Adventurers in Us

The way we stay connected when we aren't adventuring.

Our Beginning — May 15, 2019

Our Beginning

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David and I realized we were missing something in our lives. Our church family and friends are great, our relationship is great, but something was missing. I have been feeling the call for this ministry for a very long time, and I was just waiting for the right home to make it become a reality. That is what I’ve done with the help of some amazing people in our church family.

This group is a social group where we learn about our relationship with Jesus Christ together. Your relationship with Him is the most important relationship you will ever have in your life, but how can you truly think you have one when you aren’t challenged by others? That is what this is group is about. We are going have a guided study for the discussion we are going to have at our group meetings. Our group meetings will happen in all sorts of places like State Parks, restaurants, tours, etc. Different adventures we all come up with as a group!

Our meetings will have a small lesson that is followed by a discussion on everyone’s thoughts, questions, or even what they have learned through the journey we are undertaking together. Our readings will be sent out through email and be posted on here for those that would like to follow along because we will not be doing the reading inside our group gatherings! We are a social group and the opinions of others is what this group is about.

Please remember we are a FAMILY! That means sometimes discussions can get heated, however please be respectful. I will not tolerate anyone in the group being disrespectful. We are a family and all of us have our own way of seeing and hearing things. We want this group to be a fun and safe place to express our goals and feelings in life. We are here to support each other, not bring each other down.

I hope everyone enjoys our group and if there is anything you need, would like to see discussed, have a different adventure idea, or just want to talk. PLEASE reach out! I would love to hear from everyone!

BE BLESSED IN ALL THAT YOU DO! MAY GOD BLESS YOU!

The Relationships of Jesus — January 19, 2020

The Relationships of Jesus

I know we are supposed to be talking about Jesus as a child this month, but this subject has been something I’ve been thinking about when reading these passages. When I think of Jesus as a young boy, I can’t help but think of all the relationships he had that shaped him. Then I compare it to the children in our church today and it gets me wondering why they don’t share that same experience.

Let’s start with the first relationship Jesus had which is with God, His father. John 1:1-18 talks about how God’s relationship with us began as a light. Jesus was always the plan in God’s mind. He was always here with us even before the covenant with David and before Adam and Eve. Their relationship was always bonded and meant to be. Then scripture says something interesting, WE come from that light. We come from Jesus who comes from God. Why then can’t we have that same relationship? We are all God’s children, are we not?

He also had a relationship to his parents which in my head would be a very typical relationship. Joseph raised him up and made sure he was a “man” according to their culture. Joseph taught him scriptures and a trade and all of that. But the relationship with his mother had to be extremely special. Let’s be honest, in my case at least, I am very emotional even with my step-children. I tend to overreact, become overprotective, anything with over in it tends to be me. I am working on that. But that is because I love them so much. I don’t know what is out there for their future. Mary did, though. SHe may not have known that he was going to die at age 33 and be crucified in such a horrible way, but she knew. She knew his life wasn’t going to be easy. She knew his life would be SO MUCH HARDER than the normal child. If I knew that, my child, would be going through this special life, designed for him and him alone, PLUS it was going to mean being persecuted and life in general being harder than it needed it to be, I am 99.99999999% I am going to be the mother that made his life easier. He would get the special treatment, he would become ‘the favorite’, etc.

Think of his neighbors and friends in the town. I imagine was a strange child by their standards but still dearly loved. Taking what I do of the similarities between me and Jesus (which isn’t much. It’s more of my imagination hopes) I like to think it took a lot of people time to warm up to him. He was different, I mean, think about it, he was in the temple arguing with priests at a very young age. Who would not be put off by that? I know everyone knew Jesus was different, and didn’t know what to make of Him, until he truly showed himself after the baptism.

There are more I think of, but These are the most important for me to think about. I think also, for our discussion. I can’t wait for Jesus to return so I can see if all of my assumptions are correct, because I mean, let’s be honest, we were made in his image, even if we were strange.

God Bless.

