Quiet Time



We’ve been talking about prayer this season. Here is a page on setting up a basic time for prayer.

Click link for a copy of the worksheet:   quiet-time

There are a lot of parts to a prayer life. We can make it complicated, or we can keep it simple.  Here is a simple place to start: HELP


HAVE a place and time

  • Time:
  • Place:

ENTER God’s presence.

  • Take a moment to relax, take a breath.
  • Open with a simple prayer like, “Lord, hear my prayer.”

LISTEN to the word of God


  • Following the Lord’s Prayer – “A Model Prayer”
  • Responding to today’s reading
  • Keep a prayer list.

(Grace: it can be helpful to forgive yourself if you miss a day. It is worth considering an option like taking a walk, listening to gospel music, enjoying a hobby…)

The Great Reversal – Discussion

logo.passport (for Adult Class discussion – this introduces the series on our Dual Citizenship)

What do you think Jesus taught us about whether we should be concerned with Heaven, or the earth where we live, or both? Think of some biblical passages.

Which do you agree with?

  • The world is close to the end and our job is to save the lost.
  • God made the earth, and we should try to preserve it.
  • It is important to offer both acts of compassion and preach the gospel.
  • It is “liberal” to talk about helping the poor.
  • It is offensive to share the gospel with someone who is hungry or sick.
  • Christians should work mainly through politics to change the world.
  • Christians should avoid politics as much as possible.
  • We should “preach the gospel” by good works only, not with words.
  • We have to share the full plan of salvation every occasion we can.
  • God really loves American in a special way.
  • America is headed towards judgment.
  • Other:

Parable of the Sower – a worksheet on Jesus’ Gospel



To follow up the previous post, I have made a worksheet from Matthew on what the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom might mean.  It seems to me best to define the term from Matthew’s context first and then broaden the search.


What is the Message


A text wrapped around a text – Matthew 1-4

baptismThe introductory chapters of Matthew are largely wrapped around OT passages.  Some are cited as fulfillment, others are cited as history (genealogy) and allusions to Israel’s history.  Here is a worksheet I made for my adult class.

Jesus Identity Mt 1 to 4 – without answers – do it yourself

Jesus Identity Answers – with answers

A Psalm of Praise – a class construction project

thumbsupAfter our study of psalms of lament and praise, we constructed our own Psalm of Praise.  The main section grew out of our own experiences of the Lord’s answer to our prayers in various times of need – community and individual.

A Psalm of Praise

God is good, all the time.

All the time, God is good.

You have granted us help

In our time of need.

You miraculously provided the funds

For our church improvement projects.

You provided the funds

When we thought there were none

You gave the light

To make the parking lot bright.

You supplied the flooring in the annex

By your servants Tom and Alex

Out of the pit you brought paving

It leaves all of us raving.

What looked like a dead end

You turned into a curve.

Though we don’t deserve it

You have  strengthened our spirit.

You God have lifted me up and

 Given me joy at the birth of a new grandson

A buyer came at our depth of discouragement

The movers and all the helpers were like angels

On that very hot day

We still pause to reflect

On all that has happened for us.

 Obedience is the motivation for God’s blessing.

If you watch, observe, they become obvious.

After Alice’s fall, you sent help

You sold her house,

You placed her with other Christians

At the Jefferson.

Good health and a new job were miracles indeed.

God’s love goes on forever.

We are not blue

For your promises are true

My heart greatly rejoices,

And I will sing your songs forever.

The Class – November 24, 2013

Constructing a Psalm of Praise

Westerman(This assignment was developed from “The Psalms: Structure, Content & Message”, Claus Westermann, Augsburg, 1980.  Last week we look a the psalms of individual lament, here we consider psalms of praise.  Our goal is to construct our own just in time for Thanksgiving.)  Download here – Psalm of Praise

The Individual song of Lament (we studied last week) usually ends with a promise to praise the Lord.  E.g.  Psalm 13:6

“I will sing the Lord’s praise,

For he has been good to me.”

            Psalms of Praise by individuals are common in the Psalms.  They tend to take up where the lament left off.  The Sadness is turned to Gladness.


I. Introduction:  e.g. Psalm 30:1

“I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths..”

II. A summary of what has happened: e.g. Psalm 31:2-3

“…You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead…”

III. A testimony to God’s action: the trouble faced and the answer given. There is a sense of joy and peace because of God’s action. e.g Psalm 30:4-11

“Sing praises to the Lord, you his faithful people….”

