Intentional Parenting

“Teach your kids that the Bible is for them even though it’s not about them.” – A.M. Brewster.

Parenting today takes intentionality. As parents, we want to impart a godly legacy to our children. We want them to experience the joy of a vibrant, deep and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But then life happens as it often does. The days get busy and then the next thing you know weeks and months and years have gone by and we wonder what happened to the time. Life teaches us that it takes years and years of unrelenting effort to train up a child in the way he or she should go. Good intentions are the beginning of the journey. Along the way, you’ve got to avoid a lot of wrong turns, go around a lot of curves, endure a lot of problems, fix a few flats, and keep pressing on. 

Parenting can keep you so busy that you fall into a pattern of simply reacting to what’s going on around you. But you can’t be the best parent God wants you to be that way. If you’re intentional about parenting – choosing wise ways of responding to your children rather than just reacting to them – you can fulfill all of God’s good purposes for your parenting. Through the process of parenting, God is working not just in your children’s lives, but also in your own life. God intends for you to grow into a more spiritually mature person as you learn to apply His wisdom to the challenges of parenting.

Parenting reveals lots of valuable information about who you are as a person. Seek to learn more about yourself so you’ll have the perspective you need to improve your maturity, which will then improve your relationship with your kids. Ask three people who know you well and will tell you the truth on these questions: “What have you observed about me as a parent?” “What are the strengths I bring to parenting?” “What are the struggles I bring to parenting?” “What do you enjoy about being in relationship with me?” and “What are the challenges about being in relationship with me?” Then pray about what they say, asking God to help you grow in specific ways.

Make sure that your life is showing your kids the right story. God intends for your life to show your children what real faith in action looks like. Ask yourself: “What kind of story am I living in front of my children?” “Does my life speak about the things I believe and the people I love?” and “Am I living a life of faith in front of my children, or just talking about it?”

Successful parenting is not that complicated, yet it is very difficult to do well. At the end of the day, it involves giving up control to God. To parent well, we need God as a co-parent. God’s plan for parenting was never meant to be one we carry out without Him.

Discussion Questions:

  1. When do you most often doubt you have any influence in your children’s lives at all?
  2. Have you ever considered having an intentional plan as a parent? What has held you back?  

Happy Mother’s Day

“Her children stand and bless her….” – Proverbs 31:28

What can we say about mothers that has not been already said? Mother’s have been our confidant, our role models, our advocate, our inspiration, our helper, and our best friend to name a few. A mother is able, accepting, accessible, accommodating, active, adaptable, admirable, adoring, amazing, assuring, attentive, authentic, available, and awesome; and that is just the A’s. Being a mother is an important job.  

On Mother’s Day each year, we acknowledge the unique contributions that mothers make in the lives of their children. We certainly want to show our appreciation and gratitude more often than once a year, but on Mother’s Day specifically, we recognize the behind-the-scenes sacrifices and struggles every mother makes. We recognize that too often the contributions of mothers are undervalued, misunderstood, and overlooked because so much that moms do is unseen. Most people will never see you as a mom cleaning spit-up, cooking another meal, responding to another tantrum, picking up the legos before someone steps on them, listening to a teenager’s concerns, or stopping an argument amongst siblings; all while trying to find time to work on that presentation for work. Mom simply doesn’t get her due.  

Fortunately, that doesn’t stop you from always being there. You are there at all our sporting events. You were there with some good advice when we started dating. You were there on the front row watching us getting married. You were there when your grandchildren were born. You sacrifice and struggle because of love, and selfless, sacrificial love is worthy of recognition.

So, on this Mother’s Day, take a moment and consider the priceless value of the one who made your life possible – your mother. God created families and gave mothers a unique place in that unit. This scripture seems to be written just for mothers.

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” (Philippians 2:1-4 NIV)

From infancy, a child is accustomed to taking from his or her mother. So it can be easy to forget that she has needs, too. Stop and consider what your mother might appreciate. For example, household help offered cheerfully is usually welcome. As Mom grows older, she may need assistance for her physical or emotional well-being. Some women desire only that their children express gratitude or care. So whether it is a Hallmark card, dinner out, hug, or a kiss on the cheek, we should show we care. It is so important to give our love to these dedicated women in our lives and don’t take them for granted. Honor her today and every day. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you appreciate most about your mom? 
  2. What can we do this week to honor and respect your mother?  

God Can Do The Impossible

“The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he guides it wherever he pleases.” – Proverbs 22:1.  

