Monday, April 27, 2009

THOUGHT: The Warrior 02: The Hesitant Warrior Followup

Listen to the podcast and then work your way through some of these thoughts over the course of the week. See if it helps you to think more deeply and or to engage more of the spiritual into your physical life. Let us continue to struggle to make these two worlds come together into only one physically lived, spiritually focused way of being.

“ Open war is upon you … whether you would risk it or not.”

In a scene from the film Gladiator, just before a crucial battle the General Maximus reminds his troops of this, “What we do in life…echoes in eternity.” In what ways is your life producing a lasting impact on others?


To leave behind a life of safety and security and so we can take the risks God is calling us to take.


Late one evening Jesus’ disciples were crossing a lake when their boat was unexpectedly caught in a storm. Jesus had stayed behind on the shore but suddenly He appeared, walking toward them on the water.

Jesus spoke to them at once. "It's all right," he said. "I am here! Don't be afraid." Then Peter called to him, "Lord, if it's really you, tell me to come to you by walking on water." "All right, come," Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. "Save me, Lord!" he shouted. Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed him. "You don't have much faith," Jesus said. "Why did you doubt me?" Matt 14:27-31 NLT

What things in your life give you a sense of security, safety and comfort?

How does our desire for safety and predictability result in our fighting for counterfeit causes such as possessions, comfort and status?

Is God calling you, to a safe, predictable and secure life or one where you risk everything?

Walking on water requires God to show up. Where in your life is God asking you to risk everything and “step out of the boat?”

How will God have to “show up” for you to succeed?


And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process?

Mark 8:36 NLT

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NLT

The LORD turned to him and said, ‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of

Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?’ Judges 6:14 NIV

…"Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."

Nehemiah 4:13 NLT

Take the next few moments to pray and in your own words ask God this question: God, what needs to change in my heart so I will have the courage to take the risk(s) You are asking me to take?

What does God want you to leave behind today so you can take the risk(s) He is calling you to take?

For Further Study

Matthew 14:22-36

What is the most frightening experience you've ever had?

What is the most worshipful experience you have ever had?

After feeding the crowd of five thousand people, what instructions did Jesus give His disciples? (14:22)

Where were the disciples when evening came? (14:24)

What miracle did Christ perform? (14:25) How did the disciples react to what they saw (14:26)

How did Jesus try to calm the disciples' fears? (14:27)

What did Peter ask Jesus to do? (14:28)

How did Jesus respond to Peter's request? (14:29)

What happened to Peter as he made his way toward Jesus? (14:29-30)

What situations cause you the most fear in life?

What events or experiences have led you to trust in Jesus?

What does this passage teach you to do? What step of trust do you need to take today?

What will help you remember to keep your eyes on Jesus and off your fears?

Think, pray, love, live, make a difference. Be strong and courageous.


Friday, April 24, 2009

RANDOMN: Bet You Didn't Know

Here is a break from the deep thoughts.

Did you know that:

The 50 tallest mountains in the world are all in Asia.

The lowest temperature on Earth (-128.6 F) was recorded in Antarctica.

The surface of the Atlantic Ocean is saltier than the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

The Great Wall of China spans roughly 4,500 miles--that's almost as long as the continent of Africa.

About two-thirds of all known tornadoes in the world occur in the United States.

The minute hand on London's Big Ben clock travels about 118 miles a year.

Oregon's D River is only 120 feet long--shorter than an Olympic-size swimming pool.

Smile and share it.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

THOUGHT: God & Where is He Now?

Have you ever been sitting around doing what you are doing and then suddenly get the sense that the Spirit of God was just "there"? You know, right there. It makes me want to ask "umm excuse me, have you been with me the entire time or did you just come over?"

Sometimes what you know in your head is hard to remember in the living of your life. But the answer is, "Of course. I am always with you."

"Why is it that I didn't know it? Sometimes, it seems so clear."

"For you to know or not know, has nothing at all to do with whether I am actually here or not. I am always with you; sometimes I want you to be aware in a special way--more intentional. You can always talk to me and I will always be with you, whether you sense my presence or not."

"Ok, ok, well I KNOW that but...well, let's be honest, I would kind of like to sense it more. How do I make sure that I hear you even when I don't feel you?"

"You will learn to hear my thoughts in yours."

"Right. Learn to hear. Right. But I want it right now. Will it be clear? What if I confuse you with another voice? What if I make mistakes?"

"Of course you will make mistakes; everybody makes mistakes, but you will begin to better recognize my voice as we continue to grow our relationship."

"I don't want to make mistakes."

"Mistakes are a part of life, and the Father works His purpose in them, too."

"Even through the mistakes? That is somewhat reassuring....Yes, that helps."


Monday, April 20, 2009

THOUGHT: The Warrior 01: The Warrior's Cause Followup

Listen to the podcast and then over the course of the week try and work through the following questions. Do it alone or work on it together with some friends. Heck, I guess you could even work on the questions without listening to the podcast, but some context wouldn't hurt a bit.

“Open war is upon you … whether you would risk it or not.”

Objective: To confront the reality that spiritual war is “upon us” whether we believe it or not and as Warriors we must have a strategy to win each battle.

Read: For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:12 NLT

Do most of us live like there is an “unseen world” and like we are fighting against the “powers of darkness?” Why or why not?

Fights with family, gossip, impulse purchases, work/school conflicts, depression, and anxiety: How could these all be part of a battle in the “unseen world”?

