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The New Normal

He is Strong

Blended • May 17, 2020 • Bill Brunson

1) In this week’s sermon based on Romans 8:31-38, we hear that Jesus, himself, who sits on the right hand of God, will intercede for us. What does that mean to you in both the challenges and celebrations of your life? How would you ask Jesus to pray for you today? 2) As Methodists, we sing what we believe. Pastor Bill said the opening lines of a simple, yet profound song can be life-changing. What do the following lyrics mean to you and how have they changed your life? “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” 3) Pastor Bill also said other lyrics of this same song are life-giving. What do the following lyrics mean to you and what have they given to your life? “Little ones to him belong, we are weak, but He is strong.” 4) Knowing that we find our strength in Jesus Christ, what improvements can happen in your life, our community, and our world? Relying on Christ’s strength, how can you improve life today?

Fighting Life on Multiple Fronts

Blended • May 10, 2020 • Sherry Harris

1. In our sermon scripture (2 Chronicles 20:1-17), King Jehosephat is facing overwhelming odds on multiple fronts and the future looks dire. When have you felt overwhelmed during the Covid-19 pandemic and how did you react? 2. One of the catch phrases during Sheltering in Place was “we are all in this together.” Where have you see this phrase in action? How has our church put it into action? How have you personally put “we are all in this together” in action? 3. In his time of greatest need, King Jehosephat turned to God for guidance. How have you turned to God during the Covid-19 pandemic? 4. What is the most useful lesson you have learned from this ancient king who loved and trusted in his Lord?

Sometimes We Need a Painful Reminder

Blended • May 3, 2020 • Kipp McClurg

1) In today’s sermon (Numbers 21:5-9), the Hebrew people are in the wilderness and begin to whine and complain. They were looking back and only remembering the good parts. Unfortunately it took being snake bit to give them clarity. When have you been in the wilderness looking back and only remembering the good parts? What did it take to give you clarity? 2) The snakes of our lives force us to look down and think hard. Has this “new normal” in which we find ourselves, forced you to ask some tough questions? Have you used this time as an opportunity to take stock of your life? 3) Snakes can also cause us to look back and be thankful. What are the things that you are thankful for in your life? When you look back and focus on the good, not the bad, does it change your perspective and your attitude? 4) Snakes also help us to look up. In John 3:14-16, Jesus referred back to our wilderness story. How does this passage help us understand Jesus’ mission? 5) What does it mean to you personally knowing that Jesus can and will give you a better life?

Where Did My Life Go?

1 Samuel 18:1-11 • April 26, 2020 • Kipp McClurg

1. “Sitting in the catbird’s seat” is a phrase that means life is going well and the future looks bright. David was certainly sitting in the “catbird’s seat.” He was the next anointed king of Israel, best friends with King Saul’s son, Jonathan, and had achieved success in battle. Yet suddenly David’s entire life and future was cut out from under him. Do you feel empathy with David’s situation? What do you share in common with him? 2. Covid-19 has taken so much away from us; our sense of control, our work, our ability to plan for the future, even our lives. What are some of the times you and your family have lost? 3. Why is it important to allow ourselves to experience appropriate emotions like shock, fear, isolation, depression, and a sense of powerlessness in this time of uncertainty? 4. We live in a driven culture where success is the accomplishment we seek. But now holding on and simply surviving is an accomplishment. What does holding on and survival look like in your life and the life of your family? 5. Pastor Kipp said, “God’s surprises are sometimes more effective than our plans?” What surprises has God put into your life? What lessons have you learned? 6. How do we extend grace to ourselves and to others in this new normal?

Singing the Song

Blended • April 19, 2020 • Bill Brunson

1. Bill mentioned the “new normal” that all of us are facing. We didn’t ask for it; we didn’t vote for it, yet here it is. What does the “new normal” mean to you? 2. So much of the web of our lives has been taken away in this “new normal.” But what has the “new normal” given to you? Was it something unexpected and would you like to hold on to it? 3. In Psalm 137, the people were in exile in Babylon and here is their lament: “By the rivers of Babylon, we sat down and wept for we remembered Zion. How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?” How do we as individuals and as a church sing songs of hope in this time of confusion and uncertainty? Give examples. 4. We hear in Jeremiah 29:11 these words: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” What does this scripture mean to you viewed through the lens of this “new normal” in which we all live?