A few friends and I are planning on starting a prayer group-- not so much a bible study, where we delve into small sections of scripture because we are already involved in bible studies. But, an actual prayer group where we discuss problems we are facing, encourage eachother, and take it to the Lord....
We mentioned possibly reading books, not so much a bible study but reading a book one month then just meeting a discussing it and application, no real plan, etc.
This article describes my group of friends to a tee. Ironicly, the more we hang out with all these great Christians, the less we date. This author takes an honest look at how a great Christian group may not just be benificial, but also hurtful. My only dislike with the article is that he fails to suggest a solution. I have great Christian community and none of us are willing to just walk away from that. It is what makes my life so much fun right now, but I would hate to think it hinders me from relationships. Plus, the "group" setting worked great in college so we just carried it into adulthood, but maybe things work differently as adults.
Anyways, glance at the article. It is definitely a thought provoker.
I think waiting is particularly hard. I am not patient. I want the answer-- good or bad, now. Then i can deal with it-- celebrate, mourn, whatever, but begin putting my life together. In so many situations, thats not the option, the truth is you wait and hope and give up and discourage yourself and are discouraged by others then hope again, in a long vicious cycle. Some people haven't had to do much waiting in their lives-- now I don't mean that they haven't had pain. I think everyone has had pain, but they haven't had the pain of waiting. I also think unless you have waited (even if you waited and everything turned out okay), you probably don't know how to show empathy and understanding to someone whose life seems on hold til they find a job, get into school, have a baby, etc. I have had to wait for things in my past, so I do know the good and bad and annoyingness of waiting to figure out whats next. I hope that pain isn't wasted by me- in my own life and in otehrs...I hope I can use it to be an encouragement to those who are waiting. Sometimes it just helps to have someone waiting with you. I can be that someone.
My favorite line of the second article:
"God, like any good father, sees around corners for His children and snatches them out of the way of oncoming cars. He also drags His kids, kicking and screaming, from their cherished mud puddles, to take them to the beach."
Oh, so good. Ok, my break from researching and billing is over....back to it!