ARE YOU IN THE DANCE WITH THE TRINITY?

 

JOIN US IN A SHORT SERIES ON THE TRINITY!

IN THE FREE SERMON THIS WEEK, TIM KELLER ASKS:

DO YOU JUST BELIEVE IN GOD, OR ARE YOU IN THE DANCE?

C. S. LEWIS, MIKE REEVES, TIM KELLER — AND MANY ANCIENT CHURCH

FATHERS COMPARED THE TRINITY TO A DANCE.

THEY HAD A NAME FOR IT:

 C. S. LEWIS WROTE:

GOD IS A DYNAMIC PULSATING ACTIVITY, A DRAMA,

ALMOST, IF YOU NOT THINK ME IRREVERANT, A DANCE

WHEN JOHN WROTE HIS FIRST LETTER, HE SPOKE OF THE JOY OF

THIS “DANCE,” THIS “FELLOWSHIP,” SAYING,

“And indeed, our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son, Jesus Christ!”

You see, the Spirit reveals to us the true identity of the Son,

and when we respond to Him, we become children of God

and then join into the dance with the Trinity!

KELLER SAYS IF YOU ARE JUST A BELIEVER, BUT HAVE NOT ENTERED INTO THE DANCE, YOU GO TO GOD WHEN YOU NEED SOMETHING, BUT YOU ARE STILL ORBITING AROUND YOURSELF.

BUT WHEN YOU TRULY SURRENDER TO THE DANCE,

YOU ORBIT AROUND GOD.

HOW I REMEMBER MY FEAR IN SURRENDERING TO GOD IN SALVATION, AND YET, MY FEAR OF NOT SURRENDERING WAS GREATER.

SO IMAGINE MY SURPRISE WHEN SURRENDER LED TO A DANCE!

IN THE SAME WAY, JUST WE TRUSTED CHRIST TO SAVE US,

WE MUST SURRENDER TO HIM BY FAITH ON A DAILY BASIS.

(MY PARAPHRASE OF COLOSSIANS 2:6!)

WATCH THIS CLIP FROM MISS POTTER, AND IMAGINE THAT IT IS JESUS WOOING YOU, ASKING YOU TO

GIVE THE UTMOST FEAR A CHANCE,

AND LET ME TEACH YOU HOW TO DANCE.

(I don’t know what language the sub-titles are, but I bet one of you does!)

SUNDAY:

I’m so thankful you are joining us! This will be a three or fourweek series with shorter lessons than I have done in the past. There will be a free sermon each week from either Tim Keller or Mike Reeves. Understanding the Trinity can bring you into deeper intimacy with God, can “teach you how to dance!”

1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY

2. John 1 tells us that Jesus is the Word, and that He was with God in the beginning creating the world, speaking the world into being. With that in mind, how do you see each person of the Trinity in Genesis 1:1-2?

Tim Keller says the Trinity is involved both in creation and in re-creation. He, and Mike Reeve say that we should look in the New Testament to the baptism of Jesus to see the Trinity. You can also glimpse “the dance.”

3. Read Mark 1:9-11 and identify each person of the Trinity.

4. Read Mark 1:12-13 and describe the temptation and trials this “2nd Adam” faced. How was this greater than the temptation the 1st Adam faced?

5. Read Matthew 3:13-17

     A. How did John the Baptist respond to Jesus’ request?

     B. What did Jesus tell John? And how did John “surrender?”

     C. How do you see Jesus surrendering to the Father in love here?

     D. How do you see the dance of the Holy Spirit here?

     E. How do you see the love of the Father for the Son here?

6.  How would you answer Keller’s question: “Do you just believe in God or have you surrendered to the dance?”

9. How can you respond to that challenge today?

10. If you experience “the dance” this week, share how.

 

THURSDAY-FRIDAY SERMON

      Father, Son and Holy Spirit - Timothy J. Keller

11. Share your notes and comments from the sermon by Tim Keller.

SATURDAY

12. What is your take-a-way and why?

COMMENTS (174) Post a New Comment ↓
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2. John 1 tells us that Jesus is the Word, and that He was with God in the beginning creating the world, speaking the world into being. With that in mind, how do you see each person of the Trinity in Genesis 1:1-2?
 
John states that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Genesis states in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. So I see that “God” refers to God the Father and God the Son. The Genesis passage also mentions that the Spirit was present at creation, hovering over the waters.
 
3. Read Mark 1:9-11 and identify each person of the Trinity.
 
Jesus, the Son of God, was baptized in the Jordan river. When He came up out of the water, heaven was torn open and the Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove, and a voice was heard speaking from heaven, and it was the Father saying, “You are My Son…”
 
4. Read Mark 1:12-13 and describe the temptation and trials this “2nd Adam” faced. How was this greater than the temptation the 1st Adam faced?
 
Jesus was sent by the Spirit out into the desert. He was alone without any human company. He was there for 40 days and continuously tempted by Satan. It also says that there were angels present with Him, “attending Him”. Does that mean that the angels offered Jesus support, encouragement, and comfort?
Jesus’ temptation was greater than the first Adam because it lasted longer? Adam faced only one temptation, and that was to eat the fruit of the tree God had commanded him not to eat from. He had Eve with him. Although Mark doesn’t describe the nature of Jesus’ temptations, other writers describe how Satan tempted Him when Jesus was hungry, and tempted Him to bow down and worship him, and to make a name for Himself by doing a miraculous feat. Jesus had to say no to all of these things when He was at a vulnerable time – alone, tired, hungry, and perhaps, in His humanity, trying to discern God’s will for His life.

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5.      D. How do you see the dance of the Holy Spirit here?
 
Holy Spirit descends as a dove when Jesus was baptised. But it seems strange and hard to understand that then “immediately” the Spirit drives him into the wilderness where Jesus is tempted 40 days. I was pondering the Spirit driving him into the wilderness and I was reminded of God and Job. God asked Satan to consider “my servant Job … a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil”. Satan asks permission to tempt Job by taking away his possessions, including his children and later his health. Satan claims that then Job will “curse you to your face”. Job did not, however. He is commended later for his steadfastness.
 
