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My message this past weekend at Eastbrook was in part a celebration of God’s grace interwoven into the midst of our lives, including our failure.

I want to encourage you to respond to this theme by reflecting on how God has been faithful in your life, and to celebrate that by writing it down or sharing it with someone.

Every follower of Jesus has a story. Some stories appear more dramatic and sudden, while others appear more basic and gradual. Regardless of appearances, the truth is that every one of us has a meaningful and important story of our life with God. That story is uniquely yours, and writing it down or sharing it will affirm the work of God in your life and often lead others to ask questions about God’s Story!

If you have never written down your God Story, take out a piece of paper and organize your story under the three headings: “My Life Before Christ”, “Encountering Christ”, and “My Life Since Meeting Christ.”

You could also share your God Story with others by completing the online form at:www.eastbrook.org/godstory.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Discipleship

 

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God Calling (discussion questions)

Faith Life Series Gfx_4x3 TitleHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Fumbling with Faith,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This was the second part of our series “Faith Life.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. When was a time that you most struggled to be obedient to God in your faith? How did you grow through it?
  2. We continue the “Faith Life” series at Eastbrook by looking at two episodes in Abraham’s life found in Genesis 12:10-20 and 20:1-18. Ask God to speak to you before reading those two portions of Scripture aloud.
  3. What is it that leads Abraham to begin traveling in both of these stories?
  4. As they travel into the land of Egypt (12:10) and the area around Gerar (20:2), what motivates Abraham to tell the half-truth about his relationship to Sarah? How do you think Sarah felt about this?
  5. Abraham specifically mentions his anxieties that “there is surely no fear of God in this place” (20:11). How does Abimelek actually act in response to God’s words (20:3-16)? How does the character of Abimelek and Abraham compare in this situation?
  6. Have you ever been surprised to find a God-fearing person, like Abimelek, in an unexpected place like? What happened?
  7. God protects Abraham and Sarah, even bringing greater blessing upon them (12:16; 20:14-16), despite the failure. Why would God do this?
  8. In Genesis 12:1-3 God speaks about the promise of a future and in Genesis 21 the child of promise, Isaac, is finally born. There is a lot of distance between God’s promise and actual fulfillment. What did the experience of waiting seem to do to Abraham and Sarah? How have you navigated seasons of waiting for God to act in your life?
 
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Posted by on September 23, 2014 in Eastbrook, Scripture reflections

 

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Fumbling with Faith

Faith Life Series Gfx_16x9 TitleWhat happens when we have significant failure in our life? Can we still move forward as people of faith?

This weekend at Eastbrook Church I explored these questions as we looked at two ‘epic fail’ moments in Abraham’s life. This was the second part of our “Faith Life” series, which is a journey around themes of faith from the life of Abraham. The main theme of the message was that God is faithful even when we are failures. The texts we looked at are the parallels in Genesis 12:10-20 and 20:1-18.

The outline and video file for the message are below. You can listen to the message via our audio podcast here. You can access the entire series of messages from the “Faith Life” series here. You can also visit Eastbrook Church on VimeoFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

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Posted by on September 22, 2014 in Communication, Eastbrook

 

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Listening to God

Faith Life Series Gfx_16x9 TitleAs a response to my message this past weekend on Abraham’s calling by God, I want to provide a spiritual exercise that we could all put into practice on listening to God. We see in Abraham’s life that his faith journey began when God spoke. So, too, in our lives faith begins by listening to God.

I want to encourage you to take time with the spiritual practice of listening to God sometime this week. Set a specific time this week where you can be in a quiet, undistracted place with God. In that time and place, invite God to speak to you as you begin to meet with Him. Slowly read Abraham’s story in Genesis 12:1-9 three times. Quietly reflect on what is happening in the story. Next, listen for how God is speaking to you about your own journey of faith. You may become distracted. That’s to be expected. Just take those distractions and release them into God’s hands. Listen for God for an extended amount of time. As you conclude this exercises, write down anything you sensed God speaking to you and then thank Him for His presence in your life.

You may also want to take a look at a small series of posts I wrote a few years back on this topic:

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Discipleship

 

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God Calling (discussion questions)

Faith Life Series Gfx_4x3 TitleHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “God Calling,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This was the first message in our series “Faith Life.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. How would you define the word ‘faith’?
  2. We are beginning a new series at Eastbrook called “Faith Life,” in which we will explore what it really means to be a person of faith. We will follow the life of Abraham – called Abram at this point in our journey – in Genesis 11:27-25:12. This week, we are studying Genesis 11:27-12:9. Stop and ask God to speak to you before reading that portion of Scripture aloud.
  3. Abram’s journey begins in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) and moves toward present day Israel and Palestine. What do you observe about Abram’s family background and history from Genesis 11:27-32? What stands out to you? What is confusing to you?
  4. Genesis 12:1-3 is perhaps the most important passage in the entire Old Testament. Here, God speaks to Abram with a decisive command and specific promise. What is the decisive command God speaks to Abram in verse 1? What do you think this would have meant to Abram?
  5. When have you experienced God speaking to you decisively? What happened? How did you know it was God?
  6. In verses 2-3, God speaks seven promises of His overall covenant – or agreement – with Abram. What are those seven promises and what is their significance both for Abram now and for others later?
  7. How would you describe the response of Abram and others in verses 4-7? What is surprising and what is not surprising?
  8. One thing to note in verses 6-9 is that Abram journeys to “the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem.” This was a recognized center for pagan religion in the ancient near east. What does Abram do at this site? Why do you think Abram did this and what would it have communicated to others around him?
 
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Posted by on September 16, 2014 in Eastbrook, Scripture reflections

 

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God Calling

Faith Life Series Gfx_16x9 TitleWhat does it mean to really live a life of faith in our everyday lives? How does it begin and how do we sustain that life?

This weekend at Eastbrook Church we explored these questions in the first week of our series, “Faith Life.” This series is a journey around themes of faith from the life of Abraham. This week, we began by looking at the very beginnings of Abraham’s story in Genesis 11:27-32, as well as the pivotal calling of God he receives in Genesis 12:1-9.

The outline and video file for the message are below. You can listen to the message via our audio podcast here. You can access the entire series of messages from the “Faith Life” series here. You can also visit Eastbrook Church on VimeoFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

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Posted by on September 14, 2014 in Communication, Eastbrook

 

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Faith Life: a new series at Eastbrook Church

This weekend, September 13 & 14, we begin a new series at Eastbrook Church entitled “Faith Life.” In this series, we will explore what it means to be a person of faith, looking at the life of Abraham and those around him as seen in Genesis 11-25. You can find out more about each week of this series by visiting the Eastbrook web-site here or by watching the video below. Maybe you want to share this with others in your life, inviting them to join us on this journey of faith.

 

You can access messages from previous series by visiting the ‘Messages‘ page of the Eastbrook web-site.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Communication, Eastbrook

 

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