Friday, October 31, 2014

Eight hours before Alabama

Living Lesson: Eight Hours Before Alabama
By: Christopher Wiles
Growing up in Tennessee, you gain extra insight into country music, whether you want it or not.  Months or even years after you've heard some of these catchy tunes they may resurface from your subconscious at some of the strangest moments.
As I woke this morning, the recording hit "I'm in a Hurry" by Alabama came to mind. Here are the lyrics to the chorus:
"Oh I'm in a hurry to get things done
Oh I rush and rush until life's no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die
But I'm in a hurry and don't know why."

While I have some theological differences with this chorus, the lyrics do make a very valuable point.  I'm rushing a bit too much.  For instance, last night was the first night I can remember in a long time when I purposefully set my alarm to get 8 hours of sleep.  That could be because I haven't been getting 8 hours in a while or my sleep deprived memory can't remember even the recent past.
Many of you talk about similar experiences.  I'm convinced this sleep loss cycle comes from bad habits, poor priorities, self-centeredness, and a poor view of God's gifts.  Consider the nature of sleep from the Bible in Psalm 127:2, "It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep."
Did you notice that you are gifted by God in your sleep?  Did you notice that He does this during your sleep because you are His beloved?  Did you notice that hours and hours and hours of regular extra painful toil and work is in vain? 

The country music band Alabama may not know why they are in a hurry, but I do know why I am.  I also know what to do about it.  It's time to (once again) regain control of my schedule according to Biblical principals.  I'm starting by setting my alarm for eight more hours of sleep tonight.  What about you?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hedrick Family Photos

Last night our family had a great time shooting a few photos of the Hedrick family. We were hoping for 5 solid black and white family photos.  We were blessed with several great shots!  Here's an artsy one I had fun with depicting the sometimes hectic lifestyle of a mom. I'm sure some of you other moms can empathize!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tool Tips for the Men's Challenge Retreat

I'm grateful for the opportunity to study and grow with the Men's Challenge Retreat!  
Click the photo below to download a .pdf copy of the outline guide we'll be using. 

Click here for .pdf file

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Absalom's Demise - 2 Samuel 18-19

Here are a few of the resources we will use for our Wednesday evening Bible Study.

The Big Picture – Context of 2 Samuel 18-19
1001 BC – David & Bathsheba – 2 Sam 11
1000 BC – Nathan Rebukes David – 2 Sam 12
999 BC – Solomon Born – 2 Sam 12:24
999 BC – Amnon & Tamar & Absalom – 2 Sam 13
997 BC – Widow of Tekoa – 2 Sam 14
989 BC – Absalom is brought back – 2 Sam 14:21
985 BC – Absalom’s Conspiracy & David Flees – 2 Sam 15
981 BC – David, Ziba, Shimei – 2 Sam 16
981 BC – Absalom Slain – 2 Sam 18
981 BC – David comforted by Joab 19
979 BC – David’s last song – 2 Sam 23

Questions about the Text
1.      In 2 Samuel 18:4 – Was David’s acquiescence a kingly move or a cowardly decision?  Why or why not?

2.      In 2 Samuel 18:6-7 – Do you think this division between Israel and David’s army foreshadows future separation?  

3.      How was now was Ahithophel’s wisdom in 17:1-14?  How wise was David to plant Hushai in Absalom’s counsel?   
4.      (9) In 2 Sam 15:32-37, what was Hushai’s part and how could he overcome Ahithophel? 
5.      2 Samuel 14:25-26, Absalom’s hair and looks are highly valued.  Did the Lord give Absalom an ironic ending? (10)

6.      Consider the forgiveness and understanding given from David in 2 Samuel 19.  List those who received it.  Would you do the same?

7.      Comment on the respect David gave Barzillai in 2 Samuel 19:31.