Thursday, November 18, 2010
The Church Ch 10
This chapter really reminded us of how important the body of Christ is, and
how interconnected we are. If one of us suffers spiritually or physically,
it does affect the rest. We truly all have a part to play and no matter how
small it may seem, we are a network, a body, a family for the Lord.
It also struck us that being part of the church is a commitment. We should
commit not just to attending church for a certain time on a Sunday, but
should make and invest time into fellowship (and quality fellowship) with
How wonderful that we are family, children of God and will be a family
together for eternity.
We felt Barbara's section on a woman's role in the church (pg 126-129) was a
good summary and stated what the Bible does say as well as what it does not
say "What is prohibited is preaching, such as is enjoined in Paul's charge
to Timothy, "Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season;
correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction"
(2 Tim 4:2) " (p 127)
How did you feel about this chapter? We'd love to hear your view...
Thanks again Mary!!!....
We'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter... here's ours:
Discipline of Perseverance Ch 9
We discussed how perseverance is a decision that we make. Pg 103 - the
pastor and his wife described in the sad story about their children dying,
show this clearly. In that situation they could have sunk under what God had
delivered to them, or they could trust God through it, though it was so very
We also discussed TRUST - how we can put our trust in God in hard times, not
that WE will persevere in and of ourselves, but that we trust God provides
all we need to persevere, and that He Himself will keep us.
One observation on perseverance that was mentioned was how God prepares us for the BIG things we will face in our lives by teaching us to persevere in
the little things day by day.
Sometimes it can be harder to persevere in the little things (especially
when we seek to do them in our own strength). Often it is in the big things
that come into our lives that we draw closest to, and rely on God fully,
because it shows us clearly our reliance and dependence on Him to get
We found it an encouragement on p 106 that Christ prays for us, and this can
comfort us to persevere.
Pg 106 - the description of Nancy's "5 years in the sifter" shows that
trials can be ongoing and there may be no end in sight and sometimes we may not feel like God is with us through them, but we must 'hang in there'.
"give thanks in all things" "rejoice in the Lord always" - reminds us how
our attitudes to trials can be a wonderful means of witnessing to God's
goodness in hard times.
We discussed how perseverance means knowing you are completely submitted and at rest in God's circumstances He has placed in our life. We do not persevere in the hope that things will change, but persevere through the trials because it is the way God moulds us and causes us to grow in grace.
Spiritually we will grow, though physically at times, we may continue to
Thank you Mary!...
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Last night we met to discuss chapters 7 (Contentment) and Chapter 8 (Propriety). We'd love to hear what you learned from these chapters.
Here are some of the points we discussed:
Why must godly contentment be independent of circumstances and conditions?
We recognised that are human hearts can never be satisfied by worldly goods and material things, yet that is what man kind is constantly trying to do. We fill up our life with material things and relationships in an effort to achieve contentment. Forever seeking and never finding... which is the exact opposite of the gospel " So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Luke 11:4-14 If we seek the Lord we will find him.
"We were made to know God! the knowledge of God is where satisfaction and pleasure are found. Here's a wise word: "Laughter and gladness are where joy, contentment and gratitude overflow. But in an odd turn, these things proceed from an understanding of the truths of man's utter depravity and the salvation of the Lord." Contentment is found in the knowledge of God!" Page 84
If contentment was born out of the abundance of our circumstances and conditions, then we all should be the most contented people of all time, as we have much more and better living conditions than any people in history. But the fact is depression, Anxiety, Sadness, dissatisfaction and discontent are everywhere. Why? How can we know God? ... Study Gods word...
WORDS: We also enjoyed the anecdote from John Wesley's life:
'"Once while John Wesley was preaching, he noticed a woman in the audience who was known for critical attitude. All through the service she sat and stared at his new tie. When the meeting ended, she came up to him and said very sharply, "Mr. Wesley, the strings on your tie are much too long. It's an offense to me!" He asked if any of the women present happened to have a pair of scissors in their purses. When the scissors were handed to him, he gave them to his critic and asked her to trim the streamers to her liking.
After she clipped them off near the collar, he said, "are you sure they're all right now?"
"Yes that's much better."
"Then let me have those shears a moment," said Wesley. "I'm sure you wouldn't mind if I also gave you a bit of correction. I must tell you, madam, that your tongue is an offense to me – it's too long! Please stick it out... I'd like to take some off." 'DRESS: It was encouraging to read that we should dress in a way that is feminine as well as appropriate and modest. It is apropriate to dress like women and celebrate our differences. "The Word of God addresses what women wear precisely because it values girls. Celebrating gender differences highlights a woman's value. Modesty is intrinsically elevating." But modesty doesn't mean that we..."react to the pressure by donning oversized, baggy, mannish clothing ... " page 92 and 93
"Does your apparel reflect your desire for modesty and appropriate femininity? Does your outward appearance reflect your 'new life' as a believer?" Page 102
We noted that we find it difficult to find clothing for our girls in the shops that are modest and appropriate... A business idea to create a girls fashion range that is age appropriate, modest and femanine?
"Because pride is so close to our hearts, it's especially difficult to discern this attitude. How does spending time with God help you see your self with appropriate humility? Would you consider your attitude before God one of "reverent submission"? page 102
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Because of the Way Barbara has structured her book, I thought it might be a good idea to use her 'RENEW YOUR MIND' section to frame the discussion.
