1 Samuel 8

Reading 1 Samuel Chapter 8 for Thursday, January 16th. Samuel’s sons didn’t follow in their dad’s path. The Israelites wanted a king, like all the other surrounding peoples had. God spoke to foretell what a bad idea that was, and then allowed them to move forward with their bad idea.

1 Samuel 7

Reading 1 Samuel Chapter 7 for Wednesday, January 15th. The ark is taken care of for 20 years in a town. Samuel tells the Israelites to stop worshipping idols, and things get better once they do. The Philistines are subdued ad peace ensues while Samuel judged.

1 Samuel 6

Reading 1 Samuel Chapter 6 for Tuesday about the successful return of the ark of the covenant to the Israelites in a cart towed by two cows. Seventy men died for looking inside the ark though, which was forbidden.

1 Samuel 5

In today’s reading of 1 Samuel Chapter 5 for Monday. We read about what the Philistines went through after deciding to keep the ark of the covenant of God beside their god Dagon in their temple. God was not happy about that and caused death and a plague of tumors, inciting panic and a spiritual… Continue reading 1 Samuel 5

1 Samuel 4

Here I read 1 Samuel Chapter 4 for Friday, January 10th, 2014 about the fulfillment of a dire prophesy for many in Israel and the house of Eli, including the ark of the covenant. I also found a terrible baby naming instance near the end of this chapter.

1 Samuel 3

Let’s read 1 Samuel Chapter 3 for Thursday, January 9th, 2014. May your ears tingle today as God reveals Himself to young Samuel for the first time, and a troubling prophesy is spoken to him about the house of Eli.

1 Samuel 2

Reading 1 Samuel Chapter 2 for Wednesday. Hannah is blessed with five more children while Eli and his family line are cursed and his sons are prophesied to die on the same day because of their wickedness. God plans to bring up a man who follows his will and act in righteousness.

1 Samuel 1

Reading 1 Samuel Chapter 1 for Tuesday, January 7th. Hannah prayed because she could not have a child, and after being bullied by a rival wife and misunderstood by a Priest, God answered her prayer with a son.

Ruth 4

Reading Ruth Chapter 4 for Monday, January 6th. Boaz goes to the city gate and confirms with the nearest legal kinsman-redeemer that he chooses to waive his right to Ruth and the property of her dead husband, clearing Boaz for marrying Ruth, obtaining some land, and getting a free sandal.

Ruth 3

Reading Ruth Chapter 3 for Friday, January 3rd. Naomi advises Ruth on how she can get Boaz’s attention and let him know that she is interested in him.

Ruth 2

Listen to Ruth Chapter 2 followed by a short commentary about the chapter by Ezra Engle. Ruth finds the favor of Boaz while gathering grain as a needy person would in her culture.

Ruth 1

Reading Ruth 1 for Wednesday, January 1st, 2014. Orpah and Ruth choose different paths when Naomi suggests they go back to their old homes.

Romans 9

Reading Romans 9 for Tuesday with a brief commentary.

Romans 8

Reading Romans Chapter 8 and a short commentary for Monday.

Test Post

This audio file was uploaded as a test to confirm that I can move my podcast to a completely mobile publishing workflow in 2014. Thanks for your patience.

Discussion: Wisdom

What does it look like to live like God does not exist? How would someone act who believes God is real? “He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.” -Proverbs 28:26 NIV Is it possible for someone to live foolishly, even though they have asked God… Continue reading Discussion: Wisdom

Discussion: Idols

In the book of Exodus, while Moses went away from the Israelites to meet with God, they decided to use their jewelry and make a golden calf idol with it, and treated it as though it was responsible for rescuing them from slavery in Egypt. “… Then they said, “These are your gods, O Israel,… Continue reading Discussion: Idols

Discussion: Listening

What does it mean to you when someone listens to you? How would you describe the difference between hearing and listening? Would others say you were good at listening? How could you get better at listening? “He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right… Continue reading Discussion: Listening

Discussion: Invite

What is the reason we meet here on Wednesdays? What benefits are there to going to a church? Who else could benefit from being here? Why would some people possibly not want to come? What might surprise new people coming for the first time to this group? Should we invite Christians to youth group? Should… Continue reading Discussion: Invite

Discussion: Commit

What does it mean to commit to something? com·mit /kəˈmit/ Verb 1. Carry out or perpetrate (a mistake, crime, or immoral act): “he committed an uncharacteristic error”. 2. Pledge or bind (a person or an organization) to a certain course or policy. You determine the course of your actions beforehand. For example: I commit to… Continue reading Discussion: Commit

Discussion: Security

What does it mean to have security? When do you feel the most secure? Describe a time when you felt unsafe. What are some things we don’t have control over that can make us feel insecure? What are actions we can take (or things we can control) that help to limit our dangers? “Cast your… Continue reading Discussion: Security

Discussion: Study

Why do we study? What are your study habits? What happens when you neglect studying? Is everything worth studying? Have you ever felt like you knew better about a certain subject than your parent or teacher? Share! “I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding… Continue reading Discussion: Study

Discussion: Pleasing

Everybody think about being bored. You desperately want something to do. So your parents offer to ‘cure’ your boredom with yard work, dishes, vacuuming etc. This would make time pass, and you’d be busy- but it isn’t the ideal ‘cure’. Imagine, instead, you get a phone call from a good friend who has decided to… Continue reading Discussion: Pleasing

Discussion: Waiting

Why do most people hate waiting? What was something you had to wait a really long time for? Share a time where you waited, but what you were waiting for wasn’t worth the wait. (Ezra: I had been automatically made part of a class action lawsuit and was told I would receive a settlement check… Continue reading Discussion: Waiting

Discussion: Fear

What scares you? Is there a difference between worry and fear? What is the root of YOUR fears? Is there a such thing as healthy fear? "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."… Continue reading Discussion: Fear

Discussion: Decisions

What was a difficult decision you had to make? How did you decide what to do? If you talked with anyone else about your decision, why did you choose them? What decisions do you have coming up in the near future where you are not certain what you should do? What is the worst thing… Continue reading Discussion: Decisions

Discussion: Sorrow

What is sorrow? How do you deal with loss? What do others do when they are in emotional pain? What did Jesus do? “Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” [39] Going a little farther, he fell with his… Continue reading Discussion: Sorrow

Discussion: Miracles

Have you seen a miracle? What is a miracle? God makes the rules of the universe, so He can bend them too. Share about a miracle you have witnessed, if any. A miracle can be something you have observed, but can’t explain. Have you observed something like that? Explain. “Remember the wonders he has done,… Continue reading Discussion: Miracles

Discussion: Science 2

Last week we discussed science. Did everyone get a chance to say, “Praise Jesus” in a science class? Or see something that inspired you? Oops! You guys were on spring break. 🙂 hehe… What questions do you have about the universe? Are you frustrated by not knowing the answers to those questions? “Nothing in all… Continue reading Discussion: Science 2

Discussion: Science

What is science? Do you wonder how things work? Have you been amazed with nature and the vastness of the universe? Why do some people think science is bad? Do some people use science to try to discredit God’s existence or truth? Do some people use the Christian faith to try to discredit the claims… Continue reading Discussion: Science

Discussion: Perspective

What is perspective? What have you changed your views about recently? What were your beliefs five years ago? Have you ever been in an argument with someone and later discovered that it was all a misunderstanding? What are the beliefs of the oldest people you know that differ from yours? Why might their beliefs be… Continue reading Discussion: Perspective

Discussion: Purity (1)

What does it mean to be pure? Why would you care about purity? What types of things need to be pure in some way? (Water, medicine, quality food, etc..) “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” -Matthew 5:8 (NIV) “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever… Continue reading Discussion: Purity (1)

Discussion: Friendship

What do you look for in a good friend? What makes you a good friend to others? Have your personality flaws or attitude ever caused a fight or even brought about the end of a friendship? Have you ever betrayed or really hurt a friend? Has a friend ever betrayed or hurt you? What does… Continue reading Discussion: Friendship

Discussion: Temptation

What does it mean to be tempted? What kinds of things can tempt teens? How are temptations similar to each other? How can temptations be very specific to an individual? Can you ever escape a temptation? How? It is easy to fight an enemy you hate, but with temptation, your enemy is disguised as someone… Continue reading Discussion: Temptation

