Developing the Servant’s Heart

I’m loving this book.

Plain and simply, each chapter seems to speak directly to what’s happening (in my household).

For example, just this past week, my wife and I were talking about how to get our sons more “excited” about service projects.  There’s tons of need and tons of opportunities.  But, like many youth, they will only get involved under certain conditions:

-How long?  The shorter the better….

-Are any of their friends involved?

-Can they “fit it” into an already busy schedule?

So, I get it.  We can’t force these things and I try to truthfully think back to when I was their age….was I fired up and excited about serving others like I am today?  Maybe not.

Our reading this week tackles this subject rather nicely, in my opinion.  So whether you have teenagers, like me, or teenagers-in-waiting….then Chapter 6, “Sticky Justice”, will be a great read for you.

This chapter is all about the notion of not just serving God and others….but LOVING doing so!  And that ain’t an easy sell to any kids, trust me.

This week, David Parker, returns to the batter’s box to lead the group.  (Am I aging myself again?  Anyone remember the Pittsburgh Pirates slugger….Dave Parker….who played for the Pirates in the late 70’s and early 80’s).  I digress……

Zoom information is as follows:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88423078742

Meeting ID: 884 2307 8742

Please feel free to join the meeting starting at 7:30 am.  David will launch into the lesson beginning at 7:45 am.

Peace!

Bigfoot and Sticky Faith!?

Confession.

I binged watched a show on the Travel Channel last weekend called “Expedition Big Foot“.  Fascinating!  Not sure if I’m sold on the notion that a species of hairy, smelly, 7-8 foot tall, human-like creatures exists…but the technology used throughout this series was amazing!  (Click on the image below for more details.)

So what does “Bigfoot” have to do with this week’s lesson, Chapter 5 from Sticky Faith?  Probably not much….truthfully.  I mean, this week’s focus is around the “who” are our kids aligned with outside of the immediately family.  And doubtful that anyone has a Sasquatch included into their circle….but that would be very incredible!

What I found most interesting in this week’s reading is this concept of “balance” as part of the segregation (or not) of youth church programming/development and what our authors describe as the rest of the congregation.  Pay close attention to that theme as you read this week.

Tim Sydejko leads us this week as we continue Zoom meetings.  Details listed below.  Feel free to join at 7:30 am ET for “checking in with friends”.  Lesson will begin at 7:45 am ET.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88423078742

Meeting ID: 884 2307 8742

See you then!

Peace!

Can We Talk???

Conversations.

How do the conversations go in your household?  If you have teenagers, I mean, how DO those conversations go?

Growing up, my parents didn’t talk about any of the tougher subjects: drinking, drugs, sex, etc.  They just expected, maybe through osmosis or something, they my brother, sister and I would make smart choices.  And, you know what….99% of the time we did just that….made smart choices.

So were we lucky in our household….or were we the most amazing, Leave It To Beaver, kids ever to walk the planet?  Maybe we’ll never know.

This week we’re focusing on the majority of American households where “leaving it to luck” is cannot be a reliable parenting strategy.  Homework this week is to read Chapter 4, “Sticky Faith Conversations”.  I’m happy to be leading this week….

We’ll continue to meet via Zoom.  Here’s the meeting information:

Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88423078742

Meeting ID: 884 2307 8742

We’ll open up the Zoom at 7:30 am ET, with the lesson starting at 7:45 am ET.

See you then!

Peace!

British Bands Asking the Question….

Full transparency….as I was reading this week’s homework from Chapter 3 of “Sticky Faith”, that song by The Who, “Who Are You”, was ringing in my ear.  I had to do some research.  It seems the British Rock Band, The Who, in the 1970’s was feeling pressure from the growing popularity of Punk Bands.  One story talks about a meeting that took place between band members and another (punk) band….where at one point, Pete Townsend, The Who’s lead guitarist, stood up, enraged shouting, “Who are you…..??”.  (Actually, his exactly translation later explained in a music magazine years later….was somewhat more colorful!)