Discussion points: Page 63
Explain why it is possible to feel worshipful and not truly be worshiping?
How is our obedience an act of worship? See 1 Samuel 15:22; Romans 12:1
What does it mean to worship God "in spirit and in truth"? See John 4:21-24; 17:17
How can you worship Chris in all of life? See Romans 12:1-2.
Understanding that worship must be Christ-centered (since He is at once our sacrifice, priest, and temple), how should we conduct our prayers, singing, and preaching?
What could you (and your family) do to be spiritually prepared for Sunday morning worship? Make a list, share it with your husband and children, and work together at implementing you plan.
We'd love to hear any other thoughts you have about this chapter...
Well my posting is a little bit behind! I think this book about 'discipline' will be helpful...
We are currently reading 'Disciplines of a Godly Woman' by Barbara Hughes.
' For many of us, the word alone evokes dread. It's not that we dont want to be disciplined physically, mentally, and spiritually. The challenge seems too hard, and the motivation more about duty than desire. When it comes to our Christian walk, we don't want to be legalistic and just follow some set of rules. That's not what it's all about, right?
Barbara Hughes answers with this encouraging reality: The true heart of spiritual discipline is a relationship with God. As you grow in that relationship, embracing your heavenly Father and his ways, you discover that discipline is your lifeline to Him. It is how He gives meaningful shape to all the days of your life.
The "dread" of a disciplined life will be replaced with desire and anticipation as you find that there is no greater purpose than loving Him in every moment, every activity, and every thoughts. Using poignant stories and faithful reminders, Barbara opens her own heart to help you find the joy of full surrender. Her honest and encouraging look at the Word of God reveals the keys to living a truly godly life. And to strengthen your walk day to day, she offers hymns and praise psalms for your devotional times, a long list of recommended books that will lift your spirits, and Bible study helps to remind you that you're not alone.'
If your reading along with us, please feel free to share your thoughts with us all.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Here’s a snippet of our discussion:
How do you live each day? Do you live like God really exists? Of course you’d never so that you live like He doesn’t. But this chapter was quite confronting about the very fact that we really do live like he’s not a part of the little details. We have our devotions in the morning and then get on with life, and forget about Him for the rest of the day.
How ungodly are you? Quite a confronting question but as Jerry puts it… “If you followed my reasoning this far, you can see that no Christian is totally godly, and to the extent we are not, there is still some degree of ungodliness in us. The question we should honestly and humbly ask is, How ungodly am I? How much of my life do I live without any regard for God? How much of my daily activities do I go through without any reference to God? Page 58
Do you live ALL of life as if God is relevant or irrelevant?
It reminded us of a discussion we had whilst reading ‘Loving God with All Your Mind’ by Elizabeth George. She encourages us to get into the habit of using the down times, when our mind is often not engaged, ie. Doing dishes and mundane tasks, to train our minds. To think on Him. She suggests some practical things like, memorizing scripture whilst you do the dishes, or vacuuming. While walking or driving. Fill your mind with the Word of God.
As we discussed Gods Moral Will that we live lives that please God, we recognized that in many ways we are God’s representatives to the world. Do we live our lives as advertisements for Christ? When people see the way we live, behave, act and interact, is God glorified, or are we just like them. Do they see any in us? We should treat every meeting with others as ‘divine appointments’ and make every interaction with others as positive as it can be. We should seek to be and influence for good. We never know what’s going on in the lives of people around us. They may be having a terrible time, and even that smile, or encouraging word, may be an opportunity to bless them.
Who else found this a challenging chapter? Had you ever truly acknowledged that your anxiety and worry was sin? In our worrying we are displaying our lack of Trust in God. When Paul says in Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything”….
‘ “Don’t be anxious,” it has the force of a moral command. In other words, it is the moral will of God that we not be anxious. Or to say it more explicitly, anxiety is sin.’ Page 64
Sometimes our first reaction is fear and anxiety, and its often involuntary. We didn’t feel that this was necessarily wrong but that we should then step back and remember the Lord is in control, rather than indulge it. We must not let our emotions control us.
We loved the anecdote about Gods Agenda versus our on page 65. “Anxiety is a sin also because it is a lack of acceptance of God’s providence in our lives” page 64. As reformed people, we own the belief that God is Sovereign and in control of every detail of our lives. But do we really live like we believe it? Do we accept that when things don’t go according to our plans, that it is because God has a different plan? Even the little plans? Even the printer not working?
I pray that God would help us to see these little trials and frustrations as opportunities to grow in godliness rather than hurdles and obstacles. “Some believers have difficulty accepting the fact that God does in fact orchestrate all events and circumstances, and even those of us who do believe it often lose sight of this glorious truth. Instead we tend to focus on the immediate causes of our anxiety rather than remember that those immediate causes are under the sovereign control of God.” Page 65
Well there is so much more to be said… but I think my post is long enough.
Share with us your thoughts on these chapters… we’re anxious to hear your thoughts!
P.S. I've also started a face book page for the book club, as some of you were having difficulty getting online to post comments, so if you want to follow along on facebook, follow this link to the page. those of you who would like to do this but are not on facebook yet, let me know and I'll send you a facebook invitation.