Are You Ready for Some…….Archery??

Reminder, gents, that we’re not meeting this week, SEP 18th.  Taking a “break” between study series.

We’ll gather over Zoom next Friday, SEP 25th at our normal time, 7:30 am ET.  Lesson will begin at 7:45 am ET.

The Sign Up Genius is updated to include 10 weeks for our next series.  Please take a moment to lead one or two or more of the Fridays available!  You should already have the Zoom information in your calendar invites.

Lastly, if you haven’t ordered the next book already, today is a good day to do so!  I’m old school…so I need to feel the pages beneath my fingertips.  If you’re “new school” and use the electronic version, then you don’t necessarily need to rush!

Next Book: The Last Arrow-Save Nothing for the Next Life by Erwin McManus

Amazon link:

Also, here’s a great series of videos that we’ll use to support each week’s chapter assignments:

Until then, enjoy this week off!  See you next Friday!


So that’s It?

Sometime ago in middle school, I believe…..I was taught “if you want to know the key points within the chapter of a book, then flip to the end, and read the last couple paragraphs.”  Admittedly, I’ve tried that more times than not, and even most recently in reading “Run with the Horses”.  If the book is written well, then the author most likely does a great summary of that particular section.

This week, as I started down the road of the final chapter of the book, this week’s homework, I was very impressed with the book’s ending, perfectly summarized in the final two paragraphs.

Spoiler alert….if you haven’t finished the chapter, then I’m about to share a few thoughts that maybe you want to discover on your own.

Peterson references Flannery O’Connor’s comment that “nothing happens in a story unless someone is married or shot in the end.  Some might argue that our story of Jeremiah flops, since he doesn’t die and doesn’t get married.  We are left asking ourselves, “Is that it??”.

For most of us, that IS IT, right?  Whether Jeremiah is successful or unsuccessful is really up to our interpretation.  And I think that’s true even today, about our own lives.

“So, that’s it?”

Or……“So….that’s it.”

Notice the difference?

Let me pause on that note.

Luke Nelson leads us this week.  Always great to wrap up a series with a guy named “Luke” bringing us home!

No Zoom meeting this week.  We’ll meet at The Community Matters Cafe for breakfast and wrapping up.  Please remember to bring a mask when you enter the cafe; you can remove the mask once you sit down.  Anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable gathering in-person is certainly excused.

I’ve asked the restaurant to use their private room.  Waiting to get confirmation on that request or, if not, we can simply take one of the longer tables in the main dining room.

I’ll see you tomorrow at 7:30 am for a great meal, fellowship, and wrapping up a wonderful book!

Reminder that we won’t meet next Friday, SEP 18th.  We’ll begin the next series over Zoom on the 25th.

The Last Arrow: Save Nothing for the Next Life” by Eugene McManus.


We Gotta Eat…..

You’ve certainly heard of the old saying, “How to you eat an elephant?”

The answer is, “One bite at a time!”

We’re down to only two chapters left in our current study and this week, Chapter 15, doesn’t tell us to “eat the elephant one bite at a time”.  Nope…we’re only told that we have to “eat the elephant”.

Now, before anyone goes skimming through the chapter “fact-checking” me, I’ll be fully transparent saying there’s no reference by Peterson about anything remotely elephant-related.  However, one of the things I took away from the reading was how God calls us to step out of our comfort zone, experience the global village, and understand that the human reality is “to grow in conscious and healthy relationship with all….”.  In other words, you gotta eat the entire elephant!

God is not confined to the “local”, so our efforts must likewise not be confined.

Jason Schubert, thankfully, leads us this week.  The global village is not just taking a mission trip to another country, which Jason certainly has experience doing.  How are we thinking “big picture” in our faith rather than just being faithful to our community of Kool-Aid drinking peers?

Remember the Great Commission?

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  MATT 28:19-20

Maybe Peterson (and Jeremiah) are onto something here….?

Same Zoom info as last week.  Hope to catch up with everyone beginning at 7:30 am. Jason will launch our lesson at 7:45 am.


Jeremiah’s Land Grab

I was on a “church call” earlier this week…and our senior pastor made a reference to the book of Jeremiah, which immediately woke me up!  And he talked about Jeremiah sitting in prison and buying a plot of land.  I was scratching my head, wondering where that part of our study had happened….or maybe hadn’t happened yet.  Then, as fate would have things, I picked up this week’s lesson, Chapter 14, where our author immediately talks about Jeremiah buying land in Anathoth!

There are not coincidences in life, gents!

We’re continuing our slow down this week, focusing just on Chapter 14.  David Parker will lead us this week.  Scripture focus is: Jeremiah 32:9-10, 15-17, 24-27, and 42-44.

This week, we’ll talk about “being practical”, which our author describes as “giving high praise”.  How many of us would describe ourselves as practical?  And if not you, then who in your circle of influencers is worthy of “high praise”?  Who’s the most practical among your connections?

Same Zoom invite as last week.  You should also have the calendar invite.

Log in at 7:30 am to check in with the group.  David will kick things off at 7:45 am.


No Man is an Island

This week, we’re going to continue to “slow down” a bit….and focus on simply Chapter 13 of our current study.  While we’ve been learning these last few weeks about the greatness of Jeremiah, we’ll discuss this week some of the people around him that, arguably, are instrumental in his success.  “Jeremiah”, our author says in this chapter, “was not friendless….”.

Our discussions this Friday might shepherd us to looking “inward” rather than outward.  Who are in our immediate circle of “friends”…and even beyond in other spheres of influence…..who are these people that have helped us along the way?  Our “slow down” this week actually comes in a several forms; a slowness in our reading assignment and slow-down for introspection.

Deep stuff.

I’ve extended out the Zoom meeting invitation that everyone should have as a calendar invite.  Reach out to me if you don’t see that.

