December 23
Christmas Light: When Your Travel is Taxing (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 "Christmas Light: When Your Travel is Taxing" message from Luke 2:1-7, NKJV.

1.  Sometimes CHRISTmas travel and life transitions can be taxing – stressful.  Describe your most difficult/stressful trip.  What did the difficulties feel like?  How did you deal with the difficulties?

 

2.  When you consider the historical accuracy of Luke 2 concerning the birth of Jesus, what implication does that have for your faith and life?

 

3. “Life is a series of transitions.” What does it mean to you that Jesus traveled from “the celestial city” to “city of destruction”? (John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress).

 

4.  How would you explain this to a friend?  When travel is taxing – when transitions are hard – you need: 

  • To keep your perspective;

  • To get good guidance;

  • To travel with purpose,

5.  Commit to memory: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not count equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Philippians 2:5-7, NIV. 

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

December 16
Christmas Light: When Your Family is Frustrating (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 "Christmas Light: When Your Family is Frustrating" message from Matthew 1:18-21, CSB.

 

1.  What are some of your family traditions around the celebration of CHRISTmas? What kind of emotions and memories do these family traditions bring up in you?

2.  What do you notice about Joseph’s reaction to the news that Mary is pregnant?

3.  When conflict with family arises, how do you respond? Do you tend to react quickly or “sleep on it” like Joseph did? Why?

4.  God has adopted us into his family. How can this change our perspectives when we are presented with frustrating times with our own families?

5.  Commit to memory: “She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

December 9
Christmas Light: When Your Debt is Deep (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 "Christmas Light: When Your Debt is Deep" message from Luke 1:46-53, CSB.

 

1.  No matter what you can afford to spend at CHRISTmas, we all have debt. What does it mean to have debt? (Select one and share what that debt means to you): financial debt; personal debt; relational debt; spiritual debt.

2.  Mary’s words describe two things about God. Which is most important to you? Why?

  • God is great.

  • God is gracious.

3.  Sin steals from us.  At CHRISTmas, how does Jesus restore what has been stolen?

  • Sin steals our joy.

  • Sin steals our peace.

  • Sin steals our hope. 

4.  How would you explain to a friend that Jesus pays our debt?

5.  Commit to memory: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

December 2
Christmas Light: When Your Calendar is Crazy (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 "Christmas Light: When Your Calendar is Crazy" message from Luke 1:26-33, CSB.

 

1.  On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being simple, 10 being insane), what number would you give to the Christmas season?  Why did you choose that number?  How could the number move in a better direction for you?

2.  How would you explain to a friend the value of keeping Christmas light?

3.  What does it mean to you that someone – like Mary – would find “favor with God”?

4.  When your calendar is “stretched and stressed” …

  • Be flexible.

  • Expect the unexpected.

  • Hold tomorrow loosely and hold Jesus tightly.

    What do these steps look like for you this Christmas?

5.  Commit to memory: “I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

November 25
Willpower: Worry (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 "Will Power: Worry" message from Matthew 6:25-27, 34, CSB.

 

1.  When you think of someone about worry, how much of a problem is that for people today?  How much of a problem is that for you? 

2.  How is worry a sin? 

3.  When you think about worry, which of these lessons is most important to you?  Why?

  • There is always something else to worry about.

  • Worry does not work.

  • In place of worry, try prayer.

  • In lace of worry, try thankfulness.

4.  How would you explain this to a friend?  “If God is in control, what is there to worry about?”

5.  Commit to memory: “Cast all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:7, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

November 18
Willpower: Laziness (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 "Will Power: Laziness" message from 2 Thessalonians 3:6-9, CSB.

 

1.  When you think of someone who you admired as a hardworking, very responsible person, who comes to mind?  Why did you select this person?  What did you learn from that person?

2.  What does it mean that a person will struggle between aspiration and reality?

3.  How would you explain to a friend what it means to guard against laziness?

  • You don’t have to like it to do it.

  • Turn repetitive tasks into habits.

  • Don’t get so busy you can’t get better.

4.  During these Thanksgiving holidays, pray for our nation, our national, state, and local leaders as well as our congregation and our witness to Jesus Christ with gratitude for His blessing upon our land as well as the celebration of CHRISTmas…” the Savior is born.”

5.  Commit to memory: “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift – not works, so that no one can boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

November 11
Willpower: Lust (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 "Will Power: Lust" message from 2 Samuel 11:1-4a, CSB.

 

1.  What is your best memory of your wedding or another wedding which you have seen? Why is that important to you? 

2.  Based on Romans 7:24, how would you explain to a friend that willpower is not enough power to consistently resist lust?

3.  Apart from physical intimacy, how else would you define intimacy in marriage? 

4.  Guarding against lust. Which of these points is most important to you? Why?

  • Get some accountability.

  • Don’t think it can’t happen to you.

  • Create good guard rails.

  • Pour yourself into you marriage.

  • Turn to Christ.

5.  Commit to memory: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

November 4
Willpower: Anger (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 "Will Power: Anger" message from Romans 12:17-21, CSB.  

 

1. Thinking about will power…often there are gaps between what we want to do and what we actually do. How do you understand: “The desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it.”(Romans 7:18, CSB)?

2.  How would you explain this to a friend?  “Be slow to anger…” (James 1:20, CSB).

3. Four things for moments when we are getting angry or someone wrongs us:

  • The “ends don’t justify the means.”

  • Focus on what you can do.

  • Don’t get angry, get strategic.

  • Trust God.

     How would you put these four truths into one simple thought?

4.  For your prayers: God’s blessing upon our Loyalty Sunday Weekend as the people of Concordia are making their financial pledges for 2019 for the mission and ministry of Jesus in and through our church. 

5.  Commit to memory: “God does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” Psalm 103:10, NIV.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

October 28
Receipts: What I Get (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 "Receipts: What I Get" message from Luke 15:11-24, CSB.

 

1.  Think about receipts…they can tell us where something was purchased and what the amount of the purchase was.  How is Jesus like God’s receipt for the gift of our salvation? 

2.  In one simple sentence, summarize a truth about the Kingdom of God that is described in the parable of the Prodigal Son.

3.  From the parable of the Prodigal Son, three great truths about the extravagant giving of God:

  • God loves to give.

  • We don’t deserve what God gives.

  • God never runs out of gifts.

     How would you explain these truths to a friend?

4.  For your prayers: God’s blessing upon our Loyalty Sunday Weekend next weekend as the people of Concordia make their financial pledges for 2019 for the mission and ministry of Jesus in and through our church.  

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

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

October 21
Receipts: What I Give (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 "Receipts: What I Give" message from II Corinthians 8:1-5, 7?

 

1. When you think of generosity, who comes to mind? Why do you think this person is generous?

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

  • Generosity is proportional...we give according to what we have.

  • Generosity is sacrificial...we give beyond our ability.

  • Generosity is volitional...we give well when we love well.

3.  How would you explain to a friend what it meas to “excel in the grace of giving”?

4. Please pray for God’s blessing on our Concordia Loyalty Sunday Weekend, November 3-4, and the blessed dedication of our congregational financial pledges.

5. Commit to memory: “Walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave Himself for us.” CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

October 14
Receipts: What I Spend (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 "Receipts: What I Spend" message from Matthew 25:14-21, CSB.

 

1.  Think about this: What does my sending and my giving indicate about me?

2. What do you think about the word “immediately” (Matthew 25:16)? Which is most important for you? Why?

  • The Master leaves immediately…He wants to see if the servants respond faithfully to His generous gift;

  • The servants immediately invest the Master’s money…they know there is no time to waste. 

3.  How does the third servant who buried the Master’s talent illustrate how fear and/or lack of purpose can cause someone to mismanage resources?

4. How would you explain to a friend that faithfulness and fruitfulness go hand in hand?

5.  Commit to memory: “Now all glory to God, Who is able, through His mighty power at work in us, to accomplish more than we might think or ask.” Ephesians 3:20, NLT.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

October 7
Thoughts and Prayers: The Priority of Prayer

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 "Thoughts and Prayers: The Priority of Prayer" message from I Thessalonians 5:14-21, CSB.

 

1.  To “pray constantly”…in your opinion, for you, how is Jesus an example of this instruction? 

2.  For you, which of these three words best describes “praying constantly?” Why?

  • Pray regularly;

  • Pray immediately;

  • Pray persistently.

3.  How would you explain to a friend that prayer is the privilege of first response, not last resort?

4.  To receive daily prayer updates and requests to your smart phone, text dailyprayer to 51555. 

5.  Commit to memory: “Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

September 30
Thoughts and Prayers: The Problem of Prayer


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 "Thoughts and Prayers: The Problem of Prayer" message from II Corinthians 12:7-10, CSB.

 

1.  Who first explained to you how God answers prayer? How helpful was that person’s instruction?  Were you encouraged to pray more by the explanation?

2.  How would you explain this to a friend? “Suffering is a PhD course in humility.”

3.  What we can know about God’s “No” answers to our prayers…which of these is most important to you?  Why?

  • God uses “No” to redirect us.

  • God uses “No” to teach us.

  • God uses “No” to bless us.

4.  To receive daily prayer updates and requests to your smart phone, text dailyprayer to 51555.

5.  Commit to memory: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” II Corinthians 12:9, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

September 23
Thoughts and Prayers: The Path of Prayer


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 "Thoughts and Prayers: The Path of Prayer" message from Matthew 6:9-13, CSB.

 

1.  How do you remember being taught to pray?  How does that instruction continue to be helpful to you? When did you learn the Lord’s Prayer? Other than a worship service, do you consistently pray the Lord’s Prayer? Why? 

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

  • Your prayer can be personal instead of perfect.

  • Your prayer can be passive instead of pushy.

  • Your prayer can be practical instead of profound.

  • Your prayer can be painful instead of polite.

 

3.  How would you explain this quote to a friend? “God is the only person from whom you can hide nothing.” (Tim Keller).

 

4.  To receive daily prayer updates and requests to your smart phone, text dailyprayer to 51555.

 

5.  Commit to memory: “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” I John 3:11, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

September 16
Thoughts and Prayers: The Power of Prayer



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 "Thoughts and Prayers: The Power of Prayer" message from James 5:13-18, CSB.

 

1.  How is the illustration of the power of a hurricane a good teaching lesson about the power of prayer?  

2.  Agree?  Fear and desperation breed foolishness. How would you describe a better choice?

3.  Which of these is most important to you? Why? What prayer does…

  • Makes unbearable circumstances bearable.

  • Wrath of God exchanged for the mercy of God.

  • Shows me the means as well as the ends of God’s will and purpose for my life.

4.  To receive daily prayer updates and requests to your smart phone, text dailyprayer to 51555.

5.  Commit to memory: “…pray for one another.” James 5:16, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

September 9
Thoughts and Prayers: The Privilege of Prayer
 

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 "Thoughts and Prayers: The Privilege of Prayer" message from Hebrews 4:12-16, CSB.

 

1.  What is the first prayer you remember learning?  Who taught it to you?  How did this experience help you to learn about God and the privilege of prayer?

2.  How would you explain this to a friend?  God answers our prayers by saying, “Yes, No, or Wait.”

3.  When you think about the Old Testament office of priest, how is Jesus a “great high priest for you?”

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

  • God answers prayers sympathetically.

  • God answers prayers perfectly.

  • God answers prayers personally.

5.  Commit to memory: “Let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:16, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

September 2
Exodus: The Face


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 "Exodus: The Face" message from Exodus 34:29-35, CSB.

 

1.  If you have ever been in the cosmetics department of a store, describe the experience. Why do you think people frequent a cosmetic department?

2.  How would you explain this to a friend?  The most important thing a person can kno about you is your love and trust of the Lord.

3.  Think about the concept of what we conceal and what we reveal. How do you understand that refusing to lift the veil over your life only makes things worse?

4.  Why is it important that the veils over our lives are lifted? Which of these points is most important to you:

  • Lifting the veil opens my life to God’s help.

  • Lifting the veil opens my life to help from others.

  • Lifting the veil opens me to transparency before God and potential for growth in love for Him.

5.  Commit to memory: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her.” Ephesians 5:25, CSB,

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

August 26
Exodus: The Calf

 

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 "Exodus: The Calf" message from Exodus 32:1-4, CSB.

 

1.  Waiting is an important dynamic in this account. How good are you at waiting? Give an illustration. How could you learn to wait better?

2.  Important definition:  Idolatry is making a good thing into an ultimate thing. How would you explain that definition to a friend?

3.  How are these two points helpful in understanding idolatry?

  • Idols take and do not give.

  • Idols cannot save.

4.  How is the cross of Jesus Christ a constant reminder that God puts us first?  How is it an expression that God gives rather than takes; God saves rather than condemns?

5.  Commit to memory: “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16, NIV.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

August 19
Exodus: The Presence
 

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 "Exodus: The Presence" message from Exodus 25:10, 17, 21-22.

 

1.  Share a time or event when God’s presence was especially important to you. Why was that so?

2.  What do you recall about the Ark of the Covenant as a reminder of God’s presence?

3.  Three things to consider concerning the presence of God. Which is most important to you? Why?

  • God’s presence is consistent.

  • God’s presence is merciful.

  • God’s presence is promised.

4.  Please keep the start of the school year, the students, and faculty and administrators in your prayers. Pray for a successful start and year. Pray specifically for the ministry of Concordia Lutheran School and its outreach to our church and community.

5.  Commit to memory: “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

August 12
Exodus:  The Commandments


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 "Exodus: The Commandments" message from Exodus 20:3, 7-8, 12-17.

 

1.  While the Ten Commandments are some of the most universally famous statements in all history, they are also some of the most disregarded statements. Do we use God’s name carelessly? Do we lie?  Do we take something that doesn’t belong to us? Give three reasons why you think it is dangerous to disregard the Commandments?

2.  What does this statement mean to you?  “The effects of sin tend to be corrosive before they are destructive.”

3.  Honest:  we fail to keep the Commandments.  Jesus’ death on the cross is God making a way for people who sin and break His commandments to be forgiven. How is that good news for sinners?

4.  Which of these three statements is most important to you?  Why? We still need the Ten Commandments because:

  • They will make life better.

  • They will keep us focused on what matters.

  • They will change our lives.

5.  Commit to memory: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Matthew 10:37-39.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

August 5
Exodus: The Water
 

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 "Exodus: The Water" message from Exodus 17:2-6.

 

1.  “We are Israelites.” We live in the middle…somewhere between our rescue and our promised land. What circumstance or person comes to mind when you think about wanting something and that something not apparent? Describe what you’re thinking? What lessons do you learn when you are living in “the middle”?

2.  How do you think expectations relate to:

  • Being discouraged;

  • Being distressed;

  • Being demanding.

3.  When you struggle with expectations, how do you understand what it means to “live by faith”?

4.  For a person who is struggling in a circumstance, how would you explain a God who:

  • Hears;

  • Helps;

  • Holds.

5.  Commit to memory: “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

July 29
Exodus: The Provision


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 "Exodus: The Provision" message from Exodus 16:2-4.

 

1.  Do you have a “pet peeve”…something that you complain about often? What is it? Why do you complain about it? How can someone help you get past your complaint?

2.  How would you explain this to a friend? "Grumbling is useless."

3.  How do you think this account of God providing bread for the Hebrews connects to Jesus’s statement, “I am the bread of life”?

4.  How God provides…which of these is most important to you? Why?

  • God provides through creation.

  • God provides through people.

  • God provides through work.

  • God provides through love.

5.  Commit to memory: “I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

July 22
Exodus: The Sea


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 "Exodus: The Sea" message from Exodus 14:10-14.

 

1.  Think about the hot days of summer and the cool relief of water. In your experience, for you, how has water been both a source of relief and comfort as well as a danger?

2.  Note this well:  Sin clouds our minds.  In this text, how is this true for:

  • Pharoah.

  • The Hebrews.

3.  Three things we learn from this account of the Hebrew people crossing through the Red Sea.  Which is most important to you?  Why?

  • If we don’t stand strong in hard times, we never will.

  • Listen more (speak less).

  • God does more than we can ask or imagine.

4.  Please keep our Mission TX Team in your personal prayers. They are in the Texas Coastal Bend, where they will “love, serve, and shine” as they share Jesus’ love with others.

5.  Commit to memory: “If God is for us, who can be against us? Since He did not spare even His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else?” Romans 8:31b-32.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

July 15
Exodus: The Passover

 

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 "Exodus: The Passover" message from Exodus 12:1-3, 5-8,11, CSB.

 

1.  Share an experience in your life that was really frightening to you.  What did you learn as you went through that experience? How does that experience help you understand more deeply the Passover account?

2.  In Hebrew tradition, the Passover meal is intended to be a meal of remembrance. From that experience, what do you think God wanted His people to remember?

3.  The Passover lamb reveals truth about God, people, and our relationship with God. How would you explain to a friend:

  • The lamb reveals a worthiness to weakness;

  • The lamb reveals a universality to immortality;

  • The lamb reveals an invitation to salvation.

4.  Please keep our Mega Mission Team in your personal prayers. They are in Moore, Oklahoma, where they will “love, serve, and shine” as they share Jesus’ love with others.

5.  Commit to memory: “Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed.” I Corinthians 5:7b. 

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

July 8
Exodus: The Plagues


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 "Exodus: The Plagues" message from Exodus 7:14-17, 20, CSB.

