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GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE: FOR SMALL GROUPS, MENTORS AND PARENTS

Written By: Jameson McLaughlin, M.Div., MBA


CONTENTS

Preface: 3

Introduction: 5

Moses: Wandering Toward Destiny: 8

Rahab: What they call you doesn’t define you:

13

Jephthah: From Family Shame to National Fame:

21

Ishmael: It’s not your fault: 28

Hagar: You are not alone: 34

Esther: God’s purpose for you may surprise you:

42

Joseph: Dream your own Dream: 49

The Boy with an Evil Spirit: Breaking unhealthy cycles:

61

©2014 by Romal J. Tune All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, pho- tocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner, except for brief quotations.


PREFACE Many graffiti skeptics do not realize that graffiti, like any other form of art work, is the conveying of a person’s thoughts and emotions.

One of the most difficult things for people to realize, even when it comes to ourselves, is that there is much more to us beyond the surface. To others and maybe even to ourselves, our lives may look worthless, tainted, bruised, and scarred. We must all realize that each person is a unique and beautiful work of art. Beautiful artwork is often misinterpreted and misunderstood in art galleries and museums. Likewise, on the streets of communities, the walls, buildings, trains, and automobiles are the canvas in which beautiful and unique hidden messages and meaning are painted by the art form of graffiti. “Graffiti was once considered something that could

not be understood.” Not only was graffiti perceived to have no value, in most instances the perception was that it needed to be painted over. Many graffiti skeptics do not realize that graffiti, like any other form of art work, is the conveying of a person’s thoughts and emotions. Each ounce of paint helps capture the essence of a place or thing and graffiti can make the viewer feel at one with the work and the artist. We are all graffiti; beautiful pieces of art, created as a masterpiece. On the surface, we may not see the beauty in ourselves or our situations because of our shortcomings and times of confusion. We need to see that things can be better in order to believe it. One of the things that makes believing you can achieve what you once thought was impossible are real testimonies of success. Throughout sacred text we find real life examples of people who have faced similar struggles to what we face today. Though the context may be different, the feelings of fear and hopelessness are the same. If we look deeply into the lives of people in sacred text and within our own community, we can see examples of others that have overcome insurmountable odds. These champions realized that they are bright, beautiful, talented and powerful. God’s Graffiti seeks to empower readers that face challenges such as identity, self-esteem, difficult relationships (family and dating), addictive behaviors, abuse, and much more. God’s Graffiti highlights leaders that overcame personal challenges.

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If we look deeply into the lives of people in sacred text and within our own community, we can see examples of others that have overcome insurmountable odds.

This Discussion Guide intends to show people that they have purpose and that what may look distorted can often be beautiful. After reading and studying this book, you will change the way you look at yourself and others. The intent is to assist you with teaching the principals in “God’s Graffiti: Inspiring Stories for Teens”. Through visual, auditory, and active learning the content gives you practical lessons from the book to overcome many of life’s challenges. Each session will integrate writing, arts and crafts, small group discussions, video clips, questionnaires,

and more. Each chapter will provide options for the facilitator to utilize in teaching each chapter. We encourage you to cater the lessons to your audience. The information and strategies in this guide are not intended to limit your creativity or teaching and learning method, but to serve as a platform for your own genius, innovation, and creativity. This guide can be used for large and small groups, as well as mentors and parents. In this guide there are teaching moments for teenagers, parents, mentors, and leaders. This guide can be used for a one day session or as long as eight weeks. Because of the brevity of the book, we would not recommend any longer than eight weeks (one chapter per week). God’s Graffiti can be taught by a team or by an individual.

Items needed to use this guide • Writing utensils • Colorful construction paper • Art tools (Colored pencils, paper, markers, paint, etc…) • Internet • PowerPoint capability (PC, projector, screen) (OPTIONAL) • DVD and CD player (OPTIONAL) • Snacks (OPTIONAL)

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INTRODUCTION God’s Graffiti begins by the author inviting us into the context in which he was raised. The reader is introduced to a young man that has engaged in what many would judge as risky behavior. A young life that includes gang activity, violence, addiction, abandonment, a lack of love from various members of his family, including his parents, and a lack of a relationship with God. Many of the students will feel connected to the author after reading the introduction. At this point it will be beneficial for the facilitator to find ways to be inclusive of everyone participating in the study.

Questions that you may want to ask? 1. How much do you think your family has affected how you feel about yourself? 2. How have drugs impacted your life, your family, your community? 3. What are some of the life lessons you gained from your experience (if you have any) with drugs and alcohol? 4. The author had to make a decision to no longer do the things that his crew was doing. What can you learn from his experience of walking away? Do you struggle with letting certain people and aspects of our life go?

a. Why?

There are pivotal moments in every individual’s life that change that person’s life forever. For the author, he had an authentic interaction with his grandmother. He could sense her sorrow through that encounter. In that moment he chose to take a different path; a path that would require the courage to try pursuing a better future; a path that would lead him to find his calling; and a path that eventually led him to a relationship with God. He chose purpose over addiction, a life of crime, and gangs.

GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE

There are pivotal moments in every individual’s life that change that person’s life forever.

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SECTION

UNIT OBJECTIVE

SUMMARY OF CONTENT

ACTION PLAN

Unit 1

To open up the conversation and to empower young people to overcome the pain of abandonment

• Dealing with the pain of abandonment • Overcoming abandonment • Fulfilling purpose

• • • • •

Unit 2

To address labels, judgment, and identity.

This session hopes to provide possible ways and means for participants to discover who they are. There is also the desire to connect youth with people that are similar in some way, shape, or form

• Be honest with yourself • Be more open to others (without being naïve) • Set Goals and seize opportunities • Believe in yourself and God…even if others don’t

Unit 3

To empower young people whose last name may appear to be more of a hindrance than a help.

Living and dealing with the choices and mistakes of your parents/elders

• Learn and utilize the power of forgiveness in order to become a leader • Set goals and be willing to persevere in order to achieve them

Unit 4

To help teenagers deal with unfair circumstances, low self-esteem, to not blame themselves for mistakes of their parents.

Causes and symptoms of anger, depression, abusive behaviors and ways to attempt prevention.

• Do not blame yourself for the circumstances that you were born in • Focus on the future and not the past. Forgive those who have hurt you • Make good decisions (for both the short and the long term • Be at peace with not knowing all the answers as to why certain things happened • Consider yourself a miracle rather than a mistake • Believe in God (and God’s word) Believe in yourself • Ask God for help.

Unit 5

To encourage those individuals that may be living in fear by giving them hope that they have purpose and empowerment to deal with difficult emotions and troubling circumstances.

Don’t run from your problems, you have purpose, and what may seem to be an obstacle may be an opportunity.

• Do not panic, but regroup • Get your priorities in order and look to God for guidance. • Face things head on • Submit to and respect authority • Take advantage of opportunities • Listen to God and people that care about you

GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE

Confront fears Seek counseling Realize purpose Don’t allow excuses to hold you back Become a courageous leader

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SECTION

UNIT OBJECTIVE

SUMMARY OF CONTENT

ACTION PLAN

Unit 6

To teach participants the meaning of purpose, help them believe that they are worth being loved, and assure them they have purpose.

Working past forgiveness, know that you are worth being loved, learning from your pain to fulfill your purpose, be real with yourself, get connected and stay connected with the right people, when opportunity arises… take action and seize the moment!

• Forgive, overcome, and believe in yourself • Allow yourself to be loved by the right people • Be honest about your feelings • Accept the reality that you are sad and hurt and lonely • Get someone in your corner Talk to someone who can understand your deepest and most personal thoughts and feelings • Talk to God • Connect your past and present pain. Understand how pain from your past will affect your behavior unless it is resolved

Unit 7

To encourage participants to dream, set goals about their future, and encourage them to allow no one to discourage them from fulfilling their dreams.

Having dreams/goals and listing the challenges that come with favoritism, dreams, ambition, and success.

• Keep dreaming • Don’t get discouraged • Don’t get angry with those who are jealous of you. Your anger will prove to be a hindrance • Be willing to work hard to achieve your dreams • Never get complacent • Don’t be swayed by encouragement or hatred…run your race and stay focused until you accomplish your dream. • Seek healing over forgetting

Unit 8

To help those that may be struggling with unhealthy addictions. The unhealthy addiction may be their own or an addiction of a loved one.

To provide healthy alternatives. Also, to give recommendations to places that can help aide recovery.

• Believe in yourself or the person that is struggling and continue to believe that things can get better. • Love them regardless of their condition • Make yourself available for and/or to help • Let go of the addiction • Let go of the cause or causes of addiction • Learn to heal from past experiences. • Learn to love yourself • Accept the purpose and the love that God has for you • Let go of doubt • Let God use you to show people what God can do

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UNIT 1

MOSES: WANDERING TOWARD DESTINY

Purpose: The purpose of this section is to ‘get the conversation going’ by providing participants with an opportunity to reflect on their own moments of feeling abandoned and to connect with the group. By sharing personal experiences, participants get to deal with the heart of the situation immediately and see the relevance of the conversation. It is important that the facilitator is courageous enough to be vulnerable and share his or life experiences when appropriate. Remember that we do not show people our wounds; we show them our scars. If you are transparent, you must do so in a way that shows participants how you went from wounded to winning.

