Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.06.12

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FRIDAY — What Do You Want to Be Remembered For?
Big Point: You can live a life of significance . . . and it’s never too late to start!

This week we talked about what you should say and do before your Last Call. We have limited days on this earth. What kind of legacy are you leaving? How would you like to be remembered? In a survey by Rick Warren in which he asked these same questions, some of the responses he received were:

  • “Probably most importantly I want to be remembered as being a good mother to my children and a good wife to my husband and a good friend to all my friends.”
  • “I want to be remembered as being a very loving and supportive wife, a loving and uplifting mother who is close to her children, and a loving and supporting daughter, and a wonderful friend.”
  • “I want it to be remembered that I was a good father.”
  • “I don’t want to be remembered for anything bad.”
  • “I would like to be remembered as a great chef.”
  • “I’d like to be remembered as investing in the lives of my children and also giving them the tools to follow the Lord.”
  • “Probably my honesty. I think if you have convictions, you’ve got to follow through with those convictions. That will get you pretty much anywhere.”
  • “I would like to be remembered for leaving something a lot more positive toward our legacy.”

Although the above are good and noble things to be remembered for, not all of them have an eternal impact or Kingdom Contribution. The questions most relevant here and now are: If you were to die today, would your legacy have an eternal impact? If not, what do you need to change?

 

If I have no love for others, no desire to serve others, I should question whether Christ is in my life.
–Rick Warren

 

READ and THINK…Find the answers
The verse at the heart of this week’s message that we thought worth repeating is Philippian’s 2:4. What is God commanding us to do here?

Philippians 2:4 (New Living Translation)
Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

Answer:

In some of his final days before the crucifixion, Jesus gave instructions to his disciples as outlined in Mark 8:34-38. What do we need to do to leave a legacy of Kingdom Contributions?

Mark 8:34-38 (New Living Translation)
Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Answer:

LIVE…What will you do now?
Bob Buford, in his book Halftime Rules, offers us a way of rating just how we are doing in leading a life of significance—one with Kingdom Contribution. Write down your score, but also take time to write yourself some notes on possible changes that you can make to work toward being the person that Christ wants you to be.

 

Eight Options for Second Half Significance
(This is also appropriate for significance in the first half of your life)
Rate your involvement in each option, 1-no involvement, 5-high involvement

 

__ Volunteer: Donate substantial time and energy to a kingdom cause or ministry.

__ Donor: Contribute financial resources to a kingdom cause or ministry.

__ Business as Ministry: Use your business to accomplish kingdom work.

__ Partner: Team up as a silent partner with someone involved full-time in a kingdom cause and resource that individual in whatever ways to produce results.

__ Board Member: Provide expertise and support to non-profit organizations committed to a kingdom cause.

__ Parallel Career: Take on major responsibility in a kingdom cause, even as you continue to carry out your vocational commitments.

__ Career Change: Serve full-time in a kingdom cause or ministry.

__ Social Entrepreneur: Start and build a new non-profit organization to fulfill a kingdom cause or unmet need in an innovative way.

 

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know & do?
Making adjustments in your life is always difficult. Open your heart to God and ask Him for guidance as you consider what changes you want to make in your life so that your Last Call is significant way before you are “called.”

 

Weekend Updates! 

  • Searching for Ways to Live Life without Regret? A 6-week series by Andy Stanley entitled “Guardrails” will assist you in creating a life with appropriate boundaries and a clear focus. This class will take place at the Perrysburg and South Toledo campus ONLY beginning on April 16th at 7pm. KidKare is available for a small fee and it’s only $10.00 for the workbook that you can pick up at The Source book store. Register at cedarcreek.tv under the “get connected tab” then find classes and seminars and the campus you wish to attend.
  • Ladies, do you know that God sees you as Fabulous?And we do too! Join us on Thursday, May 17th from 6-10pm and Friday, May 18th from 9am-4pm and enjoy speakers like Nicole Johnson, of Women of Faith, and Sarah Hammitt, wife of Sanctus Real’s Matt Hammitt, and others as they share their stories and inspirational messages of just how Fabulous we are in God’s sight. This year’s theme, “It’s Women’s Work,” will prove to be just as wonderful as last year’s event. Except you don’t want to wait to register as tons of tickets have already been sold and there are a limited number of seats. Register by going to cedarcreek.tv under the “get connected” tab.

