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Enjoy praying and studying together but don't forget to play together too.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas celebration and were able to spend time with family and friends. It was great to see at least two of our boys who came to see us over the Christmas break.

I have many fond memories from years past with our small group during holiday season. It seems like every group we've ever been a part of always had a celebration of some kind. It was a chance to just be together and hang out, share a meal and maybe play some games together. These were valuable times for developing community and deepening our relationships.

When I was growing up we used to have a plaque on the wall that said, "A family that prays together stays together." I believe that to be true. But in many ways a saying that may fit well with small groups besides the one I just mentioned is, "A group that plays together stays together." Think about it for a moment. While it is true that relationships can be built with deeper personal sharing, doesn't it seem reasonable that part of that sharing can also be done just having fun together. Too much seriousness can make Johnny a dull boy.

If you want to really get to know someone in a more insightful way just go bowling together or play a grueling game of Settlers of Catan or a game on Wii. Oh my, don't personalities and little idiosyncrasies come glaring through. I think I've learned more about what sets someone off or how competitive someone is by playing a competitive game of Wii Tennis than over any of our group discussions.

So go do something fun together. In our group we've had game nights, dinner nights, bowling events, sledding with families, BBQs, get-togethers with other groups, and more. And we certainly feel closer because of it.

What are some fun things you've done with your group(s)?

May God richly bless your 2011!

'til next time.


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