{April 9, 2017}


April 9-15, 2017


{Sit With Us: Special Needs & Disabilities}

By Nanette Haskins, in collaboration with Steve Darner

When have you felt uninvited, rejected, or unwelcome? It may have been an intentional slight or (more likely) an unintentional lack of awareness. Too often we get so caught up in our own life and our own stuff that much around us goes unnoticed. Our rhythms of life and our circle of people already capture most of our time and attention. That is, until something disrupts our “norm.”

On Palm Sunday Jesus enters Jerusalem exactly how many imagined it, like a King coming to free them. Until, like Dan said, “Jesus turned left instead of right.” Many must have thought he was going the wrong way. The fact is, he provided a new way. Jesus disrupted the norm of the temple. He declares this isn’t what his Father intended! He begins to set things right.

It’s in this moment we see that even those perceived to be furthest from God are brought near to the holy places.

We see Jesus time and again notice, engage, and heal the dirty, sick, and disabled; those thought by many to be disregarded, locked-up, or discarded. In the ‘Through the Roof’ story, we see him heal a man who was lowered through the roof by his four friends. And while Jesus healed the man spiritually and physically, I wondered about the four friends. It required commitment to get their paralyzed friend to that house. Imagine the dedication and hard work to get him onto the roof; to even think about lowering him down through a hole dug there!

I believe that it took a lot of forethought and planning. Maybe they had been trying to get close to Jesus for a while, but were previously unsuccessful. They must have loved their friend deeply. If they were so willing to go through all of this trouble, they probably spent a lot more time and effort to be in relationship with him. It’s likely they cared for him and filled many other needs for him. It appears to me that they were his spiritual family.

We’ve all experienced what it feels like to be on the outside of something. Hopefully we’ve all experienced at least a moment of inclusion as well. But what if we decided to imitate this model of spiritual family? Imagine overcoming our fears and insecurities to begin noticing, engaging, and building relationship with someone who is unlike ourselves. Imagine listening to their story, and possibly welcoming them into yours. Imagine the healing that would bring!

“Most people see what is, and never see what can be” – Albert Einstein


{sunday 4.9.17}

Read Luke 5:17-20

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Read the "Through the Roof" story in these verses, and describe a time when you were in need, felt distant from God, and desired spiritual family to act on your behalf. Now, read it again and describe a time when you took action to bring dignity and relationship to someone in need. Observe the people in your places, where you live, work, study, and play; who has God placed near you to notice and engage with? Who do you need to invite by saying, “Come sit with us.”


Miss the Sunday teaching? CLICK HERE to watch now!


{personal reflection and bible reading plan}

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

{monday 4.10.17}

Read Romans 15:3-16

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Do you find joy in knowing Jesus? If you do, what about Jesus on a personal level gives you joy?

{tuesday 4.11.17}

Read Romans 15:17-29

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul refers to telling people about who Jesus was and what he did as "the good news". When did you first hear about the good news of Jesus? Did it sound like good news? What about it sounded good to you personally?

{wednesday 4.12.17}

Read Romans 15:30-16:7

Observe, Reflect, Apply: This part of Romans can be easy to read over. It’s like walking in on a conversation of people you don’t know being introduced to other people you don’t know. Think about this though–you get to witness a a basic everyday part of life happening in 1st century Judea through the bible. Try and imagine the faces of these real people doing very ordinary, but real things. Sometimes just imagining yourself at this time and with these people can be a great tool for hearing God in the scriptures.

{thursday 4.13.17}

Read Romans 16:8-20

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul warns the Romans about people who cause division and problems. He advises them to avoid such people. That is a bit of universal and timeless advice we can all use. Have you experienced a problem that was unnecessary and avoidable? Explain.

{friday 4.14.17}

Read Romans 16:21-27

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

{saturday 4.15.17}

Read 1 Corinthians 1:1-20

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul has a pretty clear statement for the Corinthians to understand. The Corinthians are basically dividing up and claiming what team they are on. They seem to be making it more about the messenger than the message itself. As a person living in the 21st century this makes a whole lot of sense (Team Edward, Team Jacob, Team ……). We make t-shirts and bumper stickers to declare to the world whose team we chose. Paul’s words to the people of Corinth apply to us today just like they did for the original audience reading his letter. We are all guilty of this, too. Why is it easier to declare allegiance than it is to take God’s message and apply it personally?

{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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