Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Dare to Dream 6

Dare To Dream – 6 “God's Dream”

Read: Deuteronomy 34:1, 4-7

Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the Lord showed him the whole land. . . . Then the Lord said to him. “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.” And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.

Mountains in Scripture usually signify a place to get a clearer vision. As the study book tells us, Moses received his first vision, that of the burning bush, at Mount Horeb. His final vision, recounted in today’s Scripture passage, was at Mount Pisgah.

This final video is set at Huffman Prairie Flying Field, where the Wright brothers developed the world’s first practical aircraft in 1905, two years after their successful first mechanical flight.

(Video not available online)

Bible Study and Discussion

Consider the key questions posed near the end of the video:
• Where in your life do you need to go back and try again?
• Have you given everything you can?

Read Deuteronomy 34:1-7. Discuss the following:
• What does the Scripture mean when it says Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone?
• Slaughter tells us that Moses was successful because he still had a sustaining vision. What would you say that vision was?
• Imagine being Moses and looking back on his life, reviewing the obstacles and difficulties he had to overcome. Now imagine looking forward across the land, which the Lord had promised to the people, yet hearing that Moses himself would not enter the land. How would you have responded had you been Moses?
• Slaughter observes that what our lives come down to is one word: legacy. What was Moses’ legacy to his descendants? How did he ensure that the vision would be sustained after he was gone?

Digging Deeper

• “Saints are sinners who kept on going.” —Robert Louis Stephenson
• “It’s not that I’m smart, it’s just that I stay at problems longer.” —Albert Einstein

Note that these quotations express the perseverance of people who had a vision for their lives. Slaughter names others who overcame daunting obstacles to succeed—Beethoven, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, James Earl Jones, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Can you name others you can think of
who have persevered to achieve, either noteworthy or people you have known?

Think about the following:
• Mike Slaughter writes: “Here is my philosophy of life: ready, fire, aim.” He notes that we don’t need to have all the resources at the outset of our mission to accomplish what God is calling us to do; the resources will be given at the appointed time. Is this a foolhardy approach to one’s life mission, or a wise reliance on trusting God to provide?

Building Your Life Mission Statement: Part 6
Write a draft Mission Statement.

Keep on keeping on!

Closing Prayer
God, I am so thankful that you never let us go—in our distractions, in our false priorities, in our failures. Lord, clear our vision and renew our focus. Give us the courage to persevere. Amen.”

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Dare to Dream 5

“What's in Your Hand?”
(No video link available)

Read Judges 6:1-6.
  • Formulate a job description for the task envisioned.
Read Judges 6:11-16
  • What kind of “mighty warrior” did God choose to commission?
  • On the face of it, did Gideon possess any of the qualifications needed to do the job?
Read Judges 6 33-35
  • What made the difference in Gideon’s ability to respond?
Today’s video took place in Hawthorn Hill, the home that Orville Wright built and lived in with his father and sister. We watched for the question “What’s in your hand?” as well as the three key questions Mike Slaughter poses that will help answer that question.

Bible Study and Discussion
  1. Mike states that, in God, you already have everything you need to accomplish the mission you were created for. If we are like a seed in which the genetic code to grow is already present, how does the Holy Spirit function to awaken that potential within us?
  1. What aspects or situations can we name that might prevent that potential from ever developing?
  2. Mike names the computer as an ordinary tool of his own that has potential to be used for God’s purposes. What ordinary tools are at our disposal that might have power we had not imagined?
  3. Mike observes that God often demonstrates the transforming power of simple tools to fulfill God’s purposes, but one’s collective life experience can be an equally powerful tool. Name some ways in which Moses’ life experience growing up in Pharaoh’s household might have been useful.
  4. Moses, says Mike, could have considered his life a failure. He experienced an abrupt descent from the position of power and influence in Pharaoh’s household to that of a lowly shepherd. Have you ever experienced a failure you were later able to use or learn from?
  5. Name some other persons from the Bible who were able to fulfill expansive God-purposes, despite having flaws that would seem to limit their potential.
  6. Mike Slaughter points out that, at God’s direction, Moses threw down his staff, taking a bold and definitive action. What happens when it seems too risky or costly to offer a gift to God?
  7. What does Mike mean when he says that we can’t think our way into a new way of acting; we have to act our way into a new way of thinking? Do you agree or disagree?

