Desperately Seeking… God’s Best

Part six, the final chapter (for now) of Desperately Seeking.

Share and enjoy.

First Impressions

What do you think of Jenny?

What are some good things we can say about Jenny?

Is there anything that concerns you about Jenny?

 

Introduction

Jenny really is interested in finding God’s best, isn’t she? She’s read the books, and she’s looking for God to give her all of the good things in life. There’s just one problem: God has already given us his best. He’s given us Jesus. Jesus came not to give us wealth and good health. He came to give us the best blessing of all: our salvation.

Too many believers are focused on what God can do for them. Not enough are concerned with what they can do to serve the Lord. Jesus died for us. He’s given far more than we could ever earn or deserve.

The Christian life isn’t about what we can get from God. It’s about how we can give back. We can never give enough to equal what Jesus has done, but we can use our time, our gifts, and the blessings God has given us to serve the Lord and serve other people.

 

Read Matthew 20:20-28

Why do you think James and John’s mother asked Jesus for a favor?

How did Jesus respond to her request?

Jesus said that whomever wants to be the greatest has to be the servant of all. How did Jesus live out this command?

Does anyone know how James and John ultimately lived out their lives? (James was martyred, as were nine other disciples. John was repeatedly jailed and tortured for Christ and was even dipped in boiling oil. He died of natural causes in exile.)

 

Application

Why do you think people are drawn to teachers who tell them that God wants to give them riches and blessings?

Do teachings like the so-called prosperity gospel do more to help or hurt the cause of Christ?

What would you say to someone like Jenny about God’s best?

What advice would you give to someone who wanted God’s best life right now?

 

Prayer

Dear Jesus,

Forgive us for the times we treat you like a blessing machine. Help us remember all Jesus as done for us. Teach us to be servants so we can live the life you have planned for us.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Desperately Seeking… Compatibility

Does Christian genre fiction have groupies? Like the Trekkies? Let’s hope this is just fiction.

Part 5 of Desperately Seeking, our video Bible study for singles. Share and enjoy.

First Impressions

What do you think of Doug?

What are some good things we can say about Doug?

If he asked, would you go to the movies with Doug?

 

Introduction

Regardless of what you may think about his taste in movies and literature, we’re all a little like Doug. Some of us love science fiction and comic books. Some are sports fans. Some like art and classical music. And some people can’t get enough of professional wrestling.

Finding things in common with a mate is important, but what commonalities are most important? As Christians we need to be seeking people who are like-minded in their faith. We need to find someone who shares our values so that we can live out our faith and pass it on to our children.

The focus of this series on making the most of our single days, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do that with an eye to the future. Learn now what’s most important to you in a husband or wife. Make your list of intangibles, and don’t compromise those in the slightest. There are worse things than being single, and being “unequally yoked” is one.

 

Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

What does it mean to be yoked? (Feel free to have someone Google this question if need be!)

Why does Paul caution against being unequally yoked?

Why would being married to an unbeliever be hard?

How would marrying an unbeliever make raising children who love Jesus difficult?

 

Application

What are some things you simply couldn’t live with in a mate? Is there anything that’s come up in a past relationship, even something small, that you just couldn’t live with? (This doesn’t have to be a serious thing; it can be small or funny.)

Have any of you ever tried “missionary dating,” dating someone to try to lead them to Christ? How did that work out for you?

Is there value in knowing what you can and can’t live with in a mate before dating?

Have each person in the group come up with a list of five things they think are most important in a mate. Share your lists, and see if you can come up with a master list.

 

Prayer

Dear Jesus,

Make us wise as look for your will in our lives. Help us to cling to what’s most important so that we won’t compromise our faith. Bless us with godly spouses who build us up in Christ.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Cave World – I Goofed!

So the 3 day free download for Cave World I promised didn’t actually happen. I guess I didn’t see the set up all the way through, so no one was able to download the book Friday or Saturday.

To rectify the situation, I’ve shared the book free now through Thursday. Be sure to download Cave World for free this week, and please come back to download Return to Cave World for only $2.99. (It’s in paperback too. They both are!)

Download Cave World free on Amazon (through Thursday, 6/29).

Three free titles on Amazon Kindle this weekend

Want to give my fiction a try? This is your weekend.

Three books are available to download for free now through Sunday.

