Hello, Ladies! I can't even tell you how good it is to be home. I got in a day late because my flight was cancelled due to weather, which is why I'm a day behind getting us started on our Obedience Series -- but here we go!
A few orders of IRL business first. I want to honor your prayer requests, so please do pray for each other --
ABBY's struggles with depression (Email me if you want, Abby, because I've been there; email@example.com)
THERESE's feelings of being overwhelmed.
MELODY's need to trust God that He'll keep providing friends
AMY's third round cup match for hockey today
LAURA'S grandmother who is ill
MAY's family which is going through a tough time
ALISHA'S little friend Baby Em who is fighting for her very young life, and for Em's big sister who at age two is very confused by all this. A big thanksgiving for ALISHA feeling so much better too. LOVE THAT!
Second, a huge IRL welcome to ANNARACHEL, who just "graduated" from Tween You and Me. By the way, I loved one of the tweens who said, "When do we retire to the teen blog?" Little do they know that this is NOT retirement! Anyway, AnnaRachel, we're glad to have you, and I hope your questions about the Treasure Chest have been answered. If not, I think they will be below.
Okay, let's turn to this sticky, prickly topic of Obedience. I'm adding a new section to the post set-up as we move on with this series. This will help us keep track of our progress in case everybody doesn't get to read all the comments.
RESPONSES TO THE LAST POST: "Where are you having the most trouble being obedient?"
* When you aren't entirely sure what it is God wants you to do
* When what you know you're being asked to do isn't "culturally acceptable" as RACHEL put it.
* When obedience calls for you to be nice/kind/responding in love and you just really don't want to. (Some people don't deserve nice, etc.)
* When you obey but your attitude toward obeying isn't in line
* When obedience takes you out of your comfort zone
* When obedience means going against your feelings
* When it's easy to tune God out, avoid reading the Word -- things you can't do when it comes to obeying other PEOPLE
In other words, we're a lot like cats. We follow the house rules when it suits us, but when it means stayng off of those inviting counters, all bets are off!
What I'm thinking is that I'm glad I obeyed God when I felt the nudge to do this series with you. I was a little nervous that you would resist -- and maybe someone we haven't heard from is -- but from what I'm hearing, I think we're on the God-track. So let's continue.
Obedience Session #2
READ: John 4:1-30. This is a longer-than-usual passage but I hope you'll read it when you have some time to ponder and treasure. In case you don't have your Bible handy right this minute, this is the story of Jesuu and the Samaritan woman at the well. It's packed with all kinds of treasures, but the one I hope you'll focus on is this: (she goes to her poeple after talking to Jesus and says) "Come and see a man who told me everythng I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?" (NRSV)
IMAGINE AND PONDER: It seems to me that the Samaritan woman is right where we are at times. She saw Jesus with her own eyes; we know and believe he's for real. And yet -- how do we really know what he's asking us to do? We, like her and like the disciples at the wedding and the Jews in the temple when Jesus turns everything upside down, and Nicodemus when he sneaks out at night to talk to Jesus -- like all of them we want something SURE, something CONCRETE, a SIGN, a WONDER, so we'll know for certain what he's asking us to do. As you IMAGINE yourself in the place of the Samaritan woman with your own set of issues and struggles, PONDER this: What would it take for you to know what God wants you to do in this current situation?
PRAY: Staying with the scene you've imagined, draw or write out a prayer asking God to show you His will AND help you to trust GOd will show you -- perhaps without signs and wonders. Keep drawing or writing until you reach a place of peace
NUDGE TO ACTION:
SHARE: Tell us what you feel comfortable sharing about this experience. The hard part will be admitting that you really don't WANT to listen to Jesus sometimes, or that, as one of you bravely said, you avoid reading the BIble because you know what it's going to tell you! We've come a long way together, though, and we know how much honesty and support can mean. I don't even think I have to remind you any more not to "chastise" each other or climb into the pulpit and start holding forth. We're all in this together.
TREASURE CHEST: If between now and Friday you see or experience a "sign" or "wonder" that shows you God is right there in this with us, tuck a note or a symbol of it into your Treasure Chest. And if you think to, please share that too. Jesus performed miracles because he knew as human beings we needed that assurance at times. Let's celebrate when he does that -- because he still does.