Building Your Life Mission Statement: Part 5

Revisit the three key questions that will help identify the gifts and talents we are supposed to use in our life mission.
  • What are the gifts of my head?
  • What are the gifts of my hands?
  • What is the passion of my heart?
Think about the three questions in the same way you would a self-analysis prior to writing up a résumé, except that this résumé is not for a new job but for a lifelong mission!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Dare To Dream 4

Dare To Dream – 4 “Lose your Big Buts”

Think about the questions from last session:
  • What struggles in your life have you had to overcome?
  • How have those struggles defined you?
Jot down your birth date followed by a dash. Obviously we cannot know the dates of our deaths, but we do know that we have a limited time between the dash and the addition of that final date on a grave marker. Keep this fact in mind as we explore the excuses we hold onto, and the self-limiting beliefs we all tend to internalize, that come from inside and outside.

Watch Video 
Post Video - Bible Study and Discussion

Imagine being eighty years old and receiving a calling from God such as Moses received. Moses’ response in this session’s Scripture reading is to come up with a number of excuses, which Slaughter calls “big buts.”

• Mike Slaughter observes that if you feel qualified for your life mission, then your mission probably is not big enough. What is your response to this?
• Should a life mission stretch and challenge you? To what degree? Do you think it’s possible for God to call you to a life mission that truly is beyond your capabilities?
• How do you feel about God’s promise to be with us always? In what ways is that a comfort for you?

Review the other 3 excuses
  • I'm spiritually unfit
  • No one will believe me
  • I'm afraid
• Which of the excuses do you, personally, find the biggest challenge as you consider your life purpose?
Are there other excuses you might make to avoid embracing a life mission to which God may be calling you?

Building Your Life Mission Statement: Part 4
  1. What tightly held excuses prohibit you from living God’s dream for you?
  1. Excuses aren’t always something we come up with on our own. Sometimes we claim self-limiting beliefs assigned to us by others. From what self-limiting beliefs do you need to break free?
  1. Becoming clear about your life mission statement means chopping away at excuses to follow the purpose God has for you. Take some time and write a prayer asking God to remove your excuses. List your excuses in the prayer.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Dare To Dream 3

Dare To Dream – 3 “Your Burning Bush”

Before viewing the video segment, talk about generational differences: Silent Generation (born around 1925–1945); Boomers (around 1946–1964);Gen X (around 1965–1984); Millennials (around 1985–early 2000s). What is an experience society went through that had a profound impact on everyone of your age group? Rather than generational events, Slaughter talks about “Life stages” that can be experienced at any age.

Following the video,
Name the three life stages, as well as the three prayers Mike Slaughter says are characteristic of each stage.
  • Which life stage do I seem to be experiencing?
  • What is my recurring prayer to God?
Bible Study and Discussion

Exodus 3:1-10 Now Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb.
2 The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from within a bush. He looked– and the bush was ablaze with fire, but it was not being consumed!
3 So Moses thought, "I will turn aside to see this amazing sight. Why does the bush not burn up?"
4 When the LORD saw that he had turned aside to look, God called to him from within the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am."
5 God said, "Do not approach any closer! Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."
6 He added, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Then Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
7 The LORD said, "I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt. I have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.
8 I have come down to deliver them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up from that land to a land that is both good and spacious, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the region of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.
9 And now indeed the cry of the Israelites has come to me, and I have also seen how severely the Egyptians oppress them.
10 So now go, and I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt."
  • Talk about burning bush moments.
Building Your Life Mission Statement: Part 3
“Building Your Life Mission Statement: Part 3.” The questions are:

• What struggles in your life have you had to overcome?How have those struggles defined you?
• God can use all things to strengthen his kingdom, and we are called to do the same. How can you share the lessons learned from your struggles?
How have those lessons helped you in the past, and how might God use them to shape your future?