Trish Angel is the first stand alone novel featuring the heroine from the Fluffy movies. Trish is the only person who could save the world from the Fluffy alien invasion not once, but four times. (Yes, there were four!) Now, lightyears from home, Trish is forced to become a hero once more facing a whole new alien terror.

Zorana: Confessions of a Small Town Super-Villain is a first person account of what happens when a villains plans go up in smoke. With no place to go and no clue what to do next, the world’s most dangerous woman travels back home for Christmas, looking for some direction and possibly a little redemption,

Finally, there’s Cave World, the first in a series of young adult novels about a world where every cave is a portal to another planet. It’s the story of a boy who created his own fictional universe, and after getting sucked into it, must face all the challenges and consequences that come with being an omnipotent creator.

All three books are available on Kindle free this weekend only!

Desperately Seeking…Responsibility

Today’s we share part four of our Desperately Seeking video Bible study series. Do you know someone like Miriam? If you went to Bible college, I’m sure you do.

Share and enjoy!

 

First Impressions

What do you think of Miriam?

What are some good things we can say about Miriam?

What red flags do you see in Miriam?

 

Introduction

Miriam sounds like a young woman with a good heart. She might even make a great pastor’s wife. But Miriam was not very wise in her college plans. She had the opportunity to get a good education, to start a career, and to gain some independence. Instead, she graduated school with a huge debt and little to show for it.

Being a stay-at-home parent is as noble a life choice as having a career, but God doesn’t want us to enter the world as helpless, dependent babes. Your single years are a time for learning how to be wise with the opportunities and the blessings you have been given. It is a time to get an education, to learn how to provide for yourself, and to learn how to manage your money.

God has given each one of us talents and opportunities. If we don’t use those gifts wisely, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

 

Read Matthew 25:14-30

How did the rich man reward the servants who invested their talents wisely?

Why did the rich man punish the one who did not invest their talents?

What do you think Jesus is really talking about in this parable?

Which of the servants do you think most matches up with Miriam, and why?

 

Application

Why is it important for us to learn to be independent, even if we plan on getting married?

How would learning to be a good money manager and learning to live on your own benefit you in married life?

What other skills do you think you need in addition to being a good money manager?

What are you doing to establish yourself as a self-sufficient person right now?

Is there anything you need help with right now so that you can stand on your own two feet?

Prayer

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for the gifts you have given us. Help us to invest those gifts and be wise stewards of all you have given us.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Free Skit: A Stupid Acorn

An old favorite of mine is the free skit this week. Share and enjoy!

A STUPID ACORN
By John Cosper

THEME: Dying to yourself

CHARACTERS
An Ant
An Acorn
A Squirrel

[COSTUME NOTE: This can be done very simply by having each character wearing a T-shirt that identifies them as “Ant”, “Acorn”, and “Squirrel.” The Acorn should also wear a beret to signify his “cap.” Of course if you have the budget and want to make real ant, acorn, and squirrel costumes, go for it.]

(The Ant leads the Acorn on stage. The Acorn is covering his eyes.)