Objectives/ Expected Outcomes: By the end of this unit, participants will have reflected on how they personally respond to abandonment and adversity and how to overcome these issues. • As a facilitator of Unit 1, one of the aims should be to make the conversation comfortable and easier for all of the participants to discuss overcoming odds to become great leaders. • If possible, arrange chairs in a circle so that everyone can see each other. You can also use round tables throughout the room. • Show pictures of great leaders as youth and ask individuals in the room to recognize the people in the picture.

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INTRODUCTION

THE SACRED STORY

THE BOOK STORY

EXERCISES

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

5-10 minutes Defining abandonment Different types. 5-10 minutes

Exodus 2:1-10

Dealing with hurt and abandonment 5-10 minutes

The Pain of Abandonment

Two skits: On different kinds of abandonment and how to respond

Discuss how emotions play a part in human development

Making the right choices 10 minutes

Choosing to follow God (appropriate lifestyles)

Decisions that Moses made and choices that we have.

Changing for the better 10 minutes

Despite his fears, Moses eventually accepted God’s call (Exodus 3:4-4:28 or focus on Exodus 3:1112; 4:10-15)

Moses’ conversation w/ God teaches us to be honest with God and ourselves about your concerns, fears, and insecurities.

Discuss what solutions have been offered and each member offer other suggestions

Do an exercise showing how a change on the inside affects everything.

Realize that you have purpose 5 minutes

Closing

Allow each person to discuss their talents and how their gifts and talents can be used. This small group discussion should be filled with positive reinforcement

Exodus 5 Deuteronomy 33 Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt and will forever be remembered as a great leader

GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE

Now what? Live through the pain and hurt and overcome it. Get over our fears and doubts. Remove the excuses and fulfill our destiny.

Questions

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Begin telling the story of Moses as described in God’s Graffiti. Recognize Moses as a great leader, and point out that he was an abandoned child before he was a leader. • Create handouts pointing to critical moments in the life of Moses. ◊ Highlight key points in the book on the pain of abandonment. • Key characters • (OPTIONAL) A PowerPoint presentation with images to show the correlation of Moses’ journey from being an abandoned baby to a great leader and then slides of modern day great leaders who have faced similar circumstances. Another option is to show the images of celebrities. These images can change with time and may be helpful to show participants that being abandoned by a parents does not mean that you cannot go on to be become successful. • If there are parents in your session, take the opportunity to talk separately to them about the courage it takes to raise a child and to realize that someone else may do a better job at raising a child. “There are reasons why parents have to let their children go. Immaturity, incarceration, addiction, physical or mental health issues-all these are factors that compel parents to let go of their children, whether voluntarily or not. Most of us may never get the chance to question our parents about their decisions. And like Moses, unless our emotional pain is addressed, it will show up and we will act it out. We overcome pain by confronting it.” (God’s Graffiti page 7)

DEALING WITH ABANDONMENT EMOTIONS

POSSIBLE REACTIONS

BEST RESPONSES

Hurt

Hurt others

Confront your pain in a positive way

Depression

Drugs, alcohol, promiscuity

Be honest with yourself, find constructive ways to overcome your pain, and find healing

Sadness

Isolation

Counseling, find someone you can trust to help you through this sadness and anger

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Inform the participants in the room that if they are honest with themselves they can then use those past experiences that may have once hurt them to propel them into leadership. • “Leaders must have experiences that connect them to people, problems, and communities.” • Life experiences can prepare you to be a leader. All of those experiences may not be positive. But what you learn from them can be put to good use. “What made the difference: Moses decided to confront the source of his hangups, his past. By trusting God and with the help of caring people, he was able to overcome the pain of his past and find his greater purpose. Now it’s your turn.”

QUESTIONS 1. What are some positive and healing ways to deal with abandonment based on the book and your own personal experience?

2. Name some people that have been abandoned and what we can learn from them?

3. What are some of the emotions the author addresses?

4. What are some of the tough decisions that you have to make daily?

5. Do you have people in your life that can help you make better decisions? If so, who are they? If not, would you like some people to help counsel you and guide you in decision making?

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6. What is a sign that something needs to be changed in your life. How do you go about changing it?

7. What are some changes that you have made that have positively changed your life forever?

8. What are some things that you can do to change the direction of your life and accomplish some of the things that you desire to do?

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UNIT 2

RAHAB: WHAT THEY CALL YOU DOESN’T DEFINE YOU Purpose: Participants can develop the sense that they do not have to be ashamed of who they are and that there are many people who had similar backgrounds.

The purpose of this section is to address labels, judgment, and identity; all things that we deal with often. This session provides ways for participants to embrace the journey of discovering who they truly are beyond what others think and how painful experiences influenced their perceptions of self or beliefs. There is also the desire to connect participants with people that are similar to them in some way, shape, or form. By doing so, the participants can develop the sense that they do not have to be ashamed of who they are and that there

are many people who had similar backgrounds to them. We are all unique and beautiful in our own way, yet many of us share similarities with others. By sharing personal experiences, participants get to deal with who they are, how they view themselves, what others see in their actions, how they treat others, and how their opinion of themselves can have a positive or negative effect on their lives and the people around them.

Objectives/Expected Outcomes: By the end of this unit, participants will have reflected on how they should view themselves and others. As an expected outcome you will want to see that the participant(s) is able to articulate how past pain or abandonment has impacted their self-worth and the steps they are willing to take and heal.

Items needed: • Paper (notepads) and Pens • Colored paper and Markers GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE

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INTRODUCTION Identity

THE SACRED STORY Joshua 2:1-22

Truth and knowledge overcomes an identity crisis 10-15 minutes

Importance of good friends/connections 15 minutes

Although Rahab was a prostitute, by helping out the young men she became connected to a new community. As a result of her faith, her family was blessed and made it to a better place.

GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE

THE BOOK STORY

EXERCISES

The first thing we learn about Rahab is that she was a prostitute. The negative label precedes the positive and faithful action/ behavior.

Play music: Several contemporary Gospel, Hip-Hop and Rand B artists. Allow participants in the room to identify the artist, who these artists are, and why we have various perceptions of them. Then discuss the characters in their songs. Who are these people and what do you think and feel when we hear these lyrics

Rahab believed in God because she heard what God had done through and for the Israelites. You have to know who you are and be comfortable in the skin you are in.

Everyone can be given 5 minutes to write who they think they are and what they think other people think they are. Look for similarities and differences between their view of themselves and how they are perceived by society.

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

Have each person in a group of 4-6 people write a list of people that they can trust and places that they feel comfortable going.

The author talks about his neighborhood that included drug dealers, gang members, and people comfortable with street life. However, he found peace not in street life, but in the courage to try something different by pursuing his dreams and later learning to trust God.

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INTRODUCTION

THE SACRED STORY

THE BOOK STORY

EXERCISES

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

In order to trust people we must admit we need people. In order to trust God we must admit that we need God. This requires being vulnerable and courageous enough to try.

Transparency 5 minutes

Family 10 minutes

Joshua 2:12-14

Family can give good or bad examples on how to behave. Family can also have a positive or negative effect on one’s self-esteem.

Skit: In the first skit portray an example of a positive, encouraging family. On the second skit the family is to emulate an intimidating, disrespectful, and nonsupportive family.

Seizing opportunities

Rahab saw the opportunity to change her life, and she took it. She realized that she deserved better and went after it. She took the risk to do something different that would bring her closer to her family and even save their lives. Now it’s your turn.

Have the youth in the room list on their paper and discuss their goals. Have them write out how they plan to achieve these goals. If there are any adult counselors in the room that are familiar with the youth, ask them to assist the young people in compiling an action plan.

Ask participants to facilitate small discussions about how to achieve goals and the importance of seizing opportunities.

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• Index cards (multicolored) • Dry erase board or chalkboard in which you can write (or large paper) • PowerPoint capability (OPTIONAL) • The ability to play music (OPTIONAL) Begin the session by discussing all of the different ways in which we define people – family, race, income, profession, fraternal organization, religion, size, physique, height, disabilities, etc. • Discuss the dangers of assumptions and labeling people. There are psychological and emotional effects that lead to anger, abuse, addiction and other negative behaviors.

SMALL GROUP EXERCISE Have each person in a group of 4-6 people write a list of people that they can trust and places that they feel comfortable going. • List what makes these people so trustworthy • List what it is about these various places that make them comfortable. The group is to look for similarities in their list and then share them with the entire room.

ENTIRE GROUP EXERCISE Distribute several different colored index cards or construction paper. Each color will represent a category, such as things that you are good at doing, things you like to do for fun, places that you like to go, characteristics that you like about yourself, qualities you like in a friend. Allow each person to post their cards/paper. Then group all cards by color and look for similarities. Engage in a dialogue about what makes each person who they are and ask questions such as “Are any of the qualities that you like subject to change?” “Have any of these places or people in your life produced fear of rejection, ridicule, shame, or embarrassment? If the answer is yes, “How did you overcome those fears?”

HANDOUT Give a handout about the importance of proper friendships/connections. • Discuss the steps that pushed Rahab to take actions that helped herself and her family. Engage in a conversation on how an individual can become GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE

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connected with the right people and God by following these steps, ◊ Welcome the “spies” or unfamiliar people with good intentions who come into your life. Give them a place in your life (your heart) and build trust through actions. ◊ Believe what you have heard about the power of change and the people who were courageous enough to take the journey of making their life better for themselves and their families.

