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Alicia Human

“Who are you?”

By Rob's Blog No Comments
Hogwash! That’s what it sounds like to me when someone tells me that my identity has nothing to do with what I do. Hogwash! Because what I do flows out of who I am! Now, it might not be accurate to find my identity as a basketball player, especially since I play so little of it these days. But, basketball does help reveal part of who I am as do my ambitions for volleyball, golf, cycling, running, triathlons, swimming, fantasy football, and card games. What they reveal is that I’m someone who likes to compete. I’m wired that way. You can take basketball or any other sport from me, and I will find a way to compete at something else. When God wired Rob, He decided to put a very large competitive gene in me. Not everyone has this gene. Some of you do, and my guess is everyone knows you do! But some are wired very, very differently from me. In fact, every one of you is wired way differently than I, even if we have the competitive gene in common. I am unique. You are unique. You are a one-of-a-kind masterpiece of God, and so is everyone, and I mean EVERYONE else.
One of the most fundamental discoveries we must make is who God created us to be. One of the greatest secrets to finding God’s will for your life is simply to understand HOW God designed you. What are you good at? Where do you struggle? What are passionate about? I think it would be a great idea to stop right here and answer those three questions. Grab a sheet of paper or open a file on your device and start answering those questions. Then based on your answers, see if you can start to discern who God designed you to be.
You’re not an accident or an afterthought. You are very important because you are very important to God. You are one of God’s wayward kids who He desperately wants back home. You are loved. You are chosen. You are adopted. You are you, and God is crazy about you! He knows you better than you know yourself, and He wants nothing more than you to want to know Him just as much. He wants you to call Him “Daddy”. When you know who you are in God’s eyes, then you are given the freedom to admit who you are to yourself. God has gifted you in some amazing, unique and specific ways. Who are you? You should really get to know you, and you should like you because God designed you, and He doesn’t make junk! You should also be able to admit that you aren’t great at everything. Some of the things we struggle with are just not things we have an inclination toward and should depend on others for help. Other areas of struggle require us to do some maturing because these struggles are hindering us from becoming who God really designed for us to be. Until we figure them out, we will be greatly limiting how much God can pour out His blessings into our lives.
All of this requires us to stop and think about ourselves in the light of knowing that God loves us and intentionally designed us. “Who are you?” is one of the most core and essential questions each person needs answered. Once you figure out who you are, you’re probably supposed to help someone else figure out who they are. After all, this is A Place For Everyone to Pursue Their God-Given Purpose.

When in Doubt. Doubting Isn’t Sin- 9.8.19 – Rob Pilant

By Messages
This week, we start a brand new series called, “When In Doubt,” and the title is exactly right. It’s not IF we are going to have doubts. It’s WHEN we have doubts, what do we do with them? Is it sinful to doubt God? Can I have faith and still have doubts? Such a big and important topic.

Small Group Questions

  • Have you ever had unfounded doubts about someone? What caused you to doubt that person? Think about a spouse or close friend. How have they overcome your doubts about him/her?
  • Have you ever doubted God? The answer is “yes”. What do you doubt about God? Do you find it comforting or concerning that your pastor, John Ortberg and even John the Baptist have had doubts? Why?
  • Please read Luke 7:18-29. Who is John the Baptist? What all had John the Baptist accomplished? What did Jesus think of John the Baptist? Why did John the Baptist doubt God?
  • What do you expect of God? Take some time and list them. Are your expectations founded in what God has promised to be or provide, or are they what you want Him to be or provide? Why is understanding the difference between these two questions so important?

Download Small Group Questions here.

Faith doesn’t erase our doubt; Only Jesus does that- 9.1.19 – Sean Cass

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Having spiritual doubt is a lonely thing, even though everyone in the church experiences it! Join us this week for a one-off series as we look at the “heroes of faith” in the book of Hebrews and talk about how to handle our doubts in our faith journey.

Small Group Questions

  • Have you ever had spiritual doubts (doubts about God, how authentic the Bible is, did everything in the Bible really happen etc.)? What do you do with these thoughts and questions?
  • Read Hebrews 11. Why are all of these Old Testament characters and their stories also shared in the New Testament of the Bible? How are they used as an example for us?
  • The Bible talks about having endurance not to lose faith and endurance not to “fall away” from our faith. Can you think of people who have walked away from their faith? What are the circumstances that brought them to that point?
  • Faith is complete confidence and trust in someone or something. How can faith outweigh our doubts? Can real faith exist with doubt?

Download Small Group Questions here.

Unsensibly Sensible. Persecuted? – 8.25.19 – Lance Hagenbeck

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We’ve all experienced benefits from following Jesus, but there comes a point in your journey of faith where following Jesus is going to cost you something. There will be times when each of us will have to decide if we are going to do what we want or feel is best for us or do what Jesus wants us to do.  It’s in those moments of decision where we discover who our hearts really belong to and who we are really living for.  Blessed are those who are persecuted or willing to sacrifice for righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Small Group Questions

  • As you were growing up, what did you dream your life would be like as an adult?  How does your current reality matchup with those childhood dreams?
  •  Talk about a time when you knew you were supposed to do something that was difficult. Did you do it?  What was the outcome?
  • Has your faith ever cost you something? If so, how has paying that cost changed your relationship with God?
  • Are you currently being nudged to do something, say something, quit something, start something, or give up something? What can this group do to support you?

Download Small Group Questions here.

Unsensibly Sensible. Peacemakers? – 8.18.19 – Rob Pilant

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This Sunday, we continue our series called “Unsensibly Sensible,” where we are looking into Jesus’ teachings called the Beatitudes. This week, we talk about “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God,” and it seems pretty simple.  I mean who does like someone who brings peace, but as I was digging into it, I found a depth that I believe can change everything in how you follow Jesus. Join me this Sunday at 9 or 10:30am so I can show you what I found!