Jesus is much greater than Job, more than blameless and upright; he is the Son of God. His temptations were greater; in fact not just 40 days but EVERYTHING was ultimately taken from Him. Yet Jesus did not turn his face from God or “curse [God] to [his] face”. Jesus’ victory over temptation becomes imputed to us. By his stripes we are healed and forgiven. Mysterious, yet so wonderful!
 

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    Diane–I haven’t been able to join in and comment as I’d like this week, but I’m reading along–and your thoughts here moved me this morning. Powerful thoughts about the Spirit at Jesus’ baptism, and then His temptation in the dessert, His ultimate stripping down of He had–and yet He never turned His face from God–“Jesus’ victory over temptation becomes imputed to us. By his stripes we are healed and forgiven.” amen!

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    That timing is interesting to ponder, Diane. I wonder if before he began his ministry to us he had to experience all the kinds of temptations? Lust of flesh, lust of eyes, pride of life — so that He could sympathize with our weaknesses? Or so that we would know He could? You’ve caused me to ponder too.

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6.  How would you answer Keller’s question: “Do you just believe in God or have you surrendered to the dance?” 
 
Well, I think I’m halfway there. I am not perfect, and sometimes I actually forget He is in my life 😔. When I’m on vacation I am more cognizant of this worlds’ trials; just looking around can be depressing. Feeding the human-ness of us isn’t dancing with Christ. But, then again, there is beauty…the sun and clouds, the water and wildlife in and around the lakes; it is there to remind us. It is also in the fleeting relationships we make, and the caring for our infant grandson; so sweet.
 
9. How can you respond to that challenge today? 
 
I’m not sure. I guess I don’t fully grip the idea of “dancing” with Him. I am doing my bible study this morning, and plan to take a walk later this afternoon. I usually listen to a sermon or a podcast on my walks. These situations put me in a position to draw closer to Him. I talk to Him often throughout the day, and I am becoming less self-centered (I believe). 
 
10. If you experience “the dance” this week, share how.
 
We are on vacation this week and have our 18 month old grandson with us. He is  just the cutest thing I know! Since he is so young, he doesn’t always act accordingly, and our patience can be tried. We must remember he is little. Is this (below) what might be considered the dance?
 
It is windy here and beautiful. I suppose, at times, I have been so relaxed that I feel peaceful and rejuvenated (a feeling I haven’t felt in awhile). With the wind blowing through my hair and the sun (warmth! Yay!) on my face, I could say He is “touching” me, right? His beauty reminds me of Him.
 
We are caring for our grandson and later this week plan to visit my husband’s mother who will be 90 later this year! Hopefully we will be able to help out with her care for a couple of days. These actions model the way Jesus would want us to act.
 
Finally, God usually “speaks” to me if I listen and wait. I hope to hear Him confirm my actions; that they are indeed good and pleasing to Him as His child.
 
I’m not sure I am getting the metaphoric dance. Maybe I will “cheat” and read others’ responses! 

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    Laura–just reading of you caring for your grandson–something in me kept seeing the “dance” in that! He has given you this beautiful yet great responsibility, you are leaning on Him for wisdom, strength, and He moves in you to love on that little one with patience and grace…He is moving in you, through you–I see a “dance”

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      Oh Lizzy! You are kind; I didn’t think of it that way, but you’re right! He also is leading us with Sarah and boyfriend. We are SO out of our comfort zone there, but trying hard to let Him lead us. Maybe I am kind of getting this dance thing!

        Praying for you in your dance, Laura. Yes, as you dance following the Lord’s leading with Sarah and your grandson. 

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    Laura. Hmmm — this sounds a bit like dancing:

    I have been so relaxed that I feel peaceful and rejuvenated (a feeling I haven’t felt in awhile). With the wind blowing through my hair and the sun (warmth! Yay!) on my face, I could say He is “touching” me, right? His beauty reminds me of Him.

    You abiding in Him is bearing the fruit I see above, the fruit of dancing!!!

    And I agree with Lizzy. You are model of love.

     

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      Oh yes He knows all about us, now that he became us, and walked the earth through all our “valleys” He showed us, he is one of us, and Still He Arose and returned to our Father so we know we can too. 
      It is so awesome to know, He is walking (dancing) with us, so close He says he lives IN us. Wow That is the best way to dance, when you are moving with your partner in every way! I can see now how for many years, I would step out of our dance and make a solo and fall, but He has always been there to catch me, to pick me up, and Continue our Dance. I am finding it more easy to LET HIM LEAD! :)
       

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    Laura, I love your response, “I am halfway there…” What a beautiful, honest response.
    Your spiritual growth and love is so evident and shows me you are in the dance! Laura, dancer, it seems so natural for you.

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11. Notes and comments on the Tim Keller sermon. 
Keller’s sermon is powerful and really helps unpack what we have been studying this week. He lays out the reality of the dance that has been taking place from eternity past with the perfect relationship of the Trinitty. When we become a child of God we are invited into the dance that is already happening. Keller said the greatest need of our lives is to get into the dance. I can’t begin to reiterate here the wonderful truths he lays out for us in this message. The notes I took wouldn’t begin to do it justice. I encourage everyone to make it a priority to listen.
A few things he said stood out to me.  
“The Trinity is not more fundamentally one than three and not more fundamentally three than one” 
Selfishness is stationary and without movement and my self interest is the bottom line. Unlike the Trinity which is not static but moving in perfect concert with one another. it is dynamic, pulsating, a dance. 
Love takes more than one person to happen.  Love is based in relationship. Keller said “If you live solely for your own self interest you will dash yourself on the rocks of reality”. That in itself is a powerful statement. 
He talked about the “Divine Dance” He said we were made to enter the devine dance. We were created for the dance. Again I can’t do justice to the thoughts he shares on how the Trinity moves to glorify each member. He said God is infinitely happy because the Trinity glorifies, serves, praises,and loves.  
“God isn’t a means to an end. He is the end in Himself.”  That is so deep!
Jesus moves towards us on the Cross.  We move toward Him in repentance and faith. We can’t survive apart from the dance.  
These are just a few highlights and there is more at the end of the sermon that encourages us on how to enter the dance.  I really look forward to continuing this study.  It is giving a deeper richer picture and encouragement in our walk of faith which results in a beautiful dance.  