 

1.  The Exodus account of the plagues is an account of pain. Growing up, did you ever play the game of “uncle”?  What do you remember most about that game?  What lessons did you learn by playing that game?

2.  Why is this true?  Things that cause us to be reluctant to do the right thing and comfortable doing the wrong thing:

  • Fear;

  • Skepticism;

  • Ease.

3.  In terms of knowing God, how is this account both an appeal and a threat to Pharoah?

4.  How would you explain to a friend what God does do for us in times of pain?

  • God strengthens us.

  • God refines us.

  • God connects us.

5.  Commit to memory: “He (God) comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.”  II Corinthians 1:4.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

July 1
Exodus: The Oppression


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 "Exodus: The Oppression" message from Exodus 5:1-2, 6-8, CSB.

 

1.  Have you ever been in a very demanding situation or challenging circumstance that made life difficult? How did you react in that situation? If you were going through it again, would you react differently? How? Why?

2.  Why do you think Pharaoh responded with such harshness to Moses’ request? Please explain…  

3.  Pharaoh refused to allow God’s people to go in order to worship and serve God. In order to move on in life, are there times when you have struggled to let go of someone or something? Why was this situation difficult for you? How did you manage the situation?  What did you learn about letting go?]

4.  How to “let go”: which of these points is most important to you? Why?

  • Be humble.

  • Delegate…let people help you.

  • Face your fears.

  • Gage God’s grip.

5.  Commit to memory: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

June 24
Exodus: The Bush
 

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 "Exodus: The Bush" message from Exodus 3:1-6, CSB.

 

1.  In Moses’ life the burning bush is a defining moment…an experience of great impact, never to be forgotten. Describe a “burning bush” experience in your own life. What impact did it make on you?

2.  When God encounters Moses, Moses’ life is on a downward spiral. How is this encounter a picture of God’s grace?

3.  When God invites Moses to take off his shoes, He is offering (grace) three things. Which is most important to you? Why?

  • A release from the past;

  • A new perspective on the present;

  • A promise for the future.

4.  Describe the event of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17).  How do you imagine this becomes a defining moment for the disciples? For you how is it a defining truth? What shoes would you remove?

5.  Commit to memory: “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you should also wash one another’s feet.” John 13:14, NIV.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

June 17
Exodus: The Birth

 

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 "Exodus: The Birth" message from Exodus 2:1-6, 10, CSB.

 

1.  What is your best Fathers’ Day memory? Why is that special to you?

2.  When Moses is born, his mother hides him. To you, what does that imply and indicate?

3.  How would you explain this to a friend?  When we feel threatened, even if we don’t respond violently, we can respond poorly.

4.  Which of these three points is most important to you? When you are stuck…

  • “Be still” but don’t stand still.

  • Take a chance…assess risk and reward.

  • Trust that God can make a way.

5.  Commit to memory: “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10, NIV.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

June 10
Learning the Hard Way: Trust and Obey

 

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 "Ecclesiastes: Learning the Hard Way – Trust and Obey" message from Ecclesiastes 12:9-14, CSB.

 

1.  What is the most important lesson that you have learned in the “school of hard knocks”?

2.  Solomon speaks of himself as a teacher.  What is the primary work of a good teacher?  How does a good teacher approach the task?  How is Solomon being a good teacher?

3.  How is the idea of trust and obey like a cattle prod?  

4.  How would you explain to a friend the three levels of fear referenced in the message?

  • Fear – wrath, retribution;

  • Awe – centers, reminds;

  • Obedience – effect, learning, delight.

5.  Commit to memory: “Grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:21, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

June 3
Learning the Hard Way: Riches and Poverty


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 "Ecclesiastes: Learning the Hard Way – Riches and Poverty" message from Ecclesiastes 5:10-15, CSB.

 

1.  Never enough…what’s your favorite “bet you can’t eat just one” story?
 

2.  When money enters our hearts we look for it to fill certain needs:  prominence, rest, security.  Does wealth guarantee these things?  In your opinion, how is money a blessing from God?
 

3.  “Anyone trusting in his riches will fall.” (Ecclesiastes 11:28, CSB).  How would you explain this to a friend?
 

4.  Thoughts on a successful stewardship strategy…which is most to you? Why?

  • Use money to pay bills;

  • Use money to bless others;

  • Use money to increase faith.

5.  Commit to memory: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much even more will be expected.” Luke 12:48,CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

May 27
Learning the Hard Way: Toil and Rest


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 "Ecclesiastes: Learning the Hard Way – Toil and Rest" message from Ecclesiastes 2:18-25, CSB.

 

1.  On this Memorial Day weekend, share why – for you – Memorial Day is an important national holiday…

2.  How do you find balance between toil and rest? What is your greatest struggle finding that balance?

3.  Solomon thinks of himself as “irreplaceable”. How does that affect his view of his work?

4.  How would you explain to a friend the “value of work”?

  • Work transforms you;

  • Work helps others;

  • Work lasts.

5.  Commit to memory: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13, NLT.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

May 20
Learning the Hard Way: Wisdom and Folly

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 "Ecclesiastes: Learning the Hard Way – Wisdom and Folly" message from Ecclesiastes 2:12-17, CSB.

1.  What is an important lesson that you have learned from “the school of hard knocks”?

2.  How would you explain to a friend the difference between wisdom and folly?

3.  To embrace God’s wisdom you begin with “the fear of the Lord” – Proverbs 1:7;

     9:10-12. How does knowing God, giving reverence to Him, and beginning to

     understand Him help you gain wisdom?

4.  How can you understand that Jesus is wisdom?  See Isaiah 11:2.

5.  Commit to memory: “Therefore, 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,CSB.

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

May 13
Learning the Hard Way: Pleasure and Pain


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 "Ecclesiastes: Learning the Hard Way – Pain and Pleasure" message from Ecclesiastes 2:1-3,10-11, CSB.

 

1.  Describe a time in your life when you pursued something that you were sure would bring you joy, but it disappointed.

2.  In your opinion, why is it that so often when we pursue pleasure we actually encounter pain?

3.  Which of these lessons on pleasure is most important to you?  Why?

  • Pleasure is not profligate (wasteful or extravagant)…when not misused, abused.

  • Pleasure is not permanent…to live for will be disappointing .

  • Pleasure is profound…amusement is not pleasure.

4.  The Bible speaks to pleasures that are profound. How would you explain these profound pleasures to a friend?

  • Your spouse – Proverbs 5:18.

  • Your children – Psalm 127:3.

  • Your God – Psalm 37:4.

5.  Commit to memory: “For the Lord your God is living among you…with His love, He will calm your fears.  He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17,CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

May 6
Learning the Hard Way: Rinse and Repeat

 

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 "Ecclesiastes: Learning the Hard Way – Rinse and Repeat" message from Ecclesiastes 1:2-9, CSB.

 

1.  When you hear someone talk about “the school of hard knocks,” what do you understand the person to mean? Can you give an illustration from your life?

2.  When Solomon asks God to give him the gift of wisdom, Solomon is enrolling in “the school of hard knocks.”  Agree or disagree.  Why?

3.  What does this mean to you?  “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santanaya).

4.  “Rinse and repeat.”  How would you explain to a friend the positive benefits of repetition:

  • Repetition can be a source of joy…favorite games, meals, places to visit.

  • There is wisdom in repetition…sports, typing, speaking.

  • Repetition has limitations…God designs us and redeems us as His “masterpiece” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT).

5.  Commit to memory: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  Matthew 25:40, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

April 29
Foolish Things Christians Believe: My Life is Not Futile

 

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 "Foolish Things Christians Believe: My Life is Not Futile" message from Matthew 25:31, 34-40, CSB.

 

1.  People want to find meaning in their lives.  Give some examples of people or ideas that speak to the meaning of life. An example might be “eat, drink, and be merry.”

2.  Share an experience from your life when someone reached out in the love of Jesus to serve you or your family.  What did you learn from that experience?

3.  How do you understand that the “stated purpose” of Jesus’ life is service to others?  Give examples…

4.  Four things to notice about the distinction between salvation and service:

  • Our service does NOT earn salvation.

  • When we serve we always serve Jesus.

  • Our service becomes second nature to a Jesus follower.

  • Our service lasts.

     How would you explain these truths to a friend?

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, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

April 22
Foolish Things Christians Believe: My Behavior is Not Fixed


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 "Foolish Things Christians Believe: My Behavior is Not Fixed" message from I Timothy 1:12-16, CSB.

 

1.  When patterns of behavior lead to brokenness, how to do help yourself or another understand that the behavior is not fixed, but can be changed for the better?
 

2.  Share an experience from your life about God bringing change to you…
 

3.  How is the mercy of God a key to reversing misery and guilt?
 

4. Showing and growing in the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23a) requires two things:

  • Being connected to Christ and His Word;

  • Staying connected to others and their encouragement.

     How would you explain that truth to a friend?
 

5.  Commit to memory: “Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you unless you remain in Me.” John 14:14, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

 

April 15
Foolish Things Christians Believe: My Pain is Not Fruitless

 

Let's Talk About It...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Easter Sunday morning’s "Foolish Things Christians Believe: My Pain is Not Fruitless" message from Jeremiah 38:1, 3-6; CSB.

 

1.  Has someone ever said to you, “No pain, no gain”?  What was the circumstance?  How did you feel about that statement?  In that circumstance, what did that phrase mean to you?

2.  “Pain may not feel good, but God can use it for good”…How would you explain this to a friend?

3.  Jeremiah is stuck in a pit for a bit.  How is this good news for times when you are “stuck in a pit”?

4.  Jeremiah learned in the pit:

  • Strength.

  • Compassion.

  • Trust.

    When you have gone through painful experiences, have you learned things in these areas?  Are there other areas where you have gained insight and grown? How helpful have others been to you in the midst of your painful experience?  

5.  Commit to memory: “Weeping may spend the night, but there is joy in the morning.”  Psalm 30:5b, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

April 8
Foolish Things Christians Believe: "My Past is Not Fatal"

 

Let's Talk About It...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Easter Sunday morning’s "Foolish Things Christians Believe: My Past is Not Fatal" message from John 21:15-17; CSB.

 

1.  Think about marking pens.  What is the significance of the difference between  “permanent” and “washable”?  Have you ever gotten the two confused?  What was the result?

2.  Using Peter as an example, how would you explain to a friend that the past is not fatal?

3.  Why is this important?  It doesn’t matter what I feel about sin, what matters is what Jesus says about sin.

4.  In Peter’s experience, Jesus revisits Peter’s sin and reverses the curse of that sin.  At that point Peter hears Jesus say, “Follow Me.”  How is that invitation an expression of Jesus’ love for Peter?

5.  Commit to memory: “‘Do you love Me?’  He (Peter) said , ‘Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You.”  John 21:17, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

March 18
Love Is... Truthful

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 Is Truthful" message from Joshua 7:10-11, 16-21, CSB.

 

1.  Sometimes telling the truth can be a tough thing…an embarrassing thing.  Have you ever been in a situation where you told the truth, but it was hard?  How did you feel after you told the truth?  What did you learn from that experience? 

 

2.  When you hear the story of Joshua and Achan, what do you conclude about the character of God, the power of truth, and the destructiveness of deceit?

 

3.  The truth about lies…how do these points help you understand the destructiveness of deceit?

  • Lies always hurt others.

  • Lies never stay a secret.

4.  How would you explain to a friend the truth of God’s love that forgives our sins of deceit?

 

5.  Commit to memory: “Love finds no joy in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth.” 1 Corinthians 13:6, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

 

March 11
Love Is... Not Irritable

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 Is Not Irritable" message from Luke 18:1-7, CSB.

 

1.  March 11 – Daylight Savings Time!  Are you feeling a little irritable?  What are some things that irritate you most?  I Corinthians 13 gives this perspective on irritation:  Love must be in control of emotions.  How is that perspective helpful to you?

2.  How would you explain these definitions to a friend?

  • Self-absorption: someone’s need irritates you because it demands something from you.

  • Servant-hearted: someone’s need inspires you because it asks something of you.

3.  When Jesus tells the story of the widow who repeatedly approached the judge asking for his help, He shares three insights into irritation.  Which is most important to you?  Why?

  • We get irritated with each other.

  • We get irritated with God.

  • God is not irritated with us.

4.  Concerning prayer, what does this mean for you?  “If God doesn’t answer how you want, He will always answer with what’s best.”

5.  Commit to memory: “He (God) was compassionate; He atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them.”  Psalm 78:38, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

 

March 4
Love Is... Not Rude

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 Is Not Rude" message from Matthew 5:21-26, CSB.

 

1.  When you were a child and someone said, “That’s rude,” what behavior was that person describing?  Why was it rude? 

2.  What does this mean to you?  Rudeness not only has psychological effects, but spiritual dangers.

3.  For you, what is the best course of action when you feel offended and are tempted to be rude?  Why?

  • Keep silent;

  • Have a conversation;

  • Make amends.

4.  To deal with rudeness and anger, how would you explain these steps to a friend?

  • Honesty;

  • Humility;

  • Forgiveness.

5.  Commit to memory: “Father, forgive them.  They don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

February 25
Love Is... Not Envious

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 is…Not Envy" message from Mark 15:6-15, CSB.

 

1.  What does envy look like when you are a child…when you are an adult? Do you think this behavior is ever admirable? Why?

2.  How does envy damage others and make you miserable?

3.  How would you explain to a friend what love does…

  • Love serves others;

  • Love overcomes misery.

4.  How does the phrase “Love, Serve, Shine” describe Jesus and the ministry of Jesus’ followers?

5.  Commit to memory: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

February 18
Love Is... Patient

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 is…Patient" message from I Samuel 13:5, 8-13, CSB.

 

1.  When you think of someone who is patient, who might that be and what does that look like?  What is that person doing that leads to the conclusion she or he is patient?

2.  How would you explain this verse to a friend?  “Patience is better than power.” Proverbs 16:32a, CSB.

3.  Patience matters…which of these is most important to you today?  Why?

  • Patience improves quality.

  • Patience enhances trust.

  • Patience demonstrates love.

4.  How is Jesus an example of patience to you?

5.  Commit to memory:  “And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.”  II Corinthians 5:15, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

February 11
Conversation Starters: Be Brave

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 "Conversation Starters: Be Brave!" message from Mark 14:55-64.

 

1.  When you think of someone who is brave, who might that be and what does that look like?  What is that person doing that leads to the conclusion she or he is brave?

2.  How do you understand the relationship between bravery and truth?

3.  In terms of Jesus’ conversation with Caiaphas, what can you learn about Jesus’ bravery that is helpful to you?

  • Jesus’ discretion: He perfectly walked the line between bravery and foolishness.

  • Jesus told the truth concerning Himself without fear of the consequences.

4.  How would you explain to someone that “confidence is greater than courage”?

5.  Commit to memory:  “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  John 14:6, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

 

February 4
Conversation Starters: Ask a Question

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 "Conversation Starters: Ask a Question" message from John 5:1-9a.

 

1.  When you think about how most of your conversations start, what are you saying to someone that signals you want to talk? Do you have a “most memorable” conversation starter that someone shared with you?

2.  Jesus wants to help the paralyzed man. His conversation begins with a question. As you start a conversation, how are these three things helpful for you?

  • Jesus focuses on one man;

  • Jesus discerns his real need;

  • Jesus is not afraid to ask a hard question.

3.  Like Jesus we can ask questions that start a conversation, but the outcome of the conversations Jesus starts is change.  Comment on these three suggestions. Which is most important to you? Why?

  • Don’t be arrogant;

  • Don’t do it publicly;

  • Don’t do it quickly.

4.  Concerning questions, what important insight emerges from Jesus’ question, “My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?” (Matthew 27:46, CSB).

5.  Commit to memory: “Do you want to get well?” John 5:6b, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

January 21
Year in Review: Fidelity

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 Year in Review: Fidelity" message from Matthew 19:3-6.

 

1.  When you think of fidelity what comes to mind first…a marriage; a family member; a friend; a pet?  Share your example of fidelity.  What important life lesson did it teach you?

2.  How is Jesus Christ a picture of God’s fidelity toward you and me? 

3.  In terms of marriage and divorce, is there a new insight you heard in the message? What is the insight?  How is it helpful?

4.  Concerning “Fidelity”…which of these is most important to you?  Why?

  • We were made for fidelity.

  • Fidelity helps us manage our relationships.

  • Fidelity is a gift from God.

5.  Commit to memory:  “The Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.”  Psalm 117:2, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

January 14
Year in Review: Creation

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 Year in Review: Creation" message from Matthew 14:22-29.

 

1.  When you think about natural events of 2017, what comes to mind first?  How impressive (or destructive) was this?  How does the power and awesomeness of nature speak to the character of God?

 

2.  Read Romans 8:20-22.  What does it mean to you that “nature is both good and cursed” at the same time?

 

3.  During the storm, the disciples struggled mightily to keep their boat afloat.  Jesus easily walked toward them on the water.  He invites Peter to join Him on the water.  What does this tell you about storms, about disciples (people), about Jesus?

 

4.   Concerning “Creation”…which of these is most important to you?  Why?

  • We must respect creation.

  • We need to use wisely.

  • Jesus breaks the curse on creation.

5.  Commit to memory:  “Jesus said, ‘Have courage!  It is I.  Don’t be afraid.’”  Matthew 14:27, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

January 7
Year in Review: Community

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 Year in Review: Community" message from 1 Corinthians 12:12-17, 26-27.