Small Group Questions

  • Have you ever had someone try to force you to adopt his or her perspective? How did that make you feel? Did it work? Why do you think it didn’t?
  • Please read Matthew 5:9. Why is this Beattitude a hard one for us? What is something you are really passionate about? How would you feel if someone told you that what you are most passionate about is unimportant and that your perspective on it was wrong?
  • Paul went from forcing everyone to believe his way to what we read in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. How does someone make a shift like that? What makes this way of living so much better especially when it comes to influencing people?
  • What does Paul’s statement, “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some” mean to you? Isn’t that compromising what we believe? Why not? How can you put it into practice?

Download Small Group Questions here.

Unsensibly Sensible. Pure in Heart? – 8.11.19 – Rob Pilant

By Messages No Comments

Blessed are the pure in heart. What does it mean to be pure in heart? In a world that seems filled with hidden agendas and gotchas, how can you be blessed by living with pure motives? It might not make sense to you right off the bat, but when you hear what Jesus has to say, you’ll never want to live any other way!

Small Group Questions

  • When was the last time (you can talk about) where you were manipulated or deceived? How did it make you feel? When was the last time you manipulated or deceived someone else (don’t answer out loud)? How do you think that person would feel if they knew you had manipulated or deceived them?
  • Please read Matthew 5:8. What does “pure in heart” mean to you? Who is the most pure in heart person you know? What makes that person stand out in your mind? Do you find yourself wanting to be like that person? Why?
  • Genesis 25-31 shares part of the story of Jacob’s life. When you read this story from an objective eye, how do you feel about Rebekah? Jacob? Laban? Is that the way you want to be thought of?
  • Taking it a step further. As a follower of Jesus, if we are manipulators and deceivers, what does that tell people about Jesus? How would this stand in the way of us being A Place For Everyone to experience the love of Jesus?

Download Small Group Questions here.

Unsensibly Sensible. The Merciful? – 8.4.19 – Rob Pilant

By Messages No Comments

Unsensibly Sensible is such a great way to describe Jesus’ teaching. He leads us in such a counterintuitive way. This week, we talk about “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” And at first glimpse, it seems we have found one that makes sense to our natural way of thinking. But once you start thinking about it, it’s not nearly as straightforward as you might think.

Small Group Questions

  • What does mercy mean to you? How has someone shown you mercy? How have you shown other people mercy?
  • Please read Matthew 5:7 and then Luke 16:19-26. What parts of the story stand out to you? What do you think of the rich man? What do you think of Lazarus?
  • How do we tend to think of people who have a lot and keep it all for themselves? How do we naturally think of those who’ve made a mess of their lives?
  • How does someone become more merciful? How are you growing in your mercy? Do you believe Jesus would smile when He thinks of the mercy you have shown people? Why or why not?

Download Small Group Questions here.

God the Father, God The Son, and God the Holy Bible?

By Rob's Blog No Comments

“God the Father, God The Son, and God the Holy Bible.” Doesn’t sound right, does it? And yet, this is basically how I was brought up. We really didn’t talk much in my church about the Holy Spirit. He was way too abstract! We much preferred talking about the Bible and, in my context, the King James Version of the Bible. To be honest, it really always felt like we were worshiping the Bible.  If we read and memorized our Bibles, we were told we were pretty much good with God. Yes, we should pray, but that was just an exercise in confessing our sins and laundry listing our requests. The Bible was the thing that was most important. And please, please, don’t hear me wrong. The Bible is the greatest gift God gave us second only to Jesus, but it is not equal to Jesus. Jesus is the full expression of God while the Bible is what God decided to show us about Himself and how He works. Because Jesus isn’t here right now, we gladly and gratefully take this inspired book of books and let it lead us because it is God’s words for us. Here’s how I describe the Bible:

The Bible is how we see God most clearly today. We see Him everywhere in nature, in people, and in the beauty of it all. But, that picture is not nearly as clear as God wants to make Himself. How does a God so big, powerful and knowledgeable best reveal Himself to us? Well, He shows up in a way we can see and speaks in ways we can understand. The Bible is an inspired collection of people’s stories of their encounters with God and God’s desperate pursuit to bring each of us home. God preserved these stories scattered throughout history so we could know Him better. The ultimate preserved story is that of God becoming flesh, dying to redeem us, and then conquering the death we deserve. Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God. When we see Jesus, we have the best picture of Who God is and what He is all about. Scripture is an incomplete picture of God, but from God’s perspective, it’s everything we need to be able to place our trust in Who God is and what He is about.

Unsensibly Sensible. Those Who Hunger and Thirst? – 7.28.19 – Heather Dellamater

By Messages No Comments

At some point in our lives, we have heard talk of a “heart healthy diet”. It is the call to healthy living by making better food choices.  Everyone understands what it means to have a food craving but what happens to our bodies when we indulge too often? Too many unhealthy choices can wreak havoc on our bodies. 
 
We have all heard the cliché, “You are what you eat.” Labels on food products are helpful in discerning how to make the right choices.  When it comes to our spiritual health, the Bible gives us a lot of help. In the Beatitudes, Jesus is telling us who are the blessed. There are certain characteristics of these blessed people. But, why would we want to hunger and thirst for righteousness? Join Heather Dellamater this Sunday as she helps us see  that if what goes into our bodies is a reflection of our physical health, our hunger for other things is an indicator of our spiritual health. 

No Small Group Questions this week.