Friday, April 15, 2016

Group Questions (FINAL WEEK) 4.19 - 4.21

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

TUESDAY NIGHT
7:00PM @ T-flats in Trinity
(10900 FL-54, New Port Richey, FL 34655)

THURSDAY NIGHT
7:00PM @ the Taylor’s in Concord Station
(18019 Glastonbury Ln. LOL, FL 34638)

QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK
(READ BEFORE YOU ARRIVE)

Ice Breaker: Which TV marriage would you rather have and why? Raymond & Debra (Everybody Loves Raymond), Phil & Claire (Modern Family), Ross & Rachel (Friends), Jim and Pam (the Office)...?

How have the following affected your expectations going into marriage?  With each one, have you tried to copy OR avoid this picture of marriage? A) What you have seen on TV. B) What you have read in books or magazines. C) What you have seen in other homes. D) What it was like in your home growing up.

Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t measure up—that you just couldn’t meet the expectations you felt were placed upon you? Maybe this occurred with your parents, your spouse, your boss or someone else. How did this affect the relationship?

When expectations collide, which of the following best describes you? A) You leave, you distance yourself. B) You conquer, you try to change the other person. C) You conform, you try to be like them. D) You compromise, you try to work it out so that you both “win.” What are the downsides to each of these reactions?

We tend to think of compromise as the best of these approaches; however, compromise is really just a commitment to marriage rather than a commitment to our partner. Compromise is still a commitment to getting your own way (at least some of the time). Have you seen this dynamic in your marriage?

Expectations create a debt / debtor relationship. It becomes about what your spouse “owes” you. It also squeezes love out of the marriage. Why?

Expectations begin as desires—desires that God put in us. We were all born with desires for respect, admiration, companionship, acceptance, intimacy, sex and love, among others. It is when we turn desires into expectations that we begin to turn our marriage from a covenant relationship to a contract relationship. Are you guilty of either of these symptoms of shifting desires to expectations? Explain. A) A lack of expressing gratitude—you complain about something not getting done but rarely thank your spouse when it does get done. B) A lack of acts of service—you see something that needs to be done and do nothing about it is because you expect someone else to do it.

The first step in transforming your expectations is to identify them. This week identify your current expectations for marriage. Answer this question: what do you feel like your spouse owes you?      

Homework
Meditate and journal on the following verses this week: 1 Peter 3:1-2 and 3:7; 1 Peter 5:6-7; Ephesians 5:33. How do these apply to your marriage?


Friday, April 8, 2016

Group Questions (WEEK SEVEN) 4.12 - 4.14

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

TUESDAY NIGHT
7:00PM @ Church Lobby
(13266 Byrd Dr Odessa, FL 33556)

THURSDAY NIGHT
7:00PM @ the Taylor’s in Concord Station
(18019 Glastonbury Ln. LOL, FL 34638)

QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK
(READ BEFORE YOU ARRIVE)

The Suncoast has seen a lot of changes in the first 10 years. We’ve changed lingo,  logos, lineups, locations... So, what changes have you seen in your life over the last decade? How have they shaped you?

Talk about your first time at the Suncoast, what do you remember, what seemed different, what kept you coming back?

Have you ever looked at church through the eyes of someone who has never gone to church?  If so, talk about that transformation in your perspective or, talk about what it might be like for someone who doesn’t attend church.

Share about a time you felt like God was preparing you for something, and you didn’t realize it until later.  What helped you “connect the dots?”

If you said yes to what God wants to do in and through your life, what might it cost you?  What is currently holding you back?

God has gone to some pretty incredible lengths to prove He loves this church.  What lengths should we go to in order to show His love to our friends, our neighbors, and the community?

Hebrews 12:12-13 in the Living Bible reads, “So take a new grip with your tired hands, stand firm on your shaky legs, and mark out a straight, smooth path for your feet so that THOSE WHO FOLLOW YOU, though weak and lame, will not fall and hurt themselves but BECOME STRONG.”  There are not many things you are doing right now that will matter a decade from now.  What could you do that would last?      

HOMEWORK
Invest your life this week into one person, and make the invite for our new marriage series on Sunday.



Friday, April 1, 2016

Group Questions (WEEK SIX) 4.5 - 4.7

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

TUESDAY NIGHT
7:00PM @ Church Lobby
(13266 Byrd Dr Odessa, FL 33556)

THURSDAY NIGHT
7:00PM @ the Taylor’s in Concord Station
(18019 Glastonbury Ln. LOL, FL 34638)

QUESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK
(READ BEFORE YOU ARRIVE)

Be thinking of the people in your group, come up with a simple encouragement to share with each person. Now, go around the room and share :-)

Read Matthew 11:1-6.  What do you think John was feeling in these verses?  What was his gap?

Describe a time when you felt a similar gap between what you expected and what you experienced. Did your faith waiver, or did it get stronger?  What contributed either way?

Now, read Matthew 11:6-11.  What did we say was unexpected about Jesus affirmation of John? Why do you think Jesus did this?

What was significant about Jesus message back to John in Matt 11:4-5?

What was the first thing we said God is whispering behind your back? Do you really believe that? How might your life change if you embraced that statement?

What was the second encouraging message you’ve never heard?  Why do most people struggle to believe that?

Finally, we said the most important thing God is saying behind your back is, “It’s less about you than you think it is!” Why is this the key to understanding everything else we have talked about?

What action will you take based on this message and study?      

HOMEWORK

  • Read and journal this week on Matthew 11:1-11.
  • Write an encouraging letter to yourself, based on tonight, and then put it in an envelope marked “It’s not about me.” Stick it in your Bible or somewhere you will see it from time to time.
  • Bring someone, bring someone back for THIS Sunday, it is our 10th Birthday!!!