 

1.  What do you remember most about the unspeakable tragedies of the Las Vegas and Sunderland Springs shootings?  What do you remember most about the strength shown by the churches of those communities?

2.  How would you explain to a friend Paul’s image of the church as the body of Christ?

3.  Talk about your “faith” resolutions for the New Year – which “hoops” will you grasp in 2018?  Why?

  • Be in the Word daily;

  • Loyalty Sunday;

  • Serve in an area;

  • Go on a mission trip;

  • Go on a STARS Retreat.

4.   Concerning “Community 101”…which of these is most important to you?  Why?

  • We all need community;

  • Community is strong;

  • Community is fragile;

  • Community is lasting.

5.  Commit to memory: “…and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” Matthew 16:18, CSB.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

December 24
The Self-Sufficiency that Stole Christmas

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 Self-Sufficiency that Stole Christmas" message from John 1:1-5,10-13.

 

1.  Do you have a “some assembly required” story?  Or, do you know a humorous “some assembly required” story?  So, what is your take away from the “some assembly required” experience?

 

2.  John 1 is the Christmas story from a heavenly perspective.  Jesus is “the Word.” From John 1, how would you explain to a friend…

  • The Word is creative;

  • The Word is a person.

3.  Self-sufficiency…“He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.” (John 1:10-11).  How do you guard against the self-sufficiency that steals Christmas and ends in arrogance and despair?

 

4.   Rejecting self-sufficiency…which of these is most important to you?  Why?

  • Admit your weaknesses;

  • Ask for and accept help;

  • Remember the results of self-sufficiency.

5.  Commit to memory: “To all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”  John 1:12.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

December 17
The Grief that Stole Christmas

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 Grief that Stole Christmas" message from John 11:3, 6-7, 17-19, 22-25.

 

1.  Give some examples of what it means to grieve. What are some ways you have observed how others grieve? If you have dealt with personal grief, what do you remember most about the experience?

 

2.  When there is sickness or death – any kind of loss – how helpful is the “Why not” question? How would this be helpful to you? “It’s not because Jesus doesn’t see or doesn’t care.”

 

3.  Which of these thoughts is most helpful to you in helping another person in her or his grief?  Why?

  • Let a close friend find out what is needed.

  • Reach out in a non-intrusive way.

  • Remember to remember.

4.   How would you explain these lessons in grief to a friend?

  • Grief is painful.

  • Grief is disorienting.

  • Grief needs Jesus.

5.  Commit to memory: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die.”  John 11:25.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

 

December 10
The Conflict that Stole Christmas

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 Conflict that Stole Christmas" message from James 4:1-3, 11-12.

 

1.  Have you observed families struggling during the Christmas season?  How would you describe their focus of the Christmas season?  In your opinion, does family conflict diminish the celebration of Christmas?

 

2.  Share at least one thing you can be doing to “if it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18).

 

3.  How would you explain to a friend the solutions to conflict?

  • Conflict with God: Solution is humility.

  • Conflict with others: Solution is charity.

4.  What does it mean for you to embrace the challenge to be charitable?

  • “Hold your tongue.”

  • Put the “best construction” on a situation.

  • Show someone grace.

5.  Commit to memory: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up?” James 4:10.

 

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

December 3
The Schedule that Stole Christmas

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 Schedule that Stole Christmas" message from Exodus 18:13-18.

 

1.  How does “hustle and bustle” steal Christmas joy?  How do you feel when you are over-scheduled?  How do you get into those kinds of situations?  How do you prevent getting into those situations?

 

2.  How would you explain the importance of this Moses’ story to a friend?  Why are the insights of this story especially important at Christmas?

 

3.  Which of these lessons from Moses’ story are most important to you?  Why?

  • Out-of-control schedules are not good.

  • Out-of-control schedules are counterproductive.

  • Out-of-control schedules are sometimes (most of the time?) self-imposed.

  • Out-of-control schedules will end…frequently not happily.

4.  When you look at a Nativity scene and Jesus is “asleep on the hay,” how does that help me understand Him as God who takes rest?

 

5.  Commit to memory: “He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.”  Psalm 23:2.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

November 26
The Materialism that Stole Christmas

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 Materialism that Stole Christmas" message from Luke 12:13-21.

 

1.  Describe your ideal Christmas celebration.  How does this compare to some of your actual Christmas experiences?

 

2.  How easy is it to begin to think that happiness or fullness of life is found in materials things?  How do you find perspective when “stuff” begins to steal Christmas?

 

3.  In His parable speaks of a man consumed by his desire for greater wealth. How would you explain to a friend the important spiritual truth of this story?

 

4.  Which of these is most important to you?  Why?  How to be rich toward God:

  • Live without worry.

  • Live beyond yourself.

  • Live for Christ.

5.  Commit Jesus’ words to memory: “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

November 19
Self-Storage: In Store

 

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 "Self-Storage: In Store" message from II Timothy 4:1-8.

 

1.  “Anticipation makes things fun.” When you know something good is “in store” for you, how do you feel?  How do you act?  Give an example of how anticipation enriched an event in your life.

 

2.  If you are never made uncomfortable by what you hear in Christianity, you are probably not hearing something that is true Christianity. How would you explain that thought to a friend?

 

3.  Legacy…how am I passing along a legacy of faithful ministry at Concordia?

 

4.  In Jesus, what is “in store” for us is good.  What does this mean for you?

  • Today is good;

  • Tomorrow is good;

  • Forever is good.

5.  Commit to memory: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” I Peter 3:15.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

November 12
Self-Storage: Store Up

 

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 "Self-Storage: Store Up" message from Matthew 6:19-21, 24.
 

1.  Think about “treasure.” When “treasure” is a noun or object, what does it mean? When “treasure” is a verb or action, what does it mean? In your opinion, why is it important to think deeply about your treasure?
 

2.  Because faith is at the heart of our relationship with God, how is faith a treasure?
 

3.  Jesus speaks to three matters concerning treasure. How would you explain these to a friend?

  • Location – is my treasure stored in the right place?

  • Durability – how long will my treasure last?

  • Security – is my treasure safe?

4.  How does your treasure define your legacy?
 

5.  Commit to memory: “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me…” (John 14:2-3).

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!
 

 

November 5
Self-Storage: Store House

 

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 "Self-Storage: Store House" message from Malachi 3:8-12.

 

1.  When you think about storage units, what thoughts come to your mind?
 

2.  “Test Me in this.”  In your opinion, why does God invite us to test Him in our tithes and offerings? 
 

3.  Which of these statements about giving is most important in your life right now? Why did you select that statement? 

  • Giving cannot be legalistic.

  • Giving is serious.

  • Giving grows faith.

4.  How would you explain Christian giving to a friend?  How has your giving enriched your life?
 

5.  Commit to memory: “I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  John 10:10.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

 

October 15
Sola: Scripture Alone


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 "SOLA: Scripture Alone" message from Romans 3:25-28.
 

1.  When did you receive your first Bible?  What was the occasion?  Did someone give the Bible to you?  Who was that person?  What did person tell you about the gift?

2.  What does this mean for you?  “The Bible keeps God’s will in our lives clear.”
 

3.  Martin Luther: “Let the man who would hear God speak read Holy Scripture.”  How would you explain that comment to a friend?
 

4.  In your personal prayers, please remember the people of the Texas and Gulf coast, Florida, the Caribbean islands, and Mexico who have lost much to natural disasters – including family and friends  – and the recovery process involving so many.  And, pray for those surviving the horror of the Las Vegas shooter as well as those mourning the loss of loved ones.
 

5.  Commit to memory: “Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” Proverbs 30:5-6.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

October 8
Sola: Faith Alone

 

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 "SOLA: Faith Alone" message from Romans 3:25-28.

 

1.  This year we are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  What is your best understanding of what it means to have saving faith?  What does that mean in terms of your relationship with God?

 

2.  “We often try to make ourselves righteous.”  How does that work for a person?  What does that look like in terms of attitude and behavior?  Is that helpful in my relationship with God?  Is that what God desires of me?

 

3.  How would you explain these three truths about faith to a friend?

  • Life requires faith.

  • We can test faith.

  • Faith brings peace.

4.  In your personal prayers, please remember the people of the Texas and Gulf coast, Florida, the Caribbean islands, and Mexico who have lost much to natural disasters – including family and friends  – and the recovery process involving so many.  And, pray for those surviving the horror of the Las Vegas shooter as well as those mourning the loss of loved ones.

 

5.  Commit to memory: “For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.”  Romans 3:28.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

 

October 1
Sola: Grace Alone

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 "Sola: Grace Alone" message from Matthew 20:1-4,6-7,9-11, 13-15.

 

1.  This year we are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  What is your favorite line or verse from the hymn “Amazing Grace”?
 

2.  Have you ever worked hard and felt you merited something, but it just didn’t happen? Were you offended?  How did you process the situation?  Is there transference to your understanding of grace?
 

3.  How would you explain this truth to a friend?

  • The Law shows us our sin and brokenness. It shows us what we have earned and deserve.

  • The Gospel shows us God’s grace, what God gives us that Jesus earned on the cross…for us.

  • Law and Gospel must go together to understand the meaning of grace.

4.  In your personal prayers, please remember the people of the Texas coast, Florida, the Caribbean islands, and Mexico who have lost much to natural disasters – including family and friends  – and the recovery process involving so many.
 

5.  Commit to memory: “For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

 

September 24
Sola: Christ Alone

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 "SOLA: Christ Alone" message from John 3:26-30.
 

1.  This year we are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  What event comes to your mind first when you think about Martin Luther and the events of the Reformation?
 

2.  Which of these three points is most important to you?  Why?  We point to Jesus:

  • By humility…our attitude.

  • By service…our actions.

  • By mission…our witness.

3.  How would you explain this truth from Martin Luther to a friend? “The cross alone is our theology.”
 

4.  In your personal prayers, please remember the people of the Texas coast, Florida, the Caribbean islands, and Mexico who have lost much to natural disasters – including family and friends  – and the recovery process involving so many.
 

5.  Commit to memory: “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”  
1 Corinthians 2:2.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

September 17
When the Waters Rise: We Serve

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 "When the Waters Rise…We Serve" message from Luke 10:30-35 (The Good Samaritan).

 

1.  Share an experience in your life – or the life of someone you know well – when someone was for you or another a “good Samaritan.  How did that person extend attention and help?  What does it mean that someone in need was helped?
 

2.  Which of these statements about serving is most important to you?  Why?  Serving is so important…

  • Because it is needed.

  • Because it is inevitable.

  • Because it changes our perspective.

  • Because it is fulfilling.

  • Because it is lasting.

3.  How would you explain this truth to a friend? “When we love others, we love God.”
 

4.  In your personal prayers, please remember the people of the Texas coast and Florida who have lost much – including family and friends – and the recovery process involving so many.
 

5.  Commit to memory: “Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength…love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:30-31 (The Great Commandment).

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

September 10
When the Waters Rise: We Pray

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 "When the Waters Rise…We Pray" message from Matthew 8:23-27.
 

1.  Share an experience in your life – or the life of someone you know well – when God answered a prayer offered in a time of trouble.  What was the troubling matter?  How did God answer the prayer?

 

2.  How would you explain to a friend that the storm experience helped to strengthen the faith of the disciples?

 

3.  Learning about prayer from the prayer of the disciples in the storm…which of these is most important to you?  Why?

  • Prayer can be very simple.

  • Prayer can be very honest.

  • Prayer will be very powerful.

4.  In your personal prayers, please remember the people of the Texas coast and Florida who have lost much – including family and friends – and the recovery process involving so many.

 

5.  Commit to memory: “They cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress.” 
Psalm 107:28.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

September 3
Genesis: Reunification


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 "Genesis: Two Dreamers" message from Genesis 40:1-8.

 

1.  For Joseph’s family the catastrophe was a famine.  For Texas the catastrophe is a hurricane and the loss that storms and flooding bring.  Talk about a Christian’s response in times of crisis and need.

 

2.  Israel’s (Jacob’s) family goes from dysfunction and disunity to unity.  Of these three points, in your opinion, which is most important?  Why?

  • The guilty conscience of the brothers.

  • The strong love of Judah that emerges.

  • The shared struggle of the family.

3.  God loves unity.  From the life of Christ, how can we know that?

 

4.  In your personal prayers, please remember the people of the Texas coast who have lost much – including family and friends – and the recovery process involving so many.

 

5.  Commit to memory: “God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Christ.”  Colossians 1:19.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

August 27
Genesis: Two Dreamers

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 "Genesis: Two Dreamers" message from Genesis 40:1-8.

 

1.  Like Joseph, sometimes life is “one step forward and two steps back.”  How do you react when you go through an experience like that?  What does it mean to trust God’s goodness in situations like that?

2.  Just because something looks bad doesn’t mean that God isn’t using it for good. How was it that true for Joseph?  How was that true for Jesus?

3.  How would you explain this to a friend: “You can make a difference wherever you are, even if your aren’t where you want to be.  The question is not your circumstance or position, but your attitude”?

4.  Three thoughts for faith in tough times…which is most important for you?  Why?

  • God is bigger than your situation.

  • God is bigger than your feelings.

  • God is bigger than your limitations.

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

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

 

August 20
Genesis: Joseph

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 "Genesis: Joseph" message from Genesis 37:17b-24a.

 

1.  Hatred can lead a person to think and do terrible things.  How would you explain to a child that holding a grudge or hating another person is wrong.

2.  In a healthy marriage, healthy family priorities are important.  How helpful are the priorities listed inColossians 3:17-23?  What steps can you take to better align your life, your marriage, your family with these priorities?

  • God

  • Spouse

  • Children

  • Work

3.  Three things love will do for others.  Which is most important to you?  Why?

  • Love advocates for others.

  • Love shows mercy to others.

  • Love acts on behalf of others.

4.  “Love is motivated by God, driven by grace.”  How is this an example of Jesus’s love for you?

5.  Commit to memory: “By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13:35.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

August 13
Genesis: Wrestling with God

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 "Genesis: Wrestling with God" message from Genesis 32:22-28.

 

1.  What do you know about wrestling?  How does that help you understand the wrestling match between Jacob and God?

2.  Jacob was concerned for Jacob.  When you read Philippians 2:7, how is this radically different from Jesus?

3.  How would you explain this statement to a friend: “God can bless us through our struggles with Him”?

4.  How struggles are blessings: which of these statements can you relate to best? Why?

  • Our struggles reveal our weaknesses.

  • Our struggles build our character.

  • Our struggles can make us stronger.

  • Our scars can be a blessing.

5.  Commit to memory: “I will boast all he more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

Augusts 6
Genesis: Leah and Rachel

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 "Genesis: Leah and Rachel" message from Genesis 29:10-12, 15-18.

 

1.  Describe the time/occasion when you first met your fiancé/spouse/best friend. How did it happen?  How did you know that this would be a very special person in your life?

2.  Relationships are God’s idea.  We are made for relationships.  Sin exists in relationships.  In your opinion, what are the implications of each of these three statements?

3.  If you think about relationships with God at the top and two people at either end of the base, which direction – horizontal or vertical – moves you closer to God and one another?  How is the image of the triangle helpful?

4.  How would you explain this statement to a friend: “Jesus came for sin from sin”?

5.  Commit to memory: “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness…” Matthew 6:33.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

July 30
Genesis: Jacob and Esau

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 "Genesis: Jacob and Esau" message from Genesis 25:21-26a.

 

1.  Sibling rivalry is universal.  Describe a time in your life when you experienced or observed sibling rivalry.  What happened?  Was it resolved well?  Why or why not?
 

2.  The mother, Rebekah, played favorites with her sons.  How did this make the problem even worse?  What can I learn from her mistake?
 

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

  • Exercise patience instead of anger.

  • Ask: Am I putting the best or worst construction on what happened?

  • Don’t be passive aggressive.

  • Don’t let conflict linger.

  • Conflict is only resolved by love.

4.  How would you explain to a friend that God has opened His arms to us, not to harm, but to embrace?”
(See Isaiah 40:10-11).  How is Jesus an example of this truth?
 

5.  Commit to memory: “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”  Ephesians 4:26-27.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

July 23
Genesis: Isaac

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 "Genesis: Isaac" message from Genesis 22:1-8a.

 

1.  Share an important lesson that you learned from your father or another influential person in your life.  Can you be a person of influence and impact for another? Why? Why not?

 

2.  Can you give an example of a hard test in life that stretched your faith? Describe how your faith was strengthened going through that difficulty.

 

3.  How would you explain to a friend the connections between the Isaac narrative and the crucifixion of Jesus?

 

4.  Commit to memory:  “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NIV).

 

5.  Please keep our Concordia Mission SA Team in your prayers as they share Christ’s love with the people with the people of San Antonio.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

July 16
Genesis: Sodom and Gomorrah

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 "Genesis: Sodom and Gomorrah" message from Genesis 18:23-28, 32.

 

1.  What are some of your favorite cities to visit?  What do you like about them most? What do you dislike?

 

2.  How would you explain this to a friend?  Using bad to outweigh good leads to cynicism and pain.  Using good to outweigh bad leads to hope.

 

3.  From the appeal of Abraham, which point is most important to you?  Why?

  • Abraham saw himself. He understood that his life was not above wickedness.

  • Abraham saw God’s desire to save the city and all who were in it.

  • Abraham saw something he could love. It was someone – Lot, his nephew.

