{January 15, 2017}


January 15-21, 2017


{Too Important To Stay The Same: Icepocalypse}

By Adam Pontier

The plan was to have church at Heartland as usual today, but the weather had other plans. Of course we all planned for a crazy ice storm that was supposed to be here Friday. Those predictions didn’t exactly come to fruition. The Chiefs were supposed to start their game at noon today and that has been moved back to the evening. Seems like no matter which way you turn, predictions are falling flat and plans are being changed this weekend.

This time of year and its unpredictable weather are a good reminder of how little we actually control. We’ve learned to adapt our way around it, but even that can get all screwed up. For instance, school closings on Friday when, in hindsight, it wasn’t necessary. Of course it’s easy to get annoyed and frustrated with the meteorologists because their predictions were wrong when it came to weather.  

We forecast the weather, stock market, politics, health and more. When things don’t match our forecasting we are surprised. This makes sense. We forecast to have an idea of what the future holds. Year after year it seems like the advancement in technology is allowingus to become more and more accurate in our forecasting.

Then all of a sudden, we have weekends like this one. We have elections that shock everyone. We have stock market crashes and health crises. Our forecasting models didn’t allow for these things to take place! But they do take place, and we try to fix our forecasting models to account for the unknown in the future. We don’t like our plans to get interrupted, changed.  

God showing up as Jesus was not predicted by the Pharisees. Their forecasting model for how God would show up as the Messiah did not account for Jesus. Their frustration and confusion is no different than when our plans get messed up.

This weekend of predictions falling short and weather changing our plans is a good reminder that we are too important to stay the same. God shows up unexpectedly. Our plans get changed by things out of our control. We try to make predictions but they aren’t always accurate. God often has other plans for us.

We can get angry and frustrated. We can accept anomalies as part of reality and keep moving forward. Or we can allow ourselves to be open to change. What have you “forecasted” in your life that isn’t matching up to reality? What do you think God might be saying to you through this?

“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.” 
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer


{sunday 1.15.17}

Read Genesis 12:1-9

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Do you think Abram (Abraham) was expecting God to tell him to leave his country, his people and his parents to go to a destination to be determined later? Would this kind of unpredictability make you uncomfortable? What kind of change scares you the most? Explain why.

{personal reflection and reading plan: from the book of Acts}

As you read Acts, make notes of questions you have about what you’re reading as well as answering the study questions below. Grab a friend or two and meet up to discuss what you are learning and what God is doing in your lives.

{monday 1.16.17}

Read Acts 13:8-10

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In this scripture we see Paul blind someone for a time for trying to turn someone away from faith, followed by some harsh words. Why do you think Paul took this approach instead of something more gentle or kind?

{tuesday 1.17.17}

Read Acts 13:21-33

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Here we read Paul recounting scripture from the time the Jewish people where in Egypt to Jesus’ resurrection. Why is it important fro Paul to draw a connection from their past to what Jesus just did?

{wednesday 1.18.17}

Read Acts 13:34-47

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Have you ever experienced jealousy for something that you turned down? How did that feel? Explain.

{thursday 1.19.17}

Read Acts 13:48-14:7

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul and Barnabas continue to travel from town to town teaching about Jesus. Wherever they go they stir up controversy and have to leave town. Have you kept working at something through continuous struggle? Explain.

{friday 1.20.17}

Read Acts 14:8-20

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Why do you think it was so easy for those who witnessed Paul and Barnabas to mistake them as gods instead of people sent by God?

{saturday 1.21.17}

Read Acts 14:21-15:5

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Take 5 minutes and write whatever comes to mind about the word “debate”. The only guidelines are…. 1) Do NOT stop writing for the entire 5 minutes. 2) Do NOT self-edit as you write. If you feel comfortable doing so, share what you wrote with someone else.

{group discussion ideas}

We weren’t meant to experience the life of Jesus alone, so we encourage you to rally a few others to discuss what you are hearing, reading, and reflecting on together. Whether you are meeting as an Heartland group, talking with a few friends throughout the week, or bringing up spiritual conversations around your table at home, feel free to use some of these questions as conversation starters for The Journey.

  • Can you name an ‘takeaway’ or challenge from the Sunday message?
  • How has that been relevant, challenging, or meaningful to your life this week?
  • What have you observed about God, Jesus, yourself, others, or God’s plan for you from these readings?
  • Where do you need a breakthrough from God this week?
  • Who do you need to share what you’re learning about God with?


{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get a free Bible for your phone, tablet, and computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.


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© 2017 Heartland Community Church 12175 S. Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062 (913) 341-5820.

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