 

Living It Out: April 2012
“Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?'”
John 11:25-26 (NLT)

 

Living It Out
It is the dream of CedarCreek that everyone who calls this their church home will be reading and studying the same topics, both individually and in groups. Each week, join with thousands of others at CedarCreek Church in applying God’s Word, the Bible, into your daily life. Our hope is that while we learn and grow together, as individuals and as a church, we will collectively live out the weekend message.

Living It Out resources, such as the Daily Bible Study, Daily Bible Reading Plan, Discussion Questions and Scripture Memory Verses are designed to help us embrace a missional mindset…a mindset that compels us to love Jesus, serve others and tell the world about Christ.

Living It Out: Daily Bible Study…Daily Bible study activities to reflect on the weekend message

Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan…Read through the Bible in 1 year—Old and New Testament will alternate month to month.

Living It Out: Discussion Questions…Weekly questions to discuss with others

Living It Out: Scripture Memory…Memorize one Bible verse per month

All of these resources are also available electronically at www.livingitout.tv, where you can subscribe to have any or all of them emailed to you as they are updated.

We Want Your Feedback!
Tell us about any questions or comments you have about this week’s Living It Out: Daily Bible Study. Forward them to DianaP@cedarcreek.tv

Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan scriptures are listed for each day. By completing each of the daily readings, you will read the entire Old Testament in 1 year. These readings are separate from the Daily Bible Study.

 

RESOURCES:

“Leaving a Legacy” by Rick Warren

Halftime Rules by Bob Buford

Steve Job’s 2005 Commencement Speech at Stanford University

 

This week’s Living It Out Daily Bible Study written by:
Kaye Althaus
Rebecka Blevins
Tammy Kaiser
Rick Kinney

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.05.12

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THURSDAY — Make a Contribution
Big Point: As Christians, leaving a legacy is more than being remembered for the earthly things we have done; it is about making Kingdom Contributions.

Have you ever wondered how the seconds and minutes and hours of our days add up? In his sermon, Leaving a Legacy, Rick Warren said:

  • If you’re an average American you’re going to live about 25,550 days.
  • If you live to your 70th birthday you will spend 23 years of your life sleeping.
  • You will spend 17 years of your life working.
  • You will spend 11 years of your life watching TV and playing.
  • You will spend 6 years of your life traveling.
  • You will spend 6 years of your life eating.
  • You will spend 2 years of your life getting ready.
  • You will spend 1 year of your life going to church.

Is that really what a successful or even a significant life is all about? So many people today are miserable. We are encouraged to live for ourselves and are told that our success is measured by the material things we accumulate. If this is true, why are successful people sometimes bored and unfulfilled? The reason is that our self-esteem comes from service to others. Success, in and of itself does not “satisfy.” You reach a certain goal only to realize that once the goal is achieved you have to continue to reach for other goals to top the one you just reached. God says that if you give your life away you will save it (Mark 8:35). Only by giving will you find true happiness and joy. You can start giving by finding a ministry at church to serve in. Help make coffee, volunteer in a kids’ ministry, find a way to utilize your talents and resources.

Instead of living for success and yourself, start living for others. Give your life away to a cause greater than yourself. There is no greater cause than doing what God put you on the earth to do. That’s called a Kingdom Contribution. It means doing what God made you to do, doing what you were shaped to do. Through this you will get fulfillment and happiness here and now in this world, and eternal rewards in Heaven.

 

READ and THINK…Find the answers
Jesus tells a parable of a master entrusting three servants with bags of silver while he goes out of town. Two of the servants invest the money and it multiplies. Matthew 25:23 is the master’s response to those two servants when he returns. In this parable, who is our master? What must we do to gain our master’s approval? What is our reward?

Matthew 25:23 (New Living Translation)
The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

Answer:

Read Romans 12:1. What does it mean to offer our bodies as living sacrifices? For what reason are we to offer our bodies as living sacrifices? How are we to worship God?

Romans 12:1 (New International Version)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Answer:

Read Mark 8:35. What happens when you try to hang on to your life? How can you save your life?

Mark 8:35 (New Living Translation)
If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.

Answer:

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
God says that only through giving to others will we find lasting happiness and fulfillment. Instead of living for ourselves, we are supposed to live for others. Write down specific things you can do to live for others.

 

Volunteering in a church ministry is a good way to serve others and to utilize your God-given talents or resources. List three talents/resources that God has given you.

 

Talents/Resources
1.
2.
3.

Are you using these talents/resources for God today? If so, how?

