Friday, September 29, 2006

Heritage (September 28)

Just a short post to let anyone who comes by know I’m still here.

The family Powerpoint and other things have kept me very busy this week. At the urging of Roseann Ekman I joined a Bible discussion list called the Berean Spirit and it is easy to spend a lot of time discussing those questions that I’m mulling over in my head.

We also had a second visit from the McMillans (Dave & Heather) on their way back west after having been in Mexico for 3 months. Dave made a presentation and gave a short Bible lesson at our Wednesday services. Some very challenging thoughts on how Jesus related to people from the healing at the pool in John 5. Always enjoy visiting with Dave – Our conversations are open, challenging and I pray leave me on a closer walk with God. (see my July 4 post for more info on the McMillans)

One of the things that I’ve become more aware of as I scanned pictures and worked on the Powerpoint was the extent to which my family heritage has shaped my thinking. – and that is good. However, there are some dangers if we fail to examine that heritage and make our own path towards a richer and better heritage for our own children & grandchildren. Maybe I’ll explore this topic at a later date.

I’m including my lesson from Sunday – and I’ll sign off – We are traveling this weekend to Beamsville to a dinner at the school to honor my brother-in-law Art and my sister Ruby for their years of work at the school. (click HERE for more about Art & Ruby)

The following weekend is the family “do” so my posts may be erratic over the next couple of weeks. Check by when you can to see if I’ve gotten back to it.

Sunday's lesson

Foundations of Faith - Overview

This lesson is an introduction to “Part 2”of “Back to the Basics”

Review – The basic concept of this series is that people often experience “plateaus” or “slumps” in various endeavors of life. I use sports to illustrate what I mean. Individuals and teams often hit plateaus or get into slumps. One approach to dealing with this is to “go back to the basics” and see what may be missing in those things that is an obstacle to “breaking through” and achieving “new heights”.

For the first part of the series (over the summer), we looked at the following

1. How we “understand” or” interpret” the Bible (a topic called “hermeneutics”)

We asked
-- “Why doesn’t everyone understand the Bible in the same way
-- Why are there so many different views about the “beliefs and practices” that define Christian “churches”.

2. What we understand the Bible to say about “What is the church?” and the “gaps” between this teaching and the actual way it is used today. We also discussed why it would help our growth to eliminate those “gaps” and provided some practical suggestions on how we could do that.

For the rest of the fall we will "shift gears" and look at what I would call “foundational elements” of being a Christian in today’s world.

You know someone who has had no interest in talking about Christianity. You have become friends and they have agreed to talk about “Why you are a Christian”? You want to start with a “diagnostic” (to find where they are in their thinking) – They have agreed to let you ask them 10 questions. What questions would you want to ask?

In this first lesson we listed the questions that the clas smembers threw out and then we reviewed those question by asking the following questions.

Will they understand this question— (Do we all understand this question in the same way?)
might you misunderstand the answer because you are “assuming” they believe things that they don’t believe. (if you ask about believing in Jesus and the answer is NO – is it because they don’t even believe in God or the Bible and they don’t know who Jesus is)
Does the answer really tell you anything about “what’s missing” that would cause them to want to study more – i.e. how can you use the answer to “open a door” that has been holding this person back. )

I’ll provide the list of questions I got in class next time – For now “What questions would you want to ask?”

God Bless Charlie

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