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Dare To Dream 2

Session 2 "Discovering Your Birthright"

Video can be watched HERE

A major theme in the video is  contrasting 'identity' with 'birthright'. We all have different ways of defining our personal identity. For example... by profession, some by religion, some by family.

Mike Slaughter defines identity in this way... "We are children of God living under the kingship of Jesus Christ"

As Christians that's who we are.
What about birthright?

Bible Study and Discussion

Read Genesis 28:18 The next morning Jacob got up very early. He took the stone he had rested his head against, and he set it upright as a memorial pillar. Then he poured olive oil over it.

Mike Slaughter suggests that what Jacob saw at the top of the ladder (or staircase) was God. Slaughter urges us to ask ourselves what (or who) is at the top of our ladder, since he believes that our life dreams will be limited by the ceiling of our life pictures. As we picture our own personal ladder. is God at the top, or is something else—such as a job, a vocational ambition, or even another person?

What limitations are our life pictures placing on us?

 Genesis 28:20-22 “Then Jacob made this vow: "If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if he will provide me with food and clothing, 21 and if I return safely to my father's home, then the LORD will certainly be my God. 22 And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshiping God, and I will present to God a tenth of everything he gives me."

What characteristics.... negative or positive do we see in Jacob here?
Do we ever make conditions?
Are we faithful in worship and tithing?


 • God comes into our lives through the Spirit, which serves as the ladder that connects us and leads us in all things to come.
• How do we develop an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit?

Our discussion group came up with practices such as...

Spiritual disciplines (i.e. walking the labyrinth)
Scripture Reading

1 Corinthians 2:9-15 9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him." 10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God's deep secrets. 11 No one can know a person's thoughts except that person's own spirit, and no one can know God's thoughts except God's own Spirit. 12 And we have received God's Spirit (not the world's spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. 13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths. 14 But people who aren't spiritual can't receive these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can't understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others.

Galatians 2:1-2 Then fourteen years later I went back to Jerusalem again, this time with Barnabas; and Titus came along, too. 2 I went there because God revealed to me that I should go. While I was there I met privately with those considered to be leaders of the church and shared with them the message I had been preaching to the Gentiles. (Gal 2:1-2 NLT)

Homework : Building Your Life Mission Statement: Part 2
In Genesis 28:18, Jacob got up early in the morning, took the stone that he had put near his head, and set it up as a pillar to serve as a memorial stone. Mike Slaughter share his personal Mission Statement in the video. He recommends addressing three questions to begin the process of developing our own life mission statement:

• Where do you see the greatest need around you in your neighborhood, your community, or your world?
• How can you meet that need?
What gifts do you bring to further that mission?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Dare to Dream 1

Dare To Dream – 1

Mike Slaughter is pastor emeritus at Ginghamsburg Church, a large Methodist congregation in Ohio with worldwide influence. (Ginghamsburg.org)

In this book “Dare To Dream” he writes of dreams and visions that God offers us as guidance for our life. He speaks of our lives needing a “BHAG” … a “Big Hairy Audacious God-Purpose” and encourages us to find our own.

The first Session speaks of Jacob (Genesis 28:1-17)

Also referenced in the book is the work of the Holy Spirit in John 14:16-19a: “ And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans-- I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me.

Mention is made of “Thin Places” a Celtic term for those moments and places in our lives where we connect with God.

 Book can be purchased HERE on Amazon.Com


Identify 3 people you admire.

What are the greatest qualities they exemplify?

What steps have they taken to nurture those qualities?

Why are these qualities important to you? How would your life be different if you lived into those qualities more?