4.  Commit to memory:  “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23).

 

5.  Please keep our Concordia Alaska Mission Team in your prayers as they share Christ’s love with tribal peoples living in the Fairbanks area.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

July 9
Genesis: Abraham

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 "Genesis: Abraham" message from Genesis 15:1-6.

 

1.  Abram means “father.” Abraham means “father of nations.” Share the meaning of your name and/or why you were given your name.

2.  God gave Abraham enough protection and provision for himself, his family, and others.  What are the implications of that truth for you?

3.  “Imputed righteousness” means that God adds to our lives righteousness.  Why are these questions important?  How would you explain the answers to a friend?

  • What does God need from me? Answer: Nothing.

  • What does God want from me? Answer: Trust that builds a relationship.

  • What does God give to me? Answer: His righteousness.

4.  Commit to memory:  “Consider Abraham: ‘He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’ Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.” (Galatians 3:6-7).

5.  Please keep our Concordia Mega Mission Team in your prayers as they share Christ’s love in Oklahoma City and Moore, Oklahoma.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

July 2
Genesis: Babel

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 "Genesis: Babel" message from Genesis 11:1-9.

 

1.  Sometimes we simply don’t do the things we know we should.  Have you ever experienced that…something like Pastor McKnight described with his doctor? Why do you think you felt so reluctant?  How did you get past your reluctance?

 

2.  How is the story of building the tower of Babel a story of foolishness and “drag marks?”

 

3.  Two important thoughts concerning God’s will…how would you explain them to a friend?

  • God’s will will be done;

  • The will of God is always good for us.

4.  “Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it.” (Luke 11:28).  How does the narrative of Babel illustrate the importance of this truth?  Will you be in God’s Word daily?

 

5.  Commit to memory:  “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21).

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

June 25
Genesis: Noah
 

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 "Genesis: Noah" message from Genesis 7:11-16.
 

1.  How is the story of Noah a story of “do-overs” for both Noah and God?
 

2.  From the account of Noah, some observations about the character of God…which is most important to you?  Why?

  • God cares for His creation.

  • God keeps us safe.

  • God blesses and saves through adversity.

3.  There is death and new life that comes out of baptism.  How would you explain this truth to a friend?
(See Romans 6:3-4). 
 

4.  Am I prepared for and ready to survive adversity?  Where can I grow stronger?  What will I do this week to make a new start?

  • In God’s Word daily.

  • In worship.

  • Serving.

  • Inviting others into my church family.

5.  Commit to memory:  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” (II Corinthians 5:17).

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

June 18
Genesis: Cain and Abel


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 "Genesis: Cain and Abel" (Father’s Day) message from Genesis 3:1-6.

 

1.  What makes Father’s Day special for you?  What is your best memory of your dad?

2.  Where there is sin, things go downhill quickly.  How is this true in the story of Cain and Abel?

3.  When Cain is angry, God acts.  How does this help us understand the character of God?

  • He comforts Cain.

  • He warns Cain.

4.  Lessons concerning justice and injustice:  Which is most important to you?  Why?

  • Sin does not solve injustice.

  • God knows injustice.

  • God doesn’t just deliver justice to us, He makes us just. (How do you know that is true?)

5.  Commit to memory:  “See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us his children, and that is what we are!” (I John 3:1).

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

June 11
Genesis: Fall

 

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Sunday morning’s "Genesis: The Fall" message from Genesis 3:1-6.

 

1.  Have you ever taken a great fall?  How badly were you hurt?  How quickly were you able to come back?  What did you learn about great falls and recovery?
 

2.  How is Genesis 3 an account of total tragedy?
 

3.  How would you explain this to a friend? In times of temptation, Satan:

  • Misrepresents God’s Word;

  • Misrepresents God’s character;

  • Appeals to our desires.

4.  How would you explain this to a friend?  In times of temptation and sin God is present with His promise of hope and forgiveness.  What did this mean for Adam and Eve?  What does this mean for me?

  • “He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15b).

 

5.  Commit to memory:  “He (Jesus) has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.” (Colossians 1:13).

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

 

June 4
Genesis: Creation

 

Let's Talk About It...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to Memorial Day Sunday morning’s "In the Beginning: Creation" message from Genesis 1:1-5.

 

1.  Describe a time when you were surrounded by incredible natural beauty.  When you were in that setting, what were you thinking…feeling?  What did you think about God?  Why?

 

2.  How is Genesis 1 an account of God’s grace?

 

3.  Why do you think the New Testament repeatedly references Jesus’ presence and participation in creation?  (John 1:1-14; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:1-3).

 

4.  How is the creation account and God’s comment concerning creation as “good” a stark contrast to the sinful nature of people which required Jesus’ crucifixion?

 

5.  Commit to memory:  “He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation…all things were created by Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16).

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

May 21
Jonah: Anger Management

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 "Jonah: Anger Management" message from Jonah 4:2-9a.

 

1.  Think about a time when you “lost it.” You were very angry about something or someone. Was your anger helpful? Did your anger give you a better perspective? Were you finally able to resolve your anger? How did that happen?
 

2.  How does Jonah’s life illustrate the connection between anger, complaint, and melodrama?
 

3.  How do you understand Jonah’s experience with the leafy plant an illustration of God’s grace?
 

4.  Which of these three ways of dealing with anger is most helpful to you? Why?

· Conversation…with the person with whom you are angry.
· Empathy…understand and care for another.
· Grace…forgives rather than punishes.
 

5.  Commit to memory:  “God’s anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime.” Psalm 30:5.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

May 14
Jonah: The Worst Sermon Ever

 

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 "Jonah: Worst Sermon Ever" message from Jonah 3:1-5.

 

1.  How would you describe a very good sermon?  In what ways was Jonah’s sermon “the worst”? 

 

2.  What have you learned from this account about how someone can struggle with personal preferences and prejudices?  And, in the midst of a struggle like this, what is God’s response?  How is God’s response an illustration of grace?

 

3.  Which of these lessons from the poor preaching text is most important to you?  Why?

  • God can do anything with any effort.

  • Our inadequacies cannot thwart God’s promises.

  • You can share your faith with others. Vocation…

 

4.  How would you explain this quote to a friend: “The best thing you can give your kids is Jesus’ love”?

 

5.  Commit to memory:  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 6:23.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

 

May 7
Jonah: How Not to Pray

 

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 "Jonah: How Not to Pray" message from Jonah 2:1-4, 9.

 

1.  Why is prayer important to you?  How does prayer become a way that trust is built into your faith?

 

2.  In Jonah’s life, how is the great fish an example of God’s grace?  In Jesus’ life, how is the cross an example of God’s grace?

 

3.  How would you explain to a friend the difference between prayers for relief and prayers for hope?

 

4.  This account of Jonah helps us understand three things about sin.  Which of the lessons on prayer is most important to you?  Why?

  • Prayer is not about politeness.

  • Prayer is not about perfection.

  • Prayer is about God’s promises.

5.  Commit to memory:  “If anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”  I John 2:1.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

April 30
Jonah: Day of Reckoning


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 "Jonah: Day of Reckoning" message from Jonah 1:5-12.

 

1.  “Reckoning” is accounting for an amount due.  “Day of reckoning” describes a time when one is called to account for one’s actions, pay one’s debt.  How is this account of Jonah a “day of reckoning?”  Describe an experience in your own life that was a “day of reckoning.”  What important lesson did you learn in that experience?

 

2.  Describing Jonah asleep in the boat during the storm, Luther said, “There he lies and snores in his sins.”  What does that description mean to you?

 

3.  Guilt is a powerful emotion.  It kept Jonah from calling out to God.  How do you answer someone who feels so guilty about something in life, the person feels beyond the grace, care, or love of God?

 

4.  This account of Jonah helps us understand three things about sin.  Which of these is most important to you?  Why?

  • Your sin doesn’t affect just you.

  • A lack of love for God leads to a lack of care for others.

  • We can learn a great deal from the questions of unbelievers.

 

5.  Commit to memory:  “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”  Matthew 12:40.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

April 23
Jonah: On the Run

 

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 "Jonah: On the Run" message from Jonah 1:1-4.

 

1.  Is there a time in your life when you understand that God wanted your attention? Please share that experience and what you did…

 

2.  Think about Jonah running from the Ninevites.  Sometimes sin feels right.  How would you explain to a friend that “feeling right” and “doing right” can be radically different.  Use Jonah as an example.

 

3.  How is Jonah’s experience similar to that of the prodigal son in Jesus’ parable?  (Luke 15:11-24).

 

4.  Jonah’s journey helps us understand something about God’s grace.  Which of these lessons is most meaningful to you?  Why?

  • Grace pursues us though we don’t deserve it.

  • Grace doesn’t always look like grace. Sometimes it looks like a storm.

  • Grace is for everyone, not only me, but everyone.

 

5.  Commit to memory:  “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”  Proverbs 14:12.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

April 16
Done ✓ (Easter)
 

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 "Easter: Done!" message from Mark 16:1-6.

 

1.  Share your best memory of Easter.  Why was that memory so important to you?

2.  How is this true? “The first Easter is all about people who were in your shoes.”

3.  How would you explain this to a friend: “Easter changes everything”?  And, think about what changed…

  • No one needed to roll a huge stone away;

  • No one needed to anoint the body of Jesus;

  • No one needed to grieve.

4.  “Done!”  “It is finished!”  Can we start an Easter/Jesus conversation on social media? Can we connect the cross and the empty tomb?  His life, His death, His resurrection makes us flawless.

5.  Commit to memory:  “Don’t be alarmed…You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.  He has risen!”  Mark 16:6.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

April 9
Vital and Vigorous! (Palm Sunday)


Let's Talk About It...

 

J2e3 conversations...here are some thoughts to help you have a conversation with family and others related to a Palm Sunday celebration:

 

1.  Read the Matthew 21:1-11 account of Palm Sunday.  Is there any doubt who is entering the city to the shouts of the people?  In this account, what helps you come to that conclusion?

2.  Read the other Gospel accounts of Palm Sunday:  Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-38; John 12:12-15.  How are these accounts similar?  How are they different?  What additional detail of Palm Sunday is most interesting to you?  Why?

3.  Read Zechariah 9:9 and Isaiah 62:11.  How are these prophecies fulfilled in the Palm Sunday event?  How do they point to Jesus as the promised Savior?

4.  How would you explain the importance of Palm Sunday to a friend?

5.  Commit to memory:  “Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”  Matthew 21:9.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

April 2
Self-Destruct: Vanity

 

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 "Self-Destruct: Vanity" message from Luke 18:9-14.

 

1.  What is your first memory of learning life lessons about vanity?  What was the circumstance?  What did you learn?

2.  How do you distinguish between confidence and vanity?

3.  Which of these points concerning the tax collector’s prayer is most important to you?  Why?

  • He makes no comparison.

  • He goes deep…to his core.

  • He pleads for help.

4.  How would you explain these words to a friend: “God be merciful to me, a sinner”?  What does this tell you about you?  What does this tell you about God?

5.  Commit to memory:  “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Luke18:14.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

March 26
Self-Destruct: Timidity


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 "Self-Destruct: Timidity" message from Acts 4:1-8, 12-13.

 

1. Do you consider yourself a cautious person or more or a risk taker?

2. As our world rejects Jesus more and more, how can we live faithfully and boldly like the Apostles, yet do so in love?

3. Have you ever been opposed by someone for your faith like Peter and John were? Was it someone close to you? Talk about that situation.

4. Peter tells us that Jesus is foundational. What does this mean to you, and how does it manifest in your life? 

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

March 19
Self-Destruct: Unbelief


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 "Self-Destruct: Unbelief" message from Jude 3-4, 20-21.

 

1. What do you doubt today that you didn’t when you were younger?


2. Romans 3:28 says, “For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” Do you ever find it hard to believe that we are justified by faith apart from any work or good thing we can do?

 

3. Has anyone ever asked you:

  • Why doesn’t God just wipe out evil?

  • Why did God let that child die?

  • Why did God create Adam and Eve if He knew what was going to happen? How did you respond?

4. Commit to memory: Be merciful to those who doubt.  Jude 22 


Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

March 12
Self-Destruct: Trivia

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 "Self-Destruct: Trivia" message from 2 Chronicles 25:1-2, 14-15.

 

1.  What is your favorite “trivial pursuit”?  Why is it important to you?  Has it ever interfered or kept you from other more important things?  What did you do about it?

 

2.  2 Chronicles 25:2 tells us, “He (Amaziah, the king) did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly.”  How does this description fit into our theme of “Self-Destruction”?  What does this description tell you for your life?

 

3.  Taking small things and making them big things…which of these points is most important to you?  Why?

  • It’s easy to do!

  • It’s tough to fix!

  • It’s worth the work!

 

4.  Jesus never lost focus on His mission.  Trivial things did not distract Him from Jerusalem and the cross.  How is this a significant expression of His love for you?

 

5.  Commit to memory:  “The Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced.”  Isaiah 50:17.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

 

March 5
Self-Destruct: Evasion

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 "Self-Destruct: Trivia" message from 2 Chronicles 25:1-2, 14-15.

 

1.  What is your favorite “trivial pursuit”?  Why is it important to you?  Has it ever interfered or kept you from other more important things?  What did you do about it?

 

2.  2 Chronicles 25:2 tells us, “He (Amaziah, the king) did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly.”  How does this description fit into our theme of “Self-Destruction”?  What does this description tell you for your life?

 

3.  Taking small things and making them big things…which of these points is most important to you?  Why?

  • It’s easy to do!

  • It’s tough to fix!

  • It’s worth the work!

 

4.  Jesus never lost focus on His mission.  Trivial things did not distract Him from Jerusalem and the cross.  How is this a significant expression of His love for you?

 

5.  Commit to memory:  “The Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced.”  Isaiah 50:17.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

March 5
Self-Destruct: Evasion

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 "Self-Destruct: Evasion" message from Acts 5:1-4.

 

1.  Were you taught that telling a lie is wrong?  Who made the greatest impression on you about telling the truth?  How did that person make that point with you?

2.  When explaining to someone about truth and lies, how does the Bible describe Jesus and Satan?

  • Jesus -- John 14:6; “I am the way, and the truth, and the life…”

  • Satan -- John 8:44; “…he is a liar and the father of lies.”

3.  How do you understand: “Our lies don’t necessarily point to a problem with lying, but, usually, honestly, to our insecurities.”

4.  Grit or grace:  In your opinion, what conquers lies?  Is truth something you try to hard to embrace or someone you learn to love and follow?

5.  Commit to memory:  “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  John 14:6.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

February 26
Family Ties: Legacy

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 "Family Ties: Legacy" message from 2 Timothy 1:1-6.

 

1.  Who in your life has been a person of influence and impact?  Give an example of that person’s influence and impact?  How would you describe that person’s legacy for your life?

2.  Legacy: “You leave what you love, and you leave it to someone you love.”  How would you describe that in your life?

3.  What is your biggest personal challenge to creating a faith legacy for your family? What steps are you taking to overcoming the challenge?  Where do you need help?

4.   Leaving a legacy:  Which of these three points is most important to you?  Why”

  • Make faith a priority.

  • Get help.

  • Never give up hope.

5.  Commit to memory:  “On this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”  Matthew 16:18.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

February 19
Family Ties: Discipline


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 "Family Ties: Discipline" message from Numbers 20:2, 7-12.
 

1.  When you were a child, what did you understand about the purpose of discipline? Share a story about learning this lesson.

2.  How does discipline help you connect to Jesus as His disciple?

3.  How do you understand the three points concerning discipline?

  • Practices restraint;

  • Explains why;

  • Leads to something better.

4.  How would you explain this sermon thought on discipline to a friend: “Every good decision opens the opportunity for another good decision”?

5.  Commit to memory:  “Endure hardship as discipline.  God is treating you as sons.” Hebrews 12:7.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

February 12
Family Ties: Grace

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 "Family Ties: Grace" message from Genesis 18:1-2, 10-14.
 

1.  Think about a time in your life when it was really important that your family was together.  What was that time?  Why was it important for the family to share the moment?  What was the best part of the family being together?  What was the most challenging part of the family being together?
 

2.  Abraham “bowed low to the ground.”  That describes a posture of worship.  He saw God in the detail of the visit.  In the details of your day, how do you find God and acknowledge Him?  Why is the important for you?

 

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

  • Grace is for the undeserving.

  • Grace is for the powerless.

  • Grace is found in Jesus.

4.  Thinking about the three points of grace…how would you define grace in a conversation with a friend.

 

5.  Commit to memory:  “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”  Genesis 18:14.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

February 5
iSHARE

 

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 "i:SHARE" message from Luke 19:1-10.

 

1.  Can you think about a time of your life, when someone was especially generous with you?  What did you learn from that person about the importance of sharing?

 

2.  Zacchaeus was a tax collector, and Jericho was a “toll town.”  How does taking, keeping, extorting, hoarding bring stress into your life and relationships?  Give one example of Jesus that illustrates sharing.

 

3.  When you read the story of Zacchaeus, how do you know that Jesus influenced him…made a difference in his life?

 

4.  When you think about being generous, three things were mentioned.  How have you been able to share these with others?  How have others shared these with you?

  • Share you blessings.

  • Share your burdens.

  • Share Jesus.

5.  Commit to memory:  “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  Luke 19:10.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

January 29
iREST
 

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 "iREST" message from 1 Kings 19:3-8.

 

1.  Think about cell phones and the Stanford basketball team.  How important is rest to you?  Do you get enough rest to be at your best?  Why or why not?

 

2.  Which of these “life-stealers” is most difficult for you?  Why?  What change(s) can you make today to stop this “theft”?