 

If not, brainstorm ministries/volunteer opportunities where you could serve others and utilize these talents. If you cannot think of ideas, read the ATC (Around the ‘Creek) newsletter for specific areas at each campus in need of volunteers, or go to cedarcreek.tv and find “get connected” to find volunteer opportunities. Also, pray and ask God for direction in how He wants you to use your talents/resources.

Write down some of your ideas regarding areas in which you can serve.

 

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know & do?
Thank God for the talents and resources that He has given you. Thank God for the opportunity to serve Him and others. Pray and ask God to reveal to you how you can serve Him and others. Pray and ask God to lead you to a ministry or volunteer opportunity that will enable you to serve Him and others so you can feel good when you start working on your Last Call.

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.04.12

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WEDNESDAY— Say: I Appreciate You
Big Point: Saying I appreciate you is more than saying “Thank you.” Appreciation is the expression of thankfulness and gratitude.

Appreciation is an acknowledgement of God’s generosity toward us and is a virtue that shapes not only our emotions and thoughts but our actions and deeds as well. Even if someone knows they are appreciated, a show of appreciation is always a welcomed gesture. The website eHow suggests five ways that appreciation can be shown:

1. Tell the person how much you appreciate him/her. Sometimes that can be enough. Always thank people for the things they do and tell them you appreciate them even when they have not done anything in particular.

2. Schedule time to spend with them. Sometimes just spending time with someone is the greatest gift that can be given. Jesus taught about the importance of fellowship with other Christians. Spending time with others is a way to uplift and encourage them.

3. Give a gift without an occasion. The gift can be as simple as spending time with them, helping with a needed chore or sharing a meal. It is not the expense of the gift that counts but the thought that goes into it.

4. Do something for others without being asked. Show your appreciation by taking care of the kids for a day, cooking dinner or doing a particular chore they may dislike doing.

5. Always make time to listen. You can show someone you appreciate them every day by making time for them. Showing this type of appreciation shouldn’t be a one-time event—strive to do it daily.

It often does not take much to show someone that they are appreciated, it just takes deciding to do it, figuring out how to do it, and to doing it often!

 

READ and THINK…Find the answers
Gratitude goes hand in hand with appreciation. Focusing on the blessing you have makes it easier to be appreciative towards others. Read Philippians 4:6. What does this scripture say about expressing gratitude, and who are we suppose to express it to?

Philippians 4:6 (New Living Translation)
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

Answer:

Read Hebrews 10:24. What are we supposed to motivate others to do? How can we motivate others towards these actions?

Hebrews 10:24 (New Living Translation)
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

Answer:

Reread the five ways that appreciation can be shown, as listed above. How do these actions tie into Philippians 2:4?

Philippians 2:4 (New Living Translation)
Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

Answer:

LIVE…What will you do now?
What are you doing right now to show your loved ones—family, friends, co-workers—that you appreciate them? After all you have learned today, do you think it is often enough?

 

Spend some time thinking about how you can show appreciation to others. Write down the names of three people that you appreciate. What steps can you take this week to show your appreciation?

Person                            Action
1.
2.
3.

Often we encourage our readers of the Living it Out to keep a gratitude journal. The reason we encourage this activity is because of the awareness it brings. This week keep a gratitude journal; every day write down five things that you are grateful for. This is not extensive, time-consuming journaling. It is a quick and powerful list of the blessings already in your life. Enjoy and Rejoice!

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

As you keep your journal for the week, express how listing your blessings helped you show appreciation for others. Did keeping a gratitude journal help you to focus on the blessings that God has given you? Make sure to spend time thanking God for these blessings.

 

Just as we are to show appreciation, we also like it when others show appreciation towards us. If you are feeling unappreciated by someone in your life, have an honest conversation with them. Be open and not defensive. Work together to make sure the needs of each person are being met.

 

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Pray and give appreciation and gratitude to God for who He is and all He has done in your life. Pray and ask God to help you to show your appreciation toward other. Pray for an attitude of gratitude in all you do so that when your Last Call comes, you will be able to pull out a list of blessings from your gratitude journal.

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.03.12

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TUESDAY — Say: I Love You
Big Point: It is always important to say the words “I love you” because you never know when it may be your last chance.

In the 1994 movie, 8 Seconds, American rodeo legend and world bull riding champion Lane Frost is depicted from his youth until his death in 1989. He learns the tricks of the bull riding trade from his father, Clyde Frost. Clyde pushes his son to be a great bull rider—but eventually his son dies. Clyde’s regret is he never told his son that he loved him.

