Helpful Tidbits for Organic Church Life                                        September 21, 2009
Are You Aware?
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 September 20, 21 
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Dear ,
Some people are naturally aware. Others are not. Whatever category you fit in, we could all improve a little in this area.
Being sensitive to what's going on in your fellowship is a big deal. By observing attentively, we can often ascertain who's engaged and who's not, who's feeling tired, discouraged, agitated, and who's ready to take it to the next level.
QUESTION/TOPIC IN FOCUS: Increasing your awareness in social situations
Are You Aware?
Second paragraph excerpted from Participant Observation (a qualitative research book) by James P. Spradley
Org_Lead"Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, 'Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'?" (Mt 9:4, 5)
All human beings use their perceptual skills to gather information about social situations. We are all observers, even when acting as ordinary participants. But what we watch and listen for remains limited to our immediate purpose of accomplishing some activity. Not only does the participant observer have a heightened sense of awareness, but he or she must also approach social life with a wide-angle lens, taking in a much broader spectrum of information (1992:56).
My Reflections 
A few times in the gospels, it says that Jesus knew their thoughts. Like most inquisitive Bible students, I have to wonder, did Jesus turn on the super powers or was he just really aware of what was going on?
Although one can't know for sure, I suspect it was the latter. I think this for all sorts of reasons. Jesus was fully human. He knew what Torah said about the human heart. He knew what the Prophets said about those who would have him killed.
welcome_homeInterestingly, the Lord prompted my heart to write about this particular topic because today is Yom Teruah or Feast of Trumpets (Kararite observance), which is a biblical feast day foreshadowing Jesus's second coming. In other words, I can be aware of Jesus's return when the sign of the new moon appears (in the right month, of course).
Enjoy this insight from Jewish scholar Mark Biltz. In response to Matthew 25:13, Mark notes, "When [Yeshua] says you don't know the day or the hour, He's speaking to the foolish virgins, not the wise virgins." In reference to Matthew 24:36, Mark offers this insight regarding the annual Feast of Trumpets, noting that the Israelites never knew the precise moment it began, "because it was based on the sighting of the new moon."

The more I engage the Scriptures, the more I'm discovering that God never wants his children left in the dark. We are to be aware, reading the signs. This is true of everything from U.S. international relations to how our brothers and sisters in Christ are feeling right across the room.
It's not so much a super power as it is being sensitive to the truths of the Scriptures and our surroundings. And when we're aware of what is going on in those around us, we are much more apt to minister to them, drawing them out, clarifying some point, facilitating their growth in the Lord. It goes right along with Jesus's charge to his disciples: love one another.
Hope this was of some benefit to you.

Traver Dougherty
The Banqueting Table