One of the first steps before making new friends or improving our current relationships is to be honest with who we are.

• Discuss the qualities that we should look for in a friend. • If you decide to break up into small groups, come back together as a large group to discuss honesty/transparency. One of the first steps before making new friends or improving our current relationships is to be honest with who we are, acknowledge our mistakes and our personal issues (struggles), embrace our positive qualities, and recognize the possible harm of negative behavior that we possess. The second step is looking at the harm done to others as a result of negative behaviors and unhealthy opinions of self. • For the sake of not embarrassing anyone in the room, do not ask participants to verbalize their shortcomings. Rather, the facilitator can create a time of silent reflection in which the people can think about moments in their life in which they could have been a better friend or made better decisions. Ask all participants in the room to reflect on some of the moments in which someone has truly proven that they care for them, such as a friend, family member, or total stranger) What made that moment so special? How did the participant respond to their love and kindness? • If you feel that participants should discuss their shortcomings or that confession of behaviors that may have once been deemed inappropriate may lead to change, we recommend that you use small groups and that each person is asked to speak unless they adamantly refuse.

What is keeping you from trusting others or being open with new people? GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE

• Ask the entire room…what is keeping you from trusting others or being open with new people? • A few expected answers – Fear of being hurt, still dealing with past hurt, trust being misused before, being shy, etc…

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“The hardest part of learning to trust people is being honest enough with yourself to admit that you need that person and courageous enough to not let anything or anyone keep you from seeking the help of others” Romal Tune

God vs. Everybody Show a picture of a “Detroit vs. Everybody” hooded sweatshirt or t-shirt. Briefly explain that these t-shirts were made by people from Detroit who believe in their city so much that they have total disregard for what anybody says against Detroit. Make the connection that we believe in ourselves no matter what others say. If you have PowerPoint capability, show this on a slide. If not, write this on a board. If there is no board available, simply state these things: • Family fiction: They said I was a mistake. God’s fact. You are God’s workmanship. For you created my inmost being.... I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. (Psalm 139:13-14) • Family fiction: They said that they hate me. God’s fact: You are deeply loved. The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3) • Family fiction: No one wants me. God’s fact: You are not rejected. “I have chosen you and have not rejected you.” (Isaiah 41:9) • Family fiction: They made me feel like I was nothing and didn’t matter. God’s fact: You are precious in God’s sight. “You are precious and honored in my sight, and ... I love you.” (Isaiah 43:4) • Family fiction: I am alone, and no one cares. God’s fact: God is with you, and you are God’s joy. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE

“The hardest part of learning to trust people is being honest enough with yourself to admit that you need that person and courageous enough to not let anything or anyone keep you from seeking the help of others” Romal Tune

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QUESTIONS 1. What similarities do you see between Rahab’s life and yours?

2. What is the most important lesson that you have learned from Rahab’s story?

3. People have called Rahab terrible names: “prostitute” (NRSV) or “harlot” (KJV). She had to change their perception about her.

4. What name or names have people called you?

5. What is the new belief that you want people to have of you?

your new belief about yourself?

7. What is the worst thing that you ever believed about yourself?

7a. How did you get past those negative beliefs?

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7b. In what ways do negative messages of the past affect you now?

8. What positive messages have you believed about yourself?

8a. Who said these positive statements?

8b. How does this support now influence your emotions and behavior?

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UNIT 3

JEPHTHAH: FROM FAMILY SHAME TO NATIONAL FAME Purpose: Inform the participants who are living in or have lived in challenging circumstances that they are not less than anyone else.

The purpose of this section is to empower participants whose family may appear to be more of a hindrance than a help. Many people know what it’s like to be Jephthah. They experience the sadness of growing up in difficult life circumstances. This session seeks to inform the participants who are living in or have lived in challenging circumstances that they are not less than anyone else. The session material imparts the message that they are equally as good, valuable, and that their life matters. Each participant should begin

or continue the process of believing their life has greater purpose. This session also seeks to empower participants who have experienced family shame to be successful in spite of the shame.

Objective/ Expected Outcomes: By the end of this unit, participants will have reflected on their self-esteem and gained practical solutions that help boost self-esteem.

Items needed: • Paper • Ink Pens • Markers and colored pencils • Candy (OPTIONAL) • Movie showing capability, i.e. TV, projector, etc… (OPTIONAL)

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INTRODUCTION

THE SACRED STORY

THE BOOK STORY

5-10 minutes or if there is movie playing capability 35 minutes

My family does not define me! 10-15 minutes

EXERCISES

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

If there is movie playing capability, show a movie highlighting a young person that has a less than stellar family, yet in spite of their parents, they still became successful.

Judges 11:1-3

Dealing with hurt “Hurt people Hurt People” 5-10 minutes

Don’t be ashamed 10 minutes

GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE

Understanding how Jephthah feels: “lots of people know what it’s like to be Jephthah. They experience the sadness of growing up in difficult life circumstances.”

Discuss the effects of growing up in a house in which you watch a loved one abuse themselves. (Drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, etc.)

Discuss the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual damage that can come from living in a house with addicted, abusive, or an impoverished family.

Give the teenagers paper and colored pencils. Allow them to draw up their homes and their neighborhood. Then have each participant find a partner and ask each person to draw their family and briefly discuss what they see when they look at their family and what do they see when they look at each other’s family picture…and their home.

In small groups have each participant tell someone in their group a secret or talent that the recipient of the information does not know

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THE SACRED STORY

INTRODUCTION

THE BOOK STORY

EXERCISES

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

1.Find other people that can relate to your experience. 2. Deal with your feelings and talk to the people that are important to you. 3. Find Forgiveness

Healing steps 10 minutes

Living with bad decisions that YOU have made!

Judges 11:30-39 Jephthah lost his daughter because of his mistake.

Closing

Discuss what we learned today and allow the participants to mention their favorite parts of the session.

MOVIE Deal with your feelings and talk to the people that are important to you.

Show a movie if there is movie-playing capability in the setting. The facilitator should select a movie that highlights a young person that overcame their circumstances in spite of having a less than stellar parents and family. Movies that demonstrate this significant survival skill include, “The Inevitable

Defeat of Mr. and Pete”, “The Antwone Fisher Story, or “Precious.”

Handout - “Words do hurt” • “How do you feel and what do you do when the jokes or comments people make about you are true? • On the handout have the question, “How do or did you feel when people mock you because of your family?” ◊ List possible responses such as fight, laugh with them, cry, or ignore them. ◊ Next Line - “Hurt people only know how to hurt people.” In many ways GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE

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it’s their way of crying out for help. The power to express their true emotions has been buried deep beneath the pain that they are trying to escape and medicate away with alcohol and drugs. Don’t be ashamed of… • Who you are and what you look like • The circumstances in which you live in or have lived in • Your gifts and talents

HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE Discuss as a large group the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual damage hat can come from living in a house with addicted, abusive, or a poor family. One of the side effects of growing up in an abusive/violent environment is that a young person may join gangs, commit crimes, or repeat the violence they have been exposed to. Discuss the healing steps indicated in Chapter 3 of God’s Graffiti. 1. Find other people that can relate to your experience. • Give examples of good affiliations, such as sports, clubs, and organizations at school, church, etc. • List some of the benefits of being associated with these groups • Then give examples of bad affiliations, such as gangs • The author referenced examples of his gang experience. Mention some of the adverse effects that resulted from his gang affiliation and allow the participants to mention other negative things to come along with being in a gang. Seek answers that address things such as teaching a dysfunctional form of leadership, illegal activity that can lead to jail, violence to yourself and others, etc. 2. Deal with your feelings and talk to the people who are important to you. • YOU CAN’T RUN FROM PROBLEMS • Real problems need real solutions and real help. • Illustration (optional) – You can show a movie clip of someone

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being trapped or create a skit of someone not being able to run from a problem. • The point of this illustration is to show that sometimes life’s problems are too great for

Fear will paralyze you and keep you from fulfilling your purpose.

us to handle on our own. Running will only make us tired. However, we have a greater opportunity to overcome those fears and to not be limited in life if we face our fears. Running from situations means that there are certain places that you cannot go and certain things that you cannot do…because of fear. Participants should understand that if not confronted, fear will paralyze a person and keep him/her from fulfilling his/her purpose. To overcome fear and obstacles, we must use our minds, abilities, the support of others and the knowing that we have greater purpose. • Being blind illustration (optional)—Blindfold one person. Have other participants surround the blindfolded individual. They will represent the “problematic circle” in this exercise. Have these people yell and scream different problems. Tell the Blindfolded person to attempt to escape out of the circle. The problematic individuals are holding hands and have agreed to not let the blindfolded person go. After about 1 minute of failed attempts to escape the circle, tell the blindfolded person that they have someone that wants to help them with their problems. Tell the blindfolded person that if they call on Jesus he will hear their cry and pull them out of the problem circle. Those in the problematic circle will keep yelling. Then, when all hope seems lost, someone from outside of the circle will enter the circle and break through the group of people yelling, grab the blindfolded individual by the hand and guide the blindfolded person out of the circle to safety, peace and quiet. The rescuer should then remove the blindfold and tell the person to never give up when in distress because there is always someone willing to help if you keep trying. Transition the discussion to overcoming the pain caused by the mistakes of others, owning personal mistakes, and overcoming the guilt associated with those mistakes. • Many of the same steps taken to heal from the actions of other people who have hurt GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE

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you can be followed to overcome the guilt of your own mistakes. The only difference in recovering from something that individuals have done themselves is that they have to change their behavior, admit what they have done, forgive themselves, commit to not making the mistake again, learn from it, and keep a positive mindset on the journey towards healing. • A major part of healing is “forgiveness” • Forgiveness frees you to think beyond the limits of the mental and emotional prison that once limited your thoughts. This is the true essence of forgiveness, and it reflects the forgiveness that God shows us no matter how many times we have messed up.