  • “I want more.”

  • “I can’t wait for tomorrow.”

  • “This is too hard.”

3.  What does this mean for you: “Rather than giving Elijah want he wants, God gives him what he needs.” 

 

4. “We should see rest not just as a necessity, but also as a gift.” How would you explain this to a friend?

 

5.  Commit to memory:  “Come to Me (Jesus), all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

 

January 22
iWORK

 

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 "i: iWORK" message from Ecclesiastes 3:9-15.

 

1. Share a “life lesson” you learned from someone you consider a “hard worker.”  Who is that person?  What kind of work did the person do?  Why is this person’s example important to you?
 

2. How have you seen this to be true?  “God created work. Satan twisted work.”
 

3. Pastor Tucker shared three elements of “satisfying work.”  Which is most important to you?  Why?

  • Don’t be lazy.

  • Get a mentor.

  • Work toward eternity.


4. How would you explain this quote to a friend?  “God does not need your good works, but your neighbor does.”  (Martin Luther).
 

5. Commit to memory:  “I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.”  Ecclesiastes 3:14.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

 

January 15
iLOVE

 

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 "iLOVE" message from Romans 12:9-21.

 

1.    You know the expression, “first things first”? In your opinion, why is it true that love must always be primary? Can you give an example of someone from your life who is an example of making love primary?

 

2. At His crucifixion, how is Jesus a consistent example of love to those present?

 

3.    From the “iLOVE” message, how would you explain to a friend this insight:

“Good character doesn’t begin with integrity. Good character doesn’t begin with work ethic. Good character begins with LOVE!”

 

4. Nothing becomes dynamic until it becomes specific. For accountability purposes share with your spouse or a trusted friend your answers: to the Love Challenge:

  • Who can you love? (An enemy or a friend)

  • How can you love them? (Pick from Paul’s list in Romans 12)

  • What difference can you pray for?

5. Commit to memory: “By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

 

January 8
iAM

 

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 "iAm" message from Exodus 3:1-14.

1.    What do you want to be when you grow up?  When you first thought about that question, what was your answer?  Why?  How has your answer changed over the years?

 

2.    When God sought him out, Moses was in a “wasteland”.  God does an amazing thing in this “wasteland.”  Recall what you can about this “wasteland” (Exodus 3).  How is God’s action toward Moses encouragement and comfort for you?

 

3.    How would you explain to a friend the difference between relief and hope?  What does hope tell you about the nature and character of God?

 

4.   Thinking about “iAm” and my identity by God.  Which of the three message points is most important to you?  Why?

  • His existence > my existence = humility.

  • His righteousness > my failures = comfort.

  • His power > my powers = vocation.

5.    Commit to memory:  “Be still, and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations...”  Psalm 46:10

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

January 1
New Year's Hope

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the "Here is Hope for Your Great New Year" message from Psalm 34:14-18. 

1.    Imagine it’s January 1, 2018, and you are telling a friend what you are most thankful for in 2017. What would that be? And why are you most thankful for it?

2.    What is your best definition for hope?

3.    Psalm 34 describes the source of hope in the past, present, and future as God. Which of these is most important to you?  Why?

  • God’s gracious invitation – vs. 14;

  • God’s undivided attention – vs. 15;

  • God’s trustworthy promises – vs. 17-18.

4.    What would you tell a friend is your key to a great New Year? How is that true for you?

5.    Commit to memory: "(God) has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”  1 Peter 1:3, NIV.

 

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

 

December 25
Christmas Timeless

Let's Talk About It...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the "Christmas Timeless" message from John 1:1-4, 10-14.
 

1.  What is your favorite Christmas hymn?  Why is it your favorite?  What is your first remembrance of singing it?

2.  Thinking about the eternal nature of Christmas…how would you explain eternity to a child?

3.  Matthew and Luke tell us about the events of Christmas, but John tells us the why. How do you understand the “why” of Christmas?

4.  From our Christmas Day message two reasons were given for why we need eternity? Which is most important to you?  Why is your choice most important?

  • Eternity helps us know the eternal One.

  • We need more time for what matters most.

5.  Commit to memory: “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” John 1:14.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

Today is the day to celebrate CHRISTmas well…

Prayer is at the heart of our CHRISTmas celebration.  This CHRISTmas prayer is based on the sermon message “Christmas Timeless.”  The text is John 1:1-4, 10-14.

To You, O Living God, whose years endure throughout all generations (Ps. 102:24b), my heart bursts with praise and thanksgiving!  Oh, how You have loved every generation of mankind!  And, oh, how You love me!  What ultimate sacrifice! 

Jesus, You left heaven and put skin on for me. (John 1:14) You came, full of grace and truth.  (John 1:14) You loved the unlovable and the messy and the broken.  You are a hiding place for me; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with shouts of deliverance. (Ps. 32:7) Because of all that You are, I have been given one blessing after another.  My voice joins the angels:  Glory to You, O Lord!  It is a blessed, beautiful CHRISTmas!  Amen!


Remember, a great CHRISTmas includes simple PRAYERS!

 

 



December 18
Christmas Future

Let's Talk About It...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the "Christmas Future" message from Luke 2:25-34.

1.  Have you ever wished you could know/“tell” the future?  What question would you love to have answered?  What circumstance would you love to know how it worked out?  How would that be helpful to you?

 

2.  None of us can know the future.  However, a lack of clarity about the future can cause a few things.  Which response is most common to you?  How is this response helpful to you…or not?

  • Fear or worry.

  • Forecasting or trying to predict and control.

  • Frustration or need for more details.


3.  How would you explain these truths to a friend?  There are some things we can  absolutely know about the future:

  • When we die, we will be safe in Jesus.

  • When we sin, we will be forgiven by Jesus.

  • When the world ends, our future is with Jesus.

4.  Why is a statement like this important to celebrating Christmas well?

“Rather than worrying about your future, study what has happened in the past with Jesus.  Because when you understand that better, you’ll feel better about your future because you’ll know who holds the future, no matter what your future holds.”
 

5.  Commit to memory:  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  Hebrews 13:8, NIV.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

Advent is a season to prepare to celebrate CHRISTmas well…

Prayer is at the heart of our CHRISTmas preparation.  This Advent prayer is based on the sermon message “Christmas Future.”  The text is Luke 2:25-34.

Come to me, heavenly Father; Immanuel Jesus, be with me; Holy Spirit, rest on me.  You are my light and my salvation---whom shall I fear? (Ps. 27:1a) As You were for Simeon and Mary, You will be the sure foundation for my times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge. (Is. 33:6) Be gracious to me, O God; I long for You; be my strength every morning, my salvation in times of distress. (Is. 33:2) You are the keeper of all my tomorrows. You have promised to never leave me or forsake me. (Heb. 13:5) One thing I ask of You, this is what I seek: to gaze upon Your beauty. (Ps. 27:4) Your face, Lord, I will seek. (Ps. 27:8) Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come…He will come to save you.” (Is. 35:3-4) Through You, Jesus, I will receive mercy and find grace to help me in my time of need. (Heb.4: 16)  Having seen You and having been so richly blessed by Your presence and peace, send me out to share the Gift with others. I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand.  It is You, Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

Remember, a great CHRISTmas includes simple PRAYERS!

 

 

December 11
Christmas Present

Let's Talk About It...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the "Christmas Present" message from Luke 1:26-38.

1.  Think about a time when you were surprised by something very unexpected.  Was it a “good” surprise or a “bad” surprise?  What happened?  How did it impact your life?

2.  Three blessings of a “dulos” (“I belong to God”) mentality.  Which is most important to you in times of distress?  Why is it most important?

  • Keep your cool.

  • Focus on your others.

  • Keep the faith.

3.  How does this truth impact your faith and life:  God’s Word never fails!  What is impossible for people is possible with God!

4.  The greatest adventure of your life begins when you say, “God, I belong to you! Use me. I am available!”  How would you explain this to a friend?

5.  Commit to memory:  “For nothing is impossible with God.”  Luke 1:37, NIV.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

Advent is a season to prepare to celebrate CHRISTmas well…

Prayer is at the heart of our CHRISTmas preparation.  This Advent prayer is based on the sermon message “Christmas Present.”  The text is Luke 1:26-38.

Heavenly Father, what an awesome God You are and what awesome things You do!  You let us know we are highly favored and You are with us. (Luke 1:28) Yet, we are still fearful and troubled when the unexpected occurs. (Luke 1:29)  

You call, You surprise, and You bless us.  Yet, sometimes we do not count it all joy when we face surprises of any kind. (James 1:2) Sometimes we forget that all things are possible with You. (Mark 10:27b).  Sometimes we forget that You are for us and not against us. (Rom. 8:31)  

In this holy season, remind us that You are the God for whom we have waited and hoped and You save us. (Is. 25:9) Stir our hearts---for to us a Child is born! (Is. 9:6) Encompass our lives that we, too, may bear Jesus to a world that desperately needs Him. May Jesus Himself, who reached out in love and surprised us with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart within us, invigorate our work, and enliven our speech. (2 Thess. 2: 16-17) We say, “Yes” for we are Yours, body and soul!  Amen.  
 

Remember, a great CHRISTmas includes simple PRAYERS! 

 

 

 

December 4
Christmas Past

 

Let's Talk About It...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the "Christmas Past" message shared Sunday morning.

 

1.    Thinking about Christmas Past, talk about the Christmas celebration where you had the most generations present.  How many generations were present?  Who was there?  What do you remember most about that Christmas celebration?

2.    In Jesus’ genealogy, Matthew includes both Jew and Gentile, good and bad, male and female, people of accomplishment and people of failure.  What is the point of this genealogy?  Why is this important for us to know?   

3.    As you consider the message, which point was most important to you concerning the disappointments or mistakes of the past?  Why?

  • Be honest about your past.

  • Understand how your past affects your present.

  • Trust that even if your past cannot be redone, you can be redeemed.

4.    “All time is God’s time.  Which means the past is not a problem for God.”  How would you explain this truth to a friend?

5.    Commit to memory:  “I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make Your faithfulness known through all generations.”  Psalm 89:1, NIV.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

Advent is a season to prepare to celebrate CHRISTmas well…

Prayer is at the heart of our preparation.  This Advent prayer is based on the sermon message “Christmas Past.”  The text is Matthew 1:1-16.

Heavenly Father, God of all time and all generations, Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations (Ps. 145:13, Ps. 90:1).  You have shown steadfast love to the thousands of generations who have loved You and kept Your commandments. (Ex. 20:6) We will sing of Your acts of grace forever and with our mouths we will proclaim Your faithfulness from generation to generation. (Ps. 89:1)

Help us to examine and probe our ways that we might return to You, O Lord. (Lam. 3:40) Do not hold against us the sins of past generations; may Your mercy come quickly to meet us, especially at our deepest sin needs. (Ps. 79:8) You have so loved the world that You gave your only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but will have eternal life. (John 3:16) Your plan stands firm forever; the purposes of Your heart stand firm through all generations.  (Ps. 33:11)  Your Son has offered Himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life. (Titus 2:14)  So, even though on the outside it looks like things are falling apart, on the inside, where Your Spirit is making new life, not a day goes by without Your unfolding grace.

As we reflect on the genealogy of Jesus, use us, yes, even us, as You have used royal and common, famous and obscure, male and female, Jew and Gentile to tell the great story of Your love to those who do not yet know You.  Now to You who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to Your power that is at work within us, to You be the glory throughout all generations forever and ever, (Eph. 3:20-21) Amen. 

Remember, a great CHRISTmas includes simple PRAYERS!

 

 

November 27
Live a Thankful Life

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the "Live a ThankFULL Life" message from Sunday morning.

 

1.    Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and talked about a “bucket list?”  What are some things you have heard people put on their bucket list?  If God wrote a “bucket list” for you, what might be on it?

2.    How would you explain this statement to a friend?  “What consumes your mind will control your life.” 

3.    Implications of contentment from Philippians 4:11-16.  Which of these is most important and helpful to you?  Why is that?

  • Contentment is not immediate (vs. 11-12).

  • Contentment is not apathetic (vs. 13-14).

  • Contentment is not normal (vs. 14-16).

4.    How is this true in your life?  “I can’t.  He can.  He can through me.”

5.    Commit to memory: "I have come that they might have life and have it to the full.”  John 10:10.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

November 20
Marriage Two-Step: Kindness

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the Sunday morning message, “Marriage Two Step: Kindness,” from I Samuel 25:2-10.

 

1.  How does kindness behave?  Share the observable characteristics of someone you conclude is kind.

2.  How do you understand the truth of Jeremiah 31:3 (see verse below)?

  • Kindness is unfailing.

  • Kindness is synonymous with love.

3.  How would you explain this to a friend? “The wounds you inflict on your spouse, hurt you, too.”

4.  How is Jesus’ death on the cross an ultimate example of kindness?  For my own life, what can I learn about kindness by understanding the cross?

5.  Commit to memory: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”  Jeremiah 31:3.

 

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

November 13
Marriage Two-Step: Humility

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the Sunday morning message, “Marriage Two Step: Humility,” from Philippians 2:1-8.

 

1.  How does humility behave?  Share the observable characters of someone you conclude is humble.

 

2.  How would you explain this statement to a friend: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”

 

3.  Think about your marriage and the positive impact of humility.  Which of these three questions is most important to you?  Why?

  • What do I need to let go of in order to bless my spouse?

  • What can I pour into my marriage to bless my spouse?

  • What do I need in order to endure for my spouse?

 

4.  How is Jesus’ death on the cross an ultimate example of humility?  For my own life, what can I learn about humility by understanding the cross?

 

5.  Commit to memory: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6.

 

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

November 6
Civics 101

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the Sunday morning message, “Civics 101,” from Mark 12:13-17.

 

1.  Talk about well-remembered presidential elections. Why were those elections memorable for you?  Do you remember the first time you voted in a national election? What was that like for you?

 

2.  In your opinion, why was the question the religious leaders asked Jesus such a significant question?  From your perspective, how does Jesus’ answer become even more significant than the question?

 

3.  Sometimes people feel stuck, letdown, or even betrayed by a political system or political leader. Jesus creates two options that are beyond both political systems and leaders.  Which is most important to you?  Why?

  • Respect the system or leader. Jesus did not begin a revolution against taxes.

  • Contextualize the system or leader. Jesus knew that God is bigger than the system or the leader.

 

4.  Take a moment with your spouse, family, or friends to offer a prayer for our nation as we elect a new president.  Ask God’s blessing upon our election and our nation as a source of Christian truth, justice, and peace.

 

5.  Commit to memory: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”  Psalm 33:12.

 

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

October 30
Stepping Out

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Next Steps” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, “Stepping Out,” from John 3:1-6, 9-10, 14-16.

 

1.  Giving – sharing – is at the heart of love.  God loved and gave.  Share a remembrance when someone shared with you and it was a great blessing.

2.  Which of these points is most helpful to you for understanding Jesus’ words, “You must be born again”?

  • You must die.

  • You must relinquish control.

  • You must be regenerated.

3.  What does this quote from Martin Luther mean to you?  See also I Corinthians 2:2. “The cross alone is our theology.”

4.  From the sermon message: “Stepping Out”…sharing your financial resources:

  • It is to strengthen your faith;

  • It is to serve those around you;

  • It is to bring hope to a dying world.

     How will our Loyalty Sunday (October 30) be an opportunity for you to take a “next step” in trusting God in your financial gifts and connecting you with taking His love to the world?

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

 

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

October 23
Stepping Up

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Next Steps” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, “Stepping Up,” from Mark 12:41-44.

1.  When you hear this statement, what immediately comes to mind: “Stewardship is the greatest adventure in trust – EVER!”

2.  Which of these points is most helpful and meaningful to you…how should we give?

  • Give completely.

  • Giver freely.

  • Give unassumingly.

  • Give memorably.

3.  How would you explain to someone the trust and obedience of the widow and her offering?

4.  From the sermon message: Stepping Up…

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse…Test Me in this and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing…” Malachi 3:10.

How will our Loyalty Sunday (October 31) be an opportunity for you to take a “next step” in trusting God in your financial gifts?

5.  Commit to memory: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

October 16
Stepping In

 

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Next Steps” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, “Stepping In,” from I Kings 17:8-14.

 

1.  In your life, who taught you the importance of giving and sharing with others?  What is your earliest remembrance of learning this? 

2.  From the sermon message: Which of these stewardship facts is most meaningful to you?  Why is it so meaningful?

  • God owns everything.

  • God doesn’t ask us to repay Him for all He gives. He asks us to return a portion of what He gives us.

  • God doesn’t need our money… but He allows us to play a part in His plans.

  • God doesn’t work by the same rules we do…the widow, the oil, the flour; the cross, the death, the resurrection.

 

3.  How would you explain to someone the faith and obedience of the widow?

4.  From the sermon message: Stepping In…

  • Manage what you have…includes generosity and perspective.

  • Trust God to provide.

 

How will our Loyalty Sunday (October 30) be an opportunity for you to take a “next step” in trusting God in your financial gifts?

 

5.  Commit to memory: “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in My temple.  If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of Heaven for you…Put Me to the test.”  Malachi 3:10.

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

October 9
The Mission: Evangelism

 

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Foundations” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, “The Mission – Evangelism,” from
II Kings 7:3-9.

1.  List occasions in your life when there has been good news that simply needed to be shared with others.  What are the occasions that come to mind?

