Friday, October 31, 2008
I’ve posted the PPT slides which I plan to use Sunday (Lord willing). Be sure and “play” the slides, otherwise you’ll miss some of the text. May God bless your preparation this week, and thanks to all the commentators and others who published lesson preparation helps this week! They are such a blessing.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
As part of the background passage, it’s instructive to compare how David responded to the loss of Saul and Jonathan with his response to the loss of Abner (2 Sam 3:28-39) and Ish-Bosheth (2 Sam 4:9-12). Furthermore, contrast Joab’s murder of Abner (2 Sam 3:22-26) in response to his having legitimately killed Joab’s brother in battle (2 Sam 2:18-23).
Mark Rathel’s commentary doesn’t stick to the “responding to loss” topic. Instead he takes the passage 2 Samuel 1-4 more for the spiritual principles it teaches.
You also might consider Bob Deffinbaugh’s “black hat and white hat” approach (See the section titled 'What we can learn from Joab and Abner'). I think it could be made to work with all four chapters (2 Sam 1-4) with an alternate title of "Beware of man's selfish ambition".
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Each week, I always watch how God orchestrates events in my life to help me prepare to teach His Word. For example, we received news today that the son-n-law of a friend lost his battle with cancer. I’m thankful to be studying this lesson. What’s happening in your life this week to help you prepare?
Writing about 2 Samuel 1:1-27, Bob Deffinbaugh advises against the pop-psychology adage to “get it all out” by saying everything that is true should not be told. For example, David’s lament regarding Saul wasn't a tell-all of what David knew to be true about Saul.
Ask members to name what they’ve found to be inappropriate at a funeral. An example is illustrated in the story, “Colorado Newspaper Twitters Three-Year Old’s Funeral.”
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
These are particularly helful for very practical Christain response to loss. I've used my copy many times. I pulled it off the shelf and reviewed it as I started preparing to teach this week’s lesson, “When Responding to Loss”, based on 2 Samuel 1:1-4:12.
Most of us want to avoid saying something inappropriate in the case of bereavement. Would you recommend joining a “grief and loss” group to someone suffering loss?
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Given their potential influence and usefulness, I’m still wondering why more teachers and church leaders don’t publish their own Internet version of a weekly lesson plan?
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thus, it seems that publishing a lesson plan has the potential to be very influential among the teachers in a given congregation. Assuming this I wonder why more pastors and ministers of education don’t publish their own Internet version of a weekly lesson plan? Any ideas?
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Commenting on this lesson from 1 Samuel (p. 8), Dr. W. B. Tolar, distinguished professor of biblical backgrounds, emeritus, of Southwestern Seminary, notes the following applications of the text for this lesson:
1. David had many fine characteristics and one of them was the respect he held for legitimate leaders.
2. David showed his high character by refusing to assassinate King Saul and make himself king immediately.
3. We Christians would do well to learn to control our ambitions so that we honor God as we treat others in a Godly fashion.
4. All Christians need to learn to operate by God’s timing and not by our own selfish ambitions.
5. God’s ways are best and God’s timing is always best!
No matter who wins the current election for President, Americans will be tested on his first, second and third points.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
An illustration came to mind from of my camping experiences. Exiting the tent one night to go to the restroom, the rocky trail traveled in a zigzag fashion downhill, and the night darkness was pitch black. I used a flashlight, and pointed it down since I could only see the trail illuminated in the circle of light from the flashlight.
Have you ever used God’s Word as a flashlight in a dark world and depended on the Holy Spirit to influence your thought processes toward God’s agenda (Psa 119:105)? David did when he was in the cave and avoided killing Saul, which was the easy way out of his situation.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I like how Louis Johnson, North Park Baptist Church, Abilene, defines God’s agenda in his commentary on the lesson—“we work toward God’s goals, limit ourselves to God’s methods, and operate according to God’s timetable.” I encourage you to read the article to see how David adhered to God’s agenda when he was falsely accused.