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QUESTIONS 1. What similarities do you see between Jephthah’s life and yours? What are some of the things Jephthah was willing to do to change his life that you can do to change yours?

2. What are your three strongest leadership qualities? How is God asking you to use them?

3. Although Jephthah was able to forgive those who hurt him and become a successful leader of the people, he failed at leading in his home. His unnecessary bargain with God cost his daughter her life. What does his story teach you about why it is not necessary to bargain with God?

4. What are some things that you can do to avoid hurting the people you care about and not cause them to become victims of your decisions or your personal pain?

5. Have you made choices in your life that have done what might be considered irreversible damage to another person? Is it possible for you to forgive yourself, ask that person for forgiveness, and ask God to forgive you? How do you think that you should go about it?

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UNIT 4

ISHMAEL: IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT

Purpose: The purpose of this section is to help participants deal with unfair circumstances, low self-esteem, anger, and bad habits (drugs and alcohol), sex, crime, violence, suicide, and eating disorders. This session seeks to encourage participants to develop a positive self-image and help them stop blaming themselves for things they cannot control.

Objective/ Expected Outcomes: By the end of this unit, participants will have reflected on issues of anger, low self-esteem, any pain related to family composition. The expected outcome will move participants from asking, “Is it my fault that my father/mother left me?” to declaring, “My life has purpose and I can do anything I set my mind to do! I can do anything. I can be anybody.”

Items needed: • Paper • Ink Pens • Markers and colored pencils • Candy • Internet (optional) • Laptop (optional) • TV (optional) • Projector (optional) • DVD player (optional)

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INTRODUCTION 5-10 minutes

THE SACRED STORY

THE BOOK STORY

Genesis chapters 16 and 21

Anger can be a huge road block to happiness and fulfilling purpose.

Know yourself 10 minutes

It is important to know yourself, your talents, and to know your fears or opposition.

Simulate two people playing a sport together and one person getting upset. The purpose of this exercise is to show how being frustrated causes people to lose focus and gets in the way of success.

Discuss in a small group ways in which youth can positively deal with anger. Have each person in the group offer positive solutions.

Discuss the causes and symptoms of low selfesteem

Low self esteem 15-20 minutes

Ishmael’s burden 5 minutes

Ishmael did not ask to be born into a complicated situation.

Ishmael’s solutions 10 minutes

Ishmael did not ask to be born into a complicated situation.

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SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

Read both chapters and briefly explain the story

Dealing with anger 10-15 minutes

Closing

EXERCISES

Discuss lessons learned from the Ishmael story and the action plan.

Questions

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STATUS: “IT’S COMPLICATED” Discuss how relationships can be very difficult. Complicated relationships have major effects on adults and even more so on children if there are any caught in the middle. The relationships between Abraham and Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael, and Isaac represent what is known in modern society as “Baby Mama Drama,” The story involves feuding between half brothers, feuding between the wife and the mistress, single parenting, and a child growing up without his father. All of these things are issues that too many young people have to face today. Transition from “it’s complicated” to anger. Facilitators can make statements such as, “complications often lead to anger and frustration. Anger can lead to many other problems, such as depression, low self-esteem, acting out, etc.” • Write a story about several people who are playing a sport. One person loses and they take their loss humbly, they watch others play, and they come back better and win the game on their next attempt. Then have participants read another about a group of people playing a sport, except this story describes a situation in which one person loses and throws the ball, disrupts the game and maybe even starts a fight in frustration. ◊ Use these examples to talk about how anger can be a problem for the angry individual and everyone around them. Anger reduces opportunities for success and friendships. Anger may also lead to physical damage to people or property), as well as emotional damage. • Reserve time for a small group discussion about anger. ◊ Allow each person to talk about moments in their past in which they were angry. Each person should reveal what caused their anger and what did they do to end the feelings of anger. Group members should feel free to suggest ways each person could have done things differently. ◊ Then each member in the small group is to discuss moments in their past in which they could have gotten angry, but they did not. Facilitators should point out during the discussion the ways in which participants controlled their anger or what someone else may have done to help prevent the person involved from becoming angry. ◊ Group members are to take away from this small group discussion ways to control anger and prevent it from causing problems.

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Don’t look back unless you are trying to learn from the past.

While the participants are still sitting in small groups mention that the best method for reducing anger is controlling it. Give each group time to discuss the causes of anger mentioned in God’s Graffiti. Each group will then be asked after 5-10 minutes to do a

brief presentation on causes of anger and solutions that they develop as a group to prevent or resolve the causes. The list of causes for anger and low self-esteem include: • Abuse (Group 1) • Divorce (Group 2) • Bullying (Group 3)

Symptoms • Drugs and Alcohol (Group 4) • Eating disorders (Group 5) (When discussing eating disorders, give this group candy and use the candy to emphasize the point that everything that may taste or feel good to you is not good for you) • Sex (Group 6) • Suicide (Group 7)

ISHMAEL’S BURDEN Have a participant share a personal story of confusion, frustration, and other feelings that they experienced because of their parents and/or family composition.

Ishmael’s and our solutions (Facilitator discusses with the entire room the actions that can be taken and lessons to be learned from Ishmael’s story) • Do not blame yourself for the circumstances that you were born in ◊ We can only control the things that we can control. We cannot beat ourselves up for the actions of other people. • Focus on the future and not the past ◊ Look to your future, your potential and your dreams for a better future.

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After all that you have been through, you are still here. Consider yourself a miracle, rather than a mistake.

Don’t look back unless you are trying to learn from the past. If you do look back, let those moments or circumstances of the past motivate you to become a better person. • Forgive those who have hurt you ◊ Nothing stops forward progress like a lack of forgiveness. Forgive others so that you can move on with your life. When a person is unable to forgive they hold on to bitterness, pain, and resentment.

• Make good decisions (for both the short and the long term) ◊ Choices are critical and one decision (whether it is good or bad) can have influence for a lifetime. • Be at peace with not knowing all the answers about why certain things happened ◊ There is a lesson to be learned from every experience. You must find a way to have peace of mind, feel good about who you and how you want to live your life. • Consider yourself a miracle, rather than a mistake ◊ Appreciate the adversity that you have overcome and see the best in yourself, rather than the worst. Consider all of the good things that you have done and that you can do. Never allow yourself to believe that you are a mistake or not good enough. • Believe in God (and God’s word) and believe in yourself • Ask God for help Never be too proud to ask for help. In some cases, other people can help you better than you can help yourself. When other people offer to help, be courageous enough to let them help you. List all of these solutions and open the floor up for all other suggestions.

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QUESTIONS 1. When you don’t understand who you are, question your talents, are not sure of your purpose, or are not sure what you want to do with your life, it will make you fear the future. Do you have any fears about what the future holds for you? List three of your fears below: a. b. c.

2. What is the source of your fear?

3. It’s easy to spend your life angry with the people who hurt you and blame others for why life is so hard or, even worse, spending your life seeking revenge or trying to punish those who hurt you., All of these things get in the way of finding your true purpose in life. Who are you still angry with because of what happened to you?

4. How can you let go of the anger so that it doesn’t hold you back and keep you from experiencing God’s purpose for your life?

5. Go back over the causes and symptoms of low self-esteem. Write down any causes and symptoms that relate to you. How will you work to address the causes and symptoms so that you can feel better about yourself?

6. Think about your future. What are your life goals (personal and career)? What do you want the world to know about you?

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UNIT 5

HAGAR: YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Purpose: The purpose of this section is to deal with the frustrating circumstances of bad relationships, being used, fear, and facing problems. Facilitators should highlight the amazing life of Hagar to encourage participants to know that God loves them and what appears to be an obstacle may be an opportunity. Participants will also learn how not to worry or be afraid because each life has purpose.

Objective/ Expected Outcomes: By the end of this unit, participants will have gained encouragement to face problems rather than run from them, and deal with being raised by a single parent if problematic. Parents may also participate in this unit to address challenges unique to single parenting. The conversation seeks to develop peer support that will last long after the God’s Graffiti sessions. Another objective of this unit is that peer groups will develop positive friendships that will provide healthy alternatives to gang lifestyles or other abusive relationships.

Items needed: • Music • Handout • Paper • Pens • Laptop (optional) • Internet (optional) • TV (optional) • DVD player (optional) • PowerPoint slides (optional)

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INTRODUCTION

THE SACRED STORY

THE BOOK STORY

10 minutes

Read Genesis 21 and discuss the context and details of the story.

Scandal 10 minutes

Genesis 16:1-6

Take a moment to look at the relationships within the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar and use this as an opportunity to discuss cheating. After discussing cheating and scandalous relationships, discuss the issue of being used.

Being used

Genesis 16:3-6 Hagar was a slave-girl given to Abram. (Later on Hagar’s master Sarai turned on her.)

God doesn’t want you to be taken advantage of or abused by anyone. You deserve better.

