The Top-10, courtesy of the home office…

I’m not a huge late night talkshow guy, but I love the Top Ten lists that David Letterman has always done.  I used to set my VCR to tape just the first 2o minutes or so, just so I could catch the Top Ten.  Then I discovered this website and stopped wasting videotapes.  Remember videotapes? I recently tried to explain them to my 5- and 7-year-old kids, who literally have no concept of the term “rewind.”  But I digress….

In honor of the Top Ten lists, here, presented in countdown format, are the top ten most-requested DVDs for the first quarter of 2011.

10. Taking Care of Business – A Life Lessons classic.  Just be sure to check out the Notes For Leaders on the series page.

9. Three Shadows of the Passion – Makes sense, since this is the only Easter-specific message series we have.

8.  Playing God – This one also saw an uptick, due in part to the fact that part 4 was the Easter message in 2007.

7. God Is Great, God Is Good – Has been popular ever since the economy starting turning a couple of years ago, but it spiked recently after the tragedy in Japan.

6. White Flag – We can all learn something about surrender from the most famous of runners. Not Pheidippides, not Steve Prefontaine. Jonah—the man who ran from God.

5. Balanced – It’s a law of economics: the economy goes down, and the request for financial curriculum goes up.

4. Faith, Hope and Luck – They say it’s better to be lucky than good. They also say ya gotta have faith.  What do “they” know?

3. Game Plan – The newest series available for Life Lessons groups. Still popular, even though the football-themed graphics seem out of place in April.

2. Time of Your Life – Another new-ish series, this was the 5th-most-requested series of 2010.  It appears to be gaining on the #1 series of 2010:

And the #1 series of the first quarter of 2011 is…

1. Guardrails – When combined with its predecessor Take It to the Limit, these two margin-themed series are by far the most-requested series in Life Lessons history.

What about you?  Which have been your favorite series? Add your comments here.

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God Is Great, God is Good… right?

It has been three weeks now since the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami rocked Japan. Pictures and video of this horrifying event and its aftermath continue to roll in, and the death toll numbers continue to climb. And the still-present threat of nuclear disaster looms above it all.

In the wake of a natural disaster we come face-to-face with the reality that the world is not as it should be. The jarring images of indiscriminate destruction on the news beg the question, “Why God?”

“Why did this happen?”
“Why would you allow such meaningless suffering?”

While we default to “Why?” perhaps we should be asking another question – “Who?”

“Who is this God?” In the face of tragedies and atrocities, are we to believe in a God of judgment or a God of love?

[God is Great, God is Good] sets out to answer the question of who God is by spanning the Bible from creation to re-creation. Along the way you will discover what went wrong with our world and how God has been at work fixing it.

The text above comes from the back cover of God is Great, God is Good, a series Andy Stanley preached just a couple of weeks after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.  Once again, a natural disaster has raised questions for many people about God and His intentions for us. 

While the media attention has died down considerably over the past couple of weeks, the questions your co-workers have about God and whether He can be trusted… those questions linger.  For many of the people who attend your groups, Life Lessons Over Lunch may be the only place where they get a Biblical perspective on who God is. As they wrestle with their questions, perhaps your Life Lessons group can point them toward some answers.

Better yet, you can point them toward a loving God while also being a tangible expression of God’s love. Make this a special two-week Life Lessons event. When showing God is Great, God is Good, offer to provide lunch but ask attendees to donate the equivalent value of their lunch, pool the money, and give it to an organization providing relief to Japan (such as this or one of these). Encourage your regulars to invite their co-workers who may not normally come to Life Lessons. Those who don’t consider themselves “religious” may be more inclined to attend something that looks at “why” questions and also demonstrates compassion for others.

God is Great, God is Good is available for free to all Life Lessons Over Lunch groups. Click here to request a copy for your group. If your group is already engaged in another series but you still want to share God is Great, God is Good with them, they can stream and/or download the MP3s from the following URLs:

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