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Now the universe is built on laws. Men of science throughout history have known that everything in our universe is under the reign of law. The entire world of physical science is dominated by laws. Whether you’re talking about everything from astronomy and agronomy and biology and botany clear to the end of the alphabet and zoology, all of those areas of study are absolutely predictable, because the universe is built on absolute physical laws.

If you are driving down a road at 100km hr and get to a corner that says 45km hour – chances are pretty high that you’re going end up getting hurt because the law of physics is in operation. Even if you have a Christian radio station on. And a Christian bumper sticker. The laws of physics apply to you regardless of your salvation status.

I the same way the laws of life and living apply to us.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:7-9

 

Direction determines destination. Every time.

We have to connect the dots between the choices they make and the outcomes they experience.

Are there discrepancies between what you desire in your heart and what you are doing with your life?

Direction is everything.  Direction determines destination.  That is why we cannot afford to live disconnected lives. When we discover those subtle and sometimes not so subtle discrepancies between intent and lifestyle we should stop and pay attention. 

We should break the habit of drawing a circle around individual decisions and events and dismissing them as isolated occurrences.  These are steps.  Steps that lead somewhere.  Because life is connected.

The principal of the path is operating in your life every minute of every day.  You are currently on a financial path of some kind, you are on a relational path, you are continuing down a moral and ethical path.  And each of these paths has a destination.  My hope is that by becoming aware of this powerful principal you will have the wisdom to know which path to choose and the courage to stay the course.

The challenging aspect about picking the right paths is that the choices are NOW.  The outcomes are LATER.  The decisions you make today have ramifications down the road.

Andy Stanley

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

 

In what ways should we acknowledging God?

What does that look like in real life?

What does it look like to NOT acknowledge God?

What is the consequence of acknowledging God?

How can we connect the dots between where we are today and where we are going tomorrow?

 

Define Vision:

Vision means: “a clear sense of purpose regarding what God wants to do through your life”

How does vision affect your life?

What does the bible say about having vision?

How do we get vision and purpose?

What is one thing you can do this week to step towards that?

 

Are we exchanging a bowl of stew for things of eternal worth – like esau? (Genesis 25)

 

Behavioural therapists and others who study human behaviour will tell you there’s only one difference between those who succeed and those who don’t. “It’s all about their habits,” they say.

1. They reveal what you value least—and most.

2. They reveal where you spend your time.

3. They reveal the state of your mental health.

4. They reveal the state of your spiritual health.

5. They reveal the state of your physical health.

 

1. They reveal what you value least—and most.

A habit as simple as arriving late or constantly procrastinating can show what you rank at the bottom of your scale of priorities—and also what you rank at the top. What do you hold as important and unimportant in this life? Just take a look at your habits. They will speak for themselves—and most likely, they will speak to others as well.

If you have a habit of working hard, helping others or always being on time to work, it shows that you see a great deal of value in your future, your character and your work ethic. Likewise, if you are perpetually late, interrupt times with friends because you always answer your phone or commit initially only to back out late, it will be clear to the people around you what comes first in your life—and what doesn’t.

2. They reveal where you spend your time.

Habits don’t just happen overnight. If a habit takes 30 days to form, then those 30 days will tell you a lot about your commitments. Are you cutting down on your Starbucks habit so that you can read Scripture in the morning before work? Or are you routinely hitting snooze and falling off your exercise program 10 days in? We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and have to make choices about we’re using our time. We make trade-offs based on what we deem most important at the time—for better or for worse.

3. They reveal the state of your mental health.

OUR HABITS ARE SHAPED BY EITHER A SELF-DISCIPLINED WILL, OR A POWERFUL FELT NEED—AND THE LATTER CAN OFTEN PULL US INTO HABITUAL SIN.

Some habits are internal, more than external. They live in our thought processes, our attitudes and our outlook. And if these mental habits go unchecked, it can cause us to live in a state of mental compression because our habits are living our lives for us. But the truth is, mental health is the beginning of all habitual health problems. If a habit, such as envy, lust, comparison, discontent, takes root in your mind, that mental habit is eventually going to be given the reins to the rest of your health if not taken care of.

4. They reveal the state of your spiritual health.

Your habits play a massive role in your sinful nature. Our habits are shaped by either a self-disciplined will, or a powerful felt need—and the latter can often pull us into habitual sin. If you really think about it, most sin is derived from a habit that has been formed over an extensive period of time, and then exposes itself when that habit yearns to be activated. On the other hand, forming habits of prayer and worship can also create virtuous habits that can counteract the destructive pull toward sin.

5. They reveal the state of your physical health.

We’re a society of busy people—and there’s a multitude of fast food, drive-thru options just for our convenience.

Look at your food and exercise habits: do you make late-night taco runs, put off your gym membership renewal, lounge around playing video games all weekend? Or do you make it a point to work out three times a week, floss your teeth daily, fill your cart with produce? Your habits will tell you a thing or two about your physical health.

It’s easy to go about our days as usual—with our habits and routines fixed in place without a thought. But if we do evaluate our default patterns, we might learn what we’re doing well and where we have room for improvement. And in 30 days, we might even be able to turn ourselves around.

 

 

What habits and behaviours are you trying to establish or change?

What attitudes do we need to have?

