Father's Day: "The Ultimate Father"

Randy Christian

Mothers are idealized in America, while fathers are often the butt of jokes. Such jokes and stereotypes are sometimes accurate.  Like mothers, fathers are human, most striving to be the best they can be, and all falling short.  Like mothers, we are commanded to honor our fathers.  We can begin by honoring the ultimate, perfect father.   

FATHER'S DAY The Ultimate Father study guide

Prayer: "Listening"

Randy Christian

Most of us pray by talking.  Some of us pray by singing.  But perhaps the hardest part of prayer for most people is being quiet and listening.  How do we do that?  What do we listen for?  How do we know the difference between God’s voice and our own thoughts and feelings?

PRAYER - Listening study guide

Prayer: "Memorial Day Weekend: Prayer Lab"

Randy Christian

Memorial Day in the US is a day to remember the sacrifice of others.  But for Christians, worship is about remembering Jesus’ sacrifice.  One of the ways to do that is to talk with him—about the sacrifice, about the life he has given us, about anything.  So, on this Memorial Day we will treat our time of worship together as a lab experience in prayer!

PRAYER Memorial Day Weekend Prayer Lab study guide

Prayer: "What Is Prayer?"

Randy Christian

Prayer is communicating with God.  There are a lot of preconceptions about how that is done, but the scripture gives us the guidance we need—to know what we communicate with God about, and what form we use to do that.  All this is given to us to allow us to turn to him.

PRAYER - What Is Prayer study guide

Mother's Day: "God The Mother"

Randy Christian

Mothers are honored in virtually every culture on the planet.  In fact, one of the earliest commands from God is to honor our mothers.  But given that our mothers are human, how do we do that?  We can begin by honoring the ultimate, perfect mother.  Do you know who that is?

MOTHER'S DAY God The Mother study guide

Christian?: "How Do Christians Act?"

Randy Christian

Christians are human, and they act human.  In fact, the first qualification for someone to become Christian is for him to admit he is a sinner.  But, human as we are, there are standards of behavior we are to aspire to.  So, how do faithful Christians act?

CHRISTIAN? How Do Christians Act? study guide

Christian?: "What do Christians Believe?"

Randy Christian

There are as many sets of “statements of faith” in the US as there are Christians.  Each group has its own set of beliefs.  But if “Christian” is defined by scripture, then so are Christian beliefs.  What does the Bible say Christians believe?

CHRISTIAN? What do Christians Believe? study guide

Christian?: "What is 'Christian'?"

Randy Christian

Surveys consistently show 75-80% of the people in the US consider themselves “Christian”.  Of course, those surveys fail to define what they mean by “Christian”.  Is there a clear definition of “Christian”?  Is one person’s opinion as good as another’s?  We believe there is an authoritative answer to “What is Christian?”, and it is found in scripture.

CHRISTIAN? What is "Christian"? study guide

Easter 2017: "Bad News, Good News"

Randy Christian

The phrase “gospel” means “good news” and the Easter holiday celebrates that Good News.  But the good news only makes sense in the context of the Bad News.  In order for a person to accept the good news and respond to it, they have to understand and accept the bad news.

EASTER 2017 - Bad News, Good News study guide

Parables of Jesus: "Investment"

Randy Christian

Here are some basic questions about life: What do you have? How did you get it? What have you done with it? What will you end up with? The answer to these questions are determined by the substance of our lives -- and the good news is, we get to determine that!

PARABLES OF JESUS - Investment study guide

Parables of Jesus: "Is This All There Is?"

Randy Christian

Every human being has one thing in common -- there will come a time when his life on earth ends. Sounds heavy -- even somber -- but it is true. So the question is, what then? And does anything that we do now affect what happens then? Jesus gave us the answer in a story.

PARABLES OF JESUS - Is This All There Is? study guide

Parables of Jesus: "The Found Ones"

Edmund Brooks

You know how important something (or someone) is to you when you lose it. So, if you lose it, what you do sheds light on how important it really is! What has Jesus done, and what does that say about how he thinks of you? Knowing the answer can change your life.

PARABLES OF JESUS - The Found Ones Study Guide

Parables of Jesus: "What's In A Kingdom?"

Randy Christian

Kingdom is an almost meaningless word to Americans. So, the “Kingdom of Heaven” is doubly troublesome — not only do we have to figure out what “heaven” is, we have to then figure out how a word like “kingdom” relates to heaven. Of course the existing thing is, there IS a Kingdom of Heaven — and if we pay attention we can understand what that means!

PARABLES OF JESUS - What's In A Kingdom? Study Guide

Parables of Jesus: "Assumptions"

Randy Christian

It is easy to make assumptions based on our own experiences — particular assumptions about our personal lives. But we all know assumptions can get us in trouble, and it is dangerous to assume without checking it out.

PARABLES OF JESUS - Assumptions Study Guide

Parables of Jesus: "Strength"

Randy Christian

Broken things are rarely strong. Strength comes from not being broken, but brokenness can come individually and in community. In the U.S. right now, there is a lot of division — sometimes so strong that people who say they love one another are inviting the other to leave and never come back. But real strength comes in unity before the Lord, and there are specific steps we can take to limit the disunity and build on the unity God has given us.

PARABLES OF JESUS - Strength Study Guide

Parables of Jesus: "Persistence"

Randy Christian

Sometimes the easy thing is to just stop — stop trying, stop talking to God, stop asking for help. But for some reason God wants us to persist, and Jesus teaches us that the very persistence we want to avoid might be exactly what we are needing.

PARABLES OF JESUS - Persistence Study Guide

Parables of Jesus: "Good Neighbors"

Randy Christian

So who exactly is this “neighbor” I’m supposed to love the way I love myself? How do I know? And what does that “love” look like? Your neighbor just may be someone you don’t like, and have trouble seeing yourself “loving”. But God can change all that and give you the ability to love your neighbors!

PARABLES OF JESUS - Good Neighbors Study Guide