 

Who Are You …. by Pete Townsend

 

I woke up in a Soho doorway
A policeman knew my name
He said “You can go to sleep at home tonight
If you can get up and walk away”
I staggered back to the underground
You know the breeze blew back my hair
I remember throwing punches around
And preaching from my chair

 

Who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)
Who are you? Who, who, who, who?
I said (Who are you? Who, who, who, who)
I really want to know (Who are you? Who, who, who, who)

 

Chapter 3 this week is all about the “who’s” of our youth….more directly, the stages youth go through as they journey the path from birth to early twenties, asking and answering the question “Who am I?”.

 

So as parents, what’s our role in helping find answers to this question?  How can we assist in the development of our children’s identity and what about cases where we have more than one child?  After all, “one size doesn’t not fit all” in this case either.
In my opinion, this is yet another great chapter.  Our author provides several key concepts in identity development including:

 

  • treating each of our kids as individuals
  • using community as a key component to identity development
  • establishing and using family rituals
  • modeling a personal relationship with God

There’s a few more…but those were my favorites….and personally impactful.

Jason Schubert is in the batter’s box this week.  Join us via Zoom again for this Friday’s meeting.  Jason will begin his lesson at 7:45 am.  Feel free to join Zoom a few minutes early to “catch up” with others.

Zoom Meeting Information:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88423078742

Meeting ID: 884 2307 8742 (NEW meeting ID this week!)

Peace!

Sticky Faith: In Whom Do We Place Our Trust?

Week two of our series on “Sticky Faith”.  Homework this week is to read chapter 2.  As was mentioned last week when we kicked off the series, each chapter is divided into two parts: Part 1 is “sticky findings” and part 2 is “sticky faith made practical”.

Rob Miller leads us this week as he’ll translate our authors’ messages around “in whom do we (I) place our faith”.  I loved the two quotes at the beginning of the chapter…..very STRONG right out of the gate and certainly set the tone for this week’s lesson:

“God is not the friend he was in high school. He is now more like the grandparent in the home that I visit only on holidays or special occasions”

-Ely

“My parents were both raised in Christian families but how they shaped me had a lot more to do with being a cultural Christian than being in a personal relationship with Jesus.”

-Geoff

“YES”…..I can relate…..and “YES” I can relate…..!

We’ll gather this Friday at 7:45 am ET via Zoom web-conferencing.  Here’s the access information:

Peace!

Sticky Faith: More Than Just a Launchpad

With Easter fresh on our minds, we’ll begin a new 8-week series this Friday with the book, “Sticky Faith” by Dr. Kara E. Powell and Dr. Chap Clark.  This week’s homework is to read the book’s Forward section and then Chapter 1.  The first chapter sets up the rest of the seven chapters (and seven weeks) so read carefully!  Focus on page 25 of the book where the authors outline the 2-parts of each chapter: “Sticky Findings” and “Sticky Faith Made Practical”.

Mike leads the “kick off” this week.  We are continuing to use Zoom web-conferencing for our Friday gatherings:

(You can also simply go to: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/933121523)

Questions for this week’s discussion include (from page 29):

  1. When people decide to read a book, usually they are trying to solve a problem.  What problems are you hoping to address by reading this book?
  2. How would you define Sticky Faith?
  3. How does it make you feel to think that you are the most important influence on your child’s faith?
  4. As you think about how you’ve parented thus far, what have you done that has contributed to your kids’ faith?  What do you wish you had done differently?
  5. What do you think of the suggestion that parents trust the Lord with their kids and beg the Lord to build Sticky Faith in them? Perhaps you’d like to put this book down and pray for a few moments before you even turn the page.

Lastly, sharing one of my favorite quotes from Chapter 1:

“You are more than a launching pad for that journey; you are also an ongoing companion, guide, and fellow journeyer.”

Buckle up!  I’ll see on at 7:45 am via Zoom on Friday!

Peace!

The Easter Story: Part 2 – “Promises Delivered…..”

Happy Holy Week!

If you missed last week, Rev. Derek Macleod outlined “three promises” revealed by Christ throughout MATT 27: 32-61.  This week, Jon Paschal will close out our Easter focus with “Part 2: Promises Delivered”.

Homework this week is to continue reading MATT 27: 62-66 and MATT 28: 1-10, 16-20.

