Hi, Emma here just to give you a bit of an overview, we run book club in castle lake from 10-12 every Tuesday morning term time and coffee morning during holidays. It’s good as the kids get to play in the play area for free and we chat for about the first hour then discuss the book for the next. We split into 2 groups 1 people with pre school children and the other with slightly older children. Its not in any way exclusively to mums – it’s just the people we have coming at the moment. So my comments are on the discussion that was had for youngy mummy group! (Hope you like what I did there :-))
It was an interesting discussion this morning which went way over time – I think we ended up leaving about 12.30 which shows we all had a lot to say! I hear you cry “you guys having a lot to say …really!! I’m am surprised”
We didn’t finish week 1’s questions last week so we started with
David asked Miles to get the bible and open it at random and read me the first passage you put your finger on – the passage was directly related to their situation – and they were greatly encouraged
What do you think about this?
Why do you think God shows us encouragement at times more than others?
A few of us had found opening the bible randomly at times really helpful – esp. at times of trouble when after praying then opening the bible an topic exactly related verse sprang out at us.
A few examples one of where one mum was having her child tested for cancer and was understandably upset/worried, she opened the bible and there was a passage about loving your children and being a good parent that was all you could do and she felt an immense sense of peace about the situation – not necessarily that everything would be ok but that God was in it with her.
Another was where God prompted someone to open the bible and read the verse out to their friend, they did and their friend had asked God specifically to answer a prayer regarding studying and starting up an Open University degree. The verse said something along the lines of “those who are unlearned need to go and learn, and this is Gods will for you”…the person reading out the bible had no idea that their friend had prayed this prayer…it was quite faith affirming for them both (and expensive for the friend who went ahead doing the uni degree!)
Any more thoughts from those who were there?
Re the second part of the question Why do you think God shows us encouragement at times more than others?
One person said that God walks with you all the time- sometimes on your left and sometimes on your right. When he is one side of you can see how He is working with you and helping you in your life but when He is walking on the other side then it’s really hard to see how He is working in your life – even though He is there and walking with you but to trust Him
“God moves in mysterious ways his wonders to perform” what do you think?
This followed on naturally from the previous comment – that often we can’t see how God is working but God has the overall picture and to trust him….any more thoughts?
How much does the threat of “being ashamed” stop you doing what you know to be right?
A lot seems to come down to personality type, some like a quiet life, some react too quickly and then half regret their instinctive reaction, we talked about what would you do if you saw someone balling out a child – shouting and screaming in an uncontrolled way (thinking about a story I had heard at the weekend) what is the right thing to do? Is it right that we do nothing as it’s none of our business, would it be right to go over and help the person calm down? Do you walk on by or stop and interfere? Interestingly one of the group had been on the receiving end of someone stopping to help, they had had a really stressful day and lost it with their child in town, and were really shouting at them…2 ladies came over and put their arms around her and helped them calm down – she thought that this was really helpful – and it encouraged us to sometimes have the courage to stand up and do what is right…at a dinner party if someone is being bigoted or racist….tell them (in a Christian sort of way :o). Not to be bound by the social rules but to stand up for what is right and good – isn’t that being the salt and the light in this world?
On the morning of the court trial David and Miles fasted as they both felt instinctively that some sort of crisis was ahead. Have you ever fasted? (Fasting was often a way to feel closer to God during a particularly difficult time.) Would you ever consider fasting? (Missing a meal/or for a day or giving something up) Why fast?
we talked a lot about fasting and peoples experiences showed it to be a fantastic thing to help become closer to God…
Distressing or difficult times are reasons for fasting. Fasting is a way of communicating feelings of fear, anxiety, distress or grief to God. Self-denial is one way of expressing genuineness or sincerity. It’s also a way of making a spiritual contribution to relieving the situation, a way of showing God a willingness to do our part and asking Him to make up the difference. (See Esther 4:3) Fasting is sometimes used as a sacrifice when asking God to intervene in a situation. “But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.” (Psalms 35:13)
* Ask the Lord how He wants you to do that
* He may direct you to give up coffee, or an activity such as TV
* Give up one meal a day for a week or fast for one whole day.
* Do spend any extra time this creates in soaking in His presence
* Don’t fast on the day of your prayer service etc, you need to be alert and refreshed not distracted by hunger or feelings of weakness.
* Don’t feel guilty or condemned if you ‘slip up’ on your fast….God will honor what you are able to give Him.
Can you think of a time when instincts have taken over (and maybe caught you or others off guard?) or when you have done something and thought “darn why I did that!!” the next day?
When alcohol has been consumed people thought this was a usual morning after feeling!! but part from that most of the group (apart from me!) seem quite controlled and restrained and this didn’t happen very often…but when someone was truly wronged they would stand up and have something to say about it – we linked it back to the previous question of when is it right to stand up and be counted…
When (if at all) is it ok to the brake the laws of our society?
We somehow managed to skip this question completely
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy” was the verse given to David – any thoughts for David or for your own life?
Varying views on this one –
God uses the hardest times in our life to help others or change the world around us
How can you say that to a starving child in Africa or someone who has only ever experienced pain – this wouldn’t be helpful at all?
Jennifer Reese larkham (a famous author – who lives just up the road) gave he life to God at 7 and asked Him to help her know Him fully and after 7 deaths of people she was really close too and her grandchild dying she realized that she had to rely totally on Him and she felt that her life was about God removing the humanistic crutches that we have in our lives…this was her view on reflection of her life…
Do you believe in coincidences? Or God coincidences? Any thoughts or experiences to share?
For instance in the book where David asked that if him and his wife were meant to come to the church they would have 100% agreement and to agree to remove to cock roaches or if he as to sell the tv they would have an answer within 30 minutes…are they just coincidental?
When you ask God for help with something and the prayers answer is that coincidence or is that God? Well but there are an awful lot of coincidences in Christianity! We shared a lot about our feelings of instinct which have made BIG differences to our lives;
She felt very strongly to pull off the road as there child was screaming and due to this they avoided a serious car crash which they would have almost certainly been in
Another, how they thought that they should move their child from the middle of their bed to the edge between them and the wall, but the husband thought that this was silly as the child had always slept in the middle, in the night mum got up to go to the look and for the first time ever their child rolled out of bed and fell on the floor, a few years later the same mum felt really strongly that she should check the windows in her Childs room that they were locked (they were always locked and no need to be opened ) but she had the same incredibly strong feeling that she should check them – they were unlocked (no idea how) but she is so pleased she checked as her sons bed is directly under the window and he loved to peer out of them.
Others about having feelings to contact someone and then the phone would ring with that person on the phone or a text would come in.
I believe that if we have a sensation to do something (weigh it – in otherworld’s is there any harm in doing this??) if no harm then test it – see if it is God…I truly believe that God wants all of us to hear His voice and that He will teach us in the small things, so if you have a really strong sensation to say buy glue sticks at TESCOS randomly or go somewhere – why not buy them or go – and see what happens – this happened to someone I know and randomly they needed lots of glue sticks later that day……