July 14
Leviticus: Priests (Week 2)

Let's Talk About It... 

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Leviticus: Priests from Leviticus 8:1-3, 6-10.

 

1.  When you think about people who were spiritual leaders and made a profound impact on your life, who comes to mind?  Why?

2.  Thinking about Leviticus: In your opinion, why are these two points significantly important?

  • Sin is serious and always leads to death.

  • All the sacrifices point to the perfect sacrifice – Jesus.

3.  How would you explain these two functions of a priest/pastor to a friend?

  • Priests/pastors give admonition.

  • Priests/pastors point forward.

4.  Agree?  The function of the priest is to point people to Jesus.  How does that apply to you?

5.  Commit to memory: “You also, like living stones, are bring built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” I Peter 2:5.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


July 7
Leviticus: Offerings (Week 1)

Let's Talk About It...

 J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Leviticus: Offerings from

Leviticus 1:1-4. 

1.  When I think about the holiness of God, what comes to mind first? How does my understanding of God’s holiness connect to Jesus?

2.  How would you explain to a friend that God wants to be near – to dwell with – His people? It doesn’t matter that we are “broken”.

3.  How does the idea of costly sacrifice remind me of the tragedy and depth of sin?

4.  How is the burnt offering of Leviticus 1 “all about” Jesus?

5.  Commit to memory: “Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

June 30
Love Does: Follow Me (Week 5)

Let's Talk About It... 

J2e3 conversations... here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Love Does: Follow Me from Matthew 4:18-22.

 

1.  Simple truths that keep life moving in a great trajectory – like “Follow Me.” Share another simple truth (advice/verse/experience) that helps guide your life. 

2.  What do Jesus’ words, “Follow Me” mean to you?

3.  Which of these Important insights for following Jesus is most important to you?  Why?

  • Following Jesus will involve sacrifice.

  • Following Jesus happens best in community.

  • Following Jesus gives us purpose.

4. “As Jesus was walking along…” (Matthew 4:18). We invite people to know, love, and serve Jesus the same way He did… as we walk and talk. Where will you be walking this week? With whom will you be speaking?

5.  Commit to memory: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

June 23
Love Does: Be Not Afraid (Week 4)

Let's Talk About It...

 

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Love Does: Be Not Afraid from Acts 6:8-15.

 

1.  When you have experienced the death of a friend or loved one, for you, what is the most comforting verse of Scripture or hymn that comes to mind? Why?

2.  How would you explain this to a friend?  Fear stops me from following Jesus. (“What Would You Do?”).

3.  Which of these points is most important to you? Why?

  • Fears are often unfounded and irrational.

  • Oftentimes fear emerges when I feel I’m losing control in a matter.

  • At all times my fears are in God’s control.

4.  How is Stephen’s death like a “trust fall”? And, what does that mean for me?

5.  Commit to memory: “Perfect love drives out fear.”  I John 4:18.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

June 16
Love Does: Audacious Love (Week 3)

Let's Talk About It...

J2e3 conversations... here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Love Does: Audacious Love from John 4:4-8, 13-14.

 

1.  Have you ever felt like an “outsider” with a group? What did that feel like? What did you do?

2.  How would you explain this to a friend? Love is not simply an emotion, it is a way of living.

3.  How is Jesus’ thirst good news for people? What does it mean to you that Jesus is true God and true man?

4.  Which of these truths is most important for you? Why? Jesus’ wonderful way of hydrating us:

  • It is once-for-all.

  • It lives in us.

  • It is infused with hope.

5.  Commit to memory: “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

June 9
Love Does: Free to Fail (Week 2)

Let's Talk About It...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Love Does: Free to Fail from Mark 9:14-18, 21-23.

 

1.  How has a past failure helped you to learn an important lesson in life?

2.  How would you explain to a friend the difference between personal failures and professional failures?  In this narrative, how does Jesus deal with the personal and professional failure of the disciples?