Have you ever had an assignment or project that you felt in your heart there is no way you can do it? Is your business facing a challenge that seems impossible for you to overcome? Is there that subject in school that you just don’t get? Does your spiritual mission in life seem out of reach? The fact is most kingdom assignments are impossible for us to carry out in our own strength. They require supernatural intervention if we are going to be successful. Fortunately, impossibilities are the platforms upon which God does His best work. God is in the miracle-working business; it’s what He does! Yet we still stress ourselves out sometimes, wondering how something is going to work out. In those moments, just remember: Impossible is where God starts, and miracles are what He does.

In the Bible, God led the Israelites by way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. Then, He guided the people around in a large circle. As the people camped at the edge of the Red Sea, they noticed that the mountains were on one side, and the sea was on the other side of them. When the Israelites saw Pharaoh’s soldiers in the distance charging toward them, it appeared as though they were trapped with no apparent way out. Terrified, the people cried out to Moses in despair. It seemed a hopeless situation.

But, Moses trusted God and steered the people’s attention to God and calmly gave a solution as he said: “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” (Exodus 14:13-14) Moses lifted up his staff and stretched out his hand over the sea and divided it. God intervened. He dramatically caused a strong wind to blow. The waters parted. And the people walked on the seafloor, on dry ground, safely to the other side.

Today, no matter what challenge you’re encountering, trust God: “The Lord will guide you continually…”(Isaiah 58:11). So, “Don’t worry about anything…” (Philippians 4:6), “God is my strong fortress, and he makes my way perfect.” (2 Samuel 22:33).

God loves you because you are His. So boldly look with hope and confidence to the future. Every day expect the best that God has for your life. And in your mind’s eye, visualize the great Creator of the Universe going before you, standing behind you and guiding every step you take ahead. God has a plan for you. God can change impossible situations. He sometimes moves mysteriously but will provide what you need in miraculous ways. And it is going to be far better than you can ever imagine.

So, do what you can, and God will successfully execute what you can’t. Nothing is impossible with Him. Believe God and put your complete trust in Him, and not only will He turn your impossible mission into a possible mission, but He will reward your faithfulness in the process.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does the fact that God can do the impossible affect your mission in life?  
  1. What would change this week if we believed that God can do the impossible? 

Who Am I Living For?

“For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.” –  Philippians 1:21

What is the purpose of life? In other words, why are we here? How we answer this question shapes our lives in countless ways. Or perhaps the better question is “Who are we here for?”  It’s a subtle change, but it makes a significant difference.  The question helps us evaluate who is really at the center of our purpose: Is it God or self? 

Many of us try to center our purpose around ourselves as if life is all about us. This is like trying to make the sun orbit the Earth; the universe isn’t designed to work this way. The Bible tells us very clearly that we are made by Jesus and for Jesus: “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation.” (Colossians 1:15). We exist for His glory as Ephesians 1:12 points out: “God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God.” We are here to serve Him, not vice versa.  

So how do we live for God’s glory? There is a wealth of promises that can only be experienced when we choose to lay down our own glory and live for the glory of God instead. We weren’t created to live for our own advancement, and attachment to advancement only breeds pain and suffering. But if we’ll choose instead to seek God’s glory, to lift Him up and lead others to Him, we’ll find life, purpose, peace, and joy. 

Paul beautifully summarizes this concept in Philippians 1. His encounter with the risen Christ on the Damascus road (Acts 9) completely changed the purpose of his life. From that moment on, there was no confusion as to who he was living for. He lived to exalt Christ and to make Him known. “For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die.” (Philippians 1:20).  

As followers of Jesus Christ, we should be challenged by Paul’s words. The way he lived out his purpose is remarkable. But it seems like an unattainable goal because we want God in control of some parts of our life, but other areas we prefer to maintain some level of control. There wasn’t any area of Pauls’s life off-limits to God. Our goal should be to exalt Christ in all things.

The sole aim of every Christian heart should be to glorify the Lord and to serve Him. A life with a passion for Christ gives rise to a life of victory, where the power of faith and the sufficiency of His grace overcomes the difficulties of life and the sting of death. When we can say with Paul, “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain” we discover that a life lived for God becomes a life lived on mission for Him.

 Discussion Questions:

  1. Who are we living for on a daily basis?  
  2. What can we do this week to make better daily choices in our walk with God? 

The Blind Man

“but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” – John 9:3-5. 