IV.  A promise to praise  e.g. Ps 30:12

“Lord my God, I will praise you forever.”

 Assignment: Construct a Psalm of Thanksgiving (I, II and IV can be one sentence)


God is Good, all the Time.

All the Time, God is Good.







Crouton Worksheet – week 3



Croutons –  Week 3 –  

Down load Croutons week 3



6. Never be lacking in zeal,

7. But keep your spiritual fervor,

8. Serving the Lord.

9. Be joyful in hope,

10. Patient in affliction,

11. Faithful in prayer.

12. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.

13. Practice hospitality.

14. Bless those who persecute you;

15. Bless and do not curse.

16. Rejoice with those who rejoice;

17. Mourn with those who mourn.

18. Live in harmony with one another.

19. Do not be proud,

20. But be willing to associate with people of low position.

Biblical poetry (especially in the Old Testament) does not rhyme, but it does use parallelism: ideas are repeated with synonyms or contrasted with antonyms.  What examples do you see in #6-20?

  •  Circle related clusters of ideas (e.g. v. 6-8)


  • Write down what idea these clusters advance. (e.g. v. 6-8 are related to enthusiasm.)


  • Why are such side by side comparisons helpful?


Who is talked about in these verses?

  • List them
  • Summarize what it says about them



Thinking of all of these “croutons” think about

  • Which you like the most


  • Which is hardest to keep



Croutons – Your daily bread in small pieces

CroutonsInBowlWe are practicing the art of meditation on the scriptures (Psalm 1) by taking the passage found in Romans 12:9-21 and breading it into small pieces, or “croutons” for the month of October. This is the content of the Adult Class at Bethany this month, but you are welcome to joint in by downloading the Croutons worksheet – CROUTONS.book

Romans 12 is a passage of application after the previous 11 chapters of Romans has presented the Gospel of Jesus from a variety of angles.  The chapter begins by saying “I appeal to you, by the mercies of God [Romans 1-11] to present your bodies as a living sacrifice…”  And so we present our minds and hearts to the Lord by taking care each day to listen to, to chew over (the biblical meaning of the word “meditate”) and follow the Lord’s instructions.

At the rapid pace of 13 verses in 31 days, we will take a crouton a day to think on.

Here is my suggestion on how to proceed (excerpted from the worksheet).

Daily Crouton: 

  • Read just the portion listed for that day.  Go somewhere where you can say it out loud a few times.
  • Think about each word in turn, for example, on day 1, “Love” what is it?  “Must” – this is not a suggestion.  “Be” as opposed to pretending.  “Sincere” means real and not mere outward correctness.
  • Ask yourself some questions: Who can I love?  With whom is my love not sincere?
  • Pray from the words, “Lord, forgive me for falling short.  Give me a more sincere love, especially for ____________  who is so annoying…..”
  • Be silent and see if the Spirit of God brings something to your mind as you think about the words.
  • Make notes to remember what you heard from the Lord.

Limits of Narrative Worksheet: the Case of Deborah


We need to gain our theology from teaching portions of the Bible, and then compare those to the Stories.  It is rarely a good idea to change what we think the bible teaches by comparing it to a story.

Deborah and Women in Leadership:

1.  Read Joshua 4 (bottom of page) together and look at what the Narrator highlights about Deborah as a woman.  Cite verse numbers and give a sentence or two of explanation.






2.  Are there other women in the story?

  • V. 17-22; 5:24-27
  • 5:28-31

 3.  Compare to Teaching passages in the New Testament:

  • I Timothy 2:8-15
  • I Corinthians 11:2-16
  • I Corinthians 14:33-27
  • Acts 18:1-3; 24-28

 Texts on Deborah in Judges 4,5

Judges 4:4-16 ESV

Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, “Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun. And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the river Kishon with his chariots and his troops, and I will give him into your hand’?” Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” And she said, “I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 And Barak called out Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh. And 10,000 men went up at his heels, and Deborah went up with him.

11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated from the Kenites, the descendants of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far away as the oak in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh.

12 When Sisera was told that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor,13 Sisera called out all his chariots, 900 chariots of iron, and all the men who were with him, from Harosheth-hagoyim to the river Kishon. 14 And Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Does not the Lord go out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. 15 And the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army before Barak by the edge of the sword. And Sisera got down from his chariot and fled away on foot. 16 And Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Harosheth-hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left.

Judges 5:1, 7, 12, 15,