August 7: What a Change!
1. Have you ever grown a garden or cultivated plants? If so, what was your favorite part of that work? What was challenging about it? What did you learn from tending plants?
2. In what areas of your life have you seen God’s transforming work? In what areas of your life do you hope for God’s transforming work?
3. Today’s writer can see the future of a pea plant from a tiny seed. What examples from nature or your own life help you to see or have hope for the future?
4. What does the Resurrection mean to you? How does your faith in Christ’s redeeming love shape the way you think and act?
5. How does your church help people to understand and embrace the transformation that is possible through faith in Christ? In what ways could you imagine this important message being shared more clearly and more widely?
August 14: God’s Mysterious Ways
1. When were you most recently disappointed? What disappointed you? How did you deal with your feelings?
2. Have you ever encountered someone in an unexpected place and then become friends with that person? What do you remember about your first conversation with this person?
3. How did you first encounter God? Who or what helped you to experience the presence of God for the first time? How did this encounter shape the way you understand God?
4. What small miracle or insight from God have you witnessed or received recently? Describe the circumstances. How did the miracle or insight affect how you felt about the situation?
5. How does your church encourage people experiencing difficulties? How does your church help people to know God in new ways and to trust God more fully?
August 21: Focus
1. If you witnessed the solar eclipse, describe your experience. If you did not witness the eclipse, describe an experience where you observed a diverse group of people moving beyond their differences toward unity.
2. How do you remain focused on God? When you realize that you have lost your focus on God, what practices or people help you to regain focus?
3. In what ways does your church community encourage you to look beyond the differences you have with others? In what ways do you think your church community could become more unified?
4. Describe a time when you felt wonder at God’s creation. Did your experience change the way you feel about the world and those around you? Why or why not?
5. What scripture passages remind you of the greatness of God’s creation? What scripture passages encourage you to reflect God’s love to others, regardless of your differences?
August 28: A Heart Full of Praise
1. The writer finds a new appreciation for the words of hymns when she does not sing. Have you ever listened to others singing in worship instead of joining in? How is your worship experience different when you simply listen to the songs?
2. Do you ever feel embarrassed or self-conscious during worship? What makes you feel that way? What might help you avoid feeling embarrassed during worship?
3. Is singing a significant part of worship in your church? What other aspects of worship are prominent in your church services? What do you wish your church would emphasize more during worship? Why?
4. Describe a time when you were unable to worship in the way you prefer. What did you learn about yourself or about worship from that experience? What other forms of worship could you practice during those times?
5. How can you make your actions and words be a song of praise to God? What does it look like to live your life praising God?
“I believe with all my heart that vulnerability and authenticity are the only way to find wholeness in Jesus Christ. … I believe in the holistic, healing love and salvation in Jesus Christ, who walks with us in the valleys and brings beauty from ash heaps again and again and again. I am here to tell you that I have been on the mountaintops and in the valleys, and I have discovered that we need a reset in our souls. We need to share stories so that others will too. When we’re free to be real, that’s when the real joy comes.” Read more.