 

2.  From the sermon message: “Death was not supposed to happen.  We have a preference for life!  And this is part of the reason the mission is so important – because it gives people the hope of life.” What does this quote mean to you?

 

3.  When you think about sharing THE Good News, which of these sermon points is most important to you? Why?

  • It’s inexhaustible.

  • People matter.

  • It’s fun to share.

4.  If someone asked you, “Has there ever been a time in your life when Jesus was especially good news to you or someone in your family? What was that time? How was He good news?

 

5.  Commit to memory: “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”  John 10:10.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

October 2
The Meal: Lord's Supper

Let's Talk About It ... 

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Foundations” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, “The Meal – Holy Communion,” from Luke 22:7-8, 15-16, 19-20.

 

1.  What is your favorite meal?  Describe your favorite meal memory.  If you could invite anyone to your home for dinner, who would it be?  Why would it be that person?

2.  Foundational to the Lord’s Supper is the central place of the cross and the Lamb of God, Jesus, shedding His blood that people might be saved.  How is that similar to the Passover event?  How is this extraordinarily different and new from the Passover event?

3.  The Bible speaks top three things that God gladly gives in the Lord’s Supper.  Talk about all three.  Which is most important to you?

  • Forgiveness – Matthew 26:27-28.

  • Fellowship – I Corinthians 10:17.

  • Future – I Corinthians 11:26.

4.  How would you explain the importance of the Lord’s Supper to a non-Christian?

5.  Commit to memory:  “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.”  Revelation 21:2-3.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

September 25
The Water: Baptism

Let's Talk About It ...

 

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Foundations” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, “The Water: Baptism,” from Acts 8:26-27a, 32, 35-36, 38.

 

1.  Describe your most memorable moment connected to baptism.  Why is this foundational event memorable to you?

 

2.  When you read Acts 8:26-38, what do you learn from Philip about missional living and sharing God’s love?  

 

3.  When Jesus gives the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20, He describes making disciples in two ways:  by baptism and teaching.  How is baptism a door into the Christian life rather than a destination event where I’m baptized and little else concerning discipleship matters? 

 

4.  How would you explain the importance of baptism to a non-Christian?

 

5.  Commit to memory:  “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 2:38.

 

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

September 18
The Gathering: Worship

 

Let's Talk About It ...

 

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Foundations” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, “The Gathering,” from John 4:5-7, 9-10, 13-14, 19-20, 23-24.

 

1.  Share what this statement means to you: “God is everywhere, so we can worship Him anywhere.” How is this statement different from the response of the woman concerning worshipping Him on a particular mountain?

 

2.  As you think about the woman’s life and the conclusions about her drawing water in the middle of the day, does she deal with issues that are relevant today? What might those be?  How does the Gospel speak to these issues?

 

3.  What is your understanding of the implications of Jesus’ very personal approach to the woman?  What does that mean for your faith?

 

4.  When Jesus is speaking to the woman about the church as a gathering, which of the three summary lessons is most important to you? Why?

  • The church is an open gathering. Jesus crosses social boundaries.

  • The church is gathered by grace. Jesus calls the woman to Himself simply because He loves her.

  • The church is all about Jesus. His death and Resurrection make Him the centerpiece.

 

5.  Commit to memory:  “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.” John 4:13.

 

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

September 11
The Word: God's Word

 

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Foundations” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, “The Word,” from Matthew 7:24-29.

1.  Who gave you your first Bible?  What was the occasion?  What were you told about the gift when you received it?

2.  We “practice the Sermon on the Mount” for ourselves and others.  How would you explain to someone that both are important?

3.  Why do you think that Jesus uses the example of men who build houses, one on rock and the other on sand?  What is essential for a strong foundation?

4.   What does this mean for your personal faith that Jesus gives:

  • Power.

  • Grace.

  • Assurance.

5.  Commit to memory:  “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”  Psalm 119:105.

 

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

September 4
The Story: God's Big Story

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Foundations” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, “The Story: God’s Big Story,” from Romans 5:12, 15-19.

1.  What is the biggest news story that you remember in your lifetime?  Why did you choose this particular story?  How is God's Big Story even bigger than your story?

2.  Sometimes people neglect reading the Bible because it seems too long and too hard to understand.  Why do you read the Bible?  What would you say to someone who is not reading it to persuade that person to begin to read it?

3.  In dealing with sin, how is Jesus' patience toward sinners a blessing of His love and grace?

4.  Think about how you might share “the Story” with a friend or acquaintance.  As a place to begin, summarize each point with one sentence:

  • We have all hurts and regrets.

  • We will all die.

  • Jesus promises to deal with both.

  • What do you think?

5.  Commit to memory:  “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 3:11.

 

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

August 28
Hope: Psalms of Royalty

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Going Through the Emotions” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, “Hope: Psalms of Royalty,” from Psalm 96:1-3, 10-13.

1.  Has there been a time in your life where you had hope in someone or something that didn’t end up working out?

2.  If someone asked you to describe what hope is, what would you tell them?  How does hope feel?

3.  Hope is powerful, even when it is false hope! Going back to question number one, how did that unfulfilled hope affect your future hope?

4.  How is Jesus Christ your hope in every circumstance?

5.  Commit to memory:  “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim His salvation after day.  Declare His glory among the nations…”  Psalm 96:1-3a.

 

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

 

August 21
Insight: Psalms of Wisdom

 

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Going Through the Emotions” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, “Insight; Psalms of Wisdom” from Psalm 37:1-7.

1.  Share a time when you did something that – in retrospect – was not very wise.  Why was this experience not wise?  What did you learn?  How did the experience teach you to make better decisions?

2.  In your opinion, what are some misconceptions about wisdom? 

3.  Which of the four keys to understanding wisdom is most important to you?  Why is that?

  • Wisdom is perspectival.

  • Wisdom is contextual.

  • Wisdom is actionable.

  • Wisdom is supernatural.

4.  Some people think of the cross of Jesus Christ as “foolishness.”  How is Jesus’ cross an expression of the wisdom and insight of God?

5.  Commit to memory:  “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him…” Psalm 37:5.

 

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

August 14
Revenge: Imprecatory Psalms

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J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Going Through the Emotions” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, “Revenge: Imprecatory Psalms,” from Psalm 137:1-7.

1.  This Psalm connects emotionally with revenge. Have you ever heard someone speak of “sweet revenge”?  What do you think the person meant by that?  Or, when someone says, “I’m holding a grudge.”  What does that mean to you? 

2.  List some things about the emotion of revenge that you see and feel from this Psalm.

3.  When Jesus enters Jerusalem, He weeps.  Why do you think He has that emotional response to people rather than desiring revenge against them?  How does that instruct you concerning people who harm or hurt you?

4.  Picking up and carrying the more important thing illustrates the “weight” of revenge or forgiveness.  What do you learn from that illustration?

5.  Commit to memory:  “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  Romans 12:21.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION

 

August 7
Sadness: Psalm of Lament

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Going Through the Emotions” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, “Sadness: Psalms of Lament,” from Psalm 55:1-8.

1. What kinds of circumstances create sadness in your life? What do you learn about sadness as you list those circumstances?

2. There is a difference between grumbling and lament. How do you understand the difference?

3. When sadness defines our circumstances, we tend to choose one of three options: fight, flight, or faith. Which of the options does the Psalmist choose? How is that choice described in Psalm 55:16-17?

4. When you think about lament, Psalm 55 instructs you concerning three things. In your opinion, why are all three important?

  • It’s OK to cry. Psalm 55:17.

  • It’s OK to ask for sin and evil to be thwarted. Psalm 55:23.

  • It’s OK to be persistent. Psalm 55:27.

5.  Commit to memory: “Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you.” Psalm 55:22.
 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

July 31
Comfort: Psalms of Faith

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Going Through the Emotions” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, “Comfort: Psalms of Faith,” from Psalm 23:1-6.

1.  Share a time in your life, or the life of another, when Psalm 23 was particularly comforting.  In that moment, why do you think that was true?

2.  Think about how people love their comfort zones.  How does Psalm 23 shatter some comfort zones and become a “comfort zone” for you?

3.  How would you explain this truth to a friend?  Experiencing comfort does not mean being comfortable.

4.  In Psalm 23, the pronoun that describes the shepherd is important.  What does “He” or “You” mean for me and the experience and certainty of my faith? 

5.  Commit to memory:  “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  Psalm 23:6.

 

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

July 24
Guilt: Psalms of Penitence

 

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Going Through the Emotions” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, “Guilt: Psalms of Penitence,” from Psalm 51:1-6. 

1.  What does guilt feel like?  Can you illustrate that with an example from your life or the life of another?

2.  In his guilt, David cries out to God for His “unfailing love.”  Which of these two qualities of unfailing love speak most profoundly to you?  Why?

  • Discipline (Hebrews 12:6).

  • Mercy (Psalm 51:1).

3.  Which of these inclinations concerning guilt is most common to you?  How will each come up short dealing with guilt?

  • Bury it.

  • Mourn it.

  • Transfer it.

4.  How would you explain this truth to a friend?  “God keeps our guilt out of court and puts it on a cross.”

5.  Commit to memory:  “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”  Psalm 51:1.

  

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

July 17
Thankful: Psalms of Thankfulness

 

Let's Talk About It...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the "Going Through the Emotions" sermon series and the Sunday morning message, "Thankful: Psalms of Thanksgiving," from Psalm 34:8-10, 15-19.

1.  What are the ways the world tells us to deal with our emotions?  How does God want us todeal with our emotions?

2.  How does God want us to respond to Him and His love toward us?

3.  Do you remember from the message:  How does “Trying” God lead to “Trusting” God?

4.  God wants us to have gratitude in all situations.  How does the understanding that …

  • The Lord hears …

  • The Lord comes …

  • and The Lord Delivers …

  • help you to be grateful in hard times?

5.  Take a moment to read Psalm 34:19 again.  "A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all."  Psalm 34:19Commit these word to memory.  You will be blessed many times for having this precious verse in your heart and mind.

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

July 10 --
Awe: Psalms of Praise

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J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Going Through the Emotions” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, "Awe,” from Psalm 19:1-3, 7-9.

1.  How would you describe the emotion of awe?  Share a time when you were in awe of something or someone?

2.  Psalm 19 helps us to understand that our ultimate awe is how God has chosen to reveal Himself to us in His Word.  Why would you agree with this statement?

3.  How would you explain to a friend that God’s Word can be trusted and is true?

4.  In John 10:10, Jesus promises that He brings an “abundant life.”  When you think of His love, grace, and goodness, how is that awesome to you?

5.  Commit to memory:  “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.  The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple”  Psalm 19:7.

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

July 3 --
Self-Control

Let's Talk About It ...

 

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Virtuoso” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, "Self-Control,” from Matthew 4:1-11.

 

 

1.  Who is the first person you remember speaking to you about temptation?  Were the comments helpful?  Why?

2.  In the account of Jesus’ temptation, what stands out to you?  Why? 

3.  Why is it important to be alert to the subtleness of temptation?  Can you relate to the timing of Jesus’ temptation?

  • Jesus is vulnerable.

  • Jesus is questioned concerning His personhood.

  • Jesus is offered “reasonable” choices.

4.   Which of the three points concerning self-control is most important to you?  Why?

  • Do not base self-control on your will, but on God’s Word.

  • Self-control is not all-control.

  • The best self-control is the relinquishment of control.

5.  Commit to memory:  “…the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”  I John 4:4.
 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

June 26 --
Gentleness

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Virtuoso” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, "Gentleness,” from I Kings 12:1, 3b-11.

 

1. In your life, who impressed you because of their gentleness? In what ways did this person demonstrate gentleness? 

 

2. Can you think of a time when you had to choose between being gentle or being harsh, and you chose gentleness? What was that circumstance? What was the result? What did you learn from that experience?

 

3. Gentleness matters. Which of the sermon points is most meaningful to you? Why?

  • Gentleness earns trust.

  • Gentleness increases wisdom.

  • Gentleness reflects Christ.

4. How would you explain this quote to a friend? “To truly love people causes us to be aggressively gentle.”

 

5.  Commit to memory: (Words of Jesus) “Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.” Matthew 11:29.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

June 19 --
Faithfulness

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the Virtuoso sermon series and the Sunday morning message, "Faithfulness," from Esther 3:8-9, 4:1, 6-7, 9-14.

 

1. When you hear "faithfulness," who is the first person you know who comes to mind? Why is that?

 

2. How is this true for you? Sometimes faithfulness is challenging and risky.

 

3. Which of these observations on faithfulness is most important to you? Why?

  • Faithfulness is all around us.

  • Faithfulness can be scary.

  • Faithlessness can be changed to faithfulness.

4. How would you explain this to a friend? Faithfulness isn't our work; it is God's work in us.

 

5. Commit to memory: "Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with Him, we will also live with Him." 2 Timothy 2:11.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

June 12 --
Goodness

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Virtuoso” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, "Goodness,” from Mark 10:17-22.

 

1.  Have you ever had a conversation with someone who thought eternal life in heaven was the result of living a “good” life?  If yes, describe the conversation.  If no, describe how you imagine the conversation might go.

 

2.  What does it mean to you that God’s goodness is synonymous with perfection?

 

3.  How do you understand Jesus’ response to the rich, young ruler?  Why do you think Jesus instructed him to sell everything he had and give the money to the poor?

 

4.  Three truths about the goodness of God.  Which is most important to you?  Why?

  • God’s goodness reveals our badness.

  • God shares His goodness.

  • God’s goodness is contagious.

 

5.  Commit to memory:  “How great is Your goodness which You have stored up for those who fear You.”  Psalm 31:19.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

June 5 --
Kindness

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Virtuoso” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, "Kindness,” from Luke 10:30-37.

 

1.  Describe an occasion when someone was particularly kind to you?  How did you feel about the occasion?  How did you feel about the person?  What life lesson did you learn?   

 

2.  What can you learn about the question, “Who is my neighbor?” when Jesus speaks about a Samaritan that stops to help a Jew?

 

3.  The Samaritan demonstrates extravagant kindness.  Jesus tells His listeners, “Go and do likewise.”  What kind of limitations concerning kindness emerge from this story? Does it change the way you think and act about being kind?

 

4.  Kindness is something you do.  How can you be kind:

  • To your family?

  • To your friends?

  • To an enemy?

  • To the world as a witness to Jesus Christ?

 

5.  Commit to memory:  “Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”  I John 5:18.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 

May 29 --
Patience

Let's Talk About It ...

 

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Virtuoso” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, "Patience,” from I Samuel 13:6-14.

1.  Can you share an experience when impatience turned out to be a poor choice?

2.  When Samuel called Saul’s impatience a “foolish thing,” how do you understand what Samuel is saying?

3.  The importance of practicing patience requires two things.  Which is most important to you?  Why?

  • The practice of “slowness."

  • The practice of patience as expressing love toward others (I Corinthians 13:4).

4.  In what way did Jesus practice or teach patience toward others?

5.  Commit to memory:  “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”  Psalm 37:7.

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

May 22 --
Peace

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Virtuoso” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, "Peace,” from Mark 4:35-41.

1.  You know there are difficult circumstances (storms) in life.  What is the best counsel that you have received from someone for times of difficult circumstances?  

2.  When the disciples were in the storm, they asked, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”  Jesus answered by quieting the storm.  Share a time when God’s care for you was particularly real and immediate.

3.  What does this mean to you?  “Know Jesus, know peace.  No Jesus, no peace.”

4.  How would you explain these “peace” insights to a troubled friend?  Knowing Jesus gives us peace:

  • It promises salvation.

  • It promises provision.

  • It promises love.

5.  Commit to memory:  “…live in peace.  And the God of love and peace will be with you.”  II Corinthians 13:11.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

May 15 --
Joy

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Virtuoso” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, "Joy,” from Acts 13:44-52.

1.  What simple thing in life have you discovered that brings you joy.  Why is that?

2.  People spoke abusively about Paul and Barnabas.  Words can damage and hurt others.  Have you ever been hurt by something someone else said?  What was that experience like?

3.  Faith in Jesus Christ is important because other sources of joy collapse around you. Share a time when your circumstances were difficult, but your faith was still a source of joy.

4.  How would you explain to a friend that one expression of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is joy?

5.  Commit to memory:  “As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.”  Isaiah 62:5.

 

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

May 8 --
Love

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Virtuoso” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, "Love (Mother’s Day),” from I John 4:7-12.

1.  Share your best memory of learning about love from your mother or another significant adult in your life.  How is that experience still important to you today?

2.  When you think about love as a “fruit of the Spirit.”  In the message, Pastor Tucker shared three things that love is NOT.  Which of these do you feel most strongly about? Why?

  • Love is NOT a feeling.

  • Love is NOT tolerance.

  • Love is NOT passing.

3.  “Love is action.”  What does that mean for you?

4.  What is the most important quality of love that you observe and admire in Jesus

     Christ?

5.  Commit to memory:  “Let us love one another, for love comes from God.”  I John 4:7.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


May 1 --
They Grow Up So Fast

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “There’s No Place Like Home” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, "They Grow Up So Fast,” from 2 Chronicles 20:1-4, 13-15.

 

1.  Share your best remembrance…a time you were very proud of a child(ren) or
grandchild(ren); or when a parent or grandparent was very proud of you.

2.  “Alarmed” = “freaked out.”  Can you think of a moment when circumstances were alarming, but courage was the best choice?  How hard is it to be courageous? How important is it to be courageous?

