Concordia’s New Series: tHE aBNORMAL lIFE

June 1, 2012 at 4:35 pm Leave a comment

We’re gearing up for our summer series at Concordia.  It’s one you’re not going to want to miss!  Even though you only have to wait one week to find out what it’s all about, we thought you might like a sneak peek.  The series is based on the feedback we received from our beloved Concordia.

We asked: What is you biggest struggle in…

  • Your relationship with God?
  • Your relationships with others?
  • Your finances?
  • Your health?
  • Your work?

In each of these important areas, we saw some common struggles emerge.  The series outlined below reflects these common struggles and themes.  We believe it will be helpful to you and we hope you’ll join us beginning June 10!  We worship Saturdays at 6 pm and Sundays at 8, 9:30, and 11 am.

tHE aBNORMAL lIFE:  Changing on Purpose

The word “abnormal” comes from the Latin word abnormisNormis describes a “rule” or a “norm,” and ab is a preposition meaning “away from.”  To be “abnormal,” then, means “to stray from the norm.”  Scripture tells us that we have all strayed from the norm of God’s Word.  This is why we all have abnormal lives!  Yet, by His grace, God can bring us back to His norms.

Series Memory Verse:  “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

6/10 – Trusting God Totally

Based on Hosea 1:2-10.

God is in the business of asking people to do seemingly strange things.  In the book of Hosea, God asks the prophet to take a prostitute as a wife.  The prophet and the prostitute – what a combination!  But through this odd coupling, God teaches Israel about being faithful to Him.  Will we be faithful to God, even during difficult times?

What you’re saying about trusting God totally…

  • “I have trouble going to God with everything, especially big decisions.”
  • “It’s hard letting God take the driver’s seat.”
  • “I want to let God be ruler over my life.”
  • “I want to keep God first above all things.”
  • “Trusting God always and following His will is hard!”

6/17 – Leadership God’s Way

Based on Psalm 1:1-6.

Many people struggle finding time for God in Bible study and prayer.  For husbands and fathers, being rooted and grounded in these things is especially important, since they are called to lead their families spiritually.  On Father’s Day, we reflect on the promise that a man who is grounded in God’s Word will have the strength to lead his family faithfully and well.

What you’re saying about being rooted in God’s Word and prayer…

  • “I need to spend more time with God in prayer.”
  • “I’m not able to attend a weeknight Bible study because of work.”
  • “I want to be able to read the Bible every day.”
  • “Keeping in touch with God through prayer is tough.”
  • “I have trouble finding ways with my busy schedule to read the Bible.”

6/24 – Living with Loneliness

Based on Mark 14:27-31.

According to a study conducted by the AARP, 44 million people struggle with loneliness.  This same study found 35% are chronically lonely, a 15% jump from ten years ago.  Loneliness is epidemic.  Jesus can sympathize with our loneliness.  In His hour of deepest need – as He was on His way to the cross – His dear disciples left Him all alone.  In spite of Jesus’ own loneliness, however, He makes us a promise to never leave us or forsake us.

What you’re saying about loneliness…

  • “I feel like I live in a hole.”
  • “I do not know many people.”
  • “I need friends.”
  • “I’m not sure I know how to attract a mate.”
  • “I can’t find time to spend on relationships.”
  • “I feel like some people don’t have time for me.”

7/1 – Learning to Forgive

Based on Jonah 4:2-11.

When someone wounds you deeply, it is difficult to forgive.  Yet, forgiveness is what we are called to by God, for God Himself is forgiving.  The prophet Jonah despised this attribute of God.  He said, “I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity” (Jonah 4:2).  If we do not forgive, we are bound by those who hurt us.  When we forgive, however, we are freed!

What you’re saying about forgiveness…

  • “I have trouble trusting since I have been used and abused in the past.”
  • “My relationship with my dad needs a lot of work.”

7/8 – Giving Grace, Telling Truth

Based on John 8:2-11.

As Christians, we are called to speak the truth in love (cf. Ephesians 4:15).  However, holding love and truth together can be difficult.  Sometimes, we are tempted to tell someone the truth self-righteously, lambasting him or her to make a point.  Other times, we are tempted to avoid a tough conversation, preferring to offer only loving encouragement even when someone needs to be confronted in sin.  When Jesus meets a woman caught in adultery in John 8, He holds both love, or grace, and truth together in perfect tension.  He does not condemn this woman, but He also does not sanction her sin.

What you’re saying about giving grace and telling truth…

  • “It’s hard loving difficult people.”
  • “I need to try to see people using God’s eyes.”
  • “I am trying not to communicate with a condescending attitude.”
  • “I want to be more honest.”
  • “I don’t know what to say to people who misuse God’s grace a license for sin.”

7/15 – The One Debt You Want

Based on Romans 13:8-10.

Many people struggle with out-of-control debt.  God’s call is that we steward the resources He has given us faithfully and avoid debt as much as possible.  Yet, there is one debt God wants us to have:  the debt to love each other.  On Pastor Tucker’s Twenty-Fifth Ordination Anniversary, President Emeritus of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, Jerry Kieschnick, shares how the continuing debt to love each other is part of the pastoral ministry and every Christian’s ministry.