Lane’s real-life mom, Elsie Frost, commented on the movie saying, “It makes you know that you should tell everyone you love them because you might not ever have another chance.”

There are a myriad of websites on the following topics: How to Say I Love You, 64 Ways to Say I Love You, and Say I Love You in 100 Languages. But what’s at the heart of Christian love? Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35).

Today we are going to look at God’s design for love and the importance of saying those words to the people in our lives.

 

Smile at each other, smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other–it doesn’t matter who it is– and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other.
–Mother Theresa

 

READ and THINK…What does the Bible say?
Read Matthew 19:19 and explain what it means to love your neighbor as yourself. What are some examples of how to put this into action?

 

Matthew 19:19 (New Living Translation)
Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Answer:

According to John 13:35 how is the world supposed to recognize us as Christ-followers? Why do you think Jesus cited this action as proof of our allegiance, instead of the Ten Commandants or other religious symbols?

John 13:35 (New Living Translation)
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.

Answer:

We talked about the movie 8 Seconds. How can the example of Clyde Frost and James 4:14 motivate you to say “I Love You”?

James 4:14 (New Living Translation)
How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.

Answer:

 

We are not held back by the love we didn’t receive in the past, but by the love we’re not extending in the present.
-Marianne Williamson

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
Does showing your affection come naturally to you, or is it difficult? Can you think of past experiences or relationships that may contribute to this?

If there are past experiences or relationships in your life that were not affectionate or did not display love, how can you use those experiences as a lesson in the importance of telling your loved ones what they mean to you?

 

For many people, especially men, it may be easier to show love through actions instead of words. Lee used the expression “Man Love” and how hard it is, at times, for men to express this type of love, especially man to man. But what makes the words so powerful to hear?

 

The movie Fireproof is the story of a successful, well-respected Georgia fire captain whose marriage does not enjoy the same success. Caleb and his wife cannot seem to stop arguing unless they occupy different rooms. With divorce threatening and his motivation waning, Caleb seeks advice from his father, who’s newly birthed faith in Christ leads him to offer Caleb a Love Dare. As Caleb works through The Love Dare devotionals, Christ begins to change Caleb and his marriage from the inside out, giving hope that perhaps his marriage can be “reborn” as well.

 

From The Love Dare: The first part of this dare is fairly simple. Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart.

A DARE: For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse or a loved one. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It’s better to hold your tongue than to say something you’ll regret.

__ Check here when you complete today’s dare.

What did you learn from doing this dare? Did anything happen today to cause anger toward your mate or loved one? Were you tempted to think disapproving thoughts and to let them come out in words? Was your spouse or loved one surprised by the things you didn’t say? Write some of your thoughts and experiences below:

 

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Tell God that you love Him, and what His love means to you. Just as humans need to hear the words, God also desires to hear you say “I Love You”. If you have difficulty expressing these words, ask God for help.

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 04.02.12

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“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there” (Steve Jobs, “2005 Stanford University commencement speech”). Most of us do not like thinking about death. In fact, it is common for people to be afraid of death and dying. Some of the fear stems from the unknown and regrets. What happens when I die? Did I spend enough time with my parents and children? Am I leaving a positive legacy?

In 2005 Steve Jobs came face-to-face with death. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Originally his outlook wasn’t good, but a biopsy discovered that it was a rare, treatable form of pancreatic cancer. During that time, Steve gave a commencement speech at Stanford University. He shared some of his personal history, then his more widely known vocational history, but the last third of his speech was about death. He heard a quote at age 17 that changed his life: “If you live each day as if it were your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” From that moment on he began to evaluate his daily life and activities as if it were his last day.

Jobs goes on to say, “In reality, death is the single best investment in life. It is a change agent to clear out the old to get to the new. Now the new is you. But the fact is that someday, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by ‘dogma,’ that is, living with the results of someone else’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition—these thoughts somehow already know what you want to become.”

Lee concluded the Happy Hour series with his talk Last Call. He started with a clip from the movie, 8 Seconds, and the regrets one father had in never telling his son he loved him. Clyde Frost trained and encouraged his son Lane to be a champion bull rider, but after Lane was killed by a bull, his father realized it was too late to express his deep love for his son. James 4:14 reminds us of this same urgency, “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”

What will happen when it’s your Last Call? Have you given it much thought? Have you ever had a moment where death was just around the corner, like it was for Jyl Dushane as she expressed in her video testimony?

