2014-2015 Renovaré Christian Book Club discussion

Way of Jesus > Week 2, Way of Jesus

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message 1: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Quinn | 106 comments Mod
Welcome to Week 2 of our new reading and discussion of "Practicing the Way of Jesus"! We've had much good discussion already. I appreciate how many are both grappling with what feels hard or extreme and also seeking for God's way personally in learning and growing through the book.

This week we will read chapters 3 and 4. I have been thinking about Mark's idea of inviting people into acts of obedience. I've been wishing for a local group to discuss these things with and share experiences. It is inspiring me to consider reading this book with a group. I'll be continuing to think and pray about how this might happen. How about others of you? Anyone else drawn to a group experiment?

Bill from Florida | 50 comments It is hard finding folks who have the inclination and time. Usually people have one or the other. I've found timing is critical so living into that ongoing, interactive relationship with God helps me find just the right moment to ask people to join me in exploring life in the Kingdom of God.

message 3: by Bee Jay (new)

Bee Jay | 16 comments Me too. To both Brenda's and Bill's observations.
We had Dan Brunner, co-author of Ecotheology, at church last fall. His topic was Sabbath and Simplicity. I discussed with our Faith Formation Minister of my desire to participate in a Simple Living Support Group -- working title. I even loaned him my copy of Practicing, telling him about Renovare's book club. Dan was back late last month and focused on Greening: the church, the world, and ourselves.
So far nothing. We have the exact problem Bill describes: young families and high school aged families with no time, related to soccer etc. and empty nesters and early retirees (by which I mean those who still drive after dark!) The families have no time to be family and certainly no time to learn how to be family! They might be inclined, but not available. And the older set are running the church, so they have no time either!
I've nearly decided to move into the 21st century and rely on virtual communities, such as Renovare book club. If face-to-face occurs, great. But I'm not expecting it like I used to.

message 4: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne Johnson | 17 comments This is exactly where I am in my faith walk. I am called to a much simpler life. But I also acknowledge how difficult it is to make these changes. Often we are on the treadmill of life and we need to keep running or we will wipe out. What I find the most encouraging in this book is the multitude of ideas on how one can live a more simple life and a life that gives to others. I realize I don't have to do them all so I pick one at a time. I am just finishing a rehab project that resulted from my son and his wife moving from New York to Minnesota. They lived in a single family rental that we own. God had told them to sell or give away everything they did not need and they did sell and give away a lot. Still they left so much behind for me to take care of. I have spent the last two months separating what they want but forgot, donating or disposing of the balance. They had accumulated so much stuff in four short years. I am determined to pare down what I own, especially anything stored in the basement and extra closets. I not only do not need it but recognize that someone else probably does. I so desire a simpler life.

I was also really convicted of the authors stories of his family growing up, sharing meals with others, Tuesday soup nights for the kids while his parents fasted so that the money saved could be used to help others. It has caused me to think about ways I can save money by foregoing regular purchases and using the money to help others.

Anyway, he's got me thinking. It is true that often when we get excited about something like this it seems impossible to get anyone else excited with us. So for now I will start with myself and see what difference I can make in my own household and budget. It's a starting place. . .

message 5: by Liz (last edited May 10, 2015 09:26AM) (new)

Liz Bromstrup | 19 comments Like so many of you, I have been at this for decades. I affirm God's goodness along the way and how He has carried me in the palm of His hand. I love walking with God!
I would like to add something that I heard in a Dallas Willard podcast that may add some perspective to these experiments with Scandrette. Dallas said that we learn from what we experience, not from what we know. The experiments are deliberate attempts to experience something, God's presence or power or grace, that is otherwise a head knowledge. I think we can all agree that our American Christianity tends to be very knowledge based. That's okay, because our minds need transforming too. But experience is very powerful. We don't change until it hurts too much to stay the same way, and we are very good at avoiding pain. It even becomes the focus of much prayer! And we think it's God's will to do so. Something to reflect on...

message 6: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Quinn | 106 comments Mod
Thank you for that word from Dallas, Liz. That is helpful, along with your discussion. What you say makes much sense. All of these comments have been very thought-provoking and I'm appreciating the interaction!

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