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Another thought on Jesus being tempted in the wilderness “with the wild animals”. Jesus is our scapegoat.  The Jewish high priest, once a year, brought the scapegoat and put both his hands upon its head, confessing the sins of the people, so that those sins might be transferred from the people and laid upon the goat. Then the goat was led away into the wilderness, and it carried away the sins of the people, so that if they looked for them they could not be found. Picture the goat in the wilderness on its own. How would it die? Possibly of starvation but more than likely it would be killed by wild animals as food – killed savagely. I know bears and lions, jackals and others roamed the wilderness in the Middle East in Old Testament days. What wild animals threatened Jesus during his time in the wilderness during those days, I wonder? Yet Jesus in the end was killed by savage men, because the wickedness of man’s hearts.

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     Diane!   This is really, really good.   You’ve put words to such thoughtful parallels.  Thank you.  That gives me so much to ponder and so much for which to respond in gratitude and worship of our Redeemer.  

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Yes, I am jumping in because this study is so inviting and I love the question, Do you just believe in God, or are you in the dance?
The video of Miss Potter just stands out also. Yes, I am fearful, but I am in the dance.Though I never knew this comparison,it is so true.
My life at present has changed from what I was like 6 months ago because of my physical situation. I have just been diagnosed with a chronic hip condition and am not sure what the future holds. For over 2 months I was required to use a walker for a hip fracture. Now it seems that my hip(femur) may be deteriorating. However I have come so close to the Lord as he is directing my every step.
Please pray for me as I have a seminar tomorrow where I will present my topic, United in prayer. It is small, under 40, yet it is a big challenge for me as I am not sure about my endurance to stand. I feel comfortable, but I know about attacks when we seek to honor God.
4. Mark 1:12-13 From Jesus’ baptism, he was sent by the spirit out into the wilderness where he was tempted by Satan.
In this dance I am easily distracted by self, so I want to keep my eyes on Jesus so I follow His lead. My feet do stumble and my body breaks out in sweat when that self creeps in. I am so thankful for all your support and sharing.

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    Shirley, so sorry you are having such serious hip problems. Scary, for sure. Still, it is heartening to hear that it has drawn you so close to the Lord. You are in my prayers for your seminar tomorrow on prayer. May God give you the physical, emotional and spiritual strength to conquer this task well.  I do so identify with your statement “Yes, I am fearful, but I am in the dance.” God gives us courage to dance in the midst of our fear!

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    Shirley…..it’s so good to hear from you this morning.  I have hoped and wondered how your hip pain was.  I’m so sorry to hear that it has been deemed a chronic condition.  What sweet words to hear you say that you have come so close to the Lord during this time of waiting and stillness.  I am going to pray for you now.  And write it down so I remember to pray again.  

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    Oh Shirley — yes, as Diane says, this is scary. Yet you are drawing near to him. Thank you for this testimony and our prayers are with you.

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    Shirley–I am so sorry for your continued physical trials. Yet even though a physical “dance” is strained–you model the true dance “However I have come so close to the Lord as he is directing my every step.” Praying now for your seminar tomorrow–for the Lord to steady you, speak through you and use you for His glory. 

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    Precious Lord our savior! I ask for Shirley to be strengthened for tomorrow. “Though I walk in the flesh, I am not carrying on my warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of my warfare are not physical, but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds.- 2 CORINTHIANS 10:3-4” Thank you Father God for bringing her IN here today, to join US in “the Dance” to remind her that You need to be in the lead, of all we do, so that we can do all You have created us to do! Amen.
    I have seen some Preachers!EVEN ON T.V. Sit in a comfortable chair to Preach & Teach “IT IS ALLOWED”, just sayen :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=982z7KRkb7g

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      Thank you all, my dear praying friends. All went well for me yesterday, even when my GPS started to give me a problem, my husband quickly brought me his!
      Prayer is the best free gift one can receive! So true, and my presentation, United in Prayer, went well. It blessed others and I was able to manage to do well for the entire program and drive.

        So great, Shirley. Praise the Lord!

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Earlier this week I didn’t take time to answer the question “What stood out to you from above and why?”  But everyday as I come to the blog and scroll down to the comments I stop and ponder the bright yellow and blue mosaic picture of Christ dancing.  I have found myself drawn to it and the scene represented there. Jesus is the center of the dance and there is such movement around Him all of which He is the central part. There is abundance in where He is and what He does. And color!  Jesus always brightens our lives. He always lifts up our spirits. If we accept his invitation to dance. 
Thankyou Dee for adding that picture. 

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    :-)

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 “Do you just believe in God or have you surrendered to the dance?”         Oh yes.  I am in the dance.  Do I step away from time to time? yes…..I do.  There are times when I don’t feel like dancing.  I get weary and think I can find a better way to find meaning or rest or to nurture my soul but nothing else satisfies. Instead, all other means of nurturing and beauty are so because I can see them through the lens of the Creator and Redeemer.  He is the author of beauty and truth; manifested in love and compassion and strength.   For me, the rhythm of the dance is most often very calm and subtle.  It has become for me, almost background music because I have been on the dance floor for so long (50+ years) that it usually feels like breathing.  Seeing a need in my world,talking to the Lord of the dance about it,  responding as I feel He leads me to do….watching the beauty that surrounds me;  birds, ducks, flowers, natural beauty of every sort but also the beauty of the Spirit’s working around me: compassion, caring, sharing, calming, soothing, taking another’s worry and carrying their burdens…..I see this in the body of Jesus around me and I am drawn in and join the greater dance around me.  For me, speaking audibly to the Lord, is a constant.  I spend most of my days alone.  Even when I was working, a great deal of my time was spent alone.  And I have always been one to process things by talking to myself.  Aloud. That transitions usually to talking with my Lord.  As a little girl, my youngest memory of belonging to Jesus was lying in bed at night and feeling like He was there; sitting on the edge of my bed.  Always with me.   
 