Jesus as a Child — January 1, 2020

Jesus as a Child

In December we talked about Joseph and the impact he had on Jesus. This month I want to explore Jesus as a child. Trying to know Jesus as a young person and the relationships that surround him is very important. These experiences are what turned Him into the man He was. As we discussed before, Joseph had a very integral role to play in the man Jesus was. But let’s take a look at John 1:5.

Jesus always knew who he was and who he was meant to be. But he came down as a human to go through human emotions, experiences, and journeys. How amazing is that? He wanted to understand us more than as the creator. He wanted to BE us.

The other reason Jesus came down to us is so WE can understand God. The triune has always been and always will be. But the people, us, needed to hear, see, and understand God for who He is, was, and will be.

Let’s take a look at Luke 2, John 1:1-18, Matthew 1:18-25, Matthew 2.

Think of all the unlikely relationships Jesus had in his human life. There were His siblings, the priests, His parents, His friends, His community, and so much more. Most importantly there was God. Jesus was a well loved child, this much we can see from the whole of the text. But what can you understand about Jesus from these relationships? Now, let me ask you this, do you see anytime that Jesus, the God, conflicted with Jesus, the human?Think on this as you go through our readings.

We will discuss this in further detail when we meet. Our meeting for this month will happen in the St. Paul Lutheran Church CFC. We will be challenging the Youth Group to some obstacle courses and will challenge our inner child before we have our discussion. We ask everyone to bring a potluck dish to share with the group.

Elijah — December 12, 2019

Elijah

I attend the weekly bible study that the pastor of my church leads for us. Currently we are reading through 1 Kings. We talked about the prophet Elijah today and it got me thinking. Elijah was human and had a human moment during his work for God. There is a lot we can learn from this one moment and the prayers that followed it. I just had to write about it. So, here it goes.

Look at 1 Kings 18 -19

Let me set the stage. Elijah is doing all of these great things for God. Feeding a widow, saving her son, bring her to believe in God. And after being on the run from Ahab and Jezebel for 3 years, he shows up and challenges the prophets of Baal and Asherah. It’s an epic duel of God against gods. The prophets of the false god and goddess are spending a whole day acting silly and stupid in front of the people of the northern kingdom of Israel. Elijah is yelling to them to keep going, keep trying, prove to him that their gods are the true gods the all powerful. Then they finally give up. I can only imagine the smug look on this guy’s face. The prepares his own bull, uses 12 stones, green wood and water, a lot of water, to make sure this offering WILL NOT burn, that no tricks can be had in this offering. Then he kneels, I’m imagininging again, and he prays, “…let it be known that you ARE god in Israel and that I AM Your servant…” and the fire consumes everything! Even the stones. What a magnificent sight that would be!

So, Elijah proves that he is the prophet of the one and true God. The people of Israel are amazed and believe. Then, Elijah says, death to all the false prophets. I can only imagine he did not need to ask for volunteers to help with big job of 850 priests. But Jezebel grew angry with Elijah, and this my friends is where his human moment begins. Jezebel wants Elijah dead, and not just dead, but a painful, excruciating, suffering death. So, what does Elijah do?

Instead of trusting in God’s protection after all of the miracles God has performed in just that very day, for example. He gets scared and he runs. He runs into the forest of Horeb.

Is there a time in your life where, despite all of the evidence you will be protected, you get scared and run? I’ll admit that I do that. My best example is when my uncle passed away. He helped my mom raise me, and was pretty much my father growing up. He had been sick and we all knew it was coming, but it was still an extreme shock. I wasn’t ready to face a life without him. I wasn’t ready to face the path that was now in front of me. But I didn’t have a choice and instead of trusting in God’s plan, I ran. I ran from my husband of two months emotionally. I prayed, but it was mostly, “Why did and how could you do this to me?”

This is the same question that Elijah asks in the forest after he was faced with his mortality. He prayed, “Lord, I have been your servant for so many years, I have done everything you have asked. I showed the people You are God. And now THEY WANT TO DO THIS TO ME?! and where were you when they decided these things?” That’s basically the summarization, and he does this even on the mountain that God sends him to. God’s answer? “Buck up, go anoint this other guy, and teach Elisha how to do your job, and you will be okay.”

