Back on the first day of June, we started posting one Bible passage and discussion question every Wednesday from the study resource titled Finding Glory in the Thorns: Group Discussion Guide. Some people studied along privately and some actually joined with others in small groups around the country for weekly or bi-weekly discussions. God used the summer series to connect many people in new Christ-centered relationships and caused many of us to grow in our faith. We are grateful to God for this!
Here are some highlights from those summer discussions:
"With the deep needs everyone has with the devastation in Minot ND with the flooding I had vowed to do more. I walked dogs at the center, gave donations of money...made a new friend who lost her home and I volunteered to take her out to lunch some day...The gals at Bible study told me last night that sometimes we can not save the world either... How do we know when we are over-extending even though we are doing great things? ...This is something we each have to examine in our lives and best decide can I do more or when is enough?"
"Knowing that I am a part of the body inspires me because it also identifies me and defines me."
"In working with seniors every day, I feel a compassion and joy in sharing His name with them and their families. Some of the seniors do not know Him. Being part of the Body, I have a stronger relationship with Christ, and I'm more sensitive to the Holy Spirit - His promptings. There is more joy and love for others."
"What an interesting question. Even though I was a complaining murmuring mess, God never left."
"When we had to institutionalize our son, we felt that God had let us down. Turns out it was the best thing for our family and our son. One of the ladies at church said to me "Honey, that's how God works." Duh! I knew that once. But all my memories were obliterated by the pain and the lies I was listening to instead of the Word I should have been renewing my mind with. Our son will be coming home in 2012. As you said, healing comes in different ways."
We even heard from a first-time facilitator:
"This study was the first Bible study I facilitated... A facilitator is only as good as the group makes them. I was so thankful for the gals who made it so easy for me. I was able to talk about what it was like to raise two special needs kids for the first time. Even though most of the ladies lived nearby, few ever heard the story! I loved the soul-searching questions. They really brought out the group and the background readings, especially the Joshua 3 and 4 chapters, were really great. Bless you guys!"
In case you're wondering, "What is a FINDING GLORY GROUP?" — here's the scoop!
Finding Glory Groups are a place to connect with others who understand that life is challenging and that Christ-centered friendships are essential. Whether life is good or you’re facing challenging circumstances like a strained relationship or marriage, job transition, illness, disability, or parenting a child with special needs, Finding Glory Groups are a place where you can explore questions about faith, hope, joy and God’s purposes with others who want to grow and thrive in life.
Participants explore practical applications of Biblical principles and are empowered to embrace the adventure of faith while coming alongside others who want to share life in God-honoring and deeply satisfying ways.
Meetings often begin with fellowship and a snack. Depending on the size of the group, there may be both large group discussion and small group prayer. The goal is developing communities of authentic, Christ-centered and encouraging relationships. This can begin with a book club, support group, small group, neighborhood or any other combination of people who want to experience God, even when life gets hard.
Larry and I will be starting a new Finding Glory Group here in Minneapolis on September 15th. We'll meet for six Thursday evenings and then wrap up with a seventh evening of fellowship and celebration of all God has done through the time spent exploring God's Word and life together. We hope some of you reading today will join us. But for those who are too far away or who want an alternative way to participate, we can suggest a couple of options:
· Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out whether there is an existing or new group starting in your area.
· Start your own group!
· Join in the online discussions. Here at the Blog, we'll be starting a new "FINDING GLORY Wednesdays" discussion series next week.
To learn more about Finding Glory Groups and resources: