Thursday Thoughts  

Apparently, I talk about how much I enjoy this Bible Study too much in worship!  Because several people have chosen to subscribe to its email list, and that's really incredible to me.

So, as I was already thinking about how I needed to remember to update this blog once our snowbirds have begun migrating south to Arizona and Texas and Florida, I'll see if I can remember to do updates and notes year-round!

Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014

We spent a great deal of our opening time sharing our thoughts on how Sunday had gone.  Not surprisingly, much of our conversation revolved around Coffee Fellowship.  It was enjoyable, and we noted some things to change or just get used to!  (Changes were mostly of our behavior, not of the setup or the fellowship itself.)

Question:  From what have you been set free?  Is there something you need freedom from?  This was a very difficult question to answer, because we don't like to think of being trapped or held captive.  By the end of our time, we did have some powerful answers.

Exodus 14:19-31
     The survival of the people as they cross the sea.
     A wall of water on their right and their left.
    How do we deal with extra-ordinary miracle stories?  Do we try to explain them?  How do we react when we hear scientific explanations of miracles?  Does that diminish the miracle?  What is it about our lives that has us reaching for miracles?  How do we deal with miracles (especially healing) that DON'T happen?  How do we answer those who would question our faith as if it relies solely on miracles?  (The consensus answer was that we don't simply rely on miracles, but that we trust our God to be with us, even if a miracle doesn't occur--maybe especially when a miracle doesn't occur.)

Romans 14:1-12
     Issue of eating meat in the ancient world--most of the meat available for sale in cities had likely been sacrificed to a pagan idol.  Images of abstention and the power of "things" over our faith, or the perception of our faith.
     How do we "live as those who are prepared to die?"  What does it mean to live a life of discipleship?

Matthew 18:21-35
     We actually didn't get to the story of the unforgiving servant, but there are interesting issues of grudges, anger, and control over our neighbors.  How do we forgive?  Are we willing to forgive as freely as God does?

Next Week's Reading:
Exodus 16:2-15
Psalm 105
Philippians 1:21-30
Matthew 20:1-16

Sermon Title (from Matthew and Exodus):  Kingdom Economics 

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