Discussion: Shame

What is shame? What does shame feel like? When do you feel shame? Why do you feel shame? Is shame a good thing? When? When is shame not helpful? How can you avoid shame? “In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.” -Psalm… Continue reading Discussion: Shame

Discussion: Reverence

What is reverence? *1. a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration. Do you have an attitude of respect tinged with awe when God is the focus? When is God the focus? How do you show respect? How do others do this? What may cause you to experience the feeling of awe?… Continue reading Discussion: Reverence

Discussion: Worship

Worship is Adoring God for who He is. You can sing, pray, and/or live as a form of worship. Do you thank God for stuff He does? Do you acknowledge Him for who He is? “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and… Continue reading Discussion: Worship

Discussion: Power

What power do you have? What choices are available to you? What are your limitations? What are your intentions? When will you act on your intentions, assuming it is a good idea to do that? Who do you know could use some help? Who comes to mind deserves a blessing from your abilities? “Do not… Continue reading Discussion: Power

Discussion: Identity

What (or who) do you identify with? How do you communicate that? Who has influence on you? Who do you influence? “At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I… Continue reading Discussion: Identity

Discussion: Humble

How do people make you feel when they talk about themselves a lot? Why do people feel like changing the subject to things that make them seem better than others? If you are secure in your self worth, might it be easier to let others and God do the encouragement, rather than yourself? “Humble yourselves… Continue reading Discussion: Humble

Discussion: Alert

What is a sucker punch? If someone knew it was coming, what do you think they’d do? Have you ever been caught off guard or been unprepared for something important? How could you have been better prepared? Are there areas of life where you are weak or easily tempted? Do you ever give in to… Continue reading Discussion: Alert

Discussion: Distraction

Have you been easily distracted? What types of things distract you? Are you in control of your own mind? In what ways do you let others dictate your thoughts? (Advertising, Entertainment, News) What would be something you were proud of focusing on? “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is… Continue reading Discussion: Distraction

Discussion: Youth

Have you been harassed or gotten grief from a stranger because of your age? What did they assume about you? What can you do about this? Does this make you angry? Have you ever done anything to confirm a stereotype? “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example… Continue reading Discussion: Youth

Discussion: Action

Why do people lose hope? What keep you from doing right? Have you meant to do something, but then thought, ‘I am too tired’? What are the negative effects of laziness or apathy? “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?… Continue reading Discussion: Action

Testimony: Jesse

Photo: “Jesse Introducing Himself to UPstream” notes: Early decision to follow Christ. (7 years old) Retreat with Youth Group and bought first bible. Renewed passion for God. 22 years old. Left old church after a merger that left him feeling out of place. Has a girlfriend. Dating for two years as of December 5th. Committed… Continue reading Testimony: Jesse

Discussion: Friends

What do you have in common with most of your friends? In what ways do you influence your friends? In what ways do your friends influence you? Can you describe a situation where you were adversely affected by your friend or friends? “A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked… Continue reading Discussion: Friends

Discussion: Praise

What is praise? Do you have difficulty recognizing what you have been blessed with? How can you praise God? What sorts of situations make you think of thanking God? Isaiah 25:1 (NIV) O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things,… Continue reading Discussion: Praise

Discussion: Grace

Have you ever heard the saying ‘what goes around comes around’? What does that mean? What is Karma? Do we always get what we deserve, good or bad? What is grace? Galatians 6:7-9 (NIV) Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. [8] The one who sows to please… Continue reading Discussion: Grace

Discussion: Mocker

What do you say to those who disagree with you? How skilled are you at listening? Are you impatient with people you disagree with? What is mocking? Why do people mock each other? What should we do when we are mocked? What is the opposite of mocking? Proverbs 9:12 (NIV) If you are wise, your… Continue reading Discussion: Mocker

Discussion: Anger

Is there something wrong with having anger? What makes you angry? Do you try to calm yourself down when you feel like losing control? Do you need time to yourself to process your anger? How long is enough time to be angry before you deal with it? “‘In your anger do not sin’ : Do… Continue reading Discussion: Anger

Discussion: Protect

Have you been hurt by someone, in any memorable way? Has a friend of yours been seriously hurt? Have you had the opportunity to save someone from danger of any kind? Have you not protected someone because you were scared? Has someone saved you from injury? How did you feel about it? “Love does not… Continue reading Discussion: Protect

Discussion: How?

What are some things that you have difficulty with regarding the church culture or traditions? What do you think is the most effective way to communicate with high schoolers about God? “Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and… Continue reading Discussion: How?

Discussion: Why

Why did you get or stay involved in UPstream? Why are you involved in church? How important is attending Christian gatherings like UPstream to you? What might keep you from seeking meetings with other believers after high school? What do you say if someone asks you what you believe? Do you phrase your statements differently… Continue reading Discussion: Why

Discussion: Submit

What does it mean to submit? Are there people you should or should not submit too? Why? Is there ever a time that we shouldn’t submit to God? Are there any areas of your life that you surrender control to God, only to take it back later? -(watch ‘the Stool’ skit by OneTimeBlind) If you… Continue reading Discussion: Submit

Discussion: Topics

What topics to discuss? What future events should we have? What ways can we serve our community? 2010/08/10/10 -Karyn

Discussion: Grief

Have you experienced grief? What is it? What do you naturally do to cope with grief? Have you had a friend suffer with grief? What was their response to this feeling? What are some causes of grief? “But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The… Continue reading Discussion: Grief

Discussion: Mercy

Have you been frustrated and thought, “I don’t deserve this”? Have you seen a commercial that tells you that you deserve a vacation, or to reward yourself? Have you stopped and wondered how you did not get into trouble for something bad you did? When was the last time you got into trouble? What was… Continue reading Discussion: Mercy

Discussion: Idle

What does it mean to be idle? Why are you idle at times? What should you do if you are regularly having difficulty deciding what to do with your time? Does God have a problem with us wasting time? “And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak,… Continue reading Discussion: Idle

Discussion: Truth

What is the benefit of truth? What is truth? (that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality) What are the dangers of disregarding the truth? What sorts of foolish plans could one make without considering the truth? “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.” -Proverbs 23:23… Continue reading Discussion: Truth

Discussion: Sickness

Have you been sick? Have you been worried about someone else who was sick? What is the worst thing about sickness? What is the best thing to do? “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of… Continue reading Discussion: Sickness

Discussion: Angry

What makes you angry? how do you respond to your anger? Are there different types of anger? Has God ever been angry? “So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. [16] To… Continue reading Discussion: Angry

Discussion: Fair

Have you ever hurt someone physically or emotionally on accident? Have you ever done it on purpose? Why do you think God doesn’t step in every time we’re about to make a poor choice? Why does God let people get sick or get hurt, when He can prevent it? We live in a physical world.… Continue reading Discussion: Fair

Discussion: Ambition

What is ambition? ambition |amˈbi sh ən| noun a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work : her ambition was to become a model | he achieved his ambition of making a fortune. • desire and determination to achieve success : life offered few opportunities for young people… Continue reading Discussion: Ambition

Discussion: Trust

What is trust? Who do you not trust? Who can you trust?    Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6 -Ezra 2010-05-11

Discussion: Rest

What is rest for? Why do we rest? What happens when we stay awake too long? Is it good for your brain to rest? What does God say about rest? “ ‘There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are… Continue reading Discussion: Rest

Discussion: Shattered

Describe a time when something unexpected happened: What is disappointing about shattering something? Shattered things can’t be repaired, they must be replaced.    “He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. “It is not by strength that one prevails; those who oppose the LORD will be shattered.… Continue reading Discussion: Shattered

Discussion: Self-Discipline

What do your parents say ‘no’ to you about? What freedoms do you lack? What frustrates you about some rules? What, if any rules do you set for yourself? Why or why not? “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” -1 Peter 5:8… Continue reading Discussion: Self-Discipline

Discussion: Money

What is good about money? What bad can come from money? What good can come from money? How do you think God views money? Why do people get into debt? Are there responsible and irresponsible ways to spend? Are there responsible and irresponsible ways to save? “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.… Continue reading Discussion: Money

Discussion: Compromise

How much will you adapt yourself to make friends? Have you been lonely because of being too picky about choosing friends? What morals and/or standards are you unwilling to change for friends? Have you ever lost friends because you wouldn’t comromise your standards? Have you ever disappointed yourself or someone else because you did compromise?… Continue reading Discussion: Compromise