This week we are going to look at what words we need to express to those around us—family, friends and co-workers—words of affection, gratitude and forgiveness when faced with our Last Call. We will look at the power those words bring. Then on Thursday and Friday we will look at leaving a legacy. Is your legacy a seeming success story, or will you leave a legacy of Kingdom Contributions with eternal impacts; or are you striving for both?

Take time this week to examine your Last Call!

 

“If you live each day as if it were your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.”
-Steve Jobs

MONDAY — Say: I’m Sorry and I Forgive You
Big Point:
It takes a strong person to say I’m sorry, and an even stronger person to forgive.

The words “I’m sorry” are some of the most powerful words in our vocabulary. With their utterance, relationships can be healed, grief can be alleviated and the scars of the past wounds can be remedied. But it begins with taking an honest look at the baggage we carry.

We all understand the general concept of forgiveness, but most of us are not especially proficient on the specifics of how to do it.

1. Acknowledge that you have been seriously hurt. Sometimes we pretend to not be hurt but forgiveness can’t start until we are willing to admit that we have been hurt.

2. Surrender your right to get even. Leave the ultimate justice to God and deliberately choose the path of forgiveness.

3. Search for the real person beneath the evil mask. We begin to find reasons for our hearts to turn toward mercy.

4. Desire that good things should happen to your wrongdoer. It may seem impossible but the ultimate goal is for their hearts to be good.

5. If possible, enjoy the healed relationship. Renewed relationships can only come through forgiveness. However, not all relationships can be or should be reconciled. It may not be healthy or safe to continue the relationship.

www.SermonCentral.com

Apologizing does not always mean that you are wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.
-The Board of Wisdom


READ and THINK…What does the Bible say?
In our daily lives, we come in contact with people every day in all kinds of places, and under many different circumstances. Can you say that you are at peace with everyone you come in contact with? Why or why not? According to Romans 12:18, how are we supposed to live with the people we come in contact with? What are we suppose to do to ensure we live that way?

Romans 12:18 (New Living Translation)
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

Answer:

In Colossians 3:13, what reason are we given to forgive others? Why is this significant?

Colossians 3:13 (New Living Translation)
Make allowances for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Answer:

What does Ephesians 4:31 say are the barriers that prevent us from forgiving others? Instead, what does verse 32 say our actions should be.

Ephesians 4:31-32 (New Living Translation)
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Answer:

The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.
-Thomas Szasz

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
Search your thoughts for the person in your life that needs your forgiveness. Has the pain they caused you overwhelmed you and created barriers that have become obstacles? Reread Ephesians 4:31. Which of these barriers is preventing you from offering your forgiveness? Pray for God to remove that barrier and open your heart to forgiving that person.

Person:
Barrier:

Can an apology be simply that you are sorry that the relationship has been hurt by the event? Is there anyone you need to apologize to? Who?

Make a plan to apologize to this person. If an apology is not that simple, then make a plan anyway to prepare yourself for when you are ready to make amends. Being prepared will equip you with a more peaceful attitude. Be sure to understand that part of the process is forgiveness. Using the specifics on how to forgive (opposite page), outline the steps you should take on your path to forgiveness.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

In both Colossians and Ephesians we read that we are supposed to remember the Lord’s forgiveness towards us. How does remembering the love of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on the cross change your thoughts on being able to forgive?

 

PRAY… God what do you want me to know and do?
Ask God to help you see your own wrongdoings and how they affect those around you. Ask for strength and humility. Make the choice to forgive and hand it over to God. Pray for good things to come to those who have hurt you before it’s your Last Call.

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 03.30.12

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FRIDAY — Go on, Be Abnormal—It’s Normal!
Big Point: Put your abnormal life into action, live out God’s dream and connect in community—through a CedarCreek group ministry and beyond!

Hopefully you felt challenged this week. In fact, our hope is that you never settle—that you always strive to be the best that God has called you to be. This Living It Out Bible study was meant to share God’s dream and how we have to work at making that dream come alive. We play a major role in that. We cannot settle. We must move forward and push past any lie that Satan may feed us that we have it all together, that we are better than others and that we don’t have to put the time into our spiritual growth.

Did you catch the video from this past weekend regarding Debbie Patton and her husband Bob? Debbie and Bob had the picture-perfect life. That’s until Bob broke his neck, was in assisted living for many years and then upon his discharge, Debbie found out she had Thyroid cancer. Their family began to crumble.

