Happy Sunday, folks. What a gorgeous day it is in Jacksonville today.
I’m in Florida visiting with my friend Nicole this week!
I woke up an hour early this morning to get a run in before church, since yesterday’s workout wasn’t exactly a sweat-fest. Nicole’s neighborhood is absolutely beautiful with quaint, brick houses and friendly neighbors.
I took her trusty pup Brody along, who has become a favorite buddy of mine.
You can tell I’m a Wisconsin girl because I totally under-estimated how warm it would be outside this morning… I had to take off a couple layers once we got movin’!
You like stinky workout clothes, huh Broadster?
It was a good run, and I even spotted an armadillo!
D’ya see it?
This morning I accompanied Nicole to her and Dan’s church in Jacksonville. They were running a “missions auction” between services, raising money for different missions organizations that they support. Every life group (small group Bible study) put together a basket that was up for silent auction. It was super neat!
(Photo courtesy: springvillejournal.com)
Each basket was fabulously put together with different themes, i.e. “Date Night,” “Spa/Girls Night,” “Family Game Night,” “Beach Day,” “Car Care Kit…” Very clever, and a few of the baskets already had bids of over $100!
My favorite was the “Fitness Kit:”
It came complete with fitness journal, DVDs, water bottle, yoga mat, and energy bars. What sealed the deal was a coupon for a free month’s membership to a local gym and personal training coach. How sweet is that! I’ll have to remember this basket auction for future ministry fundraising.
We headed upstairs to the young adult’s life group that Dan & Nicole are apart of. The group consisted of about eight couples, and we were going over the story in John of Jesus healing an official’s son, (John 4:46-54). I had read this historical account before, but in discussing it as a group, I learned a few new things that I had never thought of for. For example, the man asking Jesus to heal his son was a government official. It’s important to remember that Jesus was just starting his ministry and was still known to many as “the carpenter who turned water into wine at that one party.” It was kind of a big deal for a big-shot government official to come searching for Jesus and beg him to come to his house to heal his son. Also, it’s estimated that the distance from where Jesus was in Capernum to this official’s house was over 20 miles. That was not a very short distance back in the day before road cars or the metro. Yet the man had traveled all that way to ask Jesus to come home with him, and all the way back alone on only one promise: that Jesus said his son was healed.
There was a lot more wisdom that we gleaned from the passage, but I was reminded today of a big reason why small group Bible studies are so important: You learn so much more when you have a group of people to study a passage together. You’re able to share and draw off each other’s knowledge and experiences, as well as live life together and encourage one another in God’s truth.
If you’re not already studying God’s word with a group of people, I totally encourage you to check out a small group at your church or campus. It’s probably one of the most life-giving things you can do in your walk with God.
Our life group in Quantico, Virginia. Miss these guys!
QUESTION OF THE DAY
Have you ever been a part of a life or small group? How has it blessed you?