10. If you experience “the dance” this week, share how.     As I stated above, for me, the rhythm of the dance is most often calm and subtle.   By this, I mean it has become so much a part of me that it is always ‘in the background’ guiding my steps.  Hard to explain because really I am a part of it….not it a part of me.  I am trying to express that being ever aware of the working of the Trinity throughout my day, becomes like a soothing background composition…..it’s most important in my life and yet it doesn’t impose.  Instead it anchors everything I do.     This week, I felt a part of the greater dance of all of body of Christ when I did physical labor to serve others;  getting our community garden plots mulched and ready so others can have a place to grow food,  planning with another volunteer, our children’s teaching time and then spending those hours with children who come to our Wed night program.  ‘My’ 5th grade girls at church are so needy in every way…some from homes that are financially, emotionally and spiritually unstable.  I have a 20 minute drive to church and I spend at least half of that time praying for them before I start my time with them.  I have seen the two neediest girls (from my limited perspective anyway) be the most regular attenders.  And one of them is always asking deep questions now.  I have to always rely on the Spirit to give me some words and to restrain words that would not help.  And sometimes, I feel I have failed.  But I have to get up and try again.  Put my arms around those girls (literally and figuratively) and continue to be a part of Jesus’ hands and arms and feet.  I almost always leave with a full heart…..feeling like I am in a true partnership with the Lord and with others who dance with Him.  

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    Wanda–this is all beautiful…touched by how He is using you in these girls lives: “feeling like I am in a true partnership with the Lord and with others who dance with Him.”

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    Wanda, thanks for sharing some of the steps of your dance with us. Lovely!

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#10.  Just when I began to read the question I felt Light & Excited like the Holy Spirit was leading me to This Dance! My Breathing was quick and it was Like walking on Air. That was last week when we started, since then I have been in an on going dance with a Cousin, who is trying to Plan her Mothers Funeral, HERE She lives a 1,000. miles from here, her Mother grew up here, she died in Dec. age 94 What an Amazing LIFE she had and her Daughter was often with her the last 5 years especially. She Lived in Bethesda MD, so her Daughter is wanting to bring her ashes to bury her here. She already has put her stone at our Cemetery years ago. :) She was always prepared! Each message, each call, each decision, especially has been very hard for her Daughter. I don’t want to TELL her this is what to do! So I have found myself, in a Dance with her as she learns to fallow Her heart, and not let every one else in the family push her around, this is her Mother’s wish she wants done. She is the only living child, every one else is In-Laws, and the next generation or 2 down., I feel God Leading me in helping her, to realize she has the controls! She has been a drift, letting every one push her for years! Her Mother used to pray with me for her, to find her feet! ( and do for herself more) God wants us to Stand on our own feet, and do that witch we have been created to do! we each have a part in His Dance! It is not good to allow people to PUSH us, We are made to be Lead! I am finding, life is easier when I allow God to Lead! I am so excited to be able to put in to words the feelings, I have had all my life. Looking for some one to Lead me, I found the right man 47 years ago, but it took us 40 years to get back to each other, so many people, children, etc. can get between us and we can loose the rhythm with so much confusion. I can see that in her, witch makes it easier to see it in me. I am probably 10 years older, so I have crossed many of the bridges she is facing now, and am able to help her keep her footing.  Just as God is Helping me each Day as I LEARN to LEAN on Him more and more in this “Dance” ;) I love that analogy! It strikes the right cord in me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dHBtdsAGW8&list=RD7dHBtdsAGW8#t=1

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    It is not good to allow people to PUSH us, We are made to be Lead! I am finding, life is easier when I allow God to Lead!

    That is a really good point, Cfe.   and it’s good to hear how you are coming alongside your cousin at this time.  I had a lot of cousins – 20 or 21 on each side.  Now that our parents are nearly all gone,  theres such a bond between us.  I have found life to be  bittersweet with losses and changes, but some of those losses also bring the gain of renewed relationships among those who are left.  Blessings to you and your cousin.

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The responses this week have really blessed me…it’s been a very busy week. But my husband just left for a men’s retreat and I actually just cried as he left!–but glad to finally have a chance to catch up some!
2. John 1 tells us that Jesus is the Word, and that He was with God in the beginning creating the world, speaking the world into being. With that in mind, how do you see each person of the Trinity in Genesis 1:1-2?
God created all things through Jesus, “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2)
John says (1:3) “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” , also Hebrews 1:2 “but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.”
 
3. Read Mark 1:9-11 and identify each person of the Trinity.
Jesus is baptized; the Spirit descends upon Him as a dove; the Father gives his blessing and affirms Jesus’ Sonship: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
 
4. Read Mark 1:12-13 and describe the temptation and trials this “2nd Adam” faced. How was this greater than the temptation the 1st Adam faced?
Jesus is driven into the wilderness by the Spirit, where He faced temptation by Satan for 40 days. The first Adam was tempted in a lush garden, the 2nd is in the dry desert. The length of time is much greater than what the 1st Adam faced—but I am also struck by His “alone ness”. Adam and Eve had each other, and yet rather than encouraging one another to withstand temptation, they both fell into it. But Jesus is alone. It says “the angels ministered to Him”, but Matthew 4:11 sounds like the angels came after the 40 days: “Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.”
 

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    You have a sweet loving marriage for certain.

