Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ike update

Tommy and others, thanks for your prayers.

We had little damage from Ike even though the eye passed over us. God is good!

Currently, we have no power, phone service, or Internet service, and do not expect it for sometime.

I'm making this entry using a friend's service.

I plan to resume blogging the week of Oct 6th.

Thank you for your understanding!

May God bless your preparation!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

We don't like IKE!

This is my last blog entry for the lesson, “Serving the LORD Faithfully.” We are preparing for hurricane Ike here in Houston. Appreciate your prayers!

However, take a look at the lesson plan from Jeff Meyer of Bayleaf Baptist, as well as some lesson notes from Mark Cimijotti of Carmel Baptist Church.

God bless,

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Called into service

Mark Rathel’s comments about the lesson, “Serving the LORD Faithfully”, are more in line with my reading of 1 Samuel 2:12-4:1a. He puts the focus on God’s activity—intentions to end Eli’s family of priests, judge Israel by His silence, and prepare Samuel for ministry. He goes on to point out the lessons of listening to God.

The LORD called Samuel into His service. What is your understanding of Christians being called into vocational service today? This may be an opportunity for you to teach on that point.

A key question to ask members in your class (and mine) is based on Luke 2:52, 1 Sam 2:26, and 1 Sam 3:19. How is the Lord preparing and calling you to serve Him?

P.S. First Baptist Church, Chester, Illinois offers a lesson plan based on asking questions.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Serving the LORD Faithfully, 1 Samuel 3:1-10,15-4:1a

Our second lesson from 1 Samuel, verses 2:12-4:1a, is titled, “Serving the LORD Faithfully”. The focus is a contrast between Samuel’s faithful service and the unfaithful service of Eli’s two wicked sons. It seems to me that the text emphasizes the faithfulness of the LORD. He is the one who faithfully “keeps on keeping on” by calling Samuel to replace Eli’s corrupt, priestly line.

I’m sure Eli’s sons had excuses for their despicable behavior. Look at this page of excuses to see if you can find something to help you kick off this lesson with a discussion of excuses we make. I like the Ten Most Used Excuses at the bottom of the page.

Friday, September 05, 2008

PowerPoint for "Declaring the LORD's Grace" 1 Sam 1:1-2:11

Previously, I blogged and posted a set of slides to teach the lesson, “Do You Have Peace With God?” based on Romans 5:1-11. These may help you prepare to teach Step 4 of this week’s lesson, “Declaring the LORD’s Grace”.

The key point is that Hannah found peace in her relationship with the LORD, and then followed thru on her vow to present Samuel to the LORD.

I’ve posted my PowerPoint slides for teaching Declaring the LORD's Grace. Modify them and make them your own, but you may want to “play” the slides first to get a feel for how the lesson will flow. May God bless your class and you as you teach this lesson!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Desperate measures

In preparing to teach Step 3 of “Declaring the LORD’s Grace”, I read an article titled, “Should We Make Vows Today?”. Verses 1 Samuel 1:9-18 make clear how desperate Hannah was. Some of your class members may be in desperate situations today. They may consider making vows, or desperate measures. What should you teach them? This article by Tom Wright might help you.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

View Master Perspective

To prepare for Step 2 of “Declaring the LORD’s Grace” read Brad Shockley’s lesson commentary. He quotes Ecclesiastes 1:9 to indicate the relevance of the lessons from 1 & 2 Samuel. In discussing God’s providence, he notes that God is blameless (Psalm 18:30), perfect (Deuteronomy 32:4), and infinitely wise (Isaiah 40:28). His tri-fold description made me think of how we used to use a “view master” toy to see picturesque scenes in 3D. Without the viewer, however, the pictures were nothing but quirky, unclear images outlined in red or green.

So how can we get a view master perspective of God’s providence? This step emphasizes “ways” to acknowledge (or see) God’s sovereignty. To acknowledge variously means to accept, to admit, to recognize, to appreciate, to take notice, etc. Try putting these words on a slide, or marker board and asking members to describe situations that taught them to accept, admit, recognize, appreciate, or take notice of God’s sovereignty in their lives.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


The Lord provided Samuel as a ‘stabilizer’ in the chaotic period when the Israelites transitioned from a band of tribes to a monarchy. To introduce the notion of a stabilizer for the lesson, “Declaring the LORD’s Grace” consider using the illustration of an airplane's horizontal or vertical stabilizers.

This illustration has a lot of legs to it. For example, you can liken air turbalance acting on an airplane to issues that create instability in the lives of Christians. Stabilizers act on an airplane to keep it traveling in the right direction, and God acts on Christians faced with turbulances in their lives to keep them on the right path--one of maturing to become more like Christ Jesus.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Declaring the LORD’s Grace, 1Samuel 1:1-2:11

Our lesson this week is titled, “Declaring the LORD’s Grace”. It’s from 1 Samuel 1:1-2:11. I was impressed to begin my preparation to teach this week by studying my previous posts on grace, which can be found just by searching this site using the search term: grace (see upper left corner for the search window).

For example, below is a list of previous posts from a lesson about grace called, “What about God’s Grace?”, which we studied three years ago from Romans.

Grace as God’s Ability
Can’t get there from here
Perspective gap
Abundant grace
More about God’s grace
Spotlight grace

As I recall, I liked the last one in the list because it offers a word picture that helped me shine a spotlight on God’s grace.