{February 5, 2017}


February 5-11, 2017


{We Are . . . Too Important To Stay The Same}

By Michelle Davis

I had an artifact. For years I held onto my relationship artifact. It was a letter from a college boyfriend that I thought I was going to marry . . . he dumped me via letter right after he moved. And sent no return address. I can’t quote the letter now, and if I tried I’d probably get it all wrong because time changes our memories. The part I know for sure is that we hadn’t been communicating well. We had both been avoiding talking about issues, and things were being miscommunicated.

It is so scary to talk to someone when something hurts, when we feel we’ve been wronged, when we’re uncomfortable about how something happened, or how something was said. The fear can be suffocating, especially if you have had multiple bad experiences in life with trying to have hard conversations.  

The more important the relationship is, the more scary it can be to start one of those conversations. I’m lucky that at some point in my adult life–after my divorce–I made good friends. We had mentors that encouraged us to practice having hard conversations with each other.

Our closest friends are a great place to practice how to have these conversations. I was taught to start practicing with the little things and not wait for there to be a big thing. Over several years, I developed trust in a few select friends. When I eventually had a bigger issue to talk about, I had words, experience, and some faith that people do listen when they are approached in a loving way.

Every single one of these conversations still leaves me shaking in my boots, but now I can usually have them, even with people that I don’t know well. The point is, hard things have to be talked about–start by practicing in a safe place with the smaller hard things.

Another way to have tough conversations in a safe place is by using a trained professional. Someone who can help you figure out the right words in the moment. Don’t be like the younger me and just avoid talking about things. Be proactive in your relationships and remember . . . it’s okay to ask for help in having that conversation.


{sunday 2.5.17}

Read Romans 12:9-21

Observe, Reflect, Apply: After reading this, begin with prayer and ask God to reveal to you where you are not doing these things in your life. Do you know someone who does live this way? What does this look like in real life? How can you apply love like this in the week ahead? In your most difficult relationships?


{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 2.6.17}

Read Acts 19:21-31

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Sometimes the world challenges our faith, or asks us to consider a different definition and expression of faith. When that happens, how do you stand firm? How do you reconnect to why you believe what you believe? Do you have a group of trusted friends that can process things with you, challenge you and encourage you?

{tuesday 2.7.17}

Read Acts 19:32-20:3

Observe, Reflect, Apply: What do you see happening among the people of Ephesus, both believers and nonbelievers? To what did the mayor of the city appeal to calm the crowd? What can we learn from this passage in times of disagreement and arguing today? Paul and his group encouraged the believers there, and in the towns they traveled on to. What might it look like for believers to encourage one another in our times? What value might this practice add to our lives?

{wednesday 2.8.17}

Read Acts 20:4-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul was traveling often to share the story of Jesus with all people. In these passages we see him modeling the practice of gathering together and sharing in communion. Why do you think this gathering has such high value in the christian faith? Have you ever experienced communion in community with others…what was that like? What do you take away from the practice of communion? How might your practice of communion expand to include an element of community?

{thursday 2.9.17}

Read Acts 20:17-31

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul repeatedly modeled for us how to share with others (often of very different backgrounds) the story of God and his grace and forgiveness that is available to all people. What can you take from these passages to shape the story God has given you to share with others? How can you take the lessons of your life, and your movement toward God, and share them to encourage others? Take some time this week and write out your story with God. Take time to share it with a trusted friend or friends.

{friday 2.10.17}

Read Acts 20:32-21:4

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Take 5 minutes and write whatever comes to mind about the word “inheritance”. 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. How would you describe your "inheritance" from God, in your own words?

{saturday 2.11.17}

Read Acts 21:5-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul has now had several groups of people share with him that he shouldn’t continue on to Jerusalem. Have you ever had someone share a feeling or sense they had about something in order to encourage (or discourage) your next step? What was it like to receive their words? How do you weigh what is being shared in a situation like this with what you are to do next? Paul chose to continue on, in spite of several warnings not to. Talk about what you think was happening with Paul as he heard these messages. (In the Bible, when someone has these messages to share it is called prophecy, if it is coming from God.)

{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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