Tag Archive: community


FB-Personal-Growth

Yesterday, most of the groups did not have time to get to all the discussion questions so, as promised, here they are for you to reflect on.

Expectations: Sorting Out Good and Bad

1. Henry shares an illustration from his own life about how he judges himself when he doesn’t live up to his ideal. Think of a situation this week when you didn’t meet your own expectations. What feelings did you experience?

2. A crucial point in our relationships is when we first begin to notice imperfections in other people or they fail us in some way. Henry states that maturity is when we don’t allow the imperfection or failure to destroy the good we have in the relationship. How does the Gospel help us in this regard?

3. Henry states that the experience of acceptance and forgiveness from others and God is necessary before we can forgive and accept ourselves. The Gospel message is clearly a message of forgiveness and acceptance, but even the best churches struggle at times to be accepting communities. Why do you think that is the case?

4. We become whole people as we bring the bad parts of ourselves out in the open and experience acceptance and forgiveness. Historically, the Christian practice of confession has been the means to this path. How can we recover this practice in our communities?

5. Henry states that we have to embrace the pain of life to grow, and that the pattern of the Christian life is that death always precedes resurrection. Can you think of a time in your life where an experience of pain and suffering was followed by fresh, new life? How has that experience impacted your perspective on challenges in life?

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Day 26, Be: A Solution

The Spirit of the Lord is upon us to enable us to reach out beyond ourselves and to help others.

Read: James 1:16-27 and 2:14-26

Ask Yourself & Journal:

•  What do these scriptures show us about true Christianity?

That faith apart from works isn’t even faith at all.  This should be a huge wake up call to anyone saying they have “faith” in Jesus Christ.  James is saying that faith is evident in ones work and that they cannot be separated.  The evidence of the transforming work of Christ is changes me.  If that change is not evident in my life, James calls the validity of that persons faith into question.  How is it possible for someone to have faith in Jesus and not have good works.  It’s not.  We must be careful to not accept a “faith” that is akin to merely adopting Christianity as one of hundreds of life systems available to the mind of man.

•  Can you identify the major needs in your community?

First, and foremost the need of any community is to spread the Good News of the freedom Jesus has purchased for us all.  But, San Antonio has many needs.  Food insecurity, teen pregnancy, school-dropouts, human trafficking, and homelessness are all important needs in San Antonio.  I would consider food insecurity the biggest issue in San Antonio.  Consider these statistics posted on the San Antonio Food Bank website:

  • Texas is the second most food insecure state in the nation. Defined, food insecurity is when you are so limited in resources to buy food that you are running out of food, reducing the quality of food that your family eats, feeding your children unbalanced diets, or skipping meals so your children can eat. 17.1 % of Texas’ population is food insecure. U.S. Census—2009 Small Area Income & Poverty Estimates
  • 5.7% of Texas’ population experience hunger on a regular basis – more than one million people.
    USDA/Economic Research Service
  • The rate of children living in poverty in Texas is 24.3%; the national rate is 20.0%. In Bexar County, that rate is 25.1% – that means that one in four children most likely struggle with food insecurity. USDA/Economic Research Service, U.S. Census—2009 Small Area Income & Poverty Estimates
  • Each week, approximately 58,000 people receive emergency food assistance from an agency in the San Antonio Food Bank network. Hunger in America 2010: San Antonio and Southwest Texas

•  What can you do to make yourself more aware of the needs of the people who live on the other side of the world?

I think the key part of this question is “make yourself more aware.”  Watch the news, read the paper (online or old school papers), follow organizations on Twitter and Facebook, see what charities, ministries, and organizations your church supports.  I believe there really is no excuse for being un-informed and ill-informed about issues in the world today.  I don’t want to be the person in James 1:22-24.

  • How can you help your friends to not only be more aware of the needs in the world but also to mobilize them to do something about it?
I recently read an article that talked about the dangers of compassion fatigue.  I’ve read this generation is probably the most cause oriented generation that the world has ever seen.  And with the danger of too much of anything is being desensitized to it.  I believe involving your friends and neighbors with local causes helps them connect with issues around the world.  And in order to get others involved I’m going to need to do the majority of the work first.  I can give as many impassioned speeches as I want but if my passion is empty of action then how can I expect others to get involved.

Listen & Pray: JESUS my ANSWER, what would the world look like if I, alongside all of your family, considered the personal responsibility given by You to make a difference in Your world.  You asked us be as little children and children view the world with hope and possibilities.  I am Your child.  I am blessed by you to be a blessing to others.

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