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In the midst of need and want;
in the midst of the expectations and anxieties of life;
we make our prayers and petitions WITH THANKSGIVING!
To the risen Lord, to Him who seated on the throne of Heaven.

We appeal to a God who hears, and cares, and comes,
and brings us through it all.
Knowing this brings peace.
Philippians 4: 6-7

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How have you changed, since you became a Christian?

What about your identity is different?

The people who knew you then,
what would they say about the person you are now?
What about you now, is different
from who you were, in the last season of your life?

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The scripture teaches about changed people, who follow God;
People who hear from God

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People who ask, are answered by God
(whether the answer is 'yes' or 'no' or 'wait').

How is it that God's response is both:
1. unique to each hearer,
AND
2. the same across all hearers?

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How do you think differently
since hearing, recently, from God;
about how you should be?

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Do we modern-day Christians attempt to 'take-the-edge-off' of,
or somehow mitigate the impact of unique expressions of faith, and witness, and testimony?
Are we concerned that we will look odd, or somehow become irrelevant,
because of any 'peculiar' way in which God is expressing Himself today?

How does this affect the specific message of Christ to specific people?

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Paul fulfils the law by walking in the grace of God,
and genuine faith trumps religion.

See how followers of Jesus hold to a more simple and higher standard of ethics.

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Paul copes with the 'fake news' of the day.
Religious people are prone to lash-out at biblical truth, when it challenges the status quo.

How do ideas gain consideration in faith communities?
Does the 'theatre model' of church (speaker up front, audience in rows, listening silently)
facilitate discussion and consideration?

What other 'modes of church' might make discussion and deliberation about 'truth' easier?

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Paul goes to the temple with 4 men under a vow, who need to cut their hair.
What might THAT be about?
Reflection on 'vows' in the Old Testaments.

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What is the significance of a "vow", in light of Jesus' teaching in the NT?

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