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Showing posts from July, 2009

Finding God Questions: Obadiah

Why do you think America's Funniest Home Videos is such a popular show?

When have you recently laughed at someone else's misfortune? Talk about a time you did something which caused people to laugh at you.

Today you'll be looking at the book of Obadiah. Obadiah is a unique prophetic book because it was not written to Israel or Judah. Rather it was written to Judah's southern neighbor, Edom.

Read Obadiah 10,11. What do you think it means that Edom "stood aloof"?

What factors sometimes cause us to be unmotivated to help someone who is in a difficult time? Why do you think Edom was unmotivated to help Israel?

Read verse 12. How are people sometimes judgmental and dismissive toward those who are suffering misfortune?

Read verses 13-14. How do you think the people of Jerusalem felt about the Edomites? What do you think they wanted God to do to the Edomites?

What was God's plan for Edom (read verses 18 and 21)?

How should the fate of Edom serve as a warning for …

Talk With a Pen

by Sue Skalicky

When a group member is silent during our small-groups discussions, I wonder if she has thoughts whirling around in her mind but feels uncomfortable expressing them. So when we began a new study two months ago, I decided to give each person a spiral notebook to use as a journal during our meetings. I have varied how and when we use the journals, allowing each person different ways of expression. Here are a few of the methods we used.

Take five. Ask the group to write on a certain topic for five minutes without stopping. They must write the entire five minutes, even if they simply write, "I don't know what to write." This helps break the scriptophobia (fear of writing) barrier. Or, ask them to write for five minutes as they finish a though such as "I love...," or "I fear...," or "I am passionate about..."

Write a letter. During prayer, ask each person to write a personal letter to God.

Brainstorm words. Give your group mem…

Finding God: Hosea

What is the biggest disappointment you've had to deal with this week? this month?

Read Hosea 1:1-3 and 3:1-5.

How would you feel if God commanded you to marry someone you knew was going to be unfaithful to you? Would you obey? Why or why not?

What are some situations you (or others) face today in which obedience to God is difficult? What can motivate you to obey God even when it is difficult?

According to chapter three, it appears that Hosea's wife, Gomer, actually left him and became a prostitute.

Even though Hosea knew Gomer was going to be unfaithful, how do you think he felt when it actually happened?

How did Gomer's unfaithfulness provide an illustration of Israel's unfaithfulness to God?

As a group, make a short list of the many things God did for Israel through the centuries. Then make a short list of the ways Israel was unfaithful to God.

In what ways are people unfaithful to God today?

Read Hosea 14:1,2,9.

If someone has been unfaithful to God, what do they need to…

School's Out!

by Laura De Gomez

Our small group for moms faced a dilemma: What should we do with our kids while we met during the summer? Our solution: Bring the kids along, and make them the focus of the meeting. We have done this for the last three summers. It has the advantage of providing continuing fellowship for the moms (we would go crazy without some adult conversation), as well as giving a "program" for the kids one morning a week. We get a chance to have some spiritual input into our children's lives; we also use the gathering as an opportunity to invite our nonChristian friends.

If this sounds appropriate for your group, we offer this advice from our experience.

Divide and conquer.

Don't let one mom do it all. Rotate the meeting place from house to house. The mother who offers her house should not provide snacks, do the teaching, or plan activities—picking up all those toys before and after the meeting is enough!

Serve suitable snacks.

Forget the herbal tea and scones. Minist…

Getting to Know You

When our small group started, we did not know each other well. One idea that helped us get to know each other was the cup game.

My husband gave each person 20 questions with space for answers. The questions ranged from the lighthearted ("What did you want to be when you grew up?" "What is your favorite TV show?" "What is your favorite season?") to the more serious ("How did you become a Christian?" "Who is someone you admire?" "How would you describe your teenage years: horrible, OK, or better than expected?"). He instructed people to answer 10 of the 20 questions. It didn't matter which 10, although he encouraged them to answer a mixture of fun and serious questions. Everyone was then directed to drop one answered question into each of the 10 cups on a nearby table.

Next, we chose one of the cups. One by one, we read each questions and answer aloud. Each person in the group had a piece of paper on which to write who…