Discussion: Education

Is it easy to learn? Do you have difficulty focusing? Do you look forward to being done with school? Why? If you had to finish school in half the time, what would be the benefit? Are there any disadvantages to the rush? If there were no school expected or required of you, what would you… Continue reading Discussion: Education

Discussion: Law

What is the purpose of law? Do laws vary in different places? Why? What are some consequences of breaking the law? What does the Bible mean when it talks about God’s law? Do you think that the laws God has put in place are easy or natural to follow? What are some that you struggle… Continue reading Discussion: Law

Discussion: Run

Do you like to run? What is worth running for? What would you run from? Even if you don’t want to run, if you want something bad enough, you will run for it. If you won’t run to God, why not? Maybe you are running from God, even. What goals have you set worth running… Continue reading Discussion: Run

Discussion: Motivation

What motivates you? What is something that should benefit you: (not now, but much later) that you are currently involved in? Are you motivated by fear? Give an example: “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” (NIV) Proverbs 29:25 Are you motivated by money?… Continue reading Discussion: Motivation

Discussion: Wisdom

What exactly is wisdom? Who do you think of as having lots of wisdom in their life? Famous or personally known, and what is wise that they do? If I do what I want, is that good?(Depends on what you want) Can your desires be trusted to be wise? Life is short. Why waste life,… Continue reading Discussion: Wisdom

Discussion: Time

What robs your time? When was the last time you said,”I’m bored?” Would you say you are good with time management? Why or why not? “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. [33] Be on guard! Be alert ! You do… Continue reading Discussion: Time

Discussion: Individuality

What gets you talking forever? What topics do you get excited about? How did you get into such a passion? God designed us as individuals. We may feel pressure to conform to some arbitrary or stereotypical standard of christianity. What pressures have you experienced like this? “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully… Continue reading Discussion: Individuality

Discussion: Random

How was your week? Anybody sick? Karyn baby news discussion… Weather Work Dylainie’s ‘zombie-like’ cat is sick Prayer for Karyn’s sickness & labor Prayer for Dylainie’s cats Dylainie’s english grade recovery story New Facebook interface Ezra’s Bible reading progress/success etc… Sibling Conflict Discussion, being the youngest and spoiled. Bible Reading: Romans 12:10 Closing Prayer by… Continue reading Discussion: Random

Discussion: Motivation

dictionary.com definition- (something that motivates; inducement; incentive) What motivates people? (why do you do what you do?) What makes your motivation fade?(why does your desire to keep ‘doing’ become more difficult?) What are the purposes of your motivations? Are some motives pure/good and others not? (Explain) Examples: I desire to know God better I desire… Continue reading Discussion: Motivation

Discussion: Mind-Set

When have you been caught thinking in the wrong way, considering your world view? How do you handle inconsistencies in your perspective? What kind of situations derail your thought process or attitude? “Do everything without complaining or arguing, [15] so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked… Continue reading Discussion: Mind-Set

Discussion: Role Models

Who is a role model? What kind of role model are you? Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. [2] It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his… Continue reading Discussion: Role Models

Discussion: Consequences

What does it mean to have consequences? Some philosophies beileve in Karma. What is the difference between Karma and Consequences? Tell about a time you got what you deserved that was bad: (as a result of a bad decision) Tell about something good that resulted from a decision or action you made: How about a… Continue reading Discussion: Consequences

Discussion: Disappointment

1. Think of a time when you’ve been disappointed by a person or situation. What made you feel disappointed? 2. What is your reaction to disappointment? (do you withdraw, cry, yell, punch, etc.?) “Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not… Continue reading Discussion: Disappointment

Discussion: Blameless

What does it mean to be blameless? Does blameless mean never doing a wrong thing? Blame can be in effect when there is something still not right that needs to be paid for or repaired to be restored to it’s ideal condition. Example: who is going to pay for this broken window? Blame is unnecessary… Continue reading Discussion: Blameless

Discussion: Distraction

What is distraction? What is your distraction? What is wrong with being distracted? (NIV) Luke 10:40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help… Continue reading Discussion: Distraction

Discussion: Gossip

What is gossip? Why do people gossip? Have you gotten in trouble because of talking? Have you gotten hurt because of others talking about you? “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.” -(NIV) Proverbs 20:19 What does it mean to talk too much? 2009/12/01 -Ezra

Discussion: Commitment

1. What is a commitment? 2. When is it important to make a commitment? 3. Describe a time when you would have benefitted from a commitment, or when you wish someone upheld their end of a commitment. (NIV) 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy… Continue reading Discussion: Commitment

Discussion: Controlled

How are you with self control? What do you do to keep away from that which tempts you? Have you made a commitment to be pure for God? Or just your own self? (NIV) 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; [4] that each… Continue reading Discussion: Controlled

Discussion: Death

Have you had to deal with death recently? Does death scare you? What do you think happens when someone dies? (NIV) John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. [17] For God did not send… Continue reading Discussion: Death

Discussion: Lies

Why lie? What is the reason for avoiding lies? Why might it be important to think about what you say or joke about? Think about: What is funny to you but shouldn’t be? “Psalm thirty four, twelve and thirteen. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from… Continue reading Discussion: Lies

Discussion: Rude

Have you ever felt like your time wasn’t important or didn’t matter to someone else? What are some things people can do to give you that impression? Imagine having a really bad day and going to your best friend. You really need to talk or vent, but they keep texting someone or listening to their… Continue reading Discussion: Rude

Discussion: Faith

What is faith? What is the evidence of faith? What are the effects of faith? Think about this concept: To do what God says to experience the results that God promises is an example of faith being exercised. Have you exercised faith recently? (NIV) John 3:14-15 “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the… Continue reading Discussion: Faith

Discussion: Heaven

What is heaven for? Who is in heaven? Where does everyone go when they die? (Righteous and unrighteous) (NIV) John 3:13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Who is the Son of Man? (NIV) 2 Peter 3:13 But in keeping with his promise we… Continue reading Discussion: Heaven

Discussion: Belief

What does it mean to believe? What are your beliefs? Does saying we believe mean we are not absolutely certain? …As opposed to knowing? There are some things that God will not reveal to us if we are not accepting of the things He already has. For example, why enroll in Algebra II after failing… Continue reading Discussion: Belief

Discussion: Testimony

Define Testimony. tes⋅ti⋅mo⋅ny 1.Law. the statement or declaration of a witness under oath or affirmation, usually in court. 2.evidence in support of a fact or statement; proof. ——via dictinary.com—– It is easy to argue or debate about things we don’t have direct verifiable evidence for, but what is there that we base our understanding on?… Continue reading Discussion: Testimony

Discussion: Spirit

What is the Spirit? Definition: Holy Spirit noun (in Christianity) the third person of the Trinity; God as spiritually active in the world. Can you see the Spirit? Can you feel the Spirit? How do you know the Spirit is there? “John 3:6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.… Continue reading Discussion: Spirit

Discussion: Birthday

What is birth? Why do we celebrate birthdays? Is there more than one kind of birth? (NIV) John 3:4-5 “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” [5] Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one… Continue reading Discussion: Birthday

Discussion: Visible

Is it hard to believe in stuff you can’t see? What can’t you see that you believe in? (NIV) John 3:1-3 “Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. [2] He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who… Continue reading Discussion: Visible

Discussion: Self Control

What is self control? Have you had difficulty with self control? How is self control related to maturity? Have you felt like teachers or parents may try too much to control what you do through punishment or loss of priviledges? What would be a better motivator to get you to self control success? Failure? What… Continue reading Discussion: Self Control

Discussion: Bickering

Have you ever argued for no good reason? When is it worth argueing? I think of bickering as an arguement without a motive to end well. Kids get into cycles where they just get louder and eventually hurt each other. Is it hard to be a counselor to two people argueing, if they will listen… Continue reading Discussion: Bickering

Discussion: Pleasing

Everybody think about being bored. You desperately want something to do. So your parents offer to ‘cure’ your boredom with yard work, dishes, vacuuming etc. This would make time pass, and you’d be busy- but it isn’t the ideal ‘cure’. Imagine, instead, you get a phone call from a good friend who has decided to… Continue reading Discussion: Pleasing