You have a future and you have a purpose

Genesis 16:7-10

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EXERCISES

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

Each participant is invited to speak on moments in which they may have felt used, how did being used make them feel? What did they do to get out of that situation? If they are still in that situation…what are they going to do? Other group members are encouraged to be encouraging.

Each member is asked to discuss a moment in which it felt like no one else believed in them. They also can discuss moments where they ran away from home. The purpose of this discussion is to celebrate each person’s ability to overcome adversity.

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INTRODUCTION

THE SACRED STORY

Growing up in a single parent home. 5-10 minutes

THE BOOK STORY

EXERCISES

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

The author discusses several of the challenges of being a single parent or child of a single parent. This can draw out discussions about abandonment, the death of a parent, adoption, being an orphan or foster child.

The process of provision

Genesis 21:17-18 We learn from the story of Hagar that survival is possible even under the harshest conditions.

1. Snap out of depression, fear, and anger. 2. Regroup and focus. 3. Rather than focus on what you don’t have, focus on what you do have and utilize that to the best of your ability.

Provide a handout listing the steps to personal recovery. Leave blank spaces for participants to add additional steps during and after discussion.

For every obstacle there is an opportunity

In letting the mother of his son go, and leaving Hagar with nothing and potentially putting her in danger and despair, Abraham had also set her free: Hagar was no longer a slave.

Sometimes what appears to be a bad thing can be a great thing! Situations that appear to be difficult at first can be motivation, learning experiences, or even better, what appeared to be bad was what was best you.

Damaged cell phone illustration

Preparing for the future

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Group members can discuss times in their life in which something hurt or felt bad, but that it was a good thing in the end. (Maybe a break up, maybe moving to a new neighborhood, etc…)

Discuss what are some obstacles that you currently face or that you may have to face in the near future. How can you turn this around into an opportunity?

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THE SACRED STORY

THE BOOK STORY

Hagar needed to snap out of her depression, confusion, and anger and focus on making life better for both of them. Sometimes the key to turning around a bad situation is not to panic; instead regroup, get your priorities in order and look to God for guidance.

You can’t always run from problems. Sometimes you have to face things head on. You must be able to submit to and respect authority. Take advantage of opportunities provided in the community. Know that God hears your cries.

INTRODUCTION Closing Discuss action plans from this lesson

EXERCISES

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

Listen to God and people that care about you

Bible – Reread the story of Ishmael in Genesis 21. Focus more on Hagar, single parenting, and the exploitation of youth (especially females) during this session.

Scandal After discussing the Biblical story, use this as an opportunity to talk about cheating, betrayal, manipulation, dishonesty, and the emotions that come with cheating and being cheated on. (Small group discussion is Optional)

BEING USED Hagar was exploited and used for her body. This still happens to people today. Other examples of being used include sex trafficking, prostitution, someone selfishly using you for their own physical pleasure, and many others. This is an opportunity for the facilitator to discuss value of self worth and the power of making your own decisions that move you in the direction of pursing your dreams. If the facilitator has experience of being used in this way and now healed from it, this would be a good time to be vulnerable and tell his or her story. The facilitator may want to bring someone in that has been used and healed from that situation if he or she does not have a similar story. • In small groups, each participant can share their personal story. If anyone is still in a situation in which they feel stuck and they are being used, other participants are encouraged to ask questions that help the other person

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find a solution. This may even serve as an opportunity for participants to develop teams/support groups in which they can help each other. Often people allow themselves to be used because they feel that they have nowhere else to go. Remind participants that Hagar was a slave girl, but they don’t have to feel like a slave. There is always a way out that gets you back on track to pursue your dreams and live with purpose.

You have a future and a purpose Hagar ran from Abram’s house because of how Sarai treated her. It is difficult to be around people that mistreat you. In fact, many times it is best to walk away from the situation. However, there are moments in life in which one must stay in what appears to be a difficult situation in order to fulfill their purpose. In Hagar’s case, an angel spoke to her and told her to return to the place and situation that troubled her. The angel also spoke to Hagar’s future and gave her hope about her child and her son. The angel told Hagar that to achieve her purpose, she must face her problems rather than run from them, and she must be willing to submit. This section is a great opportunity for the facilitator to discuss purpose; realizing your purpose; having determination to accomplish your purpose; being flexible enough to know that plans, methods, and means may change, but to never lose sight of your purpose.

GROWING UP IN A SINGLE PARENT HOME This section can be for both parents and teens.

Parents In small groups, discuss the challenges of being a single parent. This is an opportunity for participants to be vulnerable, encouraged and empowered by one another. After each person shares, the small group will collectively propose ideas to help each person face the challenges of being a single parent. Also, if possible, invite single parents that can share powerful testimonies of how they were able to move from surviving to thriving. After that, gather all the participants together. The facilitator should offer suggestions and resources (organizations and services) for single parents. (i.e. After School programs, financial assistance, healthcare, clubs and organizations

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You must believe that there is something greater within you than the fear that holds you down, and you must believe in your future.

for both the child and the parent) You should list suggestions for various forms of aide on the board and, if possible, provide a handout that includes contact information for every listing. Encourage participants to write down information such as website addresses and phone numbers. If the facilitator has any connections with representatives of organizations that you have suggested, invite them to this session so that they can give testimonials of success stories and invite participants to visit their

offices.

Teens and Young Adults In small groups, participants can discuss the challenges, if they recognize any, of being raised in a single parent home. This is an opportunity for participants to be vulnerable, encouraged and empowered by one another. After each person shares, the small group should propose ideas to help each person face the challenges of being in a single parent home. Afterwards, gather all the participants together. The facilitator should suggest programs and activities, such as after school programs, clubs and organizations, sports, hobbies, music, arts, mentor programs, etc., as resources for participants. Facilitators should list local suggestions for fun and healthy alternatives on the board. If the facilitator has any connections with any representatives or youth in these organizations, invite them to this session so that they can give testimonials of success stories and invite participants to come to their programs and activities.

THE PROCESS OF PROVISION

Things to discuss 1. In order to begin to make things better, you must make a choice to not live in depression, fear, and anger. Instead, you must believe in yourself, your purpose and your future. a. You must believe that there is something greater within you than the fear that holds you down, and you must believe in your future. GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE

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i. One of the keys to believing in your future is identifying where you want to go and setting goals to get there. ii. Another key to believing in your future and having hope is to trust the people who believe in you and love you. 2. Regroup and focus. a. In a world filled with distractions (drugs, alcohol, greed, sex, fame, peer pressure, etc.) remaining focused is extremely difficult. However, focus often leads to success. Being focused to achieve your purpose requires sacrifice and may mean not being popular. However, the end result is well worth the sacrifice. 3. Rather than focus on what you don’t have, focus on what you do have and utilize that to

Being focused to achieve your purpose requires sacrifice and may mean not being popular. However, the end result is well worth the sacrifice.

the best of your ability.

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QUESTIONS 1. How can you help yourself or someone else from not being used?

2. How do you deal with missing a parent or loved one?

3. How would you like your parent(s) to spend more time with you, showing that they love you? Does it involve talking to you about your dreams and the things you want to do in life? Do you simply want them to come to events? Write down what you would say to them if they were in front of you right now?

4. How can you overcome the obstacles, or what can you do so that they don’t distract you from the opportunities?

5. List everything that you believe is or might be your purpose. How might you go about fulfilling this purpose? Write down an action plan. Does that plan include college? Consider the multiple ways that you can achieve your goals and purpose.

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UNIT 6

ESTHER: GOD’S PURPOSE FOR YOU MAY SURPRISE YOU Purpose: The purpose of this section is to define purpose and teach participants that everyone has purpose. Often the purpose for our lives is greater than what we have envisioned for ourselves. The subject of this unit is also to encourage participants who struggle with forgiveness and believing that they are worth being loved. The goal of the facilitator is to help participants understand that they can be real with themselves, get connected and stay connected with the right people, and how to take action and seize the moment when opportunity arises!

Objective/ Expected Outcomes: By the end of this unit, participants should have a good understanding of their purpose and know how to define purpose. Participants will also be equipped to help others achieve their purpose and goals in life. The unit discussion will address painful experiences and attempt to extract lessons that can be learned from participants’ pain in order to seek and fulfill one’s purpose

Items needed: • Paper • Pen • Handout

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INTRODUCTION

THE SACRED STORY

THE BOOK STORY

5 minutes

The Book of Esther

Being an Orphan

Esther 2:7

The absence of parents due to incarceration, neglect, abandonment, divorce, and other factors, leaves many people looking for love…sometimes in the wrong places.

Somebody loves you 10 minutes

Esther 2:7

Most people have someone in their life that cares for them and loves them. It is important to recognize and value those who genuinely care for your wellbeing and who do not.

Working past forgiveness 10 minutes

Learning from pain to fulfill your purpose 10 minutes

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EXERCISES

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

Discuss people that have loved you whether they are parents, grandparents, teachers, pastors, etc… How have they helped you?

Each participant is to list people they do not forgive. They are to write each name on a separate sheet of paper and fold it so that no one else can see it.