How do you determine / classify if you have a good attitude or wrong attitude? What is the bench mark? How do we find out?

 

 

How do we CHANGE our attitudes?

  1. Romans 12:2 RENEW YOUR MIND

– read the Word of God, read His promises

– act on the Word of God – resist own thoughts/attitudes and CHANGE the way you think and behave

– Neurological Change happens when we renew our mind – we make new neuro pathways

  1. Get a big person who can see a bigger perspective – meet with a mentor – be honest about attitudes and things and allow them to speak into your life

 

 

How do you define and weigh success and failure, right or wrong, desirable or undesirable, in any particular situation?

Are you satisfied with where you are now?

What do you think some of the obstacles to getting to the destination?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPW3EB5U0bo

 

**** notes from the best housegroup in the world last night

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7 Arrows for Bible Reading – Gospel Coalition

The seven arrows of Bible reading were an attempt at developing a tool for proper hermeneutics to power these relationships. We did not want our people to simply talk about the Bible. We wanted them to understand the Bible and know how to apply it to their lives. Each cluster would read a predetermined passage of Scripture and discuss it using these seven arrows.

The goal was for the clusters to start by summarizing the main point of the passage as succinctly as possible, ideally in one sentence.

 

 

 

5 Things Your Habits Say About You – Relevant

Behavioural therapists and others who study human behaviour will tell you there’s only one difference between those who succeed and those who don’t. “It’s all about their habits,” they say.

1. They reveal what you value least—and most.
2. They reveal where you spend your time.
3. They reveal the state of your mental health.
4. They reveal the state of your spiritual health.
5. They reveal the state of your physical health.

 

 

EVERYONE IN YOUR LIFE WANTS ONE THING FROM YOU by John Michael Morgan

No one ever talks about it but it’s there. Intensely burning within every person on the planet regardless of their age, sex, race, status, or job. Everyone wants it and they want it from you.

I’m talking about RECOGNITION.

Everyone wants to be recognized and acknowledged. This is why a simple smile, making eye contact, or just saying “hello” to a passing stranger matters. It matters because it matters to them!

Because of this desire we all have, you can motivate and influence those around you by simply giving someone recognition. When someone feels acceptance, recognition, and appreciation from you they are more likely to support you, help you, or anything else that you’d like them to do.

 

 

Questions to Ask When Preparing for Marriage by John Piper

Preparing for Marriage: Help for Christian Couples is a new ebook from Desiring God aimed at aiding couples – whether dating and considering marriage, or engaged and preparing for marriage – to get to know each other better in some of life’s most significant matters, and be more fit to discern God’s leading for their lives.

Along with the questions contained in this blog post, we’ve packaged three additional resources from John Piper in hopes of enriching such important preparation.

Lifestyle

  • Own a home or not? Why?
  • What kind of neighborhood? Why?
  • How many cars? New? Used?
  • View of money in general. How much to the church?
  • How do you make money decisions?
  • Where will you buy clothes: Department store? Thrift store? In between? Why?

 

 

 

Don’t You Want Your Daughters to be in Love on their Wedding Day? by Gary Thomas

If the main reason you’re getting married is because you’re “in love,” what happens when the infatuation fades and you don’t feel that same “in love”? What’s going to keep you in the marriage then?

mark 10:21 Then Jesus, beholding him, loved him and said to him, One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have and give it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. And come, take up the cross and follow Me. And he was sad at that saying and went away grieved, for he had great possessions.  And Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, How hardly those having riches will enter into the kingdom of God!

I don’t think this passage is about money.  Well not entirely.

I think it is about the heart commitment of the young man. Jesus told him to “follow him.” He gave him the same opportunity to follow him as he gave his disciples.   Just as Jesus called Matthew and Peter – saying “follow me” so thus Jesus called the rich young ruler.

Jesus asks us to put him and his kingdom first.

Riches in his day and ours can distract from following God and putting His kingdom and will first. Riches can consume the heart. BUT it doesn’t necessarily need to be.  Having money doesn’t need to be a negative factor in following Jesus – it can be a bonus or a plus.

Jesus had rich women that followed him and provided for their needs. Other Christians in the book of acts were business people and they used their resources for the kingdom – they opened their homes to the apostles and believers, hosting house churches and other things.  They used their riches and influence to follow God and put the kingdom first.

In today’s world we have so many opportunities to use our money for the glory of God. We can use it to finance the work of God in our own churches, or send money to missionaries in Africa. We can anonymously give money and goods to poorer families in our community, blessing them. We can facilitate the work of our youth ministry with the money we have. Money can be used and SHOULD be used for the glory of God.

The young man by his heart attitude missed out on being part of the group that followed Jesus and so much more.

The young man could of used his riches to change the world.  But his heart attitude of wanting to hold on and remain in control restricted him.

What holds us back???

Money is not an evil thing.  It is how we “think about” our money that is the “bad”.  Do we totally trust God with it?  Are we listening and talking to God about how we use our money and how we give our money?  Are we faithful in tithing and giving to our church?  Are we generous or tight?  Do we share or do we hold on?  Are we selfish or are we giving?

What characteristics do you think God wants to demonstrate in us and through us?  What part do you think money plays in shaping our heart character?  What is how we feel and think about money saying about us? How does the weekly tithe and offering fit into that?

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