Week One|Tuesday

The French film Of Gods and Men (2010) was based on the real events in the life of  Trappist monastery in Algeria in 1995 and 1996. The film depicts the difficult decisions that the Christian monks had to make during the Algerian Civil War. As violence and extremism increased the monks were forced to choose between leaving Algeria for safety or staying among the people they loved and had been called to serve. The decision was complex. They had different opinions. How would they find peace and act in unity.

Watch this clip from the film:

To decide together what God wanted them to do, the monks first had to recognize and let go of their own agendas, desires, biases, and prejudices. This could not happen immediately. The had to take time to pray and examine themselves before they could come back together and move forward in unity. (You can watch the movie to see how it turned out.)

What are the biases and agendas that prevent you from hearing what God wants for this church?

Spend five minutes in siting or walking in silence then journal about you thoughts. Share some of your thoughts among your family members.

Week One|Monday

This coming Sunday we will be discussing discernment. In Cooperative Baptist Fellowship circles discernment is often described as listening to the God that is present among us. How do we listen to God? Over the next several days you will have the opportunity to reflect on how you believe you hear from God and how you make decisions.

Set aside 15 minutes alone or share this time as a family devotional.

Read Acts 16:4-10.

The context of the scripture is Paul and his companions setting out to fulfill the decision made by the church leaders at the Jerusalem council to return to established churches for encouragement.

As you read the passage listen and focus on a word or phrase that the Holy Spirit brings to you. Repeat that word or phrase in your mind and heart. Reflect upon it.

 

Read the passage again and focus on a truth that the Holy Spirit might be bringing to mind around your word or phrase. Journal about it.

 

Be still. Rest. Feel God’s presence as you listen to the Scripture again.

 

If you are with you family, each of you share some of what you reflected on.

A time to awaken our souls to the dreams of God

Every once in a while we have to stop and take a deep breath. Life gets filled with a lot of busyness. Other people’s goals and agendas crowd in on us and begin to set our direction. We become distracted and lose sight of where God is calling us.

Outside of our pride and preferences there is the perfect will of God. This Creator God breathed life into us and has uniquely gifted us with talent and passion. These good gifts are given for service to a hurting world. Awake is a sacred season of renewal and discernment, a time for fresh vision, for each of us and for our church together. Each week day we will individually reflect through prayer exercises and journaling. On Saturday I invite you to just rest in God’s presence. On Sundays we will share what we are hearing, share in group activities, brainstorm plans for the future, and worship. Join me in awakening to a new dream, God’s dream for us and our community.

Prayer exercises begin here on the morning of Monday, August 17, 2015.