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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Home Group (11/29/07)

TITLE: Calming Our Storms
By Esther Phillips


The appeal went out for people in our large church to sign up for Home Groups. The day came for us to gather together at my house for our first meeting. I barely knew most of the people who had agreed to come. The first meeting was strained since many of us didn’t know each other.

The people who gathered had many questions about what to expect. We set a schedule of meeting once a month, sharing responsibilities of hosting and leading a lesson, committing to caring for each other, and keeping our discussions confidential within the group. Along the way, we had a few bumps of not agreeing with each other on the subject matter of the meeting, but nevertheless, all participants continued for the four years we were a group.

We helped each other in the storms of our lives. Four of our ladies lost their husbands during these four years. Three of the men had long illnesses. The fourth had some health issues but lost his life from a fall. One member had difficulties with a mentally challenged son and two others with health issues with their granddaughters. One couple was challenged during these four years with the process of retirement. The mother of one of our ladies became ill and had to be moved to a nursing facility. A husband in the group had surgery, and he and his wife sent their daughter off to college that created their empty nest. The daughter recently graduated which was one of the many joys that also came along in these four years. One of our men started his own business and another wrote a book.

Our whole group has been challenged during these four years. Our human side causes us to think that our storms are when difficult things are happening to us. It is true that difficult situations require extraordinary measures. On the other hand, the good things also require adjustments in our lives. It is really nice to have people there who understand and help us through and that is only one of the beautiful things about establishing a Home Group.

Jesus had his own Home Group. They were called the disciples. When they had a storm in their lives, they called on him. We find this story in Matthew 8:24-26, “Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. (NIV)

Jesus will calm our storms, too, and that gives us comfort when we are faced with difficulties. In addition, it helps to have some friends around us who can hold us up when the props are knocked out from under us.

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This article has been read 554 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 12/07/07
Nice job--your third paragraph was such a compelling picture of the "job" of home groups.
Sheri Gordon12/07/07
The ending paragraph is so true. I like that you shared the many, and diverse, struggles and joys you went through with your group. Good introduction to what a home group should be.
Joanne Sher 12/08/07
I loved the third and fourth paragraphs especially. This sounds like a wonderful experience - thanks for sharing it with us!
Joanne Sher 12/14/07
Congratulations, Esther, for placing 13th in your level.
Ann Renae Hair12/14/07
What a diverse collection of challenges you all faced! What a blessing to be able to hold each other up. I am being help up now during a trial in my life and thank God for surrounding me with so many people sharing His love. Nice writing.
Jeanette Oestermyer01/16/08
A reeal good description of a small group, and all the blessings thereof. Meeting once a month sounds like a good idea also.