Think of a battle you’ve fought in the past month. Did you see it as a battle against “flesh and blood” or against the “powers of darkness”? Why or why not?

As Warriors, why is it critical to know what we are fighting against and what we are fighting for?

Read: Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8 NLT

Suppose you chose not to fight and were “devoured.” What would the Enemy gain by “taking you out”?

Read: Your life can be described as a “long and sustained assault on your heart by the Enemy who knows who you could be and fears you.”

John Eldredge

Think about a battle you are in right now. How is it a battle against the “powers of darkness”?

Read: One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases.

Luke 9:1 NLT

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7 NLT

Do not be afraid as you go out to fight your enemies today! Do not lose heart or panic or tremble before them. 4 For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!’

Deuteronomy 20:3-4

Further Study

Ephesians 6:10-24:

How do you protect your home from danger? What did Paul tell the believers to put on? (6:11)

Why do Christians need to put on God’s armour? (6:11-12)

What can Christians dressed in the full armour of God expect? (6:13)

Why do you think Paul used the detailed description of a Roman soldier's armour to explain spiritual warfare?

How would you describe the armour of God in your own words?

What is spiritual warfare?

How often are you engaged in spiritual warfare?

In what way is the Christian life like a battle?

What pieces of armour are you missing?

How can you lean on the Holy Spirit’s help in doing battle for the kingdom of God each day?

Further Study

Mark 3:20-30:

What does Jesus’ speech about a “kingdom divided” tell us about the kingdom of God? (3:24-26)

Who was the “strong man” of whom Jesus spoke? (3:27)

In light of this passage, what do we fight against?

What difference does it make in your life to know that Jesus has authority over all the evil powers of this world?

What is the true significance of Jesus’ ministry of casting out demons?

What has following Jesus cost you?

Don't give up!


Friday, April 17, 2009


That's right for those of you who have not heard already...Bitty, Bitty Baby 'Bacca is coming October 28 ish.

We have a new baby on the way and the temporary reference name is 'Bacca. It was the best Finnley could do when we said the baby might be called Chewbacca. We needed a name to use to avoid using the "it" terminology so that is what we have for now.

No, we don't know the gender and are not looking to find out until arrival.

You are welcome to bring forth name suggestions for either gender. Who knows it might even be twins, or triplets?


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

THOUGHT: A Key Relationship

A Walk In The Woods

We walked in the woods
Where the wild ones stay,
And they didn't show their faces,
But they didn't run away.

It was quiet in the woods,
And the wild ones heard
When we brushed against the bushes,
But they didn't say a word.

Then we waited in the woods,
And we listened to the air;
And they heard us keeping quiet,
And we felt them being there.

--Dennis Lee

Are you ready for spring and the reconnections that it brings?


Friday, April 10, 2009

THOUGHT: Questions to go with Check Your Head 5: The Secure Mind

Have you ever trusted something that did not deserve your trust?

Do you find it easy or challenging to look past difficulties to solutions?

God says that He will always look out for you and protect you: Do you live like you believe it?


Philippians 4:2-9

What makes you anxious: A trip to the dentist? A big exam? A project? A date?

If you had two friends who weren’t getting along, what would you say to them?

On a scale of 1 (needs works) - 10 (pretty good), how are you rejoicing in the Lord always (v.4)?

What do you do to relieve stress from worry in your life? What does Paul say to do (see vv 6 & 8)?

How does what you think about affect how you feel? How does it affect your relationship with God?

Look at verse 8. What are some things you can think about that fit these positive characteristics?

What’s something you are anxious about right now?


Philippians 4:10-20

If you gave a grade to your current financial condition, what grade would it get? How does this make you feel?

What would you say causes the most stress among people you know?

What is your idea of a fulfilling life? A life without stress or a life of peace in the midst of storms?

What is the biggest change you’ve gone through recently?

What is Paul’s secret to contentment? What needs to change in your life for you to be content where you are?


Thursday, April 9, 2009

THOUGHT: Questions to go with Check Your Head 4: The Spiritual Mind

What is it that you do or what characteristic of your sis your favourite?

Is it ever good to forget?

Do you have a story about when somebody could not or would not forget?


Philippians 3: 1-11

What person in your life would you vote “most likely to succeed”? What do they have going for them?

Would your parents say you have too much ambition or too little? Why?

What is it going to take for you to be successful in the eyes of your parents? Your friends? Yourself? God?

According to Paul, what’s the secret to success (v.8)

Paul desires to know Christ better (v.10). On a scale of 1 (none) to 10 (great), how does your desire in this area rank?

What “rubbish” do you need to give up to know Christ better?

How would you compare your life goals to the apostle Paul’s goals in this passage?


Philippians 3: 12-21

When it comes to moving on and letting go of the past, what grade would you give yourself?

What prize is Paul trying to win (v.14)? What prize are you striving to win?

What kind of balance is there in your life between “earthly things” and spiritual things (vv 19-20)?

Paul followed God’s call on his life. What might God be calling you to do for him with your life?

If you compared your life with Christ right now to a track race, where would you be: Warming up? At the starting blocks? Giving it your all?


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

THOUGHT: Questions to go with Check Your Head 3: The Submissive Mind


Romans 10:9-10

Romans 8:9-11

Philippians 2: 5-11

What do You Say?

What do you think it means to be “in Christ”?

What does it mean for your life that God is working in/through you?

How might you put others above yourself?

Look out for their needs in addition to looking out for your own?

How might you honour those who are living sacrificial lives for the work of Christ?