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5. Read Matthew 3:13-17
     A. How did John the Baptist respond to Jesus’ request?
He felt he should be baptized by Jesus instead of Jesus coming to him. 
     B. What did Jesus tell John? And how did John “surrender?”
Jesus told John that his baptizing Him was necessary to fulfill all righteousness, and John consented. 
     C. How do you see Jesus surrendering to the Father in love here?
His obedience in having John baptize Him, to fulfill God’s plan. He shows His servant’s heart, not putting Himself over John.
     D. How do you see the dance of the Holy Spirit here?
The Spirit of God descends from the Heavens, “like a dove”.
     E. How do you see the love of the Father for the Son here?
His words of affirmation, of pleasure, of declaring Jesus’ holy relationship to the Father, sonship. 
 
6.  How would you answer Keller’s question: “Do you just believe in God or have you surrendered to the dance?”
I know in my heart I have surrendered to the dance, and I know in my flesh I need to re-surrender every moment of every day. My thoughts are so quick to wander, my heart so quick to doubt—but I know my every breath fully depends upon His holding me in the dance.  I have been thinking lately how much we all desire to be known, and how even in my daily prayers, my ongoing dialogue with God through the day, I am still talking so much about me, my needs, my fears, my hopes. But my dance Partner already knows more about me than I will ever know of myself—I want to keep learning more of HIM. The more I learn, the sweeter the dance becomes, but my desire just grows…to know Him MORE. 
 

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11. Share your notes and comments from the sermon by Tim Keller.
 
I am sorry I am running behind.   I had to skip a couple of questions in order to go ahead and listen to the sermon.      As usual I am posting this in two pieces, because I suspect I wouldn’t be able to post it all in one piece.   

Sermon by Dr. Timothy Keller
Based on Mark 1:9-13
 
In these five little verses, we have got the whole history of the world recapitulated.   Mark packs so much in such a small amount of space.   C.S. Lewis says what we learn in these five verses is that there is a dance.  And the greatest need of your life is to get into that dance – and Jesus is the one who can bring you in.  
 
For you and me, characterizing the Spirit of God as a dove is not all that odd because actually in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John it is a common image.   But when Mark was writing, it was very rare.   In fact, there is only one place in Judaism where the Spirit of God is ever likened to a dove, and that is in the Targums, the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible.  In the Targums, in the creation account, Genesis 1:2 where it says the Spirit hovered across the face of the water, the Hebrew word there is really the word fluttered.   
 
There are three parties.  In the original creation of the world–there is God, God’s Spirit, and God’s Word.   Later on John Chapter One, we are told that as in Genesis, we see God, God’s Spirit, and God’s Word.   So the world was created by the Triune God: the Father, the Word/Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Mark says just as the original creation of the world was a project of the Triune God, so the re-creation of the world, the salvation of the world, the renewal of the world that is beginning now is also a project of the Triune God. 
 
The doctrine of the Trinity is that God is one God, eternally existent in th three persons, who know one another and  love one another He is not more fundamentally one than three and is snot more fundamentally three than one.   
 
Implication of the Trinity: 
 
1) If it is true that this world has been created in the image of a triune God, then ultimate reality is a dance.  C.S. Lewis says in Christianity God is not an impersonal thing or a static thing.   He is not even just one person, but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, a drama almost if you will not think me irreverent – a kind of dance.  
 
Cornelius Plantinga: The Bible says that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit glorify one another.    That means the persons within God exalt, commune with, and defer to one another.  They are characterized in their very essence by mutually self-giving love.   Each person in the God-head does not insist that any of the others revolve around them.   They put the interest of the others above their own interests.  
 
This doctrine of God will never compete with made-up religions because we have to deal with the facts.   No other religion believes in a god like this.   If God is uni-personal–it means until the world began there was no love, because love is something one person has for another.   Love is not the essence of a uni-personal god; relationship is not the essence of god The essence of that god is power and greatness Whereas secularism which says there is no god produces relativism.  But the trinity dynamic, unity and diversity, is off the spectrum.  Belief in a uni-personal god leads to individualism because the essence of God is that he is an individual.  Therefore the most important thing in this world is my individual rights.   But in polytheism (belief in many gods) , the family or tribe is all important.  The Triune God leads to a unique understanding of our society.  
 
 
One practical implication:   if the world is made by a Triune God, then relationships of love is what your life is really about.   In secularism, you are here by blind chance, strictly as a result of natural selection.   Then what you and I call love is just a chemical condition of the brain.    If from all eternity beginninglessly and endlessly ultimate reality is a community of persons knowing and loving one another, then that means ultimate reality is about love relationships.

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Notes on Keller’s sermon continued:

New Yorkers say relationships are nice, but we are here to get work done.   Think of the number of jobs that are structured so, if you are doing your job well, there is no time for relationships at all. No time for friendships, no time for marriages.   Marriages break up.   If you put money, accomplishments, your career over development of lots and lots of rich friendships – over being deeply involved in a Christian community  – if you put anything over having a great family life, in the end you are going to dash yourself on the rocks of reality.    When Jesus said you have to lose yourself to find yourself, He is telling you what Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have been doing from all eternity.   Unless you are willing to put relationships first, you are out of touch with reality.   You are going to come up empty.   The world was made by a community of persons who know and love each other from all eternity.   This world is a divine dance – the stars wheeling around, the seas moving back and forth, and the seasons – It is a dance. 
 
2) We need more than anything else to be in the Divine Dance.   You are made to enter the Divine dance.    
 
What does glorify mean?   Beauty and duty.   Beauty means adoring, having your imagination capture by, finding gorgeous, praising, enjoying, doting on.  Duty:   You are not glorifying someone if you are serving them conditionally.   When you say you will serve or help as long as you get a benefit out of it, that is not glorifying them – that’s not the dance.    It is getting them to orbit around you.  A lot of us look unselfish because we can’t say “No!”   We are saying “Yes” to everything.    Those of us who don’t have boundaries and let people walk all over us and use us – do you think we are doing that out of love?   We are doing it out of need!    God does not seek His own glory, but seeks the glory of others.   It feels good to learn someone you love feels the same way about you – that is heaven!   That is what God has in Himself from all eternity. 
 