Discussion: Defeat

Defeat 1. What does it mean to be “defeated?” 2. Have you ever felt defeated? 3. When feeling defeat, do you ever get angry with God? 4. Do you think that sometimes God wants you to lose? 5. Find the connection between “defeat” and “trust” 6. How can satan win by your feelings of defeat?… Continue reading Discussion: Defeat

Discussion: Plans

When you have a great idea, who do you tell first? Have you ever been talked out of an idea? Who has that influence on you? Who would you never want to leave out of the loop when you have a big decision you are ready to make? Have you acted on an idea that… Continue reading Discussion: Plans

Discussion: Timing

Have you gotten in trouble for being late? Have you had burned chicken for dinner before? Have you ever laughed about something you remembered when it was not the right time to laugh? Have you heard about what risks are associated with premature birth? What is the right time to be right with God? All… Continue reading Discussion: Timing

Discussion: Diligence

Who succeeds in a competition? Who succeeds in finances? Who succeeds in business? Why do you think diligence is important? Why not just work really really hard? What makes diligence unique? “”-proverbs 10:4-5 -Ezra 2009/04/28

Discussion: Pleasing

Think of a meal you eat at home that isn’t fantastic, bit you don’t dislike either. It’s just ‘eh’. Now think of your favorite meal. Something you really enjoy. How do you feel after those meals? Is there a difference? 2008/04/21

Discussion: Humble

How do you appreciate those who make sure your needs are met. What do you feel like when someone always has to be first or interrupts others? Do you have difficulty dealing with a person who you know thinks they are better than everyone else? What should you do? Is it tough when you get… Continue reading Discussion: Humble

Discussion: Happy

Are you a happy person? Why? What makes you decide to be glad if so? Is there a logical reason for you to be happy? Have you met others that are always bummed or depressed and have been through the same stuff as you? Does your heart ache? Why? Is there something that you won’t… Continue reading Discussion: Happy

Discussion: Fury

Fury: Strength or violence in action. What makes you furious? What good can come of fury? Have you heard of the phrase ‘blind fury’? What is the difference between anger and fury? God can have fury when implementing judgement and wrath. Isaiah 66:15 Man has fury when betrayed and overwhelmed with jealousy. Proverbs 27:4 2009/03/24

Discussion: Forever

God’s love endures forever. What has been the longest relationship where you have been/felt loved? What is the longest period of time you have loved another person? Why did this not last longer? (life limits, my attitude changed, the person I felt love for changed their feelings, or one of us may have had to… Continue reading Discussion: Forever

Discussion: Bored

What is boring? What is interesting? What makes things interesting? Is music interesting? What kind of music do you like? Why? Can music be boring? How? Can your relationship with God get boring? What would make it more of an engaging relationship? What might you be doing (or not doing) to allow it to get… Continue reading Discussion: Bored

Discussion: Popularity

What makes someone popular? What causes a popular person to lose their popularity? What earns respect for a person? Have you been hated for a belief you had? Was Jesus popular? Was he always popular? What caused people to turn on him, in your point of view? Have you been guilty of being quiet about… Continue reading Discussion: Popularity

Discussion: Authorities

What should you do when people are in charge that you disagree with? What does it mean to submit to authority? Why would God want us to submit to an authority that did not honor god? Should we do whatever we are told no matter what? What types of things are not ok to do… Continue reading Discussion: Authorities

Discussion: Delight

Does God delight in your way? Do you look for God’s hand when you stumble? If you don’t reach for God’s hand, you will fall. God is like a father and we are litle toddlers who stumble from time to time. But he is near us and offering his hand to us. Reach out to… Continue reading Discussion: Delight

Discussion: Funk

Have you been in a funk? What is the funk? How can you get out of the funk? Why do you end up in the funk? Does God allow the funk for a reason? Who knows about Jonah’s funk? What did Jonah do to rid himself of the funk? “”-Jonah 2 2008/12/2

Discussion: Power

What do you do with power? Is or better to honor God with your power or to not take sides? Do you gave the power to make a choice that is unpopular, but godly? 2 Chronicles 14:2-6 Asa had power as king, and removed idols and things that dishonored God from his kingdom. What do… Continue reading Discussion: Power

Discussion: Fools

What is a fool? Someone who thinks/lives as though there is no God. Can you not be a fool without God’s help? If you have decided to live for sinful activities, what might you find convenient to believe about God’s existence? If you truly believe in God, what might you think about your thoughts and… Continue reading Discussion: Fools

Discussion: Light

Describe light. What is it like without light? How is God like light? “”-1 John 1:5-7 Are you in the light? Are there areas of darkness you need to get away from and disassociate yourself from? Let’s pray for God to show us to his light. 2008/12/30

Discussion: Cold

How does it feel to be really cold? What if you had no where to be warm? What if you had no jacket, and was homeless? Did you notice gol cold it felt if you were outside this morning, if only to walk from house to car? Are there people with needs around you that… Continue reading Discussion: Cold

Discussion: Faithful

Are you faithful? Have you noticed God’s faithfulness? If you died standing up for God, would God take care of you? If you let god down, would his faithfulness change toward you? 2 Thessalonians 2:11-13

Discussion: Honor

What is honor? Who do you honor? What do you honor? How do you show honor? “”-Exodus 20:12 (honor parents) “”-Romans 13:1 (submit to authority) “”-Acts 5:28-29 (obey God over men) 2008-11-18

Discussion: Pray

When do you pray? Why do you pray? Where do you pray? What do you pray for? If God knows everything, why pray? Is prayer just to get stuff from God? “”-matthew 6:5-15 Jesus shows us an example of a model prayer. What parts of that prayer are you missing? 2008-11-11

Discussion: Sacriledge

What is sacriledge? What would be the worst thing one could do to damage their relationship with God? Have you felt so guilty that you felt embarrassed to come back to God? Have you felt like God wouldn’t want you? What kind of person does God not love? He loves everyone, I mean everyone. He… Continue reading Discussion: Sacriledge

Discussion: Devotion

In what ways do you think devotion is best shown? Can you be devoted to something bad? Have you ever claimed to be devoted to someone or something but not shown it? What is evidence of someone’s devotion? What are you devoted to? What should you be devoted to, but aren’t. There was a man… Continue reading Discussion: Devotion

Discussion: Correction

Do authorities seem to pick on you a lot? What have you been responsible for? What is your level of self esteem? Describe a time when you failed: What were the consequences? Describe a time when you impressed: What were the consequences? “…”-Proverbs 15:32-33 2008-10-14

Discussion: Parents

What do you imagine it’s like to be a parent? What do you think the best part about being a parent probably is? What do you imagine the worst part in being a parent might be? What is difficult for you to deal with as a child of your parent? What do you plan to… Continue reading Discussion: Parents

Discussion: Decisions

Do you have difficulty making decisions? What decisions are you trying to make right now? How do you know when you have considered a decision long enough to make a wise decision, without procrastinating? Could others describe you as a perfectionist? A procrastinator? Could others say you are not decisive? If you have decided to… Continue reading Discussion: Decisions

Discussion: Rescue

Have you ever saved someone from danger? Have you warned someone about a hazard? Describe a time when you were in trouble, or may have been severely harmed if not for someone saving you. Is there someone in danger now, that you need to help? What is a good way to approach someone when they… Continue reading Discussion: Rescue

Discussion: Dating

Is it okay to ditch your friends because you have a g/b-friend now? How do you know when you are being too obsessive in a relationship? What does the Bible say about dating? How should you let someone know that you like them? Is it okay to kiss people when you are not officially even… Continue reading Discussion: Dating

Discussion: Etiquette

Is it cool to date your x’s best friend? Is it cool to date your best friend’s x? Read 1 Cor 13:5 2008/09/02

Discussion: Abuse

Have you been hurt by words? Have you been hurt physically? Have you hurt another in some way? What should you do when you are hurt? How should you adress a hurt when the person hurting you denies it? What would be a good way for someone to approach you if you had hurt them?… Continue reading Discussion: Abuse

Discussion: Fatigue

Have you been tired recently? What makes you feel tired? Would you feel guilty if you were to take a break? Why? Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. What if you have a hard… Continue reading Discussion: Fatigue

Discussion: Duplicity

Have you ever met someone who claims to be something they are not? Have you ever acted a certain way to be accepted, even though it wasn’t really you? How do we know when someone has integrity or not? Have you ever heard the phrase “you know a tree by it’s fruit”? What does that… Continue reading Discussion: Duplicity