But, because CedarCreek has chosen to fulfill God’s dream, by being in community with  God and others and not settling, we began to be God’s hands and feet, as abnormal as we all are, for Debbie and Bob, to help get their family back on track.

We did exactly what Santcus Real writes about—we have no time for fighting or closed doors—we always need to be willing to make allowances for each other’s faults by sticking with each other, during the highs and lows. After all—we truly do realize that no one wants to be alone!

 

We Need Each Other
Sanctus Real © 2008

Oh, oh, we need each other so what’s the fighting for
Oh, oh, we need each other, please don’t close the door
Oh, oh, we need each other through all the highs and lows
Oh, oh, we need each other ’cause no one’s meant to be alone

 

REVIEW and THINK …
It’s time to begin to think of our lives as abnormal—it’s an honor to live differently and we should thank God for our special gifts. Take some time to answer the following questions and write out a plan of action of how and when you intend to implement each step:

1. How aware are you of your “abnormal-scale?” What’s an abnormal-scale? It’s how  knowledgeable you are that you are abnormal and how easy it is it for you to make allowances for others who are much different from you. Look at the scale below and circle where you think you are.

How often do you view yourself as abnormal or different?

1………2………3………4………5………6………7………8………9………10

[never]          [rarely]          [most times]          [almost always]          [always]

 

How easy is it for you to make allowances for others who are much different from you?

1………2………3………4………5………6………7………8………9………10

[never]         [rarely]          [most times]         [almost always]          [always]

 

2. Write out two action steps that you will take—perhaps you will try to think or act a certain way, when you find yourself having to deal with someone who is different from you. If you struggle with this question, look back to Thursday’s Living it Out.

Action step #1:
Action step #2:

3. What steps have you taken to get into community with others within CedarCreek church in order to remain accountable? List two groups that you are actively involved with at CedarCreek—such as a 4:15 group, LifeGroup, Life Support, Student Ministry, Momentum:

Group #1:
Group #2

4. How often do you create community beyond the walls of CedarCreek? Do you make contact with your neighbors? Do you know who they are? Write out two action steps that you can take this weekend and through the month of April to create community within your neighborhood and within your own community.

Action step #1:
Action step #2:

PRAY…God, what do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to help you fulfill His dream—not to kill it—to always live out the Golden Rule and to create community so that you can always Love Jesus, Serve Others and Tell the World about Christ!

 

Weekend Updates!

  • Want to get baptized? A baptism class will be held at 4pm at the Perrysburg campus followed by New Community at 6pm on Sunday, April 1st.
  • There’s still time to inquire about going on a mission trip: Attend the mission meetings this weekend, March 31st and April 1st, to be held after every service to learn more about the fall mission trips to La Ceiba and Choluteca Honduras. If you are  interested in any additional information, please contact Karen McMillian at karenm@cedarcreek.tv.
  • Easter—Invite Central: Can you believe April is almost here? That means Easter is upon us and it’s time to celebrate our Savior’s resurrection. Invite friends and family to any one of the many services on April 6th, 7th, and 8th. Check out this weekend’s ATC for service times.
  • Ladies, do you know that God sees you as Fabulous? … And we do too!  Join us on Thursday, May 17th from 6-10pm and Friday, May 18th from 9-4pm and enjoy speakers like Nicole Johnson, of Women of Faith, and Sarah Hammitt, wife of Sanctus Real’s Matt Hammitt, and others as they share their stories and inspirational messages of just how Fabulous we are in God’s sight.  This year’s theme, “It’s Women’s Work,” will prove to be just as wonderful as last year’s event. Except you don’t want to wait to register as tons of tickets have already been sold and there are a limited number of seats. Register by going to cedarcreek.tv under the “get connected” tab.

 

Living It Out: March 2012
“But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgement by the truth I have spoken.”
John 12:48

 

Living It Out
It is the dream of CedarCreek that everyone who calls this their church home will be reading and studying the same topics, both individually and in groups. Each week, join with thousands of others at CedarCreek Church in applying God’s Word, the Bible, into your daily life. Our hope is that while we learn and grow together, as individuals and as a church, we will collectively live out the weekend message.

Living It Out resources, such as the Daily Bible Study, Daily Bible Reading Plan, Discussion Questions and Scripture Memory Verses are designed to help us embrace a missional mindset…a mindset that compels us to love Jesus, serve others and tell the world about Christ.

Living It Out: Daily Bible Study…Daily Bible study activities to reflect on the weekend message

Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan…Read through the Bible in 1 year—Old and New Testament will alternate month to month.