Are you in the dance, or do you just believe in God?   Or do you just pray to Him ever so often when you are in trouble?   
 
3) How do we get into the dance when we are scared?
 
Keller told of an application for Bible Study.  You had to sign “I promise to obey everything He says and thank Him for everything He sends, whether I like it or not.”   Then there was a blank for you to sign your name and put the date.  That is the most frightening page you could ever confront.  It is an invitation to orbit around Him, and we are scared.   How can we get in the dance?    Through Jesus!   
 
Creation and re-creation were followed by temptation.   There is a big difference between the first Adam and the second Adam.   First was in a Garden – Second was in a wilderness.   First was with wild animals in harmony with human beings, but second Adam is out there with the wild beasts.   It was an infinitely harder test.   The temptation isn’t over in verse 13, but He is assaulted by Satan His entire ministry.  It comes to a conclusion and climax in the Garden of Gethsemane – the ultimate anti-garden to the Garden of Eden.   First Adam was told “obey me about the tree.   Don’t eat of the tree just because you love me, but just because I say so.”  And we failed.    When our relationship with God unraveled in the Garden of Eden, all other relationships unraveled.   Relationships  politically between nations, socially between races and classes, personally between friends and even family members are always blowing up.   Why?  Because we all want to be little “centers.”   A solar system in which every planet insists it all revolves around them isn’t a solar system – it is a solar cataclysm!  A world in which everyone says everything must revolve around me makes the dance impossible. 
 
But God does not leave us there.    The Son of God was born into the world – the second Adam.  God said to the second Adam “Obey me about the tree.  Only this tree is a cross!”    Jesus got nothing out of dying for us.   He circled us.  He honors us, center on us, and unconditionally loves us – just for who we are.  If you see that really and it becomes a beautiful thing to you, you have begun to enter the dance.  When Jesus went on the cross, he invited us to dance.   To the degree that moves you and gets you out of your fear and begins to break apart all the satanical idols in our hearts that keep us stationary, you get pulled into the life of the Trinity.  
 
Jesus moves toward us on the cross, then we move toward Him in repentance and faith and say “I believe in you!”   Then He moves toward us again – it is called justification by faith.   Not because of our good works but just because we are in Him.   God delights in us – we are precious to Him.   Then you start to obey Him and to live a life out of the assurance of His love.  
 
You will die if you are not part of the dance! 
 
(1) You need to be part of the community. 
(2) Learn to praise God
(3) Give your life to Jesus, even if it is going to bring problems.  
 
Bill Lane (Keller’s Old Testament and New Testament professor) pointed out why only in Mark does it say Jesus was with the wild beasts.  At the time Mark was writing to Christians, they were being thrown to the wild beasts.   Mark was saying “He will walk with you into the lion’s den.”  

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    Again, thanks so much for the sermon notes, Deanna. I find it much easier to just listen or listen while following your notes. You have a wonderful gift. 

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      AMEN.  Thank you, Deanna!  God bless you.

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    Thanks so much Deanna!

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    Thanks for the notes Deanna. Wonderful as always!

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10. If you experience “the dance” this week, share how.
 
I had to make a decision this week about a position in our district. It is amazing how my idol of approval and significance came into the “dance” of life again. This study really helped me to make a decision by asking the question, “is taking this on make me orbit around self?” It was such a temptation to find a dance partner instead of the Trinity. So I prayed for God’s wisdom and was led to ask my husband about it. Richard left the decision to me after we talk about the pros and cons. For the meantime, I knew Jesus is interceding for me with the Father. Lastly, the Holy Spirit gave me a holy discomfort about how I am going about it. Then, I made a decision and asked God to give me peace instead of stewing about it, Jesus will work things out for the good of the district and the Holy Spirit is speaking to my heart that all is well. Lord, that I may surrender willingly each time to your leading in this marvelous dance called life!

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    I love the way you found the TRUTH for you! It is important, to bring in our Partner in life, God put us together and to often we leave them out of our decisions. Your Processes is perfect. Thanks for sharing.
     

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    Great illustration, Bing. But I’m curious — what did you decide?

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6.  How would you answer Keller’s question: “Do you just believe in God or have you surrendered to the dance?”
I know deeply that I have surrendered to the dance for He has set ablaze a passion inside of me for Him-that doesn’t come from me! No matter what or how I am feeling- being with Him is Home-YET my heart is deceptive and wicked and naturally bends away-who could know it??  I have learned from Dee on this blog that resisting stems from a lie satan whispers, “Do you really trust Him? Do you really believe He loves you? Do you really believe He is good? 
 
WHAT LOVE??? That He would give up the dance on the cross so that He could invite me to dance-a naturally prone to wander woman I am. He keeps me in the dance. As we are dancing and He teaches me new things about Him-new steps to invite me to trust Him I can be rigid- YET when I am rigid-and that can last a while, He ignites my heart with the Gospel- He pulls me back close to His chest to help me relax and trust-and the beauty..What love! Lord Jesus-High above all that you would pay such a price to take my hand. Please help my rigid heart melt faster. I want to go higher up and closer in-and I know that comes with me letting you rip my scales-but OH you paid the cost so you could take my hand.  

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    Love  your second paragraph, Rebecca. ” ….Please help my rigid heart melt faster…higher and closer in.”

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    This is so beautiful, Rebecca. And oh, how I see His fruit in you!

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    Such good thoughts and sharing. Encouraging. 

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    Beautiful Rebecca I so agree! Thanks for sharing :)

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11. Share your notes and comments from the sermon by Tim Keller.
 
I have listened once to the sermon and plan to listen again! He is brilliant for sure. Memorable moment? The community of the Trinity and how it extends to the community we live in. We are not meant to be isolated. We need to be with each other (at church), communing.

