MONTHLY ARCHIVES: October 2016

Biggest Fear or New Found Wonder of the World?

Posted on October 28, 2016 by kgreenwell

Hi Everyone!

So, if someone were to ask me what my biggest fear was, although there are most definitely things that are far greater fears to me than this, I’d probably say SPIDERS!

They give me the heebie geebies. I can hardly thinking about or look at them without cringing. They are small, can hide, and are just straight up creepy. They have 8 creepy little legs that, when they get on you, make your skin crawl! I could go further but if you aren’t afraid of them, I don’t want to foster that fear.

Why bring this up? Well, because our friend Hayley Martin (2016, 2017 Videographer) just shared a video with me of this “greatest fear” of mine. And, as opposed to closing it right away, I couldn’t stop watching! And, I HAD to share it!

This “creepy” little fellow is amazing!

#1 He’s a climber.

#2 He knows exactly what he’s doing.

#3 Look how precise he is. He doesn’t even have a ruler or level!

#4 His body is literally making his climbing rope, his home, his safety net, his food catcher, and I’m sure more!

#5 Think about how creative, smart, and loving his Creator is to make him be able to do all of this! There’s no way that little guy could have just “happened”!

Check out this video…

God says He tells us about Himself thought His creation!

“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” Romans 1:20

So, challenge for the day, what does this little guy tell you about your amazing Creator!? What are YOUR #1-#5!? Same or different than mine??

Share your thoughts in a comment if you’d like, I promise I’ll talk back! Scout might too 😉

Whether or not you have a ton of thoughts, I hope you’ll enjoy this amazing like critter and think about his amazing Creator.

Much love,

KTG


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Top 5 Reasons To Read the Green & White

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Sharon

#5: If you can’t be at your favorite place, you might as well read about it!

#4: Green & White is obviously everyone’s favorite colors!

#3: We spend hours coming up with fun things to share with you to keep you excited about the summer!

#2: Who knows, if you comment on our posts and ask Amanda and Grace to do something crazy, they may actually do it!

And last but certainly not least (maybe even the best reason)…

#1: Scout reads it, why shouldn’t you?

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Genuine Giving

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Karah

img_7653Pause

Reflect on this quote by Dennis Bakke:

“What is the chief end of giving? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

Earlier in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus had explained that following Him would affect His followers’ relationships. Then, as we’ll study the next few weeks, He began to detail how that relationship would transform their daily lives and decisions. Read Matthew 6:1-4 in your Bible.

“But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” —Matthew 6:4

The fact that Jesus’ followers would give was a given. Offerings and generosity were already important parts of the Jewish culture. But Jesus wanted His followers to understand that the motivation for giving was just as important as the act. Think through these questions:

-What does unrighteous giving look like? Why is it important that we are genuine in our desire to give?

-According to this passage, what is our reward when we give because we want others to see how good we are? What is the reward when we give because we want to honor Jesus?

-Think about the people you know. Who is a good example of a genuine, righteous giver? How does that person’s generosity help you to know more about Jesus? Explain.

Respond

-There’s no denying that all believers struggle with wanting approval; however, in a heart that has been changed by God, there should be a battle against the sinful desire of seeking the applause of others. Our ultimate goal should be that God be recognized and praised because of our giving.

-Think about a recent act of giving. Ask yourself: Did I give to make myself look good or to glorify God?

-If your motives were less than genuine, repent and ask God to change your heart.

-Thank God for His generosity toward you in Jesus. Stress that you wouldn’t know what true generosity was if the Father had not sent Jesus.

-For further study on how to give, read Deuteronomy 15:10 and 2 Corinthians 9:7.

Behind the Story

The phrase “to announce it with trumpets” in verse 2 could have been a literal description because the receptacles for offerings at the temple were in a shape of a trumpet. When coins were dropped into the repository, the offering made a loud noise, drawing attention. Whether it was a literal or figurative example, the meaning is clear. Jesus’ followers should avoid making a big show of their generosity.

The Point

Jesus’ followers will give to the needy out of grace and mercy rather that to gain praise from the world.


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Choose Love

Posted on October 18, 2016 by Karah

img_3025Pause

Turn off your phone, the TV, your computer, and any other distraction that might keep you from fully focusing on the Lord for the next few minutes. Ask the Lord to help you concentrate only on Him as you study Scripture today.

Who are some famous enemies? List a few that come to mind.

While you may not have a so-called archenemy in your life, there are probably people you don’t like or who mistreat you. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus even had something to say about how we should treat those people. Read Matthew 5:43-48 in your Bible.

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” —Matthew 5:44-45

Answer these questions:

How did Jesus’ command fly in the face of the general thinking of the day? How did it call His followers to a higher standard? Explain.

Why would He tell us to love those who hurt us? Can we truly do that in our own strength or power? Why or why not?

What could be the end result of Christians actually living out this command? Explain.