Esther’s situation was a challenging one. She was removed from her home and placed in a luxurious prison-the king’s harem. She had no privacy and was not allowed to have an opinion on what she was going through. Then she was one of a long string of one-night stands with the king. If she hadn’t been chosen as queen, she probably would have suffered in the harem for life, but her life teaches us that no matter what our circumstances, God can use us to do great things. As Mordecai counseled Esther, God creates and defines each of us to live out a unique purpose. Parents are supposed to have a role in that journey, but when they can’t or won’t, God’s plan doesn’t change. God just changes how the plan gets done. No matter what our circumstances, God can use us to do great things. All of us are the products of our pasts. Pain cannot be completely avoided. But whether that pain includes the absence of our parents or the consequences of our own behaviors, we don’t have to be prisoners of personal pain. 43


INTRODUCTION

THE SACRED STORY

Action plan

THE BOOK STORY

EXERCISES

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

1. Be honest about your feelings. Accept the reality that you are sad and hurt and lonely. 2. Get someone in your corner. Talk to someone who can understand your deepest and most personal thoughts and feelings. 3. Talk to God. Ask God for strength to manage and overcome your pain. 4. Connect your past and present pain. Understand how pain from your past will affect your behavior unless it is resolved.

Don’t hide who you are

Esther 2:10; 4:13-15 Esther hid who she was to fit in and gain status. Eventually, her life and the life of others depended on her revealing who she truly way.

Hiding who you are keeps you from fulfilling your purpose. God created you as God meant you to be.

Participants can discuss things that they have done or watched other people do, just to fit in. Participants can then discuss the challenges of being yourself.

Questions

Closing

Sacred story – The facilitator will briefly give an overview from the book of the character of Esther by describing her as a beautiful young woman who was raised by her uncle in a foreign land. She had the looks, she had the brains, but she did not know that she had a great destiny. Somebody Loves you – Sometimes it is difficult for a person to believe that he or she can be loved. This is especially difficult for people that grew up in households in which they were not loved. This is also sometimes difficult for people that are being raised by people other than their parents. Esther was GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE

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Hiding who you are keeps you from fulfilling your purpose. God created you as God meant you to be.

raised by her older cousin Mordecai. Although she was not his biological child, he loved her as if she was his own. (Esther 2:7) The lesson in this is that even though parental figures may change, God’s plan and your purpose do not. Encourage all attending to believe in themselves and never doubt that they deserve to be loved.

Who is worthy of your love and who is the right type of person to love you? What is genuine love and what are some signs that a person or group of people may not love you, or what they are offering in terms of affection is not the best for you?

WORKING PAST FORGIVENESS Keys to working past forgiveness: • Stop blaming yourself • Be sensitive to the other person or people. They may be angry as well. There may be details that you do not know. As much as you want to blame them, what angers you may not entirely be their fault. Side note: what happens if there is no reconciliation? Do you keep pressing the person for an apology? Or do you look for peace from within? The answer is that you forgive the other person, forgive yourself and find peace from within you.

LEARNING FROM PAIN TO FULFILL YOUR PURPOSE Pain is the body’s way of letting the mind know that something is wrong. Sometimes pain can teach us what not to do. For example, as a child I placed my hand on a red hot stove because I was curious. That burn hurt and the memory of the pain has lasted much longer than the actual burn. I have decided that I do not want to revisit that pain so I do not put my hand on stoves anymore. Sometimes we think about pain in our life so much that the mental anguish is worse than the actual incident that caused us the pain. Many GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE

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Understand that pain from your past will affect your behavior unless you resolve it.

athletes go through this. They may have physically recovered from an injury, but mentally they have not. There is fear that they may hurt that neck, shoulder, or that knee again. This fear hinders their performance. Rather than being slowed down by fear and pain, let that rehabilitation, healing, and lesson from the pain inspire you to be the best you that you

can be! At some point in life we all will get hurt. The one who wins and fulfills their purpose is willing to get up when they fall, overcome the pain, and not give up until they fulfill their purpose.

Action Plan 1. Be honest about your feelings. Accept the reality that you are sad and hurt and lonely. 2. Get someone in your corner. Talk to someone who can understand your deepest and most personal thoughts and feelings. 3. Talk to God. Ask God for strength to manage and overcome your pain. 4. Connect your past and present pain. Understand how pain from your past will affect your behavior unless it is resolved.

DON’T HIDE WHO YOU ARE Initially, Esther hid her true identity as Hadassah to fit in. • Here the room can break into small groups and discuss things people do to fit in and the challenges of being yourself in society. ◊ Participants need to know that there is nothing wrong with who they are. There is however something wrong with believing that they have no value and decide to not live out their purpose. Eventually, other people needed Esther to be her true and authentic self. The lesson here is that other people are affected when we pretend to not be who we really are. You learn to understand the power within you, the greatness within you, and your purpose by being your true self,. You learn who your real friends are and you can have more confidence in yourself. • As children, many of us played the game “Hide and seek”. We hid in that

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game so that whoever is “it” cannot find us. We hide and run until we make it home safely, then we celebrate and we can jump for joy because whoever is “it” cannot touch us. Likewise, in our lives many of us hide our true identities until we feel safe. You don’t have to hide or run anymore. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, you are awesome, you are smart, you have worth, you have God, you have people that love you and

“Hiding who you are keeps you from fulfilling your purpose. God created you as God meant you to be.” -Romal Tune

have your back, and you have purpose! ◊ Don’t hide yourself or try to meet everyone else’s standard. Often when people reject you, it’s only a sign that they are not the right people to help fulfill the purpose for your life. Also, there is a possibility that people may not like who you are because they do not like themselves. A positive outcome of being yourself and being confident in who you are is that you can help others develop their own self-esteem. Hiding who you are keeps you from fulfilling your purpose. God created you as God meant you to be. Esther understood that true purpose in life is not about helping yourself but also helping the people in your community. In small groups, each participant is to list and discuss ways in which they help in the community, and ways in which they can do more in the community. They then should discuss and write out ways in which there purpose can be helpful to others. “True purpose in life is not about helping yourself but also helping the people in your community. You are here to do something that no one can do but you. You have gifts and talents that make you uniquely different from anyone else on earth. There are people whose lives will be changed because of your story, experiences, and victories. No one else can deliver your message because know one else knows your story better than you do. There are people waiting to hear your voice and to learn from your journey. They are waiting for you to show up. You just have to believe in yourself and have the courage to try.” – Romal Tune

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QUESTIONS 1. What aspects of Esther’s painful story can you identify with?

2. When you look at your life and compare it with Esther’s, are there things about yourself that you are hiding because you are afraid of what other people will think of you? What are they?

3. What would it take for you to overcome your fear of what other people think so that you can start living the life that you deserve?

4. Are there people you know who would be helped by your decision to be yourself? Who are they?

5. As was the case for Esther, God has an amazing purpose for your life. There are things in life that only you can do, but you have to be yourself and unafraid to try. What are three things you believe that you were created to do? Think about what you are good at, and let that be your guide for answering the question. a. b. c.

6. What would you do if you knew that you wouldn’t fail? Remember that the thing you fear most is the thing least likely to happen.

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UNIT 7

JOSEPH: DREAM YOUR OWN DREAM

Purpose: The purpose of this section is to encourage the participants to set goals for themselves and to empower them with tools to help them accomplish their goals. In addition, the facilitator should consider creating a support system to assist each participant in goal- setting and creating practical and achievable steps for achieving goals.

Objective/ Expected Outcomes: By the end of this unit, participants should have goals and dreams listed and practical ways in which they can accomplish these goals. If there are any participants who do not come into this session with goals and dreams, the expected outcome of this session is to give them confidence in their abilities and give them suggestions for goals that they could aim to accomplish. The reinforcement or implementation of self-confidence is key.

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INTRODUCTION

THE SACRED STORY

5-10 minutes

Genesis 37-50 (Primarily Genesis 37)

Looks can be deceiving

“Jacob (also called Israel), loved Joseph more than any of his brothers, not only because Jacob had loved Joseph’s mother, Rachel, best of all his wives but also “because [Joseph] had been born to him in his old age” (Genesis 37:3)… When his brothers saw that their father loved [Joseph] more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him” (Genesis 37:4).

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THE BOOK STORY

EXERCISES Ask the participants to name some of their dreams (both long and short term) or allow them to list them on a piece of paper. As a facilitator you could possibly allow 5 minutes for individuals to envision themselves achieving and living out their dreams and then right down what it felt like. Take special note to point out the similarity of feelings and the differences of dreams within the room. Maybe if there are many similarities, assemble the participants in groups of the various fields in which their dreams are. Allot another 5 minutes for participants to discuss how they can go about achieving their dreams.

Joseph and his brothers were doing well in their professions. They looked like a perfect family-but this was a terribly dysfunctional family with problems similar to those of so many other families.

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION Discuss ways to accomplish their shared goals/dreams

Participants can discuss hurt caused by family and friends. Volunteers can assist by sitting in each group and offering suggestions specific to how individuals incorporate strategies for making sure they are okay while living in a “dysfunctional” family. Testimonies may be beneficial.

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INTRODUCTION When your future is too hot for everyone else to handle

THE SACRED STORY (Genesis 37:5-8) When Joseph told his brothers about his dreams, they hated him for his ability to see a wonderful future. He dreamed again, and this time the glory for him included humility for his parents as well (Genesis 37:9).

Stepping out on faith

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THE BOOK STORY

EXERCISES

The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day that you realize why you were born (Your purpose). Unfortunately others may not share your joy and enthusiasm about the purpose that God has for you.