Discussion: Priorities

Are your parents divorced or do you know someone who’s parents are? Have you ever failed a class? Have you ever lost a friend because of your own bad attitude or poor choices? Have you ever felt embarrassed about your faith in God or acted like the people around you even when you knew it… Continue reading Discussion: Priorities

Discussion: Restore

Describe a time when you felt exhausted? (Emotionally, Physically, or Spiritually) When you are tired, sometimes you just want to rest, and get your strength back. You need direction. If you don’t put thought into what you are given direction by when you are weak, something else will take God’s place of influence in your… Continue reading Discussion: Restore

Discussion: Work

What work do you have to do? What are your responsibilities? Why is work tough? “So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.” -(NIV) Genesis 3:23 Is it God’s design that work should be hard? What is God’s work? “By the seventh… Continue reading Discussion: Work

Discussion: Healing

Does Jesus still heal people? Why does Jesus heal people? Why wouldn’t God heal someone? “”-Matthew 8:1-4 Why wouldn’t Jesus want the leper to tell anyone? Notice how the story referrs to healing as being made clean? What is it about healing that is like cleaning? Do you pray for healing and feel like it… Continue reading Discussion: Healing

Discussion: Training

2 Timothy 3:16 says among other things that the Bible is good for training in righteousness. What is righteousness? Is righteousness something easy to attain? Why is the bible such a great tool used for training in righteousness? Can you think of an example of some story in the Bible that might help us move… Continue reading Discussion: Training

Discussion: Correction

Last week we discussed rebuke, which is about showing someone what they are doing that’s wrong. That is important, but what comes next? Show them the right way to do things. Correct them, better yet, let God’s word guide the correction, because that is what it is for. To show the right way Have you… Continue reading Discussion: Correction

Discussion: Rebuke

What does rebuke mean? Is a rebuke useful? Have you been helped by a rebuke? Have you wished someone would be rebuked, but they were not? 2 Tim. 3:16 Proverbs 9:8 Luke 17:3 Rev. 3:19 -Ezra 2009/06/02

Discussion: Teaching

Have you had the opportunity to teach? What did you teach? Have you had a good experience learning you want to share? What made this experience good? The Bible is God’s word, an God is perfect. It has the most valueable lessons that one could learn. The bible is useful for teaching, have you used… Continue reading Discussion: Teaching

Discussion: Decisions

Do you have difficulty making decisions? What decisions are you trying to make right now? How do you know when you have considered a decision long enough to make a wise decision, without procrastinating? Could others describe you as a perfectionist? A procrastinator? Could others say you are not decisive? If you have decided to… Continue reading Discussion: Decisions

Discussion: Abuse

Discussion: Abuse Have you been hurt by words? Have you been hurt physically? Have you hurt another in some way? What should you do when you are hurt? How should you adress a hurt when the person hurting you denies it? What would be a good way for someone to approach you if you had… Continue reading Discussion: Abuse

Discussion: Faith

What do you think faith is?  Hebrews 11:1   Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.   Can you have faith in a person? An object? A God? How can you tell what and who someone has faith in? (ex: where they put their trust, money, loyalty, etc.)… Continue reading Discussion: Faith

Discussion: Reputable

Have rumors ever been spread about you? Have you ever told someone private information to someone that was embarassing that they shared? Did ppl look at you differently? Did you ever make bad choices that affected your reputation? How hard is it to gain a good reputation after it's been tainted? Proverbs 22:1A good name… Continue reading Discussion: Reputable

Discussion: Clear

What is the benefit of a clear mind? What does it mean to have a clear mind? What else do you think of as clear? (Water, Air, cellophane tape, windows…) What keeps water from being clear? Do you allow 'dirt' to get into your mind? What things can cloud your mind (or distract you from… Continue reading Discussion: Clear

Discussion: Religion

Have you heard of impure religion? Have you found fault in a religious person? What seems to be corrupting certain people in positions of power? "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the… Continue reading Discussion: Religion

Discussion: Foes

What is a foe? Who is your enemy? How do you define the enemy? (Sin vs. Sinner) Who bullys you? What emotions do you feel towards these people? What does God want us to do with those feelings? "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, "-Matthew 5:44 2008-05-06

Discussion: Weakness

Are you weak? Do you fail to meet your goals? When do you fail to meet God's goals for you? "Though one may be overpowered,two can defend themselves.A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12 2008/04/29

Discussion: Sadness

How do you deal with sadness? How can you help others deal with sadness? "May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word."-2 Thessalnians 2:16-17 Is it okay… Continue reading Discussion: Sadness

Discussion: Worship

Do you worship God? Under what circumstances? What does it mean to worship? How many different kinds of worship are there? Acts 16:23-32 "After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. (16:24) Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell… Continue reading Discussion: Worship

Discussion: Peers

Who, of your friends, are the most like you? What similarities do you see in them? Who, of your friends, do you admire most? Why? Who, (don't say their names), do you find influencing you to get into trouble most often? What are your strongest motives in seeking friends?(ability, popularity, exclusivity, purity, kindness, generousity, talents,… Continue reading Discussion: Peers

Discussion: Self-control

How do you know that you do (or do not) have self-control? I generally know self-control is being applied when I struggle with something; not everyone tries to resist things that are not good for them. Do you try to control yourself, or do you just let the rules and consequenses around you dictate what… Continue reading Discussion: Self-control

Discussion: Gentleness

Can you think of a time you've done something wrong and felt defensive because of how you were being spoken to? Do you think it is easier to admit fault when you feel like you will still be treated with respect and love? Proverbs 15:1 "A gentle answer turns away wrath,but a harsh word stirs… Continue reading Discussion: Gentleness

Discussion: faithfulness

What is faithfulness? What is the opposite of faithfulness? If some one is faithful to you, it means that they don’t cheat on you. God wants our devotion to Him only and not to another god. We also can show faithfulness by being trustworthy in whatever responsibilities you accept in whatever role you assume. Can… Continue reading Discussion: faithfulness

Discussion: goodness

Can we talk about goodness? What does it mean to be good? "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."-Galations 5:22-23 2008/02/26

Discussion: kindness

Let's define kindness:n.1. The quality or state of being kind.2. An instance of kind behavior: "I will always remember your many kindnesses to me." Has anyone you don't know been kind to you? Have you shown kindness to a stranger? How has kindness been demonstrated in your experience? When have you missed an opportunity to… Continue reading Discussion: kindness

Discussion: patience

Describe patience. When is it easy to be patient? When is it hard to have patience? Ezra's story: "When I was a child, I resented when my mom gave a toy to one of my brothers, and did not get something for me. I felt wronged, and I thought it had been so long since… Continue reading Discussion: patience

Discussion: Peace

Describe peace. What does someone who has peace do in everyday situations? What do you like about peace? If everyone valued peace would they be less interesting (boring)? Would it be wrong for me to argue with someone if I valued peace? What evidence of peace can you see around you? Do you make your… Continue reading Discussion: Peace

Discussion: joy

What is joy? What is the difference between happiness and joy? How do you know if you have joy, especially if you never have? "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."-Galations 5:22-23 2008/01/29

Discussion: Love

Give us an example of love. Who do you know who is full of love? What makes you think of them as being full of love? What is the difference between love and caring? Did you know that Jesus loves you? How do you know that Jesus loves you? Do you have a hard time… Continue reading Discussion: Love

Discussion: Giving

Have you given out of pressure? Have you avoided being generous? Has someone guilted you into donating toward their cause, so that you gave just because you didn't want them to think ill of you? If you were to consider in your heart how you would like to help a person or group, what would… Continue reading Discussion: Giving

Discussion: Sustain

Who can define 'sustain'? When do you need support? What do you look to for temporary help? Where do you look for long term help? "Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your… Continue reading Discussion: Sustain

Lock-In Devotional: Talk

Don't sin because you're forgiven, Because you are forgiven, don't sin. Galations(5:13) You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature°; rather, serve one another in love.

