THE DANGER OF MANY WORDS

Depending on who I am with and what my role is I may be a quiet person of few words or someone who always contributes to the discussion.

Often, the larger the group I am in, the quieter I will be and the smaller and more comfortable I am with the people around, the more talkative I may become.

  • How about you?
  • Are you a person of many or few words?
  • What situations encourage or discourage you to talk freely?
  • What about when you pray?
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PRACTICING SECRECY

While I was still in my undergraduate studies, I was busy practicing secrecy.

The reason I was practicing secrecy resulted from a desire along with my siblings to plan a surprise 25th anniversary party for our parents.

We decided the best way to keep our parents unaware of the party would be to secretly invite extra guests to a party our parents had already planned to host for family on the 4th of July.

Their wedding anniversary is near that date, so this was a great cover in our minds.

Since I lived the closest to our parents, I was tasked with sneaking photos out of their house to put together a photo album and manage the secret invite responses.

My siblings and I were practicing secrecy because we intended to bless and honor our parents.

We all laugh about how our parents hosted their own 25th wedding anniversary surprise!

And yes, I especially receive some ribbing because of frequently calling them before the party to say I had invited some more friends that they had to feed. 😊

The reward for practicing secrecy in this case is we did bless our parents, family, and friends with a great memory to share with each other in celebration of their marriage.

Did you know practicing secrecy is also encouraged by Jesus in Matthew 6:6?

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FOREVER

forever

What comes to mind when you hear or read the word forever?

Does a person, place or thing come to mind?

Or a combination?

Do you consider forever to be a serious promise with serious consequences if not upheld?

Or do you think forever is something we are incapable of comprehending?

Why and how does the Bible, and Joel 3:20 in particular, use the word forever?

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A POWERFUL CONTRAST

contrast

What word or words would you use to describe the powerful contrast in the image above?

Have you ever used the word ‘but’ to draw a powerful contrast?

For example:

“The images above are of the same location. The one on the left shows a time of well-being but the one on the right shows a time of tragedy.”

  • Having read the above example which image are you finding your mind focusing on? The one on the left or the one on the right?
  • Why?
  • How does this discussion of a powerful contrast using the word “but” intersect with our study of Joel 3:19?
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PROVISION

help

Consider the following definitions of the noun provision:

1a: the act or process of providing

1b: the fact or state of being prepared beforehand

1c: a measure taken beforehand to deal with a need or contingency

2: a stock of needed materials or supplies especially: a stock of food – usually used in plural

  • What do you personally due to insure you have provision for today?
  • Do you also have a plan for insuring you have enough provision for the future?
  • How far in the future are you preparing?
  • What type of provision do you deem most important to secure for daily and future needs?
  • Have you benefitted from others provision on your behalf?
  • What does Joel 3:18 have to say about provision?
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HOME

home
  • What images does the word home bring to your mind?
  • Are these images of home positive or negative? Maybe a combination?

Compare the phrases “at home” versus “broken home”.

Many of us would agree that the word home is initially meant to reference where we physically reside or dwell.

But in the phrases “at home” versus “broken home” many of us would also agree that the word home becomes more significant than a simple residence or dwelling location.

  • Where does the desire for a “safe home” come from?
  • What does Joel 3:17 have to say about the meaning of home?
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REFUGE

refuge
  • How would you define the word refuge?
  • Can refuge be a place, person, or thing?
  • What qualities are essential for a place, person, or thing to be deemed a refuge?

Consider the following definitions:

1 : shelter or protection from danger or distress

2 : a place that provides shelter or protection

3 : something to which one has recourse in difficulty

  • Do these definitions change or reinforce your own for refuge?

It is raining where I am at today.

Having one of the umbrellas in the picture above while outside would certainly provide a refuge from getting drenched.

  • Is there a refuge that can meet all the above definitions?
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