Illustration on Dreams

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

Sometimes you have to overcome unforeseeable challenges in order to accomplish your dreams. You may find that the people closest to you may not support you or believe in you. The author left home (California) and went to New Jersey. It was challenging but very beneficial. Note that changing his environment was only part of the solutions. Things really didn’t change until he change his thoughts about what he wanted in life and then change his behavior to act like it really wanted something different.

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INTRODUCTION Success in spite of circumstances

THE SACRED STORY Joseph had favor with God. Sometimes favor and promotion bring challenges. “Unfortunately, this great promotion didn’t last long. Joseph caught the eye of Potiphar’s wife, and when he refused to betray his boss by sleeping with her, she accused him of assaulting her and got him thrown in jail (Genesis 39:1-20). Even in prison, Joseph still had a greater purpose and God was with him. The prison warden recognized that Joseph had leadership qualities, and so he promoted Joseph.”

God’s intent for family

Closing

THE BOOK STORY

Genesis 50

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EXERCISES

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

Give a handout about heroes.

At times it may feel like our loved ones are the source of our pain, but that was not God’s plan. Our families are meant to be a source of strength, support, encouragement, and love. They are a source of pain when there is no honesty, communication, or willingness to think about the well-being of someone other than ourselves. Sometimes hurt people, hurt people.

Provide a handout about family and what God desires for families in regards to how they treat and love each another.

Summarize the lesson

Questions

Allow each participant to talk about people in their lives who have proven to be supportive and loving. Why do you think that this person sees greatness in you? How have they helped you so far?

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LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING Sometimes hurt people, hurt people.

“Sometimes we look at the lives of other people and say, “I wish my family was like that,” or “If I had the same advantages that they have, my life would be so much better.” But we never know what life is like

for other people. All of us have our challenges. How we face and overcome our challenges makes the difference in our lives. When Joseph faced his family challenges, he made a series of choices that had a devastating effect on his life. Sometimes the people closest to us have the ability to hurt us the most. This is because these are the people we love and the people who expect to love us. Naturally, we have higher expectations of them than we tend to have of people outside of our families. When family members don’t encourage us, support our dreams, and help us achieve our goals, our disappointment can affect our lives for years. That sadness is worse if family members are particularly neglectful or mean to us. We never forget what was said or what was done to us; we tend to carry that pain with us in a way that influences our relationships with other people. We often find it difficult to share our deepest thoughts and dreams for fear of being rejected or ridiculed. It is only through maturity that we come to a place where we can learn to love our family members and reject their destructive behaviors.” (God’s Graffiti page 111) In small groups: Participants can discuss dealing with hurt caused by their family and friends. If you have one or more people helping you facilitating the group, they can assist by sitting in each group and offer suggestions as to how individuals can deal with living in a “dysfunctional” family. Testimonies may be beneficial. Playing favorites – his father, Jacob, loved Joseph more than his brothers. During this part of the session, the facilitator should discuss the emotions that come with the feeling of being treated less than someone else e.g., siblings, classmates, teammates, peers, etc. Parents, teachers, or leaders should never show favoritism towards a child. Favoritism does not go unnoticed and it can be extremely detrimental to a person’s self-esteem. Regardless of the circumstances in which they were brought into this world or their

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How we face and overcome our challenges makes the difference in our lives.

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current living conditions, no one should become the victim of pain caused by the rejection associated with favoritism. The facilitator can open the discussion to give participants an opportunity to discuss instances in which they felt like they were being treated as a favorite or times in which they felt like they were the victims of favoritism. • Discuss how favoritism affects relationships.

Everyone is different, but that is no reason to like or love anyone more or less. Instead, that is an opportunity to embrace diversity.

◊ List on the board things that can happen between two people as a result of favoritism (e.g., arguments, jealousy, division, etc) • Sometimes parents unintentionally choose one child over the other. That choice sets in place a dynamic that can ruin one’s relationships with siblings or the parents.

Possible actions to be taken against favoritism: 1. Honesty - Joseph’s brothers probably never told Joseph or their father how they felt about Joseph being favored. Most likely, the family carried on with life as if everything was okay. Of course, it wasn’t. Even the happiest moments for his brothers may have been tainted by the father’s choice of Joseph as his favorite and the brothers’ anger over this choice. So often we carry the pain of rejection caused by family members because we are afraid to tell them what we feel and that their actions have hurt us. Holding on to such pain and anger makes for dishonest relationships. 2. Treating everyone equally – Everyone is different, but that is no reason to like or love anyone more or less. Instead, that is an opportunity to embrace diversity.

WHEN YOUR FUTURE IS TOO HOT FOR EVERYONE ELSE TO HANDLE (Genesis 37:5-8). When Joseph told his brothers about his dreams, they hated him for his ability to see a wonderful future. He dreamed again, and this time

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Your job is to believe in your image of yourself and who you can become. You can’t allow other people to determine what you can become.

the glory for him included humility for his parents as well (Genesis 37:9). “One of the most painful things a young person can experience is to have his or her dreams rejected. The harsh reality is that there will always be people who try to discourage you. They might be family members, friends, or strangers. Your job is to believe in your image of yourself and who you can become. You can’t allow other people to determine what you can become.” (God’s Graffiti page 114)

3. Many negative behaviors that we see in society sometimes mirror serious problems in our homes and families that cause people not to value and respect each other as much as they should. 4. Action plan: a. Keep dreaming b. Don’t get discouraged c. Don’t get angry with those who are jealous of you. Your anger will slow you down, cloud your decision making and hold you back d. Be willing to work hard to achieve your dreams e. Don’t be influenced by encouragement or hatred…run your race and stay focused until you accomplish your dream. f. Give yourself space to express how what you experienced made you feel by talking to someone who cares about you, or seeking counseling so that you can heal. The power to control your actions, claim your future, and fulfill your dreams is in your hands. Illustration - Do a skit, find a movie clip, or story that shows how someone achieved a dream that no one believed would happen (e.g., dreaming about being president, a professional athlete, someone in power, etc). Be sure that it illustrates the dreamer’s hard work to make it happen in spite of what GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE

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others had to say. The story should show success, and if possible, the dreamer forgiving those who doubted that it could happen.

STEPPING OUT ON FAITH The desire to try has to be greater than the fear of failing. The only time you ever fail is when you fail to try.

The author talks about when he moved to New Jersey and his mother, uncles, grandparents, and friends didn’t want him to go. His friends laughed at him and told him that he wasn’t going anywhere and that he would always be stuck in the neighborhood. They never took him and his dream seriously. For some people, this makes it easier to leave. – They can’t wait to leave what feels like negative

circumstances. This situation requires a lot of faith because you have to move forward to accomplish your dreams without any help. Sometimes when people close to you do not believe in you, it can be very hard to stay determined and confident. • The facilitator should encourage the participants and let them know that whether a lot of people believe in them or no one at all, what is most important is that they believe in themselves. For some people, it is difficult to leave home or places of familiarity because there can be a lot of uncertainty about the future. It is important for participants to know that if they want to accomplish things that they have never done before, they have to do things that they have never done and sometimes be willing to go places that they have never been. The desire to try has to be greater than the fear of failing. The only time you ever fail is when you fail to try.

SUCCESS IN SPITE OF CIRCUMSTANCE Even when it seems that life is not going your way, God will allow some people to see your talents and to open doors for you. Give a handout that lists attributes needed to overcome difficult circumstances, such as perseverance, fortitude, confidence, ambition, etc…

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• List some quotes and words of encouragement for those times when life may not seem to be going a person’s way. • Also, on the other side of the handout, ask each participant to list some of their heroes. Discuss some of these individuals and the circumstances that the heroes have had to overcome to be successful. What can we learn from their lives?

God’s intent for family It may feel at times like our loved ones are the source of much of our pain, but that is not God’s plan. Our families are meant to be a source of strength, support,

There is a great chance that you will never feel whole if all that you do is walk away. At some point, you must face your family issue and the pain that it has caused you so there can be healing.

encouragement, and love. They are a source of pain when there is no honesty, communication, or willingness to think about the well-being of someone other than themselves. But what if your family is not supportive? • Learn from Joseph’s example and you can • Move on with your life and assume that the pain of your past is behind you. For Joseph, moving on translated into him finding peace with not having a relationship with his birth family and building a new life. • Continue to seek reconciliation and healing. ◊ Be aware that God is about reconciliation and healing. There is a great chance that you will never feel whole if all that you do is walk away. At some point, you must face your family issue and the pain that it has caused you so there can be healing. • Even if you don’t know exactly who these people are, there are people who love you and who believe that you can do great things. They see the reflection of God’s image in you and they know that it is never too late for you to start over. When necessary, they also are willing to help you get over whatever mountain you may face.

Small Groups Allow each participant to talk about non-family members that have proven to be supportive and loving. Why do you think that this person(s) sees greatness

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in you? How have they helped you so far in life? Family problems are just like any other problem‌They have a way of coming back.

QUESTIONS 1. God is about restoring relationships, not throwing people away. Sometimes things that happened in our families make us never want to speak to certain people again. Who are the people in your family that you feel this way about?

a. What did they do to hurt you?

b. Did you do anything to hurt them?

c. How can you forgive them?

d. If you hurt them, are you willing to ask for forgiveness?

2. What is your healthiest family relationship?

a. What makes it healthy?

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b. How will you keep it healthy?