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Categorized as Talks

Discussion: Peacemaker

Is there an apppropriate time to fight? What makes you angry? What makes others angry about you? How do you keep from hurting others? How could you help others to stop hurting the weak. " But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and… Continue reading Discussion: Peacemaker

Discussion: Crops

Have you ever complained about not having enough? What are you concerned about not having enough of? Do you take short cuts and look for ways to avoid hard work to acheive goals you have? Do you spend more time criticising or encouraging others?  " Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever… Continue reading Discussion: Crops

Discussion: Attitude

Have you been accused of 'having an attitude'? What does that mean? Have you deliberately done something a teacher/parent/God did not like? Is it wise to challenge authority without a good enough reason? When is it appropriate, and with what authority? "Remember this and never forget how you provoked the LORD your God to anger… Continue reading Discussion: Attitude

Discussion: Money

Is money important? Do you know anybody who is bad a managing money? Why do you think people get into debt? How do you spend your money when you earn it? The past few weeks we have discussed the validity of God's word. We talked about believing what he says, and that we should live… Continue reading Discussion: Money

Discussion: Duplicity

Have you ever met someone who claims to be something they are not? Have you ever acted a certain way to be accepted, even though it wasn't really you? How do we know when someone has integrity? Have you ever heard the phrase "you know a tree by it's fruit"? What does that mean? That… Continue reading Discussion: Duplicity

Discussion: Correction

Have you heard about overcrowding in prisons? To help with the problem of overcrowding in prisons, programs have been put in place to educate prisoners. Programs include job training, literacy, and so on. The hope is that criminals will be better equipped to sustain a life without crime when their term is up. Do any… Continue reading Discussion: Correction

Discussion: Bible

How do you know if the Bible is Gods word? How do you treat it? Galatians 1:11 I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. What will you commit to to show it matters to you? 10/ 23/07 ————–Signature————-..you can visit the UPstream website if… Continue reading Discussion: Bible

Discussion: Touch

What topic do you think of when I say the word 'touch'? What ways do you think are appropriate according to God for you to touch others? What forms of touch do you believe God sees as wrong? Do you think what is appropriate or not can be different in different circumstances? "But among you… Continue reading Discussion: Touch

Discussion: Lazy

What is hard for you to feel motivated to do, even though you know you should? What do you not look forward to? Is it wrong to rest? How do you know when to say yes and when to say no? Do you ever feel like you are working hard, and people are standing around… Continue reading Discussion: Lazy

Discussion: Busy

Do you consider yourself busy? What are some extra curricular activities in which you are involved? What responsibilities do you have? Do you read the Bible and pray every day? Why or why not? When is being busy a bad thing? Can being busy ever be good? Karyn writes: Do you watch the news? There… Continue reading Discussion: Busy

Discussion: Typical

Have you ever heard the phrase 'terrible twos' before? What does it mean? Those behaviors would be describes as 'normal' two-year-old behaviors. Because they are considered 'normal', does that mean a parent should ignore it or allow it? What would you say are 'typical' behaviors for people your age? If those things are typical, does… Continue reading Discussion: Typical

Discussion: Friends

What is a friend? What are friends for? How do you make friends? How do you choose friends? What would make you consider ending a friendship? Solomon wrote in wisdom: "Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man,do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his waysand get yourself ensnared."-Proverbs 22:24-25 "Greater… Continue reading Discussion: Friends

Discussion: Seriously

What do you do if your're not taken seriously? How do you feel if a friend won't listen to you, or makes a joke out of everything you say? What can happen if you don't take someone else seriously? Why do people joke around? How can you tell the difference? When is joking going too… Continue reading Discussion: Seriously

Discussion: Hope

What keeps you hopeful? If a friend told you there was no reason for them to live, what would you say? What would yo do if someone accused you of trying to act like you have no problems, or that you thought you were better than them? " But in your hearts set apart Christ… Continue reading Discussion: Hope

Discussion: Overwhelmed

When last did you feel overwhelmed? How do you hink Jesus kept from getting overwhelmed as a man? " Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."-Mark 1:35 08/28/07 ————–Signature————-..you can visit the UPstream website if you… Continue reading Discussion: Overwhelmed

Discussion: Protect

Have you been injured? How did it happen? What did you learn from the pain? How could you have avoided the injury? "Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;love her, and she will watch over you."-Proverbs 4:6 The verse states that protection is offered when you don't forsake wisdom. What does it mean… Continue reading Discussion: Protect

Discussion: Apathy

Apathy is a problem. It keeps me from being effective in God's eyes, and more often, my own eyes. What is Apathy? What has caused you to feel like giving up? How have you been encouraged? God encourages his children through His obedient followers, who listen to what He has to say to them, and… Continue reading Discussion: Apathy

Discussion: Honesty

Why should you tell the truth? Why would you lie? What does it mean to lie? What risks do you take on when you lie? Can you share of a time when you lied? Can you describe a time when you told the truth, but it was hard? God is the origin of truth. When… Continue reading Discussion: Honesty

Discussion: Confidence

What keeps you from sharing things about yourself? It's important to have an accountability partner for making progress in a relationship with God. How can you know who to choose for an accountability partner? Start with a Christ following friend. David said to God: " I am a friend to all who fear you,to all… Continue reading Discussion: Confidence

Discussion: Wise

What does it mean to be wise? How can you get wise? What good does wisdom do you? What's the opposite of wise? "MemOh, how I love your law!I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my… Continue reading Discussion: Wise

Discussion: Accountability

What is Accountability? Who should you ask to be accountable to you? Can you ask more than one person to hold you accountable? Why is accountability important? "Though one may be overpowered,two can defend themselves.A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."-Ecclesiastes 4:12 ————–Signature————-..you can visit the UPstream website if you want to:http://www.upstreamteens.org/

Discussion: Doubt

What is doubt? What do you struggle with believing? What have you been told? Has anyone told you something to comfort you that was hard to believe was actually true? What is the difference between knowing something and believing something? -Mark 9:23 "'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes." -06/19/07… Continue reading Discussion: Doubt

Discussion: Stubbornness

When is stubbornness wrong? At what time is it right to be stubborn (if any)? Can you describe a better way to avoid having to be stubborn? How do you find compromise that works well? What works for you? "Then Jesus asked them, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do… Continue reading Discussion: Stubbornness

Discussion: Spoken

Have you spoken carelessly? What happened? Did you regret it? Did it get better later? How? Matthew 12:36 "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken." It is important to consider our words before we type them or speak them,… Continue reading Discussion: Spoken

Discussion: Love

What is love? Who do you love? How? "The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."-Galations 5:14 -5/22/7 ————–Signature————-..you can visit the UPstream website if you want to:http://www.upstreamteens.org/

Discussion: Confide

Ezra: Who do you tell the most about stuff you do wrong? Who are you confiding in? Karyn: It's not wise to share our weaknesses with someone who may not see them as weaknesses. (Like, if you are trying to not have sex before marriage but are being tempted in the relationship you're in, it… Continue reading Discussion: Confide

Discussion: Priviledge

What priveledges do you have?(driving, school, own room, allowance, car, health, good relationships) When did you get them?(always had them, recently, a few years ago) What have you done with them?(used responsibly, maintained, took for granted) When God gives something to us, He does it for a reason. What priviledges have you underutilized? "No one… Continue reading Discussion: Priviledge

Discussion: Reliability

Have you ever been given advice that you rejected, then later decided to follow? What made you change your mind? "What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.' "'I will not,' he answered, but later he… Continue reading Discussion: Reliability

Discussion: Prayers

What would you like to pray for? Are there any concerns you currently have? Any things you would like to thank God for? Let's pray for those things. -4/24/7-Ezra http://www.upstreamteens.orghttp://upstreamteens.blogspot.comhttp://podcast.upstreamteens.org

Discussion: Punishment

Is it right to punish someone? When is it wrong? When is it right? Who can punish another? Do you have authority to punish anyone? How? "Do not withhold discipline from a child;if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.Punish him with the rodand save his soul from death."-Proverbs 23:13-14 (This is… Continue reading Discussion: Punishment

Discussion: Fatigue

Are you tired? Why are you tired? How long have you been tired? When have you gotten good rest? Is it hard for you to relax? "Do you not know?Have you not heard?The LORD is the everlasting God,the Creator of the ends of the earth.He will not grow tired or weary,and his understanding no one… Continue reading Discussion: Fatigue