ANT- Okay, buddy, open your eyes.
ACORN- (looks) Uh huh. So what’s the big deal, Ant? You promise me some great big surprise, a destiny that could be mine, and all I see are some roots sticking out of the ground.
ANT- Look up, dummy.
ACORN- (looks up the tree) Whoa! That’s… that’s just huge!
ANT- What did I tell you?
ACORN- Wow! That must have taken… well, a million years or so.
ANT- A hundred and twenty and counting.
ACORN- That’s incredible. What do you call this?
ANT- It’s called… a Tree!
ACORN- Wow! Pretty name for it. Tree. Look, it’s got brown stuff.
ANT- That’s called bark.
ACORN- And twisting things hanging off it.
ANT- Those are branches.
ACORN- And pretty green floppy things.
ANT- Those are leaves.
ACORN- And it goes all the way from the roots up to the sky?
ANT- And down quite a way too. Those roots run pretty deep.
ACORN- Man, that is something. Okay, so you said all this could be me some day?
ANT- I surely did.
ACORN- Tell me. Tell me.
ANT- It’s very simple. You gotta find yourself a nice, fertile plot of ground.
ACORN- Fertile ground. Okay.
ANT- Then you crawl in it.
ACORN- Uh, crawl in?
ANT- And bury yourself.
ACORN- What? Oh no, I don’t think that’s possible.
ANT- What? Why not?
ACORN- Look, I may just be a silly little acorn, but I’m nobody’s fool. Dig a hole and bury myself? Huh uh. No way. Got a touch of claustrophobia, not to mention this terrible fear of DYING.
ANT- That’s the way it goes, pal. Unless you fall into the ground and die, you’ll never grow into a giant oak tree. Just look at what awaits you!
ACORN- I don’t know. Thing is I have a pretty good life these days as an acorn. I’m little and cute and I’ve got this sweet little cap on top. Kinda looks like a beret. Makes me feel French, you know?
ANT- Forget the beret! You could be so much more! A tall, beautiful tree reaching to the sky.
ACORN- Yeah, and didn’t you say it took this guy like a hundred years to get there? I don’t think I have the patience for that.
ANT- But this is what you were created for! You weren’t meant to be a stupid acorn with a beret. You were made to grow into a giant tree!
ACORN- Hey, it’s my life, my choice, right? And if I wanna live as an acorn, nothing you can do to change that.
ANT- Fine, whatever. You wanna stay an acorn? Stay an acorn. But mark my words: you’re gonna die one day. Do you want to die later as a rotting acorn, or die now and be all you can be?
ACORN- “Be all you can be”? What are you, and army ant? Hit the bricks, pal. I know what I’m doing.
ANT- All right. Take it easy, Mr. Underachiever.

(The Ant leaves.)

ACORN- Underachiever indeed. Heh!

(The Squirrel enters.)

ACORN- Gosh, that is a beautiful tree. Could that really be me some day?
SQUIRREL- Hey there, Acorn. What’s happening?
ACORN- Oh hey. Just checking out this tree.
SQUIRREL- Wow, that’s a big tree.
ACORN- Yeah. Friend of mine was telling me I could grow into one if I wanted to. But I’m pretty happy just being an acorn.
SQUIRREL- Yeah?
ACORN- I mean the tree’s cool, sure, but who doesn’t love a cute little acorn?
SQUIRREL- I know I do.
ACORN- See? That’s what I’m talking about.
SQUIRREL- In fact, I was just out looking for acorns.
ACORN- Really?
SQUIRREL- Yeah, yeah. In fact, I, uh, I have a winter home for acorns.
ACORN- Is that so?
SQUIRREL- Sure. You wanna come over for dinner?
ACORN- I’d love to.

(The Squirrel puts his arm around the Acorn. They start to leave.)

ACORN- So what’s for dinner?
SQUIRREL- (laughs) Funny you should ask that question.

Desperately Seeking… Obedience

Everybody knows somebody like Pete. Whether we like to admit it or not, there’s a little Pete in all of us. Obedience isn’t always easy, but it’s still expected if we want to call ourselves followers of Christ.

Share and enjoy!

First Impressions

What do you think of Pete?

What are some good things we can say about Jenny?

Is there anything that concerns you about Pete?

Introduction

Of all the characters introduced in this series of videos, no one stirred up more reaction than Pete. Pete’s faith may be genuine, and his love for God real, but Pete is holding back. As much as he wants to be a man of God, there are areas in his life – one in particular – he refuses to surrender to God.

The Bible is very clear on what is good and what is a sin, and the Bible doesn’t forbid anything without reason. Sex was created for a husband and a wife, and there are consequences – spiritual, emotional, and physical – for disobeying God’s commands for sex.

Sex isn’t the only area where Christians try to compromise with God. Sin is sin, and all sin puts a wall between us and the Lord. God wants us to obey him in everything. He wants us to keep our bodies, our hearts, and our minds pure. He wants us to set ourselves apart from the world by our obedience.

Read Daniel 1

What compromises did King Nebuchadnezzar want the Israelite men to make?

Why do you think Nebuchadnezzar insisted the Israelites eat the king’s food and drink his wine?

Why did Daniel and his friends refuse to obey the king?

How do you think the test Daniel and his friends undertook changed the way the king saw Daniel?

Application

Why do you think so many singles have compromised on sex?

Do you think it’s possible to remain pure until you are married? Why or why not?

What are some other temptations that singles struggle with?

How can obeying God make us a good witness to others?

How can we develop the strength and character we need to stay pure?

