Check out the bible readings for this week.
One of the ways we can all participate in the Church Renewal Lab on an ongoing basis is through reading one chapter of the Bible each day, five days out of seven, and pondering a question intended to help us think through what we’ve just read and how it applies both to our life together and our life as part of our broader neighborhoods and community. Imagine what God might do through us as we ponder and pray together! With that in mind, here are the readings and questions for the week of November 11-17, 2018
Read: Nehemiah 1
Consider: Using a good study Bible or doing an online search, see what you can learn about who Nehemiah was, the time he lived, what the world was like during his lifetime, and specifically why this book is important to us as we love God, love others, and serve our community.
Pray for the Church Renewal Lab team focusing on Outreach: Damaris Torres, Steven Torres, Don Berghuis, and Greg Fopma.
Read: Nehemiah 1:1-4
Questions to ponder: Where is home for you? When were you last homesick? Why is Nehemiah so concerned about Jerusalem? What does he learn about it’s condition (vv 2-4)? How does Nehemiah respond to this news (v 4), and what does that tell us about his relationship with God? How grieved are you about the physical and spiritual state of God’s people—enough to pray? To fast? To get involved?
Pray for the Church Renewal Lab team focusing on Assimilation: Barbara VanDeusen, Judith Collar, Naomi Galarza, Cookie Liebl, Lori Johnson, and Nancy Melough.
Read: Nehemiah 1:5-11
Questions to ponder: How important do you think prayer was for Nehemiah? What do you see of God’s nature in Nehemiah’s prayer? What does Nehemiah see in himself? What does he recall (vv 8-10)? Do you tend to despair over or complain about what is? Accept what is? Or do you pray for what should be? What was the basis for Nehemiah’s appeal to God (v 11)?
Pray for our Elders.
Read: Nehemiah 1
Consider: The following is a prayer attributed to Sir Francis Drake, a 16th- century English sea captain, explorer, and naval pioneer. Consider praying it today, and often during this study of Nehemiah.
"Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little, when we arrive safely because we have sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess, we have lost our thirst for the waters of life; or having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity; or if in our efforts to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of the new heaven to dim. Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas where storms will show your mastery; where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes, that we may push into the future in strength, courage, hope and love. Amen.
Pray for our church Worship Team, chaired by John Drohan.
Read: Nehemiah 2:1-10
Questions to ponder: The time between Nehemiah 1:1 and Nehemiah 2:1 was about three months. During that time, what do you think Nehemiah had been doing? Why do you think it has taken so long for Nehemiah to show his grief, and for the king to notice it? What does he ask the king to do? What questions does the king have? What wisdom and dependence on God does Nehemiah show in his response? What concerns do you have right now that you can make known to your heavenly King?
Pray for the Church Renewal Lab team focusing on Worship: Eileen Crawford, Andrew Brindisi, Marg Christians, Judy Straayer, and Lori Sylvester.