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  • Living simply is not so much about the particulars of our lives as much as it is about the principles that govern them. Knowing what God has called you to do, and then doing it--that's living simply.

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« Memory Monday: More of Psalm 19 | Main | Thoughts and attitudes »

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Aurora

Joanne, thanks for giving us all the counsel to give ourselves a break if we need it! I've been out of pocket for a few weeks, life has just been too crazy to read or write much. I just posted Ch. 6 answers today!! But I won't let being behind make me think I should give up. I will finish...maybe behind the group but I will finish!

Lisa notes...

I've put up some notes from chapter 8.

http://lisanotes.blogspot.com/2009/11/encouragement-ministry-ch-8-spiritual.html

Aurora, I agree with you in thanking Joanne for her good counsel. I'm having a hard time squeezing in everything I need to do this week, so some things are just not getting done. But that's okay.

I have to remind myself often that God will give me the right amount of time to do the things that HE wants me to get done. And I don't have to worry about the rest. Easier said than done, but it's a goal.

Tammy

1. Trust is difficult for me. Always has been. I don't easily confide. I have about 2 people who I would say I trust with being myself and expressing myself to. I know it should be different, but this is an area that I constantly have to work at and seek God's help in.

2. It reminds me that my encouragement comes not only in the form of words, but also in my actions. I'm thinking of the quote you mentioned in the next question. Our lives reflect our relationship with Christ. How we react or how we respond with our actions, matter as much as how we respond with our words.

3. Yes. It makes me feel less like I need to have it all together. I just need to be humble and obedient to God's word and live that out.

4. Genuine compassion, love and concern for others and a strong passion for His word.

5. We're in a position right now where we are going to trasnsition from our current church(where my husband is the senior pastor) to a new ministry. We will be church planting in another state. So right now I'm not sure how this will work. I'm hoping to use what I'm learning from this book and discussion here, to help in the church plant. That maybe this is a specific thing that I can focus on and start in our new ministry. Hopefully somewhere in this transition I can seek out a mentor, I know I need this, and then eventually find someone who I could do the same for. I guess we'll see:)

6. I know I need to work on coming out of my cave.

Joanne (The Simple Wife)

Ahhh!

I typed a long comment for this post and then something happened and I lost it all and Safari shut down.

I hate it when that happens!

Lisa notes...

Joanne, I hate when that happens, too. Sorry it happened to you. :-(

I’ve seen evidenced this week that not trusting in God leads to not trusting in others. Unfortunately, a leader in my church micromanages to maintain tight control, and it “appears” to me (I can’t judge his heart) that it’s because he can’t trust God enough to let GOD work through other people as well as himself.

This chapter did make me think more about encouragement as something to be diligent about, not just casually do it when I feel like it. I also liked how it talked about being “with”. That makes it sound more manageable to me, to just be “with” other women and minister to each other as we’re together.

Tammy, it sounds like God is preparing you for a new work. Blessings on you as you prepare yourself to meet the challenge!

Jamie

Finally posted my thoughts on my blog:
http://jamespurejoy.blogspot.com/2009/11/spiritual-mothering-chapter-8.html

Tammy, how exciting for you!
Joanne, I look forward to hearing what you have to say. Off to read some more!

Ashley

Hi all, I am way behind, but that’s OK. I’m still reading, and I’m still learning, and I’m still here. So here goes…

1. Because God is perfectly and supremely trustworthy, when I experience that faithfulness in my own life, I am empowered to step out in faith to trust others. And when others disappoint me, I am reminded of my perfectly trustworthy Father, who never lets me down. Likewise, I realize my own limitations… I never do all the good I desire to do. I am not perfect, and knowing God is releases me from the damage I do to myself when I feel inadequate and unworthy because of my lack.

2. After a really difficult experience with an important older woman in my life whose relationship with Jesus is uncertain (in which I shared a painful piece of my life and felt she spoke into that place of fear, rather than speak hope and encouragement) I was so encouraged by reading this chapter. It crystallized what I had experienced and suspected to be true. Hunt says on p. 115 that if we are not moving in the direction of Jesus, “we cannot encourage others. The closer we get to God and the tighter we hold to the hope we have in Him, the more we are able to encourage and equip others to a life of love and good deeds.” And on p. 119, Hunt says this is the very nature of encouragement, as spoken of in Hebrews 10: to “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” This makes encouragement so much more clear to me.

3. Such a good point, Joanne! I hadn’t thought of it that way before. Now that I do, my perception of having a spiritual mother or daughter is expanded. Hallelujah! God uses in spite of—and even through—our differences. I think this especially frees me as I consider who to ask to spiritually mentor me. I do so often think of the need for similarities (in all kinds of ways) as the criteria for making this decision and inviting this unknown spiritual mother into my life. God is bigger!

4. I want to learn more about selflessness, humility, Godly boundaries, a heart of thankfulness and praise, choosing hope, balancing the pieces of my heart and life, living out my love for my husband, daughters, family, friends, community and world. My goodness, so many things!

5. I am so there with you, Joanne. This chapter really emphasized my longing for a spiritual mother. I have thought of two women in particular and need to continue praying faithfully that God would guide me toward whoever this spiritual mother may be. That I would not put differences or the belief that her life is too full ahead of what God might have me do or ask.

6. I loved the challenge at the bottom of p. 124: “Call an older woman and ask for her advice about something.” Lord, please help me to become more teachable, humble and willing to admit that I am in need. And help me to reach out to the spiritual mothers around me.

Joanne (The Simple Wife)

Oh dear, I'd forgotten that the computer ate my response to this chapter. Let's see if I can try again and get caught up.

1. I trust God pretty easily. After all, he knows me and loves me and is trustworthy. But I'm seeing that part of trusting him involves trusting others, which comes a bit harder for me.

2. I love that encouragement is a ministry. That it is work. That it matters and has great value. A note in the mail, a text message to say hello--those things may seem small, but they are not!

3. See my comments in the post--yes! This is huge. Spiritual mothering isn't about making others like me--mothering itself isn't about making my own daughters like me. But encouraging them to grow in the image of Christ as he is formed in them.

4. I love the women in my life. Some pray with such passion and confidence. Others value people and are great listeners. Still others are gentle and kind. Others remember what I tell them and follow up. I want to be like them in so many ways!

5. I long for spiritual mother--one up close and in person. Yet I struggle with living somewhere temporarily and not sure how to not be limited by time. I think I just need to go for it!

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