Respond

Think about the people in your life right now. Who are your “enemies,” the people who it is difficult for you to love, encourage, or help? Someone who is easy for you to overlook? The genuine test of true Christianity is how believers treat those they dislike or who have mistreated them. Jot down the names that came to mind in your journal. Commit to pray for these people, their relationship with Jesus, and for God to help you love them.

In your journal, list two ways you could begin to show those people the love of Jesus this week. Pray for God to strengthen you and give you the courage to follow through with your ideas. Ask that He would use your interactions to draw these people closer to Himself.

For further study of what loving your enemies looks like, read Romans 12:20; 1 Corinthians 4:12; and 1 Peter 2:23.

Behind the Story

The words “love your neighbor” appear in Leviticus 19:18. However, nowhere in the Old Testament is anyone commanded to hate their enemies. Evidently, though, some of Jesus’ contemporaries argued that the command to love your neighbor also implied the opposite—that a person was to hate everyone who was not his neighbor.5 Jesus’ instruction flew in the face of this idea.

The Point

A relationship with Jesus transforms the way we treat even those who dislike or mistreat us.

 

5Holman Christian Standard® Study Bible Notes for Matthew 5:43. Available at: http://msb.to/&lRhFSmp


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Going the Extra Mile

Posted on October 11, 2016 by Karah

dsc_9842Pause

Focus on all that you have to be thankful for today. Thank the Lord for His faithfulness and provision in your life.

Revenge n.= To avenge (as oneself) usually by retaliating in kind or degree; to inflict injury in return for an insult

Think about our world today. We live in a culture that craves revenge. The general expectation is that people should pay for every way they’ve wronged us. How do you see that to be true in society today? Record a few ideas in your journal.

Revenge isn’t a new issue. Jesus had something to say about it in the Sermon on the Mount. ReadMatthew 5:38-42 in your Bible.

“You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I tell you, don’t resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” —Matthew 5:38-39

Ask yourself:

Why do you think revenge is such a temptation when someone wrongs us? Explain.

What does Jesus say we should do instead of exacting revenge on others? Write it in your own words.

Think about a situation in your life where you might want revenge. How would showing compassion instead of anger point others to Jesus?

Respond

Is there a situation you’re facing right now in which you’re tempted to hold a grudge instead of extending grace to the other person? Pray over that situation, asking Jesus to fill you with His love so you can respond as He would.

Journal a prayer, asking God to change your perspective and help you choose love and mercy over revenge.

Pray by name for the people in your life who are constantly seeking revenge and payback. Ask God to give you opportunities to turn the other cheek or go the extra mile in their lives.

Behind the Story

Originally, the “eye-for-an-eye” law was not given to exact revenge, but to legislate justice. Jesus, however, called His followers to a different response, one  designed to display the mercy and grace God has shown us. How would truly living like this change the way the world views Christians?

The Point

Mercy and grace—not revenge—should characterize our conduct and treatment of others.


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Promises

Posted on October 4, 2016 by Karah

img_9457Pause

Before you begin, listen to one or two of your favorite worship songs to help quiet your heart and focus your mind on Jesus. Consider listening to “Holy Spirit” by Kari Jobe (Majestic, 2014).

Read Matthew 5:33-37 in your Bible.

“But let your word ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’ Anything more than this is from the evil one.” —Matthew 5:37

Initial each statement that applies to you in the list below.

 

I committed to helping with a project, but when the time came I stayed home instead.

I signed up for a church activity, but something else ended up sounding more fun so I went there instead.

I told my parents I’d clean my room (or another chore), but I ended up hanging out with friends instead.

I told someone I’d pray for them, but never actually did.

 

Thinking about your answers and today’s passage, consider these questions:

Have you ever been guilty of breaking a commitment or promise you made to someone? Do you think that was a big deal? Why or why not?

Children of God tell the truth and live up to their word. Does that describe you? Why or why not?

Jesus’ teaching flew in the face of the thinking of the day. He said it was better to make a promise and live up to it than to thoughtlessly use God’s name to back up a vow you don’t intend to keep.

Behind the Story

At the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, the religious leaders had expanded oaths to cover all kinds of promises made to one another. “Levels of truth” emerged from the varieties of oaths. Swearing on heaven and God was considered more binding than swearing by earthly things.4

Respond

As Christians, we should be people of integrity.

Take stock of your life. Does it prove that you are a promise keeper? Do you tell the truth and refuse to twist it so that it benefits you? Would your friends and family members agree with your assessment? Why or why not?

If God has revealed any areas that do not please Him, confess and repent of them today. Commit once again to live in ways that please Him.

If you’ve disappointed someone in the past, how can you rebuild his or her trust? In your journal, record three steps you’ll take over the next few weeks to be a trustworthy person in those situations.

Pray, asking God to help you become a person whose word is trustworthy and honoring to Him.

The Point

Followers of Jesus tell the truth and their word can be counted on.

 

 

4Stuart Weber, Holman New Testament Commentary: Matthew, ed. Max Anders, (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2000), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Matthew 5 – The King Speaks His Heart (Part I)”


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