3. All families have their challenges, but things can get better in many situations. What are some things that you can do to make your home a healthier and happier environment?

a. Even if you do not live with family you can contribute towards making the place in which you live a healthier, happier home.

4. Have you ever been in a situation in which you felt like someone else was getting treated much better than you? How did you handle it? What could you have done differently?

5. How do you and how should you handle your haters? Have you ever had family members or friends behave in a jealous manner towards you? How did you handle that?

a. Have you ever hurt someone else to get what you want? Has someone ever hurt you to get what they want?

b. We learn from Joseph’s story that his success became a blessing for others (his family, who were also his biggest critics) How can you be a blessing to someone when you reach success?

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6. Even in prison Joseph was promoted. Joseph repeatedly excelled in spite of his circumstances. Joseph’s story teaches us that you can still do well, even against all odds. Has there ever been a time that you beat the odds and won at something despite other people or circumstances?

7. Write your dreams here. Also place them somewhere in your home so that you see them constantly and that you are constantly reminded of your purpose. Also post how you plan to achieve these goals and dreams. Write the name of people that can and will help you. Remember to have an action plan!

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UNIT 8

THE BOY WITH AN EVIL SPIRIT: BREAKING UNHEALTHY CYCLES Purpose: The purpose of this section is to help those that may be struggling with unhealthy addictions. The unhealthy addiction may be their own or an addiction of a loved one.

Objective/ Expected Outcomes: By the end of this unit, participants will have reflected on how they can support someone overcoming behaviors that cause them to hurt themselves. As expected outcomes the participants will be able to articulate the impact addiction has had on their lives, their role in the process of healing, the need to identify outside help (professional or a supportive community).

Items needed: • Paper (notepads) and Pens • Dry Erase board, chalkboard or aisle paper

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INTRODUCTION

THE SACRED STORY

THE BOOK STORY

EXERCISES

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION

Mark 9:14-27 Our enemy called doubt

Mark 9:22-24

Crying for help 10-15 minutes

Discuss what causes doubt and the effects of it. Sometimes it’s not the parent seeking help for the child, but rather the child looking for help for the parent.

Give a handout listing things that Children and parents can do together regularly to provide healthy alternatives to risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol addiction, sexual promiscuity, violence, etc…

Discuss ways in which individuals have tried to help addicted and/or struggling parents.

Healthy alternatives include but are not limited to the arts, parental involvement in school, exercising together, athletics, etc… Understanding why

The facilitator can lead a discussion on spirits, addiction, pain and what causes them all. Also, the facilitator and others can offer remedies for dealing with pain and addiction.

They need you!

The son wasn’t accepted by the community. This boy demonstrated strange behaviors. The father felt encouraged that something good might happen if the son could just get to Jesus.

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Participants can discuss struggling with addiction themselves or being in the same house or family as someone that is struggling with addiction.

Encourage participants to be bold enough to be there for someone that may not even want the best for themselves.

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INTRODUCTION

THE SACRED STORY

THE BOOK STORY

EXERCISES

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION In small groups list places that one can go for addiction recovery and/or help for their family.

The power of change and the places that change can happen

Give a handout listing possible steps for recovery

The road to recovery

Be prepared for resistance

Discuss the steps to recovery in the handout and make other suggestions

Helping someone overcome addiction is not easy. It requires lots of work for the person who is in pain and the person or people supporting him or her. Remember that the person is fighting the addiction, not you. Even in the process of trying to get better, that person may yell at you and be mean, but it’s not your fault.

OUR ENEMY CALLED DOUBT Doubt often happens because we don’t think that something new, different or better can happen. 1. Doubt not only holds us back, it affects the lives of others. In the sacred story, the Father’s doubt could have had a negative effect on the son. Luckily for them, God’s grace is more than sufficient and despite the father’s doubt, the son was healed.

Remember that the person is fighting the addiction, not you.

2. Going through life with doubt makes it difficult to accomplish anything. In fact, many people will never try because of doubt. Here the facilitator should encourage the participants to try new things and to not allow doubt to stop them from achieving their goal. GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE

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CRYING OUT FOR HELP Discuss the sacred story as described in the book; discuss the similarities to the participants’ stories and what many people face today in regards to spirits of addiction. • “A lot of young people have a parent who does things to harm him or herself. In many homes today, it’s the son or daughter who is looking for someone who can help the parent. You may have someone close to you who is possessed by a modern-day version of evil spirits. Some may be involved with liquid spirits that bring out their demons; alcoholism is a terrible beast. Other friends and family members are addicted to a wide range of legal and illegal drugs. Drug and alcohol addictions stem from the need to medicate unhealed wounds. Addicted persons, we now know, are hurting themselves by fighting a demon that can only destroy them, their healthy relationships with family members, their jobs, and themselves.” (God’s Graffiti page 129) ◊ Here it may be good to invite a recovered addict to give a testimony about their life and their deliverance from drugs. ◊ Also, it would be beneficial to have someone that works or volunteers in a drug rehabilitation program to offer healthy solutions. Today addiction is probably one of the most damaging demons in the lives of families and youth. • Give a handout listing things that children and parents can do together regularly to provide healthy alternatives to risky behaviors, such as drug and alcohol addiction, sexual promiscuity, violence, etc. • Healthy alternatives include, but are not limited to, the arts, sports, parental involvement in school, exercising together, etc

Understanding why The harsh reality is that we may never fully understand why our loved one, family member, or friends struggle GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE

Our job is to never give up on our parents, to love them and believe that things can get better if they (and we) get the right help. 64


Believe in yourself or the person that is struggling, and continue to believe that things can get better.

with addiction. “Our job is to never give up on our parents, to love them and believe that things can get better if they (and we) get the right help.”

Stop the blame game We should spend more time focusing on how to improve the situation, rather than assigning blame, when trying to find healing.

Action plan • Believe in yourself or the person that is struggling, and continue to believe that things can get better. • Love them regardless of their condition. • Make yourself available to help • When we want someone to become whole again, the first thing we have to do is stop trying to assign blame for what’s wrong.

THE POWER OF CHANGE AND THE PLACES THAT CHANGE CAN HAPPEN For the author, his mother’s turnaround came when she felt the love of caring people. That love was evidence of God working in her life. These people were more concerned with her future than with her past, which gave her hope. They also showed her what unconditional love looked and felt like. Recovery for some people can be realized in a rehabilitation program, a relative’s house, and school, maybe even church. The key is that it be a positive environment filled with love and opportunities for wholeness.

The road to recovery The road to recovery from any form of disease or pain can be long. It’s a process of letting go of the addiction and letting go of the cause or causes. The road to recovery also involves learning, such as learning to heal from past experiences, learning to love yourself, and accepting the purpose and the love that God has for you.

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Let go of doubt and let others know your testimony so that they can see evidence that change is possible Many people are aware of your struggle while you are

Don’t let doubt stop you from trying.

going through it. Invite people into your life and give them the opportunity to know your story on the journey from pain to purpose. Be humble enough to know that you did not recover on your own, but it was also God. Be willing to share the testimony of what God has done in other people’s lives.

Steps to break the cycle • Accept that you alone cannot help the person to overcome addiction. • Don’t let people get you caught up in a blame game, because blaming people doesn’t solve the problem or help the person in need of healing. • Never give up on the people you love when they are hurting themselves, because that’s when they need your love the most. • Look for help. • Remember that it’s okay to have doubts about the person overcoming addiction, but don’t let the doubts stop you from trying. • Admit when you have doubts about God and God’s ability to help you. • Be proud of your accomplishments, what God has done for you, and the person you are trying to help.

Post recovery • We have to continue to be supportive. Many people slip back into addiction • We have to be okay with not being able to solve the problem. Jesus’ disciples wanted to know why they could not heal the boy. Recovery is a group effort and everyone has a role to play. Be content with your role.

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QUESTIONS 1. If you have ever known someone who has been addicted to demons of drugs or alcohol, please describe what you learned from his or her behavior (possession). In what way did healing take place for that person (if it did)? Be specific.

2. From what issue or personal pain do you require God’s healing? Be specific. As an example, you might state, “I cannot forgive my aunt for a comment that she made about my father’s or my mother’s addiction. I need to empty my heart of this anger so that I can be free to accept your blessings and love.”

3. If someone you love is hurting himself or herself because of the demons associated with drugs or alcohol abuse, are there people who love and care about that person as much as you do? How can these people help?

4. Like the boy’s father, sometimes we have doubts about anyone being able to help the person we love get better and stop hurting himself or herself. In order to stay focused and determined to help someone in your family overcome demons, you have to overcome your doubts. Write down your doubts and the cause for the doubts. Find ways to overcome them.

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CLOSING SESSION Facilitators are encouraged to acknowledge all participants, especially those of reward for completed participation. Assess each session and develop a plan intended for use on multiple occasions and is not limited to any age group, economic status, gender, or ethnicity

it has been helpful to you and those who participated.

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Written By: Jameson McLaughlin, M.Div., MBA Edited by: Romal Tune, Author of God’s Graffiti Dr. F. Douglas Powe, James C. Logan Professor of Urban Ministry Associate Director of Center for Missional Church ©2014 by Romal J. Tune All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, pho- tocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner, except for brief quotations. GOD’S GRAFFITI DISCUSSION GUIDE

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God's Graffiti  

Discussion Guide: for small groups, mentors and parents

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