Living It Out: Discussion Questions…Weekly questions to discuss with others

Living It Out: Scripture Memory…Memorize one Bible verse per month

All of these resources are also available electronically at www.livingitout.tv, where you can subscribe to have any or all of them emailed to you as they are updated.

We Want Your Feedback!
Tell us about any questions or comments you have about this week’s Living It Out: Daily Bible Study. Forward them to DianaP@cedarcreek.tv

Living It Out: Daily Bible Reading Plan scriptures are listed for each day. By completing each of the daily readings, you will read the entire Old Testament in 1 year. These readings are separate from the Daily Bible Study.

 

RESOURCES:
Everyone Seems Normal Until You Get to Know Them
John Ortberg

This week’s Living It Out Daily Bible Study written by:
Diana Patton
Sandie Bricker
Ryan Wilson

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 03.29.12

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THURSDAY –  Dream Fulfilled:  The Golden Rule
Big Point:  Don’t make the old saying “do to others what you would want them to do for you”  just an “old saying.” Make it a way of life!

Yesterday we talked about the “Dream Killer” … this false belief that we are normal—when, in fact, we are all abnormal and we tend to live our lives with our “quills” out, as described in the introduction to this week’s Bible study. Well, it’s a good thing that Wade Sobczak and his wife Emily didn’t have their quills out on the day they met their Chili’s restaurant waitress, April. Here’s a brief summary of their encounter:

When April approached Wade and Emily, she looked drastically different from them—she looked a little gothic, black eyeliner, black nail polish, wearing a choker, etc. But, that did not bother Wade and Emily, and as a result, they struck up a conversation with April and found out that she was new to the area, was divorced and a single mom with two kids. Well, just as Wade was going to pull out an invite card for her to come to church, April invited them to a Haunted House that her friend ran and she proceeded to give them an invite card—with pictures of demon heads and all. Wade went on to say, “What a coincidence, I wanted to invite you to something as well!” and he handed her an invite card to church. April said that she would love to check it out because she’s been looking for a church since she moved here. Wade and Emily went on to explain CedarCreek’s wonderful children’s ministry and other fine aspects of our church and, wouldn’t you know it, April eventually showed up for church. Yay God! April eventually went on a church tour and learned about the single mom’s car care clinic and she and her children absolutely fell in love! She especially liked CedarCreek’s relaxed and casual atmosphere and she didn’t feel like she got a bunch of odd looks, unlike other churches she visited.

Isn’t that a great story? Like we said, good thing Wade and Emily didn’t have their quills out. And, it’s a good thing that CedarCreek doesn’t have their quills out when meeting people at church. Now, just imagine the many people that April will touch and bring to Christ.  Do you think God is happy with that? You betcha! We can all learn from this story: Don’t just say the golden rule. Live it! And in return, we’ll fulfill God’s dream of being in community with others!  (Now, the question is, did Wade and Emily go to the Haunted House? … hmmm)

 

READ & THINK….Find the Answers
What does Matthew 7:12 say is the summary of all that was taught in the law and the prophets?

Matthew 7:12 (New Living Translation)
Do for others what you would like them to do for you. This is a summary of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

Answer:

What two things are mentioned in Philippians 2:3 that we should not do? What should we do instead?

Philippians 2:3 (New Living Translation)
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 

Answer:

Devotion … it’s a key element toward living the life that God wants us to live. What does Acts 2:42 say we should be devoted to?

Acts 2:42 (New Living Translation)
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. 

Answer:

 

LIVE …What will you do now?
Let’s be honest, today’s big point is pretty hard to live by and most of us struggle. It’s not often that we find ourselves doing things for other people in a manner that we’d want things done for ourselves. Most of us are selfish by nature (we don’t want to be, we just are). In what ways do you perhaps struggle to live out Matthew 7:12?

 

Yesterday, we said that everyone is abnormal. Wade and Emily in the intro story seemed to have accepted this fact and decided to live out Matthew 7:12.  Describe a time where you encountered someone who was drastically different from you. Did you walk the other way, ignore them, talk about them—or, did you engage in conversation with them, overlooking their abnormality and forgoing any attempts to be selfish? Do tell.

 

In thinking about your spiritual walk, would you consider yourself exploring Christ, growing in Christ, close to Christ or mature in Christ? However you describe yourself, what steps do you take to constantly keep yourself in a humble position, always considering others better than you? Here’s a hint: Reread Acts 2:42 and then write out how devoted you are to Christ’s teaching, to fellowship and to prayer.