Prayer

Dear Jesus,

Forgive us for the compromises we make every day when we give into sin. Purify our hearts, and give us strength when we need it to resist temptation.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Free Skit: David Had a Bad Boss

Because we’ve all had one. Share and enjoy.

David Had a Bad Boss
By John Cosper
www.righteousinsanity.com

THEME: Work

CHARACTERS
David – After he killed the giant, but before he was king
A Servant

David walks on stage and speaks to the audience. He should be close enough to the side of the stage that objects can be thrown at him. Objects can include weapons, tools, office equipment, food, whatever you find convenient and easy to toss.

DAVID: Some times it’s hard to believe that God is in control. Especially at work, right? I was talking to my brother Jimmy the other day. He’s an accountant, and his boss is the meanest guy. Complete and total jerk. Makes Jimmy work Saturdays. Makes Jimmy do a ton of reports that have nothing to do with his job. He even makes Jimmy run out and get his coffee every day. But what can Jimmy do? He’s got a family to support, and he doesn’t want to go back to the family business.

David looks off stage. He sees an object of some kind flying at him. He ducks. Then he casually goes on with his talk.

DAVID: Jimmy chose accounting because he got tired of that life. You see, my Dad’s a shepherd, and all of us were taught to be shepherds. From an early age, we had to learn how to lead sheep, how to feed them, care for them. Even how to fend off wolves. It’s not easy to peg a wolf right between the eyes with a stone at the tender age of five, but guess what?

David looks off. He ducks another flying object.

DAVID: It’s part of the job. But that’s any job, right? There are things you like, and there are things you don’t like. But whatever the job, you’re there for a reason. Doesn’t matter if it’s your first, second, third, or even tenth choice for a career. God has a plan, and that plan has led you…

David ducks another flying object.

DAVID: It’s led you to your own place of employment. Believe me, I never expected I would be where I am. I was happy being a shepherd. It’s hard work, but I had a lot of time to do what I loved – song writing. Then one day, me and my mad sling skills take down a giant, and my whole world gets turned upside down. It’s not like it was a big deal. Like I said, I had to take a wolf down at age five. A giant is a much bigger, much easier target. But all of a sudden, I’m a hero. Now I’m living in the palace, working in the army, and serving the king – which is no walk in the park. Don’t get me wrong, I love the king. He even lets me play the harp for him. But he has this annoying habit–

David ducks another object, then another one.

DAVID: He likes to throw things at me. For no reason whatsoever. I’ll be in the middle of a song and all of a sudden, there’s a spear or a rock or an… an avocado flying at my head. And of course I can’t throw things back. Not only is he my boss, he’s the king. I throw back, I’m not just fired. I’m a dead man!

A servant walks on, walking toward David.

DAVID: No, this is not where I saw my life going. Never in my wildest dreams. But as much as I know I’d be happy, sitting on a hill side, watching sheep, and strumming my harp, I know this is the plan God has for me. God put me here with these people, with that boss for a reason.

David ducks another object. As he ducks, the servant gets nailed and drops straight to the ground. David helps him up.

DAVID: You okay?
SERVANT: Yeah. Thanks, man.

The Servant gets up and walks off.

DAVID: It’s not my plan. It’s God’s plan. And while it’s not what I would have wanted… (thinks, pausing for a moment) I don’t smell like sheep poop any more.

New Fiction Release: Return to Cave World

The exciting sequel to the novel Cave World has arrived!

Jennifer thought life at home was as bad as it could get. That was before she learned she was one of the most wanted women in the galaxy!

Jennifer had long admired her friend Donny’s devotion to writing the next great science fiction saga. She even found his stories about having visited that world amusing. But Donny took things a step too far when he wrote her into his latest tale.

Now, inexplicably, Jennifer finds herself in Donny’s world on the run from a maniacal dictator who sincerely believes this teenage nobody will one day kill him! Driven by a desire to set things right, Donny follows Jennifer back to the Cave World, assembling a team of old heroes and new in the hopes of saving his friend. But in the end, Jennifer must make the choice herself to lay down and quit – or stand up and become her own hero.

Filled with humor, action, and heart, Return to Cave World is an exciting sequel that bridges the Cave World universe with some of John Cosper’s other creations, including Space Kat. It’s a welcome return to a world where any planet in the galaxy is within walking distance. You just have to find the right cave.

Return to Cave World is available in paperback and on Kindle.