Monday, March 30, 2009

Questions from Sunday 3-30-09

If you were not there on Sunday night you can download 3-30-09 "Cure for the Common Comparison".  Here are some  questions that will hopefully keep the conversations going from our look at Luke 9:46-48.

1.) Have you ever been in a situation where you were strongly on one end of a competition or comparison?  What is the story?  How did your "win" or "loss" affect you?

2.) Have you ever seen or been a part of a good thing that was ruined by competition or comparison?

3.) In what ways have you seen this poisonous way of looking at the world infects a faith community?  (maybe specifically surrounding the areas of unity, focus, false criteria that we discussed)

4.) How does it affect the way we look at the world and our faith when Jesus so closely aligns himself with the "children" (those who have nothing to offer) of this world?

5.) In what ways have you experienced hospitality as a means of ridding ourselves of the spirit of competition and comparison?

6.) How can we as followers of Christ practically make steps to weed out the competition and comparison that we have within ourselves?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Questions from the last two Sundays

Because we had Spring Break last week, and the last two weeks have overlapped so much I wanted to start you off by pointing you to last week's questions listed below.  If you have not gone through those questions feel free to start there.  Please consider these questions a continuation of those listed below.  If you were not there last night you can catch the podcast here.

6. Did this talk bring to memory and particular stories or new ideas for you?

7. What are your initial impressions of this story when you read it?  Can you sense how strong a change in setting, mood, etc is happening from the transfiguration to this story?

8. "The path of Christ is not found on the mountaintops, but in the valley" - Does this idea contradict any of the ways you have approached your spiritual life?  Does it help to explain or support some of the ways you have approached your spiritual life?

9.  Did you grow up with a picture of a God that "floated above" the earth and all it's problems, or do you think the picture of God you have traditionally held had "feet on the earth".?  What difference do these competing images of God make?

10. How do you think it looks when the disciples of Christ truly pick up a cross and walk in that place "where eternal love and utter brokenness meet"?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Questions from Sunday 3-16-09

Sc0063fd44 If you did not get a chance to join us on Sunday Night you can get the talk on our podcast page here.

Here are some discussion questions that can hopefully help us unpack the ideas we talked about from Luke 9:28-36

1.) Is there anything about some of the history & symbolism surrounding
the story that we talked through, that was new to you?  Did it shed any
new light on the Transfiguration for you?  Did you get anything new
from the story?

2.)   We talked about transcendent moments in our lives.  Can you recall any
such transcendent moments in your own life? 

3.) Did you try
and do anything to capture that moment?  Did that work or can it ever

4.) Does our Christian religious culture focus more on the "transcendent" experience with God or the simple "listen" to Jesus?  In what ways does our religious culture focus on the transcendent in our gatherings, products, etc.  Why do we want to pitch our tent there?

5.) We said on Sunday that the Transcendent experiences only mean something and/or change us when viewed from the vantage point of the cross.  Does that make sense to you?  In what ways have you seen that play out in your life?

Monday, March 9, 2009

"Unashamedly Following" - questions from Sunday Night

We posted the talk from Sunday night on our podcast page if you didn't get a chance to join us last night. 

Here are some questions for you guys based on the talk.

1) If any of you have been commemorating the Lenten season, take a moment to talk about how it is going and what, if anything, you feel like you are learning.

2) Have you read Luke 9:26-27 before?  What has it traditionally meant to you?

3) What do you think about the idea that maybe these verses are not about reciprocity, but about free will?  What are the ramifications?

4) We talked about the fact that there is no such thing as "private discipleship".  Do you find yourself privatizing your Christianity?  What are some ways we can help each other avoid such privatizations?

5) We also talked about living with the "long view" in mind.  How has this played out in your life? (good or bad examples)  Can you think of times when you think the church fails to live out its call with the long view in mind?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Questions from Sunday 3-1-09

420px-Agnus_Dei_with_Vexillum  If you were not able to join us this past Sunday night then you can get the podcast through itunes or directly from our podcast page  The picture I have posted represents the icon of the Agnes Dei or "Lamb of God".  The lamb has represented the humility and sacrifice of Christ throughout Christian history.  It seemed particularly appropriate as an image given the topic last week.  The meek and sacrificial lamp carries the cross as a symbol of the kingdom for which it gives itself. 

With this image and the subject of Sunday night's teaching in the front of your mind, here are some questions that will hopefully further the conversation.

1.) If there are some in your group who are commemorating the Lenten season you can take a couple of minutes to share what you may be learning so far during this time.

2.) "Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it"
This sounds like a contradictory thought. What does it mean to you?  have you found it to be true in your life?  Are there any times in your life in the past or present in which you felt like you have lost something important by trying to protect it?

3.) We talked on Sunday about being in a battle.  Does war language regarding our spiritual lives sit well wth you or not?  Why?  What are some negative ways you have heard war language used within Christianity?

4.) In what ways have you seen the tendency in your life to choose security and safety over and above the cross of Christ?

Presentation on Jesus and Consumerism

Here is the powerpoint and audio of the presentation given at the University of Southern Mississippi in February.  I will probably post it on the podcast page as well.