Gather at 7:30 am ET.  Lesson starts at 7:45 am ET.


Is COVID-19 our modern day “exile” situation?

Calling a slight audible for this Friday….

The assignment is to read chapters 12-16….but honestly, as I read through the first chapter this week, I think there’s already a lot to unpack in that chapter alone.  So, my recommendation is to read that chapter, at a minimum.  We’ll talk about what does it mean to be in “exile”?  Are we just supposed to “suck it up”, or can we make changes to meet our own needs?  How can we learn from Jeremiah, his letter to the Israelites, and translate that to today’s situations.  For me personally, I think this global pandemic has forced many of us to go into “exile” of sorts.  Our normal way of living has been altered; how we interact with one another, with co-workers, that’s all changed too!

And I find myself, at times, complaining about the current cards we’ve been dealt.

The scripture reading for this week is Jeremiah 29:1-14.  Contained in that passage is one we’ve all heard before, Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Ask yourself….”do I really believe that” or does that not matter anymore…given COVID, working from home, and home-schooling…”

We’ll chat specifically about Chapter 12….and Jeremiah’s letter to the Israelites spoken from God.  And we’ll talk about how to wrap up the rest of the chapters next week, in the next couple weeks, or whatever.

Lastly, thanks to Luke Nelson for throwing together a handful of book suggestions for our next study.  Take a look at these so we can start to map that out for our future lessons as well.

The Last Arrow: Save Nothing for the Next Life

By: Erwin Raphael McManus

Battle Plan for Prayer (Bible Study Book)

By: Alex Kendrick

 Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood Video Series Workbook

By: Dennis Rainey

 Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense

By: Paul David Tripp

 Simply Jesus and You

By: Joseph M. Stowell

Zoom info is out via calendar invite.  Hit me up if you don’t have that!  7:30 am ET for checking in.  I’ll introduce our lesson at 7:45 am EWT.

Feel free to invite a friend this week.  I think chapter 12 is so very relevant to today’s situations!


There’s No Place Like……Home?

I’m especially excited that Rob Miller has agreed to lead us this week.  Aside from his promise of “nuggets of knowledge”, Rob brings a certain degree of passion into his lessons.  He might tell us otherwise, but there’s something about his persistence these last couple years of our men’s group meeting that is certainly commendable.

Persistence” is part of the focus for this week’s lesson.  Longer reading assignment, Chapters 9-11… be sure to carve out a little time to knock that out.

The scripture lesson is Jeremiah, chapter 35.  Here, we’ll learn about a nomadic tribe called the Recabites.  There’s a stark contrast between the Israelites devotion to God and a similar level of devotion from the Recabites.  Here’s a hint, however.  Don’t fall into the trap that one group’s actions is better than the other.  Instead, try to understand the better qualities of each and come prepared to share how those can apply to us today.

The Recabites, nomadic by nature, don’t have a place to call “home”.  Some would argue that the Recabites travel around from place to place, taking their tents up and down very frequently, because their “home” is in the house of our heavenly Father.  More on that this Friday!

You have calendar invites for the Zoom meeting.  Gather with your coffee beginning at 7:30 am ET so we can “check in” with one another.  Rob will lead us beginning at 7:45 am ET.


Dinner….table for two….

We’re up to Chapter 8 this week in our study, “Run with the Horses”.  After reading the chapter, focus on study guide section four including scripture reading, Jeremiah 15:10-21.

Our author gives a very interesting analogy about going to an intimate dinner.  Just you and someone, and occasionally, a waiter who services your table.  And in the analogy, Eugene Peterson describes who is “God” and who is “you” in the analogy.  Heads up….it might not be the answer you’re expecting!

Jon Paschal leads us this week and surely he’ll solve that “dinner mystery” and highlight other key points to Chapter 8.

Zoom meeting details are in your calendar invite.  Reach out to me if you need additional information.

See you at 7:30 am on Friday!


Sitting at the Potter’s Wheel

I haven’t spent much time with clay and a potter’s wheel … lately.  But my memory does serve me well enough to recall early on in grammar school playing with clay.  You probably did too.

We shaped and formed…..and shaped and formed….and inevitably, the clay became such a mess that you probably had to start over.  Visions of creating the next Michelangelo sculpture soon became an ash tray or cereal bowl that sat in the family cupboard for who know how long!

This week for our study, we learn of a time when God asked Jeremiah to observe a potter hard at work.  Many observations but one is the clay becomes “spoiled” which is another term for having to start over.  God, like the potter, doesn’t ball us up in a head of bad clay.  No, he sits back down at the wheel and gets back to work.  We are the “clay” and he is the “potter”.

Ready chapters 6-7 this week and focus of Jeremiah 18:1-18 for the scripture message.

Jason Schubert leads us this week with Lesson 3 of the Study Guide.

Same Zoom number as last week.  You should have the calendar invitation.  Reach out to me if you need it however!

Gather at 7:30 am ET.  Lesson starts at 7:45 am ET.


Instagram’s False Narrative

We all have those friends.  You know, the ones who build their personal worth around social media “likes”.  Sure, we’re all guilty of it in one form or another.  “Likes” on Facebook or Instagram posts give us that feeling of importance and value.  Have we become a society that places image over substance?

This week’s assignment digs into others’ perceptions of us.  Read chapter 5 of the current study, “Run with the Horses”.  Our scripture focus is Jeremiah 7:1-15.

Homework questions can be found in the Lesson Two study guide found on this site’s Resources page.

Luke Nelson leads us this week….live from his beach vacation!  (Thank you, Luke!)  Gather starting at 7:30 am ET on Friday.  Lesson starts at 7:45 am.  Zoom meetings continue for our group.

Meeting ID is: 884 2307 8742 (password shared via calendar invite)