3.  Which of these is most important to you? Why?  Four lessons on failure:

  • Failure happens.

  • Failure hurts – us and others.

  • Failure isn’t the final word.

  • Failure is a powerful teacher.

4.  Don’t be deceived. What looks like failure can lead to success. How is this truth illustrated in the life of Jesus?

5.  Commit to memory: “We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” Romans 8:28.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

June 2
Love Does: I’m With You (Week 1)

Let's Talk About It...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Love Does: I’m With You from Genesis 32:22-30.

1.  In your life, how does time alone serve a helpful purpose? How can that “helpful purpose” become significant in your spiritual life with God?

2.  How would you explain this to a friend? God being with us as He was with Jacob looks like:

  • A chase.

  • Losing face.

3.  In your opinion, how is Jacob receiving God’s blessing an act of God’s grace? How is this truth important to you?

4.  After Peter denied Jesus three times, Jesus “turned and looked at Peter” (Luke 22:61). How is this account similar to the story of Jacob?

5.  Commit to memory: “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.” Isaiah 42:10.

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

May 26
Memorial Day: Always Remember

Let's Talk About It...

J2e3 conversations... here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Always Remember from Joshua 4:1-8.

1.  In terms of your own or your family’s life, what events do you remember that connect to God’s presence and power? How important is this for you or your family? Why?

2.  What does this mean to you? Because God as helped me in the past, I am confident of His help in the future.

3.  How would you explain to a friend that remembering with gratitude God’s goodness in the past gives hope for the future.? 

4.  How is Jesus’ grave stone like the memorial stones of Joshua 4?

5.  Commit to memory: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

May 12
God Questions: How Do I Relate to God? (Week 3)

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J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s God Questions: How Do I Relate to God? John 3:1-5.

1.  Mother’s Day can be both tender and difficult. Which is it for you? If you care willing and can, explain why you chose the answer you did.

2.  We can assume that Nicodemus was a very moral person.  In terms of what Jesus was saying to him, how good is good enough for the Kingdom of God? 

3.  How do you understand this statement: “You must be born again”?

4.  How would you explain to a friend the truth that Jesus is the Way (John 14:6)?

5.  Commit to memory: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

May 5
God Questions: Is God Good? (Week 2)

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J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s God Questions: Is God Good? Job 1:13-17.

1. Has there ever been a time of trauma or hurt that at least suggested the question, “Is God good?” What was the situation? How did you process your faith through that circumstance?

2. What does God’s sovereignty mean to you when you experience deep pain?

3. Job does three things which help affirm that God is good. Which of these is most important to you? Why?

  • Job acknowledges his pain.

  • Job puts his pain in context.

  • Job worships in his pain.

4. In spite of his pain and loss, Job still believes in God’s plan. How would you explain to a friend the importance of Job’s faith?

5. Commit to memory: “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

April 28
God Questions: Is There a God? (Week 1)

Let's Talk About It... 

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s God Questions: Is there a God? Psalm 19:1-6.

 

1.  Give some examples of questions or doubts concerning the Christian faith that you have heard in conversations with others. How do you feel when people raise doubts or questions concerning God? 

2.  Questions about God...important to ask them; important to continue the conversations.  How is this good counsel? “Don’t just walk away.”  

3.   John 1:1-3, informs us that Jesus was a full participant in creation. What implications does that have to inform us who Jesus is?

4.  How would you explain to a friend these clues to God’s existence?

  • The beauty of creation.

  • The rhythm of creation.

  • The tension of creation.

5.  Commit to memory: “Always be prepared to give answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

April 21
Easter Sunday: Power Outage

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J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Easter: Power OutagefromMark 16:1-6.

