Friday, December 10, 2010

DGW - Chapter 10-11 - Marriage and Singlness

Hi all

Just some notes from our last discussion regarding Chapters 11 and 12.

Chapter 11 - the Discipline of Singleness
We noted that you do not often get the message these days that it is better to be single. We certainly are easily "indoctrinated" by our culture, as Barbara states on pg 133 "indoctrinated by our relationship and sex-worshiping culture".
It was also interesting to note how Barbara talks about being content with where you are in life - with the place, whether single or married, that God has placed you. p 134. She goes on to say that "singleness is not always a permanent state" p 135, and we noted with this, that marriage is not always a permanent state either. That at some point many married people will again be single with the death of their partner. So, again, how important it is to be content and serving God whichever state we are in.
A big part of our discussion centred on bringing up our children, and particularly little girls to not be too focused on marriage/romance. This included the idea of training them to be good single people, and not just good married people (in the sense that they need to have the skills to look after themselves and learn to be able to occupy themselves for the Lord, whilst unmarried).

Chapter 12 - the Discipline of Marriage

We were struck by the story Barbara shares of her own parents and their marriage. It certainly isn't the typical picture of a successful and delightful marriage, but it is so lovely to see that simple picture of a wife sticking by her husband (as that is what she is called to do) and much blessing being passed on to the family as a result, pg 142-144.
We also discussed the importance of traditional vows (as opposed to homemade vows, p 145) because they are reflective of the Bibles' teaching about husbands and wives.
A lot of our discussion also focussed on our culture in this chapter - we discussed how our culture has such a minimal and poor view of marriage, ie. they want divorce to be easy, they want homosexual marriage to take place. We also realised how central true and proper marriage is to a good and godly society. In basic family units, how important it is that men and women play out their roles in marriage according to God's laws and directions.
The woman's role of submission is addressed by Barbara on pg 147-148. It is counter cultural to understand that this role is not demeaning. Society wants to tell us that being in submission is demeaning for women.
The other role of helper is discussed on pg 150-152, and we learnt that as a helper, we must encourage our husbands.
pg 153-154 speaks about the importance of respecting your husband. We discussed that when we don't respect our husbands in marriage it can spill out into so many other areas. Respect is a very important part of our role and we must seek to maintain it, even if we don't feel like giving it "It's respect that is given because it's the Lord who requires that respect be given".
Finally, Barbara's goal as a wife stirred us all, and inspires us to also seek such a goal as wives with our husbands. "One day I want to hear God say to Kent, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master." As Kent's helper in this life, those words will be my joy" (pg 158)

Next week we will cover Ch 13 in our last Book Club for the year. =)

by Mary Wall

Thursday, November 18, 2010

DGW - Chapter 10, The Church

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
one another.

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!!!....

DGW - Chapter 9, Persaverance

Hi Girls... I was unable to attend the last few book club meetings, but Mary has kindly put together these points of discussion:

Thanks 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

DGW - Chapter 7 and 8, Contentment and Propriety

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

DGW - Chapter 5: Discipline of Worship

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...

Disciplines of a Godly Woman

HI girrls.

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.