G.I.F.T. August 23

Growing In Faith Together
 August 23rd 2015   

Today’s Texts: 
 Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18
 Psalm 34:15-22
 Ephesians 6:10-20 
 John 6:59-69

 Gathered by Grace: 
The fork in the road…the moment of truth….the choice. Will we do things the way we've always done it, or will we take a leap of faith? "This teaching is difficult!" say those who have trekked with Jesus. Will we risk the spirit that gives life or will we pin all our hopes on "the flesh”? Jesus invites us into the unfathomable joys of the kingdom of God. What will we choose? 
                                            -  From SundaysandSeasons.com, ©2011 Augsburg Fortress.

Discuss in your household or small group: 
* The Israelites gave reasons for choosing to serve the Lord. “For it was the Lord, our God who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt . . . performed miracles . . . and protected us.” What is your reason for choosing to serve God?
*  “Jesus asks, “Do you also want to leave?” What would your answer be right now? Is there any middle ground here? 
* Jesus surprised his followers by revealing the grace and mercy of God in his own body, suffering, and death. Where should we be looking for God to show up today?
* What teaching in the Christian faith gives you the most trouble?

Daily Bible Readings:
These readings are related to the Sunday readings. M-W reflect upon the past Sunday’s readings and Th-Sa prepare for the next Sunday.  Try to take time each day to read the assigned Bible passage.
Sunday John 6:59-62 Thursday Psalm 34:15-18
Monday Psalm 36:5-9 Friday Romans 13:11-14
Tuesday Genesis 45:1-15 Saturday Luke 11:9-13
Wednesday  Mark 8:14-21 Sunday Mark 7:1-23

NEXT SUNDAY: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9; Psalm 15; James 1:17-27; Mark 7:1-23


Prayers for this Week: 
For the Week: Help me follow you.

For Throughout the Day: Thank you for the Living Bread.

A Blessing to Share:  Jesus is the bread of life.

Try to memorize:   Pray in the Spirit at all times in                                                 every prayer and supplication.
                                                         Ephesians 6:18

For Mealtime:
Say responsively: God is near to the broken-hearted: God saves those whose spirits are crushed.

August Meal Prayer:    
                                 ABCDEFG thank you, 
                                   God for feeding me!
                                                     Amen

For further reflection:

Devotional Practice: 
From Ephesians 6:18: Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. How would you define “pray in the Spirit”? Is that understanding a part of your prayer life? This week, begin your prayers with “Come Holy Spirit”. Reflect on any difference this makes.

Summer Ritual: 
Everything in our universe is incredible – from the tiny blue flowers blooming in the yard to the puffy white clouds in the sky. This summer start each morning with a simple prayer: Lord, show me something incredible. Amen. Then watch to see what the treasure is. When you find it, in your mind add a tag “Made by God”.

Scattered to serve:  
School has started….time for Random Acts of Kindness; try out some of these: Treat someone to fresh fruit; call or visit a home bound person; be a good neighbor - take over a baked treat or stop by to say “Hello”; transport someone who can’t drive; write a note of appreciation to your mailman; compliment a stranger sincerely; drop off a toy or game at a homeless shelter; put a quarter in a parking meter that has expired.

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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