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WHAT IS YOUR TAKE A WAY AND WHY?  #1 This Rhythm that drives me, is and has always been “the Dance, calling me”! :) The Trinity is Unique, unlike any other religion. The trinity creates Moralisum. Our Triune God leads to Relation ism of Love. Because Love is so important in Relationships, That is why our God is Triune Jesus is the 1 who brings me in, and it is All Important that I be in this dance! So we can overflow with “Self giving service to others” This is why we have been made. In order to be less self centered, I must enter the Dance of Joy (putting other’s needs over mine). All the Universes are in the Divine Dance, it is made for a mutually centered RELATIONSHIP TOGETHER. So we are “dashing on the rocks of reality” in this Culture. Where God is all About Relationships, that is what the Triune is all about. To Glorify: means to unconditionally serve just because of who they are! It is Beauty and Duty, not to get but to give. True Love is the Love of the Triune. God sneaks his own Glory, because he wants us to join in the Dance, for The JOY! of the LORD is our Strength! If we center our lives around GOD! and we will have His JOY! Glorify God WHEN WE ARE SCARED! “I promise to obey everything God says, and I promise to Thank God for everything he sends, weather I like it or not”! Sadly I have been scarred, for most of my life, it is only in the past 15 years that I have realized this! and signed that Contract :) The Second Adam (JESUS) has it harder, because it lasted so long! We must Center our lives on GOD, by Obeying Him! I am practicing to do that, just because I Love Him, and now I can hear Him! Because Jesus is my bridge, because He came and died for me, So I can enter the Dance. Father please except me for Jesus sake! WOW! Amen. I want God to say I am His Beloved Child come! I must make my Praise for God First in my Day, in my Live, for that Praise brings us JOY! both God and me! “Praise is inner health made audible”. He will walk with me in the Lions Den! This is giving me words, to what I have been feeling over the past 16 years since I helped my Dad accept Jesus as His Lord while he was dying at that time I just wanted to die with him. And God said you can, die to self, and fallow me. It has been a wonderful ride, as he has brought people in to my life to help me find the path, just like this Study is giving me words to explain what has been happening to me these last 16 years. I am getting closer, and I only wish I had found the Path sooner. It is never too late! :)

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I just received this email from a friend, It depicts what being in the Dance can do, I love it when we all Finnish together :) I am sorry it is long. *This is a story written by a doctor who worked in Africa: **One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all we could do, she died, leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive; as we had no incubator (we had no electricity to run an incubator) *We also had no special feeding facilities. Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts. One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in. *Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst (rubber perishes easily in tropical climates).**’And it is our last hot water bottle!’ she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles. They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways.*’All right,’ I said, ‘put the baby as near the fire as you safely can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts Your job is to keep the baby warm.’*The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle, and that the baby could so easily die if it gotchills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died.**During prayer time, one ten -year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. ‘Please, God’ she prayed, ‘Send us a hot water bottle today It’ll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon.’*While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added, ‘And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl soshe’ll know You really love her?’**As often with children’s prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say ‘Amen?’ I just did not believe that God could do this.**Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything; the Bible says so. But there are limits, aren’t there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever, received a parcel from home.*Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!**Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses’ training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time I reached home, the car had gone, but there on the verandah was a large 22-pound parcel. I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper; taking care not to tear it unduly Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box. > From the top, I lifted out brightly-colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Thenthere were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored. Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas – that would make a batch of buns for the weekend.***Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the…..could it really be?* I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, a brand new, rubber hot water bottle. I cried.**I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could.*Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out,’If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!’*Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully-dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted!         *Looking up at me, she asked, ‘Can I go over with you and give this dolly to that little girl, so she’ll know that Jesus really loves her?’*’Of course,’ I replied!*That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God’s prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator.*And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child – five months before, in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it ‘that afternoon.
‘*’Before they call, I will answer.’ (Isaiah 65:24)
*Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive. There is no cost, but a lot of rewards. Let’s continue praying for one another.*This awesome prayer takes less than a minute.*Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless my friends reading this. I ask You to minister to their spirit. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubting, release a renewed confidence to work through them. Where there is tiredness or exhaustion, I ask You to give them understanding, guidance, and strength. Where there is fear, reveal Your love and release to them Your courage. Bless their finances, give them greater vision, and raise up leaders and friends to support and encourage them. I ask You to do these things in Jesus’ name. Amen

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This is on F.B. I am seeing this everywhere, the WORD is getting OUT! :)
I’ve seen this same pattern over and over – great parents but their kids leave the church.
I didn’t give it much thought until folks started asking me why my kids never ran from God? As a pastor I wanted to help them keep their kids on the right path but I had no idea what made the difference. I prayed and asked the Lord.

You’ve probably heard “Family first. Don’t get so busy with church activities that your family suffers.” While I agree with that I think we get into trouble if we forget our family is just a tiny part of something much bigger – God’s family.
It’s dangerous to separate our family from the bigger picture. The kids were seeing that their family gatherings at home had priority over gathering with other believers. It says “we” (my family) are more important than “WE” (the Family of God).
No one intended it but they were being taught that their family was the center of the universe around which everything else revolves – rather than God and His people being the center around which our lives rotate.
Suddenly it all made sense. No wonder these kids wandered away from church – which almost inevitably leads to wandering away from God. Church – gathering with the people of God – was optional, a nice thing to do once a week as long as it was convenient and didn’t conflict with family or other plans.

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    Cfe — yes, I agree in the danger of Family First. Good thoughts.

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    I also agree with the dangers of “Family First”, Cfe. There has to be a balance. As Keller said in his sermon, it’s all about relationships. We want to have a great family life but if it is separated from the bigger picture of God’s family, then children are much more likely to wander away from church and from God. Thanks for the interesting thoughts. This balance is something I sometimes don’t do well. 

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Laura’s notes about caring for her 18 mo. old grandson and also for her 90 Yr. old Mother-in-Love presented such a picture of the DAnce in the Lord! What joy the Trinity must experience in your caring! Thank you, Laura, for sharing.
 

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    I agree, Faith — lovely picture from Laura’s real life.

