How I Streamline Small Group Discussion Guides

I don’t like repetitive work: it sucks the joy out of otherwise fun tasks. So when I started creating discussion guides for our small groups (we call them Community Groups, or CGs), I set out to eliminate as much of the tedium as possible by applying technology I also use at work. Here’s a little glimpse.
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Life Update

It has been two months since my last article. What happened? Unfortunately, our summer got unpredictably busy, but not with fun trips or extended family time, but work. It drained me to the point of burnout, so writing took a backseat. I guess I benefit from a stable routine and its absence created a bit of chaos. The good news is that it looks like that is changing right now. Last week was fairly normal again: Early mornings with extended time in the Scriptures (I am trying to catch up to my reading plan again; only a few days behind now!
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Fear Only God

I sometimes struggle with the fear of man, so reminders like these from Spurgeon’s Faith Checkbook are most welcome to me. Maybe to you, too.
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God-Empowered Work

I am an engineer. My job is to solve difficult problems, the kind that sometimes make you want to bang your head against a wall. But I’ve noticed in the last year or two that I have significantly greater success with those problems when I take them to God in prayer first.
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Does Satan Hear My Prayers?

Several times a year, my wife gets in the car and meets up with one of her childhood friends for a girls' weekend somewhere. Her most recent trip took her to Denver, which—conveniently—has an Ikea (we needed some furniture). Before she left in the early morning, we prayed together to ask God for a safe, fun, edifying trip. I went back to bed and, as I was falling asleep, thought: I wonder if Satan heard that prayer.
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The Rabinal Achi Church: An Interview

For years my church has supported Bible translators in Guatemala to bring the Scriptures to the Rabinal Achi people. In the course of that we have organized medical clinics and pastor trainings as well. One of our local partners is Eder Ixcopal. To get a better idea of the local culture and needs of the Achi church, I had the privilege of interviewing him.
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The New Reformation

Discussion about race have taken up a significant part of public discourse. The voices are many, as is often the madness. None of it is surprising to the Christian. But even in the church, emotions are running high, and the opinions are far from unifying. How are we to think about these issues? Music artist Shai Linne’s new book “The New Reformation” gives biblical, balanced, and practical advice.
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The Proud Elder

In an article of another blog I follow, A.W. writes about leaders who know how to follow. He writes: What would [young leaders] do when faced with a church body with a hundred other men just as gifted as they are? What would they do when told that they wouldn’t have opportunities to teach quickly, but that the nursery was desperately in need of help, the refugee ministry needed volunteers, and there’s a three year leadership apprenticeship that they could plug into? I can relate to that. Our church is incredibly gifted at teaching with several qualified and talented teachers and pastors. Had I got my wish a few years ago, I would have been one proud elder. Thankfully, God revealed my sin.
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The Joy of Writing

When I grew up we had to use fountain pens in elementary school. (I recently saw someone post a picture of the model I used to have—a “Lamy abc” with a left-handed nib!—and seeing it brought back some memories!) In secondary school no one cared how we wrote, so I started using pencil. In college I revived my fountain pen use, but there is only so much to write by hand for an engineering student with a laptop. If I was going to stick with it this time, I needed more excuses to write.
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No Chains

Spurgeon’s writings are part of my steady diet. I recently added to it the Spurgeon Study Bible. It is probably the first time in many years that I am reading a physical bible again, and I am enjoying it! My reading plan took me to Psalm 37, and I fully agree with Spurgeon’s comment.
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