Tonight I got a flashback to an era I didn't even experience. We had fondue night at our Lifegroup! That's always one of my favorite times of the week anyway, and this fondue thing made it even more fun. For the uninitiated, Lifegroups are my church's way of trying to connect people and help the church body to live more in unity. They're basically small groups that meet once a week, of 10-15 people (adults of all ages), not to do a Bible study per se, but to talk about the sermon from the previous week and how it applies to daily life, share prayer requests, what people have been learning, etc. It's a very relaxed, friendly time, and we have dinner at ours too. It's always a potluck style with people bringing different stuff, but someone suggested a fondue night a month ago and our leader Karen organized it all. Brad and I contributed the deep fryer and oil for the meat, and others brought cheese, veggies, bread, dipping sauces, chocolate, and fruit. I'd never done fondue before, ever, just heard about it as a reference to the 70s. It was great! Although cheese dip and chocolate dip don't do much for one's healthy-eating goals.
In a way our time to share stuff about the week is like a fondue too, because everyone has a different spin on what God has been teaching them or what the Scripture section for the week meant to them. Sitting in Jeff and Karen's living room, talking with everyone, really feels like what 'bear with one another in love' should be. Last week's message was a story by Pastor Bob about a sheep rancher who coaxed an abused and mistrustful dog to be his sheepdog and trust in his kindness. Some people identified with the mistrustfulness and abuse that God saved them out of, but my 2 cents was how I would be the opposite of that abused dog. I was raised by Christian parents who taught me about Jesus from my toddler years, so in a way the idea of God's love and care for me has always been a part of my worldview. This has the effect of not making me appreciate Him or rejoice in His mercy as much; in effect, like a sheepdog raised by a loving Master its whole life, who isn't loyal like the grateful dog but continually dashes off chasing butterflies or getting distracted from listening to the Master's commands.
I have to get to bed before it gets later, but my prayer for this week is to be less distractable and more focused on thanking God for what He's done for me and listening for what He teaches me.