In the Gospel of John, we see a man begin to follow Jesus based on limited information. This man, who was born blind, said he only knew one main thing—and that one thing was enough to make him curious about who Jesus really was.

The blind man makes his way to his designated spot, the place where he stations himself daily and begs for money. He may even sleep in the same place where he spends his days. The sound of footsteps is heard by this blind beggar. And then he hears an even more encouraging clue—the footsteps cease, nearby.  He must overhear the conversation between Jesus and His disciples. “Who sinned, this man or his parents?” he hears one of the bystanders ask “the Rabbi.” I wonder if the blind man has ever asked himself this question.

Jesus says,  “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”

As Jesus utters these words, He begins drawing nearer to the blind beggar, and then He pauses beside him. Then the Rabbi spits and two “mud pies” are applied, one to each eye. The Man has placed the “clay” on his eyes then instructs the blind beggar to go to the pool named Siloam and to wash this mud from his eyes. He promises no miracle, and He says nothing to the crowd. Then, He and His disciples silently slip away.

The blind beggar makes his way to the pool of Siloam just as he has been instructed. Can you imagine this man’s amazement as he washes the mud from his eyes? He sees light. He sees people. Can you imagine him making his way home, pausing to take in the beauty of the world around him. 

Jesus has a mission, a mission to be the “light of the world.” This is a mission His disciples share with Him, and thus they must join Him in performing the Father’s deeds, one of which is to reach out to people and meet their needs.  This priority is in line with the two-fold command to (first) love God and then (second) to love our neighbor as ourselves?

The blind man would never again be the same. He has received more than physical sight. His spiritual eyes have been opened, so that he “sees.” His life will never be the same, now that he has “seen the light.”

The facts are clear. The testimonial of the man in question is crystal clear: “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!” and “If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.”  

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read John 9:24–25, where the formerly blind man focuses on the main thing—he could now see! How does what the man said remind you of something that happened in your own life? 
  2. Think of a season of your life that was difficult through no fault of your own. You may be in one currently. Is there something about that season God used (or could use) to shape your faith. If so, what?

The Demon Possessed Man

“The herdsmen fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. People rushed out to see what had happened. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. Then those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs. And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.” – Mark 5:14–17. 

This would make a pretty gripping opening to a movie. It is the middle of the night. Jesus and the disciples have just been through a terrible storm. The disciples are still trying to come to terms with Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4. In chapter 5, they land the boat near a cemetery and a naked demon-possessed man (covered in blood and wearing broken chains) runs out to meet Jesus.

The demon-possessed man was in need of desperate help. Looking for shelter, he lived among the tombs. All day and all night he howled, cutting himself with stones. People often bound him with chains and shackles to protect him and those around him, but he broke out of the chains and shackles, leaving everyone around him at a loss for ways to overcome him. This man desperately needed a miracle. And then Jesus stepped out of the boat.

When the man ran to meet Jesus, the demons inside him addressed the Lord directly. “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” (Mark 5:7) They begged Jesus to not torture them and asked Him to send them into pigs feeding nearby. Jesus gave permission and the demons entered a herd of pigs, around two thousand. The pigs raced down the hill, crashed into the sea and drowned.

Try to imagine this scene. What would be going through your head if you witnessed this? Even though many at the scene did not fully understand Jesus, the demons knew He was the Son of God, the Savior of the world. The demons trembled in fear because they knew Jesus was greater, more powerful than the evil one, and they were forced to submit to him: “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.” (James 2:19).  

Due to talk within the city and country, many came to see all that had happened. They found the man with unclean spirits now clean and in his right mind. A man who had once been insane, now sane; once irrational, now rational; once out of control, now in control and sitting peacefully.

Once the movie-like scene had settled down, people were afraid after witnessing two thousand pigs run into the sea and seeing the man’s dramatic transformation. Their fear led them to beg Jesus to exit the region. But there was one man who wanted to go with Jesus: the one who had been freed of demons. He longed to go with Jesus, to be with Him, close to Him: “The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him home, saying, “No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.” (Luke 8:38-39)

You are the only one who can tell your story. No one can adequately describe the wonderful things that have changed in your life since you have surrendered yourself to Christ. It is your story; no one else can tell it. If Christ has done great things for you, you have the privilege of sharing that good news with others.  

Discussion Questions

  1. When has the Lord delivered you from a serious sickness or difficulty in your life? How did you react? Did you keep it secret or did you tell others?