This is the same answer we get, “Buck up. Deal with it. I AM here to help you.” But it’s hard to lean on someone else when your emotions and mind are all a tangled mess. There is hope, even in these times. God is there and He’s comforting you. He is the soft whisper to you that He was to Elijah. Eventually, you heal and you move on with what God has planned. Then you are rewarded, maybe not with fiery chariot that Elijah got, but Heaven and Jesus and seeing, feeling, knowing God. Those are the rewards.

It is okay to have your human moment. Jesus had them! When he was in the garden on the night he was betrayed praying, JESUS asked God to be delivered from this burden. He would do it, but he didn’t want to. Our human moments is what strengthens our life with God. Our human moments are what endears us to God. Because through everything, we choose Him. That is what human moments are about. Choosing God and the path that He set forth for us.

What about Joseph? — December 1, 2019

What about Joseph?

Joseph, the ultimate step-parent and father, allowed himself to be on the outside of Jesus’ story. He knew his role in Jesus’ life would be great, yet was fine taking the backseat when it came to the stories. He knew the only way he’d be remembered would be as Mary’s husband. Let’s face it, you think about him that way too. He was much more than that to the story and life of Jesus. Let’s take a look at Joseph’s story this month, and see his influence over Jesus and how he shaped the man and Savior we love.

When I read the story of Joseph and Mary, I cannot help but wonder at the role that Joseph played in Jesus’ life. I think it is very important because Joseph would have laid the ground work of Jesus as a human being. He would have shaped Jesus’ mind and made him the man that he grew up to be. Yes, God, was there and watching over Him, but Joseph was the father until Jesus grew up and was baptized.

Jesus was on the path to follow in Joesph’s footsteps. He was set to become a carpenter. I imagine Jesus has being restless and trying to rebel like all kids do at some point. But Jesus wasn’t just some lanky boy who wandered around aimlessly until he met John. NO!

Picture Jesus, not as a lanky boy, but as a strong and muscular figure. He was learning to be a carpenter! Carpenters didn’t just work with wood, but with stone and other things that were difficult to manipulate!

Joseph was responsible for more than Jesus’ career path. Joseph was the one who took Jesus to the synagogue and made sure that the religious teachings were upheld. He was the figure head for the family. He made sure Jesus was on the right path. Joseph was the one making the decisions and watching over Jesus.

The mother’s role is to nourish their family. They are the comforters. Mary was that for Jesus, and there was a very special bond between the mother and son, but when I read the stories, I also see a strong bond between Joseph and Jesus.

I’ve been reading a book, Ben-Hur, in it there is a scene where the main character is taken prisoner, and is forced to run behind the Roman’s horses as they are taking him to the slave ships. The Romans stop in Jerusalem and a crowd gathers around Ben-Hur. In it many people ran to Joseph to get his help and opinion on the boy that was captured. Then it was Jesus who stuck his neck out for the prisoner. He gave the prisoner water and bread, before the Romans tried to chase them off.

I admit, I don’t remember the scene like I should. But it stuck with me. It gave me an idea about Joseph and Jesus that I never thought of before. Joseph was the descendant of David, people looked to him as a leader because of that fact, and Joseph accepted that role while showing Jesus how to be humble and commander. The way Joseph acted in this scene, made me think of Jesus as he’s teaching and healing the sick. Jesus would not say a word if it was not warranted. But he would stand back and watch while showing his please or displeasure. That is what Joesph did in the scene of my book. He stood back and watched with pride as his son did as Joseph had taught him.

God is there through all of these encounters, through all of Jesus’s life. But the early years were Joseph’s to mold Jesus. Looking at Jesus the man I am sure there are a lot of similarities between Him and his step-father. I, also, think God had a hand in raising Jesus as he does with all of us, but together, God and Joseph made Jesus the man he is.