Discussion: Complaints

Are you a complainer? Are you bothered by complaining? What is the difference between complaining and criticism? Laziness. (or doubt & powerlessness) Complainers are unwilling to help solve a problem, while those who will help solve a problem, may not necessarily be complainers. Hard work gets harder when lazy people complain to the workers. When… Continue reading Discussion: Complaints

Discussion: Surprise

Describe how you have been surprised by events that happened because they were so different than your expectations? What did you learn? If the situation was difficult, how did you cope? Who or what helped? Don't take your health for granted, or assume everything will go as planned. Plan, yes, but live on purpose today… Continue reading Discussion: Surprise

Discussion: Meditate

What do you think about the most? What inspires you? Have you read a verse in the Bible that impressed you to want to do something differently? Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about… Continue reading Discussion: Meditate

Discussion: Forgive

When have you been forgiven? What happened? (read Matthew 18:21-35) So when should we forgive? What would happen if the guy in debt had not plead for mercy? Would it then be wrong to throw the guy who owed money in debtor's prison for his unpaid debt? Have you heard it taught that we should… Continue reading Discussion: Forgive

Discussion: Listen

Are you good at listening? Do you talk more than listen? What do you listen to most? Who do you listen to? “While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”-Matthew… Continue reading Discussion: Listen

Discussion: Pain

Tell me when you felt a great deal of pain. What caused it? Would you avoid it if there was no pain? Pain is especially helpful to those who lack wisdom and experience or judgement. "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace… Continue reading Discussion: Pain

Discussion: Time

What problems do you have with time? Have you felt like you never have time to do things that are important? Have you been late? Have you followed a deliberate plan that you made for yourself? Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 "There is a time for everything,and a season for every activity under heaven:a time to be born… Continue reading Discussion: Time

Discussion: Creativity

What makes someone creative? Do you like to create? Why do you like to create things? What is creation? Col.1:16 "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him." We make… Continue reading Discussion: Creativity

Discussion: Responsibility

How have you messed up before? What decisions made it easy to mess up? Were you confronted about it? Did you point blame elsewhere? Why is it hard to accept legitimate blame? How can one avoid embarrassing failures? "The man of integrity walks securely,but he who takes crooked paths will be found out."-Proverbs 10:9 (NIV)… Continue reading Discussion: Responsibility

Discussion: Perspective

What was your last arguement about? Was it resolved, or postponed? Have you ever helped friends get through a disagreement? What was your strategy to resolve the issue? Have you ever been angry at God? How do you resolve a conflict with God? God is perfect, so all conflicts involve a misunderstanding on our part,… Continue reading Discussion: Perspective

Discussion: Words

Have you ever heard the phrase "sticks and stones…"? What does that mean? Do you believe that is true? When you were little, did you ever wish your parents would just spank you and skip the lecture? Why? Proverbs 12:18 says," Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."… Continue reading Discussion: Words

Discussion: Marriage 2

Recap Verse being discussed: " I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to… Continue reading Discussion: Marriage 2

Discussion: Marriage

Can I choose to marry someone, and be sinning against God in that? " I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."Jesus replied, "Not… Continue reading Discussion: Marriage

Discussion: Purity 2

How much does your choice affect purity? How do I know if seeing/watching something is a sin? ” If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.… Continue reading Discussion: Purity 2

Discussion: Purity

God is Pure and Holy. ” As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” Since you call on a Father… Continue reading Discussion: Purity

Discussion: Care

Have you been accused of not caring? Do you care about other people? How do you show this? Popular ways:Unpopular ways: How do you communicate this? What makes you feel cared for? Do you do this for others? What if I feel like I am being manipulated to do something by a guilt trip? What… Continue reading Discussion: Care

Discussion: Direction

How can I tell where God wants me to go? What am I supposed to do? What if I choose the wrong thing? “The LORD foils the plans of the nations;he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,the purposes of his heart through all generations.” -Psalms 33:10-11… Continue reading Discussion: Direction

Discussion: Worth

Does God love me less, if I sin? How can God love me, if I do what He hates? How do I know what God likes & hates? Here’s a few verses that may help you understand: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in… Continue reading Discussion: Worth

Discussion: Discussion

What do you want to talk about? Do you have any ideas about our group’s size? Does it seem like it is not growing much to you? Why do you think that is? Is that bad? What issues are at the forefront of your mind right now? What do you think about the style that… Continue reading Discussion: Discussion

Discussion: Maturity (2 of 2)

Have you noticed that there are a lot of people who value or celebrate a lack of self control? (Movies & Extreme/Reality Shows like “Jack*ss”, BigBrother or Cartoons like “SouthPark”) Do you know people who want to act like children for the rest of their lives? (Like Disney’s Peter Pan character or The lyrics to… Continue reading Discussion: Maturity (2 of 2)

Discussion: Maturity-Part 2

Have you noticed that there are a lot of people who value or celebrate a lack of self control? (Movies & Extreme/Reality Shows like “Jack*ss”, BigBrother or Cartoons like “SouthPark”) Do you know people who want to act like children for the rest of their lives? (Like Disney’s Peter Pan character or The lyrics to… Continue reading Discussion: Maturity-Part 2

Discussion: Maturity-Part 1

What do ‘mature’ people do &/or not do, that makes them mature? What do you like about mature people? What don’t you like about them? What fears do you have about growing up? What things do you look forward to later in life? (Discussion continued next week)

Discussion: Fake

What kind of person would your friends say you are? How do you treat your friends? Are you flaky, dependable, rude, a good listener, easy to talk to? Would your siblings say the same thing? How do you treat your family? Do you give them the same courtesies, kindness and respect you give your friends?… Continue reading Discussion: Fake

Discussion: Fake

What kind of person would your friends say you are? How do you treat your friends? Are you flaky, dependable, rude, a good listener, easy to talk to? Would your siblings say the same thing? How do you treat your family? Do you give them the same courtesies, kindness and respect you give your friends?… Continue reading Discussion: Fake

Discussion: Leaders

What do you like in a leader? What do you dislike? Have you ever lead something? How did leading make you feel? Are some people supposed to lead, while others follow? Is it better to lead, or follow? Is it harder for you to follow, than lead? Is it difficult to respect some leaders? Why?… Continue reading Discussion: Leaders

Discussion: Leaders

What do you like in a leader? What do you dislike? Have you ever lead something? How did leading make you feel? Are some people supposed to lead, while others follow? Is it better to lead, or follow? Is it harder for you to follow, than lead? Is it difficult to respect some leaders?Why? John… Continue reading Discussion: Leaders

Discussion: Satisfaction

What do you like about your life? What do you wish was different? Do you think too long about what you are unhappy with sometimes? Phillipians 4:12-13 “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any… Continue reading Discussion: Satisfaction

Discussion: Satisfaction

What do you like about your life? What do you wish was different? Do you think too long about what you are unhappy with sometimes? Phillipians 4:12-13 “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any… Continue reading Discussion: Satisfaction

Discussion: Judging

What are some common values that most every human being has in common? – Life (not murdering) – Watching out for those who can’t help themselves (children, elderly, handicapped) Why do you think we share these values? What are some less common, higher values? – honesty, integrity – no sex before marriage What, would you… Continue reading Discussion: Judging

Discussion: Judging

What are some common values that most every human being has in common?– Life (not murdering)– Watching out for those who can’t help themselves (children, elderly, handicapped) Why do you think we share these values? What are some less common, higher values?– honesty, integrity– no sex before marriage What, would you say, are some of… Continue reading Discussion: Judging

Discussion: Change

Have you ever known someone who asked for advice in tough times, but didn’t follow the advice, but kept doing everything the same?Do you know someone who just surrounds themselves with people who tell them what they want to hear, rather than the truth?Have you ever ignored advice and chosen to feel sorry for yourself… Continue reading Discussion: Change

Discussion: Humility

What are some things you do regularly? Why do you do these things? How many things do you do because you have to? How many things do you do because you want to? Is it often that any of us make time to benefit others primarily? How hard is it to squeeze in a weekend… Continue reading Discussion: Humility

Discussion: Decisions

How do I know what decision is best for me and others? Does trial & error work for all decisions? I Thessalonians 5:21-22 “Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.” How can I test something to tell if it is best? II Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is… Continue reading Discussion: Decisions

Discussion: Words

Karyn: •How many of you know someone who speaks, and nobody really listens? •Do you know somebody who’s words you respect, and want to listen to? •What is the difference? •What makes words valuable? •What devalues one’s words? •What effect does your reputation have on your words? [Factors: Authority, Responsibility, Truth, Wisdom, Power, Love, Respect,… Continue reading Discussion: Words