3.  Think about the connection of generations.  Does the finding of the Oxford Journal surprise you?  Why do you think this is true?

  • 82% of children who have parents who are actively involved in the church keep their faith.

  • 1% of children who have parents who are nominally involved in the church keep their faith.

4.  Which of the four important points of the message is most important to you?  Why is that point so important?

  • Families can grow through adversity.

  • Parenting can be scary.

  • God is fighting for you.

  • You can leave a legacy.

5.  Commit to memory:  “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them upon your children.”  Deuteronomy 6:6-7.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

April 24 --
Crosswinds

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “There’s No Place Like Home” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, "Crosswinds,” from Ruth 1:1-5, 8, 16.

1.  In your life, who has taught you the most about going through difficult times (crosswinds)?  What did you learn from that person?

2.  Can you give examples of “crosswinds” that hit families? 

3.  When “crosswinds” come, why is it important to turn to both God and a trusted mentor who has been through difficult circumstances?

4.  You are speaking with a friend caught in a difficult situation.  The friend asks, “How do I go on?”  How would you explain:

·       Trust God’s grace.
·       Understand the pain of this life is only for a season.

5.  Commit to memory:  Jesus: “I am making everything new.”  Revelation 21:5. 

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 


April 17 --
22 Minutes

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “There’s No Place Like Home” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, "22 Minutes,” from Hebrews 12:7-11.

1.  What was (or is) your favorite television program featuring a family?  Why is it your favorite?

2.  There are two different types of discipline: punishment and self-control.  What life lessons have you learned from your punishment for doing something wrong?  What life lessons have you learned from your discipline of becoming a better person?

3.  How does discipline help me understand more about the nature and character of God?

4.  Which of the three realities of discipline has been most important to you?  Why?

·       Discipline from humans is imperfect.
·       Discipline is painful.
·       Discipline is for good.

5.  Commit to memory:  “Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.”  Hebrews 12:10.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


April 10 --
Home Base

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “@ Home” sermon series and the Sunday morning message, "Home Base,” from Genesis 2:18-24.

 

1.  When you think of growing up in your home, what good memory comes to mind?  Why is this memory special to you?

2.  In your opinion, what does it mean when God says, “It is not good for the man to be alone?”

3.  Thinking about the message – what is one thing you could do this week for your family to treat each as a gift?

4.  Someone asks you, “What’s so special about growing up in a Christian home?”  What is your response?

5.  Commit to memory:  “The house of the righteous stands firm.”  Proverbs 12:7.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


 

April 3 --
Following Jesus

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the Sunday morning message, "Follow Me," given by Dr. Dale Meyer.

1.  To “follow” means more than simply travel to the same destination.  It means to learn from another, to know that other, to become like that other.  Who has impacted your life in that way?  How did you “follow” that person?

2.  The enemies of Jesus described His followers as “sinful.”  What does that say about Jesus?  How is that good news to you?

3.  Jesus invited men to follow Him.  He called them “apostles.”  First, He called them to “be” with Him.  Second, He “sent” them into the world with a message of truth and life.  How do the words “be” and “sent” apply to your life?

4.  Someone asks you, “What’s so special about following Jesus?”  What is your response?

5.  Commit to memory:  “Follow Me.”  Mark 2:14b.

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


 

March 27--
Easter- Distractify

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations... here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the Easter Sunday message, "Distractify," Luke 24:1-8.

1.  What is your favorite Easter tradition?  Why is it important to you?

2.  When the women did not find the body of Jesus, they wondered about this.  To wonder literally means to be directionless – they didn’t know what to do next.  In addition to the Resurrection, what else about God is so distinctive and powerful that it is surprising and, even, disorienting to you?

3.  When the angel spoke to the women, they “remembered.”  Describe a time in your life when “remembering” a promise of God has been very helpful.

4.  If someone were to ask you, “What is so special about Easter?” how would you answer?

5.  Commit to memory:  “He is not here; He is risen.”  Luke 24:6.

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


March 20--
Palm Sunday

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations... here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the Palm Sunday morning pageant, "Who is this King?"

1.  What might the disciples have been thinking when Jesus took the bread and cup at the dinner table and said, “My body…My blood”?

2.  How did you feel when you viewed the crucifixion?  What words would you use to describe how the first disciples felt when they realized Jesus was crucified?  Why did you choose those words?

3.  How did you feel when you viewed the Resurrection?  What words would you use to describe how the first disciples felt when they realized Jesus is alive?  Why did you choose those words?

4.  Someone asks you, “What’s so special about Easter?”  What is your response?

5.  Commit to memory:  “I am the resurrection and the life.”  John 11:25.

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


March 13--
CTRL + ALT + DEL: Joy
Philippians 4:4-9

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the Sunday morning message "Control+Alt+Delete: Joy" from Philippians 4:4-9.

1.  Did you ever know someone who always seemed full of joy?  Share your favorite story about that person.

2.  Joy isn’t just for good days.  Paul says, “rejoice always.”  How would you explain that thought to a neighbor who asks what it means?

3.  Can you think about attitudes or actions that “steal your joy”?  What are they?  How do you deal with them?

4.  How true is this for you?  “My heart follows my actions.”  What life lesson have you learned from your experience?

5.  Commit to memory:  “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.”  Philippians 4:4-5.

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


March 6--
CTRL + ALT + DEL: Faith
Matthew 11:1-6

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the Sunday morning message "Control+Alt+Delete: Faith" from Matthew 11:1-6.

1.  In your life, have you ever experienced a time of doubt?  What was that like?  How did you resolve the doubt and press on with faith?

2.  “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of Me.” (Matthew 11:6).  In your opinion, why would Jesus’ words to John bring him comfort?

3.  Which of the illustrations in this message by Pastor Tucker do you relate to best?  Why?

4.  In dealing with doubts, which of these is most important to you?  Why?

  • Everybody has doubts.

  • Address doubts by the Word of God.

  • Doubts are overcome by a person, not a situation.

5.  Commit to memory:  “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart!  I (Jesus) have overcome the world.”

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


February 28--
CTRL + ALT + DEL: Desires
Genesis 3:1-6
 

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the Sunday morning message "Control+Alt+Delete: Desires" from Genesis 3:1-6.


1.  In your life, who has been most influential in helping you understand the limitations of your desires?  Share a time when you learned an important lesson about desires from that person.

2.  Agree or Disagree:

·       Desire is a good thing.  How?
·       Desire is a bad thing.  How?

3.  The Bible tells us that Satan is a “liar” (John 8:44).  While he tells Eve some truth, he doesn’t tell her the whole truth.  How is partial truth a lie?

4.  Dealing well with damaging or dangerous desires requires:

·       Defense.
·       Discernment.
·       Delight.

Which of these is most important to you?  Why?

5.  Commit to memory:  “For in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”  1 Corinthians 15:22.”

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


Let's Talk About It ...

February 21--
CTRL + ALT + DEL: Parenting
2 Samuel 18:24-25, 31-33

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the Sunday morning message "Control+Alt+Delete: Parenting" from II Samuel 18:24-25, 31-33.

1.  Share one or two of your best parenting memories from your childhood or your years as a parent.

2.  Have you ever been in a situation where you knew the right thing to do, but you just couldn’t bring yourself to do it?  What happened?

3.  Avoiding passive-aggressive behavior:

  • Examine your goals.

  • Don’t talk about someone else, but talk to them.

  • Practice gratitude and forgiveness.

Which of these steps do you do best?  Which of these steps is hardest for you?  How can you grow/improve in this area of your life?  

4.  Only one can die to redeem a troubled relationship…Jesus!  Here is the promise related to His death:  when you need to reboot as a parent, He points us to a Father who is the perfect parent.  What does that promise mean to you?

5.  Commit to memory:  “He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.”  Malachi 4:6a. 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


Let's Talk About It ...

February 14--
CTRL + ALT + DEL: Marriage
Ephesians 5:21-28

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the Sunday morning message "Control+Alt+Delete: Marriage" from Ephesians 5:21-28.

 1.   In your opinion, what are two or three characteristics of a successful marriage?

 2.   Submission in marriage begins as mutual submission.  Comment on the point that is most important to you:

  • A wife’s submission makes no sense without a mutual submission.

  • Submission is meant to be a voluntary act of the will.

  • Submission has to do with arranging your priorities around someone else.

3.  How do you understand this statement: “Love is hard because it is sacrificial.”  For you, who is an example of sacrificial love?  How did you come to that conclusion?

4.  “Be filled with the Spirit.” In what ways do you strengthen that connection?  Especially during Lent, what will you do to make that connection even stronger?

5.  Commit to memory:  “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”  Ephesians 5:21.

 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


Let's Talk About It ...

February 7--
I Need a Hero! We Have Met the Enemy
Judges 17:1-6

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the Sunday morning message "I Need a Hero: We Have Met the Enemy" from Judges 17:1-6.

1.   Were you surprised by the story of Micah stealing from his mother?  Were you surprised that she forgave him?  Why were you surprised…or not surprised?

2.   Pastor Tucker shared four keys to forgiveness.  Which of the four is most important for you?  How would you explain its importance to a friend?

  • Forgiveness isn’t excusing or trusting.

  • Forgiveness is a choice…for health and hope.

  • Forgiveness can be difficult…you may need help.

  • Forgive the way you would like to be forgiven. Follow the example of Jesus!

3.  In your opinion, how is idolatry a snare for both the mother and the son?

4.  In dealing with internal struggles (“We have met the enemy and he is us”), how important are each of the following:

  • Keep your focus.

  • Discover your blind spots.

  • Trust your Hero!

5.   Commit to memory:  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9.

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 


 

Let's Talk About It ...

January 24--
I Need a Hero! Character Counts
Judges 16:4-6, 17, 19-20

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the Sunday morning message "I Need a Hero: Character Counts" from Judges 16:4-6, 17, 19-20.

1.  While the story of Samson is familiar to many, what new insight did you hear in this message that is a helpful insight to you?  How is it helpful?

2. Did Samson understand the secret to his strength?  Ultimately, who is the source of Samson’s strength?  How do you know your answer is correct?

3. Of the three lessons from the story of Samson that Pastor Tucker shared, which is most important to you?  Why is that true for you?

  • There is a difference between giftedness and character.

  • Depravity impairs discernment.

  • God blesses sinful people.

4.  Share three ways that Christ living in you finds expression in your life.

5.  Commit to memory: “I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”  Galatians 2:20.

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

 



Let's Talk About It ...

January 24--
I Need a Hero! Campaign Promises
Judges 11:29-35

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the Sunday morning message "I Need a Hero: Campaign Promises" from Judges 11:29-35.

 1.    Scripture is honest about pain.  What Bible story about someone carrying the load of pain or difficulty is most encouraging to you?  Why is that?

2.   Jephthah is going through a “trust crisis.”  He is unable to trust his family, the elders of Israel, or even God.  What did you notice most about his behavior that indicated this “trust crisis?”  Have you ever seen that behavior in others?  Have you ever experienced it in your own life?  Do you relate to the reality of a “trust crisis?”  In what way?

3.   In your opinion, why are Christian people so often inclined to worry?

4.   Pastor Tucker shared three ways that God works by grace.  Which is most important to you?  Why?

-  God works powerfully.
-  God works freely. 
-  God works faithfully.

5.    Commit to memory: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Ephesians 2:10.

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!



Let's Talk About It ...

January 17--
I Need a Hero! The Only Thing We Have to Fear
Judges 6:12-17, 20-21

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the Sunday morning message "I Need a Hero: The Only Thing We Have to Fear" from Judges 6:12-17, 20-21.

1.    What do you know about the Great Depression in the United States?  What was it like to live through the Great Depression?  What did President Roosevelt hope to convey with the words, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”?

2.    Fear and threat are never resolved by greater fear.  They are resolved by bravery. For Gideon, bravery was rooted in courage and mission – Judge 6:14.  Share a time when you experienced the bravery of another.

3.    In order to be certain of God’s strength and favor, Gideon tested God twice.  How are these tests an act of cowardice and delay toward God’s purpose?     

4.    Pastor Tucker shared three steps toward confronting fear and embracing courage. Which is most important to you?

  • Stop controlling. Start trusting.

  • Self-centered living is small. God is bigger.

  • Don’t be paralyzed. Obey! Act!

5.    Commit to memory: "(The rulers of this world) will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because He is the Lord of lords and King of kings.”  Revelation 17:14.

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

Let's Talk About It ...

January 10--
I Need a Hero!  All Shapes and Sizes
Judges 4:4-9

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the "I Need a Hero: All Shapes and Sizes" message from Sunday morning.

1.    When you think about illusions, what illusion comes to mind?  Did you learn the illusion or did you learn something from the illusion?

2.    Barak would lead God’s army, but he is deceived and places his hope and security in the wrong source.  How often does that happen in our lives:

  • Money?

  • Food?

  • Spouse?

3.    Pastor Tucker spoke to three important issues concerning faith and not being deceived by illusions.  Which is most important to you?  Why?

  • Do not fear.

  • Be in the Word.

  • Think long-term.

4.    Will you be part of The Marriage Project?  In addition to your spouse is there someone else you know that would enjoy being part of The Marriage Project?  Will you invite them to join you?


5.    Commit to memory: "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  I Samuel 16:7b.

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

Let's Talk About It ...

January 3--
I Need a Hero! The Definition of Insanity
Judges 2:11-14, 16-19 

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the "I Need a Hero! The Definition of Insanity" message from Sunday morning.

1.    Who are some of the heroes in your life?  Why is that person(s) a hero for you?


2.    As we enter into the New Year, there are many things that appeal to us or distract us.  How important is it to find focus in Word of God as opposed to other things that hold appeal or distract?

3.    For you, what does it mean to “reverse engineer your life?”

4.    An important question, “Why are things tough?”  Which of these three is most important to you?  Why?

- Correcting present sins.
- Preventing future sins.
- Helping a person hang on to God.

 5.     How is Jesus Christ a hero for you?

 6.    Commit to memory: "The Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in.”  Proverbs 3:12.

 

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

December 27--
Christmas (adj.): Lights
Luke 8:16-18

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the "Christmas (adj.)" theme and the “Christmas Lights” message from Sunday morning.

1.    Who comes to mind if you select to say to someone, “You’re beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”  Why did that person come to your mind?

2.    How is light breaking into darkness a powerful metaphor for Christmas?

3.    For you, what is the most “amazing” truth about the Christmas story?

4.    When we think about “shining like stars in the universe,” what does “shining” look like in your life?

5.    Commit to memory: “In Him (Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness…” John 1:4-5a.

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


December 20--
Christmas (adj.): Cheer
Hebrews 12:1-3

Let's Talk About It...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the "Christmas (adj.)" message “Christmas Cheer” from Sunday morning.

1.    When you think of Christmas like a magnifying glass, what comes to mind first – joy or difficulty? How is the “joy to the world” turned into joy for your life?

2.    The Bible tells us that sin “hinders” and “entangles” us.  Sin tempts us to quit on God.  Dealing with these matters:

  • Be in God’s Word everyday.

  • Be balanced in the routines of life.

  • Be thankful everyday.

  • Be accountable to a friend to be steady and faithful with God.

How are these helpful to you, especially in circumstances of adversity?

  

3.    Hebrews 12:1 reminds us that in the best or worst of circumstances we are not alone.  God does not abandon us.  We have others in faith who serve as examples to us.  Share an experience when a friend of faith helped you by her or his example or counsel.

4.    At Christmas we never lose sight of the cross.  How do the cradle and the cross help you stay focused on Jesus?

5.    Commit to memory: Hebrews 12:2 // "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame…” 

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

December 13--
Christmas (adj.): Shopping
2 Corinthians 10:12-18

Let's Talk About It...

J2e3 conversations... here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the "Christmas (adj.)" message from Sunday morning, “Christmas Shopping."

1.    What do you like most about Christmas shopping?  And, what do you like least about Christmas shopping?

2.    With Christmas shopping, competition may be good for sales, but it can be bad for you.  How is this true in your life?

3.    Three ideas for ending bad comparisons:

  • Limit your boasting.

  • Boast about others.

  • Boast in the Lord.

Which of these three is most important to you?  Why?

4.    When was the last time you took time to tell or write to another the nicest thing you could say to that person?  What’s stopping you from doing that today?

5.    Commit to memory: The words of the master,  Matthew 25:21 // "Well done, good and faithful servant.”

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!



December 6--
Christmas (adj.): Cookies
Ephesians 4:31-5:2

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the "Christmas (adj.): Christmas Cookies” message.

1.    When you think of Christmas as an adjective, what comes to mind first?  Why is that remembrance special?

2.    Question:  What would it look like if you applied Christmas (adj.) to you?

3.    The antidote to bitterness is forgiveness.  How strong is the grip of bitterness?  How hard is the act of forgiveness?

4.    What new insight into forgiveness did you gain from this message?  How does that new insight become a Christmas gift to someone else?

5.    Commit to memory: Ephesians 5:1 // "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children.”

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!



November 29--
Stand...When You Are Persecuted
Daniel 6:3-7, 10

These questions are from the sermon series "Stand" based on the life of Daniel. The specific message is "...When You Are Persecuted" Daniel 6:3-7, 10. The questions are designed to facilitate conversations with family and friends. 

1. Christians have always lived with persecution.  It's true today.  What are important truths we learn when we live in persecution? 