Philip And The Ethiopian Eunuch

“ As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”” – Acts 8:26-29. 

What stands out in this story is that a very unlikely candidate for conversion to Christ is found and converted through the supernatural leading of the Lord Himself, and not through human planning. Philip recognized that he needed to connect with him because that’s what he needed. That’s the job of a person on a mission. 

The person was from Ethiopia in Africa and had come all the way up to Jerusalem to worship God (v. 27). So out of all the tens of thousands of Jews and Gentiles and Samaritans that need Christ, the Lord sovereignly sets His favor on this man and sends an angel to Philip, and says in verse 26, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 

Philip goes not knowing what God has in mind. But when he gets to the road, the Spirit tells him the next step to take. In verse 29 the Spirit says, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.” That’s all he says. Not what for. Nor who is in the chariot. Just go to the chariot. The timing of the Spirit is perfect. At that very moment Philip, no doubt wondering what he would do or say when he got to the chariot, hears the Ethiopian reading out loud the book of Isaiah. 

One of the best evangelistic tools that you have are stuck on the side of your head. It’s your ears. Philip ran up alongside and ask the man if he understood what he is reading. He figured out how to turn the conversation into something spiritual. I think the temptation for us is to never bring up the subject of God. The temptation for us is to talk about our favorite college team or the pandemic, or whatever. At some point, if you’re friends with somebody there’s going to be something that’s going to lead you into a spiritual conversation and you’re going to have to go down that road. The reason most people don’t want to go down that road is that they’re afraid of not having the right answers. 

Philip now knows what the Lord has been doing in directing him to this desolate place where there is one lone chariot and man from Ethiopia. The Lord is having mercy on a man who probably would think that the God of Israel would never care about him. “ So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus.” The Ethiopian believed, was baptized (v. 38) along the road, and went on his way rejoicing (v. 39). 

The most important lesson we can learn from Philip’s life is that the Gospel is for everyone: The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for anyone willing to receive it. Ask God to create opportunities for you to share the faith and hope you have in Jesus Christ with others.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What part do you have in spreading the good news of Jesus to the ends of the earth? In what ways can you play more of a part in this mission?
  2. How does the divine-appointment factor in this story encourage you to share the gospel?

Wisdom From Above

“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” – James 3:17.  

Have you ever thought about mankind’s endless search for truth in this world? Think about it. Even in the twenty-first century, in a time of the greatest knowledge in the history of man with all the technological developments that have accelerated the rate of acquiring knowledge, the restless mind of man still struggles with discovering the reason for his existence.

Part of the trouble is looking for that answer through worldly wisdom versus Godly wisdom. Worldly wisdom leaves you empty and a bit cynical. But Godly wisdom is different. “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Proverbs 1:7)  If you have been following the Lord for any length of time, you know that the world’s ways do not reflect God’s ways. The world will tell you where to look for wisdom and for happiness. The world will tell you that immediate happiness is the most important goal for your life. The world will tell you there is no absolute truth. However, God’s wisdom surpasses all of the world’s wisdom. God’s wisdom gives us focus and direction when we have to choose between what looks good, what feels good, and what is good.

Living out a life of wisdom was never designed to demonstrate our wisdom, but to demonstrate the wisdom of God. The biblically wise admit they aren’t enough, but realize that in Christ they have more than enough to equip them to live bigger, bolder, and fuller lives. When we embody biblical wisdom, we cease striving for self-sufficiency and let God take control of our lives. This requires a willingness to elevate others rather than attempting to prove ourselves to the world. 

The Bible teaches us a great deal about wisdom and knowledge in addition to showing us that there is a distinction. One can gain a great deal of knowledge, but not have or exercise wisdom. However, one cannot have wisdom without having knowledge first. James tells us that “If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.” James is telling us that humility before God translates to humility toward others. 

To gain God’s wisdom, we must pray for it, while studying and living out God’s Word. So many distractions in this world threaten to pull us away from God. If you need clear, precise answers—direction for where to go, what to do, and when or how to do it—God has the answers for you. When you do, you’ll not only find the answer, you’ll grow in your relationship with God as well as grow in wisdom. Your life will be transformed.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How would you define “wisdom?” How is it different than knowledge or experience? What are some ways that you can recognize someone who is truly wise?  
  1. If this week your wisdom came exclusively from your relationship with Christ and not from your accomplishments, resources, or connections, what difference would that make?    