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I loved the sermon. Please everyone take the time to listen. Much to ponder. I listened yesterday and was rereading the notes this morning — such deep thoughts on the implications of the Trinity of God meaning a relationship of love is the center of who God is and who we were meant to be. If we really understood this what a difference it would make in my (our) lives.

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Cfe:  LOVED the story about the African Dr & answers to a little girl’s prayers!! How awe inspiring & beautiful. Lord forgive me for my small prayers & unbelief. I hope to listen to the sermon this afternoon…got behind again.  :)

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    I so love it when He leads us like that, What a Blessing to be able to fallow what is given to it’s intended place, but often we don’t know what is all about “It is not yours to figure it out, it is yours to do, and do not doubt” my Great Grandmother would say :) I used to help my Great Grandmother make Quilts for the Lakota School in S. Dakota, She was shore to make it beautiful, not just any patch would do. She wanted whom ever received to like it enough to take care of it. Good times.
     

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Well now it is a Monday again,and I am packing for our trip to Zimbabwe next Monday, I just want to Thank you for inviting me to this Study! I have so much to ponder on the long plain ride next week. I am now even more looking forward to, Listening for the rhythm, of a new land (to me) different people, And to continue to see God walking before me, in the Lead!!! inviting me to His Dance!
 

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Oh my I see I missed the last lesson, Computers are not easy for me to figure out I would rather be Crocheting :) #1 While I was reading and listening to this lesson, IT HIT home, I married a Wonderful boy! fresh out of Vietnam, “Like a Bat out of Hell” as the saying goes, wrecking vehicles, driving like he was invincible. He had spent 3 yeas Walking through “Hell on Earth”, and life wasn’t all that precious to him not even his own. When I met him he had been home a year, and was a bit more settled back in the Family Ranch, working with his Folks.  My Dad and his Best Friend,(my husbands Uncle) where Celebrating New Years Eave 1970, The got to talking about This Nephew, who had survived his first year home, being a Marine was a + for my Dad as he was a marine in WW!! He understood what this young Marine was going through, they decided I should meet this Marine. The next morning I went to work early to do inventory, and my Dad’s best friend came looking for me. and asked me if I would have breakfast with them, he wanted me to meet his nephew, I had call this man Uncle for 13 years, even thought he wasn’t (yet) I wasn’t interested, I had decided after the last guy I was not dating for a while. I used to be the who said farewell, but this time he had left the state without a good by. Looking back I am thinking my Dad may have been in on that move, I don’t think he liked him much. Dad had connections in the little town I grew up in. But since it was my Dad’s best friend I said OK , they where eating breakfast, when I walked in, and sat down beside this gorgeous guy, I didn’t give him a chance, I  just wasn’t in the mood. then the waitress that came to ask if I wanted any thing brought me a glass of orange juice and doped it in my lap. She had been out with him that New Years Eave. So the game was on! and I won! We dated in April he asked me to marry him, and in on May 15the we eloped (a family trait) That was 47 years ago. I was Christian, but not in my life much, he had been Baptized, but he wasn’t going to church either. but a year later when our first baby came, I began to think I we need to grow UP. now we are responsible for a life God has given us, He wasn’t too interested, He could not believe in a God of Love any more. He only believe in living every day to the fullest. but as she grew I knew I had to “raise her up in the way that she should go” So I started taking her to Church, and as the second one came along, I “drug” him to church too. They loved it, it was a small Pilgrim of Holiness church like what my Great Grand Parents “drug” me to growing up, My dad didn’t much believe in a Loving God either. Same reason I guess. The Preacher was even one I had been to see as a child. It was fun we sang a special when it came out turn, I learned to play the guitar, and we would sing unto the Lord. when our kids got to be teen’s they started saying Mom I don’t want to go to Church you don’t make Dad go. So we kind of quit going too. They went to the Baptist Church they had an outreach for the School Kids, each summer, and they attended that. Then they went off to Collage, our son joined a Lutheran Fraternity, And he loves church, he and his wife are very active in the Church, our Daughter got married her first year in Collage, She was singing in the Choir and Loving church, her husband said he was a Christian, but didn’t attend much Church, soon he made her stop Choir and told her to stop going, it all went badly, He is not a stable person, She stuck it out for 15 years and had to get out to save her life. Now she is Teaching (Something she was born to do) and he would not allow her to Finnish school to do it. Now she is living near my Mother, and Loving her Teaching life, and going to Church all the time, I am glad I took my kids to church, even when their Father would not go. They Both Love the Lord! So I know it was right, but my Darling Marine, is still not going to church, I know he is a Christian, he is Faithful and True in all his ways. I used to go without him some, but I just can’t enjoy it without him. I love the Bible Studies, And on Sunday he has to listen to Church, because I am listening to it and we only have 1 T.V. :) when I had Cancer and the Dr. said you will only live 3 mo. I was ready to die almost looking forward to it because I think I am homesick for Heaven some times. But I asked told the Lord, I can’t leave him behind, he isn’t ready to loos any more of those he loves. And the Lord answered my prayer with the last 13 years. I Refused surgery, and chemo and all of that crap, I went to a wonderful Holistic Chiropractor. that helped me through it, with. with nutrition, diet, DE-toxing, And when I found the root of the problem was the floor under my Computer dissolved in mold. from a fine spraying water leak. I listened, and God lead me to knowthecause.com they taught me that fungus and cancer looks exactly the same under a microscope. the Medical Society has known that since the 40’s but you can’t make much money that way, so I learned to how to clean the mold out of my house. and went back to that Dr. 4 mo. later and he could find NO CANCER! Thank you GOD! And my Marine was in the engineers, when his unit reunion comes together, they are all sick! But not my husband, I could go on for house about all God has done for me, through me, and with me!!! but I am supposed to keep this short. oops.  #2  You See I have had a lot of practice talking to God, we Visit every morning, I just Love Worshiping Him. and He give me guidance, through each day.  #3 I am not shore what the Question is, I will have to Visit with the Lord about that one. again I am sorry I got so windy. I just love telling what the Lord has done for me!
 

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