Discussion: Words

Karyn: •How many of you know someone who speaks, and nobody really listens? •Do you know somebody who’s words you respect, and want to listen to? •What is the difference? •What makes words valuable? •What devalues one’s words? •What effect does your reputation have on your words? [Factors: Authority, Responsibility, Truth, Wisdom, Power, Love, Respect,… Continue reading Discussion: Words

Discussion: Boldness

Have you been in a situation where you thought you should have said something more clearly? Maybe you were trying to be gentle in how you said something, but you ended up not really getting your point across? Why do we feel regret in times like those? Can I be civil and straightforward? Isaiah 7:9b… Continue reading Discussion: Boldness

Discussion: Holiness

1 Peter 1:13-21 -what does this verse say? 13-14 -what does it mean to be “holy” -how can we be holy? -what are some evil desires that we have? -why shouldn’t we conform to these desires? Because they are ignorant. -why are these desires ignorant, what does God teach us about theses desires that makes… Continue reading Discussion: Holiness

Discussion: Helplessness

When have you felt helpless? Have you been relieved of it? Job(9:32) “He is not a man like me that I might answer him,that we might confront each other in court.(9:33) If only there were someone to arbitrate between us,to lay his hand upon us both,(9:34) someone to remove God’s rod from me,so that his… Continue reading Discussion: Helplessness

Discussion: Goal Setting

Some of you say that you want to do this or that, but you do nothing to accomplish it, and feel powerless to get very far. You do not ask for someone to question your effectiveness, and stay in the same place because of it. You allow others to pressure you to do what they… Continue reading Discussion: Goal Setting

Discussion: Discipline

Stern discipline awaits him who leaves the path; he who hates correction will die.Proverbs 15:10 When you were young, how did your parents train you not to touch a hot stove?If you were to disobey that teaching, what would the result be?If you were to go through life without guidance or structure, what do you… Continue reading Discussion: Discipline

Discussion: Misunderstood

Have you tried to explain something to someone, yet they always seem to think differently about you? Is there a reputation you would rather not have, but it keeps lingering, despite your efforts to improve? 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new… Continue reading Discussion: Misunderstood

Discussion: Complaining

What really bugs you? What do you do about it? Is is hard to keep from complaining about some things? Is it easy to join in when someone else complains about something? Have you ever tried to avoid complaining? Have you ever been the topic of a complaint? Phil.2:14-15 “Do everything without complaining or arguing,… Continue reading Discussion: Complaining

Discussion: Sacrifice

Have you needed to give up something you wanted for a better cause? Have you suffered anything for someone elses benefit? When is it appropriate for you to put another’s interests before yours? What if you feel bad afterwards? How do you know you did the right thing? Hebrews 13:16 “And do not forget to… Continue reading Discussion: Sacrifice

Discussion: Fights

Why do families fight? Why do friends fight? Why do parents fight? How do people fight? Is fighting more than physical and verbal? James 4:1 “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”

Discussion: Arguements

What is the last thing you argued with someone about? (Please avoid gossip while explaining this) What was your purpose in the arguement? Proverbs 13:10 Pride only breeds quarrels,but wisdom is found in those who take advice. Proverbs 22:10 Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife;quarrels and insults are ended. 2Timothy 2:23 Don’t have… Continue reading Discussion: Arguements

Senior Retreat 2006

Remain: Have you noticed how much trouble you had to go through to get here tonight? When I was little like Josiah, plans went so smoothly, beacuse I had no responsibilities or commitments to conflict with anything that came up. Scheduling is easy within that context. Now that you are in your last year of… Continue reading Senior Retreat 2006

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Discussion:Jesus

Who is Jesus? How long has he been around? Did God create Jesus? Who needs Jesus? What about people who don’t believe what Jesus said? Colossians 1:15-17 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and… Continue reading Discussion:Jesus

Discussion: What inspires you?

Have you ever seen something in a museum or heard a concert that left you without words to describe how you were impressed with the sculptor, painter, musician or band? Did you wonder how someone could get that good to create something like that? Did you ever think, “I could never do that”? Describe what… Continue reading Discussion: What inspires you?

Discussion: success

How do you get what you want? What do you want? Do you see others succeeding at the goal you have? How do they succeed? Do they think they are succeeding? How SHOULD we measure success? How DO we measure success? Proverbs 21:21 “He who pursues righteousness and lovefinds life, prosperity and honor.”

Discussion: Friends

What is a friend? Who has ever had a friend gossip about them or betray them? Have you ever done it? If somebody does that, can they still be your friend? What Happens to the relationship? Using that illustration, what happens when we claim to ‘be’* something, but have evidence that would prove otherwise?(*’be’ -Friend,… Continue reading Discussion: Friends

Discussion: Procrastination

Do you do things you have to do at the earliest opportunity? Why (if ever) do you delay necessary tasks? Proverbs(3:28) Do not say to your neighbor,“Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow”—when you now have it with you. What do you think of a person who said they would do something for you, but… Continue reading Discussion: Procrastination

Discussion: Stuck in a rut

Karyn:Have you ever felt like you were just existing, and not living?…like no matter how hard you try, nothing will ever be different? Have you ever felt like not doing anything because of how you were feeling emotionally? Have you ever wanted to change a tough situation, but not know how? What are some ways… Continue reading Discussion: Stuck in a rut

Discussion: stress

What stresses you out? Matthew(6:34) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. What are bad ways to react to stress? 2Samuel(17:23) When Ahithophel saw that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and set out for his house in… Continue reading Discussion: stress

Discussion: Lying

What is lying? What is truth? What is deception? Can you tell the truth, and still deceive someone? What happens when you mistakenly give false information? What is your responsibility? Proverbs(26) “His malice may be concealed by deception,but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.” Let’s say you lie and are not found out… Continue reading Discussion: Lying

Discussion: Lust

Do guys or girls have a problem with lust? Why do you think that? Do girls lust the same way guys do? What is lust? Is it okay to lust? Is there a good/healthy form of expressing your feelings of desire? What can you do if you feel you can’t control your desires? Proverbs 6:25… Continue reading Discussion: Lust

DISCUSSION: ‘TALK’

Have you gotten in trouble by saying something you thought without thinking how others might hear it? What did you regret? Them hearing, or you having the thought in the first place? Is it possible for someone to be offended by what we say, and not be wrong for saying it? How do we know… Continue reading DISCUSSION: ‘TALK’

Discussion: relationships

So how do you get to know whoever you are going to be with without being unwise? Learn how to be a friend first, and keep everything innocent and in the open as much as you can, with God’s help. (15)” I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s… Continue reading Discussion: relationships

Discussion:lust

Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’° But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. °(Exodus 20:14 “You shall not commit adultery.) Is it possible to make out without either person lusting? Is it likely? I… Continue reading Discussion:lust

Discussion: dating

Does the Bible talk specifically about ‘dating’? No. Why not? It was culturally nonexistant at that time of writing. ‘Dating’ is unwise, (as narrowly described below) What is ‘dating’? Meeting with someone alone who you don’t necessarily know well, hoping to be romantically/physically involved with, and learning who they think you want them to be.… Continue reading Discussion: dating

Discussion: worth

With Wisdom, comes responsibility… Have you met someone who seemed so eager to give you advice, that you thought they just wanted to seem important, not because they cared about you? How can you tell the difference? What is the danger of considering yourself an expert in a given area? What if you knew you… Continue reading Discussion: worth

camp 2005 message notes taken

Notes:Run to WinDelivered by Daron Earlewine of “crux ministries”Hebrews(12:1) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (12:2) Let us fix our eyes on Jesus,… Continue reading camp 2005 message notes taken

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More Notes from A.T.F.

Notes:Leadership(ATF)Exodus (17:9) Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” Exodus(17:15) Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner. (17:16) He said, “For hands were lifted… Continue reading More Notes from A.T.F.

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Notes from A.T.F. In Sacto.

Notes: Honor GodA.T.F. references:Psalms(25:14) The LORD confides in those who fear him;he makes his covenant known to them.We love God…Do we honor him? With our lives?James(4:8) Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (4:9) Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your… Continue reading Notes from A.T.F. In Sacto.

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