 

1.  What is your best Easter memory? Why did you select it? 

2.  When you hear the word “powerless,” what does that mean to you? How do you imagine that feels?

3.  The story of the Bible is a story of expectations being shifted. What does that mean for you?

4.  How would you explain this to a friend? “The power of the Resurrection changes everything.”

5.  Commit to memory: “By His power God raised the Lord from the dead, and He will raise us also.” 1 Corinthians 6:14

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

April 7
Soul Keeping: The Practice of Gratitude (Week 5)

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J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Soul Keeping: The Practice of Gratitude fromPsalm 103:1-5, 8-9.

 

1.  Are you more inclined to be a person of gratitude or compliant? Why is that? When you hear the verse, “give thanks in all circumstances,” how do you engage that idea?

2.  Share your thoughts: “God knows that being grateful isn’t just polite, it is powerful.”

3.  How would you explain to a friend that gratitude is not just a courtesy, it is a lifestyle?

4.  Which of these truths about the “Power of Gratitude” is most important to you?  Why? 

  • Gratitude changes you.

  • Gratitude changes others.

  • Gratitude changes the world.

5.  Commit to memory: “My soul, bless the Lord, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. My soul, bless the Lord, and do not forget all His benefits.” Psalm 103:1-2.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

March 31
Soul Keeping: The Practice of Grace (Week 4)

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J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Soul Keeping: The Practice of Grace from Romans 3:19-24.

 

1.  Think about a time when you were committed to a self-improvement plan. What was the plan? Did the plan meet or exceed your expectations? Were you able to sustain the self-improvement plan? Did your self-improvement reach deep into your soul?

2.  Soul Keeping: How is grace essential to soul keeping?

3.  How would you explain to a friend the difference between the way of the law and the way of grace?

4.  How is this definition of grace the center piece for soul keeping? G-od’s R-iches A-t C-hrist’s E-xpense. 

5.  Commit to memory: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

March 23
Soul Keeping: What the Soul Needs (Week 3)

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J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Soul Keeping: What the Soul Needs fromPsalm 19:7-13.

 

1.  Soul Keeping:What we keep defines who we are. What does that important statement mean to you? Can you illustrate this from your life?

2.  Psalm 19:7-13 tells me that my soul needs three things. Which of these is most important to me? Why?

  • Guidance.

  • Forgiveness.

  • Acceptance.

3.  God’s Word is not a burden, but a source of blessing. How would you explain this truth to a friend?

4.  Every soul needs to know, will You (God) accept me? How can peer influence lead me in a wrong direction? How does God’s Word lead me in the right direction?

5.  Commit to memory: “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” Matthew 16:26.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

March 17
Soul Keeping: The Struggle of the Soul (Week 2)


Let's Talk About It...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Soul Keeping: The Struggle of the SoulfromPsalm 42:1-5.

 

1.  Quick Review – The soul is first described in the Bible (read Genesis 2:7) as nephesh, the “breath of life.” How else might you answer the question, “What is the soul?”

2.  Give an illustration from your own life of a “soul struggle. 

3.  In your opinion, how is a “thirsting” deer an example of someone who is in a “soul struggle” and needing God?

4.  Which of these thoughts concerning “surviving soul struggles” is most important to you? Why?

  • Get honest.

  • Get help.

  • Get perspective.

5.  Commit to memory: “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His Word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

March 10
Soul Keeping: What is the Soul? (Week 1)

Let's Talk About It... 

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Soul Keeping: What is the Soul?fromGenesis 2:4-7, 18-24.

 

1.  Name some things that you have kept – “keepsakes” – that remind you of a special time in your life. Why did you keep them?  What makes the memory special? 

2.  How is the idea of God breathing into Adam the “breath of life” helpful in understanding the distinction of mankind’s creation?  (Genesis 2:7). 

3.  How would you explain this to a friend?  The soul is the sum total of who you are.

4.  Which of these is most important to you? Why?  How to keep you soul:

  • Don’t dis-integrate.

  • Allow accountability.

  • Focus on faith.

5.  Commit to memory: “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.”  Psalm 19:7.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

March 3
Red Letter Challenge: Changing (Week7)


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J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Red Letter Challenge"Changing" message from Matthew 17:1-5.