What you’re saying about debt…

  • “I am in debt and financially insecure.”
  • “I overspend on items and go over budget.”
  • “I want to get out of debt.”
  • “I want to learn how to pay off debt.”
  • “How do I avoid debt?”
  • “How do I pay off debt?”

7/22 – A Healthy Look At Me, Part 1

Based on Genesis 1:26-28, 31.

Many people struggle with feelings of worthlessness and unworthiness.  However, when we remember that we are made in God’s image, we can rest assured that it is in Him that we have our worth and identity.  It is from this that we can develop a healthy self-image.

What you’re saying about your self-image…

  • “I don’t eat enough to nourish myself.”
  • “I want to be able to look in the mirror and tell myself I am worthy.”
  • “I want to look more Christ-like.”
  • “I never think I have done enough.”
  • “I have a hard time putting me first before my children and family.”

7/29 – A Healthy Look At Me, Part 2

Based on 1 Timothy 4:1-8.

The Hebrew word for “health” is shalom, which describes not only our physical health, but our mental, spiritual, and emotional health as well.  God wants us to be healthy in all aspects of our lives.  The foundation for holistic health, however, is our health in Christ.  In this message, we discuss how all these areas of health intersect with each other.

What you’re saying about your health…

  • “I need to exercise and change my eating habits.”
  • “I eat too much junk food.”
  • “I struggle with fear and worry.”
  • “I struggle with depression.”
  • “I need to lose weight.”
  • “I’m trying to keep my diabetes under control.”
  • “I’m having trouble facing my mortality.”
  • “I’m challenged to make exercise a priority.”

8/5 – How to Pray

Based on Matthew 6:5-13.

Many people want to pray, they just don’t know how!  Thankfully, Jesus gives us a great way to pray in His prayer – the Lord’s Prayer.  But this prayer is not just a prayer to be recited, it’s a prayer to be followed.  Praying for everything from God’s glory to forgiveness for sins to our daily needs are all appropriate topics for prayer.  In this message, we learn how this one prayer can be a pattern for all of our praying.

What you’re saying about prayer…

  • “I need to spend more time with God in prayer.”
  • “How can I create time each day to spend with God in prayer?”
  • “How can I hear God’s directions and answers in prayer?”
  • “How do I keep in close touch with God through prayer?”
  • “I need to develop a devoted prayer time.”
  • “How do I pray?”

8/12  – Help!  My Job Is Unfulfilling!

Based on Genesis 39:1-4, 11-15.

A recent feature in Psychology Today asked, “Is Your Job Killing You?”  It’s no secret that some people do not like their jobs and feel like they are slowly having the life sucked out of them.  How do you survive when work gets hard?  You survive by remembering that, ultimately, even in a trying job, you can still serve God.  This is what Joseph had to remember when he worked for Potiphar.  His job was so bad that it landed him in jail.  But God ultimately came through for Joseph and He will come through for you too.

What you’re saying about your job…

  • “Accepting my lot in life is hard.”
  • “It’s hard to stay focused and work as if I worked for God.”
  • “My job is not stable.”
  • “I love my job, but I can’t help but feel there’s more I should be doing.”
  • “I’m not sure what I’m called to do.”
  • “How do I find joy in housework?”
  • “I’m presently unhappy at work and am ready for a change.”
  • “My job is unfulfilling.”

8/19 – Budgeting and Tithing

Based on Proverbs 3:5-10.

Key to any theology of Christian stewardship is budgeting is giving.  Solomon reminds us, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine” (Proverbs 3:9-10).  When we trust God to give back to Him what He has given us, our faith in Him to provide for all of our needs grows by leaps and bounds.

What you’re saying about budgeting and tithing…

  • “I want to continue to pay my bills and help God’s Church and my family.”
  • “I need God’s help for me to support His Church.”
  • “I’m having trouble tithing and budgeting every month.”
  • “I need to learn to budget more wisely and save.”
  • “How do I build my faith so I can tithe?”
  • “How can I know where God wants my finances to go?”
  • “I need to stick to a budget.”
  • “What do I do when my spouse doesn’t want to tithe?”

8/26 – Taking Work Home

Based on Exodus 20:8-12.

Many people take work home with them, either physically or emotionally.  Some people are always on call or working on projects and are never able to stop.  Other people carry the emotional weight of their work on their shoulders and are never able to relax.  In this message, we look at the importance of balancing work and rest and note how in the Ten Commandments, a mandate to rest goes hand in hand with a mandate concerning relationships in the family.

What you’re saying about balancing work and life…

  • “How do I stay healthy with so many things going on?”
  • “How do I keep my physical health and mental capacity at peak performance?”
  • “I never feel like I have enough done.”
  • “I’ve been doing the same thing for so long, I feel stuck.”
  • “I can’t find a good balance between work and home.”
  • “How do I maintain the discipline I need to get everything done?”

9/2 – Retirement That Works

Based on Exodus 7:1-7.

Retirement involves more than playing golf and lounging around!  When Moses led the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, he was eighty and his brother Aaron was eighty-four.  Just because you retire doesn’t mean that God can’t use you to do amazing work!  What work is God calling you to do for Him?

What you’re saying about retirement…

  • “I need to retire!”
  • “How do I use my retirement years to be faithful to the Lord?”
  • “I’m retired and my volunteerism is limited. How can this change?”
  • “I need to figure out what to do after years focused on raising children.”

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