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Sabbath School for a New Generation

Among Seventh Day Adventists, Sabbath School is a time for discussion and learning. It is the belief of this site that Sabbath School should be an exciting venue for the discussion of new ideas, instead of rehashing old arguments. So welcome to a virtual Sabbath School, a Sabbath School for a new generation.

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I am an Electrical Engineer, working at Intel in the Portland area. I received my undergraduate degree from Walla Walla College and graduate degrees from the University of Southern California. The views expressed on this website are my own and do not reflect the viewpoints of anybody else. I reserve the right to change my mind at any point in time.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Finding God in Los Angeles

Introduction: The members of my Sabbath School have gone on frequent short term mission trips, usually to Mexico. During these trips, they had powerful experiences of the sacred. However, these experiences are much rarer in Los Angeles. This has given the impression that you have to go on mission trips to experience God. I feel that this unbalanced view should be rectified, so I will be sharing some ideas that I have been trying recently with some early success.
  • When was the last time you experienced God's presence?
  • Do you want have these experiences again?

Discussion
Why do we have trouble experiencing God?
  • Focusing on the Created and not the Creator
  • Hard heart
What is a hard heart?
  • Ephesians 4:17-19 (Unable to understand)
  • Mark 3:1-5 (Lack of Compassion)
  • John 12:40 (blindness)
  • Pharaoh in Egypt
How do we gain a new heart?
  • God sometimes breaks through
  • Certain religious practices
Religious practices done in groups
  • Sacred story (Bible)
  • Sacred rituals (Communion)
  • Sacred time (Sabbath)
  • Sacred music
  • Sacred speech (speaking in tongues)
  • Sacred silence
  • Sacred space
  • Sacred journey
  • Sacred laws
  • Which of these, do we practice in our church? Give examples
Individual practices
  • Verbal prayer
  • Non-verbal prayer
  • Deeds of compassion
  • Individual Bible study
Several practices were listed, which ones were incorporated in the mission trip?
How would you incorporate these practices in your daily life?


Conclusion
We have talked about several ideas to help you experience God in your life. Not all of these ideas will work with every person. It is important that we try these ideas to find which work for us.


Bibliography
Marcus Borg. “Opening to God: The Heart of Spirituality” in The God We Never Knew, Harper San Francisco, 1997.

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