I have been out of the loop recently due to a trip to Israel with some folks from GFC, Tri-cities, Florida and Ohio. It was a fantastic trip that left all of us with a deeper understanding of the Bible (never to be read the same again!). Indeed, impressions of modern life in Israel - both for Israelis and Palestinians, are also very vivid. Archeological sites that date back to 8,000 BC in Jericho, to the fresh findings around the temple mount in Jerusalem in the 1st century AD, serve not to prove the truth of the Scripture, but surely add to its credibility. One of the most beautiful vistas was our first view the Sea of Galilee from atop Mt. Arbel. Take a look for yourself! Lord willing, we will sponsor another trip in 2-3 years.
How has God used your family life to change your life? That is the question that concluded our teaching series, Family Life in HD, yesterday. We heard the responses of several people and if you missed it, please check it out online. The complete CD series will be in the Resource Center soon, and many of the book recommendations still remain. And let’s keep on asking the question, How does God want to change me through my family life?
We begin a not unrelated series this Sunday called Smart Prayers. No, you won’t feel stupid. Rather you will gain confidence that your investments in prayer will result in the kind of change that is best for you and for the glory of God. If you want a brief background passage to begin with, see James 4:1-5.
This is my first Monday Memo since the Sunday I was super surprised by the Dallas Seminary Alumni Award. I simply want to say to all of you how honored Leslie and I are to serve among and with you. We have “grown up” with many of you and your grace and faithful prayers sustain us to this very day. To our elders, past and present, thank you. You have developed and encouraged me in ways you probably don’t even realize. And it is pure joy to be a part of such capable and humble staff. You are the best! Let us all soldier on!
See you Sunday.
Grace and peace,
"Family Life in HD - Caution: Families at Work" Romans 8: 28-29
If God’s highest and best purpose for us is to become more like Jesus, wouldn’t a loving Father use everything at His disposal to move us toward that end? Our families are a huge part of how He accomplishes that purpose in our lives. The hard part is that it sometimes hurts. Our great hope is having confidence that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Because of this truth, we can have confidence that He is very much doing His good work in us through our families – in both the joy and struggle.
THINKING IT THROUGH
Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to.
~John Ed Pearce
One of the best wedding gifts God gave you was a full-length mirror called your spouse. Had there been a card attached, it would have said, “Here’s to helping you discover what you’re really like.
~Gary and Betsy Ricucci
Marriage is the operation by which a woman’s vanity and a man’s egotism are extracted without anesthetic.
Our whole destiny seems to lie in the opposite direction, in being as little as possible in ourselves, in acquiring a fragrance that is not our own, but borrowed, in becoming clean mirrors filled with an image of a face that is not ours.
LIVING IT OUT
1. What are some ways God has worked the circumstances of your family of origin for “good” in your life?
2. How is He using your family-life right now to shape you into the image of Christ?
3. Take some time this week to talk to God about your family. What are your joys? The struggles? How do you most need to change? It may help to write out the prayer.
"Smart Prayers" James 4:2-3
Is the word “smart” a good descriptive of our prayers? It may not sound quite appropriate, but some key verses in James seem to affirm the value of “smart prayers.” Summer of 2013 will be all about Smart Prayers at GFC. This could not only motivate you to pray like never before, but to pray in such a way that could change your life. Let’s get started.
LOOKING IT UP
1. What “problems and issues” does James address in vs. 1-2?
2. According to the end of v.2, what is one of the reasons for the “mess we are in”?
What “kind” prayer is James talking about in v.2?
3. What is the problem with the way we sometimes pray according to v.3 and what is the result?
Note: The phrase, “with wrong motives” comes from the word “wicked” or “badly.”
4. What are the implications if we were to pray “smart prayers”? Get your answers from the text.
5. What do you think is required of us if we are to learn to pray “smart prayers” as James seems to define them?
Posted on Mon, May 20, 2013
by Tom Oyler