How do you respond to false accusation (see Adult Leader Guide, p. 89)? I also recommend adapting the True/False quiz in my previous post on Unjust Suffering for use in your lesson.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The article, “How to Determine Who Your true Friends Are”, categorizes friends as “fair-weather”, “know-it-all”, and real and simple friends. Another approach mentioned in the article is to liken friends to parts of a tree. Fair-weather friends are like leaves that drop off as the seasons change, and real friends are like tree roots that bring aid when you need it and add to your life.
I posted a draft of my PPT slides for “Cultivate Godly Friendships”. Hopefully they can help you prepare your lesson. As always, feel free to suggest changes as comments (see Comment Link below).
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I once responded to a request to contribute to a review of fellow manager’s employee by saying, “I’d take a bullet for him.” Secret Service agents would take a bullet to protect the President. That’s their job.
Most people would take a bullet for their spouses, parents, siblings, friends, and perhaps a pet. Who would you take a bullet for?
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
First Baptist Church, Chester, Illinois posted their question based lesson plan, which I reproduced below (their link is not sticky). I liked the question, “When is the last time you made a new friend?”
-Let's begin class by sharing our names and telling the class the name of your childhood friend.
-What is the nicest thing a friend has ever done for you?
-When is the last time you made a new friend?
-What does it mean in a Christian's life to have godly friendships? What qualities attract you to other Christians who become your close friends?
-Have you ever seen a friend excel in something you also were striving to achieve? How did that make you feel?
-Jonathan was a logical choice to follow his father, King Saul, to the throne, how do you think he felt about David?
-How did Jonathan describe his relationship with David?
-Have you ever openly or privately promised your best friend something? Did you keep your promise? Have you been promised something by your friend? Did they keep their promise?
-Why do you think Jonathan gave his robe and other gifts to David? How do you think Jonathan came to handle this situation so spiritually?
-Have ever had the opportunity to defend a friend? Briefly, what was the situation?
-Jonathan took a huge risk in defending David to his father, could you have done the same?
-Can defending a friend prove to be costly to you? Is the friendship worth the cost? Would your friend do the same for you? How can you be sure?
-What role does God play in establishing friendships in your life? Is God in all your friendships?
-Take a close look at 1Samuel 20:8; what two favors did David ask of Jonathan?
Look at verses 12 & 13; David literally put his life in Jonathan's hands. What did Jonathan have to lose by keeping his covenant with David?
-Of the three men in this lesson, Saul, Jonathan, & David, who do you identify with the most? Why?
-The scriptures say that Jonathan encouraged David; how can you encourage a friend in their faith?
-When you offer your support and encouragement to a friend is it like laying down your life for them? If not, should it be?-As we close in prayer, let's go around the room and say the first name of your best friend, lift that friend up to God in a simple one sentence prayer.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Because of the lengthy background passage, I will construct a map and summary slide of the six chapters from 1 Samuel 18:1-23:28 to use in this week’s lesson, “Cultivate Godly Friendships.” I may structure it as a contrast of actions between Saul’s insecurity and David’s security in the Lord, which is an alternate application from the same Scriptures.
Because I’ve noticed a difference in the way men express friendship compared to how women express friendship, I may introduce the lesson using some ideas from the article, “Men, Women, and Friendship.” Some key points include the following:
1. intimacy is crucial to friendship
2. men express intimacy by helping each other
3. men express friendship side-to-side doing things together
4. men’s conversation is not about themselves
5. women share information about themselves face-to-face
6. women support each other conversationally
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Second, 1 Samuel 17:55,56,58 notes that Saul asked about David’s father even though he had considerable experience with David’s father in 1 Samuel 16:18-21. What do you make of Saul’s condition that allows such a lapse?
Sam Tullock’s commentary on Embrace God’s Perspective brought to mind the notion of “least expected” in God’s selection of David as King. Consider using your high school annual to discuss the person voted “most likely” to succeed and the “least likely”. Class members will probably have some examples of their own to share after you jog their memory.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
To introduce the lesson, “Embrace God’s Perspective” from 1 Samuel 16:1-17:58, consider using a Termeshpere (select one, and then click and drag to look around). Note the perspective of the termesphere, which were painted by Dick Termes.
Also, I made a previous post, “Take God's perspective into account” that may be helpful as you prepare to teach this week.