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!

Peace!

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…..so 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.

Peace!

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!

Peace!

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.

Peace!

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)

Peace!

 

Saddle Up!

Has anyone watched the series, “Yellowstone”, starring Kevin Kostner?  My wife and I are hooked on it!!  Just finished up season one….started season two….and hoping to eventually catch up to the current season three.

Kostner plays the role of John Dutton, a wealthy cattle ranch owner in Montana.  Oddly enough (for this post), Dutton is not a believer in God, although at times when he’s in despair, he calls out to our heavenly father for help.  One of his famous quotes is “I’ve seen too much bad in my life to believe God exists….”.  Dutton’s life is filled with tragedy; the loss of his wife to a horse-riding accident, and his eldest son who was shot over a dispute of indian tribal territories.  Dutton cries out: “God…..damn you for leaving me!”

This week begins another “horse story” for our group, “Run with the Horses” by Eugene Peterson.  Homework this week is a tall drink of water…..read the first four chapters.  Yikes!  If you’ve been consumed by work, family…and oh yeah, this pandemic … and you haven’t done the homework, no worries.  Join the Zoom call anyway.  At a minimum, please read our scripture for this week, Jeremiah 1:4-19.

You can always find the homework for this 6-week series on the Resources Tab of the website.

Join the Zoom call at 7:30 am ET this Friday to “catch up” with the group.  I’ll kick off this week’s lesson at 7:45 am ET.  Details for the Zoom call are sent out in a calendar invite to everyone already.

Peace!

Celebrating Independence!

Holiday week…..celebrating our nation’s independence….so no meeting this Friday.  We’ll gather NEXT Friday, July 10th over Zoom beginning at 7:30 am ET.

The 6-week Study Guide is now posted on the Resources page of this website.  Be sure to read the homework for “Lesson 1” which includes reading the first four chapters of “Run with the Horses”.

https://startingfridayclt.org/resources/

Have a great rest of the week!  I’ll see you next Friday!

Peace!

Run with the Horses…..!

Hopefully, most of you got the message that we’ve selected “Run with the Horses” by Eugene Peterson as our next study series.  This week, we’ll gather via Zoom to introduce the new book.  Next Friday is July 3rd, and we will not be meeting since it’s a holiday weekend.  And “week 1” of the new series will officially start on Friday, July 10th, again over Zoom.

“Run with the Horses” came with many recommendations.  Personally, I love how it aligns nicely with the book of Jeremiah.  More specifically, as it relates to the book title, the author shares:

“If you’re worn out in this footrace with men, what makes you think you can race against horses?”

Jeremiah 12:5

Join me this Friday over Zoom where I’ll introduce the book and the author.  You won’t need the book this week…but you will when we gather on July 10th.  Order the book through Amazon and be sure to purchase the “commemorative edition” since it has the 6-week study curriculum included.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88423078742?pwd=WnVJQzMvVjdqZFlvbitwTVh4dmVkUT09

Meeting ID: 884 2307 8742

See you this Friday at 7:30 am….I’ll start our discussion at 7:45 am.

Peace!

A Time for Rest…..and Reflection….

Can you believe we’re nearly to July??  The summer is flying by….!

We’re taking a break from our men’s gathering this week….I encourage you to rest and reflect on our most recent study, “Sticky Faith”, and take some time to consider our next one!  We’ll gather again on Friday, June 26th, to check-in and discuss ideas for the next men’s study.  Come with your ideas and best “sales pitch”…!  Ha!

The following Friday will be July 3rd and we won’t meet then as it’s the front edge of the Independence Day holiday weekend.  New study will begin on Friday, July 10th.

Lots of opportunities for prayers in our lives today…..between the global pandemic and community unrest with racial tensions…..I encourage you to talk with God daily, pray for our world, and for our communities.

Enjoy the week off!  I’ll see you over Zoom on the 26th!

Peace!

Let’s Talk About It

Lot’s going on in our country and sometimes our men’s group gets so deep into our current study that we lose sight on talking about some of the current issues impacting our communities and our world.

So, this week, we’re taking a “pause” and doing a simple fireside chat (minus the fire).  I’ll kick things off, but there’s no real agenda.  I’ll put the ball in play, and let’s see where the discussion leads us.

I’m not assuming, however, that we will one-hundred percent agree.  But my hope is that we’ll find common ground, with God’s grace, and see what our individual “calls to action” are going forward.

Zoom meeting information shared below.  Sending out passcode in separate calendar invite.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88423078742?pwd=WnVJQzMvVjdqZFlvbitwTVh4dmVkUT09

Meeting ID: 884 2307 8742

Peace!