Loving God With All Your Heart, Soul, Mind, And Strength

“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” –  Mark 12:30-31

Nobody wants to live passive, inactive lives. We want the opposite. We want a captivating life that brings a sense of fulfillment. When Jesus lays out the most important commandment for mankind, He starts with loving the Lord with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Since we are told to love the Lord with all our hearts, soul, mind, and strength, that is exactly what we should do. But how do we go about doing it?  

Loving God with your heart means to love Him with your life. Love God with your heart by living a loving, faith-filled, and purpose-driven life. This requires letting God lead the way. It means living each day in close connection with Him so we can recognize our calling. Once we do this, once we let Him lead, lives will be changed. We will experience joy. And sharing that joy with others and loving God with our whole heart will become our primary mission. It’s hard to love someone you know nothing about, so it’s important to make an effort to get to know God. By spending time in prayer, reading Scripture, we learn about who He is, what He cares about, and why He is so deserving of our love. God sent His only Son to die for us. He forgives us. He knows all of our faults and still loves us with an everlasting and relentless love. This dimension of love is especially important for the times when we are feeling unenthused, discouraged, or even when things seem hopeless.

Loving God with your soul means to love Him for eternity. When our hearts stop beating, our souls keep living. And God wants our relationship with Him to last forever. Loving God with your mind means to love Him unconditionally–because we know that He is worthy of love–even when we don’t feel like it. Even when we feel like life is unfair or when we think He’s abandoned us: even though He never leaves our side. 

Loving God with all my strength means stepping out in faith. It means stepping out of my comfort zone. It means stepping out to help someone. Faith without works isn’t worth much. But faith with works can change a piece of the world for the better. Like the other concepts, loving God with all my strength is simple to say but not always easy to do. We need to remember that we don’t work any of this out by ourselves. We have a strength working within us that enables us to keep on going forward. In reality, loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength is simply a response. For we love because He first loved us.

As followers of Christ, we are called to fearlessly love God with all our hearts, all our souls, minds, and strength. Fueled with that complete and perfect love, we are empowered to take that love and share it with the world. And our broken, lost world desperately needs His love.

 Discussion Questions:

  1. What can we do this week to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength?

Getting Involved

“Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him…. Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.” –  Luke 10: 33, 36-37

The story of the Good Samaritan is a story of compassion.  But it is also a story of getting involved. A man is robbed and left for dead on the side of the road when three people pass by. First up is a religious leader, soon followed by a teacher of the religious law. Arguably both Jewish leaders should have stopped to help, but they don’t. It’s the third man, a Samaritan, who stops to help. Only one of the three got involved. 

The best part of this story is that the man lying in the road didn’t have to earn anything to be given grace by the Samaritan. This parable is actually a picture of what Jesus has done for us because Jesus is the ultimate “Good Samaritan.” It’s Jesus who steps right into the middle of our mess, who walks into the midst of our deepest need and does for us what we could never do for ourselves. From our stranded, beaten and broken state, Jesus picks us up, binds our wounds, and offers us new life. But it doesn’t stop there.

Jesus takes it one more step. He takes our place. Jesus became the one beaten and left for dead on the side of the road. He was stripped and robbed of all His glory, bearing our sin and shame all the way to the cross. While others pass you by, Jesus will always see you and stop. Jesus will get involved. When this really begins to sink in, we should be gladly be on mission with Jesus to show the world the love and mercy Jesus provides. Out of compassion, Jesus swapped places with us. Jesus is the mercy of God freely given for you and for me.

God doesn’t want His people to simply follow a list of rules; He’s after the heart, and He wants His followers to love others as He does. We are to respond to others as God would respond to them, just as the Samaritan responded to the half-dead man on the side of the road; the same way God responds to us when we are dead in our sins and in need of radical grace. This kind of change can’t come from following the law and that’s what Jesus was pointing out to the man. When you serve others, you’re joining the Lord in the work He’s already doing. He’s always working. We simply need to open our eyes, direct, and see the opportunities to be a blessing to our neighbors.

What can you do to help make a difference in the lives of your families, neighbors, or co-workers? How many times do we walk by someone’s troubles without even giving a thought to rolling up our sleeves and getting involved? When’s the last time you shed real tears for the people around you? When did you last get involved. 

 Discussion Questions:

  1. What can we learn from the story of the Good Samaritan? 
  2. Since God is so involved in our lives, what can we do this week to get involved in the lives of people in need?