecution around the world? In what ways does it put your own difficulties into perspective?

 

2.   In societies with religious freedom, we may not experience persecution, but we may experience spiritual opposition from critics, accusers, family members, professors, classmates, co-workers, and others in our daily lives. As you read that list, does it remind you of a situation that led you to silence your beliefs?

 

3.   How do you think Peter felt in John 18:15–18, 25–27? Have you ever failed to speak out in the face of pressure or persecution? On the other hand, when have you been like Peter before his accusers in Acts 4:5–13—ready to speak the truth boldly in the face of pressure or persecution?

 

4.   What habits have you developed in order to spend time with Jesus so you can linger long and often in his presence? How could such habits help others realize you have been with him?

 

5.   In what ways should spiritual disciplines develop boldness in a believer?

Ideas for Action

 Pray for the persecuted church. Become more knowledgeable about church freedom in a country you already have a connection with, and pray for the believers there to be strong in their faith. Stay current on the news about the church in that country.

 

 Rally your church to pray for persecuted believers by setting up a special prayer vigil or by participating in the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Consider buying a large world map for your home or church and having family or church members write prayers on Post-it notes and place them on the appropriate country.

“Reprinted by permission.  Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference by Max Lucado, 2010, copyright date, Thomas Nelson Inc. Nashville, Tennessee.  All rights reserved.”

Sep 16 2010

Out Live Your Life - See the Need; Touch the Hurt (Chapter 7)

 *Chapters posted will be made available on the Lisa & Eric page for one week.  To purchase Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado, click here. All author royalties from the book will go towards building water wells in Uganda*

Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado

Chapter 7

 

 

See the Need; Touch the Hurt

Peter, with John at his side, looked him straight in the eye . . . He grabbed him by the right hand and pulled him up.

—Acts 3:4, 7 (msg)

Click Here to listen to what Max has to say on this chapter

 

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.

(Mark 6:34 niv)

Gracious Lord, in the Bible you are called “the One who sees me,” and I know that your eyes are always upon me to guide and protect and bless and correct. You have given me eyes too. Grant me the power to use them to truly see. Help me see those you put in my path—really see them, with all their hurts, their desires, their longings, their needs, their joys, and their challenges. As you open my eyes, prompt me to open wide my arms to offer whatever help and encouragement I have to give. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

Questions for Discussion

1.   “Human hurt is not easy on the eye.” Tell of a time you encountered suffering that was painful to observe. Describe a time you were hurting and someone made you think he or she really saw you.

 

2.   What does it communicate to people in need, especially those who are not beautiful, when you look directly at them, in their eyes?

 

3.   Take note of each meaningful touch you find in the following miracles of Jesus: Matthew 9:20–22; Mark 1:40–45; Mark 7:32–35; Luke 8:51–55; Luke 13:11–13; John 9:1–7. Did Jesus need to touch people to heal them? Why do you think some form of touch was part of each healing?

 

4.   Peter and John gave more than the money the crippled beggar asked for in Acts 3. What resources do you have—beyond money—that you could give to people in need?

 

5.   For Peter and John the strategy of kind eyes meeting desperate ones and strong hands helping weak ones unleashed a miracle of God. How could you live out this strategy?

Ideas for Action

 Take time this week to look people in their eyes. When you talk to someone you know is needy, maintain eye contact with him or her much longer than you normally would. Reflect on how this helps you really see people’s needs in a new way. It will have greater impact if you keep a journal or write a summary at the end of the week, describing how this experiment affected your perspective.

 

 This week, go out of your way to visit a person in need. When someone you know is in the hospital, visit that person to show you care. Go to a nursing home this week to extend a compassionate touch to others. Start by shaking people’s hands or giving them an appropriate hug. Ask if you can pray for them, and lay a hand on their shoulders (you could even pray silently if you feel more comfortable doing so). As you head home, reflect on how meaningful the visit was. Also, consider how you feel after these visits, compared to how you felt on the way there.

“Reprinted by permission.  Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference by Max Lucado, 2010, copyright date, Thomas Nelson Inc. Nashville, Tennessee.  All rights reserved.”

Sep 15 2010

Out Live Your Life - Open Your Door; Open Your Heart (Chapter 6)

*Chapters posted will be made available on the Lisa & Eric page for one week.  To purchase Out Live Your Life, click here. All author royalties from the book will go towards building water wells in Uganda

 

Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado

 

 

Chapter 6

Open Your Door; Open Your Heart

They ate together in their homes, happy to share their food with joyful hearts.

—Acts 2:46 (ncv)

Click here, to listen to what Max has to say on this chapter.

 

Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

(1 Peter 4:9–10 nlt)

 

Heavenly Father, every breath is a gift from your hand. Even so, I confess that sometimes my own hand remains tightly closed when I encounter the needs of others. Please open both my hand and my heart that I might learn to open my door to others. As you help me open my heart and hand, O Lord, I ask that you also prompt me to open my life to those who need a taste of your love and bounty. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

 

Questions for Discussion 

      1.   Do you know someone who is a great example of hospitality? What makes that person seem hospitable?

2.   How are you currently using your home as a tool in helping others? How could you make your kitchen, your backyard, your living room, or even your dorm room into a place of intentional hospitality?

 

3.   What keeps you from inviting others into your home? How could you remove those barriers? In what ways do you too often listen to the “Martha Stewart voice” and miss the point of hospitality?

 

4.   Read each of the following passages about hospitality: Acts 16:15, 34; Acts 21:8; Acts 28:2, 7; Romans 12:13; 1 Timothy 5:10; Titus 1:8; Hebrews 13:2; 1 Peter 4:9–10; and 3 John 1:8. How should we view hospitality in light of these verses?

 

5.   Name some people you would like to invite into your home soon. Set a time in the next two weeks to open your door to one or more of these people.

Ideas for Action

  Start a routine of hospitality in your life so it is always happening. Designate one meal a week as your “hospitality meal,” and always plan to have people over. For example, you could invite friends every week to watch a ball game—an open invitation to enjoy your hospitality and your television. Or prepare a pot of soup every Saturday night. Set up a hospitality station on your front porch or in your driveway, and serve bowls of friendship to your neighbors.

 

 Intentionally include others at your special family events. Invite a single person over for Christmas Eve dinner. Have a family in need join you for Thanksgiving, or take the turkey and have the meal in their home. On Mother’s Day celebrate some of the older women in church who never had children or whose children are far away. Keep an eye on individuals who sit alone or have yet to make friends in your church, and invite them over for a meal (even if you get take-out food on the way home).

 “Reprinted by permission.  Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference by Max Lucado, 2010, copyright date, Thomas Nelson Inc. Nashville, Tennessee.  All rights reserved.”