New Series Begins: The Point of No Return

After a brief week “off”, Starting Friday returns this week as we kick-off a new series: The Last Arrow: Save Nothing for the Next Life by Erwin McManus.

Hopefully, you’ve either ordered the book or the digital version already.  This week’s homework is to read the Preface and Chapter 1 (The Point of No Return).

Each week, we’ll also introduce the lesson with a brief 5-minute video from the author.  This week’s video is shown below and I’ll also share it during our Zoom call on Friday.

In this week’s chapter, McManus asks “how many of us have been called ‘just average‘…?”.  He further explains there’s two ways of looking at someone as “average”.  First, average meaning cut from a typical piece of cloth; I read that to say “nothing special”.  Or, the second way of the meaning behind average is to say someone’s character has convinced him/her to choose the path of least resistance.  You know, the simple way of going through life.  No muss, no fuss.

Kicking off the new book this week means we’re going to challenge ourselves right out of the gate.  One of my favorite quotes from Chapter 1 is “The journey of The Last Arrow begins when raise the bar….”.  Raising the bar means you’re going beyond “just average”.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone, virtually, this Friday beginning at 7:30 am ET.  I’ll kick off the lesson around 7:45 am, but consider connecting to the Zoom a few minutes early to check-in with everyone.  Check your calendar invites for the Zoom information or reach out to me if you need those details.

Here’s the video primer for Chapter 1.


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.