Look back the scriptures we’ve read together. Do you see Joseph in a new light? He isn’t just the man married to Mary who gave birth to the Son of God. He is so much more than that. He is apart of Jesus and the story of Jesus. Look closely, and write down what you think and your opinions as your reading. Can you picture Jesus’ life?

Is Jesus Human to You? — November 17, 2019

Is Jesus Human to You?

For this discussion I want to break down our readings. Let’s start with Matthew chapter 1.  It begins with the genealogy of Jesus. It is a long list starting with Abraham and ending with Joseph and Mary. Not only is it a genealogy but it is a history of Jesus’ family. It proves that Jesus is the son of David and Abraham as the prophecy foretold. That’s very important because it shows Jesus had to be born human. Then we read about his birth and of course a God isn’t born, but Jesus WAS! He was born of the Virgin Mary!

Let’s skip forward to Jesus as a boy of 12 years old. Can you picture Him playing in the crowds on the way to Jerusalem? Can you picture Him running around with His siblings playing tag or some other game? Joseph and Mary wanted to make sure their children were brought up in the true way of the Jewish tradition, so they followed the laws and went to Jerusalem for Passover! Then as they are leaving, Jesus doesn’t follow like the obedient son. Instead he runs away. Let’s forget for a moment where he went. Can you imagine the frantic searching that took place. Never mind that it took 3 days for the parents to realize he was missing. As I said earlier, Jesus was a child of 12 and more than likely running around the crowd with the other children. He would be hard to keep an eye on all the time. Anyway when they found Him, I imagine much shaking going on as they are holding his shoulders and much screaming, “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?! WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME?!” And I can hear the flippant 12 year old voice, who thinks that now they are becoming a teenager they are an adult, sighing and saying, “I’m where I’m meant to be, MOOOOOM. I’m in my Father’s house. Gosh! Get a grip!”

Next we see Jesus being baptized just like US! And tempted, JUST LIKE US! The difference between us and Jesus is that Jesus was able to withstand it. Some of us probably could withstand MOST temptation but Jesus was able to thwart it all through the help and power of the scripture of God!

In John 2 we see Him playing the obedient child when his mother, Mary, asks Him to turn water into wine. “Woman! My hour has not yet come. This is no concern of mine.” Jesus says this, and his mother doesn’t listen, like most mother’s and their children. Yet out of the love and respect He has for His mother, He honors her request! We as humans do this for the love we bear our parents.

Then fast forward to Jesus praying in the garden. He asks several times in fact, “Please don’t let me do this. I don’t want to do this. However your will be done. But I really DON’T want to do this.” Jesus had human thoughts, worries, fears and love! He didn’t want to die! But he did for us!

My last point comes a couple verses before the moment he dies. John 19:25-27 when he asks John and Mary to care for each other. A mother, widow, without a son or husband to take care of her, in those days, meant poverty and more often than not death. He knew how important it was for John to give his love to someone in desperate need for it, just as Mary needed to give hers. He pleads for them both to take care of each other. In Jesus’ last moments he thinks a human thought, and begs for his loved ones to care for one another. If that isn’t HUMAN I don’t know what is.

The power of Jesus doesn’t come from being a god and loving us as a god would. It comes from Him being human. Let me say this again because of the importance it places for you. JESUS LOVES YOU! Not with the fierceness of a god, but the ALLNESS of a human who has seen the Light of God. He loves you as one who has found his one and only. We are all children and spouses of Jesus Christ and he loves as only a partner and father can. We are His wholly if we ask and He will love us just as much. He gave himself wholly for us, and he loves us with such a passion that I believe only a human can feel. Don’t get me wrong, God loves us and he cares for us and wants nothing but the best for us. But Jesus lived for us. He was HUMAN for us. He understands us!

<Discussion thoughts>  Do you talk to Him as if He’s real? Do you look for Him in your heart? Have you looked at Jesus this way?

Go In Peace!

Is he Real? — November 1, 2019

Is he Real?

I think this is the most important thing we can discuss and think about. It’s more important than reading the scriptures, more important than than just about anything we study! I want to know if you see Jesus as a real live human being. Can you talk to Him as if he is sitting in front of you? Can you reach out and touch Him?

