Dear Friends,

You are receiving this email because you have made a commitment to spend fifteen minutes a day, five days a week, in solitude and silence, so as to draw near to God.
Thank you to Pastor Chuck Osburn for writing today's questions.

I want to hear how this is going for you! Please respond to this email and tell me what you are learning, what God is saying, and how this commitment is going.

Also, who else do you know who might want to make this commitment? Forward this email to them. They can receive these emails by registering here.

I’m praying with and for all of you!

In Christ,
Drawing Near, Week 5
General Instructions:

  1. Be patient and give yourself grace. This is new for many of us! 
  2. Decide which days and what time you will enter into solitude and silence. Consider putting these times on your calendar, and, if needed, share this commitment with those you are living with so that they can support you.
  3. Find a quiet place, free from distraction, where you can be comfortable.
  4. Consider lighting a candle so as to claim the space as “holy ground.”
  5. Begin each time by letting your spirit and mind settle, and asking God to guide your time with him.
  6. Consider keeping a journal so as to record how God is leading you.
Scripture for This Week:

* If one passage resonates with you, consider dwelling in that verse or verses for more than a day, and perhaps the whole week.

PRAISING GOD is the second focus of our series on “Drawing Near to God … through Lament, PRAISE and Confession.” Pastor Chuck preached the second of two Sermons focusing on PRAISE on Sunday October 11, 2020 on Rev. 4:1-11. This text and others are our focus for the 15X5 Challenge this week.    To reflect more on PRAISING GOD, look at the Discussion and Questions that our Life Group Director, Elizabeth Chu, wrote for the 10/11/20 section of our Worship Reimagined Life Group Study Guide
Reflection for This Week:

Each day, reflect on one or more of the following, and consider writing your thoughts down in a journal: (A suggestion is to CONCLUDE EACH REFLECTION by “singing” the DOXOLOGY! “LORD, we give you great THANKS for all these “saints” who take time to reflect on you and your word this week.  Bless them in the name of Jesus!”)
  1. The Revelation 4 text is a “vision” given by God to “Pastor John the Seer” while he was imprisoned on Patmos for his faith.  As you read his description of “The Throne Room of Heaven” – and how worship was happening there - If you can imagine seeing such a sight, what might be some of your reactions to it? (Wonder? Confusion? Questions? Praise? ...) 
  2. Revelation 5 is the “second half” of the “vision.” Although this was not addressed in the sermon, it provides further detail of “what must take place.” How does this expand your understanding of how this “vision” would give “hope” to the Christians then? And now?
  3. Chuck mentioned that Rev. 4 yielded the ideas that the “worship” of God can involve giving “glory, honor, thanks, and power” to God. 1Peter 4:10,11 was given as a reference for one way we can give God glory. What is that way? How might you do that in your life?
  4. Focusing on PRAISING GOD through PRAYING THANKS to God, Romans 1:18-23 was reference as the Apostle Paul’s sense that our God could have anger (“wrath”) against those who refuse to acknowledge God “or give THANKS to him.” Why do you think God could get angry about that? How might that be “righteous” anger? How might you see the effects of refusing to give appropriate THANKS to God playing out in our world?
  5. One way 1 Thess 5:16-18 can be translated is … “Be joyful, be prayerful, be thankful, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus”? How do those three admonitions work separately … and then … together … in your life?
  6. Chuck suggested you write down 5 things you are grateful for … and to use them as a guide this week for your first and last prayers of the day. (If you have not done so, please consider doing so!) If you have done that, how is that informing and impacting your daily PRAISE of God? What effect does that exercise have on increasing or decreasing your PRAYING THANKS to God?
  7. PSALM 100 is a “favorite” for combining PRAISE and THANKS to God. Consider reading it three times, pausing for a moment after each reading to reflect on the “vision” God gives YOU for worship. What do you “see”? After the third reading … consider adding your own words of PRAISE and THANKS to God for this day/week.