 

PRAY … God what do you want me to know and do?
Today is oh so challenging without God’s help. Ask Him to help you to always do for others as you would have them do to you, to stop making the focus about you and to humbly make it about others—living devoted to Christ and his teaching.

 

Living It Out – Daily Bible Study 03.28.12

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WEDNESDAY — Dream Killer: We are all Abnormal
Big Point: 
The minute you think you’ve got it all together, that you belong in the “in crowd,” and that you are much better than the average “Joe,” stop and check yourself: you are just as freaky and abnormal!

Ah yes, we all love to think we are much better than the next person. It’s just our human nature. In fact, as we grow in our Christian maturity, we have to work even harder to remember that we are all abnormal, as we mentioned in the introduction to this Bible study. Don’t believe it? Well, if you have been taking the time to read the Daily Bible Reading plan, you’ll notice we’ve spent quite a bit of time in the Old Testament. Did you get a chance to read about the messed-up families and freaky folks in Genesis? John Ortberg, in his book Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them, provides a quick summary of those individuals in Genesis and their stories:

Cain is jealous of Abel and kills him. Lamech introduces polygamy to the world. Noah—the most righteous man of his generation—gets drunk and curses his own grandson. Lot, when his home is surrounded by residents of Sodom who want to violate his visitors, offers instead that they can have sex with his daughters (What?). Later on, his daughters get him drunk and get impregnated by him—and Lot is the most righteous in Sodom!

Abraham plays favorites between his sons Isaac and Ishmael; the sons are estranged. Issac plays favorites between his sons Jacob and Esau; they’re bitter enemies for twenty years. Jacob plays favorites between Joseph and his other eleven sons; the brothers want to kill Joseph and end up selling him into slavery. Their marriages are disasters: Abraham has sex with his wife’s servant, then sends her and their son off to the wilderness at his wife’s request … (and there’s more…)

Whew—completely whacked-out, jacked-up, crazy, freaky, abnormal, right? You get the picture. Our hearts are naturally messed up and immoral, we constantly battle our sinful nature and we ALL sin and fall short. Bottom line: We have to get off our “high-horse” and fall down at the foot of the cross, every single day—no matter your maturity level in Christ.

READ & THINK…Find the answers
Have you ever found yourself saying “he or she has a good heart?” Have you ever stopped to think about what is truly in a person’s heart? Read Mark 7:21-23 and write out what is typically found in a person’s heart and where it come from. Worse yet, what happens when it stays there?

Mark 7:21-23 (New Living Translation)
For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, and deceit, eagerness for lustful pleasure,  envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these vile things come from within, they are what defile you.

Answer:

What does 1 John 1:8 say happens to us when we get full of ourselves and act like we do no wrong? What does verse 9 say we should do instead?

1 John 1:8-9 (New Living Translation)
If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. 9But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from every wrong. 

Answer:

It doesn’t matter how mature you are as a Christian or how new in Christ you are, we all need to be reminded of what Romans 3:23 tells us. Read it for yourself again (it just never gets old!).

Romans 3:23 (New Living Translation)
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

 

LIVE…What will you do now?
Be honest with yourself, how often do you consider yourself better than others? Don’t immediately brush off this question with “oh, I don’t do that.” Perhaps incidents like these could jog your memory: When you are driving along and someone cuts you off, do you ever say “you idiot” or maybe just think it. What about when you hear someone make a mistake? Or say perhaps someone is drastically different from you—wears different clothing, speaks with an accent, is slow in any way, or just has an interesting way of approaching life? Any thoughts come up now? Go ahead and write them out (don’t worry, we can’t see your answer).

 

What steps can you take to make certain you don’t lull yourself into this false belief that you are better than others?  What steps will you take this week?

 

How often do you check your heart? We are not talking about the cholesterol that  builds up plaque that may be clogging your arteries. Rather, we are talking about the “plaque” that’s discussed in Mark 7:21-23. Do you believe it’s necessary to ask God to clean your heart on a regular basis? Why or why not?

 

Let’s say that you found yourself in a conversation today in which you were talking to a spiritually restless person—someone who is just fed-up with the church. How would you go about being transparent with them and describing your shortcomings to encourage them that you are simply a sinner saved by grace, write out how your conversation would go.

 

 

PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Ask God to keep you in check—always remembering that we are all sinners. Ask Him to help you use your special gifts and abnormal life in a way that glorifies Him and naturally leads others to Christ.