2. Why is it important to remember that a helpful strategy to overcome envy is actively complimenting others?

3. Pastor Tucker used Daniel as an example of standing when people persecute you.  How are these steps helpful?
- Tell the truth
- Don't persecute back
- Be a martyr (witness) Pray

4. As Pastor Tucker concluded his message, he reviewed times to STAND.  What do these all have in common: times of change, confrontation, uncertainty, immorality, even persecution?

5. Commit this thought to memory as you consider your response to immorality: "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."  John 14:26-27.

Remember, a better life begins with a conversation!



November 26--
Thanksgiving Day

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the "And: Reframe, Give Thanks, and Move Forward" message from the Thanksgiving message.

1.    What is your best Thanksgiving memory?  Why is it best?

2.    What do you think of the equation: loss + length = anger + discouragement?  Is there a time in your life when this was true for you?  What helped you most to get through that time?

3.    How does the word “AND” help you reframe a difficult reality?

4.    How would you explain this to someone…”Anything above zero is a blessing”?

5.    Commit to memory: Psalm 107:1 // "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!



November 22--
Stand…In the Midst of Immorality
Daniel 5:1-5, 13, 16

These questions are from the sermon series "Stand" based on the life of Daniel. The specific message is "...In the Midst of Immorality" Daniel 5:1-5, 13, 16. The questions are designed to facilitate conversations with family and friends.

1. What do you think is the most significant moral question facing the world today?  Why do you think this issue is so significant?

2. How can people get caught in circumstances that compromise their morality?

3. What did you hear Pastor Tucker say about the tendency to address immorality with morality? How is this short-sighted?

4. When immorality is addressed by judgement, what is the outcome? When immorality is addressed by Jesus, what is the outcome?

5. Commit this thought to memory as you consider your response to immorality: I Peter 2:24 // "(Christ) Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross."

Remember, a better life begins with a conversation!



November 15--
Stand…When You’re Confronted
Daniel 3:1, 4-6, 16-18

These questions are from the sermon series "Stand" based on the life of Daniel. The specific message is "When You're Confronted," Daniel 3:1,4-6,16-18. The questions are designed to facilitate conversations with family and friends.

1. Confrontation can be very difficult.  Describe a time when it was difficult for you?  

2. If confrontation is difficult, why is it sometimes necessary?  Why is it especially important when a good thing becomes a "god thing"?

3. In what way or ways were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego being confrontational when they were ordered to worship the golden statue?

4.  When receiving confrontation, some words of instruction: Don't be defensive.  Be humble and listen. Ask: "Does this person have my best interest at heart?" 
Can you think of an experience when someone confronted you and you responded well? As you think of it now, how helpful was that experience?  In what way was it helpful?

5. For moments when I must go through confrontation, commit to memory: Matthew 10:19 // "When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour."

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!



November 8--
Stand… When Things Are Uncertain
Daniel 2:1-5, 16-18

These questions are from the sermon series "Stand" based on the life of Daniel. The specific message is "When Things are uncertain," Daniel 2:1-5, 16-18. The questions are designed to facilitate conversations with family and friends.

1. Think about times of uncertainty in your life and give an example. How did you feel when the circumstance was most uncertain? How did your faith in God help you most?

2.   What does this mean to you? When you lie, there is always a day of reckoning.

3.    At the height of his uncertainty, Daniel makes an appeal to the king. In summary: you must know the difference between what you can change and what you can't. How is this good counsel for times of uncertainty?  

4.    "The best way to confront uncertainty is with faith." How is this true for you? 

5.    Commit to memory: Hebrews 11:1 // "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; gives us assurance about things we cannot see."

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!



November 1--
Stand… When Things Change
Daniel 1:1-4, 6-7

“Stand…A Study of Daniel”...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “When Things Change" message.

1.  Have you ever been in a circumstance where you were anxious and not sure if you could stand up?  Describe the circumstance.  What did you feel?  What did you do?

2.  At the Diet (trial) of Worms, Martin Luther was on trial for his beliefs and writings.  When asked to recant, he replied, “Here I stand…” He would not recant.  What do you admire most about that moment in Luther’s life?  What do you learn for your life from an example like that? 

3.  Do you deal well with times of significant change?  What is your biggest challenge in times like that?  Where do you find your stability and strength?

4.  In times of significant change, Pastor Tucker mentioned three characteristics of God: sovereignty, faithfulness, and insight.  Which of the three is most meaningful to you?  Why?

5.  Commit to memory: Romans 8:29 //  “For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.”

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!



October 25--
GameDay: Watch the Tape – Study
Joshua 1:7-9

“Game Day: Watch the Tape”...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Study" message.

1. Agree or Disagree: Good preparation generally precedes good performance. Share a time in your life when lack of preparation led to poor performance. How does a Christian prepare well for life?

2. Joshua was a great general, but before he would lead God’s people, first and foremost, God was concerned for Joshua’s spiritual preparation. He wants Joshua to be in His Word.
What are you most concerned about for yourself…spouse…loved ones?

3. Martin Luther, “Every Christian should know the ground of, and reason for, his faith and be able to maintain and defend it if necessary.” 
How does that pastoral thought encourage you to be consistent in your hearing and reading of God’s Word?

4. How does the promise of God’s presence along with the instruction and promises of His Word give you strength and courage? 
Can you share a time when that truth was especially important to you?

5. Commit to memory: Joshua 1:9 //
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!



October 16--
GameDay:  Salary Cap – Stewardship
Luke 6:27-38

“Game Day: Salary Cap”...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Stewardship" message.

1. If someone measured the focus of your time and attention, what would that person say is most valuable to you? Would the person be right? Do you need to make adjustments? What might a first adjustment be for you?

2. Talk about a time someone treated you well. Was the action kind? Was it a good example of how to treat others? How have you been able to replicate that kindness with others?

3. Generosity with money should be standard among Christians. Generosity is not giving foolishly, but it is always a powerful witness to the cross. How is generosity Jesus’ way?

4. God tells us to “test” Him with our giving…especially with the tithe (giving 10% of our income back to Him). How hard is it to trust God with your giving to Him and others? If you can trust Him to care for you well with money, can you trust Him to care for you well in everything else? How has God proven Himself to be faithful in your life?

5. Commit to memory: “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38.

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!



October 11--
GameDay:  No “I” in Team – Service
Mark 10:35-45

“Game Day: No ‘I’ in Team”...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Service" message. 

1. When is the last time you were in a store or restaurant and someone served you remarkably well? What was that like? How did you feel about the person…the establishment?

2. Why do you think the request of James and John is so audacious? How would you explain to someone that greatness is distinctly connected to serving others?

3. How are arrogance and service opposite of one another? How does the cross help us to keep both in perspective?

4. Why is this true: “Service can make more than a lasting impression. It can make an eternal difference.” Is there someone in your life whose servant attitude and action helped you make a strong connection to Jesus? Share that story.

5. Commit to memory: Mark 10:45 // “The Son of Man (Jesus) did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!



October 4--
GameDay:  Crowd Noise – Silence
Job 2:2-8, 11-13

Let's Talk About It ...

“Game Day: Crowd Noise”...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Silence" message.

1. Have you ever said or thought, “I need some peace and quiet.” How would you describe that need? For what were you hoping?

2. Jesus practiced solitude and silence wrapped in prayer. Why do you think prayer should accompany solitude and silence? How would you pray differently if you had an extended time of solitude and silence?

3. When Job’s friends arrived to comfort him, first they spent extended time in silence with him. How can silence be a witness to God’s love? How is silence a form of care and ministry to others?

4. One of the values of silence is helping someone to listen better. How would silence help you listen better to a child, a spouse, God?

5. Commit to memory: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” James 1:19.

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!



September 27--
"Good Night’s Sleep" – Sabbath
Mark 2:23-28

Let's Talk About It ...

“Game Day: Good Night’s Sleep”...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Sabbath" message.

1.  What are your best Sunday memories?  How do these memories serve to strengthen your connection to God?

2. Doing the Sabbath well – rest:  Does not mean doing nothing; means to replenish.  How does your faith in Jesus replenish you?

3. Doing the Sabbath well – remember and repeat:  means to remember what God has done and to look forward to what God is doing! Repetition is essential to learning. How does remembering and repeating strengthen your faith in Jesus?

4.   Doing the Sabbath well – rely: God keeps things going even when we have to stop. The Sabbath teaches us to rely on God!  For perspective and peace, how important is your reliance on Jesus?

5.  Commit to memory: “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28.

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


September 20--
"Pre-Game Meal"
John 6:27-35, 40

Let's Talk About It ...

“Game Day: Pre-Game Meal”...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the “Fasting" message.

1. Have you ever chosen to fast from food? Why – or why not – did you make that choice?

2. Why do you think Jesus makes such a strong distinction between food that spoils and food that endures?

3. Think about this statement: “Fasting points us beyond the physical life that food gives to the eternal life that Jesus offers.” Why is it important from time to time to refocus my life on God?

4. Why do you think that times of fasting would also include a focus on God’s Word and prayer?

5. Commit to memory: “I am the bread of life… Everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life.” John 6:35 & 40.

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


September 13--
Huddle Up
Matthew 6:5-13

Let's Talk About It ...

“Game Day: Huddle Up”...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with 

family and others related to the “Prayer" message.

1.  When did you first learn to pray?  Who taught you?  Did you have a favorite prayer?  What was it?

2.  Why do you think prayer is such a big deal to Jesus?  

3.  Think about this statement: “Prayer can be private, but it is never just personal.  Prayer involves others.”  Are there people for whom you pray regularly?  Are there people who pray for you regularly?  Why is this important?

4.   Prayer is God’s invitation to trust Him for today.  Why is that always important?    

5.  A prayer promise to commit to memory: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.”  Matthew 7:7. 

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


September 6--
Threading the Needle
2 Corinthians 5:14-17

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with 

family and others related to the "Threading the Needle" message from Sunday morning.

1.    Have you ever felt compelled to do or say something? What was going on in your life?

2.    When you think about all the things that are happening in our world, how does it make you feel?  Do you find comfort in the promise of the Bible that God is in control?

3.    What do you think it means to “regard someone from a worldly point of view”?  If we stop looking at people that way, what is the alternative?  What would we see?

4.    Is it hard or easy for you to love people with whom you disagree?  How could you get better at loving everyone … even the not-so-loveable?

5.    Commit to memory: “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that One died for all, and therefore all died.”  2 Corinthians 5:14

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with 

family and others related to the "No Excuses" message from Sunday morning.

1.    The woman, no matter the circumstances described in John 8:1-11, had to be embarrassed by the situation. Can you remember a time when you were embarrassed by a circumstance you thought was a secret? Why was your secret revealed? In that moment, what did you want to do?

2.    If you are talking with a child or adolescent, help them (in age-appropriate language) understand what adultery is.  (From the message, perhaps you can use the imagery of betrayal).

3.    Have you ever been betrayed by someone close to you?  How did that feel?  How did you respond?  What can you learn from your experience that restrains you from betraying someone?

4.    Think about Jesus’ response to the woman.  Would Jesus ever betray you or break a promise to you?  Would Jesus ever withhold forgiveness to someone who is penitent?  What is the good news that Jesus references in John 8:11?   

5.    Commit to memory: "Then neither do I condemn you, Jesus declared.  Go now and leave your life of sin.”  John 8:11b.

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


August 30 --

The Ten(der) Commandments:  No Excuses (Adultery)

John 8:2-11


Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with 

family and others related to the "No Excuses" message from Sunday morning.


1.    The woman, no matter the circumstances described in John 8:1-11, had to be 

       embarrassed by the situation.  Can you remember a time when you were 

       embarrassed by a circumstance you thought was a secret?  Why was your secret 

       revealed?  In that moment, what did you want to do?


2.    If you are talking with a child or adolescent, help them (in age-appropriate language) 

       understand what adultery is.  (From the message, perhaps you can use the imagery 

       of betrayal).


3.    Have you ever been betrayed by someone close to you?  How did that feel?  How  

       did you respond?  What can you learn from your experience that restrains you from    

       betraying someone?


4.    Think about Jesus’ response to the woman.  Would Jesus ever betray you or break 

       a promise to you?  Would Jesus ever withhold forgiveness to someone who is 

       penitent?  What is the good news that Jesus references in John 8:11?   


5.    Commit to memory: "Then neither do I condemn you, Jesus declared.  Go now and 

       leave your life of sin.”  John 8:11b.

Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


August 23 --

The Ten(der) Commandments- What's Yours Is Mine

Micah 2:1-3


Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with

family and others related to the "What’s Yours is Mine" message from Sunday morning.


1.    As you think about the “Ten(der) Commandments,” how do each express God’s 

      desire to offer what is best for us?


2.    Sometimes to covet can be good; sometimes to covet can be bad.  What 

       determines the distinction?


3.    Can you give an example form your life or the life of another about what it means to 

       covet the things of God?  Please share…


4.    How does an attitude of thankfulness prevent an attitude of covetousness?


5.    Commit to memory: “…abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.”  

       I Peter 2:11. 


 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


August 16--

The Ten(der) Commandments- Tall Tales

Genesis 20:1-3, 7, 9-12


Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with 

family and others related to the "Tall Tales" message from Sunday morning.


1.    Thinking back…what is the funniest lie you remember ever telling?


2.   What are the reasons you think people tell lies?  Why? 


3.    How does fear become a factor in Abraham’s lie?  How is it be a factor when I 

       am tempted to lie? 


4.    While Abraham lied to Ambimelech, God still called him a prophet (Genesis 20:7).  

       What does this help us understand about God?  When I have been deceitful, what is  

       the key to my “comeback” to God?


5.    Commit Jesus’ words to memory: "I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one 

       comes to the Father except through Me.”  John 14:6.


Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

August 9--

The Ten(der) Commandments- "Thou Shall Not Steal"

Luke 19:1-8


Let's Talk About It ... 

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the "Beg, Borrow, but Don’t Steal" message from Sunday morning.

 

1.    Have you ever had something stolen?  Describe your thoughts, feelings when you

       knew someone had been stolen from you.

2.    James 2:10 says, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one

       point is guilty of breaking them all.”  How would you explain that verse to a friend? 

3.    How do you understand the three thoughts connected to the Zacchaeus story?

·       Be humble –

·       Be honest –

·       Be generous –  

4.    Commit Jesus’ words to memory: “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy,

       but I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  John 10:10

 

 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

August 2--

The Ten(der) Commandments- "Pleading The Fifth"

Let's Talk About It ...

J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with 

family and others related to the "Pleading the Fifth" message from Sunday morning.


1.    How hard is it for you to say, “I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.”  Can you share a time 

       when it was really hard?  After you said it, how did you feel?  What happened next?

2.    What does it mean when you hear, “Anger is a reaction.  Unresolved anger is a 

       choice.”  What are some implications of this choice?

3.    Jesus said of those who crucified Him, “Father, forgive them…”  How are words like 

       these a mandate for me to forgive others?

4.    Reconciliation is both important and urgent.  Why might I be inclined to overlook this 

       truth?

5.    Commit to memory: “In your anger, do not sin…”  Ephesians 4:26.


 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!

July 26--

The Ten(der) Commandments- "R-E-S-P-E-C-T"

Ephesians 6:1-4

Let's Talk About It ...


J2e3 conversations... here are some questions to help you have a conversation with 

family and others related to the "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" message from Sunday morning.


1.    What is your best memory from a Father’s Day?  What is your best memory from a 

       Mother’s Day?


2.    What does it mean to you that honoring your parents is a “heavy” thing? How does 

       a parent’s word weigh “heavy” in your mind?


3.    How is honor (or respect) a transferable concept to others… first to others in 

       authority, then to others in general? How is respect for others demonstrated in your 

       life? 


4.    When we read Ephesians 6:2-3, tells us honor (or respect) is reciprocal. What 

       does that mean and imply for you?  


5.    Commit to memory: "Honor your father and mother – which is the first 

       commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you…”  Ephesians 6:2-3a.


 Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


July 19--

The Ten(der) Commandments - "Stop! In the Name of Love"

Mark 2:23-28 & Exodus 20:8 


Let's Talk About It ...


J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the "Stop! In the Name of Love" message from Sunday morning.

 

1.    What is your best family worship experience?  Why is it best?


2.    How is the Third Commandment more about a relationship with God than a rule

      from God?


3.    How is sin a focus on self rather than God?


4.    How would you tell a friend about the “rest” that Jesus gives?

 

5.    Commit to memory: "Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will

      give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28.


Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!


July 12-- 

The Ten(der) Commandments – Name Brand

Exodus 3:1-2, 4-7, 10-14


Let's Talk About It ...


J2e3 conversations...here are some questions to help you have a conversation with family and others related to the "Name Brand" message from Sunday morning.

 

1.    A “tender” moment in a wedding is when the vows are spoken and a new last name

      is established.  If you are married, what do you remember about that moment?  If

      you are not married, how do you imagine that moment might feel?  Why?


2.    How is a “nickname” a name of closeness, a name of friend ship and respect?  


3.    Three meanings of God’s name, “I am”:

  • God is immutable (unchanging);

  • God is eternal;

  • God is love.


      Which of these characteristics of God is most appealing to you?  Why?  And, which

      of these is most difficult for you?  Why?


4.    How will you grow in honoring God’s name…

  • Having conversations about God?

  • Praying daily to God?

  • Living by trusting in God and His Word?

 

5.    Concerning the honor of God’s name, commit to memory: "I will lift up the cup of

      salvation and call on the name of the Lord.”  Psalm 116:13.


Remember, a better life begins with a CONVERSATION!