Before we go any further. No, I’m not crazy. Think about this Jesus was not always a God. He was human like you and I. He could do extraordinary things but He was still HUMAN! He had human feelings and thoughts. He was a brother, cousin, son, uncle and so much more. He followed Joseph’s footsteps and was his apprentice and learned carpentry. This MAN was a human who loved, believed in God, and lived a full life.

Our discussion will dive a little deeper into this topic but for now I just want to get the importance of what I am saying to you. Jesus is real. He is living and He is  waiting! That was His whole purpose. To save you from yourself and wait for you! Jesus loves you and will always wait for you.

Please read these passages and look at Him as if he was a real being, not a figment of someone’s imagination, not a history lesson, not a god, but a real live man. Picture Him in your mind as a man, not a faceless god. Matthew Chapter 1, Luke 2:41-52, Mark 1:9-13, Luke 22:39-46, John 19:28-37, John 2:1-5

We will stop here for this study lesson. I ask that you write down all of the human things Jesus did in these passages. Then write down what you have in common. We will discuss these at our next meeting.

Go with God!

Mary’s Journey — October 20, 2019

Mary’s Journey

Think of your most recent doubt. Did it have hope? Did it leave you praying and excited at the end of it? Were you excited for the possibility of what the further may hold even in your doubt?

Mary is probably 13 or 14 when we first see her in the Bible. Gabriel comes to her and at this point she’s practically married to Joseph. They just need to finish their last ceremony to allow them to love as husband and wife. All of sudden there’s this angel in front of her saying ” You are going to bear a son! He will be the son of God!” Can you see her laugh at him as I do as she explains it isn’t possible? It is only natural for her to question him even as Gabriel reconfirmed what she was doubting to be true.

Then she left! She just took off walking and headed for her cousin Elizabeth’s house. On the way there she probably encountered a large caravan, but I doubt she saw anyone or heard them! I imagine she was caught up with so many emotions like doubt, hope, excitement, joy, fear, worry, more doubt and so many questions. Probably much more than that. I think one of the biggest questions she would have would be, “What about Joseph?”

She left everything behind when she found out. But when she got to Elizabeth’s home, EVERYTHING was confirmed with Elizabeth’s first words, “Blessed are you who carries the son of God!” How amazing is that?! There is no way she could have known what had happened to Mary on the road. She had no way of knowing Mary’s conversation, and yet, she knew!

Mary then stayed with Zechariah and his wife for 3 months! She watched Elizabeth grow fat with child, she watched Zechariah reconfirm his faith with God and work out his doubts and questions, and she watched two people live out their dream. She got to see the confirmation of God’s love as she stayed with them. I can see her strengthening her bond with God, and learning just who she was during those months. But, I am sure from having a husband of my own, she had one lingering thought that just wouldn’t leave her alone, “What about Joseph?”

Joseph has to have had his own doubts when Mary finally told him she was pregnant with the son of God. The girl who is his by right of law and was supposed to be faithful to him wasn’t. He didn’t understand then. I can only imagine how hard it was for him to believe her and hear her side of things. What a man he had to be! To quietly divorce her instead of having her stoned to death! I choose to believe that it was because of 2 reasons that he didn’t, 1) he was a great, kind, and devout man. I’m sure the what if’s helped play a factor. 2) He hopes and prayed that what she was saying to him was the truth. It would mean God not only blessed Mary, but him as well! He was to raise the Messiah!

<discussion on the comparison>

It is okay to doubt! What makes your doubts a sin is when you stop believing as Zechariah did. When he stopped believing he no longer questioned the decisions of God, but God himself. He no longer believed God could perform miracles! That made it not okay.

Doubts and questions are only natural to have! We are HUMAN and God encourages your doubts and questions. It is what helps us discern the truth and what we believe. I’d rather have a God that challenged me rather than just having acceptance for the way things are!

Doubt my friends! It is what makes you stronger in your faith and your mind! Question everything a hundred times! Most of all, BELIEVE!

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