 

1.  When you think of change is your initial reaction positive or reserved? Why do you think that is? Share a time in your life when significant change proved to be better than you imagined?

2.  Please complete the following: The narrative of the Transfiguration is important because…

3.  Which of these is most important to you? Why? Change 101: 

  • Our foundation needs to change.

  • Our fear needs to change.

  • Our focus needs to change.

4.  During our 40 days Red Letter Challenge what has been the highlight for you? Has there been a particular topic that was significant to you? Why?

  • Being

  • Forgiving

  • Serving

  • Giving

  • Going 

  • Changing

5.  Commit to memory: “See what great love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children – and we are!” (I John 3:1).

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION and a Red Letter Challenge!

February 24
Red Letter Challenge: Going (Week 6)

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J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Red Letter Challenge"Going" message from Luke 8:26-28, 30, 32-33, 38-39.

 

1.  What does it mean to you to be “on the go” for Jesus?  How have you seen that in the lives of others?

 

2.  Understanding how going and sharing your story works. Which of these points is most important for you? Why?

  • Go transparently.

  • Go locally.

  • Go consistently.

 

3.  How would you explain this “going” challenge to a friend? Part of the reason it’s important for Jesus followers to be going and telling is because it’s not just about what we do. First, it’s about who we are and what God has done.

 

4.  You are invited and encouraged to do two things as we move toward the conclusion of our 40 day challenge:

  • Continue to participate in each of the Red Letter learning experiences: worship, ABC, and a Red Letter Challenge small group.

  • Keep this special initiative in your prayers that, together, theRed Letter Challengewould be a “blessed success” for all who participate.

 

5.  Commit to memory: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION and a Red Letter Challenge!

February 17
Red Letter Challenge: Giving (Week 5)

Let's Talk About It... 

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Red Letter Challenge"Giving" message from Matthew 14:13-20.

 

1.  Can you think of someone in your life who you understood was particularly generous and giving. What did that person do that led you to that conclusion? How has that person’s life impacted who you are? 

 

2.  Understanding how giving works. Which of these points is most important for you? Why?

  • We will be challenged.

  • We are impoverished.

  • We are filled.

 

3.  How would you explain this giving challenge to a friend? Part of the reason it’s important for Jesus followers to be generous is because it’s not just about what we do. First, it’s about who we are.

 

4.  You are invited and encouraged to do two things over the next 40 days:

  • Over these 40 days, participate in each of the Red Letter learning experiences: worship, ABC, and a Red Letter Challenge small group.

  • Keep this special initiative in your prayers that, together, theRed Letter Challengewould be a “blessed success” for all who participate.

 

5.  Commit to memory: “If anyone wants to follow after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24).

    

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION and a Red Letter Challenge!

February 10
Red Letter Challenge: Serving (Week 4)


Let's Talk About It...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Red Letter Challenge"Serving" message from John 13:1, 4-5, 12-15.

 

1.  Describe a time in your life when someone was particularly attentive to you and served you well.  How did you feel about that service? What did you learn about service from that person?

2.   Understanding service.  Which of these is most important for you? Why?

  • Service breaks down barriers.

  • Service makes us better.

  • Service points to Jesus. 


3.  How would you explain this to a friend? Part of the reason it’s so important for Jesus followers to be servants is because it’s not just about what we do. It’s about who we are.


4.  You are invited and encouraged to do two things over the next 40 days:

  • Over these 40 days, participate in each of the Red Letter learning experiences: worship, ABC, and a Red Letter Challenge small group.

  • Keep this special initiative in your prayers that, together, the Red Letter Challenge would be a “blessed success” for all who participate.


5.  Commit to memory: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me.” (Matthew 25:40).

   

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION and a Red Letter Challenge!

February 3
Red Letter Challenge: Forgiving (Week 3)


Let's Talk About It...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Red Letter Challenge "Forgiving" message from Matthew 18:21-27.