We’ll gather this week using Zoom web-conferencing starting at 7:45 am ET:

  • www.zoom.us
  • Click on “Join a Meeting”
  • Enter Meeting ID: 933-121-523

Reminder that next week, we’ll start a new series on “Sticky Faith”.  Please order the book if you haven’t done so already!

Enjoy the rest of the week!  I’ll see you on Friday!

Peace!

The Easter Story: Part 1 – “Promises Made….”

The Starting Friday men’s group is taking a 2-week pause between book studies for a focused look at the Easter story.  This week, we’ll tackle “Part 1” which I’m calling “Promises Made….“.

Next Friday, we’ll cover “Part 2” which discusses “Promises Delivered….“.

This Friday is especially exciting for me (and others) as we welcome Reverend Derek Macleod to lead our discussion via Zoom web-conferencing.  Some will recall that Derek was formerly the Associate Pastor of Outreach Ministry at Myers Park Presbyterian Church for approximately three and a half years (2014-2018).  He’s currently the Senior Pastor and Head of Staff at St. Andrews – Covenant Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Beyond those formal titles, Pastor Derek is a still truly a great friend to many here in Charlotte!

Our “homework” this week is to read from Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 27, verses 32-61.

We’ll kick things off at 7:45 am ET via Zoom web-conferencing.  Short intros and then Rev. Derek will kick things into gear immediately following.  Here’s the Zoom meeting information:

Please remember to mute your line once we get going!  More Zoom instructions, in you need them, at this LINK (click).  Derek will wrap up around 8:30 am ET.

And, as always, please feel free to invite a buddy or two!

See you on Friday!

Peace!

The End…(of our study)….is Near!

This Friday we’ll put a nice silk bow on our study of Rev. John Piper’s, “Don’t Waste Your Life”.  It’s been a great read, I think….lots to ponder as we wrap this week.

We’ll gather via Zoom per earlier messages.  Please login at 7:45 am ET….if you need any help, please consult the “Zoom” page on this website.

When you get to the “Join a Meeting” tab, the Meeting ID for tomorrow is:  933 121 523

For the next two Fridays after this week, I’ve added a special “Easter and the Resurrection series (Parts 1 and 2)” that we’ll also do via Zoom.  More on those later.  Jon Paschal will lead Part 2, and I’m working on a “special guest” for Part 1.  Stay tuned on that one!

Until tomorrow, be safe!  I’ll “see” everyone at 7:45 am ET on Friday.

Peace!

Wrapping Up and Looking Ahead….!

This week, we’ll be wrapping up our series on the book, “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper.  Chapter 10 is your assignment for this week.  Please come to our “virtual gathering” with your thoughts on the book:

  • What chapter and/or theme stands out most to you?
  • How will you take some of Piper’s concepts and apply it to your life?
  • What questions do you still have about not “wasting your life?”

As with last week, our gathering will take place using Zoom.  Zoom meetings for our group will kick off promptly at 7:45 am ET and conclude around 8:30 am ET or so.  Mike will be leading this week’s lesson.

We’ve created a page on the Starting Friday website that walks you step-by-step using Zoom.  Please note the meeting number for this week is: 933 121 523

CLICK HERE for the Zoom Instructions page or simply CLICK the image below.

Next Series: STICKY FAITH

Action 1: Looking ahead, please purchase your copy of the book, “Sticky Faith” by Dr. Kara Powell and Dr. Chap Clark.  We’ll start that 8 week series on April 17th.

Action 2:  Please pick a Friday or two to lead a chapter of the new series at our SIGN UP GENIUS page.

Two Week Series: Easter and the Resurrection, Parts 1 and 2

I’ve added a two part “quick” series for us to meet and talk about the Easter message.

  • Part 1 will be on Friday, April 3rd (Matthew 27: 32-61).
  • Part 2 will be on Friday, April 10th (Matthew 27: 62-66 and Matthew 28: 1-10, 16-20)

Leaders needed for both days…..leaders focus on those scripture passages and come prepared to lead the Zoom discussions.  Sign up at our SIGN UP GENIUS page.

Lastly, given the current restrictions on gatherings, we’ll continue to meet weekly via Zoom through the end of April.  I’m optimistic that we’ll be back meeting in person by the beginning of May.  Of course, we’ll be flexible on when we can gather in person.

“See” everyone this Friday!

Peace!