 

1.  Describe a time in your life when someone extended grace to you and forgiveness when it was completely undeserved. How did you feel about that? What did you think about that?

2.   Which of these is most important to you? Why?

  • Forgiveness requires compassion.

  • Forgiveness requires release.

  • Forgiveness requires payment

3.  How would you explain this to a friend? “There is no sin too big that God did not die for on the cross.” What is the implication for me when someone has hurt or offended me?

4.  You are invited and encouraged to do two things over the next 40 days:

  • Over the next 40 days, participate in each of the Red Letter learning experiences: worship, ABC, and a Red Letter Challenge small group.

  • Keep this special initiative in your prayers that, together, the Red Letter Challenge would be a “blessed success” for all who participate.

5.  Commit to memory: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32).

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION and a Red Letter Challenge!

January 27
Red Letter Challenge: Being (Week 2)

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J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Red Letter Challenge "Being" message from John 15:4-8.

1.  Do you have a favorite verse of Scripture that is the words of Jesus? What verse is it? Why is it your favorite?

 

2.  How would you explain to a friend the important difference between “being” and “doing”?

 

3.  When you remain in Jesus, you can “bear much fruit.” Which of these insights is most important to you? Why? 

  • With Jesus, a little can be a lot.

  • Jesus’ fruit comes in bunches.

4.  You are invited and encouraged to do two things over the next 40 days:

  • Over the next 40 days, participate in each of the Red Letter learning experiences: worship, ABC, and a Red Letter Challenge small group.

  • Keep this special initiative in your prayers that, together, the Red Letter Challenge would be a “blessed success” for all who participate.

 

5.  Commit to memory: “I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.”  (John 15:5).

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION and a Red Letter Challenge!

January 20
Red Letter Challenge: Getting Going (Week 1)

Let's Talk About It...

 

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s Red Letter Challenge "Getting Going" message from Matthew 7:24-25.

1.  Recall your first experience with a Bible that included red letters. Who explained the red letters to you? What did that person say about the red letters?

2.  How would you explain to a friend the important difference between “being” and “doing”?

3.  What does this mean to you?  “Hold the future loosely and hold Jesus tightly.” 

4.  You are invited and encouraged to do two things over the next 40 days:

  • Over the next 40 days, participate in each of the Red Letter learning experiences: worship, ABC, and a Red Letter Challenge small group.

  • Keep this special initiative in your prayers that, together, the Red Letter Challenge would be a “blessed success” for all who participate.

5.  Commit to memory: “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24).

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION and a Red Letter Challenge!

January 13
Who We Are

Let's Talk About It... 

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s "Who We Are" message from Acts 18:1-6, 9-10.

 

1.  If a friend asked you to describe Concordia, what would you say?  How has Concordia been a blessing in your life?

2.  How was the world in which Paul witnessed and worked similar to our world today? Is there a particular characteristic of Paul’s work you think is important today?

3.  In your opinion, as a church, how do we best “shine like stars in the universe as we hold out the message of life”?

4.  Staying centered in Jesus Christ… which of these truths is most important to you? Why?”

  • We are people of the Word.

  • We are people of love.

  • We are people with a promise.

5.  Commit to memory: “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20, CSB).

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

January 6
The Father’s Blessing


Let's Talk About It...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s "The Father’s Blessing" message from Galatians 3:26-4:7.

1.  What is your best memory of your father?  How has this experience impacted your life? 

2.  How would you explain to a friend that Jesus was born into this world that “we might receive the full rights of sons.” (Galatians 4:5).

3.  Why is this true?  My earthly father is the filter through which I understand my heavenly father.  What is the implication of this truth?

4.  In terms of His relationship with you or His affection for you, what is the most important thing God could say to you as a blessing?  What is the most important thing you could say to your family members to bless them?

5.  Commit to memory: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12).

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!